HC Deb 01 July 1943 vol 390 cc1772-3
42. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he will recommend to the Government of India to take immediate steps, in concert with the Provincial Governments and, if possible, with the Indian States, to review the position of education in India with a view to providing edudation facilities for all Indian children within in years of the cessation of hostilities, and to effect a drastic reduction of adult illiteracy?

Mr. Amery

The hon. Member can rest assured that his desire for educational progress in India is fully shared by the Indian Governments and Legislatures in whom the responsibility in this field is vested.

Mr. Sorensen

While that is no doubt true, may I ask whether we could have some evidence of a constructive plan to deal with this urgent question over the next few years?

Mr. Amery

I believe that all the Governments concerned are actively intersted in promoting education in so far as circumstances allow.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is it not a fact that educational progress in India has been hampered by the disbandment some 16 years ago of the Indian educational service, and will my right hon. Friend seriously consider setting up again some all-Indian educational service?

Mr. Amery

The matter is primarily confined to the Provinces under the Government of India Act.

Mr. Sorensen

Is it not true that the fact remains that after many years of British opportunity only 15 per cent. of the population are literate?

Commander Locker-Lampson

And will my right hon. Friend educate Gandhi?

Mr. Molson

Is it not the case that education has been a transferred subject since 1920?

Mr. Amery

Yes, Sir.