HC Deb 27 May 1963 vol 678 cc920-89

3.32 p.m.

Mr. Frederick Willey (Sunderland, North)

I beg to move, in page 1, line 11. at the end to insert: Provided that in any such order no basic scale shall be less than £650. We deal by way of this Amendment with one of the crucial differences not only between the right hon. Gentleman the Minister of Education and the Burnham Committee, but between him and all people interested in education. There were three specific matters on which the right hon. Gentleman chose to challenge the Burnham Committee's award and this was one which apparently appeared fairly early in the deliberations of the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman made it clear that he regarded a basic minimum salary for teachers of £650 as quite unacceptable.

All we are doing in this Amendment is to support the Burnham Committee, that a basic minimum salary for a teacher after three years' training should be not less than £650. We are being modest because we appreciate that the cost of living increased last year and has increased every month this year. I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman will have something to tell us about that, because, obviously, it affects the approach that we should make towards these scales, but we can see successive increases in the cost of living continuing throughout this year. In those circumstances, to take the figure of £650 put forward by the Burnham Committee is being, to say the least, modest.

The National Union of Teachers said that it appreciated the support of those Members who agree with the Burnham Committee that £650 a year is not too generous for a three-year trained teacher starting his career. The Minister has proposed £630, and that means that the three-year trained teacher will be worse off than he would have been in 1945, so this will afford hon. Members opposite, who have given assurances to the National Union of Teachers and others, an opportunity of standing by such assurances.

The position is that they will either support us or oppose us. If they oppose us, they will be supporting the right hon. Gentleman, who persistently has said that £650 is too high a starting salary for teachers after three years' training, and who believes that in the present circumstances of desperate teacher shortage we should pay teachers, with the new requirement of three years' training, less in real terms than they would have received before 1945.

The right hon. Gentleman has followed persistently a wrong line throughout these negotiations, and I think that he has embarrassed his right hon. and hon. Friends. After all—and I have emphasised this before—he had a record at the Treasury. He was one of the Ministers who quite unprecedentedly rejected the recommendations of the University Grants Committee.

May I call in aid the Spectator, which is not biased in our favour. In calling attention to the fact that we have a Minister of Education who, not long ago, was one of the Treasury Ministers who took the unprecedented step of rejecting the U.G.C's. recommendations, it referred to two different circumstances since then: first, that the appointment of Chief Secretary to the Treasury seemed to be an unfortunate experiment, and, secondly, …and more sadly, a forward-looking Minister at Education"— that is, Lord Eccles— who had clearly quarrelled with the Government over their decision and whose chief ability was to be able to win money from his department so that the number and variety of pupils staying at school until the sixth form had increased overwhelmingly, has been dismissed. In his place is a man who in the parliamentary debate on government aid showed that he had no concern about the treatment of the U.G.C. and seemed to regard favourably the Treasury's encroaching on its rights. This is an issue of primary importance. I have noticed that the Conservative Party is making quite a lot of its achievements in education. I read the sponsored advertisements in the Press. I am aware, too, that for the first time after a very long period, in the Gallup poll the Opposition are regarded as more satisfactory in the field of education than the Government. [Laughter.] I am calling attention to the change that has taken place. I did not refer to Lord Eccles for any other reason. The issue is whether we are to continue the pace of advance in education. This is the crucial test, whether we get the teachers.

Here we have the right hon. Gentleman going out of his way to make an issue of this and saying repeatedly that he regards the salary of £650—I would have thought it a modest award—as outrageous. This is the first pretext for his interference with the award of the Burnham Committee—that is, a take-home salary of about £10 a week which the right hon. Gentleman regards as too much for a teacher who has satisfied the new requirement of three years' training in higher education.

As I have said before, the right hon. Gentleman gives the preposterous excuse in mitigation that the training colleges are choc-a-block with students and cannot accommodate many of those who would like to go into the training colleges. This is a condemnation of past policies of Her Majesty's Government, and a contemptible excuse. We all know that the status of the profession is very much affected by the starting basic salary.

To say that a teacher, after three years' training, is not entitled to a salary of £650 in present circumstances is catastrophically deplorable. It gives the lie to the Government's declared aims about education. To say today, when we face a desperate shortage, that the Government are not willing to pay a teacher with three years' full-time training in actual terms what a teacher was receiving in 1944 shows that the Government are not honest in their intentions about expanding education in the coming years. This is the crucial issue.

The right hon. Gentleman quarrelled with me when I called in aid the Bow Group. Not for the first time, he misled the House about it. After the award in 1952, after dealing with the Government's education programme, the Bow Group said: It seems incredible that there is not a similar policy for taking action on the financial position of teachers, particularly teachers in primary and secondary schools. This is a matter which is the crux of the whole future successful development of state education. Without a drastic reconsideration of this problem, the Government's educational spending simply does not make sense. That was the case put by the Bow Group.

Approaching the question of teachers' salaries in this light, the Bow Group said that an immediate drastic overhaul of the basic scales was essential and that there should be an immediate increase of 20 per cent.

In winding up the Second Reading debate, the right hon. Gentleman said—he knew how misleading it was because he had been at the Treasury—that teachers were then on £520 and he would give them £620, suggesting that this was a 20 per cent. increase. He did not tell the House, as most of us knew, that, in fact owing to the increase in the cost of living the £520 now ought to be £582.

What we still want today, as we wanted ten years ago, is a drastic overhaul and a considerable increase of the basic scales, and this the right hon. Gentleman is not willing to offer. We must improve the status of the teaching profession and encourage teachers to play a real part in education. We must recognise present particular difficulties. We have to recognise, as the right hon. Gentleman must recognise, the difficulties of the quota, that we expect many teachers now, on their first appointments, to take up jobs away from home and live in lodgings. Most important, we want the right hon. Gentleman to appear genuine in his concern for education and genuine in his concern to have more teachers.

Yet the right hon. Gentleman goes out of his way to have this quarrel with the teachers. He began by suggesting that £620 was enough. Then he felt that £625 was enough. Now he thinks that £630 is enough. This is a niggardly way to approach our basic problem. It would be far better now to say that the Burnham Committee made a very modest proposal. In all the circumstances, it could hardly have been more modest. The thing for the Government to do now, to show that they have good intentions, is to say that they accept £650 as the basic starting salary for teachers as the least we can possibly do.

Mr. George Thomas (Cardiff, West)

My hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) has expressed the feelings of a great many of us on this side of the Committee. Many hon. Members opposite have been making sympathetic noises to the teachers recently when they have been interviewed privately, and I am glad that they will have an opportunity now to follow up those noises by voting for the Amendment which would at least fulfil the desire of the Burnham Committee that the starting salary for a qualified teacher should not be lower than £650.

The £650 is justified in view of the fact that earlier Burnham settlements have deliberately given greater emphasis to extra qualifications, to extra responsibility, to long service, and so on, and the teacher at the beginning has been held back. It is now felt by both the local authorities and the teachers that, in the interests of recruitment, the time has come when the minimum salary ought not to be a penny less than £650.

This is the view of people who have been negotiating teachers' salaries and dealing with the problem of recruitment ever since the war. The expertise of men like Sir Ronald Gould and Sir William Alexander in dealing with these matters is, as the Minister will at once concede, much greater than the Minister's. He has made his first foray into the deciding of teachers' salaries. He is an untrained negotiator and, without experience, he now tells us how much he believes that teachers should have as a starting salary.

3.45 p.m.

The other day, the right hon. Gentleman suggested that the reason for putting a figure lower than £650 is that, in a profession, the prize which is dangled oat at the end of one's career or, perhaps, in the course of one's career is more important than the salary at the start.

Mr. Peter Emery (Reading)

Hear, hear.

Mr. Thomas

The hon. Gentleman may say "Hear, hear", but nobody, least of all the Minister, would pretend that teachers have professional rates of salary today. The £650 leads up to a maximum of just over £1,000, £1,200 or thereabouts. Does anyone believe that £630 or anything lower than £650 can be justified, since, for at least 25 per cent. of the profession, the chances of the prizes are never fulfilled? There are people who go from the first day to the last day of their teaching career without picking up any of the prizes.

This is not to say that they are incompetent or less good; the opportunity just does not present itself in certain schools. There are limiting factors which entail that some teachers have to be kept on the basic scale. Therefore, the argument that £650 is too high because of the salary offered at the end of one's career simply does not hold water. The Minister knows this himself.

Everyone knows that the Minister and, I may say, his successors, will face the problem of teacher recruitment at least for the next decade and probably for two decades. Every year, we have in recruitment 10,000 fewer teachers than we ought to have, and, unless we increase our recruitment by 10,000 a year—I think that the Minister will accept these figures of Sir Charles Morris—we shall, by 1970, still not be able to reduce the size of classes to 40 in the primary schools and 30 in the secondary school.

"Forward into the 'Seventies", indeed! It will be forward with large classes and forward with a crisis in education. If the figures are not altered, or if our Amendment is not accepted, the Minister will not be able to recruit to the teaching profession as he should.

The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Emery) can relax, because I have a lot to say yet.

Mr. Peter Emery

I think that my right hon. Friend will be honoured that we want to take so much notice of what the hon. Gentleman is saying, because it is so easy to refute.

Mr. Thomas

This is the first Parliament the hon. Gentleman has served in, is it not?

Mr. Emery

indicated assent.

Mr. Thomas

I thought it was. I will return to the subject before the Committee and present another argument to the Minister.

What is the starting salary in the public schools? How do they recruit their teachers? Is it by offering £650 a year? Is £650 a year thought to be too much for the teacher who starts at Eton, Harrow, Winchester, and wherever the Minister went? I think that he went to Eton. Were his schoolmasters paid £650 a year, as he expects our schoolmasters to be paid? It is high time that the Committee realised that an offensive attitude is taken to teachers in the State sector. The Minister is put on the spot by the Amendment. He is being asked to recognise that teachers will not be recruited unless they start on a salary which will afford them a fair standard of living.

I have another point about living standards. Every hon. Member who knows anything about education today knows that, due to the quota system, many young teachers have to leave their own localities and go away and live in lodgings. A great city like Birmingham is for ever trying to recruit teachers. It has an enormous Welsh colony there, as so many places seem to have. Young teachers living away from home have to meet the same living costs as people in other walks of life.

It is fantastic to say that a teacher, after three years in college, is to receive less than £10 a week in actual cash, on which he has to pay for his lodgings, live, and keep up his professional standards. That is asking the impossible. The Minister is really saying that young teachers must take other jobs as well, because they cannot be expected to live in lodgings, to buy food and clothes, to buy the books that teachers ought to be buying, and to do the travelling that teachers ought to be doing if they are to have the broad outlook which we want to attract to the classroom, on this miserable pittance.

This cannot be done on the Minister's proposals, and I believe that even £650 is far too low. It is only because the teachers were obliged after negotiation to agree to this figure that the National Union of Teachers, with reluctance, accepted £650 as the minimum salary. The union believes that it ought to be higher.

I hope that hon. Members opposite will take the opportunity today to indicate to the Minister, in the only way that really counts, that he has made a major blunder on this occasion. I know that it is not easy for them to walk into the Lobby and vote against the Minister, though I would like to see them do it. When the Labour Party was in power, on occasions I reluctantly, but under compulsion of conviction, found myself voting in a different Lobby from my colleagues. We are entitled to tell hon. Members opposite that on this occasion they have a right to abstain rather than to say that £650 is too much as a starting point for teachers in the State sector.

If the Committee registers its opinion that £650 is too much, I believe that it will serve notice to everybody in education that the crisis which today prevails, not only the crisis between the Minister and his partners—the local authorities and the teachers—but the whole crisis of recruitment and expansion in education, will become much more serious and last much longer than it ought. I hope that the Minister will have second thoughts, though I must say that I am not exactly optimistic.

Mr. Peter Emery (Reading)

This may be my first Parliament, but I hope that when I have been here as long as the hon. Member who wished to draw attention to this fact I shall marshal arguments against the Minister a little more convincingly than the hon. Gentleman has done.

We must all realise that recruitment into the teaching profession will be one of the major considerations over the next twenty years. I suggest that one of the things of the greatest importance is not merely what teachers can earn the moment they enter the profession, but what the potential salary is if they stay in the profession. What the hon. Member for Cardiff—Cardiff, North I think—

Mr. G. Thomas

Cardiff, West.

Mr. Emery

I apologise.

Mr. Thomas

It is the hon. Gentleman's first Parliament.

Mr. Emery

The hon. Gentleman did not know any of my constituency. At least, I knew half of his.

What the hon. Gentleman has completely forgotten is that we must continue to get an increasingly higher calibre of entry. It is the potential that these people can earn which will decide whether we get the best people into the profession.

I have, in the words of the hon. Member for Cardiff, West made friendly noises to the teachers in my constituency. I am delighted to be on the most friendly terms with them, as are most of my hon. Friends. One of the things which my hon. Friends and I believe is that the teachers themselves are concerned that the standard of recruitment shall be kept high. If only so much money can be used in this award, I believe—here, my views are diametrically opposed to those of the hon. Member for Cardiff, West—that we should not decrease the differentials, which is exactly what the Amendment would do, but should carry on with the work done by previous Ministers in seeking to give a higher level of awards and posts which people can get by staying in the profession. This trend should be accentuated, not weakened.

A point which has not been mentioned so far, but which must be considered, is the wastage at the bottom level of the profession. In no other profession needing training lasting anything like as long as training for teaching is there as great a wastage at the bottom. We know that this frequently arises because there are such things as love and marriage. Many of the young lady teachers leave the profession to raise families. [Interruption.] My hon. Friend the Member for Macclesfield (Sir A. V. Harvey) suggests that they get married before they raise families. That is obvious. I was not suggesting otherwise.

It is important that at this stage the Minister should take into consideration the number of people who return to the profession having been away from it for some years. They return when they are aged 40 or 45 and when their children are away from home. Regard should be paid to the contribution these people make to the profession.

4.0 p.m.

Teachers in Reading are conscious that these people seem at times to be forgotten, and I hope that the Minister will find time to consider them and make them realise that he and many of us on this side of the Committee wish to encourage them to come back into teaching whenever they are available.

I do not think that there is any hon. Member on this side of the Committee who would not like to see the starting salary for teachers above the level of £650, but, whether we like it or not, when there is only this amount of money to be used in the award under the Bill, it is imperative that we leave it to the Minister to ensure that the differential is not decreased, and it is specifically in relation to that point that I believe we should support the Minister and reject the Amendment.

Mr. G. Thomas

Is the hon. Gentleman under the impression that there is a fixed amount of money that can be spent on teachers' salaries?

