§ (1.) £16,006, to complete the sum for Public Record Office.
§ (2.) £217,392, to complete the sum for Poor Law Commissioners.
§ (3.) £35,075, to complete the sum for Mint, including Coinage.
§ (4.) £26,826, to complete the sum for Inspectors of Factories, Fisheries, &c.
§ (5.) £4,210, to complete the sum for Exchequer and other Offices in Scotland.
§ (6.) £4,413, to complete the sum for Household of Lord Lieutenant, Ireland.
§ (7.) 11,609, to complete the sum for Chief Secretary, Ireland, Offices.
§ (8.) £3,007, to complete the sum for Inspection, &c. of Lunatic Asylums, Ireland.
§ (9.) £16,861, to complete the sum for Office of Public Works, Ireland.
§ (10.) £27,559, to complete the sum for Audit Office.
§ (11.) £14,187, to complete the sum for Copyhold, Tithe, and Inclosure Commission.
§ (12.) £9,290, to complete the sum for Inclosure and Drainage Acts; Imprest Expenses.1136
§ (13.) £48,493, to complete the sum for General Register Offices, England, Ireland, and Scotland.
§ (14.) £11,510, to complete the sum for National Debt Office.
§ (15.) £2,785, to complete the sum for Public Works Loan Commission and West India Belief Commission.
§ MR. BLACKBURN
said, he wished to inquire what was the nature of the work done by the West India Belief Commission.
said, many years ago relief was given partly in Jamaica and partly in other West India Islands, and the duty of this Commission was to recover the annual instalments in respect of the advances then made. Every year the loan that had been made was in course of re-payment.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (16.) £7,635, to complete the sum for Lunacy Commissions.
§ SIR. JOHN TROLLOPE
said, he wished to ask upon what principle the Commission of Lunacy was to be carried on. It consisted of several paid and unpaid Commissioners—there being no less than six for England, whereas there were only two paid and two unpaid Commissioners for Scotland, and the two paid Commissioners received inferior salaries. Those who had to transact business with the Lunacy Board complained of the great delays in the transaction of business, and the almost absurd regulations they issued from time to time with regard to pauper lunatic asylums in the country. In the county which he had the honour to represent (Lincolnshire), it was found necessary to enlarge the building, and plans were drawn and contracts made for that purpose, but the Board would not give their assent to them because the magistrates would not undertake to purchase a large quantity of farming land on which to employ the lunatics, and when they came to inquire into the matter it was found that not one in fifty of the lunatics was capable of being so employed, and that those who were would require a great amount of surveillance. The Commissioners, in the exercise of their discretion, consequently prevented the alterations from being carried out for a period of two years, and during that time the surplus lunatics had to be sent to other county lunatic asylums at a distance from their friends.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, certain statutable visits were made to asylums by paid visitors, generally professional men. There had been frequent discussions between the Commissioners and magistrates of counties on the subject of want of ground in connection with the asylums. He thought the former were right in requiring, in accordance with the intention of the Act of Parliament, that there should be ground sufficient to allow of the patients being exercised.
§ SIR JOHN TROLLOPE
said, that in the case he had referred to the ground was not for exercise, but for the employment of the patients, and was more than could be used in agricultural operations by manual labour. There had been already thirty or forty acres of land attached to the asylum.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, he meant by exercise employment at agricultural pursuits as followed at Hanwell, which had been found to contribute greatly to the improvement of the patients.
§ COLONEL SYKES
expressed his opinion that the public, as well as the patients, were much indebted to the Commissioners.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (17.) £1,223, Superintendent of Roads, South Wales.
§ COLONEL FRENCH
said, he did not see why such a charge should fall on the Consolidated Fund. Why should it not be defrayed by a rate or by tolls?
said, that the chief duty of the superintendent who was appointed under an Act of Parliament for improving the roads in South Wales, was to secure the re-payment of the large advances—£250,000—of the Government for their works. The loan would probably be repaid in a few years, and of course the present Vote would not then be required.
said, that the present system of expenditure would not last fifteen years longer. Six counties would not have agreed in the appointment of an efficient officer, but the Government had made a satisfactory appointment.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (18.) £1,324, to complete the sum for Registrars of Friendly Societies.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he wished to ask whether the Government proposed to take any step in consequence of the remarks of the Registrar General 1138 with reference to certain abuses in the friendly societies, as to the compulsory payment of beer money, and the difficulty of obtaining payments in cases of sickness.
said, that the remarks to which the hon. Member referred were directed principally to the practice of obliging Members to contribute to the expenses of feasts, and to the difficulties which persons who paid their money through agents experienced in recovering payment of the sums to which they became entitled, and in taking proceedings against those who misapplied the money entrusted to them. No step could be taken this Session, but he thought that an inquiry on the subject might usefully take place in another Session.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (19.) £13,915, to complete the sum for Charity Commission.
§ (20.) £4,665, to complete the sum for Local Government Act Office and Inspection of Burial Grounds.
§ (21.) £1,350, to complete the sum for Landed Estates Record Offices.
§ (22.) £446, to complete the sum for Quarantine Expenses.
§ (23.) £24,000, to complete the sum for Secret Service.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, he thought the time had arrived when some inquiry should be made into this item. In the beginning of the present century, when information was required at all hazards, no doubt such a service might have been necessary; but in these days of peace, when we lived in an atmosphere of intelligence, and when our foreign policy had experienced such alteration, some inquiry ought to be made into the subject, especially as the sum demanded was the identical amount which had been asked for this purpose for years—namely, £32,000. He did not know how Government considered themselves justified in paying that large sum for espionage every year, nor was he aware how otherwise they could employ it except on matters connected with the forthcoming election, which of course the House would not sanction. Of course, he anticipated that the reply to his question would be that the sum was disbursed in satisfying old claims upon the Government for services rendered in bygone times; but in that case the amount should decrease, and should not remain at one fixed sum. He thought Government ought 1139 to afford the House some explanation of the subject.
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, the solemn declaration required to be made by each Secretary of State that the money was properly expended effectually guarded against the supposed misapplication of the money as suggested by the hon. Gentleman for election purposes, unless he were prepared to suffer the consequences which would arise from such a gross dereliction of duty. It was absolutely necessary that, whether in time of peace or of war, Government should have the money asked for at their command.
§ COLONEL SYKES
said, he could understand the necessity for such an expenditure in time of war, when it might be necessary to send spies into the enemy's camp, but he could not understand why so large a sum should be wanted for such a purpose in time of peace. Was the sum of £32,000 always expended, and, if not, what became of the balance? The Vote only stated that the sum "maybe" required. Of course the honour of the high authorities was unquestioned, but the money was put into the hands of persons of an inferior station, and how did the Secretary of State ascertain that it was properly expended?
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, he thought it curious that this sum was a fixed and not a varying charge.
said, the money was paid into the Treasury, and was only paid out as required on the declaration of the Secretary of State, who was, therefore, answerable for every farthing expended. The financial accounts showed the amounts actually expended. The balance not required was never taken out of the Treasury, and was surrendered to the Exchequer at the end of the year. Considerable sums had been thus surrendered.
§ MR. DARBY GRIFFITH
said, no answer whatever had been given to the questions which had been put to the Government on this subject. They had not been told which of the Secretaries of State had power to deal with the money, nor what justification there could be for such an item of expenditure. It was all very well to say that it was impossible that there could be a misappropriation of the funds, but how did they know into whose hands the money fell? Though the personal honour of the present Home Secretary (Sir George Grey) was above suspicion, this was not a matter which ought to be left to personal honour.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, this was just one of those discussions in which independent Members were bound to take part. The time had come when such an item as this ought to be got rid of altogether, unless some explanation of it were afforded by Government. No doubt the Secretaries of State were as careful as they could be in the application of the money, but there should be no such Vote upon the Estimates. The employment of secret service was something which stank in the nostrils of the people.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (24.) £265,410, to complete the sum for Printing and Stationery.
§ SIR COLMAN O'LOGHLEN
said, he wished to ask why in the Votes the old custom of printing the days of the month and week in Latin should be preserved. It would be well that this custom should die with the present Parliament, and the days hereafter be printed in plain English.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he wished to call attention to the cost of publishing the State Papers. He did not wish to cast any reflection upon Mr. Hertslet, whom he believed to be a meritorious officer and a man of ability, but the collection included many papers which ought not to be printed there, it was twelve or thirteen years in arrear, and the two bulky volumes which were now issued were too expensive to be accessible to the public. Among the papers published were some relating to finance and the unredeemed debt which had been already printed at the expense of the public. In fact, he believed that three-fourths of these volumes had been so printed before, and were accessible in another form. The work was said to afford the means of reference to diplomatists abroad, and persons engaged in literary pursuits; but the number of persons who wanted to refer to papers, the production of which was so long delayed, must be very limited indeed. Then, no regular system was adopted in the compilation of these papers. He did not deny that a good selection of State Papers might be exceedingly useful, but he protested against this compilation on account of its bulk, the delay in the publication, and the high price. The charge to Members of this House was 10s., and it was 30.s. to other persons. It was not to be expected that people would give this sum for two bulky volumes with papers of such old date. Consequently there was, he was 1141 informed, at this moment from twenty to thirty tons of these volumes in the Stationery Office. He suggested that these should be cleared off, and the room devoted to some more useful volumes. For example, he thought it would be very useful, instead of English and Belgian Budgets, to have an authentic copy of the treaties entered into with foreign Powers. There was considerable variation at present in the published text, and it would be desirable that the treaties should be printed in parallel columns in the different languages in which they had been concluded; this would form an important work of reference. His hon. Friend (Mr. Layard) had expressed to him his anxiety that this compilation should be made useful to the public; and, as he was satisfied with the explanations which had been given him, he should not press his Amendment to omit from the Vote the sum taken for printing these papers.
