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Fourah Bay College Funds (Collection)

Volume 446: debated on Wednesday 28 January 1948

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies why senior civil servants were dissuaded from collecting funds for Fourah Bay College; why the Chiefs were not allowed to collect money for this purpose; and, in view of the strong popular desire for the retention and development of Fourah Bay College, whether all direct or indirect opposition will now be withdrawn.

One senior officer of the education department was advised against acting as a collector for the Fourah Bay Appeal Fund, because it was felt that such action by such an officer would suggest that the fund was officially sponsored or supported. Collections by Chiefs could not be approved, because any collections sponsored by them would be regarded by the people as a compulsory levy. It has been made clear to the organisers of the appeal that the Government will in no way interfere with any person wishing to contribute to the fund in his personal, as opposed to his official, capacity.

There has been no opposition, either directly or indirectly, by the Sierra Leone Government.

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that he intends to safeguard the future of this institution?

It is not a Government foundation. We have already made an offer to the governors of the body in regard to the transitional period immediately ahead.

Does the right hon. Gentleman mean that he prefers the principle of contracting in to contracting out?

In this case, the continuance of this college as one of the higher educational institutions in West Africa is not quite consistent with the general policy for higher educational development in that region.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that public opinion in this area is very anxious that this college should continue to receive every support?

We have offered support during the transition period. In the place of this college, we have offered to found a territorial college which, from our point of view offers far greater advantages for educational development than the continuance of this university college.