COMMITTEE ON FINANCE. - ESTIMATES FOR PUBLIC SERVICES—VOTE 44—SCIENCE AND ART—RESUMED.

I hope I have made it clear that in my remarks I am not objecting in any way to an increase in the resources of University College, Dublin, or the National University of Ireland. But I am thinking of the work which is to be done in the country both by Trinity College, Dublin, and by the National University. I do feel that the proposals outlined by the Minister may have a very serious effect upon the work carried out by Trinity College, Dublin. That work is, I agree with the Minister for Agriculture, in the educational way small, but I feel that there should be an important future ahead. Besides educational work there is research work, and it is about that I am particularly uneasy. I believe that these proposals may be carried out without doing this injury which I fear. I believe that discussion between the different bodies involved would in all probability enable a satisfactory arrangement on these lines to be effected without affecting at all the question of whether this proposal can be carried out in such a way as to increase the resources of the National University. Now, those who have argued on one side seem to be of opinion that the injury which I fear can be avoided out of the present resources of Trinity College, Dublin. With great deference to the judgments and opinions of those who have spoken in that way I venture to say that I know more about the resources of Trinity College than they do. Their means of getting information upon the matter have not always been the fullest. It is possible to learn a great deal, no doubt, from reports of previous commissions, but I do say that it is not possible to learn anything of value from the opinions that are expressed by different people, whether they happen to be graduates of our institution or not. It is really only very few who know intimately the state of the finances of Trinity College, Dublin. It is quite true that it is not now the case that our accounts are in any way hidden. They have to be submitted to the Government year by year in the future, and it is quite right that that should be so. When once an institution becomes State-aided, it must necessarily submit to that, and it would not, and in this case does not, object to that at all. In the very letter from which extracts were read there is contained that clause specifying that in future years the accounts of Trinity College, Dublin, must be submitted to the Government, and that is not objected to on our side, and it will be done. Furthermore, I am perfectly prepared, for my part, to go through those accounts with any Ministers who are anxious to clear up any points that may not be clear if there be such, and to argue with them as to whether there is this possibility which they seem to contemplate in our resources. Beyond that, I should not think there would be the slightest objection to any inquiry the Government may think fit to institute as to whether those resources are being used to the full or not. I think it is perfectly right that a Government should consider the total resources of all institutions which seek for aid, to see that those resources are being used in the best and fullest way, even though, as in this particular instance, they can only, to a comparatively small extent, be said to be resources which have come from the State. The question still remains: Is university development in this country to take place upon lines that will mean that overlapping in different departments would necessarily ensue? I do not think that is likely to be the most profitable way of considering the problem of university development in the future. We are a small country, and it seems to me that it is much more probable that improvements can be effected in a more economical way by developing both universities, not along identical lines in all respects, but by developing them so that each university will specialise along its own lines, not one to the exclusion of the other, but each making its choice as to the particular lines it is going to take up. I hope that will develop and tend to healthy rivalry between the two universities, but a rivalry in which co-operation will also be possible. Whether that co-operation can be secured in this case or not will, I think, come out when once what I suggest should take place does take place—that is, that the Minister should consult with the different bodies and see whether there is a possibility of that co-operation or not. We cannot, I think, with advantage, go into such details here. They can be much better dealt with, in the first place at all events, in separate discussions, such as I have outlined.

There is a further question as to what should be done with the present students. I have here a letter received last week from a parent whose son is at present taking out a course in the College of Science in connection with Trinity College, Dublin. Naturally, he is asking what is to happen. Is the year his son spent there to be lost, and is he to start somewhere else? Details of this kind require consideration. We have instituted new degrees within the past year in order to meet this new development. Within the last six months we have given three of those degrees. Apparently, if this plan is to be carried out on certain lines those degrees would come automatically to an end. I do not know whether that is the proposal or whether that will necessarily follow from the proposal or not. But it might. That is why I say it is only reasonable to ask for some discussion on this proposal before we regard these details as finished.

I have only dealt with this proposal in so far as it is concerned with university work carried out by the College of Science. There are other aspects. There is the aspect of how that work is concerned with students of what may be called non-university rank. That aspect has been dealt with by other Deputies to a very considerable extent, and I do not propose to go into it in detail. But I do wish to say that I think it is a very important aspect of this question. Neither do I think it follows from what I said about the university work of the College of Science that it has not got a work and a function to perform for non-university students which cannot be performed by any university. There is a third aspect, and I think it is a very important one in this connection. That is, that this State will have, sooner or later—and probably sooner—to set up for itself a State institution in which mechanical testing, meteorological work, special work which can only be performed in a State laboratory, the testing of physical instruments and so on, can be carried out.

There is such across the water, for example, and I think we shall very soon require some institution of that kind. I do not think we shall be content as we have been up to the present to send instruments across the water to be standardised. That sort of work is not university work. It is work that can only be carried out under direct State control. It could not, I think, be performed adequately by a university. It could not be carried out in a way which would not cramp proper university work which should be either distinctly educational or work of a distinctively research character. This State will require an institution of that sort for itself, and it will take a good deal of money to provide it. Either we ourselves or other Deputies will, sooner or later, find ourselves in this position that we shall say: this State had a certain amount of valuable equipment of which it might make use, and could have arranged for that equipment to be still available for Government Departments, if it had wished to do so.

I think the details of this proposal ought to be carefully examined in that connection so that we may save the State in future, as far as possible, any expense which otherwise might fall upon the State directly and to an amount which it is difficult to estimate at present. I do not think that is contradictory at all to the proposal of the Minister. I think that the two things can be secured, but I suggest that they can only be properly secured by a full discussion of details—such a discussion as I have asked for, leaving, as I said before, the final decision with the Government alone as to how they will carry out their proposal.

