Agricultural Labour (Italian Prisoners).

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland. – in the House of Commons on 3rd February 1942.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr William Snadden Mr William Snadden , Kinross and Western

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware of the shortage of agricultural labour in some parts of Scotland; and what steps he proposes to take to make available to Scottish farmers Italian prisoners of war now in this country?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

I am fully alive to the agricultural labour position in Scotland, and in view of the labour shortage I am glad to say that arrangements are being made for the allocation this year of a considerable number of Italian prisoners to Scotland. A small proportion will be available in the spring, and a substantially larger force in the early summer.

Photo of Mr William Snadden Mr William Snadden , Kinross and Western

Will these prisoners be employed in gangs or on individual farms?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

They will be in camps in different parts of the country—it would not be in the public interest to mention the places—and the allocation of gangs or individual prisoners to farms will be in the hands of the agricultural executive committees.

Photo of Mr William Snadden Mr William Snadden , Kinross and Western

What will they be paid, and to whom will it be payable?

Photo of Captain John McEwen Captain John McEwen , Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire

Will the hon. Gentleman bear in mind the statement of the hon. and gallant Member for Peters-field (Sir G. Jeffreys) last week that farmers were complaining that the work they got out of these Italian prisoners was not worth much, and does his information bear that out?

Photo of Mr Joseph Westwood Mr Joseph Westwood , Stirling and Falkirk District of Burghs

My information is that that is not the universal experience in connection with the use of Italian prisoners.