§ 3.37 p.m.
§ Mr. GUY
I beg to move, in page 55, line 32, column 2, to leave out "Ten," and to insert "Twenty."
The two following Amendments also stand in my name and that of my hon. Friend the Member for South Edinburgh (Sir S. Chapman), and I propose to deal with the three Amendments together, because they raise the same point. The Schedule which appears on page 55 of the Bill deals with the provisions for the crediting of contributions in respect of persons who continue education after the school-leaving age. There is a provision thatthe number of contributions with which a person who has so continued for any period specified in the sub-joined table may, under the regulations, be credited shall not exceed the maximum number specified in the said table as respects that period.The maximum amounts of contributions under the Bill as shown by the Schedule are as follow:Twelve months or more but less than eighteen months—Ten.Eighteen months or more but less than twenty-four months—Fifteen.Twenty-four months or more—Twenty.The Amendment which I am now moving will have the effect of substituting for the contributions shown in the table the totals of 20, 25, and 30 respectively. I am aware that these Amendments are very elemental, and I am not over optimistic as to the Minister's acceptance of them; but they raise an important question with which I wish to deal for a few minutes, namely, the position of those children who remain at school after the school-leaving age. The Bill does nothing to alter the school-leaving age, but it serves a very useful purpose in bridging the gap between the school-leaving age, which is at present 14, and the age of 16. 1564 A boy or girl who leaves school at the age of 14 and enters employment, and makes the necessary contributions to insurance, is now entitled at the age of 16 to insurance benefit, but the boy or girl who remains at school, voluntarily, on full time education until attaining the age of 16 cannot get credited with a maximum of 20 contributions, and, therefore, is not able to satisfy the first statutory condition for benefit—namely, 30 contributions. My Amendment, by increasing the number of credited contributions, would have the effect of putting that young person on the same level as the young person who has entered employment.
This raises a serious question of policy, and there are one or two factors which must be borne in mind. We should be careful not to penalise in any way a boy or girl who continues in full-time education after reaching the age of 14 as compared with the boy or girl who leaves school and enters employment. The obvious objection is that we should also be careful not to encourage a boy or girl to remain at school until 16 years of age and then go straight on to the dole, getting insurance benefit immediately on leaving school. There are various safeguards against that. A young person must not only satisfy the first statutory condition but other statutory conditions as well. Other factors which are relative to the considerations of this Amendment are, as was pointed out by the right hon. Gentleman in his Second Beading speech, the propable increase, indeed the certain increase, during the next few years in the number of young persons leaving school owing to the increase in the birthrate in the years following the War.
Another matter relates to the question of juvenile employment, which is a problem which we shall have to anticipate and keep in mind when we are considering the particular point raised by the Schedule. I think we should do all that we can, within reasonable limits, to encourage young persons to remain at school after 14 years of age and thereby prevent an additional burden being thrown upon the juvenile unemployment fund. May I ask the Minister one question in relation to the position of a young person who attains the age of 16, who has been in full-time education as compared with the young person of 16 who has been in employment but who has 1565 fallen out of employment and has attended a course of instruction under Clause 14. I understand that, although attendance at a course of instruction is compulsory, there is also a compulsitor on the young person entitled to insurance benefit, by the withdrawal of Iris insurance benefit, and I should like to know what will be the position of a young person who is not entitled to insurance benefit at the age of 16, because as the Schedule now reads he will not be able to satisfy the first statutory condition. If there is any difference between the two, it will add force to the Amendment. I hope the Minister will make the position clear.
§ 3.46 p.m.
§ Mr. COVE
Hon. Members on this side of the Committee support the Amendment. It means a more generous recognition of those who remain at school. But I understood from a previous Debate that the Minister was going to deal with this matter. I may have over-estimated the promise made by the Parliamentary Secretary, but I think he suggested that there should be consultations, and that would be a much more satisfactory way of dealing with the problem. If the Minister cannot accept the Amendment, I hope he will indicate that on Report Stage some modifications will be made. The proposals of the Bill mean that no credit can be given for any period less than 12 months. That is an important point. It seems to me that 12 months is too long to offer with any hope of a parent accepting it. I can imagine a headmaster saying to a parent that if a child remains at school for 12 months 10 stamps can be given, but that seems to me not sufficient to entice a parent to keep a child who cannot get a job at school. The period in my judgment should be considerably less. The Minister, of course, is not giving very much away, but he may consider the question of the period.
§ Captain BOURNE
That may be an excellent argument, but it has nothing to do with the Amendment, which deals with the question of the contributions; not the time.
§ Mr. COVE
I am dealing with the proposal of the Minister and making a suggestion that the period which the Minister has suggested is too long. As I understand it, a child must remain in 1566 school for 12 months before a single stamp is credited. I hope that on the Report stage the Minister will deal with the question of the period for which education is continued, as well as the question of the number of stamps credited. The present proposal is not as good as the provision in the 1930 Act. The Report of the Royal Commission refers to the provision in the 1930 Act that a stamp should be credited for every two weeks that a child remained at school, provided the child remained at school for a minimum of 10 weeks. This Amendment would have the effect of doubling the number of stamps to be credited in respect of each of the periods mentioned in the Schedule and we naturally support that proposal, but I hope that the Minister in going into the question will not confine himself to the number of stamps but will also deal with the period which is an extremely important element. The school term would be an excellent unit of time to use in this connection. The period of 12 months would be too long for children who have gone out into industry, and become unemployed and who then desire to return to school. A shorter period would be an inducement to those children to return to school.
I think the hon. Member had better raise this point on the Question, "That this be the First Schedule to the Bill." He is getting a long way from the Amendment.
