HC Deb 25 February 1929 vol 225 cc1586-8W

asked the Minister of Agriculture if, taking 1913 and the latest available year, he will give the comparative number of farmers and farms, the acreage of arable land, the acreage of grass land, the labourers employed, the total number of people engaged in agriculture, and also the number of allotment holders?


The following statements show for 1913 and 1928 the number of holdings in respect of which returns were received by the Ministry, and also the acreage of arable land and grass land, and the number of agricultural workers employed in each of these years. The number of allotment holders is given for 1913 and 1927. The number of holdings includes land other than ordinary farms, and in regard to the number of workers employed the figures for 1913 and 1928 are not comparable owing to the fact that in 1913 all members of occupiers' families were excluded from the returns, whereas in 1928 only occupiers and their wives were so excluded. Any comparison

1913. 1928.
Number of holdings 435,677 400,895
Acreage of arable land 11,058,233 acres 10,108,745 acres
Acreage of permanent grass 16,071,149 acres 15,396,507 acres

Number of Workers. 1913. 1928.
Regular Workers. Casual Workers. Total. Regular Workers. Casual Workers. Total
Males 508,000 78,000 586,000 583,184 86,953 670,137
Women and Girls 43,000 22,000 65,000 67,418 35,270 102,688
Total 551,000 100,000 651,000 650,602 122,223 772,825

The returns of allotments for the years 1913 and 1927 (the latest available) are not comparable. In 1913 returns were collected only from the councils of towns, urban districts and parishes. Moreover, the returns show the occupiers of allotments partly as individuals and partly as associations, comprising an unknown number of individuals. In 1927 returns were collected from the above authorities and from parish meetings in addition, the number of authorities being 13,979 against 8,300 in 1913. Returns were also collected of allotments provided privately. The totals for the two years are as follow:

Allotment Holders. Number of Authorities furnishing returns.
1913 118,240 and 49 associations. 7,950
1927 1,022,580 12,733

The followig figures show the totals, excluding parish meetings and private allotments:

1913 118,240 and 49 associations. 7,950
1927 483,903 8,094

of farmers and agricultural workers between pre-War years should be based on the decennial censuses of population, and such a comparison is made in Chapter VIII of the "Agricultural Output of England and Wales, 1925," Cmd. 2815.

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