HC Deb 19 November 1946 vol 430 cc763-813

7.31 p.m.

Mr. Wilson Harris (Cambridge University)

I beg to move, at the end of the Question, to add: but humbly regret that no mention is made in the Gracious Speech of any intention to give effect to the recommendations contained in the recent Report of the Care of Children Committee. I, and those associated with me, have placed this Amendment on the Order Paper because we do in fact feel deep regret, deep concern and, let me add, considerable astonishment, at the omission from the Gracious Speech of any declaration of intention on the part of His Majesty's Government to implement the recommendations of the arresting and disquieting Report on the care of children which has been produced by what is com- monly known as the Curtis Committee. There are, of course, various reasons that may be adduced for this omission. They are all of them bad, and I have no doubt all of them will be put forward by my right hon. Friend the Lord Privy Seal when he winds up this Debate. It will be said, in the first place, that this is the kind of issue which falls between three stools, one of them occupied by the right hon. Lady the Minister of Education, one of them, suitably reinforced, by the Minister of Health, and one of them by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. It will be said that interdepartmental discussions are involved and that it needs protracted and arduous negotiations to get three such eminent persons into the same room at the same time. It will be said, therefore, that necessarily there must be delay in dealing with this matter; also it will be argued next that this Report was only published in the middle of October and, therefore, it is unreasonable to expect any decision to be taken regarding it by the time of the Gracious Speech on 12th November.

Also I would suggest that any Minister with half a mind and half a conscience—I am not suggesting that any such Minister exists—after a couple of hours perusal of this Report, would have realised that the conditions existing were so grave that immediate action on the part of the Government was imperative, and that in order to allay public anxiety an immediate announcement to that effect by the Government was equally imperative. The third explanation, which I hope is the right one, because it is the least unsatisfactory of the three, is that, after all, the Gracious Speech is not comprehensive and it does not follow because this matter is not mentioned that it will not be brought forward, but that it would be absurd to expect so trifling a matter as the welfare of 125,000 children to take its place beside, for example, a measure of such dominating importance as one to enable local authorities to operate civic restaurants. But I do not want to sound any controversial note.

I believe that in all essentials the House, in all parts, is at one on this matter. We have read the Report, or we have read summaries of its contents, and there must be a universal feeling that, at the very first moment when action is possible, it must be taken to put an end to conditions which ought not to continue for a single day longer. At the same time, I am bound to say that unless the right hon. Gentleman can give us clear assurances at the end of this Debate that such legislation as may be needed to implement this Report will be introduced and carried into law during this Session—and I most profoundly hope that he can—we shall be compelled to carry this matter to an issue in the Division Lobby. This Report has revealed to the world conditions which have aroused feelings of horror, indignation and shame So far as we in this House are concerned, the feeling of shame must predominate, because in this matter we have a responsibility which we cannot evade. However far removed we may be from these children by ranges of officials, matrons of institutes, by inspectors and local committees, and by Ministers in Whitehall, at the end, in a democratic parliamentary society, the responsibility comes back to us. Hon. Members cannot talk one day of the supremacy of Parliament and the next day repudiate the responsibility which flows inevitably from that supremacy. Therefore, we have a very heavy and clear duty resting upon us as we consider this matter.

I wish to make one point perfectly clear at the outset in order to avoid criticisms which otherwise might be put forward later. I am not suggesting for a moment that the picture conveyed in the Report is uniformly bad. I am not claiming, even, that it is mainly bad. I would like to make that very clear by quoting the verdict of the Committee on that point. Their considered conclusion, which I will abbreviate, is on these lines: By far the greater number of Homes were, within the limits of their staffing, accommodation and administrative arrangements, reasonably well run from the standpoint of physical care, and in other ways the child has more material advantages than could have been given to him in the average poor family. But later it says: We found in fact many places where the standard of child care was no better, except in respect of disciplinary methods, than that of, say, 30 years ago; and we found a widespread and deplorable shortage of the right kind of staff, personally qualified and trained, to provide the child with a substitute for home background. The result in many Homes was a lack of personal interest in, and affection for, the children, which we found shocking I think we shall find that very statement itself reasonably shocking. We cannot say, "Well, after all, 55 per cent, of the children are reasonably well treated and only 45 per cent. can be called badly treated." We cannot strike an average on those two figures. You cannot average human beings in that way. As long as 45 per cent., 35 per cent. or even 10 per cent. are undergoing the treatment depicted in this Report, then I say we have a right to come here and call on the Government to indicate that they will take action which will prevent at an early date all continuance of such conditions.

Very important matters are involved in the recommendations of this Report. Let me recall for a moment how this Committee originated. We all remember with a good deal of horror what is known as the case of Dennis O'Neill. He was a boy who was boarded out from Newport, Monmouthshire, first of all in a very happy private home in Herefordshire, then in another very happy private home in Herefordshire, and finally he and his brother were boarded out in a home in Shropshire. There he underwent such treatment at the hands of his foster father that he died. The foster father today is undergoing a sentence of six years' imprisonment which, in the circumstances, I think, can hardly be regarded as excessive. It was as a result of the suspicion which was aroused that conditions might be existing, not perhaps which would lead to that tragic result, but which were sufficiently painful and tragic in themselves, that this Committee came into being. It was then that the right hon. Gentleman who is now Lord Privy Seal and the then Ministers of Health and Education appointed this Committee to inquire into existing methods of caring for children who, from loss of parents or any cause whatever, are deprived of normal home life. I understand that these classes are technically known as deprived children. There seems to me to be a great deal of poignancy in that description. They are deprived of all the affection and shelter and protection of home and of all those qualities of home life in which character develops naturally and satisfactorily, and they become wards of the State. It becomes the business of the State not to provide another home life, because that can never be done, but something, at any rate, that can be regarded as a reasonable substitute for the home life of which, through no fault of their own but through the fault of their parents, they have so unhappily been deprived.

In regard to that, I will take only one other quotation from the Report. Is it the case that such conditions do exist? Have the inquiries of the Committee tended to allay our anxieties or accentuate them? I think that, on the whole, they can be said to have done both. We have many pictures here, and I wish to emphasise this, of almost ideal surroundings created for these unhappy children, and let me also pay a very warm tribute to the staffs of these institutions, who have come under a very real shadow after the O'Neill case and the revelations of this Report. There are a large number of devoted men and women, particularly women, who are doing their utmost to supply to these children what they have been deprived of because it cannot be supplied in their own homes. Again, I quote this from the Report: One Nursery which was structurally linked to the Public Assistance institution had sunk to the lowest level of child care which has come under our notice. There were 32 children on the register, eight of whom were sick children. These were being nursed in a small ward adjacent to the infirmary adult sick ward. They were in charge of assistant nurses who were at the same time nursing the sick adults in the main ward, in which were aged and chronic sick (one patient had advanced cancer of the face), a mentally defective child, and a child with chicken pox. In the children's ward was an eight year old mentally defective girl, who sat most of the day on a chair commode, because, the nurses said, 'she was happy that way.' She could not use her arms or legs. There were two babies with rickets clothed in cotton frocks, cotton vests and dilapidated napkins, no more than discoloured cotton rags. The smell in this room was dreadful. A premature baby lay in an opposite ward alone. This ward was very large and cold. The healthy children were housed in the ground floor corrugated hutment which had been once the old union casual ward. The day room was large and bare and empty of all toys. The children fed, played and used their pots in this room. They ate from cracked enamel plates, using the same mug for milk and soup. They slept in another corrugated hutment in old broken black iron cots, some of which had their sides tied up with cord. The mattresses were fouled and stained. On inquiry there did not appear to be any available stocks of clothes to draw on and it was said by one of the assistant nurses that 'everything was at the laundry and did not come back.' The children wore ankle length calico or flannelette frocks and petticoats and had no knickers. Their clothes were not clean. Most of them had lost their shoes; those who possessed shoes had either taken them off to play with or were wearing them tied to their feet with dirty string. Their faces were clean; their bodies in some cases were unwashed and stained. These are the children for whom we as a House assume responsibility. That is not a typical case, I admit, and there is a footnote stating that, as a result of the visit of the Committee, substantial improvements have been made, but these conditions had been existing for an indefinite time, and, but for the visit of the Committee, they might have gone on existing for an indefinite time longer; they might in fact have been existing still. I say that this is a cause of shame for every hon. Member of this House, when we are ourselves responsible for an existing situation such as that.

These children, and there are 125,000 of them, are, in the majority of cases, destitute children for whom the Minister of Health is answerable in this House, because they are mostly housed in what used to be called workhouses. There a large number of children who come under the auspices of the Home Office—and let me say at once that we make a great mistake if we regard children under the care of the Home Office simply from the point of view of delinquency. These children have, in some cases, been before the juvenile courts, and of these there are very many whom I think are more sinned against than sinning. I am not one of those who claim that there is nothing wrong with any child, and that he is only misunderstood. I do not say that. Nor shall I try to solve the mystery of original sin, which has been argued about by theologians as long as theologians have been arguing at all—and they have been arguing for a very long time. It does seem that there is a hard core of children who seem, for one reason or another, to be inherently evil—cruel, destructive, dishonest or indecent. A good many, I say, are more sinned against than sinning, and, over and above these, there is a large number of children who come before the courts, not through any fault of their own, but because the home is not suitable for them, and they are sent by the courts into an approved school of some kind. In very many of the cases mentioned in the Report, children came from broken homes not fit to live in.

This is not the time for any detailed discussion of the proposals for legislation arising out of the Report. I trust that there will be another opportunity for that, and I am confident that the Leader of the House, with the customary generosity for which he is so conspicuous on Thursday afternoons, will realise that we cannot discuss a Report of 140,000 words, culminating in 62 recommendations, in the time that should be between 7 and 10 p.m., and is, in fact, between 7.30 and 10 p.m., on an Amendment to the Address. There is only one question on which I want to say a few words and it is the vital question of which Government Department should be made ultimately responsible for these children. The Curtis Report itself was unanimous on one thing, with which I imagine we all agree, and that was that there should be no more divided responsibility between three or four different Departments. What the Report insists upon is that, one Department shall be responsible for these various categories of unhappy children. It must, most clearly, be either the Home Office, the Ministry of Education, or the Ministry of Health. I myself think, that this is obviously a question on which reasonable argument is abundantly possible. It is easy to make out a case for one Department or another. It is not a case where all the arguments are on one side and none on the other, but there are some considerations which I should like to lay before the House. I imagine it will be agreed, that, whatever the personal merits of the Minister of Health, he has his hands reasonably full at the moment. The right hon. Gentleman still has several more houses to run up, and still more discussions, which may be protracted, with the medical profession, so that I cannot suppose that either he or his Department have very much time to give to new responsibilities transferred to them from two other Departments.

The case for making the Ministry of Education the responsible Department is a good deal stronger. It is argued, and with a show, at any rate, of superficial reason, that it is right and desirable that the Department which is responsible for the children's education should be responsible for their whole life, and that the children should be integrated into the life of the education authorities in the locality. That argument appears to me to apply precisely in the opposite direction. I think it would be a fatal mistake to mix up educational life with home life. It does not happen in the case of ordinary chil- dren. Every normal child lives up to the age of 14 years in two worlds—the world of home and the world of school—and it is extraordinarily important for them that both of these worlds should exist, and that they should have a home life, in which they have opportunities to mingle with brothers and sisters, or, in the case of adopted children, with other adopted children, and should have a background providing, so to speak, a kind of shelter from the stresses of school to which they can come back if they are in trouble at school. Though it is perfectly true that Ministries in Whitehall matter very little directly to the individual child, I feel it would be very much better to have one Minister responsible for making homes for these children into which they can go to be dealt with as ordinary human beings, while another Minister is responsible for their education, dealing with them simply as pupils.

They will go from the adopted homes, the boarding out homes and the institutions to the local schools, just as every other child does. For that reason alone, I shall be sorry to see the Ministry of Education the operative Department in this connection. But there are more positive reasons that influence me. The Home Office has a long and creditable record in the matter of administering homes and approved homes for children. Some hon. Members will remember, and others, more fortunate, will not, the Children's Act introduced and passed by Viscount Samuel, then Mr. Herbert Samuel, in the year 1908. It was one of the notable pieces of social legislation placed on the Statute Book by the great Liberal Government of that year.

