§ Order for Committee (Supply) read;
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
I rise to moveThat the Grants annually made by Parliament for the promotion of Education ought to be expended with fair and just regard to the requirements of the different classes of Schools recognised by the Minutes of the Committee of Council; and that Ragged and Industrial Schools, which are alone adapted to meet the wants of a considerable number of destitute and neglected children, are therefore entitled to a larger amount of aid than they at present receive.Before proceeding with my Motion, however, I wish to express my thanks to the noble Lord the Prime Minister for the personal courtesy I have experienced from him in the arrangements he has made for bringing forward the Education Estimates to day. In making this Motion I shall bear in mind that we are now approaching the termination of the seventh month of this extraordinary and profitless Session. I am aware, therefore, of the value of time, and shall endeavour to condense what I have to say within the narrowest possible limits consistent with the duty which I have undertaken to discharge. I shall move this Motion, but I shall at the same time reserve to myself the right of taking the sense of the House upon it if I think it desirable; but I confess that my main object is to make an earnest appeal to the 1269 Government for some modifications in their present regulations under which the assistance is given to that peculiar and interesting branch of the system of education in our country called ragged schools. On this subject I address myself more especially to the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education, and I cannot help hoping that, on the grounds which I am about to bring forward, the Government will see the necessity of making some concessions on this matter. I wish to urge on the House and the Government that ragged schools do not receive from the Parliamentary grant that degree of assistance to which they are fairly and legitimately entitled. [Mr. BRISCOE: They receive nothing at all.] The hon. Gentleman is slightly mistaken, but I will not discuss that point now. They receive nothing for education, that is true; but they are entitled to grants for certain objects which I am about to explain. There is one ground, and one only, on 'which I think the Government and the Committee of Council on Education can be justified in adopting the line they do with regard to ragged schools. I could understand the Committee of Council if they were to say that they do not recognise ragged schools as a distinct class for which assistance is granted. I certainly do not concur in that view, but I could understand the right hon. Gentleman, or any other Gentleman holding his office, taking up that ground and saying, "What are ragged schools? We have to administer a large annual grant of public money for the promotion of education; and our duty is to produce the maximum amount of good in our power with that sum. It is for the public interest that we should expend the money subject to certain conditions. We issue grants to those who comply with those conditions; but ragged schools do not comply with those conditions; therefore we withhold the grants." That is a line of argument which would be perfectly intelligible; but it happens that the Government have cut that ground from under them. They have recognised ragged schools. They have not only recognised them, but they have defined what are to be considered as ragged schools, and in an existing Minute they have imposed certain conditions on which alone those schools can be assisted with grants. To that extent I entirely concur with the course taken by the Committee of Council. I 1270 approve both of their definition and of the conditions they have imposed. I think them essential to prevent the danger which might otherwise arise from the recognition of ragged schools. The fault I find is this: that while the Committee of Council have defined and recognised ragged schools, they have not extended to them that amount of assistance which in justice, in policy, and in liberality they are entitled to receive. What are the primary objects of those large grants which Parliament annually gives for the purposes of education? We are about to be asked this evening for a large vote of the public money. What are the primary objects of that vote? Surely it is to aid in the education of that class of the people who are unable to bear the expense of educating themselves. I think no one will dispute the soundness of that proposition. I find that in this Education Estimate the sum of £100,000 is proposed for the promotion of science and art. I take no exception to that Vote. It is fair and legitimate for the House to vote the public money for such a purpose. But I hold that these are not the primary objects of the Vote, and I for one am inclined to object to the application of this money to the promotion of science and art so long as the Government shall refuse assistance to what I hold to be still more indispensable—the education of the most destitute classes of this country. I entreat, then, the fair consideration of the House and the Government to this question. The main cause of complaint on the part of those who, by the exercise of great exertion and liberality, have established those institutions that are generally known as ragged schools, is the complete change of system which has taken place in consequence of the Committee of Council having repealed the Minute which was passed in 1856. In that year a Minute was passed granting assistance to ragged schools on a large and liberal scale. It was agreed to pay one-half of the rent of the school, one-third of the cost of tools and materials for labour, together with grants in aid of the costs of maps, books, and diagrams, half the salary of every certificated teacher and every certificated assistant teacher; grants for the preparation and training of teachers, together with a capitation grant of 50s. for every child that was one year in the school. Now, Sir, I do not contend for the restoration of that Minute. I believe that the real cause of the repeal of that Minute was that in practice it was found 1271 to be too costly. And why? Mainly for two reasons. The first was, the introduction of the last item, the maintenance of the scholars; and the other was, that the Minute was so framed that it extended to refuges and other institutions not at all coming under the definition of ragged schools. The Minute was thus found to be too costly, and it was repealed. But, as often happens when a mistake has been made and it is found necessary to correct it, the Committee of Council went very much too far on the other side, and they have now limited their assistance to this class of institutions in the manner to which I am about to call the attention of the House.
The position of the schools is this:—Grants for books, maps, and diagrams are made to ragged schools, pursuant to Articles 37–44. Ragged schools may receive annual grants equal per annum to one-half of the rent of the premises in which industrial instruction is carried on; one-third of the cost of tools and of raw material for labour; five shillings per annum for each scholar, according to the aver-ago number under industrial instruction throughout the year preceding the date of inspection; and the ordinary rate in augmentation of any certificated teacher's salary. Now, the House will see that with the exception of the grant for books, maps, and diagrams, and the ordinary rate for a certificated teacher, these grants have solely a reference to the industrial training of the school. And I am assured by the promoters of these schools that the grants are barely enough to carry on the industrial training, so that there is no margin for education. And I am sure the right hon. Gentleman will not dispute that certificated teachers are not needed to teach in ragged schools. The whole character of those schools is different from that of ordinary schools. I am also assured by those conversant with the subject that the certificated teachers arc not those required for the Ragged Schools. These schools are so peculiar, and the character of the children resorting to them differs so much from the character of those who frequent the ordinary schools, that, though there are cases in which certificated masters are employed, still, as a general rule, they are found not to be fitted for these institutions. Those schools are peculiar in their nature, and must be dealt with upon a peculiar principle. In order to show how entirely it is the intention of 1272 the Committee of Council not to assist the educational portion of the ragged school system, I will refer to a circular issued to the inspectors of parochial schools, immediately after the passing of the late Minute, that no grants, excepting for books or maps will be made in aid of the purely scholastic instruction, unless in cases where certificated teachers have been appointed. Then, again, the grant in aid of the rent is limited to that portion of the building where industrial education is carried on. These are distinct declarations that no aid is to be given to the educational portion of the ragged school system. Upon this point I beg leave to quote the evidence of, perhaps, the very highest authority on the subject—I mean that admirable woman Miss Carpenter. In answer to a question which was put to her by the Royal "Westminster Education Commission, in the month of February last, she says:—Ragged schools have abundant inspection, for the educational department is inspected and reported on, though not helped. We ask for educational help, so given as to suit the wants of the school. The Minute of June, 18S0, entirely met our requirements, and we ask for the restoration of that Minute, without the feeding clause, which was intended for the industrial feeding schools, those now certified.When she is further asked "on what ground she founds the claims of those schools," she answers:—On simple justice. The educational grant is made to give instruction to the people. Why should this portion of it be excluded? especially while it is being extended to those who can very well do without it. The grant was made to second voluntary effort, and no schools have been the subject of a greater amount of it.I now turn to a paper which I am sure will carry weight with the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Lowe) and with the House. It is entitled a "Memorandum on behalf of Ragged and Industrial Schools." It was published in the month of July last, and it is signed by 112 gentlemen, among whom are Mr. Thomson, of Banchory, near Aberdeen; Dr. Guthrie, of Edinburgh; Mr. M. D. Hill, the Recorder of Birmingham, and others conspicuous for the zeal they have exhibited in carrying out the Ragged School movement. They commence by referring to the Report of the Committee of the House appointed in the year 1851 to inquire into the condition of destitute uneducated children. That Committee reported thatThe ragged schools, especially the ragged industrial feeding schools, at present supported by voluntary subscriptions…have produced 1273 beneficial effects on the children of the most destitute classes of society inhabiting large towns; that voluntary contributions have been found inadequate to supply the number of such schools at present required in the metropolis and other cities and towns; and, therefore, they should not be excluded from the aid of the national grant, under the distribution of the Committee of Council for Education—great care being necessary in framing the Minutes applicable to this description of schools, so as not to fetter private exertions or to exclude men eminently qualified to fill the laborious and difficult position of teachers, by the requirement of too high an educational certificate.The "memorandum" afterwards contains a statement of the grounds on which its authors claim, on behalf of ragged schools, a more liberal share of the funds voted by Parliament for the education of the people. Those grounds are classed under nine heads, and the five last of them are as follows:—5. As a measure of simple justice, ragged schools are entitled to a liberal share of the funds administered by the Committee of Council on Education. The grant voted by Parliament is for the purpose of seconding voluntary effort. No schools in the kingdom can show so large an amount of voluntary effort as ragged schools. It is not denied that the great mass of the children under their charge would, but for them, grow up in ignorance and depravity. No objection has ever been made to the instruction communicated in them; yet the Committee of Council on Education has decided that these schools shall not be dealt with on the liberal principle recommended in the report of the Select Committee of the House of Commons.6. As a measure of justice under another aspect, these schools are not only entitled to a share of the funds already referred to, but they have a primary claim. The money is granted for the education of the people. The community has suffered, and does suffer grievously, in consequence of the education and oversight of the children in question having been utterly neglected. The community has a right to be protected from the depredations of thousands of young thieves who infest our large towns, as well as from the enormous expense of criminal prosecutions inseparable from their neglect. The ragged school system has been shown, if duly supported, to be equal to the emergency; and the public, out of whose funds the Parliamentary grant is made, may reasonably and justly require that a liberal share should be given for its support.7. In a financial point of view the economy of the educational or preventive system has never been doubted. It is a low aspect of the question, and it may be sufficient broadly to affirm that it costs very much less to teach and train a child by ragged school agency than to neglect him until he has become stereotyped in crime, and is thus made a heavy burden upon the country.8. The field is much too large for unaided voluntary effort to occupy. The directors of the ragged schools are under no obligation to the state to enter on the work; but in trying to save from destruction outcast children who cannot help themselves, and who are absolutely beyond the 1274 reach of other schools, they are gratuitously discharging a most important service to the community.9. Finally, ragged schools occupy a peculiar position, and ought not to be classed with institututions for the education of those who are in circumstances either wholly or partly to defray the expenses of their own education. They are, therefore, entitled to such a share of the funds voted expressly to promote the education of the people as their exigencies demand. The aid required is entirely for the educational department of the schools.Why should not the Committee of the Privy Council be more liberal in this matter? I find the motives which probably influence them in pursuing their present course stated in a paper issued during the present year, and to which the names of "Granville" and "Robert Lowe" are attached. It is there said—We are of opinion that the conditions of the grant cannot be enlarged without confounding public instruction with public maintenance, and breaking down the self-respect of the poor, as well as lowering the standard of many of the schools which the poor now frequent.Now, I confidently believe that this opinion is not justified by the facts of the case. I am not now contending for the maintenance of those children, but for a grant in aid of their education. I do not believe that increased liberality will have the effect of lowering