§ Mr. DELANY
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that hundreds of teachers of national schools have not yet been paid the triennial increments of salary to which, having complied with all the requisite conditions, they became entitled a year or more since; that letters from managers complaining of the delay are in many cases not even acknowledged; that even when acknowledged and early consideration of their contents promised, this consideration frequently means a delay of six, nine, or even 12 months; and whether, as the present condition of the National Education Office appears to be even worse than that of six to eight years ago, when, according to the resident Commissioner himself, it was hopelessly dislocated, he will advise His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant to have the present Board dissolved and an efficient and representative one appointed instead?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The Commissioners of National Education inform me that the award of increments to teachers is a process going on continuously from day to day in their office, and that there are always hundreds of pending cases. There are at present 300 cases under consideration that accrued before 1st April last, but of these nearly 250 accrued since 1st October last. The claims are dealt with promptly in all cases where there is evidence that the necessary conditions have been fulfilled, and all letters from managers are acknowledged. Complaints of delay in correspondence are rare, and all such complaints are strictly investigated. There does not appear to be any foundation for the statements made with regard to the condition of the National Education Office. The answer to the concluding paragraph of the question is in the negative.