§ MR. W. J. FOX
begged to move a Resolution for the establishment of free schools for secular instruction. The language recently used by a noble Lord in another place indicated that there was an approximation towards each other of the classes who had held different opinions on the subject of education, and that those classes endeavoured to realise a more extensive and general education for the people of this country. "I feel," said the noble Lord, "that this is the time for such efforts to be made." That was some concession to the principles for which he (Mr. Fox) had contended; and it showed that the proposition he had to introduce was not in its object ill-timed. He did not infer from that language that the particular proposition which he had now to make would be honoured by the support of that noble Lord; but he thought he was entitled to expect this much, that it would not be met by any obstructive course on the part of the Government. The noble Lord had given them assurances which led to the belief that he was prepared to introduce some measure on the subject, or that he would look as favourably as possible on the efforts of others, and give them the aid and concurrence of Government; and, if such was the result of his present Motion, it would be, not all he (Mr. Fox) could desire, but all, perhaps, that he could expect. There were many circumstances at the present moment which made us feel uncomfortable with respect to the position of the country on the subject of education. There were few points on which an Englishman was not well justified in feeling proud of his country. Its enduring and liberal institutions commanded the respect both of the Conservative and Democratic parties in other countries. Its military and naval fame elicited admiration. The genius of its literature commanded the homage of genius in other countries. In the great national competition of artistical and industrial display, we had every reason to rejoice in the rank which this country took. There was every occasion for honest self-gratulation until we came to that one point of education. The word "education" called up a blush for this country, not merely that we were so far behind the new world, but that we were also behind the old one. It was not whether we stood first in the means and appliances of human education, but whether we stood ninth, tenth, twelfth, or in some more inferior 1243 and humiliating position. That was a state of things not creditable to the country or to the Legislature. There was in the very heart of society a growing evil that must be grappled with. Look to crime and pauperism increasing day by day, and likely to be prolonged—evils which defied our police, our philanthropy, and our religious institutions. He did not mean to pretend that education would cure all social evils. His reliance on it was that it would prove of a preventive rather than of a reformatory character; but there were other circumstances which showed its importance in a different point of view. It had been reckoned that the pauperism of Liverpool alone had burdened the town to the extent of 700,000l. per annum in expenses consequent on the apprehension and punishment of criminals. In an interesting report by Mr. Neale, chief constable of Salford, it was stated the punishment of offenders in Manchester and Salford had cost as much as would have been sufficient to educate the entire population of the borough. The annual report of the Preston gaol chaplain referred to one instance of a family of thieves, fifteen in number, who, after an average of 6½ years each of successful depredation, had cost the country not less than 26,000l. If it were merely a matter of police, the question of education should be regarded as an instrument of the greatest importance. In the present condition of our population we had evidence that when they were thrown out of work in any particular branch of labour they sank into pauperism, owing to the want of education, and that there was a superfluity of unskilled labour and a deficiency of skilled labour, an anomaly which the extension of education could alone remove. What could prevent the working classes from engaging in those vain strikes which ended, in 99 cases out of a 100, in leaving them in a worse condition than before; what could keep them from habits of improvidence and waste, but some knowledge of the succession of events in life, such as education could supply? And then the fair construction of our constitution required education to be diffused among the people; they were called on to exercise the elective franchise, to serve on juries—it was to the public that appeals were made on great questions of policy; and was it just, that when such were the requirements of Government, more should not be done to supply the people with the requisite qualifications to discharge the important func- 1244 tions which devolved on them? It was not as a measure of compassion for the poor and wretched, but as an act of justice to the national character and to the people, that he called on Government and the Legislature to afford better resources than yet existed for universal instruction. The system of voluntary contributions was in a state of demonstrated inefficiency. His case in support of that assertion rested on the testimony of the Government inspectors themselves, and he was perfectly content to abide by their evidence. These gentlemen declared education could not be sustained, even in its present position, unless recourse was had to an educational rate. The Rev. Mr. Watkins, in his report, stated—I am continually appealed to—'What is to be done?' I can offer no suggestion; I can give no advice. But my conviction is this, that such schools must be given up, unless one of two things take place; either that they be aided by your Lordships' Committee to an extent and in a form hitherto unrecognised, that is, as 'supported schools;' or that a rate, compulsory if not voluntary, be levied for their support on the owners or tenants of houses and lands, the possessors of factories and other large works in the parishes where they are severally situated. On glancing at my list of schools, I can count up thirty-eight in Yorkshire only (i. e., nearly one-fifth of the whole number on the list) which are thus hovering between life and death, or which are already extinct as daily schools.Mr. Kennedy, in his able report from the North-Western district, said—I see no way to bring about this vital measure except by large special assistance from the Committee of Council, derived from the Parliamentary grant for education, or from an educational rate. The voluntary system has done a vast deal, but it has nearly, if not quite, run to the end of its tether. And if I were to sum up in one sentence the result of my experience during the last twelve years, which I have chiefly devoted to education, as a parochial clergyman, as secretary of the National Society, and one of Her Majesty's inspectors of schools, I should say that the problem which statesmen have to solve in England is, how to continue to have schools managed and supported pretty nearly as they now are, but at the same time to have their grievous wants and deficiencies supplied by large public aid derived from a Parliamentary grant, or, still better, from a rate for education.In the present year the inspectors used still stronger language. One rev. gentleman said, "Some measure must be devised for the extension of the system of education." The Rev. Mr. Kennedy repeated his opinion, and went on to observe—Men's minds seem more prepared than I ever 1245 remember before—nay, even anxious—for some great development of the present meagre and tantalising state of popular education. It is felt that very much effort is made for a small result. The clergy make great sacrifices of money and time, and, what is more, enact the harassing and humiliating part of 'mendicant friars' (to use the expression of a vicar of a large parish in Lancashire), in order to keep schools alive; and the higher and middle classes are annoyed by constant demands upon their purse in aid of schools about whose efficiency and permanency they entertain doubts. In short, school managers and other promoters of education begin to feel that theirs is a strenua inertia: much work and little result. They regard the present system as a stopgap. All this has, I think, led in some places to a temporary lull in the active promotion of the present machinery of education; while men's eyes are cast about to discover a system of maintaining schools which shall be at once efficient and sound, vigorous and permanent. Everything seems to point to a rate for education.There they had not only the case, but the peculiar remedy stated by the agents of Government; not, it must be recollected, from an inspection of particular schools, but from a general survey of the state of education, and from an examination of the best classes of schools seen in their best condition. Nor had they occasion, indeed, to look any further on this point than the fact that the schools in actual existence were at least twice as large as the number of pupils required. In the general return of schools receiving Government grants for building amounting to 2,582l., and receiving 454,710l. 17s. 3d., it was stated that accommodation was provided for 549,493 pupils, while the average daily attendance on 1,762 ascertained instances was only 196,041. The mode in which the system of education was carried on, was another cause of inefficiency. Nothing could be further from his thought than to accuse the Committee of Education of wilful partiality; with intentional partiality he did not charge them; but he believed there was a partiality inherent in the system which induced the public to' withhold a hearty co-operation with it. The British and Foreign School Society, and the Church School Society, were both institutions half a century old. The former had rendered great and extensive good to the country; but how stood the grants of public money made to it, as compared with those made to the Church Society? In 1840 the Government grant for education was 60,000l., and then it was nearly equally divided between these societies. The Church Society upon that occasion received 5,246l., the British and Foreign 1246 Society 4,420l. The next year, the grant was increased, and the Church Society received accordingly 13,197l., while 10,945l. was all that was received by the British and Foreign Society. In 1849, the grant was still further extended, and the Church Society received 39,574l., while the British and Foreign Society only received 3,350l. Up to August last the public money applied to Church Schools was 24,720l., and the British and Foreign Society only received the sum of 386l.; this was chiefly in connexion with the grants for building; by the summary of the entire distribution, it appeared that the Church schools had received 404,622l. 8s. 8d., and the British and Foreign only 50,672l. 15s. 11¼d. He believed this disparity might very much be traced to the religious feelings which had arisen in the country, but it did not represent the relative labour and usefulness of these two bodies. The present system necessarily produced partiality in another way. Out of the whole number of inspectors there were only three who did not belong to the single profession of clergymen of the Established Church; and in these three cases the exceptions were inevitable, because one inspector was required for the Roman Catholics, another for the British and Foreign Schools, and a third for the Wesleyans. But there were men in the country who understood the theory of education as a science, and the practice of it as an art; and the country in vain looked to the Government to call them in, thinking that it was by no means the best means of securing good education to place it in the hands of the Church. Another appearance of partiality sprung from the provisions and restrictions laid down in the Minute of the Privy Council. The Government grant gave least help where most was wanted. It was doled out, not in proportion to the educational requirements of the locality, but according to the amount of subscriptions which had been received. There was another partiality which had a ruinous tendency—the poor ratepayers in a rural district could not look on with much complacency when they found themselves rated to give to pauper children in the workhouse an education they could not give to their own—a discrepancy which was pointed out some time ago by the Poor Law Commissioners. In the Third Annual Report for 1850 they said—There are workhouses, like that of the Atcham union, in which the children receive an education 1247 beyond all comparison better than is within the reach of the children of labourers in any part of the country. In the girls' school of Ludlow union, children now receive an education in all respects superior to what the humbler ratepayers are able to purchase for their children. This high standard of workhouse education is fast ceasing to be exceptional.But the worst result of all was the inequality with which the support of schools pressed on different classes, and more especially on the country rectors. In one of the reports the evil had been pointed out in a practical manner:—The lord of the manor and principal landholder, 3l. 3s.; the rector, 17l. 10s. 4d., the rector's lady, 1l. 1s.; a friend of the rector, 5l.; a farmer and landholder, 5s.; ditto, 5s.; ditto, 5s.; ditto, 5s.; ditto, 5s.; ditto, 10s.; ditto, 5s.—Total, 28l. 14s. 4d.The following paragraph from———,addressed to me by a zealous clergyman in my district, details, in a few words, the experience of almost every one who in a rural parish undertakes to establish a school:—'I have had to make great sacrifices of time and money to provide a school at all; and, after I had raised the building, I found nobody in the parish, or out of it, to assist me in supporting the school expense. Neither owners or occupiers of land contribute a farthing. A coal merchant and a land agent are the only subscribers of a pound a-piece, and every other expense falls on me.' I have often borne testimony in my reports to your Lordships to the fact, that when a school is maintained in an agricultural parish, it is generally by an act of great pecuniary self-sacrifice on the part of the clergyman, made often in diminution of a very limited income, and with the sense of a divided responsibility. Whoever looks at the question in a practical point of view will see that the education of the country cannot be provided for generally, in parish after parish, over the whole surface of the country, and year after year, in this manner. We have no right to calculate upon acts of self-sacrifice being multiplied, by which the clergy have in some instances subjected themselves to personal liabilities which they are unable to meet, and by which in others they have been greatly straitened.Surely that showed the necessity of an intervention of Government to lay a rate on the towns, according to their means, and on those who would assuredly feel the benefit of it at some future time. The present system offered a stern denial to every proposition for secular education, but gave support to every kind of religious teaching. It seemed as though there was something evil in knowledge, which required to be counteracted by even bad theology; that history was not to be studied unless it was accompanied by heresy; and that decimal fractions were fatal to the soul if they were not mingled with that which some called idolatry. The Scriptures became secta- 1248 rian in the hands of sectarian teachers. The British and Foreign Schools had a creed of their own, as much as the National schools. Would Protestants pay for schools in which, as they were told, the image of the Madonna was fixed, that the children might worship it as they entered? He mentioned this merely to ask where was the propriety of calling upon Protestants to pay for such a system? One of the school catechisms spoke of the Puritans as men who murdered their Sovereign and starved the clergy. Were Dissenters to pay for such things as that? The result of the whole system was, that every man had to pay for something he did not believe; and in his turn became a cause of taxation to others for something he believed and they did not believe. When he proposed an educational rate, he trusted that the House would not deem that he invited them to an expense which an empire ought to grudge. According to the best calculations, founded on estimates made for the county of Lancaster, a rate of 5d. in the pound would be sufficient to erect schools for all the children in the country; and, instead of having in each district different schools for the different classes of children, the question might turn upon the point of making the schools so good that the education of one class should be the probation for another. The country was paying as much now for the imperfect education it afforded as would be required for a complete system of national education, while the struggling ratepayers with large families would be greatly benefited by the change. The experience of America on the subject of education was extensive, and that indicated the great advantage, both in a pecuniary and intellectual view, of a graduated system of schools in each district. A few years ago, a valuable report was published by Mr. Henry Barnard, commissioner of schools in Rhode Island, who indicated the advantage arising from such an arrangement in the localities where it had been adopted:—Hallowell (Maine).