§ House in Committee.
Question again proposed—
That, in the opinion of this Committee, it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education.
§ Whereupon Question again proposed, "That the Chairman do now leave the chair."
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
I read, Sir, the other day in a newspaper an account of an examination of a witness before the Crimean Inquiry now proceeding, in which a witness, having been asked by Lord Lucan whether he was not surprised to hear a certain statement, replied "I am not surprised at anything." This nil admirari state of mind is exceedingly philosophic, and I shall endeavour to imitate it. But I own I was somewhat surprised at the speech made by the right hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Graham) yesterday evening. If anything could excite surprise it would be that speech. That Mr. Baines, whose pamphlet had the benefit of my right hon. Friend's comments and commendations, should praise the voluntary principle is perfectly natural, but that my right hon. Friend, after having served on the Education Committee of the Privy Council—after having taken part for years in the proceedings of that council—should come here to proclaim the voluntary principle, and obtain the cheers of all those who are the friends of the voluntary principle, does, I confess, strike me with unfeigned surprise. Let us consider a little what this voluntary principle is. In the first place, it is a principle 890 which has never been adopted by any nation. There was no republic, before republics were destroyed—neither Holland, Genoa, nor Venice—which had not some kind of establishment for the purpose of teaching and inculcating religion and morality. In all the countries of Europe, at present, there exists some establishment for that purpose. We differ from the United States of America in this—that we have a Church Establishment and no School Establishment, and that in the New England States, at least, and in many other States of the Union, they have a School Establishment and no Church Establishment. But one and all maintain that it is the duty of the Government—that it is part of the functions of the Government to endeavour to teach somewhat of their duty to God and man to the young as well as to the old. Now, the voluntary principle, I admit, has done great things. It has built churches and chapels. It has communicated religious instruction to the young. But, while the voluntary principle is perfectly consistent with the principle of an establishment, and while the principle of an establishment may exist and the voluntary principle may yet be of great force and effect—as we have seen of late years in this country—yet, on the other hand, it is not possible to maintain the voluntary principle, or make that the principle of the State, and at the same time to maintain the principle of an establishment. The principle of an establishment does not exclude the voluntary principle, but the prevalence of the voluntary principle does exclude the principle of the establishment. Well, then, voluntary principle comes to this:—As I have heard it stated, and as I have seen it propounded in the votes of this House, it seems to maintain that, while you may support criminal laws—while you may retain the gaol and the gibbet for the punishment of offenders—while the people may be knocked down by the constable's truncheon, or cut by the sabre of the soldier—yet it is not to be allowed that you shall teach any religious truth, or enforce any moral precept to the young and old throughout the country. Sir, it appears to me that to lay down such a principle would be departing from the duty of the Government. I cannot well understand what would be said if a criminal were brought before a Judge, and if that Judge, in passing sentence upon him, were to say, "You have violated 891 your duty to God and man," and if that criminal were to reply, "I am sorry if I have offended those laws, but no institution of my country has taught me that there was a God—I have never heard what those laws are. I was taken from school when I was young—I was not allowed by my employer to receive any education, and it is not my fault that I stand here before you for having violated laws of which I have never heard."
Sir, it appears to me that, although the Judge may not be responsible for that neglect, yet that the Legislature would be guilty if that neglect should continue from time to time—knowing perfectly well that numerous children in this country are in the case which I have described—that they are kept by their employers, not only every week day but every Sunday, in such employment, and not allowed even to attend Sunday school. I say that the State that connives at this, and does not take some effectual means of remedying such a state of things, neglects one of its most serious and most solemn duties. I am not saying that this House has neglected that duty; but here again I am struck by the inconsistency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle. He read extracts from Mr. Baines to show what has been done upon the subject of education by, as he says, the voluntary principle, what great progress has been made since 1818, and how the question of education stands at the present moment. But in remarking that progress since 1818, let it be observed that from that period, according to an essay published by a most intelligent inspector of schools, Mr. Temple, no less a sum than £2,000,000 has been voted by this House for the purpose of promoting education. But that is not all, and far from all. It has been shown by Sir James Kay Shuttleworth that the contributions of Churchmen alone have amounted to £800,000, and that many of the persons most active in providing that large sum have been the clergymen of the Established Church. And, had it not been that these clergymen were in the receipt of incomes from the Church Establishment, these sums at least would not have been forthcoming. There would have been no means of establishing these Church schools, and the glorious results that are said to have flowed from the voluntary principle would not have appeared to be boasted of in the pamphlet to 892 which I have alluded. I received a letter the other day from a clergyman who has an income from the Church of £350 a year, which he spends in various ways. He says that, after his payments to charities, &c., his large contributions to his school reduce his income from the Church to £70 per annum. That clergyman is only one of many who have shown great zeal in promoting education in his parish. He said he was not reduced to poverty, because he had other means, but be it observed that those means were derived from the establishment. Now, this outlay is boasted of by the advocates of the voluntary principle as if it flowed solely and entirely from that source, and then they come forward, and my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle comes forward—he who has been a Member of the Government which proposed these grants—who has been Secretary of State for the Home Department, the duties of which no man conducted with more ability—who was a Member of that Committee of Privy Council which made these grants—my right hon. Friend now comes forward as the trumpet of the voluntary principle. Let me refer a little, if I may be permitted to do so, to some personal charges which Mr. Baines has made against me. I am not going to make charges against him. He is the son of a man whom I greatly respected, and whose honourable and consistent course, both as the conductor of a respectable newspaper in the north of England and as a Member of this House, I always viewed with the utmost respect. He is the brother of a right hon. Gentleman for whom I have always entertained the highest regard, and with whom I have generally the happiness to agree upon political subjects. I am not going, therefore, to say anything against Mr. Baines; but I do not know why he cannot maintain his principles, and set forth the reasons and statistics which seem to him necessary for his arguments without making accusations against me because I am guilty of wishing the State to assist in this great work of education. But, to show the spirit in which he acts, he brings this inconsistent accusation against me. In one page he says, I borrowed from Berlin and Vienna this new-fangled scheme of despotism; and, then, in the next page, he says that I ought to have revealed in 1839 the whole of this plan, which was then cunningly concealed, and that I ought to have acted with candour, and produced 893 then that plan which, in page 4, he says I conceived in 1855. Now, for neither of these statements as he the least foundation. Being in Germany last year, and having little time when there for investigations into education, I, nevertheless, begged the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir J. Pakington) not to frame his plan upon continental models. I am willing to confess that I never thought their example was a safe one for us to imitate. On the other hand, in 1839, although I was in favour of the plan of grants by a Committee of the Privy Council, yet I did not frame such a plan as I now propose, and always reserved it to a future time, when it might be carried out in accordance with the step then taken, and when we might complete that which was then only partly concocted.
Let me here observe that in 1839 I wrote a letter to my noble Friend the Marquess of Lansdowne to which he refers in a speech of his in that year. I said that a Committee of Privy Council ought to be formed to consider all matters relating to the education of the people, and to distribute the grants which might be made by Parliament, from time to time. The Marquess of Lansdowne, as he stated in his speech, objected to the former part of the suggestion, and thought that the Committee of Privy Council should only be appointed to consider the distribution of the grants. Now, what I am aiming at is, in effect, to restore that part of the duties of the Privy Council which I then recommended, and to endeavour to frame some plan according to that from which the Government and Parliament have acknowledged they have obtained a great benefit. Now, Sir, coming to the Resolutions I have had the honour to propose, my right hon. Friend (Sir James Graham), and, I think, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley), also have taken this objection to them, that they propose to do what Government might at any moment effect, and that if we sanction them we shall be taking out of the hands of the Ministers what is properly their business. However, in the first place, I do not think that it has ever been laid down in this House—and sure I am that it is entirely inconsistent with the practice of the House of Commons to act on any such doctrine—that that which may be done by the Government may not be the subject of advice in this House of Parliament. My right hon. Friend will lay down an entirely 894 new maxim, and one which, if he appeals to me on constitutional subjects, I cannot but regard as most unconstitutional, if he means to say that advice from this House respecting the conduct of the Government may at once be met with the objection that the Government could, without any Motion of ours, do that which we desire them to undertake. Such a maxim would be a complete bar to our proceedings, and silence would be our only alternative. But, with regard to the particular proposition now under discussion, it goes so far beyond the usual functions of the Committee of Privy Council that I at once arrived at the conclusion that either Government must bring it forward in some special form before presenting any Estimate on the subject, or else that some Member of Parliament—if the proposition, I mean, is a good one—should undertake to state the matter to the House. The change I propose, I apprehend, is sufficiently intelligible. The proposition I submitted to Lord Lansdowne having been accepted in the form to which I have adverted, it has been the practice, from 1839 to the present time, that whenever persons in any place have desired to erect a school they should be permitted to apply for assistance to the Committee of the Privy Council. The Committee then ask them various questions—whether they had obtained a site, whether there was an endowment, whether a committee was formed for managing the schools, and other questions, which they thought necessary to guard the public interest. These questions having been satisfied, the Committee of the Privy Council awarded a grant in proportion to the subscription and endowments that were provided. The school being once built and the scholars in attendance, the Committee then send down an Inspector to inspect the establishment; and, according to the subsequent Minutes of 1846, they award to pupil-teachers, apprentices, and certain schoolmasters various gratuities and recompenses; but there they stop. The Inspector visits the school erected under the grant of the Privy Council in parish A, but never thinks of inquiring whether in parishes B, C, or D there is any school whatever. He asks no questions as to the general state of education in the country, but confines himself, as the Committee did, to the particular schools in behalf of which an application had been made.
Now, what I desire to recommend is certainly, in words, to add some officers to 895 the Committee, but what I propose, in spirit and effect, is this—that the present system shall be so extended, that by means of these additional officers, to be called sub-Inspectors, the Committee, and finally Parliament, shall obtain ample and minute information as to the state of education in every place and parish of the United Kingdom. The grants of the Committee of Privy Council, by means of which some 540,000 scholars are receiving daily instruction, have been instrumental in accomplishing a great national work; but it would be a great extension of their service and a material enlargement of the object which the Privy Council and the Government have in view if we were now to determine not only to make grants for those places in which schools already exist, but to inquire into the deficiencies in other places, and to ascertain the educational requirements of such localities. But it appeared to me that, if I were to propose that this much should be done by the sub-Inspectors, I could not rest there; for I might be justly asked what was the meaning of this expensive machinery, and of this great host of 120 officers? The whole system would be—as my right hon. Friend has objected—a mere matter of patronage if, having collected facts, we did not use them and proceed to apply a remedy to the evil of ignorance wherever it was found to exist. I therefore considered the various means by which that evil might be corrected; and what in the first place naturally occurs to me is, that these sub-Inspectors, travelling through all the parishes in the kingdom—each having a division he could conveniently visit—should recommend to zealous persons likely to take an interest in such matters to build schools where they do not already exist, to improve them where they do, and, in short, to effect for those neglected places what has been accomplished for the 4,000 or 5,000 places at present under the jurisdiction of the Privy Council. That is the first thing to be done, and as yet I cannot see how the system can be accused of having in it anything of a despotic character. Thus far it would be merely a plan for carrying more extensively into effect what has been done ever since 1839. But there might, and no doubt there would be, places in which the voluntary subscriptions would not suffice for the support of schools, and to meet the exigencies of those cases I would propose that there should be a power in the ratepayers to levy a rate 896 upon themselves for the purpose of establishing schools in such localities. That would be a voluntary proceeding, but still there might be places in which the desire for education might be limited to parents who deplored the misfortune of not being able to send their children to school; and, lest the people in such districts should remain in total ignorance, I propose that there should be a certain authority—I am not now discussing the details of the Resolution—to compel the levying of a rate in districts so unfortunately circumstanced. Looking around to see whether there are at our disposal any additional resources that may be made applicable to the purposes of education, I find that several hundred thousand pounds have been left by good and pious founders for that express object, and that there are besides several other sums that have been bequeathed for purposes frequently stigmatised as not only useless but dangerous. I therefore recommend the employment of such funds in the noblest of all works—the enlightenment of the people. If these recommendations were carried out, we should have, in the first place, a very great extension of the present system. There can be no doubt whatever that among the vast number of places beyond those at present enjoying funds from the Committee of Council for Education, and their own subscriptions and school-pence, there would be a great number in which school schemes would be adopted—in which. Church schools, British schools, or Wesleyan schools would be founded; and thus the present system with which, generally speaking, the majority of the country are content, would be vastly extended. But still, no doubt, the system would be incomplete, and, if we are really desirous to make efficient provision for the future, it appears to me that wherever there is a deficiency it ought to be filled up. Anxious that no locality should be left in intellectual darkness, I would provide for the institution of schools in all districts; and where the inhabitants might be unwilling to tax themselves for such a purpose I would, in the interest of the nation, have recourse to a compulsory rate. I confess, Sir, that I am at a loss to perceive the candour of representing a plan of this kind as "a Government monopoly," and "a despotic system," or of applying to it any of those hard epithets and severe phrases which Mr. Baines, a somewhat hot-headed advocate of the voluntary system, 897 has uttered, and which my right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham), who has hitherto been a supporter of State assistance, has repeated after him.
Having explained the general principles of my plan, I now come to the various matters I have stated in my Resolutions. In the first place I claim your assent to this proposition:—That, in the opinion of this House, it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education.In objecting to this Resolution the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford-shire (Mr. Henley) had, no doubt, in view the mode, as explained in the second Resolution, by which I propose to effect that extension—namely, by the appointment of eighty sub-Inspectors, and the division of England and Wales into as many districts. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington)—for whose assistance on this occasion I feel very grateful—says it is not necessary to specify the number of eighty for the proposed sub-Inspectors, and thus parcel out England and Wales info an equal number of divisions. But if I had simply said that there ought to be sub-Inspectors, without prescribing any number, I might fairly have been asked "What is your plan?" and "Do you mean that there should be 20, or 100, or 200—your suggestion is so vague and indefinite that it is impossible to entertain it?" I therefore framed the best calculation I could from existing data—namely, the geographical distribution of England and Wales into counties, each of which I thought would form a sufficient area to employ the exertions of one sub-Inspector. Another element in the case is the present number of examining Inspectors' Reports, and the number of schools which each of those officers periodically visit. I found the number of schools coming under the supervision of each Inspector to be about 250; and there would be nearly the same proportion within each of the educational divisions which I propose. There would, however, be this wide difference between my plan and the present state of things, that, whereas the Inspectors have now often to post with undue haste from one railway station to another, and to keep a fly constantly in waiting to convey them from one school, which they have hardly enough time to inspect, to another, which they must subject to perhaps an imperfect examination, 898 and then hurry on with hot speed to a third, there to repeat the like process,—with a staff of sub-Inspectors on the other hand, there would be ample opportunities for each chief Inspector to go round leisurely and take an accurate survey of the general condition of his own division, while the subordinate examiners would be able to collect most valuable information as to the state of every parish in their several districts, which information would thus ultimately reach the Committee of Privy Council to guide its decisions. In this way I consider an efficient system of inspection might be organised; but at the same time I must say that I have no overweening fondness for the number eighty for the body of sub-Inspectors; nor do I at all think a rigid adherence to that precise proportion essential to the success of my proposal. The hon. Member for Oldham (Mr. W. J. Fox) proposes to move the omission of the word "Church" before "Schools" in the second Resolution. With such an alteration the subject of sub-Inspectors might easily be comprised in one Resolution, which would stand thus:—That it is expedient to add to the present Inspectors of Schools a body of sub-Inspectors, and to divide England and Wales into a corresponding number of divisions for the purposes of education.In that form the Resolution would assert the principle which I wish to establish. The Resolutions would then go on to affirm that the Committee of Privy Council should have "power to form school districts in each division, consisting of single or united parishes, or parts of parishes." It is said that many objections may be made to the union of parishes: and I dare say there might be a good deal of jealousy on that subject; but then certain parishes are so exceedingly small—some of them, as stated by the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Sir J. Pakington) yesterday, containing only five children—that it would be absolutely impossible to form every parish into a separate school district. Therefore some plan like that which I suggest is indispensable, although, of course, the utmost care must be taken to produce harmony between the different parishes thus combined.
