HC Deb 01 April 1963 vol 675 cc137-73

8.0 p.m.

Mr. M. Stewart

I beg to move, in page 43, line 1, to leave out subsections (6) and (7).

Mr. Deputy-Speaker (Sir Robert Grimston)

With this Amendment it will be convenient to take the Amendment in page 49, line 44, Clause 34, leave out subsection (4).

Mr. Stewart

These two Amendments are both concerned with what are called

review Clauses—the Amendment in page 43, line 1, with the review Clause for the London education service itself, and the Amendment in page 49, line 44, with the comparable provision made for the youth employment service. I propose to direct most of my argument to the education service rather than the youth employment service, because I imagine I am right in supposing that, if it were agreed not to have the review for the education service, there would be little point in keeping it for the youth employment service. Of the two, although it would be invidious to talk about their comparative importance, the education service is much the wider and larger in scope. It is from the proposed review of the inner London education service that the whole argument stems.

The proposals for London education have gone through so many changes since the project of reforming Greater London government was first advanced that it may be difficult for members of the public, except those who had special reason to follow the matter, to realise where we now stand. May I briefly recapitulate the stages we have been through? The Royal Commission came out with a proposal to make the Greater London Council the education authority for the whole of the area but then proposed a very elaborate system for dividing responsibility between the Greater London Council and the boroughs. The result was so unworkable and would have resulted in so much mutual correspondence and argument between the Greater London Council and the boroughs that the Government did not adopt that proposal, and I doubt whether it has any advocates today. That was one proposal gone.

The Government's next idea was to break up the education services of Middlesex and of the parts of Surrey, Kent and Essex that are brought into Greater London and make education there a borough service, and they proposed to do that for part of the County of London as well, although they argued at this stage that there should be a central area containing about 2 million people where there should be some sort of single authority. It was while this proposal was toward that the parents and teachers of London pronounced most emphatically on the matter and made it very clear indeed that they, who had the greatest and most immediate interest in the matter, and the closest knowledge of it, did not want to see the education service of the London County Council broken up at all. Meanwhile, the Conservative minority on the London County Council had a proposal for cutting up the L.C.C. education service into twelve pieces, one for each borough. To that also public opinion was decisively opposed.

The Government's next proposal, which became embodied in the Bill, was that the London County Council education service should for the time being remain intact, but, since there was no London County Council to run it, this special body—the Inner London Education Authority—had to be created.

The Government then added to that proposal, as if unwilling to depart from the idea of some day breaking up the L.C.C. education service, that at some date between 1965 and 1970 the Minister of Education should conduct a review of the London education service as operated by the Inner London Education Authority to see whether any part of it should be transferred to the boroughs. The idea of breaking it up to the boroughs was still kept as a possibility under the Bill. That is the so-called review Clause—or, rather, the two review subsections—which we now propose to delete.

That, then, is what is in issue. A new body is to be set up to run the existing L.C.C. education service. The question we have to ask is whether that new body should do its work on the understanding that within five years or less of its starting its job it shall be subject to a review the result of which might be the complete break-up of the whole L.C.C. education service into twelve pieces.

There are several objections to this proposal. One is that nobody has been able to make a convincing case for breaking up the L.C.C. education service into twelve pieces. It has not been for want of trying. The Royal Commission started with a prejudice in favour of borough education services. It had to abandon the idea when it came to study what the L.C.C. education service is really like. It found that the range and variety of education which is needed in modern life cannot be provided if the education authority is too small and if an attempt is made to establish a multiplicity of education authorities in an area like inner London where the people are constantly in the course of their work and daily life moving across from one borough into another. The whole L.C.C. education service has grown up on the plan of treating this whole inner London area as one. The facilities have all been provided on that basis. A great many of the children seeking education cross the borough boundaries. The more diverse education becomes, the more that is true. In further education and in the provision of education for handicapped children the fact that the plan can be made over the whole county area is an outstanding advantage.

The Royal Commission, starting with a prejudice in favour of boroughs, came to the conclusion that that was not the right answer in inner London. The Government—I do not think it is unfair to say—starting with a prejudice against the London County Council would have liked to justify the proposition that the L.C.C. education service could be broken up. They also, when it came to the point, were not prepared to do it.

Sir K. Joseph

The hon. Gentleman paused significantly. I hope that he is not going to take my silence when he alleged that the Government started with a prejudice against the L.C.C. as any evidence of assent. We started with a desire, as evidenced, not to disrupt the education service in London as a whole.

I intervene only because the hon. Gentleman hesitated.

Mr. Stewart

I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will accept it from me that I acquit him personally of that charge. However, this business did not begin with him. It began with the present Home Secretary, whose intemperate and foolish utterances at L.C.C. elections going back a great many years showed him to be a bitter enemy of the London County Council and with more regard for gratifying his feelings there than for the welfare of the people of London.

Sir K. Joseph

The hon. Gentleman is departing from his normal high standards. That is a quite unjustified series of allegations which I will not waste the time of the House by rebutting in detail.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

Then why intervene?

Mr. Stewart

The right hon. Gentleman is not in a position to rebut them. The truth of what I have been saying is known perfectly well to every Londoner. The significant thing was that, despite the tendency of the political friends of the present Home Secretary to refer to the L.C.C. regularly as an octopus, they were unable when they came to the point to provide a workable plan. To provide this education service they had to retreat from their original proposal of hacking off one-third of it and preserving the remaining two-thirds intact. Even the Conservative minority on the L.C.C. who wanted to break it up to the boroughs felt that they had to add to their proposal a suggestion for some kind of co-ordinating committee. Thus no one has been able to demonstrate that the education system would be better if it were cut up into the boroughs.

Everyone, even the most inveterate opponent of the L.C.C., has been led to the conclusion that it would probably be worse. In those circumstances we are entitled to ask just what is the point of playing about with this unprofitable idea any longer and by keeping the review Clause in the Bill. The stock argument advanced—and one on which the Parliamentary Secretary chiefly relied in Committee—was that the inner London education authority is a body unique of its kind, or sui generis —a phrase one can mention when wishing to impart a little learning into the discussion—and that, therefore, one could not embark on it without making a special provision of this kind.

I do not remember, when the Metropolitan Police Force was created, that it was necessary to do anything of the kind, nor when a great many bodies peculiar to themselves were established. No such provision was provided when the Metropolitan Water Board was established. Moreover, this review Clause does not give the Minister more power than he could at any time exercise by looking at what was going on in his Department. If it was thought necessary, because the I.L.E.A. was a new body, that it should be subject to review, that was within the Minister's powers as Minister of Education and he could have done that at any time.

For all these reasons, we would like to know why this particular review should be made statutory. One is obliged to conclude that the making of it statutory implies something more like a definite intention to break the body up than to do anything else. That is why it is said, in effect, "This is a new body and the Minister of Education will, therefore, keep it carefully under review". It is to be a statutory review which must be done not at such time as the Minister in the ordinary discharge of his departmental duties might think best, but within five years. That is an extremely short period for deciding whether or not a new body is up to a job as complex as this.

