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Agricultural Workers (Meat)

Volume 464: debated on Monday 2 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Food what is now the value of the allowance of meat made to British and foreign agricultural workers who live in hostels; what is the equivalent allowance made to workers in heavy industry who live at home and who take one main meal a day at a factory canteen; and what is the value of the allowance of meat to agricultural workers who live at home but who have no canteen available.

The weekly allowances are as follow: Agricultural worker living in hostel and taking 12 main meals a week, 2s. 6d.; Industrial worker using canteen for five main meals a week, 2s. 5d.; Agricultural worker without canteen, 1s. 1d.

Does not the right hon. Lady think that it is extremely unfair on the agricultural worker who has not got a canteen to which he can go?

The hon. and gallant Gentleman knows that I have answered this question on many occasions. We recognise that the agricultural worker should have his ration supplemented. That is why we give him an extra 12 oz. of cheese and extra allowances including butter and sugar during certain seasonal operations, and, of course, extra sugar and tea for hot drinks.

Will the right hon. Lady consider offering the agricultural worker the opportunity of having either the cheese or the extra meat, and then see what happens?

Has the right hon. Lady ever actually seen the amount of cheese which the agricultural worker gets each day, and is it not really a perfect mockery compared with what workers in other industries get?