HC Deb 12 June 1952 vol 502 cc38-9W
57. Mr. F. Wiley

asked the Minister of Education what criteria she applied when she invited the Sunderland Local Education Authority to explain why the economies in accordance with Circular 242 are insufficient.

Miss Horsbrugh

The letter sent to the authority did not say that the economies which they had made in response to Circular 242 were insufficient. Its object was to enable me to satisfy myself, in consultation with the authority, that their estimates reflected a full review of their expenditure under all heads and every reduction that could be made in the expenditure shown in their forecast consistently with the policy stated in the first paragraph of the Circular.

Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Education (1) whether, in view of her most recent interference in the estimating by local education authorities and her threat to reduce or withhold grant, she will bear in mind the undesirability of interfering with the autonomous powers of local education authorities;

(2) the reasons for her letter to certain local education authorities concerning their response to Circular 242.

Miss Horsbrugh

The object of my letter was to obtain from certain local education authorities an explanation of the fact that their April estimates showed comparatively small decreases, or even increases, as compared with their forecasts. The letter did not threaten to reduce or withhold grant.