§ MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether, when ordinary facilities for special religious instruction are given in a public elementary school, Clause 3 of the Education Bill is intended to direct that such instruction shall be given in the school house; and, if so, how will the cost of warming and other incidental expenses be apportioned between the local education authority and the trustees of the school.
I beg also to ask the President of the Board of Education whether Clause 7, Sub-section (1), of the Education Bill is intended to prevent a teacher, employed in a public elementary school in which ordinary facilities are afforded, from being present during the time allotted to special religious instruction for the purpose of maintaining discipline.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. BIRRELL, Bristol, N.)
It is impossible to discuss satisfactorily the details of the Bill in a reply to a Question. There will be an opportunity for discussing the points in the Committee Stage of the Bill.
§ MR. LAURENCE HARDY
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he can now state when the Return of the syllabus of religious instruction at present in force in each local education area will be in the hands of Members; and whether he will undertake that it shall be circulated 478 previous to the consideration of the Education Bill in Committee.
§ MR. BIRRELL
It is impossible to say when the Return will be available. Circulars asking the local authorities for the information have been issued from the Board of Education; and the date of the completion of the Return must depend largely upon the expedition with which local authorities send in their replies. The volume, however, cannot but be an exceedingly bulky one, and will necessarily take a considerable time to compile and to print, so that it will be quite impossible to delay the Committee Stage of the Bill as proposed by the hon. Member.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
The right hon. Gentleman held out some hope in answer to another Question that some of this information could be given at once.
§ MR. BIRRELL
I am very anxious to give it as soon as I get a sufficient number of answers. I have an interesting collection of my own which I shall be happy to show any hon. Member.