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Juveniles.

Oral Answers to Questions — Unemployment. – in the House of Commons on 12th November 1936.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Williams Mr Herbert Williams , Croydon South

asked the Minister of Labour for an estimate of the number of juveniles between the ages of 14 and 18 who are unemployed, in employment, and still at school but registered for employment, respectively?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

As the reply is long and includes a number of figures, I will, if I may, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the reply:

At 26th October, 1936, there were 96,989 unemployed juveniles, between the ages of 14 and 18 years, on the registers of Employment Exchanges and Juvenile Employment Bureaux in Great Britain; of these 49,541 were under 16 years of age. I am not in possession of information showing the numbers of these who were still at school, but a special return which was obtained for 22nd June, 1936, showed that of 43,331 juveniles under 16 years of age who were on the registers at that date, 10,375 were in whole-time attendance at day-schools. Statistics are not available as to the total numbers of juveniles in employment, but an approximation to the numbers of insured juveniles in employment can be obtained, for the end of June of each year, by deducting the numbers of such juveniles recorded as unemployed at that date from the total numbers of insured juveniles as estimated on the basis of the annual exchange of unemployment books. At the end of June, 1936, the number of insured juveniles under 18 years of age, exclusive of those insured under the agricultural scheme, is estimated to have been approximately 1,945,000, of whom 62,385 were recorded as unemployed at 22nd June. As regards persons insured under the agricultural scheme the total number of juveniles, under 18 years of age, to whom unemployment books had been issued at the end of June, 1936, was about 70,000; the number of such juveniles recorded as unemployed at 22nd June was 374.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

asked the Minister of Labour whether the National Advisory Council for Juvenile Employment have reviewed the system of authorised courses and the question of providing meals in the various centres; and, if so, will he state the result of their deliberations?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

The National Advisory Councils for Juvenile Employment are at present reviewing the system of authorised courses and the question of providing meals in junior instruction centres.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

Can the right lion. Gentleman tell us when these inquiries are likely to come to an end, as this matter has been in the hands of his Department for 15 months, and whether the Special Commissioner has specially considered it?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

At this moment—either to-day or to-morrow—the sub-committee are in South Wales dealing with this very point.

Photo of Mr George Hall Mr George Hall , Merthyr Tydfil Aberdare

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the report is expedited and see that there should not be so much complaint about the physical condition of the children, but that they should be fed?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

I have been doing all I can to expedite the matter, and shall continue to do so.

Photo of Mr William Mainwaring Mr William Mainwaring , Rhondda East

Has the attention of the Minister been called to the medical surveys already taken of children in these training centres and of the astounding degree of malnutrition disclosed as existing among them?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

That is another question and not under my jurisdiction, but I would point out that the National Councils of Juvenile Employment are surveying the field on the point mentioned.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Is it not under the right hon. Gentleman's jurisdiction since the passing of the last Regulations?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

Not the health reports.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Is it not definitely stated that one of the things which the Unemployment Assistance Board will look after is the health and well-being of the unemployed men?

Photo of Mr Ernest Brown Mr Ernest Brown , Leith

There have been no such health reports from that quarter. The hon. Member must be referring to health reports which have nothing to do with that particular Act.