§ 124. Mr. Hurd
asked the Minister of Agriculture why no decision has yet been reached about an application for a Serviceman's grant for further training in agriculture made by Mr. John Gouldsbury in the first week in November; and how many 337W men who intended to take such agricultural courses have now abandoned hope owing to dilatoriness in Government Departments in deciding their cases.
§ Mr. Collick
The particulars received from Mr. Gouldsbury being incomplete, the Ministry of Labour had to obtain further information from him. The papers were then referred to my Department in the usual way, and an interim reply was sent on 9th January. An early decision will he reached; but while recognising Mr. Gouldsbury's need to know as soon as possible whether an award will be given him if he secures a place at a university or college, I would point out that he has not yet succeeded in obtaining a vacancy and is unlikely in any event to be able to start a course before the new academic session next autumn.
Applications are not dealt with in a dilatory manner. My Department has received 2,224 applications to date, and of the 60 withdrawals nearly all have been due to the applicants finding paid employment or failing to secure a place at a university or college. Five men in all have attributed their withdrawal partly or wholly to Departmental delay, but two of these were ineligible for awards and the other three had failed to secure vacancies at an educational institution.