COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - ESTIMATES FOR PUBLIC SERVICES. VOTE 49—INTERMEDIATE EDUCATION.

I move:—

"That a sum not exceeding £69,750 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1925, for Intermediate Education, including Teachers' Salaries Grant."

It may simplify the work of the Committee, in dealing with this Estimate, if I say a few explanatory words in advance. In the discussion yesterday, and previously, on the primary Estimate, I endeavoured to give a full and detailed account both of the policy and of the programmes that are being followed in the primary schools—that is to say, the policy and programmes that are already in operation in the primary schools. At the same time, I was seeking to emphasis that the primary system was not the be-all and end-all, but that it ought to have its continuation in the secondary system. I gave, in connection with the primary system, a certain amount of information with regard to the connection between that and the secondary system, and the general lines upon which the secondary system was working out. I endeavoured to give some account of the methods which were not merely proposed, but initiated, in order to bring the education in both types of schools more closely into touch with the realities and needs of Irish life. Now, I find it necessary to say some things which I had hoped it would not be necessary to say. I feel rather humbled in the face of certain comments which I have encountered and which teach me that my efforts to be explanatory fell very far short of being successful. I want to make it clear with regard to this Estimate that is before us now—the same would apply to the Estimate which was dealt with previously—that the statement I made was not a statement of what ought to be, of something that existed in my head, of something that existed in my dreams, or of something that was still to come into existence, but of a system which has been actually inaugurated, is in existence, and is operative. I have encountered the comment that I have "unfolded a scheme of reform which, on paper, is of an inspiring character." I am glad to hear the statement that it is of an "inspiring character," because this scheme of reform exists to a much more real extent than its existence on paper. Therefore, I assume that the inspiration is going to be real.

"A scheme of reform which provides on paper for the unification of all grades of teaching between the primary school and university, and for a system of teaching in the rural schools, which will train children to be intelligent tillers of the soil."

These excellent objects, I have been informed, are no nearer of accomplishment than they were a year ago.

"The splendid reforms which pos terity may link with Mr. MacNeill's Ministry are still unembodied."

I am glad to encounter comment of that kind. If those who make that comment had realised that the reforms that I indicated are not unembodied but are embodied, I am quite sure their generous testimony—perhaps their over-generous testimony—would still as ungrudgingly be given, and that I would be told that the objects which I was endeavouring to carry into effect were excellent objects, and that the reforms which this Department is engaged in furthering, so far as it can, are splendid reforms.

With regard to this scheme, I may describe it in the following words, which are not my own:—

The drstic reform of secondary education in the Saorstát is provided by the rules and programme that were published yesterday.

That was about a month ago.

The old machinery of grades disappears in favour of two periods of secondary education which will be terminated respectively by an intermediate certificate examination and a leaving certificate examination. The old system of payment by results is replaced by a system of capitation grants. The old programmes, narrow and formal, which encouraged merely mechanical teaching and fostered the vice of cramming, are superseded by a more elastic programme which ought to give full scope to the teachers' gifts and to the pupils' real tastes and faculties. An earnest effort has been made to satisfy the needs of the different classes of the people and to supply an educational ladder that will stretch, without gaps, from the primary school to the University. It is hoped that holders of the intermediate certificate who leave school at the age of 16 will be qualified to make their way in commerce and the trades, and that others who continue their studies will be led to the threshold of professional and scientific careers. Clever and ambitious pupils will be assisted to mount from one rung of the ladder to the other by means of scholarships.

To continue the same account, which is not mine nor inspired in any degree by me:

We believe that most of the schools and a majority of Irish parents will welcome the principle of the new system. Many of our national misfortunes—

These are not my words—

our insular arrogance and ignorance, our dearth of technical efficiency, the scarcity of moral courage and the lack of sound public opinion are the penalties of a machine-made system of education that has cramped the development of our people's natural capacities. These capacities ought to receive fair play under the reformed system which is planned on a basis of intellectual rather than financial. results.

That is an encouraging statement made a month ago of a programme then in existence—a programme which I have no doubt the schools made preparations for carrying into effect from the very moment of its publication. Therefore, I say with humility that I apologise for any shortcomings in my statement of yesterday which could have led the same excellent authority to have supposed that the same things existed only on paper, only in an imaginary way, only as hopes and aspirations, which were still completely unembodied. These programmes are actually before all the secondary schools in Ireland and have been before them for a month's time. They include programmes specially drawn up for those who are going in for an agricultural career, programmes for boys and girls who intend to follow a commercial career and programmes for boys and girls who aim at a professional career. They include programmes of subjects like history and geography and ought to lead to very deep changes in the method of treatment of these subjects as it existed in the school—not altogether I should say through the fault of the schools, but very largely through the fault of the programmes imposed on the schools. History, for example, as taught under the direction of these programmes will not consist of lists of reigns, dates, dynasties and battles and things of that kind. It will be history as concerned with the developments of peoples. As regards geography, I can remember the sort of geography I learned when I was undergoing primary education—I thing "undergoing" is the right word.

Those were the days which some of the Deputies still sigh after. I think I knew at that time the population of almost every town in the world. At least, I was expected to know it. That sort of thing this programme not only aims at changing but I think will succeed in changing if it lives. There is not in the new programme a subject that is not so arranged—and intentionally arranged—that an intelligent teacher will not be induced to teach it with a closer reference to the needs and the potentialities of Irish life, and with reference to the actual circumstances in which the pupils live.

I repeat this is not a dream. It is a bald statement of the contents and the character of the programme. This programme is based on the principle that up to the age of eighteen pupils of our schools should get a sound general education, based, as I have said, on Irish, English, mathematics, history, geography, and rural science, and that after that age they should be supplied with such a choice of programmes that each pupil will be able to combine his general education with a beginning of specialisation in the direction of a future career, whether that be agricultural, commercial, industrial, or what is called professional. I admit that there is one respect in which that programme is still open to the criticism of being unreal. I have said before how much education depends on personnel; it depends entirely on personnel, and it has been a very great satisfaction to me to find such complete unanimity as represented by the Deputies here, by members of another assembly united to this, by the Press of the country, and by the whole public opinion of the country so far as it is vocal, that with regard to personnel the state of the case was unsatisfactory, not so much as regards the qualifications of the personnel. I think that wonderful things have been done in Ireland by those engaged in secondary teaching in order to qualify themselves for the work in which they are engaged in the circumstances. I am not classifying them.

