HC Deb 12 July 1950 vol 477 cc1348-9
45. Mr. Ian Harvey

asked the Prime Minister whether the speech made by the Minister of National Insurance at Upper Norwood on 8th July on the subject of the teaching of boxing in schools represent the policy of His Majesty's Government.

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison)

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend was, of course, expressing a personal opinion. His Majesty's Government are not responsible for controlling the curriculum in schools, and no question of policy on this subject therefore arises.

Mr. Harvey

Will the right hon. Gentleman draw the attention of the right hon. Lady to the importance of self-defence, particularly as a measure of national insurance?

Mr. Morrison

I have often seen my right hon. Friend in Parliamentary battle, and I do not think she needs any teaching in the art of self-defence.

Mrs. Mann

Is my right hon. Friend aware that most mothers of this country heartily endorse what was said by the right hon. Lady—[HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense!"]—and hope she will go on saying it?

Mr. Morrison

I have not the least idea; certainly, I am not going to be drawn into the ring.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Would the right hon. Gentleman point out to his right hon. Friend, and to the hon. Lady the Member for Coatbridge and Airdrie (Mrs. Mann) that defenceless women can only be protected if boys learn to box at school?

Mr. Emrys Hughes

Did not the full report of the speech say that boxing and the atom bomb were uncivilised, and was it not the most sensible speech we have had from the Government for many years?

Mr. Mott-Radclyffe

Has the right hon. Gentleman considered whether this particular line of argument is likely to appeal to British troops now in action in Malaya?

Lieut.-Commander Gurney Braithwaite

May I ask whether the Press Association were supplied with a preliminary handout of the speech of the right hon. Lady and; if so, whether she adhered to the text?

Mr. Frederic Harris

Can the right hon. Gentleman arrange for the right hon. Lady to make such statements outside the North Croydon constituency, and not cause quite so much disturbance in our part of the world?