§ Mr. KERR-SMILEY
asked what sums of money have been expended on the erection of national schools under Roman Catholic, Protestant, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist management, respectively, for the six years ending 31st March, 1912; why has the Roman Catholic Grant been so abnormally high; are there any instances of Roman Catholic Grants, which were applied for long after Protestant applications, being granted priority of the Protestant applications made long before; and, if so, what is the cause?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
The amounts of the Grants sanctioned by the Commissioners of National Education during the last six years towards the erection of new vested national schoolhouses were as follows: Roman Catholic, £214,479; Protestant Episcopalian, £14,668; Presbyterian, £15,339; Methodist, £1,937; other Protestant applicants, £1,195. The large amount of Grants made to Roman Catholic applicants, as compared with the total amount made to Protestant applicants, is due to the facts: (1) that a larger number of applications was received from Roman Catholic managers owing mainly to the larger number of schools under such managers, but, also, in part, owing to the greater disposition evinced by them as compared with Protestant managers to provided schoolhouses that are vested; (2) that many of these applications were in respect of schools with large attendances of pupils; (3) that a very large percentage of the schoolhouses in respect of which building Grants were applied for by Roman Catholic managers were situated in needy and congested districts, and the applicants, therefore, were entitled to and were given Grants in excess of the normal two-thirds of the estimated cost of the new houses. In several cases it was found necessary to give Grants for the entire cost. There are some instances of applications by Roman Catholic managers being given priority over applications by Protestant managers, andvice versa, for priority of receipt alone is not regarded as entitling a case to prior consideration. Under Treasury Regulations, and in view of the limited funds available for the service, applications for Grants towards the erection of schoolhouses are dealt with by the Commissioners in the order of 191W urgency—urgency being determined mainly by the condition of the existing house and premises.