Education (School-Building)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1st July 1953.

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Photo of Dame Florence Horsbrugh Dame Florence Horsbrugh , Manchester Moss Side 12:00 am, 1st July 1953

No. Unfortunately I am carrying the legacy of two Labour Governments, and in each of those Governments the allocation to my Department was less, both on revenue and capital account, and the Ministers were in the Cabinet. The capital now allocated to school-building is more than it has ever been. The capital spent on school-building under previous Governments was less. Hon. Members opposite may say that they required more money. I invite them to say why their Government did not give them more.

Two years ago under a Labour Government this country was heading for the worst financial crisis that we have ever seen. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, speaking at the London Institute of Education, said that the first duty every generation owes to its children is to make its country and theirs safe and solvent. Nobody can say that my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer has failed in his duty, particularly when we bear in mind the 1944 Act. Anybody who is interested in the welfare of children knows that that is true.

Under this Government our national resources have been built up. An immense defence programme is being achieved. The houses are going up at a rate that hon. Members opposite said was impossible. More school-building is being done than ever before. No member of this Government, whether inside the Cabinet or outside, will be deterred by taunts, or gibes or abuse from carrying on the policy, and if possible extending it, which this Government initiated when it came into office—a policy that has brought us more schools and which has the support of the people of this country.