§ MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W. R., Barkston Ash)
To ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he is aware that, in his audit for the year ended 31st March, 1906, of the accounts under the Education Act, 1902, of the town council of the borough of Barnsley, the district auditor disallowed certain sums representing fees paid for the instruction of pupil teachers on the ground that such sums were improperly charged in the town council's accounts as expenditure in respect of elementary education; that an appeal was made to the Local Government Board against the auditors decision, and the Local Government Board directed that the sums in question should be charged to the higher education accounts of the town council; that at the audit for the same year of the accounts of the West Riding County Council objection was taken by certain ratepayers in the West Riding to the payment of certain sums in respect of the instruction of pupil teachers being charged in the accounts as expenditure in respect of elementary education; and that the district auditor overruled the objection and decided to allow the payments as correct and legal; and whether, seeing that this ruling of the district auditor was diametrically opposed to the 294 Board's decision in the Barnsley case and that on 21st March, 1907, an appeal was made to the Local Government Board against the decision of the auditor of the accounts of the West Riding County Council, such appeal has yet been dealt with by the Board, and, if not, when may the Board's decision thereon be expected.
(Answered by Mr. John Burns.) The replies to the inquiries in the Question as to the decision of the district auditor in the Barnsley case, and the direction given by the Local Government Board on the appeal against that decision, are in the affirmative. The Board have received an appeal against the decision of another district auditor in allowing certain payments in the accounts of the West Riding County Council in relation to pupil teachers. The appeal raises some new points, which also occur in other cases now before the Department. These points are under consideration. I am not at present in a position to give my decision on the West Riding appeal; but I will do so as early as practicable.