Agricultural Wages Board

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th June 1992.

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Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East 12:00 am, 4th June 1992

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he has any plans to abolish the Agricultural Wages Board; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gavin Strang Gavin Strang , Edinburgh East

Does the Minister accept that, notwithstanding that farm workers are disgracefully underpaid, they and their unions are firmly of the view that they would be even worse off if the board were abolished? Is the Minister aware that it is the policy of the National Farmers Union to continue to support the board? Will he therefore expand on his reply and make it clear that the Government will neither renounce the relevant International Labour Organisation convention nor take advantage of the window which opens in August next year to initiate steps to abolish the board?

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

There are many things that I have to deal with. As this matter cannot be dealt with until next year, I do not regard it as necessary to consider it until that moment arises. When it does, I will; and when I do, I will take into account both the facts that the hon. Gentleman has put before me.