There do not seem to be any convincing reasons for the review Clause; and one formidable reason against it was advanced by the Minister of Education himself in a letter which I had the pleasure of quoting in Committee. I would remind hon. Members who have not read every word of the OFFICIAL REPORT of Standing Committee F what a resident in outer London wrote to the Minister of Education. He wrote, in effect, "It is true that the I.L.E.A. is a new body but, after all, the service it is running has been going for some time. The idea of haying a county service in inner London is not new. It is well established. What is new is what you are doing in outer London, where you are making education not a county but a borough service for the first time." The writer of that letter was saying, therefore, "Why not provide some review of education in outer London to see whether it might not be better to bring it back into the county rather than into the borough form?" The Minister replied that it would be undesirable to do that because of the uncertainty it would cause to teachers and parents in the area. Apparently the feelings of teachers in the inner London area are of no account. This is obviously a very serious objection and it was made very serious by the comments of some Government supporters in Standing Committee who began to adduce various reasons why they thought that the review should be conducted.

Those reasons were, in effect, that they did not consider that the way the L.C.C on this or that matter had gone about things was the right way and that they and their party would like to see it done the other way. That was said, for example, about the organisation of secondary education and the appointment of school managers and governors. It must be realised that this is surely an extraordinary doctrine. It is extraordinary to say, "We have an elected body but we, as one political party, would like things done in a different way and we must continue to alter local government areas until we get the result we would like." The reiteration of that comment made us more suspicious of the real objects and results of this review Clause.

8.15 p.m.

We were then told—and it was in order to allay suspicions of that kind that we were informed about this—that the review would be conducted on purely educational grounds. The Parliamentary Secretary was most emphatic about that. I urge him to consider what those remarks mean. Will he be able to give us an example of arguments for a change which might be considered, but which are not permissible, under that formula and arguments which are permissible under it?

Up till now, the general argument for handing anything over to the boroughs has been that one wanted to make them live, vigorous, virile and powerful bodies and that that would reinforce local government. Whatever may be said about that argument, it cannot, without some extraordinary stretching of words, be called an educational one. It is, if anything, a political or social argument. Presumably, therefore, it will not be open to the Government, if they fulfil the pledge given that this review is to be on purely educational grounds, to start by saying, "We want to give them more say because that would be healthy for the boroughs."

Or if it is the argument, as the hon. Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead) described, that he did not like the way in which school managers and governors were appointed by the L.C.C., would it be a legitimate argument to say, "If you break the service up to the twelve boroughs, school managers and governors might be appointed in a different way? ". Is that an educational argument?

I am not at all sure that the parents, teachers and children would think so. On the other hand, let us consider something that would undoubtedly be an educational argument. One purpose of education, though only one, is to help children to develop their minds and to secure academic successes. That is not a complete definition of education, but that is one purpose of education. Presumably, therefore, it would be reasonable, when conducting the review, to ask oneself, "If we break our education up among the boroughs are we likely to get schools which will result in more academic successes than if we keep the I.L.E.A. intact?". That is an example of a purely educational argument.

Alternatively, one might ask, "Will there be better provision for certain groups of handicapped children if we break education up among the boroughs?". Granted that those are purely educational grounds, is anyone going to suggest that one will be in a position to give, in less than five years, an answer to those questions worth anything at all? One will not have had a single generation of children through the schools in less than five years.

Suppose anyone were to say in 1970, "It is clear from the academic successes of the schools that the I.L.E.A. is doing either better or worse than the old L.C.C." or "It is clear that the I.L.E.A. is not doing as well or better than the boroughs could be expected to do." Anyone who tried to advance that kind of argument with facts and figures about the educational attainments of the children would be told that it was far too soon to advance such an argument. Whatever the I. L.E.A. does must be determined, to begin with, by what it inherits from the L.C.C., with the great virtues of that system and such defects as it may possess. To get a serious judgment on educational grounds we would have to wait at least ten years before we could conduct the review to any purpose. If we have to wait that length of time, there is not the slightest need for this review Clause in this Measure. If we mean a genuine educational review, the proper way to conduct that would be for the Minister, after the lapse of some period substantially longer than five years—after, perhaps, a lapse of ten years— to conduct a proper inquiry, as he can in his Department, and if, as a result of that inquiry, it appeared that any changes would be for the better, we could introduce a Statute for that purpose. The Government will not really pretend that they will not be introducing any Statutes about London Government for the next twelve years—if they do, I can assure them that they are very much mistaken.

Instead of doing that, the Government have deliberately prejudiced the issue by subjecting the I.L.E.A. to uncertainty from the start and, in particular, by using in their first draft, until as a result of pressure from us they altered it, wording to suggest to the layman that their intention was fragmentation and that the review was merely a decent screen to that intention. I do not believe that, on educational or any other grounds, there is any case for the review. There is a very considerable case against it on the grounds of the uncertainty it imposes on the whole service and the stupidity of this continuous playing with an idea that, time and time again, even its fondest advocates have found unworkable.

We therefore thought it right on Report to put down this Amendment, partly because of the importance of the issue and partly to give another opportunity to certain hon. Members, supporters of the Government, who did not seem to be quite aware of what was involved in the Clause. The hon. Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Partridge), for example, told us in all good faith in the Committee that it was not possible under the Bill as it stood to fragment the service among the boroughs. We had to point out to him that this was just not so. It is perfectly possible to do that under the Bill. Nevertheless, there was the hon. Member for Battersea, South, in all his innocence and zeal, vigorously defending the Clause but totally unaware of what it contained. We have thought it proper to give him another opportunity to consider the matter.

Then there was the hon. Member for Barons Court (Mr. Compton Carr), who at one stage assured us that further education, at any rate, would not be affected by the review, or broken up to the boroughs. He was, of course, quite wrong. It is the whole function of the I.L.E.A., from the infants school to every provision it makes for young adults, but he was evidently listening to the argument—and, I think, participating in founder a misapprehension of what was involved.

Some hon. Members opposite said that they would like to vote against the review Clause but did not like to vote for what we then proposed to put in its place. We had proposed in Committee to take out the review Clause and put in certain Clauses dealing with minor administrative matters with which the Government found some fault—and they may have been right. In order to remove any difficulty from hon. Gentlemen opposite there, we have put down an Amendment in the simplest possible form; simply proposing to take out subsections (6) and (7).

Here, therefore, is a perfectly simple issue, and anyone like the hon. Member for Barons Court, or other hon. Members opposite, who have stated explicitly that they are opposed to the review Clause, now have an opportunity to vote against it without the fear that they are voting for anything other than the straight issue of whether or not the review Clause shall be in the Bill.

There is also the case of the hon. Member for Woolwich, West (Mr. Turner) who, according to the Eltham and Kentish Times, said that he had been instrumental in getting the review Clause written into the Bill, instead of having a change at once, so that he could not vote against the proposal even if he wanted to. It was news to most of us that the review Clause was the invention of the hon. Member for Woolwich, West—we had credited the Government with a little more inventive genius than that. There are, therefore, plenty of hon. Gentlemen opposite—and I must say that I expected to see more of them here—who would, presumably, be interested in this debate, and glad to take the opportunity of making clear their views on the review Clause.

We regard this as a matter of very great seriousness; that it is so regarded, not only by us as a party but by parents and teachers, must now be overwhelmingly clear to the Government. I ask the Government what they feel they gain by keeping this Clause in the Bill. They certainly gain nothing in the way of good administration, no help to education, and no help to their own credit.