§ MR. LAYARD
said, he thought that his hon. Friend had very much underrated the value and importance of these papers, although they might not be perfect If his hon. Friend would call at the Foreign Office upon Mr. Hertslet, who was a gentleman of great intelligence and ability, any practicable suggestion which his hon. Friend could make for the improvement of these volumes would, lie was sure, be adopted. In justice to Mr. Hertslet, however, he must state that these volumes were of great importance and were admirably edited. A complete index had now been published, and this made their contents even more accessible and more valuable. The hon. Member complained that the contents of papers presented to Parliament were re-published in these volumes, but the fact was that you wanted to be able to refer to an epitome of State Papers without being compelled to go to the library of this House. After the debate which had taken place on this subject on a former occasion letters appeared in The Times, from "Historicus" and others, showing the value of these State Papers, and Professor Abdy of Cambridge had written to The Times highly extolling Mr. Hertslet's work. The same testimony had been borne by French writers, especially by M. Amyot, the editor of the French State Papers. He could assure the hon. Member that it was his, as well as Mr. Hertslet's desire, to make the work as complete as possible. The whole expense of the work was only £300 a year, and as to the selling price to the public he 1142 would make inquiry on the point referred to by the hon. Gentleman.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, that in consequence of the Report of the Committee a contribution of £400 had been made from the Treasury during the last three or four years towards a very useful work called the Parliamentary Record. This year that Vote had been withdrawn. As the sum was voted upon the recommendation of a Committee he thought it should not have been withdrawn until a Committee had reported that it was not sufficiently useful to warrant the expenditure. He would like to hear some explanation on the subject.
said, that the sum of £400 was granted in one year, three or four years ago, not under the present Vote but out of the Civil Contingencies, for the purpose of purchasing a number of copies of the work mentioned in order that they might be distributed among the different Public Departments. At the end of the year reference was made to the Public Departments to know whether they wished that copies of the work should continue to be supplied, and he did not think that any Public Department expressed a desire that the work should be supplied to it. Under these circumstances the pecuniary contribution was discontinued.
§ MR. HENNESSY
said, that the work in question had attracted the attention of many persons, and when at Vienna he learnt that Lord Bloomfield was so impressed with its value that he wrote to the Foreign Office for copies, but possibly he failed to get them owing to the stinginess of the Treasury. A Committee of some of the ablest Members of that House gave an unanimous vote in favour of the value of the work, of which any one who referred to it might easily judge. It was proposed to vote £63,000 for Parliamentary printing for both Houses, and he ventured to say that if the compendium of Parliamentary proceedings were in the hands of Members a very large part of the money might be saved to the public.
§ MR. KINNAIRD
said, that the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs admitted that blue-books were an annoyance, and yet here was a Vote for them of £63,000—so much waste paper. Were they to go on in this unreasonable way, refusing wise digests?
§ MR. BRISCOE
said, that during 1864 waste paper had been sold in this Department to the extent of £6,139, represent- 1143 ing an original cost to the country of £36,000, or more. He thought there was not sufficient care exercised in the printing of the Public Departments.
said, he must repeat what he had before stated, that those State Papers were not brought down to a late date, their practical utility being thus diminished. A Treaty of 1852 was not in the library in 1864. Moreover, they were occupied with a good deal of unimportant documents while many of importance were excluded. The index would show them fifty or sixty papers taken up by reference to treaties made with chieftains on the Gold Coast and other parts of the African coast, some of which were not signed and which were of infinitesimal importance in a national point of view.
§ MR. PERCY WYNDHAM
observed, that the Parliamentary Record contained a very complete index, which made it a most useful work of reference. The only work of the same kind now accessible to Members was the Parliamentary Rememhrancer, which seemed to be very much filled with the editor's own views of politics, expressed in a sententious manner.
§ MR. HENEY SEYMOUR
said, he must repeat that he could not see the use of printing among the State Papers all the financial documents relating to the Budgets of 1851 and 1852, and picking out a few foreign Budgets for publication, while others equally important were omitted. The number of copies sold was very small, and that was a test of the value set on it by the public. He regretted the speech of his hon. Friend, because he had been under the impression that he recognized the necessity of improving this volume, and it was in that belief that he withdrew his Motion upon the subject. He should not now go to a division, but if he sat in another Parliament he should renew this discussion, and should not so readily accept the assurances of the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs as he did on a previous occasion.
§ MR. LAYARD
said, he was rather surprised at the tone of his hon. Friend's observations, because what he said upon the occasion referred to he was prepared to repeat—that if his hon. Friend had any suggestions to make for the improvement of these volumes he should be very ready to consider them and if they were good adopt them. He thought that his hon. Friend had rather mistaken the use of this work. 1144 It was supplied to all the public Offices and to our Embassies abroad, and formed a most important and useful part of our diplomatic archives. What was uninteresting to one class of persons might be of importance to another, and the treaties were much inquired for at different places abroad. Foreign Budgets also were often found to be of value, and other documents were found to be useful when Parliament was not sitting and Members could not resort to the Library of the House.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he had referred on previous occasions to the expense incurred on the score of Parliamentary printing. Parliamentary papers poured into Members' houses to such an extent that they became an absolute nuisance. Why not have a small epitome of what papers were to come out and would be ready for perusal at the Library sent with the Votes? He objected to having tons of papers which were never opened sent to his lodgings. He had been out of town for a few weeks, and on his return, instead of being able to go to "The Derby," he had to wade through a mass of Parliamentary papers. He put away 1lb. and threw away about 2cwt. He could not sell the residue; he could not exchange them for hooks, for that would be selling them; he could not burn them, for that would be voted a nuisance. Why should these tons of paper be thrust on unwilling Members?
THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUERS
said, that the plan of an epitome for the purpose of diminishing the expense of printing was one worthy of sifting and examination. But it was an error to suppose that it lay with the Government in any way to limit the issue of these various papers. The House of Commons would view with jealousy any such attempt on the part of the Government. It was for the House to take the matter up, and for the Government to act in subordination to its wishes.
SIR MINTO FARQUHAR
said, that he did not know whether the Secretary of the Treasury had any idea of sending round to Members a weekly or fortnightly digest of their proceedings, but certainly a more excellent publication than the Parliamentary Record he never saw. It was most useful in every way. It was easy of reference, giving in the most correct and accurate manner all that passed in that House, telling them the stages of Bills, and informing them what had been 1145 done month by month. He understood that a Committee considered the best means by which such information could be afforded to Members, and that they recommended the Parliamentary Record, and it, therefore, seemed to him unfortunate that the circulation of that work by the Government should be put a stop to, and that no official record of the proceedings of that House should be placed in the hands of Members.
said, he did not differ with the hon. Baronet as to the value of the publication which he had mentioned. The Government purchased a certain number of copies of the work and distributed them among the various public departments. After the first year they inquired of the different offices whether they were considered of value and whether they desired to have it again, but in only two instances was any desire expressed for its continuation. Under those circumstances, it was no use for the Government to purchase 400 or 500 copies a year, which would simply have accumulated in store.
§ MR. HENNESSY
said, that the general feeling of the Committee evidently was that this publication was very useful to Members of that House, and there was a general desire that something should be done to promote its re-issue. The Chancellor of the Exchequer himself said that when the House expressed a wish of that kind it was the duty of the Government to pay attention to it, and in this instance the House had expressed the wish—first through a Committee composed of its ablest Members, and, secondly, in the discussion of that evening. The Government ought to propose a sum in the Estimates sufficient to cover the expense of distributing it in the House.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, what he desired was that there should be a clear and definite responsibility in regard to these matters, and that when a Committee made a recommendation the Government should not be responsible for a Vote connected immediately with the accommodation of that House. The House vindicated to itself the regulation of its own expenditure, and he thought that this matter of the Parliamentary Record fell within that category. If upon a Motion the House agreed to purchase that or any other paper for its own use it could do so.
§ LORB ROBERT MONTAGU
said, he must remind the right hon. Gentleman 1146 that was only. Her Majesty's Ministers who could propose any Vote to the House. Neither any individual Member nor the whole House could say that this was a useful publication which ought to be subsidized and propose a Vote of £400 for the purpose. The right hon. Gentleman's duty was to put the Vote in the Estimates, and leave the House either to accept or reject it. By not putting the Vote in the Estimates he put it out of the power of the House to express any opinion on the subject.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, the noble Lord was entirely in the wrong in saying that the House had no power in the matter. But that very day—and indeed every day—the House on the Motion of various hon. Members had ordered various documents and papers to be printed for its use, and how was the expense of printing these papers to be met? It was met by the order of the House. Things worked in a regular system. The estimate for these expenses was transmitted by the recognized officers of the House to the Treasury, and the Treasury submitted it to the House as a matter of course. The noble Lord might any day move that a certain number of copies of this book might be printed for the use of the House. Nobody at this time of day required instruction as to the power of the House to propose Votes, but there was a well understood machinery in operation by which the judgment of the House was taken as to its being furnished with all the documents it required.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, that the House was now discussing not the account for what had been spent, but the Estimate for what might be required in the course of the coming year.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that the Estimate was framed by the orders of the House, and not by the Treasury, and that when so framed it was accepted by the Treasury.
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, that it would be much more economical and convenient if the copies of the Acts of Parliament furnished to each Petty Sessions were in the octavo instead of the quarto form, and also if the public could buy copies in the octavo form.
said, the hon. and learned Gentleman's suggestion should be taken into consideration, but he thought the Acts were printed by the Queen's printers, and not by the Stationery Department.
§ Vote agreed to.1147
§ (25.) £114,535, to complete the sum for Postage of Public Departments.
§ (26.) £23,296, to complete the sum for Law Charges, England.
§ (27.) £128,033, to complete the sum for Criminal Prosecutions, &c.
§ (28.) £183,100, to complete the sum for Police, Counties and Boroughs, Great Britain.