That Act has been admirably administered by the Home Office, which has an excellent Children's Branch actuated conspicuously by human sympathy. In recent years, the Children's Branch has been directed by a very able and experienced official, whose name, in accordance with established practice, I will not mention—even though it happens to be the same as my own. I feel that the children's interest could not be better served than by the Children's Branch of the Home Office, and that there is no better organisation on which to build some more elaborate and ambitious structure. For whatever department takes over this responsibility, it will be for them to set up new standards of accommodation and of treatment, and to indicate to the world generally what we expect to do for these children and what we expect to give to these children. It will be answerable to this House and to the Home Secretary if there is any default either at the centre or the circumference, in the discharge of this, I would almost say, sacred duty

With regard to the localities, it would seem that the Report is very wise to recommend an ad hoccommittee of a county borough or a county council rather than a sub-committee of some existing authority such as the Education or Public Assistance. But I realise, of course, that that is essentially a case for argument.

Let me come back now to the very crux of what I have to say. It is that, when conditions such as are demonstrated in this Report are shown to exist, it is essential that there should be immediate action. As practical men and women, we have to view this subject on the basis of administrative procedure and machinery. But let us not forget that, essentially, it is an intensely human problem, that we are dealing with 125,000 children who are entirely in our hands, and who can do nothing for themselves. When we remember our own responsibility, that, surely, ought to make some appeal to us. We are well accustomed to various bodies of men and women—old age pensioners, ex-Servicemen, housewives, and so on—coming down to this House to make representations, to unfold grievances and to put forward constructive proposals. That, of course, is right and proper, and part of our democratic system. But these children have no way of making their voices heard. They are mute, inarticulate and suffering, as no one can doubt who reads this report; not acute physical suffering, but perpetual mental repression. That is what has happened and what will go on happening unless administrative and legislative action is taken to create better conditions in which such things cannot take place.

This Report is full of haunting pictures—of normal healthy children shut up with mental defectives; in one case with a revolting Mongolian child, in another, with a hydrocephalic idiot behind a screen; in another, with a blind imbecile boy making hideous noises day and night; children, condemned often to take their meals in complete silence; playing in walled asphalted yards;; crowding round any visitor who may come in their excitement that anyone could take an interest in them—crushed, confined, repressed and frustrated. With these pictures imprinted on our minds and with the cold, damning descriptions of this Report before our eyes, how can we not demand of the Government that they shall take action and pass, during this Session, the necessary legislation into law to create new conditions in which these children can grow up and live very different fives? How can the Government reject this demand? I believe that the whole House is with us when we appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to get up when this Debate is over and to say that, whatever may be the crush of other legislation, this legislation, at any rate, cannot wait.

There is a great deal in the Gracious Speech that could wait without any great detriment to the country or its population. But these things are going on now, and these conditions are existing before our eyes at the present time. They could be changed if the Government would take the necessary action. Therefore, I appeal for categorical assurances which will put all questions at rest. I believe that when the right hon. Gentleman gets up to reply that we shall get these assurances. But at this stage of the Debate I beg to move the Amendment.

7.56 p.m.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson (Farnham)

I beg to second the Amendment.

I feel bound to say that I do not regard this matter as, in the slightest degree, a party issue. We are not making this attack upon the Government because they are a Labour Government, but because they are the only people who can, in this instance, take action. We are all, as Members of Parliament, as people connected with local authorities, or as individual citizens, heavily to blame for the present state of affairs. So this cannot be construed as a party attack on the Government. As I say, it is an effort to exert the greatest pressure at our command to get the people who can do something to take the necessary steps. The Amendment moved by my hon. Friend and one that was on the Order Paper in my name, express our regret at the absence from the Gracious Speech of any reference to the terrible situation disclosed by the Curtis Report.

I can scarcely believe that the Government are unaware of the grave shock which this Report gave to public opinion, or of the deep sense of disquiet, guilt and unhappiness felt by every section of the population, rich and poor, men and women. They cannot be unaware of the great disappointment felt by everybody at this omission. It was not always like this. As lately as 31st October, the Home Secretary, at the end of a long barrage of questions about publication of the evidence in this Report, said: We are dealing here with a very urgent matter, on which I think the country is very deeply disturbed, and I am anxious to do nothing that should delay effective action being taken."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Thursday, 31st October; Vol. 428, c. 780.] There are various forms of action which can be taken—administrative and legislative. It would appear from the Gracious Speech that the Government propose to take neither. They ought at least to have said that they would give consideration to this Report, but they remain silent. Therefore, I shall have great pleasure in joining my hon. Friends in the Division Lobby tonight unless the Lord Privy Seal promises the appropiate legislation during this Session, and the greatest amount of administrative action.

Time is short, and I do not propose to treat this as a Committee stage discussion on the Curtis Report, and I will try not to weary the House, but I must paint the picture to some extent as it has been disclosed. There is a hotchpotch of multifarious activities of numerous Government Departments dealing with children in very many different ways. I think my right hon. Friend was right in not overstressing the horrors of the picture. There are, in this Report, plenty of horrors, but I firmly believe that it would be unfair to take the horrors as representative of the general situation.

I am not so much moved by the horrors, or by the ghastly paragraph 144, part of which my hon. Friend read to the House; I believe you have only to focus public attention on those Dickensian scenes to get them remedied. There are those awful pictures of conglomerations in workhouse wards, the sick and the old, the mentally defective and the sane, all mixed together, dirty clothes and unwashed children, and asphalt yards. But I am much more moved by the paragraphs that deal in more moderate tones with the lack of background and of private life, the fact that the children in institutions have nowhere to put what my children call their "treasures," the fact that there is lack of stability. All that is a far greater condemnation of our attitude of mind than are certain isolated horrors. I would like to read to the House one or two sentences from paragraph 418, part of which my hon. Friend read: Where establishments fell below a satisfactory standard, the defects were not of harshness, but rather of dirt and dreariness, drab-ness and over-regimentation…The child in these homes was not recognised as an individual with his own rights and possessions, his own life to live, and his own contributon to offer. He was merely one of a large crowd, eating, playing and sleeping with the rest, without any place or possession of his own or any quiet room to which he could retreat. Still more important, he was without the feeling that there was anyone to whom he could turn who was vitally interested in his welfare or who cared for him as a person. Then comes what to my mind is the most heartrending sentence in the whole Report: The effect of this on the smaller children was reflected in their behaviour towards visitors, which took the form of an almost pathological clamouring for attention and petting. That is referred to again in paragraph 477: The longing for caresses from strangers, so common among little children in homes, is in striking and painful contrast to the behaviour of the normal child of the same age in his parents' home. Those words come much nearer to bringing tears to my eyes and a sense of guilt to my conscience than the pictures of Dickensian horrors. It is a melancholy, ugly picture. I want to draw the parallel picture. My hon. Friend read out part of paragraph 144, which I hope everybody will read. How did it happen? Were there no inspections? What happened to the inspectors' reports? I will quote from paragraph 399 about inspections: The criticisms of inspectors on the nursery described in paragraph 144 had effected no improvement at all, although the children were removed to another nursery within two months of our visit. What happens to the inspectors' reports? How frequently do inspections take place? Those are the questions that come to my mind. This report is a sorry condemnation of the whole inspection system, and particularly is it a condemnation of those sections of the Ministry of Health which have received the inspectors' reports and have not seen to it that something was done It is partly a condemnation, also, of the Ministry of Education. I shall not take up the time of the House in trying to paint a picture which every hon. Member can see for himself if he will take the trouble to read the Report.

I want to ask two questions. First, why has this situation arisen? I want to give two answers to that question. I think the fundamental thing is that there has been a failure of personal duty, a failure to realise that the lives of these children are not the responsibility of Government Departments or local authorities, but are the responsibility of every man and woman of us and of our fellow citizens. We have become too prone as a civilisation to shuffle off responsibility and say that it is the duty of a local authority or a Government Department. Here we are not concerned with cogs in a machine, we are not concerned even with adult people; we are concerned with people who are helpless and voteless. This is why we do not deal with them—they are voteless and voiceless. If we deal with these questions, it will not bring us great support in our constituencies. Failure to deal with them will not deprive us of votes. That is the shameful thing about it. In parenthesis, I wonder whether there should not be an inquiry into the conditions of life of the aged in public assistance institutions, and another inquiry into conditions in mental institutions. Disquieting thoughts have been raised in my mind. I think we all ought to be here in white sheets. Every citizen of this country ought to recognise that we have salved our consciences by saying that these children were in the hands of public authorities or of Government Departments, and have left it at that.

The second reason why this state of affairs has persisted until today is that we have failed to regard children as individuals. It is a commonplace of political controversy that we accuse hon. Members opposite of tending to regard every citizen as a cog in the machine rather than as an individual and as an immortal soul. I am not going to enter into that contro- versy, but I am sure every hon. Member will agree that one of our main errors has been this collective approach to the problem of these individuals in the most formative part of their lives. I believe that this organisational approach is doomed to failure. We may make certain improvements to the present system, we may overhaul it, we may get a very good, modern and up-to-date machine for dealing with children, but as long as we deal with them collectively and not as individuals, the systems are doomed to failure, although they may be improvements on the present one.

What children need is something that they cannot get if they are treated collectively. I ask myself what my own children need. They need stability of background. I am sure that is the most important thing in a child's life. It is said that one feels more frightened in a desert when there is nothing round one than one does in a forest where one can get one's back against a tree. The child wants to feel that he ha? his back against something which is permanent, even if that something is not very pleasant. He needs to have something on which he can count. To put a child in a position of uncertainty or lack of stability is the greatest crime one can commit against that child. Children want love; not the love of a series of people at different times in a child's life, but a permanent and continuing love from the same person or persons. This is just another way of saying that we shall be failing in our duty towards these children unless we approximate their conditions of life to those of normal life in a normal home, a home with all its knocks as well as its good points, with all its difficulty and unhappy moments as well as the happy ones. We shall not even have done our duty if we put them in institutions where everything is arranged and ordered, where the children's health is thoroughly cared for, and so on, because then we shall probably unfit them for whatever knocks and hardships of daily life they may meet when they come out. So I repeat that stability of background, and the approximation to normal life, is what we must aim at.

Taking that point of view, I foresee two dangers. A very great stir was caused by the O'Neill case. Here I do think we ought to congratulate the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) who initiated the movement in this House which led to the appointment of the Curtis Committee. A very great stir was caused by that case, and a very great stir, whatever the Government may think, has been caused by this Report. I think that we may very easily have a temporary conversion: that we shall all get very worried, and have a new machine installed, and then go to sleep again, thinking we have dealt with the situation. That is the first of the dangers. The second one is lest we fall into the same mistake as, I think, the members of this Committee have inevitably fallen into—that of laying all the stress on organisation and reorganisation. Of course, organisation is necessary, but in no branch of our national life will the dead hand of bureaucracy be more fatal to what we have in view than in dealing with chidren. I beg the House to bear those two points in mind. There is no simple remedy in the way of reorganisation at our disposal, and there is no permanent remedy. It is a continuing problem, which will be just as urgent so long as there are deprived children left in the world. I am not despising or condemning these proposals for reorganisation. Of course, they are necessary, and I shall have something more to say about that later.

But I believe that the first thing we have to aim at is that each child should have one individual, at least, to look to. I used to stay before the war with a friend of mine in France. She is now dead. They were rich people, and they took a great interest in child welfare. My friend started a maternity home in a neighbouring town, and found that all the illegitimate children were left on her hands, so she begged and borrowed, and scraped money together, and started an orphanage, and just before the war had 300 children there. About 20 years ago she said to me, "I wish you would adopt one of these children and become a sort of godparent, for I wish each child had got someone who will sometimes write to him and visit him." I did. I adopted a little boy. I believe that it made the whole difference to his happiness. They were all happy children on the whole there; but it made him feel he had someone who would take an interest in him. My experience with him made me believe we ought to make a great effort to see that every single deprived child has what I may call, for want of a better word, a godparent—someone who will visit him at least four times a year, and write to him, and send him presents, and make Christmas a day to stand out in his year, and make his birthday a day that stands out. How many of these children know what a birthday is, or celebrate it in any way whatever?

