Committee on Finance. - Vóta 39—Oifig an Aire Oideachais (d'atógaint).

Debate resumed on the following motion:—
That the Estimate be referred back for reconsideration.—(Deputy Moylan.)

It is time that this Dáil, the Department of Education and every public representative concerned should declare war on the insanitary schools which are still in existence. In doing that I am asking for the wholehearted co-operation of school managers and everybody concerned. I would ask the Minister to expedite the removal of the shocking conditions which prevail in many schools and to do everything possible to assist school managers and the people of the parish to build schools and to do away with the red tape that is involved in all these matters. I have been trying for a number of years to expedite the building of schools in County Dublin. Some machinery should be introduced so that teachers and children will be able to work under healthy conditions. I hope the Minister and his Department and the Office of Public Works will do all in their power to improve the position. I must say the Department of Education and the Board of Works have succeeded in building hundreds of good schools all over the country. I do not intend to take any credit from them that is their due, but in regard to County Dublin the position is not satisfactory. I have been trying to get a school built in one area in County Dublin for ten years and the site has not been chosen yet. We are building sanatoria and hospitals and trying to look after the health of our people by building houses, and yet we have these insanitary schools.

We have a number of teachers in this country who are, in my estimation and from certain reports I have had, not pulling their weight. People such as we who are public representatives are expected to be conscientious about serving the people, and if I fail in my capacity as a Deputy to answer a letter from any of my constituents I hear all about it. A teacher who is not doing his job is acting criminally towards the children of this country. I must say that we have excellent teachers in the country and I include my own county in that. They deserve the praise of this House and of the country as a whole for being national heroes trying to uplift the fortunate children who happen to be in their charge. However, I have no use for teachers who fail in their duty and I am sure that this Dáil would support me in that. I may be asked questions outside about what I am saying now but I do not mind who is vexed or pleased. Any teachers who are not pulling their weight should understand that this will not be tolerated.

I will go a step further and say that the inspectors should be supported by the Department of Education and by this Dáil in doing their duty. I do not want an inspector to do an injustice to any teacher. It may happen that a teacher may be in a school where the children are exceptionally dull and he may find it impossible to bring them up to a certain standard, but I speak of the case where it is proved that a teacher is neglecting his job, that he has no interest in his duty towards the children under his charge. If those children are allowed to grow up for five, six or seven years in that state, then having to go out and earn a living without being able to write their names, that teacher should not have any sympathy from this Parliament. He is paid for doing his duty and we should see to it that he does it. I do not think any honest-minded man can say I am uncharitable in speaking like that. We have been hiding our heads in the sand too long. There is too much petting of people when they are asked to do a particular job. I hope the Minister will take note of my remarks in that regard and act accordingly.

With regard to pensioned teachers, the Minister's predecessor, Deputy Moylan, did something to alleviate the position of teachers who retired prior to 1950. A number of these have retired on small salaries. Every civil servant and every employee of a local authority received 18 months' salary on retirement, but these pensioned teachers got nothing except what Deputy Moylan as Minister for Education gave them; he gave them one-third of the amount they would normally have got. That was a generous gesture. I appeal to the present Minister to be equally generous to the few who are left. Remember, with every day that passes their number is decreasing. The Minister should follow the good example set by his predecessor.

There is a somewhat strange position as between Dublin City and Dublin County where teachers are concerned. Teachers within a certain radius of the city receive a higher rent allowance. Rents in any part of County Dublin to-day are very high and I think all teachers should be brought into line so far as rent allowances are concerned. So far we have not achieved the object of providing our teachers with houses. Until we do, we should make the allowances commensurate with the services rendered and the conditions prevailing in the locality. These anomalies should not exist.

I want to compliment the County Dublin Vocational Committee and our chief executive committee on the magnificent work they are doing. They are doing their utmost to promote vocational training. That is most essential. Every child should have an opportunity of attending these vocational schools to equip him or her to take a position in life. Deputy Moylan was very keen on vocational education when he was Minister for Education. He did everything in his power to encourage the building of vocational schools. Technical education is an asset to any child. It is a definite advantage in the case of the young boy or girl who is compelled to emigrate. I would like to see a vocational school in every parish. Naturally that would be a long-term policy and I appeal to the Minister to do everything he possibly can to expedite the building of more vocational schools.

This has been an interesting debate. Many useful points have been made. We are most fortunate in this country in that we are descended from people who had a real Christian outlook. It would be well for us to do everything we can to foster that tradition. Other countries have not had the same fortunate experience as we have had in that regard. Many of our teachers, both lay and cleric, are descended from people who had a really good Catholic and Christian outlook. The majority of our teachers are first class. We should express our appreciation of them. Their work is hard. They work long hours. They work under the disability sometimes of monotony. Each year they have to start all over again on the same programme, cope with the same type of children, the brilliant, the less brilliant, the mediocre and the stupid. They have to do all they can to equip them for the battle of life. They have done very well so far and I want to express my appreciation of their magnificent work.

The teaching of Irish has been debated at some length. I agree with the viewpoint expressed. Irish should be taught in our schools. I think, however, that it is difficult both for the teacher and the student to cope with other subjects taught through the medium of Irish. I am all for Irish. I think the salutations alone—Dia dhuit, Dia agus Mhuire dhuit, 'se do bheatha—are well worth adopting in daily life. The language is worthy of preservation if only for the salutations alone. I doubt if there are equivalent salutations in any other language.

I feel very strongly and very keenly that we should do everything humanly possible to foster the Irish language. I have always believed that. Like Deputy Michael O'Higgins, who spoke last night, unfortunately, I have forgotten quite a lot of the Irish I learned as a young man, due to not having sufficient practice. Perhaps some of the fault is my own. Perhaps the same could be said of other Deputies and of the general public. We should do everything possible to encourage our children to speak Irish and to play Irish games. The generations who came before us did these things and we will be failing in our time if we do not live up to these traditions.

The national school is of primary importance. Next in importance to the good parents in the home is the national school. I have already complimented the national school teachers and other teachers on their great work but their work is being hampered to a large degree by reason of the fact that they are expected to teach Irish to English-speaking children immediately they arrive at the national school. Many of these children may not have heard a word of Irish at home. They are confused when they attend school for the first time and hear what is to them a strange language. In many cases the parents cannot be blamed for that. Many of the parents have to emigrate to England, America and other countries where English is spoken. Personally, I would prefer that a child would not be compelled to learn Irish or to learn through the medium of Irish until he has reached the second or third class. As the child grows older and hears the children at school speaking Irish, he will become interested and will learn the language more enthusiastically and will not find it as difficult as he might if he were compelled to learn Irish from the first day he arrives at school.

The national school is commonly called the poor man's university. Unfortunately, the majority of our people cannot avail of any other form of education, even technical school education. Many people who attended only the national school have distinguished themselves, to the credit of themselves, their teachers and their parents. Everything possible should be done to maintain the good standard of our national schools.

The Minister has had an opportunity of hearing various suggestions made by Deputies and he can consider them, with his advisers, and try to put them into practice where feasible.

The question of sanitary accommodation has been referred to. My experience in North Mayo is that the situation is deplorable. There are many national schools in North Mayo that have no proper sanitary accommodation. That is a very regrettable state of affairs. The cost of removing a child to hospital and maintaining him there for a long period is very high. It is much better business to spend £100 or £200 in providing running water and proper sanitary accommodation in the schools. That matter has been dealt with already and I join with those Deputies who stressed the importance of providing proper sanitary accommodation. These amenities are provided in most of the schools around the City of Dublin but they are not provided in many of the rural schools. It is not beyond the capacity of the Government to remedy this matter. The generations who came before us had to erect churches, bridges, schools and a thousand and one other things. We in our time should face up to our responsibility. The health of our children is a most important matter and we have grave responsibility if we neglect it.

I should like to refer briefly to the question of school meals. In the City of Dublin the standard of school meals is far superior to those provided in the country. That is most unfair and very wrong. I have heard from most reliable people about the meat sandwiches and other types of sandwiches supplied to children in the various national schools in this city. The quality of the food is very high. The quality of the milk provided is very good. It is a very lavish lunch that the children get in the City of Dublin and some other places. I do not grudge these children that food. I am glad to think that they are provided for in that way but, if one contrasts that with our experience in the country, one finds a great discrepancy. We hear of bread vans going out and delivering 2 lb. loaves or 4 lb. loaves to the children in the country districts. These are cut up and sometimes are broken up by the children and sometimes the bread is thrown around the school yard. Bread supplied in that fashion is not very palatable and the children are not inclined to eat it and there is a lot of abuse.

It seems to me that there is one system of supplying school meals for the city people and another system of supplying them for the rural people. That can be carried into many other aspects of administration in this country. The Minister should look into that matter and see that there is proper supervision. He should also ensure that there is a high standard in the supply of school meals and see that, whoever delivers the bread, will have it conveyed under proper hygienic conditions and so forth and not run the risk of spreading some disease among our children. In this matter it is necessary to have more fair play as between country and town.

In regard to school buildings, we have in our area some very fine schools. We also have schools whose roofs are not in the best state of repair and whose windows are not in very good condition. The rain comes in and you may have very low temperatures. Breezes blow around the schools. I suggest that many of these defects could be remedied by a repair gang who would carry out temporary repairs. We should have a repair gang system whereby a squad of competent men in a county town, on receipt of a report that a school was in a bad state of repairs, would carry out temporary repairs. Our children should not be left standing in a cold school-room from 10 o'clock in the morning until 3 p.m. or 3.30 p.m. in the afternoon. That is not good for the children no matter how you may look at it.

With regard to technical education, we in the County Mayo are very happy about the progress we have made. Some of my neighbours, not in my immediate vicinity, cannot avail of the valuable education that is there for people who are anxious to avail of it. In that regard I should like to pay a compliment to the County Mayo Vocational Education Committee for the fine work they have done. Deputations have come to see the Minister from time to time. Sometimes they go away disappointed when they do not get all the money they would like to get to extend the work.

