70. Colonel NEWMAN
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to a decision in the Law Courts that a theatre is not a place of educational interest within the meaning of the Education Act, and that the expenses incurred by the London education authority in sending children to theatres at the ratepayers' cost should be surcharged; will he say what is the sum involved; who is going to pay it; and have the ratepayers of the County of London previously made representations against the cost placed on them by the education authority in respect of these theatrical outings?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Sir Alfred Mond)
I am aware of the decision referred to. The auditor surcharged the whole of the expenditure involved in the provision of the stage plays in question, which amounted in the accounts of the county council for the year under review to £2,745. The surcharge was made on the Chairman of the Finance Committee of the London County Council, who, under the ruling of the Court, is legally liable for the amount. As regards the last part of the question, I am not aware of any representations on the subject having been made by ratepayers. The auditor took action on his own initiative.
Is it not a fact that this unfortunate gentleman will have to pay out of his own pocket, although he was opposed altogether to the policy of the Education Committee?
§ Sir A. MOND
I should like notice of that. I do not know whether he has personally had to pay or not.