—While this system proffers to all our children advantages equal to those enjoyed in the best academies, it has diminished the expenditure, including both public and private instruction, in this place about 600 dollars or 700 dollars, being about 25 per cent per annum. And whereas, before the adoption of this system, the wealthy and elevated classes would scarcely in-trust their children to the public schools, now the children of all classes mingle on terms of reciprocal cordiality and kindness.Nantucket (Massachusetts).—The whole amount of money expended for schools has been 1249 much diminished by the substitution of a public for private schools, and the teaching has been much more thorough in the former than it was in the latter, as the temptation is not so strong with the teacher of the public school to force children forward in order to please parents and fill up his school. The whole community seem to be aware of this.New Orleans.—They (report of the commission) entertain no doubt that the pecuniary benefit derived by the taxable citizens from our public schools far exceeds their cost.Bangor (Maine).—As to expense, our present system costs, I presume, not one-half of the old.The Resolution which he was about to submit to the House asserted the necessity of local taxation and local administration for the purposes of education. Local administration would afford facilities for preventing the evils which some anticipated from a sudden change of system. The noble Lord at the head of the Government had denounced a system which he conceived to be opposed to religious training. The plan which he (Mr. W. J. Fox) advocated involved the separation of secular from religious education; but separation and annihilation were very different things. There could be no proper education which did not comprise religious instruction; but the schoolmaster's province was to prepare the mind for religious training, to which it would subsequently be subjected by the minister of the chapel, the clergyman of the parish, or the parish priest. Under the present system the religious principle failed in producing the moral effect which ought to attend it, and the reason of this was, that an intellectual atmosphere was wanting. The advocates of secular instruction were doing more to promote religious education than those who, under the present system, were satisfied with the mere appearance of religious teaching. Without separating secular from religious education, there was no chance of combined efforts. Then, look at the effect of the present system. Was it wholesome that men from their earliest youth should be trained up within the lines of sectarian demarcation? On the other hand, was it not probable that, if men could refer to their schoolboy associations with persons of different creeds, they would be induced in after life to regard with more charitable feelings those who differed frem them on religious questions? It was impossible that secular and religious instruction could at one and the same time flow from the mind of the teacher to the mind of the pupil. What 1250 affinity was there between the Athanasian Creed and the multiplication table? Secular education and religious education were treated as distinct even under the existing system, for one of the Minutes of Council of Education instructed the inspectors to report upon secular education only. It was evident, then, that the distinction was recognised now. Religious education was, to a certain extent, already provided for by the voluntary principle, both in the Established Church and among Dissenting bodies. Perhaps he ought not to use the phrase "voluntary principle" in connexion with the Establishment; for it was the bounden duty of clergymen of the Established Church to attend to the religious instruction as well of adults as of the young in their respective parishes. The 59th canon in the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical, agreed upon by the clergy of the province of Canterbury in the Synod begun at London in 1603, provided, that—Every parson, vicar, or curate, upon every Sunday and holyday, before evening prayer, shall, for half an hour or more, examine and instruct the youth and ignorant persons in his parish in the Ten Commandments, the articles of the Belief, and in the Lord's Prayer; and shall diligently hear, instruct, and teach them the Catechism set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. And all fathers, mothers, masters and mistresses shall cause their children, servants and apprentices, who have not learned the catechism, to come to the church at the time appointed, obediently to hear, and to be ordered by the minister, until they have learned the same. And if any minister neglect his duty herein, let him be sharply reproved upon the first complaint, and true notice thereof be given to the bishop or ordinary of the place. If, after submitting himself, he shall willingly offend therein again, let him be suspended if so the third time, there being little hope that he will be therein reformed, then excommunicated, and so remain until he will be reformed. And, likewise, if any of the said fathers, mothers, masters or mistresses, children, servants, or apprentices, shall neglect their duties, as the one sort in not causing them to come, and the other in refusing to learn, as aforesaid, let them be suspended by their ordinaries (if they be not children) if they so persist, by the space of a month; then let them be excommunicated.It was therefore the bounden duty of the minister to invite the young and all ages to attend for at least half an hour to religious instruction upon a Sunday. Let his work be well done, and it would be done sufficiently. He did not want to meddle with the ragged schools—those were for the outcasts of society, it had been said, and he was not disposed to meddle with the—but why should they not permit the ratepayer to choose what religion he would 1251 wish to have his children instructed in? As to the Sunday schools, a world of good had been done by them, and it was a consoling fact to him that numbers of the Sunday-school teachers had petitioned in favour of his Resolution. They said that their religious lessons would sink deeper in the breasts of their pupils when their minds were prepared to receive them. He was aware that a rival scheme to this had also been propounded in Manchester: the details of it were sufficiently before the public, and it was not necessary to enter into any elaborate statement of their points of difference. There was nothing new or unheard of in what he proposed, nor was it unsupported by high authority. About two years ago the Archbishop of Canterbury, in a charge delivered in the cathedral of St. Paul, made some observations on the subject of education, in which these expressions occurred:—The Roman Catholics are prone to instil into the infant mind that the salvation or perdition of the soul depends upon the grace or blessing of the priest. It ought not to be more difficult for you to imbue a child with a knowledge of what he owes to God, to set Jesus Christ and Him as the ground of his hope and acceptance, that he may be, not in name and word, but in truth and sincerity, a faithful soldier and servant of Christ in the warfare that lies before him. He will not learn these important truths from the master of the school. However valuable masters of schools may be in other respects, we seldom find them possessed of the ability to communicate real religion. The language of Scripture may be lodged in the memory indeed, but the doctrines which lead to practical godliness must be inculcated by those whose office it is to expound the Scriptures. The literary character of the school will depend on the master, but the religious character of the school must depend on the clergyman.It would be found that in some of our public schools the separation of secular and religious education was practically complete. In Eton and Westminster schools the religious lessons bore to other lessons the proportion of one to thirteen. A similar proportion was maintained in the Royal Naval School, which was under high patronage. There was also a plan for the studies of teachers drawn up by one of the inspectors, in which religious instruction stood separate from secular education—a certain number of hours being appropriated to the former, and a certain number to the latter, just as would be done in the schools which he proposed to establish. In fact, it was done everywhere in the higher class of schools. It was only when education was to be given to the poor, when it was 1252 to be administered as a sort of charity, that religion was inculcated, not for the sake of its own benignant influences, but for the sake of keeping them in order and tranquillity; and then it was that such a preponderance was given to theology. The noble Lord, in the speech to which he had already alluded, attached great importance to the daily reading of the Scriptures; but he (Mr. W. J. Fox) questioned whether this was really the way to promote a reverence for the doctrines taught in that book. Dr. Hook, of Leeds, whose character stood deservedly high, saw this, and in his own pointed way complained that religion did not consist in dogs'-earing the Bible; and, looking to the higher objects for which it was given, he could not avoid being impressed with the fact that Providence never intended the Bible for a schoolbook. It could hardly be contended that this reading of the Bible in schools would produce a religious impression on the minds of ignorant children. How did it operate with adults? On this point there was a remarkable passage in a speech delivered in that House eighty years ago, namely, in February, 1772, by a man whose philosophy was as profound as his eloquence was brilliant, and whose piety was unquestionable—Edmund Burke. In the debate on the Clerical Petition for relief from subscription, Mr. Burke said—The Scripture is no one summary of doctrines regularly digested, in which a man could not mistake his way; it is a most venerable, but most multifarious collection of the records of the Divine economy; a collection of an infinite variety of cosmogony, theology, history, prophecy, psalmody, morality, apologue, allegory, legislation, ethics, carried through different books, by different authors, at different ages, for different ends and purposes. It is necessary to sort out what is intended for example, what only as narrative, what to be understood literally, what figuratively, where one precept is to be controlled and modified by another, what is used directly, and what only as an argument ad hominem, what is temporary, and what of perpetual obligation, what appropriated to one state and to one set of men, and what the general duty of all Christians. If we do not get some security for this, we not only permit, but we actually pay for, all the dangerous fanaticism which can be produced to corrupt our people, and to derange the public worship of the country. We owe the best we can (not infallibility, but prudence) to the subject—first sound doctrine, then ability to use it." [Parl. History, xvii. 285.]If this were a valid argument in the way in which Mr. Burke applied it, with reference to Christian ministers, how much more true must it be with respect to the comparatively unimproved minds of schoolmas- 1253 ters and children! It had always been contended that education operated as a barrier against crime; but circumstances showed that as it was conducted in this country it was not as efficient a barrier in that respect as had been supposed. The criminal tables showed that for nine consecutive years, namely, from 1839 to 1848 inclusive, there had been an increased per centage of criminality among the imperfectly educated. The tables, however, attested the value of sound instruction by a constantly diminishing ratio; while they also showed a constantly diminishing ratio in those who were not taught at all. In the period he had mentioned, the number of committals among those who were unable to read and write, had decreased from 33.53 per cent, to 31.93 per cent. In the class which could read and write imperfectly, there had been an increase from 53.48 to 56.38 per cent; and in the well-educated class there had been a decrease from 10.07 per cent, to 9.83 per cent. In Ireland, where the separation of secular from religious education prevailed to a considerable extent in the national schools, as well as a larger mixture of children of different sects—a system by which the faculties were better developed—the criminal tables presented results the reverse of those furnished in England. The committals in Ireland from 1839 to 1848, in the class who could read and write, had decreased from 26.37 per cent, to 17.66 per cent; in the class who could read only, they had decreased from 13.11 per cent, to 10.75 per cent; while, in the class which could neither read nor write, they had increased from 31.72 per cent, to 43 per cent. Mr. Kennedy, inspector of Sunday schools in Lancashire, had made some observations which merited the attention of the House. He said—Sunday schools of Lancashire are remarkable. I believe that in no other county, not even in Yorkshire, are they so numerously attended, or inspire so much interest. Nearly every church, in a town at least, has its contingent of Sunday scholars, numbering from about 500 to 1,000 persons of both sexes. This is the principal arena on which the clergy meet their poorer parishioners; and a useful arena it is, in spite of its shortcomings and defects. These schools are doing the work of, and therefore superseding, the old plan of catechising in church in an afternoon. And I believe that such religious knowledge as is to be found among the Lancashire poor is mainly imparted in these schools. They commonly open and conclude with prayer; and when one school-room is over another, it is customary, in this county, for the upper room to have a large trapdoor opening into the lower room, in order that the persons in both rooms may join together in their devotions. The 1254 actual work that is done in the Sunday schools is sometimes judicious; at other times it consists too much, perhaps, of repetition by rote of a hymn or a collect, or the catechism, or of reading, without explanation, some little understood epistle of St. Paul. The grand difficulty is, I believe, to get really competent and judicious teachers. There is much zeal in them, but very often without adequate knowledge. Some curious statistical information about the number of prisoners who have been scholars in Sunday schools has been collected by a circular to the gaol chaplains. From this it would appear that 63 per cent of the prisoners had attended Sunday schools, and 50 per cent for not less than three years. A circular to the matrons of penitentiaries elicited the fact that 75 per cent of the inmates had been scholars of Sunday schools. I am not sure that these facts, if correct, prove anything against Sunday schools. A majority of the population (at least in Lancashire) attend Sunday schools during some portion of their life, and if they commit crime it is in spite of the Sunday school, not by reason of it. Moreover, it must be remembered, that these schools are necessarily places for giving religious knowledge, much more than for imparting moral training: the training must ever, I think, be the work of the week-day school, and of the home. And it is training—the formation of good habits—which is the great preventive of crime; no mere knowledge, however important, is sufficient without such habits.He did not adduce these facts as showing anything beyond this—that the Sunday school instruction needed some other kind of instruction along with it to render it more efficient. He would now leave the House to form their own judgment upon the evidence which he had adduced before them, and by which he had attempted to show that the system now pursued was not adapted to meet the emergencies of the case—that, defective as it was in principle, it was not capable of extension as fast as the necessities of the country required; so that, if not upon the ground of preference, yet from the necessities of the case, they must fall back upon some such proposition as that which he had introduced to the House. A conviction to that effect was spreading throughout the country, and especially among those whose co-operation was essential to the success of any plan of national education. The Resolution he was about to move had the advantage of the express concurrence, to a large extent, of the working classes. These were the schools which they desired. These were the schools they would have. A number of them were already established in London under the name of Birkbeck schools, in which the education was of an order that had elicited the commendation of Mr. Moseley. Nor were these schools confined to the metropolis; on the contrary, Mr. Morell, one of 1255 the inspectors of the British and Foreign School Society, bore testimony to the progress they were making in the northern districts. It now only remained for him to thank the House for the patience with which it had heard him, and to add, that the present was peculiarly the time for efforts to advance the cause of education. Amid the conflict of political parties, amid the collision of rival churches, amid the strife of sects and the hostility of different classes, amid the clashing of various systems of policy, whether commercial or institutional, and amid the influence and competition of nations, brilliantly developing their industrial and artistical energies, nothing better could become the Legislature than to employ itself in building up the fabric of national greatness and prosperity upon the only foundation on which national greatness and prosperity could permanently rest—namely, the broad basis of national intelligence.