Mr. Weitzman

My hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) has referred to the views of certain hon. Members on the other side who did not believe that this Clause meant fragmentation. The Minister himself, in answer to a Parliamentary Question that I put to him, said that I ought to read the Bill carefully, that I was ignorant in the matter because, clearly, the Clause did not lead to fragmentation. My hon. Friend has given him the answer.

My hon. Friend recounted the various steps adopted by the Government in finally deciding to insert this subsection in the Bill—how they abandoned one idea after another. Subsection (6) as it stands recognises that the work of the London County Council as an education authority is something to be admired, and something that should not be disturbed. It recognises that by the fact that it preserves the work of the London County Council in a body called the Inner London Education Area. Having recognised that, and having recognised that the work should go on in that way, why should they then disturb it by putting the threat they do in the Bill?

When this matter was raised in Committee—and, I think, on Second Reading—the Minister was asked whether this review must inevitably take place and whether, as a result of the review, changes would be made. I believe that the answer we received was that it did not follow that changes would be made inevitably, but the words of the Clause say the contrary. As I have already said in speeches I have made on this subject, we should read these words in the ordinary way that we read any English sentence and see what they mean. I repeat the words for that reason.

They are: … a review of the administration of education in the Inner London Education Area for the purpose of determining to what extent, in what part or parts of that Area, and subject to what conditions, if any,"— Clearly, "if any", as an ordinary matter of English, refers to the conditions: all or any of the functions of the local education authority relating to education should be transferred to … Therefore, it is perfectly clear that the Government are saying in the Clause, "We allow the education authority to be the Inner London Education Authority, but there will be a review which will take place in order that a certain change will be made. We do not say to what extent that change will be made but certainly a change of some kind will be made."

8.30 p.m.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education (Mr. Christopher Chataway)

The hon. and learned Member has put forward this argument before. My right hon. Friend made it clear on Second Reading that "if any" refers to the whole of that previous sentence and that the Clause is not drafted in such a way as to bind the Government to make any changes at all. But because the hon. and learned Member has doubts, which it seems are shared by other hon. Members opposite, we have tabled Amendments, which presumably will be taken immediately after this Amendment, which will meet the point the hon. and learned Member is making.

Mr. Weitzman

I am glad that Amendments are being tabled to remove any doubt on this point, but this does not remove the force of my argument that in this subsection the Government have set out a threat to the Inner London Education Authority and have made it clear to teachers, parents and the general public that the probability is, to put it no higher, that a change will be made.

I do not understand the Government's attitude on this matter. They recognise that the work of the London County Council as an education authority ought to go on and should be preserved in this body which is to be called the Inner London Education Authority. Why, therefore, put a threat of this kind in the Bill? The seriousness of it is seen in the fact—as the Minister well knows—that by reason of this provision there have been considerable protests from many teachers and parents. They are up in arms about it.

They are not up in arms about some idle threat. They make the forceful argument that if the Government set up the Inner London Education Authority and they want it to do responsible work, to say, "We will create it, but we will follow that up in a year, or two or three years, with a review which may change it extensively" is to set up a body which will be living under a threat. How do the Government expect that body to work satisfactorily in such conditions?

Why was it necessary to put a provision of this kind in the Bill? If it were thought that the Inner London Education Authority would not work successfully, and if it were shown during the years that followed its establishment that in formation, organisation and work there was something wrong with it. Parliament would have the opportunity of dealing with it. It would be quite easy to bring in legislation to have a review and make some alteration, but why write that into the Bill?

When I raised this matter in Committee the reply was, "You know how long it takes for legislation to be enacted and to carry out these steps. We would prefer to have the provision in the Bill." Why? Surely it would be the simplest thing in the world to establish whether the new body was working correctly, and if it were not the Government would have a case.

It would be possible for the Government to come to the House and say, "We have created this body. It is not working properly. Something is wrong. It should be altered in certain ways." Without the necessity for the sanction contained in an Act of Parliament, the Minister could hold a review, collect his facts and present them to the House. We could have a debate and, as a result, a Bill could be brought in. Above all, we could have something which the Government fear—an opportunity of debate in the House of Commons on every detail in regard to any proposed change, which we could not have in the way that the Bill is drafted.

What are the Government afraid of? Why should they take the step they do? I suggest that they are wrong, as they are wrong in many other matters in regard to this subject. My hon. Friend the Member for Fulham said something about the obstinacy of the Home Secretary and the Minister rose to say that that was not up to the high standard which my hon. Friend usually adopts. If speaking the truth and setting out the facts is not up to my hon. Friend's high standard, I hope that he will continue to do that.

This is a question of obstinacy by the Government. They are clinging to something at the last moment to try to preserve the stand they have taken. There is no case for inserting the right to hold a review as is contained in the subsection. It will result only in uncertainty and in the threat to which I have referred. It arouses opposition and will affect the work of the Inner London Education Authority, which should be created to continue the work instead of living under a threat. I hope that the House will accept the Amendment and recognise the justice of it.

Mr. Percy Holman (Bethnal Green)

Unfortunately, I was not a member of the Standing Committee which dealt with the Bill, but I have some little right to express an opinion on this matter as I have been connected with London education in one way or another for twenty-six years and my wife has been a member of the education committee for twenty-two years.

I have not come across a single educationist in London who supports the idea of any type of fragmentation of the London education service. I think that I can say that the teachers of London were more indignant over the threat to education as they see it, either in the earlier proposals or in the threat to consider the whole matter within the next five years, than they are even over the present salary position. The biggest indoor meeting which I have had since the war, of parents and teachers in Hackney Town Hall, was a unanimous, indignant meeting. In various parts of London, parents and teachers have met together and expressed their indignation in no uncertain manner.

I believe that from the outset the Ministry of Education disliked one proposal after another which came forward because it praised the London education service in its evidence before the Royal Commission, and the Royal Commission, which had no experience of this rather unique system, was like a set of purely academic people trying to fit it into something into which it was not fittable or was fittable only by practically destroying it and trying to recreate it.

In the area where I live, at West Wimbledon, a Surrey local by-election is pending. The election addresses of two-thirds of the Conservative candidates quote the Lord Bishop of London and my hon. Friend the Member for Bermondsey (Mr. Mellish) in their criticism of the Government's proposals as they affect the County of Surrey. It is interesting to get that sort of criticism in the outer London area as well and that even Conservative candidates cannot support the propositions which the Government have put forward.

I support my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) in saying that the present Minister's predecessor was prejudiced. My wife watched him for years when he was leader of the opposition on the London County Council. He was rather ineffective. It is not a place where old Etonians and people like that shine particularly. I sometimes thing that old Girtonians do so, as there are several of them on the L.C.C. Education Committee.

The basic point is that London education must be treated separately from other ministerial considerations. It is unique. As chairman of the special schools subcommittee, my wife talks to me about her activities week by week. The L.C.C. gives a wide range of differential education that is not equalled, according to the needs of all the different children in London. It cannot be equalled because of the number of varied types of school children in London.

In an Adjournment debate a week last Friday we heard about autistic children. The Conservative Member who raised the subject became aware, I think, of that word eight or nine weeks ago, and it is extremely interesting to note that on the very day that he heard of it my wife was telling the L.C.C. Education Committee about the first experiment with this type of child in Holborn.

The group of children concerned is extremely small in number and requires highly specialised attention. There is another little group in Bethnal Green. A child is sent every day from Croydon because the attention required is so specialised. That is the sort of thing that special education can do in London. There are 26 boarding schools in such places as Margate, Hayling Island and St. Leonards, which cater for special needs.

