asked the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, If the amount of increased accommodation demanded in Elementary Schools where greatly in excess of the number of children who can be expected to attend, even when compulsory byelaws could be enforced, especially in parishes where the population according to the Return of the late Census is declining, is in accordance with the provisions of the Elementary Education Act?
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
in reply, said, that nothing could be more clear than the provisions of the Education Act—that school accommodation should be provided in every district for the children in that district. It was the duty of the Department to ascertain what was the accommodation required, and in doing that the circumstances of each district must be taken into account. The Act provided means by which any district which thought a wrong decision had been arrived at, might appeal against such a decision and demand public inquiry; no such inquiry, however, so far as he knew, had yet been demanded. There were two cases mentioned by his hon. Friend. One was, the case of the number of children who could be expected to attend even when compulsory bye-laws could be enforced. That he could hardly answer definitely, unless he knew what kind of expectations might be entertained. The second case was, that in which there was a decline of the popu- 1250 lation. That was a point which the Education Department had taken into account, as well as the opposite one—where an increase might be reasonably expected.
When a public inquiry is demanded have the party asking for the inquiry to pay the expenses?