§ MR. ALDEN (Middlesex, Tottenham)
To ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the development grant for purposes of education in Ireland has been largely sequestrated to other purposes quite distinct from education, and that as a result school building and improvement schemes have been greatly hindered; and whether he proposes to place upon the Estimates a sum of money sufficient to bring the standard of education in Ireland up to the level of England and Scotland.
(Answered by Mr. Bryce.) If my hon. friend will refer to the Ireland Development Grant Act, 1903, he will see that any portion of the grant not required for purposes connected with land purchase is to be applied (a) for the purpose of education, (b) for the promotion of the 1202 economic development and transit facilities of Ireland. The Irish Land Act of the same session imposed charges to a considerable amount upon the grant, including the liability of making good the loss upon the flotation of land stock at a discount, which has made very heavy drains on the fund. It is the case that up to the present considerable sums have been devoted to the purposes other than education provided by the Act,. but the Ireland Development Grant Estimate for the current year shows that some provision has also been made for educational purposes, including school building. The question of the Ireland Development Estimate for next year is now under consideration, as also the Estimate for national education.