This is something that can be done in a large area. What is to happen to that high degree of specialisation? What is to happen to the 50,000 children who pass over from one borough to another? If these boroughs become fragmented, they will surely try to give a preference to their own children first. That is a constant temptation which arises out of parochialism.

For goodness' sake, let the teachers be heard by the Government. I have never yet come across a London teacher, whatever his political views, who has not said, "leave London education alone." It is as good as any in the country, and in certain respects it is better than many. We should not leave it under any threat such as this Clause does. It will damage recruitment, It will leave the teachers more dissatisfied than they are at present, and that is bad enough already in many respects. I plead with the Minister of Education to make a last minute effort with the Minister of Housing and Local Government to get this provision deleted and thus re-establish confidence among the teachers.

If there is any breakdown in London education, it will be because of its tendency to come more under the control of bureaucracy, because the 40 members, plus the additional one from each local area, will have to carry the whole burden. The inner London area will surely be allowed to have some members who will deal with town planning, roads, and so on, and all those members will be wanted to serve on the education committee because 10 or 12 of them will be needed to serve as chairmen and vice-chairmen of the various committees and sub-committees. That will account for one-third of their day working time in the course of a week. How many borough councils will provide people who can give much time in the day? Many of them are willing to serve on the basis of evening work only. We may have a few retired people who, at the best, may not have had a great deal of experience in education. That committee will be the only part of the organisation which will be liable to break down under the scheme. Perhaps that could be looked at again in five years, but, please, nothing else in London education.

8.45 p.m.

Mr. Pargiter

It is interesting to look back a little into history. It is no secret that the Ministry of Education itself was strongly opposed to breaking up the system of education in London. It made perfectly clear before the Royal Commission that it regarded the system of education in London as being a good one, offering criticism of the Middlesex system as opposed to the London system, criticism which I am very much prepared to accept. We begin with that. It has been because of the attitude of the Ministry of Education more than anything else that the attempt is not now made to break up London's education. One can say that it is as much due to opposition from the Ministry as to opposition from the people of London that the education system of inner London is to be left intact.

Looking at the matter from a sensible point of view, what is the magic of a review in five years? What is the point of five years? We shall not see a complete generation go through the schools in five years. There will be no means of estimating what is the effect on education itself. In any case, we know already what the system of education provides in London. There is very little criticism of it coming either from people or from Government Departments.

Has this review period been put in not with any real intent but just as a sop to the boroughs, for instance, who are perturbed because they had reason to believe that they were to have some education powers and now find that they are to have none? Is that the basis of it? I have a shrewd suspicion that it is, and I have a shrewd suspicion also that the Ministry of Education, quite apart from any other Ministries, has no intention of breaking up the system of education in Central London.

If there is any merit in the five-year review, why not have a five-year review in those areas where the education system is to be broken up? If there is some magic in a five-year review, why not look to see whether the outer areas are doing the job as well as it might have been done had education there remained within the central system, particularly further education in regard to which the Minister stands on very shifting ground?

We who have anything to do with education know these things. We know that the centralised system of education has shown that it gives better results. It has offered more flexibility in the education of our children. It has offered greater advantages to teachers for promotion, for interchange between one type of school and another, and so forth. It has offered a more economic system of administration. It has had all the advantages which one looks for in an education system. Indeed, it has had the advantages prescribed in the 1944 Act, which laid down that a reasonable basis for education called for the creation of larger units in order to give the necessary flexibility and efficiency which a modern system required.

The Government dare not put the clock back in London. They dare put the clock back in the other areas, but they make no provision there for looking at the system again. We can make terrible mistakes in outer London, but there is no possibility of seeing whether we have the right system there. In the central area, on the other hand, we can break the system up in five years. There can be no other object in looking at it, if we are to review the situation in five years and see whether the time is then convenient to make a change or whether the conditions which prevail now prevail then.

The Minister has authority to make his investigations now. He can review any education authority and investigate the way it is doing its work at any time he likes. He need not wait five years for it. He can say to any education authority at any time, "I am paying a good deal of the money towards this. I am not satisfied with the way in which you are running your service." He has the power under the Act to look at what is happening in any education area, so why does he want special provisions? We have had no answer yet from anybody why it is necessary to have a special review at the end of five years.

Mr. S. Silverman

May I suggest to my hon. Friend one possible reason. I follow what he has been saying about the Minister having power to review education anywhere at any time, if he thinks it is convenient to do so, without any special statutory power. What is peculiar about this Clause, unless I have misread it altogether, is that it makes it mandatory on the Minister to make the review, but it is not mandatory on him to make a review anywhere else. Why should he seek powers to compel himself by Statute to make a review, if he is arguing at the same time that it is a normal routine affair without any sinister intention at the end of it?

Mr. Pargiter

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his intervention. He has said, perhaps more cogently than I could have done, the sort of things that I have been trying to say.

In any case, it creates for a period of five years uncertainty with regard to the future of education in central London. It will have done a good deal of harm in the outer London areas, but that apparently does not worry the Minister at all. The farthest that the Royal Commission was prepared to go—the Government quote the Royal Commission when it suits them—in regard to some education areas at any rate, was that primary education could actually be hived off from secondary and further education. I shall be careful not to trespass on the question of the outer London areas and to confine myself to central London, but it is almost impossible to look at the one without the other. Why do the Government want to do one thing in one area and not in another?

Why do they want a mandatory review in respect of one area and require no authority at all to look at a larger area involving in total a larger population than that of Central London to make quite sure that they have done the right thing? They say, "We can look at this at any time and may possibly look into this in far less than five years". If they do so, I should be very glad because a lot of evidence will be forthcoming of the difficulties arising in the outer London area which will not be evident in the central London area because the education system there is to continue. I express the hope that if we have an inelastic and inflexible Government set on an educational course irrespective of the wishes of the people, or even of the well being of the service, in a blind political cause, we can only hope that they will not be in power very much longer.

Mr. E. Partridge (Battersea, South)

I did not propose to intervene in this part of the debate, but as I understand my name has been mentioned when I was absent from the Chamber I thought it wise to get the record right. It has been said that in the proceedings upstairs I was in favour of the review but did not join the Opposition in voting against the Government. As is usually the case with the Opposition, they are wholly wrong. Two of my hon. Friends spoke before me in Committee. My hon. Friend the Member for Barons Court (Mr. Compton Carr) said: If we are to have the review period—and I do not like it—can we have written into the Bill mandatory provision that the review will be on educational grounds only …"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F, 28th February, 1963; c. 493.] Then my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Dr. Alain Glyn) said: My hon. Friend the Member for Barons Court referred to planning for the future, and it should be clearly established that the review will be purely on educational grounds."— [OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F, 28th February, 1963; c. 497.] I took my hon. Friend the Member for Barons Court to task for leaving out of account one essential point, and that was that the London education authority, as proposed, had no parallel anywhere. I said: But this body which we are setting up is purely experimental and obviously there should be a review later to find out whether it is fulfilling all the functions that there should be in education. Here I cross swords with my hon. Friend the Member for Clapham (Dr. Glyn). This is not only a matter of education."—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F, 28th February, 1963; c. 497–8.] How it can be said that I was against the review I cannot understand.

