HC Deb 19 February 1920 vol 125 cc1035-6
46. Mr. SITCH

asked the First Lord of the Treasury if his attention has been directed to the apprehension prevailing among education authorities in the county of Staffordshire as to the ways and means by which they are to meet their obligations to their teaching staffs employed in elementary schools under their control, consequent upon the Burnham award instituting a new scale of salaries applicable to such teachers; whether he is aware that the adoption of this award involves so large an increase in local rates that the authorities concerned cannot see their way to impose this additional burden on the people in time to allow of their honouring their undertaking as from April next ensuing, when the new scale, plus three months' arrears of increment, becomes operative; whether he realises the effect that such increased and immediate demand would have upon the ratepayers and upon their attitude towards education generally in the endeavour to comply with the terms of an award of national and not merely local application; and whether he, can see his way to meet the situation by reconsidering the decision to defer until 1st April, 1921, or after payment of the Board of Education's three-fifths proportion of salaries affected, and arrange for an early and substantial grant on account, thereby enabling the local authorities to meet their liabilities in accordance with the estimates they have compiled?

The CHANCELLOR of the EXCHEQUER (Mr. Chamberlain)

My right hon. Friend the Minister of Education and I have been asked to receive a deputation on this subjct from Lord Burnham's Committee, and it has been arranged that our meeting with them should take place this afternoon. I shall be obliged, therefore, if the hon. Member will defer his question.