asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will state at current values and at constant values the average weekly earnings of regular whole-time adult male agricultural workers in England and Wales for the average of the three years 1954–55 to 1956–57 and for the 12 months ending September in the years 1961 to 1963, inclusive; and what the average weekly hours worked by those workers were for the same years.
Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that the figures which he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT reveal that there is a difference of £4 10s. a week between the average earnings of farm workers and those of other workers in the country? If that is so, how does it correspond with the boast made by his right hon. Friend only a fortnight ago in the debate on agriculture that agriculture in this country is having such a prosperous time? If this is so, is it not time that the farm workers had their share of the prosperity?
Is not my right hon. Friend aware that the Government, with all their great experience of these matters and their great record, can have some effect on the wages board, whether it be direct or indirect? Is it not time that some pressure was exerted in this matter? Is it any use saying that the wages have gone up by the same percentage as other wages when the starting figure was rather low?
Following is the information for adult male hired regular whole-time agricultural workers in England and Wales:
|(Years ending 30th September)|
|—||Average weekly earnings||Average weekly hours worked|
|At current values||At constant values *|
|Average 1954–55 to 1956–57||8||8||0||8||8||0||52·0|
|* Adjusted by the Consumer Price Index to average 1954–55 to 1956–57 values.|
|† Year ended 31st March, 1964.|