HC Deb 31 October 1906 vol 163 cc1130-1
MR. FLYNN (Cork, N.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether his attention has been called to meetings recently hold in Ireland connected with the subject of primary education, and at which resolutions were passed dealing with the deficiencies of the system, the under staffing of the schools, and their insanitary condition, and alleged grievances of teachers in regard to salaries, promotion, and other conditions of employment; whether he is aware that the Commissioners of National Education have made application for a sum of £10,000 for the improvement and upkeep of the school buildings; and what steps, if any, he has taken in placing the Commissioners' application before the Treasury authorities.


The Answer to the first part of the Question is in the affirmative. In the second part of the Question, the hon. Member probably refers to the statement made in the Commissioners' last annual Report, to the effect that in their opinion it was necessary that £100,000 a year (not £10,000 as stated in the Question) should be placed at their disposal for the next five years for the purpose of making building grants. The Irish Government have for a considerable time past been in communication with the Treasury and the National Board upon the subject, and every effort is being made to bring the matter to a speedy conclusion.


The right hon. Gentleman admits that the condition of primary education in Ireland is unsatisfactory. Will he use his influence with the Treasury to get a grant as a matter of extreme urgency?


was understood to say his influence was being used.


Why not allocate the development grant to this purpose?


That is subject to other charges.

MR. MURPHY (Kerry, E.)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland when he intends to make any proposals as to primary education in Ireland, which he has stated to be unsatisfactory; if so, can he indicate the general principles of such proposals and the date at which they will be made; and whether he can now see his way to take any steps to deal with grievances which do not require any change in the law, such as the salaries, civil rights, and tenure of teachers, and the improvement and building of schools, and the provision of other requisites for the children.


I am afraid that I cannot profitably add much to the reply which I gave to the hon. Member's Question of Monday last. The whole question of education in Ireland is receiving the careful consideration of the Irish Government, who are duly sensible of the defects in it, and who desire to take all steps within their power to remove those defects; but I am not at present in a position to make any statement on the subject.