HC Deb 27 January 1891 vol 349 cc1197-8

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Question [26th January], "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Question again proposed.

Debate resumed.

*(7.8.) SIR R. TEMPLE (Worcester, Evesham)

It is the intention that this Bill also should be referred to a Select Committee if the House shall be pleased to read it a second time. According to the intention of the promoters, the Bill is so framed that by deductions from the salaries of teachers a fund shall be cheated which will insure the rates being free from any possibility of burden. That is a point as to which doubts have been raised in some quarters, but those doubts can best be disposed of by a Select Committee. I hope my hon. Friend behind me (Mr. F. S. Powell) will for the moment waive his objection and allow the Second Reading to be taken in order that a Select Committee may investigate the particular point he objects to. The sincere desire of the promoters is to ensure the rates against any real liability and any possibility of appreciable burden hereafter.

*(7.9.) MR. F. S. POWELL (Wigan)

I have opposed the Bill through two Sessions, because I fear it will do great injustice to voluntary school teachers. The voluntary schools have a severe burden to bear, and are engaged in sharp competition, and any proceeding of the Legislature which enables School Board teachers to form within themselves a powerful body with a superannuation fund will almost inevitably be prejudicial to the interests of teachers in voluntary schools. My experience of pension schemes, too, warns me of their dangers. I have known cases where the finance of such schemes has proved unsound, and resort has had to be made to the rates in support of the weakness of the original scheme. I am afraid the same thing may occur now, and I am glad to know that the attention of the Select Committee will be directed to this point. Let me draw the attention of my hon. Friend to the last clause in the Bill, which does not seem consistent with what he said just now. This clause provides that the expenses of administration are to be paid out of the School Fund. Now the School Fund comes from the rates; therefore, notwithstanding the honest desire of my hon. Friend to keep the rates clear from any burden arising out of this Bill, there is this clause directly imposing a charge on the rates. However, I will not carry my objections to the length of obstruction, and shall not oppose the reference of the Bill to a Select Committee.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read a second time, and committed to a Select Committee.