Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Seanad Éireann díospóireacht -
Tuesday, 27 May 1941

Vol. 25 No. 14

Public Business. - Children Bill, 1940—Message from the Dáil.

The following Message has been received from the Dáil:—

Tá Dáil Eireann tar éis aontú le Leasuithe 3 go 14 go huile, do rinne Seanad Eireann ar Bhille na Leanbhaí, 1940; tá sí tar éis diúltú do Leasuithe 1 agus 2, le n-ar mian aontú Sheanad Eireann d'fháil.

Dáil Eireann has agreed to Amendments 3 to 14 inclusive, made by Seanad Eireann to the Children Bill, 1940; it has disagreed to Amendments 1 and 2, to which the agreement of Seanad Eireann is desired.

The Minister for Education has asked me to apologise to the House for his absence. He has to attend on the Estimates for his Department in the Dáil and could not possibly be here. The Government and the Minister for Education appreciate the good work done by the teachers in industrial schools and recognise the difficulties under which that work is frequently carried out. Everyone is agreed upon this and the Government has already accepted the recommendation that these teachers should be treated as well as teachers in national schools. This reform is estimated to cost about £40,000 per annum, and the only question at issue was whether it should be introduced in these difficult times or postponed until the present emergency has passed. The position was very fully discussed and debated in the Dáil and, as a result of representations made to him, the Minister promised to consider the possibility of introducing at once a partial scheme to improve the position of the teachers in question pending the adoption of the complete scheme when the emergency has passed. It is not yet possible to give particulars of this scheme, but it is proposed to provide a further sum to be devoted to raising the salaries of the teachers to the same level as the salaries of teachers in national schools. I think Senators will agree that the Minister has gone as far as can reasonably be expected in present circumstances to deal with the position, and I hope they will not press the amendment. Accordingly I move that the Seanad do not insist on amendment No. 1 made by it to the Children Bill, 1940, with which the Dáil has disagreed.

I think that the Seanad should not insist upon this amendment. Our function is to put up cases and make the best case we can for them and if what we want is not forthcoming we really have no remedy, but when something is done in the direction we want to proceed we ought to be duly grateful and gracious about it. In this particular instance the matter is not one out of which political capital should be made. It is simply a question of remedying the position of a small number of teachers who are a very small proportion of the total in the country. I understand from what the Minister for Education has said and from what Senator Quirke has said here that the intention is to proceed at once with a partial scheme to bring the teachers in these schools up to the level of national teachers. That, I presume, would imply that they would eventually get the same pension rights that national teachers enjoy. It is a very sound decision. What was important was that a beginning should be made this year. The scheme which has been hinted at will not only help the teachers, but will also help to relieve the burden upon the managers of these schools, and thus give us a better scheme of industrial education both from the point of view of the children who are the first consideration of all, and from the point of view of the teachers both lay and clerical who have to deal with them. I agree that this House should not insist on the amendment. I think the Minister for Education has given us fair consideration.

Question put and agreed to.

Amendment No. 2 is consequential upon amendment No. 1, and I take it is not being insisted upon.

Question—"That the Seanad do not insist on amendment No. 2"—put and agreed to.