HC Deb 16 March 1938 vol 333 c398
24. Mr. Day

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies the number of schools in West Africa that are managed by missionary societies emanating from other countries; and whether the Government exercise any control over the source of the supplies used in these schools for educational purposes?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

There are many missionary schools in West Africa provided by missionary societies whose membership includes foreign as well as British adherents, and I do not think it would be possible to obtain the information asked for by the hon. Member Legislation exists in the West African Colonies providing for the inspection and supervision by Government officers of all educational activities in the dependencies.

Mr. Day

In view of the loss of prestige of British trade in West Africa by the use of foreign books and materials in these schools, cannot the right hon. Gentleman, see that British books and materials are used?

Mr. Ormsby-Gore

It is extremely difficult. There are international conventions regarding the freedom of missionary societies. Take a body like the Seventh Day Adventists, which is partly American and partly British. I think it would be impossible for me to say that all their books should be printed in England rather than in America.

Commander Locker-Lampson

Can my right hon. Friend say whether British missionaries are not allowed in Abyssinia? I do not see why foreign missionaries should be allowed in West Africa.