HC Deb 09 June 1874 vol 219 cc1282-98

rose, pursuant to Notice, to move— That, in the opinion of this House, the present position of the National School Teachers of Ireland, and the discontent which prevails amongst that important body of public servants, call for the early attention of Her Majesty's Government, with a view to a satisfactory adjustment of their claims. The hon. Member said, it was now 40 years since the national school system was introduced into Ireland, and during the whole of that period there had been complaints that the position of the teachers was unsatisfactory. Occasionally, attempts had been made to improve it; but these attempts had so far failed that if something was not done speedily the whole system must fall to ruin for the want of properly trained and educated teachers. His Motion embraced two points—first, that the position of the Irish national school teachers was unsatisfactory; and, second, that the Government were bound to bring forward a remedy. With respect to the first point it was not necessary for him to say more than that ever since 1861, when the system commanded the respect and had the co-operation of the Roman Catholics, the highest salaries paid to teachers in first-class schools was £52 a-year, while the average in second and third-class schools might be taken at £37 a-year. One of the greatest grievances experienced by the teachers was the want of residences, because there was only about 14 per cent of the whole body who had residences provided for them. In many places in Ireland it was impossible to obtain residences near the schools, and the teachers, both male and female, had to walk miles in the morning to get to the schools, and the same distance back at night, often in the midst of drenching rain, to perform their duties. With the rise in prices of all kinds it was impossible for the teachers to live upon such salaries. The system itself might be said to have been successful, perhaps in consequence of the self-sacrifice of those by whom it had been carried out. Prom the first Report of the Commissioners in 1833 it appeared there were then 104,900 children attending the schools, which numbered 709, whereas there were now 924,699 children attending the schools, which numbered 7,160. Besides this the national system had been largely supplemented by voluntary efforts, so that there were now in existence 1,353 vested and 4,294 non-vested schools. These facts showed that the Irish people were anxious to work with the Government in carrying out education in Ireland. In the next place he contended that the school teachers in Ireland were as much the servants of the Crown as any other servants in the Civil Service, and that they, therefore, had a right to apply to Government and to that House for a redress of any grievance. In 1868 a Royal Commission, which had considered the subject, made three recommendations—first, that the salaries were insufficient, and ought to be increased; secondly, that residences should by provided; and, lastly, that there should be a system of retiring pensions. Instead of adopting these recommendations, however, the Government spent about £100,000 upon a system of what was called payment by results. This was only an experiment to last until the present year; and it had practically failed, because the amounts obtained under it by the teachers were insufficient to give any substantial increase of income to them; because certain allowances before granted had ceased; and because also the school fees diminished when the parents knew that the teacher was paid by results. In infant schools also the system worked very badly indeed. The dissatisfaction which existed with the service was shown by the fact that during the whole time that the national system had been in existence no less than 5,745 teachers had voluntarily left the service; and each of them had cost the country in training about £50. Another result of the present state of things was that a very inferior class of men were offering their services as teachers in the Irish schools. In England the cases of the teachers were better. Twenty-five per cent of the English teachers had residences found them, and first-class male teachers received £103 4s. 10d. per annum, and first-class female teachers £62 9s. 1d. per annum. In Scotland the average salary was £110, so that in Ireland, whore the average was £42, the teachers had to support their families on one-half the sum received by their brethren on this side of the channel and maintain themselves in respectability. Besides, no pensions were granted, though gratuities at the rate of £10 for 10 years' service were occasionally awarded to teachers who became disabled; and there were no less than 111 in the workhouse, and as many as 26 in one union. The system under which these miserable sums were paid was a State system, and he thought it a disgrace to the Legislature that State servants should be so wretchedly remunerated. Their demand was a very moderate one—namely, that those of the third-class should receive a minimum salary of £1 a week, those of the second-class £1 10s., and those of the first-class, of which there were only 120, £2. They asked to be enabled to live, and nothing more. If the House looked at what was expected of these teachers, it would wonder at the small sum asked by them. The questions asked of these men in examination demanded great knowledge, some of which was not very common. In some of the papers recently set, candidates were asked such things as the number of vertebrae in the neck of a mammal—and the number of forms which might be adopted by a Member of the House of Commons who wished to oppose a Motion. The police constable was better paid than these men, and he did not ask too much when he asked that an immediate remedy should be applied to a crying evil.