I should like the Minister to know that we in the County Mayo are anxious for his fullest co-operation and all the consideration he can possibly give us. Secondary education is beyond the reach of many of our people. They cannot afford it as it is very expensive. Vocational education is a cheaper form of education. It is very useful and it equips those who receive it for the battle of life. It provides the type of education which is eminently suitable for the people in my county. The majority of the people in Mayo are smallholders living on the mountainsides or, perhaps, on the bogs and, owing to the smallness of their holdings, the majority of them cannot provide secondary education for their children. A special case can be made for such areas. In fact, the congested areas should, at all times, get special consideration in matters of that kind.

I feel that if the Minister could devise a system whereby he would take specially under his wing the congested areas and give them prior consideration, it would be very helpful. The people living in cities like Dublin, Cork, Galway and other centres have the advantage of being able to send their children to school and the children can have their meals in the morning and come back in the afternoon. Contrast that with the position of the people living in areas remote from universities and you will appreciate the task of educating a child in those areas as compared with what it is in the city and suburbs.

Therefore, I would ask the Minister to consider that we have a special problem. It is generally recognised that children in the Gaeltacht and mountainous areas are usually brighter. They are a hardier type and are very fond of education and those facilities should be provided for them. The majority of the people just cannot have university education provided for their children except the children win scholarships but even there the matter does not finish as there are other aspects to be considered also.

I would ask the Minister, when the County Mayo Vocational Education Committee apply to him for money, to realise that thousands of our people are emigrating to England and America, and it is from these areas in particular that the majority of the people are fleeing. The Minister should give us special consideration. I am prepared to pay the Minister this compliment. He has all down through the years been a great believer in Gaelic and everything Irish. He has proved that in many ways. I was only a young boy coming to the City of Dublin when I heard of his activities in connection with the Gaelic movement. I would say that of other members sitting on the other side of the House. The Minister now holds the responsible position of Minister for Education. If he appreciates—as I know he does—the value of the people living in these areas in Mayo and what they have done for the Catholic faith, Irish traditions and culture down through the years, he will give special consideration to them. I now ask the Minister to do that.

I consider he is sympathetic towards these people. We have a special problem and when the County Mayo Vocational Education Committee comes to him for grants to build technical schools, no matter from what part of the congested areas they come, I would ask him to give them favourable consideration and see that there are no Civil Service delays or red tape. I am not reflecting in any way on the Civil Service. I know they have to be very cautious and are answerable to this House. I would ask the Minister to see that any applications coming from my county or from any of the congested areas, where Irish has been spoken for a long number of years, will receive favourable consideration.

Níl a fhios agam an ceart dom mórán a rá mar bhí an díospóireacht sách fada agus tá a fhios agam gur mian leis an Aire agus leis na daoine eile deire a chur leis an díospóireacht ar fad. Bíonn áthas orm i gcónaí nuair a bhíonn ceist an oideachais á plé sa Dáil agus tá suim mhór i gcónaí agam sa gceist seo. Ta orm a rá go raibh baint agam le beagnach gach saghas scoile sa tír agus, mar sin, ba cheart go mbeadh eolas maith agam ar obair na scol. Ós rud é gur sean-athair mé agus go bhfuil clann mo chloinne ag fás suas, ní haon ionadh go mbeadh eolas agam ar an obair atá á déanamh ins na scoileanna agus cad ba cheart a bheith ós ár gcómhair i gcúrsaí oideachais. Bhí sé soiléir ó na Teachtaí a labhair anseo gur thuig siad cén saghas bun-mhúineadh ba cheart a bheith againn. Tuigeann an tAire é chomh maith ó na daoine atá ag tabhairt cúnta dhó.

Is deacair aon roinnt faoi leith a dhéanamh ar an gceist seo agus tagairt fé leith a dhéanamh di. Sé mo thuairim gur fearr dom tosnú leis na bun-scoileanna. Tá daoine ann atá ag déanamh iarracht breis abhar a chur dá mhúineadh ins na bun-scoileanna. Táimse go mór ina choinne sin agus tá súil agam nach ngéillfidh an tAire do na daoine atá ag cur suas na hargóna sin agus atá ag tathaint air na bun-abhair a mhéadú. Tá daoine ann a cheapann gur féidir linn chuile rud a bheith againn ins na bun scoileanna. Níl ciall ar bith le sin. Táimse i bhfad os cionn trí scór agus deich mblian agus, fearracht gach duine eile, tá a lán rudaí le fóghlaim agam go fóill, is dóoha. Tá a lán rudaí ann ach níl mo ré sách fada chun iad go léir a fhóghlaim. Ar ndóigh tá aiféala orm nach bhfuil mé i ndon roinnt de theangacha na Mór-Roinne a fhóghlaim; ba mhaith liom dá mbeadh sé ar mo chumas eolaíocht, nó líníocht agus a lán nithe eile den tsórt sin a fhóghlaim.

Sa chaoi chéanna, ní féidir linn chuile rud a mhúineadh ins na bun-scoileanna. Ní féidir linn ach beagán a mhúineadh; nílimid i ndon a dhéanamh ach na huirlísí a thabhairt do na daoine óga. Má táimid i ndon é sin a dhéanamh beimid ag dhéanamh an rud ceart. Cad is féidir a dhéanamh ins na bun scoileanna? Is féidir dúinn scríobhnóireacht do mhúineadh agus beagán áirimh. Má tá na buachaillí i ndon na ceisteanna in áireamh a chuirfear ós a gcóir a réiteach, más féidir leo suim a chuir i léitheoireacht, más féidir leo litir bheag a scríobh, beidh na huirlisí acu.

Bhíodh sé mar sin fadó ag na buachaillí agus iad ag fágaint na scoile. Nuair a bhí mise ar scoil—agus bhí múinteoir maith agus scoil mhaith agam—tá fhios agam go raibh sé deacair do fhurmhór na mbuachaillí ag fágaint na scoile dóibh ceist bheag in áireamh a réiteach, agus bhí sé deacair orthu litir a scríobhadh. Is dócha go raibh siad i ndon na nuachtáin a léamh. Cheap na daoine an uair sin go raibh na scoileanna go maith, nuair a bhí furmhór na mbuachaillí i ndon na rudaí sin a dhéanamh. Ar ndóigh, bíonn daoine faoi leith i ngach, scoil i ngach aois, daoine faoi leith ag a mbíonn tóir níos mó acu ar eolas agus ag a mbíonn intimn níOó acu fearr. Ach tá mise ag cur síos ar fhurmhór na ndaoine a bhí ar scoil an t-am sin. Agus cheap na daoine an uair sin go raibh na scoileanna go maith.

In éineacht leis na rudaí a bhí le fóghlaim ag na daltaí an uair sin, tá an teanga náisiúnta acu anois le fóghlaim agus is obair throm í sin. Teanga nua is ea í sa Ghalltacht. Sé mo thuairim nach féidir cur leis an méid ábhar ins na bun scoileanna gan díobháil a dhéanamh. Is fearr beagán, agus é a bheith go maith. Ní féidir linn ach an beagán a dhéanamh má tá orainn é a dhéanamh go maith, agus ba cheart dúinni gcónaí ár ndícheall a dhéanamh chun an beagán sin a dhéanamh go maith. Má cheapann na múinteoirí go bhfuil siad i ndon níos mó a dhéanamh, caithfidh siad cuimhneamh go bhfuil rudaí riachtanacha eile le deánamh, agus go bhfuil ortha iad do dhéanamh go maith.

Ba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh anois do cheist na Gaeilge. Sílim go mba cheart an Ghaeilge a mhúineadh ón gcéad lá. Ba cheart tosnú a dhéanamh an chéad lá le comhrádh agus gan bacadh leis an ngramadach go fóill—tosnú a dhénamh le comhrádh ceart. Tagann an chaint roimh an ngramadach; bhí an chaint ann i bhfad roimh an ngramadach agus bhí daoine ann a bhí i ndon comhrádh ceart a dhéanamh gan aon eolas acu ar an ngramadach. Má tá an chaint cheart ag an mhúinteoir, beidh sí ag na páistí. Má deireann sé "barr an dorais" in ionad "barr an doras" agus "cnap an dorais" déarfaidh na páistí an rud céanna. Beidh an tuiseal ceart acu agus gan aon eolas acu ar ghramadach nó ar an tuiseal geinideach. Ba cheart go dtósnódh na múinteoirí ag múineadh na teangan an chéad lá agus leanacht leis an scéim sin go ceann trí nó ceithre bliana. Tá fhios agam go mbaineann múinteoirí áirithe an-úsáid as leabhair. Ba mhian leo an focal scríofa a bheith ós a gcomhair i gcónaí.

Baineadh an iomarca úsáid as leabhra go dtí seo agus b'fhéidir go raibh fáth maith le sin. Ní raibh sé ar chumas na múinteoirí ar feadh tamaill fhada an teanga do mhúineadh mar theanga bheo. B'fhuirist í d'fháil ins na leabhra, í d'fhoghluim roimh ré agus aiste nó ceacht as an leabhar a mhúineadh. Rud eile, do bheadh an focal oiriúnach dhá choimeád ar bharr a theangan i gcónaí agus bheadh sé i ndon a rá leis na daltaí é seo nó é siúd a dhéanamh. Ní deacair múineadh as leabhair agus sin é an fáthe, sílim, gur baineadh an iomarca úsáid as leabhra san am a caitheadh.

Scéal eile atá ann anois. Tá togha na Gaeilge ag na múinteoirí ag teacht amach as na coláistí dóibh. Uair amháin, bhíodar i ndon comhrá nó agallamh a dhéanamh le duine eile, ach anois tá sé ar a gcumas léachtaí nó óráid a thabhairt uathu gan deacracht ar bith agus ní gá dhóibh bacadh leis na leabhra chomh minic is a dheineadar san am a caitheadh.