Mr. Emery

We could, I suppose, take the whole gross national product for teachers' salaries, but that is impractical. We all realise that, and I would have expected an old stager like the hon. Gentleman to have done better than to ask that question.

Mr. James Boyden (Bishop Auckland)

I hope that the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Peter Emery) will forgive me if I come back to his arguments later.

I want to address myself, first, to the Minister's attitude, both in introducing the Bill and throughout the Committee stage, to the relationship of these scales to other professional scales. The right hon. Gentleman has been at pains, particularly of late, to discount the idea that the man in Whitehall knows best. I notice in the curriculum studies that he is making he has recently taken steps to show that he is not the dictator he is alleged to be, but in all these arguments about scales and the way in which they should be worked out he has never produced any scientific evidence to show why the career structure which he favours is more likely to recruit teachers than the scales recommended by the Burnham Committee. If the Minister is to have science on his side, he ought to do better than make assertions.

Many of us have accepted the general line of differential development over the years, and I shall not weary the Committee by going over those arguments, but in all these developments the evolution has been purely ad hoc. There has been no attempt to substantiate scientifically what the right hon. Gentleman is apparently aiming at. It therefore ill becomes him to say that the man in Whitehall knows best, because it is obvious that the teachers and the L.E.As. who do the employing and who are at the "grass roots" might know best.

We know that until recently the Minister's statistical data has been poor, and that only now is he moving forward to a position where he can get some element of science about it. The right hon. Gentleman has never been able to produce any convincing arguments on that side, so we must automatically feel, at this stage anyway, that if the N.U.T., the I.A.A.M., the L.E.As., and the teacher organisations think that £650 is the right figure, the right hon. Gentleman has to do some hard work to convince us of the opposite.

I think that the basis of this is an indiscreet remark which one of the right hon. Gentleman's officials made at a meeting not long ago, when he talked about the wastage of women teachers as Passchendaele economics. What the Minister is really trying to do is to conserve money at the expense of education by retreating from the position where young women teachers marry and go out of the profession for a time. If the Minister is arguing scientifically, he ought to produce arguments and data by which he can suggest how to get more married women teachers back.

The Minister is satisfied with the present state of teacher recruiting. Every year—and this has happened over the last four or five years—2,000 perfectly good potential teachers cannot get in and are wasted. I say that the figure is considerably higher than that, because of the remaining 3,000 or so who match up to some sort of qualification, probably the majority of them, after being admitted to a training college, would make satisfactory teachers, and if there was a real drive in the schools to recruit teachers the figure would be even higher.

What the Minister is really doing is putting up a smoke-screen to cover his ministerial deficiencies. Because he cannot absorb these teachers, or will not take steps to absorb them, he is saying that the salary scale of £630 is adequate, but there is no evidence for this. If the teacher places were there in the training colleges, and if the scale were at least £650, he would probably do very much better than produce the arguments that he has done about career structures.

Hon. Gentlemen opposite, in private, or, at least, in interviews with their constituents, seem to oppose this line of argument adopted by the Minister just as much as we do. The Teacher, of 3rd May, reports a number of interviews with anonymous hon. Gentlemen opposite. It reports: A representative of another Minister 'said that he and most Members regretted the action, but believed when a decision has been taken, it must be kept'. I did not know that there was a Colonel Blimp in the House, but possibly there is one among hon. Gentlemen opposite.

The report goes on to say that this hon. Member Agreed that Boyle scales did not, in fact, help career prospects greatly. Agreed that if the Minister was directly represented in the future negotiating body, he should forgo right of veto. I hope that that hon. Gentleman will join us in the Lobby tonight.

Sir Kenneth Thompson (Liverpool, Walton)

I am sure that if the hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Boyden) names the hon. Member concerned we shall do our best to get him into the Lobby.

Mr. Boyden

I am not in a position to name him. I am merely quoting from this reputable newspaper, which gives the opinions of some hon. Gentlemen opposite.

Another Member described the Minister's action as ham-handed and inept. Deplores the disquiet and unrest the Minister's action has caused in the profession—puts the blame for this squarely on the Minister".

Sir K. Thompson

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman will let us have the name of this hon. Member?

Mr. Boyden

I cannot do that. I am merely referring to The Teacher. I could continue to do so, but the hon. Gentleman is getting upset and I do not want to upset him too much. No doubt we shall recognise some of the hon. Members who have expressed these opinions in the Lobby tonight.

If the right hon. Gentleman is really concerned about the recruiting problem, he should take note of the Fulton Report and grasp that nettle. The suggestion made in that Report is that one way to make up for the flood of women teachers leaving the profession is to take more active steps to recruit men training college students. This, obviously, has great significance from the point of view of the lower figure in the scale. The Fulton Committee, which is the Minister's Advisory Committee on the Supply of Teachers, said that this was a thorny matter and referred it back to the Minister.

The Committee's argument as to why it did not make a strong recommendation about increasing the proportion of men teachers is that it might be prejudicial to the educational opportunities for women. What a stage we are getting to when it is necessary to use an argument like that against one of the obvious ways of increasing recruitment to the teaching profession. If men are to be recruited to the teaching profession in greater numbers, obviously this argument about a scale of £650 is relevant.

I do not think that the right hon. Gentleman is in touch with the scientists on this matter, nor with the schools. I have here a document from the Oxford University Education Committee. It is called "Technology and the Sixth Form Boy" and it reports the results of a survey in the schools to discover what motivates grammar school boys to go into the various professions. It was particularly concerned with recruitment to the technologies. But one small paragraph, one of the conclusions, is shattering from the point of view of the right hon. Gentleman's attitude about the salary conditions and the fancy career structures which he is building up.

Here, I deal with the hon. Member for Reading. One sentence reads: The overall picture gained from the boys' answers to the questionnaire and from discussions with them was that the ultimate salary they may expect to receive had little bearing on their choice of career. This is not a propaganda document prepared by us, but a scientific investigation into what influences sixth form boys in taking up careers. The document goes into the matter much more scientifically, but I have no time to develop that.

Mr. Emery

I wonder whether the hon. Gentleman would move towards the end of the document where ultimate salaries are shown in groups. It is shown that where there is a wide grouping this does not influence the matter, but towards the end of the document the hon. Gentleman will see some differentiation where there is a major alteration in salary.

Mr. Boyden

Let us deal with Table 19, which groups occupations according to pay, prestige and intelligence. Under "Pay" the first six occupations chosen were doctor, solicitor, dentist, accountant, architect and nuclear physicist. The teacher did not appear in that list. The only places where the schoolmaster figures are under "Prestige" at No. 5 and under "Intelligence" also at No. 5. Solicitors and doctors are deemed to be more intelligent than schoolmasters. I would remind my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) that solicitors have more intelligence than schoolmasters, according to the boys.

Seriously, while I do not lay great stress on this argument I say that if the right hon. Gentleman is building a career structure of his own devising, which he is doing, he ought to produce many more arguments than those which we heard when he introduced the Bill and in Committee. Unless he now suddenly produces arguments which we have not previously heard, we are bound to say that the people who are in contact with the "grass roots"—the teachers' organisations and the local education authorities—and have much more contact with and experience of teachers coming into the schools, and particularly teachers in their initial years, have much more right to be heard than he has.

4.15 p.m.

Mr. Sydney Irving (Dartford)

I support the Amendment because it intro- duces, and would make mandatory on the Minister, the scale freely negotiated between the teachers and their employers, a procedure which should be their right and was the practice until the Minister intervened.

The Minister's intervention has been one of the most damaging and disruptive events in the education service for a long time. It has been damaging because it destroyed confidence and upset the traditional partnership on which we prided ourselves for so long. It has been disruptive because it has stirred up anger and discontent in both the teaching profession and the administrative service in such a way as I believe will be harmful to recruitment in future and to the orderly development and progress of the education service.

I support it also because I do not believe it to be fair to regard £13 per week gross pay as too much for the young entrant into the teaching pro,. fession. We require these young people after a vigorous course of study, which lasts six years beyond the statutory age, to enter at a point on the scale which will leave them, as one of my hon. Friends said, worse off than they would have been in 1945. Nor do I believe, with the Minister, that, because we have the difficult problem of young married women leaving the profession after only a year or two in the service, this justifies penalising all young teachers. In any case, we believe in the long-established principle that we should pay the rate for the job.

Therefore, I believe that the Minister's interpretation of his duties in imposing a scale of less than £650 and his reliance on Section 89 of the Act has been out of keeping with the spirit of those who prepared and presented the Education Act to this House in 1944. I believe that it is a complete betrayal of the words uttered in this House by the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) while that Measure was passing through the House.

Some of us were shocked when, in Committee, the Minister repudiated the principles which were supposed to be behind the Tory Industrial Charter in refusing to acknowledge a right on the part of teachers to free negotiation which the Tory Party was prepared to grant to all others earning wages or salaries.

We feel that this distinction is a mere piece of sophistry. It is, however, clear that the Minister is prepared to go ahead and, by order, impose the scale with less than £650 at the lower end. His purpose was, indeed, to improve the career prospects of teachers, and he criticised the Burnham recommendation because it did not pay enough attention to high qualifications, responsibility, and so on. But it is clear that in imposing this scale he has not achieved his own intention, and there will be many graduates who will be much worse off on the Minister's scale than they would have been if the Burnham recommendation had been accepted by him.

The Minister has criticised the Burnham Committee. But Sir William Alexander has said that between 1948 and 1961 salary differentials and career opportunities have been extended and strengthened more than for any other comparable group of salary earners, and he added that if the Burnham Committee had lived it was pledged to carry this process a stage further in 1965.

The scale, in my view, is most unfair and the intervention is unjustified, and I therefore hope that the Amendment will be carried to give us an opportunity to rectify the position and, indeed, to make a new start.

Mr. Eric Lubbock (Orpington)

The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Peter Emery) said that in looking at a career the determining factor was the remuneration that one would ultimately receive at the top end of the scale. I do not know whether he was a member of the Committee—I cannot remember him speaking on it—or whether he has studied the scales which the Minister proposes and compared them with those which the Burnham Committee had previously submitted. If he had done so, he would have found that the rewards at the top end are identical.

This has relevance to what the Minister said about cutting down the remuneration at the beginning of the scale because a teacher did not reach the limit of his commitments until, say, ten years after he qualified. Therefore, in his consideration of the basic scale the Minister was cutting off something at the beginning and adding something half way through when the teachers would reach the maximum of their commitments—a period of between ten and fourteen years.

I have been reflecting that if I had been a teacher I should now have been qualified for thirteen years and, therefore, would in two years' time be reaching the point where my remuneration on both the Minister's scale and the Burnham scale would be identical. My children happen to be age 9, 7 and 3 years, and I do not consider that I have by any means reached the maximum limit of my commitments. Therefore, the Minister's scale does not do what he set out to do.

Another factor which is of particular importance is that one should not think in terms of limiting the award to £21 million altogether. Therefore, I am happy to see the scale improved at the beginning, and I should also be happy to see it improved at the end if the Minister so decided.

The primary reason why I am saying this is the connection, which no one, I think, has drawn attention to so far, between the importance we place on education and its effect on economic growth. We heard a lot from the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech, on the subject of growth, of expansion without inflation. I wonder whether the Minister of Education has seen the excellent document produced by the National Economic Development Council, Conditions Favourable to Faster Growth, which says: Economic growth is dependent upon a high and advancing level of education.… It also says that such evidence as there is strongly suggests that increased investment in education may make a substantial contribution to growth through the benefits, both social and economic, that it provides. Therefore, I think that, on consideration, hon. Gentlemen opposite, including, perhaps, the hon. Member for Reading, will agree that we need to spend this very small additional amount which would be necessary to raise the starting point of the teachers' salary scale to £650.

Mrs. Harriet Slater (Stoke-on-Trent, North)

I support this Amendment. I do not think that anybody could have the nerve to suggest that this figure as a starting salary for teachers is adequate to attract people into the profession. When the right hon. Gentleman was previously the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Education we introduced the three-year training period for teachers, and I remember the right hon. Gentleman saying that what we want is quality, not quantity. Since he has been Minister more and more have we been forced to the position that we want both quality and quantity if we are to give the right opportunity to the children in this generation.

I do not know whether the right hon. Gentleman looked at the television programme "Gallery" on Thursday night. It dealt with schooling in Glasgow, where children do half-time and teachers are doing double shifts in order that those children should have some education. On Friday, I was in a school in Stoke-on-Trent, where there was not a single class in the junior school with under 45 children in it, and where one woman teacher on the staff was having to do the whole of the needlework in the junior school. How are we to attract teachers into the profession if this is the kind of opportunity we give to them?

The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Peter Emery) said that what we ought to look at was not the beginning salary, but the possible opportunities for promotion. That is all nonsense.

Mr. G. Thomas

Hear, hear.

Mrs. Slater

Of course it is, because the possible opportunities for promotion are very small for the very large numbers in the teaching profession. The opportunities for key positions in the educational field are not as numerous as the hon. Member for Reading would have led us to believe when he was speaking just now.

Take the question of married women teachers. Are teachers—all teachers—to be condemned to start at under £650 because girls get married and leave the profession for a number of years? There are many girls who do not get married and remain in the teaching profession—thank goodness, not as many as there used to be in the teaching profession. I do not know whether we have got more attractive in the profession, or what it is. Nevertheless, there are a large number of girls who remain single, and there is a large number of men whom we want to attract to the teaching profession.

If I were to begin my career again I should look twice at whether I would go into the teaching profession, if I were looking at it merely from a salary point of view. I know that there are many people who go into it who are dedicated, and who are attracted to that kind of job, but we do not have to condemn them to an inadequate salary because they may be dedicated or attracted to the profession.

The right hon. Gentleman has always told us, when we have discussed the shortage of teachers, that we want to attract married women back. We shall not attract married women back unless we pay them, at the beginning, a salary to attract them into the profession to start with. Many married women who are teachers go out of the profession into other jobs—in social service with local authorities—and get very much better salaries than they can by coming back into the teaching profession. They may have commitments because of their families, and they want an adequate standard of living for them, and they may look twice at whether they should go back to the teaching profession or whether they should take up another profession or occupation.

The teachers to whom I have spoken and who have sent me letters—and I am sure that other hon. Members have had such letters, too—are not just the very young teachers, but include older teachers, teachers holding some of the possible promotions we have heard about, teachers who are head teachers, deputy head teachers, heads of departments in schools. They have written to me to say that, while they know that they would be a little better off under the Minister's proposals, they are concerned with the younger members of their staffs.

Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not need to be as stubborn as some other right hon. Gentlemen in the Government are on other matters. I feel really sorry for him because of the way he has looked when he has been tackled on television, when he has looked really uncomfortable, and has looked as though—I do not say he did—he wanted only to escape the situation in which he has been. He may be laughing, but the fact remains that he has lost much of the good will which the teachers felt when he became Minister of Education.

I support this Amendment because I think it is unjust to expect young teachers, after three years' training, to accept so little. It is not just the three years' training, but all the previous training, all the time they spent at grammar school or junior high school, wherever it was they went to get the necessary qualifications to go in for training. It is all that period which they have spent preparing themselves. It is absolutely unjust to expect to attract people into the teaching profession at such a low starting salary as the one which the Minister suggests.

If the right hon. Gentleman wants to regain some of the good will that he has lost, and to give back to some of the young people who have come into the teaching profession some of the confidence which they have absolutely discarded because of his own approach, he must have a last-minute conversion, to have a lost-minute chance to get back what he has lost. Unless be does, we must support the Amendment.

Mr. W. R. van Straubenzee (Wokingham)

However controversial I may want to be later I feel that I shall carry both sides of the Committee with me in assuring the hon. Lady the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Mrs. Slater) that the standard of charm of the lady members of the teaching profession is rising rapidly, and that she is, indeed, the living embodiment of that which is doing such damage to our recruitment figures.

There are two things which I want to say quite briefly. If I may, I will take friendly issue with my hon. Friend the Member for Reading (Mr. Peter Emery) on one point only. He does not represent quite all Reading, so he must not take a proprietary interest in it, for I am proud to have a small part of it in my constituency as well.

Be that as it may, I think that my hon. Friend was absolutely right, and I take issue firmly and definitely with hon. Members opposite, that in this as in any other profession it is the opportunities towards the end of it rather than merely the starting salary which matter the more. It is, in fact, a profession, if I recall rightly, where approximately 40 per cent. of its members have opportunity for earning other than the basic scale.

This, I think, is healthy and good, and I cannot see why it need divide the two sides of the Committee in the least to recognise that the standard of those at the top of it—of any profession—must always be of paramount importance to any body which we are seeking to construct. That does not mean that we should ignore the basic scale and concentrate exclusively on additional rewards for longer service, training, responsibility, or the rest of it. But it still remains a fundamental belief of mine that these matters are of great importance.

4.30 p.m.

The hon. Member for Dartford (Mr. Sydney Irving) said that he supported the Amendment because it would restore the position to what it would have been on the settlement negotiated by the two sides of the Burnham Committee. That is not so. What it would do would be to restore the position on the narrow point of the basic starting salary. That leads me to ask a question of whichever hon. Member opposite speaks next. Granted that the Amendment is accepted, the additional money that is required can come from one of two sources. First, it can come from an adjustment of the remaining scales. This would put the whole scale back to the position proposed by the Burnham Committee. Secondly, it can come from an additional sum of money being made available overall. Which course would hon. Members opposite adopt?

At a time when the nation is bearing substantial additional financial burdens, the second course would place an intolerable burden upon the ratepayers. It would mean that every local authority which has budgeted for the overall Burnham figure, however distributed, would have to accept an additional financial burden, which would mean the levying of extra money by way of some kind of supplementary rate. That is the difficulty that we would have to face.

I understand why the Amendment has been put forward. The Opposition are in a comfortable position. I am not suggesting that in the purely hypothetical possibility of my finding myself on that side of the House I could not conceivably take part in such an exercise. But, to be realistic about it, the plain difficulty facing hon. Members opposite is that they will have to state clearly and categorically how they propose to raise the additional finance. They will either have to do it by returning to the Burnham scale or by placing an additional rate burden on the ratepayers. It would be helpful to the Committee if hon. Members opposite would spell out their intentions. Incidentally, the ratepayers would also like to know whether this would mean an additional subvention from the rates.

Mr. Lubbock

Has the hon. Member thought of a third alternative, namely, that the Minister could pay a higher proportion of the teachers' salaries?

Mr. van Straubenzee

Yes, if we were prepared to reconstruct the entire mechanism merely for one little sector. The hon. Member is never likely to have the responsibility of government. His position is even easier than that of members of the Labour Party. At least, they visualise the possibility of forming the next Government. The hon. Member has nothing to worry about at all.

Sir Stephen McAdden (Southend, East)

In spite of the preconceived notions of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock), it should be pointed out that the Minister has no money. He must get it from someone.

Mr. van Straubenzee

Indeed—but I would think that such small details escape the attention of the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock).

No hen. Member regards the figure of £630 or £650 as sacrosanct for a starting salary for this great profession. In fact, hon. Members on both sides are anxious to move forward constantly to improve the salary awards and the general status and position of the profession. What we are arguing about is the method to be employed. For the reasons that I have given I believe that my right hon. Friend's proposals should stand, and that the Amendment should not be accepted.

Mr. Harold Davies (Leek)

The speech of the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) took me back to my third form days, and to the times when I was in the headmaster's study. The hon. Member was talking down to the House of Commons. In parenthesis, he suggested that we must be realistic. I am sick to death of the crackpot realism of the idiotic ideological individual.

Let us consider how crackpot the hon. Member's suggestion is. First, he asks the pompous question, "Where will the money come from?" That is the sort of argument that we heard in the four-ale bars forty years ago, or among the Welsh miners forty years ago, before we converted them to Socialism. Where will the money come from? It will come from a Government who wasted £140 million on Blue Streak and more money on projects arising from their militaristic outlook than all the Governments added together for the last thirty years.

When the hon. Member asked that question it was noticeable how he pushed out his chest, and how his shoulders went back. He wiped out the hon. Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) completely, and he then appealed to the Labour Party to be responsible. What about the Minister of Education, who has interfered with thirty years' work and negotiation? Did he show responsibility to our educational system? Today, our system is one of the worst among the advanced countries. [HON. MEMBERS: "Nonsense."] Hon. Members below the Gangway opposite can squawk "Nonsense", but they should study some of the reports of the educational opportunities available in some of the other advanced European countries, and compare them with ours.

The two most explosive things in our educational system today are the Government's policy in respect of the primary schools and their attitude in respect of the 11-plus examination. This has a lot to do with the salary question. [Laughter.] Hon. Members opposite who laugh show their complete lack of knowledge of the problem. How do we expect to get children through the 11-plus examination with classes numbering from 45 to 50, where a proper educational opportunity cannot be provided?

The hon. Member for Southend, East (Sir S. McAdden) may have appeared on television, but I am sorry for what he has been telling millions of people. It is all very well for the hon. Member to interrupt—

Sir S. McAdden

I did not say a word.

Mr. Davies

The hon. Member did not have to say a word. The idiocy of his grin spoke volumes. To fail to realise the relationship between a moderately decent salary and the question of the 11-plus examination shows a complete lack of knowledge of our educational system.

If Britain is to keep her place in the world she must provide a better educational opportunity for our primary school children. That can be done only if we can attract 10,000 new teachers every year. We want to attract young men and women into the profession. We do not want to return to the sickly period of the hungry 1930s, when Governments and certain individuals had such a warped view of the situation that whenever a beautiful young teacher married she was immediately given the sack. Instead of keeping the best material in our schools, the Government pushed young married women teachers—who, of course, were likely to become mothers—out of the profession despite all their years of training at college or university.

Today, we are doing the same thing to men teachers, in another way. It was hinted at today. We heard it in that pompous speech by the hon. Member for Wokingham. This attitude is that they can get more than the basic salary by taking other opportunities. Some of us who took university extension classes on top of ordinary teaching jobs have had experience of that sort of thing. A teacher is already overwhelmed by the burden of teaching oversize classes. This sort of situation is a disgrace to a country which tries to claim that it is one of the leaders of education in the world.

A very pointed question is involved here, and the public should hear about it. What are the salaries of young teachers beginning in public schools compared with those starting out in our primary schools in the State system of education? I do not want to bother with the public schools at the moment. There are much more important matters. Let us get the State system right and get better primary and secondary schools.

If we want increased productivity, then whichever Government are in power, the population will be asked to move about. New towns are growing up. In Leek, I have areas containing little village schools built originally for 20 or 30 children. Suddenly, however, a new housing estate for miners is built half a mile away from one and now the little school has to be extended with huts. It has overcrowded classes. If we want to be able to move people and industry about the country, we also need a decent "float" of young people qualified to go into the teaching profession in order to cope with these problems on top of the increased population.

Do we regard £650 a year as a decent starting salary? I could earn more by becoming a bookie's runner. Indeed, bookies' runners do far better than Members of Parliament. This is the topsy turvy, "bingo" society that the Government and Members opposite have introduced.

Mr. Peter Emery

How does one make a book?

Mr. Davies

I can teach the hon. Gentleman some time.

As we all know, the basic salary for a teacher is a stinking salary for the 1960s. Yet it will go on into the 1970s, no matter what the hon. Member for Wokingham says. Our children are the basic material for our future nuclear physicists, doctors, lawyers, scientists and technologists. Unless that material is moulded by a properly paid, dignified teaching profession, then the material will simply not be available for the professions and the sciences. Out of God's infinite flies of boys, it is teachers who make men". Let us give the teachers dignity and a decent salary to begin with.

Mr. A. E. Cooper (Ilford, South)

During nearly fourteen years in the House of Commons I have listened to a fair amount of old rubbish, but I admit that I have never listened to such utter bilge as the speech of the hon. Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies). I wonder whether he knows anything about education. I wonder whether, apart from his bookmaking activities, he has ever been a member of an education committee, or knows anything about our education system.

To talk about my hon. Friend the Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee) being pompous, when all my hon. Friend asked was where the money was to come from, exemplifies all that Socialism stands for in this day and age. It is the attitude, "Let us have anything we like—to hell with the cost. So long as you can say that this is a public service then, by waving a magic wand, the cost can be borne by somebody else." That is way hon. Members opposite think. [Interruption.] If the very garrulous and voluble and, I hope, temporary Member for Orpington (Mr. Lubbock) wishes to interrupt, why does he not stand up like a man, when I shall be pleased to give way?

4.45 p.m.

Mr. Lubbock

Why does not the hon. Gentleman use precisely the same argument about the enormous defence expenditure which has increased every year?

Mr. Cooper

The hon. Gentleman knows very little about government. Governments of any party always have one very great difficulty, and that is to apportion priorities for the national expenditure and taxation. It is not an easy job. There are always hon. Members on both sides riding particular hobby horses, wanting more money to be spent on them. But it so happens that the majority of the Committee—although the Liberal Party is quite prepared to abrogate all sense of responsibility—feel that some proportion of our national productivity must go to the defence of the nation, and are quite prepared to stand up to the cost.

Mr. A. Bourne-Arton (Darlington)

Would not my hon. Friend agree that the great majority of citizens, if they had to choose between being defended or educated, would prefer to be defended?

Mr. Cooper

It is not far from that. Unless the nation was safe and secure, education as we know it would not carry on.

Mr. Peter Emery

That is the point.

Mr. Cooper

The hon. Member for Leek talked about the poor state of education. I remind him of one fact which is incontrovertible. It is that we spend more per head of the population on education than does any other country in the world except Sweden. I do not doubt that the results we obtain from our education system are much greater than those obtained in any other country. We have nothing to be ashamed of in the development of the brains of this country.

Mr. Edwin Wainwright (Dearne Valley)

If it is true that only one, Sweden, spends more per head of the population on education, can the hon. Gentleman explain how it is that in the United States 39 per cent. of the age group between 18 and 21 go to universities and colleges?

Mr. Cooper

I was hoping that the hon. Gentleman might have read the Sunday Express yesterday. He would have seen on the front page that the Labour Party is contemplating changes in the public school system.

Mr. Willey

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that what the Sunday Express said was rubbish?

Mr. Cooper

May we take it from that intervention that the Labour Party has positively no intention of altering the structure of public schools?

The Chairman

It seems to me that the Committee is straying from the Amendment.

Mr. Cooper

That is quite possible, Sir William.

The supporters of the Amendment have got themselves thoroughly confused about the whole substance of the Amendment and of the Bill. We are discussing four things—the basic scale, the policy of differentials, the power of the Ministry and the constitution of Burnham. Although we may be considering only the first two of those in the context of the Amendment, those four things are the substance of our debate.

Nobody would attempt to argue that the sum proposed by the Minister is princely—that would be common ground between the two sides of the Committee and throughout the country—but in this whole story the Minister of Education has been guilty of only one mistake. It will be within the memory of hon. Members that some time ago we had the controversy about the sum of £47 million as opposed to £42½ million. The then Minister of Education, Sir David Eccles, now Lord Eccles, said quite clearly that it was his intention to introduce legislation to impose his wishes upon the profession and at the same time to reconstitute Burnham.

It is my firm belief that had we followed through at that time, had Burnham been reconstituted as it should have been, the problem which now faces us would not have arisen. The fact remains that the Burnham Committee capitulated at that time and the Government's proposals were accepted, so the Ministry did not follow through and we now find ourselves with this problem.

The Chairman

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Member again, but we are discussing quite a small Amendment which does not bring in the basic Second Reading matters which the hon. Member is now introducing into his speech.

Mr. Cooper

There used to be a radio broadcaster, Professor Joad, who prefaced all his answers by saying, "What do you mean by—?" and in this case it would be, "What do you mean by small?" In this case, one is entitled to ask what you mean by small, Sir William.

The Chairman

What I mean by "small" is "narrow".

Mr. Cooper

Thank you.

I will support my right hon. Friend in his proposals because they represent an increase in the basic scale, although I do not regard the increase as adequate. I hope that when a reconstituted Burnham Committee next considers this problem, it can do so more fundamentally, but, at the same time, I wholeheartedly support my right hon. Friend in his policy of differentials.

Mr. J. J. Mendelson (Penistone)

I do not propose to go into great detail on some of the points which have been made by the right hon. Gentleman's supporters, because it would be a trifle unfair to saddle him with all the obscurantist arguments which we have heard from hon. Members opposite. I want to speak briefly on a matter which exercises many people at all levels in the profession, as the Minister well knows.

The attempts to create an image of the Minister as the only one who is really concerned with those at the more senior end of the scale do not stand examination. It is very unfair to give the impression that members of the profession who oppose him in this matter are the least concerned with rewards for and recognition of experience and additional responsibility in the profession. If any serious discussion of this disagreement is to be honourably conducted, it must start from that recognition.

