HC Deb 31 May 1916 vol 82 cc2747-8W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether he will be able to make any arrangements with the War Office whereby men may get leave to help in the fruit-picking season, especially during the cherry-picking season, as the moving of the ladders necessary to cherry picking is too heavy work for women?


A memorandum will be issued in a few days as to the arrangements for the release of soldiers for agricultural work, which includes work of the kind referred to.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if he is aware of the scarcity of labour in the agricultural districts, and that many small holders and others have but faint prospect of getting their peats in and their crops harvested; and if he will state approximately how many persons fit for military service are employed directly and indirectly in and about racing stables?


Yes, Sir; there is undoubtedly a great scarcity of labour in many rural districts. I am not acquainted with Scottish conditions, but I think that generally in England and Wales small holders should be able to get their fuel and save their crops if they will make full use of women's work and if the larger farmers will give them a helping hand. I can give no estimate in reply to the last part of the question.