§ 21. Mr. T. SMITH
asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of prosecutions instituted by his Department during 1935 for the recovery of wages under the Agricultural Wages Act; the total amount of wages so recovered; and the amount of fines imposed on the offending employers?
§ Mr. ELLIOT
During 1935 the Ministry instituted 79 prosecutions under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act in respect of failure to pay wages at not less than the minimum rates. The total 985 amount in arrears of wages ordered by the courts to be paid in these cases was £1,645, and the fines imposed amounted to £217.
§ Mr. SMITH
Is the Minister aware that in a case recently in the Bakewell area a farmer pleaded that he had never heard of the Agricultural Wages Act, and will he say whether farmers are sent notice of changes in wage rates made by the boards?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
Seeing that the average wage deficit is over £20 in the 79 cases, does the right hon. Gentleman think that an average fine of less than £3 is adequate?