6. Education

The question of education in the Highlands has for a length of time engaged theminds of the public authorities. So long ago as July 1616 the Privy Council of Scotland passed an Act of a very drastic character applicable to the sons of gentlemen in the Isles—an Act which may be regarded as the first compulsory Education Act for these quarters. The preamble attributes the “ barbaritie impietie and inciuilitie within the Yllis: ” to the neglect of education, particularly as the children were not sent in their youthto the mainland to be trained in “vertew, learnyng and the Inglis tunge.” It was therefore enacted as to the “haill chiftanes and principall clanit men of the Yllis that thay and euery ane of thame send thair bairnis being past nyne yeiris of age to the scoollis in the inland to be trayned vp in vertew, learnyng and the Inglis tunge.” It was further enacted that “no personis quhatsomevir in the Yllis salbe seruit air to thair father or vtheris predicessouris nor ressauit nor acknawlegeit as tennentis to his Maiestie vnless they can write, reid and speake Inglische.”Later in the same year an Act was passed for the establishment of Parish Schools in Scotland. Among the objects aimed at was the extinction of Gaelic, one of its provisions being as follows :—“ That the vulgar Inglish toung be vniversallie plantit and the Irishe language which is one of the cheif and principall causis of the continewance of barbaritie and incivilitie amongis the inhabitantis of the Ilis and Heylandis may be abolisheit and removeit.”
At an earlier date—viz., 1609—the subject of education in the Islands was dealt with by an assembly of Hebridean noblemen held at Iona under the presidency of Andrew Knox, Bishop of the Isles. The measures passed on that occasion are usually referred to as the “ Statutes of Icolmkill.” The sixth of these provides “ that every gentilman or yeaman within the saidis Ilandis or ony of thame having children mail or famell and being in goodis Worth thriescoir ky, sall putt at the leist thair eldest sone; having no childrene maill, thair eldest dochtir to the scuillis in the lawland and interteny and bring thame up thair quhill thay may be found suflicientlie to spaik reid and write Inglische.”
It will be observed that in the latter Act the education of the daughters of chiefs and chieftains only became compulsory when there were no sons. In those times it was not considered necessary or desirable to educate girls. Martin in his “ Western Isles” says—“ Women were anciently denied the use of writing in the Islands, to prevent love intrigues : their parents believed that nature was too skilful in that matter, and needed
not the help of education ; and therefore that writing would be of dangerous consequence to the weaker sex.” (Page 115.)
The education of girls was more or less neglected among the peasantry in many parts of the Highlands till well on in last century ; and we have ample testimony that in the Island of Lewis this neglect prevailed to a considerable extent. The case of Colonel Colin Mackenzie (a Lewisman who rose from the rank of cadet in the Madras Engineers in 1781 to that of Surveyor-General of India in 1819) and his sister, Miss Mary Mackenzie, who lived at Carn House, Stornoway, presents an interesting illustration of this. The Colonel was a highly educated man. Miss Mary, on the other hand; was obliged to have her correspondence with him conducted by Mr. James Robertson, Collector of Customs in Stornoway.

The efforts to educate children in Lewis towards the close of the eighteenth century must have been attended with much difficulty. Parochial Schools had by that time been established, and the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge, and also the Gaelic School Society, supported several schools in the island, but the clergymen of the period complained that the advantages of education were not appreciated. In consequence, the schools were not well attended. Even the Industrial Schools promoted with so much zeal and liberality by Lady Seaforth met with no success. In 1796 there were only two schools and a Spinning school in the parish of Stornoway. The minister of Barvas, writing in that year, says there had not been a Parochial School in that parish for many years, but that there was a Society school at Ness attended by about twenty pupils, instead of treble that number, as might have been the case. The minister of Uig states there were three Spinning schools established in the parish by Lady Seaforth, but he does not refer to ordinary schools in his parish at that time. The minister of Lochs informs us that a Parochial School was
built there in the year before he wrote, and a Society school three years earlier. (See Old Statistical Account, Vol. xix.)

