§ Mr. PIRIE
asked the Lord Advocate if he can state on what date or dates the decisions were arrived at to withdraw the drafting of the scheme for the superannuation of teachers in Scotland, as also to suspend the operations of the proposed regulations for the staffing of schools in Scotland; and if he can inform the House 422 what and when opportunity will be given to the Scottish representatives of debating such a change of policy, and also if he will lay upon the Table of the House the correspondence which has taken place between the Scottish Office and the Treasury on the matter?
§ The LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. Ure)
The resolution not to proceed, meantime, with the superannuation of teachers' scheme and with the proposed regulations for the staffing of schools was come to last week for the reasons given in my answer to a question put by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Clackmannan and Kinross. The determination not to proceed, meantime, with these proposals was debated in this House on Tuesday of last week. I am not at present in a position to say whether any further opportunity for debate can be given. I cannot undertake to lay the correspondence referred to by my hon. Friend. As regards the regulations for the staffing of schools, a Minute amending the Minute of 27th March has been laid before the House, and if it is the wish of the House to abide by the original Minute consent may be refused to the amending Minute in the ordinary course.
§ Mr. PIRIE
asked the Lord Advocate, with reference to the recently announced change of educational policy in Scotland if he can explain why the Scottish Office did not secure a definite assurance from the Chancellor of the Exchequer or did not know from where the money was to come before passing the superannuation scheme for teachers into the Education (Scotland) Act, 1908?
§ Mr. URE
The clauses of the Education (Scotland) Act authorising the preparation of a superannuation scheme for teachers n Scotland were introduced into the Bill at the instance of a deputation of School Boards to the Secretary for Scotland, and on the clear understanding that no charge was to be imposed on the Exchequer in 423 connection therewith beyond their existing liability in terms of the Superannuation Act of 1898, which is common to England and Scotland. The scheme can be proceeded with on this understanding, but at the expense of the Education (Scotland) Fund, which has this year suffered a diminution from other causes beyond (he control of the Department. In the circumstances the Department have thought it right to delay proceeding with the scheme pending the result of their application to the Treasury for further assistance to the Education (Scotland) Fund. There has been no change of educational policy in Scotland as implied in the question.
Is the Lord Advocate aware that there is a great feeling of disappointment among schoolmasters at the recent announcement that the superannuation matter is not to be proceeded with.
§ Major ANSTRUTHER-GRAY
Can the right hon. Gentleman inform us when he expects to get an answer from the Treasury, and whether he will press for an early reply?