§ MR. MACARTNEY (Antrim, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, having regard to the fact that one-half the Londonderry School Attendance Committee as at present appointed does not, consist of managers of patrons of schools in the place, though such persons are available, the said committee is legally constituted under the third section of "The Irish Education Act, 1892;" whether the Commissioners of National Education were bound to appoint the requisite number of managers or patrons and thereby secure compliance with the section; whether any regulations, and if so what, were made in accordance with the section; and whether the Law Officers have been consulted as to the requirements of the third section?
§ LORD A. HILL (Down, W.)
I beg, at the same time, to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether the Commissioners of National Education acted in conformity with the Act of Parliament in ignoring and leaving out the name of a manager and patron of a school when appointing their portion of the Committee; and whether the District Inspector had any authority to ask any manager if he would be willing to act upon the committee; and, if so, by whom such authority was given?
MR. J. MORLEY
I have been in communication with the Commissioners of National Education in reference to the 1439 principles upon which the appointments of some of these School Attendance Committees under the Act of 1892 have been made. The matter is undoubtedly an important one, and whilst I do not, upon the information at present before mo, question the legality of the action of the Commissioners in the lines pursued by them in the appointments of the Committees, or some of these Bodies, yet there is an element of doubt in my mind which I should be glad to have removed before replying to the question of the hon. Gentleman. The difficulty turns on the construction of the words "wherever available" in the third section. I shall take an early opportunity during the Recess of going into the matter, and would ask the hon. Members, therefore, to be so good as to defer their inquiries until after the reassembling of the House.