18. Mr. R. C. Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science how many new primary schools were opened in 1969; and how many in 1963.
Those are staggering figures. Why does my right hon. Friend think that the record of the present Labour Government is so greatly superior to that of the previous Conservative Administration?
§ Mrs. Thatcher
Will the right hon. Gentleman urge his hon. Friend also to take into account the numbers of pupils in the primary schools and point out that, according to the right hon. Gentleman's table on page 82 of his latest publication on schools, we completed in that year 308 more primary schools although the number of pupils in the previous six years had fallen by 322,000, whereas his 664 extra schools followed an increase of 750,000 in the number of pupils over the previous six years? Therefore, our element of improvement was very much greater than his.
§ Mr. Short
I am very grateful to the hon. Lady. The party opposite had it very much easier than we have it. We have an additional 250,000 children to cater for each year, and we are still building 150 per cent. more schools than her Government did in those miserable, decadent 13 years when they were in office. The hon. Lady raised the question of places. I will give her the figures for places.