§ (1.) £434,091, to complete the sum for Public Education, Ireland.1537
§ (2.) £480, to complete the sum for Endowed Schools Commissioners, Ireland.
§ (3.) £1,799, to complete the sum for the National Gallery of Ireland.
§ (4.) £4,162, to complete the sum for the Queen's University, Ireland.
(5.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £10,717, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which, will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1879, in aid of the Expense of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland.
§ MAJOR NOLAN
observed, that in the earlier part of the Session he used to object to the Votes on this account; but the Government always stated that the Votes were only for stationery, or some other incidental matters, and that the House could be divided on the main Question. Yet, although the opportunity of dividing upon the main Question had been promised, it had never arrived. The Government had brought in a Bill dealing with Education in Ireland, and several Members on that side of the House had raised objections to it. Under these circumstances, the question arose as to what the Irish Members should now do? For his own part, although he intended to be guided by the views of his Colleagues, he did not wish to have a long debate on Irish Education when they already had had a debate on Intermediate Education in Ireland, and when shortly the whole question of Irish Education would be fully entered into. For that reason, he should not raise a long discussion at that stage as he should otherwise have done. But it was only right that the Irish Members should formally protest against this Vote. There was no doubt that the Queen's Colleges in Ireland were not supported by the bulk of the people, and were repugnant to their feelings. In the Queen's Colleges no religion at all was taught; but all creeds in Ireland were religious, and objected to this system. Formerly, a great deal of money, between £50,000 and £100,000, was given by the State, or from very old endowments, and thrust down the throats of the people of Ireland in the shape of education; yet, although they objected to the system thus supported, the amount was reckoned in the Esti- 1538 mates as money spent on Ireland. The course he proposed to take under the circumstances was to move that this Vote of £12,817 should be reduced by the sum of £10,000.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £717, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1879, in aid of the Expense of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland."—(Major Nolan.)
§ MR. BUTT
doubted the desirability of the course proposed to be taken by the hon. and gallant Member for Galway. He did not object to a protest being made; but he was afraid that a division taken under present circumstances would have the effect of weakening any protest that might be made. He thought a half opposition was not a wise thing, and he would, therefore, appeal to his hon. and gallant Friend not to press his Amendment to a division.
also felt that a half opposition ought not to be offered, and he would recommend his hon. and gallant Friend to offer a whole opposition in the shape of a protest. He did not think, however, that under the peculiar circumstances in which this Vote came on, it would be wise on the part of his hon. and gallant Friend to afford an excuse or pretext to anybody, who might be supposed to be desirous of availing himself of it, for saying that the opposition of the Irish Members in reference to the Queen's Colleges justified any attempt the Government might make for withdrawing from the proposals which they were making on another subject. He, therefore, intended to content himself with simply recording his protest against these Estimates, in order that he might not be shut out next year from taking the course which the circumstances of the time might render desirable.
§ MR. O'SHAUGHNESSY
joined with his hon. and learned Colleague (Mr. Butt) in deprecating a division on the present occasion. He did so for the reason that, so far as the principle went, that principle had already been frequently asserted by repeated divisions.
§ MR. PARNELL
said, that as he was about the only Irish Member in the 1539 House when the Vote for the Queen's University was put from the Chair, owing to the speedy way in which the Estimates were brought on, perhaps he might be allowed to explain why he did not raise any opposition to that Vote. At the beginning of the Session he took a very different view respecting the Estimates for the Queen's University and Colleges from that which he held at present. He thought at that time that the only opportunity that would be afforded to Irish Members of showing their sense of the injustice with which Ireland had been treated in the matter of University Education would be when the Estimates for the Queen's Colleges were proposed; and, for his own part, he—and he believed many of the Irish Members also—had determined not to make a half-fight on the question of these Estimates, but to make a very real and severe fight. But the aspect of the case was now entirely altered. They had learned from a very high authority in the other House, that not only was the Bill, which they had been discussing that night, for the purpose of settling the question of Intermediate Education in Ireland, but that it was also intended to be the prelude to a settlement of the question of University Education in that country. Now, the question of the Estimates for the Queen's Colleges was connected with the subject of University Education in Ireland, and surely they might wait patiently until next Session and give the Government a chance of settling that question before taking action upon these Estimates? He did not see what object was to be gained even by taking a division against the Estimates. He did not approve of half plans. He did not believe in merely making a protest in that House about anything. He would only remind the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that just as he relied earlier in the Session upon the honour of the Irish Members in reference to this question of the Estimate for the Queen's Colleges, so the Irish Members now relied upon the honour of the right hon. Gentleman to settle the question of Intermediate Education this Session; and, if possible, to settle that of University Education in the next.