§ Mr. COVE
I was only raising these small points in the hope that the Minister might at some later stage give us an answer and that we might have some indication from him that this whole matter will be reconsidered. As the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Guy) has pointed out, this matter is extremely important having regard to the numbers of children who will be leaving school in the next two years. By 1937, I believe, there will be about 440,000 more young persons between 14 and 18 in the industrial field than there are at present. It would be a good thing for those children to remain under the education system. It would be much better, in my opinion, than sending them to the junior instruction centres. I understand further that this proposal would not cost the Exchequer anything but that the whole cost would come out of the fund. Indeed a financial analysis of the part of the Bill dealing with these 1567 juveniles shows it to be one of the meanest parts of this whole set of proposals. It is proposed to make a profit out of the contributions of these children. The financial estimate in connection with the Bill showed that there was an income of £760,000 to the fund from the joint contributions of the children, the employers and the State while the only insurance benefit coming out of that was the £230,000, due to the reduction of the benefit age to 16 years from 16 years plus 30 weeks.
The hon. Member now appears to be repeating arguments which he brought forward on Clause 1.
§ Mr. COVE
I was only pointing out—quite legitimately, I think—that the Minister could make this concession without imposing any additional cost on the Exchequer. From the financial point of view it would be easy to make the concession and from the educational point of view it would be very important. If the Minister cannot accept this Amendment in this form I hope he will look into the problem with a view to devising a scheme which will induce parents to allow their children to remain at school, at any rate for a term or so longer than at present. I do not believe that the present proposals are an effective inducement to parents to keep the children at school. If the Minister considers the matter from that point of view, I think he is bound to incorporate an Amendment on these lines and he will probably also have to consider some readjustment of the periods as here proposed.
§ 3.56 p.m.
§ Sir PERCY HARRIS
This Amendment appropriately comes from Scotland because I think even we Southerns recognise that there is a real enthusiasm for education in Scotland and that the Scottish people who have been pioneers in educational matters are always anxious to afford the best educational facilities for their children. Their example might well be followed in other parts of the country and, as I say, it is appropriate that an Amendment of this character should be put forward by two Members for Edinburgh. The Amendment proposes a slight encouragement to parents to resist the temptation, which is very 1568 real in these hard times of unemployment and depression, of withdrawing their children as early as possible from school. Children when they do enter the labour market if they happen to become unemployed, should not be placed at a serious disadvantage compared with other children owing to the fact that they have been in industry, but should get the full advantage of their contributions to the fund. It would be unfortunate, however, should the idea get about that if children are withdrawn from school at the earliest opportunity, and if they become unemployed at an early age, they will be in a better position than those who have stayed on at school.
No one knows better than I do the struggle which many parents have to keep their children at school. It is not merely a matter of fees. There is the cost of maintenance, there is the cost of extra clothing which attendance at an educational institution inevitably entails and there is the loss of wages. I agree with the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) that this question has special significance at the present time owing to the serious problem which we shall have to face in the next two years of the inroad of additional children into the labour market. If we can induce parents to keep their children longer at school, not only will it be to the advantage of the labour market but it will also be to the advantage of this new experiment of bringing children at an earlier age under the shield of Unemployment Insurance.
It is true that this proposal involves no charge on the Exchequer. We have to consider, in this connection, first the interests of the children and secondly the interests of the fund. I suggest that it is doubtful whether the Insurance Fund will suffer at all or not by such a proposal. If an extra year at school increases the efficiency of the children and makes them more efficient units in industry the less likely they are to become unemployed. I am not sure that the fund would not be placed at an advantage by this proposal. Anyone who has studied industrial problems must have noticed that the majority of young persons from 16 to 18 who are out of work are those who have left school at the age of 14, but when you inquire into their skill at any particular trade or occupation, you are always met with the same answer, that they are unskilled, that they have had 1569 some casual occupation which has not added anything to their industrial efficiency since they left school. So that it is not unreasonable to say that if they spend another year or 18 months at school, they are less likely to be thrown out of work, and therefore to become a charge on the Unemployment Fund. I would suggest that this Amendment, which is not a very bold or very large contribution to the problem, is, at any rate, a gesture in the right direction. It is going to encourage, to some extent, parents to leave their children longer at school as long as there is no compulsion for them to do so. Therefore, I have very much pleasure in supporting the Amendment.
§ 4.2 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I desire to put forward one or two added reasons why the Schedule should be amended. The position, as I see it, is that the child who is kept at school for two years, and cannot get a job at the end of that time, is unable to get unemployment benefit. I suggest to the Minister that that in itself is a reason why this Amendment should be adopted. I think that it would be a terrible tragedy if parents keep their children at school for two years, and after they leave school they are to be flung on the street and secure no unemployment benefit. It is quite true they might, in certain cases, come under Part II of the Bill for assistance under the board, and there you have got a position that they might be qualifying for public assistance; but I do think that if parents have maintained a child at school for the two years, that child ought to be qualified to receive benefit. The parents, by keeping a child for the two years at school, and the child not entering the labour market and overwhelming that market, are making a contribution to the fund, just as much as if the child paid the contribution. At present a child at work paying contributions qualifies the moment it is 16 years of age. The day that it is 16, if it has 30 stamps, it gets benefit.
I say that the parents who are keeping the child at school until 16 years of age are contributing to the fund just as much as if the child made a weekly contribution, because the overcrowded labour market is thereby relieved, and, in my view, a much more substantial contribution is made to the fund than by taking 1570 the child from school at 14, and throwing it on to the overcrowded labour market, with contributions by the State, the employer and themselves for a particular period. That contribution ought to be credited as equal to the contribution that would have been made if the child had been at work from 14 to 16. Consequently, I hope that the Minister will accept this very modest Amendment, and at least give Scottish Tories something to take hack to Scotland, because hitherto they have brought back nothing but contemptible Measures, the most miserable set of Measures that could be piled up. I know that they dragged in the Sunday Closing Bill as a recompense, but even that has been thrown aside. For the sake of giving Scottish Tory Members something to take back I think this Amendment ought to be accepted, and, in any case, it has business reasons behind it.
§ 4.6 p.m.
