HC Deb 07 June 1962 vol 661 cc641-2
22. Mr. P. Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations what progress has been made with the establishment of a Commonwealth English Languages Information Centre.

The Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations (Mr. Duncan Sandys)

Following the Commonwealth Education Conference this recommendation was referred to the Commonwealth Education Liaison Committee, which has it under consideration.

Mr. Williams

I am delighted to hear that it is under consideration. Is my right hon. Friend aware that the author of the booklet, "The Modern Commonwealth "—the Secretary of State himself —said: Anyone who wishes to maintain and strengthen the Commonwealth should give special attention to the teaching of English. This is not a matter which should merely remain under consideration. When will a decision be taken and action followed through?

Mr. Sandys

I attach the very highest importance to this question. The House may be assured that I shall give what support I can to trying to ensure that something happens as quickly as possible. Certain action is already being taken in regard to the recruitment of experts for the teaching of English.

Mr. Shinwell

When this country is fully committed to the Common Market will the teaching of English be necessary?

Mr. Sandys

I have no doubt that there will be a wider interest in the learning of English.