§ Mr. EUGENE WASON
asked the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the diminution in the amount of the Educational (Scotland) Fund for the present year, and to the prospect of the sums available being further diminished by the cost of the Teachers' Superannuation Fund; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that higher education in Scotland shall not suffer.
§ Mr. URE
Having taken into consideration the falling off in the present year of the sum total of grants constituting the Education (Scotland) Fund and the repre- 147 sentations of School Boards and Secondary Education Committees as to the increase of expenditure which they necessarily incur in carrying out the provisions of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1908, the Department have reluctantly come to the conclusion that it is inexpedient to proceed further with the drafting of a scheme for the superannuation of teachers in Scotland unless and until further funds are made available for the purpose. For the same reasons the operation of the Minute of the Department now before the House regulating the staffing of schools will be suspended till 1st August, 1912, or such later date as may be determined, and an amending Minute to that effect has been laid on the Table of the House. As regards the superannuation of teachers, however, I am authorised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to say that it is his intention, following upon the National Insurance Bill to make provision for the superannuation of teachers in Scotland as well as in England and Ireland, but it is not possible to say at present what funds may be available for the purpose. Subject to that consideration the superannuation scheme for teachers in Scotland will be proceeded with at the earliest possible moment.
§ Mr. R. HARCOURT
May I ask whether it would be correct to say that the staffing circular cannot possibly go through until Parliament has had an opportunity of discussing it?
§ Sir WALTER MENZIES
Can the Government see their way to proceed with the superannuation scheme by way of a Bill next Session—as there is a considerable amount of taxation involved—instead of by a Minute of the Scottish Education Department.
§ Sir H. CRAIK
Has the right hon. Gentleman considered the very great grievance that will be caused to the teachers in Scotland by the postponement of this superannuation scheme, especially those who are resigning at this moment and who will lose the advantages conceded by the Act of 1908?