HC Deb 15 June 1821 vol 5 cc1200-1

The House having gone into a committee of supply to which the Irish Estimates were referred.

Mr. Grant,

in moving that 20,000l. be granted for the support of Irish Protestant Charter Schools, said, that to some of the votes he could not give his unqualified approbation, though they were considerably reduced. The institutions in support of which the money was proposed to be voted, were so long established, that it was not possible to reduce them so speedily as could be wished.

Mr. Hume

said, he was happy to have the testimony of the right hon. secretary as to the impolicy of the grants for the support of institutions which had better depend upon charity. The general, and he believed the correct opinion in Ireland was, that when public money was paid out of the Treasury, for the purposes of pretended charity, it speedily became a job. These votes, though somewhat reduced, were still far greater than they should be. According to the act of Union, parliament was bound for twenty years to vote the same sum of money that had been voted for six years previously to the Union, Now, six years previously to the Union, the votes had only amounted to 79,354l.; though reduced from what they had been a few years ago, they still amounted to 245,000l. The whole Miscellaneous Estimates amounted, at the former time, to 217,000l.; they were now 348,000l. He hoped the right hon. secretary would bring back the public charities to the footing on which they should stand—general benevolence and individual contributions. He was sorry to see that a beginning had been made of voting in aid of public charities in this country, by the vote in aid of the Refuge for the Destitute; which if he had been present he should have opposed. He wished to ask a question on a subject, which perhaps the right hon. gentleman could explain. In 1794, the rent of the estates of the Protestant Charter Schools were 4,229l. a year. Now when it was to be expected that they would have increased, it was 3,357l. How did this happen? He wished to know whether these schools continued to receive children? He understood they had completely failed in the religious purpose for which they were intended, and that they were mere clothing and schooling charities.

Mr. Grant

admitted that the object for which the schools alluded to had been established, had completely failed.

After some further conversation, the several resolutions were agreed to, and the House resumed.