I think we can do a lot in that way. This country is full of warmhearted, charitable people, who have been impressed by this Report. We ought to cash in on this sense of anxiety aroused by this Report. There will be a great many people who will take an interest in these deprived children. This interest must be kept alive although I have no prescription for doing that. I think that the least that we can do is to keep interest constantly alive in our constituencies, and so cash in on the uneasiness created by this Report. The third thing—and here I turn to organisation again—is this. I agree with my hon. Friend that, of all the Departments, the one that comes out best is the Home Office. I do not think their record is so blameless as my hon. Friend thinks, but I think their record is, comparatively speaking, good. I believe that the Home Office should be the Department responsible for the Government's activities regarding deprived children.

I go a step further. I do not want children to be in the charge of any Department of a great Ministry which has lots of other duties. I believe the solution lies in the setting up of a semi-independent board on the lines of the Unemployment Assistance Board which would, of course, have questions answered for it by a Minister in the House—I suggest the Home Secretary. That is the direction in which our reorganisation should lie. Then, I am most anxious that the bias in all cases should be away from institutional treatment, away from homes, and in favour of boarding out. I fall out with the Committee on recommendation No. 26. I do not see why you should not pay for boarding out children enough to include a certain profit element. I do not see anything dishonourable in people making a little profit out of a child, indeed in most cases, I do not think a penny of that profit would go into the people's pockets; I believe it would go to the child. I cannot understand that recommendation of the Committee bat, apart from that, I accept their recommendations in broad outline.

The House suspects—and, in my opinion, rightly suspects—appeals to emotion, but I believe this is a case where the heart must rule the head. This is, above all things, an appeal to the heart, and I ask hon. Members not to let their heads damp down their honest emotions. We live in hard and evil days. In the totalitarian world that has come upon us, compassion is at a discount, mercy is almost forgotten, and pity is despised. I believe that if we fail to deal with this situation, and fail to provide every child with a background, it will be an indelible slur on our civilisation. I spent much of the weekend studying this Report and, on Sunday evening, after reading the Report and getting more and more depressed, I went to pay a visit to my youngest daughter aged four months. The contrast was almost unbearable. There was this child, clean, healthy, happy, with the prospects of an affectionate home—if we both survive—until she is grown up. The contrast between her and the wretched children I had been reading about—with even those, if not wretched, background-less children—was almost more than I could bear, and I ask the House to remember that, by some malicious turn of fortune's wheel, any of our children might be put into this condition. I say, "God protect them from it, and may God lead us to do our duty to the helpless."

8.19 p.m.

Mr. Eric Fletcher (Islington, East)

This Debate on the Curtis Report arises this evening technically on an Amendment to the Address in reply to the Gracious Speech. If, however, a Debate on this subject had not arisen in this form, I am sure some other method would have been found by hon. Members on this side of the House of raising this question because, as the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment said, it is a matter which concerns and affects the consciences of all Members of this House.

I do not want to introduce an element of party controversy into the Debate, but in view of what the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Nicholson) said, I feel it necessary to point out that the deplorable conditions revealed in the Curtis Report cannot, in fairness, be laid to the charge of the present Government. These conditions are a relic of the poor law of the past, for which earlier Governments are responsible. Therefore, I do not regard it as a legitimate matter for criticism that this matter has been omitted from the King's Speech, for assurances have been given that this Report, which was only published in September, is receiving and will continue to receive the attention of His Majesty's Government. Hon. Members have already quoted some of the more dramatic and more pathetic passages in the Report, passages which have already appeared in various sections of the Press. A great many hon. Members wish to speak, and, therefore, I would prefer, unlike the mover and seconder of this Amendment, to ask the House to concentrate attention for a few minutes on the remedies for the situation which has been revealed by the Curtis Committee. I am sure that all of us, in the House and in the country, are indebted to Miss Curtis and her colleagues for the thoroughness with which they have devoted themselves to the problems of these unhappy children, and for the detailed remedies suggested. There are no fewer than 62 recommendations in the Report for improving the present situation. I think it is true to say that, broadly, the situation with which we are confronted exposes two different aspects which call for criticism. First there is the administrative chaos and confusion, in which the whole subject has become involved. Secondly, there is the lack of affection, lack of interest, lack of care and lack of love for these children who are deprived of normal home conditions and normal parents.

Let us take, first, the administrative position as it is today. We find that there are no less than five Government Departments which are, in one form or another, concerned with these various classes of deprived children—the Ministry of Health, the Home Office, the Board of Control, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Pensions. The existing arrangements are summarised in paragraph 98 of the Report, and I do not propose to quote it in detail. I would only say that rarely can administrative measures for dealing with a social problem of this importance have been allowed to become surrounded with so much confusion, so much overlapping and so much mystery and this, as the members of the Committee rightly point out, is one of the fundamental reasons why these deplorable conditions exist. It would be wrong for us to think that the glaring cases which have been quoted are, in any degree, typical of the whole. To do so would be to forget the devoted work which is done in many parts of the country by people who take a special interest, both as members of local authorities and as officers of local authorities, in looking after deprived children. There are numbers of institutions and schools, as well as homes of foster parents, and places of all kinds where noble work is done in the interest of these young unfortunate children. The Curtis Committee make three general recommendations for ameliorating the present condition. They recommend the appointment in all areas of a children's officer, having equality of status with the other chief officers of local authorities, such as Education Officers, the Medical Officer of Health, the Engineer, and so on. They recommend that local authorities entrusted with this problem should appoint an ad hoccommittee for the express purpose of dealing with deprived children of every class. At the highest level, they recommend that the existing haphazard arrangements should be unified under one central Government Department, although they do not specify which Government Department that should be. That is a matter for legitimate argument and debate, on which I shall address the House in a moment or two.

But, first, I want to say that in my view the most important thing is to implement the recommendation of the Committee for the appointment of a children's officer. When all is said and done, what all the children lack, whether they are destitute or illegitimate, or whether they are in an approved school, is a home. That is the respect in which they differ from all normal children, who have the affection of their parents and a home of their own. In remembering the dreadful conditions of some of these institutions, we must, to retain a sense of perspective, also remember the dreadful conditions of some of the homes in which normal children live. The Committee emphasise that this problem of finding the best substitute for a home for all these children will best be resolved if a responsible, adequately paid, children's officer is appointed by every local authority charged with the administration of this problem. It is to be hoped that the children's officer, in most cases, would be a woman. She would be the person responsible, with her subordinate staff, for ensuring that all these children have the best substitute for a normal home. I would hope that as many children as possible can be adopted and, that, failing that, as many as possible could be boarded out among foster parents. As regards adoption, I understand that the number of would-be adopters of children already exceeds the number of children waiting to be adopted. Therefore, the solution of that problem ought to be relatively easy. Failing adoption, failing boarding out, I would hope that the tendency would be—

Mr. Nicholson

I hope the hon. Member will not give the impression that adoption arrangements are by any means satisfactory. That part of the Committee's Report relating to adoption was not very good reading, and I hope he will point that out.

Mr. Fletcher

I do not want to be diverted from my main theme, although I agree with the hon. Member that the general law of adoption is capable of a great deal of improvement. The method by which children at present can be adopted is far from satisfactory. The law requires considerable overhaul, but the principle of adoption is one which commends itself because, by that means, you ensure, in the best possible way, the best substitute for a normal home. I hope the procedure for adoption will be simplified and the practice encouraged. After boarding out, I would argue that the children should be put into cottage homes. I do not mean the so-called cottage homes where, frequently, they accommodate 30 or 40 children, with a house mother or father, but homes which can accommodate eight or 10 children, or perhaps 15 at the most, so that they can have the same kind of conditions as a normal family. Whereas, under conditions of that kind, the children can have a degree of individual care and attention and something like a home, similar home conditions are lacking where they are grouped in bodies of 30 or 40.

The next question is whether there should be an ad hoccommittee of every local authority. I regard it as essential that the function of looking after and home-finding for these children should be the concern and responsibility of a definite number of people in any local authority. It may be arguable as to whether there should be an ad hoccommittee, or that, as at present, the committee dealing with this work should be a sub-committee of the education committee. I think that one may possibly have to leave a measure of flexibility in this arrangement to the local authorities. I think that rigidity is a bad thing both for children, the local author-ties, and generally. Therefore, I should prefer flexibility in this arrangement to rigidity. Other considerations apart, I feel that an ad hoccommittee would ensure a definite number of people charged with this specific function, devoting their time to it and not functioning merely as members of a subcommittee with multifarious other duties pertaining to an overworked central committee.

Whether central responsibility for this work should be entrusted to the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education or to the Home Office, all are agreed that a unified system is essential. I think that the House will agree, for a variety of reasons, that the Ministry of Health is ruled out, and that the real choice is between the Home Office and the Ministry of Education. The determination of that question may be of considerable importance. No one is disputing the work done by the children's department of the Home Office. But a great many of the evils which are reported by this committee must be the result of failure of the Home Office inspectorate, and I think that the House should remember, in particular, if my information is correct, that of the total number of approved schools in this country more are conducted by voluntary organisations and inspected by the Home Office than are in the hands of the local education committees; and, in this context, I would like to quote, with approval, a paragraph which appeared in "The Times" recently with regard to these voluntary societies. "The Times," in a leading article, said: If local authorities are to be required to employ children's officers, it would seem reasonable to insist that all the voluntary societies should also employ officers of similar competence and humanity, and the Report's recommendations for the tighter regulation and inspection of voluntary organisations by a central department do not appear adequate. It is sometimes said that the Home Office should be in charge of this central administrative task because in the eyes of the public, the Home Office embodies and represents the home. It is said that the mere use of the word "home" suggests that the Home Office has something to do with the homes of the people. I mention that because, ridiculous as it is, this is one of the reasons sometimes put forward for leaving these children in the care of the Home Office. Another reason put forward is that the Home Office is largely concerned with depriving citizens of their liberty and in looking after those who had been so deprived, and it is a good thing, so it is said, and in the interests of the Home Office to let them have some humane work to do. We are not in this matter concerned with the welfare of Government Departments, but with the welfare of children. What matters is which Government Department is most likely to be able, and is most likely to be thought of by the public as being able, really to overhaul this dreadfully chaotic machinery that exists at the moment, breathing new life into it, inspiring it with new ideas, and giving it a new directon. I feel with considerable conviction that the Ministry of Education is the right Department, because in the minds of a great many people it represents the Department which par excellenceis concerned with humane activities. There need be no conflict between a branch of the Ministry of Education responsible for looking after these children and the Ministry of Education in its other activities. There is no reason why this humane work should not be done by the Ministry of Education.

Mr. Scollan

Why not appoint a children's Minister?

Mr. Fletcher

My hon. Friend suggests the setting up of a Ministry of Children. That is a novel suggestion—no doubt, a very good suggestion—which my hon. Friend will no doubt be able to elaborate. For my part I urge the Government, in dealing with the administrative problem, to regard as the sole consideration the question of what will be best in the interests of the children concerned and be most likely to satisfy the public whose conscience has been so thoroughly aroused. I feel that this result will best be achieved if the Ministry of Education is entrusted with these central functions for providing for the care as well as the education of deprived children.

8.37 p.m.

Mr. Keeling (Twickenham)

My hon. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. G. Nicholson) mentioned a Motion which appeared on the Order Paper of the House about two years ago, and which led to, although it was not the sole cause of, the appointment of the Curtis Committee. The Members who put their names to that Motion were very much influenced by correspondence which appeared in "The Times" and which attracted great attention. I would like to congratulate both "The Times" and Lady Allen of Hurtwood, who set the ball rolling in "The Times," on the success which attended their efforts. May I add that when the Committee was appointed, I criticised the appointment of Miss Curtis as Chairman because of her association with another inquiry, but I should like to say now that, in my opinion, no Committee could have conducted its inquiries more carefully and more exhaustively, and I think that for that very excellent report we must give a great share of the credit to Miss Curtis.

If the House will allow me, I would like to give a personal experience which focused my attention on this matter, and which underlines, I think, a great deal of what has been said this evening. At the outbreak of the war, I happened to be in the country house of a friend, who gave evidence before the Curtis Committee, in which were at that moment arriving 20 children between the ages of 1½ and 3 who had just been evacuated from an institution belonging to a local authority of high repute. These children were mostly illegitimate. They had been abandoned at birth or shortly after birth. They had never known what home life was; they could not talk, because, presumably, nobody had ever had time to talk to them; they were either silent or they screamed; they were anti-social and entirely helpless; and seeing them, one felt that in abolishing the baby farm of 100 years ago, with all its evils, we had set up another system, the institution, which with all its merits, with all its efficiency in providing for bodily needs, lacked something.

