HC Deb 09 November 1939 vol 353 c434W
Major Carver

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether there is any actual shortage of labour on any farms; and what steps are taken to meet it?

Sir R. Dorman-Smith

In general the supply of regular agricultural labour appears to be sufficient to meet the immediate demand, though there may well be individual farms on which labour is short. In such cases I hope that the farmers concerned will avail themselves of the machinery provided by the local Employment Exchange.

The steps taken to assist the industry to secure an adequate supply of labour include the reservation from military service of men in most agricultural occupations at the age of 21; the postponement for a time of the calling up of men of the 20-year old age group; the encouragement of men with previous agricultural experience to return to the industry when their present work comes to an end; and the recruitment of the Women's Land Army.

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