HL Deb 21 May 1963 vol 250 cc243-78

8.35 p.m.

House again in Committee.

Clause 31 [Primary, secondary and further education in Greater London]:

LORD SHEPHERD moved, at the end of subsection (2), to insert: In revising the development plan the council of each outer London borough shall consult with the council of adjoining Local Education Authorities to ensure that the revised development plan shall have regard to both the use made of schools outside the outer London borough by children resident in that borough, and the use of schools within that borough by children resident outside.

The noble Lord said: On behalf of my noble friends I beg to move this Amendment, the purpose of which is to ensure that those children who will be living in the counties of Surrey, Essex and Kent, and who are to go to schools in those areas which will be assimilated into the Greater London area shall, in the first instance, he able to continue their schooling. To this end arrangements will have to be made in regard to the payment to be made to the authorities who will be responsible for those schools in the future. I hope the noble Lord, Lord Newton, will appreciate that there are transport difficulties, and that until the counties themselves have been able to find other accommodation suitable for those children, arrangements should he made for children within these counties to continue to attend the schools in the Greater London area. On the point of the considerable transport difficulty, I can speak from personal experience in the case of Surrey. Our railway lines all go as though to the centre; there are only bus services around the radial part of the Greater London area, and those are not very efficient or frequent. Therefore it will be extremely difficult for those persons who will be living on the outskirts of the Greater London area in these counties to send their children to the right type of school (whether they be grammar, secondary or primary schools) unless the facilities which they have been able to enjoy in the past are available.

I would point out to the noble Lord, Lord Newton, that their parents, as ratepayers, have paid, in their share of the rates, a considerable amount for the provision of these schools in the areas which are being assimilated into the Greater London area. It is quite clear (though I have not the figures with me) that for a good number of years the emphasis of the Surrey County Council in capital expenditure for schools has been concentrated in the very areas that are now being brought within the Greater London area. These areas have a greater concentration of higher-education schools. In the last two or three years the Surrey County Council have changed the balance. They are trying to develop their grammar schools and the like in the urban districts; but a great deal has still to be done.

Unless we make it possible within this Bill for the children in these areas adjacent to the Greater London area to go to these schools which now come into the Greater London area considerable hardship will be caused. I think the Committee will recognise that if children are to do well at school the reduction of travel time is an important consideration. I know of one child in my neighbourhood who travels 1½ hours in the morning and 1½ hours in the evening in order to obtain the right type of education. I cannot see that that child stands the same chance as others who have merely ten or fifteen minutes' travelling time to school. Unless this Amendment is accepted considerable hardship will be done to parents and above all to the children. I think this is a matter which deserves the Government's sympathy and attention. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 46, line 11, at end insert the said paragraph.—(Lord Shepherd.)


I should like to support my noble friend, who has so adequately moved this Amendment that there is little left for me to add. When we were trying to get an Amendment for a larger education authority, but failed, I stressed in regard to Boroughs 22 and 23, the need for the exchange of people. This Amendment is something like an insurance policy in that regard, because it will minimise the effect of the new administrative boundaries on free trade between schools. Incidentally, it will prevent the L.E.A. from making competitive and wasteful attempts to produce the full range of educational needs within the area and will reduce the part to be be played by the M mister of Education by avoiding the duplication of school places and the wasting of public money by co-ordination at local and not national level. In other words, it combines the benefits of a large scale educational system with the benefits of local administration. I commend the Amendment to your Lordships and hope that the Government will find themselves able, if not to accept the words, the drafting of which may not be as perfect as could be, at least to accept the principle of what we desire.


The noble Lord, Lord Shepherd, told us about a child who had to travel for one and a half hours in a bus to school. That is quite a long time, but my daughter, when she was with a foster-mother near Twickenham, had to travel for an hour in a bus to school. We must face the fact that if we are going to have the areas divided up, it is inevitable that there will be travel by bus. There is inevitably travel by bus today and it will be inevitable later. I do not think that is a very great argument.


I am happy to be able to inform your Lordships that I should like to accept the principle behind the Amendment. The Amendment requires that the outer London boroughs should do by Statute what I am certain they would do in any case. All the same, I think it will be a good thing to have this provision written into the Bill. I am not so happy about the drafting. The noble Lords, Lord Shepherd and Lord Crook, will realise that the Amendment appeared on the Marshalled List only to-day, and I have not had much time to consider the drafting, but if the noble Lord is prepared to withdraw his Amendment, I will undertake to put down at a later stage an Amendment which will achieve his purpose.


I will certainly respond to the noble Lord, Lord Newton. The entire credit for this point should be given to my noble friend Lord Crook, who drafted this Amendment. The only reason I moved it was that, unfortunately, my noble friend did not arrive in the Chamber in time to take on the duty. I think that it is right that this should not be left to the good will of the boroughs and should be written into the Bill. I must say that I regret the view of the noble Lord, Lord Grenfell. Things are wrong sometimes, but there is no reason why they should continue. Where things are wrong we should make an effort to try to correct them, and in this particular case the Government have responded. For this limited point, we are grateful. I beg leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

LORD CROOK moved, in subsection (7), after the second "London" to insert: or local education authority outside London but adjoining the London boundary ".

The noble Lord said: I beg to move this further Amendment which is not unrelated in principle to the one we have just been discussing. As I looked at the Bill over the weekend, it appeared to me that, although some thought had been given by all of us to the position occurring in respect of boundaries within the new county, none of us had thought about the boundaries outside. So we have the position that even if we make adequate arrangements for exchange within boroughs inside, we should have people living upon the edges of new county boundaries who might be placed in difficulties. If I give an example from my own district, it is not because I think that is the only one, but because it is the one I know. I am sure that the noble Lady who will shortly speak about Middlesex and others sitting here, could give other examples from around the various edges of the boundaries of the new suggested counties.

So far as I am concerned, girls who live in Coulsdon and Purley, which is now to form part of Borough 20, will be cut off from the Whyteleafe County Girls' School, which is a girls' grammar school in Caterham and Warlingham, which the Government's Bill now puts into the new Surrey. Hitherto, twenty or thirty girls a year have gone into this school from Coulsdon and Purley. Another example, which is a historic name that will be familiar to many of your Lordships, on the edge of my own district, is Nonsuch County Girls' School at Ewell, now to be in the new Surrey. It is the chief maintained girls' grammar school for the existing borough of Sutton and Cheam, with its population of 78,000. I pointed out earlier, and again just now, the position of Boroughs 22 and 23. While the clause, as drafted, will cover Borough 23 using surplus grammar schools placed in Borough 22, it will not cover the use by Borough 23 of the grammar school placed just over the border, only a few yards within the new county. Children who live in the three wards of Epsom and Ewell (this is a new and important point which was not in the original plans of the Government), which have been taken out from Epsom and Ewell borough and are now to be joined with Kingston, Surbiton, Malden and Coombe, in Borough 23, will no longer have guaranteed access to the nearest grammar school, Nonsuch County Girls' School, over the county boundary, although very near.

I do not want to keep your Lordships by quoting particular schools, because I am certain that if other noble Lords looked around their own boundaries of the new counties they would see that this kind of thing is bound to occur. I hope that the Government will look at this Amendment with sympathy, and that we may have satisfaction from the noble Lord's reply.

