HC Deb 11 December 1969 vol 793 cc627-8
22. Mr. Roebuck

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the total of school building in 1963–64; and what is the estimated total for 1971–72.

Mr. Edward Short

£89.5 million and £175.5 million, at current prices.

Mr. Roebuck

Can my right hon. Friend as a former headmaster help me with my mental arithmetic? Is not that almost double? Does not this news, coming on top of today's magnificent trading returns, provide convincing evidence that Labour government works? Is my right hon. Friend aware that, in view of that most satisfactory Answer, I shall ask my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to give his Department a half holiday?

Mr. Short

Following a recent precedent in the education world, I should be entitled to take 14 days off.

Mrs. Thatcher

What proportion of the increase has gone to providing roofs over heads for more pupils and what proportion for the replacement of old buildings?

Mr. Short

I cannot answer that offhand. If the hon. Lady cares to table a Question I will give her the information. If the Conservative Government had had a bigger education building programme, we should certainly have been able to do more replacement. She will have noticed that I have recently asked the local authorities for bids for a £15 million replacement programme, which is three times as great as any previous programme.