§ Lord Balniel
asked the Minister of Education when he will be in a position to announce his decision regarding the 72W admission of the National Association of Schoolmasters to the Burnham Committee.
§ Sir D. Eccles
I wrote to the National Association of Schoolmasters on Wednesday, 23rd March, in the following terms informing them of my decision:
Dear Mr. Rushworth,
I have been thinking very carefully over your Association's request for representation on the Burnham Committee (and also for a seat upon the National Advisory Council on the Training and Supply of Teachers). I was glad to have the opportunity of myself hearing from your deputation the arguments in support of your case and I would like to acknowledge the evident sincerity with which these were put forward. May I say too that, as my predecessor promised, I have examined this issue entirely afresh.
You have based your request to me on the numbers of men teachers your Association now represents and who are not as a group of individuals otherwise represented, and on the continued existence of your Association over a long period. As to this, I have felt bound to have regard to the basis on which the Burnham Committee is constituted, namely, that representation in the Teachers' Panel should be by types of school, and to the fact that the large majority of the men teachers in the types of schools with which your Association are concerned are still otherwise represented on the Committee. I wished, however, to reach my decision upon positive grounds, and I have tried to determine it by what I consider would be in the best interests of the profession as a whole. It has seemed to me that unity is at the present time most important to the professional status of the teachers, and that this cause would not best be served by the grant to your Association of separate representation upon such a body as the Burnham Committee. Equal pay is an accomplished fact, and now that both the numbers and quality of the men teachers in the schools are on the increase, nothing should be done which might prejudice a move to close the ranks. I have concluded therefore that the interests of all concerned do not allow me to accede to your request. I believe that the profession will do most good for itself by solidarity and that amongst those who would benefit not least would be the men.