HC Deb 03 July 1947 vol 439 cc1508-9
66. Wing-Commander Hulbert

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the number of young persons, male and female, respectively, detained in approved schools at the last convenient date, and what proportion of these have not committed any offence but are detained as in need of care and protection.

Mr. Ede

On 31st May, 1947, 8,467 boys and 1,750 girls were detained in approved schools. No detailed analysis of these figures is readily available; but it will no doubt serve the hon. and gallant Members' purpose if I say that of the 4,044 boys and 950 girls admitted to approved schools during 1946, 470 boys and 598 girls were sent there for reasons other than the commission of an offence.

Wing-Commander Hulbert

Would the Home Secretary make it clear that in the latter category of boys and girls no stigma whatever attaches to them for having been sent to an approved school, owing to their very bad home life?

Mr. Ede

I think that I can give that assurance.

Mr. Hector Hughes

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the figures which he has given are in excess of the accommodation for these young persons, and, if they are, what provision is being made for the excess?

Mr. Ede

I would like notice of that question.

Dr. Stephen Taylor

Can my right hon. Friend say that if one of these boys or girls who had not committed an offence absconds from an approved school, he or she is then considered to have committed an offence?

Mr. Ede

I would rather like to have notice of that question.

Wing-Commander Millington

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that although he has assured us, in answer to a previous question, that there is no stigma attached to boys and girls sent to an approved school who have committed no offence, the fact of their presence in an approved school does in itself constitute a stigma, and will he take the earliest steps to see that they are put in more suitable places?

Mr. Ede

I hope that as accommodation becomes more readily available it may be possible to have a better classification of these children.