§ 4.15 p.m.
§ Mr. LOGAN
I beg to move, in page 13, to leave out lines 10 to 15.
The lines which I desire omitted are :For the purposes of this sub-section and of any such proceedings as aforesaid, a person who, by reason of his misbehaviour while attending at any course, has been required to discontinue his attendance thereat for any period, shall be deemed to have failed without unavoidable cause, to attend at that course.In connection with these words, I should like to draw the attention of the House to the words of Sub-section (2) of this Clause :If any person whose attendance at an authorised course has been required by the Minister under this section fails, except by reason of sickness or other unavoidable cause, to attend at that course, proceedings may be taken by or on behalf of the Ministerunder Sections 45 and 78 of the Education Act according to the age of the person. Anyone familiar with those Acts knows that if a person under 16 is brought before a magistrate, the court has power to deal with him in regard to school attendance, and there can be a committal. In this Clause, the Minister is taking power to deal with those in attendance at training centres in the same way as school children 944 are dealt with. In regard to those under 16, a fine not exceeding 20s. can be imposed for the first offence, and after that a boy can be sent to an industrial school. I do not suppose hon. Members wish our industrial schools to be filled, through this provision in the Unemployment Bill, with boys up to 18 years of age. I find that a penalty of 5s. can be imposed under this Bill for the first offence, and for the second offence a penalty up to 40s. There is a remarkable and subtle point in regard to the Clause, that if a person should, by connivance with a boy, decide that the boy should leave a training centre, his parents can be penalised to the extent of £5. Under the Education Act, the education authority can take proceedings only with the sanction of the Minister.
If the words I am proposing to leave out are not omitted, the Minister will have power, if a young man gives dissatisfaction at a centre, to penalise him and send him away from the centre; then, although the Minister has taken the young man away from the centre, he can be "deemed to have failed without unavoidable cause to attend." In other words, if a boy should for any reason fail to comply with the regulations that may be laid down, he can be debarred from attendance at a centre, and be penalised because he will be "deemed to have failed without unavoidable cause to attend." This appears to me to be a double-edged weapon. I am not in agreement with the setting up of training centres, for I cannot see what training you can give to a youth of 18 which will fit him for any occupation. What is required is education, and training should come through education. I agree, however, that in a training centre some good may be done to one or two, and, perhaps, a dozen boys. I do not believe in the penalty, and I hope that the Minister will delete it, and bring in something more suitable which will not tend to fill our courts with youths of 17 and 18. I do not think that is what is intended by the Government in setting up training centres for young people.
§ 4.24 p.m.
§ Mr. BANFIELD
I beg to second the Amendment.
These words are far too wide for the purpose for which, apparently, they are inserted. I take it that they are inserted to enable some kind of discipline 945 to be observed in the training centres. If the words are kept in the Bill, the possibilities are that in certain circumstances the person concerned and his parents may be harshly punished. What constitutes misbehaviour raises a rather complicated question. The misbehaviour may arise simply through the high spirits of boys between 16 and 18, which in itself is not of a criminal nature, but is due merely to the natural waywardness of the ordinary youth. There may be a possibility that the right type of teacher might not be employed, and he might require the discontinuance of a boy if he considered he had misbehaved, and he may be condemned because he has brought himself within Sub-section (2) of the Clause. That throws the young man back in the same position as if he were a child attending school who had played truant or had not put in a certain number of attendances. He is liable to be taken to a police court, or sent away to an industrial school or to a place of detention. That would be altogether contrary to the intentions of the Government and, I am sure, to the intentions of the House. I hope that the Minister will give us some assurances about the possible construction and use of these words. It would help us if he told us precisely where he expects these powers will eventually lead him. Very great injustice may be done, and awkward cases will arise which will arouse strong feeling and agitation, and may, in some measure, tend to wreck the whole system of training centres.
§ 4.27 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I wish to ask for your guidance, Mr. Speaker. The Subsection refers to the Education Act, 1921, but that Act is a different Act from that which applies to Scotland. Clause 33 deals with the application of this Clause and mentions certain Scottish Acts, and I am wondering whether I should be in order to discuss its application to Scotland.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
This Sub-section refers only to one Act, but it applies to two Acts in Scotland. One is the Day Industrial Schools Act, 1893, and the other is the Education (Scotland) Act 946 which was passed to fit alongside the other Act in 1918. I do not want to be critical of the Scottish Office, but I am sorry that no representative of that office is here, because the hon. Member for the Scotland Division (Mr. Logan) has raised a genuine point, and it is much worse in Scotland under the Day Industrial Schools Act. More drastic powers have been taken in England than in Scotland, and I am sure that if the House were aware of the position they would not agree to this Clause so easily.
§ Mr. JAMES REID
I and some of my hon. Friends put down Amendments to Clause 33 in Committee. There was not time to discuss them, but the Scottish Office did accept a modification of what was originally proposed. What appears in the Report stage is a considerable modification of what was in the original Bill.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
That does not alter the fact that Clause 33, which is the Clause affecting Scotland, says :in the case of a person who has not attained the age of sixteen years, proceedings may be taken by or on behalf of the Minister under section four of the Day Industrial Schools (Scotland) Act, 1893 (notwithstanding that such person may be over the age at which an order could otherwise be made under that section)"…It then goes on to say :provided that it shall not be competent in any proceedings under this sub-section to pronounce a sentence of imprisonment.That is a modification, but the penalties are more severe. A boy of 18 or of 17 is a man for Army purposes. When a boy joins the Army at the age of 17 the Army authorities say that for effective purposes he is a man. He can join at 17, and they can refuse to release him.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
My point is that they treat him as if he is competent to give his word at 17. Here is a boy of 17, for whom the parent is responsible, and he can be fined. A fine means imprisonment in a great number of cases among poor people. In many cases it is worse than imprisonment. A good number of the Glasgow magistrates are not enforcing fines as a penalty. They are saying that if the case is not bad enough for imprisonment, they will let people off.
§ 4.33 p.m.
§ Lord EUSTACE PERCY
On a point of Order. I would submit that this is rather an inconvenient moment to discuss the point which the hon. Member is raising, because Sub-section (2) which we are now discussing does not apply to Scotland. Therefore, no Amendment that we make in the Sub-section can possibly remedy the complaints that are now being made by the hon. Member. I would suggest that the convenient time to raise his point, especially as there is no representative of the Scottish Office present, would be on an Amendment to Clause 33.
§ Mr. SPEAKER
I can understand that it might be more relevant to discuss this particular question on Clause 33, but on looking at the Amendments I find that the only Amendment to Clause 33 is one by the Scottish Office, which says that school attendance does not necessarily mean efficient education. Therefore, I could not allow any general discussion of the question now before the House upon that particular Amendment. On Report, unless there is an Amendment down, you cannot discuss what is in the Clause.
§ Lord E. PERCY
Without wanting to prevent the hon. Member from raising any point, is it desirable that because an hon. Member has not' put down an Amendment in the right place he should be able to discuss the whole question on a Clause which has no relevance to the point he is raising?
