§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ 11.5 a.m.
§ The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Robert Allan)
I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time.
I hope that the House will permit me, before I refer to the Bill, to refer to the great international honour which has been bestowed on the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker). His passion for the cause of disarmament is widely known, but by none better than those who speak for the Foreign Office from this Bench, particularly, perhaps I may say, by those who have to answer his searching questions on the subject.
That the right hon. Gentleman has received the Nobel Prize for Peace will give great satisfaction to his many friends and admirers on both sides of this House and far outside it, and I should like to offer him my warmest congratulations.
§ Mr. Allan
General Marshall's recent death makes it appropriate, I think, in moving the Second Reading of this Bill, to remember what was said in this House when he launched the scheme which came to bear his name. Mr. Ernest Bevin referred to it as a great opportunity for Europe, a chance for which he would be for ever grateful. Sir Anthony Eden said that Mr. Marshall, by his action, had brought new hope to Europe, and that it was not merely that dollars might be made available to countries whose economies were dying 1344 for lack of dollars that was important but that it would have much wider repercussions than that.
The liberalisation and current level of European trade is a measure of the plan's economic success which both these men foresaw. That the United States remains internationalist in thought and policy, that Communism in free Europe is in retreat, is a measure of the plan's wider political success to which Sir Anthony referred.
The Marshall Scholarships were founded, as was said at the time, as a living memorial to General Marshall. As one who benefited by a trans-Atlantic scholarship myself I can testify with gratitude to the lasting value that it has been to me, and I naturally take special pleasure in commending a Bill which doubles the number of Marshall scholars coming to this country.
Perhaps I may be allowed to say a little about what has been done during the six years in which the scheme has been in force. As the House knows, the scholarship scheme is administered by the Marshall Aid Commemorative Commission. Lord Coleraine has been Chairman of the Commission since 1957, when he succeeded Sir Oliver Franks. He has serving with him on the Commission men of high distinction in academic and Anglo-American circles. There are separate selection committees in four different regions in the United States. Those regions are centred on New York, Chicago, San Francisco and New Orleans. From these regions the local committees select three scholars each year. Our Ambassador in Washington has an Advisory Council on which at the moment Mr. Lewis Douglas and other eminent Americans serve.
I am sure that the House would wish me to thank all those who, inspired by the desire for close Anglo-American relations, give so much work voluntarily on these various bodies. As a result of their work, 72 American scholars, including 20 women, have been selected to come here from 37 different United States colleges and universities. Nine have come from Harvard, six from Stanford, California, and six from Princeton, New Jersey. The others have been drawn in ones and twos from the remaining 34 colleges. I regret that only one 1345 has come from my old university, Yale. Oxford has had 25 of the scholars, Cambridge 20, and London 15, and the remainder have been spread amongst eight other British universities.
The Marshall Aid Commission would like to see scholars spread more widely amongst British universities, but they feel obliged to offer the scholars the university of their choice if there are vacancies there. While they have been here, the Marshall scholars have studied sixteen subjects, ranging from anthropology through genetics to social science. English and economics are the subjects which have attracted the largest numbers. The scholars have all reached high academic standards and the average degree which has been taken is what is described as a good Second. Three have taken a First, all of them—and I see that I speak to an all-male Chamber—have been women.
These scholars have been active athletically and have played a gay and stimulating part in the social life of the universities which they have attended. They have travelled, too, and I personally am glad of that, for almost the most instructive part of my time in America was the visits which I paid to every State in the Union.
All in all, these scholarships have achieved the success we hoped for. Proof of that lies in the many suggestions that have been made, both here and in the United States, to increase the number of scholars. The Ambassador has strongly urged this, too, and Her Majesty's Government, anxious to show that Britain is still mindful of a great act of unselfish statesmanship, has agreed to double the number. That is the sole purpose of the Bill to which I hope the House will give a Second Reading today.
§ 11.13 a.m.
§ Mr. Philip Noel-Baker (Derby, South)
I must begin by expressing my gratitude for the more than kind words which were used by the Joint Under-Secretary of State this morning about myself. I am very proud that they should stand in the record of HANSARD, and I am particularly glad, if he will allow me to say so, that they should stand in his name. The hon. Gentleman has come to his present office with an outstanding record in war, and with a bitter experience of it. I believe, therefore, that he has come to his 1346 office free of some of the twentieth century thinking and what I regard as the absurd shibboleths which too often have passed for wisdom in what are called diplomatic circles. I hope that he will play an active part in the coming years in the decisive measures that can rid the world of war.
This is an award to a cause, as, indeed, the hon. Gentleman has said—the cause of disarmament. I had the great good fortune to work between the wars with Lord Cecil, with Fridtjof Nansen, of Norway, and with Arthur Henderson. If their advice had been listened to, the Second World War would never have happened. Nansen used to say that the world is governed by universities. I have believed through my whole life that proposition to be true, and it underlines the great importance of this Bill.
It is a Bill to commemorate a great man and a great act of generosity—a great man, General Marshall, who, in war, and, still more, in peace left his imprint on his nation and on the world. Marshall, perhaps more than any other man, destroyed isolationism in the United States and built up there the conception that only collective security through international institutions can save the world.
