HC Deb 17 July 1969 vol 787 c868
19. Mr. Lane

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether, in the light of his current consultations with interested organisations, he will now make a further statement about the main features of the forthcoming Education Bill.

Mr. Edward Short

I am not ready to make a statement until current consultations have been completed. I made clear to the hon. Member on 6th February last that all concerned should first have an opportunity to express views on desirable changes in the law.—[Vol. 777, c. 559–60.]

Mr. Lane

I welcome the consultations, but will the right hon. Gentleman undertake to publish a White Paper or a Green Paper as soon as we reassemble so that full weight may then be given to the views of the public at large and of hon. Members before the Bill itself appears?

Mr. Short

I undertake to publish a White Paper or a Green Paper, but not immediately the House reassembles.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

If the Minister intends to introduce a national scheme for comprehensive education in his forthcoming Bill, will he consider the needs of special areas such as Richmond-upon-Thames where there is neither space nor finance to build comprehensive schools and the present secondary schools will need extension?

Mr. Short

What is lacking in Richmond-upon-Thames is not space or finance but the will to do it.

Mr. J. E. B. Hill

Will the right hon. Gentleman confirm that there will have to be two Bills, one comparatively short covering his immediate objectives, and later the more comprehensive Bill for which he has been collecting information and views?

Mr. Short

The hon. Gentleman will have to await the Queen's Speech.