HC Deb 02 March 1954 vol 524 cc1001-2
50. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he proposes to take to control the expenditure of the £110 million which he has promised to find for the universities during the period 1952–57.

Mr. R. A. Butler

It has for many years been an essential feature of the relationship between the universities and successive Governments that the Treasury has sought to avoid detailed control of the activities of the universities. I do not propose to depart from this policy.

Mr. Thomas

Whilst this has been the custom through the years, does not the Chancellor believe that public control should be exerted where public expenditure is involved? It is a lot of money.

Mr. Butler

I think there is a rather well-established understanding between the parties that the work of the University Grants Committee in disseminating this money and caring for the needs of the universities is beyond reproach. I would rather leave this matter to that committee's care.

51. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer the total amount allotted by the Treasury to the University Grants Committee since 1945; and what reports he has received from the Government Auditor concerning this expenditure.

Mr. R. A. Butler

In the eight financial years from 1945–46 to 1952–53 inclusive, expenditure out of the grant-in-aid of universities and colleges, Great Britain, amounted to £120,315,413, of which £32,189,607 was for non-recurrent grants. In the current year, provision is made for expenditure of £27 million of which £6,498,500 is for non-recurrent grants. The Comptroller and Auditor General audits the Exchequer grants to the universities and reports to Parliament. He does not, however, audit the universities' expenditure out of those grants.