University College, Galway, Bill, 1929—Second Stage.

I move: "That the University College, Galway, Bill be read a second time." Deputies will be aware that the statutory grant to the University College is £12,000. That is the amount that was fixed under the Universities Act, 1908. The actual present endowment of the College from the State is £28,000 under a settlement we made a couple of years ago, so that the larger part of the income of the College is at present in the form of a non-statutory grant. It is desired to make the entire State grant a statutory grant. That was done in the case of Cork and Dublin Colleges in 1926, when the University Education (Agricultural and Dairy Science) Act was passed. When that Act, which dealt with the position of the Cork and Dublin Colleges, was passed, decisions had not been come to in regard to Galway. Negotiations with the Governing Body of University College were, however, proceeding at the time, and the basis of those negotiations was that University College. Galway, was, by reason of its situation, practically in the Gaeltacht, in a town where 46 per cent. of the people are Irish speakers, with the most important Irish-speaking districts in the country adjacent, that that College could do work for the Irish language, and through the Irish language, which no other College in the country would be able to do for some time. The Governing Body of the College accepted the view that that college was in a position to do special work in connection with and through the Irish language, and that it ought to set out to do that work to an extent that other Colleges, perhaps, could not do it. The Government agreed to increase the statutory grant from £12,000 to £28,000. The College had other non-statutory grants before that; the income was not as low as £12,000. The salaries of lecturers and professors were to be increased as part of the scheme, as they were inadequate, and it was arranged that fees should no longer go to the lecturers and professors, that their salaries should be inclusive, and that the fees should go to the general fund of the College. It was also agreed, with a view to making the College cater to some extent, as far as possible, for the Irish-speaking districts, which, broadly speaking, are poor districts, that the fees should be reduced to the prewar level. It was also agreed that the Governing Body of the College was to establish certain scholarships for native speakers from the Gaeltacht. The College further agreed that, if circumstances permitted, it would do an increasing part of the academic and administrative work through Irish. It was also agreed to appoint immediately certain lecturers who would lecture in Irish.

The first part of this Bill really confirms that agreement which, as a matter of fact, has been acted upon for the last couple of years. In Section 2 there is provision whereby the Minister for Finance, and the Minister for Education, may make an order increasing the statutory grant by a sum or sums which will not exceed £2,000, when they are satisfied that it is required for the purpose of carrying further the work of Gaelicising Galway College.

All the Colleges agreed when the settlement was being made in 1926 that they would make no further applications for assistance to the Government until the expiration of five years. The Government did not undertake that any additional sums would be given at the end of five years, but it was left open for the Colleges to make application. However, in the case of Galway it was felt that the College should not be prevented from attempting to do new work through Irish, or new work in connection with Irish, or for the Irish language, by this grant being rigidly limited, and this provision is made, whereby the statutory grant to the College might be increased by order, which would, of course, be laid on the Table of the House.

There is another provision in the Bill which requires the Senate of the National University, the Governing Body of the College, and the President of the College respectively, when making appointments to any offices or situations in the College, to appoint, if suitable persons are available, speakers of Irish. There are no penalties attached to any breach of that clause and it is recognised that it is in the nature of a headline for the College; it is something put there to enable anybody in the Governing Body or anybody interested in the College to argue that the right thing ought to be done by the appointment of Irish speakers. It is felt, that the Governing Body of the College and others interested have appreciated the fact that the opportunities for development depend largely on the work of the College for the Irish language; that they will not need to be coerced in the matter, that when this headline is set down in the Bill they will endeavour, so far as circumstances will permit, to act up to it.

It is well to make statutory this grant of £28,000 to Galway College, for Galway was entitled to that pro rata, and we are entitled to a college there in the capital of Connaught, perhaps just as much as Cork and Dublin were entitled to their Colleges. That may be argued particularly when the tendency in many countries is to decentralise university education and to have local centres of culture. Then, the county councils of the West are interested, as they contribute towards the funds of the College by means of county council scholarships. But the pre-eminent claim of Galway College to continued existence is, as the Minister has suggested, that it should be a centre for the Gaelicisation of university education, for it is useless for us to speak of two languages being on an equality or of Irish being the preferred language as long as we cannot get a complete university education through Irish. True, it has been admitted into the University Colleges. It is compulsory for matriculation, but in some of the colleges, I am afraid, it is there like a poor relation, just inside the door.

