HC Deb 29 October 1956 vol 558 c1214

In subsection (1) of section three of the principal Act after the word "training", where it first occurs, the words "and cleanliness" shall be inserted ; and for the words "that purpose" the following words shall be substituted : "these purposes the Education Authority shall provide in a manner to be approved by the Secretary of State adequate washing and drying facilities and".—[Mr. Woodburn.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Woodburn

I beg to move, That the Clause be read a Second time.

I should not have moved this Motion had I received a satisfactory reply on the discussion on a previous new Clause, but I gather that there was a misunderstanding. This provision does not refer to laundry facilities. The Solicitor-General for Scotland seemed to think that I was dealing with the pupils' washing, but this refers to the problem which arises in schools when children wash in cold water and do not have facilities for drying their hands in the winter months. That causes great distress to many little children.

What I wanted was some assurance that something is being done about this. It looks trivial, but from the point of view of the children it is not. Everybody knows how unpleasant it is for children when their skin cracks because they have been unable to dry their hands properly. Are proper facilities to be installed at an early date?

The Solicitor-General for Scotland

I am sorry if I misunderstood the right hon. Gentleman. I understood the right hon. Gentleman to mean facilities for drying wet clothes. I referred to cloakroom pegs where children can hang their wet clothes. So far as I know, what he has suggested is not covered in terms by the existing regulations or circulars. I will certainly bring this point to the notice of my right hon. Friend and perhaps find out in more detail what the present practice is. I am afraid I cannot go into detail now, but it is certainly a matter which could be inquired into.

Mr. Woodburn

If a manuscript Amendment is necessary tomorrow in the name of the Secretary of State, we will give it every facility.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Motion.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.