HC Deb 23 June 1949 vol 466 cc419-20
2. Mr. J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Labour how many agricultural workers have sought to leave the industry in the last 12 months; and how many applications have been refused under the Control of Engagement Order.

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Isaacs)

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that more men are being kept out of this industry through fear of this Order than, in point of fact, are being kept in the industry by the Control of Engagement Order?

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir. I do not think there is any real evidence which proves that. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that this matter is still under consideration.

Mr. Awbery

Is it not a fact that there was a general exodus of men from this industry for many years before the present regulations were made?

Mr. Emrys Roberts

Does not the hon. Gentleman think the time is now approaching when this Order should be rescinded altogether?

Mr. Isaacs

I have just indicated that the matter is under active consideration.

Mr. Osborne

If the Minister has not the information at present could he get it and give it to the House later on?

Mr. Isaacs

I am afraid not. If men go to an employment exchange and ask for permission to leave and permission is not given, no record is kept of that. Record is kept only where the men do leave.