Matters had much improved by the middle of the nineteenth century when the New Statistical Account was published ; but there were still complaints that education was not appreciated. Indeed at this period, and for a long time prior, and subsequent thereto, education was discouraged. Macdonald, in the course of his Report on the Agriculture of the Hebrides (1811), directs attention to the degraded state of the great mass of the people of Lewis in respect they would not send their children to school. “ When reproached on this head they answer, ‘If we give them education, they will leave us ’ ” (p. 812). Mr. Thomas Knox, Chamberlain for Lewis towards the end of the Seaforth ownership, gave evidence before a Select Committee of the Houses of Parliament on Emigration in 1841. His opinion was that the greatest barrier to the advancement of the people of Lewis was their ignorance of English ; and in answer to a question as to whether the English language was taught in the schools he replied, “ Yes ; but the country people are not fond of their children being taught the English language; they think if they were taught to read the English language, they would leave the island” (Question 2,321). Again, Mr. J. Munro Mackenzie, who had been Chamberlain for Lewis, read the following statement on education before the Napier Commission on 24th October 1883 :—“ Sir James supported and contributed to seventeen schools in the Island, many of which he built with teachers’ houses prior to 1854. Monthly returns of attendance were sent to my office, and parents who did not keep their children at school were dealt with, but in many cases to no avail, as they often told me they did not want to give their children wings to leave them.” (Minutes of Evidence, p. 3307.

In 1833 there were thirteen schools in the Parish of Stornoway, and the writer in the New Statistical Account says there were 586 children between the ages of six and fifteen years, and 1,265 persons above the age of fifteen in that parish who could not read. (Page 139.)
In Barvas there were three schools in 1836.
In Uig there were five schools in 1833.
In Lochs in the same year there was a Parish School which had just been erected and four schools maintained by the Gaelic School Society. Notwithstanding the existence of all these schools there were only twelve persons in the whole parish, with its population of 3,067, who could write!

After the Disruption of 1843 the Free Church established a large number of schools throughout the island, and soon after Sir James Matheson became proprietor he built schools in most districts not previously provided for by the educational agencies mentioned. All these became important factors in the education of the people. Reverting to the subject of the education of girls it may be explained that during the earlier half of last century a desire arose among parents that their daughters should be able to read the Gaelic Bible. In consequence of this desire, and of the efforts of the Gaelic Schools and other agencies, we find that a considerable proportion of Lewis women upwards of half a century ago were able to read Gaelic, but only a very small number English. In this connection reference may be made to the Report "on the State of Education in the Hebrides made by the late Sheriff—Substitute Nicolson in 1865. Mr. Nicolson had been appointed an assistant Commissioner ‘by the Royal Commission on Education in Scotland at that time, and made a report on the state of education in all the Western Islands. The figures given by him with regard to Lewis prove the statement above made as to the desire of parents that their daughters should read Gaelic.

In the Eye district of the Parish of Stornoway there was a population of 2,159 when Mr. Nicolson made his report. Of these, 403 men and 463 women could read Gaelic, while only 208 men and 46 women could read English. The number who could write was 170 men and 26 women. These figures applied to persons above school age.

In the district of Back, also in the parish of Stornoway, the population at the time to which the report refers was 2,017. Most of the adults, we are informed, could read Gaelic, but only 111 men and 13 women could read English; and out of all this large population only 75 men and 4 women could write.
In the district of Borve, in the Parish of Barvas, the population was 304. We are not told how many could read Gaelic, but 22 men could read English with difficulty, and 17 could sign their names.

In the township of Shadder, in the same parish, the population was 507, of whom 11 males above the age of sixteen could read English and sign their names, while 74 men and 88 women could read Gaelic. Not one woman in that township could either read or write English.

The population of Carloway then consisted of 1,038 males and 1,166 females, or 2,204 persons in all. Of these, 645 males and 731 females were above school age. It may be convenient to place their educational attainments in the following tabulated form.

Able to read

Total population above 15
Unable to read
Able to write
Unable to write
Males: 645
Females: 731
TOTAL: 1376

But though girls were taught to read the Bible in Gaelic, they were not sent to school in any numbers. Commenting on this circumstance, Mr. Nicolson says— “The proportion of girls in school, as compared with boys, is lamentably small. Of 2,697 scholars on the rolls at the time of my visit, there were 1,590 boys and only 1,107 girls ; in attendance, 922 boys and 684 girls. And yet the female population of the island was in excess of the male in 1861 by 1,122—the numbers being respectively 11,089 and 9,967. (Report on the State of Education in the Hebrides in 1865, page 21. ) Mr Nicolson visited all the schools in the island in the course of his enquiry in September 1865, and took a note of the number of scholars on the rolls and the subjects taught. As this information is of present interest we reproduce the following Table :—