Motion made, and Question put—
That it is expedient to promote the Education of the People, in England and Wales, by the establishment of Free Schools for secular instruction, to be supported by local rates, and managed by Committees, elected specially for that purpose by the ratepayers.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, that although he could not assent to the Resolution in the terms in which it was framed, he could assure the hon. Member (Mr. W. J. Fox), on the part of the Government, that he would be met in no spirit of unfair opposition in any attempt he might make to extend the means of sound and useful education to the children of the great body of the people of this kingdom, or to draw closer together the members of the different religious denominations into which society was divided. He was not prepared to deny that great deficiencies existed in the present system of education, or that there was a want of means to bring that system, defective as it was, into operation generally throughout the country. Having made that admission, he must nevertheless remark that, of late years, a great increase had taken place in the means of educating the labouring classes throughout the country. In saying this he did not refer merely to the increase in the actual number of schools, but to the improved qualifications of teachers, and the improved character of the education. What they were now asked to do was, to assent to a Resolution that it was expedient to promote the education of the people in England and 1256 Wales by the establishment of free schools for exclusively secular instruction, to be supported by local rates, and managed by committees elected specially for that purpose by the ratepayers. Now, so far as that proposition implied an opinion that it was desirable that local rates should be raised to supply the existing deficiencies in education, he did not differ from the hon. Gentleman, for he thought that no reasonable distinction could be drawn between the raising of local rates for the purpose of education, and the application of a portion of the general taxation of the country, which was now appropriated for the same purpose under the sanction of Parliament. He further concurred with the hon. Gentleman in thinking that great advantages would be derived from local management, if, concurrently with this, there was established an efficient system of inspection of schools. He might, however, hesitate before adopting a Resolution that it was expedient to enforce over the whole country a uniform system of levying rates for this purpose, because the circumstances in different part of the country were infinitely diversified; and he doubted, therefore, whether the system could be applied universally, though he thought it would be easy to allow the inhabitants of different districts the exercise of an option in this respect. They had several precedents for such a course of proceeding. An Act had already been passed to allow portions of the local rates to be applied, at the option of the ratepayers, in the erection of baths and washhouses; and there was now a Bill before the House which had been introduced by the noble Lord the Member for Bath, giving the ratepayers the option of expending a portion of the local rates on the improvement of the dwellings of the poor; and he saw no good reason for not applying the same principle to education. But everything must depend on the character of the education to be given. Upon this point he felt the same insuperable objection to the hon. Member's Resolution as he had to the principle of his Bill of last Session, which was rejected on the second reading by a large majority, because it was founded on the principle that the aid to be granted from local rates should be limited to schools in which secular instruction alone was given. The adoption of that regulation would, if it did not supersede, necessarily operate to the disadvantage of other schools, because 1257 in the schools proposed to be established under the hon. Member's scheme, education was to be free. The hon. Gentleman had stated the strong difficulties which existed in the existing system, and the objections which were urged by many persons to grants being made to schools, which, while professing to give religious instruction, gave it of a character of which certain parties did not approve. But if these objections were taken to the present system, he (Sir George Grey) did not see that they would be got rid of by substituting grants, whether from the public revenue or from local rates, applicable to schools from which all religion was excluded; for if there was one thing upon which the opinion of the country had been clearly and distinctly expressed, it was this, that education should be based upon religion; that, instead of excluding that which was the most essential object of education, they ought to take especial care to see that all education included the instilling of religious principles, based upon the word of God, which was the only security for the discharge of those duties which man owed to his fellow-man, and still more for the discharge of his duty to God. The hon. Gentleman had asked, "What had the multiplication table to do with the Athanasian Creed?" True; but there were other parts of the system of education necessarily pursued in the elementary schools, where the children of the poorer classes received all the education they received anywhere, into which religion must enter. It ought to be borne in mind that the distinction between such schools as the hon. Gentleman spoke of, and such institutions as the London University, mechanics' institutes, and the like, was this, that these latter places were not institutions in which the whole education of the persons frequenting them was comprised; that, on the contrary, they were institutions for the express purpose of affording special instruction in special branches of knowledge or science; and that those who attended those institutions were persons who had the means of receiving religious instruction in their earlier years from other sources; whereas the schools frequented by the children of the lower orders were schools which afforded them the only education they were ever likely to receive. The hon. Gentleman had read one of the canons of the Church with respect to the duty of the clergy to administer catechetical instruction to the children of their 1258 respective parishes; and had said that, if this duty was properly performed, it would amply supply the present defect of religious instruction. But he seemed to forget that there was no power of compelling the children to attend the catechetical instruction of the clergy. It ought never to be forgotten that in dealing with this question the House was dealing with schools for conveying to the children of the poor all the instruction they were ever likely to receive during their earlier years, and that from these schools the hon. Gentleman would have them to except the reading of the word of God, and all religious instruction whatever. Now, against this principle, which was involved in the hon. Gentleman's Bill of last year, the House had pronounced a decided opinion; and the repetition of the proposal on this occasion must meet with the same opposition from the Government as the proposal of last year had met. The hon. Gentleman would exclude from any share of the money proposed to be raised by a local rate, every school in which religion was taught as a part of education. He had referred in a tone of commendation to the result of the Irish national system of education; and yet by the terms of his Resolution those schools would all be excluded from the system he proposed. He had spoken of high authorities, in his favour, and quoted the opinion of Dr. Hook, whose opinion was certainly entitled to great weight; for no man had paid more attention to the subject, or had more earnestly exerted himself to promote the cause of education. The hon. Gentleman said that Dr. Hook had denounced the system of dogs'-earing the Scriptures; and no doubt the rev. gentleman might have said that the Bible ought not to be made a text book—not a mechanical part of instruction; but he apprehended that Dr. Hook had never expressed any opinion against the reading of a chapter of the Bible to the scholars, for he believed that the communication of religious instruction to the scholars Dr. Hook would be the last man to undervalue. He (Sir George Grey) confessed he entertained great doubt whether a scheme of purely secular education was at all possible. He doubted whether schoolmasters and schoolmistresses who really entertained a proper sense of the responsibilities involved in the right discharge of their important duties, could avoid conveying religious instruction to the children placed under their care; and hence the 1259 effect of such a system as that now proposed would be to exclude from the schools a large class of schoolmasters and schoolmistresses who had been trained in a different system, and who had been led to look to the inculcation of sound religious principles as the most important part of the duties they had to discharge. The hon. Gentleman assumed that they must either adopt his plan, or abandon all hope of the improvement of the present system of education, because it was impossible upon any other basis to have a common and mixed system in which the young of all religious sects could be educated together; and he had adverted to the rival plan of the Manchester Association as having proved an entire failure. Now, he (Sir George Grey) must say that in his opinion the Manchester plan did hold out some hope of a settlement of this difficult question, and that the country was not reduced to the alternative which the hon. Gentleman had supposed. Mr. Entwistle, the Chairman of that Association, who had formerly represented South Lancashire, had called upon him some time ago, with some other gentlemen, taking an active part in that scheme, and, in the anticipation that this subject would be revived during the present Session, had stated to him that the Association were anxious that the House should be informed that they were engaged, and he believed successfully engaged, in maturing a plan applicable to Manchester and Salford, and that they had already prepared a Bill which, being of the nature of a private Bill, could not be introduced this year, but which they hoped to be able to submit to Parliament next Session. Now, by that scheme it was proposed that the schools should be supported by a local rate; that existing schools where religion was taught in connexion with different religious denominations should be included; and that where schools of this kind did not exist, schools should be established, in which religion should be taught upon some general plan acceptable to the different religious denominations. Upon the Committee of the Association were the representatives of every religious denomination in Manchester and Salford; and although he regretted to say that since he saw Mr. Entwistle, some difficulty had arisen with regard to one denomination; that although objections had been started to the plan by two Roman Catholic priests, there were still Roman Catholic 1260 laymen members of the Committee, and strong hopes were entertained that the objections of the Roman Catholics would be ultimately removed. He understood that the Association still retained their intention to proceed with their Bill next Session, and that an attempt was making at Leeds to adopt a similar plan. Under these circumstances, he hoped the House would not, assent to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. He trusted that the subject might be brought before them under more favourable auspices, in connexion with the populous districts to which he had adverted, and, if found successful there it might then be extended—if not universally throughout the country, owing to the impossibility of adapting it to some of the rural districts—yet throughout the populous districts of the country so as to augment the means of education by combining the different religious denominations in a common effort, which would be one of the greatest blessings that could be conferred upon the children of the poorer classes of the country.
§ MR. HUME
thought it would be well if the Government were to attempt that which the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. W. J. Fox) had clearly pointed out as possible, namely, a system of education to include all classes. The right hon. Baronet (Sir G. Grey) said it was not possible; but was it not fair to argue its possibility from the example of the United States, where it had completely succeeded? In every State of the Union a system of education existed, independent of that point of general contention—religious opinion. He concurred in the opinion that it was the duty of the Legislature to prepare the minds of every class of the community for the performance of their duties to society, and that it was of as much importance to train the mind by early education as to feed the body by physical nutriment. He was equally of opinion that education ought to be provided through the property of the country, for those who could not afford it, as nourishment was provided for the destitute by the poor-rates. He believed if an equal amount of money was expended in education as was expended on pauperism and crime, and the consequent building of jails, it would be found to be economical in its results, besides improving the moral and religious condition of the population. The noble Lord at the head of Her Majesty's Government was understood to complain of the Roman Catholic priests not agreeing 1261 with the system of Education in Ireland, because the Roman Catholic religion was not its foundation. That was the objection made, and hence the designation of "the godless colleges." The right hon. Baronet (Sir George Grey) would not agree to any system of education which did not teach true religion. He (Mr. Hume) begged to ask, what true religion did he mean? There were twenty different sects in this country at least, who dissented as to what were the true principles of religion, and it was impossible to prevent their withdrawing themselves from the one established religion, whether Protestantism or Catholicism. They must then agree upon some such scheme or some such plan as was proposed at Manchester for meeting this difficulty. In the United States, where there were fifty houses, the proprietors were compelled by the law to keep open a school for six months in the year—where there were a hundred, for the whole twelve months. The Americans had agreed on a system of education, leaving out each distinct creed, but giving an opportunity for that moral training which would fit the young for the various duties which must necessarily fall upon every citizen. Let the example of the Americans be looked to, and what was it? The example of a Government performing its duty of bringing up and supporting a moral, religious, and instructed population. What were we doing? Quarrelling whether a boy or a girl should be brought up to this or that opinion, rather than agreeing in a moral training, which induced proper subservience to constituted authority, and prevented those ebullitions of passion, arising from ignorance, which led to criminality, and those frightful pictures of degradation which disgraced the English Government. In educating the people, as had been stated recently by the Archbishop of Canterbury, at St. Paul's Cathedral, there were two portions of that duty perfectly separate and distinct. It was the duty of the schoolmaster to prepare the child in the rudiments of instruction and moral training. It was the duty of the clergyman to instil the opinions which the parents thought fit. What did his hon. Friend (Mr. W. J. Fox) ask? Not to diminish or refuse, or to place religious instruction beyond the reach of children; on the contrary, to prepare their minds for its reception, to adopt means by which all classes may be instructed and none excluded. It was a benefit of the utmost importance, worthy the 1262 attention of the Government at any moment, but particularly now, when we were quarrelling with our distant colonies, for forcing on them the inmates of our gaols, the result of our own negligence. He did say it was a grave charge against this House that they did not look at the origin of the greatly-increasing amount of crime; and he considered it a reproach and a scandal, to which Government ought to direct their immediate attention. His hon. Friend (Mr. W. J. Fox) asked them to put an end to that reproach by adopting that clear example which the United States afforded. The States of New York and Massachusetts, and many others, had obtained a system of education which did not interfere with religious opinions. The inhabitants of every parish met, and raised the necessary funds by a general rate; every locality contributed its proportion. They did not quarrel about its application, and though they differed as much with regard to religious opinions as the people of England, he did not learn that they were less religious. Whether they professed as much he could not say, but he confessed he preferred acts to professions. The magistrates of Edinburgh had directed an inquiry into the condition of 500 individuals in the prison at one time, to ascertain where they came from, and by what means they had fallen under the punishment of the law; and it turned out by the report which they received that there were families who had for two, three, or four generations, at all times contributed one or two of its members to the number of prison inmates—that they were left in a state of ignorance little above the brutes, and therefore they preyed upon the property of their neighbours, instead of providing for their wants by their own industry. Trifles ought not to prevent an effort to diminish that class of crime, which must go on if ignorance continued. With that view a plan of education had been proposed in Manchester, which had given great satisfaction throughout the whole of Lancashire. It was the same as the plan in Massachusetts for general education, without compromising or interfering with the religious opinions of any man. He knew that many such schools had been established in England by an association of private individuals; but they could not be kept up, because many of the largest holders of property in the district would not contribute. If, then, the Government would pass a Bill giving powers for assessing all 1263 parties alike for the establishment of schools in every parish, he (Mr. Hume) had no doubt they would achieve the de-desirable sbject which his hon. Friend (Mr. W. J. Fox) had in view. Knowing the noble Lord at the head of the Government and his family to be warm supporters of education, he did hope the noble Lord would take the broad principle of affording education independent of any particular religious opinions.