I think that the world has never seen an act of greater national generosity than Marshall Aid and the other aid which the United States has given to other continents throughout the last fifteen years. Hon. Members may call it enlightened self-interest. Most wise policies are enlightened self-interest, but that does not mean that they are any the less generous or any the less statesmanlike, and I think that we should remember not only Marshall himself, but the nation which gave him such generous support with such vast sums of money, without question or hesitation, throughout those crucial years.
I should like to say a few words about Ernest Bevin's share in the success of Marshall Aid. It so happened that I worked in a room which was adjacent to his during that time. I used to see him every day and I remember his immense excitement when the Marshall speech was made, his urgent desire to get immediate action and his bitter regret that the action could not be through the United Nations. I remember his deep chagrin with the Russians when Mr. Molotov, after their dramatic meeting in 1347 Paris, would not come in and forced Czechoslovakia to come out. Ernest Bevin played a great part, and in remembering General Marshall and Marshall Aid I think that we should remember, too, a great British statesman.
This scheme is to increase the university scholarships which have been provided for Americans to come to universities here. The Joint Under-Secretary has rightly said that he himself was at the great University of Yale and has not regretted it since. My hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln (Mr. de Freitas), was also at Yale, I believe at the same time. Long before then I had a freshman's year at an American college in Pennsylvania—Haverford—which stood and still stands very high in academic ranking across the Atlantic. Later, I had experience as a visiting lecturer in the graduate school at Yale and I have close connections with other university institutions over there.
The year I had before I went to Cambridge was for me a formative year which has been of immense importance to me throughout my life. I am still in close contact with many of my classmates over there and I have had half-a-dozen telegrams from them this morning. The importance of university training in other people's countries can hardly be exaggerated, particularly in the new age of greater leisure, of greater prosperity, of greater intellectual achievment to which we ought now to be moving. It may often influence the course of international politics. I think that it was of vast importance, in 1947, that Pandit Nehru was an undergraduate at Cambridge, in the years when I was there. It was of great importance that when Dudley Senanayake formed his Cabinet in Ceylon he chose seven Cambridge men to be members of it. Oxford has always tried to do as well as Cambridge, even in the Boat Race, and in this field it has had the advantage of the great endowment by the late Mr. Cecil Rhodes.
We know the achievements of Rhodes Scholars who have come here. There is Mr. Lester Pearson, a most distinguished Secretary of State in Canada and a former President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, who rendered immense services on many 1348 occasions of the gravest international crisis. There was also one of my near-contemporaries, Bevil Rudd, of South Africa, one of the most brilliant men who ever came out of that country and whose record for gallantry and resource in the First World War—in which he served in tanks—was equal to any. I remember, too, an American Rhodes Scholar, Mr. Stevenson, an Olympic gold medallist, who is now the president of a great American University.
It was not an accident that Pakistan followed the course it did in 1947, and in forming that course it was of immense importance that Mr. Liaquat Aly Khan had been an undergraduate at Oxford. But for his tragic assassination the course of history in that great Commonwealth country might have been very different.
None of us will doubt the importance of what we are doing today. I would ask the Joint Under-Secretary of State whether he will give us a White Paper showing how the scheme has worked over the first six years. He has given us some details. The Commemorative Commission publishes a report every year, but how many of us see it? It is not in the Vote Office. Although I try to follow these matters, I was quite unaware of its existence. A short White Paper, summing up what has been done and the prospects for the future, would be great value to us. I am glad that Lord Coleraine is chairman of the Commission. He is extremely well qualified for the post, and I am sure that he will fulfil his duties with the devotion to the public interest which he always gives, and with great wisdom.
I should like to join in the expression of gratitude which the Joint Under-Secretary has made to the selection commissions in the United States, and to reiterate the hope which my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln expressed in the debate in 1953, namely, that those commissions would continue to choose their scholars by regions. If they went simply on academic standards there would be a danger of far too many of the scholarships going to the great universities of the eastern coast. Already we learn from the Joint Under-Secretary that 15 out of 72 have gone to Harvard and Princeton. With great respect to both universities—for which I have a high 1349 regard, which I have visited, and against which I have played association football—I should regret it if that proportion were to be increased.
Six years ago my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln said that he much regretted that the scholarships were open to married men. He raised two objections to granting scholarships to such persons. He said, first, that a married man with a family could not so readily mix with the general body of his fellow-students, and that that was a very important part of the advantage which comes from being at a university in another country. That is certainly true.
My hon. Friend also said that it was a grave disadvantage in that such a student could not take home with him a wife from the country where he had been a guest. As my hon. Friend did being a wife home with him, he is in a strong position to speak. He said that if one marries a citizen of that country one returns with a real token of friendship between the two countries which is lasting and very important. I do not know whether the Joint Under-Secretary would like to make any comment on that point.
I agree with the criticism made in 1953, that it was of doubtful wisdom to allow the scholarships to be given to married people and to people as old as 28. I did not go to university as a particularly young man, but I remember thinking that undergraduates of 28 and 29 years of age—and there were one or two in the college—were from a different epoch. There is a gulf between a man who has had four or five years in the world and the undergraduate body with whom he ought to mix. I hope that those points will be considered.
