HC Deb 27 March 1934 vol 287 cc1786-7
7. Lieut.-Colonel MOORE

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many education authorities in Scotland have applied under the Employment of Children Act for an exemption from school for a week or a fortnight for the sons of shepherds to assist their fathers during the lambing season; and what has been the response to such requests?


I assume that my hon. and gallant Friend refers to exemptions granted by education authorities to individual pupils under the provisions of Section 3 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1901. On that assumption seven exemptions of the type referred to in the question have been applied for this year and none of them has been refused.


Will the hon. Gentleman keep his eye on this business, and see that this is not a case of getting cheap labour and of employing these children as shepherds instead of getting the work done in the ordinary way?


I think that matter is being kept under observation.


Will the hon. Gentleman be careful to see that these children do not suffer in their education by taking on employment of this kind when there are so many young fellows already unemployed?


Yes, Sir, that is certainly so, but I think the facts show that there have been a very small number of requests of this sort so far as this year is concerned.