§ (29.) £2,120, to complete the sum for Crown Office, Queen's Bench.
§ (30.) £9,325, to complete the sum for Admiralty Court Registry.
§ (31.) £2,296, to complete the sum for Late Insolvent Debtors' Court.
§ (32.) £64,000, to complete the sum for Probate Court.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, he wished to call attention to the fact that the stamps by which all the fees in this court were paid were very easily detached from vellum, and even from paper; and as they were not obliterated with the name of any officer of the court, but of the person seeking probate, they might easily be detached and used again by any person of the same name, it might be Smith or Jones, who had occasion to go into the court. Thus the Treasury would be defrauded.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he wished to call attention to the cases of the clerks in the court. When the Court was formed it was expected that the business would amount to some eighteen or twenty suits a year; but in the year after the passing of the Act they amounted to over 300, and they had sometimes been more since, but never less. The salary of the chief clerk was fixed originally at £350, of the second at £200, and the third at £120; but in 1860, at the recommendation of Sir C. Cresswell, the salary of the chief clerk was raised to £450, of the second clerk to £300, and of the third to £150. A promise was also given that after further experience of the progress of the Court, their case should again be taken into favourable consideration. Clerks in other departments in which the duties were not of so responsible a character were better remunerated. Clerks in the Probate Court were paid very differently. The principal clerk in the Probate Court had £700 a year, and the second £450. In the Personal Application department, where the work was not so heavy as in the Divorce Court, the chief clerk got £600 a year, and the second £450; and in the registry of the Admi- 1148 ralty the. salaries were £700 and £350. He was aware that there was a note appended to the Estimate which stated that £1,360 had been allotted for an unexpected increase of expenses; but he was informed that this sum had been allotted to other departments than that to which he had referred. He hoped, therefore, his right hon. Friend the Secretary to the Treasury would make some inquiry into the subject, because if it was true that double the amount of pay was received by some of the officers of other courts who had no greater amount of work to perform, there must be something wrong in the matter.
said, no application had been made on the part of the clerks in question to the Treasury for an increase of salary. Under the Act of Parliament it rested with the Judge of the Court to propose the scale of salaries which he thought ought to be paid to the clerks in it, and with the Treasury to acquiesce in the expediency of acting on the proposal or not as they deemed fit. He felt quite satisfied that the Judge of the Court of Probate and Divorce was anxious that the officers under him should receive an amount of remuneration proportionate to the duties which they had to discharge; for he had on a recent occasion made application to the Treasury with the view of obtaining an increase of the salaries of the clerks of the Court of Probate, and that application had been complied with by the addition of £1,250 to the Estimates. Should any application be made with regard to the increase of the salaries of the clerks in the Court of Divorce on the ground of their insufficiency, he should take care that that application should receive due attention.
§ SIR JOHN SHELLEY
said, he was satisfied with the assurance given by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (33.) £119,701, to complete the sum for ounty Courts.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he wished to draw attention to the fact that none of the items of this Vote for Travelling Expenses, and the building and repairing of Court houses, were in Ireland charged upon the Consolidated Fund, but for the most part remained a burden upon the counties.
said, that the corresponding Vote for Ireland was that for process servers, who were officers of the Civil Bill Courts, which had similar jurisdiction to the 1149 County Courts in England. The charges in respect of the Civil Bill Courts were borne by the Consolidated Fund. The increase in the Vote this year was due to the distress in Lancashire, on account of which the number of plaints in the Courts had been diminished.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, that the process servers received from the Consolidated Fund £8,500, whilst the fees received and paid to the Treasury amounted to upwards of £17,000.
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, that if parties to suits in the county were allowed to pay otherwise than through the Courts, and if the fees were collected by stamps, the office of Treasurer would become unnecessary, and a saving of £27,000 a year would be effected. In Ireland there were no County Court Treasurers.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (34.) £3,030, to complete the sum for Land Registry Office.
§ (35.) £15,993, to complete the sum for Police Courts (Metropolis).
§ (36.) £115,166, to complete the sum for Metropolitan Police.
§ (37.) £18,002, Revising Barristers, England and Wales.
§ (38.) £686, Divorce Court Compensations.
§ (39.) £16,772, Bankruptcy Court Compensations.
§ (40.) £2,577, to complete the sum for Lord Advocate and Solicitor General, Salaries.
§ (41.) £13,331, to complete the sum for Court of Session.
§ (42.) £7,816, to complete the sum for Court of Justiciary.
§ (43.) £4,100, Prosecutions under the Lord Advocate.
§ (44.) £630, to complete the sum for Exchequer, Scotland, Legal Branch.
§ (45.) £31,231, to complete the sum for Sheriffs and Procurators Fiscal not paid by Salaries, and Expenses of Prosecutions in Sheriff Courts.
§ (46.) £18,842, to complete the sum for Procurators Fiscal, Salaries.
§ (47.) £10,777, to complete the sum for Sheriff Clerks.
§ (48.) £3,000, Expenses in matters of Tithes.
§ (49.) £13,254, to complete the sum for Register House, Edinburgh, Salaries and Expenses of Sundry Departments.
§ (50.) £1,295, Commissary Clerk's Office.
§ (51.) £1,529, Accountant in Bankruptcy.1150
§ (52.) £53,637, to complete the sum for Law Charges and Criminal Prosecutions (Ireland).
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, that the office of Law Adviser of Dublin Castle should be abolished. At present that functionary was appealed to by magistrates whenever a difficult point was raised before them, and the decision of that learned voice became practically the law. Magistrates ought to be left to consult their own law advisers. With respect to Crown Solicitors, the Devon Commission had recommended that those officers should be appointed one to each county where they should reside. At present, in some cases there was only one Crown Solicitor to two or even three counties. The Government had to some extent carried out the recommendation, and he hoped that as vacancies arose they would still further act upon it.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (53.) £3,793, to complete the sum for Court of Chancery (Ireland).
§ (54.) £9,742, to complete the sum for Courts of Queen's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer (Ireland).
§ (55.) £4,407, Officers of the Judges on Circuit.
§ (56.) £1,403, to complete the sum for Manor Courts Compensations.
§ (57.) £2,163, to complete the sum for Registry of Judgments.
§ (58.) £16,416, Registry of Deeds.
§ (59.) £100, High Court of Delegates.
§ (60.) £4,599, to complete the sum for Court of Bankruptcy and Insolvency.
§ (61.) £7,663, to complete the sum for Court of Probate.
§ (62.) £8,768, to complete the sum for Landed Estates Court.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he wished to ask how the sum was made up?
said, the sum taken on account was deducted from this Vote. It was to be remembered that a sum of £6,144 8s. 4d. had been received on account of duty for sales made in this Court.
§ MR. SCULLY
pointed out that the Land Registry Court of England cost nearly as much as the Landed Estates Court of Ireland. A very small amount of business was done in the former, and a great deal in the latter which brought a large revenue to the Government.
§ MR. BLACKBURN
said, that while the total expenditure for law and justice in Great Britain amounted only to £ 1,110,000, 1151 that of Ireland came up to £936,000, notwithstanding the difference between them in the population and the amount contributed to the revenue.
said, in answer to the hon. Member (Mr. Scully), that the Judges of the Landed Estates Court were charged on the Consolidated Fund, and were not charged in this Vote, though on the Vote for the Land Registry Court of England the chief officers were charged.
§ COLONEL FRENCH
said, that under the head of law and justice in Ireland the entire constabulary force was charged.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, that the ad valorem duty on sales in the Landed Estates Court of Ireland exceeded that on the Land Registry of England. Of the £936,000 charged for law and justice in Ireland, £800,000 went to support the police, who were really an English military force.
§ MR. BLACKBURN
said, it was a bad sign to see so much charged for the police force in Ireland. It only required £370,000 a year to keep them in order in Scotland.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he wished to ask how much it took to keep Scotland in order when its inhabitants were fighting on the hill sides to establish the Presbyterian religion?
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (63.) £5,500, to complete the sum for Process Servers, Civil Bill Courts.
§ (64.) £420, Revising Barristers, Dublin.
§ (65.) £40,500, to complete the sum for Dublin Metropolitan Police and Police Justices.
§ (66.) £525,680, to complete the sum for Constabulary of Ireland.
§ MR. M'MAHON
said, he had to complain that the police of Ireland considered themselves a military force, and they looked upon the ordinary employment of thief-catching as being too mean an occupation. He would, therefore, suggest the advisability of attaching to that force a small body of detective officers similar to those attached to the police in England.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, he would not offer any objection to the large amount expended on account of the police in Ireland, because he was afraid that the right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary for that country, who took a great interest in the force, and whom he perceived in his place, might make the objection a personal matter. He objected, however, to the charge being 1152 placed under the head of "Law and Justice," as it was really a Vote for a standing army. The hon. Member for Scotland—that was, the only Scotch Member present in the House (Mr. Blackburn)—had criticized the Irish Votes, but sat silent while the Votes for Scotland were passing through the House. The Irish Members had not attacked them; but as some of them were unintelligible they were allowed to pass. He also objected to the power which was lodged in the hands of the Lord Lieutenant, by which that nobleman was enabled to send large numbers of police into districts where cases of suspicion had arisen. The right hon. Baronet the Chief Secretary would remember one instance where the ratepayers of a place were made to suffer in this way, while the people living in the neighbouring town-lands were exempted because it was urged that it was impossible any suspicion could be attached to them. He did not know whether the Lord Lieutenant was able to remove any of those policemen, but certainly that power ought also to be lodged in his hands if he retained the former.
§ MR. TORRENS
said, that it was most discouraging to gentlemen of great integrity who had spent their lives in the Irish police force, and had performed their duty to the best of their power, to see themselves superseded by military men who could not possibly have acquired the necessary experience. As an instance, he would advert to the appointment to the head of that force of Colonel Wood, a distinguished officer, who had been promoted to his present rank from that of Adjutant General at Aldershot. Other distinguished officers had also, he believed, been appointed to most important situations in that force.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (67.) £1,714, to complete the sum for Four Courts Marshalsea Prison.
