HC Deb 16 April 1934 vol 288 cc712-3

asked the Home Secretary in what way he exercises powers to control the taking abroad of young girls under theatrical contracts; whether he is satisfied that he can effectively prevent the taking of such girls for improper purposes; and, if not, if he will seek further powers?


The effect of Section 25 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, is that no girl under 14 shall be sent abroad for the purpose of singing, playing, performing, or being exhibited, for profit, and that a girl between 14 and 18 shall not be so sent except in pursuance of a licence granted by a police magistrate at Bow Street. No such licence can be granted unless the magistrate is satisfied on a number of points, including the consent of the girl's parent or guardian and proper provision to secure her health, kind treatment, adequate supervision while abroad, and return to this country. I am satisfied that the powers contained in this Section are adequate for the protection of young girls.


Is it necessary for the Borne Office to give approval to any such embargo imposed by the magistrates; and is it possible for an applicant for a licence to circumvent the Home Office's refusal, where it does refuse, by applying, say, to the London County Council for a licence?


If the hon. Member will put down a question as to these details, I will try to answer it.