HC Deb 08 February 1951 vol 483 cc1918-9
25. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Minister of Education what results have followed from his representations to local education authorities concerning the inequalities of the present grant system.

30. Mr. J. P. W. Mallalieu

asked the Minister of Education what progress he has so far made in inducing local education authorities to accept uniform standards for making grants to students at universities.

Mr. Tomlinson

About 80 per cent. of the local education authorities have adopted, either wholly or in part, the standard figures of maintenance and financial principles set out in Administrative Memorandum No. 332, or have undertaken to do so for the academic year 1951–52.

Mr. Thomas

While thanking the Minister for that encouraging reply, may I ask whether he can say when the other 20 per cent. of local authorities will come into line?

Mr. Tomlinson

No, I could not; but I intend to review the position shortly.

Mr. Poole

Would my right hon. Friend agree that the extent of a student grant should not depend upon the place of residence of the student, and that a student born in one area should not have his position prejudiced in relation to students of another area?

Mr. Mallalieu

Will my right hon. Friend try to bring the other 20 per cent. into line by eliminating meanness and not by restricting generosity?

Mr. Tomlinson

I have never restricted generosity in this matter; but I would point out that the autonomy of the local authorities is a consideration which must be kept in mind.

Mr. Pickthorn

Can the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that, between the 80 per cent. of authorities who have adopted a uniform standard, there is something amounting to a system of reciprocity treaties, so that difficulties do not intervene when children, or their parents, are moved from one area to another in the middle of a course?

Mr. Tomlinson

Generally speaking. there is agreement in that direction.