§ (68.) £13,999, to complete the sum for Inspection and General Superintendence of Prisons.
§ SIR WILLIAM FRASER
said, he wished to ask a question relative to this Vote. No one could read the newspapers without seeing that many persons who were taken up insensible and supposed to be drunk were next morning found dead in the police cells, and a very general feeling prevailed on the part of the public that if there was a more strict supervision of these cases when the persons were 1153 taken into custody there would not be such mortality among them. There could be no doubt that, particularly in winter, a great fall in the temperature produced insensibility where the constitution was much enfeebled, and that insensibility was often mistaken for intoxication, death being occasioned by nothing but extreme cold and neglect after the person had been taken into custody. One conspicuous case of this kind occurred last winter. In that case the person appeared to have been very much maltreated either before he entered the cell, while he was there, or after he came out. He wished to know what took place when a person was taken into custody on the ground of assumed drunkenness. Was he seen by a surgeon before he was locked up or after he was placed in the cell?
§ SIR GEORGE GREY
said, this Vote was not at all connected with the metropolitan prisons. It had reference only to the duties of Inspectors of borough prisons throughout the country. With regard to the subject of police cells he had made inquiries into the subject and he should be glad to place before the hon. Baronet such information as he seemed to require with respect to the steps which had been taken in order to effect the object he had in view.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (69.) £290,887, to complete the sum for Prisons and Convict Establishments at Home.
§ (70.) £198,905, to complete the sum for Maintenance of Prisoners in County Gaols, &c, and Removal of Convicts.
§ (71.) £10,258, to complete the sum for Transportation of Convicts.
§ (72.) £159,059, Convict Establishments in the Colonies.
§ (73.) £518,078, to complete the sum for Public Education (Great Britain).
MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, the state of the House when this important Vote came on for discussion might no doubt be explained by reference to the fact that the subject of education had during the present Session been submitted to the consideration of a Committee of the House, and that Committee was now considering the question how far it was possible to relax the conditions on which the public grants were administered. It was also considering the constitution of the department of education, and how far the Denominational 1154 system was applicable to the case of small parishes. Under these circumstances there remained little for him to do except to give in as few words as possible an account of the expenditure of last year, and an estimate of the proposed expenditure for the current year. During last year, ending the 31st of December, the total expenditure on education had been £655,041 11s. 5d. Of that sum, £28,305 had been expended in building, enlarging, and improving schools; in the maintenance of elementary schools, £455,824; of training colleges, £96,166; in administration at the office in London and inspection, £74,744. The building grant of £28,305, was met by voluntary contributions of £92,702. Ninety-two elementary schools had been built, containing 142 separate rooms: one training college, the diocesan college at Peterborough, to accommodate 40 students and 66 teachers' residences; 44 schools had been enlarged or improved and increased accommodation had been thus provided for20,561 children. The number of schools inspected last year was 7,891, and of schoolrooms under separate teachers 11,818. The whole number of children under inspection this year was 1,133,291, as against 1,092,055 in 1863, showing an increase of 40,550. The number of day scholars individually examined in England and Wales under the system, introduced by the Revised Code was in the year ending August, 1864, 523,713, out of 794,387—the average number attending the schools; so that out of every three children in attendance two were presented for examination, or 66 per cent. There were 25,981 night scholars, of whom 15,627, or 60.14 per cent, were presented for examination. It would be interesting to know the number of failures under this system of individual examination, in reading, the failures were 11.87 per cent, in writing 13.98 per cent, and in arithmetic 23.69 per cent, showing a slight improvement on last year. Out of the whole number examined, or 539,340, including both day and night scholars, 222,467 were over ten years of age. The percentage of day scholars over ten years of age to those over six was 3949, or nearly 40 per cent of the whole number examined. Only 16 per cent were presented above Standard III., and only 11.12 per cent passed. The object the Committee of Council had in view was that every child of ten years of age should pass if not the sixth at least above 1155 the third standard—that is to say, should have a grasp of the three elementary subjects of reading, writing, and arithmetic. That was a degree of proficiency which was perfectly attainable, but at present they were far from having reached it, seeing that only a little more than a fourth of the number instead of 40 per cent succeeded. Still, comparing it with last year there was a slight improvement. Another improvement was this. The payments for children at school were calculated under two heads—one was payment for attendance, the other payment on examination. The two together in 1863 produced 8s. 1d. per child; last year the amount increased to 9s., and a further increase being expected, he should have to ask the Committee for a Vote calculated on a payment of 9s. 3d. per child for the coming year. A Royal Commission was now engaged in an inquiry on the state of education in Scotland. During the last year the payments in Scotland were continued on the former system—namely, under the form of augmentation grants to the masters and pupil-teachers; but the examinations were conducted on the same system as in England, as that which was best calculated to test the state of elementary instruction in the schools. It would be extremely interesting to know, as they had heard so much of the superior education of the people of Scotland, the relative success of the Scotch and English children as tested by examination. The results were these. In England and Wales, 88.13 per cent of those presented in reading passed; in Scotland 89.19 per cent, showing a small superiority in favour of Scotland. In writing, however, 86.01 per cent of the children in England and Wales passed, to Scotland only 71.43 per cent. In arithmetic, 76.31 per cent passed in England, and only 66.6 per cent in Scotland. That comparison would, he believed, astonish the Scotch Members and the public generally, and would show the necessity for the application of a more stringent system of examination to Scotland. During the last year the number of certificated teachers employed was 10,809; in 1863 they were 10,136, showing an increase of 673; the number of assistant teachers was in 1864, 688, as against 461 in 1863, being an increase of 227. But in pupil-teachers there was a falling off of 2,019, the number in 1863 being 14,180, as against 12,161 in the last year. If that falling off were to continue it would 1156 be very deplorable; but it could not be doubted that the number employed up to the time when the Revised Code began to take effect was considerably in excess of what was necessary. Payments being made to the pupil-teachers individually, it was the policy of the schools to have as many of them as possible, whether they were wanted or not. There was no doubt that the effect of the Revised Code in. relieving the Government from the payment of the pupil-teachers had had the result of discouraging pupils from entering into that profession. From the effects of that discouragement they were now recovering, and he hoped that in the course of a little time it would be found that the ordinary laws of supply and demand had restored the number to its proper level. Although there had been a falling off in the number of pupil-teachers since 1860 of 3,374, there had been an increase in the teaching power of the schools, as the number of certificated teachers had been augmented by 3,098. With respect to the training colleges, there were in 1864, 2,739 students in training, the number in 1863 being 3,109, and in 1862, 2,972. Two of the training colleges had been suppressed since the introduction of the Revised Code—namely, the Church of England Training College at Highbury, and the Roman Catholic College at St. Leonard's. He believed that those training colleges which were locally connected, such as the diocesan colleges, would survive the difficulties arising from the reduced rate of payment under the Revised Code; they were receiving a great amount of local support, and when the panic which had seized those connected with education had passed away, he hoped it would be proved that that local support, largely supplemented as it was by grants from the State, would suffice to maintain in efficiency those useful institutions. For a few years after 1860 the fresh applications for annual grants for elementary schools had gradually declined; but he was happy to say there were now symptoms of renewed vigour. In 1860 the number of applications was 750; in 1861 they were 625; in 1862, 500; in 1863, 520; in 1864, 553; and up to May 2 of this year there were 240 schools which had applied to be inspected and to receive grants. These were the principal points connected with the operations of the last year. Coming now to the ensuing year, the_ Estimates for 1865–6 were £693,078, 1157 which might be analyzed in this way:—The Estimates for Scotland were £73,650; for England and Wales for maintenance, £430,450; grants for building, enlarging, &c, £30,000; for normal schools, £80,000; for administration, including expenses of office in London, and inspection and examination, £76,478; poundage on Post Office orders, £2,500, making a total of £693,078. He had already stated that these Estimates were based on a calculation of 9s. 3d. for each day scholar, and the number of day scholars in England and Wales was taken to be 897,513. The payment for night scholars, 40,000 in number, would be 7s. 6d. a head. The only Minute of much importance drawn up during the last Session was connected with certain endowments, and as he had been interrupted in explaining that Minute when laid upon the table, he would now take the opportunity of stating its effect. Originally in the Revised Code no reduction was made on account of endowments, and between endowments and grants, it was possible that a school might receive as much as nearly 50s. for each scholar, a sum which might be far in excess of all its requirements. Undoubtedly there was an omisson in that respect in the Revised Code, and when the subject came again before Parliament it was thought just that schools in possession of endowments should be treated differently from schools depending solely on fees. He would not now enter upon disputed points, but would only give an historical account of what took place. The Government proposed that in all cases the grant should be reduced by the amount of the endowment. That Minute was resisted, not only by hon. Members on the other side, but also by Gentlemen on that side of the House, and accordingly his right hon. Friend the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) undertook to introduce a Minute to meet what he understood to be the wishes of the House. That Minute it fell to his (Mr. H. A. Bruce's) lot to introduce, and it was to the effect that no reduction should be made until the grant and endowment together reached 15s. per head on the average of attendance. But that allowance was to be made only in the case of rural schools, the average attendance of which was 100. The experience of the past year was that that relaxation of the original Minute had not altogether produced the beneficial effect which had been expected from it. In the first place it was difficult to draw the line between a school 1158 having 100 scholars and a school having a few more. A still more important consideration was that they found that the possession of an endowment invariably had a deadening effect on the voluntary efforts of the locality. ["Hear!"] His hon. Friends who favoured the voluntary system cheered that statement, hut he would perhaps startle them by the announcement which was about to follow—namely, that, although almost invariably the possession of an endowment chilled voluntary exertion, yet they had not found that the receipt of the Parliamentary grant exercised any such benumbing influence. On the contrary, the receipt of public money was looked upon rather as a distinction and a recommendation on the part of managers; and the more they got from the State the more their neighbours seemed inclined to contribute. What the secret of that apparent discrepancy was he could not explain, but that the fact was so was a matter of daily experience. The Government had therefore introduced their last Minute, which proposed to extend to all schools the concession hitherto made only to rural schools: that was to say, that no reduction from the grant should, in any case, be made unless both the grant and the