The next Resolution declares that the sub-Inspectors should be directed to report on the available means in each school district for the instruction of the poor. The remaining Resolutions provide for the augmentation 899 of the resources from which education is supported. The right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Henley) strongly objected to the sixth Resolution, which proposes to enlarge the powers of the Charitable Trust Commissioners, and to enable them to apply to educational objects charitable funds now useless or injurious to the community; and my right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry (Mr. Ellice) following in the same line, severely condemned the particular scheme that has been laid on the table by those Commissioners for dealing with the charities of the town which he represents; going even so far as to assert that no project similar to this was ever before thought of in this country. I must beg my right hon. Friend's pardon if I venture with some confidence to challenge his statement. I am not the originator of this much-abused scheme. A Commission, of which Lord Brougham was the chairman, was appointed to inquire into the subject of Charitable Trusts, and sat from the year 1837 to 1839; and in their Report the Commissioners state that a number of small charities exist which are injurious to the community; that they produce an unseemly scramble for the petty sums of money which they distribute; that the dispensing of those funds often leads to riotous proceedings; that their revenue is almost infinitesimal in amount, and that it would be most beneficial to apply their incomes to educational purposes. Moreover, the present Lord Chancellor, in a measure which he submitted to the House of Lords, relating to endowed charities, gave the sanction of his high authority to a proposal which declared that,—It shall be lawful for the said Board to approve, or to frame and approve, schemes for the application of any charitable funds to such charitable purposes and in such manner for the promotion of charitable purposes as the Board may think fit (although such purposes or such manner of application be not authorised or be not in all respects authorised by the term of the trusts affecting such charitable funds) in the several cases hereinafter mentioned—viz.,that is to say, where it appears to the said Board that the charitable purpose for which the fund has been given by the founder has failed; where the said Board are satisfied that the fund as administered according to the charitable trust affecting the same creates or increases pauperism or immorality; where, in the opinion of the said Board, the fund of any charity administered separately is insufficient for the purposes for which it was given by the founder, but may under a scheme approved as aforesaid, be effectively employed in union with or in aid of any other charity, whether supported by endowment or by voluntary subscriptions, 900 or partly by endowment and partly by voluntary subscriptions, or in extending the benefits of any such other charity; where in the case of any charity founded more than sixty years before the approval of the scheme in relation thereto the said Board are satisfied that the charity has no beneficial results, or that the benefits are insignificant, having regard to the income thereof, and that the income of such charity may, under a scheme so approved as aforesaid, be beneficially applied to other charitable purposes in the district or districts where it is administered.Such were the provisions of a Bill introduced into the House of Lords in April, 1853, by Lord Cranworth, and I think that his measure was a most excellent one; but, alas! it sank to the bottom of that deep which has irretrievably swallowed up many admirable propositions that went before it; for it was sent to a Select Committee, and never again emerged from it. But I mention these circumstances to show that I am not, as my right hon. Friend (Mr. Ellice) seems to suppose, the audacious propounder of rash schemes for appropriating charitable funds—for the scheme was adopted and introduced by Lord Cranworth, the present Lord Chancellor. My right hon. Friend complains that the small charities of Coventry would be prejudicially affected if these Resolutions are carried into effect; but I would remind him that the Charity Commissioners state many of these trusts have been applied in aid of the poor rates, which they declare to be an illegal appropriation of such funds; and yet they do not venture to recommend the institution of prosecutions in such cases, because the resources of these charities would not bear the cost of litigation. Surely, therefore, it would be better that these funds should in certain instances be applied to the promotion of public education. In the case of a small charity in Wales, the funds of which were appropriated in diminution of poor-rates, an application was made to a County Court Judge by the clergyman of the parish to allow the proceeds to be given to the parish school, and the Judge, although with some hesitation, made an order granting that request. The right hon. Gentleman tells us that in some instances these charities are doled out to the destitute inhabitants and poor freemen of certain boroughs. This may be a very good reason why the representatives of those towns should oppose the proposals of the Charity Commissioners; but it seems a very odd mode of showing an inflexible regard for the original intentions of pious founders. The 901 right hon. Gentleman opposite is for standing strictly to those original intentions, and will not hear of any departure from them, even under the authority of an Act of Parliament. I think that if Sir Thomas White, who lived two or three centuries ago, and who was the founder of important charities at Coventry, could be told, "Your intention, doubtless, was to enable the freemen of that borough to vote at elections, and to prevent them from receiving relief as paupers, which would disqualify them as electors," he would, I apprehend, be a good deal surprised at hearing such an interpretation put upon his "pious intention." My right hon. Friend told us that the charities administered at Coventry do no harm; that they are distributed in doles and gifts of various kinds; and that, in fact, the people of Coventry derive great benefit from them, and their application is generally approved. He also told us that the poor law is so well and wisely administered in Coventry that the abuses which exist in other places are not experienced in that borough. My right hon. Friend is quite right to stand up for his constituents, and they may be so wise, so good, and so free from the infirmities of human nature that that which produces evil everywhere else is harmless at Coventry. It may be that the indiscriminate distribution of charity, which in other places is the cause of pauperism and immorality, produces wealth and industry at Coventry. It may be that the old poor law, which was attended with serious evils in many parishes throughout the country, was in Coventry productive of the most beneficial results. "To the pure all things are pure," and none of the abuses which exist elsewhere are to be found in the city of Coventry. I look, however, to the administration of these charities generally, and I say that a change in that administration would be attended with great advantages. I quoted on a former occasion the opinion of the Dean of Hereford on this subject; but many other persons, and especially clergymen, have stated that pauperism and immorality have resulted from gifts of money in small sums, and that it is most desirable that charities of comparatively trifling amount should be more beneficially applied. I learn from the Report of the trustees of one of these charities, that so fearful are they of refusing aid to anybody that they distribute the funds they administer at the rate of 6d. to each person, so that the worst 902 equally with the best, the most dissolute as well as the most industrious, are recipients of this dole, and a bequest which was intended for the public benefit produces harm rather than good. My own conviction is, that if those who made those bequests could see as we see, and could judge as we judge, they would be glad to find that their bequests were applied to purposes which were confessedly useful. I think, when everything else is changing, and when, by the laws of this country, the utmost freedom exists with regard to the disposal of private property, it is nothing but a superstition to say that you will stand by the letter of the original foundations; and that, although there can be no doubt as to the intentions of the founders, you will maintain the present mischievous application of the funds in spite of the evils which such an application induces. I quite agree with my right hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, that in any Bill with reference to charities your enactments should be most cautiously guarded, that you should be careful that you deal only with those funds the application of which is ascertained to be useless and mischievous, and that you should be equally careful that the purposes to which they are in future applied are clearly beneficial to the community at large. It is true that these objects cannot be accomplished by a mere Resolution of this House, but I wish to point out the principle upon which I am anxious to proceed.
I shall now go to the seventh Resolution, which provides that the ratepayers shall have the power of taxing themselves, and I think, at the present moment, I need not make any observation upon that proposition. By the next Resolution—the eighth—I propose that, after the expiration of a period of nearly two years, the quarter sessions for counties, cities, or boroughs shall have the power of imposing school rates. Great fault has been found with this proposal, but I do not think that, conformably with the existing law, the power of imposing such rates could have been placed in better hands. I find that in some States of America, particularly in Massachusetts, parishes may be and have been indicted for not having had schools open during an entire year. It has been objected that the power which I propose to give to the courts of quarter sessions will be very sparingly exercised, and that it will be very difficult to persuade magistrates in quarter sessions to impose school rates; 903 but it must be remembered that the courts of quarter sessions would be called upon to exercise their authority only in extreme cases. I think, however, that if a parish was found without a school, and without any means of instruction whatever—a mere nest of pauperism and immorality, in the midst of parishes in which for miles round schools had been established—that would be a case in which the quarter sessions would feel it their duty to exert this power. By the ninth Resolution I propose that where a school rate is imposed a school committee shall appoint the schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, and make regulations for the management of the schools. I confess that, if you impose a rate upon all the inhabitants of a place, I do not see how you can do otherwise than vest in the hands of persons selected by themselves the direction and management of that rate. My right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) was perfectly correct in saying that the school depends upon the schoolmaster; but if the ratepayers of this country contribute to the maintenance of schools, I know no reason why they should not be intrusted with their management. I certainly should not doubt their discrimination in choosing persons fit to conduct such schools. Of course, the regulations with respect to the grants by the Committee of Privy Council would apply to masters and mistresses so appointed; and if they were found to be inefficient the usual grants would be withheld. Those regulations, I think, would go far to insure the appointment of efficient masters and mistresses.
I now come to the religious question, which is the great difficulty in connection with this subject. It has been said that if you establish schools supported by rates, those schools will become schools for merely secular instruction, whatever regulations you may adopt. Now, according to the evidence of many schoolmasters, although theoretically the difficulty may appear serious to this House, practically, in my belief, it is very trifling. I have been informed that, in the case of schools where the Bible is read, where the catechism is taught, or where other formularies are used, and where parents are told, "There is no compulsion here, if you do not wish it your children need not receive religious instruction," the parents seldom evince any repugnance to allow their children to remain during the time of religious instruction. I have heard that fact stated repeatedly, 904 not only by schoolmasters but by ministers of religion holding a high position. I must say the proposal that children of the ages of from ten to fifteen should be taught the various points of particular creeds upon which Protestant and Catholic theologians would argue, or that they should be instructed in questions of Church government upon which members of the Church of England and Presbyterian ministers might dispute, seems to me to savour of an excess of religious zeal, or perhaps more correctly, of an excess of religious animosity. The hon. Gentleman the Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley) said yesterday, that we were so peculiarly constituted that that which had been done for others could not be done for us, and that that which had been done in foreign countries would not apply to England. I cannot conceive that we, as a people, are so peculiarly constituted that a system which is successful over the whole Continent of Europe and in North America should not be equally successful in this country. I should be sorry to think that was the case, for it would imply the existence in this country of religious animosities and of a want of Christian charity which do not exist elsewhere. I must say, as I have often stated in this House, that I regard the system of the British and Foreign School Society as best adapted to the people of this country. In the schools of that society the Scriptures are taught, and a plain interpretation of them is given. The Scriptures are not merely read, but the meaning of the words is explained. The doctrine of our own Church is, that nothing need be held as a matter of faith which is not either plainly contained in the Scriptures or which cannot be proved thereby. I cannot therefore think that the teaching of that society ought to be distasteful to the Church of England. Unfortunately, however—although King-George III. and his son the Duke of Kent, the father of Her Most Gracious Majesty, were both instrumental in the establishment and patronage of the British Schools, and for some time carried on the struggle unaided—the question of the use of the Church Catechism in the schools was raised, and ever since the use of that catechism has been thought necessary, not so much for the purpose of inculcating peculiar religious tenets as to distinguish Church schools from others. I am quite willing, although it does not 905 accord with my own opinions, that, if the committee of the parish think it necessary, the Church Catechism should be taught in these schools; but I hold it to be necessary, for the security of religious liberty, that those children whose parents disapprove their learning this catechism should not be compelled to submit to such teaching, and should not, as is proposed by the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Henley), be on that account excluded from the schools. The noble Lord opposite, the Member for Stamford (Lord R. Cecil), who spoke last night, seemed to me to speak somewhat irreverently of the Holy Scriptures, when he said that Christians differed so much that nothing but pure theism was left. I do not think that that is correct. It seems to me that the Scriptures contain very plain and very forcible lessons with regard to love of our neighbour and our duties towards him, with regard to forgiveness of injuries, with regard to many moral duties, and with regard, above all, to our duty to God. The language of Scripture is more plain and more emphatic, and is illustrated by examples which go more to the heart of man and of child, than is that of any of those formularies which have been invented since the fifteenth century to distinguish between the different sects of the Christian Church. I therefore hold that, although it is quite necessary that a man who belongs to any particular Church should know the reasons why that Church differs from others, a boy or girl of at most fourteen years of age should not be compelled to learn these differences, and should be allowed to live in the common bond of the Christian Church. Persons belonging both to the Church of England and to Dissenting bodies say that, if by grants from the Privy Council you support Dissenting, Church, and Roman Catholic schools, you are supporting different religions. I entirely deny the justice of that application of words, and I have good authority for that denial. Towards the end of his life that pious and zealous Protestant, John Wesley, writing about a young man who had become a Roman Catholic, used these words:—I will not have it said that he has changed his religion. He has changed his opinions and his mode of worship, but religion is not that—it is quite a different thing.It would lead me too much into religious discussion if I were to quote what he says further, but this is a clear, and, I 906 think, commendable sentence, showing that John Wesley thought that a person who changed his opinions and mode of worship did not thereby change his religion, and might, not with standing, hold that which was necessary to his salvation. If that be the case, there is no reason why we should apprehend that these School Committees will introduce irreligious teaching. We have the provision that the Bible shall be read and taught in the schools; we have the Catechism, or such other formulary as the Committee may think it necessary to introduce; we have the security—and you can have no other, at least no better security—of the general religious character of the people of this country. If you have not that, then you have no foundation for effecting improvements whatever.
My right hon. Friend (Sir James Graham) said that I was directly copying the plan of education adopted in Massachusetts, and when he appealed to me I was forced directly to contradict him. The plan of Massachusetts and of New York, as I have read it in various accounts, is that in some schools an extract or portion of the Bible is read for purposes of devotion; in most schools it is not read at all, and in order to avoid any difficulty upon this subject the lessons are not based upon the precepts of Christianity. That, Sir, is the mode of teaching in Massachusetts, and in a Report which I have read, relating, I am not certain whether to Massachusetts or to New York, it is stated that in many schools the reading of the Scriptures during school hours is forbidden by the Committee. That is according to their opinion of what is right, and we have the testimony of many eminent men that the Christian character of the country is preserved, but it is not, in my opinion, preserved in these New England schools. In the schools of this country, however, I propose that it should be preserved. You will, therefore, have denominational schools in large numbers; you will have Church of England schools to a great extent; and you will have these schools which will be supported by rates, and in which a portion of the Bible will be read every day, and such other religious instruction will be given as the Committee shall think desirable. Then I am told, as a conclusive objection to this scheme, that one sect may gain the superiority on one day, and one on another, and that in the end they may arrive at making the schools 907 secular. This I consider a somewhat chimerical apprehension. It is a forecasting of evil which does not seem to me to be at all justified by the facts which we have before us. At any rate, you ought to compare the state of things which is apprehended with that which at present exists. When I am told that there is danger that these schools may, owing to the hostility of different sects to each other, become secular, I compare the state of things so apprehended with the facts which have been stated by the right hon. Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), and which are open and ought to be familiar to every Member of this House. I mean facts such as these that a boy, on being committed to prison, was asked if he knew his duty to God, replied that he had never heard of God. Being asked if he obeyed the laws of Christ, he said that he had never heard of Christ; and when asked what he did on a Sunday, he answered that he was employed in the stables of a farmer, and was never allowed to go either to school or to church on that day. In addition to this you have Reports from different persons, such as those of Mr. Clay, from which you learn that there are hundreds, nay thousands, to whom the most common elements of religion, not only of the Christian, but of natural religion, are totally unknown; and then you say to me, "You shan't have the schools, you shan't teach these children the Bible, you shan't teach them Christianity, because there is danger that some day or other these schools may be perverted and may assume a secular character." Sir, I would rather face that danger than have things remain as they are. Opposed as I have been to secular education, I confess that those who have received such an education are far more likely to imbibe religious principles than those who remain in this state of brutal ignorance. Such, therefore, Sir, is my view with respect to the religious teaching to be given in the schools which are to be supported by rates.
There is, however, another provision which respects the education of children and young people employed by persons other than the owners of factories, on which I wish to say a few words. I do not well understand how hon. Gentlemen, especially the right hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle, can say that this provision is oppressive and despotic, when, since the year 1835 or 1836 there has been in operation 908 a law which, in regard to 35,000 children, provides that until they are thirteen years of age they shall not receive employment unless they attend schools for a certain period. Whether the limit is thirteen or fifteen years does not at present matter for the purpose of these Resolutions. The law consecrates the principle that up to thirteen years of age you will use this compulsory method of providing that education is given to those children, and if the provision is extended to a greater number, the principle remains the same. If it is despotic and oppressive with regard to the 35,000 it ought to be done away with. If, on the other hand, it is with regard to that number right and useful, nothing but practical difficulties should induce you to refrain from applying it in other cases. That there are practical difficulties and very great practical difficulties, I am quite willing to admit. In my Resolution I provide, that the certificate shall be given only half-yearly, in order as much as possible to avoid that continual vexation to which my right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) has referred. But I think that, although the operation would be gradual, yet it would be a good and wholesome provision that those farmers who are in the practice of employing young persons should—I can hardly say compel them, but—allow them to attend school. I have seen statements, not with regard to farmers, but to other persons, which I think deserve the attention of the Committee. A lady, well acquainted with facts, writes to me that the employers in her neighbourhood—a mining district—object to the children going to school, because whenever they do so they do not go to their work very willingly afterwards. Another correspondent states that a farmer near him has been heard to say he would not give anything to a day-school, because he finds that since a Sunday-school has been established the birds have increased and eat his corn, and because he cannot now procure the services of the boys whom he used to employ the whole of Sunday in protecting his fields. With such cases as these I think it is no hardship—on the contrary, it is a fair provision to introduce—that you should take care that the employers of young persons should give them some kind of education. Of course, you must suit your enactment to the particular circumstances of the case. You must not ask the children to go one-half of the day to school and the other 909 half to work. You must have certain days set apart for education; whereby, instead of diminishing the employment of these young persons, as my right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham) says, you would greatly increase it. My right hon. Friend states that farmers would at once leave off employing children. Sir, I cannot think that. If an employer gives 4s. a week to one of these boys, will it be maintained that if he is asked to give 4s. 2d.—the 2d. to go to the school—he would not continue to employ the boy, however convenient and profitable he may have been to him at 4s.? Will that odd 2d. make all the difference? It is done—I have quoted the case once before—by a noble Lord in his collieries voluntarily; it is done by factory owners; and I do not see why it should not be imitated elsewhere. Many of the owners of factories have not only complied with the letter of the law, but have established excellent schools by their own benevolence and liberality; and in all cases the effect of the Act has been to induce manufacturers to take greater care of all the young persons working in their factories than they had done before. I cannot think, therefore, that there is any hardship in this provision.
