HC Deb 02 November 1916 vol 86 c1801
81. Captain C. BATHURST

asked the Prime Minister whether, seeing that it is now proposed to deplete the farms of all labour of military age, including apparently skilled and indispensable labour during the next five months, the Government will' definitely approve the employment upon the farms for the period of the War only, and under proper supervision, of suitable boys from elementary -and secondary schools who have reached .the age of twelve, without depriving local education authorities in rural areas of the Government grant payable in respect of such boys, and thus causing them financial embarrassment and a consequent reluctance to act in what they deem to be the highest national interests?


With regard to the first part of the question I would refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the President of the Local Government Board on 10th October. If he will refer to the circular therein mentioned he will, I think, see that the assumption contained in the first part of this question is not accurate. The second part therefore does not arise.


Is the right hon.? Gentleman aware that in some parts of the country a large number of boys are being released for agricultural work, and in other parts none at all? It operates most unequally.


I shall be glad to consider any facts brought to my notice.