HC Deb 26 November 1945 vol 416 cc890-1
54. Mr. Hurd

asked the Minister of Agriculture the hourly charges made to farmers in Berkshire and Wiltshire for the services of prisoners of war; whether these charges cover transport to the farm; what instructions he has now given the W.A.E.C.s;. on a uniform inclusive charge; and how this inclusive rate charged for prisoners of war compares with the hourly rate earned by British farm workers.

Mr. T. Williams

The Berkshire and Wiltshire War Agricultural Executive Committees make the normal hourly charges for prisoners of war, namely, is. 3d. an hour for up to eight hours in any one day and is. 6d. an hour thereafter. In accordance with my Department's instructions, no charge is now made by either committee for transporting prisoners. The minimum rates of wages fixed by the Agricultural Wages Board for adult male workers in the counties concerned average approximately is. 5d. an hour for employment other than overtime. No comprehensive statistics are available as to the actual earnings of agricultural workers.

Mr. Hurd

Where charges in excess of that uniform rate have been paid, will the amount be refunded?

Mr. Williams

I rather suspect that would be too difficult.