We now come to another objection of my right hon. Friend. Conjuring up all kinds of horrors, he sees in my Resolutions a frightful increase of the influence of the Crown, and points out that the Secretary of the Treasury will have the appointment of, I know not how many thousands—I believe some 35,000—of schoolmasters. That, Sir, is an entire mistake. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department will, I think, have the appointment of two or three at Pentonville and elsewhere, but that number will not be increased. The Secretary of the Treasury will not have a single appointment. If a measure founded upon my Resolutions were to pass in the course of the present Session, the patronage of the Secretary of the Treasury would not be increased by one schoolmaster. The appointments would be given, as at present in the Church and denominational schools, to the local committees of management. There would be some increase of patronage certainly, for from eighty to 120 sub-Inspectors would have to be appointed; but that would be no very formidable amount of patronage, although it might enable my noble Friend the President of the Council to do that which would be grateful to a 910 number of very honourable and hardworking men, and, at the same time, useful to the country. I allude to the schoolmasters who have been many years in that occupation. There is no work more hard than that of a schoolmaster; none more important, none which carries with it comparatively so little honour and advantage; and, seeing that schoolmasters who have been employed twelve or fifteen years in that laborious occupation can hardly betake themselves to any other profession, I should be glad to see some of them employed as sub-Inspectors of schools. I believe they would be found the fittest and most intelligent men you could select to travel through the country reorganising bad schools, and pointing out where the schools are altogether inefficient.
There is one point which I have not yet mentioned, but with respect to which a notice has been given by another hon. Member, and upon which I will now say a very few words. It relates to that large class of our juvenile population who are neither at school nor at work, but who are wandering about destitute in our streets. Much, I think, might be done for that class by extending the grants and rules of the Committee of Privy Council. When I look at the large sums included in the Estimates under various heads, I am sorry to see so small a portion under the head of "Industrial Schools." The Committee of Privy Council have been quite right, as long as they were endeavouring, by educating a portion of the country, to furnish a model of what education should be, to be very strict in their inquiries with respect to the qualifications of schoolmasters, and to require schools to be organised and conducted according to certain rules and conditions. But, when you come to the case of an industrial school, there is many a practical man who would not stand an examination—whom not a few of the questions which the Committee of Privy Council have circulated would throw on his buck as it were; but who, nevertheless, if placed at the head of an industrial school, would be intelligent and kind, would watch carefully over the welfare and morals of the young persons entrusted to his charge, and would give them an elementary notion of religion, that would be found of great benefit to the community, though it might not satisfy the requirements of the Committee of Privy Council. If we were to go much further on this subject we should immediately 911 come into contact with the department of the Poor Law, and be confronted with the question whether or not we should provide these outcast children with food and clothing as well as education. I remember seeing a poor wretched boy in Newgate who said that he had paid 2d. a night for his lodging. The Magistrate asked him how he got the 2d.? He replied, "I get it by holding gentlemen's horses and other odd jobs." "But," persisted the magistrate, "suppose you cannot get it that way, what then?" "Well," answered the boy, "I get it anyhow." We know very well what that "anyhow" means; but, if you take that child and keep him in school all day, when he goes at night to find a shelter he will not have 2d. to pay for it, and you must either be most harsh and severe to him or incur the danger of extending the poor relief to classes who are not properly entitled to it. I am quite ready to entertain the question, but I will not venture, with the doubts I have about it, to submit any formal proposition to the House. I think it would be as I have just stated exceedingly useful to make more liberal grants to industrial schools, and to enlarge the rules of the Committee of Privy Council; but beyond that—beyond what has already been done with regard to reformatory schools, and what may still be done in the same direction—I cannot say I have any plan to submit to the House. Now, Sir, I have gone through these various Resolutions, and I must say that an attempt, even made independently of the Government, to extend the education of the people of England by means of the State, is not one deserving of very great blame and reprehension. The Resolutions may be ill adapted to their end, or many of them may be premature. I will say at once that, as I should not wish the latter of these Resolutions to cause great opposition and contention in this House, and perhaps be rejected when they might meet with a happier fate on another occasion, I shall not ask the Committee to go beyond the first five. I propose to ask the consent of the Committee—amending the second Resolution in the way I have stated—to the first five Resolutions, which sanction the principle, in the first place, of extending, consolidating, and revising the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council, and which, next, sanction the appointment of sub-Inspectors to ascertain what is the real state of the education of the country. Valuable 912 as that Report was of the Educational Commissioners, and valuable as were the Reports and observations of Mr. Horace Mann, it is impossible in that manner and by that machinery to get at the real worth of many of the schools set down in the lists. Many of both schools and scholars are merely nominal. We may find upon further inquiry that they are better than I am supposing. We may find, on the other hand, that they do not deserve to be maintained. But it would be of great importance to ascertain the facts. They might then form the groundwork for any measure that might hereafter be proposed. And now, Sir, let me say that, not with standing all the objections that are made, an endeavour to extend education ought to obtain the attention and support of this House. It is said that my proposal is a despotic one. I regard it as one tending to extend the freedom of England. It has been said, in delightful poetry, of a village churchyard—Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;Hands that the rod of empire might have sway' d, Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.But knowledge to their eyes her ample page, Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unrol.Sir, it should be our object that that impediment should be removed, and that knowledge should unrol her ample store to the young of this country, however humble their condition. It is thus that those who are born in the most humble station may, by their distinction, first in their village school, afterwards in some greater sphere, and afterwards in some higher position of life, rise to those prizes, those honours, and those employments which in a free country ought to be the gift and the due of genius and of honesty. I cannot conceive that we ought to shut out those prizes and those honours from any class of the community; but yet, as we have been told, we do effectually exclude them so long as we deprive them of all the means by which they might rise from their obscurity. But, Sir, there are higher concerns than these. It is, as I believe, the duty of a Christian State to promote the cause of religion and morality; and, if we were to do so, I cannot believe that we should be in that position which I described to the Committee in the former part of my speech, when we should use everything for terror—when we should exhibit nothing but our means of punishment, and should not open to the people of 913 this land the sacred volume, and bid them be industrious and virtuous here and hope to be happy hereafter. I cannot believe that such attempts are apart or separate from the duty of the State; and if we have been told of late that such should not be our object, but that we should leave every man to promote education as he may, I recollect that, in the same voice and in the same tone, I heard in other years what I thought a much sounder lesson. It is a lesson expressed so much better than anything which I could address to the Committee that I beg leave to quote what was said on the 28th of February, 1843, and was addressed to the House of Commons by one not only holding a high office, not only holding an office which connected him with the internal state of the country, but eminent by his power, by his abilities, by his information, and by his capacity for directing and ruling the State. He said—All the material Powers in this nation have been developed and improved in the most remarkable manner; the entire people, individually and collectively, appear to have been engrossed with this grand object; and the moral condition of the multitude has, as it seems to me, been most lamentably neglected. It is with peculiar grief and mortification that I say this; but I cannot bear in mind that, while all the other Governments of Europe, warned by the melancholy events which darkened the latter years of the last century, warned by those sad lessons, directed their earnest, their unceasing attention to the moral training and religious education of their people, England alone—Protestant, Christian England—neglected this all important duty of giving her people that training, that education which so intimately concerns not only their temporal, but their eternal welfare. It may safely be asserted that this most important subject has been neglected in this country to a greater degree than in any other civilised nation. I must say that I think recent events in the manufacturing districts are pregnant with solemn warning. I quite agree with my noble Friend (Lord Ashley) in what he has stated to the House on this topic. The law, it is true, has been triumphant; everything like violence has been subdued; and, in justice to the people of this country, I must add that, though their sufferings, their privations, their disappointments have been great, yet, even in those cases where there has been a breach of the law committed, that breach has not been accompanied by acts of cruelty or of remarkable outrage. The police and the soldiers have done their duty; the time is arrived when moral and religious instructors must go forth to reclaim the people from the errors of their ways. The harvest is abundant, but the labourers are few; it is time that the good work should be begun in earnest; it is time that a better seed—the seed of sound morality and Christian truth—should be sown in the hearts of the people; and it must be the care of the nation—of the Government, with the view to the future peace, the future destinies of this country—to take this most 914 serious subject into their anxious consideration. I can truly say that I have directed my thoughts to this question more anxiously than to any other. I know well the difficulties of it; and if I can but induce the House in the temper which at this moment pervades it, on this one subject, to lay aside all party feelings, all religious differences, to endeavour to find out some neutral ground on which we can build something approaching to a system of national education, with a due regard to the just wishes of the Established Church on the one hand, and a studious attention to the honest scruples of the Dissenters on the other, in my judgment we shall be conferring a greater benefit on the people whom we represent than by any course of policy which can be adopted, and, for myself, I will say that all party, all personal considerations will I gladly lay aside could I but hope that I might be made the humble instrument of proposing to the House anything approaching to a scheme which should lead to the happy consummation I desire with the sanction of the Legislature." [3 Hansard, lxvii. 7.]Sir, those are eloquent words. They were pronounced by my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham), but at a time when he bad not become a disciple of the voluntary system—before he had read those two pamphlets which seem to have obliterated all the knowledge and information which he had previously received. With a mind which had long been, pondering on this subject—with a mind filled with accounts and reports from every part of the kingdom—he had come to a wise decision; but now appear two pamphlets, and they sweep away every trace of his previous knowledge and reflection. But let me not attempt to add any words to those which I have read. I do not feel disposed to apologise for having brought forward this great subject. I have had at heart the welfare of this country, and I do trust that the cause of education will prosper, whether by these Resolutions or by any others that may be proposed.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
I am quite sure, Sir, that I express only the unanimous opinion of the Committee, when I say that there is no one who could be induced to impute the slightest degree of blame to my noble Friend (Lord J. Russell) for having devoted the great talents which he possesses, and the large influence which he so deservedly enjoys both in this House and in the country, to an attempt to extend the blessings of popular education to every class of the community. Whatever opinions may be entertained with regard to the details of the Resolutions which he has proposed, the country will appreciate the motives which induced him to bring them forward, and will respect his determined resolution to labour in that cause for the good of his 915 country and of his fellow-subjects, undeterred and undaunted by the former failures alike of Governments with which he has himself been connected and of others. I must say, Sir, though I feel that every discussion of a plan of general education reveals more distinctly than before the difficulties of the question, I am far from thinking that barren as these discussions may be of any actual product in the shape of legislation, they ore altogether devoid of benefit. I believe that the attention of the country being called to the subject is of itself an advantage; and it is also of great importance, if it only recalls to our attention our individual responsibility, not only as members of the Legislature but as members of society, and induces us to use all the means in our power to effect the great object which my noble Friend, in common with other Members of this House, has in view. There is no one in this country scarcely who contends that education is not a blessing and a benefit, and who does not desire to see it extended; and the only difference of opinion which exists is, as to the best means of effecting that object. When hon. Gentlemen say, that nothing is requisite but a resolute course of conduct to overcome the difficulties which embarrass this question, I must say that my experience leads me to a different conclusion. The hon. and learned Member for Midhurst (Mr. Warren) in a first speech, which I listened to with great pleasure last night, said, that he did not see why that which had been accomplished alike in despotic countries and in free States could not be accomplished here. I must say, that I think those who hold this opinion, overlook the fact that we in this country, in accordance with the feelings of the great mass of the population, refuse to adopt the means which have been adopted in those despotic States and free States. In despotic States religion is not excluded from the schools, but one religion only—that of the State—is taught; and in the free States referred to the difficulty is got rid of by excluding religion from the schools altogether. I do not believe that we are prepared to adopt either of these means of facilitating the establishment of a general system of education, and therefore the inference which is sought to be drawn is not a fair one. I should be sorry, indeed, to throw any impediment in the way of those who are anxious for the universal diffusion of education throughout the kingdom, 916 and it is to be desired above all things that the differences of opinion on this subject existing between different, religious denominations, which is the real difficulty, could be overcome, and that they should meet and agree upon some general system, which might effect the object which all of them have in view; but experience has shown that they are not prepared to do this. The statement which has been made by my noble Friend as to the course which he means to adopt, very much narrows the ground of difference among hon. Members of this House with regard to these Resolutions. Upon those Resolutions, in reference to which the greatest difference of opinion exists, he does not intend, as I understand him, to ask the House to give an opinion; he proposes merely to ask the House to go into Committee upon the first five, by which is affirmed the expediency of extending, revising, and consolidating the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council of Education, and of appointing Inspectors to report on the state of education throughout the country. That being the case, it will be unnecessary for me to trouble the Committee at so great a length as I should otherwise have done; but, besides stating the course which the Government intend to take with regard to these Resolutions, I shall feel it my duty to state what they would have done had the noble Lord gone on with the whole of these Resolutions, and also what they proposed to do with reference to the Motion of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) that the Chairman do now leave the chair, which means that we should abstain from discussing the Resolutions at all. With regard to this Motion, let me say that we are not now discussing these Resolutions in a Committee of the whole House owing to any rule which requires them to be so discussed. When my noble Friend proposed these Resolutions, it was perfectly competent for him to have submitted them to the House, but it was suggested, I believe by Mr. Speaker, that it would be more convenient to discuss them in Committee, when there would be greater freedom for any hon. Member to speak more than once if it were necessary. It would be unfair to my noble Friend to say that under these circumstances we would not consider these Resolutions, and that directly we had gone into Committee, under an arrangement intended to be for the general convenience of the House, 917 we should immediately get rid of that Committee and refuse to consider my noble Friend's proposals at all. To the Motion, therefore, of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Henley) the Government cannot give their assent. Beyond this they are prepared to a certain extent to agree to the Resolutions of my noble Friend. With respect to the first Resolution the Government have no hesitation in giving their cordial assent. It has been objected that this Resolution would absolve the Government from the responsibility which properly belongs to them now in the matter of education, that without any such Resolution they may revise, consolidate, and extend the Minutes of the Committee on Education, and that, therefore, it is unnecessary for the House to interpose. On the contrary, it appears to me that the hands of the Government would be very much strengthened if this House were, with the experience it has had of the working of the Committee of Education, to resolve that they regarded it as expedient that this system should be extended, as it is indeed now being extended by the Committee of Education. My right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham), whose speech I certainly heard with as much surprise as my noble Friend, does not object to the revision and consolidation of the Minutes of the Council on Education, but he objects to pledge the House of Commons to their extension. Whether he objects to their extension itself, or whether he merely objects to this House sanctioning their extension by a direct vote, I must confess I could not gather. I hope the last; for certainly no man in this House has done more, whether in or out of office, to effect that object. I should think he