HC Deb 06 March 1941 vol 369 c1006
23. Mr. Creech Jones

asked the President of the Board of Education what steps have been taken to safeguard the health, nutrition and welfare of children brought into employment in agriculture as a result of his Circular 1541?

Mr. Ramsbotham

The Circular in question does no more than ask local education authorities to arrange for school holidays to be fixed for those periods when the need for seasonal agricultural labour is greatest. It emphasises that the employment of schoolchildren must be within the limits permitted by the law, and consistent with the maintenance of their health and the interests of their education. Attention is drawn in the Circular to a circular letter, of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy, issued by the Home Office on 7th February, 1940, in which the matter is dealt with in greater detail.

Mr. Creech Jones

In view of the general applicability of this Circular to the whole country, and the fact that there are certain local authorities which have made no regulations governing the control of employment of children in agriculture, will the Minister consult with the Home Secretary with a view to seeing that these regulations are made generally applicable to all local authorities where such schoolchildren are employed?

Mr. Ramsbotham

My Circular refers to adjustment of holidays, but T will have a word with my right hon. Friend on the lines suggested by the hon. Member.