Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £94,800 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1927, chun Deontaisí i gCabhair do Chostaisí Fúndúireachtaí Príomh-Scoile, maraon le Deontaisí fén Irish Universities Act, 1908, agus fén Act Talmhan, 1923.
That a sum not exceeding £94,800 be granted 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, 1927, for Grants in Aid of the Expenses of University Institutions, including Grants under the Irish Universities Act, 1908, and the Land Act, 1923.
Deputies will notice, as regards sub-head A, that there is no change. The statutory grants are, for the present, included as they have been in the past. In regard to sub-head B, "Additional Grants," there is set down for University College, Dublin, a sum of £34,000, but that only represents part of the year's provision. The transfer of the functions of the College of Science to University College, Dublin, will not actually take place until 1st October, or thereabouts. There is a partial provision to the College of Science under its own heading and there is a partial provision here. The annual sum represented by the £34,000 is £50,000, which is made up of the two parts. We dissected the expenditure that fell under the heading of the College of Science, and we found that the non-agricultural part of the College of Science cost, annually, £32,000, so that that sum goes to University College, Dublin.
Heretofore, between additional grants of a recurrent character and what was called a non-recurrent grant, though it recurred several times, £20,000 went to University College, Dublin. That is a total of £52,000, but we are actually reducing that sum to £50,000. That means that University College, Dublin, including the College of Science, for the future, will get an annual sum less by £2,000 than what has been paid for the work of the two institutions in the past. On the other hand, we are giving to University College a lump sum of £25,000 to pay off the debt which arose out of the fact that building prices went up during the war and a heavy overdraft remained and interest charged accrued. We will not, however, lose the whole of the £25,000 because, under the provisions of the Bill which was introduced to-day, certain houses which were bought by the Senate of the University will be sold and the proceeds of the sale will revert to the Exchequer. We are estimating that in that way we will get a sum of £10,000, so that there will be a net advance under this, so far as Dublin is concerned, of something like £15,000, and there is a reduction in the annual grant of £2,000, when we take the College of Science and University College, Dublin, together.
By reason of the amalgamation it will be possible for the institution to effect some savings at once and effect further savings as vacancies occur and as a certain amount of duplication can be eliminated at no cost to the State a certain substantial sum will ultimately accrue to the University for the development of its work. In regard to University College, Cork, there is an increase, as compared with last year, of £8,000. University College, Cork, since the value of money has fallen so sharply, has not been able to carry on on the sums it was receiving from the State. It is a college, of course, which has developed substantially since the original endowment was fixed. It had, originally, £20,000, and it was given, in recent years, £12,000 additional, or a total sum of £32,000. It has not been possible for the College to carry on on that sum and, as a matter of fact, there was a deficit last year of over £4,000.
Owing to the great increase in the cost of living, the staff had to be given bonuses and the non-salaried staff had very substantial increases in their wages, so that the general costs have gone up, with the result that within the last three years or so the college in Cork accumulated a debt of about £15,000, which we propose to wipe out. That does not represent the entire debt due by the college in Cork. There is another substantial sum due which arose out of the purchase of playing fields, but our view is that the college itself should find a means of wiping off that debt. Actually, it requires an increase of something like £5,000 in order to enable the Cork college to pay its way and carry on without being obliged to fall into debt. There were necessary developments in the work there which required additional sums. Owing to the general State policy with regard to the teaching of Irish and the increased use of the national language, it was necessary that the college should make certain additional provisions for the teaching of Irish and for the teaching of subjects through the medium of Irish, so that the teachers going out, either to primary or secondary schools, should have a command and control of the language which would not be obtained by the mere teaching of Irish, but which necessitated a certain amount of education through Irish. That necessitated an addition of £1,500 or £2,000 to the sum by which it was necessary to increase the annual grant. An additional £1,500 or £2,000 was given for the general purposes of the college and to enable it to develop its work as it was found necessary to do so.
The colleges in Dublin and Cork have agreed that they will make no further application to the State for increased moneys for a period of at least five years and that they will definitely carry on their work without piling up debts which they might look to the State to liquidate at a later date. I feel this increase is an increase which is not excessive. It is an increase which was due, having regard to the development of the colleges, the increase in the number of students, the fall in the value of money, and the consequently increased charges upon the institutions.