HC Deb 23 February 1948 vol 447 cc1649-80

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,781,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1948, for the salaries and expenses of the Ministry of Education, and of the various establishments connected therewith, including sundry grants in aid, grants in connection with physical training and recreation, and grants to approved associations for youth welfare.

5.23 p.m.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

In asking the Committee to approve this Supplementary Estimate, I think Members will be mainly interested in the two subheads referred to as subhead E and subhead H6. Subhead E deals with the additional provision required for the further education and training scheme. The original Estimate under this head was for nearly £10 million. Inevitably, this was something of a shot in the dark, because we cannot accurately estimate in advance the number of new awards which will need to be made. Our estimates for the financial year have to be prepared some 16 months in advance, and while we can then make a reasonable estimate of the cost of continuing awards, we can only make an intelligent guess as to the number of new awards.

The Committee will, I feel, be glad to know that we have made, under this scheme, over 54,000 awards, of which over 40,000 are still current. This compares—and I give this merely as a comparison to show the work done, and not to draw a moral—with about 26,500 awards made after the 1914–1918 war. That shows the size of the job that has to be undertaken. About half this number of awards—some 27,000—have been made in 1947. Because of the speed up of demobilisation the scheme has tended to reach its peak rather sooner than was originally expected, and I should think that after next autumn the number of new applications will begin to decline. At the moment we are still receiving new applications at the rate of 300 to 500 a week.

During the past year the procedure for paying grants has been streamlined, and the criticisms which were made in the House in the autumn and winter of 1946–47 have been practically eliminated. Indeed, we are now receiving congratulatory letters, and as I think this is almost unprecedented I ought to give the Committee a sample of the type of letter that is being received. Here is one which comes from Sussex and, therefore, cannot be associated with my native county. The writer says: I would like to take this opportunity of thanking you for the speed and lack of 'red tape' with which your Department has handled my application When in these days so much is being said about "red tape" that, I think, ought to go on the record. Here is another letter which comes from Manchester, and which I could not resist quoting to the Committee: I want to take this opportunity of stating my appreciation of the help which this Scheme has been to me. Further than that, I wish to say how grateful I am to the people concerned in your Department for the prompt and efficient way in which they have despatched cheques and answered any inquiries As one who comes from Lancashire, I like that phrase "despatched cheques." Perhaps that is responsible for the congratulatory note.

Mr. Cove (Aberavon)

Are there any letters from Wales?

Mr. Tomlinson

There are so many from Wales that I did not dare to bring them along. From two points of view I am convinced that the Committee will regard this additional £1,781,000 for which we are now asking as a good investment. It is good from the point of view of the State, because it will help to ensure a supply of men and women trained to occupy important positions in the professional, industrial, and commercial life of the country. From the point of view of the individual, I would emphasise that, in dealing with these awards, we treat each case as an individual human problem. This expenditure enables us to make good opportunities which men and women have lost as a result of their service during the war. I may, perhaps, be forgiven fore quoting from another letter which, I think, demonstrates that we are interpreting what was our duty under this scheme when it was originally introduced. The letter comes from Purley in Surrey. It states: I am much obliged to you for your letter of 13th February with regard to my son, David, and the grant under the further Education and Training scheme. If you will allow me to say so, I do not think that I have ever seen such a sympathetic letter from any Government Department before. If this is the way in which the Awards Branch of the Ministry of Education works, all I can say is that it is most admirable. The letter concludes: Many thanks. I have quoted that letter not in order that the Ministry of Education might receive any kudos, but because I wanted to pay my testimony to the staff who have been responsible for the administration of this scheme and to the human way in which they have carried out their duties.

Under subhead H.6—grant in aid to the Victoria and Albert Museum for the purchase of the contents of Ham House—the sum involved is £90,000. Here, again, I think that we have an investment that will contribute to the interest and education of future generations. The house contains an unrivalled collection of 17th century furniture and other works of art. Since the contents were considered to be worth about £150,000 in 1930, I think that there is no doubt that the nation is being well served at the present price of £90,000. There is one other item on that side of the ledger to which I would call attention. That is teachers' pensions. It looks a large sum of money to ask for in a Supplementary Estimate, but this additional expenditure could not be included in the original Estimate, as the Act of 1947 increasing pensions had not then been passed. This is called for because of that Act of Parliament.

Turning to the opposite side of the ledger, I think that I should refer to two of the savings that we expect to make on our original Estimate. The first is under subhead D.2—grants and loans in respect of aided and special agreement schools. This refers to an expenditure which could be incurred by making grants and loans to the managers and governors of voluntary schools under Sections 102 to 105 of the 1944 Act. The reason we expect savings under this heading is that under present circumstances, labour and materials are not available for making as many improvements to existing voluntary schools or for building as many new aided and special agreement schools as we would like. The other saving, under subhead M of £168,000 is on repayments to the Ministry of Works for temporary school accommodation. The saving under this heading is due to the fact that the H.O.R.S.A. programme has fallen behind schedule.

The main reason for the delay has been, as the Committee know, the shortage of labour both on the building side and on the technical side—shortage of materials and components—and, above all, the fuel crisis of a year ago. This crisis caused a great set-back, but we have overcome its effects and the rate of progress has now been greatly accelerated. On the progress made to date, and provided there is no unforeseen setback such as occurred last year, I think that by next September, when the full effect of the school-leaving age comes to be felt in the schools, the position will be much better than it was last September. While the full programme of the Ministry of Works will not have been completed by that date, it should be possible to provide fairly adequately for all the additional children who will be in the schools as a result of the raising of the school leaving age.

Here, I should say that the delay in completing the Horsa programme has not been the cause of the shortage of accommodation at the lower end of the schools. The increase in the birth rate and the effects of the war would have created difficulties in infant schools whether we had raised the age or not. I shall be glad to answer any question that may be raised with regard to any other item on which Members of the Committee desire information.

The Deputy-chairman (Sir Robert Young)

I allowed the Minister to speak on these items of anticipated saving as a matter of explanation, but I must point out that they are not under discussion in the consideration of this Supplementary Estimate.

5.35 p.m.

