HC Deb 10 March 1942 vol 378 cc941-2W
Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he is aware that the London County Council has announced its decision, as local education authority for London, to reduce by more than one-sixth for the duration of the war its pre-war grant to London University; and whether he will have this circumstance in consideration when making the allocation of the forthcoming Treasury grant to London University.

Sir K. Wood

I have been informed of the decision of the London County Council to which my hon. Friend refers. In accordance with the policy of which I informed the House on 24th February, the fact that in wartime conditions London University has been able to effect savings and thus to make considerable additions to its reserves, would not, in itself, have been regarded as a ground for reducing the Government grant. The maintenance of the grant would have been felt to be justified in view of the heavy immediate expenditure with which the University will be faced on resuming its life in London after the war, and in view of the desirability that the University should have some power of laying its plans in advance. The London County Council, however, have taken a different view. In view of the importance of maintaining the long-standing principle that Government grants to universities are affected by the amount of local support given to the universities, the University Grants Committee have felt obliged, with great regret, to inform the Court of London University that the action of the London County Council makes a reduction of the Treasury grant inevitable. The grant will accordingly be reduced on the advice of the University Grants Committee, by an amount equal to the total reduction made by the London County Council, with effect from the 1st April next. I am advised that this reduction will not involve any curtailment in the present activities of the University. The grant withheld will not be surrendered to the Exchequer but will remain in the hands of the University Grants Committee.