§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
I wish to put a Question, of which I have given private notice, to the Minister for Education which may help us to raise a†See Col. 979.1164 clear issue in the course of the education debate now proceeding. It is whether the words in Clause 7, Section 2, which says that a teacher employed in a public elementary school "shall not be required as a condition of his employment to subscribe to any religious creed," exclude or are intended to exclude inquiries as to the fitness of the teacher to give the religious instruction contemplated under the Bill, or whether they are merely intended to prevent such subscriptions to dogmatic formularies as used to be required in the case of University Fellowships, but which have never been required in the case of elementary teachers.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. BIRRELL,) Bristol, N.
So far as intention is concerned, the Answer must be in the negative. No restraint is intended to be placed on the local education authority in satisfying itself that teachers who undertake to give religious teaching are not unqualified to give it.