HC Deb 11 February 1946 vol 419 cc29-30
54. Mr. De la Bèreé

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether, in view of the fact that the last Return issued by his Department showed there were 89,000 fewer farm workers employed on the land than in 1939, he can now give the approximate increase or decrease on this figure at 31st January, 1946; and whether he will give a statement as to the future prospects of labour becoming available.

Mr. T. Williams

The total number of workers on farms, as recorded in the 4th June returns, increased between 1939 and 1945 by 162,000. I regret that information in respect of 31st January, 1946, is not available. As regards the last part of the Question, all practicable steps will be taken to see that the labour available matches the need.

Mr. De la Beré

Notwithstanding the information not being available, does not the right hon. Gentleman know in his heart of hearts that the labour is not coming forward? Why not do something now?

Mr. Williams

The figures which I gave were strictly accurate.

Mr. De la Beré

It is no good waiting on events.

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