HC Deb 05 December 1963 vol 685 c1337
6. Mr. Taverne

asked the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations, whether the grant of British Council scholarships in Commonwealth countries is subject to the approval of the Governments concerned.

The Under-Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations and for the Colonies (Mr. R. P. Hornby)

Recommendations for scholarships are made after consultation between the British Council and the local specialist or educational bodies concerned, normally including the local Ministry of Education. Final selection is made by a British Council Awards Committee in London.

Mr. Taverne

Whilst I appreciate the need to consult the Ministry of Education and the Government concerned, may I ask for an undertaking that, as far as possible, no one will be excluded because his politics may be unacceptable to the Government in question?

Mr. Hornby

I am not aware of the legal position in all Commonwealth countries, but I understand it to be the case that, in some, nationals can be prevented by administrative action from taking up a scholarship overseas. I am fully in sympathy with the point made by the hon. Gentleman. If he has specific cases in mind which he would like me to investigate, I will gladly look into them.