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Farmworkers (Military Service)

Volume 443: debated on Thursday 30 October 1947

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asked the Minister of Labour how many men who registered as farmworkers on enlistment are still serving in the Forces; and whether he proposes that all experienced farmworkers should be allowed immediate release provided that there is definite farm employment awaiting them.

The information asked for in the first part of the Question is not readily available, but experienced farm workers have not been called up since February, 1946, and those who were called up before that date have already been offered release in Class B.

Will the Minister widen the scope of this release scheme so that any experienced farmworker can take it, if there is employment waiting for him, not merely on a farm where he was employed previously?

All those with agricultural experience have been offered release in Class B.

What about those who were in regular engagement as farmworkers before they were originally called up, and who enrolled voluntarily?

That is quite a different question. I understood this Question to relate to those called up under the Military Service Acts. As to those who have enrolled voluntarily for full-time service, that is quite another question, but I shall be glad to look at it.