HC Deb 19 March 1839 vol 46 cc876-91
Mr. James Grattan

rose to call the attention of the House to the subject of the monies voted by Parliament for education in Ireland. The board by which the distribution of the money had been made had been in existence during a period of eight years, and had expended a sum of 264,000l.; but, although he had examined all the returns and reports which had been made, he was unable to discover any instance in which they had established a school from which any lasting advantages were likely to arise. He conceived that they had proceeded upon erroneous principles, and that, instead of distributing their assistance in the most indiscriminate manner, they should have employed it in the establishment of model schools, from which the most happy results might have proceeded. An annual grant of 50,000l. was no doubt sufficient for the establishment of a general system of schools in Ireland, but was certainly not sufficient to effect what had seemed to be the object of the board—namely, to extend education to all classes of persons, He had, therefore, to charge them with giving aid in the most indiscriminate and injudicious manner—in giving aid to schools which were wholly unworthy of it—schools, the roasters of which received no higher a salary than 8l. a-year. He was far from saying that they had been guilty of peculation, or that there had been any misappropriation of the funds; but he did mean to say that those funds had been most unwisely, insufficiently, and incomprehensibly disposed of. Great inequality and unfairness had been shown in the amount of grants to different schools. The intention of the House was to institute a united system of education, and to exclude clergymen from any share in the management of the schools; in place of that there were 260 of the schools established in nunneries, monasteries, and chapels—while there were no less than 360 clergymen receiving grants as patrons of schools. A project was now entertained of establishing agricultural schools, but he apprehended very little benefit from them, as long at least as the board was allowed to continue acting as he had described. The House ought to be informed that Mr. Carlisle the paid member of the Board—Mr. Kennedy, whom all in that House knew, had both left the Board. Dr. M'Arthur the manager of the model school had also resigned. How was this? Surely under these circumstances, they were justified in asking the noble Lord (Lord Morpeth) what had been the causes of many of the proceedings of the Board—of the changes that had taken place from time to time in the constitution of the Board. It was time for the public to open their eyes, and to see what principle had guided the official distributors of this money; for it certainly did appear to him that the Board had been highly criminal in not adhering to the rules laid down when they were first constituted, to guide their proceedings in regard to the distribution. The hon. Member concluded by moving for returns "Of all sums paid by the Irish National Board of Education, specifying the items and expenditure, the names and numbers of the schools, and the names of their patrons, whether Protestants or Catholics, clergymen or laymen, and whether they had previously received aid from any other Board, or from individuals; also specifying the number of each denomination, Protestant or Catholic, in the several schools."

