58. Mr. C. BATH URST
asked the President of the Board of Education if, in view of the increasing expenditure of local education authorities in respect of the salaries of teachers, and their present inability to meet their reasonable demands, in face of the opposition of the ratepayers, he will, after consultation with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, consider the advisability of providing in the forthcoming Government Education Bill for making the salaries of teachers in elementary and grant-receiving secondary schools a charge upon the national Exchequer, leaving it to the local education authorities to provide out of the local rates for the erection and repair of school premises and all other costs of maintenance?
I am, of course, considering all proposals which appear to be practicable. I may, however, point out that this proposal would, on the present figures and without any allowance for increase of salaries, involve a charge on the Exchequer of considerably over £17,000,000, and an increase of the existing Grants by more than £5,000,000. The proposal would also involve other administrative consequences, the importance of which the hon. Member with his experience of local government will, I am sure, appreciate.
§ Mr. C. BATHURST
Does not the right hon. Gentleman recognise that it is only logical seeing that the Government call the tune as regards quality, that the Government should also pay the piper?
§ Mr. JONATHAN SAMUEL
May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it would not he better—as an alternative suggestion—to make a good building Grant to the local authorities?