HC Deb 30 October 1947 vol 443 cc1066-7
18. Mr. Shephard

asked the Minister of Health how many municipal nurseries have been opened during the past 12 months, and how many closed during the same period.

Mr. Bevan

Four local authority nurseries have been opened and 17 have been closed.

Mr. Shephard

In view of that answer and of the urgent need to recruit female labour into industry, will not the Minister do something to stimulate local authorities to open more municipal nurseries; furthermore, will he go back to the system which operated during the war, when his Department took the whole financial responsibility?

Mr. Bevan

It does not necessarily follow that nurseries are closed down because local authorities are lethargic. They are sometimes closed down because there is no demand for them, and in other cases because the sites are required for houses. There are one or two instances where nurseries have been closed down for reasons which I do not think to be adequate. I am having further inquiries made into those cases.