These children that I saw were for the first time entering an ordinary house of an ordinary family. When I saw them again four months later the change was really astounding. They themselves had begun to realise that they were not only receiving food and clothes but also affection, and in their turn they began to give love and trust. The restless, unsatisfied look on their faces disappeared. Their intelligence and character developed rapidly. The security of an established home had given them confidence? What was the reason for the change? The essential fact was that they were now receiving individual attention, human love and sympathy. In this new home there was one person whom they could trust and on whom they could always depend, who acted as a mother to them. I agree with the hon. Member for Farnham in all that he said about that.

I want to make it clear that I am not making an attack on institutions as a whole. As the Curtis Committee states, there are many voluntary homes and many homes belonging to local authorities which are quite excellent, with good staff, good premises and good committees looking after them. I have seen a number like that. I had a personal experience of the efficiency of a local authority on one aspect of the matter. Some years ago my wife and I had to go abroad for two months and we left our small boy of four in a Norland Home in London. When we came back we took him to a new house which we had in the country. About a week later, an inspector of the local county council arrived at our house, having travelled 30 miles by car, and asked, "Where is the child that was removed from the Norland Home a week ago?" Fortunately we were able to produce him.

A great many of these institutions, however, of both sorts, are efficient without being human. It is very difficult for large institutions to be human. I would ask hon. Members to say, if their children became orphans, and there was no possibility of adoption by trusted relatives, which they would prefer—boarding out with foster parents or an institution? I believe that most members will agree with the Curtis Committee that boarding out is to be preferred to an institution, though it is only second best to adoption. Of course, we must admit that some institutions are necessary, but the acid test must be the extent to which that institution can provide a substitute for home life, the small natural society in which a child can develop. The best institution in the world cannot provide an entirely adequate substitute. I read that one head of an admirable institution said: It is a very bad home that is not better than this. The Curtis Committee themselves referred to the extreme seriousness of taking away a child even from an indifferent home. It is perfectly clear that in order to promote adoption, to develop, improve and control the foster-parent system, and to improve the institutions which exist, a great deal of legislation will be necessary. As has already been said, the Committee recommend a strong central organisation and a new ad hocchildren's committee under every local authority. I was very disappointed that the Curtis Committee did not express any opinion as to which central Whitehall Department should be in supreme charge, but reading between the lines, and after talking to some of the members of that Committee, I have no doubt at all that the view of a large majority of the Curtis Committee is that the central Department should be the Home Office. Whether I am right or wrong about their view, it is certainly my own view. The hon. Member for East Islington (Mr. E. Fletcher) expressed a strong opinion in favour of the Ministry of Education. I want to give one or two reasons why I disagree with him. First, I suggest that the Curtis Committee have, after all, studied this matter more than any hon. Member of this House could possibly have studied it. That is, perhaps, not an entirely convincing reason in itself, but my second reason—

Mr. Dumpleton (St. Albans)

The hon. Gentleman will, of course, realise that some of us have been struggling with this problem for years.

Mr. Keeling

I do not dispute that for a moment, but I doubt whether any hon. Member has studied the matter as the Curtis Committee have.

Mr. E. Fletcher

The hon. Gentleman will not overlook the fact that two hon. Members of this House served on the Curtis Committee.

Mr. Keeling

I wonder whether both the hon. Members who were on the Curtis Committee have come down, or will come down, in favour of the Ministry of Education? We shall see. My second reason is the fact that a children's branch exists at the Home Office with a great deal of experience, even though its record is not entirely blameless. My third reason is that, unlike the Ministry of Education, the Home Office has no bias for the institution as against the home. I suggest that the Ministry of Education must be prejudiced to some extent in favour of the institution.

Mrs. Leah Manning (Epping)


Mr. Keeling

Because it exists for institutions and, secondly, because it has very little, if any, knowledge of the home. I do not want to spend any more time on that but wish finally to support very strongly the demand for legislation in this matter this Session. The hon. Member for East Islington said to at we ought to be satisfied with the assurance of the Government that this matter was receiving and would receive attention. I am not satisfied with that assurance. I think that this matter is extremely urgent and I hope that the Lord Privy Seal will announce that legislation will be undertaken during this Session. If he does not announce it, I hope that party discipline will not be so strong as to prevail over the keen sympathy which I am sure hon. Members opposite have for this Amendment. I am quite sure that the country desires and expects that legislation will be undertaken on the lines of the Curtis Report without delay.

8.49 p.m.

Mrs. Nichol (Bradford, North)

As one of the two Parliamentary Members of the Curtis Committee I, naturally, share the disappointment expressed by the mover and seconder of this Amendment that no mention of immediate legislation has been made in the Gracious Speech, but as I am a Government supporter I understand the difficulties and am a good deal more tolerant of them than hon. Members opposite can be expected to be. At the same time, the gravity of the subject demands the earliest possible legislative action, and I sincerely hope that the Government will as soon as it is practicable introduce legislation which will make the recommendations of the Committee operative. In the meantime I should like to press for a tightening by administrative Order of the control of the various Ministries concerned in child care, by more frequent inspections, and in other ways, pending legislation. Until such time as legislation can be passed, there should thus be no recurrence of cases like the O'Neill case, which was largely responsible for bringing into being the Curtis Committee.

The trouble we found, putting it very bluntly, was that there are too many responsible authorities. At the same time, paradoxical as it may sound, in some cases there were not enough authorities. At this point I should like to remove some of the bad impressions which might have been created by the publication of the more sensational parts of the Curtis Report. Hon. Members have made references to them in their speeches today. As a member of the Committee, I think it is only fair to state that there is a good deal of kind, patient and intelligent work being done in institutions, foster homes and voluntary homes, and wherever children are cared for otherwise than by their parents. I can speak for the Curtis Committee in saying that we are extremely grateful for that work, but there are very many black spots, as the evidence reveals. Those black spots would be terrible in any age, but they are particularly revolting in an age which calls itself enlightened.

There is only time in a short speech to deal with a few of the main ideas in the Report. It is possible that there may be a bigger Debate on the subject in the near future. I hope there will be, because more ground could be explored on such an occasion. The first element in the life of a deprived child which, from whatever cause, makes the child "deprived," is the lack of a home background, or the nearest approach to it. That is the thing to which we have to set our minds because it is the most important missing link in the child's life. The deprived child is a very defenceless person. It just has not the feeling that there is anyone to care for it. It is the knowledge among the public of that feeling which aroused so much indignation at some of the evidence revealed in the Report. Not only must a home background be provided, but there must be skilled care and sympathy and, if possible, the love which is given to more fortunate children. Thirdly, there is the element of personal protection which should shield all young children. They must be made to feel, what?—needed and safe. That is the core of the whole thing. They must be given security and stability. That is the normal atmosphere of the normal, natural home.

Faced with these facts during the investigation, members of the Committee directed their main attention to the best method of providing those missing elements, the home, the love, the skill, the care, the safety and the stability. Hon. Members will be very pleased to find in a simple analysis of the recommendations in the Curtis Report an attempt to deal with this difficult problem. It is one which comes back finally to the relationship between individual children and individual adults, and it is obvious that the adults who are to be charged with the responsibilities shall not only be competent and trained but part of a unified system so carefully devised that there is a guarantee that the task which they undertake shall be properly performed. The Committee therefore addressed itself to the main weaknesses in the present system—or lack of system—one, the lack of trained personnel; and, two, the confusion which arises from divided authority.

As in the case of the new Education Act, the difficulty will be to find sufficiently well trained people to implement the recommendations of the Report. The first part of the Committee's work was therefore the interim Report on the training of the adults who will deal with this problem. That Report has been in the hands of hon. Members for very nearly 12 months, and I am very sorry to say that little has so far been done towards making that Report a live thing instead of something in a pigeon-hole. It is a very important Report because it is, so to speak, the basis upon which the further recommendations rest. There will not be very much disagreement in this House on the proposal for appointing well-trained, competent, tactful, sympathetic persons who shall be called children's officers. This children's officer is to be responsible for the welfare of deprived children from the moment they become deprived. This is important, because a child may become deprived at the age of six weeks or a month, and it is from that moment that it needs care and affection and a home and that the work of the children's officer should start.

I now come to the question of authority, that is, the future administration of the scheme. On this there may be differences of opinion. A few differences of opinion have been evidenced tonight. Some will favour one kind of committee, and some another. I have heard hon. Members say that if it came under the Education Committee, it could be another job for the teachers. From conversations I have had with teachers, I should hardly think that anybody would be willing to put one more job upon teachers. When one considers the work that teachers do now other than teaching—dishing out meals, maintaining discipline at mealtimes, distributing boots and school clothing, being officers in junior service units, running orchestras, football matches, school journeys and harvest camps—the average teacher makes Pooh-Bah look like a specialist.

Miss Herbison (Lanark, North)

Surely the hon. Member is not suggesting that if this came under the Ministry of Education the teachers would have to find the homes and so on? We are quite convinced that that is the correct thing, but we are just as convinced that it should not mean an added job for the teachers, like milk, meals and so on.

Mrs. Nichol

I am only saying that more than one hon. Member has suggested to me that if this work came under the Ministry of Education, it might involve another job for the teachers. I am not suggesting that hon. Members who wish to act under the Ministry of Education think that; I am only suggesting that there are hon. Members who think that it may be another job for the teachers. One thing which frightens me about putting it under an already very hardworked Ministry which covers a great deal of the life of the child, is that it might conceivably be given to an official or to a sub-committee, or it might be shelved in some way and not get the attention it deserves.

It is obvious that we are all agreed in this House that the thing which is missing is the home. The home background is the kernel of the whole problem, and it is the home which has to be provided. I submit to hon. Members on both sides of the House that the deprived child will get education, it will get health services, it will get out-of-school activities, it will get all that we provide now in a school in the way of meals, clothing and everything. It will get its outings, pocket money, and so on. The only thing it will not get, unless we specially provide it, is the home, and that is what is most lacking.

I feel there will be a great deal of discussion about the various Ministries, but whichever Ministry it goes under, it is not something for which I am prepared to die in the last ditch or go on the barricades. All I ask is that whichever Department it is, there shall be a special children's branch to do this specialist work, considered as something special and apart, just as the home of a child in a natural home is something special and apart. Your child and my child has its home and its school and its activities and all the other things, but its home is something special, and it is that home for which it cares passionately. The provision of a home background should be specially undertaken by a children's branch of whichever Ministry undertakes it.

Then I would press for ad hoccommittees, which can be composed of elected people who have had experience in education or health matters, with other people coopted who are specially sympathetic or, again who have had special experience. The children's officer should be responsible to this ad hoccommittee and, between them, they should take full responsibility for the welfare of the children in that way from any age. I do not want to go into any more details but I want to emphasise that this human piece of work should be the care of one special branch of a Ministry, and that the children's officer—

Mr. Keeling

Would the hon. Member not tell us, after sitting on the Curtis Committee and hearing all the evidence, which Ministry she prefers?

Mrs. Nichol

I could give only a personal opinion. We were scrupulously careful not to discuss on the Committee which Ministry we favoured, because some may think one, some another, is best, and we felt it should be settled at a higher level, that the Government would have to decide it administratively, and that it was not strictly within our terms of reference. We thought we had a job to do of a specially circumscribed nature and that, whichever Ministry undertook it, was the one which the Government would decide upon. I do not in the least mind giving my own personal opinion as long as it is understood that it was not a Committee decision. I feel that it should come under the Home Office, but not because of the rather nonsensical remark made by some hon. Members tonight about the word "home." I want to remind hon. Members that there is a side to the Home Office of which very few people know. It is their connection with children at all stages of their life which people outside do not fully understand, or appreciate. I feel that there is not a specialist bias either way. The other things can be provided by the appropriate Ministries—Health and Education—but this matter of a home, and a home background, and the welfare immediately surrounding the home, is something separate and apart. The administration is there, the machinery is there, and a good deal of work is already done by that Department. I think it could be most appropriately done by the Home Office, but, as I say, I shall not be sick with disappointment if it is decided otherwise, so long as provision is made for the work we especially wish to see undertaken, and on which we pin our hopes, this great work of creating home conditions. If that is done competently and well by any other Ministry, and if they specialise in it, I shall feel satisfied.

