HC Deb 24 February 1970 vol 796 cc981-2
Q2. Mr. John Fraser

asked the Prime Minister whether he will advise the establishment of a Royal Commission to consider and report on the protection of children from physical and mental harm arising from material and social developments in society today.

The Prime Minister

There is already continuing action and study on the many varied aspects of the protection and welfare of children and I do not think that a Royal Commission would be the best means of helping this further forward.

Mr. Fraser

Would the Prime Minister agree that frequently we do not know enough about the formative influences on a child's personality until it is too late? Would it not be a good idea to draw research together and also to look at such things as the prevention of accidents to children on the roads and in their homes and the tremendous maiming of the young that still goes on in this country?

The Prime Minister

A number of inquiries are going on, both Government sponsored and by other organisations. There is action on road accidents coordinated by the Ministry of Transport, Home Office action on fire guards, flame resistant infants' clothes, toxic substances in toys and action on fireworks, while the Ministry of Housing and Local Government is studying the improved design of both housing and housing estates to reduce risks to chlidren. I suggest that it is better to deal with all these matters by continued action rather than by setting up a Royal Commission.

Sir D. Renton

Should not the first priority in the education of children be to get them to bed early enough to miss salacious programmes on television?

The Prime Minister

That is a matter better left to the good sense of parents.