HC Deb 07 October 1942 vol 383 cc1195-6
19 and 20. Mr. David Adams

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (1) what higher education establishments in West Africa remain able to carry on their work; whether steps are being taken to have restored the premises taken for other purposes by the authorities; and whether he will bring into review the whole subject of higher education facilities in West Africa;

(2), whether Umuahia College is still requisitioned by the authorities; and is he aware of the harm done to West African education by requisitioning these buildings' for purposes of less importance than education?

The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Harold Macmillan)

A number of secondary and post-secondary educational institutions in West Africa have been requisitioned, either wholly or in part, for war purposes, but it would not be in the public interest to give details. In some cases alternative accommodation has been provided. I can assure my hon. Friend that the questions of the restoration of the buildings to their original purpose and of the provision of alternative accommodation are being actively pursued. With regard to the last part of the first Question, this matter is engaging the attention of my Noble Friend.

Mr. Adams

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that to requisition a college, scatter the students and take the property for other purposes is very reactionary in any event?

Mr. Macmillan

I very much deplore it, but the war itself is a very reactionary measure.

Mr. J. J. Davidson

Has this property been taken in order to carry on successfully the prosecution of the war, and, if so, is not that already done in many schools in the country?