§ MR. C. J. O'DONNELL
I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that, although the average attendance at Catholic schools in England and Wales is only about 300,000 children, the accommodation in them is for 412,669 children; whether, in consequence of the slackness of the local education officials, the attendance is generally slack in Catholic schools; whether the number of children on the rolls is nearly 400,000; and whether he is aware that, including Scotland, nearly 560,000 of Catholic children of school age in Great Britain are about to be deprived of grants from the rates, to which their parents contribute; and what steps the Government proposes to take to safeguard this body of future citizens from being placed in a position of permanent educational inferiority and inefficiency.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
The average attendance in Roman Catholic schools for the last year for which figures are available was 286,188, and the recognised accommodation was 406,137. I have no reason to suppose that the attendance in Roman Catholic schools is generally slack. The average number on the books in Roman Catholic schools in 1906–7 was 333,403. With regard to the last paragraph, so far as England and Wales are concerned, I beg to refer the hon. Member to the Education Bill now before the House.
§ SIR GILBERT PARKER (Gravesend)
Are we to understand that the average attendance of pupils in Roman Catholic schools compares favourably with the average attendance of children attending other denominational and undenominational schools?
§ MR. TREVELYAN
I do not think it compares unfavourably, but I can get the figures if notice of the Question is given.