HC Deb 13 May 1952 vol 500 cc1105-7
7. Mr. Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he proposes to take to increase the scale of grants awarded to students by local education authorities, in view of the rising cost of living.

13. Mr. Hoy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has considered representations from the Scottish Union of Students regarding grants paid to students by local authorities, and the present percentage contribution made by his Department: and what is his reply.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

My right hon. Friend has received representations from the Scottish Union of Students that the bursaries awarded by education authorities and the grants under the further education and training scheme should be increased to meet the increased cost of living. He is considering these representations with sympathy, but must also have regard to the need for economy in public expenditure. The Union also asked for an assurance that the percentage of grant in aid of expenditure by education authorities on bursaries will be maintained. No change is at present contemplated.

Mr. Hamilton

Can the hon. Gentleman indicate when a final decision will be arrived at in this matter and whether he has received details of specific cases of hardship as a result of the rising cost of living?

Mr. Stewart

In answer to the first part of that question, I would say that I do not at present know. We hope that a decision will be arrived at soon. In reply to the second part, one has had individual examples with which one has considerable sympathy.

27. Miss Herbison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will ensure that no reduction will be made by any education authority in their grants to pupils 15 years of age and over and to students at universities, technical colleges, etc.

Mr. Henderson Stewart

No, Sir. My right hon. Friend is not empowered to interfere with the discretion which, within limits, the bursary Regulations give to education authorities.

Miss Herbison

Will the hon. Gentleman's right hon. Friend, on the other hand, ask local authorities when they are making economy cuts for which his right hon. Friend has asked, not to interfere with these grants?

Mr. Stewart

There is no need to do that. I am quite sure that local authorities will act according to the Regulations concerning bursaries. It is these Regulations—with which the hon. Lady had a good deal to do in forming—that govern the present actions of local authorities.