HC Deb 25 March 1952 vol 498 cc185-6
21. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many applications he has received for new school buildings; and how many have been approved since 1st January.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

From 1st January to the present date, plans for 36 new schools or extensions to existing schools have been submitted to the Scottish Education Department. Between the same dates, the Department have approved plans, most of which were submitted before January, for 24 projects.

Mr. Bence

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in some parts of Scotland, for instance, in Clydebank, schools are unable to take children today, and that, if the number of schools under construction is to be reduced, or the number of new schools about to be started is to be reduced, then, in a few years' time, we shall be unable to take children at five years of age, or we shall have to turn them out of school before they reach 15?

Mr. Stewart

We are very well aware of the importance of this subject, and of the details.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the hon. Gentleman make sure that ideas of economy are not falsely applied in this connection? Where there are big new housing schemes, such as there are in Glasgow, will he realise it is quite false economy not to provide new schools and to have to bring the children by motor buses into old schools, already congested, in the heart of the city?

Mr. Stewart

I quite appreciate the need; but, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, in the case of Glasgow the Department could not be entirely blamed for the delay that has occurred.