HC Deb 01 November 1954 vol 532 cc27-8
45. Mr. Bence

asked the Prime Minister if the speech by the Minister of Education at a Primrose League luncheon on Tuesday, 26th October, referring to a new form of inquiry into the political views of school teachers, represents the policy of Her Majesty's Government.

The Lord Privy Seal (Mr. Harry Crookshank)

I have been asked to reply. My right hon. Friend, in the course of a speech to the Primrose League, recommended their members to see more of the teaching profession and to give them the hospitality which their important position in the local community deserved.

Mr. Bence

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that, according to a report of the speech in the "Scotsman" of 27th October, his right hon. Friend the Minister of Education said that in his constituency his party workers had complained that their new school teacher was a very bad influence on the children and that they were sure that that teacher was a Welsh Socialist? His actual words were: How can you expect them not to go wrong? May I assure the right hon. Gentleman and his right hon. Friend the Minister of Education that we on these benches, who were taught by Socialist teachers, have not gone wrong, and that we who are teaching our children Socialist principles are not causing them to go wrong?

Mr. Crookshank

I am glad to hear that the hon. Member has not gone wrong. My right hon. Friend and I both read the report of the speech. The gist of it was that it was a great pity that people went about saying that sort of thing when they had not taken the trouble to make the acquaintance of the teachers concerned and find out what sort of people they were.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Minister of Education is the first ever to concern himself with the politics of the teachers in the employ of his Department? Secondly, are we now to understand that the policy to be adopted towards teachers is not to "treat 'em mean and make' em keen," but to invite them in to have a meal?