There is here a conflict of judgment. I would not object if the Minister said that in a matter of judgment he took a view different from that of the vast majority of the profession, or even from the constituted committee playing a leading part in the negotiations. But what we must never do is to make it appear as if reason is exclusively on the side 'of the Minister, who alone is concerned about the prospects of members of the profession when they reach more senior positions of responsibility, while those on the other side of the argument ignore them. There is no such distinction. This is an artificial propagandist creation by those who wish to support what the Minister has decided to do.

Not only was there a clear judgment by the Burnham Committee, with its very responsible membership, but also by the major trade union organisation representing the teaching profession. The judgment was that at this juncture of educational development it was right and just and sensible to give additional encouragement to people at the younger end of the scale and especially to new entrants to the profession.

This is the problem to which the Minister has to address himself. One of these days the Minister himself, or whoever succeeds him, will have to readdress himself to this problem, and it does not help to put up bogies, which have nothing to do with the problem, merely by saying, "Are you going to capture some of the votes of ratepayers by frightening them into the belief that the country will be committed to a huge increase in the rate bill because you take a different view of this matter?"

The Burnham Committee includes people who are local councillors and aldermen and who have been members of local authorities. They were concerned with rates long before the hon. Member for Burton (Mr. Jennings) first came into politics, and do not need elementary lessons in the financial implications of the debate on this Amendment.

I have always been puzzled why the Minister so stubbornly decided on this course. I am not in the least concerned with making his personal position more uncomfortable, for this argument will continue. It does not concern only one Minister of Education. It would be a waste of time merely to make him feel uncomfortable about his personal position. However, when he disagreed with the judgment of the Burnham Committee, why was it not possible for him to do everything possible which was suggested to him privately and publicly to search for a compromise with both the Committee and representatives of the teaching profession? In my judgment, that should not have been impossible without interfering with the long-term policy which the Minister may have had in mind, but my judgment is not important. I am trying to find out why the Minister behaved so stubbornly when he rejected the Committee's judgment and took a different view.

Why was it completely impossible for the right hon. Gentleman to consider the alternative proposal from members of tile profession who took a leading part in the negotiations and go back to the Treasury to consider whether it would not be possible, if not to find the whole sum, at least the additional sum required to reach a compromise agreement?

5.0 p.m.

After all, "compromise" is not an unknown term in wage negotiations. There are many parallels in the discussions between representatives of the Civil Service unions and the Treasury, as the employing side, where similar disagreements have arisen and agreement has been found by the adoption of a middle course. It is inexplicable that the Minister should decide to dig in his heels so stubbornly and exclude from his mind any idea of a further search for a compromise agreement.

This has given rise to all sorts of worries, doubts and suspicions among members of the teaching profession. The right hon. Gentleman himself must know what are these worries, as any hon. Member must know who has received a deputation representing the teachers and had long and detailed discussions on the subject. It is not good enough for hon. Members opposite to end their speeches by saying that the sum to which the Minister is sticking is not a princely sum. That is paying lip-service to the discussions which they have had with people representing the teachers. In doing so they underestimate the intelligence and the public and political acumen of the representatives of the teachers.

Hon. Members on this side of the Committee—as hon. Members opposite must have been—were deeply impressed by the detailed knowledge of the proceedings and the discussions which have taken place in this dispute which was displayed by the representatives of the teachers. They have a clear appreciation of how this disagreement arose. The Minister knows that he must make a case which has not yet been made if he wishes his arguments to stand up to the critical examination of members of the teaching profession.

If it is asked why it was so completely impossible for the Minister to continue to search for another solution the question also arises whether the right hon. Gentleman—although he finds difficulty in agreeing to it at present—may not have in mind that the Committee and the representatives of the profession may be right. At this time, we need something to encourage entrants into the profession. There is the serious problem of recruiting sufficient people to do the new research needed in the most advanced field of natural sciences.

Should not the constitute a warning to the Minister that in the sphere of education there exists a dangerous malaise? Does not the Minister agree with those who are worried about this malaise and feel that it is unhealthy for the future of the country from an educational, an economic and also from a defence point of view? It is bad and unhealthy, and potential teachers feel discouraged because they consider that they would belong to a somewhat neglected profession.

It does not do any good to point out that we do not occupy such a bad place in comparison with other countries. I should never consider as useful any argument which attempted to do less than justice to the great deal of important educational work which is going on in the country. But in the nineteenth century we led all others in educational and scientific advance. It was temporarily overtaken by one or two other countries, but the lead was regained. Now we are in danger of slipping back and again being overtaken by other countries.

The Minister must counteract this malaise in the profession. He is responsible just as others at other levels are responsible for counteracting it in the universities. It is not good enough to say that money is not everything and, because they belong to an honourable profession, to expect that teachers should not be looking to their prospects if, after three years at college, they permit themselves to work at a very low starting salary.

Recently, I visited one of the most advanced teacher training colleges in the London area, where considerable expansion is going on, as the Minister will be aware. The surroundings there will create the university atmosphere that many of us have wished to bring to teacher training colleges, and it will prove an excellent base for the training of future teachers. But is not it incongruous that after creating the atmosphere of an honourable profession, at considerable expense and making everyone feel—whether they come from a technical college, university or a teacher training college—that they are in a major enterprise to ensure the future position of what is a major industrial nation, at the same time to engage in a conflict with the teaching profession over an additional expenditure which could have been brought within the scope of these negotiations, had the Minister decided to be stubborn with the Cabinet and not with the teachers?

The Minister is primarily responsible, as he will be aware, for standing up against his colleagues in the Cabinet on occasions and defending the interests of education. The gravamen of our charge against him is not that he exercised his judgment and came to a different conclusion from that of the Burnham Committee and the teaching profession, but that there is no evidence that he tried to reach agreement with members of the profession, or that he undertook their fight in those conflicts for more money which must take place within the Cabinet.

The right hon. Gentleman has failed to produce evidence of having done that, so anyone who believes in the case which the teachers and the Burnham Committee have put forward must support the Amendment.

Mr. Arthur Skeffington (Hayes and Harlington)

I strongly support the Amendment providing that in the enforced settlement of the Minister no salary should be less than £650 a year. I find it extremely difficult to contemplate that we can have a serious difference between the two sides of the Committee about the obvious merits of this Amendment. I should have thought it commended itself to every hon. Member. I have not heard one convincing argument in opposition to it from hon. Members opposite, and the fact is that there cannot, in any sense of a reasonable conception of values, be a valid argument against this extremely modest minimum scale for teachers which was the scale that the authorities who were negotiating the settlement recognised, and which is based on experience. It must commend itself to every hon. Member.

No doubt every hon. Member, from time to time, makes speeches about the importance of education and the part it has to play in the future of the country. I am prepared to believe that most right hon. and hon. Members honestly believe that to be the fact. We often say that the education service—we call it a service—is second only—and possibly even this may be doubtful—to the practice of medicine. Yet, faced with this practical test, can we honestly say that in this age of affluence, of which we are often reminded by hon. Members opposite—no doubt the country will be reminded of it more frequently as the General Election draws nearer—we cannot afford the £2 million or £3 million extra which would be required to implement the proposal in this Amendment? I understand that a figure of that kind is involved. I do not believe that this nation cannot afford that amount of money now. I doubt whether any hon. Gentleman opposite really believes that we cannot afford, for this very deserving section of the community, the small addition which would ensure that their minimum starting salary would be a little less absurd than it is now.

We have only to compare the sum suggested in the Amendment with what we know is the remuneration of large numbers of people at a comparable age in industry and commerce—who very often have no qualifications at all—to see that they are getting far in excess of the modest minimum which we have suggested. My hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) asked what is the starting salary for assistant masters in public schools. A current advertisement shows that for the first post in a fairly well-known public school the salary offered is £850 per annum with a supplement for boarding, so that the salary is worth far more than the £850 quoted somewhere below a £1,000.

Mr. Bourne-Arton

Would the hon. Gentleman say whether he thinks that that figure is in advance of the Burnham scale for a good honours graduate with, perhaps, four years' training who starts now?

Mr. Skeffington

If the hon. Gentleman does not mind, I will develop my argument in my own way so as to arrive at the conclusion I want to put forward rather than be sidetracked by his intervention. The relevance of the question put to me by the hon. Gentleman, I do not altogether appreciate.

The fact is that in one type of educational establishment the figure currently offered is far in advance of both what was offered by Burnham and what is suggested in this Amendment. That proves that the figure in our Amendment is an extremely moderate and modest one. It is because hon. Members opposite always seem to wish to perpetuate the difference in treatment between certain types of establishments that we have our doubts about how far they want to have an educational establishment which has comparable qualities and gives comparable terms and conditions to those serving in it.

Mr. Bourne-Arton

All I was trying to say was that there was no difference.

Mr. Skeffington

I did not catch the hon. Gentleman's observation, and I think it would be better to continue with my argument. He has been in the Chamber for some time and perhaps he will catch the eye of the Chair later, when he can make his own observations. I was sorry to see that no hon. Members opposite stood up to argue the merits of this Amendment. It is better for the hon. Gentleman to do this in his own speech than to interrupt me when I am making mine.

The hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Emery) supported the Minister's scale on the ground that what really interested people were the prospects, that the starting salary was far less important than the prospects that a good salary scale would offer if the amount of money were divided in the way suggested and by giving some at a later stage. I think that there is something in that argument, but I believe that the much more significant feature in the matter of recruitment for teachers today is that many young people want to settle down at a very much earlier age than they used to do 20 or 30 years ago. People today are marrying very much earlier.

I know that in my own second adopted profession at the Bar many members of it who would have waited five or ten years at it before making a reasonable living cannot do so today. For most of us, the matter of private means has gone and, consequently, after a year or two, unless they are particularly lucky, they tend to drift away from the profession and take a job either in the Services or in industry. This is also true of many of those attracted to teaching and who would like to teach. If we make the initial starting salary too low, and which the Burnham negotiators wisely thought too low, we shall not get the recruits in the first place. I think that this is far more important than the fact used in the argument of the hon. Member for Reading or by the Minister himself.

There must not only be reasonable prospects but there must be a reasonable starting salary. I will give the Committee one practical example which is known to me. It concerns a young teacher who started just about a year ago and who had a very fine record in mathematics. I have at times drawn the attention of the House to the crisis in the shortage of teachers in mathematics. This young teacher was offered an excellent job in industry. After he had been in his first school for about a year he was approached by one of the electronics firms which had heard about his record and asked if he would consider an invitation to join its staff. He had an interview with the firm during which the person interviewing him said, "We would like to have you, we should like you to join our staff. We are short of specialists. What salary would you want."

5.15 p.m.

The salary which he suggested modestly was double what he was then receiving. The firm said, "We could not expect you to make this transfer for such a small increase in salary with all the attendant upheaval involved", and it offered him a salary three and a half times as much as he was getting as a teacher. I am glad that this young man decided after thinking over the offer that his vocation was in teaching and that he is going to remain a teacher. But there are many others who would not feel that they could neglect taking an opportunity of that kind. We do not think that they should be put in that position in the first place.

I hope that more and more hon. Members will realise that there is a real practical purpose in inserting this minimum figure in the Amendment. While this debate has been going on I have refreshed my memory by looking at Appendix D in the Report of the Royal Commission on the Remuneration of Doctors and Dentists. Of course, this Commission reported in 1960 and the figures in Appendix D concerning remuneration in other professions were gathered in the year or two before that, so that they are now out of date.

If one looks through the remuneration of members of comparable professions of two, three or sometimes four years' training, it appears that in 1960, compared with our present proposed minimum scale of £650 the only professional groups worse off were curates and barristers. Perhaps one ought not to classify curates as being members of a profession. I believe that when a member of the cloth asked the late Ernest Bevin if he could join his union he was told that he had better join in the pilots section—he was put in that separate category.

The only other profession worse off in 1960 were barristers. In 1959 an assistant principal in the Civil Service received a commencing salary of £655 a year; a veterinary officer in 1959 received a starting salary of £824 a year and a chartered surveyor had a starting salary of at least £650 a year, and sometimes a little more. Solicitors certainly received £100 or £150 a year more. This was true of chartered accountants and of practically all the members of the three engineering institutions, and so on.

Consequently, if we are really going to treat education and those in it, the teachers, as really being of worth to the nation we ought to improve upon this very miserable scale laid down by the Minister. I believe that this Amendment highlights two things. First, it shows the considerable unwisdom of the Minister in having put himself in the position of having to have these details discussed on the Floor of the House where, as often happens, other considerations are introduced apart from the pure merits of the case. Secondly, it is a very good test, whatever hon. Gentlemen opposite may say, of the Government's intentions about education.

If hon. Members opposite go into the Lobby to vote against this Amendment the teachers will really know what they think of them.

Mr. Leslie Hale (Oldham, West)

I confess that I was tempted to get to my feet by the observations of the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. van Straubenzee). My hon. Friend the Member for Leek (Mr. Harold Davies), to whom I always listen with pleasure and who soared into such oratorical passages that I thought the parachute of his oration might not enable him to descend, said that the speech of the hon. Member for Wokingham was pompous.

Hon. Members opposite appear to be saying to hon. Members on this side of the Committee, "Why do not you poor chaps apply your minds to the economics of the situation; where the money is to come from? Why do not you realise that the local authorities may find difficulty in raising the money?". They may have a hostile attitude to the question.

The hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper) suggested that one is not allowed to speak on this matter unless one has been a member of a local education committee and studied it all. I do not often establish my own alibi, but I first became a member of an education committee of a county council 30 years ago. It was a Conservative county council and most of its members were farmers. Our principal problem was that we could not pay more than 28s. a week to workers on the highways in case the agricultural labourers protested.

I was glad, Sir Robert, that you called my hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) before you called me, because I was greatly impressed by what he said. If I may venture a criticism, I should say I was impressed by the moderation of his remarks. He spoke about junior chartered surveyors, solicitors and so on. I could not get a qualified solicitor today for less than £1,000 a year to start with, unless he had a rather obvious detriment which disqualified him from the job. [Laughter.] I am prefectly serious. There are men of high mental ability and great gifts who are not able to fulfil the sort of post one has in mind if one is appointing someone to a company practice, to undertake minor advocacy and so on.

In London today it is quite impossible to get a shorthand-typist for less than £15 a week. I am not talking about a qualified secretary; I am talking about a girl who can do moderate shorthand and moderate typing. Fifteen pounds a week—yet we are talking about £12 10s. for a qualified teacher. Two and a half years ago I found myself a member of a Royal Commission appointed to consider such things as judges' rules. In the end, as so often happens to Royal Commissions, as a result of a rather absent-minded gesture by the then Home Secretary, we were told to consider police pay. a question for which we had no experience, no knowledge, no figures and no standards to apply, and the question of judges' rules was taken off us.

