Education (Scotland) Bill.

Part of Supplementary Vote of Credit, 1941. – in the House of Commons on 16th December 1941.

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Photo of Mr David Kirkwood Mr David Kirkwood , Dumbarton District of Burghs

Yes. In spite of all the drawbacks, they were educated by the Scottish system. I know the drawbacks of 36 years back, when we paid for their education, paid for their books, paid for everything. The benefits that have accrued to Scottish children in my time are beyond the wildest dreams of the Socialists of my youth. That is the good groundwork on which the present Secretary of State, a Socialist, has the opportunity of building at a time when the atmosphere in the House is such that I am sure hon. Members would agree to allow the means test to be wiped out. I appeal to the Secretary of State to eliminate it entirely from the Bill.

The only other point I want to mention refers to the school management committees. I cannot speak for other constituencies, but I can speak for my own constituency. The Secretary of State and the Under-Secretary know that if there is one place where the school management committees take an interest in their work, it is in Clydebank and Dumbarton. I ask the Secretary of State to give the school management committees all the encouragement he can. How essential it is that we should see to it that our children are not only well educated but well fed. The most essential thing with the children is to be fed. It is more important than education. The Scottish children were never better fed than they were at the back end of the last war, when the feeding was on an organised plan. The Secretary of State has all that experience, and I ask him to put his practical experience into this Measure. Nevertheless, I welcome the Bill.