said: I shall detain the House only for a short time in seconding the Motion, which has been so fully explained and so well enforced by the hon. Member for Kildare. I am sure, if facts and arguments are to have due weight attached to them, it will be admitted that the hon. Member has made out a conclusive case for a body of men and women who are discharging duties admitted on all hands to lie at the very foundation of the future prosperity of Ireland. And yet I should like to present the subject in a somewhat different light from that which has been so well and so copiously thrown upon it by my hon. Friend. I would not make this question one that concerns only the national teachers, or present any ad misericordiam appeal on their behalf. We ought rather to regard it as one which concerns deeply the honour and welfare of the country. Hon. Members of the House generally must have listened with pleasure to the testimony borne by the hon. Member to the success of the national system, and to the benefits it has conferred on Ireland during the last 40 years, and this testimony is all the more valuable because my hon. Friend has a right to speak for that large portion of the Irish people who have had their misgivings for some years as to the appropriateness of the national system to the wants of the Irish population. I do not wish to take more out of the hon. Member's words than they conveyed; but I must express my recognition of their wisdom and patriotism. I was going on to say that this is a question that affects the country rather than the teachers, for I can hardly imagine a greater misfortune to befall Ireland than to allow the education of the young to fall into the hands of incompetent men, and this must be the result unless Parliament see to it that adequate inducements are held out to men of efficiency and competence to enter upon the work. The national school teachers of Ireland have hitherto lived in the hope of seeing their just claims conceded, and I am happy to know that there is still a considerable number of them who are bringing to the service of the State an intelligence and zeal which must be their own reward, for they are but miserably requited in the small pittance they receive for their labours. But the House needs not to be told that this state of things will not and cannot last. Those who have already embarked upon the life of schoolmasters must now make the best of it; but their unsatisfactory position and their complaints will deter others from following their example, and the competence of national teachers will inevitably be impaired. The hon. Member who introduced the subject has brought forward facts as to salaries which can scarcely be thought of as anything but a scandal to the State. £40 a-year for a man and his family, living as a schoolmaster ought to live, would not do more than keep the wolf from the door. A pound sterling this year is not, and does not mean, the same thing it did in 1832, or even 10 years ago. A fixed salary, with a changeable price of commodities, is an absurdity. There is hardly anything absolute in the world—all is relative; and if there is one thing more than another which is relative to other things it is the value of money. In 1832 a labouring man in Ireland got 8d. or 10d. a-day for his work—he now gets 2s., and for spring and harvest work he gets sometimes 4s. a-day. No doubt this arises partly from a decrease of the labouring population, but it springs principally from an increase in the price of commodities. He could not live on that which gave him and his family bread in 1832, or even in 1852. I admit that you may get the children of Ireland educated at the same price that education cost 20 years ago, but it will not be the same education. We have heard of 12 razors being bought for 1s. 6d; but the man who tried to shave with one of them is set down in history—or at any rate in poetry—among the ignoble army of martyrs. There is no use in thinking that you can get education of the same kind, at the same price that it cost, some years after the Irish famine. You will restore the old hedge-school system of training, and the education of the people will become a mockery and a mischief. If there is one thing in which this House of Commons ought to divorce itself from economy, it is in its Votes for educational purposes. Whatever may have been the parsimony of the late Government in some Departments—and I am not going to repine at that parsimony—no one, I think, could fairly charge it with a desire to starve the educational interests of the country; and so far as Ireland is concerned, we are aware that it was not the fault of the late Government if Ireland did not get a considerably increased grant for the promotion of the higher education of the Irish people. Well, perhaps the present Government may not wish to project measures so ambitious—not, however, too ambitious for an earnest and powerful Ministry—but surely the placing of the elementary system in Ireland on a more secure foundation, as regards the teaching department, is an aim which involves no risk, either political or economical. I am informed that a substantial increase is to be made to the salaries of some of the higher functionaries who are at the head of the Education Department in Ireland. I make no objection to that. Men in high office must be paid for their administrative abilities, and we have as resident Commissioner of Education in Ireland a gentleman whose merits, as an administrator, will always be more than abreast of any reward you will give him. But I earnestly ask the Government to consider the comforts of the men and women who are doing the hard practical work throughout the country, who are coming into daily contact with the minds of Irish children, forming their opinions, and really determining what the Ireland of the future is to be. I am not alone in thinking that the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary has the good of Ireland at heart, and, what is more important still, that he takes on many questions just and enlightened views of public policy for that country. It is somewhat to be regretted that Ireland is not deemed of sufficient consequence to give the Minister who presides over its affairs in Parliament an opportunity of enforcing his opinions in the more secret counsels of the Cabinet. But I shall not dwell on any general topics of that kind. What we have before us is this—the hon. Member for Kildare has read us statistics to show that there are 9,000 national teachers in Ireland, who receive on the average a little over £40 per annum, or in the gross £364,000. How far would that sum go at the Admiralty? We could not get one ship for it. We have heard it asserted from a bench below the gangway on the other side of the House more than once this Session, that we have no Navy. Now, suppose we were to set about getting a Navy, what would £364,000 do towards its construction? Why, you would vote millions and millions before you would begin to grudge it. Without disparaging the defensive armaments of the present or future, I venture to express the opinion that for the credit, the defence, and the ultimate power of this country, the 9,000 national school teachers of Ireland are worth a great deal more than one iron-clad ship. For all the reasons I have stated, I cordially second the Motion made by the hon. Member for Kildare.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, in the opinion of this House, the present condition of the National School Teachers of Ireland, and the discontent which prevails amongst that important body of public servants, call for the early attention of Her Majesty's Government, with a view to a satisfactory adjustment of their claims."—(Mr. Meldon.)


