Mr. W Barford, a schoolmaster, who is prospective Liberal Parliamentary candidate for South West Leeds gave the third of a series of talks on Politics to Leeds C.P.E.A. last week. The previous talks had been given 'by Labour and Conservative speakers.
He is President of Leeds Headmasters' Association, past President of National. Association of Headmasters, and in religioh is a Methodist.
His views on parents' rights and religious education were refreshingly forthright and unequivocal. and were warmly applauded by a large audience.
The feeling of the meeting was that if his views on these matters arc typical of the new Libcyal Party—he could pot vouch for this, as the party's policy has not yet been promulgated — then Liberalism, which has been under a cloud for no long. may witness the dawn Of a new era.
Parents alone, he insisted, and not thc State. had the right to decide a child's education and as religion could not he divorced from education parents should have the kind of education they desired for their children.
" Where there were sufficient children of any denomination to fill a school, the school should be built entirely at the expense of the Slate and the children taught by teachers who had satisfied a religious test."
One of the great flaws of the Niecelion Act, he declared, was the clause oroviding for the compulsory teaching of State religion in the State school,. " It placed a premium on cant and hypocrisy and set a precedent for some nossible Communist Government of the futurr-to institute the compulsory teaching of the Communistic creed."