§ MR. MELDON
quite concurred in the view that unless they were to have a real battle it was better not to have a sham fight. Having already made a 1540 protest in the course of the present Session, he thought they might allow this Vote to pass without putting the Committee to the trouble of taking a division. He, therefore, joined in the appeal of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), that this matter should not be pressed to a division. He did not see what good could be got from it. There was, however, one matter to which he desired to call the attention of the Committee, and that was the unusual and unprecedented course which had been adopted on the present occasion. Certainly, since he had had the honour of a seat in Parliament, he had never known the Irish Education Estimates to have been introduced without a single word being said, or any explanation given by the Chief Secretary for Ireland, who was officially charged with this business. This was the more remarkable, when they considered the very large question which was involved, and which was discussed at an earlier period of the Session—namely, the question of the remuneration of the National School teachers. They were all expecting that when the Estimate came on they would have some declaration on the part of the Government as to what was going to be done in the matter. Certainly, the English Education Estimates would never have been allowed to pass without a single word being said by way of explanation on the part of the Minister who had charge of them. However, as the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary for Ireland had not taken him into his confidence, he should, on the Report of Supply, endeavour to extract from him the information which, out of courtesy to the Committee, the right hon. Gentleman ought to have given them on the present occasion. It was the first time that such a thing had ever happened; and it was unprecedented in the history of Parliament that the Irish Education Vote should be treated in such a manner.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
was sorry to find that the hon. and learned Gentleman thought he had been in any way wanting in courtesy either to him or the Committee. He (Mr. J. Lowther) certainly was not aware that he had ever entered into any engagement to make known the decision at which the Government might arrive with regard to 1541 the question of the Irish National School teachers upon the Estimates. Such an idea had never entered into his head. He stated at the time that it was a matter that would receive the attention of the Government, and that, in fact, it had been referred by the Treasury to actuaries, and that the Government were taking other measures with a view of arriving at a decision. But he had never for a moment held out any hope that during the present Session he would be prepared to deal with the question. As to the complaint that he had not contributed to swell the debate that night, he thought that what had fallen from hon. Gentlemen who had referred to the subject of the Queen's Colleges had supplied a sufficient justification of that course. He thought that he would best consult the convenience of the Committee if he confined himself to an acknowledgment of the very fair manner in which this matter had been dealt with by the Representatives from Ireland generally, and declined to re-open a controversy which all seemed to have agreed to allow to rest for the present.
§ MAJOR NOLAN
remarked, that although it was his own belief that they ought to take a division, yet he was not going to set his opinion against that of several Members of the Irish Party, and particularly the hon. and learned Member for Limerick (Mr. Butt), and he should certainly withdraw his Amendment. The people of Ireland would understand that if they did not divide it was owing to the very peculiar circumstances of the case that they took that course, and not because they in any way sanctioned this Vote. They had divided against the principle which it asserted several times at the beginning of the Session, so that Irish Members would no longer be open to the reproach addressed to them from the front Bench, that ever since the Vote was proposed no division had been taken against the Queen's Colleges.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. MELDON
explained, that he did not mean to convey to the Committee that the Chief Secretary had given any promise on the subject of Irish National School Teachers. What he had stated was, that it was the custom on the introduction of the Irish Education Esti- 1542 mates for the Minister to make a statement, and he had referred to the fact that a Resolution had been passed by the House that the immediate attention of the Government should be given to the question of the remuneration of these teachers.
Order, order! I must point out to the hon. and learned Member that the question which he is now discussing has reference to a Vote which has been already passed.
