§ Mr. Ede
I beg to move, in page 84, line 34, to leave out "and," and to insert(c) may provide for securing that where in consequence of the establishment of the board as the local education authority for the area of any council any person who was an officer of that council suffers direct pecuniary loss by reason of the determination of his appointment or the diminution of his emoluments, he shall, unless provision for his compensation for that loss is made by or under any other enactment for the time being in force, be entitled to receive compensation therefor from the hoard, and for securing that the provisions of Sub-sections (2) and (3) of Section one hundred and fifty of the Local Government Act, 5933, and of the Fourth Schedule to that Act shall have effect for the purposes of any claim for such compensation and fur the purposes of the determination and payment of the compensation, subject to such modifications and adaptations as appear to the Minister to be necessary; andThis Amendment deals with the case of an officer of a county council whose county is brought into the Bill and is necessary in order that such officers should be protected in the event of their offices being abolished or their emoluments being reduced.
§ Mr. Burden (Sheffield, Park)
This Amendment mentions Section 150 of the Local Government Act, 1933, which reads:A scheme, or order, shall contain provisions for:(a) The protection of the interests of any such existing officers and the payment, by such local authority as may be determined by and under a scheme or order, of compensation to any existing officer …I want to know whether the reference to this Local Government Act covers men and women who are at present on war service. Are they deemed to be "existing officers"? This is an extremely important point, because I am sure the Committee, in passing a Schedule of this kind, would want to see that those who are away from office at the moment are protected. It would be extremely unfortunate if that were not to be the case, as this is the first large Measure of reconstruction which we have had before us.
§ Mr. Ede
The answers to the first of the two questions put to me by my hon. Friend are in the affirmative. So far as the second question is concerned, I admit that the matter is open to some doubt. We had some discussion on this on the Committee stage of the Bill and it is a subject of some, perplexity and difficulty which does not concern this matter solely. I understand that it is being considered in conjunction with other similar Measures, and that protection will be made to cover the case of these existing officers; but it is not proposed to do it in this Bill.
§ Mr. Burden
Would it not be as well to protect them, as well as those who are already in employment—give some protection to them inside this Bill? Marty of those men who are away, will feel when they return that their security has practically gone from them, and the question of their future will be very peculiar, if the matter is not dealt with in this Bill.
§ Mr. Ede
The situation is complicated by the existence of the Reinstatement in Employment Bill, and it is a very difficult matter. I hope the hon. Member will feel that both on the Committee stage, and since, I have given this matter a great deal of personal attention. I would like. to feel no doubt on the matter at all, but I cannot do that. I have given an answer winch shows that the Government are seriously concerned about the situation and will see that these people are covered sc that there will be no doubt left.
§ Mr. Burden
I wish to thank the Parliamentary Secretary for his reply. I feel sure that every Member of the Committee will appreciate its importance, but surely we should realise the implications of it. The Bill provides for compensation for those who may be at home, and the Parliamentary Secretary tells us that it does not provide for those who are away—
§ Mr. Burden
If it is a matter of doubt, let us remove the doubt, as it is a fundamental duty—I will go as high as that—for us to see that the men and women who are risking their lives at this moment should know that if and when they come back their jobs will be secure or compensation will be made to them. Surely, 1799 this is a matter that cannot be argued; nor need it be argued, and I urge the Minister to give further consideration to the point between now and when the Bill is dealt with in another place.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Schedule, as amended, agreed to.