HC Deb 14 May 1953 vol 515 cc1398-9
28. Mr. Hartley

asked the Minister of Education when she will be able to give a decision in regard to the proposal about the transport of school children which was submitted to her Department by Durham County Council on 5th May, 1952.

Mr. Pickthorn

My right hon. Friend wrote to the local education authority about this matter on 21st April, and is now considering their reply.

Mr. Hartley

Does not the Parliamentary Secretary agree that a period of more than 12 months is an unduly long period for the consideration of this proposal before coming to any decision, and will he assure the House that the delay is not being used as a means of forcing local authorities to operate or implement the economies of Circular 242? Will he assure us, further, that a decision will be reached at an early date?

Mr. Pickthorn

I am sure that there is no question of delay being used as a method of compulsion. As to the causes of the delay, my right hon. Friend did write on 21st April, and I do not think there can be any reasonable complaint about that.

Mr. Bartley

Can the hon. Gentleman say what delay took place between the letter of 21st April and the receipt of the previous correspondence, despite the pressure by myself and the local authorities?

Lieut.-Colonel Lipton

Answer that.