Mr Phillip Whitehead: Is the Minister aware that, in his usual innumerate way, he even got wrong the number and name of the Labour Party's policy document? Is he aware that in the document "Learning for Life—16 to 19 Education", the Opposition are pledged to introduce educational maintenance allowances and that they will so do? Will he further tell the House, with 3½ million unemployed and with over 600,000...
Mr Phillip Whitehead: asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what will be the level of support for the Arts Council for the coming year; and what percentage increase over the current figure this represents.
Mr Phillip Whitehead: While 7 per cent. is an improvement on the 4 per cent. that the Minister was offered, is he aware that that is considerably less than the 14 per cent. that the Arts Council said it needed to maintain current operations? Will he recommend to the Arts Council that the cuts which there may have to be should fall on the national companies, in which he now seems to be taking a hand, or on the...
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Bearing in mind that the Eastern region receives only one-third of the amount of Arts Council subsidy that London receives, even after excluding the national companies, according to Mr. Hutchinson's recent report, will the Minister say whether any of the £5 million once-and-for-all figure that he announced today will be used to rectify this imbalance?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Is the Minister aware that it is not our fault that today we can discuss only the report's antecedents and not its contents? Why was it thought appropriate for the firm of Travers Morgan to produce the report on British Rail Engineering Ltd. which would apparently decimate all the rail workshops in this country, in view of the malign influence of Mr. Goldstein on the committee?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Does the Minister not realise that the ribaldry on the Government Benches is about the Government's review of a review of a committee? Will he now say to the House that the Government accept the central principle of the Thompson report—the importance of social education—and will he say that there should be statutory back-up, as Thompson recommended? If he cannot do that, does he accept...
Mr Phillip Whitehead: When will the Government give an answer about the attempt to rationalise matters after the Scarman judgment? Will it be this academic term, this academic year or when?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Will the Minister now read out to the House the comparable figures for other European countries? Will he say why the Serpell report does not give any international comparison?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Which of the extreme options are ruled out? Will only options A and B be ruled out, or will option C3, which cuts 40 per cent. out of the network, also be ruled out?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: In view of the Rayner connections of this group, will the right hon. Gentleman urge it not to follow the unhappy precedent of the recent Rayner report on the Victoria and Albert museum, and to visit the various institutions that it is surveying while they are open? Will accountants' or consultants' fees that stem from this exercise come only after tendering for the work that has to be done?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Bearing in mind the outrage in Greater Manchester when the Royal opera house originally called off its visit, does the right hon. Gentleman agree that we should say publicly in the House that we think it should be an annual obligation on the national companies to tour in this way, and that they should not merely return to touring when they have been bailed out by the payment of a one-off sum?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: The right hon. Gentleman said that the money would be used in part to help deserving students from Commonwealth countries generally and developing countries especially. How much money will be available for that purpose over and above the bilateral arrangements with the three states named in the statement? There cannot be very much if only £10 million per year of new Government money is to be...
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Why did the hon. Gentleman not vote against them?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: I want to stress what has happened in Derby and Derbyshire in the course of the recession and tell the Secretary of State for Employment and his hon. Friend the Minister of State that the "Alice in Wonderworld" approach is not goof enough in terms of the human misery and suffering that we are now seeing. Unemployment in Derby now stands at 11 per cent.; it is 11·8 per cent. in Derbyshire,...
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Any increase in public spending.
Mr Phillip Whitehead: How many?
Mr Phillip Whitehead: The Minister has not given way yet.
Mr Phillip Whitehead: rose—
Mr Phillip Whitehead: rose—
Mr Phillip Whitehead: Nothing. Does the Minister accept that Charlotte MacWhirter—I have no animus against her—changed her A-level subjects once she got to Repton school? That raises a fear among local authorities that, once the veto has been done away with, many people will go to these schools when they could take equivalent courses in their state schools. Does the Minister accept that in Derbyshire, many...