the self-respect of the poor. I find in "another place" an objection raised that the children in the ragged schools are not in general the children of those who cannot pay, but rather of those who will not pay for education. That opinion appears to emanate from the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Cowper), but it is not one that could be substantiated. Miss Carpenter states that as a general rule no children are admitted into the ragged schools except those who cannot attend schools of a higher character. She adds that—A recent examination into the condition of the children of the Bristol Ragged School proved that parents of about one-half were actually receiving parochial relief; another portion were in the lowest depths of poverty, struggling with difficulty to obtain their daily bread, and often obliged to come to school without having had their morning meal; while a third class were the children of thoroughly dissolute parents, whose vicious habits placed their children in even a worse condition than the others.The question then is, whether these ragged schools are or are not frequented by a class of children who do not and will not go to the ordinary schools, from being unable to afford to pay the pence required at those 1275 schools, and who, if the benevolent do not step in, will be on the streets, and form the class from which an enormous proportion of the crime of the country has been derived. I contend that on the narrow ground of economy the Government cannot adopt a worse policy than to withhold assistance from these ragged schools. If they do not contribute a shilling towards the education of these poor outcasts they must be prepared to spend pounds hereafter in trying them, convicting them, and punishing them for their crimes. I say, therefore, that even on the low ground of economy the Government ought to deal in a more liberal spirit with this important subject. It is alleged that there is some danger of the ragged schools injuring the others, but I hold in my hand a Resolution which was passed unanimously at the annual meeting of the "Western Union of Teachers, held at Bristol on the 4th of June last, and which sets forth—That the teachers here assembled are aware, from their own experience, of the existence of a large portion of the juvenile population who are utterly inadmissible to the National and British Schools, and that they deem the establishment of good free day schools (commonly called ragged schools), adapted to the wants of those children, not only important to society, but very beneficial to their own schools.Those teachers, therefore, believe that the ragged schools actually contribute to the improvement of the national schools in which they are themselves employed, and that is a strong additional argument in favour of the proposal that the ragged schools should be aided by the State. But what is the practical result of the recent change in the Minute of Council? Let us contrast the assistance which has been given from the public funds to the Harrington British Schools in Liverpool with the assistance given to the Bristol and Cardiff Bagged Schools. In the year 1855 the Harrington Schools received in the shape of voluntary contributions £121, and received from the Government £224 10s.; in the year 1858 they received in the shape of voluntary contributions only £84 10s., but they received from the Government £332 11s. So that in the year 1855 the public grants nearly doubled the voluntary contributions, and in the year 1858 they nearly quadrupled them. But what has happened in the case of the Bristol and Cardiff Bagged Schools? The proportions are here reversed. The Bristol ragged schools received the following sums in the 1276 shape of voluntary contributions;—In 1853, £257; in 1854, £246; in 1855, £175; in 1856, £221; in 1857, £242; but in those five years they received from the Government only £13, £81, £113, £105, and £59. The Cardiff ragged schools received in the shape of voluntary contributions in 1856, £265; in 1857, £262; but in the first of those years they received only £70, and in the last they received nothing whatever from the Government, the expenditure in the case of both schools remaining the same. I will not further intrude upon the time of the Committee. I have, I trust, shown that the claim of these schools is great, and that, not only on grounds of charity and benevolence, but also on grounds of public policy, the Government is bound to reconsider their course and increase these grants. I respectfully submit to the House and to Her Majesty's Ministers that that is a state of things which calls for revision and amendment. I believe that we ought to change the system we are now pursuing from motives alike of benevolence and of sound policy.
To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words the Grants annually made by Parliament for the Promotion of Education ought to be expended with fair and just regard to the requirements of the different classes of Schools recognized by the Minutes of the Committee of Council, and that Ragged and Industrial Schools, which are alone adapted to meet the wants of a considerable number of destitute and neglected children, are therefore entitled to a larger amount of aid than they at present receive"—instead thereof.
§ MR. BLACK,
in seconding the Motion, said, the House of Commons was annually spending an enormous sum in the education of the people, and it was of essential importance that this money should be administered in the most profitable and economical manner, so as to do the greatest amount of good and prevent the greatest amount of evil. The rule of the Education Committee of Council was that the grants should be limited to the education of the children of those who were able to support themselves by manual labour; but below these there is a class which have a still stronger claim, and which the grants, according to the rules of the Council, do not reach. If the grants are limited to the children of those who support themselves by manual labour, what is to become of those who have no father to labour for 1277 them, and no mother to care for them, or if they have parents perhaps they are so profligate and unnatural that they spend their earnings on their vices, and send their children into the streets. These are so steeped in poverty and wretchedness that unless some kind hand be stretched out to bear them up, they must sink into degradation and crime. It would be unreasonable to expect that children who had to battle with hunger, cold, and nakedness would retain their integrity when exposed to the seductions of the vicious and neglected, or scowled upon by the indignantly virtuous—are they not to have their share of the crumbs that fall from the sumptuous table of this enormous grunt? Their fate was such that, unassisted, they could not help themselves or prevent themselves from falling into vicious courses. The community that neglected their duty to these houseless outcasts would assuredly suffer;—they might adopt the best sanitary precautions, but these vagrant and neglected children spread around them the seeds of contamination, disease, and death. They might adopt the most approved principles of prison discipline, but here is a stream of impurity that would fill up every vacuum made by prison deliveries and banishment to other countries; but this stream might be purified at its source. Some figures had been published in connection with Dr. Guthrie's ragged school, showing that the children were for the most part made up of those who were either houseless or had lost one or both parents, while not less than 140 were believed to be the children of thieves. Self-interest, if not a sense of duty, should prompt us to rescue those unfortunate children from contamination and crime. If allowed to remain as they were, the poor creatures had no choice but to steal or starve. The apprehension, trial, and punishment of juvenile criminals cost every year enormous sums. He found, from a recent Return, that the average annual cost of transporting convicts to West Australia was £189,000, or at the rate of £163 per head, in addition to the expense of trial and imprisonment at home. The money that was spent on the transportation of the young "Arabs" of our cities was miserably inefficient to give them a sound moral and industrial training. All that was given to the Industrial trial Schools was £5,500 a year; while £153,000 was spent on the training of pupil teachers, who were quite able to 1278 procure education for themselves, and the half of whom, after they had been trained, abandoned the vocation of teachers and sought more profitable employment. It was all very well to educate pupil teachers, but the claims of the outcast children of the country were much more urgent, and should be satisfied first. Prevention was both easier and better than cure, and the only way to diminish crime was to cheek it at the fountain head. These ragged schools were not a mere romantic idea, but a beneficent fact. Twelve years ago Edinburgh was infested with a host of juvenile vagrants. Proclamations were issued urging the inhabitants not to encourage them by bestowing alms, numbers of young beggars were apprehended and admonished by the magistrates, and some were imprisoned. But still the evil grow worse, and it was not till some benevolent persons tried the experiment of a ragged school that any improvement took place. These vagrant outcasts were collected into schools, that they might be taught their duty to God and to man; but before they could listen to instruction, the cravings of hunger must be satisfied, and they were now cut off from their former means of subsistence. This rendered it necessary that they should be fed, and, consequently, the expense was increased; and it was still more enhanced when industrial training was added, but the success which attended their benevolent exertions encouraged them to proceed. The per-cen-tago of juvenile prisoners under fourteen years of age in Edinburgh Gaol, in 1848, was 5; in 1849, the year after the ragged school was established, it was reduced to 3; and in 1850 it became, as it was at present, only 1 and a small fraction. In the same way the number of juvenile prisoners between fourteen and sixteen years of age was gradually reduced from 552 in 1848 to 130 in 1859. Of the two ragged schools in Edinburgh, the original (Dr. Guthrie's) and the United Industrial, the most favourable accounts could be given. Since they had been established they had, between them, preserved from ruin and sent out into the world to earn an honest livelihood nearly 1,000 children. Sheriff Watson's School, in Aberdeen, and others elsewhere, had also achieved an equal amount of good. The argument that ragged schools might be abused by people sending their children there who could afford to pay for their education was preposterous. No well-to-do artisan would ever 1279 be so careless of his children or so destitute of self-respect as to permit his children to mix with the pupils of a ragged school. He thought he had shown that the best policy to diminish criminal expenses was to save classes who were sunk in misery and on the verge of crime, and to raise them up to be useful and industrious citizens, and that nothing would have a greater effect in accomplishing this great work than a larger expenditure for the education of these poor perishing children.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he regretted he felt obliged to differ with his right hon. Friend (Sir John Pakington) in the view he took with regard to ragged and industrial schools. There could be no doubt that the primary object of an educational grant was that class of children whose parents could not educate them; but he could not imagine the right hon. Gentleman would assert that these grants should be made without stint and without check. [SIR JOHN PAKINGTON said, he had never expressed such a desire.] He was glad to hear his right hon. Friend so far agree with him. The real question be thought was whether anything more than necessary limits and conditions had been imposed upon grants of money to these schools. The right hon. Gentleman himself admitted that the Minute of the Education Committee on Ragged Schools of 1856 had been made on too liberal a scale; but, then, coming to the Minute of 1857, the right hon. Gentleman made two objections, one that the amount then given was not made applicable for the general education of the children, and the other that the certificates required to be obtained by the masters of such schools were of too high a class. He (Mr. Adderley) disputed both these objections. There were grants made, under the Minute of 1857 for the rent of school buildings, for books, for the augmentation of salaries of the masters, and for a capitation payment. Surely every one of these purposes was strictly allied to the general object of educating the children. Then as to the certificates of masters being too high, they were not the same, but much lower, for ragged and industrial than for other schools. They were of the same grade as the certificates of masters of workhouses and pauper schools, and even lower, because a man who had been for a certain time the master of one of those ragged schools was without further inquiry taken to be a fit master, and received a certificate accordingly. Under these circumstances, he thought the certi- 1280 ficate could not be made lower unless they did away with the certificate altogether. The present Minute insured a considerable aid to ragged schools, and if they ought to have more they could obtain it by putting themselves under the inspection of the Privy Council, and becoming industrial schools under the Act of 1858. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: Those schools were for convicted children.] They were not for criminal children, but schools for destitute children sent there by order of the magistrates without being convicted as criminals. It was a confusion of ideas to consider the mere order of a magistrate, being necessary as a check, to be a stigma of criminality. He could not understand why masters of ragged schools objected to bring themselves under the Industrial School Act of 1858. What could be their objection to it? He could see a reason why the House of Commons should approve of and support that Act, because it was a guarantee that the public money given for ragged schools, would be, if dispensed under it, properly spent; but he could not conceive any rational objection which managers or masters of ragged schools could entertain to coming under it. It was, in fact, a mere sentiment on their part, and it would be unwise of the House to regard it as a reason for throwing open these grants, unchecked by any magisterial order, without stint or limit. He had condemned the Bill now before Parliament, by which it was proposed to hand over the industrial schools to the Home Office, and he believed that numerous memorials in opposition to it had been received by the Government within the last fortnight. It would place them in the same category as reformatory schools, and would realize the confusion made in this debate, putting committals to ragged schools in the same class of treatment as criminal commitments. It seemed to him to be a most unsafe and unwise proposition that they should give large grants to any schools for vagrant and destitute children, under whatever management, without a valid and competent check against abuse, such as the admission of the children being made necessarily under the eye of some public functionary, seemed to offer. It would lead to great extravagance, and, he believed, to the breaking down of the whole system of grants in aid of public education.