I think there is general agreement on all sides of the House that a Measure to deal with this question is very much overdue and that the problem is crying out for remedy. We shall look forward to the time when we can have—we hope it will be in the immediate future—legislation which will make it impossible for little children to suffer, as many of them are suffering. Hon. Members on all sides of the House will agree that the recommendations contained in the Report, if fully implemented, will go a long way to seeing that the children who are now deprived children, shall have an opportunity of growing up into strong, healthy, happy men and women, and useful citizens.

9.9 p.m.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay (Combined English Universities)

I appreciate that a large number of hon. Members on the other side of the House have had very long experience in this field, and I, therefore, shall make my remarks as short as possible. In order to put the question into perspective, I would say that this is not a new problem. Some 50 years ago, at Toynbee Hall, Dame Henrietta Barnett and her friends made a report on this very subject. I would like to quote from what they said. It was written in the "Life of Canon Barnett" by his wife: This Committee condemned root and branch the system of bringing up large numbers of children in group cottage homes. They described them as artificial villages in which children can never be absorbed into the full life of the community. Yet today"— as the Report says— 43 per cent. of the children in local authority homes and an indefinite number (which the Report noticeably avoids computing) are in grouped cottage homes. Indeed the Curtis Report visualises the continuation of this method. That is their third preference. So much for 50 years' advance. The final, the most damning indictment, is on another page of the Report: The National Union of Teachers expressed the view in evidence that not more than 4 per- cent. of all children in a particular school could safely be home children without being in a group marked off from their fellows. What a condemnation. I think that is the final condemnation of this method of dealing with children. May I assume that the House has read the Report? May I do them that courtesy, and not go over any of the points which are so well established in this remarkable Report? If I do not pay tribute, it is only because it would be repeating what others have said. I have said that this problem is not new. Miss Rendel, the head of the Caldecott Community, wrote a pamphlet a few years ago called "The Insecure Child," which I thought so important that it led me to make a half-hour speech, largely out of Order, on these very children, during the Education Act Debate in 1944, trying somehow to introduce them into the Education Act. You, Mr. Speaker, or your predecessor allowed me to go on for half an hour and then stopped me. Lady Allen of Hurtwood published a pamphlet called "Whose children?" which very largely focussed the attention of the nation on these children. The O'Neill case and Marlsford Lodge simply brought the matter to a head.

The junior Burgess for Cambridge University (Mr. Wilson Harris), who raised this question, said we wanted action. He said the children are in our hands—but they are not. There are children under the Catholic Welfare Council, under the National Children's Homes and Orphanage, there are children in the Foundling Hospital, and a host of other homes, who are not in our hands. They have no legal guardians, and will not, under the Curtis Report, have legal guardians. Therefore, though it is our responsibility, in a broad sense, now that the Report is before us, we have to go a long way before we can produce a specific remedy. I want to ask the Lord Privy Seal whether the Government have chosen the key points. I think they could do so. I am not quite sure whether the right hon. Gentleman is ready to answer that tonight. I am not so keen about dividing upon this Amendment tonight. This is a much older question than some hon. Members seem to realise. I would much sooner have the right thing done a little later than have hasty legislative action now. Administration is of course another matter.

Some hon. Members have said that there is a children's branch at the Home Office, and a very constructive body it is. There is also a children's branch in the Ministry of Education. I want to mention it in passing, because they have had quite a lot to do with children. This Report, with its admirable priority of recommendations, and its faithful picture of dull, grey, unimaginative treatment, is excellent. My criticism is fundamental. It is that the Committee has shied at applying the full recommendations to the voluntary homes. As the hon. Member for Farnham (Mr. Godfrey Nicholson) urged in his moving speech, as did other Members, adoption; but that means changing the laws of adoption fundamentally, and is far and away the best thing. My hon. Friend the Member for Bridgeton (Mr. Carmichael) has had years of experience in Glasgow. He knows that children are boarded today all over Scotland, and have been for years, with admirable care. The real truth emerging from this Report is that we do not want institutions at all, voluntary or statutory. That is our target.

Dr. Morgan (Rochdale)

The hon. Member is advocating the abolition of institutions. What is to be done with the ineducable child?

Mr. Lindsay

A host of things could be done. All local authority children are, under this Report, to be under legal pro- tection, but children in the voluntary homes are not. The central point suggested in this organisation by Miss Curtis and her Committee arises from their recognition of the vital need for children having the protection of an individual officer called the children's officer, who is to be concerned with their personal interests, and not only with inspecting homes. Protection is to be allowed to children under the local authority but denied to children under the voluntary homes. There is to be no legal guardian for children under the voluntary homes. Indeed, the danger of isolating the children in the voluntary homes is intensified by another recommendation that the heads of the home shall become a legal guardian of the children. This is not progress: this is going backwards.

My contention is that the local authority should become the legal guardian of all children deprived of a normal home life and that the voluntary societies should become the agency for their care. The Curtis Report says that the children's officer is rightly regarded as the pivot of the organisation, and yet this pivotal person, on whom so much store is set, is denied to over 50 per cent. of the children. Why is such tenderness shown for the interests of the voluntary homes? I maintain that the interests of the children should come first. They want justice not charity. I think the Curtis Report rightly puts adoption first and boarding out second, as the best way of caring for these children. The voluntary homes are free to refuse both adoption and boarding out. In other words, we may go on for another 50 years with grouped cottage homes within these voluntary societies. Take, for example, what is called the "Big Six", which together cares for 35,000 children. Only 4,000 are boarded out and 1,000 are adopted. The remaining 30,000 children are condemned to residential homes, in spite of the recommendations of this Report. It seems that is a vital flaw. I hope that point can be answered by the right hon. Gentleman. I do not know whether he agrees with this interpretation but I hope the Government can make up their own mind in their own way based on the experience which I know the Lord Privy Seal personally has had during the many years in which he has been interested in this subject.

I agree with the main recommendations of the Report and I wish them to be applied to all children without tear or favour. I want to see the minimum of segregation and the maximum of children being brought into the main stream with normal children. Who, after all, are the children in our ordinary schools, and who are these children in the Home Office schools? They are not delinquents, believe me. Ask Mr. Duncan at the Larkhills School at Winchester. He will say that these are not abnormal children at all. I say that 50 per cent, of the children in the Home Office schools are not seriously delinquent, they are bored largely due to being 60 and 70 in a class. I go further and say that 10 per cent. of the children under the normal education system deserve special educational treatment. Why not bring these children together? Do hon. Members really think that by setting up a new department called "The Department of Finding a Home" that is going to make a vast deal of difference to the home life of these children? I do not want to press tonight purely administrative questions. I have a conception of the Ministry of Education which is slightly different. I am glad to see the right hon. Lady the Minister of Education is present I am sure she will agree that what she would like to see is a Ministry of Education dealing with something more than the minds of the children. I also see present my hon. Friend the Member for South Tottenham (Mr. Messer), who has such a profound knowledge of handicapped children. I wonder, when he is free to speak, as chairman of that Committee, where he would like to place the responsibility. I am sure he would like to feel that these children are brought into the stream under normal education.

Mr. Messer (Tottenham, South)

That, very definitely, is my view. These are children, not cases.

Mr. Lindsay

Reference has been made to children's officers, and what I am concerned with is that these persons—and they are very badly needed—shall be under the local authority the legal guardians of all children. There are many other questions in the Report, questions of standards and training which the hon. Lady the Member for North Bradford (Mrs. Nichol) has mentioned. As she said, why have 12 months gone by with no courses set up, except in two voluntary societies, for training people? I should like to see that integrated with the main work of the Minister of Education. I ask the Lord Privy Seal tonight to tell us that the Government will realise the acuteness of this problem, which is a reproach to all of us, and that they will bring into the main educational stream these children who are so little different from the normal children of the country.

9.21 p.m.

Mr. Corlett (York)

In the brief time allowed me I must say that I agree entirely with the remarks of the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. K. Lindsay), and I hope the Government will consider these recommendations very carefully indeed before they decide which of them they are going to implement. I agree wholeheartedly with many of the recommendations of the Curtis Report, but I must confess that I read with surprise and dismay their administrative recommendations, and I cannot help feeling that they made the same fatal mistake that has been responsible for the wasteful and overlapping functions which they so rightly and so severely condemn. These wasteful, overlapping functions are there because, in every case, we have considered the handicap of the child first and the child second, and I believe that to be completely fatal.

I believe that the Curtis Committee has made exactly the same mistake. I believe that they might have rendered a much greater service to the deprived child if they had considered the child first and the handicap second, and I can only believe that they made that mistake because of that really remarkable statement on page 145 of their Report where they state that an education committee is concerned with the educational development of the mind. That is a most amazing statement. It could be argued that it is precisely for the reason that education committees are concerned with the development of the mind that deprived children should be their responsibility. We all know that their responsibilities are now very much greater indeed than the development of the mind. We have only to go into an education committee office, and I have been going into them for 30 years, to see the remarkable development in the way of medical services, meals services, juvenile employment, youth services, remand homes, approved schools and the care of children and so on under the 1933 Act. We know, of course, that under the 1944 Act, under the special regulations, it is their bounden statutory duty to look after these handicapped children.

The amazing thing about this Report seems to me to be that the Curtis Committee is quite prepared to say that it is the responsibility of the local education authority to look after all normal children, except deprived children. They seem to us to say that it is the duty of the local education authorities to look after all subnormal children, that it is the duty of local education authorities to provide day and residential accommodation for every type of child — normal, subnormal, physically handicapped and mentally handicapped, and the child suffering from multiple defects, which is the. worst case of all. These are the responsibility of local education authorities, but they must not, according to the Curtis Report, deal with the deprived children, who come into every one of these categories. I cannot understand why the Committee have made these recommendations, particularly when they emphasise that the one thing they want to avoid is isolation and segregation. That is the one thing which they say they want to avoid, yet that is the one thing which, by their own recommendations, they will inflict upon these children. I know that some of my friends in the educational world thought that the Curtis Committee were prejudiced, but I think that, if we read page 145 very carefully, we may find the reason in the very same sentence at the end, where they say very clearly that the education committee, dealing with constantly increasing duties, may fail to recognise the importance of home-finding, and in consequence may tend to treat it as a side issue and to deal with it through office staff.

That, I suggest, is what is in their minds, and I assume that they must have some evidence for such a view. If they have, then it ought to be produced. I cannot believe that it is possible for them to find any widespread evidence of a substantial nature. Such evidence as they do find is to be expected in the conditions of the last six or seven years. What did they expect to find during that period? What did they expect to find from some education authorities who have been far from progressive, and many of whom, fortunately, ceased to exist after the last two municipal elections? Many of them were not prepared to carry out this service, and were quite prepared to find anybody on the staff without the necessary qualifications to do the job. They were prepared to avoid the expense and put off the evil day when these things had to be done. As I have said, some such authorities have gone. But now these are duties and not powers for education authorities. If there are reactionary authorities, they will soon be brought to heel, because the Ministry can proceed against them and compel them to do these things or, if they will not do them, can do them for them.

I agree with the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities that these children must be part of an integrated service. They must come under the normal agency that deals with all children, and they must not be segregated. If we segregate them—and I speak with a considerable knowledge of juvenile court work and of the administrative machine—then we are going to deprive these deprived children of their only salvation.

9.27 p.m.

Mr. R. A. Butler (Saffron Walden)

The Gracious Speech had a very metallic ring, and many human subjects were omitted from it. We on this side of the House wish to support the initiative that has been taken tonight in urging the Government to state their intentions on the subject of a most human document, and one in which we are all interested. There is, in fact, no reference to the Curtis Report in the Gracious Speech and this, taken together with other significant omissions, such as the promised law in regard to the revision of the Poor Law and the revision of the Criminal Justice Act—to take only two examples—seems to indicate that the Government are not specialising in the human matters which interest us all, and which are of vital consideration in the present condition of the country.

