HC Deb 01 May 1902 vol 107 cc452-4
MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, inasmuch as fuel and light and cleaning, repairs to buildings, rent, and rates, taxes, and insurance are given under separate headings in the official Returns of the expenditure of public elementary schools, he would consider his decision not to give, as a supplement to [Cd. 315], a statement of the total amounts paid under each of these heads for the year ended 31st August, 1899, at any rate as regards the items of rent and rates and taxes; and if he can now say whether he will be able to lay upon the Table, before the Second Reading of the Education Bill, a Memorandum showing its effect on previous legislation.


In answer to the first part of the Question, I have to say that I am afraid it is impossible, as I am informed, to prepare such a Return in time to serve any useful purpose in the debate on the Education Bill. As regards the second part, a Memorandum was presented some days ago, and if it is not already in the hands of Members, it will be very shortly.


I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether it is the intention of the Government that the grant under The Voluntary Schools Act, 1897, shall be paid to the local educational authority in respect of new schools not provided by that authority.

The following Questions also appeared on the Paper—


To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, having regard to the fact that under the new Education Bill the local education authority will be charged with the duty of maintaining and keeping efficient all public elementary schools within their area, it will be permissible for the purposes of the grant, under Section 97 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870 (as amended by The Elementary Education Act, 1897), for the local authority to base an application for such grant on the average attendance at all the public elementary schools within their area, or on the average attendance at such schools only as are actually provided by them.


To ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether, in case a County Borough Council adopts Part III. of the Education Bill and thus abolishes the School Board, the grant now paid to School Boards under Section 97, as amended, will, under those circumstances, be paid in future by the Board of Education to the new local authority.


These are questions of importance, which will, no doubt, come up for discussion on the Committee Stage of the Education Bill and I do not think there is anything to be gained by my answering them at the present time.


Cannot the Government let us know what their intentions are?


Well, after all, these Questions as to the exact purport of the Bill and the intentions of the Government are really much better asked when they can be debated. As a rule, that is so; I do not wish to lay down any hard and fast practice, but on the whole I am disposed to think that this is the best plan.