HC Deb 19 January 1937 vol 319 cc19-20
36. Major Stourton

asked the Minister of Agriculture what immediate steps, if any, the Government propose to take to counter the steady exodus of the skilled agricultural population to the cities and towns and the shrinkage of land under cultivation?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

The whole agricultural policy of the Government, including the recent extension of unemployment insurance to agricultural workers, is designed to improve the position of the agricultural industry and so make conditions more attractive both for the employer and for the employed. The tendencies to which my hon. and gallant Friend draws attention are constantly engaging my attention, and if he has any suggestions to make, I shall be happy to receive them and will give them most careful consideration.

Major Stourton

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there has been a steady decline now for 10 consecutive years in the number of agricultural workers employed and that there has been an equally steady decline in the amount of land under cultivation for 15 years; and is it not about time something was done to reverse this position?