§ Mr. LECKIE
I would like to take the opportunity of supporting the Amendment, and joining in the appeal to the Minister favourably to consider it. We are all, I think, agreed in this House that it is very desirable that as many boys and girls as possible should stay at school after 14, especially in present circumstances. The inducement held out here is quite inadequate in my view, and in the view of those who are really in touch with education for that purpose. The 10 contributions credited for the full year or longer is a very small inducement, and I would point out that a boy or girl continuing at school for 17 months and two weeks will not be credited with any further contributions. There is very little inducement to parents to make sacrifices, which they undoubtedly do make to keep their boys and girls at school. I hope, therefore, that the Minister will see his way to consider the matter favourably. I would ask him the meaning of the heading "Maximum number of contributions to be credited." Why the maximum? Is there is a minimum? If not, I think we ought to have the matter cleared up.
§ 4.8 p.m.
§ Mr. ALEXANDER RAMSAY
Every Member of the Committee who has spoken so far has supported the Amendment. I do not know what view the Minister is prepared to take on this 1571 matter, but it does appear to me that there is a great deal to be said for the Schedule as drawn, and that those who are supporting the Amendment are rather arguing from two fallacies. The hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris) made the point most clearly, I think, that this was an inducement for parents to permit the children to stay at school after 14. We are not dealing with the ethics and advantages of education. If we were desiring to offer inducements to parents to let their children remain at school, surely the medium through which to do it is not a Bill dealing with unemployment insurance. To urge that as a reason for supporting this Amendment seems to me to be begging the whole question. The second fallacy I can see is this: hon. Members appear to argue that parents keep their children at school after 14 only because they cannot find a job for them at 14. That, again, surely is not true. Parents keep their children at school after 14—and I am all for it—because they can afford to do it, or because they want to give their children such additional liberal education that when they do enter industry it will be on a somewhat higher plane, a higher status perhaps than that of the boy or girl who is thrown into the maelstrom at 14 years of age. Those are all considerations which are not part of this Bill, and my view is that the parent who can afford to keep his children at school and does so will not be looking for adventitious advantages such as this Amendment asks.
There is one other point I want to make. The question of unemployment insurance is something which is very personal indeed to the industrial worker. It is something which belongs to him, and which is prescribed for him, and it does seem to me that, as a matter of ordinary equity, a child who goes into industry at 14 and works hard for two years under conditions which are often trying, ought to have a greater vested interest in unemployment insurance than the more favoured child who, because the parent is probably better off, is kept at school until 16 and then enters industry with great advantages. I have no strong feeling one way or the other, but I think that there is a great deal to be said for the Schedule as drawn, and if the 1572 Minister is prepared to maintain his ground, he will certainly have my support.
§ 4.12 p.m.
§ The MINISTER of LABOUR (Sir Henry Betterton)
This Amendment deals with a very limited point. The question raised is whether we should amend the table in the First Schedule by increasing the maximum number of contributions to be credited from 10 to 20, from 15 to 25 and from 20 to 30. If a child could obtain 30 contributions on leaving school he would then be entitled to go straight from school on to insurance benefit. That is exactly the point where there is an obvious and a perfectly sincere difference of opinion between myself and some hon. Members who have supported this Amendment. I do not think it is to the advantage of the child that he should go straight from school on to benefit.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
He can under Part II practically come on to benefit either nationally or locally. This does not affect the matter at all.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
Surely Part II deals with unemployment assistance, and between the two things there is a wide distinction. As I say, there is a perfectly sincere difference of opinion between us, and I adhere to the view I have just expressed that we should not make it possible for a child to go straight from school on to insurance benefit. In this Bill I am reinforced by the results of the examinations by extremely competent people who have considered this matter on more than one occasion. I refer, first of all, to the Report of the Royal Commission. I will deal quite shortly with the incidental point raised by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove), but with regard to their general recommendation there is no doubt at all. The Royal Commission say, at the top of page 188:No contribution to be credited until the juvenile has attended for 10 weeks, and 20 contributions to be the maximum to be so credited. We agree with this provision and think that it goes far to meet the third objection.That is the view of the Royal Commission, but there is a report to which for this purpose I attach even greater importance. I have the second Report of the National Advisory Council for Juvenile 1573 Employment, dated the 1st November, 1929, which was made to my predecessor, Miss Bondfield. That report is signed by a number of persons to whom we should attach importance. They say definitely in the Appendix to their report that, subject to varying conditions,not less than five and not more than twenty contributionsshould be credited. They arrive at that conclusion, I gather, for precisely the same reasons that I have supplied, because they referred to the viewthat the payment of benefit as a right to young persons is demoralising.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I said that that was one of the points that had been put before them in support of the view that I have just expressed, that a child should not go straight from school into benefit, and that, having considered it, they came to the conclusion which I have indicated, namely, that no more than 20 contributions should be credited. That is not all. The hon. Member for Gorbals (Mr. Buchanan) referred to Scotland. The Scottish National Advisory Council came to exactly the same conclusion. They said:Finally, the Council consider that continued education should be encouraged by crediting the boy or girl provisionally at the expense of the State with unemployment insurance contributions in respect of the period spent at some full-time day school beyond the statutory leaving age at the rate of one contribution for two weeks' attendance, but subject to an age limit of 16 years and a maximum of 20 contributions.Therefore, we have two very authoritative bodies which have, after consideration, deliberately arrived at the conclusion that the 20 contributions should be the maximum.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I cannot answer that question except that I have no reason to assume that they dissent from the view of the National Council, which contained representatives of local education authorities. There are four representatives of the education authorities in Scotland on the Council, and this is a unanimous report. Therefore, I am justified 1574 in assuming that the representatives of the education authorities in Scotland agree with the views I have just stated. The hon. Member for Aberavon raised another point which is relevant to this and is somewhat technical. He said that the machinery of the proposals in the Bill is not the same as that recommended by the Royal Commission nor the same as that recommended in the Labour Government's Act of 1930. That is true, except-that I am not sure about the Labour Government Act. The Royal Commission said that a juvenileshall receive a credit of one contribution in respect of each two weeks' attendance.Under the Bill we have not provided that there shall be one contribution in respect of two weeks' attendance, but that the credit shall come in blocks of six months.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
Yes, but that is another point. The six-monthly blocks are contained in the table at the bottom of the first page of the Schedule. The hon. Member wants to know why we think the blocks of six months are preferable to the proposal in the Royal Commission's Report. Again, this is a matter of opinion. For all I know, the hon. Member may be right. On the other hand, I think I am right. I have taken the beet advice that I can, and I do not think that education limited to a very few weeks is likely to be so valuable to the boy as education over a period of six months or 12 months or 18 months.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
The two things are entirely different. We are talking now of attendance at school and not at junior instruction centres. It is a direct encouragement which should not be offered, to give an advantage to a boy only attending for a few weeks or even for a month or two, and therefore we have given an incentive to the boy to remain at school for six, 12 or 18 months. The other point that was raised by the hon. Member for Central Edinburgh (Mr. Guy) is a technical one. If I understood rightly, what he meant was that a young person of 16, if unemployed, can be required under Clause 14 of the Bill to attend an authorised course whether he has or has not any contributions to his 1575 credit. But there is no difference between the compulsion on persons who do not satisfy the statutory conditions for the receipt of benefit and those who have the necessary contributions. With regard to the Amendment itself, I have given it the best consideration and have taken the best advice that I can, and I adhere to the view expressed in the Bill. For that reason, I hope the Committee will not accept the Amendment.
