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School Inspector (Retirement)

Volume 65: debated on Monday 20 July 1914

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asked the President of the Board of Education if his attention has been called to the case recently reported in which an inspector of the Board of Education in 1908 had his salary increment withheld by the secretary to the Board, although the usual increment certificate had been duly signed by the inspector's superior officer; if the inspector in question was subsequently retired on a small pension; if the secretary gave instructions and, if so, to whom, that the inspector should be informed of the reasons for stopping his advance; if such instructions were carried out; if, early in 1913, five years after the matter first arose, an inquiry was opened into the case; by whom such inquiry was ordered and of whom the Court consisted; if the inspector was given an opportunity of stating his case to the Court; if the Court made a report, and, if so, to whom; and if a copy of such Report can be laid upon the Table?

The case referred to is that of an inspector who was removed from his office as from the 30th September, 1911, on account of his inability to discharge efficiently the duties of his office. He had then served nine years, and under the provisions of the Superannuation Act of 18ST, the Treasury awarded him a lump sum of £175 11s. 1d. and a pension of £62 8s. per annum. In April, 1912, I received a statement, made on behalf of the inspector by his father, alleging grievances in respect of the circumstances which led up to his removal from the service. I directed an inquiry to be held into all the circumstances and into the grievances alleged, and requested Sir Thomas Milvain, K.C., Judge Advocate-General, to hold the inquiry. At the request of the complainants the inquiry was postponed until February, 1913. The case on both sides was conducted by eminent counsel instructed by solicitors, and the matters mentioned in the first eight lines of the hon. Member's question were all included in the reference to Sir Thomas Milvain. Sir Thomas Milvain reported to me that upon the eighth day of the inquiry the inspector, while under examination, expressed a desire to confer with his father and with counsel, and that a conference then took place between counsel on both sides, at which an agreement was reached and terms drawn up rendering further inquiry unnecessary. The agreement, of which a copy was furnished me by Sir Thomas Milvain, contained a withdrawal of all charges contained in the petition. In these circumstances, I see no advantage in now giving particulars of allegations, all of which have been withdrawn.

Was it not part of the agreement that the charge should be withdrawn in return for the lump sum paid as compensation?

I think there was no condition of that sort, but an undertaking was given by the Board of Education to use their best efforts.

The charges hanging over this man's head for five years were all withdrawn by the Board of Education?

The charges and allegations were made by an inspector; it was these allegations that were withdrawn.