HC Deb 17 April 1946 vol 421 cc2679-80
54. Major Leģģe-Bourke

asked the Minister of Food if he will consider issuing extra rations to employees of rural drainage authorities on the same scale as those issued to agricultural workers.

Sir B. Smith

I assume that the workers referred to are engaged on draining agricultural land. These are already entitled to the extra rations granted to agricultural workers, with the exception of the special seasonal allowances which are only granted in respect of seasonal work.

Major Leģģe-Bourke

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these men are doing a job which is not only vital to agriculture but of which the conditions are often very much worse? Will he, therefore, consider putting them on exactly the same footing as agricultural workers in view of the fact that they are on the same footing in regard to insurance?

Sir B. Smith

They are on exactly the same footing as agricultural workers. They receive an extra cheese allowance of 12 ounces a week and the following rationed foods: 11/8o ounces of tea, one ounce of sugar, milk at current scales—nine pints per 100 beverages—but they are not allowed to take tea or sugar home dry.

Mr. Stubbs

Is my right hon. Friend aware that unless the farm workers get more food there will be an avalanche of them leaving the land because they cannot go on doing the hard work on present rations?

Mr. De la Bère

Why not do something for the farm workers? I am tired of asking.