HC Deb 30 January 1934 vol 285 c189
19. Mr. T. SMITH

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he is aware that a farm worker named Chessum was discharged from employment on the Crown farm at Pointon, Billingborough, as a result of certain activities in the by-election in the Rutland and Stamford Parliamentary Division; and whether he will have inquiries made as to why this man was thrown out of employment?


I am satisfied after thorough inquiry that this man was discharged from employment for failure on more than one occasion to carry out orders given to him by the farm manager and the foreman, and for insubordinate language in the presence of other men working on the farm. His dismissal had nothing to do with his political activities.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is the local opinion that his statement gives an excuse rather than the reason for the dismissal? Is he aware that the farm agent, who was a very active worker during the recent election, had an altercation with this man because the man had party colours in his windows; and will he reconsider the matter and let this man start work again?


I have made a very thorough inquiry into the report of the farm manager. On one occasion the man was reprimanded for not having steam-up in a threshing set, although he had previously received instructions to do so, and on another occasion he had disobeyed definite instructions given to him with regard to the conveyance of a threshing set from one farm to another farm, with the result that half-a-day was lost on the farm. My hon. Friend will see my difficulty in further investigating a case which has been investigated already.


With all due respect to the right hon. Gentleman, the fact of the matter is—


The hon. Member is now giving information.


May I give notice that, owing to the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I shall draw attention to this matter on the Adjournment in the near future?