§ SUPPLY—considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (1.) £7,800, to complete the sum for Grants to Learned Societies, Great Britain.
§ SIR GEORGE BOWYER
asked for an explanation as to the withdrawal of the grant of £500 to the Royal Academy of Music?
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, that as it would have required four times the amount of the grant—namely, £2,000, to keep the Academy in a satisfactory condition, and as other societies were pressing their claims for support, it was thought advisable to withdraw the grant. He hoped, however, that an extended plan for imparting a good musical education would sooner or later be brought before Parliament.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
inquired what result had been obtained by the inquiries conducted by these learned societies?
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, he would remind the hon. Member opposite (Mr. Alderman Lusk) that on the death of Admiral FitzRoy, who had conducted certain meteorological experiments for many years, and who received n certain sum for that purpose, a Committee was appointed jointly by the Board of Trade, the Admiralty, and the Royal Society, for the purpose of taking into consideration the advisability of continuing those experiments. That Committee, by their Report in 1866, recommended that a Committee should be appointed to administer a sum of £10,000, to be appropriated in continuation of the efforts made by Admiral FitzRoy to obtain something like a uniformity of statistics with reference to the weather throughout the country, so as to enable people to fore cast, if possible, the probability of storms approaching our coasts. The Treasury assented to that proposal, and the whole of the management of those experiments was undertaken by a Committee of the Royal Society, it being understood that under no circumstances was any further demand to be made upon the public Revenue for this purpose.
remarked that the Reports of Admiral FitzRoy had proved of great interest and utility; and, no doubt, the labours of the Committee of the Royal Society would be equally so. His chief objection to the present system was that the experiments were conducted by a body of gentlemen who were not responsible to either that House or to the Board of Trade. There was a body of Fellows of the Royal Society who received, as a Committee, £10,000 per annum of the public money for the conducting of meteorological research experiments. He did not insinuate fur a moment that any misapplication had occurred, or would occur; but he objected to the total absence of responsibility. As regarded the Geographical Society, he should regrett hat any objection should be taken to that grant, the advantage to the public resulting from it being obvious.
§ Vote greed to.
§ (2.) £1,580, Dr. Petrie's Antiquarian Collection.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
said, he had a great respect for antiquities, but would be glad to learn if the country had obtained full value for the money which it was proposed to vote.
THE EARL OF MAYO
said, that Dr. Petrie at his death had expressed a wish 1134 that his collection, to which he had devoted the whole of his life, might become the property of the nation. The Government had selected three eminent antiquarians—the Bishop of Limerick, Dr, Reeves, and Mr. Franks—who, with a view to ascertain the value of the collection, had closely examined it and had made a Report to the Treasury. That Report which, if necessary, could be produced, would show that the collection had been purchased for a smaller sum of money than it is supposed it would have fetched if it had been offered in the public market.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (3.) £2,265, to complete the sum for the Queen's Colleges, Ireland.
§ (4.) £1,784, Royal Irish Academy.
§ (5.) £1,050, to complete the sum for Theological Professors and General Assembly's College, Belfast.
§ (6.) £11,919, to complete the sum for Grants to Scottish Universities.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, that it was thought that if a sum were fixed upon, the application of which was left to the local authorities, the money would go the farthest, and a vote of £500 had therefore been proposed.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (7.) £2,200, to complete the sum for Board of Manufacturers, Scotland, & c, agreed to.
§ (8.) £511,324, to complete the sum for Public Education, Great Britain.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
entered into an explanation of the causes by which the Vote had been reduced from the original Estimate of £842,554 to the sum proposed. The Estimate had been founded upon the supposition that Use Education Bill introduced by the Government into the other House of Parliament would be carried. But the abandonment of that Bill had, of course, led to the withdrawal of those sums which were founded upon it. Now, in that Bill it was proposed to omit Clause 8 of the Revised Code, by which schools receiving State aid were compelled to be in connection with some religious body, or to make a practice of having the Bible read daily during school hours. Had that clause been omitted, the Congregationalists, who now objected to receiving assistance from the State, would have applied for grants. The increased sum that 1135 would be necessary for that purpose had been estimated at £8,192; and that sum would, of course, be cut off from the Vote now asked for. A sum of £1,250 for the Congregational Training College had also been cut off. Then there was another clause in the Bill, which gave peculiar facilities and increased giants for the building of schools. By the withdrawal of the Bill they had cut off £15,000 for the services under that bead. The Bill also provided for taking an educational Census, wherever the President of the Council should think that step necessary, and a sum of £3,000 was set aside for the purpose; but this sum would not now be taken. Another clause of the Bill was to exempt small schools from the necessity of having certificated teachers. A great many schools would have been brought under the system by that clause, because in very many cases the managers saw they could not afford to pay for certificated teachers. Under this head there would be a reduction of £14,768 in the Estimate. It had also been proposed that the managers of every school which sent up a pupil teacher to a Normal College should receive £20, instead of £10, the sum now given; but as that proposition was not to be carried out, there would he a further reduction of the Estimate by a sum of £6,000. There would be a reduction of some other items, owing to the previous Estimate having been taken rather wide. It had been estimated that a great number of schools would come in under the Workshops Act, and a sum of £21,000 had been proposed to meet the additional expenditure which would thereby be incurred but that Estimate had since been cut down by a sum of £10,000, so that only £11,000 was now asked. From grants to Scotland a sum of £1,000 had been struck off. Under the proposed Bill a number of additional inspectors would have been required. Many of these had been appointed; but three of them had not been and would not be appointed. This enabled the Department to reduce the Estimate by a further sum of £1,740. Only one assistant inspector had been appointed, and a sum of £280 would be saved by the non-appointment of two assistant inspectors whom it had been proposed to appoint. The total of the reductions amounted to a sum of £61,230. This made the net increase on last year's Estimate £75,459, instead of £136,689. Of the increase of £75,459, which would be found on the Estimate as it now stood, £39,770 was 1136 due to the working of the Minute of February 20, 1867, and which was generally known as Mr. Corry's Minute. The remaining £35,689 was due to the ordinary increase in the number of schools, and to the £11,000 which was taken for the schools which would come in under the Workshops Act. Having explained the reduction which had been made in the Estimates, he would now proceed to the Estimates themselves. First, he would refer to the expenditure of last year as compared with the Estimate for the coming year. Last year the grants for building, enlarging, and improving schools expended from January 1st to December 31st amounted to £21,656. The reduced Estimate under this head for the year 1868–9 showed an increase, being £30,000. The amount which was thereby elicited in the form of voluntary contributions for that purpose last year was £86,784. Last year the grants for the maintenance of elementary schools amounted—for day schools, to £416,584, and for night schools to £15,018, making a total sum of £431,602. The voluntary contributions to elementary schools of both classes of schools amounted, up to the 31st of August, 1867—the date up to which the account had been brought—to £358,296, and the endowments during the year amounted to £36,776. In the present Estimates it was proposed to take £492,661 for the day schools, and £18,018 for the night schools. Last year the grants to 31 normal schools amounted to £69,886. In the Estimates for the coming year it was proposed to take a sum of £73,000 for grants to those schools. The cost of administration and inspection was last year £80,978. This year it was proposed to take £88,565 for that purpose. On last year's account there was a balance of £25,427 to be surrendered. Having now gone through the cost of means, that was the expenditure of last year, it was his duty to show what work had been done in return for that expenditure. The number of new schools built up to the 31st of August, 1867, was 73; the number enlarged, 60; and the number of teachers residences built, 48. The day schools visited for annual grants, or for simple inspection—some few schools being visited merely for simple inspection—up to the 31st of August, 1866, was 8,753; but in 1867, up to the 31st of August, the number was 9,340, showing an increase of 587. He would now refer to the separate departments of schools under separate 1137 teachers. In 1866 the number of these separate departments visited was 12,130; in 1867 it was 12,901, showing an increase of 771. In 1886 the number of children for whom there was accommodation in the schools was 1,724,208; in 1867 it wits 1,837,307, showing an increase of 82,041. In 1866 the number of scholars on the books was 1,510,871; in 1867 it was 1,592.912, showing an increase of 82,041. In 1866 the number of children present at inspections in the day schools was 1,264,829; and in 1867 it was 1,342,469, being an increase of 77,640. In 1866 the number of children present at inspection in the night schools was 32,399; in 1867 it was 45,837, allowing an increase of 13,438. In 1866 the average attendance during the year was 1,039,183 children; in 1867 it was 1,098,742, being an increase of 59,559. He now came to the results obtained from the work done, In 1866, in the day schools, there were individually examined for annual grants 660,000 children; in 1867, the number so examined was 690,532, being an increase of 30,532. In 1866, in the night schools, there were; individually examined for annual grants 31,481; in 1867, the number so examined was 40,572, being an increase of 9,091. In 1867, there passed in "the three R's"—rending, writing, and arithmetic—432,486, or 65 per cent; in 1867, the number that so passed was 462,799, or 67 per cent, being an increase of 30,313. From these figures the Committee would: see that there had been an advance of 2 per cent in the number of children who passed in reading, writing, and arithmetic. In 1866, the percentage of those who passed in reading was 89.9; in 1867, it was 90.7. In 1866, the percentage of those who passed in writing was 86.33; in 1867, it was 87.59. in 1860, the percentage of those who passed in arithmetic was 75.31; in 1867, it was 76.28. It was to be noticed that the subject of arithmetic was still the one in which there occurred the greatest number of failures; and it was also, in the nature of things, the least mechanical of the three subjects. In the Minute of 1866–7, page xxi., there: was this remark—Throughout the schools the minimum which each child must learn in order to pass for a grant under Article 48 is apt to be of a mechanical character, and to efface that more intellectual aspect; which, under the old system, struck a visitor looking at the best schools as a whole.He bad stated that an increase of £40,000 1138 was taken for the Minute of Feb. 20, 1867. Since the passing of the Revised Code in 1862, the number of pupil teachers in England had been steadily decreasing; but this year, for the first lime, the tide had turned. The increase during the past year had been in England and Wales 551, or, taking Great Britain, 715. That increase he attributed to the operation of the Minute of 1867. The expenditure under that Minute during the past year had, however, been