In a debate in the House in 1953, my hon. Friend the Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) said, "Why not 300?" He was commenting upon what had been said by my hon. Friend the Member for Lincoln, who had pointed out that whereas we were giving 12 Marshall Scholarships to American students to come here, 300 scholarships were given every year for British students to go to the United States. While we welcome this increase to 24, I would say that it is certainly not too much, and that we ardently hope that the scheme 1350 will develop quickly. Hon. Members on this side of the House will never grudge the money. We believe that it may be a potent factor in building up American friendship, upon which world peace may well depend.
§ 11.26 a.m.
§ Mr. Philip Goodhart (Beckenham)
I should like to join in the congratulations offered to the right hon. Gentleman upon the award of his Nobel Prize. One does not have to be in this House for long to know the great depth of knowledge which the right hon. Gentleman has on the subject of disarmament. I have personal experience of this. I well remember going to Oxford not so long ago to debate this subject with him. I can only say that there are a great many opponents I would have preferred on that evening.
The Bill is necessary only because of a rather silly drafting mistake in the original Act, but I am sure the House will welcome the opportunity which this debate offers to pay tribute to the memory of one of the greatest men of the 20th century—General George Marshall. In their obituary notices, the newspapers have been full of details of the later stages of his extraordinary career, but few have mentioned one of his most courageous efforts to help this country. In 1940, soon after Dunkirk, when General Marshall had only recently become Chief of the American Army Staff, this country desperately needed arms of all sorts. For all practical purposes, there was no American armaments industry, perhaps because of a rather misguided—as we thought then—interest in disarmament. The American Army itself was singularly ill-equipped.
But there was nowhere else in the world from which we could hope to get a supply of arms. There was a great debate in Washington at that time as to whether they should try to keep what weapons they had at home or send them across to us. The American Secretary for War at that moment was a man of isolationist tendencies, but despite that, his Chief of Staff, General Marshall, stripped the arsenals of America to send the badly needed weapons over to this country, Now it can easily be seen that this was the right and inevitable course, but in Washington at that time it was by no 1351 means so clear and obvious. It was an act of great courage.
Until the end of the Second World War, General Marshall had spent virtually the whole of his adult life in the armed forces of his country. I should like to see some recognition of this fact in the distribution of scholarships. I should like to see at least one of them go every year to a graduate of one of the American Service academies or to the Virginia Military Institute, the college where General Marshall himself studied. This would not mean a falling away of the standard of Marshall Scholarships, because one of the minor phenomena of the current British educational scheme has been the tremendous success of the Rhodes Scholars at Oxford who have come from West Point. This year there are six Rhodes Scholars at Oxford from that academy and the American Air Force Academy. Last year, three West Point men achieved firsts in their Final Schools at Oxford; in fact, I notice that this is a better record than that of the Marshall Scholars, so it would seem that by allocating a scholarship to the Service academies we would almost raise the standard.
Finally, may I pay a tribute not only to the distinguished Americans who have sat on the selection boards to sift the numerous applicants for the scholarships, but also to the administrative staff? When one looks at the rules and regulations governing these scholarships, it seems fantastic that they manage to get through the amount of work they do for the staggeringly small sum spent last year on the administrative side. I am amazed that they have been able to perform such good work.
I welcome very much the introduction of the Bill.
§ 11.33 a.m.
§ Mr. Michael Stewart (Fulham)
As the first hon. Member to speak from the back benches on this side of the House, I associate myself on behalf of all my hon. Friends very warmly with the words of the Minister at the beginning of his speech, the words of congratulation to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker). Some of us on this side of the House have known him for many years, and I have always regarded my right 1352 hon. Friend as the outstanding example of the contribution which the learned man can make to active politics.
Of course, varying opinions are expressed about that in this House, just as varying opinions are expressed as to the desirability of lawyers or members of other professions being here. Yet, I am sure that any political party would be the poorer, and politics as a whole would be the poorer, if it did not have its proper proportion of people who understood the world of learning and followed the things which it strives to do. That is one of the things which my right hon. Friend has done for our party and for British politics for many years.
I have only a few words to say about the Bill, but I should not like to let its Second Reading pass without expressing my gratification at the increase in the size of the scheme, moderate as it is, which the Bill envisages. I remember with great gratitude the opportunity I had to visit the United States under the generous terms of the Smith-Munt Act. It is, in a sense, a life's work to see and understand the United States, if one had the time, and so anyone who goes there on a visit of limited length can only get a quick picture here and there of that immense and varied community.
I remember a conversation I had with one young man who had just begun his career as a university student and was enabling himself to pay for it by working at the same time as a mechanic in a garage. He said to me, "I hear that in your country it is only the sons of very choice people who are able to get to college." I explained that although many years ago that might have been a legitimate criticism of our educational and social structure, it had changed in a number of respects since then. Now, this was a young man starting on his university career, and I do not doubt that before it was completed he would have been more fully acquainted with what life is like in this country.
We have to recognise, however, that there are many people in the United States who have inaccurate pictures of life in this country, just as there are many people in this country who have an extremely inaccurate picture of what life in the United States is like. It is a great pity that the United States, with 1353 its special links with us, is so far away that visiting it can never become a matter of widespread popular movement, at least as far as we can see.
