I realise that we have a very short period of time to discuss this. I was speaking on this matter when the debate was adjourned because the Minister agreed there should be some time allowed to look into this very complicated scheme. I want to be exceptionally brief because I understand it is vital that the scheme should be dealt with this evening.
The first point I want to make is in regard to the salaries which the secondary teachers enjoy at the moment. These salaries are too small. They are inadequate and that aspect has been touched on by some of the speakers in the debate. With regard to secondary education, it is vital that salaries should be such as to attract the very best graduates from our universities into the profession. In that connection, I should like to refer the Minister to the Journal of Education for January, 1951. On page 16 of that journal he will find an article dealing with the revised salary scales in Scotland, Wales and in Northern Ireland. Under those revised salary scales, the ordinary graduates, men, start at £435 and rise to £725 in the 18th year. Honours graduates start at £535 and rise to £875 in the 18th year. Notwithstanding that, it has been stated in the article that the basic scales as they stand, that is, the revised scales, will do little to induce the best type of student to enter the teaching profession. I only mention that casually because our salaries, which are much lower than those, are entirely inadequate.
I quarrel with the scheme on a couple of grounds. One is the retrospective payment, whereby secondary teachers will be required to pay a sum of £235 in a period of five years to the Department, working out at £47 per year, that is, the retrospective clause by which payment at 1½ per cent. is provided. There were increases recently granted to the secondary teachers of £60 a year. If we deduct the 5 per cent. from that towards their pension, it leaves them with an increase of £57, out of which £47 is taken for this retrospective payment towards a gratuity. There are only 500 members affected according to the Minister's statement here. Those 500 members went into a bad scheme.