HC Deb 17 March 1958 vol 584 c901
24. Mr. Lewis

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether he will discuss with the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the possibility of an interchange of students between Great Britain and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the introduction of scholarship awards on a reciprocity basis.

Mr. Ian Harvey

These matters are already under discussion between the Soviet Relations Committee of the British Council and the Soviet authorities. In my reply of 27th January to the hon. Member for Newcastle-under-Lyme (Mr. Swingler), I gave details of various proposals which have been put forward by the Committee. The Committee is still awaiting a definite answer from the Soviet side, but the arrangements for the visit of 300 Soviet students and young people to the United Kingdom have made some progress, and two groups covered by this scheme have already visited this country. There has been no definite answer so far on the Committee's proposal for an annual exchange of twenty language students in each direction and on the offer of two British Council scholarships each year.

Mr. Lewis

While thanking the Under-Secretary for that reply, can we take it that if there is any delay in this matter it is entirely due to the Soviet and not to this end, and that in the future, as in the past, we will do everything possible to try to get an interchange such as is suggested in the Question?

Mr. Harvey

That is what I said.