HC Deb 17 February 1955 vol 537 cc541-2
18. Mr. Collins

asked the Minister of Agriculture what allowance was made for increased farming efficiency in connection with the Special Price Review necessitated by the recent increase in the minimum wages of farmworkers.

Mr. Amory

The recent Special Review added some £4 million, on account of wage changes, to the guarantees originally determined at the 1954 Annual Review, when account was taken of the relevant efficiency changes. The assessment of changes in farming efficiency that have taken place during the current year is a matter for the Annual Review now proceeding, which relates to the 1956 crops and to livestock products during 1955–56.

Mr. Collins

Is the Minister aware that the present award is apparently full recoupment for the wage increase? If it were to be thought that there was to be automatic recoupment for wage increases, it would react very much against the men when they apply to the Wages Board for further wage increases. Will the Minister make it clear, therefore, that in no case can recoupment of wage increases in this way be regarded as automatic?

Mr. Amory

I do not disagree in general with what the hon. Member has said. In this case, full recoupment was given because the rising efficiency factor had been taken into consideration in the Annual Review.