only £5,382 6s. 7d. The schools last year were not in a position to take advantage of that Minute; the staff of pupil teachers had everywhere been reduced to the minimum necessary to meet the conditions under which alone it was possible to obtain grants under the Revised Code; and the higher subjects had been disregarded, the attention of the teachers being concentrated upon the "paying subjects"—namely, reading, writing, and arithmetic. Now, things were different; many schools were beginning to devote attention to higher subjects, and education, under the operation of that Minute, was becoming somewhat more intellectual and less mechanical, for schools were now qualifying to obtain the increased grants held out to them by that Minute. The greatest difficulty felt at present was in getting candidates for the training Colleges. To obviate that difficulty, it had been proposed to give to the managers who sent up a pupil teacher who had completed his term of service ft sum of £20, instead of £10 as heretofore. The male training College was built to hold 1,669 students, which was considered at that time to be the lowest number required to supply the different schools with teachers; it actually contained only 922 students—being a deficiency of 44.8 per cent. The female training College was not so badly off, the number for which it was built being 1,536, and the actual number of pupils 1,335, showing a deficiency of 13.1 per cent. There was but one other point he wished to bring under the notice of the Committee, and this was that, for whatever reason, there were a number of really-good schools which did not come under the Privy Council system. He would not pretend to say with what truth or justice, but allegations had been made that the Government rules were too harsh, and that their operation, instead of improving the character of education, tended rather to degrade it. In Mr. Barry's Report, it was stated that of 300 parishes with 1139 schools in his district only 107 were under inspection. Mr. Meyrick represented that of 575 schools under his cognizance only 210 were under inspection; and Mr. Frazer wrote that of 171 schools in his district but 100 were inspected, Of the Reports of some inspectors, it might perhaps be alleged that they were new to the work and not entitled to equal weight; but the three Reports from which he had quoted were deserving of the highest respect.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
replied in the affirmative. There were therefore throughout the country a vast number of really good Church schools, the managers of which refused to receive aid and inspection, and of which, therefore, no account whatever was taken in our Reports. From the figures, however, which he had quoted, it must be perceived that the cause of education had made gradual but very steady advances; and, although there might still be realms of ignorance, yet the territory was day by day being conquered. On this point a good deal of misapprehension existed. What was, according to a careful estimate, the true state of the case? The population of Great Britain in 1861 was 23,271,965, and at the ordinary rate of increase, which in England and Wales was 12 per cent, and in Scotland 6 per cent, during ten years, the population of Great Britain in April, 1868, would be 25,092,168. Of that number the children between 3 and 15 years old would be 6,849,128; and, if each child were at school for the maximum period of six years, there should be at school at one time 3,424,564. Now, as to the number which were actually at school. The Commissioners, in their Report of 1862, page lxxx., divided schools into four classes—namely, Class I., schools of religious denominations; Class II., ragged, Birkbeck, factory, & c. schools; Class III., taxation schools; and Class IV., collegiate and upper-class schools. Let the Committee suppose that there was an increase due to the increase of the population under all these classes except Class III., the taxation schools—that is, pauper and criminal schools—for they would give the advantage to those who tiled to make out a case of educational destitution. He would suppose that the relative amount of poverty and crime decreased in order to make out that education at the same time 1140 advanced, more slowly than it really advanced. They would therefore expect to find at present in Class I. 1,679,454 children; in Class II., 46,718; in Class III., 47,748; and in Class IV. 37,940; making the total number of children in public schools, inspected and uninspected, 1,811,860. To these must be added the number of children in private schools, which in 1858 was 860,304, and, for the purpose of the calculation, he would take it that this number had not increased. This was manifestly untrue; but he would still give the advantage to those who desired to make out a case for educational destitution. There must further be added for Scotland 418,367 children, the exact number in this case appearing from the Scotch Commissioners' Report (p. clxxiv.). The total number, therefore, of children actually at school in Great Britain in 1868 would be 3,091,531. The total number which they would expect to find at school, on the assumption that six years was the proper term of schooling for every child in Great Britain was, as he had already shown, 3,424,564, thus showing a deficiency of only 333,033 children in the United Kingdom who ought to be at school but were not. The calculation which he had made was taken in many respects most unfavourably. He had supposed, for instance, that the number of pupils at private schools had remained stationary, and he had not allowed for any increase commensurate with the increase of the population under Class III. Hence there would probably be deductions to be made from that maximum number of 333,033 children who were estimated as without schooling. The Estimate also was made throughout with reference to children of from 3 to 15 years old, whereas they knew that very few children went to school before six years old, or remained at school after 12. It was estimated that 46 per cent of the children who should be at school, but were not, were between the ages of 3 and 6. The Estimate which he had given to the Commitee had been most carefully framed by officers in whom he had every confidence, and he felt convinced of the accuracy of it. If by any means it were found possible partially to relax the rules so as to bring into connection with the system a number of very good schools that at present were not under it, I he believed further advantages would be gained.
said, he was glad to; hoar that it was proposed to give additional aid to schools, more especially as he had feared at first, in consequence of the alteration in the Vote, that an actual decrease in the amount of aid was contemplated. He understood the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) to say that it was intended to apply something like £75,000 for the purpose of increasing the efficiency of our schools, and that the diminutions which had been referred to were owing to the circumstances of the Bill which Government brought forward early in the Session having been dropped. For his own part, he did not much regret the abandonment of that measure, which, however, had the merit of avoiding two things that were highly objectionable—namely, raising the money for the promotion of education by a local rate on real property, and the forcing of education on the agricultural classes. The general taxpayer was quite as much interested, if not more so, in the education of the children of the poor as were the landowners, the farmers, or the owners of houses in towns. Even one practically acquainted with the working of education in rural parishes must acknowledge this. In his own neighbourhood he had noticed that the cleverest and best educated boys almost always left their native village in order to push their fortunes in the metropolis and it must be obvious that the merchants and capitalists who employed these lads gained as much, if not more, by their education than those who paid the rate. It was only fair, therefore, that the general taxpayer should contribute something towards defraying the expense of education. The plan of supplementing voluntary efforts by public aid was, no doubt, an excellent one; but the great defect of the system was, that in some isolated parishes where subscriptions could not be raised the children of the poor were left without education at all. To those parishes where assistance was moat required no single farthing of the money voted in that House was given. This case was one of a class which presented great difficulty to those who desired the spread of education; and he understood that hon. Gentleman below him proposed to get over the difficulty by dividing the country into rateable districts something like Poor Law unions, and levying a rate upon those districts. He did not like the idea of an enforced rate, but he saw no objection to forming the districts, and giving the man- 1142 agement of the educational funds, to be supplemented by grants from Votes such as the one now under consideration, to a number of the wealthy and well-disposed persons living in those districts. He strongly hoped they were not going to vote any more local rates, believing as he did that the doing so would, by imposing enormous burdens on real property, reduce that class of property to the condition of an estate so deeply mortgaged that the owner has nothing left upon which to subsist. He was strongly opposed, also, to the establishing of a system of compulsory education in the agricultural districts. Such a system in the manufacturing districts was, in his opinion, stringent, and he might say tyrannical; but in the rural districts, where the labouring classes were very poor, and the schools far away, in many cases, from the dwellings of the people, its operation would be still more harsh and unjust. Further, as the Reform Bill of last year did not admit the agricultural labourers to the power of saying how the laws should be framed, he thought it would be additionally unjust to enact stringent laws for their government—laws against which he felt it his duty to protest. He would now say a few words on the educational system as it at present, stood. It had been proposed by the abandoned Bill that a Secretary of State should be appointed to preside over the education of the country; and it was urged as a strong reason for this appointment that the business of the Education Department was already so extensive, and the correspondence so elaborate, that it was really necessary to have a Cabinet Minister at the head of the Department. Now, he considered that many of the Returns required from the schools were much more elaborate, and entailed much more expense, than was at all necessary. He thought it might be greatly simplified, so as to lighten the work of the Department to a great extent, He had the authority of one of the managers of a school for saying that the school in question was not put under Government inspection for the reason that the Government grant would not pay for the time the schoolmaster would have to devote to the making out of the Returns required by Government. Whilst he was in favour of Government inspection, he should like to see that inspection carried out in connection with a system much less burdensome and difficult than the pie sent one. It seemed to him, some years ago, that the purse strings of the Govern- 1143 ment were opened rather too freely as regarded gifts to schools. It was found necessary to reduce those gifts; and the effect had been to make cheeseparing, which amounted almost to shabbiness, apparently the solo object of inspection. All sorts of trivial objections were taken, and one of them was to tiled floors, wooden floors being insisted upon, although the children were used to tiled floors at home. These trifling matters were very annoying to school managers. The effect was to dishearten the managers of schools already under Government inspection, and it prevented others from putting their schools under that inspection. They were, in fact, afraid of Government interference. Instead of suggesting improvements, and threatening to cut down the grants if they were not made. Government ought, in reality, to give a little more in order to have them carried out. In conclusion, he wished to remark upon the tone in which the Government Department addressed the managers of schools when corresponding with them. They were addressed as if they were employés and subordinates of the Department, instead of being, as they were, independent persons who voluntarily devoted their time and talents to the promotion of education. The tone as adopted was not harsh and severe, but peremptory and discouraging, and if persevered in would have the effect of causing the managers of some schools to withdraw the institutions with which they were connected from Government inspection—a result to be strongly deprecated.
