School Children (Release for National Work).

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 19th March 1942.

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Photo of Mr Oliver Simmonds Mr Oliver Simmonds , Birmingham Duddeston

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he will agree, during the period of hostilities, to release scholars from compulsory school attendance immediately after the birthday upon which they attain school-leaving age if they desire to make their services forthwith available for the war effort?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I do not propose, as at present advised, to seek power to amend the law in the manner suggested in my hon. Friend's Question.

Photo of Mr Oliver Simmonds Mr Oliver Simmonds , Birmingham Duddeston

Has the right hon. Gentleman discussed this with the Minister of Labour, because it is really undesirable to have these children, who are waiting to go into industry, unsettled in their studies when they could start doing national work?

Photo of Mr John Dugdale Mr John Dugdale , West Bromwich

Would the right hon. Gentleman make it clear that we intend to win this war without child labour?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

As I have indicated, there is no intention of altering the law. The change suggested would not be in the best interests of education.