§ 26. Sir A. SPROT
asked the Secretary for Scotland if he has received a resolution passed at a meeting of chairmen of parish councils in Fife, requesting the Government to consider the advisability of re-casting the Scottish Education Act so as to bring about a more equitable system of rating, and in the meantime to increase the Grants for education so as to, relieve necessitous cases; and if he proposes to take any action in these directions?
§ The SECRETARY for SCOTLAND (Mr. Munro)
I have received the resolution referred to. As regards the question of rating, I must refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the answer which I gave to his question No. 65 on the 9th of this month. The Department have under consideration the possibility of devising some suitable form of relief for parishes where the substitution of the county for the parish as the rating unit for education may have caused hardship; but I am unable at present to make any statement on the subject or to hold out any hope of increase of Grant during the present year.
§ 27. Sir A. SPROT
asked the Secretary for Scotland if he will consider the granting of relief by Treasury grant to the Lowland districts of Scotland in the same way as he is doing in the case of the Highlands in order to relieve the heavy burden of taxation which the new Education Act has imposed?
§ Mr. MUNRO
The increase of grant promised to the Highland Education Authorities in the Minute of 9th December is in consonance with the settled practice of the Scottish Education De- 1249 partment for many years past. As regards the Lowland authorities, I regret that. I am not able, having in view the present position of the Education (Scotland) Fund, to promise any addition to the percentage grant provided for in the Department's Minute of 11th April last.
§ 28. Mr. W. SHAW
asked the Secretary. for Scotland if he is aware that the great additional expense incurred under the new Education Act is causing dissatisfaction throughout Scotland; if lie will consider the advisability of inquiring into the matter with a view to the amendment of the Act and the elimination of unnecessary expenditure; and will he say if he anticipates that the Act, in all its details, will be brought into operation on the dates originally indicated?
§ Mr. MUNRO
I am aware that there is dissatisfaction in some parts of Scotland, but the new Act has been in operation for so short a time that I think it would be premature at present to contemplate any action in the direction suggested by my hon. Friend. The question of bringing into operation the provisions relating to the extension of school age and continuation classes must, I fear; be postponed to a later date than was originally anticipated.