§ Mr. SNOWDEN
asked the President of the Board of Education whether the Education Department refuses to permit the members of its staff to contest seats upon the London borough councils; whether he can state in what essential particulars the relationship of his Department to the borough councils differentiates from that of the Local Government Board, which grants such permission; and whether he is aware that the President of the Local Government Board has stated that he is not aware of any administrative inconvenience having been caused thereby?
§ Mr. RUNCIMAN
The answer to the first paragraph is in the affirmative. The Board of Education is called upon to deal, both in an administrative and in a quasi-judicial capacity, with matters which are the subject of acute political controversy. It is, therefore, in the highest degree essential that officers of the Board should not incur even the remote risk of becom- 1693 ing labelled with a party badge. I am quite aware that London borough council elections are not necessarily fought on political lines, but it not infrequently happens that they are so fought. I consider it, therefore, desirable to have one general rule in the Board of Education which admits of no exceptions. The answer to the concluding paragraph is in the affirmative.