HC Deb 28 June 1962 vol 661 cc1329-31
2. Mr. Fisher

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Central African Office) whether the Government will implement the recommendation on secondary education proposed by the Phillips Committee on the Education of Africans in Nyasaland.

Mr. R. A. Butler

The Nyasaland Government have accepted virtually all the Committee's recommendations, subject to the availability of finance. Some of the recommendations have already been incorporated in a new Education Ordinance passed in March.

Mr. Fisher

I wonder whether my right hon. Friend can arrange to have a copy of this Committee's observations placed in the Library—where I was unable to find them on three separate occasions—so that hon. Members can read this Report? In the meantime, can my right hon. Friend say whether he accepts the particular observation made by the Committee that the expenditure of £l½ million spread over a period of five years for African secondary education should be a responsibility which the United Kingdom ought morally to shoulder?

Mr. Butler

We have some copies of the Report in the Central African Office, and I shall be glad to place one in the Library of the House if my hon. Friend so desires.

As regards the sums envisaged, my hon. Friend's estimate is approximately correct. We have, of course, discussed the draft development plan with the Nyasaland financial delegation which visited London in April, and in these discussions the claims of educational projects took a very prominent place. My hon. Friend asks whether this should be the moral responsibility of Her Majesty's Government, and of course we shall do our best, but the question is how much we can fit in of the total development plan, and we are doing our best to help.

Mr. G. M. Thomson

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that questions about the Phillips Committee have been asked in the House for some months, and that during this period we have found it impossible to get a copy of this Report placed in the Library? Will the right hon. Gentleman look seriously, not only at the question of making this Report available, but at the general question of making reports from Central Africa available to hon. Members?

Mr. Butler

I am glad that this Question Time gives me an opportunity to say that I will put a copy of the Phillips Report in the Library, and if hon. Members desire other information I will also try to provide that.

Sir G. Nicholson

Can my right hon. Friend go further and say that he will? Would not he agree that education in Nyasaland is perhaps the first priority of all, and would not he agree that this country has a heavy moral obligation for it? When does my right hon. Friend think that he will be able to make a more expanded statement about this?

Mr. Butler

I have to carry with me my right hon. and learned Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, but I am hopeful that we shall be able to help Nyasaland in this respect, and I do not think that Mr. Chisiza or Mr. Phillips when they were here had any reason to doubt that we were willing to help both with the recurrent budget and with the long-term plan.