HC Deb 31 May 1916 vol 82 cc2749-50W

asked the Secretary for Scotland, in view of the importance of developing trade relations between Britain and Russia after the War, what special steps are being taken to promote the teaching of Russian in schools and continuation classes in Scotland; and whether he is aware that many traders and manufacturers are anxious to employ youths with a knowledge of the Russian language?


The question of the steps to be taken to encourage the study of Russian in Scotland has been under consideration. An evening class for instruction in Russian was carried on at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Commercial College throughout the session 1915–16, and is proposed to be continued next session. Similar classes (nine in number) have been conducted under the Continuation Class Code at such places as Edinburgh, Greenock, Dundee, and Leith, and the governors of Robert Gordon's College, Aberdeen, have made proposals for giving the study of Russian a place in the curriculum of the secondary school, as well as in special classes for adults. The first requisite for any considerable de- velopment of the study of Russian in Scotland is a supply of properly qualified teachers, and on this point the Department has been in communication with the Provincial Committees for the Training of Teachers in Scotland, with the immediate result that the St. Andrews Provincial Committee, for themselves and as the agent of the other Provincial Committees, have under consideration proposals for establishing a vacation course for teachers at Dundee for the study of Russian.