HC Deb 23 June 1910 vol 18 cc495-6

asked the President of the Board of Education whether, having regard to the fact that the Board of Education are enabled, under Chapters of their regulations for technical schools, etc., to make Grants to university colleges and universities with respect to that part of their work which is concerned with engineering and other technical subjects, and that the colleges and universtities also receive a Treasury grant applicable to their work generally, and further that it is undesirable in the interests of university education to distinguish administratively the engineering and technological faculty from other faculties by special conditions of financial help, the Government will con- sent to arrangements being made for unifying these Grants; or, if he considers the matter to require further consideration, whether he, would appoint a Committee to determine the conditions under which the unification of Grants might be effected so as to make the total Government Grants available for university education generally, and to render unnecessary the twofold inspection to which such colleges and universities are now subject as desire to avail themselves of financial aid from the Board of Education in addition to the Treasury Grants?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Runciman)

I must not be taken as agreeing to the accuracy of what the hon. Member alleges as to overlapping between the Grants from the Treasury and those from the Board of Education in aid of universities and university colleges. I may say, further, that the arrangements in respect of the distribution of both the Grants are not so separate as is implied in the question. The Board of Education has representatives on the Treasury Committee which deals with the Grants; the committee is in constant touch with the Board, and all information is interchanged. Nor have there been any indications of any difficulties arising, as suggested in the question, from the present arrangements for inspections, which do not clash in any respect, but supplement each other. The Government have been considering the question of some increased measure of co-ordination or unification, but my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and I have not yet come to any decision. It is not a matter, I think, which would be assisted by the adoption of the course suggested in the last part of the question.