§ MR. FLYNN (Cork County, N.)
I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been directed to the proceedings at the last meeting of the Minister Dairy and Agricultural Institute at Cork on the 26th ultimo; and, in view of the fact that the governors of that institute communicated with the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction some months ago asking for a definite decision as to the establishment of an agricultural school in connection with that institute and the continuation of the system of itinerant dairy instructresses for the province of Munster, whether he can state what is the cause of the delay in sending a definite reply to the governors of the institute; and, seeing that the Cork County Council voted a grant of £1,000 a year in February 1900 in aid of the establishment of an agricultural school, can he say what steps the Department is going to take in this matter, and how soon?
§ MR. WYNDHAM
The hon. Member has been good enough to send me a newspaper report of the meeting referred to in the question. I am advised that the governors of the Munster Institute have been fully informed of the views of the Department of Agriculture, which were to the effect that the Department 387 would recommend no change in the position of the Munster Institute until all the county councils of the province had had time to consider the question adequately, pending which consideration the work of the institute would continue as heretofore. It is true the county council of Cork passed a vote of £1,000 for the purposes of the Munster Dairy School, but the schemes of the Cork County Council under the Agriculture and Technical Instruction Act are as yet in a very immature state, and the other county councils of Minister are equally interested in the question involved. It would be most undesirable for the Department, by precipitate action, to take any steps which might adversely influence the character of agricultural education in the country generally.