§ MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the sanction of the Commissioners of National Education has been withdrawn from the Advanced National Reader, a book which has been extensively used in Irish national schools for the past three years; whether the first 1507 and only public notification of the withdrawal of the sanction of the use of the book was contained in a letter from the secretary of the Board to the Imperial Protestant Federation; can he state whether the decision there announced was made by the Commissioners as a body, or, if not, by whose authority was it issued; and can he specify what part or parts of the book are now pronounced unsuitable for Irish national schools.
§ MR. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that Brown and Nolan's Advanced Header was never sanctioned for general use in national schools. It was sanctioned for use in some particular schools, but on objection being made to it on religious and political grounds the sanction in these cases was withdrawn in accordance with Rule 124 (a). The Commissioners do not consider it necessary to make any further statement on the subject. The whole question is to be considered by the Board at their next meeting.
§ MR. MCHUGH
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Nationaal Board considered this book at their meeting yesterday, on the suggestion of the Protestant Imperial Federation?
§ MR. BIRRELL
I do not know what happened at that meeting. I dare say I shall be supplied with information before long.
§ MR. PATRICK O'BRIEN (Kilkenny)
Is it not a fact that the National Board met yesterday and investigated the merits of a book, the circulation of which they had stopped many weeks ago, condemning it first and buying it afterwards?
§ MR. McHUGH
Dees the right hon. Gentleman know that the Imperial Protestant Federation has Lord Ashtown as its figure-head?
§ MR. BARRIE (Londonderry, N.)
Will the right hon. Gentleman make him self acquainted with the book?