Amendment moved— Page 48, line 1, after ("London") insert the said words.—(Lord Crook.)


This Amendment, also, appeared on the Marshalled List only this morning, but again I am delighted to be able to say that it is acceptable. I should like to consider the drafting further, but if the noble Lord will be good enough to withdraw it now, I will undertake to put down at a later stage an Amendment to achieve his purpose.


I have no difficulty at all in asking your Lordships' permission to withdraw this Amendment. I have no claim to be a Parliamentary draftsman. Both of these Amendments were ideas that occurred to me on Sunday, and that the Government have been so helpful is something for which we can all be grateful, although it is about the first thing for which we have been able to be so.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

BARONESS SUMMERSKILL moved to add to the clause: (10)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section during the period of five years commencing on 1st April 1965 the functions relating to education mentioned in paragraph (b) of this subsection shall not be exercised by the council of any London Borough the area of which immediately before 1st April 1965 is wholly or partly within the administrative county of Middlesex (the areas of which boroughs shall together be known as ' the Middlesex Education Area ') but those functions shall be exercised by the Greater London Council by means of a special committee of the Greater London Council constituted as mentioned in subsection (11) of this section and otherwise subject to the provisions of this Act as if references to the ' Inner London Education Area ' and the ' Inner London Education Authority ' included references to ' the Middlesex Education Area ' and the special committee constituted under subsection (11) of this section respectively. (b) The functions referred to in paragraph (a) of this subsection are the following—

  1. (i) the assessment of the ability and aptitude of pupils for secondary education and the allocation of pupils for grammar school courses;
  2. (ii) the making of arrangements for admission to and maintenance of pupils allocated for grammar school courses at schools not maintained by the councils of the London Boroughs in the Middlesex Education area;
  3. (iii) the making of arrangements for the admission of pupils in boarding schools;
  4. (iv) the provision of an advisory service and the employment of education specialists to advise upon and for the purpose of improving the educational facilities provided for the Middlesex Education area;
  5. (v) the training of teachers including the provision of teachers' courses generally;
  6. (vi) the provision of special educational treatment appropriate for persons suffering from any disability of mind or body;
  7. (vii) the provision of facilities for further education under section 41 of the Education Act 1944, other than Youth and Community Service and Evening Institutes;
  8. (viii) the granting of scholarships, exhibitions, bursaries and other allowances in respect of pupils and students over compulsory school age other than those in full-time attendance in schools maintained by the London Boroughs.
(11) The special committee referred to in subsection (10) of this section shall consist of
  1. (a) such of the councillors of the Greater London Council as have been elected by the local government electors for the Middlesex Education area; and
  2. (b) one representative of the council of each outer London Borough within the 249 Middlesex Education area appointed by the Council of that borough from among the members thereof
and any person appointed in pursuance of paragraph (b) of this subsection shall, unless re-appointed, retire on the fourteenth day after the ordinary day of retirement of London borough councillors falling next after his appointment, but may resign his membership of the special committee at any time by notice in writing to the clerk of the council by whom he was appointed thereto.

The noble Baroness said: I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name on the Marshalled List. I have no doubt that the noble Lord, Lord Newton, has observed how exhilarated the Committee have become after his recent announcements, and I hope he will listen to what I have to E ay with equal sympathy and for the third time during this Committee say that he is prepared to accept an Amendment. Your Lordships heard my noble friend Lord Longford tonight move an Amendment, and the Amendment I propose to move is similar in principle but much more limited in scope. I feel particularly honoured tonight because I have been asked to move this Amendment by the Middlesex County Council, which I had the privilege to serve for a number of years and which, I think all your Lordships will agree, has always been held in high regard by other councils in the country. I need hardly stress the importance of this Bill to the Middlesex County Council, for if it is put on the Statute Book in the form of an Act it will mean the disappearance of Middlesex as an administrative unit and the complete disruption of the services which are at present enjoyed by the people of Middlesex, particularly those very human services dealing with education, children and welfare.

We heard tonight the noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, in a mild attack on my noble friend Lord Longford, say that my noble friend charged the Government with creating a muddle and then told the Committee that if they did what was suggested things would be put straight. The noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, added at the result would be an even worse muddle than that which it was said the Government were creating. He asked, "Is this logical?" Not for one moment do I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, that my noble friend is trying to create a muddle, but I ask the noble Lord, Lord Newton, to bear this in mind: that all that Middle- sex is asking for is to be included in a pattern of administration which the Government has established and which is already agreed to. I ask him therefore—and I have listened to the arguments which he has deployed tonight—to recognise that Middlesex wants only what the Government have already accepted for London, and to view it in that way.

I want to be concise on this matter, because Middlesex feel very strongly about the position, and they moved this resolution in January requesting the Government to reconsider its proposals and to amend the Bill so as to provide at least for education in Middlesex being controlled by a Committee of the Greater London Council—on lines similar to those provided for the Central London area—and to give adequate opportunity for the position to be examined in detail before commitment to premature and radical changes which, in the view of this County Council, will prove most harmful to the children and students of the County ". This was a resolution which was not lightly arrived at, and represents the views of a considerable body of public and professional people and virtually the whole of the teaching profession. I look at the noble Lord, Lord Ilford, and I am sorry when I say "virtually the whole of the teaching profession" for I cannot interpret "virtually" in terms of percentages; but I was assured by people who understand the position in Middlesex that the teaching profession are behind this recommendation. I would also remind the noble Lord, Lord Newton, that it is strongly supported by the opinion and proposals of the Royal Commission itself.

Your Lordships will agree, I am sure, that despite the difficulties which have encompassed education in Middlesex since the 1944 Act, its education service is highly regarded throughout the country, and that the educational development for which the county is responsible in its primary schools, the successful pioneer work which has been done in its secondary schools, and its arrangement for special educational treatment, and work in the development of further education in the technical colleges, make it incumbent upon us all to ensure that there is no sudden halt to, or disruption of, continuity and further progress. This is what Middlesex is asking your Lordships. Again, I want to emphasise that they are asking to be included in the pattern of administration which inner London is to enjoy.

While it is true that some of the boroughs previously had direct responsibility for elementary education under Part III of the 1902 Act, the educational picture has changed vitally since the 1944 Act and there is now a county system of education which will make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the boroughs to act as full education authorities. You have had this argument deployed to-night by my noble friend Lord Longford, but I want to emphasise on behalf of Middlesex, that the radical nature of the proposed changes whereby the education service is wholly vested in the London boroughs, is such that it demands the most careful consideration before commitment to a course from which there can be no retraction. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Newton, will agree with me that, once committed, we cannot of course retrace our steps.

It is the considered opinion of the council that, at least in certain fields of education, an effective service requires integration and functional viability over an area much greater than that of the individual London borough. Again I say that this is the view of many educationalists and was expressed by the Royal Commission. Surely, there are aspects of the county service which should not be destroyed unless and until they are taken over by some other authority without a major break. All that the council suggests is that an Amendment should be included in the Bill based on that which it is already decided should operate for the Central London area. I want to say to the noble Lord, Lord Newton, that I want him to answer the specific question: why should not Middlesex be treated as the Central London area is being treated, at least for a transitional period?—for the education service in the present county of Middlesex should then be vested in a committee of the Greater London Council.

