§ COLONEL THOMAS WARING (Down, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland what are the numbers, according to the various religious denominations, of examiners and centre superintendents in connection with the Intermediate Education Board, Ireland, for the past year, whether, in consideration of the great number of pupils sent forward for examination by the Methodist College, Belfast, the Wesley College, Dublin, and other Methodist schools, he will consider the desirability of securing to the Methodists a greater number of the said appointments during the coming year; and whether the present Government intend soon to alter or enlarge the constitution of the Intermediate Board, so as to give thereon the Methodist Church at least one representative?
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
I am informed by the Assistant Commissioners of the Board of Intermediate Education that in the cases of examiners and centre superintendents it is the practice of the Board to appoint, as far as practicable, equal numbers of Roman Catholics and Protestants. The total number of examiners in 1897 was 75, of whom 37 were Roman Catholics, 33 Episcopalians, and five Presbyterians. In the case of Centre Superintendents for 1897, 134 Roman Catholics were appointed, and 133 Protestants, of whom 76 were Episcopalians, 50 Presbyterians, and seven Methodists. The suggestion of my hon. 1516 Friend in favour of the appointment of a Methodist representative on the Board will be noted by the Lord Lieutenant for consideration on the occurrence of a vacancy thereon, but the limit placed on the number of members of the Board may make the suggestion difficult to carry out, and I am afraid I cannot promise legislation on the subject.