That applies practically to all those engaged in secondary teaching, but the drawback has been, and the thing on which public opinion has been unanimous, was that where the livelihood of the secondary teacher depended on that occupation, the provision which had been made up to the present was inadequate and unsatisfactory. I should feel in a very weak position indeed, if I were to come before you here to defend the programme, and the programme only, and if I were not in a position to say that the Government was prepared to do something to remedy the condition in which the profession of secondary teachers, as a profession providing men and women with a livelihood, had been left for this Assembly to remedy. Now I have had discussions on this point with the Minister for Finance, whose absence we all regret, and I may say on all occasions I found the Minister for Finance, notwithstanding the claims which you know surround him on every side, and the extremely difficult task with which he is faced—as great a task, I think, and as difficult a task as has ever faced a Ministry in the constructive work of any Government—most fully appreciative of the particular matter that I have just mentioned, and most anxious, so far as it was in his power, to provide the necessary improvements. The result of our colloquies has come to this: the Minister for Finance has agreed to two proposals which I put before him as vital. The first was that the salaries of secondary teachers should be put on a professional basis by the institution of a fixed minimum basic salary, to be paid to the teachers by the schools. I take as a representative figure in that case, £200 for a man.

Do I understand the Minister to say that the Minister for Finance has agreed to these proposals?

Yes. And secondly, a system of yearly increments to be paid to the teachers by the State, these increments to be based on the length of service and merit of teaching and so calculated as to bring the teacher's salary up to a good maximum in, say, ten or twelve years. In the absence of the Minister for Finance, I cannot give the exact details in figures, but you may take it from me that the statement I made is intended to represent facts, realities.

Can the Minister give any idea of what the increment would be?

I want to ask the Minister if there will be any recognition of past service—length of service?

Length of service is to be one of the principles upon which the increment is to be based.

Including past services, or are the increments merely to date from the present?

Yes, including past service. In order to enable the schools to pay a proper basic salary the Minister for Finance agreed to increase the capitation grant to the schools, which would not, in most cases, be able on the present grants to pay a sufficient basic salary to form the foundation of a profession. I repeat what I was saying there now for clearness. In order to pay a proper basic salary the Minister for Finance has agreed to increase the capitation grant to the schools which would not in most cases be able on the present grants to pay a sufficient basic salary to form the foundation of a profession. The teachers who are to benefit by the above scheme will be the registered teachers, that is to say, professional secondary teachers who are or will be on the register. Now, the statement I have made reduces the actual proposal before me to a rather illusory form; that is to say, you will not be asked on this occasion to vote the sums which will be necessary to give effect to these proposals. To that end it will be necessary to introduce in good time a Supplementary Vote. The reason for that is obvious. These Estimates are necessarily drawn up months before they can be presented, and then a certain amount of time has elapsed since the Estimates were actually drawn up in the form in which they are presented.

Mr. O'CONNELL

Before the Minister passes from that which he read out, I would like to ask is the date fixed on which this scheme will come into operation?

The intention is that it will operate for the coming year, that is, the coming academical year.

Can the Minister give any indication of the amount of the capitation grant that is proposed?

I do not want to give approximate figures. I feel really in the absence of the Minister for Finance it would be wrong to attempt to give definite figures. I should prefer to ask the Dáil to accept that statementpro tanto to the effect I have indicated, that is to say, that the aim of the Ministry of Finance and of this Ministry is, so far as it can be done, to carry out the objects I have stated in a satisfactory and in an adequate way.

Can the Minister tell me what exactly is meant by merit? Who will determine the merit? Will that be left to the head master or the Minister?

I should say on the question of merit that it is the Ministry that has to be satisfied.

On inspectors' reports?

Will merit not be calculated on the work that the teacher is doing, that a man who is, say, in charge of mathematics at a large school will be considered to have done meritorious work?

Undoubtedly. I was about to say that except in one item the Estimate of this year is almost identical with the Estimate of last year, and that item is not material, because it represents an increase of £37,000, which, as you will remember, was provided by the Dáil in the very closing days of the last Session in order to make further provision for the secondary teachers. That increased the amount of the previous Estimate, £63,000, to £100,000. In that respect that is the only substantial difference between the figures for 1923/24 and the figures for 1924/25. But as I say, in face of the statement that I have made, you are only virtually passing a Vote on account.

Is it not the case that only £63,000 was distributed last year as an Interim Grant, and these Estimates propose to distribute £100,000 as a provisional grant?

Is the Minister inclined, or does he think it advisable to give even an approximate figure as to what the basic salary paid by the schools would reach, and the yearly increments on that salary?

I have tried to explain. I have got the general assent of the Minister for Finance. We have not had an opportunity to go into the thing in complete detail, and the only thing I can say with regard to carrying it out in detail is that it will be my duty to see that it is carried out in detail in the spirit of the statement I have just made.

I do not like to press the Minister on the point, but perhaps he could tell us how these figures would compare relatively with the Burnham scale, or has he taken the Burnham scale into consideration? Does he think that the scale that should hold in this country should be on a par with the scale that holds across the water? Would he be in favour of saying that a somewhat similar scale should be established here?

I could not say that I had calculated the scale on any such definite basis, or indeed on a comparative basis, although, of course, comparisons necessarily entered into it.

I think that the Minister is to be congratulated upon the statement he has made, so far as it goes, and that Deputies cannot really be expected to offer criticism of that statement until they know all the details. But as a beginning I think we may really welcome this as a red-letter day for secondary teachers in Ireland. This really is the beginning of something being done for them, and I think from Deputy O'Connell to myself that Deputies have not lost an opportunity of pressing upon the Government the urgent needs of the secondary school teachers, and I would say also that the Government themselves have never hesitated to admit that there were these claims and these needs. Up to the present they have done nothing to meet them, and now we are really faced with a promise from the Minister for Education—and I want to put this explicitly, so that there will be no mistake about it—that they intend that the secondary teachers for the coming year shall be working upon totally different lines, and shall have what may be regarded as a satisfactory means of livelihood. I think the Minister said that, and I would like him to correct me if I have in any way exaggerated his statements.

That is what I intended to say.

Of course, we cannot say until we know something further what the position of schools will be; whether they will be able, with the capitation grant that will be provided, to meet their own needs and to pay this basic salary, but I think we may assume at this stage that the Government will carry out their plans so as to put the schools into a position to pay that basic salary. That is the first essential. The second is that the teachers should have a satisfactory system of increments and that their past service should be adequately reckoned to enable them to be put at once on a proper basis as regards salaries. The Minister has not gone into certain other questions, and we cannot, I suppose, hope that everything will be done at once. There still remain to be dealt with the questions of their tenure and their superannuation. We can only hope at this stage that the Minister will keep these before him and will come to a decision on them at as early a date as possible.