§ MR. BRISCOE
said, he entirely agreed in all that had fallen from the right hon. Baronet, the Member for Droitwich (Sir John 1281 Pakington), and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Black). Before children could be received into reformatory schools they must have committed crime and even been sent to the House of Correction for at least fourteen days. Industrial schools also partook very much of the same character; children to be admissible must have been convicted by a magistrate. Now the object should be rather the prevention of crime than its cure. There were not fewer than forty or fifty ragged schools in the Metropolis which received no support from the State whatever, and, considering the largo amount of public money voted for education, he thought they ought to have a portion. Voluntary contributions were found to be inadequate for their maintenance; every week he had applications from some such schools, stating that unless public assistance were given thorn they must be closed, and from 100 to 200 children, now receiving instruction and kept from vicious habits and associates would be thrown helpless on society. It was from these classes that our gaols and houses of correction received their most numerous inmates. Where schools were established juvenile crime was reduced almost to nothing, and he hoped the appeal now made to the Government in their favour would be successful.
§ MR. A. MILLS
said, he had been for some time concerned in the management and support of an industrial school certified under the Act, and he must say the difficulties experienced were very great. In common with other certified industrial schools, they had received a circular minute informing them that, unless a certain proportion of children were brought into the school by commitment during the course of the year, their certificate would be withdrawn. He had, therefore, to put himself in communication with all the police-magistrates he knew anything of, and urge them to send some criminal children to the school with which he was connected, in order to ensure the continuance of the grant. If the system of requiring a certain proportion of children who had been committed by a magistrate was carried out, these schools, which were now supported by two or three persons, with the small assistance received from the Government, would be extinguished, and the children would be turned adrift, thrown upon the streets, eventually to become the inmates of the prisons, with the whole of their maintenance thrown on the State. It was 1282 a very bad thing to hold out to children the idea that they must matriculate as felons before they could graduate as respectable members of society. And such, practically, was the result of the present system.
§ MR. CAVE
said, there was no doubt that the only schools which could claim assistance were those certified under the Industrial Schools Act, and the objection which the promoters of those schools had to being certified under that Act was, that its operation gave to those schools a penal character. In order to give the school a claim to this grant, it had lately been held to be necessary that some, though not as had been stated, a certain proportion of the children, should be committed by magistrates, and recently notices had been sent to some schools that unless they received some of that class of children the grant would be withdrawn. He thought that the children committed by the magistrates should be transferred to the Home Office, because there was no doubt that they were more of the reformatory class of children than those others to whom the Industrial Schools Act applied. But in another portion of that Act there was a most valuable provision which enabled the managers of industrial schools to contract with the guardians of workhouses to take children and train them in those schools. They knew that with some few exceptions, the workhouse schools were extremely bad, and it was difficult to get persons to take as servants those who had been trained in those schools. He was glad to find that a school for educating this class of children had been opened at Brockham, in Surrey, which had been very successful, as had been fully admitted by the Guardians, the Surrey Magistrates, and the Inspector of the school. Mr. Barwick Baker was about opening another in Gloucestershire, and he trusted that in every county of England those schools would be established. It appeared to him that it would be running a great risk of aggravating the evil of which the right hon. Baronet complained, if they were to place the schools, established to carry out this portion of the Industrial Schools Act, under the Home Office, because the Secretary of State had expressed his intention of ignoring that provision of the Act, "With regard to the children sent as vagrants, he thought the committal by the magistrates caused the stigma upon them, not the transferring of the schools to the Home Office; but a dis- 1283 tinction ought to be drawn between the children committed by the magistrates and the pauper children educated in those schools. He was of opinion that the latter class of children should remain under the care of the Privy Council.
said, the question raised by the Motion of his right hon. Friend was one of the greatest importance; but it was impossible to confine attention merely to the narrow ground which had been touched on. The right hon. Gentleman said, with the greatest truth, that the objects most requiring the attention of the State were the poor children of destitute parents, and yet these were precisely the children who were not reached by the present system. They had been well described in the reports of some of the school inspectors as an Arab population. An amendment in their condition had been attempted through the medium of Industrial Schools, to which at, first a quasi penal character was attached—he was not speaking of the Scotch, but solely of the English system—a certain proportion of the children consisting of those who had passed through the magistrates' hands. But as the efforts of benevolent persons created schools of that description more largely than the requirements of that class demanded, it was thought desirable to add other children who had not passed through the same ordeal. The question then arose, in giving to these schools, under the name of Ragged Schools, a more extended status, how was it possible to separate the elements? It was impossible to give an answer to this question, without examining the whole of the educational arrangements. Hitherto all educational grants made by the Privy Council, with the exception of those given to quasi penal establishments, were based, under Article 8 of the Code, on two propositions—that the schools should be in connection with some recognized religious denomination; or that the Scriptures should be read daily from the authorised version. The Ragged and Industrial Schools wore specially exempted from that code; the conditions being that their objects should be literary and industrial, and that the discipline and moral influence should be calculated to benefit the scholars. But neither directly nor indirectly was a word said about religious education, which was the foundation of all moral treatment. If it were intended to set up a completely new status of education for the lower end of society, it was necessary, he thought, 1284 that those conditions which were insisted on in the higher grades, should be likewise required when dealing with that unfortunate class which had least chance of receiving religious instruction at home. Unless the Privy Council, therefore, were prepared to take, at least, the same securities with regard to the lower, as in reference to the higher classes, that alone would prevent him from assenting to an enlargement of the system, as proposed by his right hon. Friend. At present their regulations were wholly at sea on that point; and they appeared to rely on the element of religious teaching being introduced by the benevolent persons who interested themselves in the movement. Care, however, should be taken that they were not setting up a system merely of secular education. His right hon. Friend had pointed out that the existing system helped the rich, and did not help the poor. The Privy Council, he found, dealt but with a very limited portion of the children requiring education in England. According to the Census of 1851, the children of an age to receive instruction numbered 4,000,000. Of that number the Privy Council dealt with 800,000, or about one-fifth; but one-fifth was too large a proportion to take, because many of the children were under five years of age; besides which there were 1,200,000 in the Church schools. To show how the present system worked, he would call attention to some remarks of the registrar-general, who was an impartial witness. In 1841 he said the proportion of persons who made their mark to the marriage register was 41 in the 100; in 1858 it was 32 in 100. Now, see how oddly that came out, and how unsatisfactory it was with regard to education. If I have read the figures aright, which I doubt, in 1841, of young men under 21 years of age, four and a decimal only made their mark on marriage; but in 1858 five and a large decimal did so; therefore a larger number of young people, who, it might be supposed, were mainly benefited by education, made their mark on marriage in 1858, than in 1841. The average number of men per cent who signed with a mark, were for all England 8.83, and of women 12 and a decimal; but the House would see, from the Registrar general's Report, that whilst lately more persons had written their names, yet that for persons under 21 years, the report showed that we were going the wrong way. One of the school inspectors, Mr. Norris, who inspected Cheshire, Shrop- 1285 shire, and Staffordshire, had made a remark which bore most strongly on a point to which his right hon. Friend had adverted. Mr. Norris stated:—I should say that schools of this sort wore now within reach of about one-half of the population, and that they were giving a very fair elementary education to one"fourth part of the children who passed through them; or, more briefly, that we had reached one-half, and were successfully educating one in eight of the class of children for which the schools were intended.Mr. Norris further stated that the class educated was composed of the lower grade of tradesmen, skilled mechanics, and small tenant farmers; and the result, with respect to those who stayed long enough in the schools, was an excellent education; and for those who had been prematurely withdrawn, a smattering of several things and proficiency in none, not even in reading and writing. See how this bore upon the question of the neglect of the lower kind of scholars. Mr. Norris went on to say, "If this is so, an injustice is done to three-fourths of those for whom the schools were intended." If injustice to those whom they got into their schools from not sufficiently adapting the schools to their wants, how much more did the injustice act in reference to those whom they did not got hold of at all? He would call the attention of the House to one or two facts connected with this matter, to show how the system of Privy Council grants had worked in reference to the poorer and lower classes of the scholars. He supposed that most of those who heard him had seen some comments in what was called the "leading journal," in reference to the numbers, who, in different parts of England, signed the register of marriage with a mark. He himself had looked into this question a little. Westmoreland was said to be the most highly educated district, with the exception of the Metropolis. Its population was 58,000 and a fraction, and it received £5,700 of the public money. This was the most highly educated county, as tested by the number of persons who signed their names on marrying, 83 women out of 100 so signing their names. Well, what did Mr. Moncreiff, the School Inspector for Westmoreland, Northumberland, Cumberland, &c. say? Mr. Moncreiff