The Title of this Bill is good—"for securing that persons appointed to offices," etc., "shall be competent to discharge their duties through the medium of the Irish language." But it seems to be watered down as you read through the Preamble—"for securing that certain of the professors," and so on, and "to take such further steps as circumstances may permit," etc. There is an inclination there to make the Title weaker as you read on. There is a reference also to a scheme of scholarships. I think that that should be made more definite, that such a scheme might be approved of by the Dáil, or that the papers should be laid on the Table so that we would know what percentage of the scholarships should be so given.

No date is given in the Bill as to when we might expect complete Gaelicisation. Of course, particular work could be done in Galway in the matter of providing teachers for secondary schools to enable them to carry out their programme through the medium of Irish. Secondary schools maintain that they would do a great deal more in teaching through Irish had they the teachers. They are not providing them in Dublin; I believe they are doing something in Cork, but there is an opportunity for them to do it in Galway.

Section 2 (5) says that the funds shall be used for the general purposes of the College. I have no doubt at all as to the bona fides of the present Governors of that College, but I would like to see that tightened up. Is there not a possibility that all those funds may be diverted to teaching through the medium of English later on? Some more stringent conditions than that should be laid down.

In Section 3 I see a danger of conflict between the Senate and the Governing Body and the President of the College. Irish speakers are to be appointed to these Chairs "provided a person so competent and also suitable in all other respects is to be found amongst the persons who are candidates or otherwise available." I wonder exactly who is to decide that? I would ask the Minister to consider whether that portion could not be omitted altogether. If it is not deleted on the Committee Stage, I intend to move an amendment to that effect. Once you leave these loopholes, they are generally availed of. I think that since the National University has now attained its majority—it is twenty-one years established—it is very nearly time, Irish having been compulsory for the twenty-one years, that it should be turning out men who would be able to teach subjects through Irish, or that some definite date should be fixed, within which that should be done, such as after 1934. There are many of us on those benches who could not allow that provision to stand, and I intend, if the Minister does not himself delete it, to move an amendment when the Committee Stage is reached.

I do not know if I would be in order in speaking of the funds of the Universities and Colleges in general. It would be enlightening to the Dáil if we had from the Minister —for it is very hard to obtain the information from scattered sources —particulars of the income of the University Colleges. What is the per capita cost to educate a student in any one of them? I find that it is about £73 a head in Galway, where they get £28,000. I think they have 416 students this year in the various faculties. Thirty-one of these are included in two faculties, so that the net total would be 385. I do not know how much they get from the county councils or from other sources, and I do not know where that information can be obtained. Cork has 489 students. Many of those may be included under two faculties, so that the numbers would seem to be nearly equal in the two Colleges. If the Minister or the Minister for Education on any occasion, not necessarily in connection with this Bill, could give us an idea of the resources and the incomes of all the Universities, what is given for research work, how much it costs to educate a student, how much goes in administration, and so on, it would be very interesting, and I think the House should get that information. However, the points I emphasise are the weaknesses in the Title as you go down along, not fixing the number of scholarships, not deciding as to what extent exactly you want the College Gaelicised year by year, or when you may expect to have a complete education through Irish, and also the deletion of that proviso in the last three lines of Section 3.

I welcome this Bill because it gives statutory effect to an agreement which was reached with representatives of the Galway College, following the reorganisation of the grants to University College a few years ago on the occasion of the taking over of the College of Science and the establishment of Agricultural and Dairy Science faculties in Dublin and Cork, respectively. I believe—and I say it speaking as a member of the Governing Body of Galway College—that the Governing Body and all the members of it are prepared to carry out the undertaking which has been given to the Government in regard to the appointments that will be made and in regard to the conditions which will be insisted upon in the matter of future appointments. I think the Minister will agree that in any appointments that have been made since that agreement was entered into those conditions have been complied with. I know that at the very last meeting which I attended an appointment was made, and I believe that the appointment that was made was determined by the fact that the person had a knowledge of Irish.

