HC Deb 17 December 1945 vol 417 cc929-30
68. Mr. Gooch

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will discourage the use of prisoner-of-war labour by farmers and W.A.E.C.s where other labour is available.

Mr. T. Williams

I have impressed on county war agricultural executive committees the need, of which they are fully aware, for ensuring that prisoners-of-war are not supplied to farmers or used by committees themselves on work for which civilian labour is available.

Mr. Gooch

Is my right hon. Friend aware that farm workers are complaining bitterly that they are being dismissed in certain cases and that German prisoners are taking their places, and will he circularise the county committees informing them that this must stop?

Mr. Williams

The county committees have already been circularised. If my hon. Friend will bring any individual cases to my notice, I will look into them.

Mr. Janner

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is labour available from some of the prisons of this country and it has proved extremely satisfactory to utilise these men, and will he give attention to the possibility of using more of them?

Mr. Williams

I believe that the first part of my hon. Friend's question is strictly correct. The men have been proved useful.