Mr. R. A. Butler

My acute mind had observed that. I was hoping, Sir Robert, that after the latitude allowed on the question of savings, I might have been allowed to occupy the attention of the Committee longer, but you have truncated some of my observations by your remarks. I cannot see that there is in the Supplementary Estimates very much that is controversial or in the nature of a gold mine for those of us who enjoy the art of probing Ministers on Supplementary Estimates. I have no doubt, however, that several matters will come up on which we shall want an answer. I congratulate the Minister on carrying on the tradition of the Board of Education as it was in the old days—as an office of great humanity with the minimum of red tape and the ultimate amount of streamlined efficiency. If other Government Departments had such a tradition to carry on, no doubt, the whole administration would be in a much better way.

From the manner in which the Minister read out confidential letters, sent, no doubt, for publication—I do not doubt that—he has before him, in the event of the untimely end of the administration, a perfectly good job as a seller of patent medicines. I feel that he will collect testimonials in exactly the same way and put them out with as much skill as he has done today in supporting his excellent administration. It is a source of great satisfaction to us that the machinery for dealing with the education and training scheme has been so efficiently conducted. There was, as the Committee know, considerable doubt about the procedure before, and it is very satisfactory that these young men and others in receipt of these grants are receiving their money so regularly. We shall watch this matter, but we are satisfied that the position is very much better than it was.

The number of awards to which the Minister has drawn attention is very remarkable. I do not know whether he could break down the figures in any way to show the nature of the occupations for which these candidates are training. I do not want detailed figures, but some idea. I remember that when the present Foreign Secretary and I initiated this scheme—the Foreign Secretary was then Minister of Labour and I was Minister of Education—we tried to give opportunities to every type of person who wished to go in for training. I should be interested to hear how many ordinands have profited by the extremely generous terms offered by this scheme. If he could give an indication of those going into technical jobs in industry, at the other end, I should be very much obliged.

I have one query which I should like to ask. I have had one or two cases given to me of young ex-Service men who are already qualified as teachers and wish to take a degree. Is it quite impossible for a young man, who has already qualified as a teacher and, therefore, profited by one form of training, to take a degree at a university, which is a laudable ambition, and receive a further grant from the university training scheme?

Mr. Tomlinson

Might I deal with that point at once? That has been prohibited up to now where a teacher has received assistance in order to become a qualified teacher in the first instance.

Mr. Butler

If he has not received assistance he might be considered under this scheme.

Mr. Tomlinson


Mr. Butler

That is something, and it the Minister in his wisdom and kindness considers using some of this extra money for the purpose I should be grateful, but I must leave it to his own judgment as to whether it is to be carried out or not. The work that is being done by this scheme as a whole must not be underestimated by the Committee. It is a matter of great importance that the scheme should carry on, and I should like to know what sort of outlook the scheme has, because it is all tied up with the rate of demobilisation. If the Minister could give us any indication of the future I should be obliged.

We now come to item H.6, the purchase of Ham House. This imposes upon the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, for whom the Minister answers, a very heavy responsibility. I am glad that the Government have decided to make this purchase. This house must now be transformed from a private establishment into a public museum, and certainly very great difficulties will arise as the architecture is composed of a series of small rooms which contain many small objects. The house has a great tradition and history. It is said that a particu- larly rotten form of English Government, namely the Cabal Ministry, met there. If the Minister knows his history as well as the present Home Secretary, who was my associate at the Ministry of Education during the war, knew his, he will know that that Ministry was short-lived. I hope the present Minister of Education is not feeling unduly unhappy at his new acquisition, because it may well carry its traditions with it.

There is rather an interesting series of 17th century furniture in the house, and I hope in the final arrangement the director of the Victoria and Albert Museum will see it is shown to the best possible advantage. The difficulty of shaping private rooms for public exhibition has already been overcome with great success in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I should like to express our confidence in the management of that Museum, and I believe there is no better person than the Director to undertake the showing of this house.

Next comes subhead L.1—pensions for teachers. There is under subhead L.2 an additional sum required to meet the cases of refund of contributions to teachers leaving the profession. On the subject of teachers, may I ask the Minister whether he can give the Committee any statistics in regard to the number of married teachers who will be taking advantage of some of these facilities, to which reference is made in the Supplementary Estimate. If we could get an idea of the retirement of married teachers it would enable us to get more clearly in our heads the whole teacher problem, which in some respects looks very satisfactory. It looks particularly satisfactory in regard to the men, but very unsatisfactory in regard to the recruitment of young women. That is a major problem facing the future of education and educational reform.

If, in fact, the Ministry are estimating for a large number of married teachers to retire, it means that the situation on the women's side of the teaching profession is very serious indeed, and that would affect what the Minister referred to in the concluding stage of his remarks, namely, the infants' school, because I do not think that men, even the gallant ex-Service men who have faced death and danger, would face service in an infants' school. Perhaps the Minister may fall back on what I believe is the case in some countries, particularly America, where the rather older men are drafted to the infants' school. If he feels that is a possibility he has done something to overcome the difficulty, but it he does not feel that, he must make some observation on the subject of the number of married women teachers leaving the service. We hope that a considerable proportion of married women teachers will continue to be employed in the sector of the front which is most serious at the present time—the infant school sector.

I took the opportunity recently by correspondence in the Press to make known some views I had about the general operation of the administration in bringing into force the Act of 1944. If we examine subhead F we may have some cause for disappointment at the Ministry of Works not being so expeditious as we might have hoped. The great bulge of those who are entering the schools under the increased age will take place in September next, and it is quite clear from reading the Supplementary Estimates that the programme of the Ministry of Works is considerably behind. Last September, which was a critical moment, we all waited to see what the impact of the raising of the school age would be, and on the whole we got over those difficulties in what may be described as tolerable conditions.

The Deputy-Chairman

I am sorry to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but the item he is now discussing comes under anticipated saving, and it is not in Order unless it is connected up with the six items of expenditure.

Mr. Butler

I have conveyed my thoughts sufficiently and I would not wish to impinge upon your kindness, Sir Robert, to any greater extent. Therefore, I will turn my attention to the next item. If I refer to the College of Aeronautics I shall be similarly caught because that also comes under the heading of savings, and that would also apply to certain savings which are referred to earlier. It would be unwise for me to trespass any further on the Committee's attention, because on the main issue, which is administration, to which the Minister referred, I have put the points I wanted to, and it would not be possible to pursue that any further.

