HC Deb 22 March 1956 vol 550 cc1487-9
Sir D. Eccles

I beg to move, in page 13, line 26, at the end to insert: and after sub-paragraph (iii) there shall be inserted the following sub-paragraph— ' (iv) as a teacher in any school maintained within the United Kingdom by the Government of any part of Her Majesty's Dominions outside the United Kingdom; or.

The Chairman

It might be for the convenience of the Committee to discuss at the same time the Amendment in the name of the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, in page 24, line 39, at the end to insert: (iv) as a teacher in any school maintained within the United Kingdom by the Government of any part of Her Majesty's Dominions outside the United Kingdom; or.

Sir D. Eccles

This Clause is very interesting. It deals with the employment of teachers overseas. The main purpose of the Clause is to allow a young man or young woman to count years of service in a teaching post overseas for pension when they come back again and take a post in this country. Those years are to be allowed to count, and that will be useful.

We discovered one interesting loophole. There are certain training colleges in this country maintained by the Government of Malaya. We naturally feel that teachers who have gone to Kirkby, near Liverpool, which was the first of these colleges, or to the second, at Brinsford Lodge, near Wolverhampton, and who at present have their pension rights only temporarily protected, should have this matter put upon a proper basis. That is the effect of the Amendment. A similar Amendment is to be proposed for the Scottish part of the Bill.

I have taken an interest in these two Malayan students' colleges. The Malayan Minister of Education, Dato Abdul Razak, came to see me the other day. The Committee might like to know how highly he thought of the work that is being done in those colleges. I feel sure that hon. Members will agree with the Government that we should insert this Amendment.

Dr. Horace King (Southampton, Itchen)

We welcome not only the Clause but the Amendments which were moved to it in the Standing Committee, in the same spirit. I am sure that the Committee now welcome the further extension of the Clause dealing with the specific group of colleges, which might otherwise have been excluded. At the back of our minds, and especially that of the Minister, is the idea that we wish to make it easy for teachers to go to the Commonwealth and to exchange teachers with the Commonwealth. We do not want teachers to lose pension rights because, in the interests of Britain and of the Commonwealth, they do a valuable piece of work. Both the teachers and the Commonwealth benefit by such exchanges. If there is a loophole it is good that the Minister should have found it, and I congratulate him.

Mr. M. Stewart

May I add a word of agreement with what my hon. Friend the Member for Itchen (Dr. King) has said? We were particularly interested in the special explanation which the Minister was able to give for the Amendment. The general purpose of the Clause was well received when the Bill was in Standing Committee. We examined then what Amendments could be made. Now the Minister has drawn our attention to a further extension of this principle to cover these two colleges. If I understand him aright, it is simply those two colleges which are in issue, but it may well be that other institutions in the future will benefit from the operation of the Amendment, and we are very glad to accept it and to welcome it.

Miss Margaret Herbison (Lanarkshire, North)

I understand that we are taking the Amendment which the Minister has moved with the Amendment in line 39. I would ask a question of the Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland. The Minister gave the reasons why this matter had been brought to his notice; have we in Scotland at the present time any such institution where teachers will be covered by this provision?

The Joint Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. J. Henderson Stewart)

I think the answer is "No," but, as the hon. Lady will know, Scottish teachers may be seconded for service to one or other of the colleges to which my right hon. Friend has referred. It seemed therefore desirable that we should offer them the same facility.

Mr. Short

In Committee we inserted an Amendment to the Clause which gave the Minister power to vary the five years by extending it. All I am asking is that he uses that power generously. There are cases where it can be used, and I hope that the right hon. Gentleman will not be too sticky. If he is asked to vary it to six years or eight years, I hope that he will treat the teachers concerned kindly and will allow them to have the whole period.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.