§ Mr. MOORE
asked the Chief Secretary if he is aware that the committee of the Clones High School has protested by resolution against the scheme of the Monaghan County Council for University scholarships; if the committee suggested to the county council that, considering the large proportion of Protestant ratepayers, the amount raised should be divided equally between scholarships for Protestants and scholarships for Roman Catholics, as was done in county Donegal; if the Monaghan County Council rejected this proposal on the grounds that they desired to enforce the compulsory teaching of Irish on all students; and if he will ascertain whether it is within the competence of any county council to discriminate in favour of a particular college or university in the matter of scholarships created out of the public rates?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The hon. and learned Member has sent me a copy of the resolution which was passed by the Committee of the Clones High School. I have otherwise no knowledge of the matter. I do not know whether or not the committee made the suggestion referred to in the question regarding the equal division of scholarships between Catholics and Protestants, nor, if made, do I know the reply made thereto by the county council. Regarding the power of the county councils to provide scholarships, the power under the Act is in general terms, and, subject to the question of amount and to the provision that there should be no condition of religious qualification or purpose, I see no limitation to its exercise.