§ 1. Mr. T. Williams
asked the Minister of Labour whether he is now in a position to state how many Employment Exchanges have vacancies for agricultural workers where no English or Welsh workers are available?
§ The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)
At the end of March, 9,842 vacancies for farm workers of various kinds had been notified to Employment Exchanges in England and Wales since the beginning of the year, and 8,332 of these had been filled by the Exchanges. Of the balance, which included vacancies 274 which had lapsed owing to the fact that the employers had obtained the workers required from other sources or no longer required them, 403 were outstanding at 156 offices at the end of March. In these cases, steps were being taken by the Employment Exchanges to put the farmers in touch with suitable workers on their registers, or in appropriate circumstances to circulate the vacancies to other districts, and it was anticipated that in a large number of instances the vacancies would shortly be filled. The vacancies were mainly for general farm workers, horsemen, cattlemen and shepherds, and in some instances for boys.
§ Mr. Williams
Do we understand the right hon. Gentleman to imply that the farmers do make the fullest use of Employment Exchanges where vacancies exist, and will he indicate to what extent farmers do not make use of Exchanges in order to obtain agricultural workers?
§ Mr. Brown
I should not like it to be understood that I suggested that farmers, any more than any other general body of employers, make the fullest possible use of them; I should like to see them all do it; but the fact that 8,332 vacancies were filled shows that they make good use of the Exchanges.
§ Mr. Williams
How many of these 8,332 vacancies were filled by English or Welsh agricultural labourers?
§ Sir Francis Fremantle
Will my right hon. Friend indicate these facilities to the Central Landowners' Association and the National Farmers' Union?