HC Deb 04 June 1946 vol 423 cc1800-1
41. Mr. Charles Smith

asked the Minister of Labour what he estimates will be the number of men and women, respectively, who will begin to read for a first degree at the beginning of the next university year in the autumn of 1946; what the comparable figures were for autumn 1938; and how many of those referred to in the first part of the Question will be ex-Service personnel.

Mr. Ness Edwards

I am not in a position to make such an estimate as regards the autumn of 1946. As regards the autumn of 1938, I am informed that the figures were roughly 9,000 men and 3,000 women. The number of ex-Service personnel entering Universities in the autumn of 1946 will undoubtedly be large, but cannot be definitely known until September.

Mr. Smith

Will the horn Gentleman give an indication of when he will be in a position to give a reply to the first part of the Question?

Mr. Edwards

As the applications are now being received by the Ministry it is impossible to estimate the number that will be forthcoming, but it will be very large indeed.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Does the hon. Gentleman anticipate that the proportion of ex-Servicemen will reach the 90 per cent. suggested in the recent circular?

Mr. Edwards

We are afraid that in many cases it will far exceed that figure.