said, the greater part of his noble Friend (Lord Henley's) speech had been devoted to two points which were not then before the Committee—namely, an education rate and compulsory attendance at school. His noble Friend had expressed a strong opinion against both; but he (Mr. Bruce) believed it was not the intention of the Government to adopt either. He would not then enter on a discussion of those points; but he believed there was no country in the world where a good system of education prevailed that did not depend upon local rating and local effort. No country in the world besides our own had attempted so utterly wild and impracticable a project as the education of the children of the nation by means of Imperial funds. Would the hon. Members for Scotland give up their system of rating in order to draw their educational supplies from the Imperial funds? ["No!"] There 1144 was not a Scotch Member who would not ay that the sum raised by rating for schools in Scotland was the most valuable public expenditure in Scotland, and did more than anything else to keep down the poor rates. Any Scotch population would admit that it was education which kept down the poor rates. With a national system that was really popular, as the system in Scotland was, compulsion was practically unnecessary, because the people gladly sent their children to school; and it was only in England, where there were squires' schools and parsons' schools, which were not popular, that there existed any necessity for compulsion. He knew something of the Returns managers were required to make to the Privy Council, both as a Vice President of the Department and as a manager of a large school; and in the latter capacity, although he had been sometimes inclined to grumble at the minuteness of the details to be gone into, he never finished the Return without feeling thankful that the duty of making it had been imposed upon him. It compelled him at least once a year to make a careful investigation of the affairs of the school; and the benefit of such an inquiry was an advantage that ought not to be lost. As to unnecessary interference, it was perhaps inevitable that in a national system rules should be laid down which were not universally of useful application; but there was reason in the objection to brick and tiled floors, for children and teachers did not stand still upon them for hours together at home, as they did at school, where teachers, and female teachers especially, had through dampness of floors contracted diseases from which they never recovered. So much was imposed upon teachers that regard ought to be paid to the maintenance of their health. The statement of the noble Lord opposite (Lord Robert Montagu) showed that the present system, imperfect as it was, was working well within its limits; and he was sure the House had never shown the slightest disposition to stint illiberally the supplies for education when the demand was shown to be legitimate. The country was gratified to learn that the Congregationalists had agreed to avail themselves of the grant on condition of the withdrawal of the 8th Article, which made religious teaching a sine qua non of the State system. Their objection had been, not to State assistance, but to religious conditions; and to meet that objection the Go- 1145 vernment had agreed to withdraw the 8th Article. What possible objection could there be to its withdrawal? The number of secular schools in the country was in considerable; and even if there were more, the true position, and that which would now be generally maintained, was that, however desirable it might be to make religious instruction a portion of daily education, the province of the State was confined to the promotion of secular teaching only. He did not regret the omission from the Estimates of £3,000 for a school Census, which might show how many children were at school without distinguishing between good and worthless schools; but the rate of the building grant might be advantageously increased.; It was once 6s. per square foot; it was reduced to 4s., and then to 2s. 6d.; and the difference between 2s. 6d. or 4s. was a large one, and the increase proposed by the Government Bill would, in many instances, encourage the building of schools. The country was well supplied with schools in the richer districts; but the large and populous and poor districts in our great towns were inadequately provided; and the reduction of the rate of grant materially prevented their establishment in those districts. He did not see why those alterations and improvements that could be made by the mere alteration of the Revised Code could not be adopted, instead of waiting for special legislation. He regretted to see that £45,000 put down last year in order to meet the expected increase in the attendance at schools, in consequence of the passing of the Factory and the Workshop Regulation Acts, had been reduced to £10,000. The reduction showed that the introduction of these Acts into practical use would he a very slow and gradual operation. With regard to the payments to inspectors and their travelling expenses, which absorbed a large portion of the Education Grant, he thought the time had come when they might be satisfied with one class of inspectors only instead of three separate inspectors for Church, Roman Catholic, and British and Foreign schools. The present system was not only expensive, but it led to administrative difficulty, for, as each inspector had in his own mind a standard by which to pay for results, the more you multiplied inspectors the more you varied the standards. Then, as to the Conscience Clause, he believed that the rule should be laid down boldly 1146 and broadly that wherever public money was spent in school grants every child within reach of the school should have a right to a secular education, leaving it to the parent to deride whether he should have religious instruction or not. That principle was a just and right one; and if it were laid down those heart-burnings mid disputes which had tended so much to delay the progress of education would be removed once and for ever. The noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) had stated that in round numbers the children who ought to be at school were 3,400,000, and those out of school 3,100,000, the exact difference being 333,000. But he distrusted these calculations. When you read; that in Prussia 1,000,000 children were at school, you knew that there was an average attendance of 920,000. In England there was an average attendance of something like 926,000; and in order to secure that we were obliged to have at school 1,376,000 children. This showed how imperfect was our system. In Prussia no children were reckoned until they were five years old. Here we reckoned every child from the age of a year and a-half up to five; and in our State-aided schools there were some 240,000 children under five years of age who in Prussia would not be reckoned at all. Then there was the irregularity of attendance; and if that were so great in the State-aided schools, where regular attendance was one of the conditions of the grant, what must it be in the dame schools and others where no such influence operated? The figures which had been given were fallacious, and little could be learned from them. If you wanted the broad results of the present stale of education it was necessary to look at the Reports of the Factory Inspectors, the Reports of Education Societies in the large northern towns, and the Registrars' Returns of persons who, on marriage, were unable to write their names. These showed, unhappily, that one-half of the working population of this country had not even the semblance of education. The work of National education was one in which slow progress was made; and it was only when generation after generation was properly taught that we should have that general appreciation of education which prevailed in Scotland and in Germany—countries which had enjoyed the blessings of education for many years. While admitting the great good which had been done of 1147 late in spreading education in this country, he felt that the time had come when it was the duty of Parliament to consider what steps should be taken to found a really national system of education. He would not enter into the subject now; probably there would be another opportunity for discussing it; but, while gladly allowing the good points which were presented in this year's statement, he entered his strong protest against the notion that we should be satisfied with things as they were.
said, he was not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bruce) who was strongly imbued with official ideas, should not have relished the remarks of the noble Lord the Member for Northampton (Lord Henley), which, however, he believed would meet with a cordial response throughout the country. The Privy Council treated school managers as if they were supplicants for alms, rather than what they were, persons who made considerable sacrifices for the cause of education. He quite agreed with those who thought that the compulsory system would be a most dangerous one to try in this country. What induced the House to adopt this principle in the Factory Acts was a well-grounded fear that otherwise the health of the children who worked in those factories would suffer, but there need be no such fear in the rural districts. His experience was that the children who were educated in our schools in the rural districts did not remain there, their ambition being to get into the Excise and Customs. For his own part he did not credit the charges of gross ignorance which were made against the working population of this country. Ignorant they might be in one sense; but then the question was, what constituted ignorance? Some thought that others were ignorant because they did not know what the former knew or come up to their standard. Now the definition he would venture on was that every man was an ignorant man who did not know the business he contracted to perform, and that you had no right to call a man ignorant who did know his business, even though he might not know other things. He had a suggestion to make to all the friends of education who attempted to promote it by delivering lectures and addresses throughout the country—namely, that they would contribute immensely to the success of the cause if, as a general rule, they would make themselves a little less disagreeable 1148 than they were. They ought to remember that, in a free country like this, a great deal was expected from co-operation, and that the persons who subscribed to the schools often made much greater sacrifices than official people.
§ MR. M'LAREN
said, he had taken the trouble to inquire about the Bills on national education which had been brought into that House for the last twenty years, and he could say, with reference to them and to the meetings held in Scotland on the subject, that a single instance would not be found in which a rate was not contemplated as part of the plan. He felt strongly convinced that they would never get a good system of education for the poor until they made it in the interest of the ratepayers to see in what manner their money was expended. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bruce) had ascribed much more importance and merit to the Scotch schools than, he feared, they deserved. Two, three, or four schools were often required now where one was sufficient before, and though much had been done by voluntary efforts there was still a great deficiency. With respect to quoting figures showing the large attendance at schools nothing could be more fallacious. For instance, in the Report issued within the last few days by the Education Commissioners for Ireland it was stated that 913,198 children, or about one sixth of the present population of Ireland, were at school. He did not think they would get a country in Europe where so large a proportion were really at school. But a few lines further on it appeared that the daily average attendance was only 321,515. If the larger number could have been supposed to be in regular attendance, Ireland would be a much better educated country than either England or Scotland, whereas there was a far greater proportion in Ireland of persons who could not sign their names there than in any other part of the United Kingdom. It was a startling fact that this was the 34th Report of the Irish Commissioners. That showed that those schools had been in existence thirty-four years, and that all the young persons married in Ireland within the last few years had an opportunity of attending a national school, and yet the result was that not more than one-half the people of Ireland who had recently been married could sign their names.
