HC Deb 01 May 1922 vol 153 cc965-7
46. Sir J. BUTCHER

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can state how many of the 26,470 ex-service men who were sent to the universities for study at the expense of the State have been successful in obtaining employment; and what courses of study have proved most efficacious in enabling these students to obtain employment?

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

I am not at present in a position to answer the first part of the question. Steps have, however, been taken to obtain information as regards students who have completed their courses. As regards the latter part of the question, the careers towards which these students' courses have been directed are so diverse in character, and employment in different trades and professions is so potently affected by the temporary fluctuations of industry and commerce, that no reliable comparison can at this stage be instituted between one course of study and another as to their relative efficacy in enabling students to obtain settled employment.


When will the right hon. Gentleman be in a position to answer the first part of the question?


I hope soon to be in a position to do so. I have already received information with respect to some 700 students, and the results have been very satisfactory.

Sir J. D. REES

Is it certain that any of these courses of study have proved efficacious in enabling these students to obtain employment?


Yes, Sir, absolutely.


Could the right hon. Gentleman say approximately how many of these men have been successful in obtaining employment—whether they are many more than 700 or not?


Yes, Sir. I have merely received replies from 12 colleges or institutions, and those replies only affect 700 students. The replies in respect of those 700 are entirely satisfactory.

47. Sir J. D. REES

asked the President of the Board of Education whether the names of ex-officers who have been, and are, receiving university education at the expense of the taxpayers, are anywhere, and, if so, where, available in order that the taxpayers may be enabled to judge whether they are persons to whom this form of public assistance should properly be given; and will he give the names of the Board of Selection which exercises this patronage on behalf of the taxpayer?


The names of students to whom awards have been made under the scheme for the higher education of ex-service students are not published, nor do I think that it is desirable that they should be published. About 40 per cent, of these students had been commissioned officers and about 60 per cent, had served in the ranks. Great care has been taken that awards should only be made to men who would derive adequate benefit from them, and whose circumstances are such as to warrant assistance from the State. Every applicant was required to make a statutory declaration as to his financial position. All awards have been made upon the recommendation of the head of the college or institution which the student desired to enter, and a further recommendation from a specially appointed local committee at each university centre, composed of university representatives. All proposed awards have been submitted to me personally before being made.

Sir J. D. REES

How is the taxpayer to inform himself as to the distribution of this patronage, if my right hon. Friend denies the information as to the names of those selected?

Captain GEE

Will the right hon. Gentleman see that the names of all persons who are in receipt of pensions from the Indian Civil Service will be published so that the taxpayers can see whether they are entitled to them?


I shall be glad confidentially to tell the hon. Baronet the names, in order that he may satisfy himself personally that due care has been taken. I have personally gone through the qualifications of every one of these students, and have satisfied myself that they are fit recipients of this grant; but I shall be very glad to show the hon. Baronet the names.


Would the hon. Baronet have any money to pay his taxes if these men had not fought for him?

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