HC Deb 28 March 1878 vol 239 cc174-83
Great Britain:— £
Royal Palaces 6,200
Marlborough House 1,000
Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens 19,500
Houses of Parliament 5,400
Public Buildings 21,600
Furniture of Public Offices 2,500
Revenue Department Buildings 31,300
County Court Buildings 7,400
Metropolitan Police Courts 2,500
Sheriff Court Houses, Scotland 1,300
New Courts of Justice, &c. 20,000
Surveys of the United Kingdom 22,200
Science and Art Department Buildings 2,500
British Museum Buildings 800
Natural History Museum 13,300
Edinburgh University Buildings 3,300
Harbours, &c. under Board of Trade 2,500
Rates on Government Property (Great Britain and Ireland) 33,200
Metropolitan Fire Brigade (3 months' provision) 2,500
Public Buildings 27,300
Lighthouses Abroad 2,000
Diplomatic and Consular Buildings 7,200
Ireland:— £
Lord Lieutenant's Household 1,100
Chief Secretary's Office, &c. 4,400
Charitable Donations and Bequests Office 340
Local Government Board 21,200
Public Works Office 4,900
Record Office 1,000
Registrar General's Office 2,700
Valuation and Boundary Survey 3,600
England:— £
Public Education 358,200
Science and Art Department 51,200
British Museum 18,800
National Gallery 1,900
National Portrait Gallery 330
Learned Societies, &c., Great Britain and Ireland 2,800
London University 1,800
Deep Sea Exploring Expedition (Report) 660
Paris International Expedition 6,100
Public Education 82,900
Board of Education 400
Universities, &c. 3,000
National Gallery 350
Public Education 108,500
Endowed Schools Commissioners 100
National Gallery 390
Queen's University 800
Queen's Colleges 2,100
Royal Irish Academy 400

MAJOR NOLAN moved to reduce the Vote by£2,100—the item for the Queen's Colleges. He remarked, that the con-duet of the Government in bringing forward this Vote at the present time was highly inconvenient to Irish Members, who were desirous of making as strong a demonstration as possible against the Vote for the Queen's Colleges. Nothing was known of the intention of the Government to ask for this large sum on account until Thursday's Papers came into Members' hands. It was, then, too late to call Irish Members together. The attention of the Irish public had been largely directed to the question of the expenditure on the Queen's Colleges, and he was sorry to say they would be inclined to find fault with some of the Irish Members who could not be present to object to the Vote. On this occasion, however, they were not to blame, for the Government had taken them by surprise. There was no possibility of all the Irish Members who wished to protest against this Vote being present to do so; and those who were in the House must either let the Vote pass in silence or protest against it with what, he must say, would be an insufficient and almost an undignified expression of opinion on their part. If there were time given to summon Members from Ireland, the majority of Irish Members against the Vote would be found to be three or four to one instead of two or three to one, as might be the majority in other cases. Of the large amount of taxation paid by Ireland only a small amount was spent in Ireland, and that sum was not spent there in accordance with the wishes of the Irish people. It was not even distributed equally among the different classes in Ireland. It was, in fact, distributed in a way offensive to the majority of the population. The Vote for these Queen's Colleges was looked upon as a bribe to a particular class of educationalists. The higher education in Ireland, so far as State Education was concerned, was limited to an education which, though nominally secular, was really denominational. The Belfast College, to a certain extent, had been made practically a denominational College for the Presbyterians. This was partly owing, he had no doubt, to their own energy. The other two Queen's Colleges were secular. No provision was made in this Vote for the University Education of Ireland. There was no objection to secular education being endowed in Ireland, but there was a strong objection to its exclusive endowment. If this money were voted, the House would vote for the exclusive endowment by a side-wind of one or two particular religions in Ireland. The Government were bound, if they got this Vote in Committee, to give opportunity for discussion on Report, or to postpone the Vote till the Morning Sitting, after the Marine Mutiny Bill passed through Committee. If the Government were to promise a proper opportunity for discussion on these items, the Vote might now be agreed to; but it would certainly be strange if Irish Members did not even get the opportunity of raising their voices in the House against a Vote which they were continually protesting against at home. He moved to reduce the Vote by £2,100, which was the sum asked for the Queen's Colleges.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £3,775,440, be granted to Her Majesty, on account, for or towards defraying the Charge for the following Civil Services and Revenue Departments for the year ending on the 31st day of March 1879."—(Major Nolan.)


fully recognized the importance of the question to which the hon. and gallant Member had referred—namely, the Vote in respect of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland; but the present Vote was a Vote on Account, which could not have been proposed in any other form than that in which it had been presented to the House. The Government wished to take a Vote on Account, in order to be enabled to carry on for two months the system of government as it at present existed. Of course, the time would come when these Votes would be taken in a more complete form, and that would be the proper and natural time for a discussion on the policy advocated by the hon. and gallant Gentleman. On the part of Her Majesty's Government, he would undertake to do his best to secure to Irish Members an opportunity for the full discussion of that policy at a proper time in the Session when the complete Vote was submitted to the House. He quite understood, however, the position which the hon. and gallant Gentleman had assumed, when he said, in effect—"Although an opportunity may be offered by-and-by for challenging the principle, still I cannot conscientiously allow even a Vote on Account to be passed without a challenge." He thought the proposal made by his hon. and gallant Friend was a very fair one—namely, that a discussion of this limited character should take place on the Report of this Vote. In that case, the Government would be glad to place it as the Second Order of the Day to-morrow, after the Marine Mutiny Bill.


