§ MR. SEXTON
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether he has observed that the Pembroke Township (Dublin) Commissioners have passed a resolution protesting that there are no funds at their disposal for the purpose of defraying the cost of compulsory education in the township; whether he is aware that the proposal to charge upon the ratepayers of Irish towns the cost of a system imposed upon them without franchise to the inhabitants or discretion to the Local Authorities, meets with emphatic disapproval; and whether he has any reason to anticipate that the compulsory system will be worked and paid for in those cities and towns in which the Local Authorities have already protested against the continued exclusion of the schools of the Christian Brothers from the primary system and the free education scheme? I also wish to repeat the question I put the other day whether right hon. Gentleman has considered the statement submitted to him by the Mayor of Waterford, on 14th April, on behalf of several Municipal Corporations in Ireland representing that the Education Bill, as it stands, will do violence to the religious convictions of the people, and whether he will grant the interview asked for on behalf of those Corporations?
§ MR. JACKSON
First, with regard to the question on the Paper, I believe it is true that the Pembroke Township Commissioners did pass a resolution somewhat in the form stated in the question. I have been advised, how- 912 ever, that the Bill as drawn would confer upon them power to levy a rate, but if there is any doubt about that it is very easy, by putting a couple of additional words in the clause in Committee, to make it perfectly clear that they have the power. With regard to the other questions, I did receive a communication from the Mayor of Waterford, who stated that he represented a good many Corporations of Ireland in making such a protest. I do not agree with the view expressed by these bodies, nor do I agree that there would be any difficulty in carrying the law into effect.
§ MR. SEXTON
Has the right hon. Gentleman yet given the Irish Corporations, who will have to work this Act if it passes, that interview for which they asked in March last, and for which they have been pressing ever since; or does he propose to proceed with the Bill without giving these bodies that interview?
§ MR. JACKSON
Yes, I do not think it necessary to delay the Bill in order to afford that interview. I have been in communication by correspondence with them, and I have expressed my views in answer to their Memorial. I have also stated that if they still desired to have an interview I would afford them such an opportunity, but I could not hold out any hope that even if the interview took place that the opinion I have already expressed could be altered as regards the Christian Brothers' Schools.