While I believe that, I am rather doubtful whether it would be wise to go any further in this measure in the direction indicated by Deputy Fahy. I question the necessity for it. If there was at any time a necessity, if it was shown that the understanding was not being honourably observed by the authorities of the College, action could be taken. But, as far as I know, the authorities of Universities are people who do not like to be kept too much on leading strings, and I personally approve of that. I do not know that we would be wise in limiting too much or binding up this grant too much with conditions if we feel satisfied—and I personally feel satisfied—that what we are aiming at will be gained without putting these conditions into the Bill. With regard to the last point especially made by Deputy Fahy in regard to the question of appointments made under Section 3, I doubt if it would be wise at this stage, and I doubt if it could be done if that proviso were left out altogether. I believe we are not yet in a position to say that every appointment to a University position in the College in Galway can be filled, every chair, every assistant professorship or lectureship can be filled in every case by people who are able to discharge their duties through the medium of Irish. I do not believe they have reached that stage, much as we would like it. If that proviso were taken out I feel it is possible anyhow.

I have not gone very deeply into it and I do not know the number of people that might be available but I am just saying what I feel to be the case. I believe there would be a danger that second rate men might have to be appointed to very important posts in the College if that condition were insisted on here and now. I think we will have to await a further development of the language before we can put down a rigid condition of that kind. I do not think anything would be gained by trying, I do not like to say "to rush" because it would be hardly rushing it. I agree largely with what Deputy Fahy says but we must take facts as we find them. I think that before a matter of that kind, the excision of that provision, would be carried by the House, that very much care and thought should be given to the problems that might arise. I believe there is no doubt whatsoever so far as the governing body of the College is concerned. While I cannot speak for the Senate we have some very strong friends of Irish in the Senate to see that it gets a fair show. I believe, in any given appointment a person who was suitable for the appointment in other ways would get a strong preference if he is able to discharge his duties through the medium of Irish. As I say, I doubt the wisdom at this stage of making that absolutely compulsory. The Bill is a simple one and it is only carrying but an agreement. I do not know exactly what the reason for the delay was. I do not think the college has lost anything by the delay. I believe it has not, but it is putting into operation the agreement that was arrived at and as I say I believe that the governing body should carry out the obligations which they have entered into in that agreement.

Everybody, of course, will be in agreement with the Minister and the two Deputies who have spoken that this Bill does bare justice to University College, Galway, and that University College, Galway, will be entitled to the money voted in this Bill. Even if there were no conditions attached to it, in view of the fact that the other colleges have been treated as they have been treated this money only puts University College, Galway, on a level relatively with the other colleges of the National University. It only happened owing to the peculiar situation of University College, Galway, that these conditions are being attached to the giving of the money by agreement because it is felt that there are certain ways in which University College, Galway, can do particular work and because University College, Galway, has expressed its willingness to do that work. What arises in my mind in reading this Bill is a doubt as to whether the conditions attached to this Bill are conditions which will ensure that University College, Galway, will do the work which it is intended it should do here.

Deputy Fahy has suggested that there are too many loopholes in Section 3 of the Bill, and that the proviso included in that section might usefully be deleted. Personally I am very much of opinion that it will not make very much difference whether you delete that or do not. Of course everybody who has anything to do with the university is well aware of the fact that at present the chances of getting people qualified to teach any subject on a university standard through the medium of the Irish language are extremely slight, and the danger I see in a proviso like this is not that you will not get people who are qualified to teach through the medium of the Irish language, but that you will get people appointed on the pretext that they are able to teach through the medium of Irish. They may know Irish well enough, but they are not qualified to teach the particular subject which they are appointed to teach. This is a danger to which the Dáil should be very wide awake, and which is inherent in this Bill.

