Grants to Universities and Colleges (Estimates Committee's Reports)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 26th January 1966.

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Photo of Mr Emlyn Hooson Mr Emlyn Hooson , Montgomeryshire 12:00 am, 26th January 1966

I had not intended to take part in the debate, but what has just been said by the hon. Member for Pontypool (Mr. Abse) has provoked me to rise to my feet. I am a firm believer in the federal University of Wales. That anyone could suggest that it is an impediment to the development of Wales that young Welsh people are unable to gain the proper university education because there is a federal university in Wales—that was what the hon. Member's plea amounted to—is absolute nonsense.

To take up the point made by the hon. Member that university education in Wales must match the demands of modern times, I would point out that one of the most successful universities in the world is the University of California. It happens to be in one of the most advanced States in the world and to be the largest federal university in the world.

As far as I am able to discover from my investigations—I am not an expert in these things, but I take, I hope, an intelligent interest—none of the large campuses of the University of California, which now boasts of having more Nobel Prizewinners than any other university in the world, finds any difficulty in its development because it is part of a federal university. For the record, I think it true to say that save in possibly one case, each campus of the University of California is larger than the whole University of Wales with the C.A.T. attached to it put together.

What needs to be emphasised is that the University of Wales is a federal university for historical, but still important, reasons. It helps preserve the unity of Wales. It also enables a standard to be set that might not be attainable—