said, that it would be a misfortune if this debate were taken part in only by hon. Members of the Liberal side of the House. He complimented the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Meldon) on the ability and good taste with which he had brought the subject before the House. Many questions relating to Ireland had been discussed, and had received the attention of Parliament this Session; but none was of such vast importance to the country as this. It was a discredit to the Legislature and to the House of Commons that such a state of things should have existed so long without any united effort having been made by both parties to put an end to it. Many hon. Members, of various political opinions, earnestly hoped that the subject would receive not only the immediate, but the most favourable consideration of the Government. As an act of justice to the teachers, to the children they instructed, and to the national education system itself, which the hon. Gentleman who brought forward the Motion admitted to have been in the past a success, the system ought to be made a complete and permanent success, and the way to produce that result would be to show common justice to those who were entrusted with the education of the younger classes. He could assure the Government that there was a very strong feeling upon the subject among Irish Members on his side.


said, he wished to move an Amendment by adding a few words to the Resolution. He thought it desirable that the teachers should be paid better; but the Resolution did not say from what sources the increases should be derived, and he proposed to supply the deficiency with the words "by means of increased allowances from local sources." He was glad to learn from an Irish newspaper that when a deputation recently waited upon the Lord Lieutenant on that subject, the noble Duke told it that for any addition to the salaries of local teachers it must look to local sources. It had been said that the 9,000 teachers received only £300,000 a-year. It was true that in a printed statement that income was given at £324,000; but by another, and, as he ventured to say, higher authority—namely, the Report of the Commissioners of Education—the amount was stated to be £436,950; and in another part of the same Report, having reference to the additional grants which had been made on account of results, it was stated that the teaching staff of the schools in connection with the Board appeared to have received £501,053. Again, of the whole expenditure for the schools, only 13 per cent was locally provided, 87 per cent being supplied by means of Government grants. He thought that was a state of things which was not at all right in relation to the other ratepayers of the United Kingdom, who might justly claim that as they had equal rights and privileges, so there should also be equal burdens. It was discreditable to the landed interest of Ireland that it only contributed £13,000, while England and Scotland paid two-thirds of their school expenses from local sources. He did not wish to enter into statistics connected with that subject; but he must remark that while Ireland received £547,000, Scotland received only £130,000, though Scotland contributed to the Imperial Exchequer about £1,000,000 a-year more than Ireland. Did it not come to this—that England and Scotland, and especially Scotland, were mere "hewers of wood and drawers of water" for Ireland? He contended that such a system was altogether unjust. He admitted that the Irish teachers ought to have larger pay than they now received; but as the Lord Lieutenant told the deputation of which he had spoken, they ought to obtain it from local sources and not from the national Exchequer. Though the Irish scholars were said to be nearly 1,000,000, the average daily attendance was only 38 per cent. or 373,371, while in England and Scotland it was 84 per cent. The average attendance at each school was only 38, as compared with 140 in the sister Kingdoms, a fact indicating that schools had been multiplied for the purpose of obtaining grants. Before coming to any conclusion on that subject, the Government would do well carefully to consider the whole matter. In England and Scotland the expenditure on education, according to the Privy Council's last Returns, amounted to £2,146,572, of which the Government paid only £755,049, and the rest was raised from local resources. It had been said that the Scotch teachers received on the average £110 each, besides a house to live in. He was afraid the average was not quite so high as that; but the reason why those salaries were now paid was that when Scotland was almost a barren heath, two centuries ago, landowners by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland, assessed themselves to build a school and a schoolmaster's house in every parish, and to pay the whole of the schoolmaster's salary, and other expenses of the school; and now every cotter rated at £4 contributed to the support of the system. His advice to the landowners of Ireland was, "Go and do likewise." He therefore moved the addition to the Resolution of the words, "by means of increased allowances from local sources."


