HC Deb 05 February 1953 vol 510 cc2023-4
58. Mr. A. Evans

asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury why charges are now being made by the Central Office of Information for the hire by schools of films on National and Commonwealth subjects.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

To save the taxpayers' money.

Mr. Evans

Is the Minister aware that these charges are discouraging elementary teachers throughout the country and depriving hundreds, if not thousands, of youngsters of the opportunity of learning more about their country and the Commonwealth?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I do not accept that suggestion. If the showing of the films is within the authorised curriculum of the school the financing is a matter for the local education authority, aided by the Exchequer grant.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

If the charge is borne by the Ministry of Education or the Exchequer grant or the local education authority, can the hon. Gentleman explain how this saves the taxpayers' money?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Yes, Sir, because in the case of all schools and all showines it is not so borne.

Mr. Gordon Walker

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that in "Britain Strong and Free" it was stated that the Conservatives would do their utmost to encourage and increase the teaching in schools of Commonwealth subjects?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

That is undoubtedly true, but I fail to recollect any suggestion in that document for increasing the number of cinematograph performances.

Mr. S. Silverman

If the charge is not borne by the Ministry of Education or by the Exchequer or by the local authority, would the hon. Gentleman explain who does pay it?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In some cases, of course, by the organisation of what the Ministry of Education would call an extra-curricular performance, and in other cases by the proprietors of a non-provided school.

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