HC Deb 05 February 1934 vol 285 cc931-8

I beg to move, in page 14, line 3, to leave out "may," and insert "shall."

This is a very simple Amendment. In discussing the Clause regarding training courses and instruction centres, attention was called by the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. H. Williams) to what he described as the very small number of children out of work, and it was pointed out then that he had no means of knowing the number of children who are out of work. We ask for this Amendment in order that we may have some gauge as to the number of children who are out of employment. The Minister himself, in inserting the Clause in the Bill, recognises that there is a difficulty of knowing when and how the children fall out of work. Why is the Minister only permitted to make regulations? We suggest that the Minister may well make up his mind now whether regulations are required or not. It is not as though there were any contingency to be cleared up before he can know whether regulations are required. We suggest that regulations are required, not so much for the insured juveniles as for the uninsured. In the future, when a juvenile falls out of employment, if he is in an insured occupation he will be obliged to report himself at the exchange, and that in itself—it may be said—enables the authority to know that that child has fallen out of employment. In the unregulated trades it is not so, and it is essential that we should have some way of gauging the number of juveniles who fall in and out of employ- ment. How can we do so unless there is some provision of this sort requiring the employer to notify that he has discharged a juvenile? That is one reason why we want "shall" substituted for "may," in order that we may have an indication of the number of juveniles who fall out of work.

Moreover, juveniles who are in uninsured trades are to be permitted to apply to the new Assistance Board. If that new board is going to give assistance to juveniles in unregulated trades, it ought to put pressure on those juveniles to attend the classes. How can it do so if there is no way of knowing when a juvenile becomes unemployed? If the employers were obliged to report when they discharged a juvenile, then it would be possible for those in charge of an instruction centre and courses for juveniles to get into touch with the young person, whether he is in an insured or an uninsured trade. Are we to take it that young people, as for example in agriculture, an uninsured trade, do not require vocational instruction during periods of unemployment just as much as children in any insured trade? I hope that the Minister will see his way to accept this Amendment. I see no reason why the matter should be uncertain. The House of Commons should be able to decide whether Parliament should or should not require the report; that, we suggest, would save the Minister from being perplexed by the importunities of employers.

10.54 p.m.

Viscountess ASTOR

I hope very much that the Minister will accept this Amendment. I should like to remind him that there are 500,000 juveniles in unregulated trades; also that there are 200,000 in shops, and all hon. Members know that the hours of work in shops are 74 a week. [Interruption.] Hon. Members ought to know all about these things. I hope also that the Minister can assure us that, if he is not going to accept this Amendment, he and the Government will do something about these children in unregulated trades. Many of us would then support the Government with great fervour. I know that the Minister has got the idea at last, and that this Committee has got it at last, although at this time of night it is very difficult to get anything over to the Committee. I am not referring to anything except the hour. The Minister knows the appalling conditions of some of these children in unregulated trades. If hon. Members read the Fourth Report of the National Advisory Committee on Juvenile Employment they will agree that it is our duty as a legislature to do something to protect the most unprotected of all workers in this country, particularly as they belong to the poorest parents. Out of 50,000 errand boys in London between the ages of 14 and 18, only 25 per cent. have any chance of getting any time off to play or to get instruction. That is only one case, and I could give the Minister thousands.

10.56 p.m.


I might remind my Noble Friend that the point is not with regard to unregulated workers, but uninsured workers.

Viscountess ASTOR

The unregulated are not insured.


I want to say clearly that it is the intention of the Government at once to make regulations to deal with the insured class. We shall make regulations for the uninsured class as soon as we can. The regulations for the insured persons present no difficulty, and we can make them at once, because there are books which enable us to trace them and to deal with them. It is not our intention that the uninsured boys and girls who have no books should slip through our hands and not be subject to the requirement to attend courses of instruction. We shall, before the regulations are made, take every possible precaution through school attendance officers and others, to see that they, too, are subject to the requirement. But I cannot say at the moment that regulations in respect of them will be made at the same time as regulations for the insured boys and girls, because the effect of that might be to hang up for a considerable period that which I want to do at once, namely, to make regulations for the insured boys and girls. With that assurance, I hope that my hon. Friend will not press the Amendment.

10.58 p.m.


