Agriculture Courses

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1952.

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Photo of Sir Leslie Plummer Sir Leslie Plummer , Deptford 12:00 am, 22nd July 1952

asked the Secretary of State for War why the Army prerelease courses in agriculture have been stopped; and what saving results from this step.

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

These courses were stopped in December last year because the cost of staff, live-stock, equipment, and so on, was, in my opinion, no longer justified by the numbers of students who wished to take advantage of them. A staff of 22 officers and men had to be maintained for an average of 15 students on each course. The resulting saving is about £6,000 a year.

Photo of Sir Leslie Plummer Sir Leslie Plummer , Deptford

Will the Secretary of State for War consult his colleague the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in view of his right hon. Friend's speech at the weekend in which he said that agriculture is now a first priority, and consider not only putting these courses back, but organising them on a better basis, so that agriculture can stop the drift from the land that is now going on at an alarming pace?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

In addition to this, there are other courses. Any Regular who leaves the Army can go on a year's course, which is paid for all the time, to learn agriculture. A National Service man goes on a course which is run by the county agricultural committee.

Photo of Mr Joseph Godber Mr Joseph Godber , Grantham

Would my right hon. Friend bear in mind that it is probably better to stop calling up skilled agricultural workers than to indulge in the training of others to go into agriculture?

Photo of Mr Anthony Head Mr Anthony Head , Carshalton

That is another question.