HC Deb 14 October 1941 vol 374 cc1234-5
40. Mr. McNeil

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will give an assurance that Glasgow evacuees will not be moved from Blair Atholl Castle now their present quarters, in order to accommodate boys at a preparatory school; and will he direct Perth County Council to requisition and reserve all accommodation at the castle for evacuees from industrial South-West Scotland?

Mr. Johnston

I can assure the hon. Member that the Glasgow children now in Blair Castle will not be removed from the accommodation which they now occupy. With regard to the second part of the Question, before any suggestion was made that any additional accommodation in Blair Castle should be reserved for Glasgow children the West Downs School, whose premises have had to be taken for use as an emergency hospital, had begun negotiations with the Blair Castle trustees with a view to taking over the unoccupied portion of the castle. Until the result of these negotiations is known, I should not feel justified in agreeing that the additional accommodation should be requisitioned.

Mr. McNeil

Does not the Minister agree that, while this school is in some difficulty, since they come from a reception area it must be easier to get alternative accommodation in its own area than to run the risk of depriving children from the heavy industrial districts of such accommodation as exists?

Mr. Johnston

As the hon. Gentleman knows, there are two sides to this Question, and I think that the answer I have given ought to satisfy him that every possible precaution has been taken to ensure that the evacuees presently in Blair Castle shall not be removed.

Sir Cooper Rawson

Why have some of these schools been buffeted about from one part of the country to another? Some of the boys in this school come from Brighton, and they have no continuity of tenure.