HC Deb 07 May 1970 vol 801 cc568-70
34. Mr. van Straubenzee

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will now make a statement on the Government's policy regarding those recommendations in the Report from the Select Committee on Education and Science on Student Relations which are addressed to the Government.

Mr. Edward Short

I am still considering the recommendations addressed to the Government. I shall publish a reply as soon as I can.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Have not we been waiting patiently for rather too long for a response from the Government to this important report'? If the Government do not feel able to deal with all the recommendations addressed to them, are they able to make some progress, for example, with the conduct of student unions?

Mr. Short

I agree that it has been rather a long time, but it was a long and complicated report containing many recommendations. I apologise to the House for the delay, but I hope to send a reply before long.

Mr. Christopher Price

My right hon. Friend expressed the hope that a response would be made by April, but it has not yet been made. Is he aware that the recommendation for inquiries at certain colleges and universities is an urgent matter, and that the sooner comments are received on this the sooner we can dispose of the matter?

Mr. Short

The hon. Gentleman is in some way responsible for the complications of my life during the last few weeks. I hope he will forgive me if perhaps I spend more time on some aspects of my work than I should have done.

Sir E. Boyle

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many people in the university world would not go the whole way with this report, but none the less feel that some individual recommendations, like the proposal for a registrar/ student union constitution, has much to be said for it? Will he give a definite undertaking that he will make an announcement on some individual recommendations before the House rises for the Summer Recess?

Mr. Short

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that because it is such a valuable report covering a great deal of ground and containing many recommendations perhaps we have taken rather longer with it than us usual with a report of this kind.