5.49 P.m.

Mr. Kenneth Lindsay (Combined English Universities)

There is little opportunity of saying much fortunately on these Estimates, although I congratulate my right hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) on his ingenuity in working in a little homily on the teachers and infants schools. I should like to say, as one of the critics of the administration of students' grants, that I welcome the complete change which has taken place since last year. There was a very serious congestion at one moment, and I can only say that in my mail I have had no complaints at all during the last year. The second concession which is very important and which the Government have made is that now they are not counting any earnings which a student makes. This is important in view of the fact that there are a number of students who work during the vacations to eke out their income, because there is one criticism, and one criticism only, and that is that in some cases the grant is not quite sufficient in view of the increased cost of living.

I should like to make one further suggestion to the Minister. These grants are a tremendous improvement upon what existed after the last war. I was one of those who received the grants, and so I can speak from personal experience. I would ask the Minister to consider some continuation of this type of scheme, in view of the discovery which has been made during the last three years that a large number of people somehow missed, during their school years, the desire or the opportunity of becoming teachers. It looks like a permanent fact that a number of people begin to decide when they are 20 or 30 years of age that they are prospective teachers. The consequence is that we have this list of ex-policemen, ex-prisoners-of-war, ex-silversmiths and others in all kinds of skilled occupations, becoming teachers because they really want to teach. Has the Minister's Department considered whether it is possible to carry on, in the postwar years, opportunities for this type of entrant to the profession?

The Ministry would be very wise to make a report upon the whole scheme. I know that the Department is very busy, but this scheme, when finished, may reveal, as the most important educational discovery of postwar Britain, the fact that, for some reason which I can never understand, 100,000 persons, most of them ex-Service men, desire to become teachers. Of that number, 40,000 were accepted, and many of the others are still waiting to enter emergency colleges. That fact is very much to our credit, particularly at a time when America, with all its riches, is experiencing a chronic shortage of male teachers. A very large number of our men wish to enter the teaching profession. I have been to many of these emergency colleges, and there is unanimous agreement that here is a group of older men who, for the first time in this age wish to teach, and whose enthusiasm is already infecting the schools. Would it not be good if the Ministry made a report upon the whole matter, and especially upon the human side of it, and let the fact be known not only in this country but in countries elsewhere?

The Government deserve congratulation from two angles regarding universities They have literally out-Barlowed the Barlow Report. There are double the numbers of students at universities in pure and applied science, and there is a 50 per cent. increase in the arts departments in the universities. Of those universities which I think I still represent, Birmingham and Durham have rather more than doubled their numbers, and Bristol and Manchester have almost doubled. What is more interesting is that very few of us expected that there would be not only 50 per cent. more men than in 1939, but also 65 per cent. more women. As this fact is not generally known I mention it in passing, without going into further figures. It is very difficult to keep in Order, as you will appreciate, Sir Robert

In the reference to the Further Education and Training Scheme there is a phrase at the end, a very interesting phrase, which is: Regard should be had to the absorptive capacity of the professions and industry When the grants are being made, somebody apparently has to see whether the professions and industry could absorb the students afterwards. I should doubt whether this phrase has been put into operation. Students have been taken more or less according to whether they were capable of going to the universities. There is a point that is worth bearing in mind; if the universities are to be recruited because persons can follow a definite career afterwards, that means goodbye to general education in the universities. The phrase about absorptive capacity ought to be looked at with some care. Perhaps the Minister would give us an indication—the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden made the same point—how the scheme is to be continued. I gather that it is now finished. There are 40,000 still continuing in it, but unless the young men were in the Services before September, 1947, they will not be eligible for the grant. Do I understand that unless a young man entered the Services before September, 1947, he will not be eligible for a further education and training grant?

Mr. Tomlinson

At the moment the scheme is continuing and we are receiving applications at the rate of 300 to 500 a week. Further education in this form will not continue for those who were recruited under the new National Service Act. It applies to all the other recruits.

Mr. Lindsay

We are really asking whether the Minister can give us an indication now—perhaps this is a little too early to ask him—what it is intended shall replace the present scheme. We all know that he has very wisely doubled the number of State scholarships. There are problems raised by that measure. Anybody who wins an open scholarship will automatically get it made up. This may mean that at least 60 per cent. of the students who go to universities will have their fees and maintenance wholly paid. That is an entirely new thing in British history and is very important. We want to know whether the new scholarship scheme will take the place of the Further Education and Training Scheme, or whether there is to be some supplement to it.

Can the Minister explain subhead D.I relating to grants for educational services and research? No reference was made to it but I presume it relates to direct grant schools. The estimate says afterwards: Further provision required for grants to secondary schools. I gather that refers to the direct grant schools. I am, therefore, in Order in saying that those who think that Bristol Grammar School, which produced Sir Oliver Franks, and other such schools in this country, still have a function to perform are glad to know that this £100,000 is being paid and that these schools are still preserving some of the standards of secondary education

5.58 p.m.

Dr. Barnett Stross (Hanley)

I propose to confine the few words I have to say to item H.6, which was picked out by my right hon. Friend for comment. I think we are all glad about this matter, and would like to see a very great extension of this type of activity by the Ministry of Education. Great historical collections should never be allowed to be dissipated, and on no account should be allowed to be sold abroad. Whatever be the circumstances of our present life and whatever hardships we have to face, we cannot afford to let other people have treasures of this description which are needed urgently so that future generations may understand the spaciousness and graciousness that once existed. Not all generations have had the advantage of good design at their disposal. We know that there have been times when houses and their contents have been fairly ugly and if we ever wanted to retain them it would be as museum specimens, not in the best sense of the term but as something to avoid.

This house and its contents are, however, among our most precious possessions. I cannot help saying that, in asking for an extension of this activity, one has to bear in mind how impoverished we are in the provinces so far as assistance from central sources is concerned. Whereas even before the war the gross assistance from different Government Departments to our national collections and actions of this type was over £1 million a year, the 770 provincial galleries and museums had about £400,000 a year. I will leave that, Sir Robert, if you feel that I am out of Order. I am grateful to you for having let me say what all of us outside the Metropolis feel very strongly.

Through this action the Minister is enabling the Victoria and Albert Museum to purchase a particular collection. The furnishings and items of furniture will not necessarily all have to stay in one house but might be offered on loan to outside institutions, because the Victoria and Albert Museum has this power in certain circumstances. Would the Minister be prepared to advise sympathetically that collections such as this, controlled by an organisation receiving its help in this way, might at some time or another be at the disposal of those in the provinces on loan if not in any other way? If he is able to say he feels sympathetically about it, I will sit down with this one last request. I hope he will use all his powers and influence to see that some of the inequalities from which we suffer are evened out as soon as possible.

