HC Deb 15 February 1926 vol 191 cc1504-5
7 and 8. Mr. HAYES

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) the number of the staff appointed to the prospective college in the Gold Coast Colony; what are the emoluments of the members of the staff and at what periods are furloughs provided: and whether his approval was obtained for the engaging of a staff so many years before their services were likely to be required;

(2) whether the contract for the building of Achimota College, in the Gold Coast Colony, will be carried out by the original firm upon the terms of the contract, and when it is anticipated the college will be opened; and whether, seeing that the staff was appointed before the college was erected or pupils obtained, at a heavy charge on the revenues of the colony, and that there is no prospect of employing this staff until, at the earliest, 1927, he will consider the advisability of suggesting that the teachers should undertake some work in the existing educational institutions of the colony?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the COLONIES (Mr. Amery)

With the hon. Member's permission. I will answer his two questions together. The contract for the construction of Achimota College has been terminated and the work will be carried on by the Public Works Department of the Colony. It is hoped that a substantial portion of the work enabling some 200 pupils to be accommodated will be finished by November, 1927. The staff already engaged number 24, and their salaries for the first year total some £15,000. They will be given leave after 18 or 24 months, according to circumstances. As was explained by ray hon. Friend the Member for Stafford in his reply to the hon. Member on 7th December last, the staff were engaged with my approval and on the advice of my Advisory Committee, so that they might have a year or so to acquaint themselves with the language, customs and institutions of the people before they had to teach them. In view of the unfortunate delay in completing the college buildings, it has been found advisable to employ a number of the staff as teachers at the existing training college at Accra.


Is it not the case that the whole of the staff at present engaged at this college are working very hard, not only in training themselves, but in educational work on the spot?


I think that is the case.


Is it not the rule of this House that hon. Members should make themselves responsible for the facts which are alleged in questions asked by them, and is it not especially desirable that this should be done in cases where ignorance of the facts leads to a slur upon a peculiarly devoted and hard-working public body of workers?


I do not read this question as containing any slur. As a matter of fact it has brought out a useful statement from the Minister.


Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am much obliged to the Minister for what he has said. What I was afraid of was that the suggestion in the question was that they were being paid when they had no work to do.


The suggestion in the question is one which the Government have carried out already. The work they are doing has been stated.