No of schools

Scholars on Rolls

Religious instruction
Other industrial work

English grammar
English history

Modern Languages


Music from notes



Except the four Parish schools and one Parliamentary school, the whole educational supply of the island was provided by voluntary benevolence up to the passing of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872 (35 & 36 Vict., cap. 62). In 1865 the total number of schools in Lewis was 47, of which 35 were connected with the Free Church. The revenue of the 47 schools in that year amounted to £1,555 7s. 10d., made up thus :—

Salaries paid by heritors: £140 0 0
Parliamentary grants: £169 10 0
Grants from trustees of bequests:£10 0 0
School fees: £142 13 4
Voluntary subscriptions, &c: £1,093 4 6
TOTAL £1,555 7 10

The work thus accomplished by benevolent agencies was remarkable in the circumstances, but much remained to be done ; and the School Boards which came into existence after the passing of the above Act began their labours with zeal. Deducting the number of scholars on the rolls in the Parish of Stornoway (1,270) from the total number of 2,697 stated by Mr. Nicolson, there were only 1,427 pupils in the Parishes of Barvas, Lochs, and Uig in 1865. This number appears to have been but a small proportion of the children of school age in these parishes, for the School Boards applied to the Education Department to provide accommodation for not fewer than 3,683 children, and after inquiry the Department sanctioned accommodation for 3,112 children at a cost of £41,245 10s. 8d. Towards the payment of this sum the Department made grants amounting to £25,390 16s. 6d., leaving the balance of £15,854 14s. 2d. to be otherwise provided. The Boards, acting in terms of Section 45 of the Education Act, had recourse to the Public Works Loan Commissioners for the balance, and in this way borrowed a sum of £15,712. These loans were made on the security of the school rates and were payable within a period not exceeding 50 years. Of this sum they had only repaid £3,133 13s. 3d. up to 31st March 1888. By 31st March 1901 the payments amounted to £7,583 10s. 1d.
The following table shows the preparations made by the Boards in these three parishes for carrying out the Education Act, including the cost of buildings and grants received from the Education Department :—

School accommodation
Total cost of school buildings
£8523 4 10
£20,122 0 10
£12,600 5 0
£41,245 10 8
Building grant from Education Department
£5,258 2 6
£12,428 9 0
£7,704 5 0
£25,390 16 6
Borrowed from Public Works Loan Commissioners
Total repaid to PWLC by 31st March 1888
£591 17 3
£1214 12 3
£1327 3 9
£3133 13 3

But while the elaborate preparations indicated by the above figures were made, the attendance of pupils was not enforced. Mr. Nicolson found 2,697 scholars on the rolls and 1606 in actual attendance in September 1865. The number in average attendance in 1880 was 2,057. For a time matters became gradually worse, for, according to a communication addressed by the Scotch Education Department to the School Boards of Barvas, Lochs, and Uig in November 1888, the average attendance at that date was 534 for 944 school places in Barvas, 710 for 1,463 school places in Lochs, and 331 for 696 school places in Uig. It was at the same time pointed out that, had the respective Boards secured an average attendance in any reasonable degree proportion to the accommodation provided, the grant under Section 67 of the Education Act might have been increased by about £100 in Barvas, £150 in Lochs, and £100 in Uig. It has to be added that the payment of school fees had ceased to be a reality and l1ad almost become a tradition. Based on the average attendance, the Parish of Barvas should in 1888 have paid about £270 in fees. In 1882 the amount actually paid was only £90 6s., and in 1887 it had fallen to £4 10s. Similarly, the Parish of Lochs should have paid about £300 in fees. The amount paid in 1882 was £44 19s. 9d., and in 1887 only 11s. Uig should have paid fees to the amount of_ £170, but the sum actually paid in 1882 was only £29 18s. 2d., while no payment-at all was made in respect of fees in 1887. In short, the fees in the three parishes in proportion to the average attendance should have reached about £740 per annum, but the total sum paid was only £165 3s. 11d. In 1882, and £5 1s. in 1887. This sum of £7 40 was arrived at by calculating the average fee per scholar in average attendance at 8s. 7d. per annum. That sum was regarded as it fair estimate of the rate which might have been expected from these three parishes as compared with 12s. 11½ d., which represented at the time the rate of fee per child all over the rest of Scotland.

It is proper to explain that the above figures do not quite agree with the figures in the tabulated Appendices to this report; but it has to be pointed out that the latter include the cost of books sold to children, while the figures above given are those set forth in the Report of the Education Department for 1888-89, and presumably do not include the cost of books.