seconded the Amendment.

Amendment proposed, to add, at the end of the Question, the words "by means of increased allowances from local sources."—(Mr. M'Laren.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there added."


said, he thought the brief statement of the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren), and the Amendment with which he had concluded, showed that the question was hardly in a position at which it would be satisfactory for the House to come to a definite conclusion upon it that evening. The matter to be decided might be arranged under three heads. "Was the position of the national school teachers of Ireland unsatisfactory? If unsatisfactory, how could it be best remedied? and, if a remedy were to be applied, out of what fund or resources was the money to come? With regard to the first part of the question, he considered the hon. and learned member for Kildare (Mr. Meldon) had stated the case fairly, and had shown that the present position of the teachers was not only unjust to themselves, but injurious to the interests of education. It was, however, an exaggeration to state that they had been driven to the workhouse. This question had been recently considered by the Government, and to a considerable extent the recommendations of the Commissioners of 1868 and 1870 had been carried out. It was quite true, as had been stated by the hon. Member, that 5,745 teachers had left the service, but he forgot to mention that those secessions extended over a period of 40 years. The last Returns did not appear to show that the insufficient pay of the teachers led any great number of them to leave the service. Out of 3,518 trained teachers, only 159 retired in 1873, of whom 32 received retiring gratuities. Of the 9,150 teachers alluded to as receiving an average salary of £42 a-year, it was omitted to be stated by the hon. Member for Kildare that 2,500 were only assistant-pupil teachers, who should not, of course, be included in the average, as they were only learning their work, and would not be included in a similar average for England. The salaries of the principal teachers were—male £52, female £42, with considerable grants in the shape of fees for results. The salaries of the third class assistant teachers were, men £24, women £20 a-year, with the money derived from results which might be added to those sums. These were not by any means large salaries. Not very long ago, in accordance with a proposal made by the noble Lord the late Chief Secretary for Ireland, the sum voted for salaries had been increased by £104,000 in the shape of payment for results. Still, the salaries now paid in Ireland did not compare favourably with those paid to the teachers in England. Yet it must not be forgotten that the quality of the work done might not be so good. The English certificated teachers spent two years in a training college to fit them for their duties, while in Ireland a teacher was regarded as trained after a period of five months similarly spent. It was scarcely to be expected under those circumstances that the Irish teacher should obtain quite as high a salary as the English; but undoubtedly there was a very considerable difference between the position of the teachers in the two countries, and he thought the Irish teachers had a very fair ground for saying their present position was unsatisfactory. The hon. Member for Kildare had mentioned three respects in which it was unsatisfactory—namely, in the amount of the salaries, the want of pensions, and the want of residences. The last of those three points seemed to him the most important of all. Particularly in thinly-populated districts, where they now had to go considerable distances to their schools, it would obviously be a very great advantage to the female teachers, especially, to have convenient residences provided for them. He might add that, looking at the mode in which the Government at present made grants for the erection of schools, which were vested in the National Board—namely, by finding two-thirds of the cost, it did seem to him that the time had come when the same system might be extended to residences, also to be vested in the National Board. If that were done it might be considered how far it would be possible to apply sums disposable for the purpose in order to provide allowances for rent for the teachers of those non-vested schools, for whom it would be very difficult for the State otherwise to provide. Now, with regard to pensions, the teachers had made a claim to be placed on the footing of Civil Servants, but it ought to be remembered that there was this difference in their position—that the teachers were appointed, and were liable to be dismissed by the local managers of their schools. He therefore thought that the only way by which those wished-for pensions could be provided would be by stoppage from the salaries, if the salaries were sufficiently augmented to allow of it, by which means, after some time, a sufficient sum for the purpose could be raised. That led him directly to the question of salaries. Now, as he had already said, they had in the last two years, been largely increased. That increase, in the shape of payment by results, was given only as a temporary experiment. It was to last for three years, and the third of those years was now running. The result seemed to him so satisfactory, that the experiment, so far as it had gone, must necessarily be permanent. But if the salary was to be increased, the question would arise whether the best means of doing that would be by increasing the salary itself, or by increasing the payment by results. Now on that point he would observe that the national school teachers of Ireland had an advantage over those of England. In England the teachers had no fixed salary, and were paid only by results. In Ireland the teachers received a large portion of their remuneration in the form of a fixed salary. On any proposal being made, therefore, to increase the salaries of the Irish school teachers, he thought, at any rate, that the whole increase ought not to be made in the way of an addition to the fixed salaries. He thought there was great force in the arguments in support of the principle of payment by results; and though, no doubt, there might be difficulties—from causes which were felt more seriously in Ireland than in England—in teachers obtaining a good attendance of scholars, there was no doubt that the fact of the large grant of £104,000 being earned, proved that they could in some way or other obtain those attendances. Now supposing that there were fair and proper grounds for this demand of the teachers to be placed in a better position, the question arose, on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren), from what source should the necessary funds be derived? He did not want to lead the House into a discussion of the relative position of England, Scotland, and Ireland in reference to this question; but he might mention a fact which had been stated to a deputation which waited on the Lord Lieutenant on the subject—namely, that while the local or private contributions in England amounted to £64 8s. per cent of the whole expenditure, in Ireland they amounted only to £13 14s. There was no doubt, however, that the two systems were not on the same footing. There were laws for enforcing local contributions in England, by compelling localities to be rated. The national system which was in force included no such power; but after many difficulties and struggles, had gained a position which he was glad to hear so fully admitted by the hon. Member for Kildare. But he thought it idle to expect that in Ireland such large sums could be contributed to meet the Parliamentary grant as were contributed in England for the same purpose. He must say, however, that it did seem to him that it would be a question that would well deserve the serious attention of the Government and of Parliament, whether a further amount in addition to that now provided ought not to be obtained from local sources in Ireland? He trusted, therefore, the House would not on that occasion, either by the adoption of the Motion of the hon. Member for Edinburgh, or by the original Motion, pronounce any decision upon the question, whether the increase should be obtained from local or Imperial sources? He would ask the House to leave it in the hands of the Government. He hoped he had not shown himself insensible to the demands of the Irish teachers, and he could fairly promise, on behalf of the Government, that they would endeavour to meet those demands with a due consideration for the interests both of local and of Imperial contributories to the expenditure.


