LORD MONTEAGLE OF BRANDON
, in moving for a Return showing the annual amount allocated to each county in England and Wales under the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act, 1890, for technical education and other purposes, distinguishing the amount devoted in each county (a) to technical education generally, and (b) to dairy instruction in particular; and to ask what steps Her Majesty's Government intended to take to extend those benefits to Ireland, especially as regarded dairy instruction, said: My Lords, I will not detain the House long upon the Motion which stands in my name, but I trust I may be allowed to make a few remarks in moving it. The House is probably aware that under the Local Taxation Act, the Customs and Excise Act of last year, large sums of money were allocated to counties in England, and were especially ear-marked for the support of technical education. The Local Authorities were specially empowered to devote it for that purpose, and the County Councils of England and Wales are engaged at the present time in making arrangements with that object. Many of them I understand have agreed to devote this money—£700,000 for the whole of England and Wales—to technical education. The corresponding sum in the case of Ireland—something over £100,000—was devoted between primary education, for increasing the salaries of national teachers in Ireland, and intermediary education. Nothing was done for technical education. The result is that in this important matter of technical education Ireland is most lamentably deficient. My object in asking for this Return is not to criticise what the County Councils in England have done, but to base upon that the inquiry of Her Majesty's Government what steps they intend to take with regard to Ireland. I have specially asked that the way in which it has been devoted in England and Wales shall be shown separately for each county, and I 100 have also asked Her Majesty's Government to direct their special attention to the subject of dairy instruction in the country. With regard to the subject generally, I will only say that the backwardness in this matter was shared by Ireland with England until very recently, but England is now in a fair position, owing to the grant of last year, to overcome that deficiency. Ireland, however, will be relatively in a worse position than ever, and unless something is done for the encouragement of technical education, Ireland will become more than ever a purely agricultural country without any provision for industries at all. Hoping that Her Majesty's Government may shortly be in a position to devote their attention to the subject, and to do something for the promotion of technical education generally, I will pass on to the subject of dairy instruction. My reason for moving this at the present moment is that not only is the subject extremely urgent, but it is eminently practical. It is urgent because the vast improvement in other countries, notably Denmark and Sweden, has put Irish butter at a great disadvantage. England was in the same position until recently, but the County Councils in England taking advantage of the Act of last year are remedying that defect, and will no doubt put upon the market as good an article as Denmark and Sweden. But in the meantime Ireland is left very much as she was. I am not forgetting that a great deal has been done in Ireland in the past time, because Ireland has rather been in the van. The Irish Government has spent a good deal of money in promoting dairying. Schools have been established both in Dublin and Cork, and I am most thankful to the Government for having started that work. I should like to see more done in that direction. I think that the Munster school is to a large extent a local venture; though under a Government Board and receiving a Government grant, it is largely carried on and assisted by local efforts. The excellent work it has done in the past might be very largely extended by an additional grant, and I hope Her Majesty's Government will be able to see their way to doing something in that direction. I wish to point out to the Government that those institutions which I have mentioned 101 at Glasnevin and Cork, valuable as they are, and excellent as is their work, do not meet the wants of the country. Recently, the manufacture of butter has become more a matter of factory than domestic work. What we want in Ireland is that where these factories have been largely established we should be able to go to the factories and to the farmers to instruct them, instead of asking the farmers to go to school. This very fact is an argument for the particular kind of instruction which I hope Her Majesty's Government will be able to give. If you had a skilled expert to go round to instruct these people and the managers of the factories which are starting up, there would be nothing required for that purpose but the salary of the Inspector and his travelling expenses. By this means one man would cover a large district. I should think one Inspector would cover the whole district of Munster, and this would be an absolutely small expense in proportion to the results which might be expected from it. Before I sit down I would just remark that I was glad to see the Chief Secretary, in another place yesterday, is reported to have said he hoped to be able to assist the Land Commission with funds for developing in every way the agricultural prosperity of the country. I hope I have succeeded in showing to the House that there is a means ready to their hand for conferring an important benefit upon the country, and at a very small cost. I must before I conclude take this opportunity of thanking Her Majesty's Government and the Chief Secretary for the great efforts they have made to promote the well-being of Ireland and the development of her industries. What is being done in the West by the establishment of the Congested Districts Board will, I hope, lead to marked results in those districts; but I hope Her Majesty's Government will realise that the other districts in the country, though not so poor as the West, have also claims upon them, and that they will be able to see their way to do something in the direction I have described.
§ LORD BELPER
I only venture to interpose for a moment to ask the Government, if they give such a Return as is asked for, that they will put it in a more detailed and scientific form than 102 that in which it is moved for. The Return asked for is with regard to technical instruction generally, and then as to dairy instruction in particular. There are a large number of other industries in which it would be extremely useful to have technical instruction in the other branches of agriculture, mining industries, cookery, and so on. I think such a Return would be very useful, especially with regard to those counties which may not have finished their own schemes of technical education. There is only one other point which I would call to the noble Lord's attention. As he is aware, some of these County Councils who are engaged in these schemes, which are of a very intricate character, have not yet finished them, and I hope if he sends to the County Council for such Returns as are asked for, the Local Government Board will give them a little further time to make them, say, the end of the autumn. By that time I think he would get more complete Returns than at the present moment.