As to the policy of Gaelicising the University, it is a simple fact that you will have to wait a long time and go through a long process of education before you get people turned out with the two remarkable and unusual qualifications of teaching any particular subject to university students, and in the second place, teaching it through the medium of the Irish language in such a way that when teaching it they will do as good work as if they were teaching it through any other medium. More important, there is a considerable danger, to my mind, from the point of view of the general education of the country, involved in that policy, and it is a policy in which I think the Government and the Dáil will be well advised to go slowly. Personally, if I were laying down conditions for the granting of this money to University College, Galway, I would be inclined to lay down different conditions, first of all to ensure that the Irish language itself, as a university subject, is taught in University College, Galway, as the French language is taught in the Sorbonne and as the German language is taught in Berlin. Anyone who knows anything about it will agree that in no university institution in Ireland at present is anything like that happening. Provision for the teaching of Irish in the National University was laid down in 1910, a good many years ago, and a good many years before people interested in university education had the same ideas or ideals about the teaching of Irish that they have now. That provision is very far from doing anything on a level with what is done in any modern European university for teaching the national language of the country. I believe it would do more good if you could ensure—and I do not see why it cannot be ensured in a short time —that in Galway you would not have two professors of Irish but five or six, each specialising in a particular subject and working and teaching that subject on a high standard. You should have somewhere in Ireland, for example, a professor of Irish literature. We have not got one at present. Then you should have a professor of the Irish language whose interest it should be to investigate the living dialects from the grammatical and phonetic points of view. We should have a professor of Irish folklore whose duty would be to make a survey either regionally or locally of the vast amount of very valuable educational and cultural material still alive in the mouths of the people here and there throughout the Gaeltacht. The possibility of doing this work is vanishing year by year. We have no man at present in any university post whose duty it is to do that work.

There are a good many other chairs of that kind which we could have and which I believe would do far more good in University College, Galway, or any other college, than appointing, say, a professor to teach physics, geology or some other subject through the medium of Irish. I am greatly afraid that in our anxiety to Gaelicise the Universities —and I am as anxious as anybody else to see this done as soon as it can be done—we are apt to go a little too quickly in the wrong direction. It would pay us better before we start Gaelicising the teaching of other subjects to see that the teaching of Irish itself is Gaelicised, and to see that there is proper provision made in some one institution in Ireland for the teaching of the national language on the same level as the national language is taught in other civilised countries. I suggest, in addition to this Bill—I do not know whether it could be done on account of the fact that this agreement is in existence—that it would be worth considering that the Dáil should request the Galway College to reconsider this whole arrangement for the teaching of the Irish language and see whether with Government assistance it could not be arranged to have various specialised professors of the Irish language who will teach the Irish language itself through Irish at a high standard, who will teach Irish literature, for example, and who would be prepared to lecture to their students on the literature of Ireland from the earliest period, from the 14th or 15th century down, and who would be prepared to teach students and to direct them in the work of producing editions of the works in Irish literature which are so badly needed.

I suggest that we should ask them whether they could not appoint a professor of dialects, especially a professor whose function would be to deal specially with the Connaught dialect, and whether they could not have a specialist in phonetics, whether they could not have a person whose duty it would be to organise a survey of the folklore which is still extant in Connaught, and particularly in Galway, within a stone's throw of the College. I think if that advice were taken, and if Galway College did that, that we would be then in a much better position to go ahead with the Gaelicisation of the College, and that after five or six years of conditions like that, in which you had a number of specialists teaching the language on a very high standard in different departments, you would be then able to advance and to secure that men would be turned out who would be skilled both in the Irish language and in the particular subject which it would be afterwards their duty to teach in Irish.

I am not by any means opposed to the motion of teaching being done in other subjects through the medium of Irish. What I do maintain is that it is barely possible to do that at the present moment. I maintain that it will be many years, especially under the present system of doing things, before that will be possible. Before we can make any pretence at doing that sort of thing we should first of all put the teaching of the Irish language itself in its own proper position in University College, Galway, and indeed in all the colleges of the National University. There is some danger that we may go too fast in the wrong direction in doing this and it would be well worth our while to consider the whole question from the point of view of the results that we would be likely to get.

I do not believe that the heads of the governing body of the University or the Senate of the University will strive to shirk the obligations they have honourably undertaken in this agreement with the Government. What I do fear is that in their anxiety to fulfil these obligations it may sometimes happen that they may appoint to a Chair a person who, though qualified in the Irish language, is not skilled to lecture on the particular subject which he undertakes to lecture on. For that reason, I suggest to the Minister and to the Dáil that it would be well worth reconsidering the whole question and trying to arrange that first and foremost the teaching of the Irish language itself should be put in a strong position in University College, Galway.

