HC Deb 07 December 1944 vol 406 cc730-1
69. Mr. James Griffiths

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how the number of remand homes provided in England and Wales during the war compares with the number provided in the previous five years; and whether he is satisfied with the progress which has been made by local authorities in the provision of remand home accommodation as required by the Children and Young Persons Act, 1933.

Mr. H. Morrison

In 1934 there were 29 remand homes provided by local authorities. In 1939 there were 36. Now there are 73. Eleven more are in process of preparation and several other schemes are on foot. It will be seen that, while progress before 1939 was very slow, the number has been doubled during the war. I think that the House will agree that the result is not unsatisfactory in view of the difficulties of war conditions, but I hope that those local authorities who have not yet made adequate provision to meet the needs of the courts will do so as soon as possible.

Mr. Griffiths

Will my right hon. Friend explain the reasons for the very slow progress that was made in the provision of these homes before the war in the years that he has cited, and will he take steps to see that the progress that has been made during his administration is continued?

Mr. Morrison

I will certainly do my very best in that respect. The first part of my hon. Friend's question would have to be addressed to the Minister who was in office at the time.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Does the increase in the number of homes signify an increase in juvenile delinquency or a change of policy?

Mr. Morrison

Not entirely. Changes in the law make some difference but, of course, war conditions have led to special difficulties.

Mr. Benson

Will my right hon. Friend take advantage of the very new and very gratifying interest in remand homes shown by certain Members behind him, to raise the whole standard of remand homes throughout the country?