The result of the failure to pay the school fees was to throw the burden of maintaining the educational requirements of the respective parishes on the rates. Accordingly in 1881 and 1882 the rate in the Parish of Barvas amounted to 6s. 8d. per £; in 1884, in Lochs, 5s. 8d.; and in 1881, in Uig, 4s. 6d. In this state of matters the Education Departn1ent.1nade special enquiry with the view of ascertaining what further public assistance ought to be given, and as a consequence Parliament authorised special encouragement to be given to regular attendance by a graduated attendance grant rising in several cases to double the usual rate. Special allowance was also made, under certain conditions, for teaching specific subjects, and for the employment of Gaelic-speaking assistants. The amounts received in the said three parishes under these heads in 1888 were—in Barvas, £78 5s.; in Lochs, £103 18s. ; and in Uig, £13 4s.; or in all, £9195, 7s.
The average number of scholars, and the revenue derived for school purposes from public monies by each of the three parishes named, in 1888, may be tabulated thus :—

[table omitted]

The school rate in the said three parishes in 1888 was: 4s. 6d. per £ in Barvas, 5s. in Lochs, and 2s. 6d. in Uig. We have not the exact amount raised from the school rate in Uig in 1888. We have, however, £830 as the amount raised in 1888 and 1889, and one-half of that sum, viz. £415, is stated in the foregoing Table.
The sums thus realised were totally inadequate to meet the educational wants of these three parishes, and the Education Department was of opinion that the liabilities incurred were due to causes for which the localities were responsible. As has been shown, grants were not earned owing to the irregular attendances, and fees had practically ceased to be paid, thus throwing the burden on the rates. Further, a great falling off in the payment of rates had set in. The serious nature of the situation is thus described in a letter from the Education Department in 1888 to the Boards of the said three parishes :—
“ It appears that concurrently with the increase of liabilities the sources from which these may be met have greatly diminished, and that this has been due to the fact that rents have been largely unpaid, that rates, due from tenants, are largely unpaid also, and that, as regards the rates falling on owners, they have to be demanded partly in respect of property for which the owners, having received no rent, are called upon to pay one—half of the rates; and partly in respect of property for which, having received no rent, they are called on to pay rates, both for themselves and for their tenants. It is evident that such a state of things must sooner or later destroy the resources of the owners, and break down the whole system upon which local and Imperial taxation and administration are based.”

In consequence of the impending financial break-down, the Education Department, in a Minute dated 21st December 1888, made a special arrangement whereby the School Boards of Barvas, Lochs, and Uig, and those of certain other Highland districts, were to receive exceptional assistance, and a representative of the Department—viz., Mr. J. L. Robertson, H.M. Inspector of Schools—was associated with the local administrative bodies. Under this Minute certain sums available under the Probate Duties (Scotland and Ireland) Act, 1888 (51 & 52 Vic. cap. 60), were allocated to such parishes as came within its scope. ’When funds from this source ceased to be available, a sum for the same purpose has been provided by Parliament year by year in the Education Estimates.

Mr. Robertson entered at once and vigorously on the duties assigned to him, and the arrangement (which still subsists) has proved eminently satisfactory. There has been a large increase in the average attendance. The increase of population no doubt partly accounts for this, but very much is due to the increased stringency used in enforcing the compulsory clauses of the Education Act. Moreover school attendance has been greatly aided and facilitated by the construction of roads and footpaths to schools. We are aware that since the Congested Districts Board came into existence in 1897 many roads and footpaths have been formed leading to schools. It may also be stated that in the enforcement of the compulsory clauses Mr. G. J. Campbell, while Sheriff-Substitute of Lewis, made it a rule to take defaulting cases on Saturdays, thus causing little dislocation of the regular school work as possible and contributing to improve the attendance. Above all, the abolition of school fees has removed every excuse on part of parents for neglecting the education of their children, and the school attendance may now be regarded as regular.

