HC Deb 25 March 1943 vol 387 cc1748-9
20. Mr. William Brown

asked the President of the Board of Education when he contemplates being able to bring in the promised new Education Bill?

22. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is proposed to introduce an Education Bill this Session?

Mr. Butler

I cannot at present add to previous replies, particularly that which I gave to the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) on 28th January.

Mr. Lindsay

While I realise that my right hon. Friend wishes to bring in a really comprehensive Bill, can he say whether it is contemplated that it will be brought in this Session? Discussions have been going on now for nearly three years.

Mr. Butler

As my hon. Friend will realise, to recast our educational system is a big task, and therefore I can give no undertaking, but while my answer may appear negative I do not want the hon. Member's hopes to be dashed or any fears to be aroused, because I hope to make steady progress.

Mr. Brown

If the right hon. Gentleman cannot give us an assurance about this Session, can he hold out a reasonable prospect of our getting the Bill this year?

Mr. Butler

I certainly desire that progress should be made as rapidly as possible.

Mr. Lipson

Does the right hon. Gentleman's original answer mean that the Bill when introduced will be a really comprehensive Bill?

Mr. Butler

I trust that it will be found to be so.

Mr. Sorensen

Will the right hon. Gentleman explain exactly what is holding up this Bill?

Mr. Butler

While there is nothing holding up the preparation except that there is much hard work to be done, I think it would be wrong if I allowed the Bill to be rushed and there was bad work in consequence.

24. Mr. Tom Brown

asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is his intention in the proposed new Education Act that parents shall continue to have the statutory right of their children being educated in accordance with their religious faith?

Mr. Butler

I think that when the hon. Member sees my proposals as a whole he will be satisfied on this point.