HC Deb 03 May 1906 vol 156 cc695-6
MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)

to ask the President of the Board of Education, when the Return of Trust Deeds of Voluntary Schools, moved for at the beginning of the Session, may be expected to be in the hands of Members; and whether he will give an assurance that the House shall not be asked to go into Committee on the Education Bill before that Return is presented.

(Answered by Mr. Birrell.): It is not possible to give a date for the completion of the Return. The work of examining the trust deeds is both heavier and more complicated than was expected. Many schools have more than one trust deed (in some cases more than 20 deeds) and different parts of the same school and even of the same room, are subject to different trusts or are held on different tenures. In many cases it has been necessary to ask the trustees for further information, and in nearly 2,000 cases the trustees have up to now failed to comply with the Board's request for the transmission of their deeds. As it is obviously desirable that a complete and accurate Return should eventually be made it is impossible to give the assurance which the right hon. Member asks for, but I am quite willing if it is desired to proceed with the publication of the Return by instalments so that the House may be in possession of as much information as possible for the Committee stage.