HC Deb 26 July 1923 vol 167 cc723-4W

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he can make a state- ment to the House showing what progress has been made in reinstating Norfolk farm workers in the employment which they occupied prior to the recent farm strike in Norfolk?


I understand that the majority of the men who ceased work during the recent dispute in Norfolk secured re-instatement directly after the settlement, and that many of those for whom for various reasons employment could not be found at first have now been absorbed. As the hon. Member is aware, I detailed an officer to make local inquiries in regard to the position of the men who did not obtain immediate re-employment. It was, of course, impracticable for him to deal with every individual case, but in addition to his own efforts he secured the ready collaboration of officers of the county branch of the National Farmers' Union, who have been at considerable trouble to use their influence with their members. I have no precise information as to the number of men still awaiting re-employment, but I understand that the workers' organisations are of the opinion that it is now below 500, as against the 1,200 cases originally reported to me. I am hopeful that the requirements of the approaching harvest will cause a further material amelioration in the position.