§ MR. R. CAMERON (Durham, Houghton-le-Spring)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, if his attention has been directed to the large number of illiterates who voted at the last General Election, more especially in the Counties of Monmouth, Norfolk, and Somerset; if he knows whether there is, or if there has been, any deficiency either in the extent or in the character of the education given in the schools within these divisions; and, whether Her Majesty's Inspectors ever called the attention of the Department to the defective education received by the people of those localities for a long period, as evidenced by the Return of Illiterates made to the House of Commons on 28th February, 1896.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
My attention has been directed to the Return mentioned by the hon. Member. There is nothing to show any special deficiency in the extent or character of the education given in three districts named; but I, personally, am not surprised to learn that a large proportion of the children living in rural districts forget how to read or write when they become adults.