stated:—I have not observed any material changes in the district since my last report. The number of annual grant schools continues steadily increasing, and is now not far short of 200; yet I cannot say that local prejudices are in any great degree abated. Success or failure is still a matter of great uncertainty, and depending far more on the 1286 personal qualities of the teacher than on his ability or attainments, or even the actual progress of his pupils. The system, as a system, is still, with some striking exceptional cases, thoroughly unpopular, at least in the agricultural districts.Now, let the House refer for a moment to the county of Huntingdon, which had a population of 60,000, and therefore afforded the means of a close comparison. Huntingdonshire received from the Privy Council £8,500, being a much larger sum than Westmoreland; yet in Huntingdonshire only 60 women out of the 100 wrote their names on marrying. It was very difficult to understand when a larger sum of money was expended, that a less result should be obtained; but the statement of Mr. Norris with respect to Staffordshire explained the matter, because, if a great majority of the children were not induced to remain at school, injustice was done to those who did not get the education they ought to obtain, and thus, while a great deal of money was spent, the system failed. Cornwall, with a population of 358,000, received £44,000 from the Privy Council, and there 54 women out of 100 wrote their names on marrying. Monmouthshire, with a population of 177,000, received £17,000, and 47 women out of the 100 wrote their names. Staffordshire, with a population of 630,000, received £117,000, being about £ I for every sixth person, and there only 45 women out of the 100 wrote their names. Therefore, it appeared that the upper end, and not the lower end of the population got the benefit of the education supported by the State. Another curious result was exhibited by the statistical tables. They had a right to expect that morality would be the effect of education, but, on looking at the figures, they could not escape the conclusion that instruction was not education. Now Westmoreland, which stood the highest in point of instruction, was the very lowest in the point of morality, for according to the return of the Registrar General one child in every 10 and a fraction was there born illegitimate. Monmouthshire, which stood nearly the lowest in point of instruction, stood immeasurably the highest in morality. How were they to account for these facts? It did seem that instruction and education were somehow separate, and that though instruction might be given, it was not that sort of education that reached the heart. In Monmouthshire only 47 women wrote their names on marrying, and only one child in 28 was born illegiti- 1287 mate. Let him not be supposed to say that teaching people made them immoral, but the facts he had referred to could not be escaped from, and showed that when they took people in hand they should endeavour to educate them as well as to instruct them. These matters proved that the present system was not quite doing all the good that people hoped from it, and was in fact reaching the higher class of children rather than the lower. This was a consideration that mixed itself up with the question raised by his right hon. Friend, and he was sure that sooner or later efforts must be made to suit the education more to the mass of the children in the schools rather than to secure a very high education for the smaller number that would remain in them. Mr. Moseley, on leaving the Privy Council in 1854, left this legacy to the Board:—Of the boys between the ages of 10 and 15, only 36 per cent are at school. … The proportion of the lower classes after 10 years of age is greatly less. … It is not the work of a man at all that is to be done in the education of a child up to that age, but rather that of a woman. All your Lordships' efforts have hitherto had for their object the perfecting the elementary school in the hope that the children would in consequence remain longer. ֵI will not conceal that hitherto this hope has been disappointed.That was Mr. Moseley's parting shot at the Board. Some of the Board's inspectors had reported that reading was very insufficiently taught. Mr. Bellairs said,—The reading frequently fails of rising above mediocrity from the absence of skill in the teachers, and from not insisting that the lessons shall be properly prepared over-night.Mr. Fussell said,—In some, reading is not 'taught' at all in any real or sufficient sense. In others, the reading lessons of the lower classes are conducted with but slight regard to clearness of articulation or correctness of pronunciation.In many cases it appeared as though the knowledge and energy of the master were applied principally to the pupil teachers rather than to the lower order of scholars. Whenever this question was gone into in its entirety Parliament would have to consider whether it would not have to enlarge the industrial and ragged school system in some way, so as to put the whole system of education on such a footing that it would catch the humbler classes more effectually than at. present. The highly cultivated masters were too high to attend to the lower classes of children. If it was found 1288 impossible to keep children at school after 10 years of age, some means must be devised by which they would obtain a better education than at present. Those who desired to obtain a higher class of education could afford to pay a little more a week for it, and though he would not have them debarred from any of the advantages which they enjoyed at present, yet he would not have Parliament shut its eyes to the fact that there was a large portion of the poorer class of children who did not get that education which they had a right to receive.
§ MR. LOWE
said, he had listened with great interest to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, and he confessed himself unable to explain the statistics which he had quoted. But the right hon. Gentleman must recollect that the system on which the education grants were distributed was not a system which professed to provide education for the whole country. There was not the least reason for assuming that the amount of education in the country ought to be in proportion to the amount of the education grant; for the principle on which the education grant was administered was not that which the right hon. Gentleman shadowed forth. The system of the Privy Council, whether for good or evil, was to originate nothing. It gave money for education to those who were willing to subscribe money, and if there were more schools in one county and fewer in another, it was because there were more people in one county able and willing to subscribe their money for the purposes of education than in another. When the right hon. Gentleman complained that under the present system the higher class of the working classes were amply provided for, and the poorer class neglected, he complained of that which was the very essence and principle of the system. The system being a voluntary one, it was a necessity of it that that which the right hon. Gentleman deplored should take place. The rich would provide for their own neighbourhoods, and often to excess, and the poor who had no rich among them would be unprovided for. No doubt that was a great evil, and one much to be deplored, but it was a necessary result of the present educational system. Passing next to the remarks of the right hon. Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington), he must say that he felt somewhat oppressed by the high moral position which the right hon. Gentleman had taken up. All the argu- 1289 ments of feeling were on the right hon. Gentleman's side, and he was afraid he should appear in the character of a griping economist, refusing to the poor that which he admitted they so earnestly needed. But if the House followed the advice of the right hon. Gentleman, and imposed on some future educational Minister the task of coming-down to Parliament to ask for some hundreds of thousands of pounds for an educational grant, it would then he for those who were not in office to take up the line of economy. Before proceeding further it would be necessary to point out which schools were and which were not under the Privy Council. There were, first, the reformatory schools, to which children might be sent after conviction for crime; these were under the Home Office. Then there were the certificated industrial schools, to which children might be sent by a magistrate after committing an act of vagrancy. With these, also, the Privy Council had nothing to do. Then there were the elementary schools which received relief from the Privy Council, which were defined in the code of the Privy Council as schools in which the children of the honest poor received education, attending them from their homes. But besides these there were the subject of that evening's debate—the ragged schools, well defined in the 227th section of the minutes as "schools voluntarily established and maintained for children who have no home, or no reputable home—who depend on these schools for their domestic and industrial as well as their literary education, but who attend without legal compulsion, and are vagrants rather than criminals." "With regard to these schools, which were neither certified reformatory nor industrial schools, nor elementary schools, considerable error prevailed. The hon. Member for Surrey (Mr. Briscoe) said that none of them received aid from the Privy Council, but, unfortunately for the Consolidated Fund, there were forty-six of them receiving aid to the amount of £6,500 a year. The right hon. Member for Droitwich said that the Privy Council gave nothing towards instruction in these schools, as distinguished from industrial training; but, as was very clearly stated by the right hon. Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley), relief was given to these schools. There was open to the ragged schools every grant which was open to the elementary schools, or any other schools established purely for instruction. They could receive money for 1290 building schools, for certificated masters, and for pupil teachers on the same conditions as any other schools, if they chose to comply with them. They had open to them every facility which was granted to the elementary schools, and it was not correct to say that they were excluded from the Privy Council grants. Nay, more—? they had open to them certain privileges which other schools did not enjoy. In the first place, the capitation grant was only given in ordinary cases with respect to children who paid a certain amount in school pence; these ragged schools received no payment whatever from the children, yet they were allowed the capitation grant. In the second place, in addition to the certified teachers, they were allowed to receive payment for an inferior class of teachers. In the third place the elementary schools were not allowed to receive any annual grant from the Privy Council for books or pupil teachers, unless they had a certified master. These schools were allowed to receive that in common with other schools. Again, the rule which was applied in the case of elementary schools was relaxed in their favour, and the children needed not to attend from the homes of their parents. The disadvantages to which these schools were subject were three. One was that they must be called by an ugly name—they must be "ragged" schools. They were also required to give industrial teaching to each child, and this of course imposed another burden upon them, which might probably in some degree balance the advantages which they enjoyed over other schools. Thirdly, they were forbidden to receive fees from their children. He thought he had stated enough, however, to show that these schools were not excluded from the benefits of the system, and were not peculiar objects of the displeasure or aversion of the Committee of Council.