endowment together reached 15s. per head. They were of opinion that was a concession which would be of great service to the schools in general, and which would not lead to much useless expenditure. He had already said it was not his intention to touch upon some points of the greatest interest, inasmuch as they were now the subject of consideration before a Select Committee; but he could not forbear noticing the general effects of the Revised Code on the education of the country. There could, he believed, he no doubt whatever that in many, indeed in most respects, those effects had been most beneficial. He had no doubt that it had made many managers much better acquainted with the deficiencies of their schools and of their schoolmasters; and they had clear proofs of the effects which that knowledge had produced on the conduct of the schools. He could not refrain from giving one instance in illustration which had come under his immediate observation. A clergyman, a friend of his, wrote to complain of the effect of the Revised Code on his school. He had inquired into the case, and found that the school had an average attendance of 309 scholars; that 1159 only 108, or about one-third of the whole, had been held fit to be presented for examination; that of those seventy-seven passed in reading, forty-seven passed in writing, and only twenty-seven passed in arithmetic; and that consequently his total grant was only £73 10s. The Committee would observe that, under the former system, in all probability no reduction whatever from the grant to that school would have been made. If, indeed, the Report of the Inspector had been that the school was in a bad state and unfit to receive the grant, no grant would have been given; but in a case such as he had described, no deduction would have been made under the former system, in proportion to the deficiency of the teaching. He had suggested that his correspondent should exert himself, should remove his master if he was unfit for his post, or see, at all events, that he did his duty. The result in that same school this year had been this:—From 309 the children had increased to 324; of that number 195, instead of 108, were presented for examination; and of those again 179 passed in reading, 168 in writing, and 163 in arithmetic: while the total amount of the grant received, instead of being only £73 10s., was £154. But for the test of individual examination and the financial result which followed it under the Revised Code his correspondent would not have known the real state of his school. He had adduced that as a striking instance of the working of the Code, but it was only one example out of many of the same kind. He did not deny that it was possible under the Revised Code that the attention of school managers and schoolmasters might be too exclusively given to those matters which produced pecuniary results—namely, reading, writing, and arithmetic—to the neglect of other subjects adapted to open the mind and enlarge the understanding of the children. Yet the great object they had to attain in schools especially intended for the working classes must be to enable them to master the first elements of knowledge; and he felt sure that their present system was calculated to produce that result. When they found that a large portion of the scholars who left school at the age of ten were able to pass a satisfactory examination in these elementary subjects it would be time enough to take measures for securing other results. These were the only topics on 1160 which he felt it necessary under present circumstances to trouble the Committee.
§ MR. SELWYN
said, those hon. Members who had the good fortune of hearing the able and eloquent speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Council of Education must have been struck by one strange omission from his statement relating to a subject which he (Mr. Selwyn) believed, above all others, was at this time the most interesting in connection with this important question. He meant the question raised by the proceedings of the Committee of Council with respect to what was called the "conscience clause," and to the innovations introduced, contrary to the original practice—innovations which, he contended, were also contrary to the express terms of the regulations under which they acted in respect to grants to schools in connection with the National Society.
MR. H. A. BRUCE
I did intend to say that that question was at present under the consideration of the Committee.
§ MR. SELWYN
said, he was glad to hear that there was some prospect of a solution of that question. He wished the right hon. Gentleman had gone further, and said that he entertained a sanguine hope of a satisfactory conclusion being arrived at. He (Mr. Selwyn) would carefully abstain from saying a word calculated though in the slightest degree to embitter the irritation that had already existed upon this point. The matter, however, being still in an unsatisfactory state, he thought that this Vote ought not to pass without a protest against the proceedings of the Committee of Council. It appeared to him that their proceedings were open to two objections. One was a constitutional one, that the Committee of Council, who were bound to proceed under the authority of Parliament had, without any notice to or sanction of the House, introduced a very important alteration affecting the principles of the Revised Code, which Code had been settled by Parliament. That was an objection of a constitutional character. Now, he asked the right hon. Gentleman, in the interest of amicable feeling, to pause in any further progress in those innovations until the difficulty occasioned by them was solved. Those innovations were contrary to the constitutional principles under which the Revised Code was established. Money was voted by Parliament on the faith that those who dispensed it would act according to the 1161 Code, and he contended that a departure from the Code without the sanction of Parliament was unjustifiable. The right hon. Gentleman himself would, no doubt, agree with him (Mr. Selwyn) that there had been great innovations. It would also be difficult to deny the validity of his recent objection, which was, that the Committee had been acting inconsistently, not only with the very letter of the Code, but also with its main principle. They all agreed that Parliament had not taken upon itself the general burden of the education of the people of this country; but that it relied rather on the religious feeling and enthusiasm of those already engaged in the work of education for support in carrying out this great work. It relied upon the denominational system, and merely supplemented the efforts of those who believed that religion was the most important element in education, and, in fact, was the basis of all education. With those few observations he left this part of the subject in the hands of the right hon. Gentleman, hoping, in the first instance, that the Committee of Council would make no further progress in the course on which they had entered until a satisfactory solution of the difficulties which had arisen was arrived at; and, in the second place, that the right hon. Gentleman would lend his valuable aid to the one grand object they had all in view—namely, an amicable settlement of this question. He (Mr. Selwyn) would now allude to the question of endowment. He thought that the right hon. Gentleman had taken rather a one-sided view of this subject. It might be true that where a school enjoyed an endowment that that fact did to a certain extent tend to limit the amount of voluntary contributions; nevertheless, it appeared to him (Mr. Selwyn) that, generally speaking, the system of endowments was far more advantageous to the cause of education than that of annual contributions. No doubt, endowments lessened the amount of voluntary contributions, because these contributions had really thereby been commuted. For example, the squire of the parish gave a voluntary contribution year by year, or else he or some ancestor of his charged his estate with an annual payment in which case the voluntary contribution became unnecessary. Was there any justice in saying that where a man gave an annual subscription the Committee of Council should give a certain proportionate 1162 contribution in aid of it, but if the same man made a permanent charge in favour of the school the Committee of Council should deduct that from the amount of their grant? Not only was there no justice in such a system, but it injured the cause of education itself. Annual subscriptions were hazardous, uncertain, precarious; but the Government were doing all they could to prevent this revenue from being replaced by a fixed and permanent income, and so to prevent the school from becoming independent. The question of endowment must be the subject of a separate discussion. He, however, begged to enter his protest against the doctrine of the Committee of Council in respect to it. There was another subject in respect to one of the rules laid down which he wished to refer to—he meant the rule laid down requiring the schools to have a certain amount of ground attached to them. No doubt it was highly proper and important to promote ventilation, but as regarded the ground to be attached to every school that was a matter which must depend upon the exigencies of the particular case. In some cases, although the population might not be very large, still the land in the neighbourhood of the schools might be of such great value as to render it almost impossible for the managers to obtain such a quantity as the Committee required, and hence designs for erecting schools were abandoned. It appeared to him that the rules so far required revision. He trusted that the right hon. Gentleman would take those matters to which he had referred into his consideration.
MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, he could assure the hon. and learned Gentleman that the Committee of Council of Education did exercise a large discretion with respect to the space of open ground required for schools. The space required by the Revised Code was 1,200 square yards, but schools had been allowed to be built on a fourth of that quantity. The circumstances of each case were always taken into consideration, and ample allowances were made in cases where there were difficulties in the way of obtaining an enlargement of the site. With respect to the conscience clause, he would only say that it was still under the anxious consideration of the Committee of the House then sitting. As to extending what the hon. and learned Gentleman called the intervention of the Committee of Privy 1163 Council, he could assure him that it was intended to leave matters as they were until the whole subject in controversy was considered and arranged. In referring to the question of endowments he begged leave to differ in opinion from the hon. and learned Gentleman when he gave it as his opinion that it mattered not whether the income of the school were derived from endowment or voluntary subscription. If a school enjoyed an endowment it was clear that whether it was well or ill conducted it would still possess that advantage. Whereas a school depending upon local or annual contributions would necessarily be induced to advance towards the highest standard of excellence in order to obtain a renewal of that support upon which its existence mainly depended.
§ Vote agreed to.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £116,841, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1866, for the General Management of the Department of Science and Art, and of the Establishments connected therewith.
§ MR. DILLWYN moved the omission of the item of £10,000 for the purchase of specimens of art, ancient and modern, for the South Kensington Museum. He said that there was a larger increase of the Vote for the Department of Science and Art than of any other Vote in the Civil Service Estimates. The House had over and over decided in favour of reducing the Votes for what was called high art education, and had endeavoured to limit them to the promotion of education of a more elementary form. He was, therefore, glad that there was a reduction in the last Vote; but in the present Vote the increase was £26,259. This item of £10,000, it appeared, was for the purchase of objects of art, ancient and modern. Now, he did not think that the Committee would be justified in granting this large sum to make up some odds and ends—no one knew what—to form a collection of old curiosities. In the British Museum and National Gallery Estimates the Votes were well defined. Every one knew what he was voting for when the British Museum Estimate was under consideration; and so with the National Gallery. They knew that the money voted was for the purchase of treasures of art. But with regard to the 1164 Kensington Museum, it did not appear to him to have any object or purpose which it was not large enough now to fulfil. There was a great deal of Barnum about it; and it seemed rather a museum to attract visitors than to promote any really useful object. There was a great deal of Pallissy ware, majolica ware, enamelled terra cotta (some of the latter merely hideous rubbish), enough to stock a dozen museums; a great number of snuff boxes, and amongst other like matters, hurdy-gurdies. Was this Vote to buy more majolica or hurdy-gurdies, or what? He thought the House should insist upon an account in detail of how this £10,000 was to be expended.
