On behalf of the noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone, I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he has yet received any reply from the Merionethshire local education authority with respect to the payment of the salaries of the teachers of non-provided schools; and, if so, what is the substance of such reply.
Yes, Sir, the local authority have informed the Board of Education that they fully recognise the inconvenience caused to the teachers in the voluntary schools by the delay in the payment of the salaries, and that the grants received in respect of such schools have all been expended upon their maintenance, but, inasmuch as they have decided that public rates are only to be utilised in maintaining those schools over which they exercise full control, they regret they are not in a position to pay the salaries which fell due on June 30th; but I am informed that a further communication from the council will reach me to-day.
In the event of an unsatisfactory answer being still given, will the right hon. Gentleman take proceedings to see that these teachers receive their full salaries?
Has the right hon. Gentleman been informed that as a matter of fact every salary of every teacher in the twenty-one non-provided schools in Merionethshire has been paid?
I have no information of that kind, but I have no reason to suppose it is not true. In reply to the hon. Gentleman opposite, I can only repeat what I said the other afternoon. Until the salaries have been paid by the managers who are primarily responsible I have no liberty under the Defaulting Authorities Act to consider the question whether I should put the Act in force.
Does the right hon. Gentleman persist in saying he will not send a circular to the managers advising them that the Government will see them through if the salaries are paid?
As I read the Act of Parliament I have no authority to take the course suggested. I cannot guarantee to pay public money except under statutory authority.
In the letter which he received this morning from the authority, was the right hon. Gentleman informed that the salaries have all been paid?
No; had I been so informed I should have been able to give a different reply to my hon. friend.
Can the right hon. Gentleman say who paid these salaries?
If I had had the information I should have been able to give it my hon. friend.