HC Deb 11 April 1940 vol 359 cc683-4
8. Sir Percy Hurd

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many young townsmen of 18 years or so of age would gladly work on the land in the period before entering military service; and whether he will direct Employment Exchanges in London and other urban centres to offer land work to these young townsmen and put them into touch with the National Farmers' Union?

Mr. E. Brown

I am in close consultation with my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, on the measures necessary to secure the additional workers needed for the land. Every effort will be made to secure that men registered at local offices in urban areas who are prepared to undertake such work, shall be offered the opportunity, including young men of the class referred to by my hon. Friend. My hon. Friend will appreciate that in order that the young men to whom he refers may obtain work on the land some farmer must be willing to engage them.

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Will the right hon. Gentleman alternatively take steps to prevent older men who are not land workers going on to the land in order to evade military service?

Mr. Brown

If my hon. and gallant Friend has any information of that kind I shall be glad to have it. I am not aware of any such cases.