HC Deb 27 June 1950 vol 476 cc2075-6
15. Lieut. - Commander Hutchison

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he will make any statement in regard to an increase in the salaries of teachers.

Mr. McNeil

The present salaries regulations are due to expire on 31st March, 1951. Negotiations in the National Joint Council as to the scales to be recommended to me for new regulations are not yet concluded. In these circumstances I cannot make any statement about an increase in teachers' salaries.

Lieut.-Commander Hutchison

Does the right hon. Gentleman think he will be able to make a statement during the Debate which is to take place on Scottish Education Estimates?

Mr. McNeil

I do not know that a date has been fixed for the Debate on education. It is unlikely that I shall be in possession of the report from the committee within the next few weeks.

Mr. J. N. Browne

Is the Minister aware that many married Scottish school-masters are quite unable properly to maintain themselves and their families at present? Does he not realise that he is lowering the status of the profession by not dealing with this as a matter of the greatest urgency?

Mr. McNeil

I am sure that the hon. Member is also aware that until I receive the recommendations of the National Joint Council, it would be verging on the improper for me to comment on the scales at all.

Mr. Hamilton

Is the Minister aware that the great concern of all hon. Members should be for the lower paid teachers but, more particularly, for the lower paid miners—those receiving less than £5 a week?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir Thomas Moore

Perhaps it may clear the right hon. Gentleman's mind for this report if I say that he should appreciate that unless he does something to improve the conditions and salaries of teachers our whole educational system is in imminent danger of collapse.

Mr. McNeil

I am sure that the hon. and gallant Member's opinions are very weighty, but I repeat that I prefer to await the recommendations of the National Joint Council.