HC Deb 19 March 1957 vol 567 cc206-7
35. Mr. Emrys Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the current cost of education in Scotland.

Mr. Maclay

For the current financial year the Public Education, Scotland, Vote makes provision for the expenditure of £44.9 million and education authorities estimate that in the year ending May, 1957, they will spend on education £21.3 million from rates and from grants under the Local Government (Financial Provisions) (Scotland) Act, 1954.

Mr. Hughes

Would the Minister consider making a statement for Scotland similar to that recently made by the Minister of Education for England? Is he aware that the Minister of Education for England was so horrified and disgusted when he arrived at his office and discovered that we were spending less on education than the U.S.A. and the U. S. S. R. that he is spoiling for a fight with someone? On whose side will the right hon. Gentleman be in that fight?

Mr. Maclay

In my enthusiasm for education I yield nothing to my right hon. Friend the Minister of Education.

Mr. Woodburn

Further to that point, could the Minister give us two assurances? First, that in the changes which are to be made Scotland will not suffer in its relative position to England and, secondly, that the local authorities will not suffer relatively to the Government as a whole in their respective proportion of contribution to education?

Mr. Maclay

I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that, as long as I have anything to do with it, I will fight fully and strongly for Scotland's relative position in all things. On the second part, I am not prepared to enter into details at Question Time. The matter is too complicated.

42. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has for a Scottish Contribution to an expanded programme of national educational expenditure.

Mr. Maclay

The Public Education, Scotland, Vote will be published later this month. In the meantime, I can inform the hon. Member that whereas the Scottish School Building Programme for 1956–57 is £11.1 million, that proposed for 1957–58 is £13.2 million.

Mr. Thomson

Since the Secretary of State has told my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) that he does not yield to the Minister of Education, will he tell the House, as the Scottish Minister of Education, that he agrees that we are not spending enough nationally on education?

Mr. Maclay

There are always a great many subjects on which we should like to spend more money, but I think that Scotland is doing fairly well with education.