HC Deb 06 February 1969 vol 777 c569
22. Mr. Goodhew

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will seek to withdraw the power of local education authorities to make university grants to the children of foreign nationals temporarily resident in the United Kingdom, where they choose to be educated in their home countries.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

No duty award is payable in such a case, and this power is exercised entirely at the discretion of local authorities. I am sure they can be relied upon to use it sensibly.

Mr. Goodhew

Is the hon. Lady aware of something quite scandalous, namely, that a 19-year-old Italian girl, whose parents were temporarily resident in this country, was sent for a four-year course at Rome University, at the expense of the ratepayers of Bedfordshire? Is the hon. Lady further aware that the Director of Education said that they were required to pay for her education because she had the proper academic qualifications and had chosen to go to an accredited university? Is the hon. Lady satisfied that local authorities can be left with this power?

Mrs. Williams

I am moved by the hon. Gentleman's concern for a county which is not his own, though it is his party's. I can only repeat that that county must have had representations made to it, presumably by Members of Parliament and councillors, and then changed its mind.