HC Deb 17 July 1923 vol 166 cc2041-2
51. Mr. FISHER

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the Government mean to provide any additional grants for the universities of Oxford and Cambridge during the current financial year; and, if so, whether a Supplementary Estimate will be introduced for the purpose?

The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Sir William Joynson-Hicks)

The answer to the first part of the question is in the affirmative and to the second part in the negative.


Are we to assume that the additional grants to be made available for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge are to be deducted from the provision already voted by Parliament for the other Universities and University Colleges upon the Treasury grants, and if this be so will my right hon. Friend undertake to reconsider the matter in view of the grave difficulties these Universities are experiencing in meeting the demands now made upon them?


I understand that there is a considerable accumulation which has not been utilised at the moment. I am hoping that such grants as we may be able to give to the Universities may be taken temporarily at all events out of that accumulation.


Is the Financial Secretary aware that this accumulation is a comparatively small sum, and it is very important that the University Grants Committee should be able to hold back a certain sum to meet unexpected contingencies which may arise in the course of the year; and does not my right hon. Friend think that it would be a very disastrous precedent if this sum were to be raided?

52. Mr. FISHER

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware of the serious extent to which the development of higher education in this country is being impeded by the inadequate incomes of the universities, which even prevent them from maintaining their libraries at a reasonable standard of efficiency; and whether, in view of the great national importance of improving and developing the provision of university education, he will consider the restoration of the grant for universities and colleges in England, Wales and Scotland to the figure at which it stood in the Estimates of 1921–22?


I would refer my right hon. Friend to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for West Newcastle on the 28th June.