§ 79. Major HUNT
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether, in view of the shortage of labour in the country, he will let boys of twelve years and over, if applied for by farmers, be excused from school during hay and 'corn harvest?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr Herbert Lewis)
I am not prepared to give any such general permission as is suggested. The policy of the Government was explained by the Prime Minister in his speech on 4th March, 1915, and is fully set out in the Board's Circular 943, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy. It is, of course, open to local education authorities to arrange school holidays with a view to the requirements of the harvest, and I have no doubt that they have done so.
§ Major HUNT
In view of the fact that in some places they have not, would it not be for the public benefit that those boys over twelve should be allowed in all cases to help in getting in the harvest when labour is so short? Surely it is common sense the Board of Education might help.
§ Colonel YATE
Will the hon. Gentleman give instructions to the local education authorities to do this? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."]
§ Sir P. MAGNUS
Have not the local education authorities already the choice of doing this if they wish?