§ 43 and 44. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay
asked the President of the Board of Education (1) whether, in view of the dislocation of family life and normal education, and the alarming growth of juvenile delinquency among children of school age, he will take special steps to safeguard child life, increase the provision of nursery centres and hostels, and, if necessary, institute a national child service throughout the country;
(2) whether, in view of the growth of juvenile delinquency among young people between the ages of 14 and 18, he will strengthen the youth welfare branch of the Board and appoint special personnel to foster the youth service movement in appointed areas?
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
My Department is in consultation with the Home Office, in the light of the suggestions made at the Home Office conference a week ago, as to the measures that can be taken to deal with the problem of juvenile delinquency, and a statement will be issued as soon as possible. The hon. Member may be sure that all practicable measures will be taken into account.
§ Mr. Lindsay
While I realise the difficulties with which my right hon. Friend is faced, will he not, in addition to com- 1687 pulsion and opening schools as play centres, consider the suggestion that all those engaged in any form of service with children, from nursery centres to youth services, should have some form of recognition that their work is a vital part of the war effort? It is very difficult to get even domestic helpers in hostels, because they are tempted away by munitions work and other such services.
§ Mr. Ramsbotham
This is a very serious problem. The best method of approach is, on the one hand, the strictest possible enforcement of school attendance and, on the other hand, wherever possible, the encouragement of youth organisations such as clubs and youth service corps.
§ Mr. Lipson
Is the delinquency greater in those areas from which children have been evacuated, and where schools have been closed, than in reception areas?