thought the conciliatory spirit shown by the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Parnell) and the hon. and gallant Member for Galway (Major Nolan) would prove advantageous to the Committee, which might now transact two very important matters of Business. The Government might get all the money they required, and the Irish Members would have an opportunity of discussing a very important question in which they were interested.


entirely disapproved the principle of the Vote. It was now past 2 o'clock, and at that hour there was no possibility of properly discussing the different items. He therefore moved to report Progress.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Biggar.)


pointed out to the Chancellor of the Exchequer that his concession did not really meet the requirements of Gentlemen in that part of the House. If the right hon. Gentlemen would consent to pass all the Votes with the exception of those relating to the Queen's University and the Queen's Colleges, the latter might be afterwards discussed in Committee to-morrow afternoon.


observed that he only promised to give up his right of discussing the Marine Mutiny Bill if the Irish Members were afforded an opportunity of discussing the Votes for the Queen's Colleges.


hoped the Committee would take the Vote on Account at once, as there would be ample opportunity subsequently to discuss the whole question of the Queen's Colleges.


said, the subject was one upon which the Irish Members could not possibly make any concessions.


said, there was a conscientious compulsion upon them to resist every inch of the progress attempted to be made in reference to the Irish Education Votes.


agreed that the matter was so important to Ireland that it could not be allowed to pass without serious question.


said, that if hon. Members desired to question this Vote at every stage, it was open to them to move its reduction. If they thought proper attention had not been given to their arguments, they would have an opportunity of expressing their opinions to-morrow on the Report of the same Vote. Under these circumstances, he felt it his duty to resist the Motion to report Progress.


regretted that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had not accepted the offer made by the hon. Member for Meath (Mr. Parnell). He could not see what great difficulty there was in postponing the Votes of Class IV. till to-morrow.


said, the whole question was whether they could get a Vote of Account on the whole of these Services? If not, they would have no money to meet the Votes in Class IV. Next Monday had been promised for the discussion of the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Sunday (Ireland) Bill, on condition that progress was made with the Mutiny Bill and Supply. If the Committee pleased, they could report Progress now, and take this Vote to-morrow after the Marine Mutiny Bill. The Vote on Account might then be placed as the First Order of the Day on Monday. If that passed without discussion, there would be time for the consideration of the Irish Sunday Closing question.


observed, that if the hon. and learned Member for Leeds (Mr. Wheelhouse) were to hear of the arrangement just proposed, the hon. and learned Gentleman would, doubtless, find out no end of subjects for discussion on Monday next on the Report of this Vote.


said, it was unusual to put the Report of a Money Vote first on the List for Monday.


thought the course which the Government was pursuing was hardly creditable to them.


remarked, that it was incumbent on the Government to get through their Business before the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Sunday (Ireland) Bill was taken.


failed to see why the Government should not put the Report of this Vote after the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Sunday (Ireland) Bill.


as one of the opponents of the Sale of Intoxicating Liquors on Sunday (Ireland) Bill, expressed his belief that the debate on it would occupy three days at least.


said, the Irish Members had come to the conclusion that they could not discharge their duty in a satisfactory manner if they undertook to discuss the question of education in the Queen's Colleges on the Report of this Vote.


said, the Government had felt all through that it was absolutely necessary for the public service to make proper progress with the Mutiny Bill and the Supply. The taking of a Vote on Account was a necessity for carrying on the public service. He thought the first proposal of the hon. and gallant Member for Galway (Major Nolan) was a fair one; but, when that was objected to, he said the Government would meet hon. Members opposite again, and instead of taking the discussion of the Queen's Colleges on the Report tomorrow, they would take it to-morrow in Committee, and postpone the Report until Monday. If there was no opposition to the Report on Monday, no time would be lost by taking it as the first Order. He would throw himself upon the honour of hon. Gentlemen opposite. If they would undertake that there should be no discussion on the Report, and that there should be no attempt unfairly to talk out the Committee tomorrow, he would accept that undertaking.


did not think the right hon. Gentleman had shown very much disposition to facilitate the Business of the House. The questions raised by the Votes were of a very multifarious nature, and if hon. Members had been disposed to discuss them, not even three nights would have been sufficient to settle all these Votes on Account.


said, the Chancellor of the Exchequer might rely upon the honour of the Irish Members to abide by the undertaking into which they had entered.


expressed his sense of the courteous manner in which the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had made his proposal.

Question put, and agreed to.

Committee to sit again To-morrow, at Two of the clock.