HC Deb 21 August 1916 vol 85 cc2314-5W

asked the Secretary to the Board of Trade, as agriculture is the greatest industry in Ireland, what steps the Labour Exchanges in that country have taken to organise such labour, as the general impression in Ireland is that no real steps have been taken and that the Labour Exchanges in that respect are a complete failure?


The Labour Exchanges which have been established in Ireland are prepared to deal with agricultural employment, as well as with other industries. No special steps have, however, been taken in connection with agriculture, as the Department has not hitherto been satisfied that the farmers and agricultural workers would avail themselves to a sufficient extent of any special facilities which might be provided. I should be glad, however, to consider any evidence as to the desirability of taking special steps in this connection.


asked the Vice-President of the Department of Agriculture (Ireland) what steps his Department has taken to organise agricultural labour in Ireland in association with the Labour Exchanges there; and, if no such action was taken, why, seeing the importance of such action to the Irish farmer, adequate steps were not taken?


The organisation of labour is a matter for the Board of Trade Labour Exchanges and not for the Department. So far the circumstances of the agricultural labour supply in Ireland have not been such as to call for special action by the Department. The Department I have, however, communicated with the I Labour Exchange authorities in any cases which came to their notice in which it appeared that the Exchanges could assist and the Department have also from time to time furnished such information as was required to enable the Exchanges j to deal with agricultural labour questions.