HC Deb 25 July 1873 vol 217 cc1007-22

Order for Third Reading read.


said, he could not allow the measure to pass without entering his protest against the principle it embodied, in an inversion of the old rule of law with regard to the onus probandi. He objected that in certain cases parents should be obliged to prove that they were not offenders against the law before any evidence had been offered in support of the charge in respect of which they had been summoned. That was a bad and dangerous principle, and he hoped never to see it extended.


hoped that the passing of the Bill would mark a great abatement—he could not hope for an entire cessation—of the political asperity which had arisen on the discussion of the question. The time had come when the efforts of all parties ought to be directed to making elementary education sound and efficient, rather than treating it as a political and party question. With regard to the schools which the Nonconformists had founded for elementary education, he believed in all cases religious training had been combined with secular education, and certainly that was universally the ease with respect to the schools of the British and Foreign Society which the Nonconformists had actively supported. He wished to make one or two remarks on a clause in the Bill to which much attention had not been devoted. The 13th clause was intended to give school boards the power to accept gifts for educational purposes, and in that he hoped he saw the germ of the future development of a somewhat higher class of education than had been general in the elementary schools. The Revised Code, though it had increased the quantity and in some respects the quality of education, had had the effect of diminishing the attention paid to the higher branches and to the more advanced scholars. There ought to be some system by which scholars distinguished by character and ability could pass into middle-class schools, and thence into such institutions as Owen's College, Manchester. He knew that the Vice President of the Council was afraid that such a system might lead to expense which would not be justified. In his (Mr. Birley's) opinion, there was no ground for such an apprehension. Private zeal would furnish what was necessary, and all that would be wanted from the Education Department would be some assistance in the way of organization and inspection. He congratulated the right hon. Gentleman on the result of his arduous labours. Whatever blemishes might be in the Bill, he still hoped it would have a good effect, and that numbers of children would be brought into the schools through its operation. He implored hon. Gentlemen opposite to put aside party dissensions, and to join with those on that (the Opposition) side in an honourable rivalry for the education of those poor children.


said, that his right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Council had told the House more than once that the 25th clause of the Act of 1870 was adopted unanimously by the House. He did not believe in any imputations of unbecoming arrangements on the part of the Government with the other side of the House, to make the Bill acceptable to either party; but the fact was, there were not half-a-dozen Members on either side of the House who really understood in 1870 the meaning and effect of the clause, otherwise it never would have passed as it did sub silentio. His right hon. Friend gave it to be understood more than once that the 25th clause should be re-considered; but that had not been done, and his right hon. Friend, by the course which he had taken, had thrown elements of disturbance among the religious party of the country which would be felt in the coming school board elections, and in the Parliamentary elections, and would, he believed, result in a loss to the Liberal party. The necessity for the existence of the clause at all was very small, and he deeply lamented that the right hon. Gentleman had not proposed its withdrawal. The amendment of the Act of 1870, which had been looked forward to so wistfully, had ended in bitter disappointment; and his right hon. Friend would find that at the next election he would be compelled to have recourse to the Conservative party in order to secure his return for the borough of Bradford, as he had had recourse to their assistance in that House in order to maintain the 25th clause. The Vice President of the Council had on that question departed from the principles of his youth, and of his full-grown manhood—["No, no!"]—hon. Gentlemen who said "no" should have read, as he (Mr. Candlish) had, the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman in his early life, at a time when the right hon. Gentleman's opinions were identical with his own. That had led him at one time to entertain the hope that the right hon. Gentleman would be the future leader of the great Liberal party. They had, however, been disappointed in the right hon. Gentleman; and he (Mr. Candlish) could not allow that occasion to pass without declaring his dissatisfaction at the course taken by the Government, and deploring the loss which in consequence would be sustained by the Liberal party.


