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Agricultural Workers

Volume 466: debated on Thursday 23 June 1949

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asked the Minister of Labour how many agricultural workers have sought to leave the industry in the last 12 months; and how many applications have been refused under the Control of Engagement Order.

I regret that this information is not available.

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that more men are being kept out of this industry through fear of this Order than, in point of fact, are being kept in the industry by the Control of Engagement Order?

No, Sir. I do not think there is any real evidence which proves that. I can assure the hon. Gentleman that this matter is still under consideration.

Is it not a fact that there was a general exodus of men from this industry for many years before the present regulations were made?

Does not the hon. Gentleman think the time is now approaching when this Order should be rescinded altogether?

If the Minister has not the information at present could he get it and give it to the House later on?

I am afraid not. If men go to an employment exchange and ask for permission to leave and permission is not given, no record is kept of that. Record is kept only where the men do leave.