Mr. A. B. HOPE
could not allow the subject to pass off without a few words, feeling very strongly, as he did, the absolute necessity—as he had lately, on various occasions, stated—of giving the utmost development to the conscientious sentiments of all religious bodies, consistent with truth and order. He must, in pursuance of that feeling, most strongly oppose the Motion of the hon. Member for Oldham, as a measure more fraught with danger to that principle—more fraught with danger to all liberty of religious belief and action, than any other which could will be conceived or brought forward by any Gentleman holding the same views as the hon. Member for Oldham. Even could he agree to all the hon. Member's data, there were other reasons for opposing the Motion, beyond the supposing they could give a purely secular education. Secular education, supposing it to be possibility, might be a good or a bad thing, though no infringement or attack on religion. But purely secular education was a thing absolutely impossible by the immutable laws of nature. You must teach some religion, or the negation of religion, which, under the circumstances, was itself a species of religion. The hon. Member (Mr. W. J. Fox) said, what had the multiplication table to do with religion? Last Session he drew vivid pictures of the beauties of nature, and said what had they to do with a dogmatic religion? He (Mr. Hope) asked, how was it possible to teach a child the first rudiments—not to say of science, but of things as they were—a knowledge of things, and names of things, without teaching the child that those things had been created, or had not been created, or else, by silence, leaving him to the same inference of their not having had a Creator? At the least you must teach Deism or Atheism, and either, in one sense, was religion. Therefore, those schools must be seminaries of some sort of religious education. What would be the result? The institution of a system of 1264 compulsory education. That compulsory education would be administered by a set of schoolmasters acting under Government orders; they would teach a system of Deism side by side with the established religion of the country; and thus there would be another religious establishment, of an attenuated form, but still a religion. He appealed, therefore, to hon. Gentlemen whether, as he said in the beginning, anything could be more fraught with danger to religious toleration than such a system of compulsory education, from the meshes and religious accidents of which they could not escape? It was upon these grounds, besides many others, that he should on all occasions be found a decided opponent of a compulsory system of education, whether purely secular, or possessing, like the Manchester scheme, the adjunct of religion. He was one with the hon. Member for Montrose (Mr. Hume) in opinion, that it was the duty of Parliament to retrieve the country from the national sin of ignorance; but he could not understand upon what warrant of reason the hon. Gentleman could, upon this subject, go against his warmest convictions on all other matters. It showed a want of faith in that good old Anglo-Saxon decentralisation principle which had distinguished us from other countries. In commerce they were told free trade was a sound principle. Why then could not the hon. Gentleman trust competition in this one matter of education? Let them be consistent. Either abolish toleration, or give up compulsory education. To advocate toleration and to advocate compulsory education in some form of religion, was not consistent, and never would work. Let them force upon the Government the affording more education; let them force the Government to give grants, less impaired with obnoxious impediments and greater in amount, not only to the Church of England, but to Dissenters. Let them encourage every class of schools by rewards, and let them levy taxes for education, but let those taxes be applied in numerical relation to the different religious denominations, and then they would attain something like a national system of education. In the London University they had an aggregation of religious opinions, each college following out its own system of secular education, but at last sending their pupils to a joint examination at the central mother university, as to their proficiency for their different acquirements. A similar system might be 1265 applied to inferior education. By adopting such a system as that, they would avoid both the personal interference on religious matters, and that great, gigantic, crushing, illiberal, and intolerant system which he called a compulsory system of education.
said, there were many things upon which men agreed, but there was one upon which they could only agree to differ, and that was religion. Was there no possibility of carrying on the common object of education without the interposition of the subject upon which men seemed determined to quarrel? Was it not possible to set apart an hour or two hours a day for religious instruction, without mixing it up with the other lessons? We saw boys and girls learning writing, arithmetic, French, German, Italian, and many other things, without any difficulty arising out of the interposition of religion: where then was the precise point where it became necessary to explode all union by the introduction of this dangerous element? If all those things could be learned without introducing a religious quarrel, was there something about the art of reading alone which made it indispensable? It appeared to him that sensible men might do something to get rid of this difficulty. There was no want of establishments for the teaching of religion; everybody could point to numerous and most expensive ones; why then could not these do their duty by a simple division of labour and time, without insisting on doing it in the way that was to end in nothing being done at all? The different sects seemingly were not persuaded that they had a rational foundation for their creeds, and therefore they were all afraid of knowledge; but he felt, as a Protestant, that the conduct of our forefathers had been of a very different nature, and that the great advantage of Protestantism was in its appeal to rational argument and human knowledge. Let those who were afraid abstain from this appeal; but let those who had no fear take advantage of it.
§ MR. TRELAWNY
said, that the hon. Member for Maidstone had argued that there could be no education without some sort of religion, or some sort of negation of religion; but if by the operation of education they could prevent crime, why should they be precluded from using education to that end? Looking at the expenses incurred in the punishment of crime through the quarter-sessions, the convict system, and other modes, the higher classes were in- 1266 terested, if only in an economical point of view, in making some sacrifice to diminish, by means of education, the amount of crime. He did not quite understand the position occupied by the noble Lord at the head of the Government. The noble Lord came down to the House, and asked for such a miserable pittance for educational purposes that he seemed, by so doing, to be damning education rather than effecting any other object. If education was not worth anything, then let the noble Lord ask for no sum; but if it were a good thing, let him ask for a sum worthy of a great country. He was quite certain that the great masses of the people were with those who desired to spread the means of education, though there might be some selfish feeling against any such measures on the part of the middle and trading classes on account of the expense. They were going to extend the suffrage, and he was in favour of its extension, but that extension ought to be accompanied by a large and comprehensive system of education. He should give his warmest support to the Motion of the hon. Member for Oldham.
§ MR. WILSON PATTEN
would state the reasons why he felt most reluctantly compelled to vote against the Motion. He believed that throughout the country generally there was a great fear lest a step should be taken in the wrong direction, and that a system of education should be established not founded on religion. In the county he represented, efforts had been made in all directions and on different principles to promote education; and those schools in Lancashire had succeeded the best which combined with their instruction a system of religion. The plan of education alluded to in the town of Manchester was that which offered the best hope, if it could have had a trial, of our arriving at some sound system. It had failed owing to the circumstances stated by the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary; but still he had no doubt that it would be followed up by those who had taken it in hand, and, if so, that it would turn out the most consistent with the interests of all classes; for it left to the parents the fullest liberty to have their children instructed according to whatever religious form they preferred. He, in common with all classes in his county, was anxious for the spread of education; but he believed he was acting in conformity with the sentiments of his constituents in withholding his support from the scheme now proposed so long as there was a hope 1267 of conducting education in combination with religion.
§ MR. MILNER GIBSON
said, that he had hoped the right hon Baronet the Home Secretary had been more favourable to the scheme of education proposed by his hon. Friend the Member for Oldham (Mr. W. J. Fox) than afterwards appeared; but from a part of his speech he inferred the right hon. Gentleman to be favourable to the support of education by public rates. The real difficulty appeared to be to carry out anything like a general system, the prejudices entertained on all sides being so great. But of this he had never entertained a doubt—that if schools were to be supported by rates, they must not be denominational schools, must not be sectarian schools. They must be schools in which all classes of ratepayers could have equal advantages. If rates were imposed for denominational schools, matters, instead of being improved, would be made worse, and the majority of ratepayers in any parish would be enabled to enforce the teaching of their religion upon the minority. Talk of the church rate! why in that case the school rate would be based upon precisely the same principle as the church rate, which was so much objected to. And if they were to attempt to entitle the majority in a parish to levy rates on the minority to teach the religion of the majority, they would at once involve the whole country in religious conflict. Therefore, although he agreed with the principle that there should be rating for schools, he disagreed with the proposition that there should be a rating for denominational schools. If secular schools were established to be supported by public rates, did it necessarily follow that those schools should be of an irreligious character, as some hon. Gentlemen seemed to suppose? He regarded that opinion as a mistake, arising from misapprehension of what the object really was. It was not proposed to teach in the schools everything that children ought to be taught, but to give them only such part or portion of education as could be given in institutions that were supported under such conditions and circumstances. It was not said that religion was not to be taught to the children at other times, and in other places, but it was proposed to give them what in itself was necessary, and good, and valuable, as far as it went—primary instruction. The difficulties of teaching religion would be greater if primary instruction 1268 were not given in the first instance. If a child was taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and geography, was his chance of learning religion elsewhere less than if that child had been left neglected in some alley, and taught nothing at all, but, on the contrary, bred up in vice and ignorance? It appeared to him so obvious that the giving of this primary instruction must be a benefit to the child, that he could not allow it to be said that they who supported the hon. Member for Oldham were adopting a system which made it impossible to have a religious and moral training, and therefore that their proposal would do more injury than good. He had some jealousy, he confessed, of allowing the masters of schools to be teachers of the doctrines of religion; and he said this because he had heard of opinions professed by clergymen of the Church of England, and by ministers of religion of various persuasions, which gave him the notion that they did not entertain sound views on the subject. He denied the right of the clergy to be the controlling parties over all the education in the country. And he asked the House to look at the different views of religious education taken by religious persons themselves. There was the Rev. Francis Close, for example, an evangelical clergyman, who, he found, had addressed a meeting of the Tradesmen and Working Men's Association at Cheltenham, some time since, and made use of the following expression: "The more a man is advanced in human knowledge, the more he is opposed to religion, and is the more deadly enemy to the truth of God." Now, he differed altogether from the Rev. Mr. Close; and instead of believing that knowledge was opposed to the truths of religion, his firm opinion was that religion flourished better, and was far more likely to take root in an intellectual atmosphere, than where ignorance and darkness prevailed. On the subject of the Lancashire school system, and speaking of the plan of his hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, the Rev. Francis Close said—He considered it impossible, false, hypocritical, and absurd to say that there could be a separation between religious and secular instruction excepting in pure mathematics. He would say that a man who could teach history and ordinary matters of instruction in various branches of secular instruction, without religion, should not set his foot in his (Mr. Close's) school to teach anything. What they sought was to interweave Church of England evangelical principles with all their instruction, and to diffuse them through the schoolroom all day long. If they should attempt 1269 to separate secular from religious education, they would separate that which God had joined together.Now, he unhesitatingly said that such a system of schooling could never be agreed to if supported by public taxation. The people of this country, divided as they were into various religious bodies, could never be brought to agree to any one system of religious education. Why? Because the people observed that such clergy of the Established Church made no secret of their intentions as to education; that it was to put secular knowledge in the shade, and to use the schools for the purpose of proselytising and making all minds converts to their peculiar persuasion. Would any one say that the people of Holland and Belgium were more indifferent to religion than other people? He should say, on the contrary, of either, that they were a grave and serious nation; and a gentleman in one of those countries had pointed out to him the plan on which a large school was conducted. He said—I know the state in which you are in England. Here you see a school composed of children belonging to various religious denominations. If you asked me what was the religion of any one child here, I could not tell you; but if you were to inquire further, you would find, although we do not teach religion in this school, that at other times, and in other places, the ministers of the various religions to which these children belong, do teach them religion; and you would find also that this school operates as the means of bringing the children of the different religions together, so that the ministers of all sects know where to find them. Thus, although religion is not taught, the school facilitates instruction in religion.Here was a correct representation of the practical operation of a secular system of education in another country, showing it was not adverse to religion, and therefore it was not fair to throw the imputation upon his hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, of desiring to oppose and discourage the teaching of religion.
