Mr William Cove: There ought to be a means test.
Mr William Cove: Is the right hon. Gentleman tackling the Port Talbot scheme?
Mr William Cove: I understand that we are rather pressed for time, so I shall be very brief. I want wholeheartedly to support the exhaustive and accurate case made by my hon. and learned Friend the Member for Kettering (Mr. Mitchison). As time passes, the area which I represent here will find itself increasingly penalised because the purification of gas and the storage of gas are not included in the formula...
Mr William Cove: Is it not right that the head of the Department should be with his Department? The Department is not in London or Whitehall, but is in Cardiff.
Mr William Cove: I am sure the hon. Gentleman does not want to do an injustice to the Labour Government of that time or to the Labour movement, although that is what he seems to be doing. Every Prime Minister who has received a deputation on this subject has turned down the application. It is a common complaint.
Mr William Cove: May I ask the Joint Under-Secretary to give instances of cases where this applies? What other services?
Mr William Cove: In those cases the large majority are in employment and therefore get their service counted. As a class, teachers are singled out in this respect.
Mr William Cove: There would be a row.
Mr William Cove: What else could it be?
Mr William Cove: Most of the arguments in favour of our proposals have already been advanced, but I wish to draw attention to one or two others. The fact is that the present position, for teachers and for those in the Civil Service and local government service, is absurd and anomalous. If a civil servant enters the service at an early age, before going into the Forces, his period of National Service counts,...
Mr William Cove: Why not put it back?
Mr William Cove: It is a long way back to 1946.
Mr William Cove: The teachers paying for it entirely.
Mr William Cove: My memory is that Lord Eustace Percy was arguing that there was as much security and stability in an account as there would be in the fund. As a matter of fact, the scheme in the 1925 Act was forced on the Committee by the statement of the Minister that if the Committee persisted in saying that there must be a fund—and there were Conservative Members who were as keen as we were on this...
Mr William Cove: Will the hon. Gentleman answer me this? Surpluses are spent as an appropriation in aid of the Ministry of Education. The money paid in by teachers and local authorities is dissipated as soon as it comes in. This is what I want to ask the hon. Gentleman. Where is there any security in the future under this account? What we are doing is piling up a debt for the future, and putting future...
Mr William Cove: Mr. Cove rose—
Mr William Cove: I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for allowing me to intervene. I do not know whether there was a Bill or not, but I know that the late George Tomlinson told me definitely that he would not introduce a Bill to raise the contribution of teachers for pension purposes, if only because of the reason that there was a surplus coming in every year and there was no immediate necessity to do it.
Mr William Cove: After the General Election.
Mr William Cove: No such thing was said.
Mr William Cove: The Government have found a very good salesman in the Minister of Education. He undoubtedly has some goods to sell and he has also indulged in a great deal of imagination. As he was speaking I thought that he was not clear about what development would take place in our education system. His reference to wiping out the grammar schools through the medium of the comprehensive school was indeed a...