§ 4.35 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
Before I started, I raised a point of Order. I did not ask for the Noble Lord's Ruling; I asked for the Ruling of a greater man than the Noble Lord before I said a sentence. I do not know whether the Noble Lord was in the House at the time.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I asked for Mr. Speaker's Ruling because I knew that I was on doubtful ground. Mr. Speaker said I was perfectly entitled to go on. With all due respect to the Noble Lord, I am still subject to the Ruling of Mr. Speaker. I apologise to the Noble Lord, but that is the fact. My point is, that whether in England or Scotland the same principle is involved, a boy can be fined. In my view, a fine means imprisonment, 948 because poor people cannot pay a fine. In the case of poor people, a fine is a worse form of punishment than a small sentence would be. They can get the small sentence out of the way, but a fine hangs over their heads for a long time. They have not the money. The idea of fining as a punishment is entirely wrong, and the Minister ought not to persist in it. I hope that he will see his way to drop the idea of fines. I will not pursue the Scottish point too much, but I trust that some modification will be made.
§ 4.37 p.m.
§ Mr. COVE
I do not apologise for intervening, because this is a most important question from the point of view of the successful running of the junior instruction centres. I have had the privilege of discussing this matter with a number of people engaged in work at the junior instruction centres. It is a question on which there is difference of opinion. On the whole, there is a feeling among the principals of these institutions that they do not desire too drastic powers, for the reason that if you make the powers too drastic, the heads of the centres may be afraid to use them. There may be a feeling that the penalty is so painful that if the head of a junior instruction centre had to deal with a lad who was difficult to handle, he would be afraid to exercise disciplinary measures, simply because the penalties were so heavy in front of the child. From that point of view, there is a danger that by making the penalty too severe it will not have the disciplinary effect that a more moderate penalty would have.
I admit that in the junior instruction centres it will be necessary to have some form of discipline, some form of penalty for misbehaviour, but if the sentence is too harsh, the danger is that the discipline will not be exercised. I hope that the Minister will realise there is that difficulty. I have met some of the most successful heads of junior instruction centres, and they are not keen on having powers of discipline of a penal character. They say that if the man or woman selected is competent for the job, the difficulty of discipline largely disappears. I have been assured on that point on more than one occasion. I have heard 949 speeches made in the conferences of these people that I have attended, and I have heard them strenuously objecting to any powers of discipline of this penalising nature being put into their hands. They say : "Appoint the right person, get the right man, and then the problem of discipline becomes a very small one." It is not a great tribute to these people to say that disciplinary powers of the kind proposed are necessary over a very wide field.
The success of the junior instruction centres will depend largely upon the appeal that is made by the centres, upon the atmosphere of the centres, and I am assured that if the right person is appointed the difficulties will be very small. I should like the Minister to be very careful to see whether it is necessary that these particular powers should be given. What exactly is the procedure that will be adopted in order to safeguard the interests of the children who go to the centres? As I understand it—I may be wrong—if a boy is excluded from a centre for a week because of mis-behaviour, he can be penalised to the extent of one day's loss of benefit, if he is receiving benefit. What will be the position under the Act so far as benefit is concerned for youths who are over 16 years of age? I should like to have a statement as to the machinery that will be adopted in order to secure not only that the discipline of the centre is all right, but to secure that the interests of the youths attending the centres are secured. It is necessary that we should have that information, and then we shall have a clearer view as to the intention of the Government. We want for the running of these centres not a maximum amount of disciplinary powers but a maximum amount of attraction and goodwill that will get children into them, and that we should run them on more or less a club kind of basis, with occupations of various kinds in which the children are really interested. That is not so easily supplied as would appear from some of the speeches that we have heard.
§ 4.45 p.m.
§ Sir P. HARRIS
I have two questions to ask. What is the existing law for the existing institutions? We are not making a new experiment; we have junior instruction courses actually running all over the country. In the second place, 950 how far are penalties of this character found necessary in order to enforce discipline? I know that once the courses are set running and in going order, discipline is not difficult to maintain, but I understand that in some cases at any rate in the initial stages, when the courses are new, when the atmosphere has to be created, and the idea is novel, some difficulties arise. I want the Minister to make it quite clear whether, under the existing law, if a young person fails to attend a course, he or she loses benefit.
§ 4.46 p.m.
The object of inserting these particular lines in the Bill was in order that the authorities might be provided with an ultimate sanction in the case of persons who, as the result of gross misbehaviour, have made it impossible that they should be kept in the class. I hope the House will realise that conditions in the new centres will be very different from those in the existing centres, because in the existing centres—and this really answers the question of the hon. Member for South-West Bethnal Green (Sir P. Harris)—the overwhelming majority of those attending attend as a condition of receiving benefit. In future a very large number, the overwhelming majority, will be attending without receiving benefit. There will be those between 14 and 16, in respect of whom benefit is not payable, and there will be a certain number between 16 and 18 who are not entitled to benefit. Therefore, we are dealing with a different type of person. Under the existing rules it is possible to deprive a child of benefit, but even this in exceptional cases has proved insufficient, and accounts of that will be found in the Royal Commission's Report. Therefore, it was necessary to find some other sanction.
In the normal course of things, in the existing elementary schools, I imagine that the ultimate sanction, apart from the influence of the headmaster, which I quite admit is extremely important, is some form of corporal punishment. It is clear that we cannot have corporal punishment in the junior instruction centres for those between 16 and 18, and all that we have done is merely to continue the penalties, such as they are, that have been in existence for the past 15 years in respect of school attendance. 951 They are not new penalties. They are not a new terror that is being invented in this Bill, but penalties that have been in existence for a long period in respect of school attendance. I would add that the child or a parent has to appear before the court, which has to be satisfied that the action of the superintendent of the junior instruction centre—in the case of a child below 16, the parent is responsible, and in the case of one over 16 the juvenile incurs the penalty—in excluding the boy was justified by the nature of the misbehaviour of which he was guilty. Therefore, I think the penalties are not excessive by any means in the circumstances, and they are the least we could have devised. They are nothing new; they have been in existence for at least 15 years. In respect of those between 16 and 18, we are merely adapting the penalties that have been in existence with regard to day continuation classes, which were, I believe, enforced in the early days after the War and which have been in existence and are used to this day, I think, in Rugby.
§ 4.50 p.m.
§ Mr. LAWSON
The House must have felt obliged to my hon. Friend who drew attention to the fact that what was going to happen was that we were going to apply the law as to school attendance to these boys, and that, as the hon. Gentleman has admitted, carries ultimate sanctions, which means appearing before a magistrate and perhaps being fined, with the possibility of an industrial school. That means that the penalties applying to non-attendance at school are to apply to these boys who, as the Parliamentary Secretary has pointed out, in the case of those from 14 to 16, receive no unemployment benefit. They apply everything as far as ordinary school attendance is concerned, and they extend the penalties, but they do not extend the school age so that you can have a regular educational system. If there is anything shown up, it is the admission of the Parliamentary Secretary in reference to this Amendment. I do not think I have exaggerated the penalties, and the Parliamentary Secretary has admitted that there is no benefit between 14 and 16, that the penalties for non-attendance are all going to apply, and yet they have not got the benefit of 952 the extension of the school age with a regular curriculum and all that that stands for.