would be the last to sanction the construction which I know has been placed upon his speech of last night—that he was favourable to the views of those who object as much to the expenditure of one shilling of public money for the promotion of education, as they do to any of the Resolutions proposed by my noble Friend. I heard the speech of my right hon. Friend cheered by the advocates of the voluntary system, and certainly my right hon. Friend's speech was entitled to their approbation. He appeared to adopt the voluntary principles of Mr. Baines, and to approve the voluntary system, unsupported by any Parliamentary grant, as advocated by that Gentleman and many hon. Members of this House, who hold the doctrine that any State interference 918 and any Parliamentary grant for educational purposes are unnecessary, and that they only impede the spread of education and retard the efforts of its best friends. If that be not the case, I hope we shall hear from my right hon. Friend before this debate closes that he did not mean to maintain that voluntary efforts were not to be aided and assisted by Parliamentary grants, that he only meant to pay a just tribute to the results of those voluntary efforts, which, as no one can deny, have produced such beneficial results; and that he does not lose sight of the fact that those voluntary efforts have been developed and supported by Parliamentary aid. If this be his meaning, I am afraid that the cheers with which his speech was greeted last night would not have been quite so hearty had it been more clearly expressed. My right hon. Friend read statistics furnished by Mr. Baines and Mr. Unwin, showing that the people of this country, in his and in their opinion, are an educated people. I cannot go so far as to agree with him in that statement; but I do cordially agree with him that, within the last twenty or thirty years education has made enormous progress in this country, and what we have to inquire is, how that progress can be maintained, and in what manner we can best promote, assist, and guide voluntary exertions. My noble Friend told us that £2,000,000 had been expended since the commencement of these grants, and in moving the Education Estimates last year I stated that between 1833 and 1854, 4,514 schools have been erected, enlarged, or improved by the aid of the Parliamentary grant; that 700,000 scholars had been provided with additional or improved school accommodation; and that a number of schools, approaching to one-third of the total number of public schools returned by the Registrar General in the census of 1851, had been erected or improved by the aid of this grant in the course of twenty-one years. The grant in 1839 was £30,000, and in 1856 it was £450,000. These grants have gone on progressively increasing, and I believe that a majority of this House would willingly vote sums still larger if it could be shown that they were necessary. My right hon. Friend (Sir J. Graham), when he was Secretary of State in 1842, in defending the Education Vote in Committee of Supply, declared the intention of Sir Robert Peel's Government not only to adhere to the system of education based on the Minutes 919 of the Committee of Privy Council, but to do their utmost to extend it. He also expressed their intention to apply to the purposes of national education every fund which in equity and law might be made applicable to that sacred use, and concluded with these words:—If we should find it difficult to carry these views with reference to education into effect, it is our intention to trust to the liberality of Parliament for an additional grant.On that occasion the sum that was voted was £40,000, and in the last year in which the Estimates were prepared by that Government the education grant, under the auspices of my right hon. Friend, the Vote for education amounted to £100,000. I must say that I think it will be satisfactory to those who were parties to these grants, and who had at first the greatest difficulties to encounter in obtaining the smallest sums of money to be placed at the disposal of the Committee of Council of Education, to find Parliament ready to express the opinion that the Minutes of the Committee of Council should be extended. I do not say that it is necessary that this Resolution should be agreed to in order that those Minutes should be extended, because, practically, they are extended every year; but I think that by agreeing to it we shall affirm and sanction what is in consonance with general opinion. I will state the instances in which extensions have been made in the present year, and I am the more anxious to do so because I do not think that hon. Gentlemen have well analysed the estimate which is before Parliament for educational purposes. Now, as regards the capitation grant, the Committee of Council has proposed an extension from £12,000 to £40,000. Then again, with regard to industrial schools what is the case? Why, this year there is a sum of £10,000 for industrial schools against nil in that of last year. The Minutes with regard to the application of these sums will be laid before Parliament. As regards the first Resolution, therefore, the Government are prepared to give to it a cordial support, I wish that I could say as much with regard to the remaining ones; but, looking at these Resolutions as a whole, and with every desire that the object for which they are intended should be accomplished, the Government do not think it right to assume to themselves, by affirming these Resolutions, the responsibility of laying before Parliament 920 measures founded upon them; for, although we may agree with the general spirit of most of them, great difficulty would arise in embodying their principle in. a practical measure which would fairly carry out that principle. The second Resolution asserts that it is expedient to add to the present inspectors of Church of England schools eighty sub-Inspectors, and to divide England and Wales into eighty divisions for the purposes of education. Now, I won't say anything as regards the numbers, because I think that the objections which have been urged against the numbers being fixed by this House are conclusive, and I believe my noble Friend acquiesces in the propriety of omitting any specific number, but the point for consideration is to whether or no it is desirable for the House to pledge itself to the appointment of a large number of sub-Inspectors, to be distributed throughout the country for the purpose of obtaining information on the subject of education. Now, Sir, I think that it is most desirable that we should possess accurate information with regard to the available means of education throughout the country, but at the same time it is a very difficult and delicate operation to obtain it. Let us consider by what means that information is to be procured. If we are satisfied with sub-Inspectors being appointed with powers which the Committee of Council can already bestow, I think the appointment of those gentlemen might be safely left to the Committee of Council, the additional expense to be placed on the estimates to be laid before Parliament; but then arises the question, what power are these gentlemen to possess? Some years ago lamentable statements were made as to the state of education in Wales, and three gentlemen were appointed by the Committee of Council to proceed to Wales and investigate the available means of education in the Principalities. Able Reports were received from those gentlemen and laid before Parliament, but those gentlemen had no means of enforcing information by any compulsory process and these Reports may therefore have been less complete than they would otherwise have been. If it be intended that a real educational census should be taken, and that the number of existing schools with the characters and qualifications of the teachers in them should be ascertained, I believe that nothing less than an Act of Parliament enabling the Inspectors to compel information would be sufficient 921 to accomplish that object. I therefore think that it would not be prudent for the Committee to agree to this Resolution without possessing more distinct information as to what is to be done by these sub-Inspectors. If they are only to possess ordinary powers, the Resolution is, I think, unnecessary; and if it be intended that they shall present a full and accurate educational census, then I think the proper course to adopt would be to bring in a Bill bestowing upon them the necessary powers. With regard to this Resolution, therefore, although I concur in the propriety of obtaining full information upon the subject, I think that it would be unwise for the Committee to pledge itself, by consenting to adopt this Resolution, to the appointment of a large staff of sub-Inspectors, and upon this Resolution the Government would be prepared to support the Motion of the previous question should it be moved. As to the division of the country into school districts, the noble Lord has, I think, satisfactorily answered the objections made to that proposal, and certainly, if the object of this division be to acquire information, I see no necessity for adhering to the existing parochial divisions. I come now to the Resolution of the noble Lord which proposes to extend the powers of the Commissioners of Charitable Trusts. That Resolution asserts:—That, for the purpose of extending such means, it is expedient that the powers at present possessed by the Commissioners of Charitable Trusts be enlarged, and that funds now useless or injurious to the community be applied to the education of the middle and poorer classes of the community.In the general principle contained in this Resolution the Government entirely concur, and indeed, I cannot conceive that any man will contend that funds now useless or injurious to the community should not be applied to a beneficial object. The only difficulty, I apprehend, arises with respect to the question—who are to determine what is useless or injurious? I must confess that I am rather surprised by an objection taken by the right hon. Member for Oxfordshire to the principle of the Resolution. He said that the Charity Commissioners, in their scheme, in the case of Coventry having proposed that certain doles given in money, according to the original trust, to the freemen of Coventry, should be applied to hospitals and infirmaries, that was quite a legitimate disposal of the fund, but that the proposition 922 to apply this money for the purpose of education was monstrous. I must say that, if it be legitimate to divert a trust of this kind, which has become useless or injurious in its application, and to apply the money to establish or support hospitals or dispensaries to relieve the bodily wants and infirmities of the people, I cannot conceive how it can be a monstrous application of the funds to devote them to the purposes of the mental cultivation and the intellectual development of the population by affording the means of sound education, which would teach them their duties to God and man and make them useful members of society. I hope that was a doctrine which the Committee would not be disposed to sanction. I will only say with regard to the Coventry scheme that it can have no valid effect until sanctioned by Parliament, though it has been proposed by the Charity Commissioners, and I wish they had a larger power of dealing with cases of this kind, because I think that in their hands the power might be safely and wisely exercised. I think however what has been stated by the right hon. Member for Carlisle with respect to this Resolution is just, and that we ought not to pledge ourselves to a Resolution of this kind until we see the Bill, which would give effect to the plan. I now come to the proposition with respect to rating, though under present circumstances I need say very few words on the subject, but I am anxious to state what the views of the Government are in reference to it. The seventh Resolution of the noble Lord declared,—That it is expedient, that in any school district where the means of education, arising from endowment, subscription, grants, and school pence, shall be found deficient, and shall be declared to be so by the Committee of Privy Council for Education, the ratepayers should have the power of taxing themselves for the erection and maintenance of a school or schools.This question of rating, for the purpose of education, is one that has been very largely discussed on previous occasions. It was first proposed in a private Bill—the Manchester and Salford Education Bill—which Bill was opposed not so much on its merits as because it was deemed inexpedient that Parliament should, in a private Bill, sanction such a principle; and it was suggested that a general Bill should be introduced, empowering persons to rate themselves for the purpose of education. The Bill was referred to a Committee, before which important and valuable evidence was 923 given, and that evidence satisfied me not only that the unaided voluntary efforts of those meritorious persons who had devoted themselves so much to the promotion of education were unable to meet the wants of large cities, but even that the existing scheme of voluntary efforts, aided by grants from Parliament, had also failed to obtain the desired object. I was therefore confirmed by that evidence in the opinion that a voluntary power should be given to recognised bodies—representative bodies—to rate themselves for the purpose of extending the means of education in those districts where the means of instruction were manifestly insufficient, and in the course of the present Session a Bill has been laid on the table of the other House which proposes to empower, subject to certain restrictions, town councils and ratepayers in parishes, where a certain proportion of the ratepayers choose to exercise the power, to rate themselves for the purpose of education. That Bill expresses the opinion of the Government as to what they think may be properly attempted in this direction. I am aware of the difficulty which surrounds this question, and in expressing an opinion favourable to this principle, I cannot shut my eyes to the fact that it does lead in the direction, at all events, of a secular system of education. This was a subject to which the Committee on the Manchester and Salford Education Bill directed their attention. They had before them persons of great influence, the advocates of secular education, and of secular combined with religious education, who, though equally advocating the system of rating, differed as to the mode in which the rates should be applied, yet so closely that I hoped that they might have arrived at some common ground of agreement. The advocates of secular combined with religions instruction desired to make the religious instruction so general as to embrace all those who agreed on the common principle of Christianity, and also to adopt the provision which my noble Friend has incorporated in his Resolutions, allowing the parents or guardians of children to withdraw them from any religious teaching. There you had the germ of secular education. When the question came before the House the difference of opinion widened, and that Bill was lost. I said that the provision I have just adverted to involved the germ of secular education, because, if you say that all schools should afford religious instruction, but at the same time declare that any 924 child may be withdrawn from that religious instruction, the education given, so far as every such child is concerned, is secular. But I am quite prepared to encounter that danger, because I think that the education given in these schools would be in itself of great benefit. The Government, therefore, have proposed a Bill which will give this voluntary power of rating. The question, I am willing to confess, is one attended with much difficulty, but the Government are disposed to think that the giving a voluntary power of rating is the only means by which an efficient provision could be made for education in those districts in which the existing means are deficient. With respect to compulsory rating for the purpose of education, whether proposed to be established according to the plan of the noble Lord, or any other scheme, I entertain a different opinion. I think it is liable to great objection, and that as proposed in these Resolutions it would be practically useless. The noble Lord first proposes to give power to the ratepayers in any district or parish in which education is declared to be deficient, to rate themselves. But if a parish or district were, as he said, steeped in ignorance and immorality, and the ratepayers refused to take any step to lessen that ignorance and immorality, the noble Lord then proposes to give to the quarter sessions power to impose on the parish or district a school rate. Now, what is to be the effect of that imposition? It is said truly that the character of a school depends on the schoolmaster; and I must also say that I despair of any good system of education being adopted in any district, unless carried out by persons really convinced of the importance of the matter, and anxious to benefit the population by applying the best means to provide sound and useful education. But how could it be expected that the rate payers acting only under compulsion would effect this object? With regard to religious instruction, while I deeply regret that differences upon that point should impede the exertions of all who endeavour to promote a general system of education, I cannot overlook the fact that those differences have their advantages as well as their disadvantages. Unanimity upon the subject of religion very seldom exists in large mixed communities without comparative indifference; and the rivalry between contending sects has, I think, contributed in a great degree to the establishment of many of 925 the schools which have of late years sprung up in this country. If we adopt the noble Lord's proposition to establish schools by means of rates, his plan with regard to the instruction to be given in those schools is probably the best that could be devised, although no doubt great objections would be raised to it by the ratepayers of many districts. There would be much practical difficulty in enforcing any provisions such as those proposed by the noble Lord with respect to children in employment between the ages of nine and fifteen. The case of factory children is entirely distinct from that of children dispersed over a large district in domestic service and in agricultural employments. I think, however, that the compulsory principle might be extended to other than factory children, and I am glad to learn that a meeting recently took place in the North of England, of proprietors and others interested in collieries, at which proposals were made calculated to secure the education of children connected with the collieries. No one, I conceive, can object to the noble Lord's last Resolution, and I think its principle might be extended with advantage to adult schools. To the first Resolutions, therefore, the Government give their hearty assent, and I have stated the course they would have taken with regard to the other Resolutions if the noble Lord had asked the Committee to express an opinion upon them, although, after the discussion which has taken place, I think he has acted very judiciously in not pressing them. Every one must appreciate the noble Lord's exertions in the cause of education, and, whatever may be the fate of these Resolutions, I am persuaded that the discussions to which they have given rise will not be unproductive of useful fruit, but will tend to promote the object we are all desirous to accomplish—the extension of education in this country.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, he wished to state the course he proposed to take in consequence of the intention of the noble Lord to withdraw all his Resolutions except those relating to instruction and partition. The Government, it was represented, were willing to support the first Resolution, and his hon. Friend (Mr. Adderley) intended to move an Amendment to it. Now, the first Resolution, standing by itself, and all its objectionable parts being taken away, was much less mischievous than the other Resolutions, and, therefore, with the permission of the Committee, he would withdraw 926 his Motion, that the Chairman do now leave the chair, until that Resolution had been disposed of. Immediately, however, that had been disposed of, he should renew his Motion. He placed himself entirely in the hands of the Committee, but he thought that was the best course that could be adopted.
said, he did not object to the withdrawal of the right hon. Gentleman's Motion, but he thought the better course would be to allow the debate to proceed for the present without withdrawing it.