I pass over as really not vital at the moment what we are considering, namely, the Estimates. I did not feel that we really are in position to consider programmes in any serious way while the teachers are really living on starvation wages; but when we get this other question settled, perhaps we can go into the question of the programme more fully. At the same time, I take the opportunity of saying that this programme introduces changes, many of which, I believe, will be accepted as real improvement. I welcome what the Minister said in reference to the part the teachers have played in fitting themselves, so far as they could, and in many cases by very serious and great efforts, to fulfil the conditions that have been laid down as necessary for registration. I think the Minister paid them a well-deserved tribute when he said that they had carried out their part in a very creditable and laudable way. What the Minister has said ought, to my mind, to make the consideration of these Estimates to-day a very short matter, because, as he pointed out, we are not really passing the Estimates for the year; we are only passing a Vote on account. But there is one point that I would like to have cleared up immediately, and that is, how it is that the Interim Grant, this £100,000 has not yet been distributed to the schools.

I know that some schools have got their share of the interim grant but others have not and I would like the Minister to explain the cause of that delay. It is less necessary now no doubt to demand an explanation and ask for a promise of reform in the future in this matter than it would have been before the Minister's statement because we know now that it will be different in the future, and teachers will know what they are going to get. They did not, however, know that, when the school year ended, because they did not get their grant, and they did not know what their share in the grant was going to be. In the past year I think it is regrettable that the distribution of that grant was delayed and I hope the Minister will give a promise that the remainder of the grant will be distributed without any further delay.

While I share Deputy Thrift's joy that the lot of the secondary teachers has been relieved I do hope apart from the merits of the case it will shorten the debate. There is one point to which I wish to draw attention and it comes in under the new rules of which the Minister spoke. It is perhaps unfortunate that these rules have not been laid on the Table. They are not in the library upstairs, particularly as the Minister said that he wished the Dáil to be informed on these matters. Probably it is due to an oversight and perhaps there is no statutory obligation to do so, but these rules are not to be found in the library. I think I am right in saying that the sum allowed for scholarships is in the future to be £40 for boys and £30 for girls. That discrimination between the value of a scholarship for boys and girls introduces a new principle into the administration of scholarships because, hitherto, there has been no sex discrimination. I think we ought to know the reason why it has been introduced. I think I am right in saying—I speak subject to correction—that neither in the Intermediate system nor in the University, with the possible exception of Queen's University, Belfast, is there any distinction in the amount of scholarships owing to the sex of the recipient.

I think there are certain foundation scholarships in Trinity College for which women are not eligible but that has been equalised by scholarships of the same kind which are non-foundation and which are open to women. Now, the Minister has introduced a rule that a girl is to get £10 less than a boy and the only justification for that would be if he could prove that a girl costs £10 a year less than a boy to educate. I am very doubtful of that. In my own case I find that a girl is as expensive as a boy to educate and I think that is generally the case throughout the country. I think that that discrimination against the girls is going to hit female education rather hard. I do not say that it is a breach of the Constitution because it is not a breach of the letter of the Constitution, but I think it is a breach of the provision of the Constitution which declares that citizenship is equal to both sexes and that primary education is free to both sexes. I think that such a regulation as this is not quite framed in that spirit and that it is going to hit a clever girl rather hard because it is always difficult to get a girl educated in the country. Parents are more inclined to pay more attention to a boy's education because there are a greater number of posts for them and it is more the custom to keep a girl at home to help her mother. I do not think that the Minister intended to hit female education and I think that this discrimination was probably forced upon him by financial necessity and possibly with a view to meeting the Minister for Finance in order to get this increase in the salaries of secondary teachers. If the sum available for scholarships is limited I would urge the Minister to abandon this system and if necessary, reduce the number rather than the amount of the scholarships and in that way he will be sure of getting the best out of the scheme and making competition keener. There is little to be said for discrimination, simply and solely on the ground of sex in the amount of the scholarship awarded.

I suppose it is so difficult to have justice done in these days we should be thankful if tardy justice is done. I am glad that the Minister has made the statement which he has just made. For the first time he has given us something more than vague, indefinite promises of favourable consideration. Like Deputy Thrift, I say that of course there are other matters such as the tenure of teachers and their superannuation, but I do recognise that he has taken at least the first step towards putting the teachers in these sechools on a sound professional basis. I agree with Deputy Thrift that this is not the time to go into detailed criticism of the Miniser's statement. As a matter of fact, it does not permit of detailed criticism at this stage and we are not in a position to offer anything like useful criticism of it. I take it that the proper time to do that will be when the supplementary estimate comes up for consideration before us. There will be many matters such as the conditions of service, the increments, the maximum figure of salaries, the conditions under which the increments will be given, the conditions governing the employment of teachers, the number of pupils and so on, which will undoubtedly get detailed consideration before the Minister comes before us with his supplementary estimate, and we shall be afforded an opportunity then of giving our views as to how these conditions shall be determined. I believe that it would be impossible for the Minister to take up any new reforms by way of programme or anything else if he did not take the step which he has taken to-day in connection with teachers. I think it was in the course of the debate on Thursday that he himself told us that if you have good teachers it does not matter very much what other school arrangements there are, and that on the contrary if you have not good teachers other arrangements are not of much use. I think that is a fact admitted by everyone. It must be admitted, too, that this country would not have much longer had good teachers if some step had not been taken such as that just announced to put the teachers' profession in the secondary schools on a sound and satisfactory basis.

With regard to the programme itself, I do not wish to say anything except in a general way that, on the whole, it must be admitted that it is an improvement on things as they stood heretofore. There is one comparatively small point which I think is important, and I would like to draw the Minister's attention to it in this connection. The regulations tell us that the purpose of the new proposed intermediate certificate is to testify to the completion of a well-balanced course of general education suitable for pupils who leave at sixteen years of age and for the fitness of pupils who enter for the more advanced courses of study in secondary or technical schools. The object of the intermediate certificate is set out plainly there. It will be to a boy leaving school advantageous to have such a certificate. Yesterday I suggested that there was no reason why in some of our schools, which cannot be technically called secondary schools, boys would not reach the same standard of education that is required by this new intermediate certificate, but, as the regulations are drafted, such boys would be precluded from entering for or obtaining such a certificate if they reach this standard.

