HC Deb 20 April 1928 vol 216 cc596-8
Commander WILLIAMS

I beg to move, in page 2, line 5, to leave out the words "so far."

I do not like the words "in so far as it relates to Scotland." This is merely a drafting Amendment, which I think would improve the Bill.


In relation to Scotland, it is my wish that we should grammatical, and that we should not have in the Bill such an ungrammatical sentence as that which this Amendment would produce. Therefore, I object to the Amendment.

Amendment negatived.

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

Bill reported, without Amendment.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read the Third time."

Commander WILLIAMS

May I now ask the Noble Lord to give me an assurance that in no circumstances can it be possible to add anything to the contribution which the State will have to make in regard to this expenditure? I inferred that that would he so from his indication of assent, but should like to be absolutely certain, so that I may vote with a clear conscience for the Third Reading of the Bill.


The position is that, if one of these teachers were employed in this country during this period of four years, one half of the total contributions would be paid by his employer, whether the local education authority or the governing body of the school, and a proportion of those contributions, ranging from 50 to 75 per cent. or so, would be paid by the State in education grants. If, on the other hand, he were employed abroad, he or his employer would pay the whole of the contribution, and neither the local authority nor the State would contribute anything. Therefore, so far as that is concerned, the Exchequer would gain. The only question that arises is the question of risk of employment in comparatively un- healthy climates, to which my hon. and gallant Friend referred. As a matter of fact, the only English schools abroad are situated in climates which are distinctly healthy.

Commander WILLIAMS

Including Egypt?


Certainly. Therefore, I do not think that the extra liability is one which need alarm my hon. and gallant Friend.

Colonel APPLIN

I am extremely gratified to hear that we are quite certain that these financial Clauses are as the Noble Lord has said. I want to ask whether it is possible later on to insert that Clause which would give us five years instead of four. Of course it cannot be done at this moment, but if the Noble Lord can see his way to bring in later on a short Bill, it will be of immense value. Five years is a usual period of service. I can understand a teacher feeling that to go, perhaps, to the other end of the world four years is not a sufficient period, and he may even lose an opportunity of very excellent employment by people saying, "We cannot afford to pay your passage all the way out here if you cannot wait a reasonable period," and I do not think four years is a reasonable period. The fare to Rio de Janeiro, for instance, is £150. That is a big consideration, and it must be spread over a considerable period. If the Noble Lord could give us an assurance to that effect it would be a great advantage.


I want, in supporting the Third Reading, to say how very much I appreciate the courtesy of the House in giving these facilities to the Bill. I also think it is extremely satisfactory that the matter has been fully discussed and that it has been clearly brought out that it does not involve any financial obligation on the Government. I opened my remarks with that, and I am satisfied that the House appreciates, now that we have the authority of the Minister himself, that that is the case. At the same time the discussion, whether the Amendments were moved seriously or otherwise, has brought out the value of the BAL I and others feel that half a, loaf is better than no bread. We have got what is fair and reasonable, and it would be very unwise to ask for too much. I hope the House will pass the Third Reading so that the matter may be disposed of at once, and we may save the time of the House, and also secure the certainty of the Bill passing. I feel satisfied that the whole House recognises the great value of this opportunity, and I can picture the comfort and joy of the little communities abroad—there is no one more loyal to the Crown and the country than those who are so far away—in realising that they have been considered by Members of the House. of Commons, who very often pay attention to trifles and ignore realities. I feel sure we have not wasted the time of the House and the country.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the Third time, and passed.