15 APRIL 1876, Page 1

Yesterday week, Mr. ICnatchbull-Hugessen brought before the House of Commons'

tile petition of the great majority of the Assistant-Masters of the seven Public Schools against the thir- teenth clause of the Public Schools Act of 1868, which renders them liable to be summarily dismissed at the pleasure of their respective Head Masters ; and he moved for a Select Committee to corisider whether any and what alterations should be made in the existing relations between the Governing Bodies, the Head Masters, and the Assistant-Masters of the Public Schools. Besides a very great majority of the Assistant-Masters, the Head Masters of Winchester (Dr. Ridding), of Harrow (Dr. Butler), of Rugby (Dr. Jex Blake), and of ...hrewsbury (Mr. Moss),—no doubt, the elite of the Head Masters,—are in favour of giving an Assistant-Master of a certain standing an ap- peal to the Governing Body against dismissal, and Dr. Hornby, of Eton, has expressed himself in favour of the same step. There remain Dr. Scott, of Westminster, and Dr. Haig-Brown, of Charter- house, who are not in favour of the step ; but Dr. Haig-Brown had been strongly favourable to it no longer ago than last December, so that his conversion had been sudden ; and Dr. Scott, though wishing to maintain the power of the Head Master, holds that no master of standing and proved efficiency ought to be dismissed without due notice given, and without definite reasons communicated in writing to the master dismissed, so as to admit of reply, though without giving any opening for the reversal of the Head Master's decision. We have reviewed this difficult question elsewhere. Here we may say that we are not sure that the favour accorded to this limitation of their power by the Head Masters is nearly so strong an .argument in its favour as the wish of the Assistant-Masters. The prerogative of dismissal is a disagreeable sort of responsibility, whiqh even a courageous Head Master would always prefer to divide with a Governing Body. --