HC Deb 05 March 1952 vol 497 cc423-4
34. Sir E. Keeling

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the loss of £70,215 during 1950–51 on the 11 residences for overseas students administered by the British Council for the Colonial Office, including a loss of £27,483 in six months on the residence in Hans Crescent without any amortisation of £78,598 spent on adapting the building; and if he will close these residences.

Mr. Lyttelton

During 1950–51 the British Council administered seven (not 11) residences for Colonial students on behalf of the Colonial Office and the loss on these residences was £56,751. The net operating loss of £27,483 at Hans Crescent includes overhead charges of £7,922 for the first six months of the year when, because of adaptation work, no occupation was possible. For the remaining six months only partial occupation was possible for the same reason. Three of these residences have been closed. I do not propose to close the remaining four residences, which play a useful part in the welfare of the increasing numbers of colonial students in this country, but I shall try to ensure that they are run with all reasonable economy.

Sir E. Keeling

Is the Secretary of State aware that the figures in my Question are quoted from the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General to this House?

Sir Richard Acland

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind there is also a need for increasing the number of places available to colonial students in hostels of some kind, which are preferable to the type of lodgings which are often provided?

Mr. Lyttelton

The hon. Member is asking me another question, but in any case I have no intention of closing any more.