HC Deb 28 November 1938 vol 342 cc39-40
79. Mr. Day

asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the danger encountered by young females through accepting engagements to appear in theatres, cafés, cinemas, film production, and places of entertainment abroad, he will consider introducing legislation that will prevent such persons under the age of 18 years from having employment arranged or offered to them abroad by any person unless they shall be in possession of written information obtained from a responsible person or society testifying to the satisfactory nature of the proposed employment and the bona fides of the employer?

Mr. Lloyd

The existing legislation is designed to effect the object which the hon. Member has in mind. The Children and Young Persons Act, 1933, prohibits young persons under the age of 18 from going abroad for the purpose of singing, playing, performing, or being exhibited for profit, unless a licence has been granted by one of the magistrates at Bow Street. Before granting such a licence the magistrate satisfies himself that the young person is going to a suitable place and will be under proper supervision.

Mr. Day

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many of these engagements are arranged through employment agencies in the North of England, and that there is no control over them?

Mr. Lloyd

In the present state of the law, I think the powers are adequate. I will make further inquiry into the question of the efficiency of the arrangements.