§ MR. E. BALL
said, he was glad that the noble Lord had withdrawn the most offensive of the Resolutions, but he yet thought he would have done better if he had withdrawn the whole of them. What use was there in retaining the first Resolution when the Educational Committee of the Privy Council were now acting upon its principles? He must deny that the opponents of the noble Lord's Resolutions were indifferent to the cause of education; they merely differed from him as to the best means of advancing it. The noble Lord had referred to Mr. Edward Baines, but, if the noble Lord had known that Gentleman better than he did, instead of calling him a hot-headed voluntary he would have spoken of him rather as a warm-hearted Christian. True, Mr. Baines in his pamphlet did not speak of the noble Lord quite as kindly as he had been wont to do in former years, but then the noble Lord had not of late spoken quite as kindly as usual of the voluntaries. The noble Lord ought to have remembered that, whatever opinions the voluntaries now entertained, they had adopted those opinions in consequence of the principles inculcated by the noble Lord in his speeches upon the questions of church rates and of education. They were naturally surprised at the speech in which the noble Lord had introduced the Resolutions, because, if they were in error, they had fallen into error only in consequence of having followed the noble Lord. They felt that the noble Lord had given, them the direct cut; therefore, he ought not to be surprised if they did not speak of him so kindly as they had used to do, or that they entertained towards him a 927 little cooler feeling than in former times. He was delighted to hear the speech of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle last night. It was one of the best speeches he had ever heard in that House. It was one of those productions with which, in his earliest days, the right hon. Baronet had used to treat the House. It was like the Phœnix risen from its ashes again. He was glad also to hear the right hon. Baronet speak of those pamphlets from which he so largely quoted, for it so happened that he himself had got a speech prepared, founded chiefly on those pamphlets, written by two Dissenters; but the eye of the Speaker being turned to the right hon. Baronet, he (Mr. Ball) soon discovered that the right hon. Gentleman was even a greater plagiarist than he himself would have been, for the whole speech of the right hon. Baronet was built on those two pamphlets, and he (Mr. Ball) was completely left on a lee shore. He did not think the right hon. Baronet had gone so far as the noble Lord had charged him with having gone in preferring the voluntary to the compulsory principle. He understood the right hon. Baronet to say that he thought the two things would work best together. It was the object of all the friends of popular education to harmonise the two principles. The noble Lord and the right hon. Baronet appeared to have changed sides; for, while the noble Lord was once a voluntary, he was now the advocate of a compulsory system; the right hon. Baronet, on the other hand, distrusting the compulsory plan which he once advocated, was now advancing towards a more liberal system. The noble Lord had to-night stated that he had arrived at the conclusion, that a secular education was better than no education at all. Recollecting, however, what the noble Lord had on other occasions stated, he certainly did not expect that he would have gone so far, for it was not very long since, at a meeting of the British and Foreign School Society, the noble Lord advanced very different doctrines. He (Mr. Ball) very much doubted whether secular education merely was a good; whether a man without religion was either happier or better with a secular education than he was without it. Knowledge and learning were not a preventive of crime. It rather sharpened the intellect and increased the power for evil. He would not give education at all if it were not allied with religion. As carrying out his 928 views he would give a case in illustration. In a reformatory for criminals, in a place just by (Smith Street), called "A Place of Repentance," out of 100 cases taken casually, it appeared that eighty-three attended school in youth; and there were only seven who had received no education whatever, which, he thought, showed that education did not prevent crime. The noble Lord had said that the people received a better education in foreign countries than in England. [Lord JOHN RUSSELL: I did not say so.] The noble Lord had said that in Prussia, for example, the number of children educated was 1 in 6, while in England the number was 1 in 8; but in Prussia the education was secular, while in England it was religious. He would ask whether, with all the advantages ascribed to the system of compulsory and centralised education in the countries of the Continent, so much had been done by those countries for the advancement of the happiness of mankind as had been done by England alone? Look at its Bible Societies, its Missionary Societies, and Tract Societies. The Religious Tract Society, for instance, had issued no fewer than 13,500,000 of tracts, books, and magazines for the year ending 31st of March, 1856. Look at facts such as these, and then say whether Prussia, Austria, or France had ever accomplished such things as those bodies had done. And why? Because England was the only country in which children received a religious education. He therefore questioned whether, when the noble Lord said that he preferred a secular education to no education at all, he had not committed a second error. But his principal object in addressing the Committee was to show what the result would be if the whole of the Resolutions of the noble Lord were fully carried out. It was important to consider what would be their bearing on the agricultural districts of the country. He had obtained a return from his own farm, and supposing that the principles advocated by the noble Lord were adopted, the results would be perfectly fearful. If they took children from their work to send them to school what would be the consequences to their parents? The following was the return he had obtained from his agent:—William Chapman, ten years a servant on his (Mr. Ball's) farm; his own wages 13s. a week, besides a house; he had seven children who earned 9s. a week; making together 22s. a week. Robert Arbor, fifteen 929 years on the farm, wages 13s. a week, and a house; six children who earned 6s. a week, making together 19s. John Stevens, thirty years a servant on the farm, his own wages 14s. a week; he had brought up ten children, whose average earnings had been 12s. weekly, making together 26s. a week. Robert Casburn, twenty-two years a servant on the farm, wages 13s. a week, having ten children, who earned 10s. a week, making together 23s. a week. Thus it appeared that in these four families the fathers earned 53s. weekly, and the children 37s. a week, so that the children earned something more than two-thirds of the amount of the earnings of their parents. Now, he would ask the Committee, if the fathers were to be deprived of the earnings of the children, how could they provide bread for them? It was perfectly impossible. They must either increase the parent's wages to the amount of the loss he thus sustained, or they must make it up to him from a rate. Then, again, those who were at all conversant with agriculture knew that if they deprived the farmer of the labour of children, agriculture could not be carried on. There was no machinery by which they could get the weeds in growing crops out of the land. It could only be done by the employment of children; and if that employment were stopped the land would be choked with weeds, the crops would much decrease, and a national calamity would be the result. There was another view which might be taken of this matter. If children were to be kept at school till they were fifteen years old, how were they to obtain a knowledge of farming or become skilful farm servants? Some persons supposed that the pursuit of agriculture was very simple, and that anybody might learn it. It was no such thing. Next to becoming a good sailor, nothing was more difficult than to become a good farmer's man. But children never would be able to attain a knowledge of farming if they were kept at school until they were fourteen or fifteen years of age. The fathers would hate education, the children would adopt the principles of their parents, and more would be done to make education hateful in the agricultural districts than the Committee could imagine. That was the ground upon which he should have opposed the Resolutions if the noble Lord had persisted in them. He believed the machinery of the noble Lord was objectionable. 930 The Minister of Education would be something more than a German Sovereign, for he would have all the officials of the Council of Education and all their dependents under him. There would be 80,000 or 90,000 teachers and nearly 4,000,000 of subjects under the noble Lord's control; for he presumed the noble Lord was to be the Minister of Education. In the pamphlet which had been honoured by the quotations of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carlisle (Sir James Graham), and dishonoured by the remarks of the noble Lord (Lord John Russell), there was a passage so truly English, so truly noble, breathing such a spirit of liberality, that he should like to immortalise Mr. Baines by reading it to the Committee. The passage was this—It behoves the people, then, well to consider, whether they are disposed to entrust the work of training the young to the Government—whether any necessity for so great a change has been shown—whether the vast educational agencies which have done so much within the last half century have come to a stand—whether freedom is so bad a system, and parental responsibility and religious zeal are such inadequate motives, as to compel us to surrender our dearest interests to official management—whether Government has evinced such wisdom, care, vigilance, and energy in the discharge of its other duties as to prove that it will be the best of educators—whether especially a work involving the duties and interests of religion may be fitly handed over to Ministers of State and the bench of quarter sessions—whether the principles of legal compulsion and governmental provision and control, once adopted, may not be extended to other matters of the utmost importance and delicacy, such as religion, the press, industry, and family arrangements—whether changes like these, from voluntary to official management, are conducive to the independent spirit, the self-relying energies, and the moral welfare of the nation, and whether the working classes of England are so destitute of natural affection and common sense that they neither are now, nor can ever be expected to be, fit judges of the proper duration of their children's education,He was grateful to the Committee for its kindness. He was glad that the noble Lord had withdrawn two-thirds, and those the worst portions of his Resolutions, and he believed it would have given much more satisfaction to the Committee and to the country if the noble Lord had withdrawn the whole of them.
§ SIR STAFFORD NORTHCOTE
said, he trusted he might be allowed to address a few observations to the Committee, although the question had assumed a different attitude from that which it presented at the commencement of the evening. He thought it only due to the Committee that 931 he should state shortly the reasons which had induced him to give notice of a Resolution, although he had no intention of moving it. Moreover, he thought that as the life of the noble Lord's plan had been struck out by the withdrawal of so many of the Resolutions and the leaving only what might be termed the dead body, it was open to hon. Gentlemen to scramble for any advantage that was to be derived from the first Resolution. The first Resolution merely meant that the Committee was in favour of the extension of education, and unless some construction were put upon it, either by speeches or subsequent Resolutions, it appeared to him to have little weight. If it had been followed by the adoption of the noble Lord's Resolutions, it would have had quite a different meaning, or if it had been adopted after a speech which laid down certain principles to be carried out at a convenient time, it would have given an implied sanction to those principles. But, under existing circumstances, it was important to found upon the Resolution such observations as might occur with regard to the present system of education and the present wants of the country. After the language which had been held upon the hustings, upon the judicial bench, at public meetings, and on all possible occasions, in favour of the promotion of education, it would have had a most unfortunate effect if they had come there, upon the invitation of so distinguished a Member as the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), to consider the subject of education, and then separated without taking any Resolution at all into consideration. At the same time, however deeply he might have felt the inconvenience of that course, he was prepared to have taken it rather than sanction the scheme of the noble Lord, which was in itself objectionable and wholly inadequate to satisfy the real wants of the country. He was quite prepared to grant to the noble Lord and to the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington) that the present system was not adequate to the wants of the country; but he thought that, having adopted, upon a small scale, a system which had gradually and rapidly assumed very large proportions, they ought to proceed very slowly and tentatively in any Amendments, and that such Amendments should be directed to the weak parts, and not to the strong parts of that system. Those who had observed minutely the history of the educational 932 measures of the country would have remarked that every improvement had in the outset reference to the wants of the lowest portion of the people; but that shortly after their adoption, when their value became apparent, those improvements had been, taken advantage of by the classes above the lowest, to the exclusion of those for whose particular benefit they were intended. The earliest scheme was that of the Sunday schools, originated in the latter part of the last century by Mr. Raikes, who was struck by the misery of the poor children prowling about the streets in a state of deplorable ignorance and vice, and who established the Sunday school for the benefit of these unfortunate outcasts. Within a short time, however, the class above came to the Sunday schools, and the poorer class, induced by shame, of which they were extremely susceptible, and the real pressure of competition from the higher class of children, left the schools in the hands of the class above them. So also with regard to the national system. Mr. Lancaster and Dr. Bell had the interests of the lowest class of children in view, but the systems were gradually taken up by the higher class of children, no doubt very much to the benefit of the country, but not to the benefit of those for whom the systems were originally intended. Without statistics it was impossible to go fully into the question; but it might be said, that from the commencement of the system to a certain period a rapid advancement was made, but that after that period a less rapid progress was observable. The general conclusion he drew as to the causes of this check was, that a want had been met, but that there were other wants that had not been met. The main fault of the present system, as it appeared to him, was, that it proceeded upon the false principle of giving to the comparatively rich and denying to the poor. Thus the grants were not given in proportion to the amount of voluntary effort, but in proportion to the results of voluntary effort. In some cases, where immense efforts were made, little or no results could be obtained. Take the case of the ragged schools. These schools were designed for a class whose education the State must specially wish to assist. But let the Committee contrast the efforts necessary for the establishment of these schools, with those made by country gentlemen in establishing schools for the children of their labourers and farmers. The latter easily built a school and filled it, and then they 933 went to the Privy Council and obtained grants. But look at the ragged schools. He had received a letter written by a Mr. Thornton relative to a ragged school at Bristol, in which the writer said, he had applied to the Privy Council for a few galleries and desks, and had received in reply a letter asking for a copy of the trustdeed of the school. The Ragged School Society were but yearly tenants, and they had no trust property, so that although a few desks would have been most useful to them they could not get them. Many Gentlemen knew an energetic clergyman, Mr. Rogers, of St. Thomas's, Charterhouse, whose school had been spoken highly of by the Committee of Privy Council and by Mr. Horace Mann. The income of the incumbent was so small that it was absurd to suppose he could grapple with the wants of education in his parish. But Mr. Rogers determined to make an effort, and appealed to his friends right and left for the money for building schools. The population of the district amounted to 9,500, the number of houses to 1,178, and the average rental was £12. By his exertions, he obtained a large sum, amounting, with the grant from the Privy Council, to between £8,000 and £9,000, with which he built schools for 1,400 children in his district. The Privy Council contributed £2,400, so that there would be no complaint against the Committee for want of liberality. Having built the schools, Mr. Rogers got 900 scholars for his day schools, 400 for his evening school, and 300, exclusive of the above, for his Sunday school, making 1,600 scholars. The children in his own district were admitted free, but a large portion of these 1,600 children were not of his district, and were not of the lowest class, for whom the school was intended. Mr. Rogers, in a pamphlet which he had published, stated, that of 577 who had been at one time in the schools, there were then only 157, many of the parents having left the district, and that there were 700 children in the district who ought to go to school, who attended nowhere. Such a statement as that of Mr. Rogers was better calculated to prove the extent of the existing want of education than any bird's-eye view of statistics. It showed that, after all the exertions of Mr. Rogers, the particular class of children for whom his sympathies were interested, were not provided with education, and were running about the streets and falling into mischief. Again, there was another remarkable feature in the 934 case. Almost all the telling statistics adduced to show the want of education in the country were brought from the Criminal Returns; yet the experience of those who had much to do with criminals showed that the large mass of them, however ignorant they might be, had never the less received some schooling or other. Now, how was this to be accounted for? By the imperfection of our system, which placed the great mass of children beyond the reach of the superior education now provided by the Privy Council. Mr. Norris, an Inspector of Schools for the central counties, writing in 1853, said, he should be speaking within bounds when he declared that out of every hundred children in his district, not more than six or seven were profiting by the improved apparatus provided by the Privy Council. There was a large number of schools and scholars, but then a very small part of them were deriving benefit from the Privy Council grants. The conclusion arrived at by Mr. Norris was, that the present educational means of the country would be sufficient if the schools were relieved of the vagrant classes of children known as the "City Arabs." Now this was simply putting the difficulty out of sight. It was just in keeping with what the noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) said the other night, that he did not propose to legislate for these children, because they belonged rather to the department of the Poor Law Board than to that of education. Friendless and helpless, these were the very children for whom the State was most imperatively bound to provide, and his spirit was moved within him when there was talk of handing them over to the Poor Law Board or the Home Office. The former would ignore them on the plea that the Poor Law dealt with no other than vagrant children, and the latter would reject them because, not having violated the law, they could not be recognised as objects of police regulation. What were they to do? The fact was, there was a fallacy at the root of our whole system, and it sprang from an erroneous interpretation of a single word—the word "education." The object of education was not only to impart knowledge, but to form the character of a child, and to turn him out a useful and valuable member of society. It was no refutation of this doctrine to say that of a hundred youthful offenders eighty-seven had been at schools of one sort or another. So they might, but they had not been educated. It was not true that education was 935 powerless to prevent the growth of the criminal classes. The youths who attended reformatory schools were, in the majority of cases, reclaimed; and surely, if they could be reformed by education, they might, by the same agency, have been originally prevented from falling into crime. What was needed for the children of the poor was not merely reading, writing, and arithmetic, but that valuable moral, religious, and industrial training which give vigour and dignity to the character. Nor was a purely secular system of education at all suited to the circumstances of this country, for religious men—who were always of some denomination—were at the head of all our educational institutions, and from such a system such men would be sure to keep aloof. With regard to capitation grants he approved their principle, but recommended that in towns where the population was necessarily more shifting and migratory than in rural districts, the grant should be given on an average rate of attendance, and without reference to 176 days. He wished, before sitting down, to call attention to some statements in a work of Miss Carpenter's, showing from the experience of the United States, that the mere fact of establishing free schools was not sufficient to withdraw the vagrant and truant children from the streets; and that it would be necessary to go further in order to attain the object aimed at.
§ MR. DRUMMOND
Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) towards the close of his able speech drew the attention of the Committee to the essential difference between education and instruction. The hon. Gentleman who preceded me made a passing allusion to the same point; but within one minute afterwards he used the word "education" as a convertible term with skilled labour. [Sir S. NORTHCOTE: I did not mean to do so.] I have not the least doubt that neither the hon. Member, nor any other speaker who has addressed us, meant to do so. Yet, from the noble Lord who introduced this subject of debate, down to the hon. Gentleman who spoke last, there is not one who has taken part in this discussion, who, from the beginning to the end of his speech, has not confounded the terms "instruction" and "education." The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell), indeed, throughout the whole of his Resolutions, adopts the phrase "education;" but with education itself not one of his whole series of 936 propositions really has anything to do. They have to do only with modes of instruction. Now I maintain that instruction is as distinct from education as it is possible for any two things to be. You may be exceedingly well instructed and exceedingly ill educated; and you may be extremely well educated and extremely ill instructed. Instruction you may buy—instruction you may cause to be given by Acts of Parliament; but you have never yet educated your people by its means. Let us take the two most recent cases of magnificent rogues—scoundrels on a great scale—take William Palmer and John Sadleir. Do you think that either of them wanted instruction? Or do you suppose that any amount of it will convert a dishonest man into a honest one? You say you are going to give your people instruction; you are about to compel them to pay money for sending their offspring to schools, not of their own selection, and to masters, not of their own choosing, but of yours. Your teachers are, moreover, to insist on children of nine years old being required to know foreign languages, mathematics, and the notation of music. Any parent who understands what a child is, or what is his own duty, never will send his boy to the merciless care of such pedagogues. I know for myself, Sir, that I would rather die first than entrust a child of mine to them; and I do believe that there are many parents in this country who are too sensible of their obligations to their offspring ever to submit to hand them over to the caprice of a set of doctrinaires and abstract theorists. And, pray, what do you propose to rear your youth for? Are you going to train them for statesmen? No. [Laughter.] The hon. Gentleman laughs at the notion, and so would I. But you are going to fit them to be—what? Why, cotton-spinners and pin-makers, or, if you like, blacksmiths—mere day labourers. These are the men whom you are to teach foreign languages, mathematics, and the notation of music. Was there ever anything more absurd? It really seems as if God had withdrawn common sense from this House. What is education? It is that which is imbibed from the moral atmosphere which a child breathes. It is the involuntary and unconscious language of its parents and of; all those by whom it is surrounded; and not their set speeches and set lectures. It is, the words which, the young hear fal 937 from their seniors when the speakers are off their guard; and it is by these unconscious expressions that the child interprets the hearts of its parents. That is education; and it, I grant you, is the thing that you are darkly aiming at, because more than one hon. Gentleman has connected what you call education with a reformatory system. You can't reclaim the uneducated—you can't repair that which never existed. It is the Church alone, after their parents, which God ordained to educate the youth of a nation. You will say, "Oh, but the parsons have neglected their duty." But have your schoolmasters done any better? And what assurance can you place in the pedagogues of your own invention, when the work has failed in the hands of the priests of God's selection? If I deny your right in this way to attempt the education of the people, I don't deny your right to attempt the reformation of offenders. But the man who wants education wants that which you never can supply. Give him instruction, if you will; and thereby you will only make him ten times worse than before. When your people become offenders against the community, you have really only two ways of dealing with them,—namely, to send those who have offended the least out of the country, and those who have offended the most out of the world.