§ 4.25 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman has not seen his way to accept the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman behind him. I cannot understand why he does not agree that when a boy finishes school it should be possible for him to go on to benefit. Nobody wants to see a boy leaving school and going straight on to benefit. We want to see him go to work. If his parents have sufficient energy and vision to keep their son at school there is no reason why he should be penalised. The real truth about this matter is that there is a prejudice
§ against the 16-year-old boy getting benefit. One of the most energetic Debates we had on the 1930 Act was whether a boy of 15 years should have benefit and whether the benefit should be limited. The boy at 16 now, as soon as he fulfils the provisions, can get 5s. 6d. on condition that he goes to a junior instruction centre. Why should not his parents be encouraged to keep the boy at school by crediting him with the increased number of contributions suggested so that he can go on to benefit immediately? I do not think the right hon. Gentleman has interpreted the feeling of the Committee upon this matter. He is certainly not giving that encouragement to parents who keep their boys at school which is so necessary in these days when there is a great volume of opinion in support of it as one of the many means of helping to meet the unemployment problem.
§ Question put, "That the word 'Ten' stand part of the Schedule."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 270; Noes, 61.1577
|Division No. 203.]||AYES.||[4.28 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Cazaiet, Thelma (Islington, E.)||Ganzonl, Sir John|
|Albery, Irving James||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Gillett, Sir George Masterman|
|Alexander, Sir William||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Choriton, Alan Ernest Leofric||Glossop, C. W. H.|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Christie, James Archibald||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston Spencer||Gower, Sir Robert|
|Applln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Clarke, Frank||Granville, Edgar|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Clarry, Reginald George||Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas|
|Attor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. O.||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Colfox, Major William Philip||Grigg, Sir Edward|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Grimston, R. V.|
|Baldwin-Webb, Colonel J.||Conant, R. J. E.||Gritten, W. G. Howard|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Cook, Thomas A.||Gunston, Captain D. W.|
|Bainlel, Lord||Cooke, Douglas||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Cooper, A. Duff||Hales, Harold K.|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Courthope, Colonel Sir George L||Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)|
|Bateman, A. L.||Cranborne, Viscount||Hammersley, Samuel S.|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Crooke, J. Smedley||Hanbury, Cecil|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Porttm'th. C.)||Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry|
|Setterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||Hartland, George A.|
|Blindell, James||Cross, R. H.||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)|
|Borodaie, Viscount||Crossley, A. C.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)|
|Bossom, A. C.||Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil)||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.|
|Boyce, H. Leslie||Davison, Sir William Henry||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.|
|Boyd-Carpenter, Sir Archibald||Denman, Hon. R. D.||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Dickle, John P.||Hepworth, Joseph|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Drewt, Cedrle||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Duckworth, George A. V.||Hore-Bellsha, Leslie|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Duggan, Hubert John||Hornby, Frank|
|Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Home, Rt. Hon. Sir Robsrt S.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Dunglass, Lord||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Buchan, John||Edmondson, Major A. J.||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Elliston, Captain George Sampson||Hudson. Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Burnett, John George||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Hurd, Sir Percy|
|Burton, Colonel Henry Walter||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Hurst, Sir Gerald B.|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Entwistle, Cyril Fullard||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm||Fermoy, Lord||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Fox, Sir Gifford||Jamleson, Douglas|
|Carver, Major William H.||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Galbralth, James Francis Wallace||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)|
|Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Mulrhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Smithers, Waldron|
|Kerr, Hamilton W.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Somerset, Thomas|
|Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Nicholson, Godlrey (Morpeth)||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Knight, Holford||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Knox, Sir Alfred||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Soper, Richard|
|Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Nunn, William||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hn. William G. A.||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Law, Sir Alfred||Palmer, Francis Noel||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Law, Richard K. (Hull, S.W.)||Patrick, Colin M.||Stanley, Rt. Hon Lord (Fylde)|
|Leigh, Sir John||Peake, Captain Osbert||Stanley Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Leigh ton, Major B. E. P.||Pearson, William G.||Stevenson, James|
|Levy, Thomas||Peat, Charles U.||Storey, Samuel|
|Lewis, Oswald||Penny, Sir George||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Liddall, Walter S.||Percy, Lord Eustace||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock)||Perkins, Waiter R. D.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Lindsay, Noel Ker||Petherick, M.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Lloyd, Geoffrey||Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bllston)||Templeton, William P.|
|Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd G'n)||Pike. Cecil F.||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Thompson, Sir Luke|
|Loder, Captain J, de Vere||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Loftus, Pierce C.||Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Rainsbothara, Herwald||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Ratcliffe, Arthur||Train, John|
|Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Tree, Ronald|
|Mabane, William||Reid, David D. (County Down)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|McConnell, Sir Joseph||Ropner, Colonel L.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|McCorquodale, M. S.||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|McKie, John Hamilton||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S|
|Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|McLean, Major Sir Alan||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Maitland, Adam||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Marsden, Commander Arthur||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Martin, Thomas B.||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Wills, Wilfrld D.|
|Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)|
|Meller, Sir Richard James||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Savery, Samuel Servington||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Wlndtor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Milne, Charles||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tl'd & Chlsw'k)||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Molson, A. Hugh Eisdale||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Smith, Brace well (Dulwich)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES|
|Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)||Sir Victor Warrender and Lord Erskine.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maxton, James|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Paling, Wilfred|
|Banfield, John William||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Batey, Joseph||Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Pickering, Ernest H.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Harris, Sir Percy||Rathbone, Eleanor|
|Buchanan, George||Hicks, Ernest George||Rea, Walter Russell|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Holdsworth, Herbert||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Cove, William G.||Jenkins, Sir William||Salter, Dr Alfred|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Sinclair, Maj. Rt. Hn. Sir A. (C'thness)|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Kirkwood, David||Thorne, William James|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawson, John James||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Dobbie, William||Leonard, William||White, Henry Graham|
|Edwards, Charles||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||Lunn, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||Wilmot, John|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||McEntee, Valentine L.||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||McGovern, John||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough. E)|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Mr. John and Mr. Groves|
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this Schedule be the First Schedule to the Bill."