Viscount Morpeth

would not undertake to decide whether the speech of his hon. friend or his motion had been dictated by a desire to damage the national system of education in Ireland, and to check its further progress; but this he must say, that he could not acquit it of all tendency to so prejudicial a course, for his hon. Friend must be aware that the censures or cavils of those who were held to be friendly to any system of things, would always outweigh the most vehement attacks of its professed enemies. He did not see that the nature of his hon. Friend's motion, or the scope of the speech with which he had prefaced it, called on him (Lord Morpeth) to enter into any defence of the principle on which the national system of Education in Ireland proceeded. There had been, it was true, considerable hostility to the system, as well in England as in some parts of Ireland; but as it had received the sanction of successive governments, and as the House had annually voted a large sum for its maintenance, he did think, unless that sanction were withdrawn, or those votes discontinued, he would be justified in assuming that Parliament was prepared to alter or abrogate that system. But his hon. Friend had found fault with the mode in which the principle of the system had been carried into effect; and his principal charge was, that the great object of the plan., that of establishing an universal and united system of education, had totally failed. This was a charge not confined to the hon. Gentleman, it had been reiterated in many quarters before. There could be no doubt that the hope with which the system was originally projected by the noble Lord opposite—a hope in which the present Government still continued to indulge—was, that it should be one of united education. It had been at one time denounced, it was true, by several members of the established church, and by some of the Presbyterian clergy, and, within more recent times, by smaller numbers, with similar vehemence, of the members of the Roman Catholic church. But while he was aware of this, he consoled himself by looking at the numbers, and still more the character, of those that remained of all denominations favour able to the system. Such, however was the original intention of the projectors of the national system of education, and he felt it to be the duty of Government to afford every facility and support towards the completion of that original plan. The State had done, and would do, what in it lay; but it had not, and upon the whole he rejoiced that it had not, any compulsory power to carry its objects into effect; all it could do was to put the means within the grasp of all parties. He was bound to say that the object of the plan—the system of united education—had not met with all the success that could have been desired for it; but to say, that it had utterly failed, was a misrepresentation. There was a difficulty with regard to the data on which the question would have to be decided—a difficulty which would lead him to object to that portion of the returns moved for by the hon. Gentleman, which related to the difference of the religious persuasion of the children. The fact was, that to ascertain those differences of opinion was no part of the business of the masters of the schools: any demonstration of that kind was opposed to the principle on which the system was founded, and was disclaimed in practice by those who had the working of it out. No questions of that sort were necessarily put to the children, and the board were not, therefore, in possession of any accurate data from which such a return could be compiled. Notwithstanding this general deficiency, however, he had the means of showing the working of the plan in the province of Ulster. In consequence of attacks made two years ago, on the system on the score of its being too exclusively Catholic, his friend Mr. Carlisle, one of the commissioners, who had extensive connexions in the province of Ulster, obtained, through their means, lists which afforded a view of the state of the schools of that province. It appeared that the whole number of schools in Ulster was 504. The number as to which returns were made of the religious distinctions of the children in attendance was 371. Of schools in which there were no Protestants there were only 31; whilst of those in which there were no Catholics, there were 40. Thus, out of 371 schools, 300 were attended promiscuously by both Catholics and Protestants; and of the whole number of children attending the schools in Ulster the Protestants were 14,628, and the Catholics were 22,455, or a very fair proportion, according to the respective proportions of Catholics and Protestants in the population of that province. Surely this simple statement of facts gave a sufficient contradiction to the charge which had been made—that whereas in the southwest of Ireland these schools were attended exclusively by Catholics, in Ulster they were attended by Protestants only. He repeated that as an united system of education, the scheme of the national board might not have been so generally effective as its projectors expected it would have been; but he could, from his own personal observation, say it had realised the most satisfactory results wherever fair play had been given to it, under the super intendance of judicious Protestant proprietors and clergymen who were not of opinion that their chief religious duty consisted in carrying out the education of the Roman Catholic children on principles to which their parents entertained conscientious objections. The noble Lord read a letter from a clergyman in Monaghan, in which he stated the advantageous result that had followed the cordial co-operation of clergymen and laymen of all denominations—of Roman Catholic bishops with Presbyterians and Protestant clergymen of the established church—in the establishment of schools on the principles of the national board. In his parish upwards of 1000 children of both denominations attended these schools. There was every intention, the noble Lord proceeded to say, on the part of Government, to hold out fair play to all parties, and at the same time to supply to children of all religious denominations, such spiritual instruction as their parents wished them to receive. United education had been afforded in very many instances, and where the system had failed to effect that, the next best thing was attained—separate education. To this result the matter would come, if the system were to be done away with; for, surely, Protestants would not deny that Catholic children ought to be educated, nor would Catholics deny to Protestants the same option. The hon. Gentleman also complained of the mode in which the