said, he was in hopes that the hon. Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond) was going to draw a very intelligible distinction between education and instruction. The hon. Gentleman had, however, according to his apprehension, totally failed to do so. According to his (Mr. Miles' s) idea education must not only speak to the intellect—it must speak also to the soul. Instruction, on the other hand, spoke alone to the intellect, while all the moral and religious attributes that so ennobled man were overlooked. Now, as for the Resolutions of the noble Lord the Member for London, if they had seemed to tend in the least towards what was termed the secular system, not one of them should have his support; but believing, as he did, that from the very bottom of his heart the noble Lord placed the consideration of the soul's instruction above everything, the Resolutions should have his support. He was very sorry that the noble Lord had not taken the debate upon the whole of them, because he would at once assert that the noble, 938 Lord had offered the country a bold plan. No doubt there were in that plan certain details put prominently forward which were open to objection. However, those might have been so altered in Committee as would have rendered, in his opinion, the scheme worthy the grateful acceptance of Parliament. He must say that until he had entered the House he had not the slightest idea what was going to happen. His right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Admiralty (Sir C. Wood) had presented a petition from Halifax in favour of the objects of the noble Lord. There was, however, a supplement to that petition, which the right hon. Gentleman did not refer to, and which met the exact position brought about by the withdrawal of the noble Lord's Resolution for the imposition of a national rate, by suggesting in lieu thereof a voluntary one. While the speech of the noble Lord was going on, he heard that the Government had changed their minds upon this question, and had determined to oppose all the noble Lord's Resolutions excepting the first five. The noble Lord then, taking the hint, withdrew all but the first five Resolutions. Now he believed that everybody would assent to the first Resolution. But the question for the consideration of the Committee was, what description of education was to be generally given throughout the country? They already knew by the Inspectors' Reports, and the Diocesan Inspectors' Reports, what the kind of education was that was given in particular parts of the country. But it should be recollected that there were only between 4,000 and 5,000 schools placed under Government inspection, whereas there were altogether about 40,000 schools existing in England. Was there not then, he asked, a want of some method of getting at the knowledge of the quantity and quality of education given in the country? He agreed perfectly with the noble Lord in the necessity of a full inquiry into that matter. And it was, therefore, necessary that some body of Inspectors should be appointed to make that inquiry, and to report the results to the House of Commons. The Committee of Council should not act immediately upon such Reports, but should refer them to the consideration of that House, in order that a proper Bill should be founded upon them. In respect to the Resolution as to the rating, if that had been a new plan he would have been inclined to go with the 939 noble Lord; but they had a paper upon their table which showed how the Minute of Privy Council passed in August, 1853, was acted upon. By that Minute a power was given to parishes in which no schools existed of voluntarily rating themselves, half the expense necessary for building these schools being given by the Committee of Council on Education. Well, a Return of the schools thus established was presented to that House. He saw parishes in which so great ignorance prevailed that many of them had taken advantage of the power of voluntarily rating themselves for the mere purpose of obtaining half the expense from the Committee of Council for the building of their schools. The Minute of Council bore date the 20th of August, 1853. He found that upon the 1st of January following forty-seven parishes had voluntarily rated themselves. From January to December, 1855, there were ninety-four parishes that had rated themselves. From January 1 to March, 1856, the number was twenty-three parishes, making altogether 164 parishes that had voluntarily rated themselves for school purposes under the Minute of the Privy Council. Within the latter part of 1854 and the year 1855 there were in England and Wales 158 parishes in which new schools were erected; and of these no fewer than ninety-four were new schools in rural districts, built under the provisions of the Minute to which he had referred. While reviewing those schools, and the proceedings under the Minute, he thought there was every inducement held out to the Government to interfere to supply the want of religious instruction which was so much felt; and when they found that with the additional inducements held out to parishes in respect to the building of schools, so many, comparatively speaking, had availed themselves of the voluntary system of rating, he thought there would be no difficulty in resorting to the compulsory system of assessment when necessary. In 1852 and 1853 he was on two Committees; the one was to consider the Manchester and Salford Education Scheme, and the other was a Committee to consider the question of criminal and destitute children. He very freely confessed that he had entered upon the duties of the first Committee with feelings in favour of the voluntary system; but from the evidence which had been brought before them he was induced to change his opinion altogether, for he felt satisfied that such a system 940 was inapplicable to the satisfactory education of the people. Now he would ask what had the Voluntary Association done for education in this country? The results might be guessed from the following facts, namely, that the funds of that Association in 1845 amounted to no less than £25,000 in the year. But in 1851, they had sunk down to £1,450 a year. The noble Lord (Lord J. Russell) now seemed willing to abandon the rating principle. Was, then, the House of Commons prepared to vote larger sums annually to the Privy Council of Education? Looking over the different Reports of the Inspectors, it would be found that they were greatly divided in opinion as to the question from what fund the money should come for the purposes of education—whether from the national fund, or from rates imposed on the particular parishes. It might be said that there would be a tendency by compulsory rating to a system of secular education. The Bible, however, stood forward prominently in the noble Lord's Resolutions. A feeling had gone abroad that the system of voluntaryism was to be abolished, and the whole of the powers hitherto invested in different bodies were to be deposited in the hands of the Committee of Council for Education. Now, the first Resolution was sufficient to dispel that impression, because it showed that the noble Lord wished to extend, revise, and consolidate all the Minutes of Privy Council. In a parish in his (Mr. Miles' s) immediate neighbourhood there had formerly been five schools, one only of which could be designated a Church of England school. Well, it was thought most desirable that the whole of the infant population should be congregated in one school; and it was agreed that the Catechism should not be enforced: they had now all the children under one roof, and he was happy to say that that which appeared to be such a bone of contention in that House, was, in reality, practically nothing; for recently he asked whether any parents had required that their children should not be taught the Catechism, and the reply given to him was, that not one had made that request, not with standing the parents of many of them were dissenters. What was the state of Wales? No person could read the Inspectors' Reports with reference to that part of the country without being shocked at the enormous amount of ignorance that prevailed there; and yet the bulk of the people 941 there were religious. They were generally Dissenters, but they loved their Bible. The schools were few compared to the amount of the population in Wales, and the greatest ignorance prevailed, from the want of the means of instruction. Were they, then, as a Legislature, to sit still upon this question? Were they to be satisfied with the statement of the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham), that there had been an additional Vote of £1,000 for the ragged industrial schools? Why had not the Government grappled with the question? He did not think that the Government had acted very courteously towards their late colleague the noble Lord, when they merely found fault with his propositions without giving their reasons, as regarded the observations just made by his hon. Friend (Sir Stafford Northcote), the Committee which sat upon the case of the criminal and destitute children unanimously came to the conclusion that the Committee of Council ought not to require such high qualifications for the teachers in those schools. He thought that the Government should take the case of those children into their consideration, and that they should do all in their power to rescue those children, from their present degradation. By such a step they would be doing a great amount of good. Regretting that the discussion must necessarily be so brief in consequence of the noble Lord's determination to press only his first five Resolutions, he (Mr. Miles) had no hesitation in saying that as far as the noble Lord went he would give him his cordial support. There might be some details with which he should be obliged to disagree, but at the same time he thanked the noble Lord from his heart for the noble way in which he had brought forward those Resolutions, and he felt confident that the truths which they enunciated would soon prevail.
Sir, my hon. Friend who has just sat down has expressed the great regret which he feels at the probable brevity of our discussion. I do not think my hon. Friend was very happy in the selection of the subject for his regret, for an excess of brevity in debate is an error into which we so rarely fall that when, perchance, it does occur, there is, I think, a very excusable disposition to view it with indulgence. I confess, however, that upon every other score but that of brevity, I for one greatly regret 942 the position in which we are placed. I think it favourable neither to the cause of education nor to the credit of this House with the country. Perhaps I may be too fastidious and too difficult to please, but I am bound to admit that I am not satisfied as to the vote we are to give even upon the first of these Resolutions. I entirely understand the motives which have induced hon. Gentlemen to acquiesce in the passing of that Resolution. The reason for their adopting that course is plain. It is because that Resolution expresses a desire which we all entertain for the extension of education, and expresses it in a form in which we almost all entertain it—namely, for the extension of education by the use and the further enlargement of the machinery which we have heretofore found to act so beneficially. But I venture to submit to the Committee that there are no inconsiderable objections—speaking now not of the substance or object of the Resolution, but of its form—to the mode of proceeding which is proposed; for the Resolution is to the effect, "that, in the opinion of this House, it is expedient to extend, revise, and consolidate the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education." Now, I cannot recollect an occasion on which this House has undertaken by a Resolution of its own thus distinctly and particularly to dictate to a department of the Executive, not merely the object which it is to pursue—not merely the policy which this House desires to recommend to the Crown—but the precise form of its proceeding in connection with its own official rules of business. I apprehend that if this House wishes to point out a course, to the Executive Government, the proper plan for it to adopt is to address the Crown on the subject. For, observe the inconvenience that may arise from the adoption of a Resolution of this nature, pointing out to a department of the Executive the very form of proceeding which it is to pursue. If we may follow the course which is now recommended to us and pass a Resolution which does not give effect to itself, the House of Lords may do the same; the conclusions of the two Houses may be in conflict, and the Crown may have no means of expressing its views on the recommendation of either. I venture to submit to my noble Friend—though I am afraid I cannot claim that title to his attention which I should have were I friendly to the rest of his proposals—that 943 we should pursue a more convenient course if, in lieu of passing the first Resolution in Committee, notice were to be given of an Address to the Crown on the subject of the Minutes of the Committee of Privy Council on Education, carrying our representations humbly to the foot of the Throne, and leaving the Crown to exercise its constitutional power of expressing its views on the question. So far touching the form of the Resolution; but there is much more than form involved in the proceeding we are asked to adopt. I do not recollect a period when questions of greater moment were raised than upon the present occasion, nor do I recollect a time when more formal preparations were made for bringing them completely to an issue. A notice was not, indeed, given in the Queen's Speech—for that was beyond the influence of my noble Friend—but the nearest approach to that was afforded to us, for on the first day of the Session my noble Friend announced his intention to propose Resolutions on the subject of education. On a subsequent day my noble Friend appealed to the noble Lord at the head of the Government, in terms not to be misunderstood and of great solemnity, urging that the moment the preliminaries of peace were signed there could be no duty so pressing and incumbent upon the House as to come to a decision upon the question of education, and, consequently, expressing his hope that when his Resolutions were submitted to the House no other public business would be allowed to interfere with the course of the discussions until, upon the whole of the points involved in them, the judgment of this House should have been pronounced. Thus the preparations for our debate were serious and formal in the highest degree, and I must confess I little expected, when I heard my noble Friend make the request, that no other public business should be done by Government from the commencement of these discussions until we had passed our judgment upon all the Resolutions, that after the debate had formally begun—after speeches of no ordinary weight and importance had been delivered—the noble Lord himself would be the man who, in the middle of that debate, would prevent us from passing judgment upon the most weighty and momentous of those Resolutions, the whole of which he had so formally and so solemnly prepared to give to issue. I do not for one moment suppose that my noble Friend, 944 in adopting that course, acted without a motive, and I apprehend the explanation of his conduct is clear. He anticipated defeat, and, weighing in his own mind the comparative amount of disaster—having before him, on the one hand, the certainty of large majorities against his Resolutions, and, on the other, I will not say the ignominy, but the disadvantage of a somewhat premature retreat—he determined to take that of the two evils which philosophy assured him was the least, and which, I think, he was justified in believing would be the least detrimental to his proposals. But I am sure my noble Friend will allow me respectfully to represent to him that in proportion as the withdrawal of his Resolutions is to their mover more satisfactory than their defeat, in the same proportion to most of us the defeat of the Resolutions would have been more satisfactory than their withdrawal. I freely admit that my noble Friend did not use any sort of artifice with the Committee. He did not shrink from defending his Resolutions to the last; he bore them up high in argument, though he avoided a practical issue; he has left his defence of them upon record before the country, and I must say that, although he used no artifice to the Committee in that sense, yet as a manager of debate, I think it was, if not an artifice, at least a stratagem that evinces skill of the highest order, that my noble Friend should have delivered his own elaborate and ingenious speech, refuting, of course to his entire satisfaction, the objections that had been made to his proposals, and then, by the withdrawal of the Resolutions which formed the subject of dispute, should have endeavoured to avert the damage and exposure to be apprehended from the residue of the discussion. For that reason it is most important that we should come to a clear and distinct issue in this discussion, and that it should be known to and understood by the country that my noble Friend has simply acted the part of a good general anxious to extricate the remnants of his army from a dangerous and desperate position, and that, in point of fact, the main objections that have been taken to the Resolutions of my noble Friend are objections entertained as deep convictions by the great majority of the Members of this House. The noble Lord has the advantage of the support of a man of the high character of my hon. Friend who has just sat down. He has also the advantage of the support of my right hon. 945 Friend the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), whose interest in the subject of education is well known, and who has treated it with so much ability. There are other instances, no doubt, of persons who in their zeal for education were quite ready to accept the proposals of my noble Friend; but I think there can be no mistake as to the general sentiments of this House, and I will endeavour to state in very few words—not wishing to deprive the Committee of the advantages of that brevity to which allusion has been made—what I conceive the substance of those impressions to be. We do not, in discussing the character of these Resolutions, intend to question the intentions of the mover. It is only fair to the mover of the Resolutions to admit that any one who reads them will see that he has been actuated by an anxious desire to save, so far as he could, the principal of local influence as opposed to that of central control, and likewise to save the principle of religious instruction as opposed to that of instruction which is purely secular. But saying thus much of the intentions of my noble Friend, I must restrict myself to his intentions, for I am convinced, from the tenor and purport of the scheme as a whole—from what would be its inevitable tendency in the course of its operation—if, indeed, it could operate—that the expectations of my noble Friend in those vital respects would be entirely disappointed. There has been some misunderstanding as to the purport of the speech of my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham) last night. He has been taunted—in an amicable tone, indeed, but still taunted—with having adopted the language of those who are termed the friends of the voluntary principle. I apprehend my right hon. Friend thought it quite unnecessary for him, bound up as he has been for many years, and as all Gentlemen who have held office in this country have been, on whichever side of the House they may sit; and responsible, as he has been, for not only the maintenance, but the constant and progressive extension of the present system of Government aid to voluntary institutions throughout the country, to fatigue himself or to waste the time of the Committee by formal protests and professions on such a subject. It is equally unnecessary, I consider, for me to enter into any detailed explanations of the views and intentions of my right hon. 946 Friend, or to state that they are entirely unchanged. He stands here as the defender of the existing system against a system which it is proposed to substitute for it. We have happily found it practicable in England to associate together in the most perfect harmony these two principles—the principle of voluntary exertion, through which you get heart and love and moral influence infused into your school instruction, and the principle of material aid from the State, by which the skeleton and framework of your education are provided. But, associated as these two principles have been, it may be superfluous for one man or another to say what he would do in the event of its being necessary to sever them one from the other. I am convinced that the harmony which has hitherto been maintained between them, even in times of doubt and difficulty, will continue, and, if possible, increase; but if I were driven utterly to abandon the voluntary principle or to place exclusive reliance upon it, I would not hesitate a moment in making my choice. In such an emergency I would say at once—give me the real education, the affection of the heart, the moral influences operative upon character, the human love, that are obtained through the medium of the voluntary principle carried out by men whose main motive is one of Christian philanthropy, rather than throw me upon a system which, whatever the intentions of its first mover may be, must sooner or later degenerate into hard irreligion. Now, Sir, the issues which were raised by the four Resolutions following the first—which I am sorry to say have not been abandoned, were these:—My noble Friend proposes to provide for the powers of the Privy Council; he proposes to appoint a large number of Inspectors, to form the country into new districts, and to empower the Inspectors in those districts to report on the available means for the education of the poor within them. And my noble Friend gave what I thought was a singular illustration of the mode in which, under this part of the plan, he intended to encourage the voluntary principle. I understood my noble Friend to say that when a sufficiently numerous corps of Inspectors was appointed, it would be their duty to make calls on the inhabitants of their respective districts at their private residences, and to suggest to them in whatever cases they thought it desirable that a school should 947 be built. Now, Sir, I think that my noble Friend, by this proposition, is imposing upon the Inspectors a service which might, in particular instances, prove to be one not wholly free from personal danger; and I should certainly feel quite safe in going so far as to suggest that among the candidates for inspectorships those should be selected who, cœteris paribus, were the most robust. But what do these Resolutions mean? Are they a mere extension of the present system? What is the meaning of thus dividing England into new districts? What is the meaning of calling on the Privy Council to report authoritatively on the sufficiency of education, and of making the Privy Council the judge whether the education is sufficient or not? By all means get from the Privy Council the statistics of education; but do not erect a central organ in this country which shall be authorised to come to Parliament and say, "In districts A and B the education is sufficient, but in all the other districts, from C down to Z, it is insufficient." I look, I candidly confess, with great suspicion on these Resolutions; because I am fully convinced, so crude and impracticable is the machinery for working these schools by ratepayers—and in many cases recusant and reluctant ratepayers—that that organ which you have appointed with authority to report upon the sufficiency of education would gradually absorb all that the Resolutions leave to local influence, and would result in a comparatively centralised system of management. My noble Friend then goes on to provide for a scheme of compulsory rating. We are first to have an authoritative Report of the Committee of Privy Council declaring the means of education in a district insufficient. There is then power given to the ratepayers to assess themselves, in order to improve the education. As we proceed to discuss these Resolutions the truth of what I said just now as to their tendency to create a central power becomes more obvious and apparent; because, after the ratepayers or quarter sessions have made