§ MR. NEWDEGATE
said, the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley), who was not present at that moment in the House, had given notice to call attention to the Report of the Committee of Council on Education (1860 and 1861, p. 195), so far as respects the Reports of the Roman Catholic Inspectors on Roman Catholic schools, receiving grants of public money, and to ask why the Reports of certain Inspectors—namely, Mr. Morrell and Mr. Marshall—have been omitted from the Reports presented to Parliament, and to move for the production of such Reports. Before alluding to that subject he wished to ask whether some questions had not been addressed to the Committee of Council on Education respecting the system of grants to the British schools in Wales, and whether anything had been done, the effect of which was to place these schools in a better position for receiving assistance from the Education Board than the schools of the National Society, and whether due securities were taken for the communication of religious instruction in these schools? He wished to call the attention of the House to some of the statements in Report of the one—the only Inspectors'—which had been laid before them; statements referring to the imperfect manner in which the accounts were kept in the Roman Catholic schools under his inspection. The Inspector stated that in several of the Roman Catholic schools, for instance, those of Hammersmith and St Leonard's-on-Sea, both of which schools were connected with convents, there were really no proper accounts whatever kept; and that there was nothing to show that the grants voted for the purposes of those schools had not been devoted to quite different objects. He (Mr. Newdegate) would not enter into the details of this Report, but would merely confine himself to its general effect. In reference to 1833 Hammersmith, the Inspector stated that the accounts presented to him there were made up in accordance with no known system of account, and with respect to St. Leonard's-on-Sea that the expenses for the maintenance of the schools were mixed up with expenses of various other kinds, so that it was impossible for him to give an assurance to the Committee of Education that those accounts fairly represented the expenditure of the public money upon education. Those facts he (Mr. Newdegate) thought quite sufficient to make the House desirous of obtaining the Reports of the other Inspectors of Roman Catholic schools; and to create considerable uneasiness as to the mode in which the public money given for a special purpose had been appropriated. He begged pardon of the hon. Member for Peterborough (Mr. Whalley), whom he now saw in the House, for having anticipated his question of which he had given notice. He, like the hon. Member, was anxious that the House should have some clear account of the expenditure of this money, and he, therefore, wished to know why the Reports of the other two Inspectors had not been laid before them?
§ MR. WHALLEY
then rose, pursuant to notice, to call attention to the Report of the committee of Council on Education for 1860 and 1861, so far as the same had reference to the reports of the Roman Catholic inspectors on Roman Catholic schools receiving grants of public money. He also desired to ascertain why the reports of Mr. Morrell and Mr. Marshall, Inspectors, had been omitted from the reports presented to Parliament, and to move for the production of such reports?
§ MR. SPEAKER
said, the hon. Member was not in order in introducing this subject upon the Motion for the adjournment of the House, after having allowed the Motion to which he referred to be passed over without expressing an opinion upon it.
§ MR. WHALLEY
appealed to the noble Lord at the head of the Government to permit him to proceed. He had merely gone to the library for a few moments, and during his absence the Motion for adjournment was made. It was understood that the return would be granted, and was only delayed in consequence of the absence of the Vice-President of the Committee of Council. It was really a matter of very great importance, and he could speak on the Motion for adjournment. In 1834 the Report there was no satisfactory account of the application of the money. Instead of being applied to the purposes of education, it was palpably and plainly applied to the erection of chapels and churches. ("Order, order.")
§ MR. NEWDEGATE
hoped that the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Board of Education would favour him with an answer to his question.
§ MR. LOWE
said, that the Questions referred to the management of Dissenting schools, and were abstract questions, intended to give rise to controversy. As the Education Committee had a great deal of business to attend to, which they could hardly overtake, they declined to be drawn into an abstract discussion by a member of one sect ns to the mode in which they dealt with another sect. If they did this the Privy Council Education Committee would be the battle-field of rival sects, and much ill-will would be stirred up. His hon. Friend (Mr. Whalley) a short time ago complained that a report by Mr. Morrell, one of the Inspectors, contained some improper expressions. He concurred in this opinion, and told his hon. Friend the matter should not occur again. He was not altogether satisfied with Mr. Morrell's report this year, and he thought it better; not to print it all at the public expense. Last year his hon. Friend was angry with him because he had printed Mr. Morrell's report while this year he was angry with him for not printing it. It was desirable to keep some moderation in these reports. Every Inspector of schools made two reports, one a tabulated report of the number and state of the schools in his district, and the other a general report, which ought to be confined to the state of his schools and practical suggestions for their amendment. When expressions were used which he did not approve, or when irrelevant matter was introduced, it was his duty to send the reports back to the Inspectors. He could not omit passages, or make alterations, without being charged with garbling, so that when the reports were returned to him unaltered, or still containing objectionable matter, he made it a rule to suppress them altogether. If, however, hon. Members move for the production of Returns which he had thought it undesirable to print with the others, it would be offering a premium for objectionable reports.
§ MR. HENNESSY
quite approved of the course pursued by the Privy Council in suppressing the irrelevant reports. Indeed, he would go so far as to say that the tabulated reports contained the only information which was useful or interesting to the public, and that the general reports were made only for the information of the Department, and ought not to be printed at the public expense. None of the Inspectors were Roman Catholics.
§ Motion agreed to.
§ House adjourned at a quarter after Six o'clock.