HC Deb 02 February 1962 vol 652 cc125-6W
Dr. Dickson Mabon

asked the Lord Privy Seal if he will consider increasing the number of student exchanges through the British Council between the United Kingdom and the countries of Eastern Europe; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. P. Thomas

Under the Anglo-Soviet Cultural Agreement the British Council is responsible for long-term exchanges of British and Soviet postgraduates and in addition co-operates with representative student and youth organisations in arranging short-term visits by groups of students and other young people. In the last three years some sixty from either country have taken part in the long-term and some 700 in the short-term exchanges. The Council has its own office in Poland and in the last three years has given help to over 400 Poles wishing to study in this country, including the award of some fifty scholarships to post-graduates. Assistance has also been given recently to post-graduate exchanges with other East European countries, although these are at present on a smaller scale.

Such exchanges can make a valuable contribution to East-West understanding and I hope that there will be opportunities for extending them as our cultural relations with Eastern Europe develop.