In dealing with the regulations to be made under Clause 11 the Minister gave an undertaking that he would consider the possibility of introducing a provision in the Report stage whereby they should not have effect until approved by the House. Will that apply to the regulations under this Clause?


The answer is in the negative.

10.59 p.m.


This issue raises other issues as well, and I wish there were time to debate them. This issue cannot be taken by itself, but must be co-related to the Bill so far as it deals with juveniles. Under a certain Clause of the Bill the Government have taken power to punish parents and the children if the latter do not attend these courses, not only by withholding their benefit, but by making it a penal offence. If we had time to debate this Clause, we would show that it must be viewed with great suspicion, and I wish the Minister had time to tell us what is the penal offence if a boy refuses to attend and what is the nature of the penalty. My hon. Friend and I intend to divide against the Clause.

It being Eleven of the clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, pursuant to the Order of the House of 19th December, to put forthwith the Question on the Amendment already proposed from the Chair.

The CHAIRMAN then proceeded successively to put forthwith the Questions on any Amendments moved by the Government of which Notice had been given and the Question necessary to dispose of the business to be concluded at Eleven of the Clock at this day's Sitting.

Amendments made: In page 14, line 4, leave out from "employers," to "any," in line 5, and insert "when."

In line 8, at the end, add: leaves their employment to give notice thereof to the Minister in the prescribed manner."—[Sir H. Betterton.]

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 307; Noes, 40.

