asked the Minister of Agriculture what reports on the work of the Italian prisoners as agricultural labourers have been received; and whether he will allow more Italian labourers to be made available for the coming harvest in England?
Reports received by my Department show that on the whole the work of Italian prisoners employed in agriculture is satisfactory. Arrangements have been made to bring further Italian prisoners to this country for agricultural work this year, and I hope that by harvest time there will be a total of between 30,000 and 40,000 available.
Is the Minister aware that in the last war we had 500,000 prisoners working for us on the land, so that we were able to release a comparable number of our agricultural population?
No, I do not know.