HC Deb 12 February 1894 vol 21 cc280-1

On behalf of the hon. Member for North Louth, I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland will he explain why the Commissioners of National Education in making appointments for the local education committee under the Compulsory Education Act in Banbridge have passed over the Presbyterian managers and patrons of schools-and nominated three Episcopalians, two of whom have no connection with education, and one of whom occupies a subordinate position; is he aware that the Banbridge Town Commissioners have refused to recognise the appointments; and have the Education Commissioners received a strong protest from the Presbyterians of Banbridge?


(1.) The proportions of the religious denominations of the population of Banbridge are:—Roman Catholics, 22.8; Protestant Episcopalians, 39.5; Presbyterians, 29.3; Methodists, 2.5; others, 5.9. The number of members of the School Attendance Committee as determined by the Local Authority is 10, and the constitution of the committee as finally settled by the Commissioners is—Roman Catholics, 2; Protestant Episcopalians, 4; Presbyterians, 3; Methodists, 0; others, I. The percentage, as above shown, of Presbyterians in the population is 29.3: hence, the Presbyterians, having three places on the committee, are adequately represented. The Local Authority had in the first instance appointed those three, thus leaving the Commissioners powerless to add another Presbyterian to the number. (2.) The Commissioners of National Education have no information on the second paragraph beyond an expression of surprise and regret on the part of the Local Authority at the Commissioners' action. (3.) Protests have been received from Presbyterian meetings in Banbridge in reference to the non-appointment by the Commissioners of particular Presbyterian clergymen. But, as shown, there was no room for the appointment of any more Presbyterians on the committee.