said, the House would not expect any long discussion on that stage of the Bill. As to the objection of the hon. Member for Pembrokeshire (Mr. Scourfield), that the onus probandi was thrown on the parent, he might remind him that the illustration which he gave ought to be satisfactory to his hon. Friend, for in the Factory Acts it was found absolutely necessary to throw the same burden of proof on the parent for the protection of the child. He was sorry the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Candlish) had thought it necessary to make the remarks he had done. His hon. Friend could hardly have wished to convey the impression that he (Mr. Forster) on the part of the Government had acted differently from what he stated last year it would be his duty to do. His hon. Friend said that hopes were held out of the repeal of the 25th clause; but if his hon. Friend referred to what he stated, he (Mr. Candlish) would find that not once or twice, but oftener, in answer to Questions from his hon. Friend, from the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon). and others, he said he acknowledged the objections held by his hon. Friends, that he himself did not concur in them, that he would, if possible, remove them; but that he could hold out no hope whatever of doing so unless the right of the parent, when too poor to pay the school fees, to choose the school was reserved. He had always stated that they had no right, in putting compulsion in force, when there were two or more elementary schools from which the parent might choose, to say that the children should go to the schools which the school boards approved, and not to those approved by the parents. Everything, he stated, had that condition attached. That being so, the Government and he himself had done what they could to fulfil what he promised. They brought forward propositions for the purpose, and, on the high authority of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, had to some extent removed the objections to the clause felt by his hon. Friend and those who acted with him. It was true that before the plan was proposed, and before it was known what would be its exact form, it was objected to, or at least an opinion was expressed upon it before it was proposed. He had, however, hoped that full and candid consideration would have been given to it, because a similar provision was brought up in the Scotch Bill, and almost unanimously accepted. He thought it right to say that much in vindication of the course pursued by the Government. But his hon. Friend said he had not met the difficulty, but rather made it greater by applying it to pauper children. It was quite true that the right of choice was not taken away in the case of pauper children. But had his hon. Friend or any other hon. Member protested against the application of the right to pauper children? His hon. Friend voted for the second reading, when he (Mr. Forster) stated clearly that all that had been taken out of the Bill with the consent of the Government was with reference to the indigent parent, rather than the pauper. His hon. Friend had thought fit to foretell the reception that awaited him in his own borough in connection with this subject; but he should be able to state that so strong was the feeling of the House that the pauper should not be deprived of this right, that neither his hon. Friend nor any other hon. Member had ventured to propose to deprive him of it. He did not make these remarks in any feeling of irritation, but it was impossible to pass by some of the remarks of his hon. Friend. He said that he (Mr. Forster) had deserted the principles of his youth, and he spoke not only of the effect which would be produced on himself, but also on the party. That was hardly a remark that should have come from the hon. Member, who knew nothing of the principles in which he (Mr. Forster) had been brought up, and of which he had been so unworthy a representative; but the fact was, that education question had been one of great difficulty and responsibility to him, and he felt from time to time that he had to consider, not the good of his party, nor the advantage of any temporary measure, but what he thought was right and just in itself, and he knew from the lessons he had received from his old Quaker father, that there was not a step he had taken on this question, especially with regard to religious education, that he would not have approved. He was confirmed in that opinion by some of his persuasion who were now alive. Then as to the effect that would be produced on his own interests, did the hon. Member suppose that he should be afraid of that? He appealed to those who knew him intimately whether he had ever viewed these questions as they af- fected his own interest or those of his friends in preference to the manner in which they influenced the welfare of the country and the children of generations to come? He considered that he should be utterly unworthy of occupying the position he did if he allowed such considerations to have the slightest weight with him; and, looking forward to the opposition with which he was threatened in his own borough, he could assure the House that he did not fear the result. He was prepared to meet not only the whole constituency, but the Liberal constituency of Bradford, What the result might be he did not know; but he was quite sure that, after they had heard what he had stated, they would admit that he had acted in the manner which he thought best for the interests of education; and his firm conviction was that he should not be worthy of taking any part whatever in politics if he had either deserted his principles or lent himself to taking away the freedom of religious teaching in schools. When his hon. Friend said he had deserted his principles, his reply was, that so far as he had said anything in regard to education, he had simply repeated what he had always stated, and he would find that in addressing a large meeting at St. James's Hall, in the year 1868, he expressed the sentiments he had done now.


