§ 18. Commander Agnew
asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food whether on the Advisory Panel in connection with applications from Worcestershire for deferment from National Service, horticultural as well as agricultural representatives are included.
There is no horticultural grower on the Worcestershire Panel, but one of the workers' representatives has a general knowledge of horticulture, and two of the three deputy members have practical experience of it.
§ Commander Agnew
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is an impression among horticultural growers that their applications for deferment do not receive as favourable consideration as do those of men engaged in general farming? Could my right hon. Friend do something to put a horticultural representative on the Advisory Panel?
These panels are not representative of any particular sections of agriculture. As my hon. and gallant Friend knows, they consist of equal numbers of representatives of farmers and farm workers. If there is an impression such as my hon. and gallant Friend suggests, it may be due to the fact that up till last October a smaller proportion of horticultural workers were eligible for deferment under the regulations then in force, but that no longer applies today. All workers producing food are treated equally.