New University, Stirling

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian 12:00 am, 22nd July 1964

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what consultations he has had with the University Grants Committee on the siting of Scotland's sixth university.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science on 17th July to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles (Commander Donaldson).

Photo of Mr Tam Dalyell Mr Tam Dalyell , West Lothian

First, I apologise to the noble Lady for misquoting her on Thursday when questions were being put to the Leader of the House by substituting 16th July' for a fortnight later. I realise that I should not have done this. May I ask her on what date the Scottish Education Department came to an agreement with the U.G.C. on the Stirling site?

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

I thank the hon. Gentleman for his generous correction of what I am sure was a genuine mistake, On the question of the date, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland is constantly in touch with my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.

Photo of Mr William Hannan Mr William Hannan , Glasgow Maryhill

Is the noble Lady aware of the great dissatisfaction, which is quite widespread, about the manner in which this announcement was made to the House of Commons, thereby limiting the opportunities of Members of Parliament and the Press to seek more information on the policy which lay behind this decision? Is she convinced that the U.G.C.'s criterion that prior to selection the area should have shown evidence of enthusiasm and financial support was observed? Was serious consideration given to the scientific educational needs for this new university to be associated with the new science-based industries in Falkirk, or is this merely a surrender to the internal politics of the establishment of the universities?

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

Any question concerning the manner in which the announcement was made should be addressed to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. One could not go into detail by question and answer on the various matters which were taken into consideration by the University Grants Committee, but I am certain that the Committee took a great deal of trouble to examine the claims of all seven sites, six of which were, naturally, bound to be disappointed.

Photo of Mr William Baxter Mr William Baxter , West Stirlingshire

Is the hon. Lady aware that the site which has been selected is the very best that could have been chosen and has given a great deal of satisfaction, not only to the people of Stirlingshire, but to the people of Scotland? No better decision could have been made by any Government.

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

I am sure that the hon. Member speaks for everyone when he refers to the sixth university for Scotland. I hope that all those who obviously and understandably were disappointed will now try their best to support this Scottish university.

Photo of Mr William Ross Mr William Ross , Kilmarnock

Is the hon. Lady aware that the Secretary of State for English education, who is our master in these matters, indicated to the House that when the statement was made it would be made in this House, and that this undertaking has not been met? Will the hon. Lady convey to her right hon. and learned Friend the fact that it was not met by answering a stooge Question in written form?

Photo of Lady  Grant of Monymusk Lady Grant of Monymusk , Aberdeen South

I will certainly convey the hon. Member's comments to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State. Although, however, the announcement was not made verbally, it was made in this House.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

On a point of order. Has the hon. Lady noticed that Question No. 76 on the Order Paper was submitted by me to the Secretary of State for Scotland, because I believed that it was a Scottish matter, and that it was accepted as such, whereas it has been transferred to an English Minister, who knows—

Photo of Sir Harry Hylton-Foster Sir Harry Hylton-Foster , Cities of London and Westminster

Order. The hon. Member rose to a point of order. It is no good addressing it to the hon. Lady, and transfer does not raise any point of order for me.

Photo of Mr Jon Rankin Mr Jon Rankin , Glasgow Govan

But she got the point.