HC Deb 05 December 1932 vol 272 cc1224-5
23. Mr. THORNE

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the Leicester and Rutland Agricultural Wages Board have proposed to reduce wages from 34s. to 32s. per week and from 32s. 6d. to 30s. 6d., respectively; and if he will state whether he intends to endorse these proposals


I am aware that the Leicester and Rutland Agricultural Wages Committee recently issued a proposal to reduce the minimum rates on the lines stated and that on meeting after the prescribed period for the lodging of objections to the proposal they decided that the reductions shall be put into effect. The Committee's decision does not come before me for endorsement, as under the terms of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act the determination of the minimum rates is entirely within the powers of the Committee.


Do I understand from that reply that the right hon. and gallant Gentleman has no control at all in the matter, and no right to veto such a proposal?


No, Sir, the Act passed by the Government which was supported by the hon. Gentleman did not give me that power.


Will the Minister say whether it is in his power to give a gentle hint to these people that the wages are low enough already?


If we began giving hints on this subject, it might lead both sides rather further than they wish to go.


Will the Minister inform the Agricultural Wages Board that he has very great hopes that on account of tariffs conditions will improve so much that it will not be necessary to reduce wages?