6.2 p.m.

Commander Maitland (Horncastle)

During the discussion of Estimates we had some time ago a great many hon. Members were extremely interested in the inspectorate in the education system. I have since asked various questions which have indicated that there has been an increase in the inspectorate, which is a very proper and right thing. Judge of my surprise when I noticed that that does not appear to be the fact.

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. and gallant Gentleman is referring to D.I, which is one of the savings. The Committee is not entitled to discuss anything on page 40.

Commander Maitland

I apologise, Sir Robert. I thought I might be able to raise it under A. I. I would like to say this further, even though I appear to be overstepping the line, which I believe I am not—

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. and gallant Gentleman cannot bring that subject up under A.I.

Commander Maitland

I apologise, Sir Robert. I will leave the point.

Mr. B. A. Butler

Is it the case that the sum of £39,000 has no relation whatever to the inspectorate? May I ask the Minister if there is anything under the subhead "Salaries, etc.," which says: Additional provision required to meet increased scales of pay and extra duty allowances. relating to the inspectorate?

Mr. Tomlinson

I could not say at the moment whether the inspectors have had an increase in salaries during the 12 months. This relates to increases which have taken place in the rates of pay for certain sections of the administrative staff

The Deputy-Chairman

That subject is outside the scope of this Debate.

Mr. R. A. Butler

We have here subhead A.I, "Salaries, etc." in which we ar[...] asked in a revised estimate for £39,000 My hon. Friend is simply trying to ask whether the inspectors have had any share in this rise in salaries of £39,000.

The Deputy-Chairman

That comes under subhead B.I, "Inspection and Examination: Salaries, etc," and that is not included in this Estimate.

Commander Maitland

I am most grateful, Sir Robert, for your help. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman, as you said, will have an opportunity further to explain certain points, and perhaps you will allow him to do so when the time comes. I would like to associate myself with my right hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) and the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. K. Lindsay) in asking that we should have a little more information as soon as we can about the future of the further education and training scheme. I have always thought of it, probably quite wrongly, as something which will gradually fade away. I may be quite wrong and that may be my ignorance. I would like to know what the right hon. Gentleman has in mind about its future.

Lastly, he mentioned a very important point about accommodation for juniors having regard to the increase in the birthrate. I hope he is making an equal effort in regard to those small children for whom accommodation is so important as for those who are affected by the raising of the school leaving age. Perhaps I might have an answer when the Minister replies.

6.5 p.m.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham)

The right hon. Gentleman has lavished so many well-deserved encomiums on himself that it would be a work of supererogation for me to add to them and I will therefore cast in the wastepaper basket the lavish and fulsome address which I have prepared or perhaps reserve it for one of his colleagues. This Estimate has been received with very great pleasure. It is not very often that we receive an overestimate with pleasure but it is realised on all sides of the Committee that no money has been better spent than this money and that this scheme is working well.

I rise to ask the right hon. Gentleman a question under D. I of some importance to my constituency. It is with reference to the Hulme Grammar School, Oldham, a secondary school which has opted to be independent. The Hulme Grammar School, one of the oldest and most famous schools in the country, has been in operation over 100 years. Many of us in Oldham regret the governors' decision, although we realise that they are entitled to take it. We think that the school must certainly not lose by the taking. The result is that the school is now receiving its final block grant. For the purpose of receiving benefit under D.I, a school has to show a measure of insolvency, and in the computation of that insolvency, according to the interpretation now placed on the matter, it is only entitled to show the actual liabilities owing at the moment. The Committee know that almost every grammar school is in this position. Railings have been taken away and not replaced, roads have not been constructed, playing fields are below their normal standard and buildings have not had proper repairs. The interpretation of the word "outgoing" within the meaning of this clause and assessing payments under D.I is a matter of very real importance.

The Minister should have regard, and should say at once that he is prepared to have regard not merely to the actual payments incurred in the current financial year, but to those payments which through no fault of the school but wholly due to the war, have had to be withheld and will have to be complied with in the years to come. This is a perfectly legitimate claim which should be submitted under the heading of D.I, and it should be subject to very careful and friendly consideration by the Minister when assessing the block grant.

Mr. Cove

Has the school opted as an independent school outside the grant system?

Mr. Hale

Yes. In the current financial year, it is entitled to its final grant.

Mr. Cove

It ought to have stated a price before it opted.

6.9 p.m.

Mr. Wilson Harris (Cambridge University)

I am glad that the Minister has been able to give such a very satisfactory account of his stewardship. It would pain all of us to have to criticise him, and therefore it is particularly comforting to know that that necessity does not arise. If I had realised that he would equip himself so amply with unsolicited testimonials, I might have brought in my pocket a selection of letters also unsoli- cited, which do not display quite the same enthusiasm for the expeditious methods of the Ministry of Education. However, I agree that they belong to the past, though not the distant past, and I have no doubt that with the so called streamlined methods—the right hon. Gentleman's language is a little above my head—now in vogue, the situation will improve greatly. At any rate, I can endorse what the correspondence of the Minister have said about the sympathetic way in which communications to the Ministry are answered. The Ministry rejects reasonable requests with a grace and urbanity which almost makes one feel that one was quite improper in putting them forward, and that is more than can be said for all the Departments of His Majesty's Government.

There are two points I want to make. One is to follow what was said by the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. K. Lindsay) about absorptive capacity. I was interested a month or two ago in talking to two men who had just come up to Cambridge from the Forces. I asked them what they were reading. One said classics, and the other medieval history—neither of them an immediately utilitarian pursuit. Then I asked them what careers they proposed to take up, and neither of them knew. That is entirely proper, and I hope it will continue to be the case that grants will be given to men who want a university training and are prepared to wait until their second year, or some fairly advanced period of their university career, before they finally make up their minds what profession they will enter.

With regard to the Further Training Scheme, like other hon. Members I have been anxious about the future. The right hon. Gentleman said quite rightly that there could be no better investment than to provide this stream of men going through the universities and coming out of them to serve the State in various capacities, even if it be in the field of private enterprise. The need for that stream of men will be just as great three, four or five years hence as it was last year and as it is this year. Therefore, like other hon. Members who have taken part in this Debate, while I realise that this is not the occasion for a pronouncement on major policy by the right hon. Gentleman, I hope he will give us some indication as to the future in that respect.

