And, to some extent, school fees. But the administration is again mainly local and I think the strong charcteristic of our vocational system has been its local administration. Its adaptability and success is perhaps to a great extent due to the local nature of its administration. The administration in secondary education has been mainly a private affair. The schools concerned find their local contribution on a private basis from the payment of the fees by the scholars, the State paying a capitation grant and incremental salaries. The ownership of the school is private. To overcome the difficulty of people who cannot pay a fee, the State has introduced in conjunction with the local authorities scholarship schemes. All the way through the system, there is that combination of contribution, sometimes nominal, by the local authority, manager or administrator and a central contribution, which is very often the main contribution. The question of how vocational education should be financed was decided many years ago on a local basis of administration and that makes me think it is well to continue this.
What Deputies have lost sight of is this. This 9d. has been the main topic this morning. But the financing will not be 9d. but about 27d. Taking the matter globally, it will be roughly one-third locally and two-thirds from the Central Fund. For every £1 raised locally, the Central Fund will contribute £2. It is not right to say that the bulk of the burden is falling on the ratepayers. The bulk of the added burden will fall on the taxpayers again. Neither is it right to represent the ratepayers as the rural community alone, because the ratepayers in Dublin and Cork and our cities, towns and villages will pay rates as well as the farmers.
There is good value for the money spent on vocational education. It may be that in certain areas this Bill will not satisfy the demand for funds. Cork are particularly worried. From my consideration of this, I think Cork will be able to manage their affairs as a result of this Bill, if it becomes law. If they cannot, then, as an administrative act, the Minister for Education, with the permission of the Minister for Finance, can give central grants. There is nothing in this Bill to prevent my giving more from the Central Fund, giving assistance in the form of a grant or in the form of a higher ratio of central contribution.
Of course, the rate of increase will not be a sudden one. As I explained on the Second Stage, the demand which the vocational education committees can make will be 1d. in each year. The rating authority may give up to 3d. if they want to in any one year. The committee is appointed by the rating authority. Experience up to now is that the representatives of the ratepayers have been happy about and have dealt with alacrity with any plan put up to them for increased expenditure on vocational education.
On the question of languages, Deputy Dillon mentioned the smaller countries in Europe which, of necessity, because they were at the cross-roads, had to know more than one language. Our position here is— and perhaps the same is true of much bigger countries such as Britain, France and the United States—that we have never had the need for another international language, because we do use an international language as well as our own. In the last couple of years the possibility of a need for modern continental languages has become obvious. In our secondary schools and vocational schools and in a variety of private institutions the Irish people are pressing in to learn world languages. There has been a remarkable increase in the number of people taking foreign languages in schools and in the number of adults taking them privately. I have encouraged this in the secondary schools by providing for incremental credit for teachers who work in the countries where modern continental languages are spoken. I hope to find other ways of encouraging the teaching of modern continental languages in the secondary schools.
Apart from any action I have taken, there has been a considerable increase in the number of students taking these foreign languages. I have a list of vocational schools here where committees are providing classes in modern languages or endeavouring to do so: Donegal, Galway, Clare, Limerick, Cork, Kerry, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Dublin, Louth, Cavan, Meath, Westmeath, and Kildare. These can be recalled offhand. In County Clare, places such as Ennis, Kilrush and Scariff have classes going in modern continental languages.
The question was raised by Deputy Dillon, if I could use force in this case. It has not been found necessary at any time to force them. A suggestion has always been sufficient to get a response from committees to undertake valuable work. Of course, I am in a position, because we do contribute, to bring pressure to bear; but that has never been found necessary at any time. I think Deputy Dillon can rest assured that there is not any neglect by our people. Up to now we had not needed any other language, but since the possibility of the necessity arising, there has been an unbelievable demonstration by the people of enthusiasm and hard work in learning languages.