HC Deb 28 November 1957 vol 578 cc1263-4
23. Dr. King

asked the Minister of Education how many projects he has cut out of the local education authorities' proposals for rural reorganisation in the 1958–59 programme.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd


Dr. King

Is the Minister aware that this is a most serious setback in the provision of adequate education for village children? Is he aware that the rural education authorities were inspired when the President of the Board of Trade asked them to get rid of all-age schools in five years? Will the Minister consider sympathetically the representations that he is bound to receive from rural education authorities to restore some of these cuts?

Mr. Lloyd

This is a slowing down of a very important programme. That cannot be denied, and obviously everybody would like to see it quickened up when circumstances are propitious.

Mr. Stewart

Has not it been made apparent in earlier questions from both sides of the House that educational opportunities for children in rural areas are in many ways inferior to those afforded in urban areas? Is not it peculiarly unfortunate that, if the Government have to conduct an attack on education at all, the spearhead of that attack should be in the rural areas?

Mr. Lloyd

We all want to make progress, but the fact is that we have had to slow down progress in this field.