HC Deb 27 March 1905 vol 143 cc1207-8

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he can define what is meant by a fundamental rule, to which reference is made in Rule 4 of the Rules and Regulations of the Board of National Education in Ireland; whether it is to be understood that the new rules were not submitted to the Lord-Lieutenant; and, if not, whether there was any special reason for not doing so; whether it is to be understood that no fundamental rule has been changed in the new rules just issued; whether he is aware of the important testimony to Irish as an educational factor in national schools contained in Mr. Dale's Report; and, if so, whether he will take steps to prevent the national language of Ireland being threatened with starvation by the Treasury.


The expression "fundamental rule" is not defined in the Commissioners' Code of general regulations, but a definition of its meaning will be found in the letter addressed on the 9th February, 1864, by the Commissioners to Sir Robert Peel, then Chief Secretary for Ireland, and published in 1870 with the Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Primary Education in Ireland. Proposals involving increased expenditure necessarily require Treasury sanction before they are embodied in rules, and no fundamental rule has been changed in the new Code. In his Report on primary education Mr. Dale expressed no opinion on the propriety of retaining instruction in extra subjects, of which Irish is one. He pointed out, indeed, that in England and Wales no grants for extra subjects are made at all, that subjects such as French, Latin, Mathematics, or even Welsh are taken as part of the ordinary school curriculum, and then only when the circumstances of the school make it desirable. In answer to the concluding inquiry, I must refer to my reply to the hon. Gentleman's previous Question of Monday last.†