The effects of the said Minute on the educational interests of the parishes concerned were such that in the Report for 1890-91 My Lords say—“The Boards are restored to a position of solvency; and though it cannot be said that the local resources are in all cases sufficient to meet the present burdens, yet we trust that provision has been made for a sound financial position, combined with increased efficiency, and that before long local responsibility may be fully restored.” Statements to the same effect have appeared in the subsequent Reports of the Department. The grants received under that Minute have been of the utmost benefit to the Boards of the said three parishes. Thus, between 1889 and 1900 inclusive, the Parish of Barvas has received a gross sum of £3,472 12s. 2d. ; Lochs, £7,666 7s. 5d. ; and Uig, £2,880 6s. 7d., or £14,019 6s. 2d. in all. We give the details for each parish during these years in the following Table:

[table omitted]
In the matter of attendance the figures for 1880 and 1900 are highly instructive. The population of Barvas in 1881 was 5,325, and may be taken as having been nearly the same in 1880. The average number of pupils in attendance at the various schools in 1880 was only 550, and the grant earned £365 2s. 2d. In 1891, under the procedure of the Boundary Commissioners, the population became increased by 795. The number
when the Census was taken was 5,699, but with the altered boundaries rose to 6,494. In 1901 the population was 6,736, and the school attendance increased from 550 in 1880 to 964 in 1900. In a corresponding degree the Code Grants had risen from £365 2s. 2d. in 1880 to £1,174 4s. 1d. in 1900. Other grants received in subsequent years were made for some special reason and cannot be referred to here for purposes of comparison. In the Parish of Lochs the population in 1881 was 6,284. In 1891, when the Census was taken, it was 6,432, but under the operations of the Boundary Commissioners 1,756 of that number were transferred to other parishes, reducing the population of that parish to 4,676. In 1901 the population is given as 4,733. It is thus diflicult to compare 1900 with 1880. But it may be mentioned that in 1880 the number of pupils in attendance was 451, and in 1900, 821. The Code Grant rose from £258 12s. 1d. in 1880 to £1,005 4s. in 1900.
The changes made by the Boundary Commissioners did not affect the Parish of Stornoway, and we are therefore in a position to deal more confidently with the figures. In 1881 the population of that parish was 10,389, and in 1901, 12,983, or an increase of 24'9 per cent. The average number of pupils on the roll in 1880 was 829, while in 1900 the number had risen to 1,755, or 1117 per cent. The Code Grants increased from £491 14s. 6d. in 1880 to £2,105 0s. 2d. in 1900, or 328 per cent. The population of the Parish of Uig in 1881 was 3,489. When the Census was taken in 1891 the number was 3,660, but with altered boundaries it became 4,621. In 1901 it had fallen to 4,497. A satisfactory comparison is thus impossible. The number of pupils in average attendance in 1880 was 227. In 1900 the number was 743. The Code Grant rose from £155 9s. 2d. in 1880 to £1,006 10s. 6d. in 1900. But while we cannot make satisfactory comparisons as to the individual parishes, we can with regard to the island as a whole, and in order to show the remarkable improvement which has taken place, we add in tabular form the statistics of population, the average school attendance, and the Code Grants earned in 1880 and 1900 :—

Island of Lewis:
population 1881 25,487
population 1901 28,949, increase 13.5%

Number of scholars in attendance
1880: 2057
1900: 4283, increase 108.2%

Code grants
1880: £1270 17s 11d
1900: £5290 18s 9d increase 316.3%

It will thus be seen that while the proportion of school children to the entire population in 1880 was at the rate of 8 per cent., the proportion at the present time is 14.7 per cent., a highly creditable result in twenty years.

To illustrate the steady progress of education in Lewis during the twenty years
under review we subjoin a Table showing the number of pupils in average attendance,
the amount earned in Code Grants and in Special Grants, as also the sums collected from
ordinary local sources in each Parish, during every fifth year from 1880 to 1900 :—
[tables omitted]

We have already dealt with the increase of the Code Grants.
The Special Grants under Section 67 of the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872, were begun in the Parish of Barvas in 1881, and in the three other Parishes of Lewis in 1882.These varied according to the circumstances in which they were made. The Grants under the Departmental Minute of 21st December 1888 were commenced in 1889, and applied to the whole island except the Parish of Stornoway. They also varied in amount each year.The Grants in relief of fees were begun in 1890, and have increased from £945 0s. 6d.in that year to £2,586 in 1900. In 1890 the four Parishes of Lewis received these grants at the rate of 6s. 6d. per unit of average attendance for the six months ending 31st March. The rate for the year to 31st March 1891 was 11s. per unit of average attendance, and for subsequent years 12s. per unit of average attendance. The effect of these Grants has been the cessation of school fees; while the Special Grants have resulted in reducing the school rates from the exorbitant amounts they had reached, to moderate sums which the parties liable can fairly meet.

While dealing with school revenues we may place in the following tabular form the total earnings of the schools of each Parish for the twenty years under consideration :—

[table omitted]

The Code Grants and the Grants in relief of fees, which together amount to £89,123 15s. 4d,, were made in terms of Acts of Parliament applicable to the whole country.

