Local Authorities (Accounts).

Oral Answers to Questions — Genoa Conference. – in the House of Commons on 29th March 1922.

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Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Frome

41 and 45.

asked (1) the Minister of Health whether, in the new form of accounts for education authorities, the receipts have to be submitted under approximately 67 different headings, and the expenditure under 210 separate headings; whether, owing to the intricacy of the form, the salary and travelling expenses of a director of education, for instance, will have to be entered under eight separate headings; whether, apart from the expenditure in purchasing new books of accounts, the form will in many counties call for the employment of additional clerical labour; whether more effective ways can be devised of securing educational efficiency with reduced expenditure;

(2) The Prime Minister whether he is aware that the executive of the Association of Education Committees have unanimously resolved to recommend local education authorities to decline to carry out the requirements of the Ministry of Health in elaborating the methods of school accounting and increasing bureaucratic control of education; and whether, in the interests of educational harmony and progress, local education authorities may be consulted before any such I schemes are elaborated in future?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

I am aware of the resolution referred to, and it is no doubt the case that the new form contains more detail than the old. As, however, I have previously explained, the Board of Education will be prepared for the current year to waive such details as cannot readily be given and to accept a Return as complete as the existing accounts will permit.

Photo of Sir Percy Hurd Sir Percy Hurd , Frome

Will the right hon. Gentleman kindly say whether the officials who set up this extreme type of officialism are still at large in the Department?

Photo of Sir Alfred Mond Sir Alfred Mond , Swansea West

These forms, I believe, are required by the Board of Education for the purpose of enabling them to have a better check over the accounts of the local authorities, so as to save money for the taxpayers.