HC Deb 11 July 1977 vol 935 cc4-5
2. Mr. van Straubenzee

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has for the increased use of the Welsh language in post-school institutions in Wales.

Mr. John Morris

The Government's policy is to encourage a greater use of the Welsh language whenever practicable. This applies as much in post-school institutions as in other fields.

Mr. van Straubenzee

In applying the test of practicability, will the Secretary of State bear in mind that, however beautiful a culture is represented by the language, to extend it compulsorily to the post-school world would be a very grave error? Will he also bear in mind that the compulsory learning of this language at school age is already creating in Wales some of the most educationally deprived children in Europe?

Hon. Members


Mr. Morris

I always thought that the hon. Gentleman knew something about education. I do not know on what basis he advances the statement made in the last part of his supplementary question. To my knowledge it is not supported by evidence in any shape or form. Perhaps he will let me know in due course the basis for it.

I welcome the hon. Gentleman's interest in the question of Welsh education, but may I tell him that the curriculum is a matter for the local education authorities and that they are democratically elected, which the hon. Gentleman is not, for any part of Wales.

Mr. Gwynfor Evans

Is the Secretary of State aware that if the Government implemented their long-standing undertaking to establish the fourth television channel as a national channel in Wales it would be natural to develop on that channel a Welsh language university of the air? Will he hasten that day?

Mr. Morris

I do not wish to comment at this stage on the last part of the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question, but the Government's commitment to the fourth channel is well known. It is simply a question of finding funds before one can proceed with it.