asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, with reference to Despatches from and to the Governor of the Straits Settlements, lately published—viz. No. 19, of March 18th, 1875, and No. 23, of May 17th, 1875, and also with reference to a previous Despatch, No. 74, of January 30th, 1875, and enclosed letter from Mr. J. G. Davidson, Whether Her Majesty's Government has permitted an officer holding the appointment of British Resident in Salanpore to remain interested in private financial transactions with the Chief of that State, and to obtain commercial concessions from him?
There has been a good deal of correspondence of a confidential character upon this subject, which in the interest of the public service it has not been considered advisable to publish. I may mention, however, that it was suggested to the Governor by the Secretary of State that, in consequence of commercial arrangements with the native officials, it would be preferable that some employment should be found elsewhere for Mr. Davidson, who is believed to be a most efficient public servant. I regret, however, to hear that this gentleman's state of health is such that his return home is expected very shortly.
Elementary Education Bill—School Fees—Question
asked the Vice President of the Council, Whether, under Clause 24 of the Elementary Education Bill, it is intended to give the different local committees authority to decide the ability of the parent to pay the ordinary school fee; and, whether it is the duty of such committees, if satisfied of the inability, to give the parent sufficient money to pay the said fee?
It is certainly intended in the Elementary Education Bill that Boards of Guardians only should have the power of deciding as to the ability of parents to pay the school fee and of paying such fees, and not the committees which they or the Town Councils may appoint. If there is any uncertainty as to the wording of the clause, I shall take care to set it right in Committee.