In the absence of that possibility, the interchange of the learned, of people in the university world, is particularly important because they can become the most valuable interpreters to their fellow countrymen of the country they have visited. For that reason, I was specially interested in what the Minister said about the selection of the students from various sources in the United States. It would be unfortunate if there arose a position in which it was assumed that to have been a Marshall Scholar, to know something of the British university world, was the mark of a rather special group in the United States, associated with a certain group of universities or a special part of that country.
If this scheme is to have its ultimate long-term effect in improving the mutual understanding between the two countries, it is important that the Marshall Scholar should be somebody whom one could meet in any part of the United States and in many different walks of life.
The mere fact that the United States is big is something which we say to ourselves so often that sometimes we fail to realise its full implications. We are to some extent bewildered by what appear to us to be the complexities of the American system of government. It always seems to me that the astounding thing about the American Republic is that it manages to exist at all; that the bringing together of such a huge area and so many people under one law and one form of government is one of the greatest triumphs of mankind's political ingenuity. So, in dealing with such a country, it is important that the Marshall Scholar should be somebody who is linked, as far as can be managed, with every aspect of American life and is not regarded as a rather special type, only to be found in certain parts of the United States or among certain types of people.
Conversely, we must hope that as the scheme progresses there will be an increase in the proportion of students who go to universities other than Oxford, Cambridge and London, because again we want the Marshall Scholar to be somebody who has had a very wide experience of this country. However, it is clear 1354 that we must respect the student's right of choice, and at a time when we know that most students in this country exercise a strong preference for certain universities, we can hardly complain if our visitors from overseas exercise the same preference.
The moral of this—it is a long-term moral from our point of view—is that we have to set to work to build up both the performance and the prestige of some of the newer universities in this country. In that connection, perhaps the Minister could tell us—I do not think he mentioned it—what proportion of the scholars go to Scottish universities.
All these developments may, of course, well come in the future, but if they are to come, one obvious necessity is that one should increase the size of the scheme. With only 24 scholars coming over each year, the influence on either country and on the whole world of learnig is still bound to be very limited. We are very glad to see that the Bill contains not only the provision for the increase to 24, but the provision for further increase by administrative action without our having to face a separate Act of Parliament each time. Consequently, both on the general principle of the Bill and on the nature of its provisions, I feel that it is a Measure to which all parts of the House can give a most cordial welcome.
§ 11.41 a.m.
§ Mr. Malcolm MacPherson (Stirling and Falkirk Burghs)
I, too, should like to begin by saying something about the honour which has been done to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker). I shall not say a great deal; but there are a great number of people of my generation to whom his name was well known long before I and any contemporaries of mine came to the House, and known all the time in connection with the one cause. He has given to that cause a single-minded devotion which itself is admirable, and the combination of sheer intellect and passion which there has been in his advocacy has also been an example and model.
Turning to the Bill, I am very glad that the Government are taking this step, and I am strongly in support of the Bill and the idea which it enshrines. In the debate on the original Bill one of the points made by my hon. Friend the 1355 Member for Lincoln (Mr. de Freitas) was fairly strongly related to this. He said that there were about 300 other scholars coming from the United States every year and that a dozen scholarships under this plan would hardly be noticed; and he argued in favour of trying to make these scholarships distinctive. I did not agree with some of his arguments but the idea of trying to make this group of scholarships distinctive is, I think, one of the reasons which have prompted the Government to double the figure, and I hope that the doubling will not necessarily be the last change upwards that they will make.
I have been looking through the reports for the last five years, and, although I am very strongly in support of the scheme and its aims, I am bound to say that I find some things which rather depress me. If I make some criticisms, I hope that they will be taken as intended to be helpful rather than destructive. I was not able to look at the 72 cases which the Minister mentioned, because the published reports cover only five years; therefore, I am not familiar with the last 12 scholars. However, in the case of the first 60 scholars the preponderance of students coming from the eastern universities is not only marked, but, I think, far too heavily marked.
I have tried to make a list of the numbers from the various regions. My figures are bound to be one or two out in respect of some regions, because my knowledge of the location of one or two of the institutions is somewhat uncertain. According to my figures, 33 of the 60 students came from the eastern region, and those coming from the three other regions were eight, nine and ten respectively. Although my figures may be three or four out, we have at least half of the 60 coming from the one region, not all of them originating there but coming from colleges in that region. I do not think that it is wise that that should continue.
With regard to individual colleges, I find that eight came from Harvard. The Minister makes the figure one more. But not one of the first 60 came from the great University of Chicago. If we take together Harvard and the associated women's college, Radcliffe, 11 of the first 60 students have come from them.
1356 I feel that the dangers that people foresaw have actually occurred. I believe that this clustering of students from this group of colleges has already created a situation which ought to be corrected, and that it can only be corrected by a change in the administration of the scheme. This increase in the numbers provides an opportunity for the Commission to consider whether it will not follow a different method of administration. There are now to be 24 scholars each year, or, if necessary, a further increase by Order in Council. Twenty-four is roughly half the number of states in the Union. I wonder whether it would not be wise to ask the United States selection commissions to arrange for the selection of one student from each State over a period of two years, so that over every two-year period we should have a student from every state in the Union—not just a student born and brought up in the individual state, but one coming from a university in the state. Some change of that sort will be necessary if we are to correct the present situation.
