§ MR. E. F. VESEY KNOX (Cavan, W.)
I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether his attention has been called to the proposal of the Leeds School Board to erect a girls' Industrial School at the expense of the ratepayers 15 miles from Leeds, and at the same time to refuse to pay for any further children to Catholic Industrial Schools, and to remove those Leeds Catholic children who are now in Catholic Industrial Schools to the new Industrial Schools; whether he is aware that the site proposed for the School Board's school is four miles distant from from the nearest Catholic Church; what will be the provision made for the religious teaching at the proposed school of children belonging to those denominations which do not consider the School Board religion satisfactory; and, whether he will refuse to sanction the project unless provision is made for the liberty of belief of children drawn from the large Catholic population of Leeds?
§ MR. ASQUITH
I have carefully considered this proposal, which was discussed in all its aspects at an interview between the members of the School Board and myself last week. Both sides were represented, and their conflicting views were ably and thoroughly presented. The statement in the second paragraph appears to be inaccurate. I am informed that the distance has been measured, and has been proved to be not more than 1¾ miles. After weighing the arguments which were addressed to me I have come to the conclusion that I ought to sanction the proposal of the School Board, which is supported by 14 out of 15 members. From the assurance given to me, I am satisfied that proper provision will be made for giving Roman Catholic teaching to the Roman Catholic children, but I shall take care that the interests of the Roman Catholic population concerned are amply safeguarded.