§ 4.38 p.m.
§ Mr. COVE
I cannot allow that Question to go to a vote without expressing my disappointment with the attitude that 1578 the Minister has taken with regard to the Amendment and the suggestions that have been made. I cannot understand why the right hon. Gentleman could not have adopted a more accommodating attitude towards the suggestion of the Amendment. I say frankly that I suggested the 1579 breaking up of these periods because I wanted the proposals of the Bill to be a real inducement which would have the maximum effect in keeping children at school rather than allowing them to go into the field of industry, with the grave probability in the coming years, owing to the great increase of children, of their being subject to very severe unemployment. If the Minister wants to know my opinion about the proposals which he has now forced on the Committee, it is that they are no inducement whatever to parents to keep children at school. From my experience of working-class life, I emphatically declare that the period of 12 months, which must be served, as it were, in order to get any stamps at all, is far too long a period to be any inducement whatever. I declare without fear of contradiction, and experience will prove that I am right, that to ask parents to keep their children at school for so long a period as 12 months before they get a single stamp credited to them, will not form any material inducement at all to the parents.
I am surprised that the Minister has adopted this attitude. I am beginning to think that this proposal is largely eyewash for those people who are generally termed educationists. There has been for a long time a great quarrel between those who are termed educationists and those who are industrialists, as to who should have possession of these children. The educationists have said that the children should not enter the field of insurance because once they do that it is good-bye to school and indeed good-bye to any effective demand for raising the school age. The proposals of the Government have, at least for some considerable time, prevented any chance of raising the school age, and now we have a proposal which will not do anything at all to induce these children to remain at school. It is eyewash as far as the Government are concerned; it is a sop to the educationist, by saying, "After all, although we claim them for the insurance side of the scheme and although we will not raise the school age, we are making some provision to entice the children to remain at school." That provision is a stamp after the children have been at school for 12 months. If they stay only 11 months, the period will not count at all, and there will be no stamp qualification whatever given.
1580 I am rather surprised that the Minister, if he is really sincere about making this an effective weapon for inducing children to remain at school, was not prepared to meet us. The argument has been used that children should not go straight into insurance, that it is immoral, as it were, that children should have the benefit as an insurance right. As a matter of fact, the children who are poor and who have not been able to qualify owing to the provisions of the Bill, instead of having a right to get benefit under the insurance side of the Act, will be thrown over to the public assistance side. They must be kept; the parents must have an income to maintain them. I should have thought it would be far better, for the moral of these children, for them to be able to claim benefit as a right under the insurance side of the scheme, than for them to be thrown on to the public assistance side. It would have been far better in the interest of the children themselves.
From my experience as a scholar and as a teacher in the schools some years ago, I know that the term was the unit. It is the unit now. What happens now, and what happened when I taught classes, was that one began the year with, say, 15 pupils, and at the end of the first term the pupils probably went down by 10 or 15, and at the end of the second term and third term another 10 or 15 went, and one ended the year with, perhaps, a class of 10 or 12 or 15. That was due to the inevitable going out at the end of each term. That is the law at present. I should have thought that a scheme to credit stamps for insurance purposes could have been devised to fit in with this practice in the educational world. If the Bill had split the period up into terms the headmaster would have been able to say, "Look here, Johnny is going to leave school at the end of the term. What about the prospects for work? I do not see very good prospects. Indeed, as things are at the moment there is no possibility of his getting a job." The headmaster should then have been able to say, "If you remain at school, the next term we can see how things will straighten out," and to the parents he would have been able to say, "Then there will be stamps credited to your boy, and he will at least be able to benefit in that way." If the headmaster can only say, "Johnny must remain in school a 1581 twelve-month," what is going to happen? The mother will say, "I cannot afford to keep the child in school for 12 months merely to gain credit stamps." Johnny leaves the school and is on the market. He will be a drug on the market, as a matter of fact, as has been repeatedly pointed out, because of the large numbers of children who will increasingly go out of school.