a rate, or have refused to make a rate, can the matter stop there? Can half a dozen magistrates sitting in quarter sessions say that no rate shall be levied in a particular district where the chosen organ of the State has declared the education to be insufficient? Suppose that the quarter sessions do not act, or that they act in an improper manner, 948 there must evidently be an interference from head-quarters. The same thing would result if the ratepayers appointed an unqualified schoolmaster; and, I ask, are the ratepayers the best judges of who are the best schoolmasters? Would there be no jobbing in the appointments? Would not the broken-down tradesman, who owed the parish something, have a powerful claim as a candidate? Whatever value you may set on local influence and local self-government, you betray local self-government if you apply it to purposes for which it is not fitted. It works so well in this country because it has been wedded to the habits of the people for more generations than we can count; but if you come down with a span-new system of local government inapplicable to the purpose for which it is intended, it will share the fate of all those paper constitutions which have been the curse of the world for so many years. Setting all this aside, however, it is evident that wherever education is judged to be deficient there will be compulsory rating. I know that we are at issue here with the framer of the Resolutions, but it appears to me clear that the day you sanction compulsory rating for the purpose of education you sign the death warrant of voluntary exertions. It is impossible that a voluntary school can compete with a rate-supported school; for the supporters of the voluntary system are paying the expenses of both schools; and when the promoters of the voluntary school improve their arrangements and increase their cost to maintain the competition with the rated school, the rated school likewise improves its arrangements at the expense, in a great measure, of the supporters of the voluntary school. We all know what must be the end of a competition like that. If this be the true tendency of the system which my noble Friend seeks to introduce, are we prepared to undergo the risk of extinguishing that vast amount of voluntary effort which now exists throughout the country? We here touch the question, which was alluded to by my hon. Friend the Member for West Surrey (Mr. Drummond), of the difference between education and mere instruction, between that which only touches the understanding of man and that which acts upon his heart, purifies his sentiments, elevates his thoughts, and raises him to the standard of a Christian life. It is that which we expect from the voluntary system, but its 949 spring is found deep in the human heart—in the heart of Christian philanthropy; and you cannot supply by any legislation that which comes from a different source. Aid it you may; strengthen, and invigorate, and enlarge it you may; you have done so to an extraordinary degree; you have every encouragement to persevere in the same course; but always recollect that you depend upon influences of which you get the benefit, but which are not at your command—influences which you may, perchance, in an unhappy day extinguish, but which you never can create. I must confess I believe that these opinions which I express are not individual opinions only, but that they are the general convictions of this Committee, and I have felt it my duty so far to express them as a countercheck, or traverse, possibly, to the skilful and successful stratagem of my noble Friend. But now, as to the question of religious instruction. My hon. Friend who has just sat down (Mr. Miles) has calmed his apprehensions on that head, because he says that he finds the Holy Scriptures foremost in the Resolutions. The question, however, is not whether the Holy Scriptures are in the foreground of the Resolutions, but whether they would not very soon fall into the background of the system. It is not the "intention" of the framer of the Resolutions or of ourselves which can give a religious character to this education. I confess I am afraid that if we adopt provisions like these in connection with other provisions which tend to extinguish voluntary exertions, we might expose the Holy Scriptures to much needless irreverence—we might see a formal and perfunctory discharge of the duty of reading the Holy Scriptures in schools to escape a difficulty—we might see them again employed as the mere vehicle of the formal and technical rudiments of instruction to young children; but I wish to avoid these issues, and I am fearful of adopting measures which, abandoning every other principle of doctrine and instruction to the discretion of the ratepayers, say that the Holy Scriptures shall each day be read in these schools. I am firmly convinced that there is no end to the possible quarrels which you must necessarily create in those local districts upon the subject of religious instruction. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley)—and I cannot name him without tendering to him my thanks for the part which 950 he has taken with so much ability, so much firmness, and I will say with so much moderation in reference to this great and vital question—drew a parallel between the new school rate which it is proposed to establish and the church rate. He was complained of for having drawn that parallel, and it was contended by the advocates of these Resolutions that it was an unjust parallel. It is certainly true that by this school rate it is proposed to establish a system of secular education which shall be enjoyed by the whole population of the parish—that is, you choose to say, it shall be enjoyed by the whole population of the parish; but there is a very large part of the population of this country whose consciences would preclude them from availing themselves of the secular education which you propose to provide. If they sent their children to your schools, they would withdraw them from your religious training, and, therefore, in that respect, your school rate would probably come to be involved in all the difficulties of a church rate. I am disposed to think, however, that the parallel does not hold good in some other respects, because I see many difficulties attaching to a school rate which do not attach to a church rate. In many of the rural districts of this country men feel that they have acquired their property under the obligation of a church rate, and, therefore, they do not pretend that they are discharging it as a voluntary obligation, but as an immemorial charge which has descended to them along with their property. But here is a rate perfectly novel, without any prescription, not dating from a time removed 1,000 years back, which the fancy of to-day has created and which may be to-morrow repealed, if the evils which would be its probable results called for its abolition. When you vote a church rate you know that you are voting money which is to be devoted to the maintenance of a given system established and defined by law, which it is not in the power of any ratepayer to vary except within the well-known limits of law. But what would be the discord if, instead of voting a church rate for the purpose of giving effect to the known ecclesiastical laws of the country, you voted a rate for the support of some religion, you had not quite determined what—a religion which would be settled after the rate was voted at the next meeting of the ratepayers? I confess, Sir, I feel that an 951 argument of this kind in some sense answers itself; because, if I am right in believing that, such discords would arise, no doubt the evil would be so intolerable that it would bring its own cure with it, either in throwing over the whole matter—as might very possibly be the case—into the hands of the Committee of Council, or else in petitions loading the table of this House, and calling on us in a voice not to be mistaken to repeal so odious a law. The last point upon which I shall touch is the Resolution which makes employers responsible for the attendance of children between the ages of nine and fifteen at school and for the payment of school fees. This is a great deal too wide a question for me to discuss now. There can be no doubt that it would be a tax upon the wages of labour enacted by Parliament, because we think that parents are not competent judges of the welfare of their children, and, I am bound to say, I think it presumes a great deal too much upon the vice and ignorance to be found among the British population. The day may come when you may find yourselves under the hard necessity of entertaining some such proposal, but I hope it is far distant, and for myself I cannot foresee the day when I shall be found assenting to such proposal. Still I treat it as possible, because in the whole of this question it must be remembered that we are feeling our way and endeavouring to gain experience; but this I must say, and I lay it down as an axiom, and nothing less, that you have no right to entertain the idea of compulsion, or to interfere between parents and children by arbitrary dictation in regard to instruction; at least, you have no right to interfere in a matter so sacred until you can say you have tried every measure you can devise for raising the power of attraction to your schools without compulsion. Can we say that we have done this? The contrary is surely affirmed by these Resolutions, because we admit in them that we have not done all that we can do by means of stimulants to increase voluntary attendance at our schools. My noble Friend himself thinks that much remains to be done in this direction. My right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle said last night that a more liberal system of admitting young men to public offices and to appointments in the public service would act upon every school in the kingdom, and, if you can establish a really liberal system of that kind you will make 952 known throughout the country the value of instruction and give a stimulus to education in every class in the kingdom. I am prepared, therefore, to protest against all attempts such as this until we can lay our hands upon our hearts and say that we have done all in our power to bring the people voluntarily into our schools. Last night I heard my right hon. Friend the Member for Droitwich find fault with my right hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle for having called this proposal unconstitutional. I did not hear that word drop from my right hon. Friend's lips. [Sir J. GRAHAM: I never said so.] There is, however, force in the criticism of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, that the epithet unconstitutional is one which is used with a considerable degree of Parliamentary licence. It is a convenient word, and it often stands in the place of a specific and definite objection. But whether these Resolutions are unconstitutional or not, my belief is that such is their dangerous tendency, that if they are not unconstitutional it is because they involve consequences still more fatal. When we speak of a thing as being unconstitutional, we mean that is out of harmony with our laws and institutions. But there is something more important than our laws and more weighty than our institutions, and that is the national spirit and character out of which they have sprung, and which are at once their basis and their buttress. I confess I think these Resolutions of the noble Lord conceived in a spirit adverse to that national character. They have a tendency in utter contrariety to it. They tend to encourage a dependence which is alien and foreign to the minds of Englishmen—to substitute that which is mechanical, technical, and formal for that which is free, open, elastic, and expansive. They might enable you to draw up better tables, to compile better statistics, to enter into competition with other nations in matters of figures upon better terms than at present, but it has not been by the technical instruction of her children, by superiority in mere arts of the schools, that England has risen to her present place in the world. She has often been behind the performances of other nations in these respects. She has understood the practical responsibilities of life—the duties of the man, of the citizen, and, above all, of the Christian. The element of the freedom in which we move and breathe and have our being is essential 953 to the development of the English character, and, if you take it away, you pine and starve that character, and any substitute you can give in the form of Education Returns is utterly worse than worthless. I hope I shall not be supposed to underrate the value of knowledge. In my opinion the pursuit of it is an ennobling pursuit. I do not go to the extent of saying that secular instruction, when it does not involve direct religious teaching, must be irreligious in its effect. I have known many cases to the contrary. In 1845, when the Queen's Colleges were founded in Ireland, the spirit which prompted their establishment was a spirit of regard and veneration for religion, and I believe they have never produced any irreligious effect. But the religious instruction which you can convey by means of the State is totally different from that which you can convey through the medium of voluntary exertions. There are problems with regard to religious teaching which are insoluble by laws, but which melt away insensibly when handled by the common sense of private individuals, acting in their private spheres, with their private sympathies, and under their private responsibilities. If you take away those private sympathies, and those private responsibilities—if you substitute for them the iron conditions of the law, you entirely do away with the only means you have of solving those difficulties. I must apologise to the Committee for the length at which I have troubled it, but I felt a great desire to express in decided language the very decided feelings which I entertained upon the inevitable and uneradicable tendency of these Resolutions. It will always be a matter of gratification to me that so decided have been the indications of feeling in this debate, that my noble Friend has found it to be the wisest course to decline joining issue with the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and that the effect of this debate, therefore, whatever may be our vote upon this particular Resolution, must be favourable to the principle upon which education has been hitherto conducted in this country, and, favourable, therefore, I trust, to the cause of education at large and to all the sacred interests which it involves.
§ MR. DISRAELI
Sir, I venture to express a hope that, considering the importance of the question, the Committee, not with standing the unexpected turn the 954 debate has taken, will not be subjected to the painful misconception that must attend its conduct if a division is pressed upon this question as it now stands. Let me recall the Committee to a sense of its position. We have had the attention of the House of Commons called to the consideration of one of the most important questions that could be brought before us, by one of the most distinguished Members of this House—a statesman—a man whom we all respect, however widely we may differ from him politically, one who has occupied the highest position in the Councils of his Sovereign, and who has, with all possible pomp and ceremony demanded the opinion of the Parliament of England on the great subject of national education. Let us reflect for a moment upon what has occurred since the noble Lord first introduced this question. After having given all due warning of the circumstances under which it has been introduced to our notice, the noble Lord at great length—but assuredly not greater than the subject demanded—and with detail which showed him a complete master, placed before us his views of a question which had so long perplexed and baffled the councils of public men, and which had caused such profound difference of opinion. He gave us due time to consider his proposal, and at the proper period a right hon. Member of the House, who had shown that he had given the question all the study its importance demanded—I mean my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) expressed his opinion upon it, and solicited the judgment of this House upon the whole question. Well, now, Sir, the debate which ensued, though deeply interesting, was, however, confined to a few hon. Members. My right hon. Friend expressed his opinion. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham) also expressed his opinion, and gave the Committee the advantage of his views of the propositions of the noble Lord. We all came down to the House this night—the debate having been adjourned, the Prime Minister giving way to its paramount importance, and postponing other important business to its conclusion—we came down, every one of us, prepared to express his opinion either by word or by vote upon a subject the magnitude of which, as a whole, cannot be exaggerated, and on which the people of this country, had a right to expect an expression 955 of our opinion. Well, what has happened? The debate has been suddenly terminated, suddenly cut short, and a finger, as it were, pressed on the lip of every hon. Member. Who has done this? Is it those who have been opposed to the opinion of the noble Lord? No, Sir, on the contrary, it is the noble Lord himself. The noble Lord took the opportunity of making many ingenious observations on the debate of the day preceding, and especially upon the speech of the right hon. Member for Carlisle—observations which we all listened to with that respect which is due to everything which falls from the noble Lord. But what was the object of those observations? It was—and I appeal to the candour of the Committee to bear me out—it was virtually to withdraw the Resolutions which the noble Lord had proposed with such pomp and circumstance, after so much preparation, and to terminate the debate, which had only just commenced. I am at a loss to conceive what has been the cause of this conduct on the part of the noble Lord. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone) has told us that the noble Lord (Lord John Russell) must have taken this course from the unmistakable want of sympathy with his views which has been manifested by this House. That may be the case. But the noble Lord replied this evening to the speech of the right hon. Member for Carlisle, and in so doing quoted a considerable extract from a speech of that right hon. Gentleman on the subject of education delivered many years since in this House. I was then a Member of this House, and I listened to that speech with the interest which its eloquence inspired, and which its weight and importance commanded; but in those days I beg leave to say it was not the necessary consequence of a speech—even of that right hon. Gentleman—that a Minister of the Crown, or a personage in the position of the noble Lord, should withdraw his Resolutions in consequence of such a speech. In those days we did not shrink from conducting a debate upon any subject to a conclusion; and when a proposition was brought forward, even a speech of the right hon. Gentleman's would not prevent a debate on such a question as national education arriving at its legitimate termination. I will not now presume to enter on the general question, 956 though I was prepared to do so had the debate proceeded, as I, in common with hon. Members on both sides of the House, had anticipated. But I think the noble Lord ought to act frankly and fairly by the House in this matter. The noble Lord has, of course, every right to the indulgence of the House when he may require it: but after all that has occurred—after having given notice at the very commencement of the Session on a subject of vast national importance—after announcing that he should solicit the attention of the House to this subject—a subject, after all, not less than a proposition to substitute a new system of education for the system which now prevails in this country—after all this, when the noble Lord, not choosing to encounter the issue of a debate, withdraws the real substantial portions of his proposition, I cannot help saying that I think the noble Lord would act more frankly and courteously to this House if he withdrew the whole of his Resolutions. If, instead of withdrawing the seven Resolutions which involve the essence of his scheme, and reserving the other five, which are of little importance, referring as they do to forms rather than to substance—he would act, I repeat, more frankly and courteously to this House if he said, "The policy of my Resolutions does not appear to command the sympathy of the House of Commons, and therefore, having had the opportunity afforded me of bringing them forward, and also of vindicating them from the attacks of powerful opponents in this House, I think it more prudent, as well as more respectful to the House, to ask permission to withdraw them altogether." But what is the condition in which the noble Lord now places the Committee by the course he has taken? The Committee is called upon by the noble Lord to decide upon five Resolutions only when the state of the benches on both sides of the House shows how ready hon. Members have been to give their opinions on the whole question; and it will go forth to-morrow to the country that the pompous division upon an indefinite number of school inspectors, which we are now asked to come to, is a division on the great question, what system of education shall prevail for the future in England? I cannot believe that my right hon. Friend (Mr. Henley) will persist in his Amendment, as he is no doubt satisfied with the admission made 957 by Her Majesty's Government and likewise by the noble Lord. I consider that my right hon. Friend would not be doing justice to his cause if he persisted in his Amendment; for he very fairly called upon the Committee to consider the Resolutions as a whole, and the conduct of Government and the feeling of the Committee show the accuracy and wisdom of my right hon. Friend's judgment. I am sure it would not be advisable to have a division on the five Resolutions of the noble Lord, which, though eminently objectionable as they are, nevertheless are modified by the concession of the noble Lord, and I hardly think the noble Lord will ask the Committee to divide on these infinitesimal differences. It would hardly be worthy of the dignity of this House, when assembled so solemnly and with so much ceremony, to be called upon to divide upon the question of having sub-Inspectors or not. I cannot help feeling that it must be the general sentiment of this House, with that respect for the noble Lord which, I am sure, everybody must feel—I cannot help being persuaded that there is at this moment one common sentiment prevading all our benches, and that is, that the noble Lord should make, if I might use, for a moment, the idiomatic language in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carlisle indulges—that he should make a clean breast of it, and having given up the seven vital Resolutions which contain the new system, that he would at once say, "that while the Committee had listened to him with that respect which I am sure he will always command, they do not sanction the policy which after deep reflection I have felt it my duty to recommend to the House, and, therefore, in order that the public may not be deceived or deluded, I will at once agree to withdraw my Resolutions, acknowledging that, though I am convinced I am right, I am also of opinion that the House of Commons believes I am wrong." That appears to me the best course for the noble Lord to take. It would be wrong for him to ask the Committee to divide on his Resolutions, or that we should go into the lobby on them, and consume three-quarters of an hour in deciding a question that ought never to have been introduced to our notice. To do this would be making a mockery of discussion and division, and I hope the noble Lord will not, from any mistaken notion of the necessity of maintaining his reputation, put the Committee 958 to the mortification of taking a division on his Resolutions, but will consent to withdraw them all; for the noble Lord must see that in his scheme he has mistaken the spirit of the age and the character of his countrymen. Nothing, then, could be more graceful and dignified on the part of the noble Lord, after having virtually abandoned his plan, than for the noble Lord to consent to withdraw the whole of his Resolutions.
