§ *SIR W. WEDDERBURN
I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether he is aware that dissatisfaction exists in those parts of Scotland which were excluded from a share of the Secondary Education grant under the Minute of 27th April last; whether he will specify the districts thus excluded and state whether the Act of 1898, which applies to the whole of Scotland, justifies such exclusion; whether he is aware that in Banffshire excellent secondary education is provided in the secondary departments of State-aided schools, and that there is no immediate prospect of higher class secondary or technical schools, which are alone entitled to the grant, being established in the county; whether the Secretary for Scotland has considered a letter of 1st December last from the County Committee on Secondary Education, pointing out that the effect of the Minute will be to draw away the best pupils to a distance and cause deterioration of the elementary schools, with a tendency to rural depopulation; and whether he will reconsider the Minute with reference to the facts and arguments set forth in that letter.
§ *THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. A. GRAHAM MURRAY,) Buteshire
The conditions under which the grant in question is distributed apply equally to all parts of Scotland, and no district is at any disadvantage except in so far as it fails to fulfil these conditions. The arguments which are outlined in the terms of the hon. Member's question were set forth in detail by the Banffshire County Committee, and were fully considered by the Secretary for Scotland and dealt with by him in correspondence. The letter of 1st December has also been considered, but it does not add anything to the case, as previously stated. There is no intention of altering the policy laid down by the Minute of 27th April.