§ Mr. FORREST
asked the Minister of Agriculture the cost per year to date of administering the Agricultural Wages Act; whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that it is not costing anything like the amount originally specified, and that it is felt in agricultural circles that more inspectors are required in view of the evasions of the Act; and whether he will state the number of inspectors at the beginning of 1926 and at the present time?
The cost per year is about £35,000, which is less than the 2291W sum contemplated by the Act, but I am satisfied that the saving has not been obtained at the expense of efficient administration. The position in regard to the enforcement of the Act was reviewed last year, and the number of inspectors was increased in November last from 10 to 15. I consider that the staff is now sufficient to secure the proper observance of the Act.