§ MR. HARRINGTON (Dublin, Harbour)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether, as in the new scheme proposed by the National Board of Education in Ireland the six head inspectors are reduced to the same rank as sixteen of the subordinates who have been serving under them, he can state if this reduction also involves a loss in certain emoluments which attached to their office, and whether it is intended also to prevent the head inspectors in future from reaching the higher offices which have hitherto been open to them; and have the head inspectors protested against this change in the conditions upon which they entered the service, is it the intention of the Commission to compel them to accept the change without any compensation, and will the whole scheme of the Commissioners be laid before Parliament before being finally adopted.
§ MR. G. W. BALFOUR
The six head inspectors have not been reduced in rank, though their title has been altered and their sphere of duties somewhat changed; but sixteen district inspectors have been promoted to the same rank as the head inspectors. Both the salaries and the possible pensions of the head inspectors have been considerably increased. The old scale of salaries commenced at £500. The maximum was £600. The maximum of the new scale of their salaries is £700, an increase of £100 per annum, or 16.6 per cent. The highest possible pension a. head inspector could obtain under the old scale was £400 per annum. Under the. new scale he can obtain a pension of £466 13s. 4d., an increase of £66 13s. 4d 795 per annum, or 16.6 per cent. No change has been made in the rates of travelling expenses or of personal allowance to these officers. It has never been contemplated that these allowances were to be a source of additional emolument to the officers receiving them, but were merely to cover actual expenses out of pocket. The Commissioners have made no new rules in regard to the higher offices in their gift, in the filling of which they have always exercised, and will continue to exercise, their own unfettered discretion. The head inspectors made certain representations to the Commissioners in regard to their change of title from head inspectors to that of senior inspectors, the contemplated changes in the duties to be in future assigned to them, and the possible loss of emoluments from perquisites derived from their allowances. These representations were fully considered. No change whatever has been made in the conditions under which those inspectors entered the service, except that, as already stated, their actual and prospective salaries have been improved. The change in the regulations regarding the inspectorate, which are for the benefit of all the inspectors (including the six officers referred to in the question), and also for the benefit of the great body of the teachers, have been carefully considered in detail by the Irish Government, the Treasury, and the Commissioners, and have been fully approved generally in connection with the entire new scheme.
§ MR. CLANCY
Does not the right hon. Gentleman think it absolutely necessary that the Irish Members should be in possession of the scheme before they discuss the Vote?
§ [No answer was given.]