I am one of those who never hesitated about the value of juvenile instruction centres. The only thing that could be said for them was, in the first place, that the boys were going to get a certain amount of benefit, as they do now in the upper reaches, and in the second place that they were treated on an altogether different basis from that obtaining in school. There was very little to be said for them, but there is nothing to be said for the system which gives all the discipline and all the penalties of school age, with the possibility of sending a boy ultimately to the industrial school, and yet deprives him of all the value of a regular education such as an extended school age would give. I wonder really what hon. Members behind the Government will say about this now that we have the issues quite clear. We cannot on this Amendment argue the case for extending the school age, but if ever it was given point, it certainly has been by the answer of the Parliamentary Secretary just now.
§ 4.54 p.m.
§ Mr. ANEURIN BEVAN
The reason for the Amendment is that the House is asked to do one of the most astonishing things it could be asked to do. We are asked to decide the nature of the punishment, but we do not know what the crime is going to be. Whenever we lay down penal codes and decide the punishment which is to be meted out to any citizen, we usually know the crime beforehand, but in this case we know nothing about it. The schools have not been established. The schools will be established by the Ministry of Labour in accordance largely with decisions made by the Ministry of Labour, and they may be entirely unattractive to the boys. We in this House shall have very little control over these schools. We have not decided what sort of schools they are to be, we have not decided what the curriculum shall be, we have not even decided how the teaching staff is to be recruited, and we do not know what sort of buildings they will be. We know nothing at all about the sort of schools to which these lads are to be exposed. All we know is that they are to be punished if they do 953 not attend them. That is an astonishing thing to be asked to decide. The Parliamentary Secretary tried to make an analogy of the existing educational system, but there is no analogy. We know what the school is there.
§ Mr. BEVAN
The Noble Lord shakes his head, but we do know now, and indeed we have much more control over it than we have over this sort of school, which is to be established very largely under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour. We have control through the local authority and through this House over the existing schools, and we have laid down the sort of punishment to be meted out to boys if they do not attend, but we are asked to buy, as it were, a pig in a poke. We are laying down these penalties before we know anything at all about the nature of the instruction to be given, and I suggest that it will be time enough for us to embark upon legislation of this kind after we know the sort of instruction to be given to these boys. These schools, as an hon. Friend reminds me, may be extremely dingy. As a matter of fact, I could almost prophesy that they will be dingy, because everybody knows that this legislation is of a purely temporary kind, in order to enable the Government to ward off the claim for raising the school leaving age.
We understand that the large number of juveniles thrown on the unemployment market will be diminished in a few years time. Juvenile unemployment, I understand, is expected to be much less, so that what we are going to have in the meantime is a lot of squalid makeshifts that will not be assimilated into the main educational structure of the country, that
§ will be superimposed upon it, miserable excrescences on the system, and because we know that these schools will be so unattractive, we have to prepare harsh penalties for the boys beforehand. When it comes to what is claimed to be the beneficial aspect of the Bill, we are not allowed to discuss the details at all, but when it comes to imposing punishments for boys, we are to accept full responsibility. Why did not the Minister have the courage to do both? Why does he ask us to accept responsibility for giving him power to pnnish crimes that have not yet been defined, in circumstances quite unknown, and indeed in circumstances in which lads might be justified in refusing to attend school?
§ This is just another feature of a half-baked legislation. The Minister himself does not known what the schools will be like, and, as a matter of fact, he does not know where they are going to be, because they are not going to be established if there is not a sufficiently large number of juvenile unemployed in the area. Obviously this is not the sort of power that we ought to give the Government in these circumstances, and all those who have the future of legislation at heart and who really desire to make our educational system attractive to the young and an example to other nations of the world ought not to allow the Minister to take powers of this description, in the absence of any knowledge of the nature of the crime to be committed and the sort of educational establishments which will be set up.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ The House divided : Ayes, 303; Noes, 39.957
|Division No. 246.]||AYES.||[5.0 p.m.|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)|
|Adams. Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Caporn, Arthur Cecil|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Bernays, Robert||Carver, Major William H.|
|Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Llverp'l, W.)||Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B||Castlereagh, Viscount|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Bllndell, James||Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Boulton, W. W.||Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)|
|Applln, Lieut.-Col. Reginald V. K.||Broadbent, Colonel John||Chamberlain. Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'I'd., Hexham)||Christie, James Archibald|
|Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Clarke, Frank|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks., Newb'y)||Clarry, Reginald George|
|Bailey, Erie Alfred George||Browne, Captain A. C.||Clayton, Sir Christopher|
|Baldwin-Webb. Colonel J.||Buchan, John||Clydesdale, Marquess of|
|Balnlel, Lord||Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Cobb, Sir Cyril|
|Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell||Burnett, John George||Colfox, Major William Philip|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey|
|Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)||Rickards, George William|
|Cook, Thomas A.||James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.||Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)|
|Cooke, Douglas||Jesson, Major Thomas E.||Ropner, Colonel L.|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato||Rosbotham, Sir Thomas|
|Copeland, Ida||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)||Ross, Ronald D.|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)||Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Kerr, Hamilton W.||Rothschild, James A. de|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger||Ruggles-Brise, Colonel E. A.|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton||Runge, Norah Cecil|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Law, Sir Alfred||Russell, Hemer Field (Sheffield, B'tslde)|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Leckls, J. A,||Russell, R. J. (Eddisbury)|
|Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovll)||Leech, Dr. J. W.||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)|
|Denman. Hon. R. D.||Leighton, Major B. E. P.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)|
|Denville, Alfred||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.||Salmon, Sir Isldore|
|Despencer-Roberlson, Major J. A. F.||Levy, Thomas||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)|
|Dickie. John P.||Lewis, Oswald||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart|
|Dower, Captain A. V. G.||Llddall, Walter S.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard|
|Drewe, Cedric||Lindsay, Noet Ker||Savery, Samuel Servington|
|Duckworth, George A. V.||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G.(Wd. G'n)||Selley, Harry R.|
|Duggan, Hubert John||Loftus, Pierce C.||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.|
|Dunglass, Lord||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)|
|Eady, George H.||Lyons, Abraham Montagu||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.|
|Edmondson, Major A. J.||Mabane, William||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)|
|Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)||Smith, Bracewell (Dulwich)|
|Elmley, Viscount||McConnell, Sir Joseph||Smith, R. W. (Aberd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)|
|Emrys-Evans, P. V.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)||Smlthers, Waldron|
|Entwlstle, Cyril Fullard||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.||Somervell, Sir Donald|
|Erskine-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||McKle, John Hamilton||Somervllle, Annesley A. (Windsor)|
|Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Maclay, Hon. Joseph Paton||Soper, Richard|
|Evans, R. T. (Carmarthen)||McLean, Major Sir Alan||Sotheron-Estcourt, Captain T. E.|
|Everard, W. Lindsay||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.|
|Flint, Abraham John||Magnay, Thomas||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.|
|Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Maitland, Adam||Spencer, Captain Richard A.|
|Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Mander, Geoffrey le M.||Spens, William Patrick|
|Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Mannlngham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)|
|Fox, Sir Glfford||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.||Steel-Maltiand, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur|
|Fraser, Captain Ian||Marsden, Commander Arthur||Stevenson, James|
|Fremantle, Sir Francis||Mason, David M. (Edinburgh, E.)||Stones, James|
|Fuller, Captain A. G.||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John||Strauss, Edward A.|
