HC Deb 23 July 1934 vol 292 c1517

asked the Minister of Agriculture, taking 1925 as the base year for agricultural wages and prices, what would be the present agricultural wage if wages had declined to the same extent as agricultural prices; and what has been the decline in the number of agricultural land workers in Great Britain between the first recorded and latest available date?


If agricultural wages had been governed solely by the movement of the prices of agricultural products since 1925, the average of the weekly minimum wages for ordinary adult workers in England and Wales would have been 23s. 5d. in June last. The total number of agricultural workers in Great Britain in 1921, the first year for which comparable returns on an annual basis are available, was 996,081, the corresponding figure for 1925 being 925,400 and for 1933, 827,400.


Does not that show that farmers are unable to employ a sufficiency of labourers at the present agricultural prices?


I think it shows the great desirability of having a more remunerative level of prices than that at present existing.