HC Deb 30 March 1977 vol 929 cc424-6

4.16 p.m.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton (Edinburgh, West)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to require the Secretary of State for Scotland to rename Dunfermline College of Physical Education for Women, situated in the purpose-built specialist facilities in Cramond, West Edinburgh, 'The Scottish College of Movement and Education'; and for connected purposes. The purpose of this Bill, which has the support of the college, is to recognise the present Dunfermline College of Physical Education for Women for exactly what it is—a centre of excellence for sport and physical education and an outstanding national asset. This is in no sense a party political matter, since the sponsors of the Bill represent every party in Scotland.

I am somewhat hesitant about introducing the Bill, since it seems to be different from almost all recent legislation in three respects. First, it will cost the taxpayers nothing. Second, it will create absolutely no administrative difficulties. Third, the suggested change of name is logical and will cause no anomalies.

First, I will deal with the logic of the change of name. At present, the college is called the Dunfermline College of Physical Education, but it is in Edinburgh, at a considerable distance from Dunfermline. At least one might expect it to be called the Edinburgh College of Physical Education, but that would not do either, since both its catchment area and its influence extend throughout the Scottish nation.

It is also a diminution of its rôle to describe it as a college of physical education. Its rôle is already that of a national college, so calling it such would involve no reorganisation. As a result, there would be no expenditure apart perhaps from changing the letter heading on some notepaper.

Second, the name should provide an accurate description of the nature of an institution. The college is not at Dunfermline and it does not deal with physical education alone. Since the college is a national college and the only one for women students in Scotland, training students from and supplying teachers to every region in Scotland, the term "Scottish" is accurate and reflects its national nature.

Third, the college is not concerned only with training physical education specialists to degree standard. It already runs a post-graduate course in recreation and leisure and it has research projects in movement therapy for the disabled. It contributes to the academic study of this area. It also contributes to and collaborates in high level sports coaching for national teams. It is these aspects of its work which would be reflected in its new title.

Fourth, "Dunfermline College of Physical Education" indicates only the training of teachers, whereas "Scottish College of Movement and Education" covers the full spectrum and allows for diversification. Ever since 1965, the college has been pressing for further diversification and a change of name and it has not had a final answer on the matter from the Scottish Office. That is the reason for the Bill. The Long Title mentions the purpose-built special facilities in Edinburgh and it is hard to imagine anyone so insensitive as to think of the college being anywhere else.

I hope that there will be no opposition to the Bill because there is something in it for every political party. It is sensible and represents no burden to the taxpayers, so it should recommend itself to the Conservative Party. It makes clear to the world the possession by the Scottish nation of an outstanding educational asset, so it should commend itself to the Scottish National Party. One of the purposes of the college is to improve co-ordination; that should appeal to the Liberal Party. Finally, its new title, including both the words "education" and "movement", should have the support of both the Labour Party and the Scottish Labour Party, each of which is now engaged in educating the Labour movement in Scotland. I commend the Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, Mr. Hector Monro, Mr. George Younger, Mr. Malcolm Rifkind, Mr. Alexander Fletcher, Mr. Robin F. Cook, Mr. Jim Craigen, Mr. Dennis Canavan, Mr. Donald Stewart, Mrs. Margaret Bain, Mr. Russell Johnston and Mr. James Sillars.