MR. ASHER&c.) (Elgin,
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the Scheme of the Educational Endowment (Scotland) Commissioners for the management of the endowments known as the Redhythe Bursaries, George Smith's Bounty, and the Stuart Mortification, in the County of Banff, as submitted by the Commissioners for the approval of the Scotch Education Department, was, in consequence of an interview between a deputation from the burghs and County 1276 of Banff and the Secretary for Scotland, remitted by the Department to the Commissioners, with a declaration that the Scheme should provide for the bursaries being tenable, with the consent of the Governors, at any school where higher instruction is efficiently given, which the bursar could attend while living with parents or relatives; whether the Scheme re-submitted by the Commissioners to the Scotch Education Department contained that provision, and was then approved by the Department; and whether he will state why he, as the representative of the Scotch Education Department, supported the Motion of the hon. Baronet the Member for Ipswich, to omit that clause from the Scheme?
§ *MR. J. P. B. ROBERTSON
In consequence of the representations made as to the prevalent local feeling, the Department gave effect to the views of the deputation to which the hon. Member refers, and the Scheme was remitted to the Commissioners, and approved with this change. But the question was admittedly one open to doubt, and the Department has given effect to the change with much hesitation. It subsequently appeared that very strong objection was entertained to the change by the' people of Fordyce; and, in these circumstances, the Government felt it right to leave it to the House to form its own judgment upon the arguments placed before it. With reference to the last paragraph, I have to say that I voted with my hon. Friend the Member for Ipswich, because, the question having been legitimately opened for Parliamentary re-consideration, I thought he had made out his case. The hon. and learned Gentleman will not expect me within the limits of an answer to give a resumè of the argument which convinced me, as I doubt not it would have convinced him, had he been present.