Regulation 1 (a) says: "Pupils are required to pursue a course of study of a certain duration at a secondary school before admission to any of the public examinations." Now, as I say, I know several national schools in the country where senior pupils attend, and are encouraged to attend, by the teachers, and their parents are anxious that they should attend, and sometimes they attend up to the age of fifteen or sixteen. I see no reason why, if some pupils reached the standard of proficiency required by this certificate, they would not be in a position to go in for the examination and obtain a certificate which would be very valuable to them if they were seeking employment in business or any other such way. That does not mean that special fees should be paid for those pupils. That is not the suggestion. Some few years ago pupils from the national schools did go in for the various intermediate examinations. I do not see why that regulation should be discontinued, and I think it would encourage boys to stay at the senior classes in national schools if they could look forward to sitting for this examination and obtaining a certificate as a result of their studies. I strongly urge on the Minister to consider that particular point in connection with the programme.

I, like the other Deputies, offer very willingly my tribute to the Minister. We cannot claim to be specially conservators of the interests of education in this House, because every member who has the interest of the country at heart must realise that the future of the country largely depends on education. To-day we have at last, in outline at least, a scheme that gives us hope, and we have a promise that one of the most crying grievances in this country, that of the secondary teachers, will be remedied. In a kind of way—the Minister will not mind my saying it—he has created disappointment. I am sure that some members come with bricks in their pockets to hurl at the Minister. He never expected them to present him with bouquets.

They have been boiled now.

The Minister, however, is indifferent to both bricks and bouquets. I was beginning to despair. I did not know whether it was the Minister for Education or the Minister for Finance, but I thought they were, like the gods of Epicurus, who "haunt the lucid interspace 'twixt worlds and worlds," and nothing would break the sacred, everlasting calm, certainly not the complaints from Deputies. Now we find a Minister is realising his godlike duties and is going to administer his educational world, and I would urge upon him to let no more delays occur. There are three things. First of all, I would urge that the interim grant, as Deputy Thrift has pointed out, is not yet distributed and should be distributed immediately. Secondly, I think that a scheme which he is going to produce in co-operation with the Minister for Finance, a scheme of salaries rising by definite increments, should be settled as soon as possible and paid as soon as possible. It is as essential for the secondary teacher as for the Minister for Finance to make up his yearly budget, and I would urge the Minister, if possible, to let that scheme be published inside the next couple of months or before the next school year. Thirdly, with Deputy O'Connell and Deputy Thrift, I would urge the Minister to consider the necessity of producing at the earliest possible period a Bill dealing with the question of pensions and superannuation for secondary teachers. The Minister has, by his statement, disarmed most of my criticisms, and I will congratulate him. I will keep my criticism of the programme for the supplementary estimate.

There is a story, often told I am sure, of the Jew who, forgetful for the moment of the precepts of his creed, had partaken of pork, and by an unhappy coincidence lightnings came out of the clear sky and he exclaimed, "What a fuss about a little piece of pork!" Deputy Alton and Deputy Thrift almost indulged in pæans of congratulation; for what? For a promise, that some time shortly, I suppose at no far distant date, steps will be taken to introduce a scheme of salaries, nebulous so far, except for the assurance that in the case of men they are to begin at £200 a year. There are women teachers. Are they to be forgotten? On what scale are they to be remunerated? Where are they to begin? After all, the Dáil must not forget, and, if it were disposed to forget, it has been reminded very recently by Deputy Cooper of the equality of men and women before the law, and the equality of men and women under the Constitution, and the bringing about of what I have spoken of as the great aim of education, that is, the provision of the good citizen of the good State, which depends very largely on the proper education of women. Intermediate education, or secondary education, for girls, is none the less important from the national point of view, in the national interest, merely because there are fewer girls' schools, and fewer girls attending them.

After all, what is £200 a year with the possible increments, when one considers the very stringent requirements that are laid down, or, at any rate were laid down by the educational authority? The teachers are to be registered and are required to fulfil quite a number of difficult conditions. The teacher was a graduate of a university; he had proceeded to a diploma in teaching, and he had at least three years' experience in teaching. He had, as Deputy O'Connell calculated it in another context a few days ago, seven years' apprenticeship to serve. Is £200 a year considered an adequate salary for a position of trust? For that is precisely what the teacher's position is. Whether he is primary, secondary or higher, he is in a position of trust. He has the shaping of the future destinies of the nation largely in his hands. He has the children committed to him at the formative period. If, at least, he does not positively construct them, at any rate he has tremendous opportunities for injuring them. The selection of those teachers and the attraction to the service of the proper type of teacher is therefore of the first importance.

Now, the bank clerk holds a position which I do not intend to disparage. He is a very useful member of the community, in fact, indispensable. But the bank authorities do not demand any very considerable educational proficiency in his case, though they do, of course, look to considerable qualifications in point of character and things related to character. Through the mere fact of having got into the service of a bank, the ordinary bank clerk may count upon reaching £400 a year without being promoted to be a manager. And he receives all this free of income tax. I have dwelt upon this so often that I am almost ashamed to return to it again, but I find reiteration —though iteration has been called by a distinguished writer "damnable iteration"—has become essential in this connection. The work that these teachers are called upon to do is a highly specialised type of work which only the man who has received an adequate education and intellectual and moral training can hope to do. The schools and the colleges and the universities are in competition with all the other careers for the securing of men of just that type, and men will not go into what has been hitherto a comparatively despised occupation unless the prospects are good.

There are, I am willing to admit— because I know of them—men who are willing to work hard year after year in the teaching profession for less rewards than their abilities would bring them in another profession. These men, because of their love for teaching and their zeal for education, are willing to make that sacrifice. But I am speaking now of the generality of men as they stand. After graduation, on the threshold of life, when they look around them and see the prospects of the professions or of businesses of various new kinds that are open up to them, will they be willing, will those who advise them in these matters, be likely to advise them to embark upon the career of a secondary teacher with £200 a year and certain increments, when we know that amongst those increments, for the vast majority of them, will not be included a head-mastership? Whether you like it or not, when we take into account the conditions that obtain, our secondary schools are, and have been, and we may venture to prophesy, will be, worked by the only agencies that, under the circumstances, could have hoped to work them. Consequently the headmaster is a member of the Order that owns the school. I am speaking now with regard to the schools that I know most about and am most interested in —that is, the Catholic schools. What I say does not apply to Protestant schools, because their head-masterships are within the ambition of the assistant teacher, and he may look forward to one day filling those most important and comparatively lucrative posts. What I am saying applies all round to the profession of education. It applies to the secondary teacher no less than the university professor. The State cannot secure the services, in most cases, of the right type of man without being willing to pay.

