HC Deb 04 November 1919 vol 120 cc1343-4W
Colonel Sir A. SPROT

asked the Secretary for Scotland if he is aware of the serious discontent in certain parts of Scotland on account of the very large increase in the rates, without any improvement in educational facilities, due to the administration of the Education Act; and if he is prepared to meet the situation by new legislation, or by checking the expenditure of the new education authorities, or in any other way?


I have received representations from several sources as to increased education rates, but I am not aware that the increase is due to the administration of the Education Act. It is due mainly to the recognition by Parliament and by local authorities of the need for paying adequate salaries to teachers. Much of it is, in point of fact, the result of augmentations made by school boards before the Act came into operation at all. In the circumstances, I see no necessity for new legislation. But I can assure my hon. Friend that I have no sympathy with extravagance, and that I am not without means of checking it, should it unfortunately occur.


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether the parish councils of Inverness-shire have refused to assess a rate for the amount they are liable under the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918; what action he proposes to take; and whether it will be possible to reduce the large increase in the education rate throughout Scotland?


One parish council in Inverness-shire is reported by the education authority for the county to have delayed levying the education rate until it has been informed of the decision of the Government on the question of the relief to be given to Highland counties. I understand from the newspapers that certain other parish councils in Inverness-shire propose to adopt the same course. Beyond offering my assurance that relief will be given to assist Highland education authorities in the present emergency, and that the question of the amount and conditions of the relief are engaging the urgent consideration of the Scottish Education Department, I am unable to add anything to the answer given by me on the 28th October to the hon. Member for the Montrose Burghs.