In the very same connection there will arise a question as to whether it might not be possible to secure the co-operation which I previously suggested. In a similar connection also arises the point that I believe the State at present does make use in a definite and distinct way of the College of Science as an accessory to its own work. I believe that the Department of Agriculture and the Post Office, for instance, are both in the position of making use of the College of Science staff for solving problems connected with these separate Departments, and for carrying out investigations in them. How that is to be maintained under the proposal of the Minister I have not heard suggested. I can easily see that it would be possible, perhaps, to secure it, but that difficulties would be very likely to arise in securing it unless the preliminary details were very fully discussed and thought out beforehand. When a Department is a State Department it is perfectly easy for the Minister for Agriculture, for instance, to send any problem which might at any time arise to it, and that the Department should be set to solve that problem with as little delay as possible. If it becomes a purely University Department there is not that power to control it. The university staff might very properly say they were engaged on other problems, and it would have to wait over for a little and take its turn. I can easily see there might be difficulties in carrying out such work unless it was very carefully provided for beforehand.

There is another point which has been partially dealt with already, and that is the question of how definite civil servants are to be regarded as part of the staff of the University. My main contention is—not that I quarrel with the proposal of the Minister at all—that there is room for discussion with the different interests involved before he finally decides upon these details, and that that discussion may lead to the carrying out of this proposal in a way which would satisfy everyone. As long as that possibility remains, I urge on him not to leave it untried. What I suggest would not require any unnecessary or great delay, but it might lead to very important results for the whole country, as well as for any particular part. I do not mean anything offensive by that. I do ask the Minister—and I do think it is a thing which we can fairly ask him—not to close this matter up; I do not think he has closed it up, but to allow such discussion as I have suggested to take place before the details are finally arranged.

I do not want in any way to suggest that promises were made in this connection which were taken up in a different way from what was intended. It is very difficult at this stage to say, or to prove, exactly what was said, and it might have been meant in one way instead of in another. Therefore, I do not propose to do so, but I can, if anybody calls for it, refer to what was said. There is no doubt in my mind, and I do not think that the Minister for Agriculture will question it either, that there was some sort of assurance given as to some such discussion of details of this matter. I am not laying any great stress upon that, because things change in two years, and I know the Minister for Agriculture wants his Faculty of Agriculture, and quite rightly. I daresay his point of view is pretty much that which we read of —"a plague on both your houses." So long as he gets his Faculty of Agriculture in a university it will meet his point. I am not going into that.

There is one other thing I should like to say by way of explanation as to some remarks I made last Friday. Thinking over them afterwards I thought it was possible that something I said might be misinterpreted. It was in connection with the so-called £100,000 that was transferred to Trinity College, Dublin. I am anxious to be perfectly fair in that matter, and not to say anything which should in the slightest way be one-sided. I did think afterwards that perhaps one thing I said might be misinterpreted. Therefore, I will ask your permission, sir, to make a very short statement on it again. I urged and argued that so far as Trinity College, Dublin, was concerned, that action of the Government would, we hope, leave us in a level state as regards our revenues, as compared with what they were before the 1903 and 1923 Land Acts were passed. That, I think, is the most we have been hoping from it, from a general study as to our land revenues and the effects of the Land Acts on us. I do not want to correct that in any way. It is a forecast. It is the forecast which we make on our side. I think the Government take a more favourable forecast and think that we shall be somewhat better off when the Land Acts have come fully into operation. I think I went on to say that the Government had been able to do that —I am not quite sure of the words I used—perhaps it was, without straining the resources of the State.

Before I speak further about that, let us be quite clear about this £100,000. It was not a grant of £100,000 from the Free State Government; I do not think the Minister meant in the least to suggest that it was. Nevertheless it is taken up in that way in various quarters. It was not. It was simply that there was lying a sum to our credit on which we were able to call to the extent of £5,000 a year, if our losses from the Land Act of 1903 amounted to so much.

It was lying to the credit of the Public Trustee to be used for our benefit in that way. I think that is perfectly accurate, and I will ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce to correct me if I misrepresent the case. It was lying with the Public Trustee to be drawn solely by Trinity College to the extent of £5,000 a year if the losses from the Land Act should amount to so much. If they did not amount to so much it was to be drawn on to the amount to which the losses came. The Free State Government said "We will allow you to draw upon that at once to the full extent of the revenue provided by that fund." The fund was transferred from the Public Trustee to the credit of Trinity College, Dublin, and the Government. The benefit to us was that we were able to draw this revenue immediately instead of waiting for the losses due to bad sales to amount to the revenue of this fund. I think I said that in view of the fact that the fund had not attained the amount specified in the 1903 Act, namely, such an amount as would produce £5,000 yearly, the Government were bound under that Act to continue adding £5,000 yearly until it would reach the necessary sum. We agreed that the setting aside of £5,000 yearly should stop—I do not know how long it would have continued, but it would have been for a short time comparatively, and that instead the Government should give us £5,000 down, and £3,000 yearly for the future. I think I may have been taken to say that that was done without involving any drawing on the funds of the Free State. If I did say so I was thinking of the next two or three years during which the fixed sum of £5,000 yearly would have to continue. There would be a definite contribution from the Free State of £3,000 yearly, so soon as the Free State would be free from the liability to set aside the £5,000 yearly specified by the Wyndham Act. I have to apologise for taking up the time of the Dáil so long, but, in view of the difficulty and the complexity of the subject, I hope I will be excused. I do not think I often transgress in that respect.

