HC Deb 23 August 1945 vol 413 cc758-61
3. Lieut.-Colonel Sir Ian Fraser

asked the Minister of Labour whether following the scheme for releasing arts and theological students from the Services, he can now announce a scheme for the release of articled clerks to solicitors and accountants, persons studying to become barristers or surveyors and other professional students.

Mr. Isaacs

The special arrangements for the release of certain arts and theological students are based upon the immediate need in the national interest of reviving arts courses at universities, and of meeting the needs of the churches. I am looking into the position, but I am not at present able to extend these arrangements to other classes.

Sir I. Fraser

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that a great many students' courses start in October and that they miss a whole year when they cannot start then? Does not the nation need these professional men very badly?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir; that point is under consideration and I shall give full weight to it.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

Does not the same urgency which the right hon. Gentleman says applies to art students apply also to science students?

Mr. Isaacs

There is another Question on the Paper dealing with that point.

Dr. Little

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the fact that the university and theological colleges begin in October, and will he make the arrangements as early as possible so that students will be free to enter?

Mr. Isaacs

It is certainly the intention, if anything can be done, to do it at such a time as it may be useful.

Mr. Stephen

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Scotland, so far as the training of teachers is concerned, the year begins in September, and will he make arrangements accordingly?

Mr. Isaacs

That question had better be addressed to the Secretary of State for Scotland.

7. Sir Waldron Smithers

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the fact that approved arts students and clergy students are to be released from the Forces immediately in order to resume their university courses, the same facilities for early release may be granted to medical, science and engineering students.

23. Mr. Henderson Stewart

asked the Minister of Labour if, in view of the need for the maximum number of science students at the universities, in order that the country may be technically equipped for the future, he will consider offering special facilities for the early release of Servicemen who have begun their university courses in science before joining the Armed Forces.

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir; the decision to release arts and theological students as already announced was taken in view of the immediate need to revive arts courses at the universities and to meet the serious shortage of ministers of religion. Such considerations do not apply to medical, science and engineering students, for whom a scheme of reservation and deferment has been in operation throughout the war.

Sir W. Smithers

If the Government really want to improve research and help industry, is it not necessary that these students should be released as soon as possible?

Mr. Isaacs

Medical students have been reserved throughout the war on the basis of a quota equal to the annual pre-war intake of medical students. Science and engineering students have been eligible to obtain deferment through the joint recruiting boards, and the pre-war annual intake of students has been more than maintained. There has been no deferment in the last three years for art students.

Colonel Ropner

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the great shortage of doctors?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, Sir; and it is hoped that we shall be able to meet that position by future demobilisation of the Forces and making use of the doctors who become redundant.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

In view of the need for developing the export trade, is there not special need for increasing the number of trained technical experts in British industry, and are not scientific schools, therefore, of first priority?

Mr. Isaacs

There is the same need for getting a sufficient number of trained technical builders and workers of other classes. The whole matter is being examined together, as it is impossible to separate one section from another.

18. Sir John Boyd Orr

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will arrange for the demobilisation of university students from the Fighting Forces in time for them to resume their studies when the classes open in October.

19. Mr. Wilson Harris

asked the Minister of Labour whether, in view of the end of hostilities in the Far East, he wall accelerate the demobilisation of students whose university courses have been broken by military service, with a view to their resuming work for their degrees in the October term.

25. Mr. S. O. Davies

asked the Minister of Labour what steps have been taken to assure that university students, whose scholastic careers have been interrupted by the war, will be free to resume their studies at the beginning of the next college year.

Mr. Isaacs

University students for Arts Courses who have served approximately three years in the Armed Forces and are of scholarship standard are being offered release in Class B so that they may, as far as possible, resume their studies in October.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that these releases are over and above the 3,000 releases of Arts students already announced?

Sir J. Boyd Orr

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider giving priority to medical and science students who were in reserved categories but who volunteered and were accepted for service with the Fighting Forces?

Mr. Isaacs

I am afraid I cannot add to the answer I have already given.

27. Sir Robert Young

asked the Minister of Labour whether, under Class "B" conditions of demobilisation for 3,000 students of arts subjects in universities whose studies were interrupted by the war, such institutions as the Architectural Association School in London are included in the term "universities."

Mr. Isaacs

No, Sir. The Architectural Association School is not part of the University of London or one of its constituent colleges.

Sir R. Young

Why should not students in colleges like this be included among the arts students in universities?

Mr. Isaacs

I am afraid that is a matter of opinion and I would not like to express one upon it.