§ MR. LOFTUS WIGRAM
said, the growing interest in this subject showed that the real question was not, whether education should be given, but how it should be given: and the question they were now considering was, not the general subject of promoting education, in which they all agreed, but the particular scheme of the hon. Member for Oldham, in the leading features of which he could not agree. The three leading features of that scheme were—that the education should be free, that it should be supported by local rates, and that it 1270 should be secular. Now, he had great doubt as to the expediency of making education altogether free in this country. Practical men, who had dealt much with this subject, were of opinion that that was not the system best adapted to this country, best suited to the independent feelings of the lower orders, or best calculated to produce an efficient scheme of education. They thought the existing system better adapted for the purpose under which the parents of the poorer boys were invited to make small contributions towards the expenses of education. Doubtless, in some classes of schools, such as the ragged schools, education must be given free of expense; but he believed that neither the necessities nor the wishes of the lower orders were such as to warrant the adoption of a general system of free education. With respect to the next feature of the hon. Member's plan, he doubted the propriety of calling for aid towards educating the people by means of local rates. He considered, so far as public aid was to be given, it would be given in a more equitable form, and the expense be more fairly borne if the burden were diffused over all, and that the least objectionable form was by grant from the Consolidated Fund, according to the system at present adopted, and not by levying a local rate like the poor-rate, as a system which would throw the burden very unequally. With reference to the third feature of the scheme, that secular education only should be given, he was altogether opposed to the principle of such a proposal. He did not see that such a scheme would give satisfaction in any quarter. He did not mean only the Church of England; but that it would not give satisfaction to the people generally. The Roman Catholics, they all knew, would receive no satisfaction from a system of that kind. The mass of the people belonging to the Church of England, or the body of Dissenters, would not be satisfied with such a system. Any system including religious teaching would give more satisfaction. Many Dissenters continued to send their children to the Church of England schools, for they knew that these schools were not teachers of polemical theology, but that the religious teaching they gave was instruction in the truths of the Scriptures. He could not possibly think how such a system of education as that proposed by the hon. Member was adapted to secure the end it professed to have in view. It was said the 1271 system was proposed for the purpose of doing justice to the poor. But surely it ought to be the aim of all who sought to elevate the poor to implant in their minds the great principles of religion. If education were confined to secular subjects—if carried out without religious instruction—he did not believe that the tendency of such a system would be to diminish vice and crime—he did not believe that such a system would be either beneficial to the individual or the community. But it was said by hon. Gentlemen opposite, "What we propose is that children shall be educated in the school, and receive religious instruction elsewhere." But let that system be carried out, and what would be the result? How long were the children to remain at school? If inquiry were made, it would be found that in many places parents would not leave their children at school beyond the age of thirteen, at which period they began to be capable of earning something. All the education these children received, which was to govern the whole course of their future life, was given before they were thirteen years of age. How, then, could the proposed scheme be carried out? Where could these children get their religious education? and when were they to get it? Were these children, up to that age at which their educational training ceased, to be sent to school where they could get no instruction in those great moral principles upon which all Christians were agreed, nor even in the first principles of religious duty; for instance, the duty of worshipping God? If the principles in the Resolution were carried out, the children would receive no instruction in the schools in their first duty—that of worshipping the Creator. To such a system he was decidedly and on principle opposed. The argument urged in its favour was, that there was a necessity for it. He did not believe the necessity existed. He believed the existing Government plan could be carried out so as to introduce a general system of education; but two things were wanted, a great deal more money, and more time, to obtain the required machinery. What was wanted, in the first instance, was good teachers. Something had been done to remedy this want. Several institutions had been opened for the purpose of providing good teachers. An institution at Highgate, which furnished eighty teachers, had been very recently opened. The system of pupil 1272 teachers was also tending to supply the want. He believed, therefore, that the present system, with some addition to it for providing free education for the very poor, would at no distant period carry into effect the object of a general system of education for the people. He must oppose, on principle, the present proposition; at the same time he felt obliged to the hon. Member for Oldham for bringing forward the general subject, as its discussion must be productive of good.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
must vote with reluctance on the question against those with whom he usually voted, for he felt he could not conscientiously vote against the propositions of the hon. Member for Oldham. There was an old proverb, "Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves;" the moral of which was susceptible of a wide application. If the House took care of such elementary questions as these, they would find that many great complicated questions would take care of themselves. He regretted to differ from the opinions expressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Wigram), who, in expressing his dislike to free education, dealt with only a part of the case as if it were the whole. The hon. Member for North Lancashire (Mr. W. Patten) said, he felt anxiety on the question, but would consent to support the propositions before the House in the event of no better scheme being put forward. The question, then, was, what chance was there of a better system being carried out, and what would happen to the country in the meantime? All were agreed that religious and secular instruction were both wanted, and that one should be based on the other. They were also agreed that both could not be carried out without the help of a national rate. But it also appeared that, while secular education could not be carried out except by a national rate, religious education could not be carried out by a national rate. So, therefore, as one-half of national education was impossible without a rate, the hon. and learned Member for the University of Cambridge practically set his face against the whole. He (Mr. Adderley) would, however, show the House that while one part could be carried out by a national rate, the other part could be carried out by a voluntary aid, and thus both, the avowed object on all sides, could be achieved. The proposition of the hon. Member for Oldham could not 1273 be controverted, that the present secular education was deficient in this material respect—that it failed, for instance, to point out to the poor how they were to find their own subsistence. Now, as crime proceeded frequently from want of employment, good secular education would tend, to prevent such crime. If, for instance, the poor knew more of geography, that would enable them to understand the advantages of our wide colonial territory, in offering them the means of a livelihood, and, as in America, our colonies would soon become our back settlements. The right hon. Baronet the Home Secretary referred to the standard of education as being of an improving character. He thought the standard of primary education was vastly too high already; it was vastly higher than was required; and he considered that the prizes of the Committee of the Privy Council upon Education went to a higher class than had any right to be educated at public expense. The money that was spent by the Committee of the Privy Council upon Education was lavished on a class for which it was never intended, and who, in many cases, ought ought not to receive a farthing of it. The gigantic plan of the Privy Council, besides, could not be carried out, and debts had been already incurred which could not be liquidated. There was, therefore, no permanent hope to be derived from that quarter. But while they were discussing the possibility of national education, an efficient national education was going on, but it was only accessible to two classes—the prisoner and the pauper. The education given in some of our prisons was elaborate and very perfect: in Parkhurst, Bridewell, and some prisons for the reformation of juvenile offenders, the education was good. In some workhouses also, the education was vastly superior to that given by the poorer classes of the neighbourhood to their children. Here was a national system of religious and secular education at the expense of the country; and the only question was, whether an equal chance of both should not be extended to the poor outside the workhouses and prisons merely because the free would not receive both together? It might be said that the prison system would always be superior, because it mixed up religious instruction with secular education; but would they then consent to open the doors of such places equally to the honest poor outside? He confessed he was dis- 1274 satisfied at seeing the honest poor debarred from the advantages so liberally afforded in those penitential places. He approved of a national rate for general education; and he thought it was highly creditable to the county of Lancaster that it should have been the first to come forward with a petition to Parliament to tax them for such purposes. He had the authority of a distinguished traveller for stating, that no Englishman could visit America without blushing at the great superiority of the Americans over this country in point of primary education amongst the people. He had heard only two serious objections to the propositions: first, that, if adopted, they would supersede the present schools. But that objection was of no force, for if the present schools were inefficient, it would be an advantage to supersede them. The second objection was, that it was impossible to separate secular and religious instruction. That was a mere play upon words. We acted upon the principle every day of our lives in the education of our children. No man asked his dancing master to fiddle and teach religion to his children at the same moment. We showed that the two could be separated without mischief. The advantages of the hon. Gentleman's (Mr. W. J. Fox's) proposition would be plain and obvious. The necessities of the case were also obvious; and he approved of a plan which would compel the people to take an interest in their own schools.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL
concurred with every hon. Gentleman who had addressed the House on the importance of this subject, and believed with them that no subject of greater consequence to the well-being of the nation could come before them than how best to educate the young of those numerous classes who were at present wholly uneducated. He had never, however, in the course of any debate heard so many singular fallacies—so many errors in fact and errors in principle—brought forward as had been uttered that night by hon. Members who supported this Motion, and particularly by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, who certainly would not have made the observations he had offered to the House if he had had time to reflect over the matter. Could there have been anything more surprising than for the hon. Gentleman to have based his support of the Motion on the ground that there ex- 1275 isted insuperable difficulties in obtaining the concurrence of the various bodies of religionists to a system which embraced the religious education of the poor—which he (the Solicitor General) did not admit—and the assumption that there were not insuperable difficulties to the adoption of a system of secular education—which he (the Solicitor General) also disputed. And the hon. Member (Mr. Adderley) had said they could obtain both secular and religious education by imposing a rate for the former, and leaving the latter to voluntary effort. Did the hon. Gentleman suppose, that, by imposing a rate for the purposes of secular education, all difficulties in the way of having the people religiously educated would vanish? He (the Solicitor General) did not think that the hon. Member could arrive at such a conclusion; for being a member of the National Society in common with himself, he well knew the difficulties that interposed in the way of obtaining subscriptions. Did the hon. Gentleman not feel that if a compulsory rate were imposed, the difficulties in procuring subscriptions for the support of those schools at present in existence, and where the religious element had been introduced, would he found insuperable? Parties who at present subscribed to the free schools would take the excuse which the imposition of the rate would afford. Such a measure as was proposed would be of the most tyrannical character as respected all the schools in the country where anything in the shape of religion was introduced, and people would be compelled to pay a double rate before they could obtain that species of education they desired; they would be obliged to pay the rate for the secular schools, and also to contribute to the support of the religious schools. The real effect of the proposition of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oldham would be to shut up every religious school in the country, and force some persons to maintain schools which they abhorred. Then the hon. Gentleman had referred to what had been said by the hon. Member for North Lancashire (Mr. W. Patten), who had admitted that if he could not get anything better, he would at least concur in the plan now proposed. The hon. Member for South Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) had said that the hon. Member for North Lancashire (Mr. W. Patten) might wait for ever while nothing was being done, while here was a secular plan open to adoption. He (the Solicitor- 1276 General) would ask, had nothing been done hitherto? He would tell them what had been done. During the 27 years preceding the time when the Government grant had been made to the schools of the Church of England, there had been in these schools 550,000 children; and during nine years since the grant had been made, the scholars had increased by 449,000. The benefits, however, had not been confined to the extent of the Government grant alone; for by that grant a stimulus had been given to voluntary exertions, and the result had been a very large increase of contributions under this head. Before the grant had been made, the voluntary contributions towards the Church of England schools through the National Society alone had been about 3,000l. annually; whereas during these nine years the sum had risen to 20,000l. per annum, or nearly a seven-fold increase under the affect of that stimulus. It could not then he said by any means, that we had arrived at a point at which the present system had failed—though he would by no means have it supposed that we had arrived at a state in which it might be left. He did not think that the system of secular education, as proposed by the hon. Member for Oldham, was one which the people of England were agreed to adopt. The promoters of this scheme seemed to be aware that "secular" education would not be popular, for their Society had been first called the Lancashire Association for Promoting "Secular" Education, but it was now named the National Public School Association. The name had been changed—changed advisedly, and the word "secular" had been dropped out.
§ MR. COBDEN
begged to explain. It had been proposed at the meeting to which the hon. Gentleman alluded, that the word "secular" should be introduced into the title of the Association; but he (Mr. Cobden) had urged that the name should not be altered, and it was the same now as it had been since its institution.
