§ Mr. DONOVAN
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland how many Irish national teachers of both sexes for two years prior to the beginning of the War were deprived of increments of salary and promotion in grade solely on account of insufficient average attendances of pupils in their schools; how many teachers, since the War began, have similarly suffered, giving the numbers separately for each grade; and will he consider the desirability and the justice of abolishing the necessity of normal average attendances of pupils as a condition of promotion of Irish national teachers during the period of the War?
§ Mr. DUKE
I am unable to give the Return asked for, on account of the time and labour which would be involved in its preparation. As regards the latter portion of the question, a rule has been in force since the 15th April, 1915, whereby the teachers of national schools, in which the attendance of the pupils has declined owing to shortage of agricultural labour arising out of the circumstances of the present War, are allowed to substitute for the actual average daily attendance at their schools an estimated average attendance calculated on the basis of the attendance at the schools prior to the commencement of the War when putting forward their claims for increments and grade promotions. As regards the matter generally, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply given on Thursday last to the hon. Member for Kerry (West) and Belfast (West).