HC Deb 02 May 1966 vol 727 cc1232-3
43. Mr. Hugh Jenkins

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, in view of the fact that he has found it impossible to draft regulations under the Children and Young Persons Act, 1963, without legalising the present illegal employment of children in television advertising films, if he will introduce suitable amendments to the Act designed to retain the illegality of the present unlawful employment of children.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Miss Alice Bacon)

A draft of the regulations was circulated to interested bodies in August 1965. Some of the replies have not yet been received and we are at present holding discussions with those whose comments we already have. I can make no statement about our final decisions until these discussions have been completed.

Mr. Jenkins

Is it not the case that the Act permits the employment of children in this sphere? Does my hon. Friend agree that there is no good reason why the employment of children, which is generally forbidden, should be allowed here?

Miss Bacon

Yes. One of the difficulties is differentiating between films in which children appear for television advertisements and films for other purposes, which might be for similar commercial purposes. As my hon. Friend knows, while Equity, the organisation with which he is associated, has criticised the regulations, it has said that it is not opposed to the employment of children under 13 in television and films under proper protection. But there is this difficulty, as he knows, of differentiating between films for ordinary purposes and films for television advertisements.