HL Deb 27 May 1884 vol 288 cc1455-6

asked the President of the Council, To how many Colleges in Wales it was proposed to make Treasury grants, and to what extent in each case; and whether there was any intention of giving similar public support to middle class education in England? He said, he understood from the Press that the Government had been induced to promise a grant for a College in South Wales; the North then claimed an equal favour; and, that claim having been acknowledged, Mid Wales put in a sort of a prior claim to both on the ground of having already shown what she could do for herself. One might allow Wales to become as spoilt a child as Ireland; but a principle was in danger of being conceded, and he was anxious to know whether a side admission was involved, of what the Technical School Commissioners proposed — namely, a general public undertaking of all kinds of education throughout the Kingdom for all ranks and classes of people and subjects of study?


reminded the noble Lord that the subject was thoroughly inquired into two or three years ago by a representative Commission, which unanimously recommended that a grant should be made for the purpose of enabling the people of North and South Wales to establish Colleges. Grants of £4,000 a-year were, consequently, promised by the Government, and voted by the House of Commons, for Colleges at Bangor and Cardiff. The College at Aberystwith had been going on for some years; the question arose whether it was to be discontinued or not; and finally the Government consented to make it a small grant of £1,500 a-year. There would, therefore, be £9,500 a-year divided between three Colleges in Wales. The noble Lord need not be nervous as to any dangerous precedent being established for England; these grants constituted no precedent whatever for a country so rich and possessed of important endowments. The comparison to be made was not between Wales and England, but between Wales and Scotland, or, still more, between Wales and Ireland. Scotland had long enjoyed very considerable annual grants towards her Universities — something like £40,000 a-year; Ireland had for many years enjoyed grants for her Colleges; and of late years she had had further assistance for intermediate education from the Irish Church Fund.