The council believe that this would remove the threat to continuity. They feel that it would give them a breathing space for a much-needed examination of the proper locus of the borough in education, for instance, on questions of conferment and delegation. I think that the noble Lord, Lord Newton, himself, if he were asked to-night to give in detail precisely how a certain service was to be delegated, and to tell us more about conferment in Middlesex, would be unable to answer. Thirdly, they say that this breathing space would give them time to think about a second-tier authority and whether it should exist. Should the examination of the position prove the need for such a second tier, then these decisions could be made without the council and the Government being committed at an early stage. Furthermore, of course, it would avoid the possibility of yet a second disruption with regard to certain parts of further education should the Robbins Committee propose, and the Government agree, to change the present proposed relationship with the borough education authority.

The noble Lord, Lord Newton, has no idea at this stage what would happen, and I would remind your Lordships that the non-viability of the London boroughs for all aspects of education was recognised by the Royal Commission, and indeed in the White Paper and in the Bill itself. Whereas the Royal Commission recommended the two-tier system for the area, the White Paper and the Bill have declared for a one-tier system. I have been asked to make it quite clear that the Middlesex County Council does not wish to deny the boroughs a proper function in the education service. It recognises the strength of the argument in the 1944 Education Act that the education service should be an entity. It is further even more firmly convinced of the dangers of a complete reversal of the decisions arrived at in the 1944 Act, and it must be abundantly clear that the time intervals are such as not to allow for the transfer of all functions without a dangerous element of breakdown. I have listened carefully to the noble Lord, Lord Newton, and he has not specifically assured the Committee in these debates that the Government feel satisfied that there is no danger of breakdown.

There are certain aspects of the education service where there is real cause to believe that an effective service requires integration of functional viability over an area much greater than that of an individual London borough. The County Council wants me to say that it is further convinced that there is a county system of education where (to quote the whole argument given in the White Paper for a central London education authority), the absence of administrative boundaries and the consequent complete freedom of choice for pupils and students, is of special value". We have heard it called here "free trade", which seems to me a most extraordinary expression to adopt. We have heard the arguments deployed on behalf of these children who must travel a long way to get to school, and the injustice of establishing some kind of scheme whereby small children are deprived of education just because they happen to live in one area, whereas had they lived in another area, perhaps a mile away, they would have had a much more satisfactory education. Is this justice?

That seems to me to be rather a stupid, spiteful way of treating small children. I admit that Middlesex have not used the word "spiteful"; but, at any rate, it seems rather a small way to treat children. One would have thought that the noble Lord, Lord Newton, would have got up and said, "In no circumstances can this happen. The Government will assure the Committee that there will be no discrimination against children because they live in a certain area". Again the County Council says that even if it were educationally desirable, it is quite impracticable for a similar service to be made effective by April 1, 1965, on a borough basis.

I believe that there is a growing awareness of the complexity of some of the problems which result from a simple and total transfer of functions in education to the boroughs. What is required is a concerted investigation preferably led by the Minister of Education. Let him examine the position, and then let him make certain recommendations. But, of course, to do this requires a "holding" action on the part of the Government, and I would ask the noble Lord whether the Government are prepared to have a holding action in order that our fears may be dispelled—because he must realise that these fears are very real; and, indeed, fears have been expressed on both sides of the House. It seems to me that to destroy and then to rebuild not only is an unhappy solution but must mean a period during which the service suffers severely. It would be tragic to destroy the second tier and then to discover that a second tier was essential, if during the interim period the services suffered. The Middlesex County Council submits that this "holding" action can be secured by an appropriate committee under the umbrella of the Greater London Council.

Surely the practical approach is to examine the whole question under two heads: those functions which can immediately be conferred on the boroughs; and those functions where doubt exists that a borough organisation is the best solution. I have been asked that a detailed examination of these functions should be made thereby enabling a considered judgment to be made as to their allocation. The county council earnestly suggests that there should be an Amendment of Part IV of the Bill, by which certain functions are excepted from conferment, and that these functions should include at least the following. I have been asked to give these specifically to the noble Lord so that there should be no doubt about what the Middlesex County Council feel on this matter. The functions are: assessment and allocation of children to grammar school courses; arrangements with fee-paying schools, and with other authorities, for the admission and maintenance of children selected for grammar school courses; arrangements for boarding school education; the advisory services; teacher training and teachers' courses generally; special educational treatment; further education in technical colleges; awards to students.

I hope that your Lordships will be in sympathy with the aspirations of the Middlesex County Council, which has served the country and the people of Middlesex in a very fine way. They are asking to share what the Government have already agreed to establish—and this, to me, seems fair and just. I therefore hope that you will approve the Amendment.

Amendment moved— Page 48, line 30, at end insert the said subsection.—(Baroness Summerskill.)

9.8 p.m.


The noble Baroness speaks on behalf of the Middlesex authorities. I have no special grounds for addressing your Lordships, but I should like very strongly to support her Amendment, as all on this side wish to do so. She has really made all the main points, but I should like to underline one aspect, particularly in its relationship to the Amendment which I moved earlier and which was rejected on the advice of the Government. Naturally, I moved that Amendment feeling that it was the right Amendment, but the noble Baroness's Amendment should be a good deal more acceptable to the noble Lord—apart altogether from the fact that since Dinner he seems to have been in a good mood because he has accepted 100 per cent., if I may use that expression—


With great respect, I did not accept 100 per cent. because I did not accept the drafting of either Amendment.


Well, then, 99.9 per cent., as we said earlier, but that is enough for the moment. If the noble Lord accepts this, even though he does not accept the drafting, he will make us all happy. If he can maintain his post-prandial record we shall be very satisfied. I should like to emphasise one respect which should make this Amendment easier for the noble Lord and the Government. As the noble Baroness explained, it refers only to Middlesex instead of to the whole of Greater London outside the London County Council. But that is not the only point. It is not only more limited in space, but is more limited in its provisions because it would leave a number of important educational functions to the boroughs.

Under my Amendment, leaving out altogether the question of space and geography, the only education authorities would be the counties. Under this Amendment, even just taking Middlesex, important educational functions will lie with the boroughs. I think the noble Lord will agree that, whether or not the other Amendment was acceptable, this should be more easily acceptable. I think he would hardly dissent from that. It is more in keeping with the Government's philosophy than the one I moved which was rejected.

Indeed, I would venture to put it before him and the House in this way. At the present time it is quite true that the only education authorities for the counties are the counties themselves, if we leave out the L.C.C., Croydon and East and West Ham. But a number of the boroughs, particularly in Middlesex, have important functions delegated to them, and although they are not education authorities, strictly speaking, they perform educational functions of considerable significance. Admittedly under the earlier Amendment those functions would have been removed from them so they would have clearly lost on balance. The gains, of course, far outweighed any loss, but still there would have been that loss of functions to the boroughs.

