HC Deb 06 May 1958 vol 587 cc1018-9
25. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many lecturers in central institutions have been called up for military service during the last twelve months.

Mr. N. Macpherson

I am asking each of the central institutions for the information and I shall write to the hon. Member.

Mr. Thomson

Is the Minister aware that in Dundee Technical College a lecturer in mathematics has been called up despite all the efforts of the governors of the college to prevent it? Is it not absolutely ridiculous that lecturers in mathematics and science in technical colleges should continue to be called up when we desperately need more technicians and technologists?

Mr. Macpherson

My right hon. Friend has been in communication with the hon. Gentleman on this matter and has explained that the first priority must be to reserve teachers for secondary schools, which form the basis of further technical education.

Mr. Woodburn

Is it not ridiculous to cut off the source of these teachers? If the tuition for these teachers does not exist, it will not be possible to keep the flow of teachers going to secondary institutions. Surely this is a ridiculous situation.

Mr. Macpherson

Graduates in mathematics, science or engineering who take posts in central institutions are eligible for deferment if they hold first-class honours degrees, or hold second-class honours degrees and have subsequently taken higher degrees.

Sir J. Duncan

Can the Minister say whether there is a shortage of mathematics and science teachers at technical colleges? If there is, will he review the previous decision of the Government and take steps to release these people from military service?

Mr. Macpherson

The arrangements for deferment are reviewed annually by the Minister of Labour's Technical Personnel Committee.

Mr. Thomson

In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the replies, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment.