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Volume 155: debated on Wednesday 14 June 1922

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Education Grants


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that under the draft Minute of the Committee of Council on Education in Scotland, providing for the payment of grants from the Education (Scotland) Fund under Section 21 (2) (a) of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1918, there are two variations from the method of allocation adopted last year in the exclusion of burghs from participation in the excess staffing grants and in the raising of the rate of deduction in respect of the valuation from 4d. to 6d.; whether he is aware that under both heads Edinburgh is more seriously affected financially than any of the other burghs in Scotland, particularly in the matter of valuation; and whether, having regard to these facts, the method of distribution followed in 1921–22 can be retained?

I am naturally aware of the variations to which my hon. Friend refers. The Minute, which was framed after the most careful consideration, was circulated in draft to all the education authorities in Scotland, and from the representations I have received I am satisfied that it has the approval of the great majority. I would remind my hon. Friend that any alteration in the direction he suggests could only be effected at the expense of other authorities, many of whom are faced with the prospect of a more serious reduction of grant than is anticipated in the case of Edinburgh. The reply to the last part of his question is therefore in the negative.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that in the case of Edinburgh the reduction is as large as 75 per cent. of the entire grant, and in view of that, will he arrange with the Leader of the House to allow an opportunity for the discussion of the prayer to His Majesty to refuse assent to this Minute?

I am aware that the reduction in Edinburgh is a very considerable amount, though I am not prepared to subscribe to the exact sum which my hon. Friend mentions. On the other matter I will consult my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House.

Licences, Newmilns And Darvel


asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he is aware that the polls taken on 2nd November, 1920, in the burghs of Newmilns and Darvel were declared valid by the Court of Session on 7th March, 1922, and that on 27th May, 1922, the licences in these burghs were nevertheless confirmed for another year; and what action he proposes to take to secure that the lawfully expressed wishes of the inhabitants of these burghs shall not be deprived of effect?

I am aware of the facts in the cases referred to by my hon. Friend. I am advised that I have no jurisdiction to intervene in the matter. My right hon. Friend the Lord Advocate, however, is considering whether any remedy by way of legal process is open to him as representing the public interest.