HC Deb 24 June 1965 vol 714 cc1921-3
15. Mr. Charles Morrison

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what progress is being made in establishing the new business schools at the universities of London and Manchester.

The Secretary of State for Education and Science (Mr. Anthony Crosland)

Both schools have leased temporary pre- mises which are now being adapted and equipped. Staff are being recruited and planning is at an advanced stage. The first full-time course at Manchester will begin next September. In London it is hoped to hold some part-time courses this autumn, and full-time courses should start in February next.

Mr. Morrison

Would not the right hon. Gentleman agree that progress so far has been due largely to the initiative of the previous Government? Would he say whether he is satisfied now with the progress which is being made and also whether he considers that any particular encouragement should be given to industry and business to make use of the facilities which are now beginning to become available for them?

Mr. Crosland

I do not think that the question of these two notable business schools is quite a matter for party political points across the Floor of the House. Very rapid progress is being made. I do not think that special encouragement is required at the moment. Indeed, I am very encouraged by the fact that in one case full-time courses are starting in September and, in the other, in February. That seems to me to be a considerable rate of progress, whichever Government is responsible.

Mr. Rhodes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that both the McMeeking Report a few years ago and the Report this year of the A.T.T.I. have drawn attention to the terrible wastage of business talent in this country because of the inadequacy of business training during the previous Administration?

Mr. Crosland

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Osborn

How many chairs are unfilled? How many have been filled in both establishments? Is there adequate co-ordination with the Minister of Technology, and to what extent is his or other Ministries responsible?

Mr. Crosland

As far as staff is concerned, the London School, as the hon. Member no doubt knows, has appointed its director. The Manchester School is waiting to appoint one now and will do so as soon as it finds a suitable candidate. Both schools have advertised for their first instalment of staff and are immediately engaged in interviewing candidates. It is too early to give the figures. I am satisfied that liaison between the schools and the Ministry of Technology and the Government generally will be close and sufficient.