HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc571-2
24. Mr. Ridley

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science by what statutory process he intends to bring to an end the provision of free school dinners to families with four or more children.

Mr. Denis Howell

By regulations made under Section 49 of the Education Act, 1944.

Mr. Ridley

Does not the hon. Gentleman think it rather strange that this extraordinary mistake could have been brought in without being debated at all? Will the hon. Gentleman give us an assurance that we shall be able to debate the ending of this expensive and extravagant venture?

Mr. Howell

We have made no such mistake. We had a debate when we announced our change of policy. We are now consulting local authority associations about the regulations, and these regulations will be laid before the House in mid-March, or thereabouts, when we can debate them again.