We said in the Report that a policeman is sui generis, there is no standard of basic comparison which one can make, but there are some tests one can try. I believe the police force is of first importance. We all thought it of first importance that we should get good men, but the actual education insisted upon is very slight. One can start at 18. I hope the police will not think me ungenerous when I say that the main qualification is that one has to be over 5 ft. 7½ ins. Why that is I do not know; Napoleon was not that height and Nelson was not.

We had to apply our minds to a number of things. It was said of the police that they can retire on a full pension. Some of them can retire at 45 with a full pension, and that is a great advantage. Mankind does not think five years ahead. Goodness knows, it would be a miserable life if we tried to do so. It is no use saying to a lad of 21, "You will have an easy time when you are 45." That does not interest him. He looks at the Government and thinks he will probably be blown to bits before then. He looks across the road and realises what the Minister of Transport is doing. The consideration for him is how much he will get when he starts on the job.

We had a wonderful argument from many points of view. All the local authorities called our attention to the rates. We were not left under any misapprehension as to the general views of the Association of Municipal Corporations on the question of spending any money out of the rates on anything—except, of course, on the subscription to the Association of Municipal Corporations. We were left under no misapprehension about that. We had to make a recommendation and, as no doubt the hon. Member for Wokingham will recall, this was during a period of economic crisis. We were shortly to have a pay pause and all sorts of committees had to consider why people wanted more money and to try to stop them getting it.

We are now told by Conservative advertisements circulated every day that everything in the garden is lovely and that we are in a period of expansion—indeed "planned" expansion, a word they have never used before. I hope that it will not sound discourteous. Sir Robert, because I have not the slightest desire to be discourteous, but, having listened with rapt attention to fourteen of fifteen speeches on this Amendment, I have begun to wonder whether we are discussing a different Amendment from the one on the Notice Paper. It may be as well to consider what the Amendment says. It is an admirable Amendment which I support, but it is very modest. It does not suggest a minimum of £650 and that then the salary should go rapidly ascending, but merely that those who would start at less than £12 a week shall have it supplemented to £12 10s. and so on until they qualify for the full salary as they do now.

My hon. Friend the Member for Hayes and Harlington suggested that this might cost £2 million or £3 million. I should be surprised if it would cost so much. In any event, that sum could be got from the interest on the money which was to be spent on Blue Streak. The bon. Member for Wokingham, in his "non-pompous" speech, invited us to ask a number of questions the answers to which would be completely out of order. He wanted to know how we would raise the money from some other sources. If I said that I should knock off half the expenditure on foreign embassies or reduce the money spent on defence, or adumbrate my view about MI5, I am certain that you, Sir Robert, would stop me—

The Deputy Chairman (Sir Robert Grimston)

The hon. Member is getting it all in.

Mr. Hale

I can well understand that you would find it your reluctant duty to ask me to come back to the Amendment, which has been referred to from time to time in the course of this long discussion. When we were discussing the question of police this further argument was put forward. It was said that we should prepare a scale so that the man concerned would get his maximum benefit at the time he most needed it. Working it out, it seems that if a man gets married at 22, he starts to breed. After seven or eight years his children are of a certain age at which they eat more, but when a chap wants the money is when he comes from the training college and wishes to marry the wench who has been waiting three years. Then he has to furnish a house and, Heaven help him under a Tory Government, to pay a fantastic rent to provide a miserable rabbit hutch. On £12 10s. a week he has to start life and face all the difficulties of hire purchase and providing a home in which to bring up a family which will be taught to look up to papa as a member of a learned profession. The plain fact is that to the hon. Member for Wokingham, the hon. Member for Ilford, South and their colleagues teaching is non-U.

No one said "What about the rates?" when we recommended that the police salaries should start at £650 a year and go up to £1,000 a year. The police have a whole series of opportunities for promotion not comparable with that of the teacher. Not only have they more chances of promotion, but a much earlier age of retirement. No one said "What about the rate?" when we considered the doctors.

Mr. Bence (Dunbartonshire. East)

Or the judges.

5.30 p.m.

Mr. Hale

What are we asking for now —it is quite right that we should make it clear—by this Amendment? I am not saying that we do not reserve the right to criticise other things, but the question now is whether, taking the Minister's scale as it is, we should shove in a minimum of £12 10s. a week. What was the equivalent of that in pre-war terms—£4 a week? I once lived on very little more myself. That is what we are asking for.

I ask the Minister to tell us why he cannot accept the Amendment, precisely what it would cost the community if he accepted it, and whether he does not realise that for young people the starting salary is the most vital of all considerations in recruitment. Is he really going to consider whether, by the refusal of this Amendment, he will not reduce the opportunity of recruiting worthwhile members of this extremely important profession, and do harm to the cause of education generally?

Mr. Cyril Bence (Dunbartonshire, East)

I am rather surprised that the Minister does not seem prepared to give way on this Amendment because there are so many instances in our country today where the starting salary, or the starting income, in industry, commerce or the professions is probably the most important factor in determining whether a boy or girl enters a trade or profession.

I have spent most of my life in the engineering industry, and one of the great factors, particularly between the wars and since the last war, in frustrating the entry of boys into good apprenticeship schemes was that they saw around them in industry men with no specific training at all, or semi-skilled or unskilled, earning wages at 22 years of age higher than the wages they would get as skilled men, when they came out of their time.

As a trade union representative in the factories I have negotiated the wages of skilled men coming out of their time at 21 or 22 years of age, and the management have said, time and time again, that they would be only too pleased, and they thought that it would be justifiable, to give a much higher starting wage on completion of training, but, unfortunately, if they did that they would have to give it to everybody. I have known cases where boys have taken a good Higher School Certificate and qualified to go to university, but they have been given the opportunity to go into modern industry as executive trainees at £850 a year. I know of a boy of about 19 who won an exhibition to Cambridge who was offered the position and accepted it, of an executive trainee at £850 a year. That is more than a teacher starts at after three years' training.

I was shocked by the interjection of the hon. Member for Darlington (Mr. Bourne-Arton). I have been in the House of Commons 13 years and I never thought that in the second half of the twentieth century I should hear even the most diehard Tory say in the House of Commons that there were people in this country who would prefer to be defended, that is they would prefer to have a nation of soldiers, airmen and sailors, than to have a nation that was educated.

Mr. Bourne-Arton

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman does not want to misquote me. What I suggested to my hon. Friend tie Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper) was that most people in this country if they had to make the choice of being defended or being educated would make the voluntary choice of being defended.

The Deputy-Chairman

That is getting very far from whether the basic scale should be £650.

Mr. Bence

The hon. Member has repeated the statement he made. The hon. Member should think before he speaks. If we did not have an educated people in this country we should not be able to defend ourselves because of the modern techniques employed, so in fact the hon. Member's interjection was just stupid, utter nonsense. I do not know what sort of majority he has in his constituency or what his prospects are, but if I were in his constituency he would never get my vote after making such a stupid statement in a debate on this very important subject.

Coming back to the Amendment, I want to make this final point. I have never been in the teaching profession, but I think that it is good for some of us to come into these debates who are not in the profession but who can speak as fathers and parents and see objectively the society in which we live. I consider that today the most difficult task being performed by any section of the community is that of teaching children in our primary and secondary schools. The competition for opening a child's mind and developing it intellectually is terrific, and the task of the teacher is becoming almost insuperable, especially with classes of 40 or 50 children. When I hear of the size of some of the classes which teachers have to handle, I wonder that we do so well as we do in our schools.

A boy or girl after completing training in a secondary school or grammar school and three years at training college at 21 years of age has a starting salary of £620 —£12 a week—and has to wait 16 years before reaching the maximum salary. I suggest to the right hon. Gentleman that if in the apprenticeship system for the training of engineers and technicians in industry a boy, on completion of training, could only reach the wages of a skilled craftsman after 16 years, the apprenticeship system would collapse, because boys would not do it.

The teacher is presumably trained after three years, just as is an engineer or a technician, and he will have to wait sixteen years before he reaches what is considered the maximum remuneration that is from £620 to £1,250 which are figures presumably looked upon as fair remuneration for a good teacher.

The Deputy-Chairman

I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but we really are not discussing the scale that a teacher will get after sixteen years. We are discussing here the basic scale at which he starts, I would ask the hon. Gentleman to keep to that.

Mr. Bence

The point that I am making is that the amount on entry into the teaching profession should be raised from £620 at the minimum so that the differential between the starting stage and the full salary is narrowed. I think that sixteen years to wait is far too long. The sixteen years' wait is too long. I cannot see anyone trained in industry waiting sixteen years to get his maximum salary.

Mr. R. P. Hornby (Tonbridge)

Surely, the hon. Member is speaking directly contrary to the Amendment which he claims to support. If he is worried about the sixteen years' wait, he should ask for the maximum salary to be paid much earlier.

Mr. Bence

No. From the beginning I have stressed that the salary at the point of entry is most important to young people entering a profession. Obviously, during the course of sixteen years all kinds of things can happen. Increases can be brought about. The hon. Member will know, as we all do, that the immediate consideration is the salary at entry. All kinds of progress can be made afterwards. In this case, it takes sixteen years to do it unless one becomes a headmaster.

I hope that the Minister will accept the Amendment for a basic starting salary of not less than £650. That would give him latitude to increase the figure. I am convinced that this will not increase the entry of young men and women into teaching. Unless we get an increase in the entry of young men and women into our State schools, our educational system in general in the next decade will decline relative to that of many other nations unless we do something urgently about it.

Those of us who spend our lives in industry know how much people in industry, commerce and trade depend upon a democracy which is well-educated—that is to say, far better educated than some of us were forty years ago—because if we do not have that, we shall not succeed in achieving the prosperous Britain that we all want.

Mr. Edward Short (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central)

I support the Amendment for two reasons. First, it would remove one of the most glaring injustices from the scale of salaries which the Minister is imposing upon the teachers, and secondly, it would, perhaps, to a small extent, undo some of the damage that the Minister has done to the partnership in English education. This partnership between the teachers, local authorities and the Ministry has been one of the glories of English education. Probably one of the biggest issues of all is that the Minister has done tremendous damage to that partnership. Our pro- posal would not remove the damage that the Minister has done, but it would go a little way towards mitigating the harm.

It is difficult to find out why the Minister has done what he has done, but, on looking through all his speeches on Second Reading and in Committee, he seems to have given three reasons. The first is that he wanted teaching to become a profession in fact as well as in theory. In professional status, there are a number of elements. Remuneration is certainly one of them. Surely, the Minister would agree that the community has not gone anywhere near to facing up to paying our teachers a professional salary yet. If the Minister is anxious to do this, one wonders why he has not taken steps to create some of the elements to establish a teaching profession—home rule for the teaching profession, for example, a graduate profession, and so on. There are many other things that he could do in this direction.

The second reason given by the Minister for the step he has taken was that it was necessary to increase the differentials and to pay more at the top end to the older teacher in order to get recruits of the right calibre. I do not know whether the Minister intends this to be a reflection on the calibre of the people who are coming into the profession. I should think not. It should, however, be put on record that most of us feel that we have an excellent teaching force, a first-rate body of people who do a magnificent job in old schools and overcrowded classes under the most difficult conditions. I hope that the Minister intends no reflection on the calibre of the people who are in the profession and those who are entering it.

If the argument is being used that it is necessary to pay people more later in life to ensure getting the right kind of recruit, in the present context of society it is an equally valid argument to say that we must give a decent starting salary to attract people to the profession. This is true for two reasons. First, as my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West (Mr. Hale) has said, so many competing rewards are offered in all kinds of other spheres that it is essential to give a decent starting salary to get the right number of able young people into teaching.

5.45 p.m.

Secondly, people are marrying much younger. Only a fortnight ago, I picked up on the A.1 a young man who was hitch-hiking. He told me that he was a student from a training college in the Midlands and was going home for the weekend to Northumberland. I asked whether he had a job and he said "Yes". He said that the first week after he got out of college he was getting married. That is a general thing nowadays. What sort of life will that young man have? How will he be satisfied with £12 a week? The Minister should take this kind of thing into account.

If it is argued that it is necessary to pay people more later in life to get the right kind of recruits, let us look at the changes that the Minister has made to the differentials. They are only marginal. The Minister is a fair-minded man for whom, politics apart, I have always had a great admiration. Does he really suggest that a difference of a few £s here and there will make the difference in attracting more people into teaching?

Thirdly, the Minister has emphasised over and over again that he has intervened in this disastrous way on educational grounds. Can he really argue that so to depress the standard of living of young teachers as to create in them a gnawing preoccupation with making ends meet is in the interests of children or of education?

My hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, West said that he had lived on £4 a week. I started teaching in 1933 and I came in in the middle of a 10 per cent. cut. My monthly salary was £12 16s. 6d., from which was deducted £2 10s, a month, which I had to repay for a grant which I received—in those days it was a loan and not a grant—which left me with the princely amount of £10 6s. 6d. a calendar month on which to live. Translated into 1963 terms, young people today are not getting very much more than that thirty years later.

Why the Minister did what he has done is still a mystery. I have always tried to be objective about it, but I cannot understand why he has intervened in this way. There are a number of possible explanations, but none of the three which he has given is a real possibility. He certainly cannot justify keeping new entrants on the verge of penury, which is what it amounts to.

It has been said earlier in this debate that the teaching profession underpins all the other professions, trades and occupations. What happens in the teaching profession and the state of its morale has repercussions throughout the whole economy. To create a dissatisfied, unhappy profession would do no service to Britain. I do not think that any hon. Member opposite will doubt that we have an extremely unhappy, dissatisfied teaching profession. I appeal to hon. Members opposite who believe this to support the Amendment, because it would go some little way towards removing that unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

Mr. Edwin Wainwright (Dearne Valley)

I support the Amendment. The Government have taken such drastic action over the recent Burnham award that the teaching profession in general is concerned about the sort of prestige the Minister of Education considers is worthy of the teachers.

Considering the basic starting figure of £630 a year, it is no wonder that the profession is worried about the right hon. Gentleman's attitude to those who make up its ranks. After a teacher has spent years training for the profession—from the age of 5 through to a training college or university—can anyone blame him for feeling that he is not being offered a worth-while salary? Any hon. Member who suggests that a teacher is receiving an adequate salary when entering the profession on the basic rate cannot understand the elementary financial rudiments of life.