Ba cheart go mbeadh sé ar chumas na bpáistí an Ghaeilge a léamh agus a scríobh ag fágaint na bun-scoile dóibh agus ba cheart go mbeadh fonn orthu, fé mar a bhí orainn féin, bheith ag léamh an saghas leabhair sin ar a dtugtar Buffalo Bill i mBéarla. Tá gá le leabhra mar sin. Do chonaic mé sreath amháin ach do bhí sé beagáinín ró-dheacair, agus fé mar a dúirt duine éigin cheana, sí an Ghaeilge shímplí is fearr. Sin é an bhuadh a bhí ag an gCraoibhín. Bhí a chuid Gaeilge an-shímplí agus nuair a bheitheá ag labhairt leis ar feadh tamaill cheapfá go raibh an Ghaeilge go maith agat féin, bhí sé chómh símplí sin. Bhí na pundits, mar a déarfá ag magadh faoi, toise nach raibh Gaeilge aige den tsaghas a bhí acu féin, ach bhí an bhuadh sin aige, go raibh na daoine i ndon é a thuigsint, agus cheap na daoine mór thimpeall air ná raibh sé ró-dheacair an Ghaeilge d'fhoghluim dóibh féin.

Ba cheart go mbeadh leabhair mar sin i gcóir na nárd ranganna, leabhair a thabharfadh taithneamh do na scoláirí ag an aois sin, scéalta ina gcuirfidís suim. Do chonaic mé páiste ag léamh leabhair i mBéarla agus dá mbeadh an saghas céanna leabhair le fáil i nGaeilge dhéanfadh sé mórán maitheasa. Sin é an rud is mó atá ag taisteál uainn faoi láthair do réir mo thuairime—leabhair i gcóir na bpáistí atá ag fágaint na scoileanna. Tá an saghas sin leabhair le fáil in mBéarla ach ní cuimhin liom ainm an údair anois. Is dócha go bhfuil sé ag an Aire nó ag muintir na Roinne. Tá an gá níos géire maidir leis an saghas leabhair sin ná maidir leis na leabhair a bhíonn ag an gClub Leabhar. Dar ndóigh táid san ag teastáil chomh maith i gcóir daoine áirithe, ach tá leabhair ag taisteál ó na daltaí atá ag fágainst scoile agus ba cheart go mbeadh siad acu i dtreo is go bhféadfaidís iad a léamh agus, mar sin, bheith ag cur leis an méid Gaeilge atá acu cheana.

Sé an gá is mó ná go rachaidís i dtaithí na léitheoireachta go mbeadh siad i ndon comhrá a dhéanamh le duine eile. Cuireann sé faitíos orm i gcónaí nuair éirím chun óráid a dhéanamh i nGaeilge, ach ní bhíonn faitíos in aon chur orm ag déanamh óráid i mBéarla. Is dócha aon uair a labhraim i nGaeilge nach dtagann na smaointe, pé saghas smaoineamh a bhíonn agam, chómh héascaí agus chomh tapaidh is a thagann siad i mBéarla.

B'fhéidir go ba cheart dom focal a rá i dtaobh caighdeánú. Níor thuig an Teachta a labhair ar an rud sin an cheist in aon chor. Níl éinne ag rá nach ceart na canúintí a choimeád ins na ceantair ina bhfuil siad. Níl éinne chómh díchéillí sin. Is maith an rud é canúint an cheantair a choimeád ach ni hionann sin is a rá nach ceart caighdeán éigin a bheith ann. Tá canúint na Scots ag muintir na hAlban, canúint Yorkshire agus canúint Lancashire i Sasana agus an saghas canúinte atá acu i Londain. Tá siad go léir ann, ach ní hí sin an chaint a cloistear de ghnáth.

Sé an rud atá in aigne na ndaoine atá ag iarraidh caighdeán ná módh cainte a thuigfeadh na daoine i ngach áit san tír. Caithfimíd cuimhneamh nach bhfuilimid ag tagairt do mhuintir na Gaeltachta amháin ach, táimíd ag iarraidh an teanga náisiúnta a thabhairt thar nais ins an nGalltacht. Is deacair do pháistí atá ag fóghluim na Gaeilge ins an nGalltacht; go minic ní thuigeann siad cad a deirtear i ngach cás nuair a chloiseann siad nó nuair a chíonn siad rud éigin i módh amháin agus arís an rud céanna scríofa nó ráite i módh eile. Cuireann sé deacracht nach ceart a bheith orthu.

Níor léas an rud go ndearnadh tagairt dó ach is dócha gurb é sin an rud atá i gceist. Ba mhaith leo an deacracht atá i bhfoghluim na Gaeilge, an deacracht atá i bhfoghluim gach saghas teangan a leigheas nó a laghdú. Ceapann roint daoine dá mbeadh saghas caighdeáin ann agus dá bhfeicfeadh na páistí na focla scríofa san modh céanna i gcónaí go bhfeadaidis an teanga a fhoghluim níos fearr. Níl na daoine seo ag smaoineámh ar na canúintí a scrios amach na saghas teanga nua a cheapadh. Caithfimid cuimhneamh go bhfuil gach teanga beo agus go bhfuil an Ghaeilge, cosúil le gach teanga san méid sin. Blianta ó shoin, bhí mise ag foghluim na Gaeilge as leabhra agus nuair a chuaigh mé don Ghaeltacht agus nuair a chualas na daoine ag caint, cheapas go raibh siad ag déanamh dearmad gramadaí agus nach raibh siad ag caint mar ba chóir. A mhalairt de scéala a bhí ann. Níor thuigeas an t-am sin é ach thuigeas tar éis tamaill eile go raibh an teanga beo agus go raibh sí ag fás mar gach rud beo. Bhí sí ag athrú agus cuid de na foirmeacha a bhí ann fadó, bhí siad imithe. Cuir i gcás nuair a chloiseann duine cainteóir ag rá "ar an bhfuinneog" fiafraíonn sé: "Cén fá ná duirt sé: ‘ar an bhfuinneoig'." Ní raibh an tuiseal tabharthach le cloisint. Nílim ag rá nach bhfuil sé le cloisint i gcorr-áit ach le h-imeacht aimsire imeoidh an tuiseal sin ar fad. I mBéarla bainim úsáid as an módh fó-shuíteach, subjunctive mood, mar bhí sé in úsáid sa gcuid den tír in ar tógadh mé. Cé go mbainim úsáid as tá an módh fó-shuíteach imithe as an mBéarla ar fad. Mar sin cén fáth nach féidir linn simpliú a dhéanamh ar ár dteanga? Mar adúradh, ní féidir daoine a thuigsint ag labhairt na Gaeilge uaireanta mar go bhfuil Gaeilge na leabhar acu. Ní labhrann siad ins an gcaoi is simplí go minic agus tá cuid de na sean-fhoirmeacha á úsáid acu. Níl fhios agam cén fá a labhair mé faoi sin ach go rabhas ag éisteacht le daoine ag trácht ar chaighdeánú na teangan.

I dtaobh na mbun-scoileanna, tá a lán déanta agus ba chóir níos mó suime a chur as seo amach i labhairt na teangan agus gan scríobhnóireacht nó gramadach nó aon rud den tsórt sin a thabhairt isteach go dtí na blianta deiridh, agus ansin léitheoireacht a mhúineadh agus más féidir leabhair suimiúla a sholáthar ní dóigh liom gur gá níos mó a dhéanamh.

Bhí caint freisin faoi abhair áirithe a mhúineadh tré Ghaeilge. Ón gcaint a chualas ó dhaoine áirithe cheapfá nach raibh ciall ar bith i gceann an Aire ná in oifigigh na Roinne. Ní dóigh liom gur ceart a rá go mbeadh múinteoirí chomh dichéillí agus abhair a mhúineadh do páistí i dteanga nár thuigeadar. Agus ní dóigh liom go raibh na cigirí chomh dichéillí sin agus a rá le múinteoirí na habhair a mhúineadh tré Ghaeilge, cuir i gcás geograf nó aon abhair eile, do páistí nach raibh an Ghaeilge acu. Nuair a thagann na páistí ar scoil, timpeall sé bliana d'aois, ní bhíonn mórán á mhúineadh dóibh. Ní bhíonn ag teastáil ach suim na bpáistí a mhúscailt chun an lá a chaitheamh, ach is féidir teanga a mhúineadh dhóibh. Sin é an t-am is fearr chun teanga a mhúineadh do pháistí. Nuair a chloiseann siad rud cúpla uair, tuigeann siad é agus foghlamaíonn siad an teanga mar sin.

Ní dóigh liom gur gá níos mó a rá faoi na bun-scoileanna. Mar adeir gach duine, siad na scoileanna is tábhachtaí sa tír agus má bhíonn siad ceart beidh gach rud eile ceart. Ins na bun-scoileanna, tá deire le scolaíocht do n-a lán daoine. Ní théann a lán acu go dtí aon scoil eile. Sílim dá bharr sin go bhfuil an t-am tagtha nuair ba cheart dúinn aois fágtha na scoile d'ardú. Tá fhios agam gur deacair é ach ba chóir dúinn, cuir i gcás i gceann chúig bhliana, a shocrú go mbeidh deis ag gach páiste leanúint ar scoil go dtí timpeall cúig bliana déag d'aois. Tá fhios agam go bhfuil slí ag teastáil ins na scoileanna agus go bhfuil breis múinteoirí ag teastáil b'fhéidir. Mar adúirt a lán daoine a bhí ag caint ins an saol atá inniu ann is tábhachtaí iad na ceard scoileanna agus ba chóir deis a thabhairt do na buachaillí agus na cailíní a fhágann na bun-scoileanna freastal ar na gairm-scoileanna munar féidir leo dul níos fuide go dtí na meán-scoileanna.

Níl fhios agam an fíor é ach dúradh nach bhfuil cead ag na ceard-scoileanna talmhaíocht a mhúineadh.

Ní dóigh liom gur fíor é sin. Do bheadh ionadh an domhain orm má bhí cose ortha an talmhaíocht do mhúineadh, más mian leo, ins na scoileanna sin. Níl sé riachtanach, freisin, go mbeadh feirm ag na scoileanna sin chun talmhaíocht do mhúineadh. Ní dóigh liom go bhfuli aon chiall leis má ta bac ar mhúinteoirí na ngairm-scoileanna talmhaíocht do mhúinadh Má ta bac ortha faoi láthair, ba chóir an scéal a réiteach ach níl fhios agam cén fá go mbeadh.

