HC Deb 04 March 1903 vol 118 cc1345-6

To ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been called to the arrears of the Scottish Education Department in paying the grant to technical and other evening schools, the grant in some cases for the session ending May 1902 either not having been paid or the amount earned intimated; and whether arrangements can be made whereby the managers of such schools can be promptly informed what grants they are entitled to, so that they may make arrangements for the session 1903–4.

(Answered by Mr. A. Graham Murray.) The grants have been paid to the managing bodies in all cases except twelve. Of these, two claims were only received last month; two have not yet been received although the Department has repeatedly asked the managers to forward them: three claims have been referred back to the managers and are awaiting their replies to the queries raised; two cases have just been completed, and it is hoped will be paid forthwith: two cases it has been found necessary to refer to His Majesty's Inspector; and one case under an Article of the Code requires special Treasury sanction. The financial year of continuation classes ends at 31st July, and, as all the claims are sent in to the Department at the same time, it is obviously impossible without a considerable increase of staff to overtake the necessary examination and calculation of these claims before the ensuing session begins. The Department has in a number of cases paid an instalment of grant to account, subject to rectification when the whole claims have been finally examined, and they propose to extend this procedure in respect of payments for the session 1902-3. The Department has had to deal with no less than 840 separate claims and, having regard to the fact of this being the first year of the new system, naturally some delays were caused by claims being submitted by managers while unfamiliar with the new conditions.