I am absolutely surprised that the Minister, on a relatively small though important think like this, should not have met us. He said, "We must look forward for 12 months because 12 months is an educational period, and I am advised by educationists that we must plan ahead in regard to education." As a pointed out then, that was an effective and complete condemnation of the system of junior instruction centres which the right hon. Gentleman is embodying in this Bill. As a matter of fact, the period of 12 months is not necessarily the unit. I believe, from experience of the working-class home and of the needs of the mother, from the point of view of really enticing these children to remain at school, the Minister would have been well advised to agree to a larger number of stamps being given and also to the breaking-up of the unit. The first block, as he said, is of 12 months. I do not believe there is there any inducement to remain in school, and I think the purpose of putting this Schedule in the Bill is to make believe that something has been given to the educationists, whereas in reality—and I am sure that experience will bear me out—very little has been given, and by an adjustment, what has been given could have been made much more effective. I must express my great disappointment that the Minister has not seen fit to meet us on this Amendment.
§ 4.48 p.m.
§ Mr. GRAHAM WHITE
There are two points on which I should be glad to have some information. In paragraph (2, d) of Part I of the Schedule there is a reference to "other persons responsible for the management of schools." I wonder if the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education can give us any general information on this point, as to the range of schools and the types of schools which children may attend and which entitle them to obtain the credits. I presume there is some broad definition 1582 of schools that could be given at this stage. I assume that no child would be entitled to receive credit for attendance at a school who had not been inspected or certified by the Board of Education as being properly conducted. The other point is this: I understand that consideration has been given to it, but I presume that children desiring to obtain these credits for attendance would not lose their rights if a school were closed for a prolonged period owing to some epidemic or some other reason out of the control of the authorities. I shall be glad to have some information on those two points.
With regard to the observation of the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove), as to the proposals in the Bill which are sought to be regulated by the machinery of this Schedule being a sop to educationists, I do not think they are a sop for which educationists are in the least grateful. We accept the proposals in this Schedule because they are second best and better than nothing, but we think that the Government have shown a lamentable lack of imagination and courage in dealing with this aspect of the problem. Here they had an opportunity of doing something, and they have lamentably failed. It has been pointed out already that over 400,000 additional children are passing into the labour market and competing with their parents, and we had here an opportunity of completing our educational processes in this country and at the same time making a very substantial inroad upon that hard core of unemployment which has been spoken of with lamentation by all who speak on unemployment on any platform in this country.
Here was the opportunity for the Government to deal with the continuation of the Hadow Scheme, and I think it is very much to their discredit that they have not only not used it for themselves, but that they have discouraged the efforts made by the Noble Lord the Member for Hastings (Lord E. Percy) and my hon. Friend the Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris). Indeed, independent Members have shown much more courage and foresight than have the Government on these matters. If these proposals are a sop, that is all that can be said for them, and we accept them because they are better than nothing, but they are not much better than nothing, 1583 because instead of a careful, planned scheme for the youth of the country, which is essential for the future existence of this country, we are offered a sort of cat-and-mouse scheme with regard to the juvenile training centres; and for the rest, what is it? It is a mixture of casual education and casual employment.
§ 4.52 p.m.
I am very sorry that the Government have not made any concession for the children in this matter, but I do not think it is fair for hon. Members to blame the Minister of Labour as far as the children are concerned, because, after all, the Ministry of Labour are doing their very best. They have done more than any other portion of the Government.
They have done more than the Labour Government ever did—far more. I do not want to deal with the past, but they have done far more than the Labour Government, because, after all, when we remember that Labour were in opposition for years and years and that when they came in they came in on the promise of raising the school age, giving maintenance grants, and every other thing you can think of, and when they got in they stayed in for 18 months or two years and never attempted to do anything at all [HON. MEMBERS: "Oh! "] If hon. Members had attempted to do something, they would never have gone out so quickly.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
Surely the Noble Lady has not forgotten that the Labour Government introduced and carried through this House a Bill for raising the school-leaving age, which was subsequently rejected in another place.
This is a very interesting piece of past history, but I do not see that it has any relevance to this Schedule.
The rules of this House require hon. Members to discuss matters that are before the Committee, and not matters which are not relevant.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
But is it not a fact that occasionally the Chairman has exercised his discretion in favour of the more interesting topic?
The Labour people have attacked the Government for not doing more for the children, and I think I am in order, with your permission, Captain Bourne, in saying that they have at least done more than the Labour Government ever attempted to do. When they refer to the raising of the school age, they know very well—and the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) knows it as well as I do—that they put in a contentious Clause which brought in religion, and they did that because they wanted it turned down. [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] You may fool yourselves, but you are not fooling anybody else. The hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) will back me up that you put in this religious Clause knowing that you—
But really our friends above the Gangway have no right to talk about such things. I am deeply disappointed, not with the Minister of Labour, but with the Government, because they—
I would remind the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan) that I have just ruled that that Clause must not be discussed at this time.
Is it not extraordinary, Captain Bourne, what a controversial subject religion is? If there is one thing in the world that ought to unite people, it is religion; yet it seems to me to be the one thing that divides all of us in a few minutes. I do not want to criticise the Minister of Labour, but I beg him to let the Government know—and I wish the Members of the House of Commons might do it by voting for the Amendment—that women are deeply disappointed in their attitude as far as juveniles are concerned. I know exactly what is going to happen with this Government. It happened with the Government before. You will wait until facts hit you in the face, and then, when it is almost too late, you will bring in a Bill to raise the school age. Why not do it now? You have plenty of people who will be behind you. You have an enormous majority, and you have the country waiting for it. You know the facts better than anybody else—
All right, Captain Bourne, but other people have done so. I hope very much that the Minister of Labour and the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, whose heart is in the right place, will go back and tell the Government that there is a real demand in the country that they should do something more constructive for juveniles than to allow thousands of them to come out of school and go into these juvenile instruction centres. We want something really constructive. We are grateful to the Minister of Labour for having brought in so splendid a Bill, and he can afford all the criticisms that come from the Opposition, because they know in their hearts that they have never brought in anything except something which was so unfair to women that the present National Government are going to set up a committee to right some of the wrongs which the Labour Minister of Health put on women. I beg the hon. Member to remember that you may fool the new Members, but you cannot fool all of us who sat and saw you make a proper mess of insurance, after the most wonderful promises and after years in the wilderness, with plenty of time to think—
I cannot see what the Minister of Health can possibly have to do with this Schedule.
