HC Deb 18 March 1937 vol 321 cc2230-1
11. Mr. Parker

asked the Minister of Labour whether all hostels for juveniles are open to inspection by the Ministry and subject to a licence from the Ministry?

Mr. E. Brown

All hostels used for the accommodation of juveniles transferred to employment away from home under the Ministry of Labour juvenile transference scheme are open to inspection by the Ministry and are periodically inspected. Hostels are not subject to a licence from the Ministry, and the Ministry is not concerned with hostels other than those accommodating juveniles transferred under the transference scheme.

Mr. Parker

Is the Minister aware that there is considerable discontent about the conditions in some of the hostels?

Mr. Brown

I certainly am not aware of that, and if the hon. Member has any information to that effect, I shall be glad to have it. There has been very regular and systematic inspection in connection with these hostels and a vast amount of voluntary work has been done. I myself have visited them, and I am surprised to hear that there is discontent with the conditions.

Mr. George Griffiths

Does the Ministry inspect private houses to which boys are sent and about which I have had some serious complaints; and may I, particularly, ask whether the Minister has investigated complaints from Northamptonshire about boys who are working in the factories there not being allowed at all into their rooms except for about three-quarters of an hour in the evening, and being told that they must stay out until 10 o'clock, which means that they have no home at all when they leave their own homes?

Mr. Brown

If the hon. Gentleman has information to this effect, surely it is his duty to bring it to the notice of the Ministry, and I hope he will do so. It may be, of course, that the people to whom he is referring have nothing whatever to do with the transference scheme, and are people who have gone from their own homes without our knowledge.