HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 c1722
49. Mr. S. Shephard

asked the Minister of Labour if his regulations permit a girl remaining at school until the age of 18 to choose her own employment in those cases where it is her first employment.

Mr. Isaacs

On reaching the age of 18, all persons come within the scope of the Control of Engagement Order. Permission to take a particular job is not withheld if such employment can be regarded as within the wide range of essential work.

Mr. Shephard

But is it not awfully wrong that discrimination should be exercised against children leaving school? Just because a child happens to be a year or so under 18 she may choose her own employment, but if she leaves school having reached the age of 18, she is more or less directed by the right hon. Gentleman's Department.

Mr. Isaacs

Such discrimination, while it may exist, is not in fact exercised. What we anxiously try to do is to guide youngsters into suitable employment. If a boy or girl remains at school until 18 it would obviously be unfair to penalise the child for improving his or her education. What we do is to try to get the youngster into employment which is essential; but otherwise we do not interfere.