I want to ask the right hon. Gentleman who replies whether the Government can give an assurance that, despite the omission from the Gracious Speech of all reference to this particular matter, they will be ready to legislate on some of the matters laid down, which can be read and summarised in the Appendix of the Curtis Report. Altogether, there are 65 recommendations. I put it to the Government, and to the right hon. Gentleman in par- ticular, that it is of no use telling us that the whole of this matter can be dealt with by administration alone. It can be very considerably improve I by administration, but there is no doubt, to take only one example, the question of adoption—and there are many others that I could give if I had the time—that there are many matters upon which legislation is necessary. Therefore, we shall want to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether he proposes to legislate and, on that, we can decide what action we shall take at the end of this Debate.

The right hon. Gentleman realises that there is an incredible lack of clarity and a great amount of confusion in regard to children as a whole. When I had to take part in the Debate on national insurance, I was able to point out that, dating from the time of the Coalition, the different awards made by way of allowances to children in this country have never yet been coordinated, nor has any pressure been brought to bear on the matter. Similarly, one has only to read this Report to realise that deprived children are the responsibility of a variety of Government departments, of a variety of institutions and of a variety of authorities, to such an extent that even a person who relies upon tidiness as an excuse for legislation might regard himself as moved to take action.

Taking the Report as a whole, we certainly consider that its recommendations deserve some attention from the House: Its reference to the isolation and apartness of homes, its reference to the need for the training of staff and personnel, its reference to after-care and to methods, of selection for employment, its reference to boarding out in foster homes, and the particularly human reference, concerning a matter which I used to chase when I was at the Ministry of Education, to which I will refer the House in paragraph 461, in which the Committee strongly deprecates the system which obtains in one charitable organisation of boarding out the children as infants and bringing them in to an institution at school age or a little older, even though their foster parents are anxious to bring them up in their homes and send them to the local schools and the children themselves are happy and well cared for. That has always seemed to me to be a singularly inhuman and inefficient method of dealing with a very human problem. There is, then, the old question of voluntary agencies and their supervision, and the undoubted support, which we welcome, that the Committee gives to the voluntary agencies. But leaving aside all those recommendations which, in view of the time which the Front Bench is so rightly taking in this Debate, I cannot dilate upon, I come to the issues of administration which are so important, and which have been mentioned on both sides of the House.

First of all, I come to the question of the coordination of activity at the centre in Whitehall. How are we to deal with this matter? Some hon. Members have said that they favoured the Ministry of Education being the central Department concerned; other hon. Members have said that they favoured the Home Office; and we have heard from the hon. Member for Twickenham (Mr. Keeling) the remarkable revelation that the Curtis Committee themselves favour the Home Office. The simple question I ask is, If they favour the Home Office, why did they not say so in their Report? The fact is that they have not made up their minds, and even so wise a Parliamentarian as my hon. Friend the Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. K. Lindsay) has left this matter to another day. What course, then, am I to adopt? As one whose chief interest has been in the field of education, I am naturally prejudiced to the duties being handed over to the Ministry of Education, but I will say, on this occasion, that I think what matters most at the centre is not an undignified scramble between Ministers or between Government Departments, but a decision to have an efficient children's department somewhere.

For example, if it is to go to the Ministry of Education, it will be vital to transfer to the Ministry of Education those excellent officers and specialists who at present specialise on the matter at the Home Office. Similarly, if it is to go to the Home Office, it will be convenient, if I may use official language, for the House to remember that there are some singularly well gifted experts at the Ministry of Education who should be associated with the new Department. Whatever the decision may be, I trust it will be an efficient central department which can deal with this matter and look after the children from the central point of view. I was very sympathetic towards the hon. Member for York (Mr. Corlett) in putting forward his point of view of what he regards as education. I have before me the extraordinary language of the Curtis Committee and their evident opinion on education. They say: The education committee being mainly concerned with education of the mind, and dealing as it does with constantly increasing duties, may fail to recognize. … Surely, those two statements are mutually destructive. It was, indeed, my intention in the Education Act, helped as I was by the right hon. Gentleman who is now Home Secretary, to enlarge the duties of the education department almost indefinitely, and if it is to be an excuse that education is unable to handle this matter simply because the right hon. Lady the Minister of Education is otherwise attempting to extend its horizon, I regard that paragraph and that argument as not worth the paper they are written on. The hon. Member for York was perfectly right in his summing up of some of the duties of education—for example, instruction and training in schools, county colleges, and institutions, further education, the school health services in schools and county colleges. I think that goes a little further than the somewhat limited definition in the Curtis Report—the school meals service; child guidance clinics; the juvenile employment service; boarding schools for normal children and for children handicapped by physical or mental defect; interest in the approved schools and remand homes; the care and protection of children and young persons; guardianship of infants; the youth service, and so forth. All these are matters which are directed to the care of what is described as education in broad terms. To sum up in a few words, the object of education is to cover the physical, mental, moral and spiritual welfare of all children. Now, it is when I come, in my last few moments, to the periphery or external authority outside the central department, that, I think, the recommendation of the Curtis Committee is definitely wrong. To suggest the appointment of an ad hoccommittee is the last resort of harassed committees, however excellent their reports may be, as I have indicated earlier.

Mr. Dumpleton

The right hon. Gentleman is questioning one of the recommendations. Does he mean that the Amendment to which he is speaking would commit the Government to the recommendations as a whole?

Mr. Butler

No, I do not think so. In any case I am making my own speech. The decision is, I am sure, too simple and tidy. I consider that, having indicated the various duties that fall within the purview of education, it would really be tragic if, under any local authority, a new committee were set up which, in fact, segregated and separated the children from the main stream of education and all it means. I have been much impressed by various suggestions which have been made, and I would suggest to the Government that there is really no need to make a great deal of pother about this, whether we call it an ad hoccommittee, or not. I would suggest that what is wanted is a children's committee which promotes the interest of children in the direction we all would like to see. In any case, I should like to see a majority drawn from members of the local education committee, and possibly, it might be, a sub-committee of the education committee. In any case, by means of commonsense and compromise I think we can settle this matter under the local authorities.

I conclude, in my last remarks, about the children's officer. There are two types of public officer under public authorities. The man who spends all his time at the desk, if he is to be any good, must be a first class administrator. Then there is the man or woman who does what is known as the field work—an expression which I always find it difficult to understand. But because the latter is outside the office and looks at people in their own homes and understands what is going on, I do not believe that one and the same person can do both jobs. The Committee's Report tends to simplify this matter also. If we are to have a secretary to the committee, which would be a sub-committee of the education committee, or the education committee itself, then I think we want that secretary to be of the first type. At the same time, we want visitors outside who can do the field work and keep in touch with the children in their homes. To sum up, I think that, in arriving at the final decisions, simplicity or tidiness will not be easy to arrive at, but if we take the best of the undoubted traditions behind the Ministry of Education, the Home Office and the Ministry of Health then, I think, we shall be able to reach some solution of the matter. The important thing of all is that the right hon. Gentleman should tell us the Government intend to take action, and not sit back and let this thing stew.

9.40 p.m.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Arthur Greenwood)

We have had a Debate which has not been unfruitful or uninteresting. It has not been charged with dynamite, as earlier discussions on the Address have been, but it has dealt with a very human problem, and the Government are indebted to those hon. Members, who have spoken with such obvious sincerity, and many of them with very considerable knowledge, on what is not a new problem, as my hon. Friend has reminded us, but a very old problem. My first words should be words of thanks to the Curtis Committee, to the Chairman and members of that Committee for that Report. It is perfectly true that there have been earlier inquiries, like the Barnet inquiry and others, but this Report is a comprehensive document covering a very wide field, and has shown great human sympathy in its conclusions. In it is exhibited a good deal of wisdom and a grasp of the great fact—I do not want tonight to deal with details—that a child is something more than a little creature you have to feed and clothe and put shoes on. The Report is a great human contribution to a very vexed and neglected problem.

Had this Committee been appointed shall we say 30 years ago, there might have been considerable advantage in it, but in the last 30 years things have marched. Children are being taken better care of, children are being better fed, children's health is being looked after better than it was 30 years ago, and in the case of those so called delinquent children, the neglected and derelict children, we have in 30 years travelled along a road which has lead us to considerable success. It is true that success is not complete; all that new, creative work, let us remember, came to a stop in 1939. We have not yet measured the social losses we sustained in seven years of world war. There is a good deal to be done now in trying to catch up the unfortunate marking time, in the development of these agencies which was imposed upon us when the war broke out. It is true, however, as hon. Members have pointed out, that we are dealing now, in this field, with a patchwork of services. It is "a thing of shreds and patches," partly public agencies and partly voluntary agencies, covering a wide field, and I think it is perfectly clear that something has to be done about it.

There are difficulties about speedy and effective action in building up the personnel needed to make an effective service dealing with children. It is not going to be very easy. You cannot train people, in next to no time, to become not merely foster parents, but something far more than that; you cannot train them out of hand, you cannot just give them a month's course. You have to choose them first, and they have to be people who believe in doing this kind of work, who feel that it is a vocation. You do not find such people round every street corner. It is a problem we shall do our best to meet as time goes on.

It is suggested—it is more than suggested; it is a threat—that a terrible thing is going to happen unless a definite commitment is made about legislation being introduced next week, if not earlier. I am not going to give any commitment of that kind. I think the House will agree with me that to ask a Government, when it has a report presented to it less than a month before the King's Speech is introduced, suddenly to open up a whole series of lengthy discussions—and ex-Cabinet Ministers know that King's Speeches are not made overnight, or at least are not so made by a wise Government like this—is asking something which is really impossible. Reference has been made in the Debate to the undoubted fact that the problem now before the House is, to many people, a new problem. But what about the children chimney-sweeps a century and a half ago? What about the child labour in my own part of the country, the North of England—the child slaves, if ever there were child slaves, and their grandchildren, who bear the marks of that slavery today—half grown, not as tall and as vigorous as they should be? For generations the children in the factories were stunted and starved. Not many people cared about it, and it was a long time before anyone took any real interest in it. It took over half a century before a great humanitarian, Lord Shaftesbury —[HON. MEMBERS: "Oh."] I always pay credit where it is due. I am not assessing any political values in saying that a great humanitarian drew attention to this problem of the factory children. Three generations of factory children had then been slave-bound to the mills and the factories of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

I remember the Royal Commission on the Poor Law, which was appointed in the earlier years of this century, and which reported about 1909. I had been campaigning for some years, at great physical risks I may say, in the West Riding of Yorkshire and in Lancashire against the half-time system, about which a lot of hon. Members seem to have forgotten. That Royal Commission reported, I say, about 1909. Twenty years elapsed—and let me here pay credit to a Conservative Government, because I am in a generous mood tonight—after this most urgent evil had been condemned both by the Majority and by the Minority Reports, notwithstanding its urgency and gravity, before legislation was produced. That made a beginning of the breaking up of the evil system. I happened, as Minister of Health in 1929, to watch the changeover from the boards of guardians to the public assistance committees, and I remember what growing pains we suffered in those days. I remember how my predecessor had almost to displace some boards of guardians and put in commissioners. It was a very awkward time. That process is still continuing, and more might have been done but for the war.

We are now left with the hard core of the problem of the almost forgotten children. It is a problem not easy of solution. I am encouraged by the demand for speed on the part of Members opposite. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for North Leeds (Mi. Peake) said last Friday, I think it was, that he was surprised that there was no promise of legislation on this matter this Session. I ask the House, in all seriousness, to remember that any Government must think ahead about its legislation for a coming Session. This Report was published on 16th October, and the new Session began on 12th November. We were aware of the problem. In fact, I have been aware of it longer than many people who have been talking in the Debate tonight. The child problem is not a new one with me. [Laughter.]I do not see the point of Members' levity. Was it not right that we should wait before coming to any conclusions of our own on the recommendations of the Curtis Com- mittee which, I think, on the whole worked swiftly? It would have been much better for us if we had had the Report three or six months earlier but, in the nature of the situation, that was impossible. If Members want to challenge us on the fact that within less than a month after receiving the Report we did not make up our minds to introduce legislation this Session, then I am prepared to accept the challenge. I think such a challenge is unreasonable.

