Public Schools (Committee).

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 2nd July 1942.

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Photo of Mr Charles Ammon Mr Charles Ammon , Camberwell North

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can now announce the terms of reference and the names of the members of the committee he is appointing to advise on the best method of extending the opportunities for boarding school education?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Yes, Sir. I am asking the committee to consider means whereby the association between the public schools (by which term is meant schools which are in membership of the Governing Bodies' Association or Headmasters' Conference) and the general educational system of the country could be developed and extended; also to consider how far any measures recommended in the case of boys' public schools could be applied to comparable schools for girls.

The committee will be composed of persons qualified to speak for the educational and wider interests concerned. The members are as follow:

  • The Hon. Lord Fleming (Chairman).—Senator of the College of Justice in Scotland.
  • Alderman Sir James Aitken.—Chairman, Lancashire Education Committee.
  • Mr. A. L. Binns.—Education Officer, West Riding of Yorkshire.
  • Mr. Robert Birley.—Headmaster of Charterhouse.
  • Dr. Dorothy Brock.—Headmistress of the Mary Datchelor School for Girls.
  • Mr. Harold Clay.
  • Mr. G. D. H. Cole—Chairman of the Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey.
  • Sir Edward Crowe, K.C.M.G.—Governor of the Harpur Trust, Bedford, and Director of various Companies.
  • Professor W. J. Gruffydd.—University of Wales.
  • Mr. M. L. Jacks.—Director of Oxford University Department of Education.
  • The Rt. Rev. the Lord Bishop of London.
  • Mr. A. C. Macdiarmid.—Chairman and Managing Director of Stewart and Lloyds.
  • Mr. A. E. Nichols.—Headmaster of Hele's School, Exeter.
  • Mr. H. N. Penlington.—Treasurer of National Union of Teachers.
  • Dr. A. W. Pickard-Cambridge.—Member of the Committee of the Governing Bodies' Association and late Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield University.
  • Sir Ernest Pooley.—Secretary of the Governing Bodies' Association of Girls' Public Schools.
  • Mr. C. L. Reynolds—Headmaster of Nottingham High School.
  • Miss E. M. Tanner.—Headmistress of Roe-dean School.
Mr. G. G. Williams, Mr. F. R. G. Duckworth, C.B.E., and Mr. W. J. Williams of the Board of Education, will act as assessors to the committee, and it will have as Joint Secretaries Mr. R. N. Heaton and Mr. P. Wilson, H.M.I.

Photo of Mr Charles Ammon Mr Charles Ammon , Camberwell North

May I ask my right hon. Friend whether he has received a communication from me regretting certain remarks I made concerning Lord Fleming during the recent Debate on education, caused by confusing him with someone else of the same name? It would be a pity if this gentleman started his duties prejudiced by an unfounded statement, for which I apologise.

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

I am sure that the House will be glad to hear the question asked by the hon. Member, and I can assure him that I have received his communication, which confirms my impression of the value and ability of Lord Fleming to be chairman of this inquiry.

Mr. J. J. Davidson:

What proportion of this Committee represents the educative side of the question and what proportion represents the wider interests concerned?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

As this is largely a question of education there are rather more on the educative side than on the wider interests side, but I am glad to say that both sides are represented.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

As I have some slight interest in this matter, can the right hon. Gentleman give the House some idea of the communication to which he has referred in the conversation between himself and the hon. Member?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

There is nothing particularly serious in the communication. The hon. Gentleman was kind enough to tell me he had mistaken Lord Fleming for somebody else, and he considered, therefore, that his remarks were unjustified in their application to Lord Fleming himself.

Photo of Mr James Maxton Mr James Maxton , Glasgow Bridgeton

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that I did not mistake Lord Fleming in the remarks I made?

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

Can my right hon. Friend say whether the exclusion of Members of Parliament from this Committee was deliberate?

Photo of Mr R.A. Butler Mr R.A. Butler , Saffron Walden

Hon. Members were not excluded from this Committee for any lack of merit on their part, but because I considered that the membership of this Committee was satisfactory in the manner in which I have announced it.