HC Deb 03 May 1951 vol 487 cc1411-2
44. Mr. Hollis

asked the Minister of Education whether he is aware that there is a continuing liability on school teachers to contribute towards their pensions but only an annually renewed liability by the Government to pay those pensions; and whether he will amend the Teachers (Superannuation) Act, 1925, so as to put the teachers' benefits on the same footing as their liabilities.

Mr. Tomlinson

I cannot accept the implication of the first part of the Question. Under the settlement of 1925, teachers acquired a statutory right to the payment of superannuation benefits subject to the provisions of the Act, and I see no reason to modify that settlement in the manner suggested by the hon. Member.

Mr. Hollis

There appears to be some misunderstanding between us. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the provisions of the Act. Does he not recollect that in the First Schedule it specifically says that teachers have no claim to pension as a right? Will he bear in mind that under Section 15 of that Act a fund is set up which really is a purely legal fiction? When the time comes for new educational legislation to be introduced will he bear in mind, among other matters, the necessity to reconsider Section 15 with a view to making it more satisfactory to the teaching profession?

Mr. Tomlinson

I will look at that matter, but I should not like anybody in the teaching profession to get the impression that their pensions are dependent upon the whim of this House some night.

Mr. James Johnson

Is my right hon. Friend aware that schoolmasters who are now Members of Parliament have no liability in this matter, and will he consider amending Section 15 of the 1925 Act so that schoolmasters who become Members of Parliament, bear liabilities in ratio to their future benefits?

Mr. Tomlinson

That is another question.