§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
thought that before the House adjourned they ought to have some information from the Government as to what they were going to do in reference to Scottish finance, especially in reference to that for education. He did not know whether they intended to bring in a Bill to reorganise the Education Department, or whether they intended session after session to carry on this organisation without any Act of Parliament or without any law at all except by Minute as they were doing now. The Minute of the present year entirely changed the whole plan. He did not intend to say much regarding that, and lie would confine himself to the financial position which they were placed in by the Act of Parliament which was passed two years ago. That measure was passed upon certain statements made on behalf of the Government by the Lord Advocate, but the facts showed that the right, honourable Gentleman entirely misrepresented and misunderstood the state of things he was creating by this Act. He grossly over-estimated the amount to come to Scotland, and under-estimated the amount that would go to England, and the result was that Scotland lost about £75,000 a year during the last two years that otherwise she would have got, if the principle of the equivalent grants had been carried out. As a result of the 1037 change they found that England was getting very much more than her share. In addition to this the Scotch Department had become a Secondary Education Department. They expected to get their fair share of the equivalent grant but they did not get it—
§ * MR. SPEAKER
It appears to me that the honourable Gentleman is discussing and reviewing past legislation or the necessity for new legislation, and that is not in order.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The honourable Member is now going into the question of the effect of past legislation. It is not in order to go back into the history of how a Bill became law upon a motion for adjournment.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The honourable, Member would be in order if he was simply complaining of something which he alleges is illegal.
§ * THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. A. G. MURRAY) Buteshire
, on a point of order, said he understood that the honourable Member's complaint was, that, under the two Bills passed in 1897, as the facts showed, Scotland had not got as much money as she ought to have had. That might or might not be true, but those Bills were passed, and Scotland could only get that amount of money, and nothing which 1038 the Government could do could affect that amount without further legislation on the subject.
§ DR. CLARK
said an arrangement was made between the Treasury and the Scotch Office, under which the Treasury was to pay to the Scotch Office a large stun for two years, which hail not been paid. The Treasury Were paying £5,000 this year, and Scotland was losing large sums because of the arrangement made between the Treasury and the Scotch Office, not by Act of Parliament but simply by an arrangement which any Chancellor of the Exchequer might repudiate. That was the point he wished to press upon the House, that it was not done by legislation but had been done in air underhand, behind-the-chair fashion by winch the Lord Advocate came and told them that they would secure a great deal of money from the Treasury, and Scotland was not to ask for a fair equivalent of what _England was getting.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
The honourable Member would he in order if he is complaining that the powers exercised by the Government these Acts of Parliament have been exercised improperly. If he is referring to the ciremnstances under which some provisions have been embodied in a Bill two years ago he is out of order.
§ DR. CLARK
explained that a Bill was brought in for England, but the Lord Advocate, Oil behalf of the Scotch Education Department, said that instead of having that Bill for Scotland as well as for England, the Government had made an arrangement with the Treasury under which the voluntary school Children and the board school children would get a sum which would practically raise the grant to twelve shillings. They made a change from eleven-eightieths to ten shillings per head, and an arrangement was made by which the Treasury would keep up this grant to twelve shillings per head. Now they had had two years' experience, and instead of that sum being placed in the Estimates and paid over by the Treasury, not a single penny was paid or asked for. This year they had placed on the Estimates£5,000, so that instead of getting £50,000, which the Scotch Education Department agreed with the Treasury would be required, only £5,000 had been put 1039 down, and what they were protesting against was that these great changes were being made and free education was bring changed to secondary by the Department without any legislation whatever. The legality of this course was very doubtful, for they wove doing it by Minute and by arrangement instead of by bringing a Bill before the House. This was very discreditable, for it was being done by a Department winch the Scotch members had no confidence in. Scotland was simply being defrauded of this money, and all the Scotch Members could do was, at question time, to bring all these facts before the Treasury and the Scotch Office.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR, Manchester, E)
Before the honourable Member opposite raises the Colonial debate, I should like to reply to what has already been said. As regards what has fallen from the honourable Member for Caithness, I understand that he is trying to drag this question into the vortex of the equivalent grant controversy, upon which I hope the House will not embark this afternoon. The pledge given by my right honourable friend near me was that the Exchequer would always make up the 12s. per child necessary to carry out free education in Scotland, as that question has already been conceived by them. Now that sum has been paid, although the sum originally proposed has not been required.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If the honour able Member can show that the 12s. per child has not been paid by the Treasury, he will have a real grievance, but until he can show that he has not.