§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I have prepared a somewhat long and detailed reply which, with the hon. Member's permission, I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
§ Following is the reply:
§ The policy of the Department has been to maintain a small number of these centres for a short period in suitable localities in order to demonstrate their advantages and to prepare the way for their continuance by a voluntary local organisation. Up to 31st March, six centres had been started on this footing and three of them have since been taken over by voluntary organisations. At the six centres there were six instructors, and rather more than 4,000 men were enrolled. The cost up to 31st March was about £1,250, exclusive of a centre in London, the cost of which was met by a private donation. Other demonstration centres, up to a total of eight at any one time, in addition to those taken over by other voluntary bodies, are being organised. In addition, classes have been started in various localities throughout the country through the National Council of Social Service or other voluntary bodies. I cannot give complete details with regard to these classes, but I understand that the number of men attending them is steadily increasing and already amounts to several thousand.