HC Deb 23 March 1950 vol 472 c2166
57. Mr. Baldwin

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that the present hostel system of casual labour is holding up agricultural production owing to the high rate of charges made by the county agricultural executive committees which are higher for unskilled workers than regular skilled workers; and what steps he proposes to take to make possible an increased supply of skilled workers

Mr. T. Williams

The answer to the first part of the Question is "No, Sir." As to the second, it is the policy of the Government to create conditions that will encourage recruitment to agriculture, and the figures show that this policy has met with marked success. As the hon. Member will appreciate, it is only on the farm that skilled workers are made.

Mr. Baldwin

Will the Minister consult with the Minister of Health, and make it known to him that we cannot get skilled agricultural workers until we have cottages to put them in?

Mr. Williams

If the hon. Member is not aware of it, perhaps I had better remind him once again that since 1945 the number of skilled workers has been increasing annually. It has gone up from 515,000, since we took office, to 580,000 today.

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