The question before us is the First Schedule to the Bill, and I hope the Noble Lady will confine her remarks to it.
I do beg the Minister of Labour to make the Government a little more progressive as far as juveniles are concerned.
§ 5.0 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
The Committee is indebted to the Noble Lady for her speech, which has given to the Debate an interest which was lacking and which did not seem likely to be recaptured. Those of us who have been attending the Committee are grateful for the fact that some interest, enthusiasm and even anger have been infused into the Debate. I will not enter into the question of what was done by the last Government, because I am afraid that the Chair will not be so lenient with me as with my predecessor. Hon. Members above the Gangway know that there is a large amount of feeling in their own movement, if not a feeling on the part of the majority, against education people having control in this matter. If it came to a card vote of their Congresses, the possibility is that the suggestion that the educationist should have control would be defeated. Everyone of us who has any connection with the movement know that to be the case.
My view has always been that the proper way to deal with this problem is to raise the school age. Be that as it may, other people take the view that the school age is not likely to be raised and, therefore, sooner than wait for a thing that may be very far off they say: "Let us tackle the problem in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour." The Minister of Labour made a pitiable effort in reply to the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove), who put an irresistible case for parents being allowed 30 contributions for the full two years. To that suggestion there can be no answer, except that the Minister says that he is against allowing a child to pass from school to the exchange and on to unemployment benefit. He allowed the inference to be drawn, and it was cheered by his supporters, 1587 that there is something degrading in a child going right from school, signing at the exchange and drawing benefit.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I stated that that was not merely my view but the view of two important representative bodies, namely, the National Advisory Council for Juvenile Employment and the Scottish Advisory Council. It was their view.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
It is the Minister's view that matters. He knows something not merely about education but about unemployment insurance. When a view is sought it ought to be the view not merely of an educational person but of someone who knows something about unemployment insurance.
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member, but I must point out that the body to which I referred consists of five trade union representatives, and in regard to Scotland it contains three representatives of the Scottish Trade Union Congress.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I agree with the hon. Member for Aberavon that they were wrong. They were consulted not as a body who knew something about unemployment insurance but as a body giving advice on educational matters. There might at one time have been something in the argument that a child should not claim benefit, but there is no argument now, for the reason that a child of 16 on leaving school is encouraged by the Minister to sign on at the Exchange. The only degrading thing, we are told, is that the child should get money. On four days of the week the child may stand in a queue, and he is encouraged to do it, but it is regarded as degrading if on one day he is to get 2s. or 3s. benefit. Assuming that that happened in Durham. Does the hon. Member for Spennymoor (Mr. Batey) think that it would be degrading for the child to get 2se. or 3s. benefit? The degrading thing in the opinion of the hon. Member is that that would not be enough.
What happens in my own district? When a child leaves school there is a committee which keeps in touch with the teachers, so that the child may be asked to sign, to go to the Exchange and get 1588 in touch with the manager and the officials. What is there degrading about the proposal that they should be credited with stamps? The only argument that could be made against our suggestion is that if the boy is credited with stamps he will sign in order to get benefit, but if he is not credited with stamps you have no motive to make him sign. If he is getting benefit he will go to the Exchange, but that is said that if he goes to sign for money he will get wrong contacts. He will come into touch with the Employment Exchange, where they have committees to look after juveniles. He will come into touch with the manager, who will see him, who will know his capacity and his bent, whether he is a good woodworker or a good arithmetician, and accordingly he will try to place him in a suitable job. If he has nothing to sign for, he immediately passes out; nobody has any contact with him. It is absurd to say that there is anything degrading in a boy going to the Exchange to sign for benefit.
I have heard Ministers make weak inconsistent childish and foolish speeches, but I have never heard any Minister make such a bad showing as the Minister of Labour on this point. A boy may get 20 stamps, and then someone kindly gets him 10 weeks work. That will be all right, but if he goes on without the 10 weeks work it is a different thing. The 10 weeks work is to make all the difference between high morality and real badness. The real way to deal with the problem is to raise the school age, to give decent maintenance grants and to see that the child is properly educated. One hon. Member says this is not a Bill to deal with education. That is true, but the Minister has put in certain qualifications for stamps. I hope that he will reconsider the point and grant the number of stamps for which we ask, so that when a boy or girl leaves school there will be unemployment benefit for them. If he grants that point he will make the Bill something like a workable Measure.
At the present time a child of 14, in work, has to pay 2d. per week. There is nothing degrading in a child of 14 paying 2d. a week, but we are told that it is degrading when a child reaches 16 that it should receive 2s. or 3s. benefit. It can pay 2d. a week at 14, but it cannot get 3s. when it is 16. From every angle the thing is ridiculous. The point has 1589 not been met. When a parent maintains a child at school until it is 16 that parent is making a most genuine contribution towards the relief of the unemployment problem by keeping the child out of the labour market. That is a bigger contribution than paying 2d. a week at the age of 14 when a child is working. It is a real contribution towards saving money to the fund. For every child that is kept out of the labour market the parent ought to be credited with 2d. a week.
§ 5.13 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The Minister must have been impressed by the fact that this matter was raised from his own benches. There is, obviously, a considerable body of feeling in favour of it. Has the right hon. Gentleman given his final answer, or would he be prepared to consider the matter between now and the Report stage, and, if possible, give a sympathetic reply?
§ Sir H. BETTERTON
The Division which we have had shows that there is an overwhelming body of opinion in favour of the Government's proposal.
§ 5.14 p.m.
