§ MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in giving to the people of England, out of the Imperial Exchequer, an education grant in aid of school fees of 10s. per child in average attendance between the ages of 5 and 14, the Government are prepared to concede the right of the people of Ireland and Scotland to an education grant of an equal amount from the Imperial Exchequer of 10s. per child in average attendance between the above ages; whether he is aware that, upon this principle of equal treatment of all parts of the United Kingdom, the amounts to be allocated to Ireland and Scotland will be much greater than under the principle of distribution applied in the case of the Probate Duty Grant of 80 per cent. to England, 11 per cent. to Scotland, and 9 per cent. to Ireland; and whether it is the intention of the Government, in distributing Imperial grants over the United Kingdom in future, to distribute the same according to nationalities, and to stereotype the principle of distribution between the three Kingdoms adopted with regard to the Probate Duty Grant?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
My Budget Estimate was prepared upon the basis that the education grant would be distributed in the proportion of 80 per cent. to England, 11 per cent. to Scotland, and 9 per cent. to Ireland. The hon. Member's suggestion is that the grant should be distributed in proportion to the number 156 of children between 5 and 14 in average attendance. But if the grant is to be distributed upon what I may call an educational basis, it would be necessary to take into account the fees paid by the children in attendance as well as their number. The average fees in England, Scotland, and Ireland differ most materially, those in Scotland being the highest and those in Ireland the lowest. In view of the very different educational circumstances of the three parts of the United Kingdom, complications would undoubtedly ensue if the method of distribution suggested by the hon. Member were to be adopted instead of distribution upon the same principle as the Probate Duty Grant. In answer to the third question of the hon. Member, the Government have no intention to lay down any stereotyped principle of distribution.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that all education grants to Scotland are made on the basis of children attending school, and not on the basis of Probate Duty?
§ MR. GOSCHEN
No doubt that is so, but I am also aware that education in Scotland is already practically free.