HC Deb 28 February 1952 vol 496 cc1444-5
28. Mr. Maitland

asked the Minister of Education whether, since the shortage of agricultural labour is partly attributable to the centralisation of schooling, she will take steps to discourage this centralisation and foster the village schools.

The Minister of Education (Miss Florence Horsbrugh)

I would refer my hon. Friend to the answer which I gave the hon. Member for Barkston Ash (Colonel Sir L. Ropner) on 6th December last.

Mr. Maitland

Will my right hon. Friend consult the Secretary of State for Scotland with regard to applying this policy also to those seats of learning North of the Border?

Miss Horsbrugh

I shall be very pleased to convey what my hon. Friend has said to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Mr. John Dugdale

Is the right hon. Lady aware of the very great success of the village colleges established in Cambridgeshire and will she convey to other local authorities the desirability of establishing similar colleges?

Miss Horsbrugh

I will certainly draw the attention of local authorities to the experiments which have been made and have been successful in other areas.

Mr. Hector McNeil

Will the right hon. Lady tell the hon. Member for Lanark (Mr. Maitland) that there is a Department of Education for Scotland and that since he is now attempting to represent a Scottish constituency it is normal to address these Questions to that Department?

Miss Horsbrugh

As Minister of Education for England and Wales I am always delighted to convey any information I can to those hon. Members who represent Scottish constituencies.

Mr. John Profumo

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that where village schools are now being transferred to diocesan authorities that will not prejudice their future use as village schools if it is found desirable later?

Miss Horsbrugh

I have said that I have no desire to encourage the closing of village schools.