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Agricultural Workers (Meat)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 16 May 1949

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8.

asked the Minister of Food what is the meat ration of European voluntary workers who are employed as agricultural workers and of others living in camps; and how does it compare with the meat ration of British agricultural workers living in their own homes.

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to the reply that I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for Horncastle (Commander Maitland) on 2nd May.

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that that reply gave no satisfaction to farm workers? Will he now take into account the very important work which these men have to do in the great meat crisis? Cannot they have additional meat, instead of cheese, on the same basis as the miners?

I cannot follow that supplementary question in relation to the original Question.

Does the right hon. Gentleman appreciate that the reply to which he has just referred has caused the gravest disappointment and distress to farm workers, and is liable and probably is going to affect our output throughout the summer?

While we are not in the least anxious to cut down the meat allowances to the European voluntary workers, does the right hon. Gentleman realise that the disparity between what they get in the country districts and what our own farm workers get has led to unnecessary bitterness, with all sorts of other consequences?

If there is any such bitterness, it is because of the persistent implication that these foreign workers are receiving more than the British workers living in the same conditions. That implication is totally untrue.