I do not think that we can lay down what can be done in this kind of thing. We are not only indebted to our American colleagues for the work they do, but are also obliged to them for their advice, and we must rely on their judgment, but this seems to me to be a point that we could well put to them. So much for the colleges from which the students come.
I now turn to the subject of the colleges to which they go in this country. Again, I think that the situation is such that it calls for specific action to correct it. There was a statement in the White Paper which was originally issued to the effect that these scholarships should be tenable at any British university; but they are being held predominantly at three institutions—Oxford, Cambridge and the London School of Economics. London University as a whole has had only two of the 60 students apart from those who have gone to the London School of Economics.
The figures are very striking. Oxford and Cambridge, taken together, have had 41 of the 60, and if we add the London School of Economics, we then account for 50 of the 60. We have upwards of 20 universities in this country. I do not 1357 think that the best way to improve relationships and knowledge as between our two countries is to take groups of people from a small set of colleges in New England and place them in a small group of institutions in this country.
In our earlier debate the late Mr. Walter Elliot suggested that the terms of the Measure were too restrictive, because they did not allow students to go to colleges in the Colonies. They scarcely even go to our own provincial or Scottish universities, let alone to the Colonies. Since that debate we have established a number of colleges of advanced technology which have about the status of universities in their field, and I think that we should consider them nowadays in such arrangements as these.
I suggest that we need a certain limitation on the wide freedom which is suggested by the phrase "tenable at any British university". A line from Wordsworth's "Ode to Duty" was in my mind when I was going over these matters:Me this unchartered freedom tires.That is a rather clumsy line, but I think that unchartered freedom is a mistake here as in some other cases. I suggest that, instead of universities in this country as a group offering places to a couple of dozen Marshall scholars, each university should be asked individually to offer a place in a particular subject which it wishes to suggest. That could be done by co-operation and discussion; indeed, there could be co-operation and discussion with academic people from either side.
I would like to see London offering more than the facilities of the London School of Economics, because there are a number of other schools in the University of London which could well attract the specialist students which are encouraged in many universities in the United States. It would be a good thing to find students coming to the School of Slavonic Studies or the School of Oriental and African Studies. The importance of the future of Africa ought to promote co-operation between ourselves and America in dealing with its problems, and it would be a good thing if American students were offered scholarships in African studies.
In the same way one might suggest that Edinburgh University might offer a scholarship for theology. Out of the 1358 60 people in this first five years not one is studying theology, though this is a natural field of study for a post-graduate two years. Glasgow University has one student doing classics. Why a classics student should be at Glasgow rather than Oxford is something which I do not understand. Glasgow might well offer a scholarship in, say, naval architecture—the sort of thing in which it has a strong specialisation.
There is here a difficulty, which I realise. If we are to atomise the American side, and say that there shall be one student from each state, and if we similarly atomise the British side and say that there shall be one student to each of the universities taking the subject which the university offers, we shall have difficulty in marrying up the two sides.
My right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South quoted Nansen as saying that the universities govern the world. They do a tremendous amount even in governing Western countries. But it is not necessarily the case that an exchange of young people who have just graduated from and are going on at the universities is the best kind of exchange. We ought to consider the possibility of exchanges between people who have just finished apprenticeships and young men beginning executive careers in commerce and industry. We should consider young men at the beginning of their service in municipal government and in the service of the Governments of the States and that kind of thing.
One reason why we do not do that, one reason why we concentrate on the universities, is because the universities are easier to administer. Our university plan is easier to administer. We have the single institutions and the particular lines of study. We have the business of people selecting individuals for particular courses, which can be done with a great deal more expertness in this than in other spheres. The universities already represent the easiest approach to this problem and I think that it would be unfortunate if, within this comparatively easy method of approach, we took the easiest way of organising the exchange.
The Commission ought to consider whether it would be willing to embark on the sort of change which I have 1359 suggested. I am not saying that that is the only kind possible. The Commission must regard this as something in which there are difficulties which must be faced, because the easy selection and distribution which we have had so far, if continued, will keep the system of students from the New England States going to Oxford and Cambridge and London.
The scholarship lasts for a two-year period normally and I am glad to note that the Commission seems to be ready, in every instance where there is a good case on the record of the student, to extend the scholarship to three years. There is nothing sacrosanct about two years and I believe that the Commission is to be commended on what appears to be liberality on this point.
The academic record of these scholars is very good, much better perhaps than one would expect when one considers the basis of selection, which is partly intellectual and partly on the basis of other activities, like the Rhodes Scholarships.
I do no more than state the case, but there is a case for another type of selection; for saying that leadership, which is very largely the matter of concern here, at a particular level—taking a prominent place in public affairs perhaps and that kind of thing—is likely to be indicated by the combination which we have here of intellectual quality plus activities outside. It can be argued, however, that the greatest leadership is on a higher level than that. It would take a very unsophisticated politician to argue that the greatest leaders of nations and of the world are practising politicians. They are useful, practical and often admirable leaders, but they are not necessarily those who take the world where it is going. People who have a passionate intellectual interest in trying to take the human mind into new regions are, in the long run, among the greatest of leaders.