While the attitude of our party is not the attitude that Deputy Thrift suggests would be that of the Minister for Agriculture, "a plague on both your houses," we are very much concerned about having a Faculty of Agriculture set up. Certain facilities and education were given in the College of Science hitherto to those who had neither the time nor the means to get university education. I refer to county instructors of agriculture, creamery managers and technical instructors. These people were provided with facilities by the College of Science that I hope will be continued, to the same, if not to a greater, extent elsewhere. It is immaterial to us where, but we hope the universities will provide them. We demand as a right that the services which were provided by the College of Science will be continued. We are very keen on this matter, as a considerable number of persons in the rural areas have been able to make a living by the short courses that were provided in the College of Science. We hope these courses will be continued, or otherwise we will have a good deal to say about the matter. From the speech of the Minister for Industry and Commerce we anticipate that these facilities will be continued in full. If they are we shall have very little to complain about.

I would like to ask the Minister for Industry and Commerce one question. In the course of his speech or speeches he said something about handing over the buildings that were occupied by the College of Science, or which, shall I say, were built for the College of Science, to the University. I take it that the University proposes to continue to demand the right of self-government, and to insist upon retaining complete control of all its own property. I want to know whether it is the intention of the Government to hand over the buildings which constitute the College of Science as an absolute gift, henceforth to be controlled without regard to any wishes or desires of the Government, or any limitations except such limitations as they themselves as the Governing Body of the University might like to propose. I think we should have some assurance on that point. I do not like the thought that Government buildings should be handed over absolutely to any body, private or quasi-private. I want to remind the Minister and the Dáil of the implications of this proposal in regard to other kinds of public gifts, advances or contributions. If it is proposed to hand over to University College absolutely, as a free gift, the buildings that constitute the College of Science, then, there are possibilities in regard to other institutions, to which State property might be handed over. I think we ought to guard against that kind of precedent. I hope we shall have an assurance that it is not intended to hand over these buildings as an absolute gift.

I am not going to enter into this discussion now in the way the representatives of Trinity College or the National University did. I want a little information on points that perhaps the Minister may say are matters of detail, but which are of considerable importance to some of those whose future and present will be affected by a change in the College of Science. Deputy Thrift and Deputy Gorey have alluded to the matter, and I want to emphasise its importance with regard to the present students of the College of Science. What will be their position in the future in their effort to complete their studies? What position will students outside stand in? At present some students that I am acquainted with are doing a thesis for a fellowship of the College of Science which will no longer exist. What will their position be? What pass or degree will they be entitled to claim for the work they are at present engaged in? Is the Minister making certain that the position of these students and their future will be in no way endangered? I am given to understand that both in this country and elsewhere the College of Science degree has been of more material benefit to those who possess it than a pass from a university would be. I want information on these points which will be satisfactory not only to me but to many students in the College of Science, and to others working outside for a degree or a fellowship of the College.

I want to answer Deputy Gorey. Deputy Baxter had in his mind the students of the College of Science doing real university work, students who got associateships and afterwards, as he mentioned, a fellowship. That is one question, but the question which Deputy Gorey asked is slightly different. He wanted to know what will happen students who get certain facilities there for doing what I will call secondary agricultural education, short courses for creamery managers and so on. There has been a good deal of confusion on this particular question by reason of the fact that Deputies do not seem to advert to the two functions of the College of Science. It has the functions of a university, but it also has minor functions, inasmuch as it offers facilities, which gradually grew up, to students who were anxious to get what is really agricultural education, not university education but education of a secondary character. It is not proposed to transfer to any university the functions of a secondary character which the College of Science possesses. I say that without at all prejudicing a possible development later on of continuation classes, or that certain work which is not really university work should not be done in conjuction with that university. That, of course, is a possible development. It is possible that a university might do a two or three years course in connection with the agricultural faculty for students who have got their matriculation. I am dealing now with the existing position and with the courses provided for creamery managers and people of that sort, the courses which they do in the College of Science but which are not of university standing. These courses will be continued and should be increased. In agriculture you have primary, secondary and university education, and I ask Deputies not to mix up the three.

We are not mixing them up.

Mr. HOGAN

They ought not to be mixed up. I heard a lot of talk as to what is to be done with the agricultural station at Athenry, the station at Ballyhaise and so on. It was suggested by some Deputies that because there was a model farm in Athenry that there would be no difficulty whatever in establishing a faculty in agriculture in Galway University, the farm at Athenry to be made available for that purpose. In its way, equally important work should be done for secondary agricultural education at Athenry and at Ballyhaise. That is the kind of work that should be done in these farm institutes, and I hope that the Ministry of Agriculture will be able to acquire more of them in the future for work of that kind. Deputies can rest assured that there is no intention whatever of limiting the present resources for secondary education in agriculture, that is to say, the provision of short courses for creamery managers and other people who want to get technical agricultural education. What we are really discussing here is what is the proper way to give education of a University standard to agricultural people who are anxious to get such education.

I take it that the Minister is not concluding on the general question?

No; but there are two or three small points which I would like to deal with before coming to the three or four grave matters raised by Deputy Thrift. Certain Deputies have addressed the Dáil since I last spoke dealing mainly with the question of University College, Galway, and there seems to have been created down in Connaught the impression that the University institution which they have at present is about to be taken from them. Deputy O'Connell, in speaking, thanked me in a sarcastic sort of way for the continuance of the present very limited funds which are being paid to Galway. I do not object to his making that point if he simply means to stress the fact that the funds are small and that all that is now promised to Galway is the continuance of these limited funds. I may say that when I used that phrase I was answering an objection, or an imaginary objection, that the funds were going to be stopped, and in order to reassure Deputies on that point I did say that this University Vote would be under consideration soon and that it would then be seen that the present funds were to be continued. That is no answer to those who asked what development is going to take place in Galway University, nor did I intend it as an answer.

