HC Deb 04 March 1886 vol 302 cc1883-4

asked the Vice President of the Com- mittee of Council on Education, Whether he will direct the returning officer for the Metropolis to afford an abstract of account explanatory of the details of the expenses of the London School Board Elections in November 1885, to each of the sections to which by him they are apportioned; and, whether he will put a stop to the present system, which results in the ratepayers being kept in compulsory ignorance as to the manner of the expenditure of many thousands of pounds?


The Education Department has power, under the Act of 1873, to obtain and tax accounts of school boards throughout the country when appeal is made; but that power does not extend to London. The Returning Officer, who is the Recorder of London, has to ascertain and determine the amount to be paid; and is not bound by Statute or by the Order in Council to make returns of the expenses. I have, however, seen Sir Thomas Chambers, the Recorder, who voluntarily offers to send the accounts of the last election to the Education Department, which will send them to the School Board; and, by Section 87 of the Act of 1870, they can be inspected and examined by any ratepayer. In answer to the last part of the Question, I have to say this course will be pursued in future elections by a condition in the Order of Council regulating the election, so that the hon. Member will perceive that the second part of his Question will be attained. Under these circumstances, I hope the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. W. H. Smith) will delay the Motion for the Return of which he has given Notice.