§ Mr. C. DUNCAN
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is prepared to consider the advisability of referring to the Agricultural Wages Board for their consideration and suggestion the question of the wages paid to agricultural workers in the County of Suffolk?
The Agricultural Wages Board is not entrusted with the duty of fixing agricultural wages except in default of an agricultural wages committee, and I cannot therefore adopt the suggestion made by the hon. Member.
§ Mr. KELLY
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is prepared to give the reasons which caused him to refrain from acting on Section 6 of the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1924, in view of the fact that the lowest wages paid to agricultural workers in England are paid in Suffolk?
§ Mr. T. WILLIAMS
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that at the conference of farm workers in the Ipswich district a resolution was passed requesting him to exercise his power under the Agricultural Wages Act to direct the agricultural wages committee for the area to reconsider the minimum wage which has been fixed by them; and whether, in view of the failure of the county wages committee to fix a reasonable living wage, he will exercise the power conferred upon him?
I am aware of the resolution referred to and I have carefully considered whether in this particular case there are any circumstances which would justify me in exercising my powers under Clause 6 of the Agricultural Wages Regulation Act. The Suffolk Agricultural 2127W Wages Committee met as recently as the 5th of this month and after careful consideration did not recommend any change in the existing rate. No new considerations can now be brought forward which were not present to the minds of the Committee when they reached this decision, and I must therefore with regret decline to exercise my powers under Clause 6.