§ 19 and 20. Mr. HARRIS
asked the President of the Board of Education (1) whether the discussions are still continuing between the Board of Education and representatives of local education authorities on the subject of grants in aid of educational expenditure; and are these discussions conducted through a formally constituted committee, or are they informal;
(2) by what date in the autumn or early winter of this year will the Board require local education authorities to furnish their preliminary estimates of educational expenditure for the year 1928–29; and, having regard to the fact that many education authorities will begin shortly 2026 to prepare their estimates of expenditure for 1928–29, will he make an early announcement with regard to the question of grants?
Duchess of ATHOLL
The Committee is a formally constituted Committee of representatives of local authorities and the Board. The Committee has not met recently, but its meetings will be resumed in due course. As at present advised, my right hon. Friend does not contemplate any announcement which would affect the estimates of local authorities for next year, nor does he know of any reason why a new date should be fixed for the submission of preliminary estimates. The system of programmes under which we are now working may possibly render unnecessary the submission of the "November forecasts" of local expenditure hitherto required by the Board, but unless they receive an intimation to this effect authorities will, presumably, submit these forecasts at the usual time.
§ Mr. HARRIS
Am I to understand from that that the same policy is to be followed in the forthcoming year and that there is to be no drastic change of policy?
Duchess of ATHOLL
I think the hon. Member will understand that it is quite impossible for me to anticipate any statement which my Noble Friend will make.