The SOLICITOR GENERAL
was much obliged to the hon. Member (Mr. Cobden) for putting him right—but the correction did not materially alter the inference which he wished to draw from what had occurred at that meeting. He remembered that there had been a discussion on the subject at Manchester, and his impression had been that at that meeting the word "secular," which had formerly been in the title of the association, had been 1277 dropped. It appeared, however, that the association having ceased to be merely a local board, it was thought by some desirable that the name should be changed for that of "the Association for Promoting Secular Education," but that, mainly through the instrumentality of his hon. Friend (Mr. Cobden), who had a talent for discovering what would be acceptable to the people, the word "secular" had not been adopted. The hon. Member himself said at that meeting that education, without any religion whatever, would not be palatable to him. If it were said that the people were in favour of "secular" education, he would only refer to the instructive proceedings of that meeting at Manchester. There were, however, other parties at Manchester engaged in the cause of education besides those who attended this meeting. A committee had been formed there, consisting of gentlemen of every shade of politics, from the highest Tory (if any such now existed), to the strongest Radical, and gentlemen, too, of every religious creed. It was quite true that there had been a secession of Roman Catholic priests, but none of the laymen had seceded. This Committee had secured the co-operation of a large body of the people to a system which he would not say was perfect, but which seemed to him to have met the difficulty which encompassed the subject in a manner which he had not previously heard proposed. They did not propose, like the hon. Member for Oldham, to sweep away every existing school supported by voluntary contributions. The hon. Member did not propose to do that in terms, but that would be the immediate results of a forced contribution. They, on the contrary, said, "Let us avail ourselves of existing schools, many of which are not full enough for want of means, and wherever we find a school certified by the Government Inspector, let us pay the master so much, in proportion to the number of children attending his school." That allowed every person to educate his children in his own way, and it was most valuable, because it was a local system. In this all-important matter, it was of the utmost consequence that no false step should be made; and in bringing in a Bill, they confined it simply to their own town, inserting, however, a clause which gave a power to other towns to adopt the plan if they thought fit. They would have then the advantage of seeing this local experiment tried in one of our largest 1278 towns on a large scale, without being committed to any false principle. The right hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. M. Gibson) had said that it would be a hard thing to compel children to go to a school the religious teaching of which their parents did not approve. It was not necessary, however, that all the children should be sent to one school. They might have ten schools in one place, giving all the children secular education and religious education at the same time, according to the views of their parents. Was not this a very perfect way of carrying out an educational scheme? But how would it be under the local rate proposed by the hon. Member for Oldham? The hon. Member for Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) said that we had secular education, but only in our prisons and our workhouses. That was a good antithesis, no doubt; but this argument militated against his own position, for in the prisons and workhouses the education was partly of a religious character. The hon. Member had doubtless said he would be content with such a system of education; but he must recollect that the hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. W. J. Fox) held that these schools inculcated too much religion. That hon. Member wanted no religion at all inculcated, and said that if they taught any religion, not a sixpence of the rate would they get. That, therefore, appeared to him the worst possible example that could be cited. Then the hon. Member for Montrose appealed to the Irish schools, and the hon. Member for Oldham said, Look how much less crime they have under those schools. But these hon. Gentlemen seemed both to forget that the Irish schools taught religion; and further, that the scheme now propounded would close all these schools, because those who now contributed to them would naturally excuse themselves if they were compelled to subscribe to a local rate. The whole matter, in fact, rested upon a false principle—upon errors in principle, as well as upon errors in fact. The hon. Member, in his eloquent peroration, said that he wished us to erect the great fabric of national prosperity upon the solid basis of national intellect; but he (the Solicitor General) would wish it to stand not upon that basis only. Man was a moral and a spiritual, as well as an intellectual being. We must then educate all the powers given him by his all-wise Creator; but not one only, to the exclusion of the others. [Mr. HUME: Hear, hear!] He (the Solicitor General) knew that such 1279 remarks would expose him to the unjust accusation to which the clergy and every individual who held views similar to himself were subject, namely, that he was afraid of the education of the intellect because he had no faith in the religious system he advocated and supported. He (the Solicitor General) denied such an allegation in toto. During the last twenty years, education in the hands of the clergy had been greatly advanced: they had improved their schools in a manner the most creditable; and so far from being afraid of instruction, the only question in men's minds was, whether the National Schools were not too highly instructing the people—whether, with regard to the portion of the people who were engaged in outdoor manual occupations, they were not educating them to the prejudice of their physical capacity. The proposition of the hon. Member for Oldham was as unphilosophical as it was opposed to religious principle. He (the Solicitor General) found man an intellectual, moral, and religious being, and he did not extinguish any one of these powers. But the hon. Member for Oldham insisted on withdrawing one of those qualities—and that the most important of the three—from all active development. It was difficult to speak of gradation in these faculties. A man might be made mad by cultivating the spiritual only; he might be made a hard-hearted creature, incapable of moral or religious feeling altogether, by cultivating the intellectual only; and he might be made stupid and unintellectual by developing the moral principle, and cultivating the affections alone. All these, then, ought to be considered. It was scoffingly asked, what had religion to do with the rule of three or the multiplication table? That was a most idle question. They should have both; and the question ought rather to be put in this wise—"Why should the teaching of the rule of three exclude religion?" [Mr. HUME: What religion?] Let every man answer for himself and for his children. Did any man ask that in reference to his own family? Did he wait until it was quite clear that he had got the right religion before he instructed his children? Or did he take that which his fathers had professed before him? He did not think any earnest-minded man need be at a loss to know what religion to give to his poorer brethren: he would act upon that which he himself thought right, and no doubt God's 1280 blessing would rest on that. If a man did not believe the three principles he had named existed in man, there was no more to be said; but if he did so believe, he would also believe it to be his duty to develop all those in the best way in his power. The examples adduced in support of this scheme were certainly unfortunate, for neither the London University nor the Irish Colleges could be considered to afford a parallel case. In the one case they had the children of the poor, from the ages of five to thirteen years, living at home, where they had actually no religion, where they had few advantages of any kind, their minds being in a tender state favourable to the development of their powers, but as yet wholly uncultivated. In the other, they had the children of wealthy parents, who had passed a number of years at school, who had had all the advantages of a good home, and whose character was in some measure formed. The case of America had been referred to. He did not think the United States was an example so favourable to the case of the hon. Member (Mr. W. J. Fox) as some supposed. All the States were not agreed on the subject—all did not exclude religion. As to the law with respect to education in the slave States, he might observe that a few years ago it was death to teach a black child to read and write; but he believed the punishment was now commuted to a penalty. With regard to all the States, America possessed this peculiar advantage: it was not an over-peopled country; there were not great incentives to crime; men had the means of accumulating wealth, and the children were more certain of having a home in which they could get religious instruction. The arguments which had been used with respect to the effect of the want of education on crime, he held to be overcharged. You say, the percentage of educated convicts has increased. Well, but if you educate every child, the educated convicts must be cent per cent; for no system of education would make crime disappear. It was idle, again, to talk of the poor giving their children religious education at home. Parents of this class came home from their labour worn out and jaded, and many of them had not the time even though they possessed the will to impart religious instruction to their children. [Mr. TRELAWNY: What is the Church about?] His hon. Friend the Member for Tavistock asked what the Church was about. The clergy 1281 were willing to do what they could for the religious education of the people, but in most of the manufacturing districts their number was so disproportioned to the population, that they could not undertake the daily instruction of the people. He believed that a child was educated by all he heard and saw, and it was of the utmost importance that religious instruction should be imparted to him, not merely as opportunity offered, but by the religious atmosphere in which he lived. Under the present system, the schools were opened with prayer, and the little child of six years old was taught to go upon his knees. It was said that religion should not be mixed up with the multiplication table; but it might be introduced in giving instruction with respect to the products of the earth, or in teaching geography and astronomy, and the system of the heavenly bodies. Was it nothing to tell a child that the same Providence that formed those infinite worlds, watched over him as if he were the sole object of creation? Then, again, take history? Is there no difference between a Protestant and Roman Catholic history of Queen Mary; and if religion was to be excluded, how was the schoolmaster to conduct himself respecting it? He recollected that a very distinguished Member of the Spanish Cortes once told him that before he got acquainted with English history, he always thought that Queen Mary was one of the most popular of British sovereigns. To a schoolmaster the opportunities were constantly occurring in which he could imbue the mind of the scholar with sound religious knowledge. An earnest, religious man would imbue the minds of his scholars with religious feelings; and an earnest teacher disposed to inculcate disbelief would endeavour to imbue the minds of his pupils with principles similar to his own. Good principles were most easily inculcated in the period of youth; and ministers of religion of all denominations should be allowed to make their services available in developing in their full integrity in the minds of the youth of the population all the powers of their minds, and in particular religious principles, which, if not developed in a human being, he was not a man, but worse than a man. Lastly, he would say that he wished to see the fabric of our national prosperity based, not merely on the intellectual advancement of our people, but on the full development of their intellectual, moral, and spiritual functions.
§ MR. COBDEN
said, that if some stranger had entered the House during the speech of his hon. and learned Friend, he would have supposed that the Motion of his hon. Friend the Member for Oldham was not a proposition for voting an additional sum of money to remedy a defect in education, the existence of which they were all ready to admit, but he would rather have imagined it to be a proposal to withdraw the funds already applied to the instruction of the people in general, or that his hon. Friend intended to abolish the National Church, and to withdraw the 5,000,000l. or 6,000,000l., which was its present endowment, and that the moment he should succeed in carrying his Motion, all the present voluntary contributions of the dissenting bodies would entirely cease. That would be the conviction of any one who entered the House during the speech of his hon. and learned Friend. When his hon. and learned Friend charged the hon. Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) with fallacy, he thought that his (the Solicitor General's) speech had been founded on fallacy from beginning to end. And he thought the hon. and learned Gentleman had misunderstood and misapplied the argument of the hon. Member for North Staffordshire; for he went upon the assumption that the hon. Gentleman supported two kinds of education—an education of a secular, and an education of a religious, kind, both out of the public funds. Now he (Mr. Cobden) understood the hon. Gentleman to say that there was an ample provision for religious, but that there was no sufficient provision for secular, education, and that he would agree to a system of secular education, rather than have none at all. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General said this system was impracticable; but the hon. and learned Gentleman forgot that his own plan had been tried for fifteen years in this country, and had been brought to a dead lock; and the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department had informed them that a deputation had come from Manchester, and informed him that the scheme which had originated and had been attempted to be carried out by the men of Manchester had failed, and that, he contended, was an argument against the proposition of the hon. Member for Oldham. Now, before the House decided upon the subject, it was, in his opinion, right that they should examine the statistics which were before them, 1283 Let them, in particular, look to the amount of money which they had granted for educational purposes. For the last five years they had had a grant of 125,000l. a year, while there was but a very trifling increase on the population, and scarcely any to the number of persons who received education in consequence of the State grant. And why? Because it was a subject that the Government dare not touch in that House; because the present system was so unsatisfactory that, in spite of two large blue books of correspondence and minutes, and an expenditure of 125,000l. per annum, the little education we did get in this country was owing to the efforts of the Committee of Privy Council; and he did not blame them for those efforts, but he honoured them for trying to do that which could not be done in that House. No one knew better than did Government that they dare not stir the question with a view of getting a grant commensurate with the wants of the country, in order to carry out the system which at present exists. And now what was it that Government was falling back upon? A local scheme in Manchester, which had already failed in precisely the same way as the Government plan had failed on these religious difficulties. The gentlemen who came to town from Manchester did him also the honour of calling upon him; and he rejoiced to see them endeavouring to overcome the difficulties of realising a system of education. They told him, as they told the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary, that they had the concurrence of all the religious sects—that the Roman Catholics had joined them as well as the Dissenters; but he received a letter from them after their return to Manchester, that, to their surprise and regret, they had to tell him that not two of the Roman Catholic clergy, as the hon. and learned Gentleman had stated, but eighteen, virtually the whole body of the Roman Catholic clergy in that town, had seceded from that plan of education. And why? Simply because the committee that met in Manchester made it a fundamental principle of their scheme, that in all schools erected at the public expense in Manchester, the authorised version of the Bible should be read; and that being a condition which the Roman Catholics could not comply with, that, of course, separated them altogether from this plan of education. Now, he asked any one in that House, if any plan of public education could be satisfactory in the boroughs of 1284 Manchester and Salford combined, which excluded the poorest of the poor classes. There were in Manchester and Salford at least 100,000 Roman Catholics. They were the poorest of the population, and if ignorance were an evil, they were the most dangerous part of the population to be left in ignorance. And yet this was a plan on which the right hon. Gentleman the Home Secretary relied in order to relieve him from the difficulty he was in. They were in precisely the same difficulty in Manchester that they were in in that House; for he maintained that the little good that was done was done surreptitiously by the Educational Committee of the Privy Council, and not by a Vote in that House. What were the Minutes of the Privy Council? Did they suppose they would stand the debates in that House any more than the Motion of his hon. Friend (Mr. W. J. Fox). Bring forward a Vote for the maintenance of Roman Catholic colleges, in which they would be allowed to carry on in their own peculiar way their own doctrines and worship, and did they think that Vote would pass that House? There was a fundamental evasion and fallacy about the whole of this Educational Vote. He asked them, when they talked so much of religious education, if this 125,000l. was for religious teaching?