Is ins na mbun-scoileanna is ceart tuath-eolaíocht agus abhar mar sin a thabhairt isteach ar dtús agus, gan aon agó, tá daoine ann atá ag iarraidh é a thabhairt isteach ins na scoileanna sin. Tá súil agam nach gceapfadh aoinne ón meid atá ráite agam nach dtuigim a thábhachtaí agus tá líníocht. Is cuimhin liom nuair a bhíos im bhuachaill sa bhun-scoil gur theasbáin buachaill a bhí ina shuí in aice liom conas bosca a dhéanamh leis an "perspective" ceart. Is minic a bhain mé úsáid as an tslí sin ó shoin i leith. Dob fhéidir le múinteoirí rudaí mar sin a theasbáint agus má tá buachaillí nó cailiní ann a chuirfeas spéis faoi leith i rud mar sin, ba chóir go dtiurbhfaí cabhair éigin dóibh. Bíodh sin mar atá, ni dóigh liom gur ceart é a thabhairt isteach mar abhar scoile go mbeadh ar chuile dhuine é dhéanamh.

Maidir le meán-scoileanna, tá an Comhairle Oideachas ag scrúdú na ceiste seo. Níl fhios agam cén tuairim a bheas acu ag deire an scrúdúcháin atá ar siúl ach tá mé beagnach cinnte go ndearfaidh siad: "Caithfimid na habhair a dheighilt. Caithfimid a admháil go bhfuil tarraingt níos láidre ag eolaíocht inniu agus, san am chéanna, gur cóir daoine go bhfuil suim acu ins na healaíona a bheith i ndon nios mó ama a thabhairt dóibh ná mar a bhí ar a gcumas go dtí seo." Déarfaidh roint daoine eile: "Ta na ‘classics' imithe as saol na ndaoine." Deireann roinnt daoine gur caillúint ama bheith ag scrúdú na "classics," ach ní hé sin mo thuairim féin. San am chéanna tá fhios agam go maith go gceapann daoine áirithe gur cailliúint ama a bheith ag déanamh staidéir ar an Laidean agus ar an nGréigis nuair atá an oiread san rudaí eile le déanamh.

Tá mé cinnte gur abhair tábhachtach é an Laidean. Déarfainn, mar adúirt duine eile, go bhféadfadh an Laidean a bheith níos cóngaraí dúinn in ár saol ná mar áta sí fé lathair. Is Caitlicigh furmhór mhuintir na hÉireann agus tagann an Laidean isteach go mór i saol na gCaitliceach. Is féidir tosnú agus leabhar do réiteach i dtreo go mbeadh ar chumas daoine úsáid a bhaint as an Laidean gach lá sa bhliain nó gach Domhnach. Ba chóir, dar liom, feidhm a bhaint as Laidean na hEaglaise ar dtúis. Má theastaíonn uathu, ansin, dul go dtí na "classics," do b'fhéidir leo na leabhair a scríobh Ovid, Virgil, Horace, Livy, agus mar sin, a léamh.

Dá mbeadh orm an Laidean do mhúineadh do bhuachaillí do thosnóinn dá mbfhéidir liom, le Laidean na hEaglaise. Do mhúinfinn na paidreacha ar dtúis, agus, nuair a bheadh siad de ghlan-mheabhair acu, do mhúinfinn na duanta diadha dóibh de ghlan-mheabhair. Ansin do thosnóinn leis an ngraiméar, na paradigms, agus mar sin. Do dhéanfann leabhar as na focla ins na paidreacha agus do thiurbhfainn somplaí dóibh den ghraiméar as na paidreacha a bheadh de ghlan-mheabhair acu. Ansin, ag a dheire, do bheinn i ndon an Missal a léamh.

Bhíos sa bhuíon Laidean le honóracha le sé nó seacht de bhlianta. Bhí díomá orm, blianta in a dhiaidh sin, nuair a bhí Missal beag agam agus gan ach an Laidean inti nuair a fuaireas amach go raibh mórán inti nár thuig mé tar éis an méid ama a chaitheas ins na buíonta onóracha. Dúras liom féin go mbeadh sé i bhfad níos fearr tosnú agus an leabhar sin a bheith mar théacsleabhar. Dúinne in Éirinn, is teanga bheo í an Laidean. Fé mar is eol do chách, is ón Laidean a thagann préamhacha formhór na bhfocal sna teangacha Eorpacha. Fiú amháin, tóg, an Béarla mar shampla. Tá mórán focal Béarla cosúil leis na focail Laidne mar is ón Laidean a thagas na préamhacha.

Ní féidir liom tagairt do gach abhar mar sin ach, im thuairim, do bfhéidir na teangacha is tábhachtaí atá ins an Eúroip inniu a thógint. Ansin tá an Laidean agus, más maith leat, an Ghréigis freisin. Ceapaim go bhfuil an t-am chomh gairid sin agus go bhfuil an oiread sin le foghluim nach gá an Ghréigis a thabhairt isteach inniu don ghnáth-dhuine. Mar sin, bíodh an Laidean ar thaobh amháin agus ansin na teangacha beo. Ansin bíodh mathematic—is bunús í de gach sort eolaíochta—áireamh, ailgéibar, agus mar sin de.

Ní dóigh liom gur gá "specialisation." Ní bheadh rudaí den tsaghas sin riachtanach muna mbeifí ag dul níos fuide. Sílim go mba mhaith an rud ealaíon ghinearálta den tsaghas sin bheith ann. Dá mbeadh an méid sin againn ins na meán-scoltacha, sílim go mbeadh deis ag na daoine a bheadh ag fágáil na scol sin, gan dul isteach ins an ollscoil nó in aon scoil eile, cur leis an eolas atá acu. Ní dóigh liom gur féidir bheith ag smaoineamh ar níos mó ná sin.

Is minic a chuala mé ollamh san ollscoil a rá gur bhfearr, i bhfad nach mbeadh aon tosnú déanta ag cuid de na daoine a théas chun an ollscoil, gur fearr leo, cuir i gcás i n-ealaíon, na daoine nach raibh aon eolas acu a mhúineadh agus a chur ar aghaidh ná na daoine a raibh roint eolais acu cheana ar an gceist sin. Níl fhios agam mar gheall air sin ach, ar chuma ar bith, b'fhéidir an bun-eolas ceart a thabhairt do na daoine atá ag dul isteach. Maidir leis an gcuid is mó de na daoine a théas chuig an ollscoil, ach amháin na daoine a théas isteach in "Arts", tá fútha ceard faoi leith nó gairm faoi leith a leanúint agus ón am a théas siad isteach bíonn siad an-ghnóthach ag déanamh na hoibre sin agus ní doigh liom gur féidir an tsean-chuspóir a bhíodh ag na h-ollscoileanna fadó a bheith againn —oideachas leathan a bheith ann. Specialisation ar fad atá ar siúl ins na hollscoltacha anois agus más mian linn eolas leathan nó cultúr leathan a thabhairt do na daoine óga is tríd na meán-scoltacha a caithfear é a dhéanamh. Dúirt mé é sin cheana agus bhí a lán daoine ag rá nach raibh aon chiall ann ach sin é mo thuairm-se.

Mar adúirt mé go minic cheana, is féidir le saor cloiche má tá sé féin oilte, oideachas leathan a thabhairt don phrintíseach a bhéas aige agus má tá cultúr ceart ag an ollamh atá ins an ollscoil, agus má tá suim cheart aige sa léann agus i gcultúr, is féidir é sin a scaipeadh go réidh. Na daoine a théas isteach san ollscoil, de ghnáth, tá an oiread sin le déanamh acu chun céim dochtúra nó céim innealltóra nó céim eile mar sin do ghnóthú, nach bhfuil am acu le tabhairt d'aon obair speisialta.

Ós rud é go bhfuilim ag tagairt do na hollscoltacha, is dócha go bhfaca an tAire an gearán a bhí á dhéanamh ag Uachtarán Choláiste na hOllscoile i mBaile Átha Cliath agus, ina dhiaidh sin, an gearán a rinne Uachtarán Choláiste na Gaillimhe.

Níl an Meastachán i gcóir na nOllscoil ós ár gcóir. B'fhéidir gur fearr an cheist a chur anois, áfach.

Is dócha go bhfaca an tAire é. Tá mé cinnte go dtuigeann sé an scéal. Beidh tubaiste déanta muna féidir cúnamh a thabhairt dóibh agus tá sé anriachtanach agus é sin go tapaidh. Ní dóigh liom gur gá dul isteach sa cheist sin anois ach tagairt a dhéanamh dí. Dob fhéidir liom a rá leis go bhfuil sé an-tábhachtach agus go bhfuil géar-ghá le cúnamh ar an bpointe. Ní féidir é chur ar an méir fhada ar chor ar bith. Má cuirtear ar an méir fhada é loitfear an scéal ar fad. Tá cáil mhaith, agus bhí le 100 blian, ar na Scoileanna Leighis againn anseo. Ba mhór an náire an cháil sin a chailliúint agus tá faitíos orm, muna ndéantear beart go tapaidh, go gcaillfear é. Ba mhaith liom a rá leis an Aire, ós rud é go bhfuil deis agam é dhéanamh, go ma chóir dul isteach sa cheist ar an bpointe, nach féidir é chur ar an méir fhada. Tá fhios agam an ganntanas airgid atá ann ach, má tá priority ar bith ann, ba chóir priority a bheith annsin. Ma cailltear é, beidh sé caillte b'fhéidir, go deo orainn. Ní dóigh liom gur gá níos mó a rá faoin scéal sin.

Táim cinnte go gcuirfidh an tAire suim ins na rudaí adúradh anseo. Tá brón orm nar chualamar tuairimí na ndaoine nach bhfuil aon bhaint acu leis an "machine." Bheadh sé i bhfad níos fearr bheith ag éisteacht le tuismitheoirí a rá céard iad na tuairimí atá aca d'réir an eolais atá acu ar a gclainn féin agus ar a muintir. Níl aon áit eile 'nar féidir leo é sin a dhéanamh. Tá a lán Cumann-múinteoirí agus mar sin de—agus tá siad i ndon a dtaobh féin den scéal a chur in iúl don tír. An t-aon áit amháin gur féidir leis na tuismitheoirí a dtuairimí a chur in iúl sé an Teach seo é, ach amháin an bhaint atá againn go léir mar thuismitheoirí leis na múinteoirí ins na scoileanna.

