HC Deb 23 March 1917 vol 91 c2154W

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland had under consideration the Debate in this House of the 15th December last in reference to the prohibition by them of teachers appointed to the commission of the peace from adjudicating, and with what result; whether Dr. Starkie, resident Commissioner of National Education, announced at a recent meeting of the Board that certain managers of schools were opposed to teachers being appointed magistrates or adjudicating as such; and, if so, whether he will now ascertain the opinion of the Law Officers of the Crown as to the legality of the Commissioners action in preventing teachers, under pain of withdrawal of salary, from carrying out the functions of the magistracy, to which they were appointed by the highest legal authority in Ireland, at times when their school duties would not be interfered with?


The Commissioners of National Education have had the matter under consideration. They inform me that they were unable to alter their decision. Representatives of managers of national schools appeared before the Commissioners on the 5th December, and stated that in their opinion it was not desirable that national school teachers should act as magistrates. The Law Officers of the Crown have been consulted. I am advised that no power is vested in the Lord Lieutenant to control the decision of the Commissioners.