§ SIR ROBERT ANSTRUTHER
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether his attention has been called to the Circular issued by the Board of Supervision in Edinburgh on the 8th instant, forbidding Inspectors of the Poor, although duly elected, to sit upon School Boards, or to hold office under them; whether such a regulation does not limit the choice of the School Board constituencies in a manner not authorized by "The Education (Scotland) Act, 1872;" and, whether such a regula- 99 tion is not in excess of the powers conferred upon the Board of Supervision by see. 56 of the Act 8 and 9 Vic. c. 83?
Sir, I have been in communication with the Board of Supervision in Edinburgh on the subject of the Question of my hon. Friend, and they inform me that the Circular of the Board is in accordance with the practice pursued during the last 23 years with respect to various offices, and its legality has never been questioned. The Board have considered it to be in their power, and that it was their duty, to prohibit Inspectors from sitting on school boards or holding other offices, the duties of which were likely to be incompatible with the due discharge of their office. One such reason in the present case is, that the duty of collecting the school-rate is, by Section 44 of the Education Act, imposed upon the Parochial Board, and that the Inspector, being the servant of the Parochial Board and ratepayers, ought not to have a voice in fixing the amount to be assessed, more especially as the Inspector is generally also collector, and would derive emolument from the school-rate in proportion to its amount. There are also several other sections of the Education Act under which the duties of member of the Parochial Board or Manager of Schools would clash inconveniently with the duties of Inspector. There is no objection, however, to their holding the offices of clerk or treasurer to the school board, as the duties of such offices are merely formal and clerical.