HC Deb 30 June 1932 vol 267 c2016
65. Lord SCONE

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of schools in which Gaelic is being taught; and what steps he is taking to increase the number of such schools?


In the year 1930–31 Gaelic was taught in 293 schools. Section 6 (1) (a) of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, requires education authorities to make adequate provision for teaching Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking areas, and Article 16 (vi) of the Day School Code provides that in such areas the schemes of work should make reasonable provision for the instruction of Gaelic-speaking children in their native tongue. The Department receive regular reports from His Majesty's Inspectors of Schools upon the steps taken by education authorities to comply with these requirements, and papers in Gaelic are set at the annual Leaving Certificate Examination. The number of schools in which Gaelic is taught has risen steadily during recent years.


Can the hon. Member explain why?


Because I think, generally speaking, education authorities are well alert to the desirability of keeping alive this language.


May I ask why money should be expended upon the propagation of dead languages like Gaelic and Celtic?


May I say to my hon. Friend that each part of his proposition is incorrect. In the first place, the Gaelic language is not dead, and in the second place its teaching does not involve extra expenditure, but only the selection in schools where it is necessary of bi-lingual teachers.


Is the hon. Member aware that there are two professors of Gaelic in the Paris University, one a Greek scholar, who says that Gaelic is the finer language of the two?