While I concede that it is difficult to arrange a scheme based on that sort of selection, and to feel happy about it, because we would never see short-term results and must always wait for long-term results, I think that we should consider—when we have the Rhodes scheme 1360 in existence, based on this combination—whether it is worth while in one scheme making the attempt to go for sheer intellectual ability and passionate interest in trying to extend the boundaries of human thought.
There are, I think, too many students in the main clumps of subjects, the social and political group, and the group of pure science, physics, chemistry and mathematics. There are some groups of subjects which are missing, very notably engineering and applied science. Out of the 60 students in the first five years, two were doing applied science. In our debate a few years ago the present Financial Secretary to the Treasury suggested that it would be a good thing to have some people doing music, and others suggested other subjects. It has proved impracticable to arrange that.
I would like to see improvements. I do not want to tread on people's toes, but on this particular point—in spite of the gratitude we owe to our American colleagues and in spite of the quality of the students—we ought to say bluntly that this is unsatisfactory. We want to have in such a scheme as this a good representation of professional people in America who will be concerned with engineering, in the broadest sense of the word. The applied scientist is doing a great deal, and will continue to do a great deal in American life, and we ought to feel dissatisfied that in this scheme we are unable to provide for the understanding and knowledge by those people of this country to a greater extent than we are doing.
I believe that students should be free to marry without restriction. What attracts a student from the United States to come across here on a scholarship is not, with all respect to my hon. Friend the Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart), the status and prestige of the individual university. The student may well be, say, a student of geology whose one desire is to study under Professor Smith, in Wisconsin, or Professor Brown, in Chicago. But he gets a chance to come to the United Kingdom, and he accepts it for extra-curricular reasons—he has a chance to see another country. He gets a chance to make these trips to the Continent, which he would not get if he went to another American university.
1361 It seems to me that the combined experience of a man and wife might well add up to more than the single experiences of two persons. I think that the same is true about age. There are always arguments about the ages of students, but the thing to do here is to encourage as far as possible a bigger proportion of post-graduate students. It does not seem that a comparison of ages with those of undergraduates is of very decisive importance. I do not think that it is a great matter of argument whether the age should be 26 or 28. but I should have preferred the greater latitude of the upper age.
I hope that I have not been too critical. As I began by saying, I am very strongly in favour of this kind of scheme and the greater the volume to which it can be increased the happier I shall be, but I think that there is a case for looking critically at what we are doing. While I do not say that the specific suggestions I have been making are necessarily the best, or even all correct, an approach of this sort should be made to find how we can, in embarking on this larger scheme, improve on our experience.
§ 12.2 p.m.
§ Mr. Emrys Hughes (South Ayrshire)
I was very glad indeed to hear the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs pay a tribute to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker) on his being awarded the Noble Peace Prize. I was delighted to realise that the ideas of my right hon. Friend were appreciated by or had even reached the Foreign Office. I hope that in future the Foreign Office will give much more satisfactory answers to the Questions frequently put by my right hon. Friend than has been the case in recent years. I am delighted also, as perhaps a rather more Left-wing pacifist than my right hon. Friend, to join in the tribute which has been paid to him.
When anyone gets a Nobel Peace Prize there is naturally a curiosity in the world as to what contribution the recipient has made to the thought of his time. I remember that last year when the Noble Peace Prize for Literature was announced there was tremendous interest in the Russian, Boris Pasternak. People began to say, "We shall have to see 1362 what this man has written, what contribution he has made." As a result, people began reading Pasternak's books. I hope that now, as an indirect result of the publicity given to the work of my right hon. Friend, people of this country will be encouraged to read the contribution he has made to international relationships.
I hope that when these students come to this country they will be encouraged to read the latest monumental classic which my right hon. Friend has written on the arms race. We ought not just to pay tribute to books. Everybody believes that the Bible is a great book, but unfortunately people do not read it. I hope that as a result of this award people will begin to read the contribution and the study that my right hon. Friend has made to international relationships and the threat to civilisation and the whole world which hangs over mankind so long as the arms race continues.
Although they may not completely accept the argument, I suggest that when they turn to the book they will at least understand the facts and know what a tremendous amount of money, energy and human ability are now being devoted to the manufacture of weapons which, if they were ever used, would bring calamity to the whole of mankind.
§ Mr. Charles Doughty (Surrey, East)
On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. Is it in order to refer to these perhaps important questions in a Bill which deals with giving more Marshall Scholarships?
§ Mr. Speaker
I was waiting. Everyone wishes to pay tribute to the right hon. Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker), but the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes), with his ingenuity, was wandering from those congratulations into a rather wider field. I know that he will use his discretion.
§ Mr. Hughes
The trouble about this place is that when one gets away from formalities and tries to draw logical conclusions from them one gets out of order. However, I am quite sure that, as a result of this interchange, the hon. and learned Member for Surrey, East (Mr. Doughty) will immediately proceed to the Library and carry on his researches into what I have been trying to express, with 1363 the result that we shall welcome him towards a better understanding of these problems.
