HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 c1359
58. Mr. J. H. Hare

asked the Minister of Food whether self employed agricultural workers who, under the new National Insurance Scheme will have unemployment cards stamped "Agricultural," will qualify for the extra cheese ration.

Mr. Strachey

When the new National Insurance Scheme comes into force anyone employed in agriculture under contract of service will in future be able to get the special cheese ration. I am sorry, but I still cannot extend the concession to self-employed workers.

Mr. Hare

Does not this, in fact, mean that the sons, nephews and brothers of the owners of small farms who work for the owners on a contract of service will now get this extra cheese ration? If that is so, would the Minister do all he can to make that fact public, because this concession has been requested for many months past, and the majority of these people do not know that they will benefit on 5th July.

Mr. Strachey

Yes, this is a considerable concession. I think the only possible dividing line to take is this of contract of service. I think the answer should serve to make that public.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

What is the objection to self-employed persons being included in this arrangement? Is it an administrative difficulty, and if so, what?

Mr. Strachey

There is an administrative difficulty. Also self-employed people usually have better access to extra food than those employed on a contract of service.