HC Deb 22 October 1912 vol 42 cc1919-20
64. Mr. PIRIE

asked the Secretary for Scotland if his attention has been drawn to the address delivered at the general meeting of the Scottish School Board Association, in Galashiels, by the president of the association, the Rev. Dr. Smith, of Govan, in which the appointment of an advisory committee on education was advocated with the approval of the meeting, such an educational council to be composed of members representative of the various interests involved, and appointed for a term of years irrespective of Government changes, and to act as an advisory committee on Scottish education; and whether, in view of the dissatisfaction with the existing educational situation, he is prepared either to advise the creation of such a committee, or to appoint a committee of inquiry into the effect of the recent numerous changes in the educational system brought about by recent legislation?


I have seen a report of the address referred to. I am not prepared to advise the creation of a committee such as that outlined in the address, nor do I see sufficient occasion at the present time for the appointment of the committee of inquiry suggested by the hon. Member.


Can the right hon. Gentleman give any explanation of the universal dissatisfaction which is felt in Scotland with respect to the administration of education, and has he seen the views which have been expressed on the subject by Sir James Donaldson, Professor Ramsay, and others?


Universal dissatisfaction does not exist. There is dissatisfaction among certain people, and there always will be in regard to any system of education in any country.


Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the suggestion as to meeting the unofficial Scottish Members of this House as an advisory committee as a beginning?


The hon. Gentleman should give notice of that question.