|Galbralth, James Francis Wallace||Meller, Sir Richard James||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Ganzonl, Sir John||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-|
|Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F|
|Glossop, C. W. H.||Milne, Charles||Sutcllffe, Harold|
|Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham)||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Mitcheson, G. G.||Templeton, William P.|
|Goff, Sir Park||Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Morris, Owen Temple (Cardiff, E.)||Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)|
|Granville, Edgar||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H (Denbigh)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Griffith, F. Klngsley (Mlddlesbro', W.)||Morrison, William Shepherd||Todd, Capt. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)|
|Grigg, Sir Edward||Moss, Captain H. J.||Todd, A. L. S. (Klngswlnford)|
|Grimston. R. V.||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Gritten, W. G. Howard||Munro, Patrick||Train, John|
|Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Tree, Ronald|
|Gunston, Captain D. W.||Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'Id)||Tryon, Rt. Hon. George Clement|
|Guy, J. C. Morrison||Normand, Rt. Hon. Wllfrid||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||North, Edward T.||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Hales, Harold K.||Nunn, William||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Hamllton, Sir George (llford)||Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William G. A.||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Hamilton, Sir R. W. (Orkney & Z'tl'nd)||Palmer, Francis Noel||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Hanbury, Cecll||Patrick, Colin M.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Peake, Captain Osbert||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Harris, Sir Percy||Percy, Lord Eustace||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Hartington, Marquess of||Perkins, Walter R. D.||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kennlngt'n)||Petherick, M.||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, B'nstapte)||Weymouth, Viscount|
|Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Pike, Cecil F.||White, Henry Graham|
|Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Potter, John||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Procter, Major Henry Adam||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Henderson, Sir Vivian L. (Chelmsf'd)||Pybus, Sir Percy John||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P||Radford, E. A.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)|
|Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Raikes, Henry V. A. M.||Wills, Wllfrid D.|
|Holdsworth, Herbert||Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Ramsay T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Hore-Belisha, Leslie||Ramsbotham, Herwald||Womersley, Walter James|
|Hornby, Frank||Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Howard, Tom Forrest||Rathbone, Eleanor||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.||Ray, Sir William||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Hudson, Robert Spear (Southport)||Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Young, Ernest J. (Middlesbrough, E.)|
|Hume, Sir George Hopwood||Reid, David D. (County Down)|
|Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)||Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Hurd, Sir Percy||Remer, John R.||Captain Austin Hudson and Lord Erskine.|
|Iveagh, Countess of||Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.|
|Adams, D. M. (Poplar, South)||Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Malnwarlng, William Henry|
|Banfield, John William||Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Maxton, James|
|Batey, Joseph||Groves, Thomas E.||Owen, Major Goronwy|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Grundy, Thomas W.||Salter, Dr. Alfred|
|Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil)||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Buchanan, George||Hicks, Ernest George||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Cape, Thomas||John, William||West, F. R.|
|Cocke, Frederick Seymour||Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Cove, William G.||Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Cripps, Sir Stafford||Lawson, John James||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Daggar, George||Leonard, William||Wilmot, John|
|Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)||Logan, David Gilbert|
|Edwards, Charles||McEntee, Valentine L.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke)||McGovern, John||Mr. C. Macdonald and Mr. D. Graham.|
§ 5.11 p.m.
§ Mr. LEONARD
I beg to move, in page 13, line 27, after "assessors," to insert : "consisting as to one-half of the members thereof of representatives of the local education authority and as to the other half of representatives of organisations of workers."
This Clause gives the Minister power to require the attendance of a person under 18 at authorised courses, and Sub-section (4), the Sub-section to which the Amendment refers, reads :The regulations made by the Minister under this section may make provision for the establishment of boards of assessors for the purpose of reporting to him as to the advisability of requiring persons to attend at an authorised course.I look upon this as a matter of some moment, because of the possibilities of mistake in direction and guidance that may occur and, while I am prepared to agree that the intention of the Minister and everyone having the well-being of the persons concerned at heart is exactly the same, it is permissible to disagree as to methods. There are three aspects of Clause 15 which, I think, allow us to make the suggestion put forward. For instance, the attendance of a person may be required at any authorised course he may reasonably be expected to attend. What is reasonable for a person to attend contains many factors, and I think that aspect of the Clause requires guidance of a specialised and detailed character. The Clause makes it clear that proceedings can be taken if a person fails to attend an authorised course which has been deemed reasonable for him to attend, and his failure may be the basis of proceedings against him. That also introduces the question of suitability, and it may be that the unsuitability of the course is responsible for the non-attendance.
Another aspect of the Clause concerns the question of misbehaviour. Mis-behaviour is to be deemed to be equal 958 to failure, but a person may be placed in circumstances that are entirely uncongenial and unsuitable to his make-up and impulses, and that may be a factor in creating a state of conditions within himself that may be responsible for making him what I will, for want of a better word, call for the moment "misbehave." These three aspects of the Bill itself, in my opinion, suggest possibilities of initial selection or guidance being wrong. The type of person who is to give the guidance is very important, and we suggest two sources from which such guidance should be given. The representative of the local education authority should be one of the sources from which the Minister should take guidance. An organisation responsible for the education of young persons should have at its disposal, on behalf of anyone needing scrutiny, some guidance as to his impulses and tendencies, a very important thing to have in mind when we are considering the activities and the destination of a person.
On the other hand we suggest that one section of the board of assessors should be drawn from representatives of working-class organisations. I think they will be specially suited to consider the physical requirements needed in a boy who is to be sent for a course of instruction. They will know the type of individual who will ultimately be a success or is likely to gain advantage from any course of instruction. The suitability of a man for any particular industry is now regarded as very important. There are many people receiving all the instruction possible but of a type entirely unsuited to benefit by it, and, in consequence, they spend very unhappy lives. If the boards of assessors are drawn from the sources we indicate, we think there will be as few mistakes as possible in that direction.
§ 5.17 p.m.
§ Mr. CHARLES BROWN
I beg to second the Amendment, which I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will see fit to accept. The Clause deals with a very important problem, but, in our view, only in a half-hearted way. Earlier this afternoon the Government showed signs of mending their ways, especially when they accepted the Amendment moved by my hon. Friend the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove); but, admitting that there is an important problem and that the Government think it necessary to compel people, under penalty, to attend these training centres, I wish to know to what extent it will be necessary to establish boards of assessors. Are they to be generally established, and will the greater portion of those who go to training centres be sent there by them? I know that the Minister will have power to send young people to these training centres without boards of assessors pronouncing any opinion at all, but I would like to know how far he intends to use boards of assessors. If it is intended that they shall have some voice in sending the greater proportion of young folk to training centres the constitution of these boards becomes a very important matter indeed. We have no information on that point at the moment, and perhaps the Parliamentary Secretary will tell us how he intends to constitute these boards.
I would like to emphasise the point made by the hon. Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Leonard) when he explained the details of the Amendment and urged that half the members of a board of assessors should be members of the local education authority and half representatives of workers' organisations. In that way we should get persons with wide knowledge and experience of the general conditions obtaining in an area, and well fitted to advise the Minister. I hope the Parliamentary Secretary will reply to what we ask, even though he does not accept our Amendment. I hope he will accept the Amendment because if he does not we shall have to force the issue to the Division Lobby.
