asked the Chief Secretary whether, seeing that in a letter dated 7th November, 1911, he promised to inquire into certain circumstances connected with the female school at Tarbert, county Kerfy, he will now say whether he is satisfied that the answer supplied him in reply to a question by the hon. Member for East Down on this subject in November last was false; have the little girls who were expelled from this school on the 28th February, 1911, attended this school during the past twelve months; are their names still on the roll-books of this school in order to deceive the school inspector and the school attendance officer; is the manager of this school a member of the local school attendance committee; has he influenced the attendance officer to avoid this school in particular; have three more little girls been expelled from this school within the past month and, if so, for what reason; and will anything be done by the authorities to protect little girls from the treatment they are subjected to by the teacher and manager of this school?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have made inquiries as promised, and find that the Commissioners directed the re-admission of these three children. One of them did not return, and a second left after three days because the schoolmistress refused to teach her without payment as she was over fifteen. Although the Commissioners have pointed out to the manager and the child's parent that her exclusion on the ground of non-payment, was unauthorised, she has not returned. The third child left after a fortnight, and is now in service. The manager of the school is not a member of the school attendance committee, and the Commissioners of National Education cannot say whether he has any influence over the attendance officer. They will make inquiries as to the other matters referred to in the question, and if they find that any pupils have been unjustly treated they will take measures to prevent such injustice and to safeguard the interests of the pupils concerned.