HC Deb 01 October 1942 vol 383 cc921-2
55. Sir H. Williams

asked the Minister of Health whether it is proposed to reorganise the system of war-time nurseries, having regard to the fact that 7,000 women are employed at an annual cost of over £50 per child, involving a total charge of over £1,000,000 per annum to enable 21,000 other women to undertake war work?

Mr. E. Brown

No, Sir. I do not think I should be justified in lowering the standards which I have recommended for the care of those children of women in employment for whom provision is made in war-time nurseries.

Sir H. Williams

Is it not a farce to employ 7,000 people to liberate 21,000 at this enormous cost?

Mr. Brown

I do not think it is a farce at all. To treat the 7,000 as being an alternative to the 21,000 is a complete illusion.

Mrs. Tate

If nursery schools were confined to children of from 2 to 5, would it not save millions of pounds and be far better for the children?

Mr. Brown

My hon. Friend is talking about nursery schools. That is not ray responsibility but the responsibility of the President of the Board of Education.

Miss Rathbone

Does my right hon. Friend accept the figures in the Question as broadly correct?

Mr. Brown

I would like to see that Question down in specific terms.

Sir H. Williams

Did not my right hon. Friend give me the figures in answer to a Question?

Mr. Brown

Yes, Sir, but the figures are now put in a very different setting.

59. Major Peto

asked the Minister of Health how the demand for war-time nurseries is being met in the industrial districts of the Midlands?

Mr. Brown

In the Midland Region 120 nurseries are in operation, 70 more have been approved but are not yet in operation, and five more are in an earlier stage of preparation, making a total of approximately 200 nurseries at all stages.