But that does not mean that nothing is being done. I have here a copy of a circular which is going out during the next few days, from the three Departments primarily concerned, to all local authorities affected by this problem. It urges action, and points out ways in which things can be done. All possible administrative action is being, and will be, taken. Further, it is open to Members on any side of the House to put down Questions to ask Ministers whether they are carrying out their responsibility or not, and we shall not shirk that issue. There are big problems that can, perhaps, be handled without legislation. A good deal has been said tonight about whether one Department might be charged with this problem. I do not think the Curtis Committee is to be blamed for not having come to a conclusion, because, after all, the members of that Committee were not asked to come to a conclusion about that matter. If the Government, when they have had a little time to think, after the Debate on the Address is over, should come to a conclusion about the unification of central administration, my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will put it to the House, and say what the Government think ought to be done about it. Some legislation will be necessary but that legislation, believe me, is not so easy as it appears to many people. There are a considerable number of the 62 recommendations which would require legislation. I think that hon. Members, if they have had much experience of legislation, will agree that such a Measure would not be one of those one-Clause Bills, which so many people love. It will be a complicated Measure. I like one-Clause Bills myself. They are very simple, until you try to administer them, and then they become more complicated. This would be a very important Measure.

We are in the process now of developing a system of social security. Hon. Members opposite in the last Session were a little concerned about the speed with which we were moving. We have gone a long way, but the problem is not finished. We have still to clean up the poor law system, or what is left of it. The question of children arises in connection with all kinds of bits and pieces left over by the poor law system and associated legislation. This Government will not fail during their term of office, to fulfil the promises which they made before the last General Election. We have done more than we have said we would do.

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite (Holderness)

What about the friendly societies?

Mr. Greenwood

Eighty Acts of Parliament in one Session is not a mean harvest—nor will this Session be—but we shall, of course, have regard to the very excellent speeches which have been made today. We shall go on with our administrative improvements as far as we can, but I really cannot accept the threat that, if we do not put legislation on the Statute Book this Session, some hon. Members will vote against the Government. Well, if they choose to do so, I shall be very sorry, but I am quite sure that, on reflection, hon. Members will realise that this is a big and complicated issue. The time at our disposal has been very short; all possible administrative action is being taken and what legislation is necessary will be introduced as and when we have the opportunity to do it.

Mr. Wilson Harris

I had hoped to avoid a Division on this question, but in view of the very different view which the right hon. Gentleman takes on the urgency of this matter from that which some of us take, I feel that I must press the Amendment to a Division.

Question put, "That those words be there added."

The House divided: Ayes, 79; Noes, 266.

