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Orders of the Day — Education [Money]

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 28th January 1944.

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Photo of Mr Clement Davies Mr Clement Davies , Montgomeryshire

We are all deeply indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for giving instructions that this Resolution should be framed as widely as possible to admit of the freest possible discussion. I quite understand the caveat which the right hon. Gentleman rightly put in, that it does not mean he is going to deviate in any way from the policy he laid before the House during the Second Reading. I shall certainly not enter into this question of Welsh finance under that particular Sub-section, but I do desire a little enlightenment on a point I raised during the Second Reading. It will be within the recollection of the Committee that I drew attention to the inequalities arising from the part of the expense being borne by the Treasury and the part being borne by the local authorities. My own suggestion was that all the expense should fall upon the Treasury. When I come to refer to this paragraph I see that it does provide for payment out of moneys provided by Parliament of any expenditure incurred in paying grants to local education authorities in respect of expenditure incurred by such authorities in the exercise of their functions relating to education. I take it that one would be in Order during the course of a Bill in moving an Amendment that that grant should be 100 per cent. I am not quite sure whether one could then during the course of the other stages of the Bill move such Amendments as one to Clause 8 which deals with the provision and maintenance of primary and secondary schools. Clause 8 (1) reads: It shall be the duty of every local education authority to secure that there shall be available for their area sufficient schools"— If I may put a hypothetical case I would leave out "local education authority" and make it read: It shall be the duty of the President of the Board of Education to secure that there shall be available in all areas sufficient schools, and so on. That would mean, of course, that the whole burden would be thrown upon the Treasury. I am wondering whether this Resolution is wide enough to enable me to raise that in that form, although I can conceive, and I should like to know the President's view on this, that possibly I can meet it by asking that the grants that shall be made to the poorer education authorities, or indeed all education authorities, shall be 100 per cent. of the cost they are incurring in educational matters. With this I end. It is a matter which is fundamental and vital. That is why I am raising it.