Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 1949.

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Photo of Mr Herbert Hughes Mr Herbert Hughes , Wolverhampton West 12:00 am, 5th July 1949

The right hon. Gentleman found some faint praise for the work of the Ministry in the last three years, and went so far as to admit that the priority education is receiving today is considerably in advance of what it has been in previous periods of our history. There have been one or two notes of alarm sounded from Members of the Opposition during the Debate, and I hope that whoever winds up for the Opposition will be a little clearer on the subject. Looking back into the history of our country, I think it is quite clear that in the past, when we have run into economic difficulties, education has been one of the first victims. In 1918, education was one of the worst victims of the Geddes axe. In 1931, education was one of the worst victims of the May Committee. Under this Government, in spite of the economic crisis we had two years ago, we have been successful so far in largely shielding education from that kind of economy. I did not quite like the sound of something said by the hon. and gallant Member for Horncastle (Commander Maitland), when he said that it was already necessary to reduce the standards laid down under the 1947 Act.