said, that the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary had correctly described the action of the late Government in this matter in speaking of it as an experiment of a temporary character. It was not the fact, however, that the temporary character of the experiment was due to any doubt entertained by the late Government as to the value of the principle of payment by results. It was intended by the late Government that the experiment should be extended over three years, after which it should be for Parliament and the Government to consider the terms on which the original salaries were granted. As he had said, it was not from any doubt of the practical value of payment by results that the late Government made the proposals they did; but it was felt that when Parliament was making considerable additions to the salaries of the teachers the system could not be regarded in other respects as perfectly satisfactory. It was felt that the addition then made to their salaries was as great as ought to be demanded from Parliament; and he hoped that the time had now come when some scheme might be suggested whereby additional assistance could be obtained either from the ratepayers or from private sources. Holding the opinions he did, it was impossible for him to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Kildare. The termination of the period of three years pointed to next year as the time when this question should be reconsidered. It would then be impossible for Parliament to look upon this as a mere question of the payment of school teachers. It was evident from what they had heard that evening, that under the present system there was no prospect of obtaining larger contributions from private sources. Those contributions, it appeared, were actually falling off, and the tendency of the present system was that the whole payment should fall upon the State while the State retained in its own hands very little or nothing of the management of the schools. He could conceive the State taking upon itself the entire payment of the teachers, and then retaining, if not the entire share, at all events, a very large share, of the management. They knew that managers were not very much disposed to relax their share of the management, yet they hardly did anything themselves for the support of the schools. Whether a school rate ought to be adopted for Ireland he did not know; but whenever the addition to the salaries of the teachers came before the House for reconsideration it would be necessary to decide whether it would be possible to go on very much longer increasing the contributions of the State, while the State did not increase in any degree its share and influence in the management of the schools.


