HC Deb 09 December 1943 vol 395 cc1150-1W
Sir G. Jeffreys

asked the Minister of Health whether he will consider the introduction of legislation to deal with itinerant van-dwellers of the gipsy type in respect of health, education, cleanliness and general behaviour, the more so because any existing supervision is both unenforceable and illusory?

Mr. Willink

Wide powers as to control of the use of movable dwellings were given to local sanitary authorities by Section 269 of the Public Health Act, 1936. I would also refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the preceding Section of the Act as to nuisances. In view of the short period which has elapsed since the law was revised I should deprecate further legislation at present, though I should be happy to receive any evidence my hon. and gallant Friend cares to send me on the subject so far as it relates to rural amenities and sanitary administration. I understand from my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary that so far as concerns his responsibilities he finds no sufficient ground for further legislation. As regards education, my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education will bear in mind the needs of children in this category in connection with his forthcoming Bill.