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Prices And Wages

Volume 414: debated on Monday 22 October 1945

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58.

asked the Minister of Agriculture if he will so fix farm prices as to enable the efficient farmer to pay to the skilled agricultural worker a minimum wage of £4 10s. per week.

The minimum rate of wages to be paid to agricultural workers is a matter for determination by the Agricultural Wages Board in accordance with the provisions of the Agricultural Wages Acts. Under the procedure announced in this House on 5th December, 1944, prices of the main agricultural products are reviewed annually in February after consultation with the National Farmers' Unions of the United Kingdom. At these reviews account is taken of any changes in costs of production and any other relevant factors, including any modifications in the character of the agricultural output necessary to meet changing national requirements, but prices are not directly related to any individual item of cost.

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for his reply, may I ask him if he is aware that present prices make the payment of this wage possible, and will he take steps to see that agricultural workers receive at least the same weekly minimum as the miners enjoy?