HC Deb 13 November 1973 vol 864 cc226-7
5. Mr. Norman Lamont

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what discussions she has had with interested bodies about the future of private education in England and Wales.

Mrs. Thatcher

None, Sir. The bodies concerned are well aware of my belief that there should be a healthy independent sector in education. From time to time I meet their representatives to discuss general educational matters.

Mr. Lamont

Notwithstanding the timing of the Shadow Cabinet elections, is it not remarkable that the hon. Member for Birmingham, Sparkbrook (Mr. Hattersley) should still put forward educational policies which are contrary to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights? If he thinks that charging for private education should be made a criminal offence, should he not tell us what sentence would be appropriate?

Mrs. Thatcher

I am not aware of what dispositions will be made in the Shadow Cabinet. I hope that the hon. Gentleman stays where he is, because he is a great asset to this side of the House.

Mr. Molloy

In noting the intense interest that all Ministers of Education in the present administration seem to have in the private sector, may I ask the right hon. Lady to provide ordinary folk with a sacrificial list of what they ought to go without in order to send their children to private schools?

Mrs. Thatcher

If any sacrificial list is required, I think it more likely that the Labour Party will have to make one.