HC Deb 30 June 1964 vol 697 cc1118-20
10. Mr. Boyden

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state the three Departments with the highest percentage of day release for juveniles under 18 years of age and the three lowest, giving the proportion of those under 18 years of age given day release in each of these Departments.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

All the boys and girls under 18 at the Home Office, three of the Scottish Departments and the Department of Education and Science attend day release classes. The three Departments where the fewest proportionately of young people under 18 attend these classes are the Army Department and the Air Department of the Ministry of Defence and the Treasury, for which the figures are, respectively, 642 out of 942 eligible, or 69 per cent., 367 out of 512 or 71 per cent., and 24 out of 58 or 41.4 per cent. These figures relate to non-industrial staff only.

Mr. Boyden

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the situation in relation to industrial staff at the Army Department is still worse? In view of the obligations the Government are laying on industry and the encouragement they are giving to it to facilitate day release, will not the right hon. Gentleman get his right hon. Friends to do something about the Army Department? Does not he consider it ridiculous that, whereas some Government Departments have had 100 per cent. day release, there is a relatively much lower percentage in the Army Department?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

We are very much concerned about this. In many Departments attendance by those under 16 is compulsory; it is, however, voluntary between the ages of 16 and 18. In the Treasury the training officer sees all young officers in these age groups and draws their attention to the importance of the day release scheme. I think the hon. Member will agree that to carry pressure or compulsion too far in a matter of this sort might well be self-defeating.

21. Mr. Dalyell

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many female clerks between the ages of 15 and 18 years are employed by his Department; and how many are granted day release.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There are ten female clerks between the ages of 15 and 18 employed in the Treasury eligible for day release. All are encouraged to take advantage of these facilities. Five are attending classes and one will begin in September. Two have attended classes but recently stopped doing so.

Mr. Dalyell

How does the Minister reconcile his statement of principle with the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Boyden) that if at the Treasury pressure of compulsion is carried too far it will be self-defeating, when in fact there is compulsory day release at the Home Office?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

We are dealing with somewhat different staffs, and we must use our judgment in respect of them. As I said in reply to the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Boyden), we apply compulsion up to the age of 16.