HC Deb 24 June 1942 vol 380 cc1979-80
69. Major Procter

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of the imminence of school holidays, and of the fact that many mothers are now employed on war work and unable to give much or any time to supervising their families, he will make special arrangements and invite the co-operation of local authorities and voluntary organisations to provide holiday camps, organised games and excursions for children during the vacation period, and to open the school playgrounds for this purpose?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education (Mr. Ede)

My right hon. Friend is aware of the importance of arranging during school holidays for the care and welfare of young children whose mothers are employed on war work, and he drew the attention of authorities to this point in a memorandum issued on the i8th May, 1942, a copy of which I am sending my hon. Friend. Many local education authorities are providing facilities in various ways, and my right hon. Friend is considering whether there is further advice and help which my Department can offer to authorities in the matter.

Major Procter

Is the Parliamentary Secretary aware that, unless something is done in industrial areas, many mothers will have to leave their jobs in order to prevent their children from running wild; and will he take immediate steps to see that local authorities do something for the children and that the help of voluntary organisations is enlisted to look after these children during the holiday period?

Mr. Ede

My right hon. Friend has communicated with the authorities, and our inspectors are actively taking up. the matter with the authorities where there appears to be a need.

Viscountess Astor

As the Parliamentary Secretary knows, local authorities are not doing anything, and very likely they will not, and, as he is very short of inspectors, would it not be a good idea to try and get a really good person from outside to go round and see what is happening, because this is really a very grave danger and is taking a great many women from industry?

Mr. Ede

I will report my Noble Friend's suggestion to my right hon. Friend.

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