Mutual Aid To Norfolk – Farming In Crisis As Violence Spreads Across The County.
Published in the Diss Express on Friday 27th April 1923 under the headline Farm Strike Ended: The Norfolk farm strike ended Saturday, after five weeks’ conflict, the terms of settlement being published below. This was made possible, it is stated, by the announcement during the week, on behalf of the Government, that agricultural rates would be reduced, of 1¼ millions grant for rural road upkeep, and the promise to investigate the condition of the industry. The suggestion was made, it may be recalled, on March 29th by Major T. W. Hay, M.P. for South Norfolk, that by a reduction of agricultural rates the farmers might find it possible to effect peace. The strike started five weeks ago on Saturday, when the notices as to new terms employment given by the employers the recommendation of the Norfolk county branch the N.F.U. expired. These were to the effect that henceforward the wages would be paid on an hourly basis at the rate of 5½d an hour up to 54 hours a week. Since then two conferences, one at the Bishop of Norwich’s Palace, and one at the Shirehall, Norwich, were held, but without result. The terms the settlement may be regarded as satisfactory. While neither party can claim out and out victory, something more than disappointment will be caused to many agricultural workers who were called out by their Strike Committee on a wage which will not now be advanced one penny. Numbers of men were called off their work because their leaders held for 25/- for 50 hours – on this point the employers are fully agreed, but cannot pay more – and those very conditions are the basis the agreement which was signed at the offices of the Norfolk county branch the N.F.U. on Saturday.
General Order 68 of the 11th April 1923 was entitled Strike of Agricultural Workers – Norfolk and announced that the following detachment of the Hertford County Constabulary was detailed for duty in the County of Norfolk as from 11th April 1923 inclusive:
Inspr. Wright H. E Division Stevenage.
PS 69A Stapleton W.J. Ware, PS 102D Morse A. Great Berkhamsted.
PC 129A Burch S.G. Much Hadham, PC 163 A Cannon R. Ware, PC 304A Whyman G.A Buntingford, PC 342A Milton G. Sawbridgeworth.
PC 172B Wood S. Hoddesdon, PC 182B Reece A. Essendon, PC 200B Bangs A. Hertford, PC 227B Paterson J. Nup End.
PC 183D Godfrey P.C. Wheathampstead, PC 343D Green C. Great Berkhamsted, PC 58D Bailiff T.A. Tring.
PC 213E Gray F. Datchworth, PC 205E Capell T. Barley, PC 124E Godfrey C.E.M Sandon, PC 139E James W. Offley, PC 154E Hagger F. Ickleford, PC 214E Parker T. Royston.
The detachment will proceed by nearest rail route to Cambridge arriving G.N. Railway 10.41 a.m. and G.E. Railway 11.38 a.m. On arrival at Cambridge Railway Station Inspr. H. Wright will call the roll, take charge of the detachment and proceed leaving Cambridge G.E Railway at 11.45 a.m. arriving at 4.12 p.m. On arrival at Holt the Inspector will march the detachment to the Police Station and report to Superintendent Levi Collyer. Superintendents will make arrangements for the above officers to reach Cambridge on Wednesday 11th April 1923 by the time stated. Dress: Great coat, Cloth Jacket, 2nd Trousers, 2nd Cloth Helmet, Leggings and usual appointments. Railway fares may be advanced if required and an account for same will be rendered to Headquarters for repayment.
General Order 84 of the 26th April 1923 was entitled Strike of Agricultural Workers Norfolk, Reference Order No. 68/1923 and announced that the members of the detachment of the Hertford County Constabulary having returned to their respective stations the Chief Constable has much pleasure in publishing for general information the following extract from a letter received from the Chief Constable of the County of Norfolk, under date 23rd April 1923:
Begins: “On behalf of the Norfolk Police Authority, and myself, I would wish to thank you most sincerely for so kindly and quickly coming to our help. As the result of your timely aid the intimidation and hindering of workers was at once stopped. I need hardly say that your men behaved themselves at all times in an exemplary manner and carried out all the duties they were asked to perform to my entire satisfaction. Every effort was made to make them as comfortable as possible under the circumstances and I hope that they will carry back a happy memory of their short tour of duty in Norfolk.” Ends. The Chief Constable endorses the remarks of the Chief Constable of Norfolk and is gratified that the members of the Detachment maintained the high standard and upheld the reputation of the Hertford County Constabulary.