HC Deb 24 March 1920 vol 127 cc392-3
29. Sir M. CONWAY

asked the Minister of Labour if all ex-service students entered at British universities for the purpose of proceeding to degrees receive their Government grants through the Board of Education, with the sole exception of those entered for degrees in veterinary medicine; if, while these students pass the same matriculation examination as do other university students and enter the university on the same footing as other students, attending the same courses as the medical students during their first two years, nevertheless students preparing for degrees in veterinary medicine still continue to receive from £30 to £40 per annum less than do those students of corresponding status whose grants come through the Board of Education, notwithstanding the assurance given that the Government grants awarded by the Ministry of Labour to these university students should be equal in all respects?

Mr. PARKER (Lord of the Treasury)

There are two classes of ex-service students at British universities who do not receive their Government grants through the Board of Education. These are, on the one hand, students in agricultural science, and, on the other hand, students in veterinary medicine. The former receive their grants through the Ministry of Agriculture, the latter through the Ministry of Labour. The arrangement under which veterinary students obtain their grants through the Ministry of Labour was made in the interests of the profession, and with the concurrence of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. No assurance has been given that the Government grants to university students in veterinary medicine should be equal in all respects to those awarded to other classes of university students. All cases are decided upon their merits, and the private resources of applicants are examined with a view to ensuring that the grants awarded should be adequate for reasonable maintenance, and should not entail any unnecessary expenditure of public funds. If a student feels that the amount of his award is inadequate, he can appeal for an increase within the maximum permissible. The maximum annual awards permissible are the same, whether the grant be made by the Ministry of Labour or the Board of Education.


Is it not the case that students in the University of Liverpool proceeding to veterinary degrees have to take exactly the same course, lasting five years, as medical students, and that during the first two years they have identically the same course; and whether it is not the case that they were given to understand they would receive exactly the same grants as are received by medical students?


I trust my hon. Friend will put that question down. I am afraid he knows more about this than I do.