HL Deb 17 March 1845 vol 78 cc946-7
The Earl of Minto

, on presenting a petition from the Presbytery of Wigton, and from another place, praying that some better provision should be made for the Parochial Schoolmasters of Scotland, said, this question had been brought under the consideration of Her Majesty's Government last year, and he wished now to ascertain from the noble Duke opposite (the Duke of Buccleuch), whether or not Her Majesty's Government intended to do anything decisive on this subject this Session. He apprehended that there were no impediments in the way; or, if there were, they must be such as could easily be removed. He thought that the salary of a parochial schoolmaster ought not to be less than 50l. a-year; and he was anxious that the law should be so constructed as to deal with the cases of those who misconducted themselves, or who, from other circumstances, were incapable of doing their duty properly. Some provision also should be made for those who through age or infirmity became incapacitated. He would, however, be perfectly satisfied to leave the matter in the hands of Her Majesty's Government, if they would undertake it.

The Duke Buccleuch

assured the noble Earl, that this subject had engaged the attention of Her Majesty's Government. It was not without its difficulties, some of minor importance, and others of greater. No doubt that several matters ought to be considered, not only with regard to the provision of annual incomes of schoolmasters, but the state of the law with respect to their appointment and removal. As those were most difficult points to deal with, an investigation before a Committee of their Lordships' House would be the best means of bringing the subject more fully in all its bearings before the Legislature, and such a Committee would be able to decide on the measures which would be most proper to bring forward. He would therefore move for the appointment of a Select Committee, to inquire into the condition of the Parochial Schoolmasters in Scotland.

The Earl of Minto

expressed his satis- faction at the course suggested by the noble Duke.

Motion agreed to.

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