HC Deb 05 May 1953 vol 515 cc206-7
55. Mr. Woodbum

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many science and technological graduates and persons of approximate standing qualify in Scotland per head of the Scottish population each year; and what is the number of vacancies filled in Scotland for persons with such qualifications.

Mr. J. Stuart

The number who qualified in Scotland in the academic year 1951–52 is estimated to be one in about 2,500 of the population. It has been found by various committees which, since the war, have inquired into questions of scientific and technical manpower that information of the type asked for in the second part of the Question cannot be obtained with any accuracy.

Mr. Woodbum

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that it is generally conceded that there is still a reluctance on the part of Scottish industrialists to make the best use of scientific and technological graduates coming from these institutions; and would he do his best to encourage more use of them in Scotland for the future of Scottish industry?

Mr. Stuart

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that any such tendency would be very regrettable. I will certainly encourage what he asks.

Mr. Malcolm MacPherson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in Scotland, as in England and Wales, there is a considerable danger of a drying up of the supply of these people altogether because the sources are not being fed with enough science teachers?

Mr. Stuart

It is very important that we should encourage this type of education, and I will certainly do all I can in that direction.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

In view of the fact that Scottish enterprise in production is as fine as anything in the world, is that not a contradiction of the suggestion of the right hon. Member for East Stirling (Mr. Woodburn) that they are not making full use of technical and other expert opinion?