Mr. M, Stewart

The horn. Gentleman is misinformed. No one has suggested that he was against the review. I made it perfectly clear in my speech that he was for the review. My criticism of his speech in Committee was that, although he was for the review, he did not know what the result of it would be because he was unaware that it might result in the fragmentation of education. He will find the reference to that in c. 499 of the report of our proceedings in Committee on 28th February. No one has suggested that the hon. Gentleman was not solidly behind the Government. He was as wrong-headed then as he always is; I give him that assurance.

Mr. Partridge

I feel that I have a valid point, because, whenever the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) gets personal and casts aspersions on my hon. Friends, I know that we have found a chink in his armour and that he feels he is beaten and therefore takes refuge in that argument.

May I deal with a point raised by the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman)? He kept on addressing a rhetorical question to the Government: what are the Government afraid of? I should like to ask: what are hon. Members opposite afraid of? If this procedure will work out so perfectly, why are they afraid of having it considered again in order to see whether it can be improved?

The hon. and learned Gentleman also asked why should not we wait until it has broken down and then come to the House with legislation in respect of it? The hon. and learned Gentleman must be very naive if he thinks that it is as easy as that. If he confers with his right hon. Friend the Chief Opposition Whip, he will find that it is the most difficult thing in the world to bring forward amending legislation which deals with only one comparatively small point. That has been the situation in this House for many years, and it is not likely to alter in the near future.

Mr. Weitzman

The hon. Gentleman has referred to my asking what the Government were afraid of. Has not he heard the phrase, "Those whom the gods seek to destroy they first make mad"?

Mr. Partridge

I have heard that, and I have also heard that the price of coal is going up, but what it has to do with this I really do not know.

9.0 p.m.

However, I think I have said enough. [HON. MEMBERS: "Hear, hear."] Of course, hon. Gentlemen opposite do not like to hear plain speaking. They like people to circumlocute. I run up the Jolly Roger, and I sail under the flag if I want to, and I am for the review. I believe there is likely to prove a defect inasmuch as this authority deals with education only, and it may well be that in the review we shall find something which is a defect, which can be remedied, and if there is, I do not see any reason at all why it should not be. One certain thing I want hon. Gentlemen opposite to realise is this, that we on this side of the House are just as jealous about the education of our children as they are. In fact, more so.

Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)

The hon. Gentleman the Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Partridge) has made a useful contribution to this debate—[HON. MEMBERS: "Has he?"]—but hon. Members should wait for the qualification which I put in—because he has revealed the political motives which lie behind the Government's intention. His speech was useful because it revealed that there is not a single educational argument which the Government can bring forward; or if there are any he certainly had not heard of them because he did not bring them forward.

Mr. Partridge

Is the hon. Gentleman asking me to repeat the whole speech I made in Standing Committee upstairs? Because I will with pleasure.

Mr. Thomas

I must say that the longer the hon. Gentleman went on the more he was helping the Opposition. We are very grateful to him. I am sure he must put the fear of the Lord into those who sit on the Government Front Bench—especially at the thought that he should repeat the speech which he made in Standing Committee upstairs.

The Minister of Education is in hot water these days with teachers and education authorities all over the land.

Mr. Partridge

Not with the British public.

Mr. Thomas

He seems to have a special delight in going against the considered judgment of all the people who do the real work of education. He knows best!

Mr. Skeffington

The gentleman in Whitehall.

Mr. Thomas

The Minister of Education last week was buffeted, and I see he is threatened with some more buffeting. I take no joy in this. I had high hopes that the Minister of Education would listen to the people who are doing the job. Now the plain truth is, and the Minister knows it, that everyone who is engaged in the work of education in London resents this proposal for a review after five years. The teachers feel insecure, the local authorities know that their planning arrangements just cannot be made with any confidence. A period of five years for a local education authority is but the passing of a day so far as their long distance work is concerned.

The Minister, I believe, cannot have any influence in the Government. Either the Minister of Education has lent his influence to this review Clause going in, in which case he is once again putting himself in hostility with all the teachers' organisations and all education authorities, or he was opposed to this but had not sufficient weight to carry the day on an educational issue.

I intervene in this debate because I know from first hand the depth of feeling of the London teachers on this question. I am in touch with them because I am a member of the National Union of Teachers, which is very powerfully represented in the London area.

I ask the Minister, "Why do you not unbend a little? Why do you not realise that you can be wrong?" We believe that he is wrong and that he is provoking the maximum suspicion about this review with the minimum of advantage to the Government. I cannot see what the Government will gain other than political spite against the L.C.C. itself or against the L.C.C. Education Committee, which they would like to have demolished long ago—although I do not think that the Ministry itself wanted that.

Mr. S. Silverman

Why should not the Minister be demolished instead?

Mr. Thomas

The right hon. Gentleman will be demolished. We must only be patient. Retribution is on the way to him.

The right hon. Gentleman has a last-minute chance now to help education by withdrawing this review Clause, accepting our Amendment and giving the go-ahead to those who will be responsible for the I.L.E.A. and who will then feel that they can plan ahead in the confident assurance that the Government will support them.

Mr. Chataway

Like the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) and others, I will concentrate largely on the review as it affects the education service. We are also considering an Amendment to Clause 34, which provides for a similar review for the Youth Employment Service. The two reviews should be taken together. If we are to have a review of the I.L.E.A. it is sensible to have one of the Youth Employment Service at the same time. If alterations are to be made to education in London, it will be necessary to make alterations to the Youth Employment Service. I hope, therefore, that it will be agreed that these two reviews stand or fall together.

A number of hon. Members have given a history of the proposals that have been put forward for the organisation of education in inner London. There was some conflict in this respect between the hon. Member for Southall (Mr. Pargiter), who accused the Government of being inelastic and inflexible, and the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman), who charged us with abandoning one idea after the other.

Mr. Pargiter

That is part of the inflexibility—having no mind at all.

Mr. Chataway

The hon. Gentleman may be able to justify that to himself, but, since there appears to be a little conflict, I remind the House that the Government from the start took the view that the proposal of the Royal Commission for education in the inner London area would not be a good one. The reasons for this lay in the arguments from the traffic and the historical points of view. They are now familiar to hon. Members and I will not go into them at length.

Minor authorities in the present L.C.C. areas have no experience of education administration. Education has been built in to the present L.C.C. area as one service and there is much greater interchange between operations in the present L.C.C. area than is the case in the rest of Greater London. That is a result of a more integrated traffic system.

The Government's initial proposal in the White Paper was that the central area—the more integrated area—should form the an area of about 2 million people, and that the remaining million people of the present L.C.C. area should be organised from the boroughs. This proposal was put forward in the first White Paper, the object of which was to promote discussion. I do not believe that the Government were inflexible then. Account was taken of the representations made and, as the House will know, the proposal in the Bill is that the L.C.C. area, with the exception of a small part of Woolwich which lies north of the river, should be held together in the Inner London Education Authority. But to hold the L.C.C. education service together in this way it was necessary to constitute a novel type of authority. There is no parallel for the I.L.E.A. anywhere else in the country. Its constitution consists partly of representatives from the G.L.C. and partly of representatives from the borough councils.

It is gratifying to the Government to know that there have been so few criticisms of this authority. The hon. Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Holman) suggested, however, that it might not be rightly constituted. In those circumstances he, at least, should appreciate the need for a review.

Mr. Holman

Can the Minister give us a guarantee that any review will affect only the upper administrative level represented by the elected body?

