HC Deb 17 December 1908 vol 198 cc2063-4
LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

To ask the President of the Board of Education whether he is aware that the local education authority for the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the application of money under Part II. of the Education Act, 1902, has required in the case of the Wheelwright grammar schools, at Dews-bury, that a particular form of religious instruction shall not be given; and what steps he proposes to take to secure obedience to the law by the local education authority.

(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) My right hon. friend is not without hope that a solution of the difficulty referred to in the noble Lord's Question may be arrived at which will make it unnecessary to consider what if any, further action would have to be taken by the Board.

SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

To ask the President of the Board of Education whether in connection with the dispute between the local education authority of the West Riding of Yorkshire and the governors of the Wheelwright grammar schools, the Board of Education, in a letter to Messrs. Frederick Walker and Son, dated 10th August, 1908, stated that the governing body are disposed to apply to the Board for an Amendment of the scheme in accordance with the requirements of the authority; and, if so, upon what information this statement, which is repudiated by the governors and is entirely inconsistent with the terms of the agreement between them and the trustees of the Wheelwright Charity, was made.

(Answered by Mr. Runciman.) The Answer to the first paragraph of the Question is in the affirmative. In the letter in question, the Board of Education went on to say that the governing body considered that to make such an application would be a breach of the informal agreement come to between the Wheelwright Charity Trustees and the Town Council of Dewsbury, with the assent of the Charity Commissioners, when the provisions of the scheme of 1900 were under consideration; and that to the terms of this agreement, although it has no legal force, the governors consider themselves bound in honour to adhere unless the Wheelwright Trustees should voluntarily release them from the obligation. The statement in the letter was made in the result of an interview on 25th July, 1908, between representatives of the governing body and officers of the Board, at which the governors asked for advice and assistance from the Board, and agreed to a suggestion made that the Board should take steps to approach the Wheelwright Trustees with a view to their considering the question of releasing the governors from the honourable understanding referred to in the letter.