§ 8. Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will consider holding an inquiry into tertiary (post-school) education in Scotland, with particular reference to ways of reducing the very high level of unemployment.
§ Mr. Millan
As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment announced in the House on 29th June, there will be a substantial contribution from the education service to the Government's new programme for unemployed young people. I am keeping other aspects of tertiary education under review and do not consider that an inquiry is necessary at present.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
As the right hon. Gentleman is keeping other facets of this problem under review, does he agree that there is a case for having a full inquiry into post-school education in Scotland in future, in view of the heavy amount of unemployment there? Does he further agree that such an inquiry might serve a valuable purpose if someone with the stature of Lord Scarman were to head a review into all the facts and circumstances, with a view to reducing the shocking levels of unemployment in Scotland?
§ Mr. Millan
That is a rather interesting suggestion, but at present I see no case for a review. In the context of the Scotland and Wales Bill, the Government announced that in the post-devolution situation they would be anxious to see established in Scotland a Council for Higher Education, in respect of which the Assembly would play its part. We are pursuing this matter even in the pre-devolution situation, because it has met with a welcome in post-school education circles in Scotland. It is something that is well merited in its own right.
§ Mr. Fairbairn
In view of that reply, will the right hon. Gentleman undergo some tertiary education himself and stop using absurd words such as "post-devolution" and "pre-devolution", which mean nothing?