HC Deb 29 July 1842 vol 65 cc850-1

On the resolution that 10,000l. be granted for public education in Great Britain for the year 1842.

Dr. Bowring

asked, whether it was the intention of the Government to make a grant for national singing. The right hon. Gentleman, the other night, mentioned with eulogium Mr. Hullah, but he did not allude to the exertions of Mr. Mainzer, who had done wonders upon this very interesting subject.

Mr. Hume

reminded his hon. Friend, that on a former occasion, the right hon. Baronet, the Secretary of State for the Home Department had declared, that it was not the intention of the Government to ask for any grant upon the subject during the present Session. He believed there were many funds existing available for the education of the people, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would direct his attention to the subject.

Mr. Cowper

had, with pleasure, on a former occasion, heard the right hon. Gentleman express the intention of Government to give encouragement to the education carried on at Exeter Hall. He hoped, that that would not be a mere barren promise. Objections had been made on account of this mode of instruction not being connected with religious instruction; but he could not suppose, that the mode of education imparted at Exeter-hall, could ever become the subject for a normal school. It could only be a school of method. He thought it was exceedingly injudicious on the part of those who supported education upon the principles of the Church of England, to obstruct the efforts of other schools. Why not adopt the school of method at the diocesan schools, and at King's College, for instance? He hoped next year a grant would be proposed for encouraging this sort of education.

Mr. P. Howard

wished something done for the Roman Catholic schools. The Roman Catholic Members had been more liberal than the Protestants, having concurred, without cavil, in many votes for purposes exclusively Protestant, while a party of the Protestants had resisted even the small grant yearly proposed for the College of Maynooth.

Mr. O'Connell

said, that this was a grant to which every individual in the community was called on to contribute, and from which, as it was at present distributed, no Catholic could benefit. There were two societies authorised to superintend the distribution of this grant, the National School Society, and the British and Foreign School Society. The first was a society connected with the Established Church, and the second was connected with the Protestant Dissenters. The Catholics were, therefore, necessarily excluded from deriving any benefit from this grant, not by any direct rule, but because they could not conscientiously send their children to the schools under the superintendance of these societies. The want of a participation in this grant was felt most severely by the Catholics in England —a large portion of the lower orders were Catholics. A great many poor Irish Catholics who came to England for employment, were absolutely deprived of the means of educating their children. It was not fair, nor just, nor reasonable, that the benefit of the grant should be confined to Protestants, it ought to be for the education of the children of the people of England generally. He had pressed the noble Lord, late at the head of the Government, on this subject, and he believed that noble Lord had been as ready to resist him as Gentlemen on the other side. Some years ago, in the State of New York, the educational grant had been given to a Voluntary Society, constituted on somewhat similar principles to this society; and in consequence the Catholics had been able to participate in it; but during the last Session, a law had been passed, putting all Christians on a footing of equality. That example ought to be followed. He hoped, that for the future, a portion of the grant would be devoted to the Catholic schools. They did not wish to escape from superintendence; on the contrary, they invited the utmost vigilance, and were willing to conform to any regulations that might be laid down in matters of literature, morals, and manners. All they asked was, that Catholics should be educated in their own religion.

Vote agreed to.