There is another protest I would like to make. The public have short memories, not here alone, but elsewhere. A new king ascends the throne.Vive le Roi comes from all sides. Then the world begins on that date. The passage which the Minister for Education read from a newspaper criticism upon him and his administration, speaks of the old bad methods, the old harsh, inelastic programmes. Now we are going to have the new. The new methods that are indicated belong to the policy for which the late Intermediate Education Board struggled for the freedom to set in being. The late Intermediate Education Board threatened on one occasion, now nearly 16 years since, to resign as a body as a protest against being compelled to distribute the moneys to the schools exclusively as a reward on the basis of competitive written examinations. They succeeded in getting inspection. They pressed further, and eventually they were allowed to create a body of inspectors. No change in the educational system has been productive of such extraordinary benefit as that. It is very rare that those who serve the public get the proper tribute to their work in their own time, but on all sides, from teachers who might be prejudiced and critical, from head-masters, from Commissioners of Education, from everyone who knew the men and the work they were doing, these Intermediate inspectors have received nothing but unbounded praise.

They, I may say without exaggeration, transformed in a very brief period of time all the work from a mechanical procedure in most of the secondary schools into live and genuine teaching. The capitation system, with the inspectors' plus examinations, was worked by the late Intermediate Board, and they indicated as a necessary reform the substitution for the three grade examinations of the Intermediate certificate and the leaving school certificate. These things are now apparently in the eyes of certain editors new improvements. But what I think the Ministry of Education ought to be commended for is that they have set to work as instruments of the first educational body that has been responsible to the Irish people, to do these things, and to bring into actuality, as they are now in actuality, those measures of reform that other Irishmen, no less interested in education, struggled to bring into being but were not permitted to create. That, after all, is their very real credit, and it is in a measure altogether theirs.

I do not like to be for ever on the attack, but I cannot restrain my criticism from one thing, this truism about education depending upon the personnel of the teaching staff. It has been echoed from bench to bench. Examine into it, and what does it come to? That if you have a perfect system of education, then your educational machinery is perfect. What is meant by the good teacher? The teacher teaching well. Using the jargon on another subject, "Don't view the teacher statically; view him dynamically." The good teacher is a teacher teaching well. The teacher cannot teach well if he is not teaching a good programme as part of an organisation well conceived. The system requires to be right in order that the teacher should be good. I do admit that the quality, and, to a large extent, the volume, of the result achieved depends upon the personality of the teacher.

But that is a different question altogether. As Deputy Alton reminds me that is what was meant. If that is what was meant that would be an argument for an almost lavish expenditure of money, whereas, when you talk of the good teacher teaching well it seems to me to be in favour of alaissez faire arrangement. After all you get the man. You let him go and the results are what might have been expected. The amount of money set down in this Estimate is not lavish. I know that Deputies of the Business Group are thirsting to get up and make a protest against the amount. Do they realize that the money set out in this Estimate for education represents only a fraction of all the money expended upon education? The Intermediate system of education, or the Intermediate Schools rather, in Ireland rank very high. As compared with the Intermediate Schools in other countries they are excellent. There is a great deal of money expended on them from private sources that does not appear in the public Estimate. This public Estimate would be very much higher, and would excite the wrath of the business men more, if it were not for that fact of Irish history, which I need not dwell upon at the moment.

Deputy Hewat objected to the vote for primary education on the score of salaries and expenditure, or rather it was with regard to superannuation. He spoke of other walks of life providing no superannuation for the men engaged in them. I would ask Deputy Hewat to remember what the public does not always remember with regard to the teachers, and which the teacher is painfully conscious of in his own experience. The more successful he is, and that means the more zeal and the more energy he has put into his work, the more likely is he to have produced a man who will supplant him. The teacher all the time is producing rivals to himself. There is no other productive occupation in the whole range of human experience, that is, of that peculiar type. No doubt, in the case of the workman, the apprentice learning from a superior man may get the other's job. That is an accident of life. It is not part of the intention and the purpose of the work, whereas in the case of the teacher it is. That is a reason why the superannuation allowance ought to go with salaries that are provided for teachers if there were superannuation allowances for no other occupation under the sun. That is one of the things that I have not heard of as satisfactory, so far from the Minister with regard to the improvement in the position of the secondary teachers. Are these salaries to be absolute or are they pensionable? Is a pension to accrue? It is most important that the teacher, in addition to having an interim to look forward to should have a retiring allowance to count upon as well.

On a point of explanation, I think in fairness to the Minister I should say that I thought he said quite clearly that the basic salary of £200 is an approximate figure for men. I think his words were "that the basic salary is something like, for example, in the case of men, £200."

On a point of order, is that intended as a correction of anything I said? I wrote that down, and I have it accurately. It is: "A commencing salary of about £200 for men." I ask what about women? There was no mention of women.

I beg to move the suspension of the sitting until 7.15.

Sitting suspended from 6.30 until 7.15.
The Dáil resumed at 7.20 p.m.,

I know that a good many Deputies came here to-day with big guns charged to let them loose upon the Minister for Education, but by a delicate turning movement he has practically escaped the fire altogether. I join with other Deputies in congratulating him on the advances that are being made. There is no doubt that probably some people will not be satisfied, but certainly a beginning has been made, and it is a great thing for the teachers to know now that if they are taken on they will have a salary of £200 a year and that that is going to be increased until they get what may be called a decent living. I do not say that a basic salary of £200 a year is very much to induce any man, particularly a man who has come from the Universities, to take up that very onerous and very trying mode of life. But I do say that it makes a difference when he knows that in the future his increments are going to run his salary up to at least £400 a year. I think that both the basic salary and the final salary are something below what is being fixed for the Six Counties. I am not quite certain of the figures in the Six Counties, but I think our figures are somewhat below the salaries that are paid in the Six Counties. If that is so I regret it very much, because I think that we should be able here to pay our secondary teachers as well as they are paid in the Six Counties. I want to press upon the Minister, although I know there is not much use pressing it at this time, that these teachers must know that they cannot be kicked out at a moment's notice, or at three months' notice, but rather that they must receive some form of fixity of tenure and will be able to look forward in their old age to something in the nature of decent superannuation or a pension. They are not in the position of business men who are able to make a good income during the years of their capacity for earning. They are fixed down to this small salary just like civil servants, and they are just as much entitled to a pension as the civil servants are.

