New Clause B. — (Power of local authority to make by-laws with respect to employment of juvenile persons.)

Part of Children and Young Persons Bill – in the House of Commons on 30th June 1932.

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Photo of Sir Richard Denman Sir Richard Denman , Leeds Central

The hon. Member for Bridgwater (Mr. Groom-Johnson) quoted from the Home Secretary to the effect that there was an understanding—I do not mind whether it was inside the House or outside—that the Bill was to be in such a form that a certain Amendment was not to be allowed. I protest against the theory that this question (has not been adequately discussed. It has been before the House for the greater part of 20 years. It first came up in a Home Office Bill in 1913, and to say that it has not been adequately discussed in that time is an exaggeration of language. Actually, this particular Clause was discussed in Committee at undue length, for which I was partly responsible, and those who attended the Debate in the Lords heard one of the most interesting discussions on the Bill. It was the deliberate decision of the House of Lords. In those circumstances to accept it and say that we accept it only on the condition that it shall in no circumstances be put into operation seems to me to be a violation of the working of the two Houses. Having said that let me close on a less controversial note. Surely the whole House is agreed on one great simple fact—namely, that here is an old and crying evil, substantial in amount, with which we all want to deal. We all want the same thing; we want the best possible method of dealing with it. Let us accept the proposal and the Government's continued pledge that they will do their best to find the best possible way of dealing with it, and all unite in a common endeavour to get rid of this old and intolerable evil.