HC Deb 19 June 1939 vol 348 cc1803-4
50. Mr. Lipson

asked the Minister of Agriculture the extent of the existing shortage of agricultural labour?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

I have received reports of a shortage of agricultural labour, and especially of skilled workers, in a number of districts, but it is not possible to state precisely the extent of the deficiency.

Mr. Lipson

Is it not the fact that the success of Government agricultural policy must depend upon an adequate supply of skilled agricultural workers, and will the Minister take steps to find out the exact extent of that shortage?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

It is not possible in any given district to say how many workers these should be, but that there is a shortage and that we want to get men back to the land, there is no doubt at all.

Mr. De la Bère

Is it not true that there is a decrease each month of agricultural labourers on the land?