HC Deb 19 November 1852 vol 123 c247

I beg, Sir, to ask the noble Lord the Secretary for Ireland whether it be the intention of Her Majesty's Government to propose any alteration in the system of national education at present established in Ireland?


I was certainly not aware, Sir, that any intimation had been given by any Member of Her Majesty's Government, that it was their intention to propose any alteration in the system of national education in Ireland, and I am bound to say that it is not the intention of the Government to propose any such alteration. I have further to state that they would view with considerable regret any alteration in that system that would interfere with its efficiency, and deprive the people of Ireland of the benefits of education, which are now so largely extended amongst them. If it shall seem to any hon. Gentleman on either side of the House, either that the object for which that system was originally established has not been fully carried out, or that by an addition to, or the amendment of, any of the existing rules, conscientious scruples might be avoided, and extended spheres of usefulness given to the system, it would be the duty of Government not only to acquiesce but to assist in such an inquiry to the utmost of their power, and to give any proposal that was made of that nature all the care and consideration which the difficulty and delicacy of the subject demand.

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