HC Deb 20 April 1928 vol 216 cc594-6
Commander WILLIAMS

I beg to move, in page 1, line 21, to leave out the word "foreign," and to insert instead thereof the words "Asiatic or South American."

It will be just as well to frame this Bill from the point of view of where it will be of the most use. I do not think this Measure is much wanted in Europe. As far as America is concerned, we might very well leave out North America, but South America and Asia are two very important places embracing very large areas which will allow this Bill to have a fair chance.


May I point out a great anomaly which will inevitably occur if this very rash and ill-considered Amendment is adopted and which has been proposed for a purpose which we all quite well understand. Under Clause 1 it is provided that a teacher in any school in a foreign country shall enjoy the same privileges as to the period of service as appertains in England. Now the hon. and gallant Gentleman opposite is proposing to make a new law for Scotland. I do not object to Scotland making laws on her own, but I do not wish English Members to come in and make an attempt to worsen the position of teachers in Scotland as compared with England. Everyone knows that one great. purpose of the Act of 1925 was to assimilate the conditions of teachers in Scotland with those of teachers in England. That may have been right or may have been wrong, but there would be the greatest confusion if, here and now, we were to seek to make a special law for Scotland as against the law which has been already made in Clause 1 for England. There fore, I oppose this Amendment which has been so suddenly sprung upon the Committee.


I would appeal to my hon. and gallant Friend to withdraw this Amendment, I do not think that he has quite realised, or that some other people—not, I hope, Members of this House—realise, that Egypt is in Africa, and not in Asia; and I. think that, if my hon. and gallant Friend enumerates all the Continents, he will get into considerable confusion.

Commander WILLIAMS

I am not assuming that Egypt is in Asia, and have not excluded Egypt from my very close consideration in reference to this Amendment, but I rather imagined that Egypt was some form of Protectorate. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] At any rate, I think that by a very short stretch of the imagination it can be regarded as such. I did quite deliberately propose this Amendment. in regard to Scotland, because I think it is sometimes possible to put in an Amendment of this kind which will give Englishmen an advantage over Scotland, which I think would be for the benefit of the world as a whole. If, however, it be the wish of the House that I should withdraw the Amendment, I am quite willing to do so.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Question, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill, put, and agreed to.