HC Deb 31 January 1962 vol 652 cc1093-4
41. Mr. Lawson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is now able to give a date for the commencement of building of the technical college at Motherwell.

Mr. Brooman-White

The latest information provided by the education authority gives the estimated starting date as February, 1964.

Mr. Lawson

May I recall to the Under-Secretary's notice the fact that in 1958 I was given an assurance that this college was to be started in January, 1960, and completed in August, 1963? Does he also remember that in November of last year he told me that, because the technical facilities in Lanarkshire were so good, it was not necessary to treat this project as a high priority? Has he since discovered that his statement about the technical facilities in Lanarkshire was wrong?

Mr. Brooman-White

If I remember correctly, what I said to the hon. Gentleman on a previous occasion was that the local authority had taken this view, which was why it had not given high priority to this proposal. It was not until July of last year that we received specific proposals from the Lanarkshire local authority. I share the hon. Gentleman's concern, and should like to make headway as much as he would.

Miss Herbison

Surely, the Secretary of State can do something to bring forward the date from February, 1964. Is not the Under-Secretary aware of a case that my hon. Friend the Member for Motherwell (Mr. Lawson) and I brought to his notice of a shocking lack of facilities in Lanarkshire for some of our young technical students? With that information to hand, the Secretary of State must be able to do something to influence the local authority to get a move on with the building of this school.

Mr. Brooman-White

We will certainly do what we can, and I welcome the hon. Lady's support. The position is that in July last we received the proposals, which were discussed with the local authority. The local authority is considering the matter further, and I understand that it hopes to submit further proposals to us during the course of next month.