Although the Minister is to blame—and he must bear the brunt for every criticism that is made of his recent intervention—I do not entirely blame him, for the Government are behind it all. The Minister is supporting the Government wholeheartedly, and I am not prepared to give him any credit for doing that. It is disheartening to think that some of his hon. Friends are saying one thing outside the House of Commons and another in it. While they vote in one Lobby they express contrary views elsewhere. Despite an earlier intervention, in which one of my hon. Friends was asked to name an hon. Member who was doing this, I urge hon. Members opposite to realise that names alone are not involved in this.

It is to be hoped that the consciences of hon. Members opposite will lead them to take the right action on this occasion and to vote in the Division Lobby as they would speak to the teachers and others, in their constituencies. There must be an element of deceitfulness in the actions of any hon. Member who would vote one way in Parliament and speak another way in his constituency. I hope that all hon. Members will be truthful and honest and will vote in a way that will benefit their constituents.

Does the Minister consider that the basic starting salary for teachers gives a young man or woman sufficient money on which to live? Does he believe that by increasing the salary as the years go by he will attract the right calibre and the right number of people into the profession? Is the Minister's handling of this not against everything the party opposite stands for? The hon. Members opposite constantly speak about the enterprise of the individual. To say that the teaching profession is worthy of no more than £630 a year as a starting salary does not say much for the Government's view of the ability of teachers.

Several hon. Members have pointed out what people are getting married at a younger age. Considering the expenditure involved in getting married and setting up home, is it fair to expect a teacher to either start married life on £630 a year or to wait until later in life to get married? I urge the right hon. Gentleman to remember not only the expenses of our teachers but the cost this country will have to bear, not only in terms of money, if the profession deteriorates because, through the lack of financial incentive, we do not recruit sufficient teachers of the right calibre.

I regret that the hon. Member for Ilford, South (Mr. Cooper) is not in his place because, after speaking of the proportion of the gross national product spent on education, he said that the amount we spend was greater than that of any other country except Sweden. Since he spoke I have discovered that Sweden spends less than we do. We spend 4.2 per cent. of the gross national product whereas Sweden spends 3.6 per cent. And America spends 4.6 per cent., although it is important to remember that America's earning capacity per head of the population is twice that of ours.

American private enterprise and industry make a greater contribution towards education than do their counterparts in Britain. It seems obvious, from the way in which the Minister rejected the Burnham award and introduced his startling figure of £630, that his respect for the trade union movement of this country is so low as to be virtually non existent. If this were not the case he would not have refused the Burnham award and would have taken greater account of what was said by the N.U.T. representatives.

I cannot understand the right hon. Gentleman's attitude towards the Amendment. Considering that it would cost about £2 million, I wonder what would have been the cost had the right hon. Gentleman not flatly rejected the Burnham suggestion but had taken different action? He could have added these amounts to the Burnham Award and, by so doing, would have removed any animosity now existing between the N.U.T., the Burnham Committee, the Ministry and the Government. But, because of his disrespect for trade unionism, the right hon. Gentleman, supported by his Government, adopted this attitude.

It is all very regrettable. It has done great harm to our teaching profession, and can have a great effect on our educational system. It will discourage men and women from coming into the profession. Individuals who, throughout their educational careers, have had a great desire to be teachers will probably go into industry. If that happens, it is the Minister's attitude that will have prevented them from entering teaching. It is not right that the Minister should take advantage of the sense of vocation that many members of the profession feel. He is adopting on this issue the same attitude that the Government have adopted towards the nurses, and it is most unfair and unjust.

6.0 p.m.

When comparisons are made between the value of teaching and the value of other professions the figure of £630 must be seen to be a ridiculous starting salary. I hope the Minister will accept the Amendment, and so give some impetus to those who may still want to enter this very honoured profession. Acceptance of the Amendment will represent only a short step, but it is a step that must be taken.

The Minister of Education (Sir Edward Boyle)

I would say two things to the hon. Member for Dearne Valley (Mr. Wainwright). First, he will not be popular in by any means the whole of the teaching world if he refers to the N.U.T. as a trade union—

Mr. Wainwright

Why not?

Sir E. Boyle

I know that it is called a union, but I have been present on occasions when senior officials of the N.U.T. have, quite justifiably, strongly objected to its being described as a trade union.

My second point to him is that we are discussing whether the minimum scale should be £630 or £650—I will try to deal with the arguments advanced during the debate—and I do not believe that the recruitment of able, ambitious and well-qualified candidates will really be so greatly affected by this particular minimum.

Sir William, you have kindly allowed a fairly wide-ranging debate on this Amendment. In any case, I feel that I did, so to speak, exhaust my right, from all points of view, to speak further to the Committee on the general Second Reading issues that we discussed at length on 25th April. I will, therefore, just reply to some of the hon. Members who have spoken in this present debate.

The hon. Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) spoke of the importance of the pace and advance of education. He will no doubt recall that during this Parliament, since 1960, public expenditure on education has not only been advancing fast, but far faster than at any earlier period in our national history—by approximately 9 per cent. or 10 per cent. a year. The hon. Gentleman questioned whether I was really enthusiastic about higher education. As I reminded the House in an earlier debate, the total figures of capital investment starts for higher education next year will be more than double what they were at the beginning of this Parliament, and two of the most important programmes, for which I am personally responsible—the C.A.T.s and teacher training colleges—will have a considerably increased programme.

Finally, the hon. Member asked whether I was really concerned with getting more teachers. I have mentioned this subject in nearly every major speech on education I have made in recent months. I would not have announced a target of 80,000 teachers in training by 1970, and I would not have committed myself and my successors to a current expenditure which, on teacher training alone, will be three or four times as much as it was three or four years ago—at current prices, at least £50 million a year by 1970—I would not have entered into these major commitments if I were not really concerned about getting more teachers. The supply of teachers must be the fundamental object of our educational policy today.

The hon. Member for Bishop Auckland (Mr. Boyden) raised a number of points. He spoke, and I agree, about the importance of the recruitment of men but, on the other hand, when one considers the policy for admission to training colleges one must always bear in mind that the biggest problem of the size of classes is in the primary and infants schools—and particularly in infants schools—where we are very heavily dependent on the recruitment of women teachers.

The hon. Gentleman also said that my approach to the subject was not sufficiently scientific. I am perfectly ready to consider ways in which we can have more comparison between the attractions of and salaries paid in the teaching profession and other professions, but I must say that I did not think that he set the Committee a shining example in social science by laying emphasis on what had been said by unnamed Members of Parliament. I remember that when I had a trained social scientist as my opponent in a Parliamentary election, he and I—with what was pardonable collusion—arranged to canvass two or three different streets and compare our canvass cards at the end. That taught me quite a good deal of what can be discovered by interviews in certain circumstances.

The hon. Member for Penistone (Mr. Mendelson) made two points to which I should like to refer because, if I may say so, his was a serious speech, and it merits a reply. He said that it was unfair to give the impression that others were less concerned about differentials. I have never sought to deny what has been done about differentials since the war, just as I have never sought to deny the intentions uttered for the future, but what I had before me on this occasion was this particular provisional agreement, and I had to bear in mind that in this agreement, it was intended to devote only 3 per cent. to differentials.

The hon. Gentleman also asked why we could not have a compromise. I shall refer later to the suggestion that the Government should have made more money available, but on the question of compromise I would remind hon. Members that, as the hon. Gentleman knows, I have never made an issue of the amount of this award. On the other hand, and I think that this is sometimes forgotten, the majority of the members of one of the Burnham Committees, as soon as battle between us was joined, made it quite clear that they were not prepared to move at all, either on the basic minimum, or on assimilation or on protection—the issues we are now discussing. It would not be right for me to reveal what was said in private discussion between the Burnham Committee and myself, but I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to read what I said about compromise in the Second Reading debate.

The hon. Member for Hayes and Harlington (Mr. Skeffington) was somewhat displeased with my hon. Friend the Member for Darlington (Mr. Bourne-Arton) when he rose in his place to comment on the figures given by the hon. Gentleman about the starting salary offered in a public school. I know the hon. Gentleman's strong feelings on the public school sector and social priorities but, with respect, if on this occasion he looks at the figures he will find that my hon. Friend's point was a sound one. He might look at Group 3, Scale C. I have not taken advice on this, but have studied the figures in published documents. He will find that the starting salary of a good honours graduate with four years' study is now £880—almost exactly the same figure as that to which he referred.

The hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Central (Mr. Short) who, as he always does, made a thoughtful con- tribution to the debate, asked what else the Government are trying to do to raise the status of the teaching profession. One answer that immediately occurs to me is surely the three-year course. No one can doubt the enormous importance that it will have for the whole standing of the teaching profession. The hon. Member also asked whether the difference between my scales and the Burnham scales would make any real difference to the teaching profession. My answer to that is that we are dealing in total in these debates with a redistribution of a sum of approximately £5 million, that is, £10 million over two years when we add everything together.

I certainly should not wish to exaggerate what one can do in one single award. All I say is that I believe that it is important that all Burnham awards should point, as it were, in the right direction and, as I think I made clear on Second Reading, I wanted to use the powers under Section 89 because the provisional agreement of 24th January pointed fundamentally in the wrong direction.

The object of the Amendment is to require the Minister to agree to a new basic scale of £650 a year. Naturally, we have had raised often this afternoon the question of the non-graduate three-year trained teachers in primary and secondary schools, but the principle which we are discussing also applies to assistant lecturers Grade A in further education establishments and in farm institutes. The Amendment is directly relevant to one of the main considerations which I urged in my letter dated 20th February to the chairman of the Burnham Committee. The Committee will recall that the Burnham Main Committee, in its proposals provisionally agreed on 24th January and ratified and formally submitted to me on 8th March, recommended an increase of £50 not just at the bottom of the scale but at every point on the basic scale. The Burnham Technical and Farm Institutes Committees followed suit later on.

In my letter of 20th February, I mentioned this proposal for a "flat-rate" increase of £50 as the second of four reasons why I could not agree with the Burnham proposals as they stood. I should like to quote from my letter because it is two months since I wrote the original letter, and the statement of view which I expressed then still holds today.

I wrote: I recognise the great importance that is widely afforded to the basic scale as a means both of unifying the profession and of offering a reasonable basic award to all teachers. I feel bound, however, to question on several grounds the main proposal in the provisional agreement to add the same amount throughout the length of the scale—an increase of £50 to every teacher, irrespective of age, service or other circumstances. Taking first the recruitment situation, while I consider that the longer term prospects and rewards for advancement are the most effective means of increasing the size and quality of the teaching force, I accept that the basic scale has its part to play. But I do not consider that at present the minimum of the scale, taken by itself, is deterring young people from taking up teaching, whether as graduates or as non graduates; and though I should not wish to argue that in an agreement that is to last for two years the minimum for the lowest paid teacher should remain unchanged, I do not believe that the Committee's proposals, which would have the effect of increasing it by 14 per cent. on this occasion and by 25 per cent. over the 15 month period since the end of 1961, car. be justified. Since hon. Members have talked about training college recruitment, I can mention to the Committee that from all the returns which I have had so far, this autumn we shall achieve a training college population of over 50,000 for the first time. While I cannot give more precise figures to the Committee, it seems to me quite clear already that the training colleges will be better placed to cope with a further increased pressure of numbers of well-qualified applicants than there were last year.

6.15 p.m.

After dealing with the recruitment point, I went on in my letter to say something about quality. I said: Moreover, teachers, like everyone else, usually incur bigger financial responsibilities as they begin to move forward in their careers, and pay adjustments through the basic scale should surely take some account of this. It also seems right, bearing in mind the heavy rate of 'wastage' of young women teachers after only a few years in post, that some recognition is due in a revision of salaries to the value of years of service given. I think that it is from their mid-twenties and early thirties when their financial responsibilities are growing rapidly and before the majority of them car. expect additional allowances for posts of responsibility, that teachers most need help through adjustments of the basic scale. I cannot help feeling that it is neither wise nor fair that no more should be offered to those teachers with some years of experience in the schools and with growing responsibilities than to the youngest beginners, I apologise for quoting that letter again, but it expresses as well as I can express it the basic policy in this dispute.

It was with these considerations in mind that I framed my own subsequent proposals, which I put to the Burnham Main Committee on 20th March only after the Committee, for its part, declined in any way to modify its proposals in the light of my letter. I then put forward a basic scale to start, not at £650, but at £630, and to run to the same maximum as Burnham had proposed of £1,250, but in 15 years instead of 16 and with increases over current salary of from £70 to £110 instead of only £50 on the upper half of the scale.

To consider the Amendment on its merits, if the minimum of the scale were to be raised to £650, it would be necessary, quite clearly, in order to preserve any sort of logical incremental pattern to increase the next two points of my proposed scale as well, that is to say it would have to run £650-£680-£710-£740, and thereafter as I have proposed it. Now, unless one were to propose corresponding reductions in the additions for higher qualifications and longer training—and this is not suggested in the Amendment—these increases must also benefit graduates and others whose starting salaries are already above £650. Therefore, the Amendment in effect, represents increases of £20 a year to between 40,000 and 50,000 primary and secondary school teachers and to about 1,300 assistant lecturers at a total cost approaching £1 million a year.

I have made clear from the start of this controversy that I could not agree to an increase in the amount of a salary settlement costing about £21 million a year, an increase of almost 7 per cent. over current salary levels, for primary and secondary school teachers alone, only 15 months after the previous increase of over 14 per cent. I should like to remind hon. Members, who suggested that we could avoid all this controversy if only the Government and local authorities would make rather more money available, that I said on Second Reading: …I do not relish the precedent that if the Burnham Committee concentrates its efforts on the basic scale the Government will attend to the differentials. Still less do I relish the precedent that if the Burnham Committee concentrates on getting the minimum right the Government will attend to getting the progression right in the upper part of the scale. To those who expect that we will get out of the difficulty through the Government making more money available I would say that I cannot believe that that would be right.

I also said on Second Reading that in this Parliament Against the general background of our incomes policy, teachers have been treated well, and rightly so." —[OFF1mAt. REPORT, 25th April, 1963; Vol. 676, c. 442.1 This means that I can accept the Amend-men only at the expense of some other part of my proposals, and I must tell the Committee that I simply should not be prepared to do this.

Obviously I could not agree to any reduction of the proportion of the increase devoted to differentials, because this, after all, was the first of the principles which I laid down in my letter. No one on either side of the Committee is suggesting that I should diminish the instalment of assimilation that I have proposed. In fact, in due course we shall be coming to an Amendment to increase that instalment. If anyone proposes that the reduction should fall on the bigger increases that I have proposed towards the end of the basic scale, all I can say is that I do not believe this would be in the interests of the teaching profession, for the reasons which I set out in my letter.

