§ 49. Mr. THURTLE
asked the President of the Board of Education whether his Department consulted the Law Officers of the Crown before sending the letter to the Dorset education authority which has been understood to authorise the use of parts of a provided school building for the purpose of sectarian education; whether the action taken consequent upon that letter meets with the approval of his Department; and whether the legality or otherwise of this interpretation of the law has yet been contested by any individual or organisation in a court of law?
The Law Officers were not consulted before the Dorset letter was sent. I am not aware of any action taken as a result of that letter to which I should take exception; nor has the legality of any such action been contested in a court of law.
§ Mr. THURTLE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the spokesman of the Government in another place said recently that the legality of this action was in doubt; and does not the right hon. Gentleman think that his Department should make quite certain of the law on an important point like this before sending out a circular?
When my predecessor sent out this letter eight years ago, he satisfied himself on advice from the Department, and the fact that during eight years it has not been challenged is, I think, the best evidence of its correctness.
§ Major COLFOX
Is my right hon. Friend aware that the Dorset Education Authority can quite well look after their own affairs?