Dúradh, nuair a bhí an toghachán ar siúl, go raibh an tír seo ró-bhocht chun bheith spriúnlaithe i gcúrsaí oideachais agus chun an t-airgead atá riachtanach a sholáthár. Sílim go raibh sé sin fíor. Do chuir ár sinsear an-tsuim i léann agus in eolaíocht. Bhí tóir acu ar na rudaí a bhain leis an intinn. Tá súil agam nach bhfuil an tréith sin caillte agus, mura bhfuil, ba chóir a shocrú anois an méid airgid is féidir a thabhairt do chúrsaí oideachais. Tá súil agam, pé ganntanas airgid atá ann, nach mbeidh an Rialtas spriúnlaithe i dtaobh nithe den tsórd sin.

Tá mé ag éirí chun rud d'fháil amach nach bhfuil tugtha síos ag an Aire san ráiteas lenar chuir sé ceann air an díospóireacht. Feicim rudaí ins an Leabhar Meastacháin, rudaí a bhaineas le dhá mhír-cheann—bónus na Gaeilge, agus deontaisí le haghaidh scoláireachta a chaitheamh sa nGaeltacht.

Maidir le bónus na Gaeilge, do réir na bhfigiúirí, tá an méid atá dhá sholáthar i mbliana laghdaithe do réir cúig is fiche faoin gcéad ar an méid soláthair a bhí ann anuraidh. Is deacair a thuiscient cad chuige go mbeadh laghdú chomh mór sin in aon bhliain amháin, go mór-mhór nuair atá sé ráite ag an Áire go bhfuil méadú 5,000 ar an méid daltaí scoile ar fad atá ann.

Le blianta beaga anuas tá siad ag méadú na scoileanna agus fiú amháin na séipéil sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht mar gheall ar an méadú atá ar an líon daoine. Ar ndóigh, más fíor é sin—agus is fíor é—sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht san Iarthar is deacair a thuiscint cad chuige a mbeadh an laghdú seo ann.

Níl ann ach cúrsaí cúntasaíochta. Bhí níos mó ná aon bhliain amháin i gceist.

Tá sin. sásúil agus is maith liom é a cloisteáil Buíochas mór le Dia, tar éis a bhfuil de chlamhsán agus de chnáimhseáil cloiste againn ar fud na hÉireann agus ó na Teachtaí, is fíor ará go bhfuil líon na gcainteoirí sa nGaeltacht ag méadú. Ní hiad na scoileanna, na séipéil agus na tithe amháin atá dá bhfairsingiú.

Tá mír-cheann eile—mír-cheann C.8 —agus maidir leis an mír-cheann seo níl ach méidín beag de laghdú ann— £1,500 éigin. Ach tá sé laghdaithe rud beag ach ní hé an laghdú is cás liom anois ach ós rud é go mbaineann an dá mhír-cheann sin—bónus na Gaeilge agus scoláireachtaí chun laethe saoire a chaitheamh sa nGaeltacht— le sábháil na Gaeilge sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht agus le labhairt na Gaeilge a leathnú ar fud na hÉireann, ba cheart an dá sholáthar sin a mhéadú. Ba cheart, más féidir é, é a mhéadú chuile bhliain, bliain i ndiaidh bliana.

Bhí Treoraí an Fhreasura ag caint mar gheall ar labhairt na Gaeilge ins na scoileanna. Tá gach duine a bhfuil spéis aige i bhforbairt na Gaeilge taobh thiar den chaint sin. Tá triail sáthach fada bainte amach anois as na leabhra agus ba cheart tús áite a thabhairt don bheo-caint. Tá sin á dhéanamh ins na scoileanna. Do thosnaigh sé i mBaile Átha Cliath ar dtús agus tá sé i náiteacha eile ar nós Chorcaighe agus Gaillimh. Scoileanna faoi leith atá iontu atá fé stiúradh na ngnáth-bhainisteoirí agus daoine eile. Tá mé ag ceapadh go dtugtar "model schools" orthu. Tá siad ag déanamh sár-oibre maidir le caint na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn, agus tá cruthú le fáil ar éifeacht na hoibre sin ach éisteacht leis na daoine ag dul ar scoil nó ag teacht abhaile ón scoil. Sin í an teist is fear ar éifeacht na múinteoireachta. Do chuala mé na páistí seo i nGaillimh agus iad ar a mbealach ón scoil agus is íontach an méid Gaeilge a bhí dhá labhairt acu. Ní dóigh liom gur féidir é sin a rá i leith páistí ar bith as aon scoil eile.

Níl a fhios agam cad é an bhuadh fé leith atá ag na múinteoirí ins na scoileanna seo. Is gnáth-mhúinteorí iad a tugadh isteach as na scoileanna eile agus más féidir leo siúd an obair sin a dhéanamh ba cheart don Aire ceist a chur chuige féin faoi cad chuige nach féidir leis na scoileanna eile ina bhfuil na múinteoirí céana ionntu an dul chun chinn céana a dhéanamh. Dá mbeadh cuile scoil chomh maith, nó leath chomh maith, leis na scoileanna sin, tá mé ag ceapadh nach mbeadh ceist ar bith faoin rud sin ar a dtugtar "compulsory Irish" sa Teach seo agus i náiteacha eile.

Mar adúirt Teachtaí áirithe, ar ndóigh níl aon rud ann mar "compulsory Irish." Níl "compulsory Irish" ann ach an oiread is atá "compulsory arithmetic," nó fiú amháin "compulsory" freastal ar scoil. Má chuireann na tuismitheoirí in a gceann gur féidir leis na páistí déanamh amach gan aon abhar ar bith, fiú amháin, ní bhacadís leis chor ar bith. Tá sé ráite go minic ag daoine as an mBreatain, daoine a bhfuil eolas ar leith acu ar chúrsaí oideachais, go bhfuil an caighdeán oideachais anso i bhfad níos aoirde ná mar atá sé thall. Bhí mise ag caint le múinteoir ón mBreatain Bhig roint bhlianta ó shoin. Bhí sí anso ag iarraidh cailíni a fháil chun obair a dhéanamh i Sasana i rith an chogaidh. Do chuír sí cailíní ó Thír Chonaill go Loch. Garmain fé scrúdú agus chuir sé ionadh mór uirthi an difríocht a bhí idir an caighdeán oideachaid anso agus thall. Ba mhaith liom a rá nach gcuireann an Ghaeilge as chor ar bith do dhaoine óga a chuireann an spéis cheart ina ngnótha. Na daoine óga a chuireann spéis ins an nGaeilge, tá tuismitheoirí aca a bhfuil spéis mór aca i chuile ábhar.

Deir an tAire faoi an gComhairle Oideachais:—

Sé dualgas atá orm, le linn dúinn aon pholasaí i leith an oideachais a chur chun cinn, féachaint chuige go dtiubharfar áird mar is ceart, ní hé ámháin ar thuairimí na Comhairle ach ar thuairimí na ndreamanna eile, leis, go bhfuil suim aca sa cheist.

Arís, dúirt sé:—

Ní furas teacht ar aon chomhairle i dtaobh cad is fearr a dhéanamh chun aon fhadho áirithe fé leith a réiteach.

Sé an mheabhair a bhainimse as an gcaint sin nach gcuirfidh an tAire comhairle ar aon cheist nach bhfuil an Chomhairle Oideachais ar aon intinn fúithí, agus go bhfágfaidh sé an cheist sin ar an méar fhada go dtiocfaidh Aire ina áit a mbeidh tacaíocht pholaiticiúl aige a bhéas ar aon intinn faoi cheisteanna móra fré chéile agus a mbeidh sé de mhisneach aige comhairle a chinneadh agus polasaí a bheartú.

Ní shin é an chiall cheart le baint as.

An bhfuil sé in-tuigthe anois go dtiúrfaidh an tAire breithniú ar na ceisteanna sin?

Tá súil agam nach mbeidh aon easaontas ann.

Beidh sé an-deacair.

Ba chóir nach mbeadh aon easaontas idir na dreamanna uile.

Tá faitíos orm go bhfágfaidh an tAire an cheist sin ar an méar fhada.

Cén áit a chuir siad na hiarrataisí go dtí seo?

Cuireadhí iad chuig an Rúnal Parlaiminte a bhí i bhfeighi Oifig na Gaeltachta agus na gCeantar gCúng.

Socróchaimid an cheist sin.

Sin é an saghas freagra atá le fáil ón Aire ó thosach an ruda seo, ón am a thárla an follúntas i gCo. Chiarraighe agus a d'fhógair an tAire go mbeadh Aireacht nua ann.

Má tá aon amhras ar an Teachta, is féidir leis an t-iarratas a chur chuig Aire na Gaeltachta agus cuirfidh mé go dtí an áit fheiliúnach é agus ní baol nach bhfuighidh an Teachta freagra in am tráth.

Ba mhaith liom tagairt a dhéanamh do dhá rud bheag—D.1, Vóta 42—Irish Nautical College—tá an méid le n-aghaidh seo laghduithe ó £4,000 go dtí £1,000—agus ceanglaim leis sin D.2, an Vóta céanna, Marine Training. Níl lena aghaidh seo ach £300. Ar Mheastachán an Iascaí, rinne mé tagairt do chomh tábhachtach is atá sé fir ceannais na mhád iascaigh a oiliúint d'réir an dlí chun go mbeidh ar a gcumas faoin dlí sin na báid a thabhairt amach ar an bhfairrge. Go dtí seo níor tharla aon timpistí le go gcuirfeadh na cóluchtaí árachais isteach orainn i ngeall ar na fir seo a bheith gan cáilíochta ceart. Tá mé sásta an cheist seo a fhágáil faoin Aire.

