§ 88 Mr. WHITEHOUSE
asked the President of the Board of Education (1) whether he will place upon the Table the chief correspondence which has taken place between the Board and education authorities respecting the employment in industry of children of school age; (2) whether he can give a list of the industries the representatives of which have asked for the employment of children of school age; (3) whether he will give a list of the education authorities who have asked his sanction for the withdrawal of children from school before they have reached the school exemption age to assist in agriculture and other work; (4) what replies has he addressed to education authorities who have asked his sanction for the removal of children from school before they have reached the statutory age of exemption?
Since the outbreak of war the Board have been in correspondence with a number of local education authorities on the subject of the employment of children who would not, in normal circumstances, be exempt from school attendance. I have no power to 154 suspend or to authorise local education authorities to suspend the operation of their by-laws, and, consequently, an authority, when considering the question of enforcing its by-laws, has no occasion to apply to me for sanction, though in some cases they may have done so under a mistaken impression. I have, however, corresponded with the following twelve authorities: Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Kent, Lines. (Lindsey), Northants, Northants (Soke of Peterborough), Nottinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, West Sussex, Pontypridd. The industry in which the employment of children is contemplated is, in most cases, agriculture, in one case the metal industry, and in some cases it is not specified. I shall be prepared to lay upon the Table the chief correspondence which I have had on the subject with local education authorities.
§ Mr. WHITEHOUSE
Will the right hon. Gentleman state what is the tenor of the advice given to the authorities?
The correspondence is somewhat lengthy. I think that the hon. Gentleman had better wait until it is published.
§ Mr. OUTHWAITE
In future correspondence, would the right hon. Gentleman ask what wages are being paid to attract this sort of labour?