On the occasion of this Vote being before the Dáil last year, I stated, and I repeat it now, that if you want good teaching you must have good teachers, and if you want good results you must pay the teachers well. That is to say, you cannot get good teachers unless they are paid well. I desire to stress a point that has been stressed by other Deputies, namely, that the interim grant that has not been paid to some schools should be paid at once. I know that that is causing a great deal of irritation and a great deal of uncertainty amongst the managers of schools. With regard to the future, I press upon the Minister, as others have done, that this is a matter that should be dealt with immediately. There is one point I would like to refer to, and that is, that in certain schools, I do not know in how many of these intermediate schools, each pupil who enters for an examination has to put down a pound, and if he is not able to put it down, his parents have to do it. If he passes the examination the pound is returned to the boy or his parents, as the case may be, but if he fails the pound is confiscated. Whether that is a rule of the Intermediate Board, or whether it is the rule in particular schools, I am not quite certain, but at all events it is a rule that I would like to see abolished, because it is a great deterrent on poor boys to be told that they must deposit a pound before they can go in for an examination, and that if they fail in that examination the pound will be lost to them or to their parents. The Minister will be able to tell us whether that is a rule of the Intermediate Board or whether it is a rule of some of the schools, in order to make boys who have been inclined to mitch or keep away from the examination and who could pass to do so.

I think the most important point has been reached with regard to the improvement in education is the fact that boys and girls now cease to be made machines for making money for schools. I think that in the past that was one of the most disastrous things in connection with secondary education, that the results' fees were paid on the result of the examination. In the past clever boys and girls were seduced from one school to another in many cases, so that results' fees might be obtained by the schools. They were seduced, too, on a promise that lesser fees would have to be paid to the schools by their parents, so that these clever children might bring the £20 to £25, or whatever the sum was, into the school where they were educated. They were simply worked as machines for making money for schools. I think that Deputy O'Connell made a very good case for the boys who remain at the primary schools—in the primary schools where the teachers take a higher class and go beyond the ordinary programme in the matter of teaching Latin, Geometry and Algebra and other subjects that would allow their pupils to compete for the first Intermediate Examination. I say that the boy in the primary school who is capable of passing that examination and of receiving the certificate that is offered, should be entitled to take it in the primary school.

Therefore, I think that the words Deputy O'Connell seeks to have deleted, namely, that the boy must be in an intermediate school, should be deleted. I think, too, that boys attending these higher classes in the primary or national schools should be allowed to compete for these certificates. I would also like to make a plea for the encouragement of such subjects as Drawing and Shorthand and other subjects that are supposed to be in the business or industrial course. I have found to my cost that I have been extremely wanting in not being able to do shorthand, and that I was a great deal worse off from the fact that I omitted to learn drawing.

There is another point. Elocution was taught in the school that I was at, but, like a good many other boys who were then going to college, I despised the idea of elocution. I never thought at one time that I should become a lecturer, and would need to be able to speak properly, and so I have suffered from the neglect of the study of that particular subject all the rest of my life. I, therefore, make a plea, and I am sure the Minister agrees with me, that the schools should give as wide a course of teaching as possible, not tieing the pupils up to the mere subjects that will be of use to them when they go into commerce or go to the University. I would like these subsidiary subjects to be encouraged, so that men, no matter what position in life they find themselves in, may be able to fill these positions with credit to themselves. On the whole, therefore, I congratulate the Minister. I am afraid that by this time he may be getting puffed up, but it is not a common occurrence I may say in this Dáil for the Minister of Education to get the praise showered upon him that was showered on him this evening. Those of us who are interested in education are extremely grateful that, so to speak, he has taken the bull by the horns, and that he has done something to satisfy schools that were becoming bankrupt, and that he has given some hope to the Intermediate teachers, not the Headmasters, but some hope to those who had taken it up in their junior years as a profession.

I cannot help feeling that the congratulation of Deputy Professor Thrift on the statement made by the Minister with regard to the future salaries proposed for secondary teachers was something like the sigh of relief a fellow gives when somebody kneeling on his chest unexpectedly steps off. I feel that as far as the congratulations have gone in the matter they have been congratulations that really if you examine them are sighs of relief that something is about to be done. But simply to state that you are going to start and make a minimum salary of £200 a year for a secondary teachers, and that they will get increments of some kind, and to leave it at that, is not giving us any information from which we can relax the pressure of criticism at the present moment. I just happen to have here a list of people who get more than £200 a year, and if we examine the new intermediate programme, for secondary schools, and if we have a proper and due appreciation of what is the position of secondary teachers in our general system of education, and what the proper arranging of our educational system means to the country, we have some idea of what type of man we require as a secondary teacher, and some idea of the responsibilities that would be placed upon secondary teachers. The following is a list of people who get more than £200 a year:—Draughtsmen, electricians, bricklayers, cabinet-makers, carpenters, joiners, coach-builders, plumbers, gas-fitters, plasterers, bakers, table hands, oven men, butchers, switch board attendants, tin smiths, sail makers, tent makers, upholsterers, etc. You are starting off, whatever may be said about what was done in the past, or whatever may be said about what led up to the present situation here, with new hands upon the educational system, and a new outlook and new hopes. You want to attract the young men leaving the universities to the ranks of the secondary teachers' profession. I think it would be unfair, in the start that we hope to make now, that there should be fixed simply a scale of salaries without any reference to pensions. We all know, or at least we all hope, and we have a certain amount of reason for knowing, that the world is going round and round, and we do know that we cannot escape facing the question of pensions for teachers in three or four years' time. You are going to make a false start now, and you are going to lose three or four valuable years if you do not face the pension question when you are facing the salary question. You are either going to lose a good many coming into the ranks of secondary teachers, or you are going to bring in good men to disappoint them in four or five years' time by introducing a pension scheme that will be a contributory one and you are going to take back from them some of the money you are giving them now under the guise of a fixed scale of salary and increment. I just want to raise that word of warning to the Minister for Education and to the Minister for Finance, and to the Deputies here who are interested in getting a proper start in educational matters just from this very year. We would want to hear very much more about what the intentions of the Government are in this matter before we really can afford to gasp with relief. It will not be facing the question and dealing with it in the way it should be dealt with if the matter of pensions for our teachers is going to be left out of consideration at the present moment.

My sympathies in this matter lie with the attitude taken up by Deputy Mulcahy, not that I would quote the wages of joiners, cabinet-makers and plumbers as something that ought to be lower than the wages of secondary teachers, but I think that he is right in asking us just to withhold our congratulations, or at least to keep them in a minor key. The difference between the present minimum, if there is a minimum, and I think there is a minimum of £180, and the £200 promised, is not so great as to make one feel jubilant that something has been accomplished. But my hesitation lies in this: that I remember on several occasions we asked the Dáil from these benches not to be content with promises, but to let us have either legislation, or accomplishment in the way of administration which will satisfy us that the thing has been done, and not merely that it is about to be proposed. I would like to have had the details of the scheme that the Minister has touched on. He has given us some information; he has given us the bones, but we require and ought to have it, I think, considering the great deal of time and attention that has been devoted to this question, we ought to have the matter in a little more detailed way, we ought to have the propositions in a little more detailed way, and, even now, I would ask the Minister to tell us how soon we may expect those details and, therefore, what date the new conditions will be applied, and as to what period the new appointments will cover. Even that information would be helpful.