§ 5.21 p.m.
The hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. C. Brown) said just now that the Clause dealt with this matter in a rather half-hearted manner. As 960 far as I can make out, the object of this Amendment is to secure that we shall be quarter-hearted. In order to allow further boys to escape, hon. Members wish, first, to abolish all the penalties for non-attendance, and then to set up a new type of assessors in order to increase the chances of boys getting a good excuse for non-attendance. We propose that a board of assessors shall normally consist of three persons. Boards will be set up in considerable numbers all over the country, in areas considerably smaller than the area of a county or a large borough. We anticipate drawing their members from the members of the existing Juvenile Advisory Committees in those areas at present administered by the Ministry of Labour, and from the Juvenile Employment Committees in those areas which are administered by local authorities. Hon. Members know that both those bodies are composed of representatives of local education authorities, of employers and of persons representing the workers.
We want to retain the discretion we are given by the Bill, because we have received representations from a certain number of local education authorities that they have what they call school attendance committees, composed of persons who are well acquainted with all the problems of school attendance, and we want to have discretion to appoint members of those school attendance committees—in certain cases the whole of the committee—as boards of assessors. If we accepted the Amendment we could not do that, because our discretion would be fettered. In view of the explanation I have given, that local education authorities and workers will, in the majority of cases, be represented on these boards of assessors, I hope hon. Members will not press their Amendment.
§ 5.24 p.m.
§ Mr. COVE
I do not think we can accept the hon. Gentleman's speech as a reason for withdrawing our Amendment. Listening to him, I came to the conclusion that the logical result of his speech should be, the acceptance of the Amendment; but after giving all the reasons why he should accept it he went off at a tangent, and said the Government could not agree to it for one special reason, and that was that certain education authorities happened to have comm.- 961 ittees dealing with school attendance. Really the Amendment helps the working of the scheme. The hon. Gentleman suggested that we were desirous of helping children to escape more easily, that all we wanted was to let the "kiddies" off. That is a slander on the very composition of the boards we suggest. The hon. Gentleman did not know, in his innocence, that he was really slandering members of education committees when he made a statement of that kind, because in our Amendment we suggest that responsible people like members of education committees should be on these boards of assessors. Surely the Parliamentary Secretary does not suggest that those who administer education on local authorities are not responsible people. Though it may be somewhat irrelevant, I would remind him that many of those people are of his own political complexion. Surely they are not the people who will make it easier for the children to escape attending junior instruction centres.
I do not suggest that; far be it from me to do so. I pointed out that that was the object of the Amendment and of the hon. Member for St. Rollox (Mr. Leonard), according to his speech.
§ Mr. COVE
Now the hon. Gentleman is trying to justify his attitude by what he supposes to be our intention. It is pure supposition on his part. He is always ready to believe that we on this side are evil people, that we have some wicked intent, whereas that suggestion applies more to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Labour than to innocent people such as we arc. If there is anybody who is Machiavellian in the House at the moment it is the Parliamentary Secretary. Anyhow, whatever our intentions, whatever our wicked designs, there is the constitution of the boards and the hon. Gentleman ought to look at this matter in an objective manner. We say, "Let the boards of assessors be composed of members of education committees." They will not let the children off too easily. They have experience in administering education affairs. Further, I wish to emphasise the point made by my Friend the hon. Member for Ebbw Vale (Mr. A. Bevan) that to a large extent these training centres will be new institutions. In large areas 962 in the country they will certainly be new, and the people there will have had no experience in running them. With a new administrative problem and when dealing with children who are going to new institutions, we need among; the assessors representatives of the working people, parents who understand the difficulties of children, and know something about the children. I should have thought that in the interests of the peaceful working of the scheme the Government would have accepted this Amendment.
I must be perfectly frank. I am beginning to be afraid that the spirit of driving youths into these centres is too much in evidence on the Government side. I have noticed a tendency this afternoon which has rather disturbed me. My experience, if I may be gracious for a moment, is that the Ministry of Labour have endeavoured to deal with the junior instruction centres in a very human and kindly way. I readily admit that they realise the difficulties of the problem, and have dealt with it on the whole in an excellent manner. The spirit has been the right one of enticing children into the junior instruction centres with the object of making it worth while for them to go there and receive instruction. This afternoon the Parliamentary Secretary has shown a different kind of outlook, and I am beginning to be afraid that with the powers that we are now giving him he is going to destroy the spirit which is behind the junior instruction centres. What a difference there is when the Minister of Labour is absent for five minutes from the Government Bench. When he is there, everything is all smiles and kindliness, and we realise what a jolly sort of fellow the Minister of Labour is.
§ Mr. COVE
I cannot discuss this matter without referring to the people who are to administer it. The Parliamentary Secretary is in a most unaccommodating mood. We have received an impression from him on the last Amendment which may be put in this way : "We are going to drive these children into the centres. We are going to penalise them." We now ask him, with regard to the boards 963 of assessors, for a constitution which will have, on the one side administrative experience, and on the other a closely intimate touch with the boys and girls and their homes and with the people who understand how those children live and what their difficulties are. We ask him to constitute boards of assessors of this kind, and I should have thought that he would have jumped at the opportunity and have accepted it.
We are suggesting an ideal board of assessors which would be fifty-fifty in administrative experience and in the human touch, but apparently the Minister is not prepared to meet the situation. He is simply saying, "I have my Bill before me and I have my majority, so what does it matter? I am going to drive the Bill through." When we make constructive suggestions, that is the attitude with which we are faced. The only answer to the adamant attitude of the Parliamentary Secretary is for us to take as many hon. Members as we can into the Lobby against him in order to register our protest against the provisions of the Bill and against his attitude in supporting his proposals.
§ 5.34 p.m.
§ Mr. GRAHAM WHITE
I generally find myself in complete agreement with the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) in regard to matters dealing with education, and also his attitude to the main provisions of this Bill, but, having heard the arguments which he has mustered in favour of this Amendment, I think there is less substance in them than in the arguments which he generally marshals in favour of anything which he commends to this House. The very characteristics which he envisages as necessary for the tribunal which is to consider these matters are just those which are par excellence possessed by the very authorities which are now dealing with them, and which the Minister has just told us are the authorities which it is desired to employ.
In a matter of this kind, whatever tribunals we set up, we are dealing with a very limited personnel, and the advisory bodies which deal with juvenile unemployment in the localities, whether they are under the Ministry of Labour or under the Board of Education, are those men 964 of good will and experience who have come forward and have been doing this work on those bodies. Organised labour, in such districts as have come within the range of my knowledge, is very fully represented, but a body consisting of the two elements mentioned in the Amendment would restrict the amount of good will. There is no provision in the Amendment for representatives of parents. Parents are represented at present, and this would therefore be a restrictive rather than an enlarging Amendment. On this occasion I cannot accompany the hon. Member for Aberavon into the Lobby, if he really proposes to go there.
§ 5.36 p.m.
