§ Mr. HUGH BARRIE
asked the Chief Secretary for Ireland whether he is aware that the General Assembly of the Irish Presbyterian Church, at its meeting in June, 1909, passed a resolution giving a general and cordial ap- 1377W proval to the Bill of the hon. Member for East Down (Captain Craig), intended to provide funds for the heating and cleansing of national schools; that, when it became known that the Bill would not meet with the general approval that had been expected, the assembly's committee on elementary education concurred in the alternative suggestion, as a provisional arrangement, that the managers should endeavour to raise half the cost in case the other half were provided by the Treasury; whether he is aware that, in response to a letter from the Countess of Aberdeen to the clerk of assembly, the general assembly, at its meeting in October, cordially approved the suggestion of Her Excellency that managers should raise their half and spend it in the early part of the winter, Her Excellency having stated that such a course would have a great deal of effect upon the Treasury, and that in this event the Chief Secretary had great hopes of being able to effect what he desired in the spring; whether the Treasury has consented to provide this Grant; whether it is his intention to include it in the Irish Education Estimates for the year; and, if not, will he say why this will not be done?
§ Mr. BIRRELL
I have within the last few days received copies of the resolutions and correspondence referred to. As regards the concluding parts of the question, I am not yet in a position to add anything to the reply which I gave to the hon. and gallant Member for East Down on 23rd February. The matter is still under consideration.