HC Deb 13 July 1936 vol 314 cc1666-7

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the attitude of his Department in regard to the use of parts of provided schools for the purpose of sectarian religious instruction remains as set forth in the letter to the Yorkshire Education Committee in 1929; whether such arrangements may be entered into in exceptional cases only, where children could not, in practice, be withdrawn from school premises; and whether he will make this fact clear to all local education authorities who contemplate entering into arrangements with denominational authorities?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Oliver Stanley)

The circumstances in which the use of provided school premises is permissible are indicated in the letters to the Dorset and West Riding authorities, and I do not think that any further communication to local authorities is called for.


Will the Minister of Education say whether the law is as set forth in my question? Is he aware that there is considerable doubt as to what this letter really means, even people like the Archbishop of Canterbury apparently being in doubt as to its meaning?


I think the two letters to which I have referred set out very clearly what is the board's point of view on the legal position, and I have never heard any difficulty expressed even from such a distinguished quarter as that to which the hon. Gentleman referred.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a colleague of his in another place described this letter as a masterpiece of—[Interruption].