HC Deb 10 July 1930 vol 241 cc606-7
38. Mr. HANNON

asked the President of the Board of Education whether his attention has been called to the resolution unanimously adopted at the 12th Congress of Chambers of Commerce of the British Empire, recently held at the Guildhall, recommending an interchange of text-books dealing with the Empire between the various education departments within the Empire; if his department has promoted any scheme for the extension of teaching on subjects relating to the Empire in schools in England and Wales; and if he can indicate the extent to which the Empire text-book, The British Empire since 1783, has been adopted for use by education authorities in this country?


On a point of Order. Would not this Question be better dealt with by correspondence, instead of wasting the time of the House?


That is not a matter for me to decide. It is a matter for the hon. Member who puts down the Question.


On that point of Order. May I respectfully submit that this is a question of wide public importance?


As I have said, these are matters to be decided by the hon. Member who puts down the Question.

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Sir Charles Trevelyan)

My attention has been called to the resolution mentioned. As regards the second part of the question, I would refer the hon. Member to the Board's handbook of "Suggestions for Teachers," and their recently published pamphlet on the "Teaching of Empire Geography," of which I am sending him a copy. I have no information on the last part of the question.


While expressing my gratitude to the right hon. Gentleman for sending me a copy of the handbook—which I already possess—may I ask him whether he, as President of the Board of Education, is giving serious attention to the importance of spreading information about the British Empire in the elementary schools of this country?


Information about The Empire is already an important part of education.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether a textbook on Empire Free Trade has been circulated down in Norfolk?


Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that the desire expressed in this question to corrupt the minds of the children, by biased historical teaching, is to be deprecated?