HC Deb 27 July 1949 vol 467 c2471
47. Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

asked the Minister of Defence if he will re-introduce the system of 28 days' agricultural leave for men of the three Services serving in the United Kingdom, to enable farmers whose labour resources are otherwise inadequate, to apply, in cases verified by the agricultural executive committee concerned, for the assistance of specified individuals for this year's harvest.

Mr. Alexander

The scheme to which the hon. Member refers applied to agricultural workers called up for service and there are no longer any such men in the Forces; those called up during the war have been released and since then the call-up of agricultural workers has been suspended. As in the past, however, instructions have been issued which will ensure that the Forces give farmers all possible help, so far as Service commitments allow, with this year's harvest. Arrangements will be made through the local Service commanders and county agricultural executive committees.

Mr. Thornton-Kemsley

Does that mean that if a named individual, who could be accommodated on a farm in an area in which he normally lives, applies for leave to help with the harvest, and the case is verified by the agricultural executive committee, that individual would not get leave?

Mr. Alexander

I did not say that. I cannot judge individual oases. They would have to be considered by their commanding officers in relation to what I have said in my answer.