asked the Minister of Labour how much money has been spent on subsidising the transport of juvenile labour and on maintaining it where the employer pays wages below standard rate; what has been the cost of partly financing hostels run by voluntary associations, such as the Young Women's Christian Association and the Girls' Friendly Society, in order to accommodate juvenile labour; what arangements are being made for ensuring inspection and safeguarding the hours of work and conditions in the expanding industrial areas where inspection has hardly overtaken the growth of the factories; and what proportion of the children of 14 transferred to the factories or workships and of those encouraged by the Ministry to enter domestic service have returned home?
The terms of my right hon. Friend's question appear to show that he has seriously misunderstood the juvenile transference scheme. No transfers under this scheme take place if the standard rate is not offered or if there is otherwise any ground for thinking that the conditions of employment are not satisfactory. In the nine months since 1st January last the amount paid in free fares under this scheme and in allowances to the juveniles when their earnings are temporarily insufficient to enable them to be self-supporting away from home was about £18,400. This figure includes sums paid in respect of juveniles accommodated in hostels, except for a grant amounting to £460 in aid of the running expenses of a hostel which was opened in June exclusively for the use of juveniles transferred under the scheme. Comparatively few juveniles are transferred under the age of 15, and in the case of girls these are almost entirely those going to resident domestic service in vacancies which have been investigated by the Department. I would add that the endeavour of the juvenile transference scheme is to place the boys and girls in permanent and progressive work. I regard it as of vital importance for the future well-being of many of the young people now living in areas of heavy unemployment, and I am particularly anxious therefore that its object and method should not be misunderstood. I should add that the question of factory inspection is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Home Affairs.