§ MR. POWELL
remarked that the hon. Gentleman who had last spoken (Mr. M'Laren) had fallen into an inaccuracy 1149 when he stated that the people of Ireland had enjoyed the advantage of the National schools for thirty-four years. That was only the beginning of the system, which had been growing up from the time the Commissioners made their first annual Report to the present, and therefore, neither the average attendance nor the attainments of the people during thirty-four years could be taken as a fair test of the system, ft was true that the system in Great Britain had of late years received considerable expansion; but he could not regard it as satisfactory, either in relation to the ignorance which still existed or the increase of the population from year to year. He was afraid the right hon. Member for Merthyr (Mr. Bruce) was rather sanguine in what he expected from a system of undenominational inspection. The Roman Catholics would be extremely reluctant to submit their schools to inspection by members of another creed, and he had no doubt that undenominational inspection would lead to disappointment. He would suggest that in future years the Estimate should not be prepared until the annual Report was produced, as it was but right that they should have the benefit of the light afforded by the Report in preparing and discussing the Estimate. With regard to the abolition of certificates, he hoped this country would never take so retrograde a step. They might say that in parishes of a certain size certificates should not be required; but if they were to say that they should not be required in schools of a certain size, then the result would be a multiplication of small schools, coming into competition with larger and more expensively-conducted schools. He hoped the Government would re-consider their determination, and that they should hear no more of the absence of certificates in schools below a certain size. It wag not in England alone that certificates were required, but in all countries in which education had made progress. They were required in France, in Germany, and, after a certain measure, in America; and in America they were accompanied by much more severe conditions, because there was a much more ample power of withdrawing the certificate in cases where the teacher became inefficient. With respect to building requirements he trusted that the Government, though not fastidious in regard to architecture, would be strict in all matters relating to comfort and health, and particularly with respect to flooring. At home the children might have brick 1150 floors, but then they were continually morning about, and where they had to sit long mats were generally put under their feet, Schoolrooms could not have large Dials, and therefore, as the next best thing, wooden floors were insisted upon. As to the effect of the Workshops Regulation Act, he was of opinion that no reliable estimate could be formed of the number of children who would thereby receive education. He hoped the unsettled state of the education question would not lead for a moment to the arrestment of its progress. He believed the friends of education need not he discouraged by the apprehension that their schemes, if founded on sound principles, would be defeated by any opposition in that House. The days of cold official obstructiveness were past, and when they observed the amount of ignorance existing they could not but feel that additional exertions were requisite to overcome it. He would venture to express an earnest hope that proposals for the amendment of our educational system would be received in a friendly spirit, and discussed with a desire to arrive at the best mode of diffusing education among the people of this country.
§ MR. W. B. FORSTER
said, he agreed with the hon. and learned Member for Cambridge (Mr. Powell) that this Vote should not be proposed so early in the Session, or else that the Report should be issued sooner. With regard to the small schools, he believed that to relax the demand for certificates on account of the size of a school would be unwise. The districts which urgently required assistance, owing to the absence or the illiberality of wealthy residents, no doubt deserved consideration; but he thought their claims should be met by an arrangement based on the condition of the district, and not on the size of the school, he believed the inspectors would agree with him that inspection as at present carried on could not be relied on as the sole guarantee for the efficiency of a school. To make it such the number of inspectors would have to be increased and their visits lengthened, this requiring an increased expenditure, at which the Committee would probably be surprised, so that as things stood the guarantee of the good training of the master must be retained as well as that of inspection. As to the Workshops Act, he hoped too sanguine expectations of its results would not be indulged in. He rejoiced at its passing, since it was a recog- 1151 nition of the duty of the employers of labour in workshops; but the little experience there had yet been of its working justified the belief that the appointment of inspectors or of a public prosecutor was essential to its efficiency. If the matter were left to local authorities the influences against its efficiency were so strong that little result could be expected, and information he had received from the straw-plaiting districts, where the operation of the Act was particularly required, had confirmed him in this opinion. He wished he could concur in the hopeful view taken by the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu). If his figures were trustworthy we should stand almost first, educationally, among civilized nations; but he (Mr. W. E. Forster) confessed he had not the slightest faith in them, because, whenever these figures were tested by actual examination, education was found to be the reverse of what it was represented to be. The most recent test with which he was acquainted was supplied by the first annual Report of the Birmingham Education Society. Some gentlemen had made a careful educational survey of Birmingham, and 273 of the 1,027 streets being chiefly inhabited by the upper and middle classes they had thoroughly canvassed the remaining 754. They made inquiries as to 45,056 children between the ages of 3 and 15, but assuming that the youngest of these might receive education afterwards, he would only quote the Returns as to children between 11 and 15 years of age. Of the 13,130 children of that age, 2,019, or 5 per cent, had never been to school at all and probably never would go. What was the education possessed by the remainder, who had been to school? It was this—4,701 could neither read nor write, and 1,818 could only read; thus 50 per cent of the whole number of children between 11 and 15 could not read nor write. These figures erred if at all on the favourable side, for the visitors took the word of the parents, though believing that they in many cases overrated their children's attainments. Of 3,801 children between 14 and 15, an age at which, if they were to receive education at all they would have received it, the proportion unable to read or write was rather larger, being 1,487, or 39 per cent while 573, or 15 per cent, could only read, so that it was a mere delusion to quote the figures the noble Lord had quoted to show that education in the country was in a sound condition. In an examination of 1152 908 young people of both sexes—529 males and 399 females—employed in 26 establishments and between the ages of 13 and 21, the result was that only 36 per cent could read, only 27 per cent could write, and only about 1 in 20 possessed any proficiency in what was called "general knowledge." The examination was in what was called the fourth standard, which was a very low one. Birmingham was generally considered to represent a comparatively favourable condition of general education; and if these were the results in Birmingham, it was easy to conclude what must be the state of other parts of the country. The fact was, that in our great cities a large population were growing up which had got beyond the present provision for education, and the voluntary system was quite unable to cope with the deficiency. The noble Lord (Lord Henley) had spoken of the burdens upon real property, and hoped they would not be increased. But the present state of things entailed tremendous burdens upon real property in the shape of poor rates and prison rates. It would be a wise expenditure of money to put on a little more in the shape of a school rate, in order to take it off the other rates. He looked forward to a payment of one-third of the school expenditure out of the Consolidated Fund, one-third by the children of the parents, and one-third out of the local rates. It was necessary that the responsibility for the evil of neglected ignorance should be fastened somewhere, and upon whom could it more fitly devolve than upon the inhabitants of the district? The greatest kindness the Legislature could do to a district was to insist upon the inhabitants taking measures to prevent the evil from coming back to them in rates for paupers and prisons. Complaints had been made of the interference with school managers exercised by the Privy Council; but with a system of rate-supported schools this interference must necessarily diminish. He regretted that the state of public business prevented the Government Education Bill from coming down to that House. The noble Duke at the head of the Education Department (the Duke of Marlborough) did not probably regard that measure as sufficient to meet the wants of education, though he supposed he thought that it was all the Government could attempt at the present time. Almost everything in the Bill, however, was a step in the right direction; but, in the present transition 1153 state of education, he entirely objected to the proposal to turn the Revised Code into an Act of Parliament. The proposal to appoint a Minister of Education had his entire approval; for he had long considered it to be extremely unfortunate that the head of the Education Department was always a Member of the other House. General experience proved that the regulation with regard to secular schools was perfectly useless. It caused a great deal of dissatisfaction. Its object, he believed, was to secure a religious education in all schools. Even if it was the place of the Government to secure that object, it could not be secured by that regulation. All that it required was that one or two verses of the Bible should be road in a school. Managers who wished to evade that provision could do so very easily. But, on the other hand, good schools connected with mechanics' institutes were unfairly excluded from the Government Grant. A large body of Dissenters objected to the regulation because they held that it was not right for the Government to interfere with regard to religious education. He thought that there should be only one set of, inspectors whose duty it should be to report simply upon secular subjects. The Church of England really suffered by an interference in the management of the religious teaching of Church schools, because a clergyman of one school of religious thought objected to an inspector of; another school of religious thought interfering in the management of his school.