He would next proceed briefly to notice the arguments by which the right hon. Gentleman supported his proposition that these schools should receive a different rate of payment from that given to the elementary schools. It was done to some extent already, but the right hon. Gentleman wished that difference to be much more marked. Unintentionally he had paid the greatest tribute to the management of the Committee of Council, because in his Motion he gave a reason for his proposal which was utterly subversive of the whole principle and practice of the Council, and 1291 thereby virtually admitted that according to the principles on which they acted they could not adopt any other course in respect of these schools. The right hon. Gentleman said that the education grants "ought to be expended with fair and just regard to the requirements of the different classes of schools recognized by the minutes of the Committee of Council." That seemed a very fair proposition, but the practice of the Privy Council was not, and never had been, in conformity with it, and if the House affirmed the Motion they would lay down an entirely new principle of action, which would be subversive of all the principles hitherto acted upon by the Department. The practice of the Committee of Council was not to give grants in consideration of the requirements and necessities of schools, but in consideration of private persons coming forward and supporting them. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: Hear!] Did the right hon. Gentleman wish to overthrow that practice? Because, if so, it would have been better to have raised the issue in a more tangible shape. The right hon. Gentleman could not mean that there should be one set of principles for one class of schools and another for a second class, because his Motion embraced schools of every class. Probably, therefore, he had not clearly considered the principle on which the Privy Council acted in these oases. By affirming the Motion the House would at once sweep away the present system, and in that case they ought to furnish some guide by which the Committee of Council could construct another system. It might be desirable that aid should be given not merely according to the wealth but according to the necessities of a district; but the wisdom of Parliament had never yet devised a system which would render this possible. To the next argument he attached great weight. The right hon. Gentleman asked the Government to continue the present system of elementary schools. He knew well the immense trouble and outlay into which the Department was led in the attempt to establish schools of a high tone and character, to create a good type of education, and to obtain masters who would not only teach well, but would furnish a high standard in the formation of other schools. But the right hon. Gentleman said in effect, "Go on with one set of schools, founded on the best principles, and coming up to the highest standard you can devise for the education of the poor; and, side 1292 by side with them, create another class of schools, with hardly any of the precautions which you take in the other case to ensure their efficiency. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: We have done it.] That was true. He was not arguing whether it was right or wrong to do so. But observe what had been done. The Government had allowed the two systems to remain side by side, each on its own merits, not favouring the one above the other, but standing impartially between them both. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: No!] He contended that the Privy Council had acted impartially towards each. Some persons declared that they leaned too much to the ragged schools, and that was his own opinion; others held that too little favour had been shown to such schools, so that it was tolerably evident that there had been no great amount of bias either way. But the right hon. Gentleman now said—"Take the inferior type of schools; give them bounties, foster them, throw the weight into the balance; as far as public money is concerned show that they are your favourites, while at the same time you profess that your object is to raise the standard of education in this country." It was just as though the right hon. Gentleman had advised the Government to set up a shop for the sale of pure articles of consumption, and at the same time to establish by its side another shop for the sale of adulterated goods, largely subsidizing the latter in order that it might compete the better with the shop where everything was unadulterated and pure. Having created a good thing, the right hon. Gentleman would have them foster an inferior one, and give it larger grants of public money, so that it might compete more successfully with its rival. If such advice were followed, it would drag down the whole system of education in this country. The right hon. Gentleman had read an extract from Miss Carpenter's work on this subject, but there was another passage in which, speaking of the Minute of 1856, Miss Carpenter said that the natural consequence ensued; that numbers of schools, allured by this promise—namely, by the payment of a larger sum of money, which was exactly what the right hon. Gentleman wanted them to do now—and allured by this easier method of obtaining Government aid, designated themselves ragged schools. That was just what would happen now. If it were found that larger grants of public money could be thereby obtained, 1293 school children would in a vast number of cases be described as ragged, disreputable, poor and destitute, and unfit for human society. There would be a run upon the Government for these grants, and scholars would be drawn away from the good schools. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON.—Can not you trust your inspectors?] Certainly not. Without wishing to cast any reflection upon the inspectors, who were men of great intelligence and ability, the experience of the department was that they could not afford to spend the enormous sums of money voted by Parliament merely on the reports of those gentlemen. The Committee of Council did so as little as possible, the experience of those most practically acquainted with the working of the system being to the effect he had stated. Were it otherwise, the question would be simple indeed. The Council would have nothing to do but to send out their inspector and grant the money on his report; but they were satisfied that, partly from good nature on the part of the inspectors, and partly from other causes, such a system would not be trustworthy, and that no one having a proper regard to economy could safely administer the education grant on such a principle.
There was another argument, which appeared to him unanswerable. The right hon. Gentleman asked the Government to pay the ragged schools more highly than any other class. Now, when he was called upon to award a sum of money to any school on the ground of its being a ragged school he should require some kind of test that it was what it professed to be. Such a test was necessary, or otherwise you invested a Minister of Education with a power, which no Minister should possess, of arbitrarily squandering public money. Now, taking the present definition of a ragged school laid down in the Minutes of the Council—a definition with which the right hon. Gentleman had declared himself satisfied—it was impossible to fasten upon it any test of the kind. At present it was of no importance whether this definition was or was not satisfied; but if the grant were increased everything would turn upon it. The manager of the school would say that all the conditions contained in the definition were complied with; but he could not, of course, grant £2 10s. a head upon the simple assurance of the manager, or otherwise Parliament might reckon on an increased expenditure of hundreds of thousands. Then the ques- 1294 tion would arise whether, in the words of the definition, the children attending the school had no home, or no reputable home. Was he to send an inspector to ascertain whether the child had a home at all, or whether, if it had a home, the parents were reputable persons? No public department could undertake to institute such inquiries as these, and yet without them it would be impossible to carry out the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman with a due regard to the public purse. They were not without some information on this subject. In 1858 a sum of £27,000 was paid to these schools. The Minute of 1857 then began to tell, and in 1859 the amount paid was £18,000, and it had been still further reduced. The amount would get up again to £27,000, and a hundred times that amount if there was no check applied. The Council of that day had devised a scheme, finding it impossible to rely upon the representations of managers, and a certificate was required from two justices that they had satisfied themselves that the young persons in a particular school had been convicted of crime or were accustomed to begging or vagrancy, not having any settled home, and were without proper guardianship, and without any visible means of existence. That certificate, however, was found to he ineffectual, and the Council had been obliged to cancel the minute. He would just mention one school as an instance of the growth from a small beginning of a grant from the Council. It was first an industrial and ragged school; then it became a certified ragged school. In 1854 that school received £118; in 1855, £117; in 1856, £214; in 1857, £864; and 1858, £1,565; and in 1859, £1,601. He was sorry to say that in the present year it had received £1,047. It was useful to know of what items those payments were made up. There was £150 for rent, £665 for raw materials, £200 for paying teachers, and only £25 for capitation grants. It was quite right that the House should understand the nature of the system. He had shown what would be the state of I things if no check were applied, and the Resolution of the right hon. Gentleman I should be adopted unaccompanied by any suggestion of a sufficient test to regulate the expenditure of public money. He did not pretend to say that the abandoned class of children, as they were termed, should be left without succour from the State, but he held that it was quite impossible that that assistance should be ad- 1295 ministered by the Privy Council. He thought it right he should state his views, lest he might be thought inhuman in providing no help for those poor children. There were three departments very closely united—the Home Office, the Poor Law Board, and the Privy Council. The Home Office was charged with the repression of crime among the people, the Poor Law Board was charged with the maintenance of those of the people who could not maintain themselves, and the Privy Council was charged with the management of the education of the poorer classes, who were neither paupers nor criminals. It appeared to him that whenever a child had sunk so far below the level of other children as to have no reputable home and to be unfit for the society of other children, on account of dirt, depravity, or other cause, it must be attributable to one of two causes, either there was no parent or a parent unable to maintain the child, in which case it was a proper subject for the Poor Law Board, or the parents had neglected their duty, which made it a proper case for the Home Office to deal with. When they reached that point they had reached the limit of legislative interference. Pious and benevolent persons might form schools for those children, but the matter was too delicate for the interference of a department like the Privy Council, and it must either be left to private benevolence or to the compulsory action of the Government officer whose business it was not to allow half a million of children to grow up without restraint or guidance.
§ Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."
§ The House divided:—Ayes 41; Noes 25: Majority 16.
§ Main Question put, and agreed to.
§ House in Committee of Supply.
§ Mr. MASSEY in the Chair.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (19.) £598,167, Public Education (Great Britain).
§ MR. LOWE
said, he rose to give a brief explanation of the Vote. During the past year the schools inspected had increased by 171; the number of children by 58,387; the number of pupil teachers had increased by 1,200; of certificated teachers by 990; of students in training by 85; and children upon whom capitation grants were paid by 52,199. There had been no less than 247 new school-houses built and 178 dwellings for teachers; 230 other schools 1296 had been enlarged and accommodation created for 58,000 children. The number of children found in the schools by the Inspectors was 880,131, rather more than 58,000 in excess of the number of children found present in the schools in 1858, which was 821,744. The Estimate for the present year was £798,167, the sum for the previous year being £836,920. It would therefore appear that there was a diminution in the Vote this year as compared with that of last of £38,753. He regretted, however, to say that the diminution was not real, and that the Estimate of the present year was really an increase of £36,000 over that of last year. He could assure the Committee that the Committee of Education had made every effort to administer this fund with the utmost economy consistent with efficiency, and, as a proof, it might be mentioned that while the Estimate for the year ending December 31, 1859, was 761,000, the expenditure up to that date was only £723,000, so that by close and careful management the Education Committee expended about £40,000 short of the Estimate for the year. No doubt, a great deal more remained to be done, and more would have been done in the direction of economy, had not the Education Committee felt themselves restricted by the appointment of a Boyal Commission, whose attention was entirely directed to the subject of education. It was the opinion of the Education Committee that further retrenchments might be made without any sacrifice of efficiency, but it was thought more respectful to wait for the Report of the Commissioners on Education, which he trusted would be made this year and would enable the House to come to a satisfactory rearrangement and re-adjustment of this Vote.
