Workers' Educational Association (Grants).

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 3rd April 1928.

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Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

63.

asked the President of the Board of Education what is the amount of the grant which the Workers' Educational Association receives from the Board of Education; and for what purpose is it given?

Photo of Lord Eustace Percy Lord Eustace Percy , Hastings

Grants to the amount of £6,129 7s. 9d. were paid in the financial year 1927–28 to the Workers' Educational Association, including its district branches. These grants were made in respect of courses of instruction recognised under the Board's Adult Education Regulations.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he has seen the issue of the "Highway," the official organ of the Workers' Educational Association, for the month of January, which contains articles on the mining question by Mr. Tawney, Mr. S. O. Davis, and the hon. Member for Mansfield (Mr. Varley), and which is, in fact, simply an organ of Socialist propaganda?

Photo of Lord Eustace Percy Lord Eustace Percy , Hastings

No, Sir; I have not seen that issue of the "Highway." These grants are made to classes conducted under the auspices of this Association and inspected by my inspectors, and I am satisfied that those classes are doing educational work which is properly recognised under the Regulations.

Photo of Mr Cyril Culverwell Mr Cyril Culverwell , Bristol West

May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether, in view of the fact that he has not seen this number of the "Highway," he will peruse it at his leisure and that he will then consider the withdrawal of Government support to this Association.

Photo of Mr Morgan Jones Mr Morgan Jones , Caerphilly

Is it not a fact also that the editor of the "Highway" would be equally pleased to get articles on the coal situation from the Prime Minister and from other Cabinet Ministers?

Photo of Colonel Herbert Woodcock Colonel Herbert Woodcock , Liverpool Everton

Does not my right hon. Friend think that the greatest care should be exercised before these grants are given, because this pamphlet which is issued by the Workers' Educational Association is nothing but propaganda for Communist purposes?

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Is it not a fact that the greatest care was exercised before these grants were made, and that it was the general opinion among all education experts in all parts of the country that the Workers' Educational Association was one of the very best organisations of its kind in the country?

Photo of Lord Eustace Percy Lord Eustace Percy , Hastings

I think it will be well for me to answer the questions already put, as it might prevent other supplementaries. I shall certainly read the January issue of "Highway," and, if my hon. Friend has been a constant reader in the past, he will possibly have found that I myself have contributed to it. With reference to the other supplementary question, I quite agree that all classes conducted by this organisation, as well as those conducted by other organisations which contain members who have political views and on occasion express them, ought to be closely watched, and I have watched and am closely watching them.

Photo of Mr Arthur Dixey Mr Arthur Dixey , Penrith and Cockermouth

May I ask, having regard to the fact that there is tremendous feeling against this grant, whether the Noble Lord will give the House an opportunity of debating it?

Photo of Mr John Whitley Mr John Whitley , Halifax

It is a matter that can be discussed on the Education Estimates.