§ MR. EDMUND POTTER
said, that he would like to give a few items to show how recklessly the public money had been spent over this museum. There was, for instance, a majolica plate bought at Stowe for £5, which after passing through several hands was eventually purchased for the Kensington Museum for £200. He found that this article was one of the very few which had been copied, but although very successfully done, and offered at 35s., not half-a-dozen copies were sold. Then there was an illuminated missal for which £700 was given, which was interesting enough as a curiosity, but certainly could not be said to be worth any such sum for useful purposes. The establishment at South Kensington was kept up with the object of improving the taste and art knowledge of the community, with special reference to manufactures. But within the last few years a great change had taken place in the opinion of the manufacturers. More support had been given by the manufacturers to the schools of art in 1842 than was extended to them now. At the former period the subscriptions amounted to £2,000 or £3,000 a year, while in 1863 the total sum subscribed was £2,000, of which not more than £1,000 came from the manufacturers. They felt that the expenditure at South Kensington was very extravagant, much of it useless, and that some means ought to be taken to reduce it. He should, however, defer further observations on this point till he came to move his Amendment for the reduction of the item of £36,500 for schools of science and art by £1,000.
said, as this was the first item on the vote it was the one referred to by the hon. Member, he had better move his Amendment now, and that 1165 of the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) would come in its order afterwards.
§ MR. DILLWYN
having acceded to this arrangement.
§ MR. EDMUND POTTER
said, that he would adopt the suggestion. These schools had been established for the purpose of teaching design, and it had been avowed that they were carried on for the advantage of the artisan class. They were extravagantly conducted, cost £10,000, and would accommodate about 500 pupils. The school at South Kensington had been established for the purpose of training masters to teach art throughout the country. In the present Estimates were the following items:—Maintenance of students sent from local schools, £2,500; salaries of masters, £1,000; lecturers and occasional professional assistance, £500; attendants, £350; living models and materials, &c, £250=£4,600. The total average number of scholars was 460. Out of the number of students instructed at South Kensington, not one-fourth were of the artisan class, the remainder were children of the better classes, including sons and daughters of Members of that House. The artisan class were charged a fee of from £1 to £1 5s.; while the highest course of instruction cost only £8 a year, or £2 a quarter. He ventured to say that no such instruction as was received in South Kensington for that £8 could be had elsewhere by the higher classes under £30 or £40 a year, and he complained that the school should be chiefly appropriated to the sons and daughters of persons in that rank. If they were to receive instruction at South Kensington, they should be charged a much higher sum in relief of the annual Vote. The amount of fees was now about £1,800 a year, but if they were to admit artisans at even a lower fee, and raise the fees of the higher classes to £20, they would realize a larger sum than £1,800 towards the payment of the expenses. He had compared the expenses of these schools with those of a similar grade in Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield, and Manchester; and all those were very much less costly and equally efficient. The greatest cause of complaint, however, arose in the department which professed to train masters to teach the artisan class in the country. The persons so trained cost the country £400 a piece, but only about half of them ever became teachers. The other half became artists, or went to some other 1166 employment for which their training fitted them. Some course ought to be taken to prevent this misappropriation, so to speak, of the public funds. He wished also to draw attention to the retrograde character of this art education movement throughout the country. The total number of students in the schools throughout the kingdom was now about 16,000. The best way of testing the question was by taking the amount of fees that had been paid by the scholars during the last four years. During the last four years the fees paid by the artisans had only increased from £4,900 and odd to £5,126, being an increase of 4 per cent, while the sum paid by amateurs had increased during the same period from £6,396 to £8,187, being an increase of 25 per cent. The inference he drew from that state of things was, that the masters did not afford the same encouragement to artisans as to amateurs, which was the natural result of lowering the salaries of the masters from £9,391 in 1862 to £5,000 in 1865. Notwithstanding that decrease in the amount expended on the teaching of the artisans the total amount of the Vote for South Kensington had largely increased, and he trusted under such circumstances the Committee would require some explanation regarding that increase of expenditure.
MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, it was a mistake to suppose that the expenditure at South Kensington had increased from £120,000 to £160,000 during the period mentioned by the hon. Member, as the larger portion of the increased Vote was taken for institutions in Dublin and Edinburgh, the Geological Museum in London, and for half-a-dozen other institutions besides the South Kensington Museum. Although the question now before them was the Amendment of the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Potter), yet as some prejudice might have been raised in the minds of the Committee by the statements of the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn), he would in the first place endeavour to remove it. He did not deny the statement that there was a considerable increase in the amount of this Vote for the present year, amounting in the whole to £26,000; but that additional sum was required for objects external to the South Kensington Museum. In the first place there was an item of £12,000 which had been transferred from the Board of Works to this Vote for furniture, fittings, &c, including £1,693 for rent of the houses 1167 adjoining the Geological Museum, which had been charged to this department in accordance with the desire expressed by the Committee last year, that each department should bear its own cost. The next item was the sum of £6,587, which had been granted to the Royal Dublin Society in consequence of the Report of the Com mission appointed by the Treasury to in quire into the Dublin institutions, and also in consequence of the Report of the Committee which sat last year, and which was presided over by the hon. Member. for Galway. The former had recommended an expenditure of £9,500, and the latter of upwards of £17,0C0. The Government considered itself justified in expending the £6,500, and was considering to what extent the recommendations of a larger expenditure made by the Committee of 1864 ought to be acted upon. The next item was the sum required for the maintenance of the Edinburgh Museum, which contained very valuable collections of objects of natural history and of science and art, and for the erection of which Parliament had granted the sum of £40,000. There was also a charge of £529 for the Geological Museum in Lon don, and one of £800 for the Exhibition of Irish Industry, and several other small items brought up the total expenditure altogether external to the South Kensington Museum to £24.000, leaving an in crease in the expenditure of only about £2,000 for that establishment. Had the statement of the hon. Member for Carlisle (Mr. Potter) been correct, he should have seconded his Motion for a reduction of the Vote by the sum of £1,000, but that statement was inaccurate. The hon. Member stated that sufficient encouragement was not afforded to students of the artisan class, whereas the very first item of the Estimate for the National Art Training School was a sum of £2,500 for the maintenance of artisan students of merit, who were sent up from the local schools to pursue their studies at South Kensington. The effect of reducing the Vote by the £1,000 as pro posed by the hon. Member would be to throw that charge upon those who already paid a sufficient sum for the advantages they received. It was quite right that those who could afford it should pay highly for their instruction, and the Government had adopted the policy of raising the fees from time to time, until from £4 they had been raised to £10. If it were practicable, 1168 of course they should be glad to put the screw on still further, and get the largest payment possible from amateurs, as it was to the interest of the Government to do so, but they could not go beyond a certain point without defeating their own object. It must not be forgotten that at the schools at South Kensington those who were being taught there were not ordinary students, but were masters, who were in training to be employed in diffusing a knowledge of art and science throughout the kingdom, and in order to qualify them to give instruction to others they must be taught by a superior class of men, who were paid at a high rate of remuneration. Although there had been a decline of late years in the local subscriptions to local schools of art, there had, however, been an increase in the amount of fees paid by those who had actually profited by the schools. In 1852, when the system was changed, there were 18 schools, having 3,296 pupils; the fees amounted to £2,436; the local subscriptions to £3,447, and the Government aid to £15,000. In 1864 there were 91 schools having 16,555 pupils, besides 94,000 children at the elementary schools, making 110,000 trained at the expense of the State. The local subscriptions were directly £2,352, and in contributions to expenses, £3,565; total, £5,817; and the contributions of the State, instead of being £15,054, was in direct payment only £12,051; and what had been the result? The Committee which inquired into the subject received abundance of evidence as to the improvement which had taken place in the taste of our artisans, and all the witnesses closely connected that improvement with the study of art at these schools. In the daytime it was true that the Kensington Museum was to a certain extent a lounge for the families who lived in the neighbourhood, but in the evening it was very largely frequented by artisans who went there with their wives and families to the number of 293,000 annually. Not only did they take the greatest interest in the general collection, but they were often to be seen sidling away to that branch which illustrated their own trade, and explaining to their wives or children the merits of particular objects, the difference between ancient and modern work, and other points of interest to them. How the collections at Kensington were valued by the working men themselves was shown 1169 at the meeting recently held for the transfer of the "Brompton Boilers" to other parts where they might form nuclei for new museums. He was present, and it was attended by clergymen, mechanics, and others, who testified to the growing interest which was manifested by the working classes in these exhibitions. The workmen who lived at the East End did not object to the collection at one place of rare and costly works of Art, although they felt the inconvenience of having to travel so far to see them. Of late years the demand for such works, and consequently their price, had increased enormously. Their price depended partly on the intrinsic value of the materials and workmanship, partly on the conventional value arising from the rarity of the objects and the direction of public taste. The hon. Member for Swansea spoke of that collection with great contempt; but he was almost, if not quite, alone in the opinion which he entertained of it. That opinion was not shared by foreigners who were well acquainted with the collections of other countries. He had read the report of forty different sets of French workmen who visited South Kensington in 1862, and in that report they dwelt upon the immense advantage which it was to the working classes to have access to a collection of specimens of the produce of the arts and trades in which they were engaged. Without comparing this collection with the British Museum or the National Gallery, he believed it was that which excited the greatest interest in the minds of the artisan class, whose feelings would be seriously hurt and whose interests materially injured by the adoption of the proposition of the hon. Member for Swansea to strike out of this Vote the item for the increase of the collection. As to the Amendment of the hon. Member for Carlisle, he had shown that that hon. Gentleman had greatly exaggerated the cost of these schools, and he trusted that the Committee would not agree to his proposal.
said, he thought the right hon. Gentleman had, to use a homely phrase, let the eat out of the bag sooner than it was intended to be liberated, for he had told the House that what he called the Brompton Boilers were to form the nucleus of a new museum. Now, as he (Mr. Bentinck) understood the matter the House of Commons did not intend the Brompton boilers to become the nucleus of a new museum, and were not prepared 1170 to sanction any such use of them. It wag true the increased expenditure was not at South Kensington, but there were many increased items, some of which were of a remarkable character. The only agreeable expression he had heard during the discussion was something about a retrograde movement. Now he did not at all object I to such a retrograde movement. There were a variety of items included in the: increased expenditure, the whole of them winding up with a hurdy-gurdy. Now he would ask if it was reasonable to waste the public money in making collections of articles which were not worth a place in any collection in the world? He should like to know who were the parties responsible for making those collections. He was prepared to vote against the granting of any sum for the purchase of such remarkable odds and ends. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the specimens were cheap at the money, he should like to have some explanation of the item of £500 for the "hire of specimens while on approval." If a person looked at the goods in a shop and had them sent home to examine he did not pay a percentage for so doing. He either purchased them or there was an end of the transaction. If the Brompton Boilers were intended to be the nucleus of a new museum he trusted that such an idea would never be endorsed I by the House.
MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, the hon. Gentleman had fallen into a mistake in supposing he (Mr. H. A. Bruce) had said that the Brompton Boilers were intended to be the nucleus of a new museum. What he had said was, that they were to be removed, and, with the consent of the Treasury, they had been offered to different parts of the metropolis to form the nucleus of self-supporting museums. Offers had come from various localities, and much more good would arise from this disposal of them than by selling them at the price of old iron. With respect to the charge for hiring specimens, he had already said the objects in these collections had a peculiar and conventional value; and the policy of the department had been, when articles of great importance were offered to them, to receive these articles on loan, paying a certain percentage on them for their use, and at the end of the period to buy them or not as they thought proper.
§ MR. BENTINCK
said, that in alluding to the Brompton Boilers he merely used the terms generally as applicable to Kensington. What he objected to was not 1171 the mere building known by the name of the Brompton Boilers, hut to the idea of making the building at South Kensington the nucleus of a new museum. At the same time he thanked the right hon. Gentleman for the statement he had made of the intentions of the Government with respect to them.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LAWRENCE
said, he thought it would be very advantageous to the working classes if buildings could be erected at such convenient distances from their localities as would enable them to visit them with their wives and children. The working classes did not go to South Kensington, and the fear was that an intention existed to concentrate the articles at a place where they would be inaccessible to the artisans. If an inquiry were instituted as to the class of persons visiting South Kensington, either in the day time or in the evening, he believed they would be found to be a different class from what was understood by the term artisan. The feeling of the artisans was that objects of art should not be deposited in places which were almost inaccessible to the working classes.
§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
said, that when the term Brompton Boilers was used it was meant to refer to the whole of the museum at South Kensington, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would give a distinct assurance as to what the Government meant to do with South Kensington, and whether it was to be made the nucleus of a new museum. This year there was a Vote of £24,000 for permanent buildings, which followed hard on a Vote last year of £24,000 for the same purpose. Judging by the plans there was no building worth the money. He objected to this continuous expenditure, particularly when he saw an item for decoration. There was nothing at this museum which would do the architecture of the country any credit. The best architects were not consulted, but the direction was confided to a clique of amateurs, who, having considerable sums of money at their disposal, indulged in all sorts of caprices. Instead of promoting the study of the works of the best English masters, of Inigo Jones, of Sir C. Wren, and other illustrious English architects, on one side you saw a bit of Saracenic, on another a bit of Lombard—"hodge-podge" perfectly ludicrous. They did not teach their pupils architecture on any kind of principle, and the system could not produce any other result but confusion in the minds of the students, cer- 1172 tainly no results could follow which would be of advantage to art. As to hiring specimens, he had heard that the department had kept some of these specimens, which turned out to be spurious, so long that they had been obliged to pay the alleged value of them.
§ MR. COX
said, he was sorry to find that the Government year after year gave indications—they never spoke out upon the subject—that it was their intention to remove the British Museum to South Kensington, The right hon. Gentleman, the Vice President of the Committee of Council, talked of South Kensington being the centre of the population of the metropolis, but the fact was that nineteen-twentieths of the population lived at a distance of more than two or three miles from the Brompton Boilers, which might be very convenient for the upper Ten Thousand, but which was not by any means so accessible to the great mass of the artisans of London, who resided at Clerkenwell, Mile End, and Bethnal Green, as Bloomsbury was. He should therefore vote for the proposed reduction of the Vote, for he believed that the attendance of the working classes at South Kensington to which the right hon. Gentleman alluded was somewhat like those theatrical representations in which twenty or thirty men were made to pass in and out so as to wear the appearance of a considerable body. Indeed, it would seem as if a lot of people were kept at South Kensington to walk in at one door and out at another; but he defied any reasonable man who had, visited the place to say that he had seen there the working classes in anything like large numbers. The fact was they could not afford to lose the half-day's labour which it would be necessary to sacrifice for the purpose, and it was a sham and a pretence to contend that the contrary was the case; whereas thousands went to the British Museum whenever a holiday occurred. The constituents of the hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Layard) for instance, would, he had no doubt, prefer going to the latter place, and he should not be surprised if he had received petitions from them praying that it might be opened in the evenings, for there they would be sure to find something better worth seeing than warming-pans and hurdy-gurdies. In fact they were asked year after year to pass Votes for South Kensington in opposition to the British Museum. He hoped the Government would consent to open the British Mu- 1173 seum and the National Gallery in the evening.
§ MR. WYLD
said, he thought the money which was laid out on South Kensington was a most judicious expenditure, and was surprised to hear his hon. Friend, who professed to be the representative of the working classes, object to it. It had been the policy of the Government for some time past to endeavour to improve the education of our artisans, and when it was borne in mind that the products of their industry were open to the competition of the whole world that policy must be admitted to be a wise one. We could not afford to stand still in such a cause; and if we meant to continue to educate the artisan, the best way to do so was to give him access, as at South Kensington, to objects worthy of imitation.
§ MR. HENRY SEYMOUR
said, he regretted that the Government had not divided the Vote into two parts, inasmuch as the question of schools of art was one distinct from that of the South Kensington Museum. He was aware that schools of art had rendered great service, and he did not grudge the expenditure on their account, while he at the same time thought that the provinces had some grounds for objecting to the very large outlay on them in the metropolis in which they did not share. The principle of having, as had been said, the daughter of a duchess in the same class with a less elevated member of the community was one which he was very glad to see adopted, and he did not therefore wish that the Vote should be reduced. As to South Kensington, he was of opinion that the Government would act judiciously if they were to lay their plans with regard to it fully before the House. He quite agreed that the new buildings were very ornamental and did credit to those who designed them, but he thought the Government would do well to state what the total cost would be. With regard to the articles in the museum, he had heard gentlemen regret their distribution, and perhaps they had not been judiciously distributed; but he had no doubt that the influence of high art generally, when exhibited, extended to manufacturers generally, and that the exhibition spoken of had been extended judiciously.
§ MR. LAYARD
said, that he rose as a metropolitan Member to protest against the low level to which the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Cox) sought to reduce his constituents, who, he was sure, would 1174 not concur in the remarks of the hon. Member. Among his own constituents there was no selfish dissatisfaction about the Kensington Museum. They admitted the necessity for a central place in the metropolis, where a collection of works of art for practical instruction could be got together, and he believed that they approved Kensington as that place. The hon. Member misunderstood the object of the Kensington Museum when he supposed that it was of the same character as the British Museum.
§ MR. LAYARD
said, that was an object which nobody had in view. He had never heard a word about it. There had been an idea of removing the Natural History collection from the British Museum to Kensington, but not the library or the works of art or antiquity. The objects of the two collections were wholly distinct. The British Museum was a collection of ancient art and archaeology, while the Kensington Museum was a collection of works of applied art as models for imitation and for instruction. The hon. Member for Bodmin (Mr. Wyld) had rightly stated the influence which that collection had already exercised, and no one could doubt the great improvement which of late had been made in the application of artistic taste to glass, china, and other articles of manufacture, and that improvement which had contributed so much to the extension of our trade in these articles was mainly attributable to the influence of the Kensington Museum. For a Member for a metropolitan constituency to talk contemptuously of Kensington Museum was a thing he was ashamed of. Public Museums and collections of art were a boast of every civilized community, and he was ashamed to hear such things said as the hon. Member for Finsbury had said, for there was not a country in Europe which had not declared its appreciation of our art institutions in general, and particularly of the great Museum at South Kensington. There was no collection of the kind in Europe which could be compared to it. Neither in Paris nor Berlin was there so instructive an exhibition as that at South Kensington. He did not mean to say that there were not at Kensington objects which ought not to be there; still, Kensington had proved to be an immense benefit to the country, and the country ought to be proud of it. When metropolitan Members spoke of hurdy-gurdies and 1175 warming-pans in connection with the Kensington Museum, he really was ashamed of them. He believed that his own constituents, at all events, held art in much higher estimation. After all, if there was to be a museum it must be located somewhere. He did not say that Kensington was the most central spot that could be found for the metropolis, but it was childish to talk of cutting up the British Museum and distributing it over the metropolis. The Kensington Museum had set an example which had been followed by other exhibitions, of which the recent local exhibitions at the Lambeth Baths and elsewhere in different parts of the metropolis were familiar and happy illustrations. The Kensington Museum had exercised a happy influence on the country, and he hoped that the House would support the Vote.