§ LORD JOHN RUSSELL
Sir, I will answer very shortly the appeal of the right hon. Gentleman. With great deference to him and also to my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Oxford (Mr. Gladstone), I shall attempt to do what I consider best for the cause of education. I do not consider myself, therefore, bound to take the advice of those who would wish to ignore a scheme which I think useful. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Disraeli), perhaps, does not recollect, but I do very well, that in the year 1839 a great storm was raised on account of a misconception with respect to a vote for normal schools, against which there were numerous petitions, and great clamour, and remonstrances, founded on a total misconception of the case. Now, one course would have been for the Government to entirely withdraw any proposal on the subject whatever, but they did not do so. The Government of that day did not think it advisable to abandon the whole of the scheme, and it was carried in this House by a majority of two. The Earl of Derby, I recollect, made a most admirable and able speech against the scheme, and the late Sir Robert Peel and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Carlisle (Sir J. Graham) voted against it. Presently afterwards, his Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury carried an Address in the House of Lords praying that nothing might be done without the concurrence of that House, and the Archbishop went up, with an immense procession of Peers of Parliament, to present that Address at the foot of the Throne. It seemed as if the scheme, for the time at least, was totally lost. We went on with it, however—we proceeded with it—and that scheme is the plan which is now in existence—which has been extended, and which is now in such successful operation. Well, now, the cry is that my proposal is for an entirely new scheme as a substitute for that plan. My opinion is that it is a proposal to continue that plan—to extend it very considerably, and 959 to add some matters to it which would only make it more complete and efficient. Evidently, however, there is a total difference between me and, I may say, a majority of this House with respect to the nature of the plan and its immediate results. That being the case, I certainly do not think it advisable, for the cause of education, to expose the plan to the risk of any defeat by any majority of this House. It would hardly then be brought forward by the Government or by any independent Member in the shape of a Bill for many years to come. Well, then, Sir, for the sake of education—not for my own sake—I think it better not to have a division on that point. But, with respect to the particular Resolution now before the Committee, I conceive it to be of great importance, and I believe it is important that the Committee should approve of it, and thus express their opinion in favour of the existing scheme and of its extension. My right hon. Friend at the head of the Home Department has said he will support that Resolution, and I believe it ought to be put to a vote. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Oxford has raised an objection in regard to form, but that objection is easily got over in a manner which has been frequently adopted by this House. This House has often adopted Resolutions, and afterwards carried them to the Throne by means of an Address. Supposing the present Resolution is agreed to, I can then move at any time that an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty. That would place the matter, in point of fact, in the hands of the Executive Government, and remove altogether the objection of my right hon. Friend. On these grounds, therefore, believing that it is desirable that this Committee should come to a Resolution even on this portion of the subject, I certainly shall press for the decision of the Committee upon it. I am no doubt disappointed that the whole scheme has not been more favourably received; but I have great confidence that the people of this country will support education, and, whether, according to the present existing state of things, or whether by additional measures, that before long we shall see this country in possession of a more complete system of education.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he 960 hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxfordshire (Mr. Henley) would withdraw his Amendment and permit the Committee to come at once to a vote, which, from what had passed that evening, he apprehended would be agreed to without a division, affirming the first Resolution. [Cries of "No, no!"] If a division were taken he thought it would be affirmed, as the general sense of the Committee appeared to be in its favour. ["No, no!"] Well, let it be disposed of in one way or the other, and if it should be affirmed they might adjourn any further proceedings until another evening. But it would hardly be consistent with what was due to one of the most important subjects that could come under the consideration of Parliament for the Committee to adjourn after two nights' discussion without arriving at any result whatever.
§ MR. HENLEY
said, he had already stated that he did not personally feel any great objection to the first Resolution, although he should certainly have divided the Committee against the others if they had not been withdrawn. The first Resolution by itself was of very little importance, and he would, therefore, put himself entirely in the hands of the Committee as to whether he should withdraw his Motion or proceed to a division.
§ Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report progress, and ask leave to sit again," put, and negatived.
§ Question put, "That the Chairman do now leave the chair,"
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 260; Noes 158: Majority 102.
|List of the AYES.|
|Anderson, Sir J.||Blackburn, P.|
|Annesley, Earl of||Blakemore, T. W. B.|
|Antrobus, E.||Bland, L. H.|
|Arbuthnott, hon. Gen.||Blandford, Marquess of|
|Archdall, Capt. M.||Boldero, Col.|
|Bagge, W.||Booth, Sir R. G.|
|Bailey, Sir J.||Bowyer, G.|
|Baird, J.||Brady, J.|
|Ball, E.||Bramley-Moore, J.|
|Baldock, E. H.||Bramston, T. W.|
|Bankes, rt. hon. G.||Brockman, E. D.|
|Baring, H. B.||Brown, H.|
|Baring, T.||Bruce, Major C.|
|Barnes, T.||Buck, Col.|
|Barrington, Visct.||Bunbury, W. B. M'C.|
|Barrow, W. H.||Burke, Sir T. J.|
|Beaumont, W. B.||Butt, G. M.|
|Bell, J.||Butt, I.|
|Bellew, T. A.||Cairns, H. M'C.|
|Bennet, P.||Campbell, Sir A. I.|
|Bentinck, G. W. P.||Cardwell, rt, hon. E.|
|Bernard, Visct.||Cecil, Lord R.|
|Bignold, Sir S.||Chambers, M.|
|Cheetham, J.||Herbert, rt. hon. S.|
|Chelsea, Visct.||Herbert, Sir T.|
|Cholmondeley, Lord H.||Hervey, Lord A.|
|Clay, Sir W.||Hildyard, R. C.|
|Clive, hon. R. W.||Holford, R. S.|
|Cobbold, J. C.||Horsfall, T. B.|
|Cole, hon. H. A.||Hotham, Lord|
|Crossley, F.||Howard, Lord E.|
|Cubitt, Mr. Ald.||Hume, W. F.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hutching, E. J.|
|Dashwood, Sir G. H.||Irton, S.|
|Deedes, W.||Jermyn, Earl|
|Denison, E.||Johnstone, Sir J.|
|Dering Sir E.||Jolliffe, Sir W. G. H.|
|Devereux, J. T.||Jolliffe, H. H.|
|Dillwyn, L. L.||Jones, Adm.|
|Disraeli, rt. hon. B.||Keating, H. S.|
|Dod, J. W.||Kendall, N.|
|Drummond, H.||Kennedy, T.|
|Duckworth, Sir J. T. B.||Kershaw, J.|
|Duke, Sir J.||King, hon. P. J. L.|
|Duncombe, hon. A.||King, J. K.|
|Duncombe, hon. O.||Knatchbull, W. F.|
|Dundas, G.||Knight, F. W.|
|Dundas, F.||Knightley, R.|
|Dunne, M.||Knox, Col.|
|Dunne, Col.||Laing, S.|
|Egerton, Sir P.||Langston, J. H.|
|Egerton, W. T.||Langton, W. Gore|
|Egerton, E. C.||Langton, H. G.|
|Emlyn, Visct.||Laslett, W.|
|Evelyn, W. J.||Lee, W.|
|Farnham, E. B.||Legh, G. C.|
|Farrer, J.||Lennox, Lord A. F.|
|Fellowes, E.||Lennox, Lord H. G.|
|Fenwick, H.||Liddell, hon. H. G.|
|Fergusson, Sir J.||Lindsay, Hon. Col.|
|Fitzgerald, W. R. S.||Lindsay, W. S.|
|Floyer, J.||Lisburne, Earl of|
|Follett, B. S.||Lovaine, Lord|
|Forster, C.||Lowe, rt. hon. R.|
|Forster, Sir G.||Lushington, C. M.|
|Gallwey, Sir W. P.||Mackie, J.|
|Galway, Visct.||M'Cann, J.|
|George, J.||Maguire, J. F.|
|Gibson, rt. hon. T. M.||Manners, Lord G.|
|Gilpin, Col.||Manners, Lord G.|
|Gladstone, rt. hon. W.||March, Earl of|
|Gladstone, Capt.||Meagher, T.|
|Goddard, A. L.||Meux, Sir H.|
|Gooch, Sir E. S.||Miall, E.|
|Gordon, hon. A.||Milligan, R.|
|Gower, hon. F. L.||Mills, T.|
|Grace, O. D. J.||Michell, W.|
|Graham, rt. hon. Sir J.||Mitchell, T. A.|
|Graham, Lord M. W.||Montgomery, H. L.|
|Greene, T.||Montgomery, Sir G.|
|Greville, Col. F.||Morgan, O.|
|Grogan, E.||Mowbray, J. R.|
|Gurney, J. H.||Mundy, W.|
|Gwyn, H.||Muntz, G. F.|
|Hadfleld, G.||Murrough, J. P.|
|Hale, R. B.||Naas, Lord|
|Halford, Sir H.||Napier, Sir C.|
|Hamilton, rt. hn. R.C.N.||Newark, Visct.|
|Hanbury, hon. C. S. B.||Newdegate, C. N.|
|Hankey, T.||Nisbet, R. P.|
|Harcourt, Col.||Noel, hon. G. J.|
|Hardy, G.||North, Col.|
|Hastie, Alex.||Northcote, Sir S. H.|
|Hayes, Sir E.||Oakes, J. H. P.|
|Heathcote, Sir W.||O'Brien, J.|
|Heneage, G. H. W.||Osborne, R.|
|Ossulston, Lord||Stewart, Sir M. R. S.|
|Packe, C. W.||Sturt, H. G.|
|Palk, L.||Sullivan, M.|
|Palmer, Robt.||Taylor, Col.|
|Palmer, Roundell||Thompson, G.|
|Patten, Col. W.||Thornhill, W. P.|
|Paxton, Sir J.||Tollemache, J.|
|Peacocke, G. M. W.||Tomline, G.|
|Pechell, Sir G. B.||Trollope, rt. hon. Sir J.|
|Peel, Gen.||Tyler, Sir G.|
|Pellatt, A.||Vance, J.|
|Percy, hon. J. W.||Vane, Lord H.|
|Phillimore, R. J.||Vansittart, G. H.|
|Pigott, F.||Verner, Sir W.|
|Pilkington, J.||Vernon, G. E. H.|
|Pollard-Urquhart, W.||Vyse, Col.|
|Portal, M.||Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.|
|Price, W. P.||Walter, J.|
|Pritchard, J.||Watson, W. H.|
|Repton, G. W. J.||Wells, W.|
|Richardson, J. J.||Whiteside, J.|
|Robertson, P. F.||Whitmore, H.|
|Rust, J.||Wigram, L. T.|
|Sawle, C. B. G.||Willoughby, Sir H.|
|Scott, hon. F.||Wise, J. A.|
|Seymer, H. K.||Wortley, rt. hon. J. S.|
|Shelley, Sir J. V.||Wyndham, Gen.|
|Sibthorp, Maj.||Wyndham, H.|
|Smith, A.||Wynn, Lieut. Col.|
|Smyth, Col.||Wynne, W. W. E.|
|Spooner, R.||Wynne, rt. hon. J.|
|Stafford, A.||Yorke, hon. E. T.|
|Stanhope, J. B.|
|Starkie, L. G. N.||TELLERS.|
|Steel, J.||Henley, J. W.|
|Stracey, Sir H. J.||Thesiger, Sir F.|
|List of the NOES.|
|Acland, Sir T. D.||Drumlanrig, Visct.|
|Acton, J.||Duncan, Visct.|
|Adair, R. A. S.||Duncan, G.|
|Adderley, C. B.||Dungarvan, Visct.|
|Agnew, Sir A.||Dunlop, A. M.|
|Alcock, T.||East, Sir J. B.|
|Baines, rt. hon. M. T.||Ellice, E. (St. Andrew's)|
|Ball, J.||Euston, Earl of|
|Baring, rt. hon. Sir F. T.||Ewart, W.|
|Baxter, W. E.||Ewart, J. C.|
|Beamish, F. B.||Ferguson, Sir R.|
|Berkeley, G. C. L.||Ferguson, J.|
|Biggs, W.||FitzGerald, Sir J.|
|Black, A.||Foley, J. H. H.|
|Bonham-Carter, J.||Forster, J.|
|Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P.||Fortescue, C. S.|
|Brand, hon. H.||Fox, W. J.|
|Brotherton, J.||Freestun, Col.|
|Bruce, Lord E.||Gardner, R.|
|Buckley, Gen.||Gaskell, J. M.|
|Byng, hon. G. H. C.||Gifford, Earl of|
|Cavendish, hon. C. C.||Glyn, G. C.|
|Chambers, T.||Goderich, Visct.|
|Chaplin, W. J.||Greenall, G.|
|Child, S.||Gregson, S.|
|Clinton, Lord R.||Grenfell, C. W.|
|Cockburn, Sir A. J. E.||Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.|
|Cowan, C.||Grey, R. W.|
|Cowper, rt. hon. W. F.||Grosvenor, Lord R|
|Craufurd, E. H. J.||Haddo, Lord|
|Davie, Sir H. R. F.||Hall, rt. hon. Sir B|
|Denison, J. E.||Harcourt, G. G|
|Dent, J. D.||Hastie, Arch.|
|De Vere, S. E.||Hayter, rt. hon. W. G.|
|Headlam, T. E.||Phillimore, J. G.|
|Heard, J. I.||Pinney, Col.|
|Heathcote, hon. G. H.||Ponsonby, hon. A. G. J.|
|Heneage, G. F.||Powlett, Lord W.|
|Herbert, H. A.||Raynham, Visct.|
|Heywood, J.||Ricardo, O.|
|Higgins, Col. O.||Ricardo, S.|
|Hogg, Sir J. W.||Rice, E. R.|
|Holland, E.||Ridley, G.|
|Horsman, rt. hon. E.||Russell, F. C. H.|
|Howard, hon. C. W. G.||Scholefield, W.|
|Hutt, W.||Scobell, Capt.|
|Ingham, R.||Scrope, G. P.|
|Ingram, H.||Scully, F.|
|Jackson, W.||Seymour, H. D.|
|Ker, D. S.||Shelburne, Earl of|
|Kinnaird, hon. A. F.||Smith, M. T.|
|Kirk, W.||Smith, rt. hon. R. V.|
|Labouchere, rt. hon. H.||Smollett, A.|
|Layard, A. H.||Stafford, Marq. of|
|Lemon, Sir C.||Stanley, Lord|
|Littleton, hon. E. R.||Strutt, rt. hon. E.|
|Marjoribanks, D. C.||Stuart, Capt.|
|Martin, P. W.||Tancred, H. W.|
|Massey, W. N.||Thornely, T.|
|Matheson, Sir J.||Tite, W.|
|Miles, W.||Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.|
|Milner, Sir W. M. E.||Vivian, Sir H. H.|
|Milnes, R. M.||Walcott, Adm.|
|Moffatt, G.||Warren, S.|
|Monck, Visct.||Waterpark, Lord|
|Moncreiff, J.||Walking, Col. L.|
|Monsell, rt. hon. W.||Whatman, J.|
|Morris, D.||Whitbread, S.|
|Mostyn, hn. T. E. M. L.||Wickham, H. W.|
|Mowatt, F.||Wilkinson, W. A.|
|Mulgrave, Earl of||Williams, W.|
|Napier, rt. hon. J.||Wilson, J.|
|North, F.||Winnington, Sir T. E.|
|O'Connell, Capt, J.||Wood, rt. hon. Sir C.|
|Oliveira, B.||Woodd, B. T.|
|Otway, A. J.||Wrightson, W. B.|
|Paget, Lord A.||Wyvill, M.|
|Peel, Sir R.||TELLERS.|
|Peel, F.||Russell, Lord J.|
|Perry, Sir T. E.||Pakington, Sir J.|
§ The House adjourned at half after One o'clock till Monday next.