I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that the prizes purchased out of the local rates for the Greenock Board Schools are given for religious knowledge according to the Presbyterian denomination, and that Roman Catholic children who are not sent to these schools are consequently deprived of a share in those prizes; and whether, seeing that the Roman Catholics have to contribute to the local rates for the education of the children of Presbyterians, and also have to build and maintain schools for themselves, he will provide a remedy for this grievance, either by allocating prizes to all Government-inspected schools, based on average attendance, or by abolishing the purchase of prizes out of the local rates, according to the course adopted at Paisley.
The Department has no power to interfere with the discretion of school boards in regard to the purchase of prizes out of the School Fund for pupils in public schools; nor has it funds at its disposal for allocating prizes to the pupils of all inspected schools. But the general question which the hon. Member perhaps wishes to raise on a particular case is not one which can be treated by question and answer in this House.
I should like to point out that this question has been very severely edited at the Table.
The question was shown to me, and I was informed that the hon. Member objected to some alterations that had been made in it. There has since been no opportunity of pointing out to the hon. Member that all that was cut out was irregular and dealt with questions of opinion. The gist of the question has not been altered in the least.