If you take the boroughs in Middlesex or elsewhere—and it is difficult to speak accurately and shortly, because the situation is so complex in Middlesex that general statements tend to be not quite precise—you will find that those boroughs with educational functions certainly will not lose under this Amendment. Indeed, I am advised that in practice they will gain, because the functions reserved to the Greater London Council under the Amendment of the noble Lady are already reserved to the counties. The functions which under her Amendment will reside in the boroughs are those which reside at any rate in a number of the boroughs already. While on the face of it, therefore, their position will be unchanged, they will in practice become educational authorities instead of just educational agencies. They will actually be asked to raise money themselves and will have new responsibilities cast on them. So if one is going to ask whether their position will be stronger or weaker, or whether their responsibilities will be greater or smaller, you can say that in Middlesex their responsibilities will be greater under this Amendment than before. I think it is right to underline that point, because while very few of us on this side agree with the philosophy behind the present Bill, if one is trying to fit in with the Government's philosophy this Amendment goes far more in the direction of the Government than did the earlier Amendment; and not only because it refers to one county only where there are special circumstances, but because it does not diminish, but actually increases, the responsibility of the boroughs.


I wish I could be as indulgent towards this Amendment as I was towards the last two, but if I were I think it would be self-indulgence on my part, and too much self-indulgence is probably not good for one, even after dinner. I thought the noble Baroness argued the case for Middlesex very persuasively indeed and marshalled all possible arguments in support of her case, but I ought to point out to her that her argument ignored the criticisms in the Royal Commission's Report of the working of the administration of education in Middlesex. What this Amendment does is to give effect to a proposal which was recently put to Her Majesty's Government by the Middlesex County Council. Its main aim, as she made clear to us, is to transfer those services described' in the proposed subsection (10)(b) of her Amendment to the outer London boroughs.

This proposal of the Middlesex County Council has been strongly opposed by the Middlesex excepted districts, of which there are 16 in Middlesex, out of a total of 20 divisional executives. And, of course, these excepted districts have a great deal of experience in the administration of education. The Government have every sympathy with the wish to smooth the transfer, but I am bound to tell the Committee that they do not regard it as necessary, or even desirable, to continue the County Council's administration of education for an extra five years—for one reason, because of the criticisms in the Report of the Royal Commission. We do not think it is necessary to provide for this delay, because the outer London boroughs will be large boroughs, as I argued earlier

this afternoon, fully capable of exercising all the functions of local education authorities and with previous experience of administering education.

We do not think that this delay is desirable because, once it is settled that, sooner or later, the outer London boroughs are to be the local education authorities for all purposes (and it is implied by the noble Lady's Amendment, is it not, that eventually, after five years, this transfer will take place?) it will be difficult to keep staff, let alone recruit them, for a purely temporary purpose for a specified time. If only for this reason, we do not regard the proposed arrangements in the noble Lady's Amendment as practicable. I do not see how staffs can reasonably be expected to remain at their posts in the definite knowledge that their jobs will come to an end in five years' time. That is why I am unable to accept this Amendment, and I hope that the noble Baroness may think that the reasons I have advanced against it are, on the whole, pretty conclusive.


I am afraid the noble Lord has not convinced me, and I must ask my noble friends to come into the Lobby with me.

9.20 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 155) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 22; Not-Contents, 55.

Archibald, L. Hughes, L. Shepherd, L.
Attlee, E. Latham, L. Stonham, L.
Burden, L. [Teller.] Lawson, L. Summerskill, B.
Burton of Coventry, B. Longford, E. Walston, L.
Champion, L. Lucan, E. [Teller.] Wellington, D.
Crook, L. Morrison of Lambeth, L. Williams of Barnburgh, L
Faringdon, L. Shackleton, L. Wootton of Abinger, B.
Henderson, L.
Ailwyn, L. Devonshire, D. Kilmuir, E.
Albemarle, E. Dilhorne, L. (L. Chancellor.) Lansdowne, M.
Allerton, L. Drogheda, E. Lothian, M.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Dudley, E. Mersey, V.
Auckland, L. Dundee, E. Mills, V.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Eccles, L. Milne, L.
Beauchamp, E. Effingham, E. Milverton, L.
Blackford, L. Falmouth, V. Monk Bretton, L.
Bossom, L. Ferrers, E. Monsell, V.
Boston, L. Goschen, V. [Teller.] Newton, L.
Brecon, L. Grenfell, L. Ormonde, M.
Chesham, L. Hailsham, V. (L. President.) Remnant, L.
Cholmondeley, M. Hampden, V. Rochdale, V.
Colgrain, L. Hastings, L. St. Aldwyn, E. [Teller.]
Conesford, L. Hertford, M. Swinton, E.
Cranbrook, E. Ilford, L. Teynham, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Ingleby, V. Waldegrave, E.
Denham, L. Jellicoe, E. Willingdon, M.
Derwent, L.
Resolved in the negative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

Clause 31 agreed to.

Clause 32 [Co-ordination of school and other health services in inner London]:

9.25 p.m.

BARONESS SUMMERSKILL moved to add to the clause: (7) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section or any scheme approved there-under shall derogate from the power of the Inner London Education Authority to appoint—

  1. (a) a principal school medical officer in general charge of the school health service and responsible to the Authority for the efficient conduct of the service in the interests of the health and welfare of pupils; and
  2. (b) a principal school dental officer in charge of the school dental service and responsible to the principal school medical officer for its efficient operation."

The noble Baroness said: I must apologise for inflicting myself on your Lordships again. I have heard that on the radio voices are changed at intervals so that the audienc ewill not go to sleep. It happens that these two Amendments contain matters in which I have a special interest, and therefore I have been asked to move them. It will be recalled that when Clause 32 was discussed in another place, the Government accepted the principle of that part of the Opposition Amendment which makes provision for the revocation of schemes, but they did not accept that part which would allow the Inner London Education Authority to appoint a principal school medical officer and a principal school dental officer. I propose to-night to ask your Lordships to consider the position and support an Amendment which asks that these two officers and their staffs should be appointed.

In the course of the debate in another place, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education said: … If the Inner London Education Authority had a principal school medical officer of its … who had general responsibilities for the activities of the medical officers of health in the inner London boroughs and their conduct of school health services the individual concerned would be in the rather disadvantageous position of covering only a part of the field—the school health service—and would be unable to view that in relation to all the other services for which a medical officer of health is responsible…". He went on: … so that … the position itself would not be likely to attract a person of first quality in view of the restricted nature… of his or her work. In making this reply, the Government seem to be completely unaware of the fact that in the service of a large authority there are people who specialise in work with school children and students.

The Council in the past has been very well served in this field, and it is simply inaccurate to say that the Inner London Education Authority would not be likely to attract a person of first quality. In my view, it might even be easier to attract such a person, because he or she would be in charge of the service and not responsible to a county medical officer of health, and in this it might prove attractive. Moreover, unless there is such a principal school medical officer responsible to the Inner London Education Authority, it might well be much more difficult to retain specialists, who will not want to be responsible to a number of medical officers with different ideas and different standards. There is no dispute, of course, that the clause as it stands does not rule out the appointment of a principal school medical officer by the Inner London Education Authority. But the schemes which have been approved by the Minister of Health and the Minister of Education could prohibit such an appointment. I believe that, if the noble Lord looks at these schemes, he will agree with me there.

