HC Deb 01 July 1965 vol 715 c797
10. Mr. Hooson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will now authorise the setting up of a Welsh National School of Agriculture at Aberystwyth.

Mr. Crosland

I saw representatives of the Welsh Joint Education Committee about the question of a Welsh Agricultural College in March, and I understand that as a result of that meeting they are consulting their constituent members with a view to formulating further proposals for my consideration.

Mr. Hooson

Is the Secretary of State aware that this matter has been under consideration for many years now; that there are seven such colleges in England, three in Scotland, but not one in Wales? Is he aware that facilities for such education in Wales are now much poorer than they were in the pre-war era? Considering the technological developments in agriculture, young Welsh farmers lack these facilities. Will he take urgent steps to implement the pressure that was brought by his hon. and right hon. Friends when in opposition and establish a National College of Agriculture for Wales?

Mr. Crosland

I am well aware that this matter has been discussed for a very long time and of the strong feelings that are held in Wales on the matter. For the moment, the ball is not in my court, but as soon as I receive any specific proposals from the Welsh Joint Education Committee I will consider them as rapidly as I can.

Mr. H. Hynd

In view of the failure of the last Government to do anything in this matter, why does the Liberal Party so often vote Conservative?

Mr. Speaker

The Minister cannot answer that one.