HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 cc1674-5W

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether an adequate supply of labour for the harvest is now assured; and whether he has received any representations from any parts of the country indicating that additional men are still needed?


Owing to the comparative lightness of the crops the supply of labour for the harvest appears, in most districts, to be adequate, or nearly adequate, in quantity, though a deficiency of skilled men is general. Representations have been received from some districts that an insufficiency of labour still exists. The Board have been in communication with the War Office, and it is hoped that some help may be afforded by soldiers on furlough.


asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that there is unrest in parts of Lincolnshire because of Irishmen being brought over for the harvest operations, and that such unrest is based upon the fact that some of the labourers that would ordinarily be employed for harvest are detained in the Army of Occupation in Ireland; and whether he will, as a means of removing this unrest, approach the War Office with a view to the demobilisation of these soldiers, and so enable them to resume their normal occupation?


I am not aware that unrest exists in Lincolnshire from the cause referred to. The Board have urged the War Office to release as soon as possible all men eligible for demobilisation, as well as to provide all practicable facilities for enabling soldiers to assist in the harvest. It is understood that steps are being taken to do this so far as the requirements of the Army permit.