I should like to comment on one or two calculations which have appeared in the pamphlet The Burnham Story,to which some reference was made in our earlier debates. Here I refer first to the calculation that the figure of £650—this has been alluded to this after-noon— represents the minimum needed if by the end of the currency of the present agreement the new entrant to the teaching profession is to enjoy the same spending power as the corresponding young teacher in 1945. But what are the facts as a justification for this Amendment? I accept that the argument is strongest in the case of the non-graduate man teacher. The minimum that I am now proposing for the three-year trained non-graduate teacher in 1963 is exactly double the 1945 minimum of £315. As the cost of living has also just about doubled over the same period, this means—and I accept this conclusion—that the minimum basic scale salary that I am proposing represents for the non-graduate man teacher just about the same purchasing power as the corresponding teacher had in 1945. But do not let us forget that the non-graduate man teacher represents only about one in nine of the young teachers entering service—

Mr. G. Thomas

One in nine are graduates?

Sir E. Boyle

No, I am talking about the non-graduate man teacher. There are the women, too. I am coming on to consider the other categories.

Therefore, to get a fair overall picture, one has to consider the other categories as well. At least as many of the men on the minimum are graduates, and for them the percentage increase since 1945 under my proposals would be not 100 per cent. but either 121 per cent. or, if they have good honours or higher degrees, 157 per cent.

But then we must also remember that about three-quarters of the new entrants to teaching are women, who have benefited from the introduction of equal pay during this period, and for them—I am not complaining; I am pointing out that this is a point which is highly relevant to the calculations in the pamphlet to which attention has been paid—the percentage increases since 1945 range from 123 per cent. for the non-graduate teacher to 189 per cent. for a good honours graduate.

In any case, I could not agree that it is fair to draw comparisons only with 1945. Do not let us forget that the minimum salary of £315 then introduced for a three-year trained man teacher remained in force for six years until 31st March, 1951, during which time prices rose by over 30 per cent. Indeed, I cannot help feeling that there has been a very strong element of special pleading in the choice of 1945 as a base year, as I shall show by drawing a number of different comparisons. My proposed minimum of £630 represents an increase of 5 per cent. since 1st January, 1962, when the 1961 Burnham Report was introduced, compared with a cost-of-living increase of 4 per cent. It represents an increase of 15 per cent. since 1st October, 1959, when the 1959 Burnham Report was introduced, compared with a cost-of-living increase of 12 per cent., and it represents an increase of 60 per cent. since 1st April, 1951, compared with a cost of living increase of about 50 per cent.

In other words, while the real value of the minimum of the basic scale fell considerably between 1945 and 1951, it has risen considerably between 1951 and today. It represents also an increase of about 230 per cent, since 1939, compared with a cost-of-living increase of about 200 per cent. So even the non-graduate man teacher—the one in nine selected as the point of criticism—will be better off in real terms under my proposals than his predecessor at any time since 1939, except perhaps in the period immediately following the introduction of the 1945 Burnham Report, with whom he will be about level.

I should like to turn to a second argument which has been advanced against the proposed minimum salary of £630, and it has been referred to today—namely, that this represents a net sum of under £10 a week, after deductions for tax, superannuation and National Insurance contributions, which is insufficient for a young teacher in lodgings to live on and grossly incommensurate with earnings in industry.

I suggest that this comparison with industry is misleading on a number of counts. For one thing—and this is particularly important—we tend to overlook how short a time the newly-entered teacher spends on the minimum point of the scale. At most, it will be one year. For the majority of teachers who take up their first appointments in September it will, owing to the payment of partial increments on 1st April each year, be only seven months. Thereafter, unlike the industrial worker, the teacher is in no respect analogous to the lower-paid industrial worker. The teacher is assured of regular salary increments throughout his first 16 years of service with the very strong likelihood, especially for the men, of earning allowances for posts of responsibility, which may range from £100 to as much as £1,600 in addition. As hon. Members opposite know, no fewer than 50,000 of the posts of special responsibility are in primary schools.

Moreover, although it is true that in October, 1962, the average weekly earnings for men in industry were close on £16, for women, who make up such a considerable proportion of the teaching profession, they were little over £8—and three-quarters of the new entrants to teaching are women. Nor is it proper to compare the average earnings in industry, which cover workers of all ages and length of experience and include payments for overtime, night work and so on, with the minimum of salary scales. If one is to make a comparison of this kind, it should surely be with the average salaries of all teachers. At 31st March, 1962, the average salaries for all teachers had risen to £1,232 for men and £1,031 for women. After the further 7 per cent. increases which, as soon as we can get the Bill through, will be effective from 1st April last, these will become about £1,315 and £1,100, or over £25 a week for men and over £21 for women.

I recognise that my reduction of the minimum from £650, as recommended by the Burnham Committee, to £630 will naturally cause disappointment and even some resentment to the young teachers concerned. I do not dispute this point at all. I have talked this afternoon in cold figures which I hoped would be helpful to the Committee as a whole, but I fully recognise that over a long period the teaching profession seemed to be, and still seems to many to be, a badly paid profession. All I say is that I believe today the picture is very different from what it was before 1959, and considerably different from what it was before January, 1962. In any case, I still believe—and I base this on opinions expressed to me from many quarters before I intervened in these negotiations—that the interests of the teachers as a whole will be better served by having rather smaller increases for the very youngest, in order to be able to offer the substantially higher basic scale figures which I have proposed for those rather older teachers with from seven to 15 years' service whose educational and personal responsibilities seem to me to be the most deserving and demanding.

I have deliberately shaped the basic scale to give more where I believe personal financial responsibilities are heaviest. If the parties in the education service decide to examine this criterion of financial obligation further in the light of teachers with family commitments, I would not wish to stand in their way. But for the reasons which I have outlined, I must ask hon. Members to reject this Amendment.

Mr. Wainwright

Does the Minister think that it is fair to make a comparison between teachers and industrial workers? Would it not be better to make a comparison between the salaries of teachers and the salaries of people who have been to college or university and then gone into industry?

Sir E. Boyle

There are difficulties in all these comparisons, but the analogy between the teacher and the lower-paid industrial worker has been drawn quite often in the course of the dispute, and I felt bound to set out this evening what seemed to be the fair comparison on the figures.

Mr. Short

Will the Minister expand on his last sentence? His last few words were, perhaps, the most interesting in the whole of his speech. Will he explain what he meant?

Sir E. Boyle

No, I cannot expand them further this evening, but I think that the hon. Gentleman has understood the significance of them, that my mind is not closed on certain issues. While I cannot this evening expand on those words—I think that it would not even be in order to do so—I put that passage in my speech deliberately to show that I have not closed my mind to an examination of certain important questions.

6.30 p.m.

Mrs. Eirene White (Flint, East)

The Minister has attempted to blind the Committee with statistics. Although it is very interesting and useful, no doubt, to have some of the facts on the record, I do not propose to follow him in all his calculations, because I think that they were to a large extent intended to obscure the real issue which is before us today. The purpose of the Amendment is relatively simple. It provides for the starting salary of teachers at the outset of their professional career. We suggest that the Minister would have been far better advised to accept the Burnham recommendation instead of making the reduction which he proposes to impose upon Burnham and the profession in the scales which he has published.

Unfortunately, although the right hon. Gentleman gave a good many dates and figures, he did not put the whole matter in perspective any more than some of his hon. Friends, particularly the hon. Member for Reading (Mr. Peter Emery), did. Hon. Gentlemen opposite do not seem to understand the very strong feeling in the profession and the argument which, I believe, very strongly influenced the Burnham Committee, that an increase of this kind in the basic scale was needed partly, at least, to offset the reductions which had been made by his predecessor, now Lord Eccles.

The Minister spoke of the undesirability of a flat £50 increase across the board, but Lord Eccles gave a flat decrease of £30 across the board, and it was largely because of that—a point which has really not been made in the discussion on the Amendment—that the Burnham Committee recommended, in effect, the restoration of the cut by Sir David Eccles, as he then was, and the making of some allowance for increases in the cost of living since that date. The proposal in our Amendment, therefore, is fully justified.

The Minister made some comparisons with the situation in October, 1959. I mention this date particularly among the many to which he referred because, on Second Reading, speaking of the very point to which the Amendment is directed, the Minister said: If one looks at the basic scale, we have nothing of which to be ashamed. The hon. Gentleman"— my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland, North (Mr. Willey) I believe— referred to the Bow Group pamphlet of 1959, which said that the basic scale ought to go up by 20 per cent. It has done so since then." — [OFFICIAL REPORT, 25th April, 1963; Vol. 676, c. 550.] The point was that the Bow Group had at that time urged that the then basic scale should be increased by 20 per cent. The fact that it has gone up by that much since then is neither here nor there, because, as the Minister said, the cost of living and, for many young teachers, heavy expenditure on rent, has gone up considerably since 1959.

As my hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff, West (Mr. G. Thomas) pointed out, owing to the operation of the quota system, many young teachers are obliged to take their first posts away from home. Many of them cannot work in their own neighbourhood and get over the first year or two of professional lives with some assistance from home. They have to go into lodgings and pay, sometimes, quite extortionate rents in the areas in which they are obliged to seek employment. Plainly, these factors should be taken into account in considering the Amendment.

To put the matter another way, when the Minister's proposals were first published, the comment in Education was that the non-graduates on the basic scale, the people we are primarily concerned with in the Amendment, had had an increase of 90 per cent. since 1945 in their salary whereas the others, the people for whom the Minister says he is more concerned, the honours graduates, people in posts of responsibility, headmasters and headmistresses, and so on, had had increases ranging from 140 per cent. to 215 per cent. Therefore, there seems to be a strong case in equity for suggesting that the person on the basic scale should now have consideration.

Some hon. Members opposite have spoken as though the Minister had done something remarkable in the way of differentials and increasing the salaries of those who remain in the profession a long time. But this is really not so. The Minister's increases are modest in themselves, and then, by another matter which we shall discuss later, he has taken away from a very large number of those who would have these increases the £30 a year to which they thought they would be entitled.

There has thus been that diminution, and, in any case, on the basic scale, although it is true that one reaches the top in fifteen years instead of sixteen, thereafter one is no better off under the Minister's proposal. Any idea that a teacher will have a long period of higher salary to look forward to, as the result of the Minister's intervention, is not true. There will be just a few years during which some teachers will have increases, some of them very modest indeed.

The Burnham Committee most emphatically said that the starting salary proposed in the Amendment is right. When it received the Minister's proposals, the Burnham Committee said: We have carefully examined the Minister's proposals. In the opinion of the Committee, the proposed minimum of £630 is not a suitable salary for a three-year trained teacher. It is our opinion that this is indequate. The members of the Burnham Committee ought to know what should be regarded as a suitable starting salary for young teachers. The Minister has himself admitted that the non-graduate man teacher is not better off in real terms than he was in 1945. He made a little play about women teachers, but, after all, it was just a matter of simple justice that they should have equal pay. The fact that they did not have it in 1945, because the right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) refused to accept an Amendment to the 1944 Bill to give equal pay on the ground that to do so would be an undue intervention in the affairs of the Burnham Committee, is no support to the Minister in his present attitude.

Mr. Sydney Silverman (Nelson and Colne)

Did not the House of Commons accept the proposal for equal pay by a majority, and was not that decision altered, the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill) saying that he could not go on fighting the war unless it were altered?

Mrs. White

I should not attribute that opinion to the right hon. Member for Woodford (Sir W. Churchill). I have no recollection of it being on the record. It is true that the House of Commons accepted the equal pay Amendment and that the Government then forced its retraction the following day.

The Government are taking a very similar attitude towards the young teacher to that which they take on the matter of grants to students who enter matrimony below the age of 25. The social pattern is changing. We may like it. We may not. We may think that it is wise. We may think that it is unwise. The fact is that young people are marrying at very much earlier ages than used to be the case. This factor should be taken into account. After all, it is not only the male teachers who have to face the responsibility of married life. They may often marry women teachers who may have to try to exist in family life on a salary which is quite inadequate to sustain them.

The Government are just closing their eyes to a changed pattern in social life. They should take into account the fact that, whether we like it or not, young people are marrying younger and younger and that an adequate starting salary is of importance to them. I cannot believe that the Minister could be satisfied that a salary of £650 is too much to pay to a teacher entering upon this most important of professions.

There are many other arguments which we could adduce to support the Amendment, but we are all aware that a little later another matter, on which an even more stubborn Minister of the Crown has made an even graver mistake, has to come before the House of Commons. Therefore, it behoves us to come fairly rapidly now to a conclusion on this issue. I hope very much that my hon. Friends, and, also, some hon. Members opposite who have given certain pledges to teachers in their constituencies, will support the young teachers and vote for the Amendment.

Mr. E. Fernyhough (Jarrow)

I do not think that the Minister's reply was at all satisfactory. Many of us have great respect for him. We remember when he made a very momentous decision in 1956 and earned the admiration of all who believed that those who were in public life should have the courage of their convictions. It is very difficult to believe that this is the Minister's decision. He is intelligent and very sensible and for him to have made a decision of this kind is out of keeping with everything he has done since he has been a Member of Parliament. It makes me feel that this decision is the outcome of the "gentlemen in Whitehall who always know best".

I cannot understand why the Minister should not have allowed the agreement to have gone through and then have come to the House of Commons for the powers he is now seeking. Countless thousands of others also fail to understand why he did not do this. I am certain that within the next five or ten years the Minister will look back upon this incident as one of his least popular actions and, certainly, as the most undesirable decision that he made.

The right hon. Gentleman said that the big problem today was in connection with primary schools. More than 50 per cent. of those who start in the professions take up their first position in a primary school. It is there that we need the man and woman power. It is there that we are unlikely to get it, because what the Minister has done hits particularly at those who go to the primary schools.

6.45 p.m.

The Minister said that the teaching profession is one with which it is very difficult to make any comparison, that it cannot be compared with industry, or with the legal profession. However, there are teachers who are already in the employ of the Government and with whom he could compare the teachers we are talking about today. I refer to the teachers in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. They are the comparison. He could not possibly get the teachers required for the Services if he offered them this starting salary. If this amount is not good enough to attract the right type of man and woman for teaching in the Services, where at least they teach grown-up, mature and adult people, we hope, how in the name of fortune can it be good enough to attract the men and women the nation requires if the children are to turn out to be the well-educated, decent, responsible citizens we wish them to be?

