Oral Answers to Questions — School Holidays (Child Care and Welfare).

– in the House of Commons on 24th June 1942.

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Photo of Major Henry Procter Major Henry Procter , Accrington

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the imminence of school holidays, and of the fact that many mothers are now employed on war work and unable to give much or any time to supervising their families, he will make special arrangements and invite the co-operation of local authorities and voluntary organisations to provide holiday camps, organised games and excursions for children during the vacation period, and to open the school playgrounds for this purpose?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

My right hon. Friend is aware of the importance of arranging during school holidays for the care and welfare of young children whose mothers are employed on war work, and he drew the attention of authorities to this point in a memorandum issued on the i8th May, 1942, a copy of which I am sending my hon. Friend. Many local education authorities are providing facilities in various ways, and my right hon. Friend is considering whether there is further advice and help which my Department can offer to authorities in the matter.

Photo of Major Henry Procter Major Henry Procter , Accrington

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that, unless something is done in industrial areas, many mothers will have to leave their jobs in order to prevent their children from running wild; and will he take immediate steps to see that local authorities do something for the children and that the help of voluntary organisations is enlisted to look after these children during the holiday period?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

My right hon. Friend has communicated with the authorities, and our inspectors are actively taking up. the matter with the authorities where there appears to be a need.

Viscountess Astor:

As the Parliamentary Secretary knows, local authorities are not doing anything, and very likely they will not, and, as he is very short of inspectors, would it not be a good idea to try and get a really good person from outside to go round and see what is happening, because this is really a very grave danger and is taking a great many women from industry?

Photo of Mr James Ede Mr James Ede , South Shields

I will report my Noble Friend's suggestion to my right hon. Friend.