The difference between the present minimum and the proposed minimum, as I say, is not so great as to make one jubilant. Everybody has spoken about the position of the secondary school teachers. I happen to know two men, one of whom preferred, and did, as a matter of fact, spend quite a long time working at the docks rather than keep on applying for a position in a secondary school; and another very competent man, known to many of us, who did as a matter of fact go round the country fairs and markets with a fiddle accompanying a dancer rather than continue his applications for a job in a secondary school. It gives one an idea at least of what men highly accomplished have been driven to in the past.

I want to support the line taken up by Deputy O'Connell in regard to this programme. The Minister told us here yesterday that his purpose was to coordinate the work of the primary and secondary schools and to bridge the gap that has hitherto existed, and he did say that in the programme there had been more or less overlapping— overlapping in the right sense, as he suggested, of splicing. But it seems to me that the point raised by Deputy O'Connell rather shows that it is still in the nature of an aspiration and that in practice it is defeated.

The pupils may not enter upon an examination unless they have pursued a course of study of a certain duration at a secondary school. They will not be admitted to either of the public examinations. In the case of pupils who intend to follow a secondary school course it is advisable that they should enter a secondary school at the age of 12 years where possible; and then it is intimated that for the purpose of the Intermediate certificate recognised pupils who had attained the age of fourteen years on the 1st August were to follow an approved course at a secondary school for three years. That, of course, precludes boys and girls attending a great many of the primary schools, and taught by primary school teachers, but whose parents are not in a position to send them to secondary schools. There may be no secondary school near at hand. A boy may be competent, may be clever, and the teacher may be most competent and able to teach, to bring that boy forward, but unless the pupil has taken a course of study at a secondary school for two or three years, he cannot enter this examination. I submit if we are going to bridge the gap, and bring together the two courses, we ought to make it possible for the higher classes in the primary schools to enter for this Intermediate certificate.

That would go further than, as far as I can see, most other propositions in the direction of linking the two systems together. I imagine that there still remains the idea in the minds, perhaps, of the framers of this scheme that it is the attendance of the school, the surroundings, the atmosphere, that is doing the work required, and that unless the boy or girl is able to go to a secondary school he or she is not able to get the advantage, the impress, that a secondary school education gives. There may be some truth in it, but the pity is that it is true, if it is true, and we should not now, while talking about co-ordination of the systems, say that it is and must continue to be true. It practically tells the primary schools that they can never attain to the position of the secondary schools in regard to this atmosphere, and the quality of education that is provided for youth. I am afraid that that provision somewhat spoils the intention, and that we ought to make it possible for the teacher in the primary school who is competent to train the boy of poor parents, who cannot afford to send him to a secondary school, to train that boy and bring him to that standard which would allow him to take the Intermediate certificate. Then you might have the possibility of that continuous educational process which we have been talking about, and which we thought from the Minister's speech was his intention. It seems to me that these two or three rules Deputy O'Connell drew attention to suggest that in practice the Minister's intention is not to be given effect to, and I hope he will give us some assurance on that point.

Before the Minister replies, there is one small point I would like to urge on him, that is the advisability of taking the teachers into consultation in framing the scheme which he has outlined to us, and settling the details of the scheme. It is, I need hardly say, very important that they should be consulted when these details are being settled, and that they should be satisfied with the scheme as a whole. I would also urge the necessity of announcing the scheme as early as possible. The academic year, I think, begins on the 1st August, and it is essential that the matter should be settled, and finally disposed of, so soon as possible after that date. I quite realise that the supplementary estimate cannot be taken until the autumn session, but I suggest that everything should be ready for the early days of the autumn session so that the matter can be settled.

I hope the Minister will undertake to take up the Supplementary Estimates at an early date after the Recess.

I am somewhat impressed by the argument put forward by Deputy Johnson with regard to boys from a primary school not being able to get the Intermediate certificate unless they have spent some time at a secondary school. I know there are good schools in the country where the boys' parents are not in a position to send them to get secondary education, and they are debarred from getting their due share of what they are entitled to. I know where the county council scholarships are in operation in some places the standard for obtaining one of them is that a boy must have passed a certain standard in the Intermediate. That should not be allowed to continue any longer. I know districts where there are boys living away from centres where the Intermediate system is available who, if they had the opportunities of boys living in the immediate vicinity of these schools, would be able to go in and take a fair share of the education offered by these schools. I think the gap could be bridged over in some way by allowing the teacher in a primary school in a country district to put a pupil forward if he thinks he should be put forward, and give him the value of the benefits he would derive from attending a secondary school.

With regard to the disbursement of the interim grant, already about £35,000 has been paid out, and the grant is actually in course of payment. What happens is that the returns come in by degrees and piecemeal and the grants are paid as soon as the returns are complete. In some cases various questions arise, and one of them is in regard to the more or less difficult case of the share of individual teachers—a matter which often requires to be gone into in detail. But I do not think that I can plead guilty to anything like departmental delay in the matter. At all events the intention of the department is that the grant should be made available for each school as soon as possible.

The point was raised by Deputy Cooper of the discrimination in the programme between boys and girls in the matter of scholarships; and great stress was laid on the fact that the scholarship provided for girls was £10 less in amount than that provided for boys. The Deputy might have said that £10 more was provided for boys than was provided for girls, which, as a matter of fact, is the more accurate way of putting it. There is no reduction.

I did not say that there was. I said there was a new differentiation.

I admit the difference. I think that the basis of the difference is a belief—I am not at the moment able to test it, and therefore am not able to defend its absolute accuracy—that in general the actual expenses of education for girls are smaller than for boys. But if there is a constitutional question involved I may remind the Deputy that it arises on every one of these estimates. There is not a single estimate dealing with any department which does not pay smaller salaries to women than it pays to men; and therefore I hold that I am not the person who is primarily guilty of this grave violation of the Constitution.

A scholarship is not quite the same as salary.

Not quite the same. The scholarship is far less important than the salary.

I do not think the Minister is quite accurate as regards the fees. The fees for girls' schools are higher than for boys' schools.

I did not say fees; I said expenses.

Does the Minister suggest that girls' clothes are cheaper than boys' clothes?

I am afraid I shall have to leave the settlement of that question to the Deputy himself.

Mr. O'CONNELL

The question does not arise on the Estimates.