§ Mr. EDWARD WILLIAMS
I am sorry that the Parliamentary Secretary has been unable to accept this Amendment. The operation of this Clause should not be under the purview of the Minister of Labour at all, because adolescents and young persons between the ages of 14 and 18 ought to come within the range of the Board of Education. The only reason why they are excluded, so far as I can see, is to evade something which should be done in order that those people might definitely come under the purview of the Minister of Labour. The Liberal party's representative does not agree with my hon. Friend the Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove), and for that I am sorry. I hope that the hon. Member for East Birkenhead (Mr. G. White) appreciates the significant point that although in Scotland and on the northeast coast people have been sufficiently sensible to elect Labour councils, 75 per cent. of the areas are still dominated by Tories and others. By this Amendment we are endeavouring to ensure that people shall have protection. In my constituency we dominate all the committees. We have a majority upon the Glamorganshire County Council and in all the urban areas, and the statement made by the Parliamentary Secretary will suit us very well. There are, however, areas in this country where the political predilection of Tories and others predominate, and we want to make sure that parents whose political views may be distinctly opposed to those of the dominating parties will have an opportunity of contributing to the making of the reports and that they shall be appointed assessors as well as the persons who may be nominated by 965 the Minister and the local education committees. In that way we shall have a fair representation of the viewpoint that may be held by those people.
I hope that the Parliamentary Secretary will appreciate that there are areas in the country where a type of mind may dominate the education committees that does not represent a substantial majority of the people in the areas. The education committee in any area may have a majority of landlords, and one would expect to see what is known as the squire psychology dominate in the area. What chance is there that the poor working-man will have any defence whatsoever, and what type of report does the Minister hope to have, unless he is prepared to balance the type to which I have referred with another representing the views of the working man or woman?
§ Mr. WILLIAMS
This scheme should be properly balanced, and the Minister should see that there is 50 per cent. representation from trade union organisations and 50 per cent. from public bodies such as education committees and others. That is the reason why we are putting forward this Amendment. Nothing that has been said by the Parliamentary Secretary or by the spokesman of the Liberal Party has convinced me that we should withdraw the Amendment. We shall press it to a division.
§ 5.43 p.m.
§ Mr. MORGAN JONES
I believe that the Parliamentary Secretary has not quite sensed the full merit of the Amendment that we are submitting. Let me put forward one practical difficulty that arises in the operation of the Clause. Large numbers of young men are unemployed in country districts in which a juvenile instruction centre is not immediately available, and they may be told that the only place to which they can go for their instruction is the nearest township, which may be a long way away. I wonder whether the Parliamentary Secretary implies that if a young person refuses to travel day by day the distance between the village where he lives and the nearest township in which an instructional centre is to be found, that will be deemed to be an unreasonable objection?
966 There is another practical difficulty. I gather from the Parliamentary Secretary that, in order to provide asssessors, he intends to use, amongst other people, those who are now acting as attendance committees in various areas. Let me revert to the practical example which I gave a moment ago. The attendance committee in the township is not always the same as that which operates in the village from which the boy may come. Which attendance committee has to supervise the case? Is it the attendance committee where the juvenile instruction centre is situated, or the committee of the village from which the boy comes? That is an important question.
It might be argued that in a concentrated area the attendance committee might be a useful body, but, if the young man or juvenile happens to live in an area where the attendance committee is not operating, his chance of getting his case presented before that committee is not very good. He may know nobody there; he may have no contact with the people of the area; and consequently he may feel that his case in defence of his excuse being a reasonable one will have but a remote chance of being put. I can think of places not far from my own area—remote villages, not in the area but some miles beyond the border, or remote hamlets where there cannot of necessity be a juvenile instruction centre, because there is not sufficient population. The local attendance committee has no jurisdiction there, and, unless there is some such provision as that which we are proposing, a boy will have no opportunity of establishing personal contact with someone there so that he can be assured of presenting his case.
Does the hon. Gentleman seriously suggest that there is any considerable number of villages, even in Wales, where children are allowed not to attend school—where there is no means whatever of enforcing attendance? Otherwise, I am afraid I cannot follow his argument.
§ Mr. JONES
I am afraid I have not made my point clear. There are, of course, attendance committees everywhere, but my point is that in the place where the boy lives there is one attendance committee, while in the place where 967 the training centre is there is another and entirely different attendance committee.
After all, we are not discussing the broad question of the Clause, but an Amendment to ensure that, instead of having a body of assessors appointed at the discretion of the Minister, the body shall consist of representatives of the education authority and of the workpeople; the hon. Gentleman will have to direct his remarks to showing how his suggestion will be better than ours.
§ Mr. JONES
I was under the impression that we had a Chairman already. That interruption was quite unnecessary and quite uncalled-for. I will develop my argument as best I can, and I think it is quite a good argument. I dare say the people on the attendance committee are quite excellent people; I am not saying a word against them; but they operate over a limited area, and not necessarily over the area where the boy happens to live. The acceptance of our Amendment would afford a better chance of the assessors consisting of people who would have contact with the area from which the boy comes.
§ Mr. JONES
Of course there is. We suggest that the assessors should include representatives of organisations of workers. An organisation of workers is not necessarily confined to the township where the juvenile instruction centre is; it operates over a much larger area; and, therefore, although perhaps I have not put the point very clearly, I would submit that there is something in it. A trade union, for instance, may have its centre, say, in Cardiff, but a boy may live six miles outside Cardiff, in some hamlet. The attendance committee of Cardiff does not operate six miles out, but the trade union does, and, therefore, if representation of organisations of labour be established as part of this machinery, the boy will have some chance of representation that he will not get if it is limited to the attendance committee. I think that that is a fair point to make, and I would submit to the hon. Gentleman that there was not the slightest need for him to 968 stand up as he did and speak to me in a quite unnecessarily discourteous way.
§ 5.51 p.m.
§ Mr. BUCHANAN
I think the point of this Amendment is quite a genuine one, and I am sure that the hon. Members who moved it would not be unresponsive to an approach if the Government consider that this is not the best way of dealing with the matter. The important point is that these assessors will have power to make recommendations on which the Minister will act. They will have grave powrs, and it is important that they should be the proper people to do the job. There is nothing in the Clause at present to ensure that the parent and the boy shall be present when the case is heard, but that also is important. When we discussed Part II of the Bill, it was agreed that no one should be cut off without having a right of attendance before the committee which adjudicated, and surely it is not too much to ask that here also the parent and the child involved should be given a right to attend.
As to the composition of the committee, the Clause does not state that any of these assessors will be members of the local education committee. As I read the Clause, the board of assessors can be anyone. As far as I can gather, the law will make provision for the establishment of boards of assessors, but it does not say that they will be members of the education authority. The Minister can appoint anyone or any number of people that he likes. There are no qualifications : it is left to him to set up any kind of board. Parliament, however, ought to have some power over the composition of this body. The Amendment proposes that 50 per cent. of the assessors shall be representatives of the education authority, and 50 per cent. representatives of working people's organisations. That is fair, though possibly it may be suggested that some other method would be better For instance, I would have liked to see—I do not know if it would be included in the workers' representation—some representation of the education committees of co-operative societies, who have tremendous experience in this class of work; and I think also that the teachers should be represented. Indeed, if I were consulted, I 969 should be inclined to make the assessors very nearly all teachers, because the teacher is certainly human in dealing with a child, and, whether he is a good or a bad citizen in other respects, in my view he treats the child with consideration and a great deal of care and thought, and he is used to handling children.
