HC Deb 24 July 1941 vol 373 cc1078-9W
Sir E. Cadogan

asked the Minister of Health, in view of the joint circular issued by the Ministry of Health and Board of Education dealing with the placing and after-care of evacuees who have reached the school-leaving age, whether he is satisfied that local authorities and local education authorities are providing suitable employment, recreational facilities and friendly supervision for them while away from their own homes; and what proportion of these school leavers have obtained employment in the reception areas?

Mr. E. Brown

The joint circular to which my hon. and gallant Friend refers, was issued as recently as the middle of May and it is too soon to attempt to assess its effect. I have however no reason to doubt that both my own welfare officers and H.M. Inspectors responsible for the Youth Service under the Board of Education, together with the juvenile employment officers and local authorities and local education authorities are taking close interest in the placing and after-care of evacuees who have reached school-leaving age and whose parents desire them to remain in reception areas. I have no statistical information regarding the last part of the Question, which is a matter, rather for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Labour and National Service.

Sir H. Morris-Jones

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the unnecessary inconvenience caused to people in the reception areas in Denbighshire through evacuee children who have been billeted with them for two or three weeks being fetched back by their parents; whether this has any relation to a demand from the State for the parents' contribution towards the children's upkeep; and, in view of this occurrence having been more than once repeated by the same parents, whether he will take steps to protect people in the reception areas from the dislocation to the household caused by these proceedings?

Mr. Brown

I am aware of the inconvenience caused to householders in reception areas by the tendency of evacuated children and other to return to danger areas during any temporary lull in enemy raiding. I do not, however, think that this tendency is appreciably affected by the requirement that parents who can afford to do so should contribute towards the cost of their children's maintenance. I am taking such steps as are practicable to dissuade parents from bringing their children back to danger areas, and I will send by hon. Friend a copy of a letter which I have recently addressed to the parents of all evacuated children urging them to leave the children in reception areas.