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Cadets, University Courses

Volume 441: debated on Wednesday 6 August 1947

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why no tutors were provided, except for Colonial History, during the recent two half-terms course held for colonial students at Oxford; how many students came from the Colonies; what proportion from Africa; and were there other subjects taught.

I assume that the hon. Member refers to the two-and-a-half term general section of the 15 months' pre-Service course, designed, not for students from the Colonies, but for cadets entering the Colonial Administrative Service. The course recommenced in October, 1946, in parallel at Oxford and Cambridge and is being continued at London. Considerable facilities already existed in Oxford for the teaching of all the subjects; and the faculties concerned were strengthened by additional appointments in Colonial History, Colonial Geography, Modern Islam, Anthropology and Colonial Economics. Further appointments, in Colonial Native Agriculture and Co-operation, are proposed for the next academic year. With the co-operation of the University and College authorities, as much as possible was done to provide the tutorial assistance required, partly through the normal machinery of college tutorials, partly by the holders of the new appointments, and partly by arrangement with other persons of Colonial experience within the University. There was no special appointment of a tutor in Colonial History. Of the 59 cadets who took the general section at Oxford seven came from the Colonies, including four from an African territory.

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that although this was meant for cadets in actual fact there were Chinese students from Hong Kong and others from Fiji and other parts of the Empire; and does he not think that they should have been allowed to spend more time studying the subjects that interest their country instead of African anthropology, especially since no Africans were present at all?

I would ask the hon. Gentleman to study the Devonshire Report which sets out the range of subjects at which the cadets and others are asked to work during these courses.

Is the right hon. Gentleman suggesting that students from Fiji and China, and Hong Kong and so on have to study African anthropology?

In this course of studies there were optional subjects and, as I understand it, African anthropology is not a compulsory subject for a person from Fiji.