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Ramsbotham)
I should like to answer very briefly the point raised by the hon. Member for Birkenhead, East (Mr. Graham White) on paragraph (d) of the Schedule. He asked what was meant by the words, "Other persons responsible for the management of the schools." There is nothing sinister in that phrase. I think it is an omnibus phrase, introduced ex abundante cautela. While I am on my feet I might say something in answer to a point made by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) which was reinforced by the hon. Baronet the Member
§ for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris). I understood them to support the increase in the number of credits on the ground that it would be likely to lead to a child remaining longer at school. That is a matter of opinion, and my own view, for what it is worth, is that it might possibly have an opposite effect. A boy attending a secondary school might find, on reaching the age of 16, that no suitable occupation was available for him at the moment, and it would be desirable on many grounds that he should remain at school until some job presented itself; but if parents know that when the boy has attained the age of 16 he has sufficient contributions to his credit to qualify him to receive certain benefits, I think there will be a considerable temptation to them to say, "It will suit us very well that he should take those benefits." That is a matter of opinion, of course, but I see it as a very possible danger, and I am sure the Committee would be averse to any such stimulus being given to parents to remove the boy from school. I am glad to say that at present the tendency is for secondary school children to stay on voluntarily beyond the age of 16, and we are gradually getting the average age increased, and I should be very sorry to see any step taken which might be a stimulus in the opposite direction.
§ Mr. EDWARD WILLIAMS
Are not parents prohibited by the terms of the contract from taking their children from school?
§ Question put, "That this Schedule be the First Schedule to the Bill."
§ The Committee divided: Ayes, 292; Noes, 46.1591
|Division No. 204.]||AYES.||[5.18 p.m.|
|Acland, Rt. Hon. Sir Francis Dyke||Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Burnett, John George|
|Albery, Irving James||Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel||Burton, Colonel Henry Walter|
|Alexander, Sir William||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B.||Cadogan, Hon. Edward|
|Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent)||Blindell, James||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Burodale, Viscount||Caporn, Arthur Cecil|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Carver, Major William H.|
|Applln. Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Astbury, Lieut.-Com. Frederick Wolfe||Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough)||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Broadbent, Colonel John||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Brown. Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)|
|Bainiel, Lord||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Christie, James Archibald|
|Barclay-Harvey, C. M.||Browne, Captain A. C.||Clarke, Frank|
|Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar||Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Bateman, A. L.||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Cochrane, Commands Han. A. O.||Jamleson, Douglas||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Janner, Barnett||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Conant, R. J. E.||Johnstone, Harcourt (S. Shields)||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)||Runclman, Rt. Hon. Walter|
|Cooke, Douglas||Jonas, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Russell. Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)|
|Crooke, J. Smedley||Knight, Holford||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Knox, Sir Alfred||Salmon, Sir Isidore|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Salt, Edward W.|
|Cross, R. H.||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Crassley, A. C.||Law, Sir Alfred||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Law, Richard K. (Hull, S. W.)||Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Leckle, J. A.||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Davies, Maj. Gao. F. (Somerset, Ysovll)||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Selley, Harry R.|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Levy, Thomas||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Dawton, Sir Philip||Lewis. Oswald||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Liddall, Walter S.||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Dickle, John P.||Lindsay, Noel Ker||Simon, Rt. Hon. Sir John|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lloyd, Geoffrey||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Loder, Captain J. de Vere||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dine, C.)|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander||Somerset, Thomas|
|Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.)||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Dunglase, Lord||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mabane, William||Soper, Richard|
|Elliston, Captain George Sampson||MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Emrys-Evans. P. V.||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Spencer. Captain Richard A.|
|Entwistie, Cyril Fullard||McCorquodale, M. S.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Erskine, Lord (Weston-Super-Mare)||McKie, John Hamilton||Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland)|
|Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.)||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Stevenson, Jamas|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Storey, Samuel|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Macmillan, Maurice Harold||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Maitland, Adam||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.|
|Fox, Sir Gifford||Mallalieu, Edward Lancelot||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Summersby, Charles H.|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Galbraith, James Francis Wallace||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Templeton, William P.|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Martin, Thomas B.||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Thorp, Linton Theodore|
|Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Meller, Sir Richard James||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Train, John|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Tree, Ronald|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Milne, Charles||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Gower, Sir Robert||Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Granville, Edgar||Mclson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)|
|Gretton-Doyle, Sir Nicholas||Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Ward, Lt. Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Grigg, Sir Edward||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Grimston, R. V.||Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hn. William G. A.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Palmer, Francis Noel||Watt, Captain George Steven H.|
|Hales, Harold K.||Patrick, Colin M.||Wayland, Sir William A.|
|Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford)||Peake, Captain Osbert||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Zetl'nd)||Pearson, William G.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Hanbury, Cecil||Peat, Charles U.||White. Henry Graham|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Penny, Sir George||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Harris, Sir Percy||Percy, Lord Eustace||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hartland, George A.||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Petherick, M.||Wills, Wilfrid D.|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Peto. Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bllst'n)||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Pickering, Ernest H.||Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Pike, Cecil F.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Headlam Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Pownall, Sir Assheton||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Withers, Sir John James|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Womersley, Walter James|
|Hepwortn, Joseph||Ramsay. T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Hills. Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Rathbone, Eleanor||Worthington. Dr. John V.|
|Hornby, Frank||Rawson, Sir Cooper||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Horsbrugh, Florence||Rea, Walter Russell||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Howitt. Dr. Alfred B.||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Hurd, Sir Percy||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hurst, Sir Gerald B.||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Captain Austin Hudson and Dr. Morris-Jones.|
|Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|James, Wing-Com. A. W. H||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Adams, O. M. (Poplar, South)||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||McGovern, John|
|Banfield, John William||Groves, Thomas E.||Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)|
|Batey, Joseph||Grundy, Thomas W.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Maxton, James|
|Buchanan, Georgs||Hicks, Ernest George||Parkinson, John Allen|
|Cocks, Frederick Seymour||Jenkins, Sir William||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Cove, William G.||John, William||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Slivertown)||Thorne, William James|
|Daggar, George||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Davies, David L. (Pontypridd)||Kirkwood, David||Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Josiah|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Lawton, John James||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Dobbie, William||Leonard, William||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Edwards, Charles||Logan, David Gilbert||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||Lunn, William||Wilmot, John|
|George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.|
|Mr. D. Graham and Mr. Paling.|
Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Schedule," put, and agreed to.