HC Deb 22 April 1947 vol 436 cc798-9
34. Colonel J. R. H. Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will arrange with the education authorities in Glasgow that they, in common with the other education authorities in Scotland, will agree to release schoolchildren for potato gathering.

Mr. Westwood

The Education (Exemptions) (Scotland) Bill, whch has reached the Committee stage in another place, provides that the Secretary of State may serve upon any education authority a notice stating the number of children in their area whose services will be required for potato gathering. It then becomes the duty of that authority, on the application of parents, to grant exemptions up to the number specified. Thus, if the Bill becomes law, no authority will be in a position to refuse to release children whose services are required and whose parents apply for their exemption, except on grounds specified in regulations to be made under Section 1 (3).

Colonel Hutchison

Will the right hon. Gentleman undertake, as soon as this Bill becomes law, to serve notice on the Glasgow Education Authority in view of the shortage of all agricultural labour? If this Bill does not become law, will the right hon. Gentleman use his well known powers of persuasion and influence on the Glasgow Education Authority to do the same as other education authorities are doing?

Mr. Westwood

I will be asking this House to pass the Bill which has been introduced in another place and which will give me power to deal with Glasgow and with any other authority so far as the provision for assisting with the harvest is concerned.