I feel that it may be thought presumptuous in me, a Parliamentary baby so lately born into this House, to venture to utter a word in its august presence. I plead in extenuation the fact that I have had a species of experience on the elementary education question, which I believe no other Gentleman present has had. I have for some years of my life had the honour—the high honour—of being in charge of a largo parish. It was a rural parish in an English midland county. During those years I have been in constant and intimate intercourse with the cottage labourers. I am intimately acquainted with their feelings, their views, wishes, and wants. My experience leads me to hail with the greatest satisfaction the amended Elementary Education Act Bill. I am convinced that the advantage likely to be derived from it can scarcely be exaggerated. The cottagers receiving out-door relief are precisely the class whom it is most difficult to induce to send their children to school. I shall mention an instance in point—a type of thousands of similar cases scattered throughout the country. I well remember a pauper family, the head of which was disabled by slight paralysis, and who was, therefore, a chronic ease of out-door relief. This man had a large family of children. Every means were tried to induce him to send them to school; we offered to pay their school fees; we assisted them with clothing; we plied the parents with arguments and entreaties, but all in vain. The children grew up wild and neglected; the girls became instruments of vice and immorality; the boys became poachers and vagrants; the whole family were the plague-spot of the parish. Now, what would we have given in those days for such powers as the amended Act of 1870 will confer on parish Guardians? Those children would all have been sent to school, and would probably have grown up to be useful members of the community. The hon. Member for Sunderland has stated that the results of the Act of 1870 were insignificant—that they were represented by an expenditure of only £5,000 a-year. My experience would quite have prepared me for this, because I know the rural Guardians to be a class of men who shrink from responsibility. The Act of 1870 was permissive, and therefore implied responsibility; the present Act is compulsory, and I feel convinced that the Guardians will gladly carry out the provisions of the Act, now that it will no longer entail responsibility or odium. Before I sit down I wish to say a few words on one point which has arisen during the debates upon this Bill, with reference to a different class to the out-door relief pauper. The hon. Member for Brighton, in his eloquent speech, said much about calling a spade a spade. He argued that if a man received parish relief in the shape of school fees for his children, that constituted him a pauper. I venture to join issue with him there. I deny that the spade in this instance is a spade. The definition of pauper is a man who cannot provide himself or his family with the physical necessaries of life, but education is not a physical necessary of life. Paupers are the failures and incapables of the community. There is a very large class who can and do provide their families with the necessaries of life, who cannot further afford the luxuries of education for their children, and whom, yet, it would be unjust and impolitic to brand as paupers. The cottager, who has fed and clothed half-a-score of children on 12s. a-week, and who has besides paid his provident club subscription, has, I think, done enough to entitle him to our earnest admiration. When the problem of making both ends meet has been so arduous we can scarcely expect that many pence, if any, will be left for school fees, and he may without reproach accept educational aid from the wealthier members of the community without being dubbed a pauper. What is it which nerves his arm, and furnishes the stimulus for this hard battle and struggle? Why, it is the honest feeling of self-respect and independence. It is his glory and his pride that he has never come upon the parish for food or clothing for his family. But if you now tell him that all that hard struggle has been in vain — that if he cannot, besides, pay his children's schooling, he is but a pauper after all, then you break that man's heart—his arm will fall nerveless by his side, and you will make him indeed what you have made him in name, a pauper. I trust that the hon. Member for Brighton who said—"Let us call a spade a spade," and also hon. Gentlemen who applauded the sentiment, will re-consider their verdict. I hope that they will call to mind the words of the poet—"Who robs me of my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed." I hope also that the hon. Member for Brighton will forgive me for challenging anything he has said, and will excuse me, too, for speaking a word in favour of my old and most sincerely esteemed friend, the labouring man.


said, the hon. Member for Sunderland (Mr. Candlish) had stated that the 25th clause was an outrage on his conscience. He wished to ask the House why his hon. Friend's conscience was entitled to respect, while his (Mr. Fowler's) was not. He had co-operated for many years past with Nonconformists in promoting ragged schools, and in those schools Churchmen and Dissenters had been able to work harmoniously together in inculcating these great truths in which they were agreed. He could not see why the same system should not be followed in Government schools. He was quite ready to contribute to schools in which the Nonconformists should teach their own religious views; but it was a violation of his conscience to support schools from which the Bible was excluded. He thought he had as much right to ask to have his scruples considered as hon. Gentlemen opposite. It had been a subject of great grief to him to see the Nonconformists, whom he had always believed to be sincerely attached to the Bible, ready to exclude it from education. He, however, rejoiced to believe that the policy of his right hon. Friend the Vice President was supported by an overwhelming majority of the people. They had seen how large the majority was in this House, and he believed it was still larger in the country, because many of the minority obtained their seats, not in consequence, but in spite, of their views on this question. There was one subject of a personal nature to which he wished to refer. The hon. Member for Sunderland had reproached the right hon. Gentleman with having abandoned the principles of his ancestors. Now, it had been his great privilege to know the parents and the family of his right hon. Friend, and he could bear witness that they had devoted their lives to philanthropy, and especially to religious education. He had himself, at the time the Education Bill was passing in 1870, visited a venerable friend of his—a near relation of the right hon. Gentleman—shortly before his death, and he expressed to him the great satisfaction he felt that his nephew had maintained the principle of Bible education.


