asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is aware of the need for a college of music for the Yorkshire area; and, in view of the valuable work already being done by the Department of Music at the Huddersfield College of Technology, if he will seek to develop this department as a regional college of music centred on Huddersfield.
This flourishing department is already regarded as a regional centre for courses in music. There is mutual benefit and cultural advantage from its association with the other departments of the regional college and, as at present advised, my right hon. Friend does not think that its separation would he an improvement.
Is my hon. Friend aware—I am sure that he is—that as long ago as 1958 the Yorkshire Council for Further Education recognised this to be a regional college of music and, in the interests of the people in the Yorkshire region who are anxious to obtain a musical education, will he further consider the suggestions made in the Question?
I will certainly consider any specific points which my hon. Friend may care to send to me on this subject. As we see the position at present, we consider that the balance of advantage lies in the college being associated with the other departments concerned. There is a building project at the moment to expand the accommodation of the music department of the college, so it is not very likely that we will change our policy on this at this stage. However, we will consider any further points my hon. Friend may care to make.
As one who has heard a performance in this college, and a very good one at that, may I ask the hon. Gentleman to consider this matter carefully and bear in mind the very great advantage of having a first-class musical section as part of a college of a deservedly high standard and the danger of having too many institutions within our further education system?