Finally, there is one detail in connection with these Further Education Grants. They are given to men who have, in most cases, no other means at all and who have to depend on these grants for their maintenance during the university terms and during those rather long periods of vacation when they are not attending the university course. That means that in a man's first year he is provided for during the Long Vacation from June to October but, if he takes his degree at the end of his second year—as so many of these men do—and he enters the teaching profession, which means that he will not begin earning any money until September, he is left with this vacuum of three to four months during which nothing is coming in and he may be driven to incur debt which he will have to repay out of the not very ample earnings of his first year or two as a teacher.

I submit that a university course should be considered a little more liberally than is the case at present; that the vacation should be taken into account even if it is a vacation which fellows the end of a man's university course and that, therefore, the payment in his second year should not end in June but should be carried on until September if he is not earning before then. I know the spirit in which the Minister will receive that request, and therefore I make it with some confidence and I press it earnestly on his attention.

6.15 p.m.

Mr. Sidney Marshall (Sutton and Cheam)

I join in the congratulations to the Minister with regard to item E, because I think there is no one in the House or the country who would wish to see a diminishing expenditure on such a valuable contribution to the life of this nation, but I am concerned with one aspect of the recipients of these grants—the condition of the schools which they are attending at the present time, where they are now starting on the course which will eventually make them the recipients of these grants. In particular I am concerned with the condition of the Church of England schools, which are included in the development plan and which probably may be aided or controlled, and even come up for replacement This will not be decided by the Minister for some years and, in any case, it may not become effective until ten years hence, but many of the managers of these schools are concerned because they do not know what their position will be within the next few years and, therefore, are diffident about incurring any expense which eventually they may not be able to refute.

The Deputy-Chairman

I would be obliged if the hon. Member will tell me to which item he is speaking.

Mr. Marshall

I am speaking on scholarships and maintenance allowances allotted by the Minister under E, but, of course, I am concerned with a rather earlier age. It is a simple question, with which I am sure the Minister can deal under that Section. I only want to ask him whether it is—

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Member cannot ask the Minister to make a statement about ten years hence in respect of these matters.

Mr. Marshall

I did not do that, Sir Robert; I merely asked the Minister to give me some reply in regard to the development plan now before his Ministry. He could probably indicate some method of giving aid to these schools which will become aided or controlled at an earlier date than when the development plan comes into effect.

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Member must not pursue that point.

6.18 p.m.

Mr. Cove (Aberavon)

Could the Minister tell us something more about D.I? I am not clear about the purpose for which the money is being expended—how much goes to educational research and how much to the direct grant-aided schools. I should be sorry to find an increasing amount going to the latter at the expense, particularly of the full-aided schools in the secondary field. There is an imperative need for educational research. In this country we have been lagging far behind the United States of America, and we shall continue to do so unless the Ministry takes a much more active interest in this matter. We cannot afford to allow educational research to be purely the responsibility of private institutions and private bodies. The State must come much more actively in[...]o it, Whatever we may say, the direct grant-aided schools are not essentially research schools—as a matter of fact, they are no more research schools than are the ordinary main[...]ained grammar schools.

I wish to add my appreciation about what has happened in regard to the scholarships and maintenance allowances. There is much more satisfaction on that now than there was a year or two ago. There is, however, one point which I wish to raise on this part of the Supplementary Estimate. It was stated by the junior Burgess for Cambridge University (Mr. Wilson Harris) that one or two have gone in for classics, or, maybe, history and have no thought what future they might have. That statement was received with approbation by the Committee, but the vast bulk of students are much more concerned about what jobs they are going to have when the course is over. The present situation is that it is quite easy for men who take science courses or engineering and various branches of technology to be swallowed up in industry almost immediately. I understand there is a great need and call for them and plenty of opportunities, but in regard to the arts I am informed that the outlook is not so hopeful.

I do not know what liaison there is between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour, but I hope that co-operation will be very close. It is rather hard on students to be turned out of universities, even if they have had Government grants, and to find themselves stranded after their university courses are over. I know that the Government cannot compel employers to accept men who have had training in the universities, but, as far as I can gather, there is not quite enough active co-operation between those who educate these young men and women and those interested in their after careers. Of course I am in favour of extending these grants, and I am glad they have been given, but I hope the Government will not only show an interest in education of the students, but will also take more active interest in the occupations they are to have when their training is over. It is almost impossible to criticise the right hon. Gentleman. Even if he did wrong, we would all think he was doing right. However, I hope everything is being done to get occupations for these students after their training.

6.24 p.m.

Mr. Linstead (Putney)

I must take up the point made by the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove). I understood him to say that he would regret it if sums of money were going to direct grant schools at the expense of other secondary schools.

That indicates an attitude of mind which some of us deplore. If we are to have direct grant schools as a part of our education system the last thing we have to do is to starve those schools. I hope that on reflection the hon. Member will agree that it is impossible to starve direct grant schools, so long as we are going to make use of them.

I wish to ask the Minister a question in relation to the further Education and Training Scheme. I agree with those who have said that the scheme is now running on very much smoother lines than a year or two ago. Out of the 300 or 400 applications the Ministry are receiving each week it would be interesting to know how many are accepted, and how many are turned down. In the scheme there is provision for men who developed powers of leadership during the war which were not recognised before they entered the Services. There is the possibility under the scheme of granting those men money to qualify, in spite of the fact that their training may not have been interrupted by war service. In one or two cases with which I have dealt I have found a hardening of attitude in the Department, and perhaps an unwillingness to interpret that provision liberally. That would be a pity, but perhaps the figures indicating the number of acceptances would disprove my fear. If the right hon. Gentleman could give the figures, it would help us to understand how the scheme is developing.

6.26 p.m.

Mr. A. Edward Davies (Burslem)

Under item E the Minister is asking for almost £1,500,000 supplementary grant. I would like him to give more details of how the money is being spent. He referred to the number of scholarships with which he will have to deal during the current year, but I was exercised in my mind by the remarks of the hon. Member for the Combined English Universities (Mr. K. Lindsay) in reference to the number of men who had expressed a desire to go in for teaching. I would like some further information in respect of this Vote, in order to show how the teacher training scheme is working. Some time ago men were complaining that they had to wait longer than they had perhaps anticipated, although there were real difficulties in the way. How far have the arrears been overtaken, and how long will it be before we have cleared off the present applications?