I do not know whether Deputy Tierney's, speech was a speech in favour of this Bill or against it. It seems extraordinary at this hour of the day, on such an important matter as the Gaelicising of a national university, that we should be told that this whole Bill should be withdrawn and something new substituted.

I have not suggested that the Bill should be withdrawn. I have only suggested a possible direction in which the Bill should be amended. I have by no means opposed the Bill. I think it is a completely wrong suggestion to make that I have done anything of the kind.

I thought I heard Deputy Tierney saying that it would be better to get University College, Galway, to reconsider the whole proposal with a view to bringing forward new ones.

The proposal contained in Section 3.

I think it would be possible, and I see no reason why there should not now be put in a schedule in the Bill with regard to the appointments which are to be made in which it will be necessary that the holders will have a knowledge of Irish competent to carry out their duties in that language. A list of the different lectureships and of the different professorships could be set out in the Bill. I cannot see why we cannot get people with sufficiently high qualifications in Irish to lecture if we specify the qualifications they are to have. I cannot understand what the Senate of the National University will be doing. While I, to some extent, agree with Deputy Fahy's point of view about a proviso, I cannot understand how it would not be possible for the Senate of the National University to appoint certain people to positions of as high intellectual standard as exists in the case of lectureships and professorships where the work is carried out in English. The Senate is not going to take the definite step of appointing persons who are not, whatever their competence in regard to the language itself may be, sufficiently competent to discharge their duty in Irish. I think that these matters could be got over by putting in a schedule in the Bill setting out definitely the names of the posts which are to be filled by Irish speakers and by Irish speakers only. I do not know whether Deputy Tierney has himself experience of the difficulty of lecturing through Irish, but, according to what teacher in the primary and secondary schools throughout the country say, it is not a thing which is impossible. If a person is a teacher of high qualifications in any subject, it ought not to be impossible for him within a few years—even, let us say, for a German, like the man we have here in Dublin connected with our antiquities. I daresay if you asked that man to study up his particular subject in Irish so as to be able to lecture in it, he would be able to do it in a very short time, although his particular branch would be one of the most difficult. There is undoubtedly a danger in the case of a small college like Galway, which has had a high reputation—I am a past student myself—for its engineering school, in suddenly imposing upon it the necessity of appointing an engineering professor, for example, who would lecture through Irish, but that would not be a serious danger. At the same time, while allowing for the fact that that danger exists, I think it would be extremely dangerous for the Dáil to assume that the Governing Body of the College or the University will not do their utmost to appoint qualified people for all these positions.

I agree with Deputy Tierney that the other colleges are not doing their share. While I am strongly in favour, as all members of the Dáil, I hope, are, of giving Galway the proper financial assistance to which it has been entitled, I think that Deputy Tierney's warning note, that we are perhaps imposing a heavy burden on Galway which we do not realise, could be stressed more sufficiently here, and that perhaps the question could be gone into a greater length, if not now, I hope on the Committee Stage.

You have established in University College, Dublin, an agricultural faculty and in University College, Cork, a dairy faculty. These two faculties are concerned with things in which the whole nation wants progress. University College, Galway, is going to be concerned with the development of what a large part of the nation, unfortunately, has organised against and is determined to put every obstacle in the way of its development. There is no use in thinking that University College Galway, can do its share unless it gets assistance from the other colleges.

Deputy Fahy referred to the question of a scholarship scheme. Whether you are going to get native speakers who will have reached the stage at which you can rightfully give them scholarships to your Irish-speaking college in Galway, I do not know. What I do know is that Deputy Tierney has laid his finger on the weak spot when he pointed out that undoubtedly the danger of not getting the highly-qualified people is there. The only way to get over that difficulty is to provide finances to enable the native speakers or persons qualified—they need not in my opinion be native speakers from the cradle, although we would prefer if they were, but persons who have worked up as far as the University and have got their degree to carry on. There ought to be provision for increasing the post-graduate scholarships to enable them to do that. If before the Committee Stage, you go into that question in the preamble of the scholarships, if you try to increase them, if you get in touch with University College, Galway, and try to get them to make definite proposals by which there will be no doubt whatever that the persons will be available to do this work, and that it is definitely specified here that a number of scholarships will be granted from this time forward for special research work in the Irish language, there is no doubt that you will get dozens of graduates every year, who are going out into a market which is full to overflowing, who cannot get employment, and who will be only too glad to carry on and get the very highest qualifications and go abroad if necessary. But, at the present time, if a student has an equal choice, for example, as to whether he will go to the dairy faculty in Cork or the agricultural faculty in Dublin and get a good position under the Minister for Agriculture, or whether he will go down to Galway and spend several years studying Irish there on the off-chance—because there will be no certainty whatever about it—that he will get a position afterwards, there is a weakness there. I think that to hold out a decent promise of a decent opportunity to students by giving a larger number of post-graduate scholarships or concentrating all the best students of the other two colleges in Galway, as well as Galway's own students, is a way out of the difficulty.

