HC Deb 17 December 1945 vol 417 cc930-1
70. Mr. Dye

asked the Minister of Agriculture, in view of the Government's decision to retain the Control of Engagement Order in respect of agricultural employment, while freeing nearly all other industries, whether he will now consider, in his annual review of prices, fixing such a level of prices as will enable agricultural workers to be paid wages at least equal to those paid in other industries.

Mr. T. Williams

Prices of the principal agricultural products will be fixed by the Government, after the annual Febru- ary reviews, at a level appropriate, in the opinion of the Government, to achieve the purposes stated in the policy announcement of 15th November of which an important feature is the provision of adequate remuneration and decent living conditions for agricultural workers. The fixing of minimum rates of wages for agricultural workers in the United Kingdom has been entrusted by Parliament to independent bodies. It would be quite improper for Ministers to indicate to these bodies how they should carry out their statutory functions.

Mr. Dye

In the case of a substantial increase in wages being arranged by the Wages Board, will the prices already fixed be just from the point of view of meeting that requirement?

Mr. Williams

I am afraid I cannot add anything to the statement I made on 15th November.