HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 c1330
14. Mr. Donner

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies on what date Mass Education Officers were re-named Social Development Officers; and whether this change signifies any alteration, in or enlargement of their duties.

Mr. Creech Jones

The title of the Mass Education Officer in the Gold Coast was changed to Social Development Officer in April of this year. I am not aware that a similar alteration has been made elsewhere. The answer to the second part of the hon. Member's Question is in the negative.

Mr. Donner

Would the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance, in order to allay misgivings, that this change of name is not merely a technique to disguise any failure, or partial failure, in the mass education experiment in Africa?

Mr. Creech Jones

I cart give the hon. Gentleman completely the assurance for which he asks. There was some difficulty in the case of the Gold Coast because in the Twi language it was difficult to find a phrase which covered the title "Mass Education Officer" and the term "Social Development Officer" has been suggested because in Twi it would read: "The man who teaches people to live better."

Mr. Rankin

Will my right hon. Friend ensure that these officers are not tied to the routine duties of offices, but are encouraged to make living contact with the native peoples?

Mr. Creech Jones

Yes, that follows.

Mrs. Leah Manning

Will my right hon. Friend be able to give the House at some early date an account of how well the mass education experiment is proceeding in Africa?

Mr. Creech Jones

I will certainly make available to the House any information I have.