§ 27. Mr. Edmund Harvey
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education what steps are being taken by the Board to ensure some measure of education for the large number of children who have not been evacuated from evacuation areas, especially in the North of England; and whether the position of these areas in regard to education is being reviewed by the Board?
Certain steps to provide education for children still in evacuation areas were suggested in the Board's Circular 1479 issued at the end of last month and of which I am sending the hon. Member a copy. The Board are keenly alive to the position both in the North of England and elsewhere.
§ Mr. Harvey
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that in many cities in the North more than half the child population are now amusing themselves in the streets and not being educated, and that teachers are unemployed?
I do, and that is why I said "keenly alive"; but my hon. Friend will appreciate that there is a dilemma which has not yet been solved.
§ Sir J. Nall
May I ask my hon. Friend why the Government think that cinemas are safer in the hours of darkness than schools during the daylight?
I admit quite frankly that if one looks at it in that way, it seems anomalous, but if we compelled the opening of schools on a compulsory basis for all children, we should have to be prepared to take the risks. At the present time the Government are not: prepared to face that issue on a compulsory basis.
Sir J. Nail
Why not on a voluntary basis? Does my hon. Friend realise that many parents wish their children to get these facilities, as they are safer in the schools than on the streets?