HC Deb 12 April 1948 vol 449 cc601-2
18. Mr. Gooch

asked the Minister of Food if he has considered the recommendations of the working party on agricultural food allowances; and if it is his intention to accept in whole or in part the conclusions unanimously reached by this working party representative of all sections of the agricultural industry.

Mr. Strachey

The working party on seasonal allowances to agricultural workers has made a preliminary report. This has been very carefully considered both by my Ministry and by the Advisory Committee of the Trades Union Congress, but I regret to say that the recommendations in it were not acceptable.

Mr. Gooch

In view of the fact that these were the unanimous recommendations of the working party, representing all sections of the agricultural industry, and of representatives of his own Department, and that they have been subsequently confirmed by the working party, will my right hon. Friend have another look at the recommendations, as coming from a body of eminently practical men engaged in the agricultural industry?

Mr. Strachey

Yes, Sir. My hon. Friend should bear in mind that we have to judge the claims of this industry and its representations in relation to the claims of every other industry for similar concessions.

Mr. R. A. Butler

Would the right hon. Gentleman undertake to publish the findings of the working party committee, otherwise it is impossible to judge the claims of this industry as against the claims of others?

Mr. Strachey

I should have to consult the working party on that point, and the Advisory Committee of the Trades Union Congress.

Mr. Beechman

Can my right hon. Friend tell us, as soon as possible, whit will be done to give adequate food to agricultural workers?—

Mr. Strachey

Agricultural workers already enjoy a very acceptable amount of differential rationing. It is simply a question of the degree to which we ought to go in justice to other industries.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

In view of the fact that they work as hard as people getting higher rations in other industries, what possible reason can there be for delay in giving them an increase?