HC Deb 06 September 1939 vol 351 cc534-6
7. Mr. R. C. Morrison

asked the Minister of Health whether he will make clear the position of schoolchildren who were on holiday when evacuation took place, and, in view of the broadcast appeal to their parents not to bring them back, whether they will be evacuated on their return; and whether in the case of those still on holiday allowances will be paid?

The Minister of Health (Mr. Elliot)

Local authorities have been notified that parents of children now away on holiday in receiving areas, who normally reside in areas which have been evacuated, can apply to the local authority in whose area they are at present to have their children billeted in the ordinary way. Such parents should therefore, not bring their children back.

Viscountess Astor

May I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is doing all he can to get what we call refuge centres in the shape of nursing schools for children under 5, who cannot be evacuated but who will have to have some place of protection to which they can go in the event of air raids?

Mr. Elliot

I do not think that arises out of the question on the Order Paper, but I can give the hon. Lady an assurance that that problem is receiving the closest attention.

Mr. Ede

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether he will be able to make arrangements for those children who have been voluntarily evacuated, to be sent at some time to the places to which their schools have been evacuated?

Mr. Elliot

This problem and other problems of the rearrangement of the population will need to be looked at as soon as the population settles down after the big move.

8. Miss Rathbone

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider arranging for the evacuation from evacuation areas of boys and girls between school-leaving age and 16, or at least of those under 15, for whom school accommodation can be provided; and whether the gradual substitution of adult for juvenile labour in evacuation areas and vice versa in reception areas has been considered?

Mr. Elliot

The evacuation of boys and girls under the Government's plans is confined to school units and to children of pre-school age with their mothers or with some other responsible person. With the raising of the school-leaving age the school accommodation in the reception areas will already be very heavily taxed. Any extension of the Government's plans of evacuation that may be deemed necessary will be considered with regard to the needs of the situation generally. The matter referred to in the last part of the question is not I think one that I can undertake to review at the present stage.

Miss Rathbone

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the effect on the health of boys and girls in then early teens is likely to be worse than the effect on the younger children, and may have serious effects on their future welfare, and will he, therefore, endeavour to see whether something can be done to provide for the evacuation of these young people?

Mr. Elliot

I will keep the question of this particular class under review in connection with the general examination of the problem.