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Young Children (Film Contracts)

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 7 April 1949

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will introduce legislation to prevent parents from contracting with film companies or other persons for the commercial exploitation of their young children.

I propose to await the report of a committee which I appointed in May, 1948, to consider under what safeguards as to health, welfare and education the employment of children as film actors could properly be allowed.

When my right hon. Friend is considering that report, will he bear in mind the harmful effect on very young children of growing up always as the central showpieces of vulgar and disgusting displays, like that at a church last week; and, although these cases are extremely few, would he bear in mind that such exploitation is not in harmony with his generally more humane attitude on the treatment of children?

I should have thought that that was very good evidence to give to the committee.