HC Deb 14 July 1898 vol 61 cc934-5
MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland what has been the result on the Roxboro Road School, Limerick, of the Resolution of this House disapproving of the last scheme of the Educational Endowment Commissioners; have the Commissioners declined to frame a new scheme and allowed the Act to lapse without anything being done, and refused to take any steps to deal with the schools; do they collect rent from the existing tenant or enforce his covenant to repair; can the legal opinion on which the Education Commissioners are remaining inactive be obtained by persons interested; have they recommended private persons to litigate the question of the schools at their individual expense, while declining themselves to do so or to bear any portion of the costs; and do the Government, who supported the Motion to quash the schemes of the Judicial Commissioners, intend to do anything to put an end to the present state of affairs?


The result of the Resolution referred to in the first paragraph has been that no scheme has been finally approved for the management of the school in question. The Judicial Commissioners found themselves unable to frame a scheme which would not conflict, on the one hand, with the Resolution of the House, or, on the other hand, with the judgment of the Privy Council. The powers of the Commission lapsed on the 31st December last. The Commissioners of Education, in whom the school is vested, receive rent amounting to £20 annually from the existing tenant of the school. The Commissioners of Education are not in a position to state what is the right of persons interested in the endowment to be furnished with the legal opinion referred to the fourth paragraph. The Commissioners have pointed out to the Bishop of Limerick that, while they are unwilling to involve the funds of the endowment in expensive litigation to obtain the directions of the Court of Chancery as to the administration of the endowment, there is a cheap and expeditious mode whereby any persons interested can obtain the directions in question. The costs of such proceedings are in the discretion of the court as the Commissioners are advised, and as they are prepared to submit in every way to the jurisdiction of the court, and to give every assistance to the obtaining of the directions of the court by persons interested, they have declined to give an undertaking binding the funds. The Lord Lieutenant, by Orders in Council, dated 24th December, 1896, and 30th August, 1897, extended the powers of the Educational Endowments Commission with respect to this endowment, in the hope that a solution of the questions at issue, satisfactory to the parties interested, might be arrived at, but the Educational Endowments Act having now lapsed there is no power to deal with the matter.


Do the Government intend to allow matters to rest as they are? Will nothing be done by the Government?


We have no power to do more than we have done.