HC Deb 27 July 1914 vol 65 c916
31. Mr. BECK

asked the Home Secretary whether the general purposes committee of the Bromley Town Council has returned to the Home Office, with suggested amendments, the draft by-laws dealing with employment of children; if the reason for the return of these by-laws is the proposal to prevent street trading by girls under sixteen; and whether, in view of the unanimous recommendation made, in 1910, by the departmental committee that no girl under eighteen should be allowed to trade in the streets, he will prevent the Home Office submitting to local authorities by-laws which ignore this recommendation?


My hon. Friend has not, I think, been accurately informed of what has passed. The Town Council submitted a by-law providing that no girl under sixteen shall be employed in street trading. No objection, of course, was taken to this by the Home Office, but the question was raised whether the usual exception should be made for girls trading in the company of a parent or guardian. The principle of such an exception was recognised by my hon. Friend himself in the Bill which he introduced in 1912, and was approved by the Committee of this House to which the Bill was referred. In this case, as the Town Council represented that there was no need for such an exception in Bromley, I have agreed to the bylaw in its original shape, that is, without any exception, and it now only remains for the Council to submit it formally for approval.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that in my Bill I only agreed to that proviso because it was merely a form and not a conviction on my part.


I am not aware of that.