board had distributed the funds intrusted to their charge. He was sure the board had acted for the best in the discharge of the duty intrusted to them. The hon. Gentleman also complained that the board had made their aid too universal, instead of confining their operations to the establishment of model-schools for the rest. Now he (Lord Morpeth) was of opinion, that education ought to be brought home to every door, and, if possible, to every cabin in Ireland. He admitted that many of the masters of the existing schools were inadequate to the high trust which they had to fulfil. The fifth report of the commissioners of national education in Ireland, just laid on the Table, contained the following statement of their regulations with regard to the establishment of normal schools;— The appointment of teachers rests with the local patrons and committees of schools. But the commissioners are to be satisfied of the fitness of each, both as to character and general qualification. He should be a person of Christian sentiment, of calm temper and discretion; he should be imbued with a spirit of peace, of obedience to the law, and loyalty to his Sovereign; he should not only possess the art of communicating knowledge, but be capable of moulding the mind of youth, and of giving the power which education confers a useful direction. These are the qualities for which patrons of schools on making choice of teachers, should anxiously look. They are those which the commissioners are anxious to find, to encourage, and to reward. The commissioners have provided a normal establishment adjoining their official house in Marlborough-street, Dublin, for training teachers and educating persons destined to undertake the charge of schools; and they will not, in future, sanction the appointment of a teacher permanently to any school, unless he shall have received a certificate from them, or from such one of their officers as they may authorise to examine him on the spot, that he is duly qualified for it. Persons presented for admission to the normal establishment must produce a certificate of good character from an officiating clergyman of the communion to which they belong; they must take the oath, or make a solemn declaration of allegiance before a magistrate and in the presence of the commissioners; they must pass through an examination in grammar, in the third, fourth, and fifth lesson books published by the commissioners, and which contain a series of historical, scientific, and general information; also in arithmetic, in geometry, and in mensuration. Those allowed to enter will be boarded and lodged at a house which the commissioners have taken at Glasnevin, in the immediate neighbourhood of Dublin, and to which an agricultural department is attached. They will receive religious instruction from their respective pastors. They will attend upon five days in the week at the training and model schools of the commissioners in Marlborough-street, whose lectures are delivered on different branches of knowledge, and where they will be practised in the art of teaching. They will receive instruction at home, particularly in agriculture, upon each evening, and they will attend on Saturdays at a farm which is conducted under the directions of the commissioners, and where they will see theory reduced to practice. They will undergo a final examination at the close of their course, and each will then receive a certificate according to his deserts. His hon. Friend had also alluded to the assistance given to schools connected with monasteries and places of religious worship. He regretted that this course should have been ever found inevitable by the commissioners, but there had been no alteration in the original instructions of the noble Lord (Lord Stanley) in this respect. Let the commissioners, however, speak for themselves:— Although the commissioners do not absolutely refuse aid towards the erection of school houses on ground connected with a place of worship, they say, yet they much prefer having them erected on ground which is not so connected, where it can be obtained; they, therefore, expect that, before church, chapel, or meeting-house ground be adopted as the site of a school-house, inquiry be made whether another convenient site can be obtained, and that the result shall be stated to them. With regard to the removal of the secretary of the board, the facts were simply these:—That gentleman had long intimated his wish to commute his employment for one in which he might exercise his profession—the law, and the Government convinced of his fitness, and pleased with the industry and integrity which he had exhibited in his situation of secretary, thought fit, when a vacancy occurred, to offer him an appointment of the sort which he had expressed a desire to have. The hon. Gentleman had also called for an explanation of the changes that had taken place in the constitution of the board. It was true, that the retirement of some original members had occurred, and that some gentlemen had been added to the board. If any differences had existed among the members of the board, he believed they had proceeded from misconception. At all events, they had not been laid before Government, and he believed there did not exist in any quarter a wish to prefer complaints, or to impugn the principles on which the system was conducted. He admitted, that this system might in some sense still be called an experiment as far as united education was concerned. It was not wholly decided yet, and if the success of the experiment could not at present be pronounced universal or complete, still he did in his conscience believe, that the system was advancing, wherever fair play was given to it, and room to develop itself, and would still more after alterations were made which the commissioners were disposed to engraft on the original plan, such as the improvement of the condition of the masters and the establishment of a more thorough system of inspection. He would be ready on a more fitting occasion to meet the opponents of the system upon its general merits. Sorry, indeed, should he be to incur any responsibility by interfering with its operation or checking its progress. He considered, that it would be beneficial to Ireland, and therefore, as long as he continued connected with Irish affairs it would receive his heartiest encouragement and support, believing as he did, that there was no question in which the general welfare and the progressive improvement of Ireland were more deeply involved. The noble Lord concluded by assenting to the motion, with the exception of that portion of the returns which related to the differences of religious belief in the children at the schools.

