HC Deb 04 May 1976 vol 910 c1043
4. Mr. Steen

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many young people entered the recent essay competition announced by him on the role of the Youth Service.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Mr. Gerry Fowler)

All but one of the entries to the competition, which closed almost a year ago, were from groups, including Venture Scout Units and a local Council of Youth. I cannot say how many young people contributed their ideas, but it was clearly a considerable number.

Mr. Steen

Since there are 5 million people within the Youth Service, does the Minister agree that the numbers that he mentioned as applying for this competition were disappointing? Will he therefore promote to the nationalised industries the civil servants who abound in his Department, where they can do less harm, and fill the places created with spirited young people who can help to rebuild the ailing Youth Service?

Mr. Fowler

I think that the hon. Member must have misheard my reply. I carefully did not mention any numbers. It would be more to the hon. Member's credit if, instead of criticising the competition he had done more to promote entries from among the young people's organisations in which he is interested.