HC Deb 11 June 1942 vol 380 cc1228-30
24. Mr. George Griffiths

asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is possible to arrive at any conclusions from a comparison between the figures of heights and weights of children in the camp schools and those of a similar age in day schools, as to the benefits to health of residence in camp schools for town children?

Mr. Ede

My right hon. Friend hopes to receive before long the figures relating to heights and weights of children attending camp schools and of those who have remained in ordinary day schools. Until the data have been considered it will not be possible to arrive at any conclusions.

Mr. Griffiths

Shall I be able to get the figures when the Board of Education get them?

Mr. Ede

I am sure my right hon. Friend will see that my hon. Friend gets the information as soon as it is available.

Sir Stanley Reed

Are steps being taken to make full use of the camps provided, which are most inadequately used at the present time?

Mr. Ede

My right hon. Friend is continually doing all he can to ensure that recruitment to these camps shall continue from the areas to which they have been assigned.

30. Mr. G. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Health what is the status of the National Camps Corporation in relation to the camp schools set up in various parts of the country; whether they are allowed to make any profit out of these schools; and, if so, for what purpose is such profit used?

Mr. E. Brown

The National Camps Corporation, which built, maintains and manages the camps in pursuance of Section 1 of the Camps Act, 1939, placed them soon after the outbreak of War at the disposal of the Government under an agreement made with the Ministry of Health. The Government arranged for their occupation by the camp schools. The only functions of the Corporation in regard to the schools are the maintenance and management of the camps. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No." The third part, therefore, does not arise.

33. Mr. G. Griffiths

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that the charges for boarding at the camp schools vary considerably for similar services; and whether he can state the reason for the variation?

Mr. Brown

I am aware of the variation, which is due to the difference in the numbers of children in the camp schools. The actual cost per head of food is practically uniform, while the overhead charges (which are considerable and are not capable of much alteration for varying numbers) are divided by the number of children in the camp, and where the number in camp is low, the cost per head is correspondingly high.

Mr. Griffiths

Is not this a national concern? Because the number in the school is low, why should the charges be higher? I should think the Minister can see to a thing of that sort; otherwise, it is not worth his having the job.

Mr. Brown

The hon. Member will have to consider more than that. He will have to consider where the charges lie, and if he will read an answer that was given last week, I think he will find that his statement is not warranted.

Mr. Lipson

Could the Minister publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT some figures concerning these charges?

Mr. Brown

I will look into the matter and see what I can do.