HC Deb 01 December 1932 vol 272 cc960-1
5 and 6. Mr. LAWSON

asked the Minister of Labour (1) if he can state the circumstances and conditions under which a number of boys have accepted employment with the firm of Messrs. Bata, shoe manufacturers, of Zlin, Czechoslovakia; the nature of the guarantee given to the parents; the conditions under which training will be given; and the conditions of any agreement either between the parents, the Ministry of Labour, or the Essex educational committee with Messrs. Bata in respect to the training of such boys;

(2) how many boys who went to Zlin, to be trained by Messrs. Bata in their boot works, have returned to their homes, and the reason for such return?


This firm have engaged a number of boys from the Grays and Tilbury area for training at their works in Czechoslovakia. I will send the hon. Member a copy of the printed leaflet issued by the firm in which the main conditions of training are set out, and I will gladly give him any further information in my possession. The written consent of the parent or guardian was given in each case. Of the 20 boys so far transferred, five have returned home, mainly for reasons of home sickness; in some cases there were complaints of unaccustomed food, but I understand an English dietary is now provided.


Has the right hon. Gentleman had any communications, through his Department, with this organisation?


As the hon. Gentleman knows, the position is this: The Essex education authority have exercised their right to run a bureau for juvenile employment, and the arrangements were primarily through their instrumentality, although they were acting throughout, with the knowledge and, I may add, the concurrence of the Ministry of Labour.