HC Deb 13 July 1950 vol 477 cc1528-9
20. Mr. Profumo

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that as a result of the Government's decision to discontinue grants towards the erection of village halls, considerable injustice is being caused among village communities which had previously entered into financial commitments with architects, solicitors, etc., which they still have to meet with nothing to show for the outlay; and whether, in view of this, he will reconsider his decision in respect of local communities which he is satisfied fall into this category, with a view to carrying out the original financial obligation in these particular cases.

Mr. Tomlinson

I regret the necessity for holding up approval to village hall and similar projects, which is due entirely to the limited resources at my disposal, and I am aware that commitments of the kind suggested by the hon. Member have been entered into. I am anxious that there should be some relaxation of these restrictions, but I am not yet in a position to make any announcement.

Mr. Profumo

Can the Minister say how long it will be before he can make up his mind, so as to reassure village communities that they have not been throwing their money away on these projects?

Mr. Tomlinson

I have made up my mind already. It is a question of how I can apply that to which I have made up my mind.

Mr. Assheton

Will the right hon. Gentleman give special consideration to those villages which have been collecting money for a very long time, and have not yet been able to get a licence?

Mr. Tomlinson

I shall give full consideration to all; I am just as anxious as any hon. Member of the Opposition to get this moving.

Dr. King

Will my right hon. Friend see that village halls do not take precedence over the rebuilding of the shocking village schools which still exist?