HC Deb 01 May 1879 vol 245 cc1492-3

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether it is true, as stated in a recent letter in the "Manchester Courier," that the School Board of that City have, during the last winter, provided free breakfasts at the expense of the ratepayers for children attending certain public elementary schools under their control; and, if so, whether such expenditure can be legally defrayed out of school rates, or out of any interest fund accruing therefrom?


Sir, although I have no official knowledge on this subject, I have not the least doubt upon the point, having been privately informed that the case is as the hon. Member has stated. I do not, however, understand that the expense was defrayed at the cost of the rates, which would have been clearly illegal; but partly by the kindness of private individuals, and partly out of interest accruing on balances in the hands of the treasurer of the School Board. It will be for the auditor, in the first instance, to pronounce on the legality of this proceeding; and as his decision may come before the Local Government Board on appeal, it would be improper for me to anticipate a decision; but I may say that in an analogous case, whore the overseers and guardians were interested in a similar fund, the Board had held that the interest received by them on the balance from time to time in the hands of their bankers could only be appropriated to the purposes to which the funds from which such interest arises were applicable.