HC Deb 04 March 1921 vol 138 cc2184-5W
Lieut.-Colonel HILDER

asked the President of the Board of Education if his attention has been called to the statements in the Report of the Auditor-General that a sum of £250,000 voted for the further education of juvenile unemployed could not be expended except as regards £70,000, because the juvenile unemployed did not want further education, and that sums paid in advance to ex-service men for the expenses of educational courses has been in some cases drawn and the courses then not undertaken; and will he, seeing that in the face of these facts the policy of educational subsidies is being pushed too far, and that they are in danger of becoming not only a burden to the taxpayers, but also unappreciated boons to the beneficiaries, take steps to modify his policy in this respect?


The statement that the juvenile unemployed did not want further education does not appear in the Report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. The estimate of £250,000 for Juvenile Unemployment Centres was prepared immediately after the Armistice, when it was considered important to make liberal provision for emergencies. The cases of the ex-service students referred to are cases not of failure to undertake, but of failure to complete the courses of instruction approved. An examination of the cases does not warrant the general con elusion that the students concerned did not appreciate the benefits offered them. The failure to complete the courses was due, in the great majority of cases, to special personal reasons, such as an advantageous offer of employment. It is the Board's practice to take steps to recover sums overpaid, and legal proceedings may be taken if necessary.