§ Order of the Day for the Second Reading read.
LORD CAELINGFORD (LORD PRESIDENT of the COUNCIL),
in moving that the Bill be now read the second time, said, it was a Bill for the purpose of reforming and re-organizing the educational endowments of Ireland—a Bill which their Lordships had agreed to read a second time towards the end of last Session, but which, in consequence of the position of Government Business caused by the events of that period, they were prevented from passing into law. The present Bill was identical, or all but identical, with that of last year; and, as he had given a full explanation of its provisions on that 208 occasion, he would not occupy the time of their Lordships by repeating it now. It would be enough if he said that the object of the Bill, which was a very important one, was to do at last for Ireland what ought to have been done many years ago—namely, to re-organize, revise, and reform her educational endowments in the same manner, by the same methods, and on the same principles, as those on which the educational endowments of England and Scotland had been and were now being revised and reformed. The case in favour of this revision and reform was of the strongest possible description. Inquiries of every kind had gone on year after year, or rather generation after generation. Committee after Committee, and Commission after Commission, had all come to the same conclusion—that the very considerable endowments of Ireland were, in their present condition, very far indeed from conferring the benefits which they ought to confer, and were, to a large extent, wasted. The Bill provided that these endowments should be dealt with by an Executive Commission. There was to be no more inquiry. That had been accomplished to excess. The Commission would have power to revise and reform the endowments in the same way as those of England and Scotland had been and were being revised and reformed. The Bill had been framed on the same lines as the English and Scotch Bills, conferred the same powers on the Commission, and contained the same safeguards. He begged to move the second reading of the Bill.
§ Moved," That the Bill be now read 2a."—(The Lord President.)
§ Motion agreed to; Bill read 2a accordingly, and committed to a Committee of the Whole House on Friday next.