Ba mhaith liom ceist a chur ar an Aire faoin gcúnamh airgid atá le fáil ag nuachtáin a foillsítear i mBéarla agus a gheibhease airgead ón Stát chun cuid den nuacht a fhoilsiú i n Gaeilge. Ba mhaith liom a fháil amach an bhfuil aon cheann acu ag foilsiú i nGaeilge thar an méid a bhfuil íocaíochta le fáil acu air. 'Sí an cheist í, an bhfuil siad ag déanamh aon rud go deontach. Níl mé ag tagairt dos na páipéir a foilsítear i nGaeilge ar fad. Tá na páipéir seo ag déanamh a lán maitheasa.

Tá a lán déanta acu do na daoine a d'fhoghluim an oiread Gaeilge ar scoil agus a chuir ar a gcumas Gaeilge a léamh agus, ós rud é go raibh litríocht i nGaeilge le fáil bhí siad i ndon a gcuid Gaeilge a fheabhsú ar an gcaoi sin. Ní bhaineann sé sin pioc den chaint i dtaobh chomh tábhachtach is atá sé na daoine óga a thosnaíos ar scoil a chur ag caint na Gaeilge ón tosach. B'shin é bun-chloch múineadh na Gaeilge agus, ag baint leis sin, ba cheart a thuille airgid a sholáthar agus tuille páistí a chur chuile Shamhraidh go dtí an Ghaeltacht. Tá dhá éan le marbhadh le chéile: an chéad cheann, labhairt na Gaeilge a chur chun cinn agus an tarna rud, go bhfuil cuid mhaith de pháistí scoile ag fáil laetheanta saoire faoin tuaith, cuid mhaith acu nach mbeadh ar a gcumas laetheanta saoire ar bith a fháil taobh amuigh de na cathracha ina bhfuil cónaí orthu. Tá dhá chuspóir mhaithe ceangailte ansin le chéile. Is cuma cén méid airgid a caithfí ar an rud sin, b'fhiú é é. B'fhiú é é ó thaobh amháin, agus b'fhiu é é ón taobh eile. Iad sin, agus na daoine sa nGaeiltacht a spreagadh chur an Ghaeilge atá acu a choinneáil beo. Cuidíonn chuile strainséar agus cuairteoir a théas go dtí an Fhíor-Ghaeltacht leis an spiorad sin a chothú agus a choinneáil beo sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht.

Is minic adúradh liomsa sa bhFíor-Ghaeltacht, nuair a chuireas an cheist ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta faoi mheath na Gaeltachta nó faoin gcaint go bhfuil meath ar an nGaeltacht, cén tuairim a bhí acu fhéin agus sé an freagra céanna i gcónaí a gheaobhas tú air sin: "Tá an Ghaeilge againn agus beidh an Ghaeilge againn chomh fada agus atáimid sásta go bhfuil muintir na hÉireann dáiríre faoin a haithbheaochaint." Dúirt mé é seo cheana sa Dáil. Ní dóigh liom gur féidir é a rá go ro-mhinic. "Ach," deireann siad, "an lá a mbrúfar isteach in ár n-intinn nach bhfuil muintir na hÉireann ach ag mugadh magadh, éireoimíd as an nGaeilge agus ní bheidh an tarna "partition" sa tír seo."

Moladh go dtabharfar siar an Meastachán chun a h-aithbhreithnithe. Ón chaint atá déanta, tuigim, má bhí aon rud in aon chor ag an Teachta Ó Maoláin agus ag an Teachta Ó Deirg na thaobh san, gur theastaigh uathu cabhair a thabhairt dúinn chun tábhacht an Mheastacháin a chur na luí ar a lándaoine agus an méid airgid atá ag teastáil chun oideachais ceart a chur ar siúl sa tír. Deineadh a láin seirbhíse. Ní haon ionadh liom go mbeadh ionadh ar an Teachta Ó Maoláin nar dúirt níos mó i dtaobh obair Chomhairle an Oideachais agus an rud atá ceapaithe agam fhéin maidir leis an gComhairle sin mar is fíor go ndúirt anuiridh go raibh súil agam go mbeadh an tuarascáil deireanach a bhí ag teastáil ag teacht i gceann dhá mhí. Níor thainig an ceann deireanach isteach go dtí tosach na bliana agus ina dhiaidh sin bhí ar oifigí na Roinne an obair sin do chríochnú. Tá an obair sin críochnuithe anois agus tá an scrúdú deireanach á dhéanamh air. Go dtí go mbeidh an scrúdú go léir déanta i gceart, níor mhaith liom an socrú deireanach a dhéanamh.

Is dóigh leis an Teachta Mac Pharthaláin gur saghas leithscéil atá agam gan bheith ag déanamh aon ní, gur chuige sin a cuireadh an Chomhairle Oideachais ar bun. Ní chuige sin a cuireadh an Chomhairle Oideachais ar bun. Dúirt an Teachta Ó Deirg gur saghas "dead letter" é. Ní hea agus ní leigfear don tuarascáil sin bheith 'na "dead letter" mar tá an rud a mbaineann sé leis róthábhachtach ar fad chun an scéal a bheith mar sin.

In regard to the Council of Education, if that is the reason for referring the Estimate back, I can understand the disappointment on Deputy Moylan's part that more was not said about it. I did say last year that inside a couple of months I expected to have the final reports on the recommendations that I had asked for and in fact I did not get the final report until early this year.

Deputy Moylan has asked me to philosophise, to give my views on educational technique or educational practice. I do not regard that as my function in the Department of Education in the circumstances of the educational set-up in this country. You have your teachers, your managers and your Churches and I regard the position as Minister in the Department of Education as that of a kind of dungaree man, the plumber who will make the satisfactory communications and streamline the forces and potentialities of the educational workers and educational management in this country. He will take the knock out of the pipes and will link up everything. I would be blind to my responsibility if I insisted on pontificating or lapsed into an easy acceptance of an imagined duty to philosophise here on educational matters.

The Report of the Council of Educathábhachtac tion is a factual document. The Council of Education was set up for constructive purposes and various people have attempted to push it aside and to find fault with it. I asked the council to report on the function of the primary school and the programme suggested by the primary school up to 12 years of age, I did that without prejudice as to what age the primary school should cater for, because, as I have indicated, there had been, as Deputy Derrig knows, departmental bodies that had examined the general education position and they did indicate that 12 was an age at which a change should take place. In the light of that, I thought that the programme up to 12 was something that could very well be settled first and that it was not prejudicing in any way either the age to which the child should attend the primary school or the subsequent stages of the curriculum.

I regard it as a matter of urgency to give clear decisions as to what the Government and what I, as Minister for Education, suggest would be done in consequence of that report, so that teachers, managers, and everybody concerned with education would know what the foundation there is. The fact that certain matters have been put before the Dáil and discussed here by Deputy Vivion de Valera and the Leader of the Opposition indicates to me, and I am sure they appreciate it themselves, the soundness of the fact that I have asked the Council of Education while I am dealing with their report on primary education, to consider the curriculum that ought to be pursued in the secondary schools in so far as the secondary schools are paid State grants. I think it is most important that a body such as the Council of Education would consider that matter and make a report and let that report and their suggestions be examined in relation to secondary education. I would like it to be clearly understood what the process of this consideration is.

Some people have criticised the work of the Council of Education on the grounds that they did not receive witnesses for oral examination. They were open to receive statements and recommendations and memoranda of all kinds from all interested parties and they received them, as the report says, from a very considerable number. Then when the report was made, as I have indicated, I sent a copy of that report to every ecclesiastical body, the association of school managers and all other educational and teaching bodies for the purpose of bringing formally to their notice that certain recommendations had been made, and asking them, with their first-class touch with every aspect of the educational programme concerned, to comment on the recommendations made by the council and to let me and the Department have the benefit of their criticism.

It is interesting just to read out the list of the bodies that replied to that invitation. We had the benefit of comment and suggestions on the recommendations made by the council's report from the Irish Hierarchy, the General Synod of the Church of Ireland, the Board of Education of the Presbyterian Church, the Catholic Managers' Association, the Dublin School Managers (Church of Ireland), the Diocesan Synod of Dublin, Glendalough and Kildare, Conference of Convent Primary Schools, the Christian Brothers' Education Committee, the Faculty of Education, University College, Cork, Our Lady of Mercy Training College, Cumann Oiliúna gColáiste Oiliúna, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation, Irish School Masters' Association, Central Association of Irish School Mistresses, the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture.

It will be appreciated that whatever decisions are taken it is very important that the decisions would be taken in the light of such criticisms and suggestions on the actual recommendations by bodies that are so placed as these are. Anybody who has any contact with Irish education and its organisation will realise the position of the Church, the managers and the teachers in relation to the management and the programme of the schools.

I would like to say to those people who criticise certain aspects of the Irish position that the recommendations that are made here are subject to the same comment and the same scrutiny as any other aspects of this report. We had some criticism of the alleged position in regard to the use of Irish in the schools which rather muddied the atmosphere. We had a number of speakers on this subject and they reminded me of a maid out of sorts going around flapping a duster, here, there and elsewhere and raising more dust than she was laying. Deputy Declan Costello, on the one hand, and Deputy Cunningham, on the other hand, had statements to make which were completely wide of any experience of what is happening with regard to teaching through Irish in the primary schools. Deputy Declan Costello quoted the Irish National Teachers' Report of 1941 and in doing so he seemed like a cold voice out of a world that did not exist, because that world does not exist. So far as Deputy Tully is concerned, he makes the statement that in at least 50 per cent. of the national schools in this country children are taught through the medium of Irish from the day they go into them until they leave. These descriptions are entirely wide of the mark.

Those interested in the extent to which Irish is used as a medium of instruction in the ordinary primary schools can look at pages 54 and 55 of the Department of Education's Report for 1952-53. They will see there in what counties there are schools outside of the Gaeltacht areas in which the Irish language is used to a certain extent as a medium of instruction. I would ask them, or anybody else, to give the name of any particular school where Irish has been used as a medium of instruction for other subjects and where it is suggested that the use of Irish as a medium of instruction for other subjects is either an imposition on the children, on the one hand, or is injuring education, on the other. I do not want to point to the fact that there are schools where Irish is the medium of instruction and where remarkable academic achievements have been brought about. I accepted there was something in the statements being made and I now pass on that challenge to any other Deputy or any other person.

