HC Deb 03 August 1891 vol 356 c1131
MR. KNOX (Cavan, W.)

I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland whether the Board of Works have made to the Board of National Education a statement that the funds at the disposal of the Board of Works for building, enlarging, or otherwise improving vested school houses are now exhausted; whether sufficient funds for that purpose will be proposed to be voted during the present Session; and whether, in considering applications for such grants, those which have already been refused owing to lack of funds will be first considered?


This is a matter which is not under the Irish Office, but the Treasury.


The funds at the disposal of the Board of Works for National school buildings for the present year are not exhausted, but notice has been given that they are only sufficient to meet grants already made; no applications have been refused, though some are necessarily postponed. Sufficient funds have been already voted. The responsibility of making grants rests with the Commissioners of National Education, and I am quite sure that they will take into account every circumstance in determining the claims to priority of the several applicants.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

Why has no margin been allowed? Have the funds no elasticity at all?


I do not know that there is any variation this year, as compared with previous years. It is necessary to avoid a condition of things that would be hardly creditable, namely, that grants in excess to a considerable amount should be made. Application is made to the Commissioners of National Education, who grant the money after a conference with the Treasury. As a matter of fact, the amount of money supplied has hitherto proved adequate to meet all cases. Although a grant may be made now it does not necessarily come into charge during the year. The expenditure does not take place until a long time after the grant has been made, and I do not think that any inconvenience really results.