HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 cc575-6
31. Mr. James Johnson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science when he expects to make a statement following his consideration of the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Medical Education for the establishment of further new medical schools.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

In the reply I gave to my right hon. Friend on 5th December, I said that projects then in the university building programmes would raise the annual entry of pre-clinical students from under 2,700 in 1968 to 3,300 by 1975. Some additional places will be provided in the building programmes for 1970–71 and 1971–72, which will include the first phases of the rebuilding to greater size of the Leeds and Newcastle Schools. The establishment of further new schools will depend on decisions on manpower targets, which are being considered in the light of the Royal Commission's recommendations.

Mr. Johnson

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Commission said that the ancient City of Kingston upon Hull fulfilled all the necessary criteria, in that it had a first-class university, a most modern hospital and an excellent teaching staff at the hospital, but that it lacked one curious factor, population? Why is it that, at this stage, we must have a population of half a million before we get a medical faculty? Other places do not need this, surely?

Mrs. Williams

I think that Kingston upon Hull also has a good Member to add to its list of assets. The Royal Commission pointed out that some of the factors affecting the potentialities of Hull … will … not become clear for a number of years. Without labouring the point, I think that my hon. Friend knows that one of those factors does not come under my Department.