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Youth Conference, Berlin

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 19 March 1952

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asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs what are the terms of reference of the delegation representing the London Standing Conferences of Voluntary Youth Organisations, in association with the London Council of Social Service, for whom he provided the necessary allowances, and who are leaving on 19th March for a conference on unemployed youth in Berlin.

At the request of the Foreign Office certain persons drawn from British bodies interested in youth welfare will take part with their German counterparts in discussions to be held in Berlin from 18th to 28th March on the various vocational and educational problems confronting the unemployed youth of Berlin. The British participants were recommended by the London Standing Conference of Voluntary Youth Organisations on the basis of their personal qualifications and ability to take part in such discussions. As is usual in these cases, they will attend in their private capacity and have, therefore, been given no terms of reference.

In view of the fact that the object of this exercise is to co-operate in forming a link between the young people of London and those of Berlin, is the Minister aware that it seems strange to many people that the list includes no representatives of any such youth organisations as the Boy Scouts or Girl Guides or Boys' Brigade, or of any of these well-known youth organisations in this country?

In this matter the Foreign Office acted on the advice of the London Standing Conference of Voluntary Youth Organisations, which is understood to be a body representative of all the organisations to which my hon. Friend referred.

Is my right hon. and learned Friend also aware that, as a member of that body, I can say that there are on it representatives of these youth movements; but that I have here a list of the people who are attending the conference and, although their qualifications are very high, would it not have been useful to have included in the list members of these youth organisations who are also members of that body?