HC Deb 26 June 1924 vol 175 cc572-3
36. Mr. ALDEN

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the last inquiry into the whole question of technical education dates back to the year 1881: and whether, in view of the importance of the subject, he will consider the advisability of instituting a new inquiry into the whole question of technical instruction in relation to the problem of education generally?


It is true that no general investigation into technical education has been undertaken since the year 1881; but I have no reason to suppose that there is any widespread demand for the institution of a similar inquiry now, and I am myself of opinion that more advantage is to be expected from the sectional inquiries into different departments of technical education which are now being undertaken in many places than from a general investigation of the kind suggested by my hon. Friend.


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it would be advisable to hold such an inquiry, in view of the necessity of training boys for the building trade and similar trades?


Is it not the fact that for 40 years since that inquiry great attention has been paid to the whole subject, and a great advance in knowledge has been made, and that a general in- quiry of this sort might much more hinder than advance the operations of the local authorities?


I am perfectly prepared to consider the matter, but at present there is no great demand for it. Sectional inquiries, such as that suggested by the hon. Member for Barrow (Mr. D. G. Somerville) are going on.


Has the right hon. Gentleman received any deputation from any of the technical colleges, or from the Association of Technical Institutions?


Not on that question. I have not been asked for such an inquiry.