confessed that he was not disappointed at the speech of the Chief Secretary for Ireland. Good intentions and general assurances were as much as could be expected from him under the peculiar circumstances and novelty of his position. The answer to the arguments and objections of the hon. Member for Edinburgh was that local aid and local taxation could not be resorted to for the support of a Government scheme of education not in harmony with the opinions and sentiments of the people. He (Mr. Synan) maintained that properly educated men could not be got to undertake the duties of teachers, because the salary scarcely exceeded the pay of an agricultural labourer, and contended that the whole question of education in Ireland was being imperilled and endangered owing to the system of starvation at present in vogue. He admitted the justice of the principle of providing pensions out of the salaries; but in this instance there was so little from which to deduct that an increase must be made before any deduction could be thought of. It was idle to draw a comparison between the state of things in Scotland, where the system of education was in every sense national, suited to the habits, and framed to meet the wishes of the people, and where all had been done by voluntary effort, and in Ireland, where the system they had was one which was forced upon the population. It was impossible to deny that the teachers were shamefully treated, and that this treatment had the worst possible effect upon the education of the country.


observed, that it was admitted on all hands that the salaries of the teachers were inadequate; that their position was a sad one; and that their labour, generally very well performed, deserved better treatment. It was a mistake to suppose that there was any tendency to multiply schools, and the reason why they appeared more numerous in some cases than necessary was owing to the sparseness in many quarters of the agricultural population. The question was, how was the additional money for the school teachers of Ireland to be obtained? The system of payment by results had worked admirably. He knew 20 schools, situated in four different counties in Ireland, and there the system had worked well, and from information received he learned that it had worked well elsewhere. It corrected the great evil in the system, and that was the absence of children. If they wished to look forward, however, to an increase in the system they must depend in a great measure on local contributions, and if they were not liberally supplied he, for one, would support the establishment of a school rate in Ireland. He had heard with pleasure the statement of the Chief Secretary for Ireland.


said, that while advocating the claims of the national school teachers to some increase of their salary he must bear testimony to the fact that a very large amount was subscribed every year for the support of those schools which gave free education. He was glad the question had boon brought forward by the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Meldon), and recognized by that House, but he would advise the hon. Member to withdraw his Motion.


admitted that the question was surrounded with difficulties; but he never knew any question affecting a large class of Her Majesty's subjects that was not in the same position. He thought the time had arrived when this question of the additional payment of Irish school teachers should be boldly met and determined. He trusted that the Government would consider the recommendation which had been made by an Inspector of National Schools in Ireland in reference to the increase of the salaries of the Irish teachers and the very general expression of opinion on both sides of the House that they had a grievance which urgently called for a remedy. He hoped his hon. Friend would not withdraw his Motion.


said, he sympathized with the case of the Irish national teachers, but thought that after the promise made by the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary for Ireland, the Motion ought in their own interests to be withdrawn.


observed, that the House found itself placed in a somewhat embarrassing position. The question under discussion had not come before it that night for the first time. It had been dealt with by the House two years ago, with the intention that in the third year the whole matter should be reconsidered; and now, in the second year, the hon. Member for Kildare (Mr. Meldon), having, no doubt, a strong case on behalf of the Irish national teachers, brought forward the present Motion. Not content, however, with that, he had laid down a particular scheme for the adoption of the House and the Government. To such a course the Government could not possibly assent. They would not bind themselves to take any particular step as to the source from which it would be necessary—as he believed it would be-to increase the salaries of many of the teachers in Ireland. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren), on the other hand, would also force the House into a false position. If the hon. Gentleman went to a division, he should vote against his Amendment, as he would then be compelled to do against the Motion, because he did not wish the Government to be tied down to the particular interpretation placed upon it by the hon. Member for Kildare. His right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland had suggested a scheme as to residences which was certainly worthy of consideration; he had also admitted that there existed grievances which ought to be remedied; and what he (Mr. Hardy) would suggest was that, under the circumstances, the Motion and the Amendment should both be withdrawn, as a division on either would not elicit the real opinion of the House.


observed, that after the expression of opinion from the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, and from the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary for Ireland, to the effect that a grievance existed which ought to be remedied, he would not press his Motion to a division.


said, he would withdraw his Amendment.


regretted that the opinion of the House had not been taken on the subject of the Resolution.

Amendment and Motion, by leave, withdrawn.