HC Deb 22 June 1944 vol 401 cc338-9
29. Major Procter

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he has reached any decision on the admission of the Press to divisional educational executive meetings.

Mr. Ede

This matter has received careful consideration by the Government mho have decided that it would be inappropriate to insert in the Education Bill a provision giving the Press the right to attend meetings of divisional executives. In the Government's view any revision of the Local Authorities (Admission of the Press to Meetings) Act, 1908, would be more suitably dealt with as a general matter.

Major Procter

Can the right hon. Gentleman tell us how public opinion can know what is going on in these committees; and can he suggest any way whereby the rights of the people to know whether they are getting value for their money in education can be achieved?

Mr. Ede

The meetings of education committees and of local education authorities are open to the Press under the Act that I quoted. I made a suggestion during the Committee or Report stage of the Bill, when it was before the House, that further provisions dealing with divisional executives could be made in the schemes for divisional executives, and I hope that substantial use will be made of that procedure when this scheme is formulated.

Mr. Thorne

Is it not the fact that the education committee report is to the general council and is open to debate in the open council chamber?

Mr. Ede

The extent of debate in council depends on the extent of the delegation to the education committee, but the meetings of education committees as well as of local education authorities are open to the Press.