§ Mr. G. LAMBERT
asked if men actually engaged as ploughmen have within the last month been compulsorily recruited for the Army?1297W
§ Mr. MACPHERSON
Many men employed in agriculture to whom the tribunals have not thought it necessary to grant exemption, or renewal of exemption, have, nevertheless, been left on the land for the present. A general instruction to recruiting officers has now been for some time current that the necessity of maintaining food production must not be lost sight of, and that in individual eases opportunities should be given to the local agricultural representative to confer in the decision which of the unexempted men should be called up for military service. In these circumstances, if any ploughmen have recently been compulsorily enlisted, they must be men who were not considered to be indispensable to the local agricultural needs.
§ Mr. BROOKES
asked the right hon. Member for Barnard Castle, as representing the Department of National Service, on what system the available ploughmen in the Army are now being allotted to the various counties; and whether consideration is being given to the fact that, owing to the geographical position, the need of some counties is much more urgent than that of others?
§ Mr. BECK
My right hon. Friend has asked me to reply to this question. Allocation of military labour for agricultural purposes in England and Wales is being controlled by the Board of Agriculture for the present, in accordance with a decision of the Cabinet. In Scotland such labour is being allocated by the military authorities, acting in co-operation with the National Service Department Sub-Commissioners, who have regard to the needs of each district in placing men in agricultural employment.