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Education

Volume 154: debated on Wednesday 31 May 1922

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Local Authorities' Accounts

12.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will give the names of the members of the Advisory Committee of representatives of local authorities which considered the subject of the Order and Memorandum issued by the Minister of Health in December, 1921, in reference to the form of accounts presented by local education authorities and whether he is aware that the representatives of the Association of Education Committees asked to be allowed to see the proposed form of the new annual statement of accounts and were not allowed to do so?

The members of the Advisory Committee whom I consulted were:

  • Mr. E. Darnell,
  • Mr. F. O. Whiteley,
  • Mr. W. Bateson
  • Mr. J. W. Forster,
  • Mr. H. J. Hoare,
  • Mr. W. A. Davies,
representing the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants, and
  • Mr. F. H. Owers,
representing the County Accountants' Society.

As regards the second part of the question, the omission to consult the representatives of the local education authorities was due to a misunderstanding which my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Education much regrets.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there was a direct request by the Association of Education Committees to see the new form, and that that request was not complied with?

I have said in my answer that they were not consulted owing to a misunderstanding on the part of the Board of Education.

Would it not be possible even now to consult the association so as to see that this new form does meet the needs of the case?

The question should be addressed to the President of the Board of Education. It is a Board of Education matter.

Continuation Schools, London

28.

asked the President of the Board of Education whether a date has yet been fixed for the closing of the continuation schools in London, and, if not, who is responsible for the delay; and what is the monthly cost of these schools?

The answer to the first part of the question is in the negative. Legislation will be introduced to relieve the London County Council of their statutory obligation to continue to maintain these schools. The cost of maintaining the schools was estimated at, approximately, £400,000 for the year 1922–23.

Is the President of the Board of Education considering what steps, if any, are to be taken to deal with the large number of adolescents who are idle at this most critical period of their lives? How does the right hon. Gentleman propose to deal with the situation?

Housing (Rates)

13.

asked the Minister of Health if he is yet in a position to state the results of his investigations into the desirability of adopting the principle, current in certain parts of the United States, of exempting newly-built houses from the payment of rates for a period in order to encourage new building?

I would refer to the reply which I gave on 16th May to a similar question by the hon. and gallant Member for Stirling and Clackmannan (Major Glyn).

Milk

14.

asked the Minister of Health whether legislation is proposed to secure clean milk; if so, whether such legislation will involve any important char we in the machinery and plant at present in use in large numbers of dairies; and, if so, will he arrange for adequate notice to be given of such change and for a reasonable period to be provided after the date of the proposed legislation to enable owners of dairies to make suitable arrangements without being involved in heavy losses?

Yes, Sir. I hope that it will be possible to introduce a Bill on this subject at an early date, and I will certainly bear in mind the point raised in the question.

Hong Kong (Treatment Of Children)

17.

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether, by treaty, convention, or other instrument, any express or implied obligation lies upon the Government of Hong Kong to respect the customs and customary law of the Chinese?

By a Proclamation dated the 1st of February, 1841, the Chinese inhabitants of Hong Kong were secured in the free exercise of their religious rites, ceremonies and social customs. I am not aware of any similar provision in any treaty or convention, and in fact the Treaty of Nanking, 1842, ceded Hong Kong to be governed by such laws and regulations as Her Majesty the Queen should see fit to direct.

As the British are barely between ½ and 1 per cent. of the population, is not the recent Proclamation of the Governor regarding the Little Sisters (mui tsai) an exceedingly spirited negation of self-determination?

I think that is a supplementary question which would be justified on its own showing.

Does the right hon. Gentleman know what is the percentage of the British in Madras?

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in 1842 there was no Chinese population at Hong Kong?

I really do not see why I should be asked to engage in a Debate on this matter.