In the previous debate, I suggested that I wanted more of these students to come to this country. I can conceive of no better textbook with which they could be provided than the book to which I have referred. The Foreign Office spokesman did not seem to realise or have a proper appreciation of what is going on in Europe. I hope I shall be in order in making one slight comment on the introductory speech, because if the hon. Gentleman does not wish comments made on his introductory speech he should not make provocative remarks. He said that one of the results of the Marshall Aid programme is that Communism is in full retreat in Europe at the present time. He was saying something which naturally is provocative and something which is not basically true. It is quite true that as a result of Marshall Aid Communist parties are not winning elections, but the fundamental ideas of Communism are not on the retreat.
At present, nobody would say that Mr. Khrushchev is an insignificant figure in the international relationships of our time. Mr. Khrushchev, apparently, has had a "Marshall Scholarship" and gone to investigate conditions in the United States. What appals me about the Foreign Office is that often it is years and decades behind the times. It is even decades behind the Prime Minister. Ideas seem to percolate to the heads of the people who run the Foreign Office long after they have been recognised by people outside. I hope this delusion that Communism is in full retreat will be seen as a mistake. As a matter of fact, Communism is in advance in all parts of the world, and it would be a fundamental mistake if we did not recognise that. I say that, not because I want to be out of order, Mr. Speaker, but because I was provoked.
My hon. Friend the Member for Stirling and Falkirk Burghs (Mr. Malcolm MacPherson) made a useful examination of how this money was being spent. I confess that I do not think it a very useful way of employing Marshall Scholarships if it has the effect of some unfortunate American studying classics in the University of Glasgow.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
In which respect does my hon. Friend consider the student unfortunate, in studying the classics or in being in Glasgow?
§ Mr. Hughes
That is another provocative remark. Obviously, the study of classics is the unfortunate fate for the student, because Glasgow is a great democratic city. An American student coming to study conditions in Glasgow is far more fortunate than if he studies classics in London. I hope that that meets the point. I do not want to digress into a discussion of the relative merits of the universities of London and Glasgow or Oxford or Cambridge. I merely do not think that it contributes a great deal to international understanding by having an American student from Chicago studying the work of Aristotle in Glasgow.
I would rather the students studied international relationships. I would prefer to see the student studying the economic and international problems that face us and what is to be done with the relationships between America and Europe and the rest of the world. Therefore, I do not think that the money is being put to precisely the purpose that General Marshall intended if we have these American students studying Aristotle in Glasgow.
I am not so sure that I agree with the alternative suggested by my hon. Friend the Member for Stirling and Falkirk Burghs. I do not see that it would serve the purpose of the Marshall Scholarships if the student who studied Greek in Glasgow were switched over to studying naval architecture. That would be a step in the wrong direction. I would rather this money were used in encouraging students to study the relationships between our two countries, what is to be done in the future and now the world is to be planned in such a way that both America and this country can work together in pursuing what General Marshall had in mind: the establishment of a world in which war will be abolished.
§ Mr. Malcolm MacPherson
I hope that my hon. Friend does not necessarily connect naval architecture with the Navy. The common usage of the phrase is in relation to architecture of ships, peaceful or warlike.
§ 12.12 p.m.
§ Mr. H. A. Marquand (Middlesbrough, East)
It has been a very great pleasure to me to listen to the congratulations extended from both sides of the House to my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker). I am sure that the whole House feels that an honour has been conferred not only upon him, but upon this House, by the award to one of its Members of the Nobel Peace Prize. We on our side of the House are particularly proud and I am especially pleased that so distinguished a member of our party should have been awarded this great prize.
I have known my right hon. Friend for more than thirty years, since he first came to lecture on the League of Nations, as it then was, in my own college. I have been associated with him many times in work that he has undertaken for the United Nations and the cause of peace and I am delighted to have the opportunity of joining in the congratulations which have been extended to him this morning.
I intervene in the debate particularly because I may claim to have a little knowledge about the exchange of students between the United States of America and ourselves. I had the great good fortune, more than thirty years ago, to receive a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship and, in consequence, to study in several American universities, both on the Atlantic seaboard and in the Middle West—the University of Chicago and particularly the University of Wisconsin. Later, I was able to teach in the University of Wisconsin.
I have a good deal of experience of many types of American university and I want to say how important it seems to me, especially in the light of what has been said this morning by some of my hon. Friends, that in awarding these scholarships we should not ignore the advantages of giving to students to whom the scholarships in this country are awarded the same kind of opportunity that some of us have had in the United States of seeing all parts of the country and of studying, if possible, in other universities than the famous or ancient universities which are well known throughout the world. Let us at least do our best to draw the attention of young Americans to whom we award 1366 these scholarships to the existence of the ancient Scottish universities as well as the ancient English universities and draw their attention to the existence of universities elsewhere in other parts of the country, in Wales and in England.
It is not true that one university is necessarily better than another. One cannot make this comparison fairly between universities. Universities may have distinguished teachers in particular branches of knowledge or distinguished faculties which render them, in respect of that faculty or branch of knowledge, more eminent than some other university. That is the correct method of approach, instead of making an all-out comparison between one university and another.
