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Volume 656: debated on Wednesday 28 March 1962

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what reply he has made to the memorandum he received from the editor of the Glasgow Herald on the need for a fifth university for Scotland.

This memorandum was addressed to the Committee on Higher Education, of which Lord Robbins is Chairman, and I cannot make any comment upon it.

Is the Secretary of State aware that the memorandum rejected the idea of a satellite university, doubted the practicality of the expansion of Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities and, therefore, claimed that Scotland needed a fifth university so that it might have its fair share of the increasing financial and human resources which will be devoted to higher education in the years ahead? Will the right hon. Gentleman give us his views on those three points as Secretary of State for Scotland?

Certain of the matters are outwith my direct responsibility, but I have a general interest in the matter as a whole. For a general answer to the points which the hon. Gentleman has raised, I would refer him to the Answer given by my hon. Friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Glasgow, Maryhill (Mr. Hannan) on 8th March.

That Answer was most unsatisfactory. Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that he is responsible for educational facilities in Scotland? Is he also aware that there is a grave shortage of university places in Scotland and that this shortage will become much graver in the years ahead? Surely the time is ripe for an announcement on a fifth university for Scotland.

The hon. Lady knows that I am well aware of the feelings on this matter in Scotland and that I am following very closely what is going on. However, she will realise that it is not competent for me to make any statement about the future of another university in Scotland.