HC Deb 06 July 1961 vol 643 cc1642-3
30. Mr. Hale

asked the Minister of Education how many schools are included in the building programme of the Oldham Corporation now under consideration; and on how many previous occasions authority has been refused to build each of these proposed schools.

Mr. K. Thompson

The authority has proposed two primary schools and three secondary schools for the 1963–65 major building programmes. Of the primary schools, one was previously submitted on four occasions and the other on six. Of the secondary schools one was submitted six times previously and another twice. The third is a new proposal.

The authority's last four building programmes included three new primary schools and two secondary schools.

Mr. Hale

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that this does not sound quite like the answer given a few moments ago about the immense amount of school building which is going on? Is he aware, however, that I am grateful for the first half of the letter from his right hon. Friend to me yesterday and for the hopeful assurance about the secondary school which that letter contains?

31. Mr. Hale

asked the Minister of Education what is the present estimated cost to the Exchequer of the proposed denominational primary school at Roman Road, Lineside, Oldham; and what was the estimated comparable cost when the proposal was first submitted for approval.

Mr. K. Thompson

This school was first proposed for the 1956–57 major building programme. The gross capital cost at that time would have been £47,432, compared with £54,863 today.

The cost to the Exchequer would depend upon the extent to which the project qualified for grant from my Department.

Mr. Hale

I am much obliged for the information, but is the hon. Gentleman aware that it discloses a rather serious state of affairs? If I rightly understand the letter from his right hon. Friend to me on this project, he is now saying that, having refused to see a deputation in May at my request, and having received the same deputation in my absence in June, without communicating with me, he now refuses to receive me, the bishop or the priest to make representations on the matter on the ground that he has received that deputation? Is that the case, or am I being asked to wait for further consideration?

Mr. Thompson

I am grateful to the hon. Member for his courteous reference to my right hon. Friend's letter in his previous supplementary question. I do not think my right hon. Friend's suggestion that it would not be advantageous to meet the hon. Member at this time is based on a refusal to see him because he has already seen a deputation. My right hon. Friend's letter suggests that it would be as well if the consultations now being carried out were completed. The hon. Member might rest on that for the time being.

Mr. Hale

I am much obliged.