HL Deb 21 December 1965 vol 271 cc940-1

2.37 p.m.


My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

[The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether it is now their policy, in making grants for the benefit of youth service, to curtail their grants to one-sex organisations such as boys' clubs, in order to divert the money so saved to mixed organisations.]


My Lords, grants were offered during the last three years to national voluntary youth organisations towards their headquarters' administration and training expenses. A list of these grants was given in the OFFICIAL REPORT of another place on October 28. There is no bias against single-sex organisations, and such is not the policy of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science. He acknowledges the valuable services they provide, especially for the younger age groups; but he is also aware of the need for new thinking, and possibly new kinds of provision, in the upper age range.


My Lords, I should like to express my thanks to the Minister for his courteous reply—indeed his most comforting reply. On the other hand, I should like to ask whether he is aware that the Sunday Times of November 7 published a report containing alleged quotations from the Minister responsible for sport, which gave an exactly contrary impression and has caused a lot of discouragement among those who are working in and for boys' clubs. Perhaps I might ask the Minister, if he is aware of that report, whether he considers that some statement ought to be issued along the lines of the reply he has given in order to make the matter clear generally?


My Lords, I was not aware of the report which the noble Lord has just quoted. The policy I stated is, of course, the policy of my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science and all his Ministers. But I will certainly bring the noble Lord's remarks to the attention of my right honourable friend.