HC Deb 22 February 1938 vol 332 cc186-8
59. Sir Samuel Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been called to the activity of English local councils, such as the Sussex Rural Community Council in conjunction with the National Council of Social Service, in issuing leaflets giving a popular explanation of the powers under the Physical Training and Recreation Act and suggesting, by voluntary organisations, sports clubs, women's organisations, schoolmasters, and doctors, as to the building and improvement of village halls and recreation centres and generally putting the Act into force; and whether any steps of a similar nature have been taken by the Scottish Advisory Council or any other society?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware that the National Council of Social Service has published a series of leaflets regarding the powers of parish councils in England, one of which deals with the Physical Training and Recreation Act. As my hon. Friend is aware, a memorandum has been issued to all local authorities in Scotland explaining their powers under the new Act, and regional committees are organising demonstrations of the possible range and variety of recreative physical exercise in the different areas. Demonstrations have already been held in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and will be held shortly in Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.

60. Sir S. Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action has been taken by the Scottish National Advisory Council for Physical Fitness to carry out his declaration of 8th February, 1937, that the Physical Training and Recreation Act was designed to help those who are desirous of obtaining facilities for physical exercise but who are not well off and without initiative; and what inquiries have been made amongst members of junior football clubs, or similar small athletic clubs, to ascertain their desires and supply their wants?

Mr. Elliot

Demonstrations and inquiries are being carried out by the regional committees designed to make more widely known the variety of opportunities for physical training and recreation which can be enjoyed at a relatively small cost, and to promote development in each locality along the lines such as my hon. Friend and I have both in mind.

Mr. Kirkwood

Will the right hon. Gentleman take care to see that before they get any of these physical jerks these young men are well fed and well clad, which they are not at the moment?

61. Sir S. Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he is aware that, in many schools under the local education authorities in Scotland, there already exist gymnasia, swimming baths, and playing fields which, although used for day and evening school purposes, are free at times when they might be made available for adults and adolescents on payment by the grants committee; and, in places where such facilities do not already exist, will he endeavour to arrange for their provision jointly between the education committees and the National Advisory Council?

Mr. Elliot

I am aware that gymnasiums, swimming baths and playing fields have been provided by many education authorities. The attention of all education authorities has recently been drawn to their powers in this connection, and to the desirability of making such facilities available for use by voluntary organisations at times when they are not required for school or continuation class use. I am glad to say that increasing use is being made of school premises for these purposes.