§ *LORD HENNIKER
My Lords, as far as the part of the question put by the noble Lord opposite in which I am concerned, I have to state, on the part of the Department which I have the honour to represent in this House, that there is no objection whatever to the Return asked for, but there is a little objection to the form in which it is asked. It would not be so convenient to give it in the form of the Motion of the noble Lord, and it would be more comprehensive in the form I propose. I have no doubt the form in which I propose it to your Lordships will be accepted by the noble Lord. In form it is a little wider, and I think it will give all the information he wants, and also give all the particulars which my noble Friend opposite wishes for. It has been thought by the Department, who have considered the matter very carefully, that this might be the preferable form. Perhaps you will allow me to read it. I propose that the Return should be this—A Return showing the amount paid to the council of each county and county borough in England and Wales out of the residue of local taxation, Customs and Excise duties, in respect of the year ended March 31, 1891, and the decisions of the councils as to the purposes to which the sums so received are to be applied, distinguishing, as far as possible, the moneys to be devoted to technical education generally, 103 and the part of those moneys to be devoted—I. (a) to dairying, (b) mining, and (c) agricultural instruction; and II. to instruction in other industries.I think what the noble Lord opposite has said with regard to putting off the making of the Return a little later, so as to get a more complete Return, may be a matter of importance. I know that in my own district, where I am Chairman of the County Council, we have come to a sort of temporary arrangement as to a scheme of technical instruction, and I think a great many counties are in the same position. It may therefore be wiser, perhaps, to put it off for a short time. I have no doubt the noble Lord wishes to have as complete a Return as possible. I will call the attention of the President of the Local Government Board to this point, for I think we shall do better to secure as complete a Return as possible, even if we have to wait two or three months longer for it. I think that would be the best way if the noble Lord consents to it.
§ EARL CADOGAN
My Lords, before the Motion is put, as the last few lines of it refer mainly to Ireland, and as the noble Lord's speech dealt almost entirely with that portion of the Kingdom, I may, perhaps be allowed to say a few words in regard to what is being done in Ireland at the present moment, and also with regard to what is to be done in the future. With reference to the Customs and Excise Returns as regards Ireland, the sum coming to that country under the Customs and Excise Act 1890, has been allocated to primary and intermediate education. The Government are fully alive to the importance of technical education, and the advantage to be derived from a knowledge of the most important methods of dairying in Ireland. I would, however, remind the noble Lord that, in addition to such facilities as were given to the localities in Ireland to provide instruction under the Technical Instruction Act of 1889, the Government have aided in supplying, through the Munster Model Farm and through the National Board, a competent knowledge of dairying to many hundreds of persons. The National Board have, moreover, recently made arrangements whereby two of their in- 104 structors will impart information on the subject, not only to pupils in the schools, but also to farmers. This is, broadly, how the case stands at the present time. With regard to the future, my right hon. Friend the Chief Secretary for Ireland hopes next year to be in a position to consider what further steps may be taken to promote technical education (especially as regards dairying) in Ireland.
LORD MONTEAGLE OF BRANDON
I am much obliged to the noble Lord for the answer he has given. I think it would be better if the Return showed what was devoted to dairying instruction in other branches than dairying.
§ *LORD HENNIKER
Perhaps, I might point out that the Return will deal with technical education generally, and what part of these moneys have been devoted—first, to dairying; second, to mining; and third, to agricultural industries. Then another head is the instruction in other industries. Everything is put separately. I think that is what the noble Lord means.
LORD MONTEAGLE OF BRANDON
I have only one word to say as to what fell from the noble Earl upon two-points. He referred to the Technical Instruction Act of 1889. I will not touch upon that now, for I am afraid it does not refer to Ireland at all; but I daresay the Government will consider the point when they come to deal with the whole question. I was glad to hear from the noble Earl what I was not aware of before—that the National Board are going to appoint two travelling Inspectors; but I should like to point out it is important they should be really trained experts, because if it is done on the lines of previous experiments which have been made by the National Board in sending out dairymaids, I think that would not meet the case as regards the factories now being established.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF WATERFORD
With regard to what my noble Friend opposite (Lord Monteagle) has said relating to Ireland, it was very much on the lines of a question which I put put the other day with reference to the necessity of encouraging agriculture in Ireland for the benefit of the population generally. My noble Friend (Lord Cadogan) gave me a certain amount of 105 satisfaction in his answer, and I sincerely hope Her Majesty's Government will take up the question another year; but I would point out to my noble Friend (Lord Monteagle) that dairying was included in the question I asked, and I am of opinion that the Land Commissioners have done well by establishing an Agricultural Department; but it is an Agricultural Department not supported by the State, except in so far as regards the money which is provided for Inspectors to collect prices under the Act of 1887. That is the only money they receive at present. I think if Her Majesty's Government would in future consider whether it would be possible to transfer the powers of technical education, and dairying, and other things, to this Department, instead of keeping them as they are at present under the National Board, it would be much better. My noble Friend (Lord Monteagle) alluded to the butter factories which are being started all over the country. I am sorry to say I do not think they are doing as much good as he thinks, because men who send their milk to those factories almost inevitably lose a number of their calves.
§ *THE MARQUESS OF WATERFORD
I am sorry to say I found it so in my district. I hope the noble Lord will bear the questions in mind, and that the Land Commission may be turned into an Agricultural Department enabled to carry out some of the suggestions of the noble Lord opposite.
LORD MONTEAGLE OF BRANDON
I entirely agree in what the noble Lord opposite has said.Return showing the amount paid to the Council of each county and county borough in England and Wales out of the residue of the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Duties in respect of the year ended the 31st of March, 1891, and the decision of the Councils as to the purposes to which the sums so received are to be applied, distinguishing so far as possible the moneys to be devoted to technical education generally, and the part of those moneys to be devoted—(1.) to (a.) dairy, (b.) mining), and (c.) agricultural instruction; and (2.) to instruction in other industries,—(The Lord Monteagle of Brandon.)
§ Ordered to be laid before the House.
§ House adjourned at half-past Seven o'clock, till To-morrow, a quarter past Ten o'clock.