When the present system of elementary education in Scotland was inaugurated, the legislature appears to have contemplated that the Code Grants and the local resources would not suflice for the educational requirements of certain districts ; and Special Grants under section 67 of the Act of 1872 have been made from time to time to parishes requiring assistance from public funds. Under this section the four Parishes of Lewis have received the gross sum of £20,537 11s. 9d., and the island as a whole has received during the twenty years in question the sum of £109,661 7s. 1d. under the Acts of Parliament dealing with elementary education in Scotland.

We have already dealt with the exceptional circumstances under which the Education Department came to the determination contained in the Minute of 21st December 1888. Under that Minute the three Lewis Parishes to which it applied have received the gross sum of £14,019 6s. 2d. between 1889 and 1900, and further comment thereon is unnecessary. The total amount in Public Grants .during the said twenty years has
been £123,680 13s. 3d., but only the above—named sum of £14,019 6s. 2d. is to be regarded as exceptional.
The local revenue consisted of school fees and the sums raised by the school rates, and amounted together to £43,27 5 11s. 5d. The total amount of the Lewis school funds during the years specified has thus been £166,956 4s. 8d. The above abstracts and statistics, it may be explained, are based on schedules furnished by the Education Department, giving statistical information with regard to the schools of all the Parishes in the island during the period under review. These schedules will be found in full in Appendix B (pp. 4-7)

At this point it may be convenient to place in tabular form the statistics as to school accommodation and school buildings since the passing of the Education Act in 1872 to 31st March 1901. In this Table we state the present school accommodation in each Parish ; the expenditure by each School Board in the purchase of land and erection of buildings, including the enlargement or alteration of such buildings; the total amount in grants from the Education Department; the amounts borrowed from the Public Works Loan Commissioners ; the amount of the instalments paid, up to 31st March 1901; the arrears of principal and interest due but not paid as at the same date; and the amount outstanding :—
[table omitted]

In concluding this part of our Report we may state that the Education Department favoured us with a copy of a special report on the subject of Higher Education in Lewis made by Mr J. L. Robertson, H.M. Inspector. It is in the following terms :—
“The Nicolson Institute is the recognised secondary centre for the whole Island, and is accessible to the best of the outlying pupils by a system of small bursaries. The number and amount of the bursaries is inadequate in my opinion, but the County Committees of Ross and Cromarty cannot afford a larger subsidy than the present to the Lewis district. The Institute is very well staffed, and sends annually to the University direct a number of its pupils.
The policy of having one well—equipped secondary centre for the island has had my continuous support ; and, though some opposition was met at the outset of the experiment, opinion is now unanimous that this policy was, in view of present educational requirements, the most suitable for the Island. All schools are tributary to the Institute. and the cordial co—operation of their head teachers is marked. Regarding the practical or scientific aspect of education, I may say in a word that there is a clamant need of a central Technical School in Lewis, and that the local resources are quite inadequate for the establishment of such a school or its maintenance on an effective basis. Such popular technical instruction as Household Economy, Wood and Iron Work, and Practical Navigation and Seamanship would be leading features. For years we have all here studied this question, but we are helpless without external aid. It is most unfortunate in my opinion that the Congested Districts Board’s Act did not in its list of permissible lines of effort and expenditure include the subject of practical technical education. Lewis offers an admirable field for such an extension of the Board’s functions.

It is of interest to add that in the Session of 1899 a Bill was introduced into Parliament at the instance of the Congested Districts Board to enable that body to devote part of the funds at their disposal to aid technical education. “ The Bill,” as we learn from the Second Report of the Board, “ was designedly drafted in general terms, but its chief object was to enable us [the Board] to give grants to various localities in the congested districts in aid of simple technical education, and education in Domestic Economy.” The principal clause of the Bill was in the following terms :—
Where the Congested Districts (Scotland) Board are satisfied that a portion of the Congested Districts (Scotland) Fund may be advantageously applied for the benefit of inhabitants of congested districts in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland for purposes other than those set forth in Section 4 of the Congested Districts (Scotland) Act, 1897 (in this Act referred to as ‘ the principal Act’), they may apply a portion of the said Fund, not exceeding one-fifth thereof, in further providing for the practical instruction of, or for such other purposes as may appear to be of benefit to, the inhabitants of the said districts.”
The Bill passed through the various stages in the House of Lords. It met with some' opposition in the House of Commons, however, and was abandoned in that Session, and no similar measure has since been introduced.

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