Mr. Chataway

I am going on to deal with a number of other matters. The hon. Member will see that a pledge of that kind would not be appropriate.

Mr. M. Stewart

I want to get this point clear. My hon. Friend the Member for Bethnal Green (Mr. Holman) criticised the I.L.E.A. on the ground that it might not be rightly constituted, and the Parliamentary Secretary took up that point as an argument for review. Can he show me where there is power for the Minister, in subsection (6) or (7), to make an order altering the constitution of the I.L.E.A.? He can reduce its functions to nothing, or hand over bits of its property, but I cannot see that he has any power to alter its constitution. If there is anything wrong with its constitution the review Clause does not seem to be the answer.

Mr. Chataway

It is clear that under the review Clause the entire education service—at present under the London County Council, but later to be administered by the I.L.E.A.—could be transferred in toto to a newly constituted body.

Mr. Lubbock

Or the appropriate council.

Mr. Chataway

Or the appropriate council. If it were found that the I.L.E.A. was not functioning properly it would be possible to make other arrangements.

I now pass to the question of powers. The hon. Member for Fulham made a good deal of a point introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Putney (Sir H. Linstead) about school managers. As I recollect it, it was not my hon. Friend's argument that the appointment of school managers could constitute an argument for breaking up the L.C.C. education service. This was an argument for delegating some of the I.L.E.A. to the boroughs.

I suggest to the House that we shall have in the Inner London area minor authorities which will be larger than the minor authorities elsewhere and they will have a wider range of powers than minor authorities elsewhere. These minor authorities—minor only in the education respect—the Greater London boroughs, will have some education functions, just a few, from the start just as the metropolitan boroughs at present have education functions, for example, the appointment of managers of primary schools.

9.15 p.m.

My hon. Friend's point, and certainly the point I tried to make in Committee, was that it may well seem when the review is carried out that it would be sensible to give the London boroughs greater responsibility for the appointment of managers. It may be that it will seem sensible when the review takes place for there to be some adjustment of powers of this kind. I do not believe that the Minister of the day will institute in the inner London area any system which is like the system which operates at present in Middlesex. I cannot think that he would introduce a system of divisional executives or excepted districts. The objections to such a system have been brought out both by the Royal Commission and the Government.

Some hon. Members opposite have asked why we should make this a statutory review. The answer has been given that if minor amendments prove to be necessary it will be helpful to have in this Bill provision whereby the Minister can make those amendments without introducing fresh legislation in the House of Commons. I believe that it would be the experience of hon. Members in most parts of the House that amendments to the law which are needed, perhaps of a minor kind, are sometimes held up simply because there is not time to introduce them into the House.

The main argument against the review, and I accept that it has some force, is that it will cause anxiety and some uncertainty. This, of course, is a factor which has to be taken into account. I should not wish to dismiss all the arguments which have been advanced on that score. I do, however, suggest that the degree of uncertainty likely has been very seriously exaggerated. I had occasion in Committee upstairs to point to some of the serious misconceptions which have been spread about the contents of the Bill by apparently reputable bodies. I quoted from a pamphlet which had been printed by an organisation called the "North London Parent-Teachers Association", which, I think the whole Committee agreed, bore no resemblance whatever to the proposals in the Bill, or any proposals which have been advanced.

It is my impression that in the present L.C.C. area as people have come to understand more fully what is proposed, so there has been far less objection to this review Clause. Of course, it can still be argued that there is a measure of uncertainty. The Government have no amendments in mind. The Government have no intention of making any changes. That is not our present intention. If it were, clearly we would have incorporated those changes in this Bill. Everyone concerned with the present L.C.C. service can well reflect that arguments from history and from transport have led the Government on this occasion to believe it right to hold the L.C.C. area together until 1970.

I suggest, therefore, that the degree of uncertainty is small—indeed, it is less than the degree of uncertainty from which, it can be argued, the L.C.C. has suffered ever since the war, because it has been increasingly clear since the war that there would have to be a thorough review of London Government, and since the publication of the Royal Commission Report the L.C.C. staff could well have felt a serious degree of uncertainty. But in this review provision there will certainly not be that cause for anxiety.

My right hon. Friend gave two assurances on Second Reading. I repeated them in Committee upstairs, and I believe that they are important. He said, first, that this review would be made on educational grounds. The hon. Member for Fulham asked which sort of arguments would qualify under this description and which would not. He quoted one argument which seemed to be about the creation of London boroughs as healthy units of local government which it seemed to me clearly would not qualify as an argument related solely to education.

The truth of the matter is that when there is local government reform the Minister responsible for no one service can say that only that service will be considered in arriving at the final structure. Clearly, when there is a general local government reform the needs of every service have to be considered, and on many occasions a compromise has to be reached. In this instance, it will be only the interests of the inner London education service which will be at issue, and the interests of the education service will be the paramount consideration when the review takes place.

The second assurance which my right hon. Friend gave was that there would be no change if no change were found to be necessary. I know that the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North has had anxieties about the drafting of the Clause. As I said earlier. I believe that those anxieties have been shared by others. My right hon. Friend has consequently authorised the tabling of an Amendment which we shall next discuss and which makes it absolutely clear that there will be no change if no change is felt to be necessary.

To summarise, I accept that not all the arguments are on one side in this issue. I believe, however, that we have here a novel authority, that although we believe it to be right and although the Government believe that we have reached the right solution this time, it is only sensible to make provision for a review, and a review in the not-too-distant future. I therefore hope that the House agrees that, on balance, this is the right decision and that, in consequence, it will reject the Amendment.

Mr. Mellish

The Parliamentary Secretary said that the I.L.E.A. will have security until 1970. This merely shows how much he missed the whole point of our argument. In fact the I.L.E.A. will not have security until after 1970. It is as simple as that. It is the doubtful period from now until 1970 under which we are asking this new authority to work. There are very grave doubts about what will happen in 1970.

I tell the Minister frankly that he has not allayed the fears on this side of the House. As his speech unfolded we realised that here was the reason why so many people, not only on this side of the House but outside, in London, are so alarmed at the Government's proposals. He tells a story of the Royal Commission issuing a report which the Government decided not to accept in principle as regards Landon education. He then tells a story of a plan issued by the Government in which 2½ million of London's population would be dealt with by an inner authority. Over 1 million of the population would be dealt with by the London boroughs. Then he tells a story of the Government making another change, when they decided to keep the L.C.C. area together. This is what the hon. Gentleman tells us. Can he wonder that people outside wonder what the Government intend and have grave doubts about the Government's intentions? I can give him this warning, that in the very near future there will not be a Tory Government to worry about. This is the real answer.

I am glad that the hon. Member for Battersea, South (Mr. Partridge) has stayed in his place. He said that the protests of teachers and parents were politically inspired. He said that upstairs in Standing Committee. This has caused grave resentment among many decent people. It can be said faithfully that the vast majority of the meetings which were held were held without any political representation. The hon. Gentleman is so ignorant of political matters that he believes that the London Schoolmasters' Association is a Socialist body. This is an astonishing view. I am sure that the schoolmasters are almost as astounded as we are.