—because he understood when they were passing an Educational Vote it was not for religious education. When the Vote was first agreed to, in 1834, it was called school-money; it was 10,000l. or 20,000l. to begin with. Afterwards it was changed to a vote for education, but they did not vote the money for religious education. Could they vote any sum in that House if it were asked fairly for religious instruction? No, it could not be done, and it could not be done for many years past, and never more would they vote any money in that House as an endowment for religion; and, therefore, when they talked to him about voting for religious education, he said it was not an accurate description of what they voted it for. The hon. and learned Gentleman (the Solicitor General) had talked as if there were some great conspiracy in the country, as if there were some parties aiming to deprive the country of its religious faith; and he seemed to assume that, if they allowed schools to be established without religious teaching, they would practically be establishing schools to teach infidelity; and he also said that by establishing schools for secular education without reli- 1285 gion, we were in fact divorcing morality and religion from education. Now, when the hon. and learned Gentleman rung the changes about advancing the attributes of our nature, and of promoting the intellectual qualities at the expense of the religious and moral, he might surely give them credit that it was practically impossible to do anything of the kind. They knew that religion was a part of moral training, as well as the hon. and learned Gentleman did; but what they said was, that there was ample provision in this country already for religious training. There was twice as much spent in this country for religious training that there was in any other country in the world. Then how could it be said that they would exclude religion from education? He wanted to do nothing of the kind. Again, they had been taunted with the use of the word "secular." Well, he did not know any other word they could use. He said once for all, he considered there was provision made for religious training, but not for secular training, and therefore he wished to provide for secular education. He wanted people to be able to read and write—to be able to write their names when they signed a contract or registered the birth of their children; he wanted people to be trained in habits of thought and forethought; and he did not know any other term than secular for this kind of education. But why ring the changes upon secular education? He said once for all that he was not opposed to the Bible or any other religious book being read in schools. What he wanted was to have the same system of education in England that they had in Massachusetts in the United States of America. He would not go to Louisiana or Georgia, but his system was that of Massachusetts; and he challenged hon. Gentlemen to test that system by the experience of that State, and the good it had effected there. That State was not open to the argument that it was a thinly-peopled country: it was an old country, and one which sent forth vast numbers of emigrants; the people were of our own race, and had our own habits, and he wanted to know why we could not adopt the same plan in England that they had adopted with success in Massachusetts. We had just now a competition with all the world in the production of that which ministered to the comforts of mankind. If we saw the 1286 result of ingenuity in any part of the world, we plumed ourselves that we could imitate it. If we went to the Great Exhibition and found a machine there, however cunningly it might be contrived, we should find men say that what was done in Boston, in America, we could do in England. But if they adopted the Massachusetts system of education, they said it would make the people an irreligious people. He would meet them on that ground. He had been in Massachusetts, and, testing them by any test they might wish—by the number of their churches, by the number of attendants at their churches, by the amount paid for the teaching of religion, by the attendance at Sunday schools, by the observance of Sabbath, by the respect paid to religious teachers, by any one test with regard to religion, he would challenge a comparison between Massachusetts and any part of England. Well, then, the system of education adopted in Massachusetts was a secular system; and did they prevent the children from reading the Bible? Why, he ventured to say that in the report which he held in his hand of the Board of Education in Massachussets, there was not a single word about religion from beginning to end, and that, probably, there was not one in a hundred of these schools where the Bible was not read. He had no objection to a parish having local management having the Bible in its schools as well as any other book; but what they did in Massachusetts they should do here, by saying, as a fundamental principle, no book should be admitted into the common school which favoured the peculiar doctrines of any Christian sect. Well now, with a people so jealous of their religious independence as the people of Massachusetts were, what they had been able to do, surely we could do in England. They had the same battle to go through there that we have. In Massachusetts, originally, they taught the catechism in their schools which had been taken there by the Pilgrim Fathers when they left England, and who carried with them as much intolerance almost as they left behind; but another system now prevailed, and with the greatest possible advantage. Now, practically, he believed that system would work as well in this country as it did in Massachusetts; and if the system proposed by his hon. Friend the Member for Oldham were carried out, he was persuaded that in 99 out of 100 1287 of the parishes of England nobody would object to the Bible being read in the schools, provided it were read without note or comment. In a vast proportion of these parishes there were no Roman Catholics; but he had that opinion of the good sense and rational conduct of men, that if there was a very small minority—that if there were a few families of Roman Catholics who objected to the reading of the Bible—the reading of it could be so adapted to particular times as not to interfere with any one's religious conviction, and in a way that would exclude nobody. He believed that when the system of free schools was adopted, such would be the estimation in which education would be held by the mass of the people that it would not be easy to keep children from the schools. Where was the difficulty of their doing what had been done in Massachusetts? He would not be driven from that ground. Give him the Massachussets plan. He declared his belief that the mass of the people in Massachussets were as superior in intelligence to the population of Kent, as the latter were to the people of Naples. He said that advisedly. He asked, then, why they could not have this system in England. Would they tell him it was on account of the Established Church? Why, surely, having an Established Church with a very rich endowment, which supplied a clergyman to every parish, and the means of religious instruction to the mass of the people—for the mass of the people had religious instruction without paying a farthing for it in the rural parishes—would they tell him, having this advantage, they could not maintain their ground against another people who left religion to voluntary effort, and who endowed their secular schools? Now, there had been an objection made that they intended to supersede existing schoolrooms; it had been assumed that the plan of his hon. Friend (Mr. W. J. Fox) must necessarily throw to waste all existing schools belonging to places of worship. He saw no necessity for that at all. He considered they might make use of the existing school-rooms, as well for this system as for any other, and he never contemplated such a waste as to render useless existing school-rooms. Now, the hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General had told them, and the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for Home Affairs was of the same opinion, that if they adopted 1288 this plan of secular education they would shut up all the other schools. That was an admission, by the way, that they were going to establish something better than the old system. But they went further, and said, when they shut up the schools they would deprive the people of religious education, because the great bulk of the people got no religious instruction now, except what they got in their schools. When his hon. Friend the Member for Tavistock (Mr. Trelawny) ejaculated what were the clergy doing? he thought that was a natural exclamation. They paid 5,000,000l. or 6,000,000l. a year to the clergy, and it was rather a bold thing for a devotee of the Church to say if the children did not get religious training in the schools they would get no religious training at all. The hon. and learned Gentleman the Solicitor General, when he answered that ejaculation of the hon. Member for Tavistock, turned immediately to the manufacturing hives, where, from increase of population, he said, there was much ignorance. He begged the hon. and learned Gentleman's pardon; but the great mass of ignorance was not in the manufacturing towns, but in the rural districts, though he admitted there was much ignorance in the manufacturing districts, because the surplus population of the agricultural districts went to the manufacturing districts. He did not blame the clergy for being the cause of that ignorance in secular matters, although he thought there was a great deal to be said as to the duty of the clergy to see that all persons in their parishes could read, inasmuch as he could not see how a person could be a Protestant at all who could not read; yet he did not attempt to fasten upon the clergy responsibility for ignorance that existed in the country. He knew that in many districts they had undertaken more than any one else for the cause of education, and he knew that they found great difficulty in maintaining their schools by voluntary efforts in some places. In many rural parishes three-fourths of the land was owned by absentees, where the clergy had very little chance of getting support from absentee landed proprietors. How, then, were they to raise the funds to maintain the schools? He wanted a plan by which, for the purposes of secular education, a parish would be able to rate property. Let property be rated, and each proprietor, whether he were an absentee or resi- 1289 dent, would contribute towards the education of the people. He was firmly convinced that money could not be better applied in any of the small rural parishes than in providing good secular education. By such an education the people would gain self-reliance and self-respect. Let them be taught a little geography. Let them learn what was going on in other parts of the world—what, for example, was the rate of wages in the Colonies—and they would not then rot in parishes where they were a burden on the poor-rates. 80l. or 100l. a year laid out on education in a rural parish would do more to keep down the poor-rates, and to prevent crime, than the same amount expended in any other way. He could not help expressing the great gratification which he felt at the difference between the tone of the discussion that evening, and the tone of the debate last year. For his own part, he must say that there was no other subject on which he felt so tolerant towards every body as he did on this subject of education. If they saw the Government doing something—he cared not how—he was grateful for it. If he saw hon. Gentlemen opposite—whether High Church or Low Church—trying to secure for the people a better education, he thanked them. He saw the enormous difficulty of taking any combined step, owing to the religious element which always stood in the way. If ever there were a time, however, when it was necessary for parties to combine in a system of secular education, apart from religious sects, the present was such a time; for no one could deny that never before was there so much strife and disunion amongst different religious bodies. The hon. Member for Stockport (Mr. Heald) belonged to a religious community which was torn in twain. Was there to be one set of schools for the reformed and another for the old Wesleyans? As a matter of economy—as a matter of charity, goodwill, and kindness, let them all try to get on neutral ground; let them try to do so, not only on account of the good which would thus be done to the mass of the people of this country, who would never be educated under any other system, but in order that they might have an opportunity of meeting, as it were, out of the pale of those religious strifes which were now more threatening than ever.
§ SIR R. H. INGLIS
acknowledged with satisfaction the moderation of tone in which the hon. Member had dealt with the sub- 1290 ject. The hon. Gentleman had great influence with the country, and was always powerful; but he hoped the hon. Member would excuse him for saying that he wished he had never been more powerful than in the argument which he had used that evening. He rose to support the proposition of the hon. Member for Oldham; but instead of supporting him, he had in fact proposed that the Bible should be read. He added that he knew his hon. Friend the Member for Oldham was not the Member to object to that; and touched him affectionately on the shoulder in expectation of assent. Was that assent given? No; the hon. Member for Oldham looked as immovable as at that moment. He knew that the hon. Member for the West Riding would not exclude the Bible from any school under his own control; but was it fit that, whatever might be done by individuals, the nation should adopt a proposition which would practically exclude the Bible as well as the catechism, and all other religious instruction, from the schools of the nation? He would not repeat the arguments used by the hon. and learned Solicitor General, for no man could follow him on such a subject without great disadvantage. A speech more philosophical, or more filled with religious principle and practical good sense, he had not heard in that House; and he congratulated the Government on having such a cause so defended by one of their chief officers. He had not been aware that this discussion would come on to-night; but he had so often declared in the House the principles which guided him in the consideration of this question, that he could at once re-state his case. He did not regard mere knowledge in itself as a benefit, but rather as an unmixed evil, when unsanctified by the blessing of God—he did not regard the existence of education without religion as a blessing to a nation or to an individual. The question was not new either to the House or the country, A few years ago attention was called to the subject; and what had been the success of the two different parties competing for public favour? The Earl of Harrowby, when a Member of that House, took the lead in the agitation, for the purpose of calling public attention to the want of Christian education, and a larger sum was raised by voluntary subscription for that object than had been collected, he believed, for any other purpose. What had the Dissenters done? It was only the other day that he saw 1291 it stated that they numbered one-half of the population of England. The assertion was ludicrous, and scarcely required comment; but assuming that they amounted to a fifth part, had they contributed a fifth part, or even one-tenth, of the sum raised by general subscription for education? They had not. The proposition of the hon. Member for Oldham, was that the nation, as a nation, should repudiate religion as the foundation of education; and if the hon. Member in his reply should tell him that it would not be excluded from the general teaching of the country, he answered, no thanks to him, for he was doing what he could to exclude it. So far as his Motion was concerned, so far did he exclude it from the national system; and the House was called upon to establish the principle that education would be fitly and properly carried on without that element. He gave the hon. Member for the West Riding credit for not wishing to be a party to support such a proposition; but that was not the question. He did, in fact, support it by voting in favour of a proposition that a nation ought properly to adopt a plan for educating all its subjects without reference to religion. As the hon. and learned Solicitor General had correctly said, the people were called on, in addition to all their voluntary subscriptions for the furtherance of education, which were greater than the State provisions for that object of any other country in the world, to support a rate, the object of which they abhorred. Was that language too strong, when it was considered that the plan of the hon. Member for Oldham proposed to compel a Christian parent to pay for the education of his own children, or the children of his neighbours, with an utter absence of all those hopes and lessons of wisdom which the Bible alone could give, and leave them to chance—aye, chance—for instruction in that which alone rendered knowledge precious, and life valuable? If they compelled a parish, or the thousands of parishes in England, to support a system which the major part of the inhabitants abominated, could they justify the attempt by "a plea on behalf of liberty of conscience?" and, if successful, were they not doing that which, as far as in them lay, would bring up a generation of infidels? He regretted that his right hon. Friend and Colleague (Mr. Gladstone) was not then present in the House; and he was authorised by his 1292 right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Goulburn) to express his regret that he also was absent, from indisposition; but he (Sir R. H. Inglis) felt that the sentiments of both his right hon. Friends had been so fully and completely expressed in this House upon the subject, that it would be well understood that nothing but unavoidable absence had prevented them from making their statements to the House on this occasion. The hon. Member for the West Riding (Mr. Cobden) had asked them what a stranger was likely to think who had entered that House for a first time, and listened to the debate of that night? But he (Sir R. Inglis) would ask, could the stranger have supposed it possible that this question having no longer ago than the 5th of June last been discussed and decided by a majority of 287 against 58 for the proposal of the hon. Member for Oldham [see 3 Hansard, cxi. 756], they would so soon have had it again brought under the consideration of the House? And let the House bear this in mind, that what the hon. Member then desired to engage the House to recognise and admit was in the shape of a Bill, on which, even if the second reading had been agreed to, the House might have had some locus penitentiœ in the future stages; but they had now to deal with a Resolution which contained the very essense of that Bill, and committed the House to the whole principle; and he did trust that there would be such a majority recorded against it that they would not again hear of the subject another year. The hon. Member for the West Riding had alluded to the Irish Colleges, in which he said the principle of the Member for Oldham's plan was embodied and in practical operation. Upon that subject he (Sir R. Inglis) saw no reason to alter the views he had once expressed; but if he believed it to be an evil in the case of Ireland, it was not the fact of its having been adopted in Ireland that would justify him in giving his consent to its adoption in England. On the contrary, in exact proportion as he saw encouragement given to it elsewhere, in that exact proportion was he bound to resist its introduction here. With the deep conviction on his mind that the proposition—plausible to some minds, but little adapted to catch the feelings or the principles of the great body of the people of England—was itself of a most deleterious character, he did trust that the House would reject it now as they did the kindred Motion last 1293 year; and that if it were again brought forward it would again be rejected by such majorities as to prove that this House at least recognised the principle of Christian and religious education, and that they would not sanction any plan of education for their fellow-subjects which was not founded on the love and fear of God, our Creator and our Redeemer.
