§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked whether the Chief Secretary is aware that for the second time the Commissioners of Intermediate Education in Ireland have rendered it impossible for a number of Jewish candidates to compete at the annual examination by fixing the date coinciding with the holy days of Pentecost; have the Commissioners alleged that this arose from inadvertence; will they make some special arrangement for the Jewish students satisfactory to their clergy; and, as the Commissioners appear to be unable to recollect the Jewish holy days, will he consider the desirability of giving them a Jewish secretary or assistant to enable them to avoid giving annoyance to the Jewish community in Ireland, or appoint a, Jew to the vacant Commissionership?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
There does not appear to be any previous instance in which the date of the Intermediate Examinations coincided with the Jewish holy days of Pentecost. The Commissioners have not alleged that this happened this year by inadvertence; the dates of the holy days in question did not appear in the Calendar usually employed in drafting the time table. According to the information furnished to the Commissioners twenty-seven Jewish students are affected, and a plan for dealing with them will be submitted to the Board for consideration at its next meeting. There is no necessity for the appointment of a Jewish secretary or assistant. I understand that the London Committee of Deputies of the British Jews furnish information as to Jewish holy days to other educational bodies, and if they will furnish similar information to the Commissioners all risk of a recurrence of the present difficulty will be avoided.