§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Agriculture how many cases of non-compliance with wages regulations were revealed by the special inspectorial staff appointed by his Department in 1929; how many prosecutions were instituted against farmers who were found not to pay the proper rate of wages in this connection; the amount of wages involved; and the fines imposed?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
As the result of the special investigations carried out by the staff referred to, non-compliance with the Orders fixing minimum rates of wages was discovered in the case of 2,232 907W workers. Prosecutions were instituted against 92 of the employers concerned. The courts ordered the payment of arrears of wages amounting in all to £1,627, while a total sum of £101 10s. was imposed in fines. The total costs amounted to £57 10s.
§ Mr. DAVIES
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that in 1929 special inspectors were appointed to conduct an inquiry as to whether proper wages were paid to farm labourers; that the engagement of these inspectors was terminated in December last; and, in view of the effective work performed in this connection, will he consider appointing other inspectors to perform the same duties for at least a period in the near future?
§ Sir J. GILMOUR
The services of the six additional inspectors who were engaged in 1929 on a temporary basis for special investigation work under the Agricultural Wages (Regulation) Act, 1924, were terminated on grounds of economy in December last. I am of opinion that the existing staff is adequate for effective investigation of all complaints received, and I cannot see my way to adopt the proposal put forward in the last part of the question.