A Deputy suggests that we should reduce the number of these scholarships rather than reduce the amount. It is arguable which would be the better. And if it was proved to me that it was better to keep up the amount and reduce the number, I should certainly adopt that suggestion. With regard to pupils remaining under instruction in primary schools, and receiving in those primary schools instruction that would correspond with the standard or programme in the secondary schools—any part of it, I do not know whether the rule as it stands is as inelastic as has been suggested; and if it is I undertake to have it looked into, and to take care that it will be made sufficiently elastic to provide for effective instruction given by teachers of primary schools.

Mr. O'CONNELL

May I point out that the point is not the instruction but the getting of the certificate. That is what is in question—the eligibility of the pupil, having got the instruction, to get the certificate.

Whatever the obstacle may be I think it ought to be removed. And in saying that I want to make it quite clear that I should not like that to be done in such a way as to draw away the attention of the teachers from the work at one particular end of the educational chain, and make them concentrate on the other. I should want to make sure that care was taken that no abuses arose out of it in that respect. I may say that I think that Deputy Johnson was a little hard on me in suggesting that, even as it stands, the rule vitiates my intentions. I do not think that statistically the number of schools, and still less the number of pupils affected is very considerable. However, as I have said, I should like to see, and will look to it, that an arrangement be made that will do justice to any teaching of the quality and degree corresponding to that required by this programme when that teaching is done by teachers of primary schools. I miss Deputy Magennis. Deputy D'Alton, I think it was, who presented us with the figure of speech, the brick and the bouquet. If Deputy Magennis were here I should like to remind him that he came armed with a brick and a bouquet, and that he presented me with the brick, and presented the bouquet to himself. I am not claiming at all for myself to be anything more than an instrument in carrying this programme into effect; and it would be sufficient credit for me if I proved myself an effective instrument in that matter. There is no doubt that there is not a single new idea in this programme—not one. There is not a single improvement in it, among the improvements that have been welcomed, that has not been initiated and put forward long ago; and I by no means wish to claim any personal credit at all in the matter. At the same time, while rejecting the bouquets, fragrant as they are, I take the privilege of rejecting the bricks with equal decision.

The question was raised by Deputy Sir James Craig, I think, about a charge of £1 by way of deposit being imposed on students in Intermediate schools. No such charge is made or required by the Department. I think that that arises in this way—it is a matter, too, of some years standing—it was found that certain schools were in the habit of presenting pupils who were gravely inefficient in a number of subjects; and in order to prevent the waste that took place in that way— waste of various kinds, a deduction of £1 was made from the moneys payable to schools in each case of that kind. This regulation was of some years standing, and arose from reports made by the inspectors with regard to what they considered to be very serious abuses, and what the Intermediate Commissioners considered to be serious abuses. And the imposition of £1 as a charge on the pupils must be a thing done by the school authorities, the individual school authorities themselves, in order to indemnify themselves in advance and apparently to enable this abuse afterwards to be carried on. At all events, the Department of Education is not responsible for any imposition of that kind, and it is evident that the very fact of the imposition is an attempt to avoid a remedy which the Department has endeavoured to put in practice. I would just blunt slightly the edge of what Deputy Sir James Craig said with regard to making money for schools; undoubtedly the idea of making money has prevailed. I do not think there is a single secondary school in Ireland that could be accused of being a moneymaking institution. Drawing and shorthand, I should like to see, I think, practically universal. I think we have got now beyond the stage of the three R's, that writing is not a sufficient accomplishment, and that it should be possible practically for every young man in these times to write shorthand. I feel, as I am sure others feel here, at a great disadvantage in not being able to write shorthand, and I envy those of my colleagues in the Ministry and others who are able to take notes in shorthand when I am not. Drawing, I say, is a subject of very great importance and should be far more widely and generally taught than it is. It is of great educational value, far greater than is generally appreciated. Not only is it laying the foundation for the acquisition of other knowledge later on, but is an actual teaching of the faculties and a teaching that can be brought into operation in the case of children at a very early age. As to elocution. I am not so sure about it. If it were of the right kind I would not mind. There are two subjects— elocution and composition—and I should say that great atrocities are perpetrated in the schools in the name of both.

And out of the schools.

Deputy Mulcahy thinks that I have made a great mistake in not having brought forward provision for pensions. Again I get back to the position, so often asserted here, that pensions are deferred salaries, and to criticise me for not having made provisions for pensions is just the same as to criticise me for not having made larger provision for salaries. The two criticisms would stand on the same footing. Now, there again it seems to me a great pity that this Assembly, which has both the power of expenditure and the power of taxation, could not devise some means of exercising these two powers. That is to say, drawing up measures for these two powers simultaneously, so that when an addition to expenditure was proposed the manner in which the expenditure was to be provided should be dealt with at the same time.

Does the Minister not realise that that is only his responsibility—we are not allowed to do that.

If it were possible even to do it through the Ministers it would be desirable. It is not. My responsibility in the case is this, that I not only have to provide the means of expenditure, but that also, as one member of the Executive Council, I have to take part in providing the resources or putting before the Dáil the form in which that expenditure is to be met. But members of the Dáil are privileged. They can bring forward matters of expenditure without at the same time taking the provision to meet the expenditure into account. Not only can they do that but they continually do it. They can suggest that we should spend instead of a quarter of a million one million on a certain object. The same million would do duty for them on one occasion after another. They can spend that million as often as they like. Every time the Minister for Finance has to spend a million he has got to find the million to be spent. I have endeavoured to be as frank as possible in my statement of the proposals that have been made.

If the Minister for Finance had been in attendance I should have thought it my duty to be in a position to give you those proposals in as minute detail as possible. In the Minister's absence I cannot do that. I can only deal with a matter of that kind as between the Minister for Finance and myself. I do not think I would be doing it in a proper way, as I realise it, if in the Minister's absence I were to deal with the officers of his Department. I cannot say when I can give the details, but I do not think it is likely that I shall be able to present them before the Recess. I will feel it my duty to present the details as soon as possible after the Recess—if possible earlier. I do not think that Deputy Mulcahy's argument with regard to the comparisons of salaries was valid. It was effective, but not valid. It is quite conceivable a Minister of the Government would be making a larger income by promoting Derby schemes or something of that kind. At all events, a comparison of salaries is not valid. The proposal I have made this evening represents a very substantial and distinct advance on any financial provision that has been made hitherto for secondary teachers. In the discussions that have taken place leading up to that, I should like it to be known here that the headmasters of all the schools in Ireland, without exception, cordially advocated and pressed upon me the necessity for making some such advance as this in the salaries of registered teachers. I formally move the Vote.

Vote put and agreed to.