§ SIR SEYMOUR KING
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, whether the Education Department exercises any supervision over the tendency to extravagant expenditure on the part of School Boards in the matter of the purchase of sites; whether he is aware that the London School Board has for some time been endeavouring to purchase part of a very valuable site fronting on three roads near Clapham Common, known as Lavender Lodge, and belonging to Mr. Whiting, who has actually resided on the premises for 74 years, having inherited it from his father, and that last year, on the School Board promoting a Bill for the compulsory purchase of a part of this property, it was thrown out by the House of Commons on the Petition of Mr. Whiting; whether the Education Department is aware that this year the School Board had scheduled 1084 the entire property, valued at from £30,000 to £48,000, for acquisition; and, if so, whether any steps will be taken by the Department to scrutinise the necessity for laying out so large a sum of the ratepayers' money in the neighbourhood of Clapham Junction for a suitable School Board site; whether it will ascertain if other cheaper sites are available in the immediate vicinity; and whether, in any case, it would be possible for the Department to order an Inquiry into all the circumstances?
§ SIR JOHN GORST
No School Board can borrow money for the purchase of a site without the consent of the Committee of Council. The London School Board have not yet sent in to the Education Department the petition required by Section 20 (3) of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, with respect to the proposed purchase of this site. When the petition is received the Inspector will be directed to inquire into all the circumstances.