Division No. 90.] AYES. [11.1 p.m.
Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.) Drewe, Cedric Jesson, Major Thomas E.
Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G. Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Joel, Dudley J. Barnato
Albery, Irving James Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Johnston, J. W. (Clackmannan)
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd.) Dunglass, Lord Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Allen, William (Stoke-on-Trent) Eastwood, John Francis Ker, J Campbell
Applin, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K. Edmondson, Major A. J. Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)
Apsley, Lord Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey Kerr, Hamilton W.
Aske, Sir Robert William Elmley, Viscount Knight. Holford
Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover) Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Emrys-Evans, P. V. Latham, Sir Herbert Paul
Bailey, Eric Alfred George Entwistle, Cyril Fullard Law, Sir Alfred
Baillie, Sir Adrian W. M. Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool) Law, Richard K. (Hull. S. W.)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.) Leckie, J. A.
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Lees-Jones, John
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Evans, Capt. Ernest (Welsh Univ.) Levy, Thomas
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Everard, W. Lindsay Lewis, Oswald
Barrie, Sir Charles Coupar Fermoy, Lord Lindsay, Noel Ker
Bateman, A. L. Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Liewellin, Major John J.
Beaumont, Hon. R.E.B. (Portsm'th, C.) Flint, Abraham John Locker- Lampson, Rt. Hn. G. (Wd. Gr'n)
Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B. Fox, Sir Gifford Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)
Boothby, Robert John Graham Fraser, Captain Ian Loder, Captain J. de Vere
Borodale, Viscount Fuller, Captain A. G. Lovat-Fraser, James Alexander
Bossom, A: C. Ganzoni, Sir John Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.
Boulton, W. W. Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton Mabane, William
Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton Gillett, Sir George Masterman MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Gluckstein, Louis Halle MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Bracken, Brendan Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C. McCorquodale, M. S.
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Goff, Sir Park MacDonald, Rt. Hon. J. R. (Seaham)
Broadbent, Colonel John Gower, Sir Robert MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham) Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Macdonald, Sir Murdoch (Inverness)
Brown, Ernest (Leith) Graves, Marjorie McKie, John Hamilton
Burghley, Lord Greene, William P. C. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)
Burgin, Dr. Edward Leslie Griffith, F. Kingsley (Middlesbro', W.) Macmillan, Maurice Harold
Burnett, John George Grimston, R. V. Macquisten, Frederick Alexander
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Gritten, W. G. Howard Maitland, Adam
Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly) Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.
Campbell, Vice-Admiral G. (Burnley) Guinness, Thomas L. E. B. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Gunston, Captain D. W. Marsden, Commander Arthur
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Guy, J. C. Morrison Martin, Thomas B.
Carver, Major William H. Hamilton, Sir George (Ilford) Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.)
Castlereagh, Viscount Hammersley, Samuel S. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Hanbury, Cecil Meller, Sir Richard James
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Hanley, Dennis A. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston) Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry Milne, Charles
Chapman, Col. R. (Houghton-le-Spring) Harris, Sir Percy Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chlsw'k)
Clarke, Frank Hartland, George A. Mitcheson, G. G.
Clarry, Reginald George Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes) Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres
Colfox, Major William Philip Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)
Colman, N. C. D. Haslam, Sir John (Bolton) Moreing, Adrian C.
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Headiam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M. Morgan, Robert H.
Conant, R. J. E. Hellgers, Captain F. F. A. Morris, John Patrick (Salford, N.)
Cook, Thomas A. Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsford) Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)
Cooke, Douglas Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P. Moss, Captain H. J.
Cooper, A. Duff Hepworth, Joseph Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.
Copeland, Ida Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Munro, Patrick
Cranborne, Viscount Holdsworth, Herbert Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.
Craven-Ellis, William Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston) Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Hornby, Frank Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid
Crooke, J. Smedley Horobin, Ian M. North, Edward T.
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Horsbrugh, Florence Nunn, William
Croom-Johnson, R. P. Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. O'Donovan, Dr. William James
Cross, R. H. Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.) O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport) Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.
Culverwell, Cyril Tom Hume, Sir George Hopwood Patrick, Colin M.
Curry, A. C. Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg) Peake, Captain Osbert
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Hurd, Sir Percy Pearson, William G.
Dawson, Sir Philip James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Peat, Charles U.
Dickle, John P. Jamieson, Douglas Penny, Sir George
Donner, P. W. Janner, Barnett Perkins, Walter R. D.
Petherick, M. Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D. Thompson, Sir Luke
Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n) Savory, Samuel Servington Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Pickford, Hon. Mary Ada Salley, Harry R. Thorp, Linton Theodore
Pike, Cecil F Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Powell, Lieut.-Col. Evelyn G. H. Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar) Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)
Pownall, Sir Assheton Shepperson, Sir Ernest W. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Procter, Major Henry Adam Shute, Colonel J. J. Train, John
Pybus, Sir Percy John Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich) Tree, Ronald
Radford, E. A. Smith, Sir J. Walker (Barrow-In-F.) Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement
Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.) Turton, Robert Hugh
Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Somerset, Thomas Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Somervell, Sir Donald Wallace, John (Dunfermline)
Ramsbotham, Herwald Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor) Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Rathbone, Eleanor Soper, Richard Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Rea, Walter Russell Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Reid, Capt. A. Cunningham- Southby, Commander Archibald R. J. Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour
Reid, David D. (County Down) Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L. Wells, Sydney Richard
Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Spencer, Captain Richard A. Weymouth, Viscount
Reid, William Allan (Derby) Spens, William Patrick White, Henry Graham
Remer, John R Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Renwick, Major Gustav A. Stanley, Hon. O. F. G. (Westmorland) Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U. Steel-Maitland. Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Rickards, George William Stevenson, James Wills, Wilfrid D.
Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) Stewart, J. H. (Fife, E.) Wilson, Lt.-Col. Sir Arnold (Hertf'd)
Roberts, Sir Samuel (Ecclesall) Stones, James Wilson, G. H. A. (Cambridge U.)
Ross, Ronald D. Storey, Samuel Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge) Stourton, Hon. John J. Wise, Alfred R.
Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A. Strauss, Edward A. Womersley, Walter James
Runge, Norah Cecil Stuart, Hon. J. (Moray and Nairn) Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)
Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffleld, B'tside) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l) Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
Salmon, Sir Isidore Sutcliffe, Harold and Lord Erskine.
Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart Thomas, James P. L (Hereford)
Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Mander, Geoffrey le M.
Attlee, Clement Richard Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Maxton, James
Banfield, John William Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool) Milner, Major James
Batey, Joseph Groves, Thomas E. Owen, Major Goronwy
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Grundy, Thomas W. Paling, Wilfred
Buchanan, George Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Parkinson, John Allen
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Kirkwood, David Pickering, Ernest H.
Cove, William G. Lawson, John James Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cripps, Sir Stafford Leonard, William Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Daggar, George Logan, David Gilbert Tinker, John Joseph
Edwards, Charles Lunn, William Wallhead, Richard C.
Foot, Dingle (Dundee) McEntee, Valentine L. Williams, David (Swansea, East)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Maclean, Neil (Glasgow, Govan)
Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton) Mainwaring, William Henry TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. G. Macdonald and Mr. John.

The CHAIRMAN then left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.

The remaining Orders were read, and postponed.

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