HC Deb 11 November 1958 vol 595 cc182-3
34. Mr. Rankin

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the public appeal for £1 million which has been made by Edinburgh University, he will arrange for an additional grant to be made to the university from public funds.

Mr. Amory

No, Sir. The University Grants Committee is responsible for the allocation among the universities of the funds made available by the Government for new university buildings.

Mr. Rankin

Is the Chancellor aware that in the present session, owing to the lack of accommodation, Edinburgh University was unable to accept all the students who qualified for entry? Does he realise that a similar situation obtains in Glasgow and may well extend to the other two universities in Scotland? Does he consider this the way in which to secure the technologists whom we say we need? Will he look again at the whole question of the amount spent in university grants?

Mr. Amory

I realise and understand the pressure on almost all the universities today; but the programme of building for the next four years which the Government have approved is a substantially increased one. I believe it does full justice to the possibilities, bearing in mind that buildings are not the only issue which we have to face. When university buildings are extended, the number of staff must be increased.

Mr. H. Wilson

Is not the Chancellor aware that since the quinquennial grants were put into operation, rising costs and other expenses have greatly frustrated the effects of the new grants, with a period of four years still to run? Is he aware that many English as well as Scottish universities are seriously prejudiced? Will he look at the whole programme again to see whether it may be increased to take account of the effects of inflation?

Mr. Amory

If the right hon. Gentleman looks at the figures, he will find that the increase which has taken place in building costs since then hardly justifies the term "greatly".