Agricultural Labourers (Wages and Hours).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons at on 10 March 1925.

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Photo of Brigadier-General John Charteris Brigadier-General John Charteris , Dumfriesshire

66.

asked the Secretary for Scotland the average number of hours per week and the minimum wage and the minimum wage per hour of adult agricultural labourers in Scotland; and how these rates compete with similar figures for the northern counties of England?

Photo of Mr John Gilmour Mr John Gilmour , Glasgow Pollok

As the answer is long, and contains a number of figures, I propose, with my hon. and gallant Friend's permission, to circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Photo of Brigadier-General John Charteris Brigadier-General John Charteris , Dumfriesshire

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is a matter which is attracting much interest, not only in the South-West of Scotland, hut even as far as Bridgeton?

Following is the answer:

The average number of working hours per week for adult agricultural labourers in Scotland is 51: there is no minimum wage fixed for such labourers in Scotland; the estimated average wage for married ploughmen is 40s. per week, including allowances of an average value of 10s., that for single ploughmen is 33s. per week, including board or allowances valued at 12s. It is calculated that the average rate per hour for married ploughmen is 9½d., and that for single ploughmen 8d.

I am informed that in Northumberland the proposed minimum rates for adult stewards, horsemen, cattlemen, stockmen or shepherds are 41s. per week of 62 hours or about 8d. per hour, and for other adult male workers (except casual workers) 34s. per week of 48 hours in winter and 52½ hours in summer, or about 8d. per hour on the average; and that in Cumberland and Westmoreland the minimum rates for adult male workers hired on yearly or half-yearly engagements are 37s. per week of 62 hours or slightly over 7d. per hour, and for other adult male workers (except casual workers) 30s. per week of 48 hours in winter and 54 in summer, or 7d. per hour on the average.