The team over at They Work For You have very kindly sent Researching Reform a sample of family and child focused questions and debates from the House of Commons, to celebrate their new initiative, National Democracy Week. As we are anarchists, that doesn’t really resonate with us, but, we think history and governance are important, so we’re sharing some of these discussions with you.
What’s so interesting about these sessions, which take place during the 1920s and 1930s, is that they represent the start of modern day Family Law as we know it. For those interested in the history of Family Law, Cretney’s, “Family Law In The Twentieth Century”, is an informative and well written book, and well worth a read. (There are second hand copies which are much more budget friendly).
The first session we’re sharing was held in the House of Commons, on 12th December, 1929, and features a question of historic significance – it was the first mention of a Bill to create the family courts. At the time, couples had to go to the police with disagreements they couldn’t resolve. The Bill that Reginald Sorensen MP was asking to move, sought to create Courts of Domestic Relations.
The second session is a debate which took place in 1935 and links the NHS directly to child welfare services, calling on the government to roll out more services for children and women.
The final entry is an oral question, which was asked by George Griffiths MP in 1935, and tries to hold the government accountable for any failures to roll out maternity and child welfare services within local authorities. Sir Kingsley Wood, on behalf of the government, confirms that no councils were refused applications to implement these services.
The jammy comms team over at They Work For You also sent through a link with details on more debates and sessions about child welfare, which you can take a look at, here.