Children (Work in Entertainment)

Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th April 1967.

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Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney 12:00 am, 27th April 1967

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give an assurance that he will not issue Regulations to legalise work in entertainment by children at present being performed illegally.

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

The extent to which work which is now illegal will be legalised when regulations are made under Part II of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1963, depends on the provisions of that Act. The purpose which I believe my hon. Friend has in mind could not be achieved without new legislation.

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

Is my right hon. Friend not aware that new legislation is very desirable, and that the 1963 Act is a thoroughly bad Act and that any Regulations stemming from it must be equally bad?

Photo of Miss Alice Bacon Miss Alice Bacon , Leeds South East

My hon. Friend has now recognised what I said, that to achieve his object he would need new legislation. I understand that what he objects to is the performance of children in television commercials. While I appreciate the views of those who believe that performances by children on the stage and films produce precocious children, I find it difficult to appreciate the view of my hon. Friend, who seems to think that there is less harm in a child playing the rôle of the child of a divorced parent in a film than advertising Smarties or Jelly Tops.

Photo of Sir John Langford-Holt Sir John Langford-Holt , Shrewsbury

Has the right hon. Lady got any views about the use of children on posters to advertise local government elections?

Photo of Mr Hugh Jenkins Mr Hugh Jenkins , Wandsworth Putney

On a point of order. For the clarification of the House, I will seek to raise this matter on the Adjournment.