Mr. Shaw

would be prepared to meet the noble Lord whenever he came forward as the champion of the existing system of national education in Ireland. He maintained that as a system of united education it bad failed to afford satisfaction to any one religious class in Ireland. The noble Lord congratulated himself that if the system had failed as one of united education, it would resolve itself into one of separate education. He (Mr. Shaw) could not desire the obtaining of a separate education by such means. The noble Lord had agreed generally to the returns, but had refused the most important part of them. He denied that these were not the data for the formation of such a return, and surely it was very desirable if it could be done without any invidious views, to know whether the system had worked well as one of united education.

Mr. Colquhoun

said that the Government possessed sufficient data to enable them to furnish the information sought, and he wished, in addition, to ascertain whether it was not a fact that in the greater part of the schools, Roman Catholic books of devotion were read during the hours appointed for literary instruction. He agreed with the hon. Member for Wicklow that there had been great unfairness in the amounts of grants made to these different schools. The grants made to schools in the provinces of Ulster and Leinster were large, and to those in the provinces of Munster and Connaught, where the people were the most uneducated, comparatively trifling. The grants were also very unequally distributed to different schools in the same provinces. He did not impute this extraordinary difference to partiality on the part of the commissioners; but he thought that it was sufficient to call upon Parliament to inquire what was the reason which induced them to make grants most sparingly in those parts of Ireland which required them the most, and most lavishly in those parts which appeared to require them the least. He concurred with the noble Lord in the extreme importance of having good masters for these schools, and had heard him with the greatest satisfaction, declare he should most heartily co-operate with the board in procuring good masters. But let the House see the wonderful difference which sometimes existed between profession and practice. The masters of these schools were not good; they were of that class of men which had been denounced by Mr. Grant, now Lord Glenelg, and were most of them better qualified for any other functions than those which they discharged. For instance, one of them in Sligo had been a smuggler; another near Limerick had been out in the rebellion of 1798, and still passed his evenings in the amiable pastime of reading to the peasantry the wretched garbage of the most Radical part of the press of Dublin; a third, in Achill, had been dismissed from the coast-guard for treasonable practices; and a fourth, in Waterford, had been sentenced to seven years' transportation, though his punishment had been subsequently commuted to nine months' imprisonment by Lord Normanby, for ringing the bell of the chapel at which he was clerk, to summon his neighbourhood to the commission of a most glaring outrage. In one of the female schools near Limerick, the mistress, who was to inculcate morality and temperance to the female pupils, was taken before the magistrates and fined for drunkenness. The worst case, however, which had fallen under his notice was that of a man of the name of White, who had been appointed to a school in the Queen's County. Complaints were made against this man as a tippler, whose conduct was demoralizing the minds of the children committed to his charge by the agent of the Marquess of Lansdowne, who was also agent of the hon. Member for Queen's County. The board wrote to the priest of the parish on the subject of these complaints, and he utterly denied the truth of them. The same complaints were again presented to the board, and then the board sent down an inspector to inquire into them, and he reported that nothing could be worse than the state of White's school. Was he removed thereupon? No. Again a similar representation was sent up to the board, and again it was referred to the priest. The priest declared that White had been maligned, and refused to remove him. The board then determined to call him up to Dublin to see whether he could be moulded under their care into something better; but shortly afterwards the master of the model-school reported that the man was incompetent, that he could make nothing of him, and that he had no hopes of reforming him. And yet, in a short time after all this, it was wrung by a committee of the House of Lords from the secretary to the board that this man White was still in possession of his school. He contended that the national system had failed, because the board had failed to perform its duty, and because, in obedience to the mandates of the priests, it bad left every agitator, and every leader of Ribandism, in the possession of the school to which he had been appointed. He likewise insisted that the character of the inspectors, who cost the country 5,000l. a-year, was quite as bad as that of the schoolmasters. One of them (Dr. Finn) had taken the chair at a public meeting in favour of the repeal of the union in 1830 and again in 1833 at a public meeting held to denounce the Coercion Bill. The appointment of such a man might be satisfactory to the hon. and learned Member for Dublin; but to every good and honest man who valued the institutions of his country it was an appointment which must excite grief not unmixed with indignation and alarm.

Viscount Morpeth.

The hon. Member ought in common fairness to state that Dr. Finn has been discharged.

Mr. Colquhoun

was not in the secrets or the Irish Government, and therefore could not be aware either when or how long Dr. Finn had been discharged.

Viscount Morpeth.

He has been discharged two years.

Mr. Colquhoun

was not aware of that. He only knew, that when Dr. Finn was examined before the committee in 1837, he was then an inspector. But what must be the character of a board which could appoint a man so scandalized and so notorious as Dr. Finn to the responsible situation of an inspector? And now the noble Lord attempted to ride off from this charge by stating that Dr. Finn had been discharged! What he (Mr. Colquhoun) wanted to know was this—why Dr. Finn had ever been appointed? Was it wise to in trust large funds to the disposal of a board which acted with such inattention to its duties, or with such connivance with persons whom he needed not designate further, as to place in the possession and superintendence of these schools, men stained with such misconduct as he had described? He thought that the hon. Member for Wick low had only done his duty in bringing before Parliament this misconduct on the part of the board. Parliament should be careful how it granted so large a sum of money as 50,000l. to be expended in schools of this description; and, above all, the people of England should be careful that there was not introduced amongst them a system of education which was at once a delusion and a scourge upon those whom it affected.

