HC Deb 14 January 1964 vol 687 cc7-8
9. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of Technical Co-operation if he will make a statement on the future of the official scheme undertaken in cooperation with the United States of America to provide teachers for East Africa.

Mr. R. Carr

Recruitment for 1964–65—the fourth year of the Anglo-American "Teachers for East Africa" scheme—has now started. East African Governments are asking for a total of 320 teachers for their secondary schools and the apportionment of this recruitment total between Britain and the United States will shortly be worked out.

Mr. Thomson

May I ask the Minister whether he is aware that this has been one of the most notable and successful examples of Anglo-American co-operation in granting educational aid, and an example which might usefully be carried out in other places? Can the Minister therefore confirm or deny rumours that the American Government are considering withdrawing from this scheme, and if there is any truth in them, will the Government take every opportunity in discussions with the Americans to try to keep the scheme going?

Mr. Speaker

If the rumours do not have a Ministerial origin, there is no obligation on the Minister to answer about them.

Mr. Thomson

On a point of order. Mr. Speaker. May I, with respect, rephrase my question without the use of the word "rumours" and ask he Minister whether he has received information that the American Government are considering withdrawing from the scheme? Would that be in order?

Mr. Speaker

It depends. It is really asking the Minister to confirm or deny something for which he may or may not be responsible. That is my difficulty, and that is why the question is out of order. If the information is in the air, I do not think that we are very much better off. If the hon. Member can attach it to the Minister, the hon. Member can do what he likes.

Mr. Carr

Perhaps I might be allowed to endorse what the hon. Gentleman said about the value of the scheme both in itself and as a basis of co-operation between ourselves and the United States, but I cannot comment on the reports which the hon. Gentleman mentioned at the end of his supplementary question, because I have no knowledge of them.