HL Deb 24 April 1945 vol 136 c9

2.22 p.m.

Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.


My Lords, I think that I can explain the provisions of this Bill, which only runs into two clauses and one of these the title clause, in a very few words. The object of the Bill is to transfer the functions and powers of the Ministry of Health under the Camps Act, 1939, to the Minister of Education. The Act of 1939 provided for the establishment of two nonprofit making companies, one for England and Wales and one for Scotland, for the purpose of constructing, maintaining and managing permanent camps. What the Government had in mind was that these camps would supplement accommodation available for people from evacuation areas during the war, and that when the war was over they could be used as holiday camps for school children. In the course of events twenty-nine of the thirty-one camps erected in England and Wales have been occupied by primary and secondary schools from towns exposed to air attack. Now that school children are returning to their homes the local education authorities are being asked to arrange for the use of camps for school holidays. In view of the tact that these camps have been used during the war, and will continue to be used after the war, for educational purposes only, it is obvious that the responsibilities of the Ministry of Health under the 1939 Act add an unnecessary complication. The proper authority for their organization and management is clearly the Ministry of Education, and this Bill will effect the desired transfer. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Bill be now read 2a.—(The Earl of Listowel.)

On Question, Bill read 2a, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House.