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Volume 217: debated on Monday 14 July 1873

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asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether his attention has been directed to the circumstance that at a recent election of a School Board at Stourbridge an individual obtained a majority of votes, who has on different occasions been convicted of assault, and who but recently returned from residence in Worcester Gaol; and, whether it might not be possible in a Bill for the Amendment of the Education Act of 1870, to provide that any one previously convicted of crime should be ineligible to serve on a school board?

in reply, said, he had reason to believe that one of the lately-elected members of the school board at Stourbridge had been convicted of assault—he did not know whether in more than one case—and, to use the euphemistic expression of the hon. Member, had recently returned from residence in Worcester Gaol. There was no provision in the Education Act which disqualified for election a man who was elected after he had been convicted of crime, and he could not say he should be prepared to advise the introduction of a disqualifying clause into the Amendment Bill of that year. This case might be regarded as an exceptional one, and the matter might fairly be left to the discretion of electors generally. If such a clause were introduced it would make the law affecting members of school boards different from the law affecting town councillors, and also hon. Members of that House.