At least, the Government have now admitted the facts. On the Second Reading, I think, there was some confusion, because the Minister of Education made play of the fact that the London County Council had said that the school health service was to be broken up in 1965 and that the Government had no intention whatever of breaking it up. It seems to me that the Government have thought a little more deeply on the subject since then, for it is quite clear, from the discussions in the Standing Committee, that the Government are aware that what they are proposing is the fragmentation of the school health service, as at present constituted in inner London, into thirteen different independent parts. Indeed, the Parliamentary Secretary referred to the medical officers of health and their conduct of school health services. Perhaps when the noble Lord replies he will explain precisely what that means. But the Government have not made any attempt to show how the system would work. They are proposing that the Inner London Education Authority should be responsible to the Minister of Education for the conduct of a school health service, yet that Authority is to be prohibited from carrying out the requirements of the School Health Service Regulations, 1959, which make mandatory the appointment of a principal school medical officer and a principal school dental officer.

It seems that the Government are ignorant of the way in which the school health service is administered. The Parliamentary Secretary referred to the rare occasions which would necessitate the appearance of medical officers of health at committee meetings of the Inner London Education Authority. Nothing could be further from the facts. It is very rarely that a medical officer does not need to be represented at the meetings of the special education subcommittee. Indeed, I have made inquiries on this matter, and over the last four years, at approximately one out of every two of the fortnightly meetings of the education general purposes sub-committee there have been one or more items calling for a medical officer's attendance. I do not think that could be disputed. I would ask the noble Lord to examine the figures, and I am sure he will find that I am correct.

Moreover, at one of every two meetings of standing joint advisory committees of the teachers and officers over the last five years the medical officer in person, or one of his more senior colleagues, has taken part in the discussion. My experience over the years tends to make me think that this is perhaps a modest estimate of the amount of time which the medical officer gives in this field. Before breaking up something that works, the Government ought to be sure that the pieces will work when separated. If the pieces have to be put together again in order to work, one is bound to ask: why pull the service apart in the first place? All we are asking for, and pressing for, in these debates is an assurance from the Government that this very complicated and detailed scheme will work.

Then again, it is said that there will be full consultation, if the two Ministers knew how the service would work, presumably they would say so. No amount of consultation would help if there is no solution to be found to provide as good a service as now exists. If this clause goes through as it stands, some way will have to be found of making the best of a bad job, if only because the Inner London Education Authority will be on trial for up to five years. But it is bound to be much more unsatisfactory for children, for the schools, for the Inner London Education Authority and for the thirteen medical officers. Where will be the close consultation which those who are accustomed to county affairs know exists between the education officer and the medical officer? And most important consultations they are, when important decisions are taken. But if the Government refuse to appoint the necessary officials, these consultations which are so necessary for the conduct of the health services simply cannot take place.

The Inner London Education Authority will almost certainly have to lay down detailed instructions to the medical officers who will be under their direction. What I want to ask the noble Lord is: on whose advice will the Authority act? On that of the spokesman of the thirteen medical officers? One wonders how far the thirteen will agree. The spokesman will be in no position to issue instructions to his thirteen independent colleagues; and I can assure the noble Lord that doctors are individualists, not easily regimented, and it is not easy for him to say: "There will be thirteen of then; surely we can choose one who will direct the others."

It has been argued that there are already medical officers who work for two authorities; so that it should not be impossible to resolve this simple problem. But the issue is not whether a medical officer can work for two authorities—that is not in dispute. It happens now in Divisions 2, 4 and 9; and it works because these medical officers form part of the co-ordinated School Medical Service and are responsible to the principal school medical officer. That is what the Council is suggesting should happen in the future with the Inner London Education Authority. We want one individual appointed who will be responsible.

I now come to the question of the special schools, about which, again, the Government seem to be quite vague. In the first place, it will be not a question of a scheme. Obviously, if the Government insist that the thirteen medical officers are going to operate, there must be thirteen schemes; and they may be identical. Is it not perhaps the intention that the two Ministers will not approve them unless they are? Are they intending (and perhaps the noble Lord can tell me this? for they can have the last word, to force a scheme on the boroughs and the Inner London Education Authority? Then, again, the reference to special schools is undefined, and I think there should be an accurate definition. It is obviously inappropriate that the borough medical officer should be concerned with the 23 boarding special schools situated outside the area of the Inner London Education Authority and the four boarding special schools and homes in the area. Surely there must be uniform standards of ascertainment and medical supervision of the children in schools.

Will the noble Lord also tell me what is the Government's intention about day special schools? They are not decided in the boroughs. Are they to be included in the scheme and an arbitrary division between them and boarding schools erected? Advice on the need for day or hoarding schools surely must be co-ordinated. It is very doubtful whether any thought at all is being given to the process of recruitment for special schools. How are the pupils to find their way into these special schools in the future? The position now is that some cases are picked at medical institutions or by reference from hospitals, and most are put forward by schools for special examination on psychiatric diagnosis. At present there is uniformity of ascertainment in inner London. What do the Government think is going to happen now under the new plan? Nobody has said what is to happen. Will the thirteen school medical officers advise on these cases? Will they decide, in these thirteen fragmented areas, who will go to the special schools? Will they not surely have to pass them through the special advisers who deal with special schools? The borough medical officers will know little of the types of special schools, because undoubtedly no borough will have the complete range of divisions.

Hitherto the whole matter has been centralised; the children have been picked carefully and sent to the appropriate school. So the position is that they will neither be able to attend the needs of the children in the light of what the schools provide or to supervise them adequately after admission as specialists in each of the appropriate fields are needed for this. The case for a school medical officer from the co-ordinated service is proved on these grounds alone. I hope that in this most detailed and technical matter I have convinced the noble Lord of that. Obviously in the special schools in each area there may be only a bare handful of children who suffer from some form of psychiatric or congenital complaint. Obviously there are only a few, but we must have some central medical officer who is responsible for allocating these poor, pathetic little children to the proper special school. So far as I know, nothing has been said, except that the Government have said that in no circumstances are they going to appoint this medical officer for whom we are asking.

It is no good the Government saying that the arrangements proposed work perfectly well elsewhere. There is no parallel to the situation which we have been describing here this afternoon. That is not surprising, since the Inner London Educational Authority will be unique. What is so surprising is that the Government can contemplate, with apparent equanimity, a situation in which the Inner London Education Authority will be responsible for a service over which it lacks effective control. I should have thought that the Government would be most anxious to ensure that this important education authority, which, after all, it established as an afterthought, should operate in the best possible manner.

I would draw the noble Lord's attention to the fact that the Parliamentary Secretary to the Home Office even went so far as to say—perhaps it was a slip on her part in her first speech for the Government in a Standing Committee: Under Clause 32 the school health authorities and the local authorities will be under one roof, so that there will be close links at that level, and that is the level that matters. The noble Lord must realise that if that means what it says, the London boroughs would have responsibility for school health. I am asking that the Government should make this clear.

This is a most important matter—one which concerns the people of London closely. I would ask the Government to make this decision. This is not a major decision. Here is a case where it is necessary to appoint a key worker of a professional kind. I ask the noble Lord to consider this. I hope the Government will recognise that the only way to conduct this school health service in a satisfactory manner is to accept this Amendment, which I now beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 49, line 35, at end insert the said subsection.—(Baroness Sumerskill.)

9.44 p.m.