I did not intend it as an answer to those who came here and interviewed me on this subject, and then retreated to Connaught and started a campaign, that the present funds of Galway University College were going to be taken from them. There is no hint of that here or elsewhere about Galway University College. There is one other point, but it is a small one. Seeing that the Minister for Agriculture has been reminded of some promise he is alleged to have made some years ago, and as I do not wish to have the same thing happening with regard to myself some years hence, I wish to deal with a remark made by one Deputy who spoke in Irish. He said I had promised a Commission of Inquiry. He was speaking in Irish at the time, and I am not sure how much stress can be laid on the word "coimisiún." In using that word, if the Deputy meant what is ordinary meant by a commission, I may say that I meant no such thing. Further I desire to say that it is not in my power to make any promise about a commission for Galway University. That is a matter entirely for the Minister for Education. What I did say was that a thorough examination would be made into the resources of Galway University College, and I expressed the opinion that the case should be taken up immediately. I am not clear at all that I did use the word commission, but if I did use it I did not intend to do so, because I have no authority at all with regard to making a promise for the setting up of a Commission of Inquiry.

Deputy Thrift returned to some points he had dealt with in his first speech. Right through Deputy Thrift's speech there runs this idea, that suddenly some weeks ago the Minister for Education made up his mind, without any examination of details, that this project of his should be put before the Dáil, and that that should be done without any consultation, without going into any details, and without any proper scheme or plan. That is the current running through the Deputy's speech as he made it. Whether he meant it to be there or not, I do not know, but if he did mean it he can rest assured that this whole matter has been the subject of inquiry for many months past; that details have very definitely been looked into, and that the whole scheme is in a very finished from. It has not been finally completed, but enough has been done to show that there is no insurmountable obstacle in the way. I cannot announce in answer to the question put, that such and such a detail has been worked out, but there is no detail not worked out for which we have not analogies in the past. It must be remembered that the Minister for Education belongs to a University, and had much to do with the period which saw the working out and the transfer of the old Royal University to the three Colleges of the National University. All the difficulties about that transition period, about examinations, about the taking over both of professors and of students, all these, I say, came up before and were surmounted. A long view and a decent prospect of the whole situation has shown that there is nothing to prevent that plan working out here. A scheme is brought before the Dáil now for approval, in the sense that the details cannot be laid on the Table, nor can every little point be settled as to what is going to happen Professor this or Lecturer that, but this I can say, that there has been sufficient thought given to the matter by the Minister to ensure that there is no obstacle which cannot be surmounted.

Are we to understand that what is now put before us is a decision which is not subject to any further examination by the Dáil?

Oh, no; the Minister for Education is putting before the Dáil the particular project of his Department and the Executive Council. That there may be details to be modified here and there or advice to be given by the Dáil and taken by the Executive Council is not at all precluded. I only mean that the thing has advanced. It is not an inchoate scheme. It is not merely a nucleus of something. It has advanced to a certain point though there may be modifications to be made in it later on. The particular point the Deputy raised in regard to buildings the Minister for Education will answer himself. That item has not been forgotten.

The question of the £100,000 has been repeated so often that I do not care to go into it again. Deputy Thrift said in regard to that, that the Trustees of Trinity College at a particular period came to the conclusion that the University resources would be very seriously lessened by the operation of certain Land Acts. He proceeded from that to say that the present view was that they could no longer exist upon their present finances. I would like to point out in answer to him that there was to be set aside a sum of £5,000 per annum, and that there could be withdrawals up to a certain limited amount per annum from that.

The fund was then to accumulate until it had reached the position that the fund itself, without any further addition, would bear withdrawals allowed under the agreement. If the view of the trustees that the finances would be very seriously lessened had been borne out by the facts, there would have been considerable withdrawals from that accumulated fund. In fact, there were not very many.

I should like to point out that the reason why the withdrawal from the fund is much less than anticipated at the time is because of the dilatory way in which the operations of the Land Act were carried out. It turned out to be more limited than was expected.

What I wanted to get at was the uncertainty of prophesying anything. There was something that intervened; it may be what the Deputy states, or there might have been other causes. But the fact is that the funds were, in fact, not very seriously lessened. The Deputy goes on to say that what has been given to Trinity College is this: that as regards the funds now being handed over to them, they were allowed to draw on them year by year, and that in certain other ways they have been lessened by the operations of land purchase. They got in no other income from that fund, and to that extent the £100,000 was a gift. There is no limitation put upon the withdrawals. They get whatever is the full income the fund brings in per annum, and there is no statutory limitation. These are the two points.

It must always be remembered in regard to this £100,000 that it is not right to represent it as a fund belonging to Trinity College, Dublin, and that the Irish nation, or the Free State, have no call upon it. I hold it was an asset of the State, not immediately realizable, but a clear and distinct asset, and might have been dealt with in many other ways. Deputy Thrift has returned to the points I made against him in my first speech about the readjustment of the internal resources of Trinity College, and he threatened some day to explode completely my illusions upon those points. They may be illusions, but they are shared by other people, and have formed the basis of the letter intimating to Trinity College the gift of this £100,000. I have previously given a certain portion of this letter.

Is the Minister reading from the letter of withdrawal, or the final letter that went to the Government?

