§ * MR. MASSIE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether an inquiry, relating to the proposed provision of a new council school, is to be held at Gwespyr, Flintshire, on Saturday next; whether† See (4) Debates, clxii., 679.1185 he is aware that some tenants of the Talacre Estate, living near Gwespyr, have received notice to quit, that others have had their rents raised, while others have been evicted from their holdings; and whether care will be taken at the forthcoming inquiry that the provisions of The Witnesses (Public Inquiries) Protection Act, 1892, will be read by the Commissioner appointed to hold the inquiry.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
The investigation which I had arranged to be held on Saturday next in regard to the school named in the Question is merely into the question of the size and site of the new council school which the Board have decided must be erected, and the point had seemed so small that a public inquiry, in the technical sense of this term, had not seemed to be necessary. In view however of the difficulties which have arisen in regard to the case, and in particular of the allegations as to undue pressure which are contained in the hon. Member's Question, I have arranged that a full public inquiry under Section 23 (10) of the Act of 1902 shall be held. This will necessitate posponement of the inquiry till Saturday, December 15th, in order that the statutory seven days notice may be given. The fact that the inquiry will then be in the technical sense a public inquiry will bring it within the provisions of The Witnesses (Public Inquiries) Protection Act, 1892, and I have instructed the official to draw the attention of those present at the inquiry to the provisions of that Act.
§ * MR. MASSIE
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a letter (a copy of which I hold in my hand) has been sent round to the Gwespyr cottagers by the agent, stating that the landlord intends to reserve his Gwespyr cottages for those who are willing to send their children to his school?
§ MR. BIRRELL
I have seen the letter. I do not know whether it has been sent. It would not be within the Act.