We are faced in this Bill, as far as the Irish language is concerned, with a difficulty that we are faced with constantly, and that is the question as to whether we are going to make appointments on the highest qualification professionally, or whether we are going to give preference to the Irish language. We have to face that some time or other, and I, for one, believe that there is far less danger that a person who knows Irish will be appointed who may be incompetent professionally than there is that we will have the claims of the Irish language neglected. I am perfectly certain of that. Remember that when an appointment is being made in the university, first of all, the representatives of the faculty concerned are consulted. Every member of that faculty is naturally interested in seeing that the candidate chosen will be the one with the highest qualifications in the particular subject. The appointment next goes before the Academic Council. The members of this Council represent the professional side, and they also are bound to be influenced by the question of qualifications. The appointment then goes before the Governing Body of the College. That, perhaps, is the body of all bodies concerned which contains the least proportion of those who are professors in the University and directly on the Academic side. I do not know the exact proportion at present in Galway, but I am sure, without examining it, that the preponderating element are the professors and representatives of the College. I may be wrong in that. I admit that that body is the widest body. Then you come to the Senate, and there again you are bound to have the question of the qualifications of the candidate in the particular subject very strongly represented. The national side of the question that is a necessity if we are going to save the Irish language by putting it into its proper position in the University Colleges will scarcely be considered.

I have been, for obvious reasons, loath to speak in this matter at all. I do not want to be taken for a moment as dissenting from a great deal of what Deputy Tierney has said. There is no doubt that a tremendous amount of work can be done for the Irish language on the Irish side itself, and that it ought to be done —that the Irish language ought to be, not merely in Galway, but in all the other colleges, in a position which, unfortunately, at the present moment it does not occupy. I do put this to Deputy Tierney. Suppose you have what he suggests done for the Irish language in the three Colleges, what is going to happen a native Irish speaker who comes into the University and wants to go through all his courses in Irish? He has to go to the professor of engineering. Has he got to learn English in order to do that? Is it right that he should be compelled to learn English for that purpose? Is it not our duty to see that there is at least one college in the country where a native Irish speaker can go through from beginning to end on the strength of his own native language? I say it is.

I think the time has come when we ought definitely to make it clear, as far as this body is concerned, at any rate, if we are going to give grants for the Irish language we are going to give them to enable one college to be made a really Irish college. That can be done in Galway. I see no other hope as far as the Gaeltacht is concerned of putting the Irish language in its proper position. I believe that if you give way weakly to the difficulty now you are going to give way to that difficulty every time it confronts you. There is hardly a case in which an appointment is made in which the question I have raised does not arise. It may be met within the charter of the University under the Act as it stands —temporary appointments might be made in special cases—but I think the time has come when we should let everybody know that if there are going to be appointments made in University College, Galway, in future in all the Chairs there, they are going to be made on the basis that the holders of the Chairs have a knowledge of Irish which will enable them to teach native Irish speakers in their own language. That is the view I know of a number of people here. I believe that if you could canvass them it would be the view of a great number of people in the universities who have the same views as Deputy Tierney, and rightly so, as to the high standard that the holders of these Chairs ought to have. If you ask them they will be prepared to face the dangers that might arise through omitting this proviso rather than face the dangers that are bound to arise if you include it.

