HC Deb 15 December 1955 vol 547 cc1374-5
24. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Education how many education courses have been run each year since the inception of Lambton Castle as an educational establishment; and what has been the financial position at the end of each year.

Sir D. Eccles

During the College's first year ended on the 31st March, 1954, 54 courses were held. Ninety-three were run last year and 87 have so far been run in the present year. The total net expenditure in the first year was £21,875 —including £3,425 exceptional redemption of debt—and last year it was £12,133.

Dame Irene Ward

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his predecessor said this was an experiment which must be watched? Is he satisfied with the experiment? The North Country would like to know.

Sir D. Eccles

Yes, I agree that this is an experiment to be watched. It is the first of its kind in Durham. We have had discussions with the authority, and, as my hon. Friend will see, the expenditure has been cut. I think that we should like to watch the experiment for a little longer, because these colleges, when they are well run, perform a good service.

Mr. Shinwell

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that most people in Durham regard this as a most valuable experiment and that we are delighted to hear that he proposes to continue it?