The position with regard to the report generally is that it is under my close personal examination. Apart from these matters and the proposals that arise out of them there is a financial implication, but I hope at the earliest possible moment to make it perfectly clear to all concerned what the Government's approach is towards taking a decision and moulding policy for the primary schools up to 12 years of age on that basis. I think it is regrettable that any Deputy, and particularly a Deputy asserting he was working on evidence and working from personal observation, would call the report of the council in relation to the Irish language pusillanimous.

Whatever any person may think of the particular type of selection I have made for the Council of Education, I think they are a group of experienced and responsible people who, having listened to the opinions of others, have put down in black and white a clear line of statement and a clear line of recommendation for all of us to go on. I think we are all very deeply indebted to the members of the council for their work, which is an arduous and exacting work; and I think nobody, no matter what their personal ideas may be and no matter how they would wish to tackle a job, wishes to think in terms of education of any kind unless they have a base line to which they can refer, if only by way of criticism. I do feel that it would be a very good thing to accept that in the planning of our educational work it is a very valuable thing to have matters put down in black and white.

You have now a report on the primary schools up to 12. You will have a recommendation from the Council of Education on what the syllabus of the secondary schools should be. Much has been said in relation to that syllabus to-day and a very considerable amount of stress has been laid on the fact that we want more science and more preparation in the technical schools because the technical make-up in the world to-day is increasing. That is a very important matter and I am quite sure it will have the full examination and full attention of the council in their report.

I asked them to report on the secondary school system because that is a system that is completely detached from either the primary system or the vocational system; it is a system that could be examined, that could be reported on and in regard to which decisions could be taken. Instead of creating difficulty, it would clear the air once you have a report on the primary system up to 12 and a report on the secondary system, and, if you like, a joint consideration over the whole field as to what should happen in the primary schools after 12, and up to what age, and what the relationship there should be between that instruction and the instruction given in the continuation end in the Céard Scoil. I am quite clear myself, and I feel it should be clear to everybody generally, that we are clearing the ground by way of revision and by way of examination and recommendation. I feel that the recommendations that are being made from these reports give us a co-ordination from which we can measure up the best line of approach by reference to these recommendations.

In the same way a scheme for conciliation and arbitration has been introduced for primary and secondary teachers and, I hope now, for vocational teachers, that will again order the atmosphere in which an important aspect of educational work will be done. It will both free the atmosphere and the officials of the Department, on the one hand, and will free teachers in whatever branch of education they are engaged, on the other hand, to deviate considerably more of their time to matters that are of technical importance or are of general educational importance. While there have been matters that are regrettable in relation to arbitration dealings, nevertheless these are the growing pains of that system, and I look to the stabilisation of this conciliation and arbitration for the ingredients to effect the atmosphere in which educational thought will go ahead and in which educational work will be done.

Another aspect of the council's report, which has implications in regard to finance, is the provision of teachers. Questions have been raised as to the number of teachers available from the training colleges. I indicated in my statement introducing the Estimate that, thanks to the co-operation of the training college authorities and the ecclesiastical authorities, an improvement has been achieved in so far as availability of women teachers is concerned. The Convent of Our Lady of Mercy in Blackrock has accommodation for 360 lay students. That means that we get 180 trained teachers every year. The Convent of Mary Immaculate in Limerick has accommodation for 210. That gives us 105 teachers every year. As from 1st July, 1958, we will have a total of 285 women teachers, plus 50 nuns. In St. Patrick's, there is accommodation for 216, with an annual output of 108. In the Protestant training college for women only, the total number in training is 56 and the annual output is 27. From the De La Salle and the Irish Christian Brothers, there is an annual output of 36. There is an annual output of nuns from Blackrock and Limerick of 55.

Criticism has been made that these will only meet the situation in so far as present wastage is concerned, but that they will not solve the difficulty of the untrained teacher. In a period of time, at any rate, the proposals of the Council of Education will lead up to our not having to depend on untrained teachers any more. The position with regard to junior assistant mistresses is that they will remain on in the service, until such time as they retire or marry. According as the output of trained teachers increases, J.A.M.s will be replaced by trained teachers.

Questions were raised as to the maintenance and provision of schools. Deputy McQuillan complained that more attention is given to the city areas than to the rural areas. I stated emphatically, when he made the suggestion, that there was no foundation for the suggestion. Dublin is the capital city. It has grown very substantially. Apart from the increase in population, it has had to meet the problem of slum clearance and the development of large new housing areas. The provision of schools in these areas has been met very satisfactorily. The ecclesiastical authorities and the religious houses have made a very substantial contribution to the provision of first-class schools in and around Dublin. That has not in any way deprived rural areas of the attention they should get. The charge, however, was made so positively and so bluntly by Deputy McQuillan, and one or two others, that I want now to give the position in relation to the grants for the year 1955-56. Particulars of these grants can be given for years back.

There have been new schools built; there have been enlargements of existing schools; and there have been improvements. In Donegal there were ten new schools and four enlargements at a cost of £57,681; in Monaghan, there were five new schools and one enlargement, costing £64,900; in Sligo, three new schools and one enlargement, £10,790; in Leitrim, four new schools and one enlargement, £18,754; in Cavan, two new schools and one enlargement, £9,100; in Louth, two new schools and two enlargements, £16,142; in Mayo, six new schools and five enlargements, £34,230; in Roscommon, nine new schools and two enlargements, £38,886; in Longford, three new schools, £85,400; in Westmeath, five new schools and one enlargement, £66,150; in Meath, five new schools, £24,730; in Galway, seven new schools and two enlargements, £43,740; in Offaly, six new schools and two enlargements, £61,408; in Laois, three new schools and one enlargement, £19,360; in Kildare, four new schools and six enlargements, £116,860; in Clare, seven new schools and one enlargement, £52,273; in Limerick, three new schools and one enlargement, £85,950; in Tipperary, eight new schools and 12 enlargements, £70,688; in Carlow, two new schools four enlargements, £32,315; in Wicklow, six new schools, £33,220; in Kilkenny, four new schools and one enlargement, £79,360; in Wexford, three new schools, £59,175; in Waterford, five schools, and three enlargements, £41,109; in Cork, 12 schools and seven enlargements, £70,456; in Kerry, 11 new schools and two enlargements, £165,897; in the City of Dublin, three schools and five enlargements, £178,897; and in the county, three schools and one enlargement, £65,500. I offer that to Deputy McQuillan and anyone else who feels that the problem is being neglected in so far as the rural areas are concerned and that Dublin is making inroads on moneys which should be available for the rural areas. That is not so.

There was a complaint, too, in regard to the delay in carrying out work. The question was raised as to what can be done to speed up that work. My predecessor, Deputy Moylan, had the same type of difficulty with which to contend, a difficulty which showed itself immediately after the war. In setting the target for the building of new schools and the carrying out of major improvements, he felt it was necessary to get additional staff to deal with the technical side of things in the Office of Public Works. Though there has been a reduction of staff in the Department of Education, that reduction has been carried out in such an effective way that it has resulted in increasing the efficiency of the Department.

On that side of the Department which deals with these matters, we have increased the efficiency of departmental machinery 100 per cent. On the Office of Public Works side, the former Minister, Deputy Moylan, succeeded in getting agreement to an increase in the technical staff there. The machinery for the recruitment of technical staff was a bit on the slow side and the work of the Civil Service was also slow in that regard. The result was that on many occasions, when persons applied for positions as architects in the Office of Public Works, by the time the Civil Service machinery got working and the people could be taken on, it was found that they had got other jobs and were no longer available. I had to arrange that the Office of Public Works would take on architects direct without going through the Civil Service machinery and also that, in some of the work involving remodelling or the carrying out of major improvements in school works, the work would be done by local architects.

The position has been that, while the allocations from the Department of Education on the basis of work required have been provided, much of the work has not been done over the years since 1948. The allocations were in those years since 1948: £481,000; £495,000; £480,000; £699,000; £917,000; £1,500,000; £1,387,000; £1,750,000 and £1,543,000, respectively. In the years leading up to 1948, there has been a lag in the carrying out of actual work, so that, in March, 1951, there were these arrears in the Office of Public Works. In 1951, the arrears were £1,270,000; 1952, £1,059,000; in 1953, £2,400,000; in 1954, £2,500,000; in 1955, £3,200,000 and in 1956, £3,500,000. That is a serious position and everything possible has been done, and will continue to be done, to see that the necessary technical staff is provided to get that work done and the matter is continuing to have my personal attention and has been having my personal attention for a considerable time.

The general position with regard to the replacement of defective schools is good at the present time. I should like to refer to the fact that questions have been raised by Deputy MacQuillan, I think, as to what has been done in this regard. In this matter, we are dealing with a definite and concrete situation. We are in the happy position, at any rate, that there is local managerial control, together with the effect of public opinion and the position in regard to teachers, and I do not think there is any case of very serious neglect. I do not think there are any insanitary schools existing which would justify some of the statements made here.

The fact is that there are 822 schools that require replacement at the moment. There are 139 of these for which grants have been sanctioned by the Department of Education, and plans have been received from the Office of Public Works. There are 83 cases in which plans and estimates have been received from the Office of Public Works, but the grants have not yet been sanctioned, but they are being dealt with by the Department of Education. There are 207 cases in which sites have been offered by the local managers, but the plans and estimates have not been forwarded by the Office of Public Works. It will take time to do that. Then there are 393 cases in which sites have not yet been offered by the managers.

That is the position with regard to the arrears of work. That gives an indication of what it amounts to from the point of view of work, on the one hand, and the point of view of finance, on the other.