§ MR. SIDNEY HERBERT
said, with respect to the remark made by the hon. Member for the West Riding, as to the impression which would be made upon a stranger, listening to the speeches which had been addressed to the House that night, he entirely agreed as to the views which that stranger was likely to take. He (Mr. S. Herbert) thought that any stranger listening to the debate would suppose the hon. Gentleman (Mr. W. J. Fox) was desirous of abolishing the Established Church of this country. Such a person, knowing the general tone of opinion held by hon. Members occupying the different benches of that House, would justly and naturally conclude that that was the object, as it would be the result, of such a system wherever it was introduced. He (Mr. S. Herbert) rejoiced at the spirit of toleration which had been displayed on the subject of education, but protested against people arguing this question by appealing to the amount of ignorance and vice existing in this country, as though they alone were the persons who objected to ignorance and who detested vice, and that if the House did not adopt their system, it would render itself liable to the charge of conniving at that ignorance and vice. He apprehended there was no question on which there was such unanimous agreement in that House and in the country, as that, first, that education must be extended; and, secondly, that that education, differing entirely from that proposed by the hon. Member for Oldham, must be not only secular but likewise religious. The hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire (Mr. Cobden) had referred to the system of education pursued in Massachusetts; but there was a difference of habits in a new as distinguished from an old country, and that system which was applicable to the one was almost necessarily inapplicable to the other; arid the hon. Gentleman forgot that he was contemplating Massachusetts instead of England. The hon. Member said, in the schools at Massachusetts the Bible was universally read, without any comments being made by the teachers. He 1294 (Mr. S. Herbert) believed that was contrary to the rule involved in the system proposed by the hon. Member for Oldham. Now he (Mr. S. Herbert) defied them to read the Bible in schools without note or comment. They might as well put a Hebrew or a Greek book into a child's hands to read without assistance, as to endeavour to teach a child the Bible without note or comment. And, moreover, he would tell them this—that if, on the other hand, they excluded the Bible from their system of education, they would not get children to come to their schools. When the hon. Gentleman said that he did not wish to do away with the voluntary system of education, he would beg to ask what private individual could enter into competition with the State? For should his plan be adopted, none but State schools could exist. The Irish system of education had been referred to in the course of the debate. He did not disapprove of the Irish system; on the contrary, he would adduce it as an argument against the proposition of the hon. Member for Oldham. It was not true that that was a system from which religion was excluded—he would venture to say, if the hon. Gentleman would go into the national schools of Ireland—he did not say all, but most of those schools—he would be forced to admit that an Irish child educated there would stand a better examination in scriptural reading and scriptural knowledge than an English child. That which was taught to them in those schools they knew better, partly because there was a greater aptitude for learning in an Irish child than an English one, and partly because there was a greater aptitude on the part of the instructors there; but he denied that there was an exclusion of religious teaching in those schools. In addition to that, probably in no University, so far as they had yet gone, had the principle of imparting religious instruction to young men of different religious persuasions been so well recognised as in the new Queen's Universities in Ireland. It had been asked in the course of the debate—What were the clergy doing? Now, he was able to quote from the evidence of Mr. Moseley, one of the inspectors of schools, that the proportion of expenditure applied to the purposes of education by the clergy in England, greatly exceeded their fair share in proportion to their incomes, and greatly exceeded the share given by persons from whose position in society larger 1295 contributions might have been expected. He thought the clergy, as a body, had been most unjustly held up as the enemies of popular education. He believed the clergy devoted their time to the education of the poor to an extent which was not generally believed. In towns they were inadequate to the work, from the number of the flocks; but he trusted this defect would soon be remedied. The hon. Member for the West Riding of Yorkshire had contrasted the intellectual condition of a manufacturing with that of a rural population. He (Mr. S. Herbert) believed it to be perfectly true that there was a much greater sharpness of intellect and a greater keenness of wit in a town than in an agricultural population. That was the very result of their aggregation in large masses and of the nature of their employment, which had a tendency to develop their intellect; but it must be admitted at the same time, that there existed in towns an opposite extreme which did not prevail in agricultural districts. He contended that no system of education could be successful which was not founded on the full development of the religious system of each religious denomination. He was a Churchman, but he did not undervalue the labours of the Dissenting bodies of this country. He knew how much the country was indebted to them; but the Church is the larger body, and must take the larger share of the work. He hoped those differences which had existed between the Committee of Education of the Privy Council, and some of the educational bodies in this country, might be soon terminated. He felt certain that a great deal of the difficulties which had been experienced between the Committee of Education and those bodies might be got rid of: the disagreements were really not so great as they were imagined to be. He believed everything that the Committee of Education wished to see adopted, they might have attained through the means of simple recommendations, though they have failed in carrying out the same measures, the adoption of which they insisted upon. It was an invasion of our old municipal and parochial systems to have particular stipulations enforced from a central board; and he repeated his belief that the Committee of Education would have succeeded better in carrying out their objects if their wishes had been conveyed in the form of simple recommendations, instead of orders. They could not get rid of religious 1296 differences by excluding all the different opinious held by different denominations, or by paring them down to a form to which none of them would submit. The hon. Gentleman (Mr. Cobden) had adverted to the congregation of immense numbers of persons, mostly from the sister country, in the large towns of the kingdom. Any one wishing to be acquainted with the condition of those large masses of the population should read the testimony of the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel, who said there was that lack of religious and educational knowledge in this country which produced the greatest amount of practical heathenism. He (Mr S. Herbert) looked with very great alarm on the great increase of that class of the population, from the absence of religious instruction in the large towns in which they were collected; and if it were for no other reason than that, he hoped the Government would apply themselves to the discovery of some method of increasing the amount of religious instruction, without invading the religious feelings of the country in the way proposed by the Motion before the House. Whatever religious education was to be got by the children of the poor man, was to be got at the school, and the school only. The parents were at work, and the child at a certain age was carried off from school to work also; and if they placed the child of a poor man at school, which was the place where he got the whole of his religious education, and at the same time forbade instruction in religion while he was at school, they were practically debarring him from all religious instruction whatever. They had it on divine authority, "Suffer little children to come unto me;" but by this process they said that little children should not come to be taught religious knowledge. He submitted that such a system tended to dry up the very sources of salvation. If they excluded all religious instruction from the school, they would virtually deprive the children of the poor of all chance of being grounded in the simplest elements of Christianity. On these grounds he should vote against the Motion of the hon. Member for Oldham.
§ MR. HEYWORTH
expressed his conviction that the noble and generous principle of voluntaryism would ultimately succeed in giving to the people of this country all the education they would receive, and would give it to them of the best possible kind. It was a delusion to say that they were giving a gratuitous education to the 1297 poor if they gave it through the medium of taxation, because there was no mode of taxation which they could adopt which did not ultimately fall on the shoulders of the labouring man. There were hundreds and thousands who contributed voluntarily and with pleasure to promote the cause of education among the people. He himself did not give less than 200l. a year towards voluntary education, and he gave it from the principle of self-love. If they levied a tax for the purposes of education, they would stop the issues of the voluntary system. He thought the system proposed by the hon. Member for Oldham was a vicious one, and he would vote against it.
§ MR. W. J. FOX,
in reply, said, when he considered the principle on which the hon. Baronet the Member for the University of Oxford (Sir R. H. Inglis) avowedly started, viz., that knowledge was an evil unmixed, he ceased to wonder at the astounding apprehensions which the hon. Baronet entertained with regard to the measure which he (Mr. W. J. Fox) wished to introduce. He hoped, however, that the hon. Baronet was singular in that view. From what had passed in the debate, it might have been supposed they were discussing church extension rather than the question of education. He (Mr. W. J. Fox) agreed thus far with the hon. Member for Maidstone (Mr. A. B. Hope), that they could not separate religious from secular education. He believed that no man engaged in any study whatever without having a religious tendency; but everybody knew the distinction that was made between religious and secular education in the ordinary concerns of life, and he thought it not a little hard that that distinction, which was so common, should have been fixed as an imputation on those who supported the proposition which he had brought before the House. He was brought up with religious views different from those of a majority of that House; but his notion of a Church was that they brought within its fold not only the sheep, but the lambs—not only the adults, but the children; and his great object was to extend to all of them the blessings of education. It had been said, that this was a Motion to exclude religion—it might as well have been said it was a Motion to exclude the sun. He did not propose to leave out religion as one of the means of developing the whole of a human being's nature, but he maintained that the minister of religion and the parent could alone give religious education 1298 to a child. As to the Bible, wherever it could he read, so as not to have the effect of exclusion, he thought it was desirable and useful that it should be read; but he would not consent to its being the means of exclusion to the children of any class whatever.
§ The House divided:—Ayes 49; Noes 139: Majority 90.
|List of the AYES.|
|Adderley, C. B.||O'Brien, J.|
|Anstey, T. C.||Pechell, Sir G. B.|
|Bass, M. T.||Power, Dr.|
|Berkeley, hon. H. F.||Rawdon, Col.|
|Blake, M. J.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Blewitt, R. J.||Salwey, Col.|
|Brotherton, J.||Scholefield, W.|
|Clay, J.||Smith, J. B.|
|Cobden, R.||Spearman, H. J.|
|Davie, Sir H. R. F.||Talbot, J. H.|
|Ellis, J.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Ewart, W.||Thompson, Col.|
|Fergus, J.||Thornely, T.|
|Geach, C.||Tollemache, hon. F. G.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Trelawny, J. S.|
|Grace, O. D. J.||Villiers, hon. C.|
|Greene, J.||Wakley, T.|
|Hastie, A.||Walmsley, Sir J.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Willcox, B. M.|
|Henry, A.||Williams, J.|
|Heywood, J.||Williams, W.|
|Hindley, C.||Willyams, H.|
|Hutt, W.||Wilson, M.|
|Melgund, Visct.||Fox, W. J.|
|Mitchell, T. A.||Hume, J.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Dunne, Col.|
|Ashley, Lord||Elliott, hon. J. E.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Evelyn, W. J.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Farrer, J.|
|Bankes, G.||Fellowes, E.|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T||Ferguson, Sir R. A.|
|Bellew, R. M.||Filmer, Sir E.|
|Bennet, P.||Fitzpatrick, rt. hon. J. W.|
|Berkeley, Adm.||Forbes, W.|
|Blackstone, W. S.||Forester, hon. G. C. W.|
|Blair, S.||Frewen, C. H.|
|Blandford, Marq. of||Fuller, A. E.|
|Booth, Sir R. G.||Gallwey, Sir W. P.|
|Boyle, hon. Col.||Gladstone, rt. hon. W. E.|
|Broadley, H.||Goold, W.|
|Brockman, E. D.||Gordon, Adm.|
|Bruce, C. L. C.||Greenall, G.|
|Burke, Sir T. J.||Grenfell, C. P.|
|Burrell, Sir C. M.||Grenfell, C. W.|
|Burroughes, H. N.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Childs, S.||Grey, R. W.|
|Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.||Hamilton, G. A.|
|Craig, Sir W. G.||Hamilton, J. H.|
|Crowder, R. B.||Hamilton, Lord C.|
|Denison, J. E.||Hanmer, Sir J.|
|Dodd, G.||Hatchell, rt. hon. J.|
|Drummond, H. H.||Hawes, B.|
|Duncuft, J.||Heald, J.|
|Dundas, Adm.||Henley, J. W.|
|Dundas, G.||Herbert, rt. hon. S.|
|Dundas, rt. hon. Sir D.||Heyworth, L.|
|Hodges, T. L.||Price, Sir R.|
|Hope, A.||Prime, R.|
|Hotham, Lord||Pugh, D.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Rice, E. R.|
|Inglis, Sir R. H.||Richards, R.|
|Johnstone, Sir J.||Rushout, Capt.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Langston, J. H.||St. George, C.|
|Lawley, hon. B. R.||Seaham, Visct.|
|Lewis, G. C.||Seymour, Lord|
|Lewisham, Visct.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Lindsay, hon. Col.||Smollett, A.|
|Locke, J.||Somerville, rt. hon. Sir W.|
|Lockhart, A. E.||Spooner, R.|
|Long, W.||Stafford, A.|
|Mackie, J.||Stanford, J. F.|
|Macnaghten, Sir E.||Stanley, E.|
|Magan, W. H.||Stanley, hon. E. H.|
|Maule, rt. hon. F.||Stuart, H.|
|Maxwell, hon. J. P.||Sutton, J. H. M.|
|Meux, Sir H.||Talbot, C. R. M.|
|Moody, C. A.||Taylor, T. E.|
|Morgan, O.||Tollemache, J.|
|Mostyn, hon. E. M. L.||Townshend, Capt.|
|Mulgrave, Earl of||Tyler, Sir G.|
|Napier, J.||Vesey, hon. T.|
|Nicholl, rt. hon. J.||Villiers, Visct.|
|O'Brien, Sir L.||Walter, J.|
|O'Connell, J.||Wegg-Prosser, F. R.|
|Ogle, S. C. H.||Westhead, J. P. B.|
|Paget, Lord A.||Wigram, L. T.|
|Paget, Lord C.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Pakington, Sir J.||Wilson, J.|
|Palmerston, Visct.||Wodehouse, E.|
|Parker, J.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Patten, J. W.||Wood, Sir W. P.|
|Perfect, R.||Wynn, H. W. W.|
|Pilkington, J.||Hayter, W. G.|
|Plumptre, J. P.||Hill, Lord M.|