§ MR. SEXTON
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, If the Government will consider a transfer of the grant of about £7,000 annually made for payment of retiring allowances to Irish National Teachers (and now about being withdrawn from that fund) to the fund appropriated for the purpose of the National Teachers' Pension Scheme?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
It appears that since 1856 Parliament has voted annually a sum to enable the Commissioners of Education to award gratuities to incapacitated teachers. When the Pension Fund—which is quite independent of Parliamentary control—was started in 1879, with a large capital sum from the Church surplus, it was left optional for five years with teachers to join it. A certain number of them elected not to do so; and it is for the purpose of providing for these cases that the annual Parliamentary grant is kept up. The sum estimated for the present year is £1,800. It is intended to continue this provision only so long as there is a necessity for it; but the proposal of the hon. Member is that the Government should deprive a certain number of the teachers of their retiring gratuities, and, at the same time, make a fundamental change in the principle of the pension scheme by tacking on to it an annual Parliamentary grant. The Government could not agree to such a proposal.