HC Deb 13 July 1950 vol 477 cc1524-6
14. Mr. Bossom

asked the Minister of Education to what extent the settlements made by the Burnham Committee for the salaries of schoolmasters and schoolmistresses are approved by the members of the profession concerned.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

The procedure between the panels of the Burnham Committees and the associations represented thereon is not my concern.

Mr. Bossom

Does the right hon. Gentleman get many letters expressing dissatisfaction with the results of these negotiations?

Mr. Tomlinson

I get letters of dissatisfaction about a lot of things.

Mr. Bossom

Does the right hon. Gentleman get them about this, particularly?

Mr. Tomlinson


Mr. Bossom

I will send a few.

19. Mr. David Renton

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that the Burnham Committee's next recommendations will not be made known before April, 1951, and that the question of readjusting teachers' salaries to the changed value of money is too urgent to wait until that date; and what action he proposes to take in order to rectify the matter at the earliest possible date.

Mr. Tomlinson

I do not know when the Burnham Committee will be submitting their recommendations for salary scales. It will be my duty to consider their recommendations when they are submitted, but it would not be proper for me to take any action of the kind suggested by the hon. Member while the matter is being considered by the Committee.

Mr. Renton

Has not experience in the last four years shown clearly that the Burnham Committee machinery is too slow to keep pace with the rising cost of living; and will the right hon. Gentleman, in view of his responsibility for our educational system and the need for a quick adjustment in this matter, please reconsider the whole question of how teachers' salaries are to be fixed in future?

Mr. Tomlinson

The Burnham Committee procedure was laid down in the Act of 1944, and when the hon. Member suggests that it has not been satisfactory I would point out to him that there was an agreement reached as late as 1948.

Earl Winterton

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that in grammar schools there is the utmost difficulty in obtaining teachers under what is regarded as the miserable salary permitted under the Burnham award? Surely he will have regard to the seriousness of this matter.

Mr. Tomlinson

That is an entirely different question from that on the Order Paper.

Mr. Hamilton

Will my right hon. Friend not cut down teachers' salaries, as hon. Members opposite did?

Mr. Odey

Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind that the salaries paid to graduate teachers, and especially to science graduates, are not likely to attract recruits to the teaching profession, and are lower than those paid in industry and private enterprise?

Mr. Tomlinson

All that the hon. Member says may be true, but I would point out that all the facts are known to the Burnham Committee, who are dealing with this matter in the usual way.