There will be difficulties in carrying it out, because there is bound to be a conflict of opinion. You will have endless difficulty and complaints if this proviso is allowed to stand. I, for one, would ask the Minister for Finance in particular to see that in this particular matter a headline should be set now, and that there should be no further question, in order to show that we are serious about this restoration of the Irish language. We want to have one college, a college that is eminently situated, to be the college that will become the Gaelic centre where the native Irish speaker can get a complete university education and can qualify for any of the professions in Irish. If you do not do that you cannot come along to the lawyers, for instance, and tell them that they must be able to conduct their business in Irish. You cannot come to the doctors and tell them that they must be prepared to work through Irish. The position, to me at any rate, is that we have here a difficulty which is constantly confronting us. If we go away from that we are putting off until Tibb's Eve the day when we are going to have Irish as a live spoken language in any university college.

I think there are perhaps two points of view to be taken in relation to the Gaelicisation of Galway. The one is that we should tie up the governing body—that we should tie it up very tight, as Deputy Fahy suggested and as Deputy de Valera suggested—and the other is that we should take the view that the governing body itself will realise the position. Since this Bill was introduced I have had people writing to me to say the Bill was bad because a lot of people on the governing body, who really did not care about Irish, would pretend to make provision for Irish in order to get an increased grant and then allow the arrangement which they had made to fall into disuse, or something of that sort. I do not accept that view. There may be people on the governing body of Galway College at the present time who do not care about the Irish language or the future of the Irish language. There probably will be some people there for a considerable time whose real view will be one of indifference to the Irish language, but I know there are many people there who are as keenly interested in the Irish language as any of us. I know since the new arrangement was made—I have the testimony from a variety of sources—that the spirit in University College, Galway, in regard to Irish has very definitely improved; there is more Irish amongst the student body and more interest in the Irish language than ever there was before.

I believe there is a definitely new spirit in University College, Galway, and I believe that that condition will continue to improve there. I believe that even the people who do not care anything about the Irish language themselves will see—and this Bill is one of the ways for making that clear —that if this College is to increase in importance and to get additional endowments or favours from the Government it must sincerely and earnestly go ahead with the work of making itself an Irish College. If the provision operates at all that the professors must have Irish before they can be appointed, then the enthusiasm for the Irish language among the professorial body will increase, and I believe between all influences that may be at work that we can depend upon it the governing body will be really keen to make this a Gaelic University. I say this. I regard the making of this College a Gaelic University College as extremely important from the language point of view. I can say that although we limit, under the present Bill, the endowment which the College may get to £30,000, if it went ahead and does its work right we would be prepared to make further proposals to the Dáil that would still further increase the efficiency and the importance of the College as a Gaelicised, or nearly Gaelicised, institution. My position therefore is, and it is reflected in Section 3 and sub-section (2) of Section 2 and so forth, to depend upon the spirit of the people of Galway, and to depend upon the inducement held out to them, to do all that can be done to Gaelicise the College entirely.

I am in agreement with Deputy de Valera to this extent: that I think with him there is really much greater danger that the claims of the Irish language will be ignored than that the proper standard of professional qualification would be ignored. We know in the past that what happened is that all sorts of people, when appointments were to be made—it still happens and perhaps will happen for some time— that people who theoretically want an Irish speaker appointed when it comes to making the actual appointment, for personal or other reasons and for a variety of reasons, set aside the question of the Irish language and ignore it in making the appointment. I think that would be a greater danger than the danger of people not actually being up to the standard of university professors being appointed because they have a knowledge of Irish. That danger is not very great. I feel that if we cannot make the governing body of Galway College as enthusiastic about Irish as any Irish speaker in this Dáil would be then we will not get any very great progress from the college. If we depend for the progress of the Irish language entirely upon statutory provisions and the actual sort of coercive pressure we are able to exercise I do not think we will get very far with the matter. I think we must believe that an atmosphere can be created; that a governing body will come into being that will do all that is possible to create it. While I am anxious that every possible, speed should be made towards reaching a position where nobody will be appointed to a professorship or lecturership who cannot do his work in Irish, still I do not think it would be wise to strike out the proviso as suggested by Deputy Fahy.

