Why do the Government not shelve their unwanted and outdated plans for more comprehensive schools and concentrate their minds on breaking down the religious barriers in education? That would be more worth while.
Does the Minister recall that the former Secretary of State promised a conference on this matter? Will he at least set up a working party seriously to consider the idea? Does the Minister agree that in the special context of Northern Ireland it is extraordinary that the Cowan Report on comprehensive education hardly mentions the subject, despite the fact that the, latest public opinion poll revealed that 86 per cent. of the people of Northern Ireland want it, including 65 per cent. of the Roman Catholic population?
Everyone doubts the forecasts that are made by opinion polls. All I can say is that this is a sensitive subject and that consultations are being carried out. On the basis of the evidence derived from those consultations we shall consider whether a conference or perhaps even a working party should be established.
The hon. Member cannot have been listening to my answers to the previous two questions. We are having consultations. They began only last autumn, and there are other people and organisations to be seen. Until we have seen everybody nothing definitive will be said by my right hon. Friend on the subject.