shared the desire of the hon. Member for Manchester (Mr. Birley) to get rid of points of difference, and to unite all parties in promoting that degree of religious education which was wished for by the masses of the people. His complaint was, that in many districts where there was but one school—and that a National School—the schools were being to a large extent worked in suppport of Church principles. In 1870, he recognized the magnificent efforts which had been made denominationally, and therefore supported the Vice President, being simple enough to think that, in country districts where schools were scarce, some common ground for the inculcation of religious instruction would be found, and that it would be suitable to the entire population. It was exceedingly difficult to prove the contrary, because there was a great indisposition on the part of those affected to give evidence on the subject; but he know enough to be convinced that there was a large number of instances in which the Conscience Clause was inoperative, particularly in villages where there was no owner of property who sympathized with its spirit, and that persistent attempts were made to promote Church interests in the schools. That was accounted for by the fact that those standing high in the Church of England had given utterance to the most stimulating suggestions that the schools should be managed in the interests of the Church alone, that the teaching was to be dogmatic, and that teachers were to be secured who were members of the Church of England, and who would pay supreme regard to the preparation of children for confirmation. In proof of that, he might refer to speeches of Lord Lyttelton, the Rev. Canon Norris (Inspector), the Bishops of Lichfield, Ely, Peterborough, and Gloucester, and the report of the National Society; and he would contrast, with their utterances, those of Dr. Fraser, Bishop of Manchester, who said that the Birmingham League was greatly misunderstood, and that on its platform clergymen might very well maintain a position which would show they were not afraid to act upon a common ground, on a subject on which they were supposed to have deep feelings. He could not be a party to the third reading of this Bill without appealing to hon. Members to shake themselves loose from Church prejudices, so that they might get to the end of these bickerings about Church and Chapel, and exert themselves in a united and hearty movement for the thorough education of the people. He especially appealed to the Vice President, who apparently had failed to see anything of danger that needed to be checked. He must, at the same time, tell him there was not one word in the Bill that touched in the remotest degree the grievance of which Nonconformists complained. As a Nonconformist, he protested against the application of public money to these purposes, and if that spirit continued to be manifested, it was child's play to talk of any cessation of the present agitation.


said, he would not enter into a discussion on the third reading of the Bill; but he would say that the efforts of the Church on educational matters had been recognized on all occasions, and he did not think the claims they put forward were extravagant. The House had not expressed any regret at the passing of the 25th clause, and he attributed the agitation against it to jealousy of the Church, rather than zeal for education. He should not care much if the maintenance of the clause did split up the Liberal party. A maintenance of the struggle on the question must only end in disgusting the people of England, and increasing their sympathy for Church and denominational education.