§ MR. SHAW-LEFEVRE
said, he rose merely to ask the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) a Question with reference to the Conscience Clause. He wished to know whether it was the intention of the Government during the coming year, in the absence of any Bill on the subject of education, to carry out the Conscience Clause in the manner and in the form in which it had hitherto been carried out by the Privy Council, or whether it was intended only to apply it in the very limited and, as he he thought, very imperfect manner in which it was proposed to carry it out in the Education Bill which had been laid before the House of Lords? He regretted very much that the Education Bill, which had been introduced into the House of Lords by the Lord President (the Duke of Marlborough), after passing through several stages had been withdrawn; for though it might not have passed, in consequence of the pressure of business, it would have been 1154 very desirable to have it discussed. It would only be necessary, for instance, to have a fair discussion on the Conscience Clause, and all the difficulties in the way, not only of its limited application as proposed in the Bill, but of its universal application to all grants, would disappear. It was monstrous that children should be denied education in parishes where there was only one school, because they would not consent to attend to a religious instruction which their parents objected to. Another reason why he regretted that the Education Bill was not discussed was because the 8th Article of the Revised Minutes remained unrepealed, and therefore the Congregational Union would be deprived of the grant for another year. Indeed he could not see that an Act of Parliament was necessary for the repeal of that Article, and if the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) would propose the grant he would meet with no opposition from that side of the House. He regarded the noble Lord's statement on the progress of education as very satisfactory; but he was satisfied that they must in the end come to local rating. The present system, though it had done a great amount of good, was imperfect, and not equal to the occasion.
thought it must be admitted that the existing system had produced satisfactory results, though they might not be altogether commensurate with the amount of money expended. The inspectors reported from year to year that the numbers of scholars increased, and it appeared from the Reports of the Registrar General that the number of persons able to sign their names also increased from year to year. The difficulty was in getting children to go to school at all, as long as their parents found their labour profitable. The parochial system of education in Scotland was admirable in its results. Owing to the facilities which the sons of farmers and of small tradesmen enjoyed for going to the Scotch Universities, by the aid of trifling bursaries, many of them became distinguished in science, art, and literature, and took the degree of Master of Arts; and it was of such men that many of the class of parochial schoolmasters in Scotland was composed. He had himself presented a petition some years ago from seven schoolmasters in Aberdeenshire, four of whom were Masters of Arts, while their school salaries did not exceed £28 a year. Men so qualified did turn out scholars competent to go through the University curriculum. 1155 He advocated the extension of evening schools in every direction, and was of opinion that no child should be allowed to enter a factory, or he apprenticed, until he was educated to a certain extent. Local rating would not, perhaps, do all that was expected of it; but it would give the ratepayers an interest in the schools, and induce them to see that the money they contributed was usefully employed.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
complained of the elaborate system and the different classes of schools which the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) had described. The people were puzzled to choose among be many, and they did not send their children anywhere. It was discreditable to the country that so many children never went to school, and he believed that the sooner they abolished the Conscience and such like clauses and adopted one simple non-denominational system, the better. He thought the plan pursued with regard to the payment of the police should be adopted in respect to education. One-third or one-fourth of the expense should be paid by the Consolidated Fund, and the other two-thirds or three-fourths thrown on the rates. Where there was a will there was a way, and they ought to make up their minds that elementary education should be compulsory.
§ MR. LOCKE
said, he could not understand what the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Alderman Lusk) meant. He would not have any Conscience Clause—he would not have this—he would not have that—it appeared he would not have anything. It was all very well to talk of "a simple system;" but what did a simple system mean? Discussions of that kind might go on all night long; there was no reason for their ever coming to an end. The best thing they could do was to vote some money for that which did exist. It was certainly better than nothing; and his hon. Friend did not point out anything that was better except nothing. He (Mr. Locke) was at a loss to know where they were. The hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes) told them of the number of Masters of Arts that were schoolmasters in Scotland. But he had always heard that Aberdeen Masters of Art were not to be relied on; and as for Aberdeen doctors, they were a mere joke, for in his early days any man who sent £10 to the Aberdeen University might be made a doctor. But what had all this to do with the question? If 1156 neither the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Alderman Lusk) nor the hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes) could enlighten them as to what was best to be done in future they had better go on voting some money for what already existed.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
would say a few words in answer to the remarks which had been made on this subject. The hon. and gallant Member for Aberdeen (Colonel Sykes) had complained of the apathy of parents in regard to education and the hon. Member for Finsbury (Mr. Alderman Lusk), it appeared, had arrived at the conclusion that we must have compulsory education. Now, he did not think they could carry out a system of compulsory education in England. It might be done in Prussia, but could it be done in England? For in Prussia they were accustomed to rigorous laws, and minute police supervision. But in England persons liked to judge for themselves and to act without governmental interference. In England a man's house, be he poor or rich, was his castle. Suppose the police went to the house of a British labourer and insisted that his children should attend school, what would be the result? The policeman would quickly be ejected through the door. They were not accustomed to such interference. Beside this, a clause for compulsory registration was necessary as the very foundation of a compulsory system. There must be an accurate register of every child in a parish, and a register of every child in school; and these must day by day be compared, and the delinquents hunted up by the police. Yet the House has constantly refused to sanction any clause for the compulsory registration of births. Would they now sanction not only that, but also the machinery necessary for compulsory education also? Moreover, how was it possible to carry it out? How were they to enforce it? Suppose a labourer were summoned because his child did not attend school, and he pleaded poverty, saying he had a large family and small wages, and suppose that he asked why he should not make use of the labour of one of his boys to assist in the maintenance of the family, would the magistrate not be apt to let him off? Next day another labourer would appear with a case nearly but not quite so strong. He would also be acquitted. Then another; he would be discharged. Thus they might drive a coach and four through their Act of Parliament, and there would be an end 1157 of the compulsory system of education. Children did not attend school; but why was it? On account of the apathy of their parents? Get rid of that apathy and the children would attend school; but if they did not get rid of that apathy he defied them to carry out a compulsory system. Where education was valued, compulsory education was unnecessary; where it was not valued, compulsory education was impossible. The hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Foster) had alluded to the proposal for the appointment of a Minister of Education, which he approved chiefly because that Minister would bring forward the Education Estimates in that House. The object was to give the power to the Crown to appoint a Minister of Education, without constraining the Crown to choose a commoner. The President of the Council had at present a multiplicity of duties to perform, and could not attend to educational matters; while the Minister who administered the system of national education should devote himself to that subject alone, and he would find plenty to do. He would have to administer a large sum of money—larger than either the Colonial or Home Secretary had to administer. Numerous duties would devolve upon him. He would have to concern himself with the education of the lower class and of the middle class in this country; with the Irish Education system, with science and art, and perhaps with Colleges; and Universities. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bruce) had said that in every country where there was good education, there they found local rating and local efforts; but he denied that they were necessarily combined. Local effort was nut peculiar to rating, which was not the result of effort, but of compulsion. Local effort belonged much rather to voluntary sub scriptions and voluntary labour. The right hon. Gentleman compared our system with that of other countries. Our system was a new one. This was the principle of it: that local effort should be assisted by the State. The State did not begin the work of education; it had not the initiative. It was only when local effort had given proof of local valuing of education that the State stepped in and gave its aid. Such a system had never been tried elsewhere. In this country it dated from 1842, or at furthest from 1839. It was unfair to compare that system with the system of other countries; that in America, beginning with the present century, or that of 1158 Scotland, which dated from 1660. But we had taken up our system a few short years ago; and yet we were surpassing the systems of education which had existed so long in other countries. The hon. Member for Finsbury said that ratepayers took greater interest in schools when local rates were imposed. But was that the case with other rates? Were not the London Boards of Guardians, for instance, complained of in all the newspapers? Were they not vilipended, and most justly censured? Rates were raised for the poor; and yet the ratepayers took no interest in the poor. They cared only to reduce the rates. And would not the same be the case in regard to education when supported by rates? A system of false economy would be introduced, and expenditure would be cut down till education itself would die out or become so degraded that no one would care for it. The hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) complained of putting the Revised Code into an Act of Parliament. But the managers of schools complained of the constant changes. They feared to undertake anything, lest some new Minute might damage their interests, and therefore it was thought desirable that the Revised Code, with many emendations in it, should be put into an Act of Parliament, in order that there might be a permanent system, instead of a changeable law. The hon. and learned Member for Reading (Mr. Shaw-Lefevre) asked how the Conscience Clause was to be administered. There was no change in that respect. He had stated to the House last year on May 3, the rule which would guide him: and he had never deviated from that rule. Many hon. Members had complained that the Government had not carried out their original intention of removing the 8th Article from the Code. But did not the Government propose in their Bill to omit that Article, in order to respect the scruples of those who objected to the restriction it imposed, and to permit them to come in without subjecting them to the pressure of which they complained? The Government showed their animus by introducing this relaxation in the Bill; they proved their generosity by withdrawing the Bill. For hon. Members asked why the Bill had been withdrawn? They said it would have been better to have gone on with the Bill, seeing that its provisions would not have been much disputed in that House. The simple answer to that remark was that it was done in generous deference to the wishes of the House. For it was 1159 said that the Government did not possess the confidence of the House, and therefore that they ought to drop all legislation except legislation of an absolutely necessary character, in order that there might be a speedy dissolution. In order to secure an early dissolution the Government had accordingly dropped the Bills they had framed with reference to this and to other subjects. The right hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil (Mr. Bruce) asked whether it was the duty of the State to teach religion at all; while the hon. Member for Bradford (Mr. W. E. Forster) went further, or spoke with more courage; for he said that it was the duty of the State to provide secular education only. But what was their end? What was the object of education? Why should Government assist in promoting education? Let anyone make out a case in answer to that question. In granting funds for educational purposes the object of the Government was to make men better citizens and better men. If that was not the end in view, what other end was there? He would like to hear anyone attempt to defend a State education except on the ground that the Government should strive to make men become better. Or if the State was not to do it, what other body was to do it? A body, doubtless, of far higher authority; for this was the highest end in life. But if that object were to be attained it would not be sufficient merely to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, or even to give a scientific education. Palmer, Rash, Smethurst, Townley, and numbers of others whom he could name were not deterred from committing murders by the education they had received. Were they good men? Were they good citizens? Therefore some other kind of education was necessary, besides secular education. That other kind was the most necessary; for its end was the end of life. But secular education was not necessary; for a tailor could make as many coats or a cobbler as many shoes without being able to read. The right hon. Gentleman had even gone a step further, and had contended that the different denominations of inspectors should be done away with, and that they should have only one class of inspectors. But that would be doing away with the denominational system altogether. That system rested upon the power of veto which had been given to the different denominations—a power which had been wrested from the Government by each denomination separately. Did 1160 he never hear of the controversy concerning the Management Clauses which raged for twelve years? Did he not know that each denomination fought the Government separately for three or four years; and that the trust deed, and the Management Clause it contained was the treaty of peace between that religious body and the Government; and that the power of veto upon the appointment of an Inspector was thereby secured for ever? And yet the right hon. Gentleman now called upon the Government to fight them all at once, and to tear up the treaties of peace which had been entered into with them by taking from them the veto they possessed upon the appointment of the inspectors. The right hon. Gentleman also said he would rather take the average attendance at schools as a datum than any other estimate of the numbers of the children.
