§ MR. SLOAN (Belfast, S.)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that a Return ordered by this House on 24th February last states that out of 14,398 National school teachers in Ireland, who signed agreement forms with managers, only 845 executed forms providing for a referee, and that the referee in almost every one of these cases was chosen by the manager; if he can say how often he has referred 1560 this question to the National Commissioners, with a recommendation to provide a remedy, and with what result; and what steps, if any, does he propose to take to insure security of tenure to those teachers who are liable to unjust and arbitrary dismissal.
(Answered by Mr. Birrell.) The number of cases in which agreements providing for the appointment of referees had been executed up to the date of the Return is correctly stated. I have no means of ascertaining how the referees were chosen. I have repeatedly stated the Commissioners of National Education are of opinion that it is desirable that a referee should be available in the case of dismissal of teachers, and two of the four forms of agreement between managers and teachers provide for the appointment of a referee. The Commissioners, however, have no power to compel the adoption of a form of agreement which contains that provision.