The truth is that so much concern and alarm has been caused about these proposals because of the Government's previous attitude. This concern has been caused particularly among voluntary schools. Those concerned are still very unhappy about this. I am very glad that the Minister of Education has come into the debate, at least to listen. We discussed this problem in Committee. The complaint is that, even with the Inner London Authority, there will still be something like 20 outside authorities to negotiate with instead of five county authorities. If, in 1970, all education were handed over to the Greater London boroughs, these people would be asked to negotiate with 32 authorities.

I cannot tell the House what these people think about it. They are absolutely shocked at the thought of it. All these people who have been associated with education down the years are alarmed, but for no political reasons, for no political party reasons at all. They are alarmed because they happen to love education and it means a great deal to them. They think that to have all these separate bodies is criminal.

The tragedy is that the boroughs have never asked for education. Whatever boroughs there may be that have wanted health services, welfare services and all the other services we have often heard about from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health, I know of no London borough that has ever asked for education. It is criminal to impose upon people who have not asked for something the task of doing something they do not want to do. That is the long-term view of what the Government eventually at the end of the day have decided that they have in mind. They are going to do it with the outer London boroughs.

Why has this review area to be mandatory in the Bill? This point has been made already, and I re-emphasise it. Why do we have to write into the Bill that there will be a review at any particular time? The Minister has such powers that, if he was not happy with education in any area, he could take action. If the Bill went through without this provision, if the Inner London Education Authority were set up, and if the Tory Government after, say, three years—assuming that we have a Tory Government in power then, which is most unlikely—were dissatisfied with the I.L.E.A., will anyone care to tell me that the Government would wait until 1970 before doing anything about it? They would come to the House immediately.

Everybody knows that if the Government of the day want legislation they will get it through. Nobody believes all this stuff and nonsense about not possibly bringing in a Bill of this kind because it is so difficult to get through the House. If a Government say that a Bill is urgent, they will rush it through and, as they have done in this Bill, impose a Guillotine from the word "Go" and crash it through. The last thing the Government should think about is not getting the sort of legislation they want. I must tell the Parliamentary Secretary frankly that my hon. Friends and I and people outside are even more alarmed because of some of the remarks he made.

The Youth Employment Service has not really been discussed in this debate. The service, as part of the education service in London, is very creditable. It has now established first-class officers who are doing a great job. Indeed, their services are now needed more than ever before because there is greater unemployment amongst our youngsters. It may interest the Parliamentary Secretary to know that in the last two years there has been a 300 per cent. increase in the diffi-

culty of getting jobs for school-leavers. The services of the youth employment officers are needed now more than ever. The very thought that at some later stage—in the not too distant future—that service might be broken up is regarded by many of us as disastrous.

For these reasons, we shall certainly take this matter to a Division.

Mr. Driberg

If I may add a postscript to this important discussion—in some ways, perhaps, the most important we have had today—one good reason for deleting subsection (6) is its appallingly bad drafting. It is rather saddening and, in a way, surprising that a Minister of Education—any Minister of Education, for the Minister of Education must have been consulted about the drafting of the subsection—should care so little for good, plain English; which, I agree, it is not always easy to achieve in legislation.

In this case, however, the Ministers and their draftsmen have surpassed themselves in turgid unintelligibility. The poor Parliamentary Secretary, though he must be presumed to know the subsection almost by heart, stumbled rather badly over some terribly clumsy wording in lines 7 and 8. Further proof of what I am saying is the fact that the next two Amendments on the Notice Paper are drafting Amendments to this subsection—made necessary, apparently, or so the Government think, because it is drafted so clumsily.

As I hope to be able to show when we reach those Amendments, Mr. Speaker. neither of them is necessary. But the draftsmen and the Ministers were obviously so appalled at their own handiwork that they thought that they had to try to tidy it up. This is just one more small piece of evidence of the fact that this hated Bill has been rushed through in a most ill-considered way.

Question put, That the words proposed to be left out, to "to". in line 4, stand part of the Bill:—

The House divided: Ayes 216, Noes 148.

