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Board Of Education (Ireland)

Volume 52: debated on Friday 7 February 1840

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wished to put a question to the noble Secretary for Ireland, on a matter of deep interest and importance to the people of that country. He wanted to know whether any change had been made in the regulations under which the Board of Education made grants for schools, since the Committee of the House had sat upon the subject; and if a change had been made, he wanted to know what the nature of it was, and when it was made. He hoped that the noble Lord would give him a satisfactory answer, and save him from the necessity of asking the noble Lord some other questions?

said, that the only change which he knew of was one stated in the report of the Board of Education for 1838, which permitted the local committees and patrons of schools to set apart certain hours out of the regular hours for school instruction for the purpose of communicating religious instruction.

wished to be informed whether any change had been made in the queries formerly circulated by the Board among the applicants for schools; and whether, in those applications, it was necessary or not that the application should be the joint application of the clergy of different persuasions?

said, that the queries had never been publicly put forth in any document, but had always been regulated at the discretion of the board. A change had recently been made with respect to the queries. Instead of sending them to the applicants, they were sent by the board to the inspectors whom it had appointed, and by those inspectors they were now filled up. With regard to the applications, he did not know that there had been any alteration in the mode in which the aid must be asked for in order to be given. It was laid down in the letter of the noble Lord, who was the founder of those schools in Ireland, that preference should be given to those applications which came from clergymen of different persuasions. The grants, however, were not limited to such applications: they were frequently made in cases where the application came from one clergyman only.

Would the noble Lord answer him one question more? In the year 1833, the Synod of Ulster had publicly stated the terms on which alone it would receive aid from the Board of Education. Now, he wanted to know, whether there had not been recently a conference between the Board of Education, a deputation from the synod of Ulster, and the Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and whether that conference had not terminated in an application for aid by the synod of Ulster? He also wanted to know whether that result had been brought about by the Synod of Ulster's abandoning its conditions of 1833, or by the board's abandoning its resolutions?

had reason to believe that since his departure from Ireland, conferences had been held upon this subject between a deputation from the Synod of; Ulster and the Board of Education, and that at one of those conferences the Lord-lieutenant had been present. He had also reason to hope that the result of that conference would be the establishment of a perfectly good understanding between the Board of Education and the Synod of Ulster. But he did not understand that that good understanding either had arisen or would arise from any departure from the principles which either party had laid down. There had been a removal of misapprehensions, which he believed would ultimately be of great advantage to all parties.

Subject dropped.