HC Deb 21 February 1952 vol 496 cc44-5W
59. Mr. Johnson

asked the Minister of Agriculture what steps he is taking to check the flight of farm workers from the land.

Sir T. Dugdale

A considerable number of farm workers have left the land during the last two years. By last June the regular labour force in England and Wales was 554,000, that is nearly 9 per cent. larger than in 1939. There was also a record new intake of 27,000 boys and girls into agricultural employment during 1951. At the same time, output per man has risen greatly and I am hopeful that our resources will be sufficient to maintain a high level of food production. Despite the keen competition for labour everywhere, I shall do my utmost, with the help of my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister of Labour, to meet any difficulties as they arise. In addition, special steps are being taken in various ways to get the additional casual labour needed for this year's harvest.