There was a letter which was withdrawn in certain particulars. Certain demands were made on Trinity which the College refused, and for the reason the second letter pointed out. But the basis of both letters is the same, and the way both letters proceed is this—I am not quoting them word for word:—Number one expressed the Government opinion that all Universities had to be looked at together when funds were being applied for; and the other very definite statement to Trinity College was this: that with less students they had more income, they had no burden of debt, and had buildings on a scale above and beyond that which University College or the National University of Ireland could ever hope to possess, and having said that it continued that they were not yet satisfied that all that could be done had been done by way of internal readjustment of the finances to meet the present difficulties under which Trinity College was labouring, and hoped that before long Trinity College would so readjust its internal finances as to put it in a position to meet these obligations and to carry on the work which it had been so successfully doing up to that point. A three-year period was set down, not distinctly, inside which the finances were to be readjusted. There was to be a three-year period inside which it was understood no further application was to be made by Trinity College for funds. I take it that one reading of the letter is that inside that three-year period Trinity was to examine and find out how far an internal readjustment of its finances would meet the situation, and I do not know that anything has been done along the lines of that examination which was pointed out. There is this, further: Deputy Thrift quoted from that letter certain points, one point being that the accounts were to be presented, and his remark on that was illuminating. He said the accounts are not now hidden.

I do not think I said that.

I was very keen at the time, and jumped on that word, to take down what he said. I was rather amused to hear it drop from him.

Time after time the accounts were submitted to various commissions.

I do not want to go into this point of the accounts in detail, or to insinuate that moneys have not been revealed or that the receipts have not been revealed, but as this matter of accounts is opened up there is one small point that I would like to call attention to. The question of accounts has been opened up by the Deputy. Certain items are set forth as showing loss in the internal economy of Trinity College. Two items may be bulked together. There is the Observatory belonging to Trinity College and the special Botanical Gardens for Trinity College, apart from the other Botanical Gardens in the city. One of these shows a loss of £1,600 and another a loss of £1,300 in a particular year. It might be asked, why carry these losses; why carry a Botanical Gardens? If you ask the people in the vicinity of Lansdowne Road whether the Botanical Gardens are being used they will inform you that it is a kind of a locked preserve for the greater part of the year. I do not know that any useful work is done there. There is one serious item—there is an item raised by the Board of Trinity College showing a loss in three grouped items—that is Commons, Kitchen and Trinity Hall. Trinity Hall is a residence for women students of Trinity College. Kitchen and Commons I group as meaning meals provided for the students, and there is a loss in that. I have heard of Bills providing meals for necessitous school children, but I do not think that the Dáil ever thought it was proper to provide money to buy food for Trinity College students, and that is really what is comes to. This is one item upon which a definite investigation is challenged. It is put forward seriously in a statement showing loss that the money they charge their students for Commons does not meet the bill for Commons. I think it is a very serious thing for any university. I do not know where its revenue comes from originally, but when it is asking for State aid it is strange that it should say: "We are not charging sufficient to our residential students for the food we are giving them."

The Minister would not really make this point if he had talked over the accounts with somebody who knew them beforehand. He would not have made the suggestions he has made. He is quite unaware of the fact that part of our Charter makes certain exhibitions payable in the form of Commons. Sizars, for example, instead of getting money payments, get free Commons. Part of the emoluments of scholarships is free Commons, and so on. If he had talked the accounts over with some one who knew them, he would never have made these points.

I am very glad to have the information, and am surprised that those who sent in the claims and the letters did not explain what Commons, Kitchen and Trinity Hall did represent. That was the time for the explanation. The claim was sent in that there was a loss on these things, and that loss was to be met apparently by whatever additional grant the State could give. Why that £100,000 was given to Trinity College the letters bear out.

Secondly, we believe that you can meet whatever deficit there is by a better adjustment of your internal finances. That is the situation as it still is. There has been, so far as can be learned publicly, no better adjustment of the internal finances, but University College, Dublin, and the National University are still in an impoverished condition. This is then an actual way of meeting the impoverished condition of the University Colleges in Dublin and Cork. The question of these co-ordinating students has been raised. I thought fit to make inquiries and make out, since we had such difficulty about it, the number of agricultural students who attended from Trinity College and elsewhere. I have found out the number of co-ordinating students who attend from Trinity College and the National University. Over a five years' period the number of students who attended for agriculture, mechanical engineering, and applied chemistry from Trinity College averaged two students per year, or ten in all during five years. Those are students, all, or nearly all, of whom were on the agricultural side of the College of Science. From the National University 32 agricultural students attended in five years and 101 students attended for mechanical and electrical engineering. Taking all the figures, there would be 133 from the National University and 10 from Trinity College, so that that is the full value now of those co-ordinating students. We are told, however, that we are seriously hindering the whole future of Trinity College because the number of their students, averaging two yearly over a period of five years, cannot be finished.

I do not see why they cannot get finished. Of course they can. They will finish in the same building that used to be called the College of Science but which will be known under another name. Several points were raised by other Deputies which really refer to the working out of the schemes. They are mere details, and the scheme should not be held up because every detail, cut and dried, cannot be placed before the Dáil at present. Now with regard to the staff being Civil Servants, it has been asked how can they be incorporated into universities if they are Civil Servants. They can, of course. As Civil Servants they have defined rights for salaries and pensions and these cannot be interfered with. Their rights are there and they will have the right to opt between continuing and resigning, but it is not, as Deputy Sir James Craig said, that if they resign their moneys will be borne out of a central fund and would ultimately fall into the coffers of the National University. The obvious thing would be, that payment by way of pension should be met out of the Vote, so that there would be no further call on the Exchequer. This is to prevent further call on the Exchequer. The other point is with regard to university autonomy and Government rights over its own property. Government rights over its own property are definitely protected by the Constitution, consequently it is not incompatible with the autonomy which a university has that there should be a certain control over buildings or the relaxation of control subject to review for certain periods. All that can be looked after and I presume that the Minister will see that it is looked after. The whole details have not been worked out, but I think there should be such definite approval given now of the project that the heads of the Colleges concerned can proceed to go into details in conjunction with the Minister and with the Department of Agriculture which dealt with this matter until recently, so that the whole thing may be cut and dried and put into operation before the autumn.

