§ 34. Mr. Wilfrid Roberts
asked the Minister of Agriculture what directions have been issued to war agricultural executives as to the numbers of agricultural workers who are to be called up after harvest?
County war agricultural executive committees have been instructed to do their utmost to ensure that, by means of substitution and, if necessary, by the re-organisation of work on farms, some 10,000 men, or about one in six of all the workers affected by the raising of the age of reservation, shall be made available for military service. Committees have also been instructed to recommend for retention all workers below the age of reservation in the main agricultural occupations who are essential key men and virtually irreplaceable.
§ Mr. Roberts
Does not my right hon. Friend think that laying down a definite proportion of one to six is likely to result in the farms which are most intensively cultivated, and, therefore, employ more men, being the very ones which are likely to lose their labour?
No, Sir. In the case of a great number of farms they are the very sort where the substitution of male by female labour is most easily to be effected.