HC Deb 04 June 1992 vol 208 cc929-30
1. Dr. Strang

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any plans to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Mr. John Selwyn Gummer)

I have no such plans.

Dr. Strang

Does the Minister accept that, notwithstanding that farm workers are disgracefully underpaid, they and their unions are firmly of the view that they would be even worse off if the board were abolished? Is the Minister aware that it is the policy of the National Farmers Union to continue to support the board? Will he therefore expand on his reply and make it clear that the Government will neither renounce the relevant International Labour Organisation convention nor take advantage of the window which opens in August next year to initiate steps to abolish the board?

Mr. Gummer

There are many things that I have to deal with. As this matter cannot be dealt with until next year, I do not regard it as necessary to consider it until that moment arises. When it does, I will; and when I do, I will take into account both the facts that the hon. Gentleman has put before me.

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