HC Deb 12 June 1939 vol 348 cc886-7
33. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the serious and increasing shortage of agricultural labour, he will take steps to enable suitable refugees to be employed on the land?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

Following on recommendations of the Agricultural Sub-Committee of the Co-ordinating Committee for Refugees, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department has agreed to raise no objection to the admission of 1,500 refugees for training or employment or both in agriculture in this country pending eventual re-emigration. The question of the temporary admission of a further number of refugees for agricultural employment to meet the present shortage of agricultural labour is at present under consideration by the Agricultural Sub-Committee of the Co-ordinating Committee, and any recommendations they make will receive considertaion.

Mr. Lipson

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, may I ask him, in view of the great urgency for agricultural labourers, whether he will see that the negotiations are speeded up?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

That is not a matter for me. There are two sides to this question.

Mr. T. Williams

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain what steps are being taken to provide the existing skilled rural labourers with decent houses?

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