observed that what he said was that he preferred taking the average attendance at the schools as a datum rather than the numbers on the books.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, that the average attendance did not fairly represent the numbers of children who attended the schools, seeing that 42 per cent attended less than 200 times in the year, so that a large number of the children would count as fractions in the average attendance, instead of units. It was for this reason that the average attendance was usually taken as representing only 75 per cent of those who attended school. The hon. Member for Bradford had alluded to the statistics contained in the Report of the Birmingham Educational Society; but it must not be forgotten that these societies were supported by the money they obtained by subscription; and that it was not unlikely that their paid secretaries and treasurers, whose income depended on the existence and amount of funds of the society, would set to work to collect facts respecting educational destitution in large towns, which, put together, would make up most harrowing tales, calculated to induce silly women and doating old gentlemen to subscribe to the funds of the societies. The truth was that no sane man would give implicit credence to the Reports of these institutions, for they obtain their money by making out a bad case. He believed he had now answered all the questions that had been put to him, and he begged in conclusion to thank the Committee for the attention with which they had listened to him.
§ MR. W. E. FORSTER
thought that the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) had not dealt justly with the society to which he had referred in such strong language. The object of that society was not primarily to obtain information; it was to send those to school whose non-attendance was due to the apathy of their parents. In that object it had attained great success, and if the noble Lord had given the subject any consideration he felt certain that he would not have given expression to the opinions which had fallen from him that evening.
said, he would remind the Committee that the noble Lord in saying that no education was worthy of the name unless it combined religious with secular instruction had in reality censured the policy of the Government, inasmuch as the Bill which the Government had introduced in the other House of Parliament during the present Session had proposed to admit secular schools to the benefits of State assistance, on precisely the same footing as was done at present in the case of schools combining religious with secular instruction.
§ Vote agreed to.
(9.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
''That a sum, not exceeding £141,690, 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 1869, of the Salaries and Expenses of the Department of Science and Art, and of the Establishments connected therewith.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, it was proposed in the present Estimates to make several important reductions in this Vote. The sum expended in purchases for distribution would be reduced by £10,000; for examples, by £600; for the purchase of food, &c, by £250; photography, by £2,000; and books, by £500; The expenditure on the National Portrait Exhibition would be reduced by the whole amount, £3,000. In reality, the collection had been brought down to the reign of Queen Victoria, and might not be continued. At all events it might now be regarded as self-supporting, inasmuch as the money taken at the doors was very nearly sufficient, if it did not exceed, the sum required for current expenses. It was also proposed to make the important reduction of £3,000 in connection with the Royal Museum, Bethnal Green; £250 in the purchase of books for the Jermyn Street Museum, and £1,000 in the pur- 1162 chase of books for the Edinburgh Museum. These figures would give a total reduction on the Vote of £20,600. The working of the science schools could be shown without troubling the Committee with any lengthened statement. In 1867 there were 212 science schools, attended by 10,230 persons, of whom 4,920 were examined, and by whom 8,437 papers were worked. In May, 1868, there were 302 schools, attended by 14,677 pupils, and of these about 8,000 were examined, while 13,112 papers were worked. 194 teachers had received in 1867 sums varying from £1 to £220, the average being £41 per teacher. The total sum was £7,976, being at the rate of 15s. 7d. per pupil; last year the average was 14s. 6d. The examinations were held simultaneously in 167 centres. At present 98 schools of art were in operation, giving instruction to 17,341 students. There were 588 schools for the poor, in which 791,411 poor children had been taught drawing during the year. In 1866, night classes for drawing had been established for persons above twelve years of age; there are now 72 such classes. Last year there were 32. In the National Art Training School there were 28 students training to be masters of schools of art; 118 free students receiving tuition and 727 students paying fees. Several exhibitions and scholarships had been established, notably among which were 60 of £25 each, and 30 of £100, which had been founded by Mr. Whitworth.
§ MR. DILLWYN
commented upon the rapidity with which the Vote for this Department had of late years been increasing. In spite of the reduction of the original Estimate there was still an increase of over £8,000. For his own part there were several directions in which he would rather witness a reduction of the Vote than in the purchase of books. It was, however, of very little, if any use, for any Member to attempt a reduction, because his experience had shown him that an hon. Member in making such an attempt would be undertaking a thankless task, and one in which he had very little chance of being successful, especially when the reduction proposed was at all connected with the Science and Art Department. His attention was first directed to this subject in 1855, when he was entirely new to the ways of the House, and when the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Bright)—then the hon. Member for Manchester—predicted, in language which at the time he regarded as overstrained, 1163 that which since had actually happened. It was at that time proposed to erect a building of some kind for the reception of works of art; and the hon. Member then warned the Committee that they were about to fall into a trap, because if they agreed to a proposed outlay, the time would soon come when the Committee would be assured that the building was discreditable to the nation and to so valuable a collection, and largely increased votes would therefore be required for it. The hon. Gentleman at the same time reminded the Committee that they were about to launch into an expenditure which would constantly increase, and which might last for fifty years. In 1857, the expenses of general management in London were £2,917; in 1868 they had grown to £8,507. The general Estimates for Science and Art had grown from £7,000 in 1857 to £40,000 in 1868. In 1860 there appeared an item of £17,000 for permanent buildings, which had grown to £32,500 in the present year. For general and local management of all schools the expenses had grown from £12,000 to £401,590. The total expense of buildings had been £187,000, and the entire expenditure presented a total of £701,555. He hoped these facts would arouse the attention of the House and the Government, to see whether we obtained any adequate return for this large outlay. The only results visible at present were not admitted by competent judges to offer evidence of good science and good art. There could be no doubt that we had embarked in a vast and increasing expenditure for a very questionable purpose.
§ MR. BERESFORD HOPE
believed that the hon. Member for Swansea had missed the true reason for the blunders in public taste which he had denounced. For his own part he maintained that until there was a real Department of Architecture, Science, and Art, there would always be an increase of expenditure and a paralysis of efficient administration. The true remedy for the evil would be found in dissolving the ill-assorted marriage between the Department of Practical Education represented at the Council Office, and the Department of Science and Art, charged as the former was with responsibilities for the conduct of elementary instruction of a totally distinct character from those of its artistic side, and in combining the latter with the more cognate Department of Public Works, under a strong Minister of Arts, Science, and Public Works. To this Committee the trustees of an enlarged 1164 British Museum, responsible both for the Museum and the South Kensington Collections, ought to be responsible. The expenditure of £750,000, to which the hon. Member (Mr. Dillwyn) had alluded, though nominally incurred in London, had really been partly spent for the benefit of the provinces, in training masters and forming the collections which were afterwards to be sent round as models. For his part, having regard to the successful results which had been attained, and having had opportunities of judging of the excellent social and civilizing results of the science and art schools throughout the country, he felt astonished at the smallness of the outlay. No man probably had been engaged in more small squabbles than himself with the administration at South Kensington, or had more frequently spoken his mind roundly on particular points when he believed it to be in the wrong; but he felt it due to the authorities there to bear testimony to the great zeal and energy shown by the Department. Whatever might be the faults of Mr. Cole, or of other men with whom he was associated, want of a disposition to "go-ahead" could not be charged against them. They had organized a remarkable collection of works of art, which was an honour to the country, and it would be only cheeseparing to complain of the cost. Let there be one efficient Administration, and let it correspond directly with the British Museum as the one Executive Board for collecting purposes, and the complaints would be considerably silenced. The real defect lay in the paralysis of administration, resulting from the exercise of divided and often antagonistic authority. The Department at South Kensington was not to be blamed; but, on the contrary, it deserved credit for its achievements in the face of this palpable absurdity. He had listened with regret to the long list of retrenchments announced by his noble Friend (Lord Robert Montagu) fearing that some valuable interest must have suffered by those reductions.
