HC Deb 25 June 1953 vol 516 cc2085-6
27. Mr. Peart

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, in view of the Eighth Report from the Select Committee on Estimates, dated 20th May, 1953, he will revise the capital investment programme so as to provide adequate supplies of labour and materials for school building.

Mr. Maudling

No, Sir. The investment programme for education approved for 1953 is already significantly larger, in real terms, than the investment achieved in any year since the war: this is a measure of the importance which the present Government attach to educational building.

Mr. Peart

But is the Minister aware that he is not right in fact and, more than that, this Report reveals miscalculations and also a terribly shocking complacency towards school building? Will he convey to his right hon. Friend that there must be a readjustment in view of this Report, so that the Ministry of Education can really do their job?

Mr. Maudling

The hon. Gentleman will be aware that it would be contrary to practice to comment on that Report in advance of the reply to be given by my right hon. Friend. On the investment programme, if any suggestion of complacency arises, I would point out that the investment in school building this year is 8 per cent. higher than last year and 12 per cent. higher than the year 1951–1952.

Mr. Jay

Do we understand that the Government will take no action arising out of the Report of the Select Committee or, if they are going to do anything, what is it?

Mr. Maudling

I have already made it clear that the first answer to the Report of the Select Committee, in accordance with our normal practice, must come from my right hon. Friend to the Select Committee.