§ 45. Mr. CECIL WILSON
asked the Prime Minister whether he is aware that the joint committee of the Industrial Conference of 1919 expressed the opinion that child labour was bad in principle and tended in practice to decrease the chances of adult employment, and that, consequently, the age at which a child should enter employment should be raised; and whether, in view of these expressions, it is proposed to take any general action to give effect to the unanimous recommendation of the conference.
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I have been asked to reply. I am aware of the recommendation to which the hon. Member refers. Since 1919 the employment of child labour has been further restricted under Statute, and in particular by the Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act, 1920. The question of what action should be taken in the future is largely bound up with that of the school-leaving age in regard to which I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my Noble Friend the President of the Board of Education on the 16th June, 1927, to the hon. Member for Houghton-le-Spring (Mr. R. Richardson).
§ Mr. WILSON
Will that mean, as far as the Government are concerned, leaving the applications entirely to the local authorities who desire to put it into operation, and that nothing further is contemplated?
§ Mr. BETTERTON
I think that question should be addressed to the President of the Board of Education. If the hon. 29 Member looks at the very long answer which he gave on the 16th June, he will see that he dealt with it.