Could we also have some information about the experience of the schools in dealing with this scheme, and the way in which the men are settling in? I do not know whether I can refer to this. The other day the Minister answered certain questions in respect of large classes in which there were numbers of 40 and 50 and the hon. Member for Moseley, Birmingham (Sir P. Hannon) will remember that the question referred particularly to his city. He was very jealous that the good name of that city should be preserved. But it is not peculiar to that part of the country. Local authorities have suffered from an inadequate staff—

The Deputy-Chairman

The hon. Member cannot discuss that further.

Mr. Davies

I wished to ask how far this scheme would help the Minister in solving that problem. I would like him to give some information as to what other aspects of education are covered by this Vote. Does it relate to schemes for which the Minister of Labour is responsible in dealing with crafts, such as building available to ex-Service men?

The Deputy-Chairman

I have told the hon. Member that he transgressed, and he must not pursue the matter further.

Mr. Davies

I am sorry to have transgressed, but you will appreciate, Sir Robert, that it is very difficult for a young Member to keep within the Rules of Order and that it is only by asking questions in this way that we can obtain the information.

6.30 p.m.

Mr. Pickthorn (Cambridge University)

I would not have ventured to trouble the Committee but for some remarks which fell from the hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove). I do not want in the least to introduce a controversial note, and I dare say that the hon. Member means the same as I would wish to mean, but as some of the things he said seemed to me to tend, in some respects, to give the wrong advice to the Minister, I hope that the Committee will not think it improper for me to intervene for a minute or two. I think it very dangerous to speak about undergraduates who come up to university with Government grants finding themselves stranded, at the end of their time, as if there was some responsibility upon His Majesty's Government to make sure that there are no such cases.

There must be a risk of some persons who succeed in obtaining university degrees not thereupon at once obtaining the kind of entry to the kind of career which they at that stage desire. We shall get into a hopeless position if we once begin to have the sort of assumption, which has had serious ill effects in other countries, that if only once one gets a B.A. degree at certain universities then somehow one is, so to speak, endowed for life, that one will get a particular sort of employment.

Mr. Cove

I tried to convey that I was most deeply concerned about the prospects of arts students. The science students have plenty of opportunities. Am I wrong in trying to emphasise that the Government should have some interest in the men and women who have taken arts courses? Is it not only good for the country, but good for the universities and the students themselves that they should not be deprived of an opportunity?

Mr. Pickthorn

The hon. Member would have known the answer to these questions by now if he had not intervened. I was coming to that point next. It is no doubt true that at this moment there is a greater demand for more or less qualified scientists than for persons with the less quantitative qualifications of an arts degree.

Mr. Cove

Much more.

Mr. Pickthorn

That is true. I am all in favour of Government Departments always looking at all the arts graduates who have appeared in the last year or two and seeing how they can best be employed, and doing everything towards that end. I am afraid, however, of the assumption that it is a Government responsibility to see that no such person is stranded. I am the more afraid of it when the hon. Gentleman who used that phrase has appealed earlier for much closer interlocking—that was not exactly his word but I am trying to put it fairly—between the Minister of Labour and the Minister of Education in these matters.

There are two great potentia, dangers in that suggestion. One is that planning these matters may be wrong. I remember once meeting the ex-head of the German Forestry service just after the first Great War, and saying the ordinary polite things to him about how much better their forestry was than ours. His reply was that in fact they had suffered very much from planning—they started planning their forestry two generations before we did. He said the fact was that the distribution of woods in Germany—the sorts of woods—between soft and hard, was less good for modern industrial purposes than it was in England, where there had not been any planning, because they had now got a proportion between soft and hard woods which two generations earlier had been expected to be right, and things had moved on. Similarly, if we have a risk of the Ministry of Labour deciding what proportion of students should read what subjects, however indirectly—

Mr. Cove


Mr. Pickthorn

The hon. Member has made his speech, and has made one interruption.

Mr. Cove

But the hon. Member must not misrepresent me.

Mr. Pickthorn

I am within the recollection of the Committee. There is the danger that that will do more harm than good. Secondly there is the danger of which we have all had great experience between the two wars. One of the greatest difficulties from a tutorial point of view was the people who came up to the universities with Board of Education grants and were, therefore, tied to becoming schoolmasters, and indeed, schoolmasters of a particular kind. A boy of 18 thought he wanted to be that kind of schoolmaster, and, in any case, he wanted to come to Cambridge. He got a grant from the Board of Education, but by the time he was 20 he did not want to be a schoolmaster, or he wanted to be a different kind of schoolmaster, but found himself tied. When I was tutor in my university I would not admit a boy with a Board of Education grant. I do not think that I ever cut a boy off from a university education because I always succeeded in finding other sources of finance for him. I said, "Keep it open to change your profession while you are here." I am certain that any advice given to the Minister which would tend in any way against that is very contrary indeed to the interests of education and also to more general interests. I thought it proper to speak those words of warning in view of some of the speeches we have had this afternoon.

Mr. Cove

I agree with that.

6.37 p.m.

Mr. Chetwynd (Stockton-on-Tees)

At the beginning of his remarks the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) prophesied a very successful future for my right hon. Friend peddling patent medicines and writing advertisements for them. At the moment my right hon. Friend is having a successful career selling education. Every penny included in this Supplementary Estimate will help him to do that job much better, and therefore I support the Estimate as a whole. I wish, however, to ask a few questions about subhead E, which deals with further education and training grants. As I understand the matter the scheme is running down, so that in autumn of this year it may he coming to an end. We have been told that 300 to 500 new applicants are still coming forward each week. I wonder if the Minister could tell us from what sources they are coming, and how many of them are being accepted, and how many are being told that they have as long as two years to wait before they can take advantage of the scheme?

Mr. Tomlinson

I have hesitated to intervene, but I think there is some misunderstanding. This does not apply to the emergency training scheme at all.

Mr. Chetwynd

I was aware of that, but I still think we ought to have a little more information about the 40,000 students still at universities or different establishments and those people who are still coming in. I think we all realise now that it is in the interests of students to have some break between their school career and their proceeding to a university. All our experience in the past two and a half years with the emergency teachers and these other people proves that they are more able to take in what is taught to them when they have had a break than if they go straight to university from school. That is why it is all the more important we should get some extra facts about the extra moneys needed for further education grants.