The noble Baroness has so effectively deployed the argument for this Amendment that I do not want to take up the time of the Committee in supporting her at any length. There are one or two incidental points which I should like to place before the noble Lord—I do not know whether he has had time to consider them. I wonder whether it has occurred to the noble Lord that the medical officers of some of the boroughs, and perhaps all the boroughs, will have their hands full without these additional duties which the Bill unamended seems to place on their shoulders. Has that struck the noble Lord? I do not know whether he would feel, when he comes to reply to that suggestion, that unless there is something done on the lines suggested in the Amendment, the medical officers will be seriously overworked. It had no doubt occurred to him, he being a health Minister, that the functions or duties which fall on the borough medical officers will vary a great deal in scope owing to the fact that the boroughs will be so different in various ways. I am particularly anxious to ask him whether he has considered the point, and, if not, whether his advisers will consider it—that the borough officers may be seriously overworked.

I would ask him to assure us, following the argument of the noble Baroness, that he does not take seriously the suggestion that the Inner London Education Authority would not be able to obtain a school medical officer of a proper capacity. That seems to be one of those incredibly feeble arguments which occasionally are used, even by an excellent Minister. I do not know whether it crept into the brief or into the noble Lord's mouth apart from the brief, but it is one of those arguments which I hope he would not uphold, and I hope he will repudiate, so far as he can, any suggestion that it would be impossible to obtain an officer of that calibre.

Would the noble Lord make it a little plainer as to whether the Government really intend to refuse to approve the appointment? Do the Government intend to prohibit the appointment of a principal school medical officer? No doubt the Minister will tell us, as was stated elsewhere, that in the clause as it stands there is nothing to prevent the appointment of a principal school medical officer, if the Minister, elsewhere or here, is simply offering the opinion that it might well not be necessary to appoint such an officer, that is one thing. We are always grateful for obiter dicta by Ministers and we should not be unduly worried about it. However, the Minister elsewhere managed to convey the impression that the Government intended to prohibit the appointment of such an officer. Will the noble Lord make the position plain? We should very much like to know whether he still intends to prohibit the appointment of such an officer, because if he and his colleagues do so intend there is no doubt that we will divided against them.

I suppose the argument which the noble Baroness put so well can be summarised in a single sentence. No doubt the noble Lord will correct me if I am wrong, but we understand that this Inner London Education Authority will be responsible for the conduct of the school health service. It is not a question of the Inner London Education Authority saying, "Health is nothing to do with us; we are concerned with teaching, and health is somebody else's affair". That is not the position at all. They are going to be held responsible for the health of the children, and we are saying that they should be at least enabled, even if they are not positively assisted, to discharge that responsibility.

On the face of it, it seems extraordinary if the Government are seriously saying that when the Inner London Education Authority come and say, "In order to discharge this responsibility in the field of health, we need to appoint a school medical officer", the Government have decided in advance that the authority are going to be prohibited from doing that. I may be misunderstanding the intentions of the Government—I hope I am—but I would put these questions clearly. First, will the Inner London Education Authority be held responsible for the school health service? Secondly, have the Government decided that even if they press to be allowed to appoint a school medical officer they will not be allowed to appoint one, even if they are insistent that it is the only way in which they can discharge their responsibility?

Perhaps before the debate proceeds further, we may ask the noble Lord to reply to the noble Baroness and also to the questions I have just asked. From our point of view, it would be in the administrative sense rather wicked—I do not use that word in the moral sense, but in the sense that it would be an enormity—to say to an authority, "You are responsible for the health of the children, but if you come to us and ask to be allowed to appoint a school medical officer, we have decided in advance that on no account will you be allowed to do that thing which you regard as essential". Perhaps the noble Lord, when he replies to the noble Baroness, will answer those questions specifically.

9.50 p.m.


When the noble Baroness moved this Amendment she apologised quite unnecessarily for moving two Amendments running. I could not help feeling that if any apology were needed, it would be from me for speaking so much on Part IV of the Bill. I am afraid I cannot accept this Amendment, but I am reasonably hopeful that I may be able to satisfy both the noble Baroness and the noble Earl. I do not say more than "reasonably hopeful".


One hundred per cent!


The purpose of Clause 32 as drafted is to ensure the integration of the school medical services, which will be the responsibility of the Inner London Education Authority—and I think that is the answer to one of the noble Earl's questions—with the personal health service, which will be the responsibility of the boroughs in inner London. Throughout the country arrangements for the health—


May I interrupt the noble Lord? He says that he has answered one of my questions. I asked whether the Inner London Authority would be held responsible for school health services. I gather the answer to that is "Yes ".


Yes. The position throughout the country is that arrangements for the health and education authorities (which are under the same councils although they operate through different committees) to share professional staff are virtually standard practice, and the posts of medical officer of health and school medical officer are nearly always held by the same person. These arrangements work very satisfactorily, and that is why the Government have thought it right to ensure similar integration of the I.L.E.A.'s school health service and the personal health service of the boroughs in inner London. In reply to another question put by the noble Earl, I am bound to say that I have not seen or heard anything to suggest that we shall be putting an unnecessary burden on the borough medical officer of health or that we shall be overworking him. However, I will certainly make inquiries to see whether in fact this has been suggested before. It is a new suggestion.

Nowadays the school medical service is primarily a preventive service—I think the noble Baroness will agree with me about that. It has changed its character down the years. Under it children are inspected periodically so that those who need treatment may be identified. If they are found to be suffering from minor ailments they are treated in school clinics by the staff of the school medical service, and if more serious defects are found consultants are called in. It is also a function of the school medical service to identify children in need of special educational treatment. Similarly, under the school dental service school-children are inspected to discover any dental defects, and these are treated in dental clinics. The local health authority maternity and child welfare service does the same for children under five, expectant mothers, and mothers with young children. The two services—that is to say, the services of the education authority and those of the local health authority—employ similar professional staff on similar duties, and often in the same premises. To avoid uneconomical duplication of staff and the difficulties which would arise from separate staffs using the same premises, the most efficient and economical arrangement is for them to be employed jointly by the two authorities and to work under the direction of one medical officer responsible for both services.

This system of joint appointments has the great advantage of enabling the same staff to deal with children from birth until the time when they leave school. I need not stress the obvious benefit to all concerned of this continuity which is secured by this arrangement. If the I.L.E.A. had a principal school medical officer, with general oversight over the borough medical officers of health in the discharge of their responsibility for the school health service within their boroughs, it would mean that the borough medical officer of health would not have full responsibility for the school health service in his own area. He would, in fact, be subject to the instructions of the principal school medical officer.

But the principal school medical officer—and I think this is rather an important point—would cover only the school health service, and he would have no responsibility for the other health services with which we think it should be closely integrated, as it is so often all over the country. Thus he would not be able to look at the school health service in its full setting of looking after the child from birth until school-leaving age; and that he could supervise the borough medical officers of health who would have this wider view would surely be a most undesirable arrangement and not particularly attractive to him. That is why I am afraid, with all respect to the noble Baroness and to the noble Earl, I must support my honourable friend in another place, in thinking that the inherent disadvantage of an appointment of this kind is that it would not be likely to attract people of the right quality, because the field of activity would be so very restricted. The principal school medical officer would take no direct part in the health services himself. He would just be an administrator. It really seems to me, and, I can say, to my professional advisers on this matter—those members of the medical profession who advise me in my Department—that it would be unlikely to appeal to a really keen doctor.