I am sure that the Joint Under-Secretary will pay careful attention to what has been said, particularly from this side of the House, about the desirability of drawing the attention of American students to the existence of so many universities in this country with so many special advantages. The advantage of studying agriculture in Aberystwyth, for example, may be greater for a scholar from the United States than the advantage of studying it in Cambridge, or wherever else in the ancient universities it may be taught. I hope that this will be done.
I would not go so far as my hon. Friend the Member for Stirling and Falkirk Burghs (Mr. Malcolm Mac-Pherson) and suggest that we should try to ration the scholarships numerically among the American states. That was done originally, I believe, with the Rhodes Scholarships and it did not work particularly well. It is rather unfair to New York or Ohio or California or the thickly-populated States and puts a rather heavy premium on Nevada or Rhode Island. We ought not to be too strictly mathematical in this matter when we consider where these scholars should come from. Let them come according to their ability, their proved academic achievement and their desire to visit this country, but, when they do come, let us do our best to spread them around.
§ 12.19 p.m.
§ Mr. R. Allan
This has been an agreeable debate and it has been made more so by the warmth and universality of the tributes paid to the right hon. Member for Derby. South (Mr. P. Noel-Baker).
1367 There have been no strident notes of criticism, although the hon. Member for South Ayrshire (Mr. Emrys Hughes) tried a little to bring in that note. If he reads my speech tomorrow, he will see that I said that Communism was in retreat in free Europe. If he does not believe that, it is the hon. Member and his thinking, and not the Foreign Office, that is out of date.
The main point on which the speeches have centred—and I am grateful for the suggestions and constructive criticisms that have been made—has been on the emphasis apparently placed on the East Coast universities of the United States. This was mentioned by the right hon. Member for Derby, South, the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Marquand), the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) and the hon. Member for Stirling and Falkirk Burghs (Mr. Malcolm MacPherson).
The point which we must remember is that these scholars are drawn from the four regional areas which I mentioned and potential Marshall Scholars living in those areas may well go to an East Coast university. The fact that they study in the East should not necessarily debar them from being selected as representatives of the geographical areas in which they live. The right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East pointed out that, if they choose to go to these universities, they need not necessarily thereby limit their selection for this scholarship.
§ Mr. Malcolm MacPherson
Is it not a fact that those who choose to go to these universities, although they may belong to the geographical area to which a number of others belong, do not always belong to the same social or, to put it bluntly, financial group? They tend to be a social group within their geographical area.
§ Mr. Allan
This is a subject which it is not quite appropriate for us to discuss in detail. It might be embarrassing. The hon. Gentleman himself said that he wanted to get people of intellectual interests. Indeed, he was saying that perhaps the scholarship should leave out the qualities of leadership and centre more on intellectual ability. It is probably an invidious discussion, but 1368 perhaps people who choose to go to Eastern universities are more likely to fit into that category.
The scheme has not been going long enough to discover whether the scholars are, when they return to the United States, entering into the wide variety of walks of life which the hon. Member for Fulham (Mr. M. Stewart) wished to see. From all the discoveries I have been able to make from the slight indications available, Marshall Scholars are taking up a very great variety of jobs in America—in the professions, the services and in business. The suggestion made about service academies by my hon. Friend the Member for Beckenham (Mr. Goodhart), who is himself, and comes from a family who are, deeply steeped in the Anglo-American academic tradition, is very interesting and I shall certainly see that it is considered.
The hon. Member for Stirling and Falkirk Burghs talked about a lone Marshall Scholar being sent to Glasgow. As a Glaswegian myself, I rather resent the idea that he should be "sent." I do not know the details, but I am quite certain that he chose to go there.
§ Mr. MacPherson
I was merely commenting on the oddity of the fact that the great mass of Marshall Scholars tend to go to Oxford and that there is a certain connection traditionally between Oxford and the classics. The scholar who went to Glasgow was a classics scholar.
§ Mr. Allan
I am not certain whether it is restricted to applied science, but it certainly includes it.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South mentioned, also, the question of the White Paper. Perhaps I may have inadvertently misled him in an earlier conversation which we had, because the annual reports of the Marshall Commission are issued as White Papers and are available. I have 1369 them here. So far, there are five of them.
The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Derby, South and other hon. Members mentioned married students. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the experience of the hon. Member for Lincoln (Mr. de Freitas). I, unlike the hon. Member for Lincoln, did not marry an American while I was at Yale, although I must admit that I gave very serious consideration to that course. I knew an American scholar over here who, after a year at Cambridge, went back to the United States, married, and brought his wife back for his second year at Cambridge. Far from being outside university life thereafter, that household was the centre of great influence and interest in the university. The answer is that so many Americans marry at universities now that to exclude them from the scheme would unduly limit the field of selection.
I am very grateful for all the suggestions which have been made today, but most of them are entirely matters for the Commission. I will write personally to the chairman, drawing his attention to this debate, and I hope that with that assurance the House will give the Bill a Second Reading.
§ Question put and agreed to.
§ Bill accordingly read a Second time.
§ Bill committed to a Committee of the whole House.—[Mr. Legh.]
§ Committee upon Monday next.