§ 41. Mr. THORNE
asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can give the House any information about the 18-years-old schoolboy who was suspended by the headmaster of Reading School; whether he has seen a copy of the statement the boy in question had to sign before he was allowed to return to school; and whether he intends taking any action in the matter?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Ramsbotham)
I have seen accounts of this incident in the newspapers to the effect that a pupil at Reading School took part in the distribution of anti-war pamphlets on the occasion of the inspection of the Officers' Training Corps. I am not aware that the boy in question was asked to sign any statement before being allowed to return to school. His suspension was a matter of discipline within the discretion of the headmaster, and I do not see that any action on my part is called for.
§ Mr. THORNE
While I do not want to suggest that the hon. Gentleman is giving me an evasive answer, may I ask whether it is the case that the statement was drawn up by the headmaster and that it was published in all the papers?
§ Mr. RAMSBOTHAM
I think the hon. Member is mixing up this and another version of what happened. According to the report, the undertaking or apology in writing was asked for by the headmaster from three old boys of the school and not from the boy in question, who is a member of the school.