HC Deb 21 March 1972 vol 833 cc317-8W
Mr. Arthur Lewis

asked the Lord President of the Council whether he will give the date when the Government sent to Members of the House of Peers a circular offering training in the learning of French and German if financial assistance is offered; whether such an offer is to be made to Members of the House of Commons; who will meet the costs, and on what basis; and for what purpose this offer is being made.

Mr. Whitelaw

No offer of language training has been made to Members of either House. The Government are however considering the possibility of providing Members of both Houses of Parliament with a degree of assistance towards the cost of training in official languages of the E.E.C.—notably French and German. Inquiries to determine the potential demand in the House of Lords have been undertaken and an all-party notice on this subject has been circulated to Members of this House for the same purpose.

Until an assessment has been made of the potential demand for such language training, no decision will be taken as to the most appropriate form which any assistance from the Exchequer might take.