HC Deb 28 February 1938 vol 332 cc734-5
27. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Agriculture the number of acres under cultivation and the number of workers employed in England and Wales for the years 1908 and 1925, respectively; and whether he can give an approximate estimate of the total wages paid to agricultural workers for the years 1908, 1925, 1933–34 and 1936–37, respectively?

Mr. W. S. Morrison

As the reply involves a table of figures, I propose, with the hon. Member's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Sorensen

Is it not a fact that the figures which the right hon. Gentleman has already supplied, together with these figures, indicate that while productivity has increased, wages have only risen to a very much smaller degree than the actual value of the produce?

Mr. Morrison

Perhaps the hon. Member will study the table, and then put another question on the Paper.

Following is the reply:

The Assistant Postmaster-General (Sir Walter Womersley)

As I indicated to the hon. Member in reply to his previous question on this matter, the emoluments of sub-postmasters are not based on the average turnover of three separate weeks. Their remuneration is revised triennially on the basis, in the main, of the latest available returns of business covering a year and any increase in pay warranted is back-dated for one year.

Sir C. MacAndrew

Will my hon. Friend make it clear that when there is an increase in salary it is on a yearly average and not on the average turnover of three separate weeks?

Sir W. Womersley

The increase in salary is based on the average for one year every three years, with the exception of three very small items. I may inform my hon. and gallant Friend that this arrangement is in accordance with the wishes of the Sub-Postmasters' Association and the trade union representatives.