The right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down (Sir Charles Adderley) ought to show some consideration for those who contend for what is called secular education in day schools, for there was a time when he himself shared their views. When the late Mr. Fox, then Member for Oldham, some years ago introduced into this House a Bill for secular education, the right hon. Baronet, much to his honour as I think, strenuously supported that measure. He has probably changed his views; but he ought not to be hard on those whom he has deserted. I will not enter into the controversy between my hon. Friend the Member for Sunderland (Mr. Candlish) and the Vice President of the Council, as to whether the latter has forsaken the principles of his youth; but I have always understood that the religious body among whom he was brought up, held this as one of their fundamental principles—that the application of public money, extracted from the pockets of the people by taxation, to teaching religion, whether in church or chapel or school, is not consistent with the freedom and purity of the Christian dispensation. But I arise principally to protest against the use that has been made of the word "sectarian" in the discussions that have taken place on the Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) fell into the use of the merest clap-trap, when the other day he spoke of "sectarian wrangling" and took care by what he said before and after, very distinctly to point the application of the phrase to the Nonconformists. I suppose there must be something very fascinating to the ear and heart in a loud cheer, especially when it comes from the ranks of your opponents. I infer that from the pains that are taken, and the sacrifices that are made to gain it. But the danger is, of being betrayed into clap-trap, in trying to secure the enjoyment. And I must say I think the hon. Member for Brighton has been a little exposed to the temptation of late of courting the applause of the party opposite, rather more than some of his friends think quite safe. Nothing can be more utterly unfair and unjust than to apply the epithet "sectarian" to the course taken by the Nonconformists on this education question. We are emphatically the unsectarian party. We are contending for national against sectarian education. The simple truth is—and it is vain to attempt to disguise the fact—that the conflict in which we are engaged is only a part of that which is going on all over Europe, and in respect to which the whole of the Liberal party in every country in Europe are at one—against delivering up the education of the people into the hands of the priesthood. Then we are charged with inconsistency, because we refuse the application of rates for denominational education, while we sanction it in Parliamentary grants. But who has sanctioned it in Parliamentary grants? Not the Nonconformists. On the contrary, they have steadfastly and consistently opposed it. If my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton has followed the history of Nonconformist opinion on this subject, he must be aware that for many years the great body of the Nonconformists opposed State education altogether, and especially, and emphatically on this ground—that the appropriation of public money by Votes from the Consolidated Fund to denominational, or oven to religious teaching of any kind, was a clear violation of their principles and a wrong done to conscience. In 1843, at one of the largest and most important conferences of the Congregational Body ever held in this country, this resolution was carried unanimously— That this meeting, utterly repudiating, on the strongest grounds of Scripture and conscience, the receipt of money raised by taxation for sustaining the Christian religion, feels bound to apply this principle no less to the work of religious education. And they gave the best proof of their sincerity by refusing to accept the grant for their own schools, and so placing themselves at an enormous disadvantage. And their views on this subject have been expressed in this House with perfect explicitness. My right hon. Friend the Member for Birmingham, in the debate on the Minutes of Council in 1817, though he was almost the only Nonconformist in the House, with characteristic courage spoke out our sentiments fully. The Nonconformists were charged with "clamour" then, as they are now charged with "sectarian wrangling," and in reply to this, my right hon. Friend said— Just recollect, when the whole of the Nonconformists are charged with clamour, what they mean by being Nonconformists. They object, as I understand, at least I object, to the principle by which the Government seizes hold of public funds to give salaries and support to the teachers of all sects of religion, or of one sect of religion, for I think the one plan nearly as unjust as the other."—[3 Hansard, xci. 1094.] Perhaps I may be asked why, if we object to Parliamentary grants for denominational education, we do not oppose those grants when they are brought forward in the Votes? For a very obvious reason, and one which I think is not dishonourable to us. Because we know that, however opposed to our principles they may be, Parliament and the country were committed to those grants many years ago, at a time when we, the Nonconformists, had scarcely any voice in this House at all, and that many schools which have done and are doing excellent service in the work of popular education—and I have always ungrudgingly acknowledged the great service which the Church of England has rendered in the cause of education—have been established on the public faith that the grants would be continued. We felt that it would be unfair and unjust to attempt to withdraw suddenly the aid on which the strength of such schools has been led to depend. To allow a system which has come down to us from past times, to remain without active or immediate resistance, is one thing; but to allow the same system to be recognized and consecrated in a new direction, and by fresh legislation, is quite another thing. There is a a great disposition to sneer at the conscientious objections alleged by the Nonconformists on this matter. Well, they have given at least some proofs of their sincerity, when they have pleaded conscience on former occasions. For ages they submitted to be deprived of all the most precious privileges of citizenship, of the right of filling any office in the service of their country, of the honour of a seat in this House, and of the priceless advantages of University education, because their conscientious religious convictions stood in the way of their complying with the conditions by which those rights and privileges might be enjoyed. I must repeat again, what I have often said in this House—that the position taken by the Nonconformists on this subject is misunderstood, if not misrepresented. We do not ask for education without religion. I will yield to no man in this House, or in the country, in my anxiety to secure religious education for the people of this country. I believe that the best basis for a virtuous and prosperous population, is to have a population thoroughly imbued with religious principle and feeling. We only ask that religious instruction should be given by those to whom it could be best discharged, parents of the children, ministers of religion, and the teachers in our Sunday schools.