I suppose it would be better for me to ignore as much as possible any criticism that has been directed against myself personally, and pay attention to the criticism that has been directed against my proposals. First of all, I think it will clear the ground of some of the small and rapid undergrowth, the brambles and thistles which have sprung up during the last few days, over the question of University College, Galway. It is quite a common experience with us here to find Deputies complaining of things that that they have recently said being misrepresented. I have a long experience of misrepresentation. I do not know whether anything in that experience has amounted to the various things that have been said with regard to what I did say, what I am supposed to have said, and what has been read into what I said on the question of Galway University College. I said one thing very distinctly, and I put it in a familiar phrase which everyone understands, and that was, that it was no part of my intention that the Galway College should be let down. It is one of the privileges of free citizenship to make mistakes about these things and the public has a right to have itself set right on matters of this kind.

In the first place, as my colleague suggested, there is no intention to diminish the provision of University education as regards Galway. One of the Deputies for County Galway said, in a rather sarcastic way, that he thought they ought to be rather thankful for that. I hope I shall be in a position to announce that the provision for University education as regards Galway will not be diminished, but will be suitably increased. I cannot do it at present, and I do not intend to do it. As I said, Galway University College and University education connected with it were, to my mind, something of a problem. Away back in the 'fifties when Ireland, according to a well-known saying, was on the dissecting table, a little bit of dissection was done with regard to University education and the country was dissected in the provinces, and provincial University institutions set up in those provinces. On the basis of that we are prepared to-day to get into contentions and controversies. What are those provinces to us, this geographical division of Ireland into counties and provinces? Of what value is it to the people inside the provinces or counties or to the people outside them? It is a mere matter of administrative convenience. They have not even historical tradition at their back. They are merely administrative units so far as they have been administrative units, and at present that does not apply to the provinces. It is only because we love a bit of contention that we are provincial at all. We are not provincial at all in our minds, but when some bone of contention arises then we become desperately provincial. I hold that University institutions in any part of Ireland should exist for the nation as a whole. That does not mean there would not be a special benefit to the people who live near them. You have great and renowned Universities in different parts of the Continent and Great Britain, all of them of special benefit to the people who live near them, but not one of them a provincial University. I refuse to approach this problem of University education in Ireland on the footing of provincialism.

Another point has been mentioned with regard to Galway. I am supposed to have overlooked it. We will see who is overlooking it. That was from the point of view of the Irish language and all that is implied in it, Galway was especially favourably situated, and that forty per cent. of the inhabitants of the city of Galway itself were Irish speakers, and that in the country surrounding the city a much larger proportion, one might say eighty per cent., were Irish speakers, and that consequently Galway had special claims on the nation for national consideration. I agree, but I ask are those special claims going to be met—I am putting the question very plainly—by stereotyping the kind of university institution which is at present established in Galway? I am glad that even though no "voice, in thunder, spake," the consequence followed. I am glad that the West has wakened up to the question which was a problem to me and that is: what is the best thing to be done with regard to University College, Galway? I am prepared to meet those at present interested in the college, the people of the counties which are contributory to that college, and in common with them, others representing the wide national view, and to consider with them what is the best thing to be done with regard to University College, Galway, but I am quite satisfied the best thing to do is not to build on the foundations of Sir Robert Peel—I think he was the original architect—as more or less altered under the regime of Mr. Augustine Birrell. I should like the whole question to be looked into as freely and as openly as possible, and I hope to be able to provide an opportunity for doing that.

Mr. O'CONNELL

Can the Minister say how soon will it be possible to provide an opportunity for that inquiry outlined in his address?

We are here hoping that we will be released for some time at all events from these difficult duties. I have not it in my mind to name a date. A good many people interested in the thing will be taking a well-earned rest for a month or two. The Deputy may rely upon his powers of bringing me to task if there is undue delay.

Mr. O'CONNELL

I want to know whether it will be in the autumn after the recess.

That would be the time I would look forward to. What I put before the Dáil was a certain scheme, definite, so far as it went, but not definite in detail. I think I would be able to satisfy members of the Dáil that it was impossible for me at this stage to bring forward a scheme worked out in detail, and even if I had it in black and white, that still it would be altogether premature, and not by any means from any point of view advisable that I should present a scheme in absolute detail. The problem I had to face was twofold. First of all, there was this plan of University education being carried on on a limited scale and under what would be often described as bureaucratic management. I proposed to the Dáil—and I think there has been universal agreement on the point and also general public agreement on it— that that was not a sound plan of higher education. That is number one. Number two was that I had also before me, and had before me for a long time, the question of the needs of the National University, and more particularly the needs of University College, Dublin. At that time—and I am not going to enter into any comparisons whatsoever—when I was approached by the representatives of the University of Dublin, and when it was possible to make a certain provision about which I shall not say now whether it was a larger or a smaller, a better or a worse provision, there was the admitted case of the National University, and particularly of University College, Dublin, which was one of the greatest hardship, the greatest difficulty. At that time it was not possible for me to make or to propose any way or plan for relieving the necessities of the National University and its Dublin College. The only thing we were able to do was to say: "Carry on. We will continue to provide for you on a certain limited scale."

