HC Deb 09 April 1925 vol 182 cc2419-20
65. Captain BENN

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is prepared to make inquiry as to the methods of the distribution of the Scottish Education Fund, with special reference to the varying incidence of expenditure in rural and urban districts?

Captain ELLIOT (Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, Scotland)

I have been asked to reply. The draft of a Minute providing for the distribution of the balance of the Education (Scotland) Fund during the year 1925–26 will be circulated to education authorities immediately for their observations. That seems to my right hon. Friend the most practical form of inquiry which it would be possible to institute at this stage.

Captain BENN

If I were able to bring to the notice of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the opinion and desire of one of the leading educational authorities in Scotland, would he then make the inquiry for which I have asked?

Captain ELLIOT

I am sure that my right hon. Friend would be most willing to consider any representations which were brought forward by a leading educational authority, but I cannot pledge him to the setting up of an inquiry.

66. Captain BENN

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is prepared to set up a committee to inquire into the constitution of the Scottish Education Fund and the method by which the amount of it is determined?

Captain ELLIOT

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend has no reason to believe that there is any such general desire for an amendment of the existing law as would justify the setting up of a special committee. But he is, of course, ready to consider any representation which the hon. Member may make.

Captain BENN

Would that inquiry permit the local authorities to ask for a revision of the basis on which the amount of the fund should be determined?

Captain ELLIOT

They will be invited to submit their observations, but whether it is useful to submit observations of so wide a nature is a matter for the authorities to consider.

Captain BENN

Is it not rather a matter for the Government to consider whether they would take observations of such a wide nature into serious account?


Is it not a fact that the basis on which the amount is determined is a statutory one and is fixed?