HC Deb 10 December 1945 vol 417 cc168-9W
Lieut. - Commander Joynson - Hicks

asked the Minister of Agriculture the quota of Class B releases for the agricultural industry; and why, in view of the gravity of the labour situation in the industry, the total quota has not yet been released.

Mr. T. Williams

Under the Class B individual specialists release scheme, my Department is authorised to recommend about 1,000 such releases in the period ending 31st December, 1945. Only cases which comply with the conditions of this scheme can be supported, but recommendations up to the number allowed will be sent to the appropriate authorities by the end of the year. As announced by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service on 4th December, 1945, approval has now been given to the inclusion of up too 10,000 agricultural workers under the scheme for Class B block releases.

Mr. Turton

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that some agricultural workers were, immediately prior to their call-up, engaged on public contract work and aerodrome construction; and whether such men will be eligible for Class B release for agricultural work.

Mr. T. Williams

Men who immediately prior to enlistment were engaged on work other than agriculture will not be eligible for release under the Class B block release scheme for agricultural workers unless their pre-enlistment civilian occupation as recorded by the Service Department is included in one of the specified classes to which the scheme applies. I am sending the hon. Member a statement explaining these arrangements.