HC Deb 26 April 1948 vol 450 cc24-5
59. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is satisfied that the arrangements he has made for the recruitment of emergency workers, members of the Women's Land Army, European workers and the various German prisoners or ex-prisoners of war, will be effective in looking after the agricultural situation in Great Britain this year.

Mr. T. Williams

No, Sir. Very much depends upon the efforts of farmers themselves to build up their regular labour staffs and to secure additional help at peak periods. In my reply to the hon. Member for Newark (Mr. Shephard) on 23rd February last, I gave details of the special measures taken by the Government; and I have every hope that the steps taken by farmers themselves, supplemented in these ways, will enable the industry to meet this year's needs. As regards seasonal labour, my Department and the Ministry of Labour are now considering, in the light of local conferences with the industry, whether further Government action is necessary.

Mr. Bossom

Will the Minister consult with the Minister of Labour to see if they can make a certainty of this, because we are liable to lose an awful lot of food?

Mr. Williams

If the farmers perform their duty to themselves and the State, I do not think we shall be behind.