HC Deb 15 June 1967 vol 748 cc761-2
25. Mr. Carter-Jones

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will introduce legislation to control the costs, reliability and standards of comfort on educational cruises; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

No, Sir.

Mr. Carter-Jones

Is my hon. Friend aware that the charges for these cruises, which I admit are very desirable and a good form of education, sometimes impose very severe hardships on the parents? Would it not be possible to reduce the cost of the cruises, because they are normally fully taken up and the standard of accommodation is not as high as all that when compared with normal cruises and some of the administrative costs are borne by the teachers themselves in collecting the money?

Mrs. Williams

My hon. Friend's comments may be correct. But this is a matter to be settled between the local education authorities and the companies concerned. Some local education authorities assist parents with the costs of sending children on educational cruises.

Mr. Dalyell

Is my hon. Friend aware that many thousands of families are convinced of the educational, financial and safety value of these cruises?

Mrs. Williams

Yes. They have a very useful rôle to perform.

Mr. Marten

Is the hon. Lady aware that I have been on one of these cruises and that the criticisms made by the hon. Gentleman are absolutely wrong? Conditions are completely comfortable.