The teaching profession is, of all professions, the one which will make or break the country. Outside the home it is the men and women in the schools who have the biggest influence in determining the kind of citizens that the children will grow into. They need those qualities essential to people who will play such a dramatic part in framing the values which the nation is to embrace. They will determine to a large extent the values which our nation will take unto itself.

I believe that the Minister is doing a disservice to the country's future in interfering, as he has done here, and imposing upon people who had come to an agreement something which 99 per cent. of those in the local authorities and 99 per cent. of those in the profession did not want. I have talked to scores of teachers, some of whom will benefit from the Minister's interference, but who would have preferred it to have been otherwise, because they believe that this is the road to disaster. They believe it to be the road to the gentlemen of Whitehall always knowing best. They see it as a move towards taking from the local authorities and the teaching profession their right to have some say in what should be done in the profession.

The Minister may think that he is being very generous in framing these last proposals which he is imposing upon the profession and the local authorities, but some day we shall realise the real importance and the real value of teachers. When we do, we shall pay teachers what we now pay generals and we shall pay generals what we now pay teachers.

Mr. Willey

We have had a thoroughly unsatisfactory reply and—worse still—an

unsympathetic reply. I am sure that the Committee would be anxious to discuss this matter further and impress on the right hon. Gentleman the error of his judgment. However, the Committee realises that we are anxious to resume as a House to discuss another matter. I hope that in these circumstances the Committee will be willing to take a decision now. I call upon my right hon. and hon. Friends and bon. Members opposite to oppose the Government and say that we are serious about teacher supply and cannot afford to regard a starting salary of £650 as too much.

Question put, That those words be there inserted: —

The Committee divided: Ayes 172, Noes 235.

Division No. 124.] AYES [6.50 p.m.
Ainsley, William Grey, Charles Mitchison, G. R.
Albu, Austen Griffiths, David (Rother Valley) Monslow, Walter
Allen, Scholefield (Crewe) Griffiths, Rt. Hon. James (Llanelly) Morrie, John
Awbery, Stan (Bristol, Central) Grimond, Rt. Hon. J. Moyle, Arthur
Bacon, Miss Alice Hale, Leslie (Oldham, W.) Neal, Harold
Baxter, William (Stirlingshire, W.) Hamilton, William (West Fife) O'Malley, B. K.
Beaney, Alan Hannan, William Oram, A. E.
Bence, Cyril Harper, Joseph Paget, R. T.
Bennett, J. (Glasgow, Bridgeton) Healey, Denis Pannell, Charles (Leeds, W.)
Benson, Sir George Henderson, Rt.Hn.Arthur (RwlyRegis) Pargiter, G. A.
Blackburn, F. Herbison, Miss Margaret Parkin, B. T,
Blyton, William Hill, J. (Midlothian) Paton, John
Boardman, H. Hilton, A. V. Pavitt, Laurence
Bowden, Rt. Hn. H.W. (Leics, S.W.) Holman, Percy Pearson, Arthur (Pontypridd)
Bowles, Frank Houghton, Douglas Peart, Frederick
Boyden, James Howell, Charles A. (Perry Barr) Pentland, Norman
Braddock, Mrs. E. M Howell, Denis (Small Heath) Popplewell, Ernest
Bradley, Tom Hoy, James H. Prentice, R. E.
Bray, Dr. Jeremy Hughes, Cledwyn (Anglesey) Price, J. T. (Westhoughton)
Brown, Rt. Hon. George (Belper) Hughes, Emrys (S. Ayrshire) Probert, Arthur
Butler, Herbert (Hackney, C.) Hughes, Hector (Aberdeen, N.) Randall, Harry
Carmichael, Neil Hunter, A. E. Reid, William
Castle, Mrs. Barbara Hynd, H. (Accrington) Reynolds, G. W.
Cliffe, Michael Hynd, John (Attercliffe) Roberts, Goronwy (Caernarvon)
Collick, Percy Janner, Sir Barnett Robertson, John (Paisley)
Corbet, Mrs. Freda Jay, Rt. Hon. Douglas Robinson, Kenneth (St. Pancras, N.)
Craddock, George (Bradford, S.) Jones, Rt. Hn. A. Creech (Wakefield) Rogers, G. H. R. (Kensington, N.)
Crossman, R. H. S. Jones, Dan (Burnley) Ross, William
Cullen, Mrs. Alice Jones, J. Idwal (Wrexham) Shinwell, Rt. Hon. E.
Dalyell, Tam Jones, T. W. (Merioneth) Short, Edward
Darling, George Kelley, Richard Silverman, Julius (Aston)
Davies, G. Elfed (Rhondda, E.) Key, Rt. Hon. C. W. Silverman, Sydney (Nelson)
Davies, Harold (Leek) Lawson, George Skeffington, Arthur
Davies, Ifor (Gower) Lee, Frederick (Newton) Slater, Mrs. Harriet (Stoke, N.)
Dempsey, James Lee, Miss Jennie (Cannock) Slater, Joseph (Sedgefield)
Dodds, Norman Lubbock, Eric Small, William
Duffy, A. E. P. McBride N. Smith, Ellis (Stoke, S.)
Ede, Rt. Hon. C. MacDermot, Niall Snow, Julian
Edwards, Rt. Hon. Ness(Caerphilly) McInnes, James Soskice, Rt. Hon. Sir Frank
Edwards, Robert (Bilston) McKay, John (wallsend) Spriggs, Leslie
Edwards, Walter (Stepney) McLeavy, Frank Stewart, Michael (Fulham)
Fernyhough, E. MacPherson, Malcolm (Stirling) Stonehouse, John
Fitch, Alan Mahon, Simon Stones, William
Fletcher, Eric Mallalieu, E. L. (Brigg) Strachey, Rt. Hon. John
Foot, Dingle (Ipswich) Mallalieu, J.P.W. (Huddersfield, E.) Stross, Dr. Barnett (Stoke-on-Trent, C.)
Foot, Michael (Ebbw Vale) Marsh, Richard Swain, Thomas
Forman, J. C. Mason, Roy Taverne, D.
Fraser, Thomas (Hamilton) Mayhew, Christopher Thomas, George (Cardiff, W.)
Galpern, Sir Myer Mellish, R. J. Thomas, Iorwerth (Rhondda, W.)
George, LadyMeganLloyd(Crmrthn) Mendelson, J. J. Thomson, G. M. (Dundee, E.)
Gourlay, Harry Millan, Bruce Thornton, Ernest
Greenwood, Anthony Milne, Edward Thorpe, Jeremy
Wainwright, Edwin Willey, Frederick Winterbottom, R. E.
Warbey, William Williams, D. J. (Neath) Woof, Robert
Wells, Percy (Faversham) Williams, W. R. (Openshaw) Yates, Victor (Ladywood)
White, Mrs. Elrene Williams, W. T. (Warrington) Zilliacus, K.
Whitlock, William Willis, E. G. (Edinburgh, E.)
Wilkins, W. A. Wilson, Rt. Hon. Harold (Huyton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES:
Mr. Redhead and Dr. Broughton
Agnew, Sir Peter Hamilton, Michael (Wellingborough) Osborn, John (Hallam)
Allason, James Harris, Frederic (Croydon, N.W.) Osborne, Sir Cyril (Louth)
Arbuthnot, John Harris, Reader (Heston) Page, John (Harrow, West)
Ashton, Sir Hubert Harrison, Brian (Maldon) Page, Graham (Crosby)
Atkins, Humphrey Harrison, Col. Sir Harwood (Eye) Pannell, Norman (Kirkdale)
Awdry, Daniel (Chlppenham) Harvey, John (Walthamstow, E.) Partridge, E.
Balniel, Lord Harvie Anderson, Miss Pearson, Frank (Clitheroe)
Barber, Anthony Hastings, Stephen Peel, John
Barlow, Sir John Henderson, John (Cathcart) Percival, Ian
Barter, John Hendry, Forbes Peyton, John
Baxter, Sir Beverley (Southgate) Hiley, Joseph Pickthorn, Sir Kenneth
Beamish, Col. Sir Tufton Hill, Dr. Rt. Hon. Charles (Luton) Pike, Miss Mervyn
Bell, Ronald Hill, Mrs. Eveline (Wythenshawe) Pilkington, Sir Richard
Berkeley, Humphry Hill, J. E. B. (S. Norfolk) Pitman, Sir James
Bevins, Rt. Hon. Reginald Hirst, Geoffrey Pitt, Dame Edith
Bidgood, John C. Hobson, Sir John Pott, Percivall
Biffen, John Holland, Philip Powell, Rt. Hon. J. Enoch
Biggs-Davison, John Hollingworth, John Price, David (Eastleigh)
Bishop, F. P. Hope, Rt. Hon. Lord John Price, H. A. (Lewisham, W.)
Black, Sir Cyril Hopkins, Alan Prior-Palmer, Brig. Sir Otho
Bossom, Hon. Clive Hornby, R. P. Profumo, Rt. Hon. John
Bourns-Arton, A. Hornsby-Smith, Rt. Hon. Dame P. Proudfoot, Wilfred
Box, Donald Hughes Hallett, Vice-Admiral John Pym, Francis
Boyle, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Hughes-Young, Michael Quennell, Miss J. M.
Braine, Bernard Hulbert, Sir Norman Ramsden, James
Brewis, John Hutchison, Michael Clark Rawlinson, Sir Peter
Bromley-Davenport, Lt.-Col.SirWalter Irvine, Bryant Godman (Rye) Redmayne, Rt. Hon. Martin
Brooke, Rt. Hon. Henry Johnson, Dr. Donald (Carlisle) Rees, Hugh
Brown, Alan (Tottenham) Johnson, Eric (Blackley) Renton, Rt. Hon. David
Browne, Percy (Torrington) Johnson Smith, Geoffrey. Ridley, Hon. Nicholas
Buck, Antony Jones, Arthur (Northants, S.) Ridsdale, Julian
Bullard, Denys Kaberry, Sir Donald Roberts, Sir Peter (Heeley)
Campbell, Gordon (Moray & Nairn) Kerans, Cdr. J. S. Robson Brown, Sir William
Carr, Robert (Mitcham) Kerby, Capt. Henry Rodgers, John (Sevenoaks)
Cary, Sir Robert Kerr, Sir Hamilton Roots, William
Chataway, Christopher Kershaw, Anthony Ropner, Col. Sir Leonard
Chichester-Clark, R. Kimball, Marcus Russell, Ronald
Clark, William (Nottingham, S.) Lancaster, Col. C. G. Sandys, Rt. Hon. Duncan
Cooke, Robert Langford-Holt, Sir John Sharples, Richard
Cooper, A. E. Legge-Bourke, Sir Harry Shaw, M.
Cooper-Key, Sir Neill Lewis, Kenneth (Rutland) Skeet, T. H. H.
Cordeaux, Lt.-Col. J. K. Lilley, F. J. P. Smith, Dudley (Br'ntf'd & Chiswick)
Corfield, F. V. Linstead, Sir Hugh Smithers, Peter
Coulson, Michael Litchfield, Capt. John Smyth, Rt. Hon. Brig. Sir John
Craddock, Sir Beresford(Spelthorne) Lloyd, RtHn. Geoffrey(Sut'nC'dfield) Spearman, Sir Alexander
Crawley, Aidan Longbottom, Charles Stanley, Hon. Richard
Crosthwaite-Eyre, Col. Sir Oliver Longden, Gilbert Stoddart-Scott, Col. Sir Malcolm
Cunningham, Knox Loveys, Walter H. Storey, Sir Samuel
Curran, Charles Lucas, Sir Jocelyn Summers, Sir Spencer
d'Avigdor-Goldsmid, Sir Henry Lucas-Tooth, Sir Hugh Tapsell, Peter
Donaldson, Cmdr. C. E. M. McAdden, Sir Stephen Taylor, Sir Charles (Eastbourne)
Duncan, Sir James MacArthur, Ian Taylor, Edwin (Bolton, E.)
Eden, Sir John Macleod, Rt. Hn. Iain (Enfield, W.) Taylor, Frank (M'ch'st'r, Moss Side)
Elliot, Capt. Walter (Carshalton) McMaster, Stanley R. Teeling, Sir William
Elliott, R. W. (New'ctle-upon-Tyne, N.) Macmillan, Rt.Hn.Harold (Bromley) Temple, John M.
Emery, Peter Maddan, Martin Thatcher, Mrs. Margaret
Emmet, Hon. Mrs. Evelyn Maitland, Sir John Thompson, Sir Kenneth (Walton)
Errington, Sir Eric Markham, Major Sir Frank Thompson, Sir Richard (Croydon, S.)
Erroll, Rt. Hon. F.J. Marlowe, Anthony Tilney, John (Wavertree)
Farey-Jones, F. W. Marten, Neil Touche, Rt. Hon. Sir Gordon
Farr, John Mathew, Robert (Honiton) Turner, Colin
Finlay, Graeme Matthews, Gordon (Meriden) Turton, Rt. Hon. R. H.
Fletcher-Cooke, Charles Mawby, Ray Tweedsmuir, Lady
Fraser, Ian (Plymouth, Sutton) Maxwell-Hyslop, R. J. van Straubenzee, W. R.
Freeth, Denzil Maydon, Lt.-Cmdr. S. L. C. Vane, W. M. F.
Gammans, Lady Mills, Stratton Vaughan-Morgan, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Gardner, Edward Miscampbell, Norman Vickers, Miss Joan
Gibson-Watt, David Morrison, John Walder, David
Gilmour, Ian (Norfolk, Central) Mott-Radcylffe, Sir Charles Walker, Peter
Glyn, Sir Richard (Dorset, N.) Neave, Airey Walker-Smith, Rt. Hon. Sir Derek
Goodhew, Victor Nicholson, Sir Godfrey Wall, Patrick
Grant-Ferris, R. Noble, Rt. Hon. Michael Ward, Dame Irene
Green, Alan Nugent, Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Webster, David
Gresham Cooke, R. Oakshott, Sir Hendrie Wells, John (Maidstone)
Gurden, Harold Orr, Capt. L. P. S. Whitelaw, William
Hall, John (Wycombe)
Williams, Dudley (Exeter) Wise, A. R. Woollam, John
Williams, Paul (Sunderland, S.) Wolrige-Gordon, Patrick
Wills, Sir Gerald (Bridgwater) Woodhouse, C. M. TELLERS FOR THE NOES:
Wilson, Geoffrey (Truro) Woodnutt, Mark Mr. McLaren and Mr. Batsford.

To report Progress and ask leave to sit again.—[Sir E. Boyle.]

Committee report Progress; to sit again Tomorrow.