HC Deb 24 March 1884 vol 286 cc595-6

asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether his attention has been called to a Circular addressed to masters of all the public schools in Lewis, informing them that at a large meeting of Conservatives held under the presidency of William Mackay, esquire, Chamberlain of the island, their names had been put upon the Committee, and requesting them to signify by return of post their willingness to act; and, whether the Mr. Mackay referred to is the Chairman of all the School Boards in the island; and, if so, whether the Education Department cannot protect public schoolmasters holding office at the pleasure of the School Boards over which Mr. Mackay presides from such solicitation?


Sir, I have received a letter from Mr. Mackay, in which he states that, on the 20th of February, he presided at a meeting, having for its object the formation of a Conservative Committee, and that, at the same time, he gave the meeting to understand that in the event of a Committee being formed he was not to become Chairman, nor even a member of it. Mr. Mackay further states that the names of several gentlemen were proposed as members of the Committee, among whom were some schoolmasters who were known, or were supposed, to be Conservatives. The clerk wrote to those whose names were proposed, but who were not present at the meeting, to ask them if they would be willing to serve upon the Committee. Mr. Mackay states that he Neither issued nor signed any circular whatever to schoolmasters or other electors, or even saw the circular issued by the clerk of the meeting. He adds that— The Chairman of the Liberal Committee is also a member of a school board, and that circulars in his name and that of the agent for the Liberal candidate have been issued to the electors, including the schoolmasters. I do not see any ground for complaint in this case.