HC Deb 10 December 1963 vol 686 cc211-2
Q1. Mr. W. Hamilton

asked the Prime Minister what reply he has sent to the Fife County Council's representations against the cutting of their school building programme for 1964–65 to £300,000

The Prime Minister (Sir Alec Douglas-Home)

I told the county council that its representations would be considered by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. A fresh proposal has been made to the council, namely, that it should plan in the expectation of being permitted to startschools to the value of £1 million in each of the next three years.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this is still merely a fraction of what the Fife County Council says that it can achieve if given the necessary permission by the Government? What sense is there in slashing the original estimates of local authorities and then, if the local authorities shout loud enough, the Government making a concession which is fractionally part of what the local authority originally asked for? Can the Prime Minister give an assurance that if any other local education authority makes its representations and makes them loud enough, it, too, will get an increase in its allocation in this election year?

The Prime Minister

My right hon. Friend reviews the situation from time to time and is not in a position now to allot any more than this sum to school building in Fife. It is a fairly substantial sum.

Sir J. Gilmour

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that we should be grateful for the extra money that is made available for the new developing towns in the area represented by the hon. Member for Fife, West (Mr. W. Hamilton), but that there is also need to see that the rebuilding of schools in the older parts of the county, such as Dunfermline and St. Andrews, is equally catered for?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir. I certainly take the point and I think that £1 million in each of the next three years will look after the point which my hon. Friend has made.