HC Deb 27 May 1946 vol 423 cc823-4
55. Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that a fully trained and experienced woman is unable to obtain admission to a university or college to study for the National Diploma in Dairying before 1948; and what action he is taking to improve the facilities for agricultural higher education.

The Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Thomas Williams)

I am aware of the circumstances of this case. The Committee on Higher Agricultural Education, which reported on 1st February, and whose report I am now considering with the authorities concerned, did not anticipate a need for any considerable permanent increase in the facilities for higher agricultural education at the undergraduate level. At the same time, centres of higher agricultural education are doing all they can to cope with the present abnormal demand for courses, and in accordance with the Government's general policy, first preference as regards the session beginning in October next is being given to applications from ex-Service personnel.

Lieut.-Commander Joynson-Hicks

Can the right hon. Gentleman inform us whether, quite apart from next session in October next, there will be any hope, in fact, next year?

Mr. Williams

I am afraid I could give no definite guarantee but, perhaps there will be more hope in October, 1947, than in 1946.

Mr. Eccles

We may have a different Government then. But does that reply mean that girls from the W.L.A. will be at the end of the queue behind girls coming out of the three Services?

Mr. Williams

I did not say anything of the kind. Indeed, I think they are on a par.

Hon. Members

Are they?

Mr. De la Bére

Could we know where they are?