He wished to make one or two remarks on the subject of economy. With regard to the schools, and especially the foundation schools, it was found that the liberality which made them comprehensive was the truest economy, and that if they were built on exclusive principles the effect was greatly to increase the expenditure. For example, if there were 100 children to be educated in a given parish, and if one denomination came and asked for a grant for the education of 100 children, then if that school were founded upon liberal and comprehensive principles, so that all the children of the parish could receive their education in it, the Privy 1297 Council knew that that parish was provided for, unless in the event of a great increase of population, and that no more would be asked for that parish. If, however, the schools were founded upon exclusive principles, so that the people of other denominations were obliged to come to the Board, and say, "Here are fifty of our children whose consciences are violated" they made out a case for another school, and two schools were built where one would suffice. Although it was said to be a blessing to make two blades of grass grow where one only grew before, yet this saying could not fairly extend to men who built two schools where one would be sufficient. He feared the country was somewhat retrograding in this matter, for the deeds under which schools were founded were for the most part more exclusive than they were thirty years ago, and were now formulated with the greatest precision and accuracy, from the circumstance, as he believed, that as people's attention was drawn to these matters, they looked more narrowly than formerly to the boundaries of their denominations. The British and Foreign schools were open to all classes of Christians except Roman Catholics, who did not use the Protestant version of the Bible. It was found, however, that these schools were now replaced by denominational schools, especially Wesleyan, so that the system was growing more wasteful rather than more economical. It reacted on its own agents, for the denominational element reacted on the denomination, and made the antagonism with other denominations sharper and more defined. One other principle was also conducive to economy—namely, the strict appropriation of all the education grants. The Education Office was overwhelmed with labour, because they were obliged to ascertain the conditions on which the money was granted, and then they were bound to see that the money was given to the exact persons for whom it was intended. It was necessary in dealing with so many bodies and individuals to act on principles of the greatest distrust. The whole of the stipends of pupil teachers and assistant teachers, the grants to the masters and mistresses instructing them, and the capitation grants, were made by means of Post Office orders. The greatest precaution was necessary in dealing with each school, and in ascertaining the locality, the denomination, and the nature of the grant, or else the Education Com- 1298 mittee would never know what became of their money, unless the greatest precautions were taken. The right people would not receive their salaries, and it would be impossible to administer the grant. A great deal had been done to facilitate the working of the Board by preparing a code of the rules of the Board. That was a task of very great difficulty. He, himself, had attended to it, but the chief credit was due to the gentlemen who were at the head of the department. A great reduction had been made in the building grant, which had been diminished by three-eighths, so that where the Privy Council formerly gave 4s., they now gave only 2s. 6d., and where they formerly gave £100 they now only gave £65. It was not found that this deduction had checked the applications for building. The public had submitted most cheerfully to the reduction, and the Privy Council had reason to congratulate themselves upon the saving that would be effected upon this item. The Privy Council had also determined to withhold further grants towards the erection of training schools. There were thirty-six now in operation, and it was believed that this number was quite sufficient. They had also determined to suspend the extension of capitation grants to Scotland during the coming year. I\o doubt Scotland was fairly entitled to the same capitation grant as England; but the matter had been under discussion before the Royal Commission. The opinion of the Privy Council was not favourable to these grants, and the managers of the Scotch acquiesced in their determination in the handsomest manner. The sum paid to pupil teachers was rather smaller this year, being £285,000 against £293,000 last year. The credit of effecting some reduction in this Vote was due to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Adderley), and the Marquess of Salisbury, who very advantageously limited the number of pupil teachers in any school to four. This item for pupil teachers was pointed out as the most outrageous of the whole Estimate, chiefly, perhaps, because it was the largest item. It was, however, the opinion of all those best qualified to judge, that whatever became of the pupil teachers after their apprenticeship, for every penny laid out upon them the public derived the full benefit. The amount which they cost per week was only 5s. 9d. each. That sum secured, during five years, from the age of 13 to 18, the services of very intelligent, industrious young people, who, under the 1299 inspection of the masters, really conducted the education of the schools. If the pupil-teacher system were to be abolished, it was the opinion of competent judges that it would have to be replaced by a system fully as expensive, if not more expensive. In that event a very considerable loss would be entailed,—the loss of the education which had been given to large numbers of young persons, who if they did not all, as the most of them did, remain in the department, formed a valuable reinforcement to the lower classes in point of intelligence and education. He was satisfied that the soundest part, the healthy care of the whole system—that which entitled it most to the support of the House and of the country, consisted of the grants to pupil teachers. They had this advantage, that they provided effectually for the education of a very useful class of persons over whom they had complete control; and that, further, they enabled them to send out into the world some 3,000 well-educated young persons. It was a common complaint that the pupil teachers deserted their business. The fact seemed to be that 12 per cent went off, and never passed through their apprenticeship; and that of those who did complete their apprenticeship 10 or 12 per cent more abandoned the profession of teacher for some other employment. Of the whole number of pupil teachers, however, at least 76 per cent became schoolmasters and schoolmistresses.
§ MR. HADFIELD
said, that whilst he thought their obligations were due to the right hon. Gentleman for his exertions on this subject, he was gratified to find that this threatening tax upon the country was arrested in some degree. His opinion was opposed to any system of Government education whatever. Every class of non-conformists, excepting, perhaps, the Wesleyans, were unanimous against receiving any Government pay for education. They preferred to do their work and to pay for it themselves. He had watched with dismay the rapid increase in the grants from £20,000 to nearly £900,000, and had naturally been alarmed at the prediction of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer, that they would in time amount to £3,000,000. He believed that the noble band of unpaid voluntary Sunday school teachers, to the number of 350,000, did more to promote the moral and educational improvement of the nation than all the efforts of the State. He said that in no sectarian 1300 spirit. He believed that two-fifths of the number of children in the country were educated by the voluntary efforts of the Established Church, and he gave them equal credit for their exertions.
§ MR. NORRIS
expressed his surprise that the hon. Member for Sheffield should speak of the labours of those who devote themselves to the instruction of the young on the Sabbath as worthy of the highest praise, while he sneered at those who were engaged in the same vocation on the week days, and as they could not afford to give their services gratuitously accepted the pittance allowed by Government. For his own part he thought the course adopted by the Government was a perfectly correct one; or if they committed any mistake at all it was that the system they adopted gave aid to those districts where the wealth of the inhabitants would enable them to dispense with it, while little or no aid was given in districts which from the poverty of the population stood most in need of assistance. He concurred on this point with the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich, and he hoped that they would not be deterred by the expense from doing something to carry that principle into effect.
said, he was rather alarmed at hearing the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Board of Education say that he hoped to promote economy by making the schools more comprehensive, following it up by the statement that the British and Foreign schools were dying out, because those schools were very comprehensive. If the British and Foreign schools were dying out it was a pretty good proof that the country preferred the denominational system. With regard to pupil teachers, in all good things there was a liability to run into excess. There had been a tendency to run into excess with pupil teachers, but a proper limit seemed now to have been put upon the system. He did not think that the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that the schools were more exclusive than they were thirty or forty years ago was founded on fact. It was not the case with the schools connected with the National Society, and he did not know to what other schools the observation could apply.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he thought the thanks of the country were due to the present Committee of Council for the retrenchment they had been able to effect, and which was absolutely necessary if the 1301 system was to be rendered safe and permanent. In their endeavours to subsidise voluntary efforts they must take care not to override or overlay or supersede private liberality, but rather to stimulate it. As to the poor districts, of which so much was said, it must be recollected that there were many districts with a poor tenantry with rich absentee landlords, and it would be a dangerous thing if the state wore to be too ready to come and do for those landlords what they ought to do and what other landlords did for their tenantry. He thought the country was much indebted to the Committee of Council for the codification of the Minutes, by which it was now rendered easy to know what was the law of this system, and if this codification were continued year by year no innovating principle could be adopted without the knowledge of Parliament. He agreed with I what had been said in favour of the denomination al principle which appeared to be the only one that could stimulate the zeal and liberality of the country.
§ MR. LONGFIELD
remarked that the debate had an important bearing upon the question of national education in Ireland. It was admitted that the English system was entirely different, and that the denominational principle was the one that was most advantageous to the State, most efficient, and most acceptable to the public. The State could do very little after all for the real education of the people, though it did not appear to him that the statistics quoted by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford bore much upon the question of that particular morality on which the right hon. Gentleman had dwelt. The truth was the Danish population in the north was the laxest, and the Celtic population in Wales was the strictest in its ideas on that subject. The denominational system ought to be extended to Ireland, if only for the co-operation of benevolent persons which it secured, and which was obviously so valuable in securing the proper administration of the State grants. It was also apparent that no system of mixed education could be so efficacious as one in which definite religious instruction was afforded.
§ MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, he cordially assented to the principles enunciated by the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Council. He had heard with astonishment the statement of the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield) that the Nonconformists as a body repudiated 1302 State aid in education. He (Mr. Bruce) lived amongst a dissenting population, and he had certainly not observed any disinclination on their part to receive educational grants. In Wales various local circumstances had the effect of throwing the education of the people in great measure into the hands of a denomination which was the least numerous in that country. A gentleman who was a churchman naturally founded his schools on Church: principles without considering the religion; of the people about him. He had himself acted in that way; but afterwards becoming trustee to a large property he found a school in which there was 2,300 children, I not a tenth of whom belonged to the Church. Ho therefore disconnected that school from the National Society and made it a British and Foreign School. The position in which he stood to that locality was exactly the position in which the State stood to all Wales; and he would ask the House was it right to take the public money and apply it to the education of dissenting children in Church schools? The State ought to take care that its grants were not made use of for the purposes of proselytism.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
said, he had the rare good fortune to agree both with his right hon. Friend (Mr. Henley) behind him and with the right hon. Gentleman opposite. That was to say, be believed that the denominational system of instruction was the best, but he believed that, along with this, there should be no exclusion of the minority. The more he reflected on it the more he was convinced that this was the true solution of the religious difficulties in the matter of education. He held, however, that the present system was only a transition system. They could take no effectual steps till they received the Report of the Royal Commission on Education—a Report to which he looked forward with the greatest interest and anxiety. But he must say he had been much struck with the remarks made in the course of the discussion on the subject of economy. And he could not forget that successive Chancellors of the Exchequer had complained of the magnitude of these grants. Now he wished to remind the Committee that for several successive years he had drawn the attention of Parliament to the subject, and had predicted that if the State were in this way to attempt the education of the whole people they would at last arrive at an expenditure so large that the country 1303 would not boar it. Successive Ministers of Education were complaining of this expense. His right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire had taken part in this discussion as the conspicuous advocate of the existing system.
§ SIR JOHN PAKINGTON
They had heard from the lips of the right hon. Gentleman that night that the existing system only reached a small minority of the people. [Mr. HENLEY: Hear, hear!] Then the existing system left a large substratum of the population of the country who were entitled to aid on every ground of benevolence, and on every ground of national policy, but who were not reached or touched by the existing system. Was not that a state of things demanding the most careful consideration? They had the admission of the friends of the system that it only touched a portion of the people, and that it left the most destitute and necessitous class altogether untouched, and simultaneously with that admission they had a cry from both sides of the House that the system had become too expensive. He wanted no more than that to justify the opinion he had before expressed, that he was not satisfied with the existing system. He thought the Committee had received acknowledgment of its inefficiency, and that if they meant to educate the people of England they must adopt some system more efficient than that now in operation.
