§ MR. JOHNSTON (Belfast, S.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether a draft scheme has been submitted to the Lord Lieutenant by the Educational Commissioners which proposes that Erasmus Smith's funds shall be managed by a neutral or mixed Governing Body, and that the benefits of the endowments should be available for all religious denominations; whether, while this draft scheme, altering the founder's basis, has been endorsed by Judge O'Brien Monsignor Molloy, President of the Roman Catholic University, and Professor Dougherty, a majority of the Commissioners, it has been strongly objected to by Lord Justice Fitzgibbon and Dr. Traill, the other Commissioners; and whether, considering that Erasmus Smith, who founded the school in 1682, declared his end to be the propagation of the Protestant faith, he will recommend to His Excellency the Lord Lieutenant to withhold his sanction from the scheme?
§ *MR. JACKSON
I am informed that the draft scheme for the future government and management of the Erasmus Smith Endowments, as published on the 14th inst., proposes that the endowments shall be managed by a neutral or mixed Governing Body, and that the benefits shall be available for all religious denominations. The draft scheme has been prepared by the three Commissioners named in the question. Lord Justice Fitzgibbon has stated that he cannot, as at present advised, accept the scheme as drafted, and Dr. Traill strongly objects to it. For a period of two months after the publication of the draft, objections and amendments may be lodged with the Commissioners. At the expiration of this period it will become the duty of the Judicial Commissioners to hold a public inquiry at which to consider the objections and amendments submitted, and thereupon, if they think fit, they may frame a scheme in such form as they deem expedient, and submit it for the approval of the Lord Lieutenant in Council.