§ Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on nomination of the Select Committee [10th February.]
§ (12.12.) THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir W. HART DYKE, Kent, Dartford)
I crave the indulgence of the House for one moment in reference to the nomination of this Committee, and I ask the attention of the House to the proposal which I have to make, as it may relieve it from the dilemma in which it is placed. A few weeks ago it was agreed to appoint a Committee on the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member 1319 for Evesham, to consider the question of the superannuation of the teachers of London, but no sooner was it done than a natural and general wish was expressed that the scope of the Committee should be extended, so as to deal with the whole question of superannuation. The result has been that it was agreed to appoint another Committee on the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for Oxford University, to deal with the question of the superannuation of teachers as a whole. Thus we shall be in the position of having two Committees sitting upstairs to deal with the same subject if the present Motion is agreed to. In the interests of peace and of the teachers, I appeal to the hon. Baronet to postpone his Motion to-night, so as to allow an Instruction to be moved enlarging its scope and adding a few names. It is true my hon. Friend may urge that he will be placed at a disadvantage if the scope is enlarged, as his Committee was appointed for a specific purpose and in regard to a Bill in a concrete form now before the House. But I may venture to point out this to the House: that Returns have been moved for from the Education Department giving a large amount of information which will enable the Committee to deal thoroughly with the question of the superannuation of teachers as a whole; and until those Returns are forthcoming the Committee could be dealing with the subject of my hon. Friend's Bill, and afterwards deal with the general question. I only suggest this as a via media out of what I think is a dilemma, and I urge it in the interests of the whole body of elementary teachers.
§ (12.15.) MB. T. H. BOLTON (St. Pancras, N.)
I hope the hon. Baronet will not assent to the suggestion unless it is distinctly understood that the case of the London teachers shall be considered separately and distinctly from the general question. The London teachers have already a fund which amounts to something like £60,000 for purposes of superannuation, and they only ask to he at liberty to put that fund on a satisfactory basis. They do not ask for any public money. Unless their case is dealt with first, and separately from the general question, the Bill may have to be postponed indefinitely.
§ (12.16.) MR. J. G. TALBOT (Oxford University)
I should like to say a few words in confirmation of what has been stated by my right hon. Friend. It is quite true I thought it undesirable to deal with the case of the London teachers without going into the whole question of the superannuation of teachers. At the same time, we have no hostile feeling to the proposal of my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham. The general question cannot be gone into immediately, as it appears that the Returns will not be ready for a few weeks, and, therefore, there can be no objection to my hon. Friend's Bill being considered pending the receipt of that information. But it would be inconsistent to have two Committees of the House sitting on practically the same subject and at the same time. If my hon. Friend will consent to the enlargement of the Instruction, then the matter can, I think, be brought on again next week without prejudice.
§ (12.19.) SIR J. COLOMB (Tower Hamlets, Bow, &c.)
I think the suggestion a satisfactory one, as the Committee will be able to consider and report on my hon. Friend's Bill before dealing with the general question.
§ (12.20.) SIR R. PAGET (Somerset, Wells)
I do not think that that should go forth as the arrangement. It might be deemed preferable that the Committee should defer its Report on the hon. Baronet's Bill until after it has considered the general question, as they might seriously hamper themselves by a premature decision. I do not wish to oppose any obstacle to the consideration of my hon. Friend's Bill; but the Committee must not be directed to report on it before they have dealt with the other branch of the Reference.
§ Debate further adjourned till Tuesday next.