§ MR. PULLER
said, that he could not join in the satisfaction expected by many hon. Members at the efforts made by the Committee of Council to curtail this branch of the national expenditure. The chief objection to the existing system was, that, while all the parishes in the country contributed rateably to the Parliamentary grant, less than half the number received any direct benefit from it. The principle of the system being, as had been correctly stated, to assist the voluntary efforts of individuals, what was the consequence? Why, that those parishes in which there was the most wealth and the most benevolence, and which consequently stood least in need of assistance, received large assistance from the Parliamentary Grant; while those parishes in which there was the least wealth and benevolence received none at all. The Committee of Council had, in fact, during the last twenty years, been 1304 taking, as it were, the cream of the parishes, extending their operations first into those in which the greatest facilities already existed for the establishment of good schools. Having pretty well exhausted that class of parishes, there remained another and a still larger class, those in which, from the absence of wealthy and benevolent inhabitants, it was more difficult to procure that amount of voluntary exertion, without which the Committee of Council was unable to grant assistance. Well, in this state of things it was that, alarmed, not, he believed, by anything that they heard outside of that House, but by the speeches of a few hon. Members, the Committee of Council, instead of offering increased inducements to private charity, as might have been expected, had actually taken a retrograde course, and lowered the scale of 'heir grants for building and enlarging schools. He thought that such a course was exceedingly unjust to all that large class of parishes who out of their poverty had contributed now for many years to the expense of the system, but had not yet received any direct benefit from it. There was another mode of economising the public money, which had been suggested as not impossible in the speech of the Vice-President of the Committee of Council, which was of far more importance than any alteration of the building grants. He alluded to what the right hon. Gentleman had said in praise of the comprehensive, as distinguished from the denominational system of education. He would not attempt to discuss which of these two systems would be the best, if the State took upon itself the whole expense of building and maintaining all the schools in the country. But as the State did no such thing, and in fact only contributed about one third of the expense in schools where private individuals could be found to provide the remainder, it was clear that the real question was, not which system might be thought the best in other respects by the Committee of Council, or even by a majority of that House, but which system was most acceptable to the great body of those benevolent individuals to whose charity it was owing, that so many good schools had been built and supported all over the country. Now could there be a shadow of doubt on this subject? Was it not notorious that in nineteen cases out of twenty, the chief motive which induced men to contribute liberally to the work of educating the poor was 1305 the desire to have them instructed, not merely in reading, writing, and arithmetic, but along with these useful acquirements in the knowledge of Divine truth? That religious feeling, though not generally of a controversial character, was in almost all cases associated with a strong attachment to some particular Church or sect. Ho had no doubt at all that of the members of the Church of England, who now contributed so largely to the support of the existing schools, by far the greater number would entirely decline to give their money to schools in which the religious teaching was not of a definite and specific character. He did not mean by that that there was a disposition among churchmen to confine the benefits of their schools, and exclude the children of Dissenters. The reverse was the fact—the rules of the national society respecting the catechism and other formularies of the Church to which allusion had been made were generally understood to leave a large discretion to the clergy and managers of schools, and the children of Dissenters did actually in great numbers share in the education given in the Church schools. But still he was quite sure that the members of the Church generally would never consent that the religious teaching in their schools should be limited to that which was described as of a "comprehensive" character, or that the management should be entrusted to any but churchmen. If that was the feeling in the Church of England, how did the matter stand with other bodies of Christians. They had been told this evening by the Vice-President of the Committee of Council, that the great Wesleyan body were not satisfied with the comprehensive schools of the British and Foreign School Society, but preferred whenever they were able to establish schools of their own; of the Roman Catholics he need hardly speak; no man could doubt that they would strenuously object to the children of their persuasion being educated in any but Roman Catholic schools. Then as to the other denominations of Christians, what had they just been told respecting them by the hon. Member for Sheffield (Mr. Hadfield)? Why that they repudiated the system of State assistance, and looked to their Sunday schools as the real means of touching the hearts of their children, and informing them about spiritual things. Did he blame them for that? Not at all. He thought it very natural that having for week-day instruction only the 1306 comprehensive schools of the British and Foreign School Society, in which the Bible was read without note or comment by a teacher chosen without reference to his religious opinions, they should be altogether dissatisfied with such schools, as a means of giving religious instruction, and should for that important purpose rest altogether on their Sunday schools. He would be exceedingly sorry to say a word in depreciation of those Sunday schools, or of the hearty zeal of those, by whose voluntary exertions they were carried on. He felt that the country owed a great debt of gratitude to those persons. But still it was only right that in apportioning praise it should be done with justice. Of the young persons who profited by the Sunday schools, a very large proportion had previously gone through a course of elementary instruction in the schools of the Church, and without that previous teaching, it would not have been possible for them to derive that amount of advantage which they now obtained by attending once in the week at the Sunday school.
§ MR. AYRTON
condemned the mode of taking the Vote in one sum of £798,000, instead of its being divided into separate heads, and protested against the present system on which the grant was administered, because it did not ensure that one farthing of the money should be given to the poorer classes, and had a tendency to increase the cost both of the building of schools and of instruction. He believed that one-half of the Vote was money wasted, because it led to extravagance in the cost of education, while the whole sum was expended on principles which did not secure its application for the benefit of the poor, the only class in whose behalf such grants ought to be made.
§ Vote agreed to.
(20). Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £82,951, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Expenses of the General Management of the Department of Science and Art, of the Schools throughout the Kingdom in connection with the Department, and of the Geological Surveys of Great Britain and Ireland, &c, to the 31st day of March, 1861.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
said, he rose to call attention to the item for the Kensington Museum. He wished to ask what were the ulterior objects for which that institution was intended. It had been justly characterized as a large advertising shop 1307 which, came into competition with the traders of the Metropolis. The building itself was a great toy, and the articles exhibited in it partook of the nature of toys. Some years ago a great sale took place of a collection of majolica and various articles of virtù. The Government devoted many thousands of pounds to purchases on that occasion, the effect of which was to raise the market price of those objects 200 per cent. Since then these articles had maintained an artificial value far beyond their intrinsic worth. This museum, which was supported by the public taxes, also entered into direct competition with the photographic societies and private photographers of London. Some years ago, when the public money was employed in carrying on a competition with the book trade, Mr. Longman and Mr. Murray, the eminent publishers, memorialized the Government against the practice, and it was subsequently abandoned. In the present case, however, there was an attempt to renew the same indefensible system in respect to photography. He was sorry the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was a "Freetrader without exception," was not in the House, because that right hon. Gentleman would acknowledge that this practice was inconsistent with the true principles of political economy. Another point deserving of notice was the mysterious intrigues which had been going on for the removal of the English school of pictures in the National Gallery to Kensington. A correspondence had taken place between Sir Charles Eastlake and Mr. Redgrave, in which the conduct of the director of the National Gallery certainly came out in favourable contrast with that of the official of the Kensington Museum. Mr. Redgrave had urged the precipitate removal of the pictures of the British school to Kensington, and declared that the less the matter was talked of the better. In one of that Gentleman's letters occurred a significant postscript, begging that his haste might be forgiven, for he was writing against time, "to save the train for Windsor." This ought to excite the jealousy of the House, and he trusted there would be an effectual interposition on the part of the few Members of Parliament remaining in town to prevent the further progress of these intrigues, for he could call them by no better name. When he found Cabinet Ministers trotted down to the Museum for the purpose of perpetra- 1308 ting a Court job, one could not help thinking there were other gentlemen anxious to obtain seats in the Cabinet by doing what was agreeable to those who were known to exercise a most decided influence in the formation of Ministries. He should certainly keep a most watchful eye on the proceedings of these gentlemen. He did not accuse the noble Lord or the President of the Council of any ulterior intentions in establishing this influential and despotic authority which it seemed the Kensington Museum would wish to exercise over the science and art department in this country; but, consciously or unconsciously, they might be the instruments of others. So far from benefiting either the sciences or arts of the country, he believed the Kensington Museum was really nothing but a great toyshop for the amusement of the residents in the west-end and other influential personages in that locality. He would especially call attention to the fact that the salaries of the officials of Kensington Museum were high compared with those of the British Museum, and had been gradually increased. Mr. Cole, for instance, the general superintendent, received £1,200 a year; while at the British Museum the most eminent scientific man in the country, or perhaps in all Europe, Mr. Owen, received only £800, and the chief librarian a similar sum. He was quite prepared to support a Motion for increasing the salaries of the officers of the British Museum, whose labours and qualifications fully entitled them to ample remuneration; but from what he knew of Kensington Museum he could not help thinking that the public money might be much better spent than it was there. The report on the Kensington Museum was a most unsatisfactory document. On free-trade principles it was most unsound, and it was strange indeed, proceeding as it did from so orthodox a professor of political economy as the right hon. Gentleman; but it was rumoured that after all the Report was not entirely his, Mr. Cole having had a finger in the pie. He should like to have a satisfactory contradiction on that point from the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. ADDERLEY
said, he wished to redeem a pledge he had given a short time since to the President of the Royal Hibernian Academy. When the noble Lord brought forward a Motion for a grant to that school, he had felt it his duty to make a statement as to the attendance on the life school which had given some 1309 annoyance, and he promised to state the authority on which he had made the statement. He begged now to observe that his authority was Mr. M'Leod's report, which gave the average daily attendance for the last ten years in the living model school of the Royal Hibernian Academy at about eight, and he was, therefore, led to suspect that parties were allowed to be present who were not scholars.
§ MR. CARDWELL
said, he also wished to say one word in justification of the President and Council of the Royal Hibernian Academy. He held in his hand a letter written by Mr. Smith, the able President of the Institution, which stated that the rules of the Academy were in all respects the same as in London, and that no departure was permitted or would be tolerated by the Royal Hibernian Academy. He had also a letter from the secretary of the Academy, who stated most distinctly that three classes only were admitted—namely, first, pupils of the Academy who by their drawings from the antique had shown due qualifications, and who were admitted by the Council to the living model school on inspection of their drawing; second, pupils from the art school, on the certificates of the masters; and, third, practising artists who were known to be such by the Council of the Academy.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he had gone into the Committee on Kensington Museum with the expectation that such acts of jobbery would be disclosed as would hold up the Institution to ridicule; but he was bound to say, so far from that being the case, he could discover nothing in the shape of jobbery. It had been said that the British Museum and Kensington Museum had competed together at public auctions; but on the evidence there was not a word of truth in that allegation. After examining into all the circumstances connected with the South Kensington Museum he honestly believed that it was doing a great deal of good. It necessarily was at a great distance from the eastern end of London, but it was no longer possible to have one great central museum which should be equally within range of all the inhabitants. It had been alleged that in photographing the cartoons the authorities were interfering improperly with the limits of private enterprise; but it was impossible to trust objects of such value to be handled by persons unconnected with the department. Mr. Cole, to whom 1310 reference had been made, was a most energetic public servant, and, though he received £1,200 a year, he discharged duties for which £2,000 annually had formerly been paid. In addition to this ho had been for twenty years connected with the Record Office, and to him was largely due the merit of whatever success had been obtained at the South Kensington Museum.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
said, that as an instance of the manner in which the officials connected with the South Kensington Museum overstepped their duties, he might mention that they had at first induced the trustees of the British Museum to refuse Mr. Colnaghi permission to photograph the Elgin marbles, though they afterwards consented to his doing so. The system of advertising and puffing which was carried on at that institution was quite foreign to the character of any public institution.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he was sure his hon. Friend, if he had been a member of it, would have been equally convinced with himself of the good effects of the working of that department.
§ MR. ALDERMAN SALOMONS
said, he should elicit the opinion of the Committee with regard to the sums proposed to be voted for chemicals and for printing. Ho begged to move that the Vote for photographing be reduced by £1,500.
