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Agricultural Workers (Insurance)

Volume 345: debated on Monday 20 March 1939

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asked the Minister of Agriculture in how many county areas it will be possible for unemployed farm workers to draw weekly benefits in excess of the minimum wage rates for those areas as at present determined under the Government's recently-announced proposals with regard to unemployment insurance for farmworkers?

:In the areas of three of the 47 agricultural wages committees it will be possible for an unemployed agricultural worker to become entitled to total weekly benefits in excess of the weekly minimum rates of wages at present in operation for ordinary adult male workers.

Does the Minister intend to make representations to the country committees concerned, drawing their attention to this possibility with a view to raising the minimum?

It is in their own hands to do that if they consider that the circumstances justify it.

Is the Minister prepared to countenance a man who is out of work in agriculture drawing more money than a man in work?

I am aware of that, and naturally one is trying to make it possible for wages to go up.