§ MR. J. FORTESCUE FLANNERY (Yorkshire, Shipley)
I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education if his attention has been drawn to the statements that the Assistant Commissioner, who reported upon the Secondary Schools of the West Riding of Yorkshire, reported upon departments of schools which he is alleged never to have seen; if he has himself made any inquiries into such statements, and has satisfied himself that the Assistant Commissioner did make proper 827 examinations before reporting, and if the organisation of the Department over which he presides makes any provision for redress to teachers whose reputation is unjustly assailed?
§ THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE COUNCIL (Sir JOHN GORST,) Cambridge University
This matter is not within the province of the Committee of Council on Education. They have no knowledge of the matters referred to in the question other than that derived from the Report of the Royal Commission on Secondary Education. The Committee of Council have no power to order any Inquiry, nor have they any jurisdiction over the Assistant Commissioner.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE (Rochester)
asked the right hon. Gentleman whether it was not a fact that grave dissatisfaction had been caused by the Report in question, and whether he would not reconsider his decision with a view to making some inquiry which would give satisfaction to the parties aggrieved, or suggest some method by which they could obtain the satisfaction to which they were entitled?
§ SIR J. GORST
replied that he had no official information on the subject. He had heard privately that such dissatisfaction existed, but, as he had said, the Committee of Council had no power to make such an Inquiry, nor did he think they could exercise such power without an Act of Parliament conferring it.
§ MR. J. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said, that, as Chairman of the Royal Commission, perhaps he might be allowed to say that Mr. Laurie was appointed by the Commission upon evidence which satisfied the Members at the time as to his experience and ability. He now understood that Mr. Laurie was preparing a full Report in reply to the charges that had been made against his Report, and he thought it was only fair that, until that Report was received and published, it should not be assumed that the charges were well founded. ["Hear, hear."]
§ MR. FLANNERY
asked whether the Royal Commission had power to declare that the Report of Mr. Laurie should be withdrawn, if they were of opinion that it should be withdrawn?