Division No. 88.] AYES [9.32 p.m.
Agnew, Sir Peter Bennett, Dr. Reginald (Goe & Fhm) Black, Sir Cyril
Altken, W. T. Berkeley, Humphry Bossom, Clive
Allason, James Biffen, John Bourne-Arton, A.
Awdry, Daniel (Chippenham) Biggs-Davison, John Box, Donald
Balniel, Lord Bingham, R. M. Boyd-Carpenter, Rt. Hon. John
Barlow, Sir John Birch, Rt. Hon. Nigel Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Barter, John Bishop, F. P. Braine, Bernard
Brewis, John Hay, John Page, Graham (Crosby)
Bromley-Davenport,Lt.-Col.SirWalter Heald, Rt. Hon. Sir Llonel Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Hendry, Forbes Partridge, E.
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Bryan, Paul Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe) Peel, John
Buck, Anthony Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Percival, Ian
Burden, F. A. Hirst, Geoffrey Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Butler, Rt.Hn.R.A.(Saffron Walden) Hobson, Sir John Pitman, Sir James
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Hocking, Philip N. Pott, Percivall
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Holland, Philip Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Cary, Sir Robert Hornby, R. P. Price, David (Eastleigh)
Channon, H. P. G. Hornsby-Smith Rt. Hon. Dame P. Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Chataway, Christopher Howard, John (Southampton, Test) Prior, J. M L.
Chichester-Clark, H. Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Pym, Francis
Clark, Henry (Antrim, N.) Hughes-Young, Michael Ramsden, James
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Hulbert, Sir Norman Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Clarke, Brig, Terenee(Portsmth, W.) Hutchison, Michael Clark Renton, Rt. Hon. David
Cleaver, Leonard Iremonger, T. L. Robinson, Rt. Hn. Sir R. (B'pool.S.)
Cole, Norman James, David Robson Brown, Sir William
Cooke, Robert Jennings, J. C. Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Cooper, A. E. Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Johnson, Eric (Blackley) St. Clair, M.
Corfield, F. V. Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Scott-Hopkins, James
Costain, A. P. Joseph, Rt. Hon. Sir Keith Seymour, Leslie
Coulson, Michael Kaberry, Sir Donald Sharples, Richard
Courtney, Cdr. Anthony Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Shaw, M.
Craddock, Sir Beresford Kerr, Sir Hamilton Skeet, T. H. H.
Crawley, Aldan Kimball, Marcus Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
Critchley, Julian Kirk, Peter Smithers, Peter
Cunningham, Knox Kitson, Timothy Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig, Sir John
Curran, Charles Lancaster, Col. C. G. Spearman, Sir Alexander
Currie, G. B. H. Langford-Holt, Sir John Stevens, Geoffrey
Dance, James Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Stodart, J. A.
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Storey, Sir Samuel
Deedes, Rt. Hon. W. P. Lilley, F. J. P. Studholme, Sir Henry
Digby, Simon Wingfield Linstead, Sir Hugh Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)
Doughty, Charles Litchfield, Capt. John Temple, John M.
Drayson, G. B. Longbottom, Charles Thomas, Leslie (Canterbury)
du Cann, Edward Loveys, Walter H. Thomas, Peter (Conway)
Duncan, Sir James Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Thompson, Richard (Croydon, S.)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) MacArthur, Ian Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Elliott, R.W.(Nwcstle-upon-Tyne,N.) McLaren, Martin Turner, Colin
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn McLaughlin, Mrs. Patricia Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Errington, Sir Eric Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Tweedsmuir, Lady
Farr, John McMaster, Stanley R. van Straubenzee, W. R.
Finlay, Graeme Macpherson.Rt.Hn.Niall(Dumfries) Vickers, Miss Joan
Fisher, Nigel Maddan, Martin Wakefield, Sir Wavell
Forrest, George Maginnis, John E. Walder, David
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Marshall, Douglas Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek
Gammans, Lady Marten, Neil Wall, Patrick
Gardner, Edward Mathew, Robert (Honiton) Ward, Dame Irene
Gibson-Watt, David Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Webster, David
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central) Mawby, Ray Wells, John (Maidstone)
Glyn, Dr. Alan (Clapham) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. Williams, Dudley (Exeter)
Goodhew, Victor Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.)
Gower, Raymond Mills, Stratton Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater)
Grant-Ferris, R. Miscampbell, Norman Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro)
Green, Alan More, Jasper (Ludlow) Wise, A. R.
Grosvenor, Lt.-Col. R. G. Mott-Radclyffe, Sir Charles Wood, Rt. Hon. Richard
Gurden, Harold Nabarro, Gerald Woodhouse, C. M.
Hall, John (Wycombe) Neave, Airey Woodnutt, Mark
Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Nicholson, Sir Godfrey Woollam, John
Harris, Reader (Heaton) Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Worsley, Marcus
Harrison, col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Oakshott, Sir Hendrie
Harvey, Sir Arthur Vere (Macclesf'd) Orr-Ewing, C. Ian TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Hastings, Stephen Osborn, John (Hallam) Mr. Batsford and Mr. Rees.
Ainsley, William Broughton, Dr. A. D. D. Dempsey, James
Allaun, Frank (Salford, S.) Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Diamond, John
Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central) Callaghan, James Dodds, Norman
Barnett, Guy Chapman, Donald Donnelly, Desmond
Beaney, Alan Cliffe, Michael Driberg, Tom
Bellenger, Rt. Hon. F. J. Collick, Percy Ede, Rt. Hon. C.
Bence, Cyril Corbet, Mrs. Freda Edwards, Robert (Bliston)
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Edwards, Walter (Stepney)
Benson, Sir George Crosland, Anthony Finch, Harold
Blackburn, F. Crossman, R. H. S. Fitch, Alan
Boardman, H. Dalyell, Tarn Fletcher, Eric
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H. W.(Leics, S.W.) Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Galpern, Sir Myer
Bowen, Roderic (Cardigan) Davies, S. O. (Merthyr) Ginsburg, David
Bradley, Tom Deer, George Gordon Walker, Rt. Hon. P. C.
Brockway, A. Fenner Delargy, Hugh Gourlay, Harry
Greenwood, Anthony McLeavy, Frank Short, Edward
Grimond, Rt. Hon. J. Macpherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Skeffington, Arthur
Hamilton, William (West Fife) Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.) Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Harper, Joseph Manuel, Archie Small, William
Hayman, F. H. Mapp, Charles Snow, Julian
Henderson, Rt. Hn. Arthur(RwlyRegls) Mason, Roy Sorensen, R. W.
Hill, J. (Midlothian) Mayhew, Christopher Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Hilton, A. V. Mellish, R. J. Spriggs, Leslie
Holman, Percy Millan, Bruce Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Hooson, H. E. Mitchison, G. R, Stones, William
Houghton, Douglas Moody, A. S. Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Hunter, A. E. Morris, John Stross,Dr.Barnett(Stoke-on-Trent,C.)
Hynd, H. (Accrington) Mulley, Frederick Taverne, D.
Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Noel-Baker, Francis (Swindon) Taylor, Bernard (Mansfield)
Irving, Sydney (Dartford) Noel-Baker, Rt. Hn.Philip(Derby,S.) Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Janner, Sir Barnett Oswald, Thomas Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas Owen, Will Thornton, Ernest
Jeger, George Padley, W. E. Tomney, Frank
Johnson, Carol (Lewisham, S.) Pargiter, G. A. Wade, Donald
Jones, Dan (Burnley) Parker, John Wainwright, Edwin
Jones, Elwyn (west Ham, S.) Parkin, B. T. Watkins, Tudor
Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Pavitt, Laurence Weitzman, David
Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd) Whitlock, William
Kelley, Richard Pentland, Norman Willey, Frederick
Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Popplewell, Ernest Williams, Ll. (Abertillery)
King, Dr. Horace Price, J. T. (Westhoughton) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw)
Lawson, George Probert, Arthur Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Lee, Frederick (Newton) Pursey, Cmdr. Harry Winterbottom, R. E.
Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Rankin, John Woof, Robert
Lever, Harold (Cheetham) Redhead, E. C. Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
Lewis, Arthur (West Ham, N.) Rhodes, H.
Lipton, Marcus Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon) TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Lubbock, Eric Robertson, John (Paisley) Mr. Charles A. Howell and
MacColl, dames Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.) Mr. Grey.
McKay, John (Wallsend) Ross, William
Mr. Chataway

I beg to move, in page 43, line 4, after "determining", to insert "whether, and if so".

Mr. Speaker

I imagine that it would be convenient to discuss also the Amendment in line 5, leave out "conditions, if any" and insert "if any, conditions".

Mr. Chataway

The two Amendments give effect to the undertaking which I gave in Committee to the hon. and learned Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman). They make it abundantly clear that no changes will be made in the administration of education in the Inner London Education Area if from the review it is clear that no changes are needed. They are, therefore, no more than drafting Amendments. I need not emphasise again that it was never the Government's intention that there should be changes made whatever the outcome of the review. The purpose of the Amendments, therefore, is simply to clarify the Clause.

Mr. Driberg

It originally seemed to me that the second at least of these two Amendments was unnecessary, because I naturally supposed that the words "if any" referred only to "conditions": that is the only sense in which anybody, even half-educated, could conceivably understand them. But my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Stoke Newington and Hackney, North (Mr. Weitzman), has been good enough to draw my attention to the proceedings in Standing Committee, as reported in column 519 of the OFFICIAL REPORT. This point and the point made in the first Amendment were raised by my hon. and learned Friend. The Parliamentary Secretary then said this extraordinary thing, and I hope that hon. Members will allow what he said to sink in when they look at the wording of the subsection: All I can tell him is that all the advice that we have is that the words 'if any' in line 18"— as it then was— refer to the preceding three lines. 9.45 p.m.

I am sorry to say it, but this is absolutely illiterate. I am not surprised that HANSARD goes on to say: MR. WEITZMAN indicated dissent. on which the Parliamentary Secretary said: That may be the hon. and learned Gentleman's opinion but in the view of the Government there is no shadow of doubt upon it and, therefore, there is no question of the phraseology of subsection (5) in any way prejudging the review"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, Standing Committee F; 28th February, 1963; c. 519.] "No shadow of doubt"! The hon. Gentleman was committing the whole of Her Majesty's Government to this terrible solecism—

Mr. Chataway

It may be that I said "three lines". If it was reported as "three lines", I probably did. What I meant to say was the three preceding groups of words and the three "anys" in the previous line.

Mr. Driberg

What does the hon. Gentleman mean by "groups of words"?

Mr. Chataway

Three "anys".

Mr. Driberg

When the hon. Gentleman says "groups of words", he means "anys". Never mind: we will stop teasing him now and let him have his Amendments, but please let them be more careful ft future about, their drafting.

Amendment agreed to,

Further Amendment made: In page 43, line 5, leave out "conditions, if any" and insert "if any, conditions".—[Mr. Chataway.]