14. Mr. Lawson asked the Minister of Labour why the junior instruction centres in Durham and other areas were closed; whether he is aware that large numbers of youths and girls who would have been in these schools are unemployed; and whether he now proposes t
§ Mr. E. Brown
At the outbreak of war the decision as to continuing or closing junior instruction centres was left to the discretion of the local education authorities, in the light of local circumstances. If the local education authority think it advisable to re-open a centre, it will receive the approval of the Ministry.
§ Mr. Lawson
Is it not a fact that advice was given by the right hon. Gentleman or by his Department for the closing of these centres, and is he aware that there are still 5,000 boys and girls of this junior age unemployed?
§ Mr. Brown
No, that is not so. Discretion was left in the instructions entirely to the local authorities, and, of course, in Durham I understand there was a decision on 1st September by the Durham County Junior Instruction Committee, by a small majority, not to re-open. The responsibility lies there, not here.
§ Mr. Lawson
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that information has been given to Members of this House that he himself gave the advice that the centres should be closed?