HC Deb 17 February 1948 vol 447 cc984-5
43. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Labour why grants, paid by his Department to ex-Service men studying under the Further Education Scheme, are less than similar grants paid by the Ministry of Education; and whether, in view of the dissatisfaction among students on this point, he will adjust these grants to a scale conforming to that of the Ministry of Education.

Mr. Isaacs

The grants paid by the Ministry of Education are calculated in relation to university costs, which do not affect the courses for which I am responsible. They also include the cost of books, for which payment is made separately by my Department. Any adjustments to meet the occasional anomalies which arise would only produce further anomalies.

Mr. Beswick

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that in certain cases men receiving grants from his Department go to universities? Will he consider the case of a constituent of mine who sits next to a man in one of the London colleges, one man receiving a grant from the Ministry of Labour and the other man receiving a grant from the Ministry of Education, both with identical family commitments, one of whom receives £70 a year more than the other? Does he not agree that that sort of case is bound to cause dissatisfaction?

Mr. Isaacs

There are other circumstances. For example, I am not quite sure whether both men have to pay for their books or not. However, if my hon. Friend will let me have a specific case, I will give him a specific answer.

Mr. Wilson Harris

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider that the grants given by the Ministry of Education are barely adequate to cover a student's necessary obligations, and will he give serious attention to the question of raising his Ministry's grants to that level, because nothing less than the Ministry of Education grant is adequate for them?

Mr. Isaacs

I promise to look into any cases submitted to me to see whether there is any injustice.

Mr. H. Hynd

Will my right hon. Friend examine the case, which is well known to his Department and to the Ministry of Education, concerning the College of Estate Management just across the road?

Mr. Isaacs

Yes, if my hon. Friend will tell me what that specific case is.