§ MR. GREGORY
concurred with his hon. Friend who had last spoken (Mr. Beresford Hope) that institutions of science and art to be efficient must be supported with generosity by the nation, and he did not think the total amount totted up by the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) need alarm the House of Commons. It was of great importance, however, to have regularity and systematic exhibition in the Department, and it was still more import- 1165 ant to have in the institution at South Kensington a. museum to step in where the British Museum ended, starting with the Mediæval Collections and coming down to the present time. But, as long as things were in their present fluctuating condition, it was impossible for this to be done. He wished to see the Kensington Museum separated from the educational Departments. That museum might be made for mediæval art what the British Museum was for ancient nit. Then he wanted to know who was responsible for the purchases made for the Kensington Museum. He understood there was no system in regard to the responsibility of those purchases. He heard that gentlemen at the British Museum had been applied to for their assistance in the matter, but had refused it; and he was further informed that the next application for advice was to tradesmen who dealt in articles of the character of those which it was pro posed to purchase. He did not say that opinions ought not to be taken; but he did contend that some authority ought to be responsible for the purchases. The next point to which he had to refer was the removal of the iron buildings from South Kensington to Bethnal Green and the erection of a museum at the latter place. Last year a Vote of £5,000 was taken, and this year a further Vote of £10,000 was proposed to be taken for the removal of those buildings, and for other purposes in connection with the establishment of a museum at the East End of London. He presumed there were other purposes in view, because £15,000 could scarcely be required for the removal of the buildings. [Lord ROBERT MONTAGU: The buildings have to be erected also.] Now, in his opinion, this was a matter on which the opinion of the House of Commons ought to be distinctly taken; because if it was intended to scatter objects of art about London and to exhibit them in different museums, there was not a town in the kingdom which would not feel itself entitled to put in its claim for a museum of its own to be established at the public expense. Once more he protested against the publication of what was called the Universal Art Catalogue. He had dune so when the Department proposed to publish that catalogue in the supplement of The Times. The reason given for that had been that The Times was read all over the world. The House, however, was opposed to this publication of the 1166 Art Catalogue in The Times. So, when that failed, the next step taken was to publish the catalogue in the supplement of Notes and Queries. It could not be said that the supplement of Notes and Queries was read all over the world. If it was intended to publish merely a small catalogue which would enable a person to refer to an object in a moment, he should not have objected to that; but to publish a universal art catalogue, apart from the catalogue of the British Museum, was as puerile a waste of money as had ever been undertaken. The original project was to make a catalogue of all works of art necessary for an art library; but now this project had expanded into the absurd scheme of making a catalogue which, as Mr. Quaritch showed in his excellent statement laid before the House last year, would embrace every work which had an illustration within it. If the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu) could not separate the item for this catalogue from the sum required for printing the catalogue of the British Museum, he should feel bound to take the sense of the Committee on the subject.
§ GENERAL DUNNE
felt, with the hon. Member for Galway (Mr. Gregory), that every town in the country would have as good a right to apply for the establishment of local museums as well as a district of the metropolis. He thought it most preposterous that while the Science and Art Grant to the whole of Scotland was only £17,000, and in Ireland an amount incommensurate with her wants and the taxation she paid, one of the most unpromising districts in London got £15,000. The Geological Survey, if properly carried out, was a matter of considerable importance, especially in regard to coal, and he had on a former occasion wished to know whether the labours of the Commission were to extend to Ireland? The Secretary to the Treasury had promised to inquire and state the decision come to on this point, and he now wished to renew the question.
§ SIR PATRICK O'BRIEN
said, he saw that the sum of £15,000 was to be appropriated to purchases made at the recent Paris Exhibition, and he should be glad to know what was the precise nature of those purchases?
§ MR. POWELL
thought the House ought to be generous in dealing with any Government proposal for the cultivation of science and art. He wished, however, for some explanation of a charge of £3,000 for the preparation of papers, &c. for examination?
MR. A. SEYMOUR
remarked that the Vote had been reduced to the extent of £600 by the two Art Referees having been done away with; but, on the other hand, £300 had been added to the salary of the General Superintendent. He wished to be informed, therefore, whether that gentleman discharged the duties which formerly devolved upon the Art Referees? He thought that if a large sum of money was laid out on an institution like the Kensington Museum, it was advisable the House should see that the public got a quid pro quo for their money, and that mere rubbish of specimens were not purchased. He trusted the noble Lord would explain why so large a sum as £10,000 was put down for specimens?
§ SIR WILLIAM STIRLING-MAXWELL
remarked that the reason assigned for the publication of the Art Catalogue was that the attention of persons interested in art would be directed to it, and that they would make corrections and additions as the work progressed. It would be satisfactory to know whether such a result had followed the publication of the catalogue, and also whether there had been any demand for the work on the part of the public.
thought no hon. Member ought to grudge the money that had been expended on the South Kensington Museum, which no person, of whatever age, could visit without bringing away a new idea in his mind, at least; he spoke for himself. Indeed, in his opinion, that Museum did as much for the instruction of the people, by the eye, as all the elementary schools in the country.
doubted whether these very large collections really promoted the circulation of a knowledge of science and art, and expressed his belief that in this respect a few well-chosen specimens were far more effective. A high authority on the subject had remarked that the contemplation of works of art without understanding them jaded the faculties and enslaved the intelligence.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
said, he was anxious to know who were the parties responsible for the expenditure in the Department under discussion. He was of opinion that it would be much better to expend a large sum at once upon a suitable building than to be annually spending amounts of money in detail for the purpose of enlarging and improving the present edifice, which was by no means an ornament.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, the hon. Member (Mr. A. Seymour) had proceeded on a wrong assumption with regard to the General Superintendent, who was not called upon to discharge the duties of an Art Referee. It was true, however, that £300 a year had been added to the salary of the gentleman in question—Mr. Cole; but this was by way of recognizing the great efforts he had made in establishing the Museum. Since the abolition of the permanent Art Referees, gentlemen skilled in different branches of science and art were consulted as to intended purchases, and were paid according to a set scale of fees. In each branch the best authority was selected, and the result was that the work was better done and done at a cheaper rate than under the old system. As to the Royal Museum at Bethnal Green, he might remark that it was no more a local institution because it was in Bethnal Green than the British Museum was a local institution from the circumstance of its being situated in Bloomsbury, or than Kew Botanical Gardens because they were in Kew. With reference to the publication of the Art Catalogue in Notes and Queries, it was through that medium circulated far and wide, and many corrections from correspondents had come in. Copies were sent abroad and they elicited the information required. It was originally contemplated that the Geological Survey should terminate in 1875–6, but Sir Roderick Murchison was anxious that it should be completed earlier, and the staff was increased last year in order that the survey might proceed more quickly. A report of the progress of the survey, accompanied by maps, was published every year. No steps were taken towards purchasing anything at the Paris Exhibition until the Committee appointed by the House had published its Report, and then three gentlemen were sent over to make the purchases recommended by the Committee. These might be seen at South Kensington Museum. The increase in the number of science and art schools necessitated the increase in the Estimate for the preparation of examination papers and diagrams, and if £1,600 was exceeded last year, £3,000 would not be more than sufficient this year. The exhibition of art specimens was not confined to London; they were sent all over the country. Many had been sent to the Exhibition at Leeds; a similar collection was to be sent next year to Bolton; and independently of special exhibitions, pictures 1169 and works of art were constantly circulating among the art schools, where the pupils had the opportunity of studying them and making copies, while the public had also the privilege of inspection. Doubtless a large collection kept at one place would not be favourable to the general advancement of art; but broken up for circulation the collection could no longer be regarded as a large one. The Lord President and himself were responsible for the expenditure, and of course could be called to account for it in the House; but the utmost care was exercised in the making of purchases, which were entertained only upon report, and not effected without further reference.
§ MR. DILLWYN
protested against the principle of granting money to the Bethnal Green Museum, on the ground that it was to be a means of education to the people of the East End of London as distinct from those of the West. Were that principle thoroughly carried out, Liverpool or Swansea might advance claims for money upon the same ground. One of his objections to the South Kensington Museum was that it was a local museum scattered about in: different places; and he always thought it would have been better if the large sum spent there had been expended on the British Museum. He insisted that there ought to be a collection of works of art and science in the metropolis worthy of the nation, and; not a collection merely for the purpose of; educating a locality in science and art. If collections were to be established in particular localities, where was the expenditure for such things to stop? If every locality was to have its collection, the expense would be gigantic. He suggested that the appointments, which were very good ones, in the national collection, should be held out as premiums to men who distinguished themselves in art and science.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
denied that this was a local museum. It was in every way national, and the objects displayed there were sent by turns all over the kingdom. What was meant, by the term "local museum?" Had hon. Members ever asked themselves what was meant by a national museum? Every museum must be in some place. Was it therefore local? The inhabitants of Bloomsbury and the rich who had carriages came from a distance to see the British Museum. Yet it was called a national museum. The working classes of Bethnal Green could not reach it; but 1170 they would flock to the Royal Museum there. Why should it not be a national museum. He was at a loss to know.
said, the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn) had asked where the expenditure was to stop, if museums were established at Liverpool and other places. The answer was simply this—Liverpool and other large towns were rich enough to supply themselves with museums; but Bethnal Green was poor, and a Vote of the Committee would enable them to get instruction which otherwise they could not get.
