HC Deb 05 March 1917 vol 91 cc38-9
77. Mr. DILLON

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether it is proposed to introduce a Bill dealing with education in Ireland at the same time as the Bill promised by the President of the Board of Education for England?


As the hon. Member is aware, the machinery of the system of education in Ireland differs fundamentally from that in England. No Bill has been drafted, and having regard to the compromises on matters of religious difference which are represented by the constitution of the several authorities which deal with education in Ireland, I think very careful inquiry would be necessary as a preliminary to any legislative project.


Is it proposed by the Irish Government to do nothing for Irish education when a great and comprehensive Bill improving the status and pay of all English teachers is going to be introduced this Session?


When my right hon. Friend the Minister for Education produces his Bill we shall very carefully consider it with regard to the effect it has upon the situation in Ireland. As to a general educational measure in regard to Ireland, it would be almost impossible, without precedent inquiry, to ascertain what would meet the wishes of the various interests concerned.


Quite apart from elementary education, would it not be possible to introduce a scheme, similar to that for England, greatly to develop and foster scientific education in the higher grade's in Ireland?


Undoubtedly very great improvements might be made if you could deal with the whole matter comprehensively. The difficulty I find in an attempt to deal with it without precedent inquiry is the difficulty I mentioned in my first answer to the hon. Member for East Mayo (Mr. Dillon).