I understand that a man's own earnings in the recess are not taken into account in assessing his grant. Most of these people are married or are contemplating marriage and 50 per cent. of the earnings of their wives—and large numbers of their wives are working—is taken into account. When those earnings are subject to Income Tax and then to this further 50 per cent. assessment by the Minister, it does not seem worth while for the wives of these students to go out to work. At the present time, when we need every person in occupation it seems that there should be a more liberal attitude on the part of the Minister in this matter. I would like to reinforce the proposal which has already been made, by the hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Wilson Harris) concerning the payment of grants until the end of the summer vacation. I had a letter only this morning from a man taking one of these courses in which he said his course was due to end in June this year. He felt himself that although he would be accepted for a job before September, or even if he got into a job before then, his pay would not start until September. He expressed great alarm and anxiety as to what would happen to him in the meantime, and what would happen to many other people at the same college like him? I hope my right hon. Friend will be able to say that, where these people cannot obtain any financial aid to cover that period, he would be willing to extend their grant until the new term began.

I cannot understand why this grant must come to an end at the end of the academic year. It hardly seems necessary, and it is causing considerable hardship in these cases. If he could give some indication as to the future of this scheme, it would help many people who are now facing a call-up, and do not know whether to go into the Forces now, or to wait until they have completed their education. If they could be assured that, at the end of their fixed one year training, they would be eligible for a further education grant, it might persuade many of them to go into the Forces now, instead of waiting until they have finished their degree courses, or whatever it is. I think it is to their interest to get a wider outlook, and it might assist them to make up their minds.

6.41 p.m.

Mr. Hopkin Morris (Carmarthen)

I am quite prepared to join in the praise and the tributes paid to the right hon. Gentleman this afternoon for the sympathetic way in which he has administered the work of his Department. I am not prepared to extend that praise to the regula- tions of the Department. I wish to draw attention to one particular form of regulation. If an ex-Service man wishes to become a teacher there are grants to assist him, but if an ex-Service man, who has been in any profession before the war, wishes to join that profession after the war, there are no grants for him under the regulations of the Board. By way of illustration I would refer to a case which involved real hardship. A young man before the war was financially unable to become an accountant. He desired to become an accountant, but was obliged to follow a totally different occupation in order to maintain his parents. Desirous of becoming an accountant, he pursued that end by attending evening classes, while still engaged in the other occupation. He was called up. After the war he desired to obtain a grant in order to become an accountant, but he is not eligible under the right hon. Gentleman's regulations.

In that respect the regulations of the Department are not as generous to the ex-Service man as the regulations of the Ministry of Labour. I should like to see that changed. Why should not a man who has prepared himself, when he had not a great opportunity for so doing, to become an accountant, receive a grant to assist him?

Mr. K. Lindsay

Did he wish to go to college or to be articled?

Mr. Hopkin Morris

There is no reason why that grant should not be made to enable a man to become an accountant, just as much as to enable a man to become a teacher. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will pay attention to it and widen the regulation accordingly.

6.44 P.m.

Squadron-Leader Fleming (Manchester, Withington)

I wish to express my thanks to the Minister for reading out the letter from Manchester, in which he was praised for his speed in answering inquiries and despatching cheques. I have had quite a lot of experience of applications for Manchester, and up to 18 months ago there were no cheques, much less speed. There is one difficulty to which I would draw attention with regard to an ex-Service man who has been trained as a teacher. I sent a case to the Department last October and the Minister touched briefly on the matter in reply to a question from the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler). The man in question was trained as a teacher before he was called up. After he had finished his service he applied for a grant under the Further Education and Training Scheme in order to take a degree to improve his position as a teacher. I gathered from the reply that I have received—and which I sent on to the man—that under the present regulations it is not permissible to give him a grant in order to improve himself by taking a degree.

I rather gathered from the reply of the Minister, that this matter was being considered afresh. I hope that he will inform us fully whether that position has been altered, or whether he intends to alter it, because it does seem a matter which should be considered. In this instance there is no doubt that, but for the intervention of the war, this young man, using a certain proportion of the salary he received as a trained teacher, would have taken steps to qualify himself, as an external student of the London University, to take his B.A. degree. Under the Further Education and Training scheme he was allowed to believe he could qualify at the Manchester University for his B.A. degree. I am not clear whether he is eligible or not.

6.47 P.m.

Mr. Keeling (Twickenham)

I wish to say a few words and make one suggestion about the grant of £90,000 for the purchase of the contents of Ham House. That wonderful collection of pictures and furniture is being purchased by the Government for what—I agree with the Minister—is the extremely low price of £90,000. That is due to the generosity of the owner, Sir Lyonel Tollemache, who, with even greater generosity, gave the house itself to the National Trust. I understand that the National Trust are to lease this house to the Victoria and Albert Museum, who will throw it open to the public. I am perfectly certain that the prospect of seeing this wonderful collection will attract an enormous number of people, not only my own constituents who live hard by, but people from all over the world. The house is surrounded by a garden, and the suggestion I wish to make is that the Government—not necessarily the Museum—should also manage the garden, as they could quite easily do, especially as Kew Gardens and Hampton Court are very near.

6.49 p.m.

Mr. Tomlinson

If I had anticipated this spate of references to the congratulatory letters that I have been bold enough to read out I would have left them in the office. I did not wish to call the attention of the Committee, in effect, to the Minister but rather to the people who, under very difficult circumstances, as I discovered when I went to that Ministry, have done a really good job in straightening out this matter, and in placing it upon a proper footing.

With regard to the breakdown of the figure of awards for which the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) asked, they have been broken down for me and they do answer quite a number of questions that were put from different parts of the Committee. Roughly, the breakdown is as follows: Churches, 2,830; teaching, 12,561, of which 9,468 are tenable at the university and the other 3,000 in the teachers' training colleges; art, 2,693; music, 1,426; physical training, 204; engineering, 6,214; architecture, 3,104; medicine, 3,276. I would point out, with regard to medicine, that these grants go up to a period of six years, which, as everyone knows, is necessary. Other figures are, Civil Service, 2,027; law, 1,434; industrial chemistry, 1,269; dentistry, 768; pharmacy, 633.

It seems to me that, in that breakdown of the numbers, there is revealed something of the reason for the phrase that was put into the circular, and to which objection was taken. The absorptive capacity of particular trades or professions should he considered. While it ought not to determine whether or not a grant is made, or a university career entered upon, advice of that kind is of value. I agree that we cannot plan it accurately, but we should give advice to people who are seeking information on the absorptive capacity of any industry or profession. In some cases, it helps an individual to make up his or her mind.

