§ DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether the attention of the Scotch Education Department has been called to a report of the proceedings of the Rothesay School Board, published in the Rothesay Express, of the 8th instant, in which it is stated that—The expenditure of the Board having been £138 less than the grant received, the Government would have deducted that amount from the grant unless it had been expended ";and that, therefore, the £138 had been given away as a bonus to the teachers; and whether the expenditure of the sum in question was necessary in order to enable the School Board to secure the grant which had been earned; and, if so, whether the Department will consider the propriety of amending its rules so as to do away with so obvious an incentive to the waste of public money?
THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. P. B.ROBERTSON, Bute)
The Scotch Education Department has not yet received the accounts of either of the schools under the Rothesay School Board for the school year just ended; but I am inclined to doubt the accuracy of the statement quoted, inasmuch as in previous years the expenses of these schools greatly exceeded the grant received, which had to be largely supplemented from local resources. In these circumstances, I am unable to say what expenditure was necessary in order to secure the grant. But I may remind the hon. Member that the rule which in certain circumstances limits the grant to the amount provided 475 from other sources is not made by the Department, but is laid down by an Act of Parliament.