said, he felt it his duty to bear his testimony to the conscientious, consistent, and useful course taken by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Forster) during that long educational controversy. For several years he himself had been opposed to his right hon. Friend, not indeed on great and essential points, but in regard to the intervention of the State. They had both been advocates of the universal education of the people, of freedom of education, and of the combining of religious with secular teaching. His right hon. Friend and himself had supported the system of undenominational Bible instruction which was founded 60 years since by the British and Foreign School Society, under Joseph Lancaster, the Duke of Bedford, and others; and among the life-long friends of that society were the father and uncle of his right hon. Friend. He knew the writings and speeches of his right hon. Friend on the subject, and he bore witness that his conduct had been straightforward and consistent. Where they had differed, he was ready to say that his right hon. Friend had generally been in the right, and he (Mr. Baines) in the wrong. Yet he had not been altogether in the wrong. He had foreseen the enormous difficulties that would arise on the score of religious teaching, when Government should take the national education under its control. Perhaps he and his Nonconformist Friends had strained their religious scruples; but he must be permitted to point out the great change which had taken place in the attitude of Government and Parliament, and which seemed to him to justify his own change of action. In the Minutes of Council of 1846, introduced by that venerable friend of education, Earl Russell, it was made an absolute condition of a school receiving a Parliamentary grant, that it should give religious instruction, or at least should have the Bible read daily. His hon. Friend the Member for Bristol (Mr. Morley) and himself went to the Government during the Administration of the Earl of Derby, as a deputation from an influential meeting of Nonconformists held in the metropolis, and urged that that condition should be withdrawn. They said they gave, and should continue to give religious instruction in their schools; but they could not do it at the dictation of the Government, or receive a pecuniary bonus for doing it; and they wished that the Government should neither enforce nor prohibit religious teaching, but leave that element to the supporters of the schools, and confine their own action and superintendence to the secular department, and should aid secular schools as well as religious. That was precisely what had been done by his right hon. Friend (Mr. Forster) in the Education Act of 1870. In that Act it was over and over again declared that the grant was made exclusively for the secular teaching; the School Inspectors were instructed not to examine in religious subjects; a strict Conscience Clause was enacted; the use of religious formularies was forbidden in board schools; and it was left to the school boards, elected by the whole body of the ratepayers, to decide whether there should be any religious teaching in their schools, and of what character it should be. The Act was a purely secular Act. When some of the Nonconformists objected to grants being still made to denominational schools, he thought they were mistaken; because the grants were made purely for the secular teaching; and he knew of no Nonconformist principle that forbade the State from making grants even to religious bodies for secular education, provided they were made to religious and secular bodies impartially. Before he sat down he must be allowed to express an opinion that would be distasteful to seine of his hon. Friends opposite who were very sensitive as to any increase of rates. He must declare that he believed the question of national education would never be effectually settled until a school board was elected, and at least one undenominational school opened in every school district of the kingdom. At present an enormously disproportionate amount of public money was granted to Church schools, and in many parishes there was no school but a Church school to which Nonconformist children could go. He did not blame those who had provided the schools, and he would not consent to do them injustice or to break faith with them. But Churchmen must see that Nonconformists were not likely to be satisfied with a system which practically forced their children into Church schools; and he believed it would be the best policy of the friends of the Church to promote, rather than oppose, the establishment of undenominational board schools, to which Dissenters could with satisfaction send their children.


said, that if unsectarian schools were to be established in every district for the children of Dissenters, as recommended by the hon Member for Leeds (Mr. Baines), Churchmen might ask that school boards should also establish schools which should be satisfactory to Churchmen. Churchmen preferred that children should receive what they believed to be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, and, as a mere rate-paying question, if Nonconformists were entitled to have unsectarian schools set up by authority of Parliament, the Members of the Church of England were equally entitled to have schools set up that would be suitable to them.

Bill read the third time, and passed.