Division No. 8] AYES. [7.20 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr P. G. Bracken, Rt. Hon. Brendan Conant Maj. R. J. E.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Cooper-Key, E. M.
Astor, Hon. M. Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col. W Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow)
Baldwin, A. E. Brown, W. J. (Rugby) Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E
Barlow, Sir J. Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T Crowder, Capt. John E
Beechman, N. A. Bullock, Capt. M. Cuthbert, W. N.
Bennett, Sir P. Butler, Rt. Hon R. A. (S'ffr'n W'ld'n) Darling, Sir W. Y
Birch, Nigel Carson, E. Davidson, Viscountess
Bower, N. Clarke, Col. R S. Davies, Clement (Montgomery)
Boyd-Carpenter, J A Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G De la Bère, R.
Dodds-Parker, A. D. Kingsmill, Lt.-Col. W. H. Reed, Sir S. (Aylesbury)
Donner, Sqn.-Ldr. P. W Legge-Bourke, Maj. E. A. H Reid, Rt. Hon J. S. C. (Hillhead)
Drayson, G. B. Lindsay, M. (Solihull) Renton, D.
Drewe, C. Linstead, H. N. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Dugdale, Maj. Sir T. (Richmond) Lloyd, Maj. Guy (Renfrew, E.) Roberts, Maj P. G. (Ecclesall)
Duthie, W. S. Low, Brig. A. R. W. Robinson, Wing-Comdr. Roland
Eccles, D. M. Lucas, Major Sir J. Ross, Sir R.
Eden, Rt. Hon. A. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Salter, Rt. Hon. Sir J. A
Fleming, Sqn.-Ldr. E. L. Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. O. Sanderson, Sir F
Foster, J. G (Northwich) MacAndrew, Col. Sir C. Scott, Lord W.
Fraser, Sir I. (Lonsdale) Macdonald, Sir P. (Isle of Wight) Shepherd, W. S. (Bucklow)
Fyfe, Rt. Hon. Sir D. P. M MeKie, J. H. (Galloway) Smiles, Lt.-Col. Sir W.
Gage, C. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Snadden, W. M.
Galbraith, Cmdr. T. D. Maclean, Brig. F. H. R. (Lancaster) Spearman, A. C. M.
Gates, Maj. E. E. MacLeod, Capt. J. Spence, H. R.
George, Maj. Rt. Hon. G. Lloyd (P'ke) Macmillan, Rt. Hon Harold (Bromley) Stoddart-Scott. Col. M
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Macpherson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Strauss H G. (English Universities)
Glossop, C. W. H. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Gomme-Duncan, Col. A G Manningham-Buller, R. E Taylor, C. S. (Eastbourne)
Granville, E. (Eye) Marlowe, A. A. H. Taylor, Vice-Adm E. A (P'dd't'n, S.)
Grimston, R. V. Marples, A. E. Teeling, William
Gruffyd, Prof. W. J. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Hannon, Sir P. (Moseley) Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Thorneycroft, G. E. P. (Monmouth)
Hare, Hon. J. H. (Woodbridge) Maude, J C. Thornton-Kemsley, C. N
Harris, H. Wilson Mellor, Sir J Thorp, Lt.-Col. R A. F
Harvey, Air-Comdre. A. V. Molson, A. H. E. Touche, G. C.
Head, Brig. A. H. Morris-Jones, Sir H. Turton, R. H.
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon Sir C Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) Vane, W. M. F
Henderson, John (Cathcart) Morrison, Rt. Hon. W. S. (Cirencester) Wadsworth, G.
Hinchingbrooke, Viscount Neven-Spence, Sir B. Ward, Hon. G. R.
Hogg Hon. Q. Nicholson, G. Watt, Sir G. S. Harvie
Hollis, M. C Noble, Comdr. A. H. P Webbe, Sir H. (Abbey)
Hope, Lord J Nutting, Anthony Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Howard, Hon. A O'Neill, Rt. Hon Sir H White, Sir D. (Fareham)
Hudson, Rt. Hon. R. S. (Southport) Osborne, C. Williams, C. (Torquay)
Hulbert, Wing-Cdr. N. J. Peake, Rt. Hon. O Willink, Rt. Hon. H U
Hurd, A. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Winterton, Rt. Hon Earl
Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Pocle O. B. S. (Oswestry) York, C.
Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Price-White, Lt.-Col. D. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Jarvis, Sir J. Prior-Palmer, Brig. O
Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W Raikes, H. V. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Keeling, E. H. Ramsay, Maj. S Mr. Frank Byers and
Kerr, Sir J. Graham Rayner, Brig. R Mr. Wilfrid Roberts
Adams, Richard (Balham) Burke, W. A. Dobbie, W.
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Dodds, N. N.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Callaghan, James Donovan, T.
Alpass, J. H. Carmichael, James Driberg, T. E. N.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Castle, Mrs. B. A. Dumpleton, C. W.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Chamberlain, R. A Durbin, E. F. M.
Attewell, H. C Champion, A. J Dye, S.
Austin, H. L. Chater, D. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C.
Awbery, S. S. Chetwynd, Capt. G. R Edelman, M.
Ayles, W. H. Clitherow, Dr. R Edwards, A. (Middlesbrough, E.)
Ayrton Gould, Mrs. B Cobb, F. A. Edwards, Rt Hon. Sir C (Bedwellty)
Bacon, Miss A. Cocks, F. S. Edwards, John (Blackburn)
Balfour, A. Coldrick, W. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly)
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J. Collick, P. Evans, E. (Lowestoft)
Barstow, P. G. Collindridge F Evans, John (Ogmore)
Barton, C. Collins, V. J. Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury)
Battley, J. R Colman, Miss G. M Ewart, R.
Bechervaise, A. E. Comyns Dr. L. Fairhurst, F.
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Farthing, W. J.
Benson, G. Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N W.) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.)
Berry, H. Corlett, Dr. J. Follick, M.
Bevan, Rt. Hon A (Ebbw Vale) Cove, W. G. Forman, J. C.
Bing, G. H. C. Crawley, A. Freeman, Peter (Newport)
Binns, J. Cripps. Rt. Hon. Sir S Gaitskell, H. T. N.
Blackburn, A. R. Crossman, R. H. S. Gallacher, W.
Blenkinsop, A. Cunningham, P Gibbins, J
Blyton, W. R. Daggar, G. Gilzean, A.
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Daines, P. Glanville, J. E. (Consett)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Davies, Edward (Burslem) Gooch, E. G.
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pl, Exch'ge) Davies. Ernest (Enfield) Goodrich, H. E.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Davies, Hadyn (St. Pancras, S. W.) Gordon-Walker, P. C.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Davies, Harold (Leek) Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield)
Brooks, T. J. (Rothwell) Davies, R. J. (Westhoughton) Greenwood, A. W. J. (Hey wood)
Brown, George (Belper) Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Grenfell, D. R
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Deer, G. Grey, C. F.
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. de Freitas, Geoffrey Grierson, E.
Buchanan, G. Delargy, Captain H. J Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley)
Burden, T. W Diamond, J Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly)
Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side) Marquand, H. A. Skinnard, F. W.
Gunter, Capt. R. J. Marshall, F. (Brightside) Smith, C. (Colchester)
Guy, W. H. Martin, J. H. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.)
Haire, Flt.-Lieut. J. (Wycombe) Mathers, G. Smith, S. H. (Hull, S. W.)
Hale, Leslie Med and, H. M. Snow, Capt. J W
Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) Middleton, Mrs. L. Solley, L. J
Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Sorensen, R W
Hannan, W. (Maryhill) Monslow, W. Soskice, Maj. Sir F.
Hardy, E. A. Montague, F. Southby, Commander Sir A
Harrison, J. Morgan, Dr. H. B. Sparks, J. A.
Hastings, Or. Somerville Morley, R. Stamford, W.
Haworth, J. Morris, Lt.-Col. H. (Sheffield, C.) Steele, T.
Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Stewart, Capt. Michael (Fulham, E.)
Herbison, Miss M. Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.) Strauss, G. R (Lambeth, N.)
Hewitson, Capt. M. Moyle, A. Stross, Dr. B.
Hicks, G. Murray, J. D. Stubbs, A. E
Hobson, C. R. Nally, W. Summersklll, Dr. Edith
Holman, P. Naylor, T. E. Symonds, A. L.
Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth) Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield)
Horabin, T. L. Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth)
House, G. Noel-Buxton, Lady. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin)
Hoy, J O'Brien, T. Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Hubbard, T. Oldfield. W H. Thomas, George (Cardiff)
Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.) Orbach, M. Thorneycroft, Harry (Clayton)
Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Paget, R. T. Thurtle, E.
Hughes, H. D (Wolverhampton, W.) Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Tiffany, S.
Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.) Palmer, A. M. F Timmons, J.
Irving, W. J. Pargiter, G. A. Titterington, M F.
Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A. Parker, J. Tolley, L.
Jay, D. P. T. Parkin, B T. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G
Jeger, G. (Winchester) Paton, Mrs. F (Rushcliffe) Turner-Samuels, M.
Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S.E.) Paton, J. (Norwich) Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Jones, Rt. Hon. A. C. (Shipley) Pearson, A. Usborne, Henry
Jones, D. T (Hartlepools) Peart, Capt. T. F Vernon, Maj. W. F
Jones, J. H. (Bolton) Perrins, W Viant, S. P.
Jones, P. Asterley (Hitchin) Piratin, P. Walker, G. H.
Keenan, W Platts-Mills. J. p. F Wallace, G. D. (Chislchurst)
Kenyon, C. Poole Major Cecil (Lichfield) Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Warbey, W. N
Key, C. W Porter, E. (Warrington) Watkins, T E.
King, E. M. Porter, G (Leeds) Watson, W. M.
Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E Pritt, D N.
Kinley, J. Proctor, W. T Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Kirby, B. V Pryde, D. J. Weitzman, D
Kirkwood, D Pursey, Cmdr. H Wells, W. T (Walsall)
Lang, G. Randall, H. E West, D. G.
Layers, S. Ranger, J. White, H. (Derbyshire, N.E.)
Lee, F. (Hulme) Rankin, J Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W
Leonard, W. Rees-Williams, D. R. Wigg, Col. G. E.
Leslie, J. R. Reeves, J. Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Levy, B. W. Reid, T (Swindon) Wilkes, L.
Lewis, J. (Bolton) Rhodes, H. Willey, F. T. (Sunderland)
Lewis, T (Southampton) Richards, R. Willey, O. G. (Cleveland)
Lindgren, G. S. Ridealgh, Mrs M. Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Lipson, D. L. Robens, A. Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Upton, Lt.-Col. M Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Williams, Rt. Hon. T (Don Valley)
Logan, D. G. Rogers, G. H. R Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Longden, F Sargood, R. Williamson, T.
Lyne, A. W. Scollan, T. Willis, E.
McAdam, W Scott-Ellict, W Wills, Mrs. E. A.
McEntee, V. La T Segal, Dr S. Wise, Major F. J.
McGhee, H. G. Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A Wyatt, W.
McKay, J. (Wallsend) Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Yates, V. F.
Mackay, R. W. G. (Hull, N.W.) Shawcross, C N. (Widnes) Young, Sir R. (Newton)
McLeavy, F. Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E. Zilliacus, K
MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isle) Shurmer, P.
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Silverman, J. (Erdington) TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Mainwaring, W. H. Simmons, C. J Mr. Joseph Henderson and
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Skeffington. A M Mr. Popplewell
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Skeffington-Lodge, T. C
Division No. 9.] AYES. [9.59 p.m.
Agnew, Cmdr. P. G. Hogg, Hon. Q Prior-Palmer, Brig. O.
Amory, D. Heathcoat Hurd, A. Raikes, H. V.
Baldwin, A E. Hutchison, Lt.-Cm. Clark (E'b'rgh, W.) Ramsay, Maj. S.
Barlow, Sir J. Hutchison, Col. J. R. (Glasgow, C.) Rayner, Brig. R.
Beechman, N. A. Joynson-Hicks, Lt.-Cdr. Hon. L. W. Renton, D.
Boyd-Carpenter, J. A. Keeling, E. H. Roberts, Emrys (Merioneth)
Braithwaite, Lt.-Comdr. J. G. Lennox-Boyd, A. T Roberts, H. (Handsworth)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Linstead, H. N. Roberts, Maj. P. G. (Eeclesall)
Bullock, Capt. M. Lipson, D. L. Ross, Sir R.
Butler, Rt. Hon. R. A. (S'ffrn W'ld'n) Low, Brig. A. R. W. Sanderson, Sir F.
Byers, Frank Lucas, Major Sir J. Spence, H. R.
Carson, E. Lucas-Tooth, Sir H. Stoddart-Scott, Col. M
Challen, C. Mckie, J. H. (Gallsway) Stuart, Rt. Hon. J. (Moray)
Clarke, Col. R. S. Maclay, Hon. J. S. Teeling, William
Clifton-Brown, Lt.-Col. G. Macphsrson, Maj. N. (Dumfries) Thomas, J. P. L. (Hereford)
Conant, Maj. R. J. E. Maitland, Comdr. J. W. Turton, R. H.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col. U. (Ludlow) Manningham-Buller, R. E Wadswortk, G.
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. O. E. Marlowe, A. A. H. Wakefield, Sir W. W.
Cuthbert, W. N. Marshall, D. (Bodmin) Ward, Hon. G. R.
Davidson, Viscountess Marshall, S. H. (Sutton) Wheatley, Colonel M. J.
Drayson, G. B. Maude, J. C. White, Sir D. (Farsham)
Drewe, C. Morrison, Maj. J. G. (Salisbury) York, C.
Duthie, W. S. Neven-Spence, Sir B. Young, Sir A. S. L. (Partick)
Gage, C. Noble, Comdr. A. H. P
George, Lady M. Lloyd (Anglesey) Osborne, C. TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Harvey, Air-Comdra. A. V. Peto, Brig. C. H. M. Mr. Wilson Harris and
Head, Brig. A. H. Poole, O. B. S. (Oswestry) Mr. Godfrey Nicholson
Headlam, Lieut.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir C. Price-White, Lt.-Col. D.
Adams, Richard (Balham) Crossman, R. H. S. Henderson, Joseph (Ardwick)
Adams, W. T. (Hammersmith, South) Dagger, G. Herbison, Miss M.
Allen, A. C. (Bosworth) Davies, Edward (Burslem) Hewitson, Capt. M.
Alpass, J. H. Davies. Harold (Leak) Hobson, C. R.
Anderson, A. (Motherwell) Davies, R. J. (Wasthoughton) Holman, P.
Anderson, F. (Whitehaven) Deer, G. Holmes, H. E. (Hemsworth)
Austin, H. L. de Freitas, Geoffrey House, G.
Bacon, Miss A. Delargy, Captain H. J. Hoy, J.
Balfour, A. Diamond, J Hubbard, T.
Barnes, Rt. Hon A. J Dobbie, W. Hudson, J. H. (Ealing, W.)
Barton, C. Dodds, N. N. Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.)
Bechervaise, A. E. Donovan, T. Hughes, H. D. (Wolverhampton, W.)
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J Driberg, T. E. N. Hynd, H. (Hackney, C.)
Berry, H. Dumpleton, C. W. Irving, W. J.
Bing, G. H. C. Ourbin, E. F. M. Isaacs, Rt. Hon. G. A.
Binns, J. Ede, Rt. Hon. J. C. Jay, D. P T.
Blackburn, A. B Edelman, M. Jeger, G. (Winchester)
Blenkinsop, A. Edwards, John (Blackburn) Jeger, Dr. S. W. (St. Pancras, S. E.)
Blyton, W. R. Edwards, N. (Caerphilly) Jones, D. T. (Hartlepools)
Bowden, Flg.-Offr. H. W. Evans, John (Ogmore) Jones, J. H. (Bolton)
Bowles, F. G. (Nuneaton) Evans, S. N. (Wednesbury) Jones, P Asterley (Hitchin)
Braddock, Mrs. E. M. (L'pt, Exch'ge) Ewart, R. Keenan, W.
Braddock, T. (Mitcham) Fairhurst, F. Kenyon, C.
Brook, D. (Halifax) Farthing, W. J. Key, C. W.
Brooks. T. J. (Rothwell) Fletcher, E. G. M. (Islington, E.) King, E. M.
Brown, George (Belper) Follick, M. Kinghorn, Sqn.-Ldr. E
Brown, T. J. (Ince) Forman, J. C. Kinley, J.
Bruce, Maj. D. W. T. Gaitskell, H. T. N. Kirby, B. V.
Buchanan, G. Ganley, Mrs. C. S Lang, G.
Burden, T. W. Gibbins, J. Lavers, S.
Burke, W. A. Gilzean, A. Lee, F. (Hulme)
Butler, H. W. (Hackney, S.) Glanville, J. E. (Consett) Leonard, W.
Callaghan, James Gooch, E. G. Leslie, J. R.
Carmichael, James Gordon-Walker, P. C. Lever, N. H.
Champion, A. J. Greenwood, Rt. Hon. A. (Wakefield) Levy, B. W.
Clitherow, Dr. R. Greenwood, A. W. J. (Haywood) Lewis, J. (Bolton)
Cluse, W S. Grenfell, D. R. Lewis, T. (Southampton)
Cobb, F. A. Grey, C. F. Lindgren, G. S.
Cocks, F. S. Grierson, E. Lindsay, K. M. (Comb'd Eng. Univ.)
Coldrick, W. Griffiths, D. (Rother Valley) Lipton, Lt.-Col. M.
Collick, P. Griffiths, Rt. Hon. J. (Llanelly) Logan, D. G.
Collindridge, F. Griffiths, W. D. (Moss Side) Longden, F.
Collins, V. J. Gunter, Capt. R. J. Lyne, A. W.
Colman, Miss G. M Guy, W. H. McAdam, W.
Comyns, Dr. L. Hale, Leslie McAllister, G.
Cooper, Wing-Comdr. G. Hall, W. G. (Colne Valley) McEntee, V. La T.
Corbet, Mrs. F. K. (Camb'well, N.W) Hamilton, Lieut.-Col. R. McGhee, H. G.
Corbett, Lieut.-Col U. (Ludlow) Hardy E. A. McKay, J. (Wallsand)
Corlett, Dr. J. Harrison, J. Mackay, R. W. G. (Hall, N.W.)
Corvedale, Viscount Hastings, Dr. Somerville McLeavy, F.
Cove, W. G. Henderson, A. (Kingswinford) MacMillan, M. K. (Western Isles)
Macpherson, T. (Romford) Pursey, Cmdr. H Tolley, L.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. Randall, H. E. Tomlinson, Rt. Hon. G
Manning, Mrs. L. (Epping) Ranger, J. Turner-Samuels, M.
Marshall, F. (Brightside) Rankin, J. Ungoed-Thomas, L.
Mathers, G. Rees-Williams, D. R. Usborne, Henry
Medland, H. M. Reid, T. (Swindon) Vernon, Maj. W. F.
Middleton, Mrs. L. Rhodes, H. Viant, S. P.
Mitchison, Maj. G. R. Ridealgh, Mrs. M. Wallace, G. D. (Chislehurst)
Monslow, W. Robens, A. Wallace, H. W. (Walthamstow, E.)
Morgan, Dr. H. B. Robertson, J. J. (Berwick) Warbey, W. N.
Morley, R. Rogers, G. H. R. Watkins, T. E.
Morris, P. (Swansea, W.) Sargood, R. Watson, W. M.
Morrison, Rt. Hon. H. (Lewisham, E.) Scollan, T. Webb, M. (Bradford, C.)
Murray, J. D. Scott-Elliot, W. Weitzman, D.
Nally, W. Segal, Dr. S. Wells, W. T. (Walsall)
Nichol, Mrs. M. E. (Bradford, N.) Shackleton, Wing-Cdr. E. A. A. West, D. G.
Nicholls, H. R. (Stratford) Sharp, Lt.-Col. G. M. Whiteley, Rt. Hon. W.
Noel-Baker, Capt. F. E. (Brentford) Silverman, J. (Erdington) Wigg, Col. G. E.
Noel-Buxton, Lady. Silverman, S. S. (Nelson) Wilcock, Group-Capt. C. A. B
Oldfield, W. H. Simmons, C. J Wilkinson, Rt. Hon. Ellen
Oliver, G. H. Skinnard, F. W. Willey, F. T (Sunderland)
Orbach, M. Smith, Ellis (Stoke) Willey, O. G (Cleveland)
Paget, R. T. Smith, H. N. (Nottingham, S.) Williams, D. J. (Neath)
Paling, Rt. Hon. Wilfred (Wentworth) Smith, S. H. (Hull, S.W.) Williams, J. L. (Kelvingrove)
Palmer, A. M. F. Snow, Capt. J. W. Williams, Rt. Hon. T. (Don Valley)
Pargiter, G. A. Solley, L. J. Williams, W. R. (Heston)
Parker, J. Soskice, Maj. Sir F. Williamson, T.
Paton, Mrs. F. (Rushcliffe) Sparks, J. A. Willis, E.
Paton, J. (Norwich) Steele, T. Wills, Mrs. E. A.
Pearson, A. Stross, Dr. B. Wise, Major F. J.
Peart, Capt. T. F. Stubbs, A. E. Woods, G. S.
Perrins, W. Symonds, A. L. Wyatt, W.
Piratin, P. Taylor, H. B. (Mansfield) yates, V. F.
Poole Major Cecil (Lichfield) Taylor, R. J. (Morpeth) young, Sir R. (Newton)
Popplewell, E. Thomas, I. O. (Wrekin) Zilliacus, K.
Porter, E. (Warrington) Thomas, John R. (Dover)
Porter, G (Leeds) Thomas, George (Cardiff) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.
Pritt, D. N. ThorneyCroft, Harry (Clayton) Captain Michael Stewart and
Proctor, W. T Tiffany, S. Mr. Hannan.
Pryde, D. J. Timmons, J.

Main Question again proposed.

It being after Ten o' Clock, the Debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed Tomorrow.