I would ask the Minister if he cannot meet the sponsors of the Amendment and see if some safeguard in the setting up of this board can be provided. It is important that the board should be carefully scrutinised. I should be glad if the Parliamentary Secretary could give us some more definite information than he has hitherto given as to the composition of the board; and I would ask him, if this Amendment does not represent the best form, at least to give us some form that will enable a person coming before the board to feel that at least he will get a fair deal. I would ask the hon. Gentleman to reconsider the matter.
§ 5.57 p.m.
Perhaps with the leave of the House I might reply to the points which have been raised. I think that hon. Members are under some misapprehension about the functions of the assessors, and attach much more importance to them than they really deserve. The assessor is not going to decide—
He can make suggestions, but the responsibility is that of the Minister or of the person acting on behalf of the Minister. Therefore, the responsibility of the assessors is rather remote. We are anxious to get as assessors people who will know the local conditions, and that is very much more likely when they are drawn from the bodies suggested, namely, the local juvenile employment committee or, where these exist, the local juvenile advisory committee. They consist partly of employers, partly of representatives of the workers, partly of representatives of
§ the education authority, and partly of persons who take a general interest in education, and they know, not merely the conditions in the boroughs, but in all the surrounding districts, because they have the supervision of larger areas. That is a very much better source from which to draw the members of the board of assessors than some local body.
I imagine so; I think almost certainly, because obviously, in the majority of cases, they will have to know the reasons why the child does not attend. It may be that the child cannot be spared, or the mother will come along and say, "My girl is not going to enter into industry; she will always remain at borne with me, and, therefore, does not need to attend the juvenile centre."
§ Mr. LEONARD
The hon. Gentleman has given the impression on more occasions than one with regard to his attitude towards instruction that he has it well set in (his mind that the trade unions are antagonistic, and in his speech to-day he stated that this was another method to circumvent the process of training. I take it from that that he has returned to the fear that the trade unions, or the workers' representatives, might endeavour to undermine the machinery of training. If that continues, there is a possibility that, if the assessors are selected from the local advisory committees, they might be selected in a manner to exclude workers' representatives.
I certainly do not contemplate that we should exclude workers' representatives. On the contrary, I should think the normal course would be that every committee would have at least one workers' representative.
§ Question put, "That those words be there inserted in the Bill."
§ The House divided : Ayes, 41; Noes, 328.973
|Division No. 247.]||AYES.||[6.2 p.m.|
|Adams, D. M. (poplar. South)||Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield)||Daggar, George|
|Attlee, Clement Richard||Buchanan, George||Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton)|
|Banfield, John William||Cape, Thomas||Edwards, Charles|
|Batey, Joseph||Cove, William G.||George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea)|
|Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale)||Cripps, Sir Stafford||Graham, D. M. (Lanark, Hamilton)|
|Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan)||Logan, David Gilbert||Tinker, John Joseph|
|Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypool)||Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)||West, F. R.|
|Grundy, Thomas W.||McEntee, Valentine L.||Williams, David (Swansea, East)|
|Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll)||Mainwaring, William Henry||Williams, Edward John (Ogmore)|
|Hicks, Ernest George||Maxton, James||Williams, Dr. John H. (Llanelly)|
|Jones, J. J. (West Ham, Silvertown)||Milner, Major James||Wilmot, John|
|Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly)||Nathan, Major H. L.|
|Kirkwood, David||Owen, Major Goronwy||TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—|
|Lawson, John James||Salter, Dr. Alfred||Mr. Groves and Mr. John.|
|Leonard, William||Smith, Tom (Normanton)|
|Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel||Denville, Alfred||Hornby, Frank|
|Adams, Samuel Vyvyan T. (Leeds, W.)||Despencer-Robertson, Major J. A. F.||Horsbrugh, Florence|
|Agnew, Lieut.-Com. P. G.||Dickie, John p.||Howard, Tom Forrest|
|Alexander, Sir William||Dower, Captain A. V. G||Howitt, Dr. Alfred B.|
|Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd)||Drewe, Cedric||Hudson, Capt. A. U. M. (Hackney, N.)|
|Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S.||Duckworth, George A. V.||Hudson. Robert Spear (Southport)|
|Anstruther-Gray, W. J.||Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel||Hume, Sir George Hopwood|
|Applln, Lieut. Col. Reginald V. K.||Duggan, Hubert John||Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)|
|Aske, Sir Robert William||Duncan. James A. L, (Kensington, N.)||Hunter, Capt. M. J. (Brigg)|
|Astor, Maj. Hn. John J. (Kent, Dover)||Dunglass, Lord||Hunter-Weston, Lt.-Gen. Sir Aylmer|
|Astor, viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton)||Eady, George H.||Hurd, Sir Percy|
|Atholl, Duchess of||Eastwood, John Francis||Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)|
|Bailey, Eric Alfred George||Edmondson, Major A. J.||James, Wing-Com. A. W. H.|
|Balllie, Sir Adrian W. M.||Ellis, Sir R. Geoffrey||Jamieson, Douglas|
|Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley||Elmley, Viscount||Janner, Barnett|
|Balniel, Lord||Emmott, Charles E. G. C.||Jesson, Major Thomas E.|
|Banks, Sir Reginald Mitchell||Emrys-Evans, P. V.||Joel, Dudley J. Barnato|
|Beaumont, M. W. (Bucks., Aylesbury)||Entwistle, Cyrll Fullard||Jones, Henry Haydn (Merioneth)|
|Beaumont, Hon. R. E. B. (Portsm'th, C.)||Erskine, Lord (Weston-super-Mare)||Jones, Lewis (Swansea, West)|
|Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley||Ersklne-Bolst, Capt. C. C. (Blackpool)||Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)|
|Bernays, Robert||Evans, Capt. Arthur (Cardiff, S.)||Kerr, Hamilton W.|
|Betterton, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry B||Evans. R. T. (Carmarthen)||Keyes, Admiral Sir Roger|
|Blindell, James||Everard, W. Lindsay||Knox, Sir Alfred|
|Boulton, W. W.||Flint, Abraham John||Lamb, Sir Joseph Quinton|
|Bower, Lieut.-Com. Robert Tatton||Foot, Dingle (Dundee)||Lambert, Rt. Hon. George|
|Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W.||Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin)||Latham, Sir Herbert Paul|
|Broadbent, Colonel John||Ford, Sir Patrick J.||Law, Sir Alfred|
|Brocklebank, C. E. R.||Fox, Sir Glfford||Leckle, J. A.|
|Brown, Col. D. C. (N'th'l'd., Hexham)||Fraser, Captain Ian||Leech, Dr. J. W.|
|Brown, Ernest (Leith)||Fremantle, Sir Francis||Lelghton, Major B. E. P.|
|Brown, Brlg.-Gen. H. C. (Berks., Newb'y)||Fuller, Captain A. G.||Lennox-Boyd, A. T.|
|Browne, Captain A. C.||Ganzonl, Sir John||Levy, Thomas|
|Buchan, John||Gillett, Sir George Masterman||Lewis, Oswald|
|Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T.||Gilmour, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir John||Llddall, Walter S.|
