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Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs why a Committee to consider the question of educating Chinese on British lines has been appointed; and what portion of the proposed expenditure is to be met from funds found by the British taxpayer?

The Committee has been appointed because the British community in China and well-informed opinion in this country believe the question to be one of considerable importance. Until it has reported, it is premature to discuss the question of expenditure.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that amongst the people who are ill-informed, to accept his distribution, he includes the whole of the taxpayers and ratepayers of the country, who are finding £103,000,000 this year for education? Are they not entitled to any little thing which may come in to help them to pay that enormous bill?

Is it a fact that the Committee has not met more than once during the whole year, and the last meeting was more than a year ago?

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Americans spend a good deal of money in educating the Chinese, and if we did the same it would very much help our trading interests there?

I am aware they have spent a large sum of money in education in China and regard it as money very well spent indeed. As regards the meetings of the Committee, I will make inquiries.