Mr. Vernon Smith

would ask the hon. Member who had just sat down whether the facts which he had just stated had occurred before or after the investigation which a committee of the House of Commons had made into this subject in 1837. If they had occurred before, why had not the hon. Member stated them in the evidence which he then gave with so much prolixity? If they had occurred since, why had he not submitted them to the board, and waited until the board refused to inquire into them, before he submitted them to the consideration of Parliament? It was not possible for him or for any Member of the Government to disprove such charges against the board on a sudden and without a moment's notice. If the hon. Member thought his charges substantially correct, why had he not moved for the renewal of the committee which had formerly sat upon such charges? The result of the investigation instituted by that committee was this, that there had not been made out against the board any case so grave as to require any member of the committee to bring it formally under the notice of the House. For his own part, he had gone into that committee free from prejudice on either side, or if he had any prejudice it was in favour of a system which having been originally proposed by Lord Stanley, and subsequently adopted by Lord Morpeth, could not, he imagined, be in any respect detrimental to the interests of the Established Church in Ireland. In that committee he had arrived at the conclusion, that the national system was not a complete system of education, and that one of the reasons which prevented it from becoming so was the opposition given to it by the clergymen of the Establishment. The hon. Member had complained of the inequality of the grants made to different schools in different parts of Ireland. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the hon. Member's statements were correct, that inequality would be found in all probability to arise from the want of local funds, which, according to the regulations of Lord Stanley, must be collected before any grant in aid could be given. From the evidence given before the committee of 1837, the impression on his mind was, that the masters of these schools had been fairly appointed. The hon. Gentleman opposite ought to have represented those cases in which he considered improper appointments had been made to the board itself, which had the best means of forming a judgment upon them. He recommended hon. Members to consult the opinion of the rev. Baptist Noel, a most exemplary clergyman and zealous Protestant, in his work upon Ireland. That rev. Gentleman avowed himself a supporter of the system, on the ground that, though imperfect, it had produced great benefit: he stated the question to be, whether it was better for the interests of the Protestant faith, that the Roman Catholics should be left in a state of utter darkness and ignorance, or that they should receive an education superior to any they had hitherto had.

Lord Teignmouth

thought, with great deference to the noble Lords, the Member for North Lancashire, and the Secretary for Ireland, that the system of education in that country favoured by them had proved an utter failure, not only because it had not produced union between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics, but because it had gradually become exclusively Popish in its objects. The noble Lord, the Member for North Lancashire, had introduced Scriptural extracts, which were supposed to confer religious instruction, but by the fourth report of the Board of Education it appeared, that those had ceased to be used, and that the education provided had become exclusively secular in its character, although both parties had protested against this course. It was well known, that the Protestant and the Roman Catholic Children were no longer united in the same school. It appeared from the statement of Mr. Carlyle, before the committee of the House of Commons, that in 300 out of 444 schools in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, there were no Protestants; and in 125 more not above nine. Dr. Elrington had stated before the same committee, that the system of Scriptural education, which had been discountenanced, in order to substitute for it a system unscriptural and anti-Protestant, had been in such a flourishing condition, that the number of scholars increased by 300,000 from 1812 to 1824. He was persuaded, indeed, that nothing could check the spread of scriptural education in Ireland, let the Pope issue whatever bulls he pleased. He could not deny, that the present system had done good; but, being founded on principles essentially vicious, must, in the end, lead to the most mischievous results.

Sir F. French

thought this was part of the crusade which had been undertaken by her Majesty's Government against the Protestant religion in Ireland.

Mr. Plumptre

said, the reason why the Protestant clergy would not co-operate with the Roman Catholic priests in the conduct of these schools was, that they thought the system was deficient in principle. For his part, he hoped the Protestant clergy never would so co-operate, and he firmly believed, that the present system, as a joint system, never ought never could, and never would, flourish in Ireland.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