Now the two problems come up together, and I admit, from my point of view, that it is fortunate that they come up together. In transforming the scheme of education carried on in the College of Science into a part of the university education of the country, a certain amount of resources are set free from their previous destination, and placed at the disposal of the public authorities. And my proposal is not to diminish those resources in any way, but to make them available for relieving the needs of the National University, and doing something more— bringing that University into line with the economic needs and the economic life of the country. The reason why a scheme of that kind cannot be placed before you in detail is plainly this: We are dealing with an autonomous body in the case of the National University, and with bodies exercising a large degree of autonomy in the case of its colleges. When I speak of an autonomous body in the country I hope no one will suppose that I am setting up some sort of internal sovereignty as against the national sovereignty of the people. I have no idea of doing anything of the kind. The national sovereignty over all these institutions remains. But you cannot be always exercising national sovereignty in regard to these legal rights which have already been created. We must regard these institutions as having autonomy, and we must deal with them as autonomous institutions. Any scheme for the absorption of the work, the staff, and even the equipment of the College of Science by the National University must be dealt with by that body. It must make provision according to its own law, according to its own statutes, according to its charter, according to the law by which it is bound to carry out that scheme; and I must leave it a certain amount of freedom in shaping in that direction. It would be altogether a violation of the character of these institutions if we were to go to them and say: "You shall do so and so, and you shall do so and so." I think that the policy of the Government is that the approach should be rather in a contrary direction, and that the university should be required to produce its own plan, not necessarily final, not necessarily imperative, for carrying out the proposals.

And now let me say that up to this moment, and largely for the reasons that I have stated, I have carried on no negotiations with the National University or University College, Dublin, or with University College, Cork. I have given no undertaking to them, actual or implied, beyond what has been spoken here. So that in every way the preparation that I expect to be made by the university to meet my proposals has to begin from the time when those proposals are understood to have the sanction of this Assembly.

Again the question of buildings was raised by Deputy Johnson. I refrained, and I do now refrain, from announcing anything that would be, to the National University, an undertaking with regard to the provision of buildings. And why? Because the National University is already in possession of buildings provided out of the funds granted by the State. I presume that those assets will have to come into calculation before an agreement on this matter is reached. At the same time, I wish it to be clearly understood that the proposals which I have made are the policy that I stand over, the policy that I propose, and that if matters of detail are to be arranged afterwards, so far as I am concerned, they can only be matters of detail. I take responsibility for this proposal as a whole, and I can put it in a nut-shell, and it is, that the entire resources of the College of Science shall be made available for university education in connection with the University Colleges of Dublin and Cork.

As the matter has been raised by Deputy Thrift, I see no reason why two Universities working side by side should not be able to arrive on common ground and a good deal of common ground with regard to matters of research; and I am glad to hear that idea mooted now for the first time. I trust it will bear fruit in the future. If it is to bear fruit —and I myself will foster and facilitate it in every way I can—it will bear fruit by those who can speak and act for those two autonomous institutions coming together and making arrangements for research on common ground. Dublin University has already in certain directions immense resources for research and I myself in a small way have made a little use of them in the past. I am quite certain, I am at all events entirely hopeful, that with regard to that matter of meeting on common ground on matters of research the two Universities will be able to arrive at a friendly understanding and a friendly working arrangement.

Will the Minister facilitate steps being taken towards bringing around such a rapprochement?

In every way I can. Questions have been raised with regard to present students, and so on. Those are questions of importance, but they are of very small importance in comparison with a scheme of policy which is to be permanent. The number of those students, suppose they all be affected by this, is only a few hundreds, whereas we are now proposing to make a provision which will have permanent effect. At the same time I do not think that even one student, if it can be avoided, should be placed at a disadvantage by any change we make, and I trust every possible care will be taken to avoid the placing of even one student at a disadvantage, no matter what the classification of that particular student might be. That includes, of course, and I think the Minister for Agriculture has very satisfactorily dealt with that, the students who are attending short courses, or special courses, with regard to certain technical pursuits. Deputy Professor Thrift also said, and said truly, that we should have to consider the setting up of a State institution, a State laboratory, which will carry on certain special work for the benefit of the State. There are certain operations of that kind already being carried on for the benefit of the State; they are necessary with regard to customs, and so on. For the most part, that sort of institution will grow up, and, as far as one can foresee at present, will grow up gradually. At all events, I am not in a position to place before the Dáil —I do not think it would be my province—any proposals for the establishment of a fully equipped laboratory which would go into the question of assaying weights and measures, and meteorology—if that is a subject for the State, I should have thought it would also be a subject for the universities. The Minister for Industry and Commerce, I think, has been sufficiently explanatory with regard to the status of the present teaching staff of the College of Science. They are at present in the position of Civil Servants. That, I think, creates no difficulty whatsoever. I myself was a Civil Servant up to the moment when I became a university professor, and I think I mentioned before that the only difficulty I encountered, and which I hope is one these gentlemen will not encounter, was that I left behind me, in the hands of the British Treasury, all the pension rights I had accumulated for 22 years. They are now beyond recovery, except perhaps when the final financial adjustment comes along. I do not know if there is any other point which it is necessary for me to make clear, or any question that I could answer with regard to the proposals I am making. The proposals, I think, are perfectly definite. As I say, they comprise the absorption by the National University of the existing resources as a whole of the College of Science.

Would the Minister make one thing more clear to me, that is, whether he would be prepared, in so far as the work in connection with Trinity College, Dublin, is carried on in conjunction with the College of Science, that the authorities of Trinity College should be consulted to see how these proposals would affect that work?

Yes. I am prepared to have a consultation, but I think Deputy O'Connell got at my weak point a few days ago when he said that I had a dislike for Committees and Commissions. I have been in-touch with committees and commissions for the last 20 or 30 years. Some of them were very good, and some very bad. It is very much of a lottery, whether they are going to be good or bad, and in any case committees and commissions very often have this aspect, that they are but a means by which those who are in responsibility get rid of their responsibility and shoulder it off to somebody else. In this particular case I am prepared to take full responsibility for everything I have proposed, but in regard to consultation on any matter of detail of that kind I do not see why it should not be possible.

