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Agricultural Workers' Cottages (Labour Supply)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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2.

asked the Minister of Labour, whether he can now make some statement as regards the allocation of labour, skilled and unskilled, that will be available for the erection of farm cottages in connection with the Government's proposed scheme?

Yes, Sir. The Government building programme has been adjusted to the resources of building labour expected to remain available, and allowance has been made for the labour necessary for the construction of these cottages. The supply of labour will be arranged, when required, through the local offices of the Ministry in the usual way.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that it is being suggested in authoritative quarters that the cause of the delay is due to the difficulty over labour, and does he not realise that an adequate supply of labour is necessary for the cottages and that these are vitally necessary? Why is it that agriculture has always to take second place to everything else? Food is vitally important.

I do not know that I can make an adequate answer to that eloquent speech.