said discussions of this kind were very provoking, as they led to no definite result. He believed, that the present system presented the nearest approach that was possible in the existing circumstances to a legitimate and just application of the principle of education in Ireland. He contended for that application, not as being the best system of education, but as the best that circumstances rendered possible in Ireland. But he was firmly of opinion, that the circumstances which rendered such a system applicable to Ireland could not be urged to render it applicable to England, where the circumstances did not exist. On the contrary, he thought, that the very circumstances which rendered the system applicable in the case of Ireland rendered it inapplicable in England. He, as a Protestant, did not believe, that the system would tend to the increase of the Roman Catholic religion. On the other hand, he did not support these schools with the purpose of making them schools of proselytism. With respect to the question of the exclusion of Scriptural knowledge from the schools, he would mention a case that was within his own observation. He had some time back visited some of these schools, and, in particular, one in a remote part of the country, where, by reason of the unfortunate withdrawal of the Protestants of the neighbourhood from all kinds of control over the establishment, its sole and exclusive direction and superintendence was vested in the Roman Catholic priest. He went unexpectedly and without notice; he asked for the rules of the school, and requested, that the children should go through the usual work, which they would have done, at that hour of the day, if no stranger had been present. The appointed business was the Scripture extracts, and these children, under the guidance of a Roman Catholic priest, went through their exercise and answered the questions which he was permitted to put to them, in the most unexceptionable way, and so as to show their full acquaintance with the subject. He said, therefore, that it was not fair to bring accusations of want of knowledge of the Scriptures against these schools. It might be that a sectarian character attached to the schools, as was so often objected from the other side, but whence did that arise? Because the Protestants, for one reason or another, most unfortunately withdrew from all control and direction of them. This he much regretted.

Mr. O'Conor

said, that while hon. Gentlemen opposite seemed ready on all occasions to make attacks on the Roman Catholic priesthood, he was, on the other hand, ready to pay his tribute of respect to the memory of an eminent divine of the established faith—he meant Dr. Law, late Bishop of Elphin, whose principal object was to render all his diocesans good Christians by dispersing books, and he would say to the hon. Gentlemen opposite, in the language of charity, "Go ye and do likewise."

Mr. Somerset Maxwell

did not mean to be uncharitable, but he must say, that this system operated as an invasion of the word of God.

Mr. Pringle

wished to ask the noble Secretary for Ireland whether he meant to persist in withholding that portion of the returns that would distinguish the numbers of Protestant and Roman Catholic children. If the noble Lord did refuse this, he hoped the hon. Member for Wicklow would persist in taking the sense of the House on the question.

Mr. J. Grattan

wanted to take the direction of religious education from the hands of a majority either of Protestants or Catholics. His object was to do away with distinctions. He moved for the return for the purpose of seeing how the principle worked; 50,000l. a year was a great deal for those schools, and was quite enough for a sufficient education. But the masters of those schools were most inefficient and almost contemptible. He would ask the noble Lord to look to Holland and to Prussia—in those countries they found that every thing depended on the master, and that without efficient well paid masters, they could not have efficient schools. As to the religious differences in Ireland, if it were found impossible to carry into effect a combined system of education, it would be better to let the grant be divided between the two parties. For his own part, nothing could be more foreign from his intention, than to revive or excite in the slightest degree the differences and animosities of Protestant and Catholic.

Viscount Morpeth

said, that his com- plaint against his hon. Friend, the Member for Wicklow (Mr. Grattan), was not that he said any thing calculated to excite difference between Catholic and Protestant in his speech, but that he had put it in his motion, and in the returns which he called for. He felt some hesitation in acceding to the motion for these returns, chiefly from a feeling that granting them might seem to militate against the principle on which the system was founded, and on which it was supposed to be carried on. However, his hon. Friend had stated, with some truth, that the whole point at issue did, in some degree, turn on the precise particulars to which the motion referred, and he felt the ground cut from under him by the partial return made by one of the Commissioners. He felt, therefore, that he could not with a good grace, resist the motion of his hon. Friend. He wished to remedy an omission in what he had formerly stated. His hon. Friend, among other charges, had alluded to the discontinuance of Dr. M'Arthur's services at the head of the model school. He was sure, that his hon. Friend did not know the melancholy circumstances which had given occasion to that removal, or he would not have alluded to it. Dr. M'Arthur had been superintendent of the model school, and he must say, that an individual more fit for his situation it had never been his fortune to come across. The reason of his removal was not that any change in the system was proposed to be carried into effect; but he regretted to say, in consequence of his over-zealous exertions in the discharge of his duty, Mr. M'Arthur had been visited with the most melancholy bereavement with which Providence could afflict a human being—he meant the bereavement of his reason.

Motion agreed to.