I was also asked about the outlook for the future of the Further Education and Training scheme. This scheme has been referred to frequently. I can understand the anxiety of hon. Members about what will take place when the scheme comes to an end. I ask the Committee to remember that it will not finish for three or four years. The period about which we are speaking when these qualifications have been obtained, is three or four years hence. Between now and then things will taper off as the men for whom this scheme was specifically drawn up in the days of war finish their training. In formulating a further scheme to follow this it will be necessary to take into consideration the circumstances of the time.

I hesitate to say just what form that scheme should take. I realise some of the difficulties of the moment due to the success of this scheme. All interested in universities and in the placing of students realise that the very success of this scheme causes difficulty for those young folk who now want to go straight from school to university. They have to enter into competition with those who are receiving grants under this scheme. On the face of it, it seems that a multiplication of the number of State scholarships, with progress along the lines of the beginning made this year—through our technical schools and colleges into the university and the mature scholarship—would provide the first idea of a scheme which would meet the case of those who were deprived of the opportunity by being called into the Services.

It must be remembered that this scheme was drawn up for a given purpose and that in dealing with it in this generous way, with the approval of every member of the Committee, we are not doing any more than we ought to do, though I think that we are doing as much as can be expected. We must maintain a realistic view of this scheme. I am not one of those who would suggest that in this country we have exceeded at any time what we ought to do in the shape of spoon-feeding individuals who receive grants. I would, however, warn the Committee that it is possible to interfere in some respects with the independence of any individual by making things too easy.

I am in difficulty with regard to the position which arises at the end of the academic year, and the bridging of the gap between them and the time when students will earn their own living three months later. It is not an easy problem. I question in my own mind whether or not it is the responsibility of the State to carry people over that three months. A man's hope for the future, in whatever occupation he intends to follow, is not very good if he cannot get a job to cover a period of three months. Three months in the pit might not be an unsuitable method of preparing himself for the other type of life which he intends to follow; but wherever there is a case of hardship, arising from individual circumstances, I am prepared to look at the matter to consider what can be done. I do not think that it ought to be taken for granted that consideration will be given to every case.

I was asked whether the grant is sufficient in view of the change in the cost of living. This is a grant to meet all the expenses of the college. I have considered the matter on several occasions and I think that at the moment the grants are generous. In regard to the suggestion about the absorptive capacity of the industry for which many of these people are being prepared, all I wish to say is that in view of the large number of professions into which these men are going it is as well that we should know that we are not over-preparing men for one particular section. In the case of dentists, for instance, it is easy to discover the numbers in that profession. One should be in a position to acquaint the intending dentists of the situation when they have finished their courses.

Several hon. Members asked questions about Ham House. I say straight away that I believe that it is to the benefit of the country that the nation should own these places and that they should be used specifically for educational purposes. When I was asked whether we were prepared to suggest to the head of the Victoria and Albert Museum that the furniture should be loaned to the Midlands or to Lancashire, it occurred to me that, if we can come up to London for the Cup, occasionally we might come up to see something really of national value. I would like to see the development of a taste for this sort of thing, with a desire on the part of the people from the Midlands to go to a place like Ham House in order to discover something worth while.

The question whether or not furniture should be transferred in the way suggested is one for the individual responsible for the Victoria and Albert Museum. I would add my thanks to the individual in charge for what I consider to be the excellent job that he is doing.

Another question was raised about the grammar schools. May I say that the reason for asking for additional money was simply that claims had not been made at the right time. They have come in since, we are compelled to meet them and so we have to make provision for them. In reply to the question by the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. Hale) regarding terminal grants when a school is passing from the grant-aided to the independent position. The grants we make to schools becoming independent cannot exceed, at the maximum, the actual deficit at the time they go off the grant list; in other words, we are not allowed to pay for all the shortcomings of the past, but are allowed, under our grant regulations, only to meet the position in which they find themselves in the year in which they leave the grant-aided list.

Mr. Hale

Will my right hon. Friend allow me, as the point is of some importance? The word used in the regulations is "outgoings," and any court of law would certainly say that, if we have a scheme for making a terminal grant, we must take into account at the termination, not merely amounts that have been paid, but those which would have been paid but for regulations made by the Government restricting certain expenditure.

Mr. Tomlinson

I will look into the matter, and, if I find that what my hon. Friend suggests is correct and needs to be done, I will endeavour to meet it, but I warn my hon. Friend that it will need another Supplementary Estimate this year, and cannot be done under this one.

The hon. Member for Aberavon (Mr. Cove) also asked a question with regard to these grammar schools, and I have explained that this provision is due to meeting belated claims. The hon. Member for Cambridge University (Mr. Pickthorn) suggested that the individuals who undertook this training at the universities should be prepared to take some risk. I agree with him entirely, and that is the whole purpose and object of the scheme. The individual whose education was interrupted as a consequence of his being called up was the case constituting the whole purpose of this scheme; in other words, it is to prepare him to do what he would now have been doing, and would have been capable of doing, had he not been called up to the Services.

That brings me to the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Withington (Squadron-Leader Fleming) concerning the individual who qualified as a teacher, probably with a grant previously given by the Board of Education, and who was then called into the Services. His education was not interrupted, and, from the standpoint of this scheme, he had finished and was in a position to earn his living by the qualifications which he had obtained. It is only because of the fact that he had not been restricted in that way; otherwise, the number of applicants whom we should have had might have been legion.

There are quite a number of other questions which were asked about matters which I consider were interesting but outside this particular Estimate. For instance, the question raised by the hon. Member for Sutton and Cheam (Mr. S. Marshall), about the schools to which these people, when qualified, would be attached, is a subject which we cannot discuss here, and the same thing applies to the question concerning the gardens surrounding Ham House. As one interested in gardens, I am very anxious that people should look round at these gardens as well as the 17th century furniture, but I am not making provision for that here, and none of this sum of £90,000 is intended for this purpose. Finally, I would like to express my thanks for the way in which the Committee has received this Supplementary Estimate.

Question put, and agreed to.

Resolved: That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £1,781,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1948, for the salaries and expenses of the Ministry of Education, and of the various establishments connected therewith, including sundry grants in aid, grants in connection with physical training and recreation, and grants to approved associations for youth welfare.

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