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Extra Rations (Agricultural Workers)

Volume 465: debated on Monday 30 May 1949

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asked the Minister of Food whether he is aware of the dissatisfaction caused by the discrimination between the agricultural worker and the agricultural smallholder in respect of extra rations; and whether he will extend to the latter category the extra rations already allowed to the former.

Allowances for seasonal farming operations are already available to smallholders and agricultural workers alike. We are unable to extend the special cheese ration to self-employed workers since, as a general rule, they are able to make arrangements for obtaining a midday meal.


asked the Minister of Food if he is aware that, although under form S.A.4 (AG) farm workers are allowed extra seasonal allowances for the hoeing and singling of roots, extra rations have been refused to men who are hoeing kale in the same field; and whether, in view of the fact that the jobs are identical, he will take immediate steps to put an end to this anomaly.

The farming operations for which seasonal allowances are given were selected after consultation with the Advisory Committee of the Trades Union Congress, and we do not propose to add to the list.

May I ask the right hon. Lady if she is not aware that this is further evidence of want of co-operation between the Ministry of Food and the Ministry of Agriculture? Is she further aware that the situation was described to me by a farmer who said, "Don't worry, Waldron, this is the last bit of Socialist folly of Comrade John and our Edith."

The right hon. Lady says she will not reconsider the matter. Will not she put the question again to the unions because it is clear to all of us who live in the country districts there is an anomaly here which ought to be seen into?

The right hon. Gentleman must realise that we have to draw the line somewhere, and I think he would agree that the Advisory Committee of the Trade Union Congress does take everything into consideration.

Does the right hon. Lady realise that there are a great number of people living in the country who also take these things into consideration and have views which ought to be considered, too?

Is not this further proof that the T.U.C. are masters of this country?