A hundred years ago June 14, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (June 14, 1921): British agriculture

London, June 9 - The decision to decontrol agriculture has caused great consternation amongst the agricultural community. The Farmers’ Union objects to the disorganisation which will be caused by the repeal of the Act which only came into operation on January 1st while the prospect of lower wages owing to the dropping of minimum pay which is now 46 to 50 shillings per week and also longer hours, is causing great concern amongst labourers. It is generally agreed that prewar employment conditions must not return. Nevertheless, the outlook in agriculture is far from bright and the present marked tendency to turn ploughland into grass complicates the position for labourers who already deemands. The suggestion which was made that the difficulties ahead could be tided over, if the workers were to agree to increased hours without extra pay, has been abandoned as impracticable as also the idea of applying Factory Union rates. The Press points out that the Cabinet in arriving at a decision had to consider the Dominion’s wheatlands and dairy farms and maintains that the whole edifice of the Empire stands upon food production and the consumption of Britain and that while British farm worker plays a very necessary part in the Empire’s responsibility, he is by no means a leading actor.

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