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

Before the hon. Member interrupted me. I was pursuing my argument, which I hoped would be short, that if the various faculties in the constituent colleges of the University of Wales determined what was the best policy for the university as a whole—if people were not simply empire-building within their own departments—there is no reason whatever why these difficulties, which are grossly exaggerated, could not be easily solved. The truth is that some people want to break up the federal University of Wales, come what may. This is the viewpoint that we have heard expressed this evening.

I noticed many contradictions in the speech of the hon. Member for Pontypool. At one stage, for example, when quoting from Professor Hughes' letter, he extolled the virtues of Professor Hughes' department and said that he was now drawing students from all over Britain as the law department at Aberystwyth did in my day and long before my day. A few sentences earlier, however, the hon. Member bewailed the fact that law students from the Cardiff area had to go outside Wales to get a legal education. Is it, Lien, a virtue that students from England and Scotland come to Professor Hughes' department but an evil that some students from the Cardiff area have to go outside Wales to have a legal education? Of course not. It is a good thing for students to have this cross-pollenisation.

If the hon. Members is arguing that we need a small parochial university in Cardiff, he is going the right way about it, but I should have thought that he took a boarder view of education.