HC Deb 23 July 1894 vol 27 cc661-3
MR. CHANCE (Kilkenny, S.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland—(1) why the Draft Scheme for the management of the Erasmus Smith Educational Endowment, which was published in 1892, and publicly considered in October, 1892, has not been put in force; (2) when will the Report for 1893 of the Educational Endowment (Ireland) Commission be published; (3) why a large proportion of the income of the Erasmus Smith Endowment, which was expressly left for the free education of poor children on the donor's Irish estates, and 20 other poor children residing within two miles of the schools, has been applied for the benefit of persons who do not come within these terms, notwithstanding the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Act of 1885; (4) whether any steps are to be taken under that Act to reform the management and application of the Erasmus Smith Endowment; and (5) whether the Commissioners, under the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Act of 1855, have yet dealt with the Erasmus Smith and Incorporated Societies Endowments, which are the two largest educational endowments in Ireland, and amount to about £20,000 a year?


(1) No Scheme can come into force under the Educational Endowments (Ireland) Act, 1885, unless it has been first framed and signed by both the Judicial Commissioners, and subsequently approved by the Lord Lieutenant in Council. The Draft Scheme for the future management of Erasmus Smith's Endowment, which was prepared by a majority of the Commissioners in 1892, was met by a number of objections raising serious and difficult questions, which were discussed at a public sitting of the Commission held in October, 1892. The Judicial Commissioners have not since been able to concur in framing a revised Scheme, but they intend to further consider the matter immediately after Mr. Justice O'Brien's return from circuit, and to announce the result at an early date. (2) The final Report of the Commission will be published before the end of the current year, and will cover the whole period from the date of the last Report to the completion of the business of the Commission, whose general statutory powers have expired. (3, 4, and 5). The endowment referred to is now administered under certain Charters and Acts of Parliament, and this administration cannot be affected under the Act of 1885 otherwise than by a Scheme duly framed and approved. No such Scheme has, as pointed out, been yet framed. The Educational Endowments Commission published a Draft Scheme for the future management of the Endowments belonging to the Incorporated Society on August 14th, 1893. The Scheme was revised after public consideration of the objections received, and was signed by the Judicial Commissioners on February 3rd, 1894. Having been duly published it was provisionally approved by the Lord Lieutenant in Council on May 21st, 1894. The annual amount of Erasmus Smith's and Incorporated Society's Endowments is believed to be much less than £20,000 a year, and the endowments of the Incorporated Society consist of a large number of distinct endowments, many of which are held upon special trusts.