The opponents of the Bill, led by a Labour member,
Mr. Walsh, argued that it would be a breach of faith to make the teachers contribute towards their pensions, though other public servants have to do so. It was maintained that the teachers were influenced in their decision to accept the Burnham scale by the knowledge that they would enjoy non-contributory pensions. Lord Robert Cecil moved that the House should adjourn until the Departmental Committee then sitting reported on the question of the-alleged breach of faith. Mr. Chamberlain said that the House should be the best judge of its own honour. The House, however, decided by 151 votes to 148 to adjourn the debate. It is to be remarked that the first tangible proposal for economy made by the. Government on the advice of the Geddes Committee was rejected by the House. It was a lamentable decision. We are all for treating the teachers fairly and even generously. We feel, none the less, that they made a grave tactical error in declining to contribute a modest proportion of their greatly increased salaries to the pensions fund. Mr. Chamberlain announced on Wednesday that he would bow to the decision of the House. A Supplementary Estimate of 1800,000 for three months' pensions would be introduced, thus. upsetting the new Budget. Meanwhile, a Select Committee of nine Members would inquire into the supposed breach of faith.