§ MR. BIGGAR
asked the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Whether it is within the knowledge of the Commissioners of National Education that a member of their Board, the Rev. Hugh Hanna, in company with a Protestant prelate, visited a National School at or near Newtonards, in the county Down, and that, during the time set down in the School Time Table for general secular instruction, the distinguished visitors caused to be sung a hymn or psalm in which they took part; whether such religious exercise at such a time was not an open violation of the fundamental principles of National Education; whether any ruling on the matter has been made by the Board; and, whether it is true that, after three years' attendance at the Board Room, the Rev. Hugh Hanna pleaded ignorance of the Board's rules on the subject of religious instruction and religious exercise, in explanation of his action on the occasion in question?
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
, in reply, said, that he had ascertained that the Board of National Education had no 1211 official knowledge of the transaction referred to. He had a private letter, from which it would appear that some such occurrence took place; and he had asked the Commissioners to obtain Mr. Hanna's account of the matter.