It is difficult to fix a time limit. On most subjects you mention it might be possible next year, or even now, if you search around, to get someone who would lecture in Irish, but on some subjects you might not be able to get anybody for ten years or longer. And so it is impossible to put a time limit in unless we fix a maximum time limit —and I do not think it would be desirable—that would allow for other contingencies. If we fix a short time limit a short distance ahead we might have the danger that Professor Tierney referred to, that is, that you might have second-rate men appointed really on the ground that they could lecture through Irish, although they might not be up to the standard. I do not think the Irish language would be helped in having a number of second-rate men, or by having a college get a reputation that it was a Gaelic college, but of a second-rate class. I would prefer to do this under the sort of elastic provisions of sub-section (2) and have the Minister for Education and the Minister for Finance in the position to enable that College to give a special salary to somebody who is able to do work in Irish, to take any sort of special steps of that kind in order to get good men, and to have them know they could get funds to do it rather than have them lower the reputation of the college.

I agree with Deputy Tierney that it would be better to have more staff for the Irish language itself. I would be prepared to put a slight amendment in the Bill to enable that to be encouraged. I think it is undoubtedly necessary that there should be additional staff, and that perhaps the Irish Language Chair here in this College, as in other colleges, should be split up into several chairs in order to enable more intensive work to be done. But I do not think that the doing of that alone is going to carry it ahead as Deputy Tierney thinks. It is not going to get us a professor in geology or a professor in physics who can lecture through Irish. For instance, technical terms used in conversation come down from universities. Anybody who knows the difficulties that the Irish language labours under at the present time is aware that even a person who knows Irish pretty well will find that there are many subjects which ordinary intelligent people will talk about that it is difficult for him to discuss because we have not had much university lectures on them, because we have not had the terminology filtering down.

Deputy Tierney said that we should first and foremost deal with the Irish language itself. I, too, would say that we should immediately deal with the Irish language itself, but I do not want to say that we should do so first and foremost. I do not think that we can postpone other things. I do not think that we should postpone getting someone to lecture, through Irish, on history, geology, or any other subject, if such a man can be found, simply because we attach more importance to doing things directly in connection with the Irish language itself. I do not know Whether there is anything in the way of amendment that can be considered before the Committee Stage. I am satisfied myself that so far as University College, Galway, is concerned it is realised that we are tackling this thing seriously. In all the circumstances, I am quite satisfied that there will not be much of a tendency there to ignore the claims of the Irish language. Even if we left the provisions exactly as they are, and held out no inducement to the College that its prospects from the point of view, as I have said, of endowments or favours from the Government depended on it seriously dealing with the language, I believe there is no danger that we would not have a united effort on the part of those who are in the College, whatever their individual feelings may be about it, to endeavour to push forward the work of the language.

As regards amendments, might I ask the Minister will he be prepared to increase the discretionary grant? The £2,000 will not, I think, be sufficient to make it a real inducement.

I will explain that. In the year 1926, when we fixed the arrangement with the College, it was agreed that they would not come looking for any further grants until the expiry of the five years, that is, until the year 1931. This sum of £2,000 was put in really to cover the interval, the period under the arrangement by which the College pledged itself not to come looking for any additional assistance. From what I know, I do not believe it would be possible for the College to undertake new works within, say, the next couple of years that would require more than £2,000.

Suppose that it is within the discretion of the Minister to do it, the fact that you take that discretion does not mean that you have got to pay the money out unless you get work done. This sum of £2,000 is a comparatively small amount. I do not think that is going to be a sufficient inducement, or that it is going to give an incentive to do the particular work the Minister wants.

I will consider that. What I had in mind was this, that if in a comparatively short time there was a good professor, say, of some subject available who could lecture through Irish, then the College would be able to come to the Minister for Education and say: "Here is So-and-So, a very good man, who can lecture through Irish. We have not the means to appoint him, and he wants so much." It would then be possible to arrange to give an increased grant. There are not going to be very many people of that sort available. If you got one professor you would probably be doing very well in the next couple of years, or if you got a couple or three lecturers, alternatively, you would be doing very well. Our estimate was that while we wanted the College to go ahead we did not just want to tempt them to over-rush it. There is no sacredness about the figure. In view of the short period that will elapse during which the College is pledged not to make further application, we think that that sum will suffice for any developments which are likely to come.

Question put and agreed to.
Committee Stage ordered for Thursday, 31st October.