§ 3.1 p.m.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to adhere to April L 1971, as the date for the transfer of responsibility for the education and training of mentally-handicapped children to the Department of Education and Science.]
THE PARLIAMENTARY UNDERSECRETARY OF STATE, MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE(LORD BEI.STEAD)
My Lords, I hope next week to have the pleasure of introducing to your Lordships' House the Education (Handicapped Children) Bill which provides for this transfer. If it is approved by Parliament my right honourable friend intends, as was announced in another place on Monday night, to adhere to April 1, 1971, as the appointed day for the transfer.
§ LORD SEGAL
My Lords, may I thank the noble Lord for that reply, which will be warmly welcomed by everyone concerned with the welfare of mentally handicapped children? May I ask the noble Lord to see that the Government continue the good work in this field already carried out by the previous Administration? May I also ask him to re-read the excellent speech of his noble friend Lord Aberdare during the debate which took place in this House on April 14, and to see that the many criticisms that were levelled at that time will be fully met by Her Majesty's Government with the least possible delay?