HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 cc374-5
20. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what allocation of funds will now be made to the county of Midlothian to enable them to carry out their primary school building programme.

Mr. Edward Taylor

My right hon. Friend is at present considering representations for additional capital investment for primary and secondary school building from Midlothian and a number of other education authorities. He will also be consulting education authorities generally about the additional investment which is now being made available for the improvement of primary schools which will amount to £4 million.

Mr. Eadie

Has the hon. Gentleman read the debate on the mini-budget presented by his right hon. Friend? Does he not know that in that debate the question of the allocation of extra funds towards education was very seriously challenged and was not answered? Will the hon. Gentleman not realise that not only Midlothian but local education authorities all over Scotland are very concerned about this and that they want extra money not only for the primary but also for the post-primary education programmes?

Mr. Taylor

I am fully aware of what was said in the debate, but I think that, in fairness, the hon. Gentleman must at least admit that what education authorities are complaining of is the allocation given by the previous Government. Under the mini-budget we have £4 million extra for primary school building in Scotland, and I think that the least that hon. Gentlemen opposite can do in these circumstances is to welcome the extra money for Scotland.

Mr. Ross

But if the situation is so serious, is not this a miserable sum, bearing in mind that the Government are taking £32 million from Scottish children in respect of meals and milk charges—£32 million over the four years? Is the hon. Gentleman aware that we increased the allocation by £40 million at the end of four years? Surely he can do better than that!

Mr. Taylor

The right hon. Gentleman should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. He must be aware that local authorities are hammering on the doors of the Scottish Office complaining about the inadequate sums allocated by the previous Government. This is new cash, extra cash, which will benefit Scotland.

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