HC Deb 16 December 1954 vol 535 cc1959-60
21. Mr. John Hall

asked the Minister of Education if he will include swimming baths amongst those physical training and recreational facilities referred to in Circular 283, paragraph 14, for the provision of which he is prepared to consider applications for grants under the Physical Training and Recreation Act, 1937.

Sir D. Eccles

I am not yet prepared to offer grants under this Act for the provision of swimming baths.

Mr. Hall

Whilst I can hardly thank my right hon. Friend for that answer, may I ask whether he is aware that High Wycombe Borough Council applied for a grant for a swimming pool nearly 17 years ago? Does he not think that every encouragement should be given to local authorities to provide facilities which are sadly lacking in many inland towns for the encouragement of one of the finest physical training and recreational sports? I am sure that I shall have the support of the hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Dodds) in this matter.

Sir D. Eccles

I have great sympathy with the proposal for this swimming pool, which will actually cost £50,000, but I think that while we have schools to build to reduce over-sized classes and to remove all-age schools, we shall have to ask the promoters of swimming baths to wait a little longer.

Mr. T. Williams

Is a survey being made to ascertain how many areas with large numbers of primary, modern secondary and grammar schools are without any swimming baths at all? Is the Minister aware that in my division, where there are many children at grammar schools, there are no swimming baths at the schools?

Sir D. Eccles

I intend to deal first with schools which have neither lavatories nor washing accommodation.

Mr. Edward Evans

Is the Minister aware that since there is a crying need in the rural schools not for swimming pools, but, as he has said, for decent sanitation, there should be a little more spread-over of the educational grants?

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