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Administrative Areas

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 6 May 1943

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asked the President of the Board of Education whether it is his intention to institute an impartial inquiry before introducing a Bill dealing with the question of educational administrative areas?

As I informed my hon. Friend the Member for Bilston (Mr. Hannah) on 21st January last, I invited my right hon. and learned Friend the Minister without Portfolio to advise me on this matter, and I am now considering the advice which he has given me. I have therefore nothing further to add to this reply at present.

Is it the intention of the right hon. Gentleman to publish the proposals before they are embodied in any Bill which comes before this House?

I think it is important for the House and the public to see all my proposals together. When the time comes I can assure the hon. Member there will be plenty of time to look at them and express opinions on them.

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that some of the smaller authorities are some of the most progressive and efficient and will very much resent being legislated out of existence in the interests of larger and less efficient authorities?

Yes, Sir, I am aware of the excellent work done by many of the Part 3 authorities—by the Part 3 authorities as a whole—and it is not my idea to cut away local interests in education.