May I make a similar request on behalf of the commercial students? I tried to get particulars during the course of the discussion on this subject as to the number of University students at the College of Science, and also the number of what I might call ordinary commercial students. I did not succeed in getting what one might look on as satisfactory figures either from the Minister for Industry and Commerce or the Minister for Education, who seem to be in a sort of co-partnership in this matter. What I was anxious about is that, seeing that such a large number of these students of the College of Science are commercial students, those interested in commerce, like those interested in University work in Trinity College, might be consulted from the commercial point of view in connection with these future arrangements. Though I have listened attentively to that portion of the Minister's speech for which I was present, I am scarcely satisfied that he recognises the important work that was done for commercial interests in the University by the College of Science, and we should be satisfied in the future that these interests would not be in any way imperilled. I would ask that the Minister would consult those who are more or less responsible for industry in the Free State, and that they should be considered when these interests are being revised.

Mr. HOGAN

It is a pity if Deputy Good, after asking a specific question, would not get a specific answer. There are no commercial students of any kind in the College of Science, and there never were to my knowledge. There are students that the Minister for Industry and Commerce mentioned, that is to say, students who are going for their associateships, and there are other students who do courses in agriculture, short courses of a year, and that sort of thing, and a certain number of students who are studying for creamery managers' certificates. I should say that the number of students who come in casually and do short courses, and the number of students who are looking for creamery managers' certificates, would be about 30 or 35 out of a total roll of 160, but there are no commercial students whatever. It is a common delusion that the College of Science is a commercial college. It is not; there are no commercial faculties.

I do not want to interfere unduly, but as I happened to be a student in the College of Science in bygone years, I do not know what category exactly the Minister would put me in. When I attended the College of Science there were a good many students engaged in the same sphere of industry as I was engaged in, and I am sure up to the present there is a similar number in the same position.

Mr. HOGAN

The Deputy may have been doing physics, chemistry and such subjects. If he means that, he has been answered by the Minister for Industry and Commerce. But to say that there are any commercial subjects taught, or any subjects outside chemistry, physics, botany, zoology, and, in addition, subjects which creamery managers do for certificates, and subjects which agricultural students do in their short course, is not correct. The Minister for Education reminds me that there are certain students who do certain short courses in English and modern languages.

Possibly there is not so much difference between us after all. I tried to get from the Minister for Industry and Commerce the actual number of University students attending the College of Science, because we, in commerce, practically train the balance of them, and we claim to represent that balance. The work of the College of Science is in future to be carried on by the universities, and we want to know if they will regulate the matter to have the same educational advantages that are given at present. On that point we would like to be satisfied.

Mr. HOGAN

The actual number of university students in the College of Science is between 130 and 135. The actual number of other students would be between 30 and 35. The other students are mainly made up of students doing courses for creamery managers.

That disposes of the general questions on Votes 44 and 50.

On a point of order on the particular question. The Vote for the Botanical Gardens has been transferred from this Vote, in the revised Estimate we have got, to the Ministry of Agriculture. We have already voted the Vote of the Ministry of Agriculture. Will the Minister have to bring in a Supplementary Estimate, or shall we get any opportunity for discussing the Botanical Gardens at all?

I will afford an opportunity now on this Vote. That is the conclusion I have come to, and a special Vote will be introduced—Vote 61—for the expenses of Technical Education. I think it considerably more convenient to take the whole question of technical education under Vote 61.

This whole question of technical education will come under Vote 61?

Yes, rather than here. It does arise here but we had better take it as a separate unit, perhaps.

I have raised the point of the Botanical Gardens. I have only to ask the Minister if he is aware that at present there is a regulation that perambulators, baby carriages and so on, cannot go into the Botanical Gardens. The Minister for Industry and Commerce is using his offices with the Port and Docks Board to admit them to the Bull Wall, and I think he might consider this point. These gardens are used very largely as a public park. It may be wrong that that should be done, but unquestionably it is so, and it is a great hardship to mothers of small children to have to leave their perambulators at the gate. It means that they cannot take their children in at all. I do not think that the Minister would wish to be guided by British precedents, but baby-carriages are allowed into Kew Gardens, and the reason is that probably small children do less harm to flowers and plants when they are in a perambulator than when they are allowed to run around and pull things about. If the Minister would take that into consideration he would be doing a kindness to those people who live in the neighbourhood and use this place as a park.

There is just one small matter which I would like to refer to, and that is with regard to the hour of opening on Sunday. I understand it is about 12 or 1 o'clock. Would it not be possible to open at 10 o'clock, which would facilitate people in the neighbourhood very much, and also people who are in city offices during the week?

Mr. HOGAN

A question about the hours of opening of the Botanic Gardens was asked some time ago, and I replied by promising to consider the changing of the hours to suit the public convenience. That question must be considered immediately. As to whether the result of that consideration will be that the Botanical Gardens will be opened at, say, 10 o'clock on Sunday or not is a question which depends to a great extent on whether we come to the conclusion that the opening of the Gardens, say, on Saturday afternoon for a longer period will be better than opening them earlier on Sunday morning. The whole question will get consideration. It is agreed and generally understood that the Botanical Gardens should be open for as long as possible, and that the public should get somewhat better facilities to enter the Gardens than they are getting at present. The whole question will be considered, and in connection with that the question that Deputy Cooper has raised will also be taken into account.

I am sure that the point would be better made by Deputy Mrs. O'Driscoll, but it was brought under my notice.

Substituted Motion put and agreed to.

Would you take the other two Votes now, Sir?

Yes. We discussed 50 under 44. I take it that 50 will be taken now. Nothing remains on Vote No. 50 except a question of detail.

After what has been said I take it that no general statement will be expected from me with regard to Universities and Colleges, but possibly some question of details may arise.