§ 56. Mr. Hurd
asked the Minister of Agriculture the amount of space taken in local newspapers and the cost incurred by the Agricultural Wages Board in advertising its recent order, running to a length of 2,500 words, in some newspapers; and if he will instruct the Board to make clearer and briefer announcements in future.
§ Mr. T. Williams
I have not at present precise information as to the cost of advertising the recent Order of the Agricultural Wages Board, but it is probable that the average number of lines used for single advertisements was 180 and that the aggregate cost for advertising the Orders for the 47 separate Agricultural Wages Committee areas was about £2,500. The Board has to make separate Orders for each of the county areas, and as the average length of a notice on this occasion was 900 words, I assume that the hon. Member is quoting the case of a newspaper circulating in more than one county and carrying more than one notice. The Board is required by the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, to give notice of the contents of its Orders, and in view of the fact that the Orders have the force of law, every effort is made to ensure that the notices are informative as well as reasonably short.
§ Mr. Williams
I can assure the hon. Member that the notices issued on this occasion were very closely summarised. I ought to explain that they referred to four separate matters: increased minimum rates for women workers; increased weekly and overtime rates for all classes of workers; reduction of hours covered by the weekly minimum wages; increases of public holidays. That was the reason for the very long notice.
§ Mr. W. Shepherd
Is the Minister aware that the waste of paper by his Department is nothing when compared with the waste in other Departments?