I should like to refer to the fact that about seven times as much money is allocated every year for primary schools as compared with the vocational side of things. At least the average is seven or eight times more. It is desirable perhaps, in view of the suggestions that have been made, that in the matter of vocational school building the Department is dilatory and cut down to the minimum, that I should make some reference to this matter. There has been an awakening and a developing interest in the development of the vocational side of education, encouraged by the position arising from the war period, on the one hand, and encouraged by a quickened interest in agricultural development, and technique, and the encouragement of the many voluntary societies throughout the country on the other.

Taking the allocations from 1950; that is, the allocations by way of sanction from the Department of Education for the building of technical schools, and the amounts actually drawn from the Local Loans Fund, we find that a considerable part of the moneys were not withdrawn. I give now the estimate from the Department of Education of what it was expected would be withdrawn from the Local Loans Fund in relation to their allocations and the amount actually withdrawn. We find that in the year 1949-50, £71,000 was allocated and £28,000 was withdrawn; in 1950-51, £216,000 was allocated and £58,000 withdrawn; in 1951-52, £237,000 was allocated and £138,000 withdrawn; in 1952-53, £255,000 was allocated and £160,000 withdrawn; in 1953-54, £285,000 was allocated and £128,000 withdrawn; in 1954-55, £208,000 was allocated and £178,000 withdrawn; and in 1955-56, £190,000 was allocated and £93,000 withdrawn.

That implies that there is a considerable amount of work in the building of vocational schools that has been sanctioned and which has accumulated by way of arrears. I made reference in my opening statement to this, to the extent that I said that I am afraid there will be, as a result of this, a clamour for going ahead with this work, just at a moment when the procuring of money to finance these and other capital works is a bit on the difficult side. There was nothing more sinister in my remarks. I merely referred to the existence of difficulties in finding money for this development at the moment, but our desire to find the money is as keen as ever it could be. We realise very much how necessary it is and what is the importance of production in the country, and the importance of providing the facilities required in the rural areas.

The Leader of the Opposition said that he understood it was not in order to teach agriculture in technical schools. I do not know exactly what he had in mind as covered by agriculture, but rural science is a subject that, at any rate, is the basis of any subsequent instruction in agriculture. It could be regarded as teaching agriculture, and, around the teaching of rural science, has developed the discussion group idea which is, in fact, a very practical way of transferring information and developing interest in application. With the machinery that is being provided, any practical or useful development in the teaching of agricultural science can be easily grafted on to the foundation that is there, subject to what may be done on the side of the Department of Agriculture as well.

I have said that there was co-operation between the Department of Agriculture and ourselves in certain matters, and the Department of Agriculture are looking to the vocational education committee in certain areas to lend instructors in building construction for the purpose of instructing some of the Department of Agriculture's officers. It may be recalled that a rather interesting development has taken place in certain counties in the work of building instructors, in that they actually go out, and, with the co-operation of the rural community, are building houses by grant from the local authority or the State. The houses are built as class work and the group of men who want houses built co-operate to build one house after another.

Quite a number of houses have been built in Culdaff, County Donegal, and in the Achill area, in a systematic and helpful way. It is, perhaps, hoped to do something on the side of the Department in helping farmers to build their own outhouses and to give such instruction as that. The idea is only in its development stage at the moment, but it is an indication of co-operation between the Department of Agriculture and the vocational education committees for doing good practical work; work of production, on the one hand, and making it a medium of good practical instruction on the other.

The question has been raised about technological development and the necessity for improving it. The work of the vocational education committee in Dublin, and the basis on which it is set, has been commented upon very favourably, and properly so. Recently a committee was set up, under that vocational education committee, to examine and report on technological training. That report has reached the Department and will be fully examined to see what satisfactory developments can take place under the vocational education committee, to improve technological instruction.

There has been a certain amount of doubt and difficulty as to whether certain schools which are in process of completion in Dublin will be ready in time for the autumn. I am advised that schools at Crumlin, Emmet Road, and Killester, will be in time for the autumn, and that the committee have overcome some of the financial difficulties with which they were faced.

With regard to the Donegal Vocational Education Committee, raised by some of the Donegal Deputies, it is complained that they are not allowed add to their teaching staff and that they were squeezed down in their school development. I had several conversations with groups from Donegal and I thought I had come to a rather satisfactory and progressive arrangement. At the moment the Donegal Vocational Education Committee get from the Department £28,250 as compared with £18,750 from the local authorities and student fees are £950.

It is true that the Department would not sanction a commercial teacher for the Dunfanaghey area because it was thought that it was not particularly desirable or urgent. They also have had to decline to sanction two manual instructors and one rural science instructor. They withheld sanction of the rural science teacher for the reason that there is no qualified teacher available at the moment. The matter will be considered again in October, when rural science teachers will be available. The reason for not sanctioning the appointment of two additional manual instructors is that the committee's current income and expenditure is out of joint and it was felt that it is undesirable that the committee should be allowed to run into debt. All of these matters are fully and sympathetically considered by the Department and there is no undue interference with, or turning down of practical proposals.

Would the Minister consider revising the system of grants so that poorer areas might get a better allocation?

That is the position. There is a graduated system by which the poorer areas do get greater grants from the State and under which a city like Dublin gets a two to one grant. That is arrived at traditionally out of the circumstances and expenses, and on careful examination, it will be found that it is an equitable arrangement.

Deputy Desmond complained that there was victimisation of certain people in relation to the preparatory colleges. The position with regard to them is that 50 per cent. of the places are given to those with an 85 per cent. mark in oral Irish. Fifty per cent. of that 50 are reserved for Gaeltacht children, which means that 25 per cent. is thus reserved for Gaeltacht children, provided they get 85 per cent. in oral Irish. When you consider both what the people coming from the traditional Irish speaking homes have to give, on the one hand, and the extent to which they are without ordinary facilities for secondary education, on the other, and when you consider the general standard that is required for the examination, I do not think anybody, say, in Cork or Dublin, could complain that they are being victimised simply because that type of concession is given to people from Irish speaking districts.

I think it was Deputy Desmond who said that laboratory grants were rather small. If you take experimental science in the preparatory classes of secondary schools, the grant is £16, irrespective of the number of pupils. In the intermediate classes, it is £16 for ten pupils or under; £25 for 11 to 24 pupils; and £30 for over 24 pupils. In leaving certificate classes, it is £20, £30 and £35 for corresponding classes, except in the cases of botany, physiology, and hygiene, for which the corresponding rates are £16, £20 and £22.

I expect that the report of the Council of Education may call for a new slant on the general progress of science in secondary schools and I think it would be better to wait for the report.

I think it was an Teachta Mac Pharthaláin who raised the question of the nautical colleges, and asked the reason why there was a decrease there. There is a decrease of £4,170, but that is due to the fact that last year £3,300 was provided for non-recurring capital expenditure for the improvement and decoration of the college. There is a small falling off in the grant required there by reason of the fact that the total number of hours of attendance has been somewhat reduced.

The question of the reduction of the moneys available for the building of colleges in the Gaeltacht has also been raised. Deputies will understand that there is no planned policy of setting out to build colleges in the Gaeltacht. What happened was that under the inspiration of Comhaltas Uladh, a body which has been doing very good work for many years, a grant was given to add to some money which they had of their own, to build a college in Rosguill and another in Teelin. Then, following the very excellent work which was being done for some of the boys in Cork, a grant was given to have a college built in Ballinteigue and after that in Coolea. They were examined on the merits and it was a case of helping those who, over a number of years, had shown they were able to help themselves and who were doing constructive work.

A question has been raised as to the reduction in the grant for scholarships in the Gaeltacht. That has a bearing on Coisde na bPáistí. The total amount voted to Coisde na bPáisti last year was not taken up and the amount that is made available this year may not even be taken up. Last year, there was £1,600 allowed; this year the provision is £1,400. That will meet the demands that will be made. The demands arise out of the actual work that Coisde na bPáistí is doing.

May I ask if this grant is confined to Dublin?

I do not think so. I think it is general.

Bhí Teachta ag iarraidh a chur ina luí orm, go raibh cigirí na Roinne ag iarraidh airgead do shábháil.

Iocfar na deontaisí £5 do pháistí ó theaghlaigh in a labhartar an teanga de gnáth. Is deacair ceisteana den tsaghas sin a phlé i gceart ach beidh An Roinn toilteanach faoi na cásana seo go léir ina bhfuil siad sásta go bhfuil an Gaeilge mar gnáth-theanga an teaglaigh.

Ní dúirt an tAire rud ar bith faoin Leabharlann Náisiúnta.

Bhí mé ag caint leis an Stiúrthóir coichíos ó shoin agus ba mhaith liom a rá anois go ndéanfar aon rud is féidir linn a dhéanamh i dtaobh na ceiste sin.

Is í an cheist atá ós coir m'aigne: cad is feidhm don Leabharlann Náisiúnta? Do bhí an Teachta ag caint mar gheall ar U.N.O. agus a rá go dtiocfaidh a lán eolas as. Ní doigh liom go mbéinn sásta an Leabharlann Náisiúnta a stocáil le gach cuid den eolas a cuirfeadh U.N.O. amach. Tá leadbharlanna na cathrach ann agus tá slí go leor acu. Ba mhaith liom a bheith cinnte de'n tsórd gnó a bheadh le déanamh ag an Leabharlann Náisiúnta. Ar aon cuma, tá an scéal sin ós ár gcóir có maith le ceist an Museum agus tá súil agam go mbeidh ar ár gcumas rud éigin a dhéanamh in a thaobh. Ná dein dearmad go bhfuil morán deacrachtí sa cheist.

Nach mbeadh sé ar chumas an Aire suidheamh d'fháil, biodh is nach féidir dul ar aghaidh leis an bhfoirgneamh nua fé láthair? Tiocfaidh an tim nuair nach mbeidh aon rud eile le déanamh ach an foirgneamh nua do chur suas don rud sin.

Ní fhéadfainn aon rud do rá faoi sin, fé láthair. Pé sceal é, bhí an cheist sin á plé seachtmhain ó shoin le stiúrthóir na leabharlainne, có maith 's le cuid des na daoine eile atá ag obair inti.

An bhfuil an Teachta Ó Deirg ag tarraingt siar an moladh go gcuirfear an Meastacháin ar ais?

Vote put and agreed to.