I now come to what I agree is the most important point, the giving of professional advice to the I.L.E.A. on matters of policy. I certainly recognise that the I.L.E.A. will want to receive professional advice on matters of policy affecting the school health services throughout this area. It is possible, as the noble Baroness suggested, that a committee could be formed of the medical officers of health who are the school medical officers in the London boroughs, and they could appoint one of their members as their chairman and spokesman and he could attend committee meetings of the I.L.E.A. That is just one possibility and I am not saying that it is an ideal one. Alternatively, the I.L.E.A. could itself appoint one of the 13 medical officers of health as its adviser on policy, and there is nothing in the Bill to prevent this. The same things goes for the dental officers. However, I would suggest that the best thing to do is to leave matters of this kind to be settled by discussion between all concerned.

But I should like to make clear that the jointly appointed staff will be responsible to the I.L.E.A. for the school health service, just as they are, or will be, responsible to the boroughs for the personal health service as well. So it would not be correct to say that the I.L.E.A. will be without professional staff. The clause as it stands does not preclude the appointment by the I.L.E.A. of some staff of its own, not shared with the boroughs. For example, the I.L.E.A. may need a medical officer to supervise its work with handicapped children in the special schools, about which the noble Baroness was concerned—and this, again, is a matter which can be gone into in detail when the schemes required under Clause 32 are prepared and submitted to my right honourable friend.

I also want to make quite clear to the Committee that Clause 32, as drafted, does not preclude the appointment by the I.L.E.A. of medical or dental officers of its own, not shared by the boroughs, at any professional level, if this is agreed, after consultation between all the interested parties, including the I.L.E.A., the boroughs and the responsible Ministers, to be desirable. I am not myself convinced that it would be a particularly good idea; but it could be done, provided that they all agreed. On the other hand, the Amendment would allow the I.L.E.A. to take unilateral decisions on this matter, irrespective of the views of the other authorities and of my right honourable friends the Ministers of Education and Health. It seems to me that this would be undesirable, in view of the great importance, to which I have already referred, of ensuring that in London, as elsewhere in the country, the school health service shall continue to be planned and administered in the closest possible relationship with the other personal health services of the local health authority. That is why, as I said at the beginning, I cannot accept this Amendment. But I hope that I have made the position rather clearer than it was before, and shown that, in fact, if everybody wants to, they will be able to achieve a very large measure of what is behind the noble Lady's Amendment.

10.3 p.m.


If any of my noble friends had been in doubt at any time about the justification for our opposing this Bill and this Part of the Bill, the speech of the noble Lord has given us full measure. I have never heard such shifts as he was put to in seeking to justify this extraordinary operation that is going to leave a disjointed skeleton, with responsibility unclear, and the whole thing dependent on ad hoc, almost haphazard, discussions, conversations and agreements between a lot of different people. It is a piece of administrative machinery to make one cry. Responsibility for education is given to the superior authority, the Inner London Authority, but they are not given the means of ensuring that the health education and the preventive health services are adequately carried out in those schools. Instead, that responsibility is given to thirteen different authorities.


With great respect, that is not so. The thirteen borough officers are employed by the I.L.E.A. for carrying out those duties in the schools in the boroughs.


The borough school medical officer, then, will be additional to the borough medical officer of health—is that so?


No. It will be the same man, but he will be appointed, for the purpose of his work in the schools, by the I.L.E.A., and, for his responsibility in regard to the medical health authority services, by the borough.


Then which has the say in the appointment?


Who is the captain?


He will be appointed jointly.


Any noble Lord who has ever sat on an appointments committee would see that that really is absurd.


I am sorry to keep interrupting; but that is what happens throughout the country. You have in an ordinary county a county medical officer and a schools medical officer. It is the same man appointed jointly by the health committee and by the education committee.


He works for one authority; which is a vital difference. The twenty-eight metropolitan boroughs each now have their borough medical officer of health, one qualified man. These new London boroughs are to be three times the size. Is it proposed that they will still have only one medical officer of health and, besides his public health responsibilities for this enlarged borough, he will also look after the schools? I think the noble Lord ought to make that clear. I think we still have not had a clear answer to the question of my noble friend Lord Longford, who asked whether, under the Bill as it is, the inner London authority would be prohibited from appointing a school medical officer. The noble Lord has told us that they can appoint their own staff for school medical services at any level, I think he said. I am not sure whether that means at the top level or not. In any case, the scheme is that the inner London authority will have to submit to the Minister if it proposes the appointment of a principal school medical officer and dental officer. Will the Minister turn that scheme down? That is what we want to know.


I am astonished by the speech of the noble Lord. I am relieved that in this debate I have not heard many Government speeches on that sort of level. The noble Lord will stimulate me to listen with a view to trying to point to the extraordinary inconsistency and folly of what the Government are saying. I understood the noble Lord to say (and perhaps he can make it abundantly clear) that the principal medical officers in each borough will be jointly appointed by the Inner London Authority and by the borough. This is what he implied. This being so, these officers already have a divided allegiance.

He then went on to suggest that similar professional staff—not the same professional staff but a similar professional staff—would use the same premises. In a situation like this confronting any large organisation, whether it be private or public enterprise or local government, it is clearly necessary to have somebody functionally responsible. The noble Lord has made it clear that the Inner London Authority have this responsibility. They are allowed an adviser; but the authority will presumably go through a non-medical individual. This seems to me to be a weakness. The classic answer, well applied elsewhere, is that somebody functionally in charge should be appointed. The purpose of this simple

Amendment is that there should be such a principal officer. What the Government say is that you can take one of the individual borough officers and appoint him. But if you can do that, why not allow the Inner Authority to appoint somebody not specifically tied to one borough, who does not have the wider responsibilities for health but who functionally will discharge what, in fact, is laid upon the Inner London Authority? I suggest the noble Lord might turn his attention to this particular argument which he will find will certainly be advanced by those who study public administration.


Having listened to the noble Lord, I feel very sorry for him. It seems to me that the noble Lord has been instructed to say, "No"; but his heart and mind showed him that he really did not have a case. Everything he said seemed to prove my contention that, unless we appointed these officers, it would not be possible to conduct the business of a borough effectively. In these circumstances, I feel that I might divide the Committee.

10.11 p.m.

On Question, Whether the Amendment (No. 156) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 19; Not-Contents, 56.

Archibald, L. Latham, L. Shackleton, L.
Burton of Coventry, B. Lawson, L. Shepherd, L.
Champion, L. Listowel, E. Stonham, L. [Teller.]
Crook, L. Longford, E. Summerskill, B.
Faringdon, L. Lucan, E. [Teller.] Walston, L.
Henderson, L. Morrison of Lambeth, L. Williams of Barnburgh, L.
Hughes, L.
Ailwyn, L. Derwent, L. Kilmuir, E.
Albemarle, E. Devonshire, D. Lansdowne, M.
Aldington, L. Dilhorne, L. (L. Chancellor.) Lothian, M.
Allerton, L. Drogheda, E. Mersey, V.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Dudley, E. Mills, V.
Auckland, L. Dundee, E. Monk Bretton, L.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Eccles, L. Monsell, V.
Beauchamp, E. Effingham, E. Newton, L.
Bossom, L. Falmouth, V. Ormonde, M.
Boston, L. Ferrers, E. Remnant, L.
Bradford, E. Goschen, V. [Teller.] Rochdale, V.
Brecon, L. Grenfell, L. St. Aldwyn, E. [Teller.]
Chesham, L. Hailsham, V. (L. President.) Swinton, E.
Colmondeley, M. Hampden, V. Teynham, L.
Colville of Culross, V. Hastings, L. Waldegrave, E.
Conesford, L. Hertford, M. Waleran, L.
Cranbrook, E. Ilford, L. Wellington, D.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Ingleby, V. Willingdon, M.
Denham, L. Jellicoe, E.
Resolved in the negative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

Clause 32 agreed to.

