HC Deb 05 February 1952 vol 495 cc792-4
16. Mr. M. MacPherson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what economies he is making in the educational services, other than in building, in 1952; and how far these economies will affect the size of classes.

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend is proposing to ask education authorities to make such economies as can be secured without detriment to the general efficiency of primary and secondary education of essential further education and of the school health service. There is no intention of increasing the maximum size of class permitted by the Schools (Scotland) Code.

Mr. MacPherson

Is the hon. and gallant Member aware that his assurance that there will be no increase in the size of classes will be welcome? Is he also aware that after many weeks of silence his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland yesterday made an announcement on the educational economy programme at the present time? He had not made any such statement to the House; yet he made it at a Press conference, knowing that a large number of Members had put down Questions on the subject. Would it not have been more courteous to the House if the statement had been made here first?

Mr. Speaker

This seems to be a separate Question which might be raised at another time.

Mr. William Hamilton

Can the Minister say how he is going to avoid increases in the numbers in classes in view of the statement made by the Secretary of State yesterday, and will he state whether he intends to produce a circular similar to the notorious one that we have had from the Minister of Education for England and Wales?

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend intends to issue a circular shortly.

Mr. Hamilton

Could I have an answer to the first part of my question?

Miss Herbison

Can we take it that the suggestions that have been sent out by the Minister of Education to the education authorities are very different from the suggestions which will be sent out by the Secretary of State for Scotland? If they are the same, it is quite wrong for the Joint Under-Secretary to say that the size of classes will not be increased.

Commander Galbraith

The hon. Lady had better await the issue of the circular.

20. Mr. James Carmichael

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to make economies in education apart from the restriction on new school buildings.

Commander Galbraith

My right hon. Friend is asking education authorities to make economies which will become fully effective in their financial year 1952–53, and to introduce those economies during the current financial year so far as they find this to be practicable.

Mr. Carmichael

Can the Minister give any indication of the nature of those cuts? Was the figure of 5 per cent. decided upon without examining the problem of education? Surely we are entitled to know, apart from the restrictions in school building, where the other restrictions are in the field of education?

Commander Galbraith

As I have already said, a circular will be issued to education authorities, and I would ask the hon. Gentleman to await its issue.

Mr. Carmichael

When will it be issued?

Commander Galbraith

In the near future.

26. Mr. James H. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of the educational costs in Scotland is accounted for by wages and salaries; and how he proposes to effect a saving of 5 per cent. on the present total expenditure.

Commander Galbraith

The total estimated expenditure of education authorities for their present financial year in respect of the salaries and wages of their staffs is approximately 60 per cent. of their total gross expenditure. My right hon. Friend has not asked for a saving of 5 per cent. on the present total expenditure of education authorities.

Mr. Hoy

In regard to the latter part of the reply, will the Joint Under-Secretary now state what saving he has asked for, because it is obvious from the reply that the saving can only come from 40 per cent. of the total expenditure? Could he be more explicit as to where the savings are to be made on that sum?

Commander Galbraith

I would ask the hon. Gentleman to await the issue of the circular to which I have already referred.

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