§ Mr. LESLIE SCOTT
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture if he can furnish approximate particulars showing, if possible, by counties, the number of agricultural labourers available this month and in February, 1914, and the number of children under fourteen employed in agriculture; the usual rates of wages paid to the different classes of labour this mouth and February, 1914; the cost of living per week for an ordinary labourer's family of, say, wife and four children, this month and February, 1914; and the estimated net profits of farmers as indicated by the prices of the chief products sold by them and the chief things bought by them, such as feeding stuffs?
§ Sir HARRY VERNEY
The number of agricultural labourers now employed is probably some 10 or 12 per cent. less than in the corresponding period last year. The number of children between ten and fourteen years returned as employed in agriculture in England and Wales at the Census of 1911 was 9,238. No recent statistics are available. There has been a tendency for the wages of farm labourers to increase, but the available returns are not at present sufficiently detailed to enable trustworthy comparative figures to be given for each county. The question of the cost of living per week for an ordinary labourer's family is one for the Board of Trade. No general calculation of the estimated net profits of farmers can be made, and I regret that such information as is available can hardly be confined within the limits of an answer to a Parliamentary question.