§ MR. SCULLY
said, that an Irish row in that House was not now a frequent occurence, and this was the first time he had known a metropolitan row. It was very refreshing to hear metropolitan Members conplimenting each other as had been done in this discussion; but, looking on from a disinterested distance, he could not but think this was an enormous Vote to ask for, to be spent almost entirely on the neighbourhood of the upper Ten Thousand of Kensington. If the Vote of £150,000 was to educate mechanics in art why was not the Museum placed in the neighbourhood of the mechanics. He knew London tolerably well, and if he were to seek for a place which would be most convenient for mechanics the last place he should think of would be Kensington. Everybody knew that Kensington was chosen for other reasons than for its convenience to mechanics. [Mr. Cox: It was to get away from them.] Very likely that was so, but he objected to this museum that it was conducted upon a most extravagant scale, and the expense was continually increasing. He should be sorry to see specimens removed from the British Museum to that of Kensington. Members of Parliament sometimes received complimentary tickets for private views of new collections, and he had received one yesterday—he did not know whether in anticipation of this discussion—but he thought it would be better not to send these tickets at such times. While small sums were begrudged to Ireland tens of thousands were lavished on Kensington. He thought the item so extrava- 1176 gant that he would vote for reducing the amount by £10,000.
said, he would mention, as to South Kensington, that he had received a ticket for the exhibition of miniatures. It was a most admirable collection, and it did his heart good to see some miniatures of Oliver Cromwell, which showed how grossly he had been handled by some modern artists. There was, however, no indication of the names of the originals, and on inquiring for the catalogue he was told it was 5s. That was, he contended, a most extravagant charge. He did not believe that the South Kensington Museum contributed to popularise art. He would have free trade in that as in all other matters, and he felt persuaded that it would be as idle to attempt to breed artists as it would be to attempt to breed physicians and engineers. This court of fine art had been very expensive and detrimental. He also denied that the public taste had been improved by that exhibition, as was proved by the intense ugliness of many of the articles now offered for sale in various establishments. The truth was that South Kensington was not a place for the working classes but for the dilettanti. He would support a Motion for reducing the Vote, for he did not believe that art required protection any more than trade.
§ MR. COX
said, that his hon. Friend (Mr. Layard) was ashamed of him, but he was quite as much ashamed that there should be a metropolitan Member who could talk of South Kensington being the centre of the artisan population. [Mr. LAYARD: No!] He begged his hon. Friend's pardon; he used the very words. He was ashamed of his hon. Friend for advocating the taking of this museum from the artisan population, and placing it among the higher classes.
§ MR. LAYARD
said, that he had never used the words "centre of the population" at all.
§ MR. GREGORY
said, he would remind hon. Members that a Committee sat in 1860 to consider this subject, and that it was conclusively proved before them that the specimens of art acquired by the South Kensington Museum had been of the greatest service to the taste and trade of the country. The purchase of these objects of mediaeval art had added to the credit as well as the resources of the country. Since its foundation a striking increase had taken place in the value of our plate, our jewellery, our porcelain, and other articles 1177 into the formation of which artistic taste largely entered. Perhaps hon. Members would recollect a speech made by the hon. Baronet (Sir Stafford Northcote) at Exeter a year or two ago, which showed that the greatest increase had taken place in those branches of our trade in which the arts of design had made the greatest advances, the increase being in these articles 196 per cent, while the increase in our manufactures generally had only been 125 per cent. In 1840, the year in which the Schools of Design were first established, our exports of articles which come under the head of Art, amounted to £2,700,000; in 1862 they were over £8,000,000. He (Mr. Gregory) did not deny that the mode of purchasing art objects was capable of being improved. There were two officers intrusted with those purchases—Mr. Robinson, who had charge of the purchase of objects of art up to 1750, and Mr. Redgrave who had charge of the more modern art objects; but purchases had been and were being made not only without the sanction, but against the advice of those gentlemen. He was prepared to prove this, and to put his finger upon articles that were purchased by Mr. Cole, and which were forgeries of the most notorious description. He did not wish in these remarks to cast any reflection upon Mr. Cole, who possessed great ability; but it was impossible for that gentleman properly to discharge the multifarious duties which he was taking on himself. It was not possible to be Secretary to the great Department of Science and Art, to be General Superintendent and Arranger of the Museum, and to be also a virtuoso and a purchaser of objects of art. There was also another matter of great importance. Large sums of money were being currently spent on objects of modern art. That practice he regarded as most irregular; it was impossible to keep up with the progress of production by this irregular mode of purchase. The specimen bought to-day may be, and probably is, superseded by some better article tomorrow, and it gave rise to the suspicion of the exercise of improper patronage, though in that view he did not concur. The proper course would be to have a certain sum expended at each decennial exhibition. The finest and most novel works would be thus acquired, and an admirable exemplification of the progress of art at definite periods would be secured, instead of incurring as they 1178 I oftentimes did under the present system, a wasteful and useless expenditure. MR. H. A. BRUCE said, he would venture to state that no purchase had been made, as far as he knew, without the recommendation of one of the Referees, or of the Inspector General for Art, Mr. Redgrave. When his hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. "White) referred to the charge of 5s. for catalogues, his hon. Friend should have remembered that this exhibition was the only one which was open until ten o'clock three nights in the week, and that it had made peculiar efforts for the benefit of the working classes, and should have even given them credit for the desire of displaying the collection of miniatures in the cheapest and most instructive manner. Had he been less impatient in his desire to attack, he might have found in a few days all the articles exhibited with full descriptions placed upon them, so that the working man would be able entirely to dispense with the use of any catalogue. In answer to the hon. Member for Poole (Mr. Seymour) he might state that the Report of last year contained plans showing how much of the proposed works at South Kensington were completed, and how much had still to be finished. The original Estimate was £230,000, and grants had been made for the purpose of completing these works year after year, and he could not, therefore, understand what was meant by imputing to the Government a want of openness and candour in their proceedings. An important recommendation had been thrown out—that they should endeavour as far as possible to utilize their collections so that the provincial towns might share in the benefits to be derived from them. This they had already done by means of travelling museums, containing selections of interesting objects, which had been sent to local exhibitions in different parts of the country. They had largely increased the number of articles for this museum, and by the course they had pursued they had done much, he believed, to stimulate these exhibitions in various parts of the country. When he and his hon. Friend (Mr. Layard) spoke of the necessity of there being a central collection they did not mean to assert that South Kensington was centrally situated with reference to the metropolis, but that such works ought to be collected in one common centre, and not scattered about in various collections. 1179 There was the most complete understanding between the British Museum authorities and South Kensington that the operations of the former should be devoted to objects of ancient art, and those of the latter to objects of science and art bearing the improvement of manufactures. He hoped that his hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Potter) would not press his Motion. His hon. Friend was known to be an earnest friend to the schools of art in this country, and he could not fail to perceive that the statement he had made was founded upon a misapprehension. He should not venture to make a similar appeal to his hon. Friend the Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn), because he knew that his hon. Friend was inflexible.
§ MR. EDMUND POTTER
said, he would not have pressed his Motion if he did not think that by carrying it the institution itself would benefit. The art teaching at South Kensington was not in the interest of the artisan class, and this was the object the Committee had in view. The museum did not contain specimens of staple articles, but purely ornamental: and the total number who had been educated there in twelve years was 2,000. He also thought it a great error to re-erect the "Brompton Boilers" anywhere, and considered it would be much cheaper to construct buildings afresh.
Whereupon Motion made, and Question put,
That the Item of £36,500, far Schools of Science and Art, be reduced by the amount of £1,000 (Salaries of Masters.)"—(Mr. Edmund Potter.)
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 16; Noes 80: Majority 64.
§ Original Question, "That a Sum not exceeding £116,841 to complete the sum for the Department of Science and Art," &c, again proposed.
§ MR. DILLWYN
said, he was astonished that he should have been charged with a want of candour in the remarks he had made on the Kensington Museum. It was the House of Commons that had been treated by the Government with a want of candour throughout the whole history of Kensington Museum. He strongly objected to the frittering away of the national collections upon that establishment. The Government had got the Kensington property by stealth, and it had grown by fraud. The Government had tried to remove the National Gallery 1180 there, but were defeated, and they were now spending £10,000 for pictures which ought to be placed in the National Gallery. He should, therefore, persevere in moving the omission from the Vote of the item of £10,000 for the purchase of specimens of art, ancient, and modern, for the South Kensington Museum.
§ MR. BENTINCK
said, he thought that the proposition of the Government to take this large sum of money, over the expenditure of which the House would have no control, would tend to the same result as that which the House determined against two years ago. The House refused then to consent to the establishment of a second British Museum at South Kensington. He hoped that the Committee would support the Amendment which had been moved.
Whereupon Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the Item of £10,000, for the Purchase of Specimens, Ancient and Modern, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Mr. Dillwyn.)
§ MR. BLACKBURN
said, that they were now voting £71,545 for South Kensing-sington Museum, while they only voted £100,000 for the British Museum. This, of itself, showed the necessity of a reduction in the Vote. He, therefore, hoped if Kensington was to be kept up as an old curiosity shop, not more than £40,000 would be spent upon it.
§ Question put. The Committee divided:—Ayes 24; Noes 81: Majority 57.
§ MR. CAVENDISH BENTINCK
said, he repudiated the responsibility which the Government would wish to throw upon the Committee of 1860 of recommending permanent buildings at South Kensington. Captain Fowke, Mr. Cole, and others were examined before that Committee, and plans were shown to it, but they were not adopted.
MR. H. A. BRUCE
said, the Committee recommended that the collections should be brought into one place and under one building. The plans of that building were produced and submitted to the Committee, The hon. Member (Mr. G. C. Bentinck) was, however, right in saying that the Committee had expressed no opinion on the plan of the building.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported To-morrow;
§ Committee to sit again To-morrow.