HC Deb 14 April 1937 vol 322 cc1011-2
81. Mr. Parker

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that the Young Men's Christian Association is setting up a committee for the after-care of boys passing through their hostels; whether he is satisfied that the whole after-care scheme for juveniles who come to London from the distressed areas is working satisfactorily; and whether he proposes to make any alterations in its operation in the near future?

The Minister of Labour (Mr. Ernest Brown)

I am not aware of any proposal to set up a new committee for the aftercare of transferred boys passing through the hostels of the Young Men's Christian Association. The association already have an adequate organisation for supervising the welfare of boys living in hostels, while for juveniles living in lodgings the Department has the assistance of after-care committees and voluntary organisations. I am satisfied that these welfare arrangements are working satisfactorily. They are kept under constant review and are extended and improved from time to time in the light of experience.

Mr. Parker

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that over 15,000 juveniles have been transferred from distressed areas to the Southern counties in the last year, and that there is considerable discontent about the care that is taken of some of them?

Mr. Brown

I am not aware of anything of the kind. Perhaps the hon. Member is mixing up those transferred under schemes, for whom we make the most elaborate arrangements, with some who have been transferred on their own account, for whom we have no responsibility.

Mr. J. Griffiths

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the best way to care for them is to provide work for them at home?

Mr. Brown

I agree that that is the ideal thing, but it is better to provide work elsewhere than to let them rot at home without any work to do at all.