§ CLASS IV.
§ 1. "That a sum, not exceeding £616,077 (including a Supplementary sum of £3,375), he granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1897, for the expenses of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland,"——
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Committee in the First Resolution."
§ MR. JAMES DALY (Monaghan, S.)
called attention to the position of the assistant teachers, who, he said, were extremely anxious to be paid the class salaries to which they were entitled. Take the case of a first class teacher who was teaching under a third class principal. Such a teacher, because he happened to pursue his calling under a third class principal only received third class pay. Supposing, however, that a partition was put up in the school, and the first class teacher was taken from under the wing of the third class principal, then he got the class pay to which he was entitled. Could anything be more absurd? The assistants had to perform duties equally as arduous as those which were undertaken by the principals, and he hoped this grievance, of which they justly complained, would be redressed with as little delay as possible. It was not denied by the Treasury that a large sum of money had been filched from the Irish teachers, and the course he had suggested might be one means of recouping them in a small way. The sum involved by this small concession would be trifling, whilst it would be sufficient to give great satisfaction 988 to a very deserving body of men in the teaching profession. The hon Member also complained that, whereas the assistant teachers in National Schools had to do more work than those employed in Model Schools, the latter received £10 a year more than their less fortunate brethren. He urged that this inequality should be remedied by increasing the pay of the assistants in the National Schools.
§ MR. MICHAEL FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)
supported what had been said by the hon. Member for South Monaghan as to the grievances of the assistant teachers in National Schools, and quoted resolutions from teachers in his own constituency urging the payment of class salaries.
§ MR. DILLON
complained that, as this Vote had been brought on unexpectedly, he had not the papers with him which were necessary to the proper discussion of certain matters which he wished to raise. On the question of Model Schools he should like to have some declaration of policy from the Chief Secretary. The expenditure on these schools was something like £30,000 a year. They professed to be a little superior to the National Schools; but, except in the North of Ireland, they were to a large extent deserted, and nothing like adequate results were obtained for such a large expenditure. Protests had over and over again been made against this system by those interested in Catholic education in Ireland without any result, and he should like to know whether it was the intention of the Government to look into the question of the school system in Ireland and make any proposal with regard to it in the coming Session? In a Report published as an appendix to the Annual Report of the Commissioners of National Education, it was casually stated by one of the Inspectors that he had no right to be present at the lessons given in the Central Model School, Marlborough Street, Dublin, which was a training school for the teachers attending the Marlborough Training College. He should like to know whether this institution was or was not subject to inspection, like other Model Schools.
§ MR. GERALD BALFOUR
was afraid he was in the same position as the hon. Member, and had not the papers with him that would enable him to go fully 989 into these questions. His impression was that a regulation had been or was about to be issued subjecting all Model Schools to inspection, like other schools. He thought they had been inspected under certain conditions, but not the full conditions under which other schools were inspected. As regarded the question of Model Schools generally, he knew it was a subject which had been very much debated, in which much interest had been centred, and to which criticism directed. He had not complete information on the question, but would inquire into it during the Recess, although he could not pledge the Government to any action with regard to it for next year. With reference to the point raised by the hon. Member, he could not agree with him that the change he suggested would not involve a considerable expenditure. The question was really a national one, and the view the Commissioners took was that at present it would not be desirable to make the change. They drew a sharp distinction between the duties performed by the principals and by the asssistant teachers. The latter had not got the responsibilities laid upon them which were laid upon the principals, and if these financial changes were made and the assistant teachers got class salaries, there would be a larger expenditure of public money, and he was also afraid the result would be that the principals in their turn would become dissatisfied with their position.
§ MR. GEORGE MURNAGHAN (Tyrone, Mid) moved, "That the Debate be now adjourned."
§ MR. DILLON
, speaking in support of the Motion, complained that the Secretary to the Treasury had treated him rather badly in regard to these postponed Votes. They were adjourned in order that he (Mr. Dillon) night have an opportunity of raising certain questions. The right hon. Gentleman met him in the Lobby and asked if he would consent to the Votes being taken after half-past five, and he replied—"Certainly not."
§ THE SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
I did not ask the hon. Gentleman's consent. There was no need to do so.
§ MR. DILLON
knew that, but a certain courtesy was usually practised in that House. When he told the right hon. Gentleman that he could not agree 990 to the Votes being taken after half-past five, the Secretary to the Treasury went away without making any observation, and he did not imagine the Votes would be taken. It was, of course, in the power of the Government to show no courtesy, if they were disposed, to their opponents, but that was not the usual way of conducting business.
§ MR. HANBURY
said he did not ask the hon. Member's consent. What he said was that the Votes would probably come on to-night. They had tried to consult the convenience of hon. Members by postponing the Votes twice already—[IRISH MEMBERS: "Only once!"]—and he thought it was only fair to give him notice that they would probably be brought on this evening.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
hoped the hon. Member for Mid Tyrone would not press his Motion. He was asked just now whether he thought the Vote ought to come on, and he said "Yes," for this reason, that he was afraid the alternative was, either bringing it on very late some other night or allowing it to go with the other Votes at the very end of Supply. He thought it would be better and more convenient to discuss it now than to adopt either of these alternatives.
§ MR. DILLON
thought the Secretary to the Treasury ought to have sent them some notice, after what occurred in the Lobby, that they were going to come on that night, as he distinctly left him with the impression that he agreed not to take them that night.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
said it was one of those mistakes that sometimes occurred, but he hoped it would not prevent the Motion being withdrawn.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.