HC Deb 23 June 1948 vol 452 cc1327-8
1. Mr. Wingfield Digby

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will take steps to assist in obtaining a suitable history teacher for Makerere College, Uganda, which has been without instruction in history for the last year.

The Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. Creech Jones)

Makerere College is an autonomous institution, and is, therefore, responsible for its own staff recruitment. I understand, however, that, with the assistance of the Inter-University Council for Higher Education in the Colonies, the College has been making every effort, both by public advertisement and private inquiry, to recruit a suitably qualified candidate. I myself am, of course, willing to take any steps I can to assist in the discovery of suitable candidates.

Mr. Digby

Does not the Colonial Secretary agree that it is highly unsatisfactory that this college—the most important training college in the whole of East Africa—should be completely without a history teacher? Will he do something about it?

Mr. Creech Jones

We are desperately concerned about it, obviously. There was a temporary appointment which fell through.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the difficulty in obtaining a teacher is the result of the insistence on university standards? Would it not be much better to accept a lower standard until such time as Makerere College acquires university status?

Mr. Creech Jones

It is our intention to transform this college to university college status as soon as possible, and it is imperative that we should have academic teaching of a fairly high standard.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Can the right hon. Gentleman say what history this gentleman will teach?

Mr. Creech Jones

The requirement is that he should also be able to do history research and develop a history department and engage in other work. He would be the leader on this side in the university college.

Mr. George Thomas

Can my right hon. Friend say whether he is satisfied that the salary offered is such as will induce a graduate to accept the appointment?

Mr. Creech Jones

As I pointed out, this institution is autonomous. I am not responsible for it.