Ceisteanna — Questions. Oral Answers. - Agricultural College Fees.

23.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if, in view of the 35 per cent increase in agricultural college fees, he will consider increasing the £75 capitation grant made available by his Department.

An application by the agricultural colleges to have the £75 capitation grant increased is being considered by my Department.

When does the Minister expect to have a decision?

I am afraid I cannot answer that. All I can say is that a similar application in 1972 was turned down by the then Minister and he said that the increase in the cost should be borne by the students.

Nevertheless they would like to know before September. Does the Minister expect to have a decision before then?

I am sure the people in my Department who are investigating this matter realise that a decision should be reached fairly soon.

24.

asked the Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries if, in view of the large increase in fees at agricultural colleges, he will consider granting additional money to committees of agriculture to enable them to give the usual number of scholarships.

As there has been no reduction in the number of scholarships being provided by committees of agriculture and as a number of these have in fact increased the value of their scholarships for boys for 1974-75 I am satisfied to leave the matter in their hands.

Will the Minister be prepared to accept an application from these committees for more money if one is made?

I have said that the whole matter is under consideration at the moment and so far we have not refused. That is all I can say.