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Linguistic Research

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 6 August 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is satisfied that the provision under Items 117, 122 and 146 of Colonial Research Reports, 1946–47, for linguistic research are beneficial, in view of the increasing tendency to teach English in African schools.

Yes, Sir. My aim is to enable Africans to become proficient in their own languages as well as learning English and the study of the languages for which the grants in question have been made will materially assist this object. I am also anxious that British officials employed in African territories should be given every facility for studying the languages of the peoples amongst whom they work.

Does the Minister consider that in view of the serious economic state of this country that kind of expense, which was over £3,000 is justified?

This is really economic expenditure, and in any case it has been authorised by the House.

Will the right hon. Gentleman assure the House that in so far as his Department is concerned the School of Oriental and African Studies will have support?