HC Deb 05 June 1871 vol 206 cc1535-6

asked the First Lord of the Treasury, When the Government expect to carry through the measure for improving the state of Education in Scotland, which has already passed its Second Reading, and in regard to which Her Majesty, at the opening of the Session, was graciously pleased to state that it had "especial claims on the favourable consideration of Parliament?"


Sir, I do not at all wonder at the anxiety of my hon. and learned Friend to obtain the best information he can on this subject. When we had introduced the Bill we were under the impression, from its reception in Scotland, that there was in that country a general concurrence in favour of its principal provisions. I have not myself had the opportunity, among the other occupations of the Session, of following accurately the discussions that have taken place on it in Scotland, nor am I able to say whether there has been any change in the attitude of public opinion in that country. We introduced the Bill, and formed an expectation of carrying it, in the belief that it was not likely to be long or obstinately contested. If there has been no change of feeling in Scotland, I can say that there has also been none on the part of the Government. I cannot give precedence to the Scotch Education Bill over the measure that stands first on the Orders to-night, or over the Ballot Bill; but we still hope and intend, in immediate succession to these Bills, to persevere with the measure for improving Scotch education, on the understanding that I have already mentioned.