Soldiers (Employment as Beaters)

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25 October 1949.

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Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire 12:00, 25 October 1949

asked the Secretary of State for War why soldiers of the Highland Light Infantry were employed in connection with grouse shooting between 14th and 30th September.

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

The soldiers in question were part of the Royal Guard at Balmoral and volunteered, when they were not required for military duty, to be employed as beaters with the Royal shooting party. All were fully trained soldiers and this employment in no way prejudiced their military training.

Photo of Mr Emrys Hughes Mr Emrys Hughes , South Ayrshire

Is the Minister aware that these soldiers were paid only 5s. a day, whereas local beaters, if they had been engaged through the Employment Exchange, would have been paid much more? Is he going to continue to encourage the use of this cheap labour?

Photo of Mr Emanuel Shinwell Mr Emanuel Shinwell , Seaham

So far I have received no representations from the beaters' trade union.