HC Deb 25 January 1945 vol 407 cc954-6
32 Mr. Moelwyn Hughes

asked the Minister of Education when he will consider the new Burnham scales of salaries for teachers and indicate the amount of additional grant to local education authorities to meet the additional cost involved.

Mr. Butler

I will consider the new scales when they are submitted to me by the Burnham Committee. I am not in a position to make any statement about additional grant.

Mr. Hughes

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the situation in which local authorities are placed by this award? In the county of Carmarthen there is an edu- cation rate of 10s. 7d. in the £. Is he aware that these new scales will involve an additional rate of 1s. 5d.?

Mr. Butler

Yes, I realise the position only too well, but the scales have not yet been submitted to me.

Mr. W. J. Brown

Will the right hon. Gentleman have regard to the strong dissatisfaction felt by secondary school teachers about their prospective position?

Mr. Butler

Yes, I shall bear everything in mind when the scales are submitted to me.

Mr. Lipson

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind also the need to give local authorities additional help from the Exchequer to meet this additional expense?

34. Mr. Kenneth Lindsay

asked the Minister of Education when he hopes to receive the new Burnham scales; and whether he will give an assurance that no action will be taken by him without prior consideration by this House.

Mr. Butler

I hope that the Burnham Committee will be in a position to submit to me new scales of remuneration for teachers about the middle of next month. As regards the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply which I gave to the hon. Baronet, the Member for Tamworth (Sir J. Mellor) on 21st December, a copy of which I am sending to him.

Mr. Lindsay

I had a look at that document. Could my right hon. Friend tell me how we are to know when he receives these scales? He might receive the scales and accept them, and we would not know very much about it. What I want to ensure is that this minority of secondary school teachers should get some sort of defence here; apparently it is very difficult to get it outside this House. This is a very serious question. Will my right hon. Friend give me some indication?

Mr. Butler

Naturally, it has never been my desire to prevent the House expressing their opinion. I always enjoy it when they do. It is not likely that I shall approve the scales on the day they are received. They will require consideration.

Mr. Lindsay

Would my right hon. Friend give the House an assurance that he will make it known to us, when he receives these scales? I do beg him to agree. There is a large volume of feeling in this House and outside, which wants to be sure that we shall be able to consider the scales after he has received them.

Mr. Butler

The House should fully realise the statutory position in which I am placed. If the House will realise the limitations placed on me by Statute, I would only say that I have no desire to prevent the House expressing their opinion and it is to be hoped they will find some means of achieving that.

Miss Rathbone

Will my right hon. Friend give an assurance that we shall be able to discuss the matter in the House before the Government take a decision, because the volume of evidence we are receiving in criticism of the scales is really overwhelming, and the facts ought to be brought before the House before the Government decide.

Mr. Butler

I cannot accept the picture the hon. Lady gives of the position at this stage, but I think it undesirable that this House should be prevented from expressing its views on any subject and I should be the last to attempt to prevent it from doing so.