HC Deb 04 May 1891 vol 353 cc59-60

I beg to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, in view of the growing feeling in Scotland in favour of applying to various educational purposes the greater part or even the whole of the sum to be allotted to Scotland, in conjunction with the sum to be allotted to free education in England, he will endeavour to state the proposals of the Government for the application of this Scotch sum before the Whitsuntide Recess, in order to give full opportunity for the expressions of opinion in Scotland upon the subject?

MR. M. J. STEWART (Kirkcudbright)

May I also ask whether the Chancellor of the Exchequer is acquainted with the growing feeling existing in Scotland, as proved by the deputation of persons from influential bodies and authorities, that a considerable part of the sum in question should be applied to the relief of ratepayers?

MR. H. ANSTRUTHER (St. Andrews, &c.)

Is it not a fact that the Municipal Authorities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee, Greenock, Paisley, and many Parochial Boards of important cities in Scotland have made representations in the opposite sense to that indicated by the question of the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bryce) below me?


I can answer the questions of fact. It is the fact, as the hon. Member for St. Andrews suggests, that representations have been made to me by those important authorities and bodies to which allusion has been made. The hon. Member for Aberdeen asks me whether, in view of the growing feeling in Scotland in favour of a certain application of this fund, the Government will do a certain thing, and my hon. Friend behind me asks me whether, in view of the growing feeling in Scotland in a certain other direction, I will do a certain other thing. I can speak to facts, but not to growth. Under these circumstances, I am not prepared to say "yes" or "no" to the Preamble of the question of the hon. Member for Aberdeen; and, as to the substantive part of his inquiry, I am afraid I am unable to give any positive pledge at present.

DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)

Will the right hon. Gentleman state the precise amount of money that will be allocated to Scotland?


I cannot at present state the exact amount, but it will be in the proportion of 11 per cent. of the whole.


Will the right hon. Gentleman make the matter a little more clear? Can he not indicate in some way the objects contemplated by the Government, so that full time may be available for the discussion of the proposals in Scotland?


I am afraid that we cannot make disclosures to Scotland before we make disclosures to England and Ireland. I would suggest that any further inquiries on the subject should be addressed to the Lord Advocate. It is my business to provide the money, and it will be the business of the Scotch Office in the main to determine how it shall be applied.


Is the statement of the right hon. Gentleman as to the 11 per cent. subject to inquiry as to the financial relations between the three Kingdoms?


I will not say that that might not be the result either upwards or downwards, but for this year, at all events, it is likely that 11 per cent. will be the proportion.