HC Deb 15 December 1953 vol 522 cc187-8
22. Mr. Malcolm MacPherson

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer to what extent the plans of the Government for the development of higher technological education depend upon an increased flow of adequately qualified students into the universities and other institutions concerned; and what steps he proposes to take in order to obtain such a flow.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The Government's plans for the development of higher technological education will afford improved facilities for both postgraduate and undergraduate students. I have no reason to doubt that the universities and colleges concerned, the schools and industry will all play their part in the measures needed to encourage an increased flow of students. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Education has also very much in mind the contribution which her Department and the local education authorities can make to securing this result.

Mr. MacPherson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the stream of students coming from the schools to the universities and similar institutions is showing signs of decreasing both in quantity and in quality? If this programme for higher technological education is to succeed, is it not necessary for the right hon. Gentleman to put greater emphasis on the earlier stages of technical education?

Mr. Butler

That particular responsibility lies with the Ministry of Education, but as I am somewhat aware of these circumstances I can say that the more we can develop technical education prior to higher technological education the happier I shall be.

Miss Lee

Will the right hon. Gentleman co-operate with the Minister of Education in removing this socially embarrassing and educationally undesirable separation of children at 11 plus into grammar, secondary and technical streams? Is he aware that technological education suffers most from this segregation?

Mr. Butler

That raises the whole question of the original conception of the Hadow Report and the whole design of education. It would be most unwise for me to join in that argument, especially at Question time.