§ MR. LOWE
said, it would be in the recollection of the House that the hon. Member for Brighton stated that if inquiry were made into the conduct of the South Kensington Museum a scene of jobbery would be disclosed at which the public would stand aghast; and he added that the agents of that department and of the British Museum had been seen bidding against one another in public auction rooms amid the derision of the public. These charges had been very carefully inquired into by the Committee which had been appointed, and in their Report they said:—Your Committee have investigated a complaint often made against the South Kensington Museum and British Museum, to the effect that the officers of these institutions compete with each other at public sales. After examining Mr. Panizzi, the officers of the South Kensington Museum, and Mr. Webb, the agent who buys for both institutions, your Committee find not only that such competition has never occurred, but 1311 that a concerted action has been always taken between both institutions, by the employment of one buyer for the two, to prevent any such competition. The report appears to have originated from the fact, as stated by Mr. Webb, that the British Museum and the Ordnance Department once completed for a suit of Greek armour, the British Museum being in entire ignorance that the Ordnance Department contemplated such a purchase for the Tower of London.The hon. Member asked why he had not been put on the Committee. The reason was that, having preferred charges of such a nature, it was thought better that he should be at liberty, in case he thought proper, to act as public prosecutor. He was, however, requested to furnish any evidence which he might think desirable, and he accordingly sent two gentlemen, who preferred complaints which were investigated by the Committee, and by them declared to be groundless. It had never been the wish or intention of the department of the South Kensington Museum to enter into competition with any private trade. But photography was a new and very peculiar art, and all that the department had ever professed to do was to photograph in public exhibitions where it was not desirable that the private trade should go. In the first instance, it was necessary to consider—was it desirable that public exhibitions should be thrown open to any respectable photographer? The Committee were of opinion that it was not, because in this country it was requisite that photographs should be taken in the open air. The greatest care and delicacy had to be exhibited in removing the cartoons at Hampton Court, and where the collection, as in Kensington Museum, was of such considerable value it was not thought desirable to entrust it to every respectable tradesman who might come forward. They had next to consider whether they would empower a few select tradesmen to take photographs, but it was felt that there would be an outcry against the favouritism shown to a portion of the trade, and at the same time that these tradesmen, by mutual agreement, would be able to create a complete monopoly, and this plan was likewise felt to be objectionable. The next question was, would they have a single person, with exclusive privilege of photographing, and with liberty to sell to the public at whatever price he chose? They determined that they should not be justified in excluding all the trade except one favoured individual, and thus nothing remained except for the department itself to photograph the collection, giving the benefit to 1312 the public, and only charging cost price. It was true, as stated by the hon. Member for Brighton, that the Elgin marbles at the British Museum had been photographed; but he was at a loss to know whence the hon. Gentleman derived the information which he had given to the House that the trustees had in the first instance been prevented from granting the desired permission through the influence of the department at South Kensington. Her Royal Highness the Archduchess Marie of Russia had expressed a wish to obtain photographs of the marbles, and that these should be executed by Mr. Colnaghi, and in compliance with her request the Committee made a departure from their rules. But the feeling at the British Museum was decidedly against allowing private persons to photograph in that establishment, and in favour of the permission being restricted to official photographers.
MR. DANBY SEYMOUR
said, he wanted to know why the Government could not engage a person once for all to take the negatives of these pictures, and sell the photographs at cost price to the public, without incurring a charge of £2,000? He could not understand that any experienced professional photographer would do more injury to the objects than the photographer employed by the Government. At the Louvre such a permission was accorded without hesitation.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
observed, that it appeared from a note appended to the item that the public benefited by the arrangement, as the Kensington Museum sold their photographs at cost price, paying the proceeds into the Exchequer, and that the photography done by the department was exclusively limited to objects in foreign museums, the British Museum, &c, which could not be photographed by private agency.
§ MR. EDWIN JAMES
protested against the reason given by the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lowe) for excluding the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Coningham) from sitting on the Committee. It was usual to nominate any hon. Gentleman who showed a strong interest in any particular question, to inquire into which a Committee might be appointed, a Member of that Committee, and it was almost an insult to an hon. Member to tell him, that because he showed a disposition to take an active part in the inquiry that he had been treated as a prosecutor, but had been permitted to send his witnesses.
Motion made, and Question put,
That the item of £1,500, for Photographic Apparatus, Chemicals, Labour, &c, be omitted from the proposed Vote.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 19; Noes 80: Majority 61.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, he should propose to reduce the Vote by £20,000, his object being to put an end to this system of extravagance in the matter of science and art. The museum might be a very agreeable lounge for the people at the West-end of London, and no doubt afforded amusement to the servant maids, and perhaps in the evening to some of the working classes, who were counted in the number of visitors. But these were not the working classes connected with art for the promotion of which this institution was said to be established. If the institution was kept up for the west of London, the east, the north, and the south would have an equal title to similar institutions, which would occasion a charge of £80,000 for institutions of this kind for London alone, without taking into account Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and other large towns which had equal claims. The museum was a toy and a plaything, and the effect of keeping it up was to starve the British Museum. He had no confidence in the Report of the Committee as constituted.
said, that according to the Standing Order, after a division had been taken on an item in a Vote, they could not move a reduction of the whole Vote.
§ MR. AYRTON
then said, that he would put it in another form, and move to omit the first item in the Vote, on account of the Kensington Museum, viz., £3,515.
Motion made, and Question put,
That the item of £3,515, for the South Kensington Museum, be omitted from the proposed Vote.
§ The Committee divided,:—Ayes 13; Noes 79: Majority 66.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
MR. DANBY SEYMOUR
said, he wished to know how it came to pass that a charge for "navigation" was included in the Department of Science and Art.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
said, he should object to the proposal, because he conceived the funds were not properly administered, and that the system was fraught with principles that were inconsistent with those of public policy.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ The following Votes were then agreed to:—
§ (21.) £631, Commissioners of Education, Ireland.
§ (22.) £4,820, University of London.
§ (23.) £7,630, Grant to Scottish Universities.
§ (24.) £1,771, Queen's University, Ireland.
§ (25.) £3,600 Queen's Colleges, Ireland.
§ MR. AYRTON
asked how many persons had the benefit of this Vote, as it appeared that each degree cost a very large sum to the nation?
§ Vote agreed to, as were also the following Votes,
§ (26.) £500, Royal Irish Academy.
§ (27.) £2,500, Belfast Theological Professors, &c.
§ (28.) £8,670, National Gallery.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
moved to reduce the Vote by £6,000, the amount asked for the purchase of pictures. He had last year made certain charges against the keeper, and he was told that that gentleman's tenure of office was about to expire: but now it appeared that the Government had continued that gentleman in office for another five years. Then, again, he was told, when he objected to a sum of £10,000 for the purchase of pictures, that the Northwick collection was about to be sold; but the fact appeared now to be that only four pictures were bought, for £2,078, at that sale; two only—a Giulio Romano and a Masaccio—were valuable. He wanted to know what had become of the remainder of the £10,000. A purchase was made in Hanover of two pictures, ascribed to Jacob Ruysdael, one for £1,069, and the other for a larger sum, They were 1315 both of a similar character, and one would have been sufficient for artistic purposes, besides which, one was admitted by the best judges to be spurious. There had also been a purchase of the Beaucousin collection, some of which there had been no attempt to hang. He also objected to the item of £650 for travelling expenses, and he was informed that Mr. Mundler, whose salary had been struck out by Parliament, was still employed, and that he was remunerated out of the amount voted for travelling expenses. He would also repeat his recommendation that the Royal Academy should find other quarters, which would give ample room for the national collection.
§ MR. SPOONER
asked whether there was any balance remaining from the money voted last year for the purchase of pictures?
§ MR. W. WILLIAMS
said, he wanted to know whether the whole of the £15,985 last year had been expended?
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he wished that it should not be inferred that he had concurred in the criticism pronounced last year upon Sir Charles Eastlake, because he had not made a defence for him. He merely said that this year there would be a better opportunity of discussing the question than there was afforded last year.
§ MR. AYRTON
said, that before the Vote was taken they ought to have some asrurance from the Government that the National Gallery would be appropriated to national purposes. The greater part of the National Gallery was now given up to the Royal Academy, and it should be made available for the reception of pictures. If the building were properly appropriated, there would be enough of room to receive all the pictures belonging to the nation.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, he had always imagined that a National Gallery existed for the cultivation and improvement of art, and that this was a superior object to the gratification of looking at a number of pictures. Therefore a Royal Academy, which gave to students an opportunity of studying the works of the 1316 great masters and afterwards of exhibiting their own works, was a national object, and no complaint could be made if such an opportunity were afforded to the Royal Academy. No doubt, it was desirable to accommodate the Royal Academy elsewhere, in order that the whole of the building might be devoted to pictures belonging to the country. The only plan was to give the Royal Academy a site in Burlington Gardens and to erect a large building there. That question was not decided upon, and a great deal might be said upon it. At all events, it would require a considerable time to erect such a building. It was, however, possible to increase the available space in Trafalgar Square so as to give room for holding any additional pictures that might be acquired for eight or ten years to come. The money would therefore be well laid out, because the building would be rendered more valuable when the Royal Academy was removed. The alterations proposed would not affect the exterior, they would only involve a small expense, and they would, above all, afford a decent place for the exhibition of works of sculpture. No one could enter the Royal Academy and see the way in which the works of the sculptors were exhibited without feeling ashamed that works of genius, such as were exhibited by the sculptors of this country, should be condemned to be huddled together in a small cellar. The alterations proposed would at least give a decent place where sculpture could be exhibited, so that these works of art could be properly seen.
LORD HENRY LENNOX
said, he understood that the battle upon the tinkering proposed in the National Gallery was to be fought upon No. 7 of the Civil Service Estimates. In voting against the hon. Member for Brighton he should not therefore identify himself with the alterations.
§ MR. CONINGHAM
observed that he had understood the noble Lord to say that the appointment of the director was made upon the recommendation of the trustees. He was informed that there were only two trustees in the habit of attending the meetings.
§ VISCOUNT PALMERSTON
said, that the recommendation that the director should be reappointed was signed by all the trustees.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ The following Votes were then agreed to:—1317
§ (29.) £4,790, Magnetic Observations Abroad.
§ (30.) £500, Royal Geographical Society.
§ (31.) £1,000, Royal Society (Public Objects).
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow.
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.