HC Deb 22 October 1953 vol 518 cc2127-9
13. Mr. Colegate

asked the Minister of Education how many boys and girls attended cookery classes during the latest period for which figures are available.

Miss Horsbrugh

Cookery forms a part of the housecraft course that is given to girls in almost all secondary schools, but is only rarely taught to boys. I do not keep statistics of the number of pupils in schools receiving instruction in this subject.

Mr. Colegate

Why should boys not be taught? Surely cookery is a useful and interesting subject.

Miss Horsbrugh

Yes, of course. Boys and girls are taking these courses in technical colleges, but in the secondary schools I think the difficulty is in finding time for all the various courses. Although some boys take cookery, in a great many cases, while the girls are doing cookery, the boys are doing such things as woodwork and metal work.

14. Mr. Colegate

asked the Minister of Eduction whether she is aware of the

Miss Horsbrugh

As the answer contains a number of figures I will, with permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Mr. Erroll

I am sure that the answer will be gratifying but may I have an assurance that in making any reassessment of the position my right hon. Friend will bear in mind the extraordinary future demands of the areas mentioned in the Question?

Miss Horsbrugh

Yes. I think that when my hon. Friend sees the figures he will be gratified.

Following is the answer:

complaints made by tourists in this country of the low standard of cooking; and whether she will make a statement as to what steps are being taken by her Department to remedy this state of affairs.

Miss Horsbrugh

I have seen both good and bad reports of the standard of cooking in this country; I am certainly willing to do what I can to improve standards by encouraging where possible more courses in catering and similar subjects in technical colleges. The number of such courses has, in fact, increased rapidly since the end of the war.

Mr. C. S. Taylor

Is the right hon. Lady aware that complaints from tourists were very few and far between? [HON. MEMBERS: "No."] Is she also aware that Questions like this do not encourage tourists to come to this country, where they are greatly needed?

Miss Horsbrugh

Classes in cookery have been enormously improved and the Hotel and Catering Institute, the trade organisation concerned, has been most active in encouraging employers and employees to take advantage of them.

Mr. Hastings

Will the right hon. Lady take special care to impress upon those who are in charge of such classes the need for cleanliness in dealing with food?

Miss Horsbrugh

Certainly. At the classes of the technical colleges which I have visited I have found that they are doing that.