HC Deb 10 May 1951 vol 487 cc2130-1
10. Mr. J. Langford-Holt

asked the Minister of Education by which education authorities the closed shop principle is applied; and whether he will make a statement.

The Minister of Education (Mr. Tomlinson)

I have no information that any local education authority is now making membership of a trade union or professional organisation an operative condition of appointment to its teaching service.

Mr. Langford-Holt

Does that mean that the right hon. Gentleman has taken no steps to find out, or does he mean that he has not been voluntarily informed by local authorities on this point?

Mr. Tomlinson

It means what I said, that I have no information on this point other than I have given.

Mr. George Thomas

Does my right hon. Friend consider that the condition of non-membership of a political party is a variation of the closed shop principle?

Mr. Tomlinson

I do not inquire into those things either.

16. Miss Ward

asked the Minister of Education if he will make a statement on the Durham County Council's decision not to make any educational appointments until further matters have been cleared up; and what answer has been sent to the request that he should preside over a meeting between the council and the National Union of Teachers.

Mr. Tomlinson

I have seen reports in the Press to this effect, but I should prefer not to make a statement. There is to be a meeting next week between representatives of the Durham Local Education Authority and of the teachers' organisations, at which I have agreed to take the chair.

Miss Ward

Is the Minister aware that a public statement has been made that the emergency committee gave the assurance to the right hon. Gentleman only in order to obtain the essential interview; and will the right hon. Gentleman, after he has presided at the meeting or during the proceedings, make it perfectly plain that the committee ought to play the game by the right hon. Gentleman in the same way as we feel the right hon. Gentleman is trying to play the game by the teachers?

Mr. Tomlinson

I do not see that that needs an answer. If the committee will read the hon. Lady's Question and will follow the advice I have given, that will satisfy me.