HC Deb 30 June 1864 vol 176 cc497-8

who had given notice to move— That in the opinion of this House the mode in which it is proposed by the Minute of the 11th day of March, 1864, to make Grants to Endowed Schools, and the distinction made by the same Minute between Endowed Schools in the country and in towns, are unsatisfactory and unjust. said, it had been intimated to him that a Motion, similar in substance and effect, having been moved by his right hon. Friend the Member for North Staffordshire (Mr. Adderley), and decided by the House, it was a serious question whether it was competent to him, consistently with the rules of the House, which forbade making the same Motion twice in the same Session, to move the Resolution which stood on the paper in his name. He, therefore, begged to ask for an authoritative decision from the Chair, whether it would be in his power to make the Motion or not?


According to the rules of the House, no Question or Amendment may be proposed which is the same in substance as any question which during the same Session has been resolved in the affirmative or negative. The original Minute of Council deducted the amount of the endowment from the grant in all cases. The amended Minute of the 11th of March made no deduction from small rural schools, but withdrew the grant from the schools in towns. The right hon. Member for Staffordshire objected to this amended Minute and to this distinction between town and country schools, and on the 2nd of June moved a Resolution in these words— That this House, having considered the Minute of Council of the 11th day of March, 1864, on Endowed Schools, is of opinion that it does not meet the objections made to the Minute of the 19th day of May, 1863. This Motion was negatived. To-day the right hon. Member for Droitwich proposes a Resolution— That in the opinion of this House the mode in which it is proposed by the Minute of the 11th of March to make grants to Endowed Schools, and the distinction made by the same Minute between Endowed Schools in the country and in towns, is unsatisfactory and unjust. I have not been able to arrive at any other conclusion than that this Resolution is the same in substance, as it is very nearly the same in terms, as the Resolution of the right hon. Member for North Staffordshire, which was resolved in the negative, and that it could not be put without a contravention of the rules of the House.


bowed to the decision of the Chair. He had not the least disposition to oppose the judgment of the right hon. Gentleman, had he thought the House would agree with him that he would be unnecessarily intruding on their time if he entered into any argument on the Question. But before he retired from the Question, there was one remark that he desired to offer, and that was that distinctly for himself, and he believed he might say for many Members of the House, he entirely refused to admit that the decision of the House was a final decision of the Question. The division was a very narrow one, the majority being only eight or nine; it was taken unexpectedly; and it could not, in any sense, be considered as testing the opinion of the House upon the subject. In his opinion, the policy of the Government with regard to Endowed Schools was unrighteous and unwise, and he thought that if any hon. Member would refer to that part of the Report of the Royal Commission which related to the establishment of these Endowed Schools he could only arrive at the conclusion, that if we had an Educational Department, with a responsible Minister at its head, it would be impossible for that Minister not to feel that it would be his duty to avail himself of the endowments, in order to improve and extend education throughout many districts of the country, and not to lend himself to the unworthy policy of saving a few thousands of the annual charge at the expense of impeding the education of the people. While, then, he bowed to the decision pronounced by the Speaker, he thought it impossible that this subject could be left where it was; and in the next Session of Parliament he intended himself, unless it was done by some other hon. Member, to revive the discussion, and induce the House of Commons to reverse its decision.