HC Deb 30 January 1969 vol 776 cc1510-1
25. Mr. van Straubenzee

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement on the progress of his negotiations with Reading County Borough Council as to the reorganisation of secondary education in the town.

Mr. Edward Short

As my right hon. Friend informed the House on 28th November last, the authority's education committee has reconstituted its working party on reorganisation. I have not yet been informed of its deliberations.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Will the right hon. Gentleman use the opportunity of the interval to answer a simple question which he has given the appearance so far of not being prepared to answer? Has he or has he not under present legislation any power to force on a local education authority a secondary reorganisation plan of which it disapproves? Will he answer "Yes" or "No"?

Mr. Short

The hon. Gentleman has asked that question before. I answered it on a previous occasion.

Hon. Members

Tell us again.