DR. MACNAMAEA (Camberwell, N.)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of his statement that, a Bill will be introduced next year dealing with the allocation of Government grants in aid of education, he can say how many meetings the Departmental Committee, appointed in October, 1905, to consider the incidence of the local cost of education in heavily rated areas, has held; when 880 the Committee last met, and when it will meet again; what evidence, if any, it has taken, and whether it proposes to call further evidence; and whether he will consider the advisability, in view of the large questions opened up by the promise of a Bill next year, of widening the terms of reference of this Committee, and strengthening its constitution.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
I understand that the Committee has obtained Returns from the local education authorities, and proposes shortly to submit an interim Report. The Committee has not, however, taken any oral evidence and as at present advised does not propose to do so before submitting its interim Report. It has met about eight times, the last occasion being on June 21st. I will give careful consideration to the suggestion at the conclusion of the hon. Member's Question, but it is not at present decided what functions that Committee will fulfil in relation to the preparation of a new scheme of grants.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether, in view of his statement that a Bill will be introduced next year dealing with the dispensation of Government grants for education and the allocation, of the new million of grant for which provision is made under Clause 12 of the present Education Bill, he will state what special aid grants will remain available for heavily rated areas during the financial year 1906–7.
§ MR. BIRRELL
All the existing grants, including the recent new grant for local authoritities with exceptionally high education rates, will be continued in respect of any given area until the new scheme of grants comes into operation in respect of that area.