HC Deb 14 August 1919 vol 119 cc1621-2
57. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Lord Privy Seal whether, notwithstanding the critical state of the country's finances, 4.000 officers are to be sent to the universities at the expense of the taxpayer?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Mr. Herbert Fisher)

My right hon. Friend has asked me to answer this question. Under the Government scheme for the assisted education of ex-Service officers and men, which was de-sided upon by the War Cabinet in December, 1918, and publicly announced in the same month, Grants are being made by the Board of Education for courses of higher education at universities, polytechnics, and other public educational institutions. I cannot say at present how many ex-officers and men will receive assistance under this scheme, but I am sure that the money will be well spent in the national interest.


Cannot as much be said for every one of the items of expenditure, and if no beginning is ever to be made in cutting down, when is a saving to-be effected?


That is a matter of opinion. My hon. Friend is justified in-having one opinion; I have another opinion on this point. I think the money is very well spent. I may add that no-officer and no man under this scheme receives a Grant for higher education unless he can prove to the satisfaction of a competent committee, whose work comes under my review subsequently, (1) that he needs assistance, and (2) that he is capable of profiting by the course offered.


Is it not the case that by the action of the trade unions many of those who obtain such training in technical colleges are prevented from obtaining employment? [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"]


I am not aware of that.


Is it not the case that the Minister of Labour answered that yesterday?


If so, there is no reason. to ask it again.