Clause 33 agreed to.

Clause 34 [Youth employment service]:

THE EARL OF LONGFORD moved to leave out subsection (4). The noble Earl said: This Amendment would remove from Clause 34 the review of the administration of the youth employment service which is to be held not later than March 31, 1970. Unless the Committee wish it, I will not deploy the arguments on such a review, which are certainly strongly held on this side, because they are almost identical with those which were deployed so well by my noble friend Lady Wootton of Abinger and others against a review of the education service. I should not, however, like the Committee, and the Minister, in particular, to think that we feel any less keenly about the absurdity of this review, and in a moment, unless the Minister feels that he has some last minute seductiveness—




—repentance, or, anyway, some last minute something or other, which he can deploy in aid of the Bill, we will go into the Division Lobby. I should just say, as we are now concluding the educational part of the Bill—and it is difficult to say this without disrespect to the Minister who has struggled heroically—that the official replies have been remarkably feeble. We realise that is not in any way the fault of the Minister, Lord Newton, who is not in charge of education, but we regard it as rather lamentable that the senior Ministers of the Government should not have come to his assistance at all. In a matter of this kind, we should have thought that high-ranking Cabinet Ministers would have assisted their ardent but youthful colleague. As he faced the fire from this side I was reminded of the lines of Siegfried Sassoon: Speeding glum heroes up the line to death ". That was rather the rôle of the Cabinet Ministers who were present. They were speeding up the line to death the noble Lord, Lord Newton, who, if not a glum, was a rather doleful, hero. In saying this I do not want in any way to reflect on his loyalty or gallantry under fire, but I ought to assure him and his colleagues that we have been somewhat shocked by the utter futility of the Government's replies to these various educational Amendments. Unless the noble Lord wants to take up any more time on this matter, I suggest that we divide as soon as possible. I beg to move.

Amendment moved— Page 51, line 22, leave out subsection (4).—(The Earl of Longford.)


The noble Earl said quite a number of things to me in the course of the debates on Clause 30, but this is the first time he has said I was either glum or doleful. I have not taken exception to anything said so far about me, but I do feel a little hurt.


I am sure it is much better than being called "complacent", which is the only other adjective which comes to mind.


I should not have been very pleased at that either. The noble Earl said that the arguments which were adduced by the noble Baroness, Lady Wootton of Abinger, when she moved her Amendment No. 154 really applied to this one too; and, equally, I can say that the arguments which I used then apply now. This Amendment clearly stands or falls on Amendment No. 154 on which your Lordships supported me in the Lobby. If that had not happened and your Lordships had accepted the invitation of the noble Baroness to leave out subsections (6) and (7) of Clause 30, and thereby to make no provision at all for a review by 1970 of the Education Service, it clearly would have been my duty to advise your Lordships to accept this Amendment which the noble Earl has moved. But your Lordships did not accept the invitation of the noble Baroness and, for this reason, I hope the noble Earl will feel able to withdraw this Amendment or, if he does not, that my noble friends will once again support me in the Lobby.


I should like to say one sentence only. It would appear that this is a happy ending to an otherwise not too happy day. It would appear on both sides, comparing the arguments on this Amendment, that the early arguments are so good that they can be used again.

10.25 p.m.

On Question, Whether the said Amendment (No. 158) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 18; Not-Contents, 57.
Archibald, L. Hughes, L. Morrison of Lambeth, L.
Burton of Coventry, B. Latham, L. Shackleton, L.
Champion, L. Lawson, L. Shepherd, L.
Crook, L. Listowel, E. Stonham, L. [Teller.]
Faringdon, L. Longford, E. Summerskill, B.
Henderson, L. Lucan, E. [Teller.] Walston, L.
Ailwyn, L. Denham, L. Jellicoe, E.
Albemarle, E. Derwent, L. Kilmuir, E.
Aldington, L. Devonshire, D. Lansdowne, M.
Allerton, L. Dilhorne, L. (L. Chancellor.) Lothian, M.
Amherst of Hackney, L. Drogheda, E. Mersey, V.
Auckland, L. Dudley, E. Mills, V.
Balfour of Inchrye, L. Dundee, E. Milne, L.
Beauchamp, E. Eccles, L. Monk Bretton, L.
Bossom, L. Effingham, E. Monsell, V.
Boston, L. Falmouth, V. Newton, L.
Bradford, E. Ferrers, E. Ormonde, M.
Brecon, L. Goschen, V. [Teller.] Remnant, L.
Bridgeman, V. Grenfell, L. Rochdale, V.
Chesham, L. Hailsham, V. (L. President.) St. Aldwyn, E. [Teller.]
Cholmondeley, M. Hampden, V. Swinton, E.
Colville of Culross, V. Hastings, L. Teynham, L.
Conesford, L. Hertford, M. Waldegrave, E.
Cranbrook, E. Ilford, L. Waleran, L.
Cullen of Ashbourne, L. Ingleby, V. Wellington, D.

Resolved in the negative, and Amendment disagreed to accordingly.

10.30 p.m.


This is a drafting Amendment which is designed to clarify the intention of subsection (4). At the moment that subsection refers only to subsection (6) of Clause 30. This could be construed as meaning that the Minister was to be given only the powers specifically referred to in subsection (6) and that he was not empowered to include in the regulations any necessary "incidental consequential, transitional or supplementary provisions"—these being matters which are referred to in subsection (7) of Clause 30.

Clearly, if regulations are to be made there must be power to include in them transitional and similar provisions. This has indeed always been the intention of the clause. In view, however, of the slight possibility that the subsection could be interpreted in a very narrow sense, it is desirable to make it clear beyond peradventaure that my right honourable friend the Minister of Labour is to have, for the purpose of making regulations after the review, all the powers conferred upon my right honourable friend the Minister of Education by subsection (7) of Clause 30 as well as those conferred by subsection (6).

Amendment moved— Page 51, line 32, leave out ("the said section 30(6)") and insert ("section 30(6) and (7) of this Act ").—(Lord Newton.)


I have not studied this Amendment as closely as I should, but I have such complete personal confidence in the noble Lord that I take it that it is entirely valuable and good, and therefore we accept this Amendment.


I am much obliged.

On Question, Amendment agreed to.

Clause 34, as amended, agreed to.


This is the first time I have spoken to-day, but I am not speaking now in consequence of anything which the noble Earl, Lord Longford, has said. My noble friend who has spoken from this Bench found himself so able to rebut all the fire, cross-fire and every other kind of fire that there was no need for me to speak. Therefore, there was no need for the rest of us to say anything at all. Having spoken for the first time to-day in these debates, as we have made such very good progress with my noble friend in charge of this part of the Bill, I beg to move that the House do now resume.

Moved, that the House do now resume.—(The Lord Chancellor.)

On Question, Motion agreed to, and House resumed accordingly.