§ * MR. DUFF (Banffshire)
I beg to moveThat an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to withhold Her consent from the Scheme for the Management of the Endowment of John Grant's Trust, in the parish of Rothes, in the county of Elgin, approved by the Scotch Education Department (by Act), and now lying upon the Table of the 851 House, in so far as regards the provision for the annual payment to the School Board of the parish of Rothes.This is one of the most extraordinary schemes that the Scotch Education Department ever prepared. The late Mr. John Grant left £1,600 to five parishes; but it is proposed to give £40 a year to one of them—namely, the parish of Rothes, and, of course, the effect will be to deprive the other parishes of the endowment they ought to have. The other parishes will only get £3 or £4 amongst them. The Endowment Commissions cannot, I think, have been aware of all the circumstances of the case when they proposed this scheme. The scheme will give the greatest dissatisfaction in the neighbourhood. It would have been better if the Endowed Schools Commissioners had said that the whole of the money should go to the parish of Rothes, and allowed students from the other parishes to have benefitted from higher education in the Rothes parish school. That would have done some good; but at present, instead of doing substantial good, the scheme will only give a small relief to the ratepayers. I would ask the House to postpone its assent to the scheme.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty to withhold Her consent from the Scheme for the Managemont of the Endowment of John Grant's Trust, in the parish of Rothes, in the county of Elgin, approved by the Scotch Education Department (by Act), and now lying upon the Table of the House, in so far as regards the provision for the annual payment to the School Board of the parish of Rothes."—(Mr. Duff)
§ * MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E)
I am rather surprised that the hon. Member has taken exception to this scheme. On behalf of the hon. Member for Morayshire, I desire to say that from advice which has reached me this is a very good scheme. The amount of money is very small, and as the Commissioners have given the matter their full consideration, I hardly expect the hon. Member will think it worth while to divide the House. I do hope that, having made his protest on behalf, I think, of only a section of those interested—and that not the largest section—he will allow the scheme to pass.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. P. B. ROBERTSON,) Bute
I have no doubt the hon. Member has found certain persons opposed to these schemes; but, at the same time, he will agree with me that in a matter of this kind and also when the fund is extremely small, it is inevitable that the Commissioners should tread on the toes of somebody or other interested. The Commissioners, however, have taken ample opportunity to inform themselves, having brought all. persons concerned before them to state their views. The smallness of the sum does not affect the interest the people take in the matter; still, looking at the smallness of the amount and the inquiry the Commissioners have made, the matter is, I hope, not one on which the hon. Member will think it necessary to challenge a Division.
§ * MR. DUFF
I desire to say, by way of explanation, that I do not think the hon. Member for East Aberdeen is correct in the statement he has made as to the view of the hon. Member for Morayshire; and if that hon. Member had been in his place, I do not, think he would have spoken in the sense of my hon. Friend. I do not wish to trouble the House with a Division, but I must enter a protest against taking an endowment intended for the benefit of a district and giving it to relieve parish rates.
§ * MR. ESSLEMONT
The hon. Member for Morayshire, who is absent, requested all communications to be sent to me. All I can say is, that his clients sent me a communication in favour of the scheme.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.