asked the Secretary for Technical Co-operation what steps are being taken to make available sufficient accommodation in this country for the increasing number of trainees coming here from the developing countries under the sponsorship of his Department.
I am responsible directly for only about 1,600 of the 50,000 trainees from developing countries in Britain. The British Council is responsible for assisting them to find suitable accommodation and each receives a maintenance allowance adequate to cover reasonable accommodation charges. The Government have initiated a programme, administered by the British Council, for increasing the accommodation available to overseas students and I do not think it is necessary for me to take separate measures for those students sponsored by my Department.
While recognising that my right hon. Friend's Department is not exclusively concerned with this matter, may I ask him how much extra accommodation he expects to be provided under the scheme which he has mentioned?
The current position is that 65 schemes of hostel development have been approved which will provide over 3,000 extra places. Others are under consideration, and by next autumn about 1,000 extra places are expected to be available.