HC Deb 27 February 1919 vol 112 cc1935-6
31. Lieut.-Col. W. GUINNESS

asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether the committees of certain technical schools in Ireland have recently passed resolutions with the object of preventing discharged soldiers and members of His Majesty's Forces from receiving instruction; whether he will give a list of committees who have passed such resolutions, with dates; whether any steps are being taken to prevent such action; what amount of voted money is granted to such schools; and whether he is taking any action to have such grants withdrawn?


Two committees (county Clare and Tralee urban district) passed resolutions excluding "soldiers" from technical classes, whilst four others (county borough of Cork and county borough of Limerick, county Kilkenny, and Queen's County) decided to take no action upon letters received from the Department of Agriculture asking them to provide special courses of instruction for soldiers pending demobilisation, or where the numbers were small to arrange for their admission to the ordinary classes of the school. The dates on which the resolutions were passed, or decision arrived at, respectively, were county Clare 3rd February, Tralee urban district 4th February, Cork county borough 27th January, Limerick county borough 31st January, county Kilkenny 17th February, and Queen's County 17th February.

Where committees have declined to organise special classes for soldiers pending demobilisation, the Department is seeking, as far as possible, to supply instruction directly in cases where the local statutory committees decline to co-operate.

The Grants from voted moneys made to these committees are variable, the amounts for the past Session being approximately. county Clare £560, Tralee urban district £1,300, Cork county borough £5,500, Limerick county borough £1,550, county Kilkenny £1,150, Queen's County £130. These Grants are braced mainly upon capitation, and are made in accordance with the published Regulations of the Department. Any vindictive attitude adopted towards any section of the community, particularly towards members of His Majesty's Forces, is highly reprehensible, and the question of withdrawing Grants from voted moneys for technical instruction from committees adopting such attitudes is viewed in that light and will be considered.


Would the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of having these demobilised soldiers sent to the North of Ireland where they could be trained in the technical institutes?