§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that an annual sum of £200 has been voted from 1865 to 1891 to the Royal Irish Academy as salary to an Irish scribe, including cataloguing and printing Irish manuscripts, and that a like sum has been included in the general grant-in-aid voted to the said Academy between 1892 and 1899; whether the transcription of Celtic manuscripts ceased on the death, in 1880, of Mr. O'Longan, the last of the Irish scribes, whether the copying of Irish manuscripts since 1880 has been by photograph, and whether the photographing of old Irish manuscripts ceased with the completion of the Yellow Book of Leccan in 1895; and, if so, can he say what has been done with the £200 a year voted for Irish scribes since 1880, and the £200 a year for printing Celtic manuscripts since 1893; whether the proceeds of the sale of the four folio volumes facsimiled or photographed at the expense of Parliament have been refunded to Her Majesty's Treasury, or spent on the general purposes of the Royal Irish Academy; and whether, if the Royal Irish Academy be unwilling to publish Celtic manuscripts, he will consider the desirability of transferring the present annual grants for this purpose to some of the other existing antiquarian societies in Ireland.
§ MR. HANBURY
The sum of £200 was voted from 1865 to 1870for "Salary of Irish Scribe and for Cataloguing and. Printing Irish Manuscripts," and from l871 to 1890 for "Researches in connection with Celtic Manuscripts." In the Estimates for 1890ߝ1 and up to 1896ߝ7 this special item was merged in a grant of £400 for "Researches into and publication of Celtic Manuscripts." Since 1897ߝ8 the grant to the Academy has been voted as a lump sum, but the Academy have from year to year allocated a similar amount to such researches. Since the death of Mr. O'Longan in 1880 the manuscripts have been reproduced by photo-lithography, and the last one published was the Yellow Book of Leccan in 1895. The proceeds of the facsimiles published by the Academy have never been refunded to the Treasury. The receipts from the five volumes of "Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of Ireland," published by the Stationery Office, were, of course, paid into the Exchequer. The Academy is anxious to continue the publication of Celtic MSS. But it has full discretion as to the disposal of its grant-in-aid, and recently it has devoted its income mainly to collecting material, for a Thesaurus of the Irish language, which will be a most important aid to the study of the texts themselves.
§ [No answer was given.]