HC Deb 01 October 1942 vol 383 cc954-5W
Mr. Brooke

asked the President of the Board of Education what is the relationship of the Youth Service to youth organisations associated with political parties; and whether such organisations may receive assistance through the Youth Service?

Mr. Butler

The Youth Service is a public service of education, supported from public funds and having as its object the training and education of young people who have ceased to attend school full-time. As such, it can take no cognisance of organisations which exist to further the objects of any particular political party. My Department does not make grants to such youth organisations under the Social and Physical Training Grant Regulations, nor would expenditure incurred by local education authorities in assisting them be recognised for grant. This is in accordance with the normal practice of public administration in this country and implies no criticism of political youth organisations as such, which may well satisfy the needs of many young people as would no other youth organisation. I am, however, convinced that my Department's present policy must be maintained if the Youth Service is to continue to be administered on a par with the other branches of the education service. Similarly, I regard it as undesirable that political youth organisations should be admitted to the registers of youth groups kept by authorities and in no circumstances should the follow-up of registration be permitted to be used as a medium for recruiting young people to such organisations.