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Agricultural Workers' Cottages

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to see that the 3,000 cottages he is allowing local authorities to build for agricultural labourers are used for that purpose only, now and in the future; and what is his definition of "agricultural labourer" for that purpose?

These cottages will be subject to the requirements of Section 2 (2) of the Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1938, which provides that the local authority shall secure that a number of houses equal to the number in respect of which the agricultural subsidy is being paid are reserved for members of the agricultural population, except in so far as the demand for housing accommodation on the part of members of the agricultural population can be satisfied without such reservation. Agricultural population is defined in Section 115 (2) of the Housing Act, 1936, as meaning "persons whose employment or latest employment is or was employment in agriculture or in an industry mainly dependent on agriculture and includes also the dependants of such persons." Agriculture is defined in the same Section as including dairy farming, poultry farming, the use of land as grazing, meadow or pasture land or orchard or osier land or woodland or for market gardens or nursery grounds.

Is the Minister aware that when an agricultural labourer leaves his cottage it usually gets into the hands of the local authority, which puts one of its own roadmen or other employees into it?

I would not say it has not happened, but I would not accept that as a generalisation.