HC Deb 21 May 1931 vol 252 cc2180-1

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the use of a school playground at Leyton for the purpose of the children's ceremony of saluting the Union Jack on Empire Day, 23rd May, has been refused; and whether any instructions have been given by the Board with relation to such applications?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Lees-Smith)

I understand that the Leyton local education authority have refused an application from the local branch of the National Conservative and Unionist Association for the use of a school playground, on 23rd May, for a pageant, which would have included the ceremony of saluting the Union Jack. No instructions have been issued by the Board on this matter, which is entirely within the discretion of the local authority.

Captain HUDSON

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the same body granted the use of a football pitch for a Socialist demonstration; and why this discrimination on party lines?


I have not had the latter matter brought to my attention, and, reading the regulations of this authority, I doubt whether it would grant the use of any school playground for any purpose other than something connected with the children at the school.

Captain HUDSON

If I give the right hon. Gentleman particulars will he look into the matter?

Mr. LEES-SMITH indicated assent



Is it not a fact that the education authorities observe this day, appropriately, on their own account without the intervention of political parties?


Arising out of the previous answer, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Leyton Council owns a football ground which is rented to various organisations for the purposes for which they may desire it?


I understand that the question refers to the playground of the school itself.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in all our Dominions oversea the Union Jack is hoisted on the schools as a matter of course?


That does not arise out of the question.