§ Original Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 172; Noes 18: Majority 154.—(Div. List, No. 211.)
(6.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £1,881, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1879, in aid of the Royal Irish Academy.
asked, whether the Government were in a position at the present time to give the Committee any explanation as to the state at which the proceedings had arrived with reference to the long promised establishment of a Museum of Science and Art in Dublin? He did not know if this was the Vote which the Government would think the most convenient for making any statement on the subject. If not, he would sit down; but whenever the proper time arrived, he should be glad of some explanation. It was only reasonable to ask for some explanation at the end of three years of good intention, and no realization, as yet.
§ MR. J. LOWTHER
said, he did not know that he could add very much, at the present moment, to the information already in the possession of the hon. and learned Gentleman. He thought, however, that he might give him the assurance that the matter was in progress, and he hoped it would soon be brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
§ MR. PARNELL
did not know whether this was quite the right Vote on which to bring this matter forward. He wished to inquire whether this was the Vote under which the Government proposed to appropriate money for the purposes of the Royal Dublin Society, and its conversion into a School of Science 1543 and Art. He rather thought not. Mr. J. LOWTHER: This is the Irish Academy Vote.] What he wished to know was, whether the Government proposed under this heading to appropriate any money for the purpose of the New Museum of Science and Art in Ireland, because he really did not see what other opportunity there would be of discussing this question, except that presented by the Vote itself. He knew that the question of the Governing Body was in a very unsatisfactory state, and the Irish Members had been waiting to hear from the Government what proposals they intended to make with regard to the constitution of that Body. They were very anxious to know whether it was to be an Irish Governing Body, or whether it was to be appointed by the South Kensington authorities, and under the direct control of that Institution? A great many people in Ireland, who were very much interested in this question, thought it would be a very great misfortune if the Governing Body of the New Museum of Science and Art was not of such a character as to make it essentially an Irish Institution, and not a mere appanage of South Kensington.
§ SIR HENRY SELWIN-IBBETSON
thought the hon. Member would find that the discussion of this subject would be more conveniently taken on Vote 2, Class 4, of the English Education Estimates, which included votes for the Dublin Science and Art Museum, National Library, and one or two other things.
observed, that he gathered from the statements of the Government that a portion of the Irish Vote was included in the sum voted for England. He thought they had some right to complain of that system; for it prevented them, in a great measure, getting the explanations they required.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(The O'Donoghue.)
§ MR. BUTT
hoped the Motion for reporting Progress would not be pressed. 1544 If the Votes were examined, it would be found that the sums required for the Irish Museum and School of Art were placed amongst the English Estimates. With reference to the Museum of Science and Art, there was a strong feeling in Ireland against its being entirely under the control of the South Kensington officials, and not under Irish management.
§ MR. MELDON
observed, that the ordinary process had been reversed in the present case. Ministers had been unwilling or unable to explain the Votes, and the hon. and learned Member for Limerick had done so for them.
§ MR. MELDON
said, that an appeal had been made to the Ministers for information, which they did not give, but which had been given by the hon. and learned Member for Limerick. That explanation was, to his mind, entirely satisfactory.
§ SIR HENRY SELWIN-IBBETSON
said, that he had attempted to explain this Vote, and to point out that the Museum to which reference had been made would be found under the head of the Art and Science Department, in Vote 2, Class 4, of the English Education Estimates. He attempted to rise at the moment the hon. and learned Member for Limerick rose, and was prepared then to make the statement that, rightly or wrongly, the Irish Museum of Science and Art was included in the English Estimates.
§ MR. LYON PLAYFAIR
said, that it had been the custom since 1853 to take these Votes in this manner. The Royal Irish Academy was a learned institution which had no connection with the Museum of Science and Art. The proper person to make explanations on the subject of the Museum was the Vice President of the Council, who was not expected to be in the House that night.
§ MR. PARNELL
thought the Government should give some information as to the constitution of the Governing Body of the Museum.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. WHITWELL
inquired, Whether the Government intended the Annals of Ulster, which was being published at 1545 the expense of the country, to be issued at such a price as would be within the means of ordinary persons, or whether it was to be only for the use of the members of the Royal Irish Academy?
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.