§ MR. OSMOND WILLIAMS
I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he can give the result of the inquiry he instituted in Merionethshire. I beg also to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the barrister he employed to hold the inquiry in Merionethshire insisted upon knowing the income and expenditure of the managers of every intermediate school in the county for the last six years, the number of pupils at each school during those years, and an estimate of the expenditure for the current year; will he explain why all this costly information was necessary; and how accounts for the last six years can have anything to do with the new conditions arising out of the Act of 1902.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. JOHN BURNS,) Battersea
The Merioneth county council desire to increase the grants from the county fund to the five secondary schools in the county which were established prior to the coming into operation of the Education Act, 1902, and consequently that the amount which may be raised in any year out of the rates for the purposes of Part II. of the Act shall be extended. The inspector who held an inquiry on the subject of this extension considered that it was material to know the income and expenditure of the schools in previous years, as well as the estimated expenditure for the present year, before he made his Report. The giving of the information should not, I think, be costly. Most of it was received on Friday last, and the rest has been promised. When it is received the inspector will complete his Report, and as soon as practicable afterwards a decision will be arrived at with regard to the subject matter of the inquiry.
In reply to a further Question Mr. Burns was understood to say that in his opinion, the inspector would not have been doing his duty had he failed to call for the information referred to.