§ 50. Mr. Remnant
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he will take steps to empower agricultural wages boards to 1248 consider the advisability of bringing gardeners' wages within the range of their awards.
Mr. T. Williams
The definition of "agriculture" in the Agricultural Wages Act, 1948, brings within the scope of the Agricultural Wages Board's Orders the employment of gardeners engaged in quasi commercial operations. The position of gardeners engaged in gardening for private purposes was fully considered during the passage of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1947, when it was decided that it was not appropriate that they should be covered by agricultural wage-regulation machinery. I see no reason for altering that decision.
§ Mr. Remnant
Is the Minister aware that gardening is one of the few occupations in which workers are deprived of wage-fixing machinery? Is there any adequate reason why they should not have this benefit?
It was felt, when the Agricultural Wages Bill was being considered, that it was a Measure to deal with workers employed in producing food for commercial purposes, and that it did not apply to those employed purely on domestic jobs.