§ 29. Colonel WEDGWOOD
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the fixing of the wages of the farm workers in Lincolnshire has been followed by levying new charges by 1809 farmers on farm workers, such as for straw and coal carting; and whether anything can be done to stop this undermining of the intentions of the wages board and Parliament?
I have had no official information of such cases. It is, of course, illegal for an employer to reckon in part payment of minimum wages fixed under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act the value of any benefits or advantages other than those permitted by the order of the local agricultural wages committee. Neither of the wages committees for Lincolnshire has included the benefits mentioned in the question as allowable for this purpose, and, consequently, any such arrangements would be outside the payment of wages at the minimum rates.
§ Mr. NOEL BUXTON
Will the right hon. Gentleman ask for a reconsideration of rates by county committees in cases where a change of action by farmers has made a serious difference to the men?
I will certainly consider the suggestion of the right hon. Gentleman. Of course, he must not forget that it is always within the competence of the committees themselves to reconsider their own business.