§ 28. Mr. HURD
asked the Minister of Agriculture an estimate of the amount involved in the proposal submitted to him by the Central and Associated Chambers of Agriculture that the Government should guarantee for a sack of wheat 2¼ cwt.) the same cash value as the minimum wage fixed by the wages board in the lowest paid districts, i.e., wages 30s., sack of wheat 30s., the guarantee to rise and fall with the rise and fall of wages as fixed under the Act of Parliament?
The cost of guaranteeing the price of wheat at 30s. per sack (2¼ cwt.), i.e., 60s. per quarter of 504 lbs., would have amounted in the past year to about £2,250,000. A variation of 1s. in the weekly minimum wage in the lowest paid district would represent a difference of about £650,000 in the cost of the guarantee (assuming that the production did not vary substantially).
§ Mr. MONTAGUE
Has the right hon. Gentleman any idea how many sacks of wheat in a week one agricultural labourer produces?
I am not very good at mental arithmetic. Perhaps the hon. Member will put that question on the Paper.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is a very strong feeling in the industrial districts that no more public money should be expended on the agricultural community?