|Bullock, Captain Malcolm||Glossop. C. W. H||Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock)|
|Burnett, John George||Gluckstein, Louis Halle||Lindsay, Noel Ker|
|Butt, Sir Alfred||Glyn, Major Sir Ralph G. C.||Lloyd, Geoffrey|
|Cadogan, Hon. Edward||Goff, Sir Park||Locker-Lampson, Rt. Hn. G.(Wd. Gr'n)|
|Campbell, Sir Edward Taswell (Brmly)||Goodman, Colonel Albert W.||Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.)|
|Caporn, Arthur Cecil||Gower, Sir Robert||Loder, Captain J. de Vere|
|Carver. Major William H.||Granville, Edgar||Loftus, Pierce C.|
|Cassels, James Dale||Grenfell, E. C. (City of London)||Lumley, Captain Lawrence R.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City)||Gretton, Colonel Rt. Hon. John||Mabane, William|
|Cayzer, Maj. Sir H. R. (Prtsmth., S.)||Griffith. F. Klngsley (Middlesbro', W.)||MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. N. (Edgbaston)||Grigg, Sir Edward||McConnell, Sir Joseph|
|Chapman, Col. R.(Houghton-le-Spring)||Grlmston, R. V.||MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)|
|Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)||Gritten, W. G. Howard||McEwen, Captain J. H. F.|
|Christie, James Archibald||Guinness, Thomas L. E. B.||McKie, John Hamilton|
|Clarke, Frank||Gunston, Captain D. W,||McLean, Major Sir Alan|
|Clarry, Reginald George||Guy, J. C. Morrison||McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston)|
|Clayton, Sir Christopher||Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.||Macquisten, Frederick Alexander|
|Clydesdale, Marquess of||Hales, Harold K.||Magnay. Thomas|
|Colfox, Major William Philip||Hamilton, Sir George (llford)||Maitland, Adam|
|Collins, Rt. Hon. Sir Godfrey||Hammersley, Samuel S.||Mander, Geoffrey le M.|
|Colvllie, Lieut.-Colonel J.||Hanbury, Cecll||Manningham-Buller, Lt.-Col. Sir M.|
|Cook, Thomas A.||Hanley, Dennis A.||Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R.|
|Cooke, Douglas||Hannon, Patrick Joseph Henry||Marsden, Commander Arthur|
|Cooper, A. Duff||Harris. Sir Percy||Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John|
|Copeland, Ida||Hartington, Marquess of||Meller, Sir Richard James|
|Courtauld, Major John Sewell||Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n)||Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.)|
|Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.||Harvey, Major S. E. (Devon, Totnes)||Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest)|
|Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry||Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)||Milne, Charles|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Haslam, Sir John (Bolton)||Molson. A. Hugh Elsdale|
|Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H.||Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Cuthbert M.||Moore, Lt.-Col. Thomas C. R. (Ayr)|
|Crookshank, Col. C. de Windt (Bootle)||Hellgers, Captain F. F. A.||Morris. Owen Temple (Cardiff. E.)|
|Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Galnsb'ro)||Heneage, Lieut.-Colonel Arthur P.||Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh)|
|Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard||Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller||Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties)|
|Culverwell, Cyril Tom||Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.||Morrison, William Shephard|
|Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C.||Holdsworth, Herbert||Moss, Captain H. J.|
|Davison, Sir William Henry||Hope, Capt. Hon. A. O. J. (Aston)||Muirhead, Lieut.-Colonel A. J.|
|Denman, Hon. R. D.||Hopkinson, Austin||Munro, Patrick|
|Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H.||Ruggles-Brlse, Colonel E. A.||Sutcliffe, Harold|
|Nicholson, Rt. Hn. W. G. (Petersf'ld)||Runge, Norah Cecil||Tate, Mavis Constance|
|Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid||Russell, Albert (Kirkcaldy)||Templeton, William P.|
|North, Edward T.||Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth||Thomas, Rt. Hon. J. H. (Derby)|
|Ormsby-Gore, Rt. Hon. William O. A.||Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tslde)||Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles|
|Palmer, Francis Noel||Russell, R. J. (Eddlsbury)||Titchfield, Major the Marquess of|
|Peake, Captain Osbert||Rutherford, John (Edmonton)||Todd, A. L. S. (Kingswinford)|
|Pearson, William G.||Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Livcrp'l)||Touche, Gordon Cosmo|
|Peat, Charles U.||Salmon, Sir Isidore||Train, John|
|Percy, Lord Eustace||Samuel, Sir Arthur Michael (F'nham)||Tree, Ronald|
|Perkins, Walter R. O.||Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart||Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.|
|Petherick, M.||Sanderson, Sir Frank Barnard||Turton, Robert Hugh|
|Peto, Sir Basil E. (Devon, Barnstaple)||Savery, Samuel Servington||Wallace, John (Dunfermline)|
|Pike, Cecil F.||Scone, Lord||Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)|
|Potter, John||Selley, Harry R.||Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)|
|Pownall, Sir Assheton||Shakespeare, Geoffrey H.||Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)|
|Preston, Sir Walter Rueben||Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)||Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.|
|Procter, Major Henry Adam||Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)||Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.|
|Pybus, Sir Percy John||Shepperson, Sir Ernest W.||Waterhouse, Captain Charles|
|Radford, E. A.||Sinclair, Col. T. (Queen's Unv., Belfast)||Wedderburn, Henry James Scrymgeour|
|Ralkes, Henry V. A. M.||Skelton, Archibald Noel||Wells, Sydney Richard|
|Ramsay T. B. W. (Western Isles)||Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Waiter D.||Weymouth, viscount|
|Ramsbotham, Herwald||Smith, R. W. (Ab'rd'n & Kinc'dlne, C.)||White, Henry Graham|
|Ramsden, Sir Eugene||Smithers, Waldron||Whiteside, Borras Noel H.|
|Rathbone, Eleanor||Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)||Whyte, Jardine Bell|
|Ray, Sir William||Soper, Richard||Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)|
|Rea, Walter Russell||Sotheron-Eslcourt, Captain T. E.||Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon S.|
|Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)||Southby, Commander Archibald R. J.||Wills. Wilfrid D.|
|Reid, David D. (County Down)||Spears, Brigadier-General Edward L.||Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)|
|Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)||Spencer, Captain Richard A.||Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George|
|Reid, William Allan (Derby)||Spens, William Patrick||Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl|
|Remer, John R.||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)||Wise, Alfred R.|
|Rhys, Hon. Charles Arthur U.||Steel-Maltland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur||Wood, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Kingsley|
|Rickards, George William||Stevenson, James||Wood, Sir Murdoch McKenzie (Banff)|
|Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)||Stones, James||Worthington, Dr. John V.|
|Robinson, John Roland||Strauss, Edward A.||Young, Rt. Hon. Sir Hilton (S'v'noaks)|
|Rosbotham, Sir Thomas||Strickland, Captain W. F.|
|Ross, Ronald D.||Stuart, Lord C. Crichton||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)||Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.||Mr. Womersley and Major George|
|Rothschild, James A. de||Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart||Davies.|