asked the Secretary of State (1) if he is aware that the call-up of agricultural workers is causing concern to farmers engaged in food production; and what action he proposes to take to deal with the matter;
(2) if he will state the terms of the recent telegram he received from the National Farmers Union of Scotland on the question of the call-up of young farmers; and what action he proposes to take in the matter.
My right hon. Friend is aware that the call-up of agricultural workers is causing concern to farmers and has received a telegram from the National Farmers' Union of Scotland urging that it should be ended. Similar representations have been received by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service from the National Farmers' Union of England and Wales. A reply will be given as soon as possible.
If the hon. Member will look at my reply, he will see that I said that the whole question is under consideration. I cannot add anything to what I have said.
Has the attention of the hon. Gentleman been drawn to a report in the "Glasgow Herald" of 30th January where, at a meeting of the National Farmers' Union of Scotland, two glaring instances of what is happening in agriculture today were given? The first was a case of a family being evicted because of a son being called to the Forces; and the second the case of lads signing on for three years because they are told that the alternative to three years in the Army is five years in the Far East?
I am aware of the report in the "Glasgow Herald," and will say in reply that machinery exists at the present time for the examination of all cases such as the hon. Member has mentioned; but the information in my possession is not such as to bring me to the conclusion that the scheme is working badly—in fact, it is working very well.