It would not be right for me to announce, in advance of the conference, the proposals we shall be making at the Third Commonwealth Education Conference which is to be held at Ottawa in August. I can, however, assure my hon. Friend that these proposals will be directed to the expansion and improvement of this most valuable scheme.
Has my right hon. Friend seen the memorandum sent in by the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) and myself on behalf of the Council for Education in the Commonwealth? If so, were the suggestions welcome and will he see that some of them are carried out?
I have seen that memorandum and I can assure my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Dundee, East (Mr. G. M. Thomson) and their colleagues that I have studied it personally. I know that it is very much valued and I can assure them that the matters raised will be properly discussed.
Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that some school and university authorities in this country differ in their enthusiasm for this type of work? Will he urge upon them the extreme importance of seconding their people, sometimes their best people, for this kind of active service, and will he ensure, if he wants really good people to go away, that their security of tenure, their salary rights and their rights of increment are maintained and that they do not lose their place in the line over here by doing this very important work?
I shall bear in mind all the points. I think that the enthusiasm and response of educational establishments on the whole has been very good, although, of course, it varies. I have personally visited eight or nine universities in the last six or nine months, and officials of my Department are constantly making such visits with this object in mind, because we think that personal contact is the best way to achieve it.