HC Deb 03 May 1951 vol 487 cc1407-8
37. Sir W. Smithers

asked the Minister of Education if he will make a statement as to the latest developments in the dispute between himself and the Durham County Council on its closed shop policy.

42. Miss Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Education whether he will make a statement on his meeting with representatives of the Durham County Council on the closed shop policy.

64. Mr. Hollis

asked the Minister of Education what was the result of his interview with officials of the Durham educational authority concerning the appointment of teachers in that county.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

The Durham local education authority have now given me the assurance for which I asked in my letter of 3rd April. I have also seen a deputation from the authority and discussed the resulting position with them.

Sir W. Smithers

Has the attention of the Minister been called to the activities of Councillor Peart over this closed shop business, and the subversive activities of this gentleman when he was a teacher? Is he aware that he recently appeared before the professional conduct committee of the National Union of Teachers for conduct detrimental, or injurious, to the interests of the profession? What action does the Minister propose to take?

Mr. Dodds

The hon. Gentleman is a wicked Christian.

Mr. Tomlinson

I have had brought to my notice quite a lot of things about this dispute.

Mr. Chetwynd

Would it not be better to put these personal attacks on one side at this time and leave the matter where it rests, so that the education of the children can proceed without interruption?

Miss Ward

Would the right hon. Gentleman publish all the communications which have passed between his Department and the Durham County Council, as this is a matter which interests the whole of the House?

Mr. Tomlinson

I have published all the information which I think the House requires in order to form a decision.

Miss Horsbrugh

Will the right hon. Gentleman publish the letters, or put them in the Library, as he did the first letters between his Department and the Durham County Council? Will he put copies of the other letters with them so that we may really know what has been said?

Mr. Tomlinson

There have only been three letters, and the answer which indicated what the form of the former letter was appeared in HANSARD.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the National Union of Teachers are grateful to him for the commendable action he took and that they are especially anxious now for the restoration of amicable relations with the Durham County Council?

Mr. Hollis

Is the right hon. Gentleman able to give the House any further details of last Tuesday's interview? Could he say whether any questions were left outstanding for further negotiation, or was everything settled entirely at that interview?

Mr. Tomlinson

I am anxious, as I think is everybody who has the interests of the children at heart, to bring about the re-establishment of good relations. The only reason I had for meeting them was to seek that re-establishment.

Mr. Hollis

Did the right hon. Gentleman get it?

Mr. Tomlinson

We are on the way.

Mr. James Hudson

Will my right hon. Friend provide, for the purposes of the Opposition, the papers and letters that have passed with reference to teachers in Middlesex?