- March 1988 at the Scottish Grand Committee
* "Schools should tell parents the age at which they will have children reading and the age at which they will be able to perform basic arithmetic. "
- July 1995 speech to Tory faithful
* "Some of these proposals are a bit on the radical side even for me."
- November 1995 comment on plea by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to remove Scottish Office controls over school closures.