§ MR. BENTINCK
said, his noble Friend (Lord Robert Montagu) had made no allusion to the question of the permanent building. In 1866 an Estimate was laid before the House, showing that £420,000 was asked for by the Science and Art Department for the permanent building. The Treasury reduced the amount to £220,000. Last year the Estimate was brought on for discussion on the 9th of August, when nobody was present, and the result was that it passed without attracting public attention. What he wanted to know was whether the Government had agreed with the officials of the Science and Art Department to limit the expenditure to £195,000, and, if so, where were the plans to show how that sum was to be expended? He should be glad to learn whether the noble Lord was willing to guarantee that, after the £195,000 had been ex-pended at the rate of £32,000 per annum, no further sum would be asked for.
desired to say a few words on this Vote, inasmuch as it was the late Government that was really responsible for the expenditure to which the hon. Gentleman (Mr. Bentinck) had just referred. The origin of this Vote had been alluded to by the hon. Member for Swansea (Mr. Dillwyn). In 1860 the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Calne (Mr. Lowe) moved the appointment of a Committee on the subject, and the Committee recommended that a plan for a permanent building should be adopted. The whole of the South Kensington Museum had been a matter of gradual growth. The production of a plan was in- 1171 sisted upon on the part of the Treasury by his hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract (Mr. Childers), and the expenditure was limited to £195,000, which was to be extended over six years. It was that plan which their successors hail adopted, and when the £195,000 should he expended it would be for the House of Commons to decide whether the building should be in any way extended. He was also to some extent responsible for the system adopted with regard to Referees, for as one of a Commission of Inquiry upon the subject of the Department he had decided against the appointment of permanent Referees, and had approved the selection of gentlemen known to be qualified to judge of the particular matter on which a decision was required.
§ MR. CANDLISH
reminded the noble Lord (Lord Robert Montagu), that he had not informed the Committee how much of the Vote was to be expended on the Art Catalogue.
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
replied that the sum proposed to be expended in that direction was £1,000. In answer to the hon. Member for Southwark (Mr. Locke) he might say that the land required for the erection of the Bethnal Green Museum had been purchased.
§ MR. GREGORY
said, his criticism upon the Bethnal Green Museum had not been dictated by any feeling against that particular district. He should be glad to witness a more general extension of museums over the country; but he thought some definite and fixed principle ought to be laid down, so that persons in different localities might know what local exertion was necessary before they could expect to receive any State assistance. The Art Catalogue, however, to which the responsibility of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Merthyr Tydfil (Mr. Bruce) also extended, was the subject to which he now particularly desired to allude. The opinions referred to by the noble Lord did not in the slightest degree justify the preparation of this enormous catalogue, in the first number of which thirty-five different editions of Æsop were quoted. Mr. Quaritch, the eminent bookseller, had distinctly stated that to carry out the idea of this catalogue it would be necessary to include every species of book containing illustrations. It might, and no doubt would, be well to make a thoroughly good catalogue of the existing library in South Kensington Museum; but such a catalogue as the one now in course of preparation involved a 1172 foolish and a useless waste of public money, and it was with a view to prevent this waste that he now moved that the Vote be reduced by the £1,000 intended to be devoted to the preparation of this catalogue.
Motion made, and Question put,
That the Item of £2,500, for Preparation, Illustration, and Printing of Catalogues and Inventories of the Museum, and Universal Art Catalogue and Inventories, be reduced by the sum of £1,000.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 34; Noes 54: Majority 20.
§ MR. BENTINCK
complained of not having received a reply to his inquiry. He asked whether any plans of the building, which it was said was to cost £195,000, would be laid before the Committee?
§ LORD ROBERT MONTAGU
said, the reason he had not replied to the Question of his hon. Friend was because the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Merthyr (Mr. Bruce) had given an answer a great deal better than he could have done. His hon. Friend had asked whether he would lay the plans to which he had referred before the House? All he could say was that the plans and the Correspondence had been laid before the House in July, 1866. The buildings in question would cost only £195,000, and the expenditure would be spread over a period of six years. If any further expenditure was to be incurred, it must be done with the sanction of the House. He could not prophesy what the House might think well to do at a future time.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ (10.) £6,063, to complete the sum for the University of London.
(11.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £10,992, 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 1869, for the Salaries and Expenses of the National Gallery, including the purchase of Pictures.
§ MR. BENTINCK
expressed a hope that this Vote would not be pressed that night in the absence of many hon. Gentlemen who took an interest in it.
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, he was sorry he could not accede to the request of the hon. Gentleman. He had already intimated his intention of bringing on the Vote.
§ Whereupon Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again,"—(Mr. Bentinck,)—put, and negatived.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (12.) £800, to complete the sum fur the British Historical Portrait Gallery.
§ (13.) £235,195, to complete the sum for National Education in Ireland.
§ (14.) £730, Commissioners of Education in Ireland,
§ (15.) £2,155, to complete the sum for the Queen's University, Ireland.
§ (16.) £1,740, to complete the sum for the National Gallery, Ireland.
§ (17.) £5,083, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances, Great Britain.
§ (18.) £34,040, to complete the sum for Merchant Seamen's Fund, Pensions, &c.
§ (19.) £30,400, to complete the sum for Relief of distressed British Seamen.
§ (20.) £145,857, to complete the sum for Superannuation and Retired Allowances.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
said, this Vote had increased by more than £8,000. He complained that offices were abolished and young officers pensioned, and new clerks appointed. The officers, instead of being pensioned, ought to be transferred to other Departments and utilized.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
admitted that these allowances should be watched with great jealousy, and that it was undesirable to grant them to persons fit for service except on very special grounds. In the case of the Board of Trade the re-organization of the Department had necessitated the abolition of certain offices, some of which had been held for a very long time by men who could not well be now put to junior work. Allowances in these and other cases had been granted with great care.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
said, the War Office had pensioned a number of clerks, some not very old, and at the same time the number of clerks had been increased.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (21.) £13,134, to complete the sum for Hospitals and Infirmaries, Ireland.
§ (22.) £4,915, to complete the sum for Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances, Ireland.
§ (23.) £14,000, to complete the sum for Temporary Commissions.1174
§ (24.) £780, Malta and Alexandria Cable, and Balmoral Telegraph.
(25.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That; a sum, not exceeding £19,377, 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 1869, for certain Miscellaneous Expenses.
§ SIR J. CLARKE JERVOISE
objected to the enormous expense of the inspectors of cattle. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £11,058, being the amount charged for the Veterinary Department of the Privy Council.
Motion made, and Question proposed,
That the Item of £11,058 17s. 6d., for the Veterinary Department of the Privy Council Office, Salaries and Expenses, be omitted from the proposed Vote."—(Sir Jervoise Clarke Jervoise.)
§ MR. SCLATER-BOOTH
said, he hoped the hon. Baronet would not persevere in the Motion. The Vote was to provide for current expenses, many items of which had been incurred during the past year. At present there was a Treasury Commission investigating this head of expenditure, which would probably lead to considerable reductions.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. CHILDERS
asked for an explanation of the item of £6,070 for robes, collars, and badges for the Knights of the several Orders, the charge last year having been only £1,500?
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
complained of the item of £6,000 for robes, badges, and collars which had increased to that sum from £1,500, at which it stood last year. He thought such a sum unreasonable, and one that could not be justified. He moved that it be reduced to that amount, £1,500.
§ THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
said, he had inquired into the matter when he was Secretary of the Treasury, and considered that they could not refuse to insert this item. If the Committee now passed this Vote he should be prepared to make a further explanation on the Report.
§ MR. DISRAELI
explained that these honours were conferred by Her Majesty, and it was therefore obvious that the item ought to stand.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
withdrew his Motion, but gave notice that he should move the reduction of the Vote by £4,500 on the Report.
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.1175
§ (26.) £31,599, to complete the sum for Local Dues on Shipping under Treaties of Reciprocity.
§ (27.) £2,000, for promoting the Cultivation of Flax in Ireland.
§ MR. ALDERMAN LUSK
complained that the greater part of the Vote was really expended in travelling expenses—namely, £1,860, and he also condemned the principle of the Vote. Why should Irishmen be, as it were, bribed to do ther duty to themselves? The farmers of Ireland were intelligent men and could get on very well without it, if they were left alone. He moved the omission of the item.
THE EARL OF MAYO
explained that the increase of the Grant was due to certain representations that had been made to the Government respecting the importance of proper instruction being given to the Irish people in the cultivation of flax by competent instructors. The Vote was not to be regarded as a permanent one.
§ MR. CHILDERS
pointed out how the Vote had increased, although it was to have been only temporary, and trusted it would speedily disappear altogether from the Estimates.
§ MR. M'LAREN
thought the Vote ought to be altogether omitted, as everybody seemed to have somebody else to watch him, and in that way £1,860 was spent in travelling.
Motion made, and Question put,
That a sum, not exceeding £2,000, 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 1869, for encouraging the Cultivation of Flax in the South and West of Ireland.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 43; Noes 18: Majority 25.
§ House resumed.
§ Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next.
§ Committee to sit again Tomorrow.