HC Deb 09 August 1911 vol 29 cc1134-6

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been directed to the fact that, in order to pay the increments and arrears of salary to all the national school teachers in Ireland who have obtained promotion to the first grade down to the 31st March, 1911, an additional sum of only £763 would have to be provided, and that the unexpended balance of the fund for public education in Ireland returned by the National Commissioners to the Treasury in the last financial year was about £25,000; and if, in view of these circumstances and the fact that the Irish Education Estimates for the current year show a reduction of £3,533, chiefly under the head of teachers' salaries, he will comply with the repeated requests of the National Commissioners and permit them to pay all the teachers on promotion the salaries to which they are entitled under Rule 105a of the Commissioners?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Lloyd George)

I am in communication with my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary on this subject.


In view of the small sum required, does the right hon. Gentleman think it worth while, for the sake of that small sum, to perpetuate a grievance that is so keenly felt by those concerned?


Well, I am not sure that I can add anything to the answer that I have given. I should not like to give a further answer before I have talked the matter over with my right hon. Friend.


Could not the right hon. Gentleman consent to receive a deputation from the teachers, at a suitable time, in order that they may put their case before him?


I am hoping to communicate with the teachers on the subject of superannuation, which is a very much more important question than this. But if incidentally this matter is referred to I shall be very happy to consider what is said.


asked how many teachers have been promoted into both sections of the first division without being paid the salary attaching to the division to which they have been promoted; what sum would be required to pay these men the salaries to which on promotion they are entitled; whether the Treasury insist on limiting the number who will be paid the salaries to which promotion entitles them against the advice of the National Board; and, if so, what steps is it proposed to take to alter this rule?


also asked the Chief Secretary if he can now state the result of his further consideration of the case of the national school teachers who have fulfilled the specified conditions and obtained promotion to first grade without receiving the increments of salary to which they are entitled; if he is aware that the teachers interpret Rule 102c as meaning that the National Commissioners have it in their power to promote teachers to the first grade when they have fulfilled the specified conditions; and if there is any rule of the Commissioners which states that some teachers must wait for an increase of salary when promoted, and that satisfactory service during the period of waiting is not to count in awarding the next increment?


The hon. Member for West Kerry will find the information asked for in the first two paragraphs of his question in my reply to the question of the hon. Member for South Cork on 16th May last. I am in communication with the Treasury on this subject, but I am not at present in a position to add anything to my previous answers. I am aware of the interpretation put by the teachers on Rule 102c; but, while there is something to be said for a revision of the present limits, it is obvious that the rules do not contemplate an indefinite increase of the numbers in the several grades.


Is there any rule of the Commissioners which state that the teachers must wait for their increments?


No, Sir. On the other hand it is a pity that they should have been given the proposed increment when there was no vacancy on the list.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury if he is aware that the Irish national teachers who are affected by the restriction as to standard numbers are on the first grade pension list and are paying first grade pension premiums; and if he will state the amount by which the pension fund was reduced in consequence of the payment of first grade salaries to the teachers promoted in the years 1909 and 1910, and the amount by which the pension fund would be reduced if increments of salary and arrears were paid to teachers who have obtained promotion to first grade but from whom the increments of salary have been withheld?


It has been ascertained after inquiry at the National Education Office that all except thirteen of the teachers referred to are paying first grade premiums. As regards the latter part of the question, it is impossible to state the amount of the reduction in the fund, inasmuch as the adverse effect of promotions upon the fund does not begin to be felt until the retirement of the promoted teachers.