HC Deb 13 May 1873 vol 215 cc1875-960

Sir, I rise for the purpose of submitting to the House the Motion which stands in my name on the Paper, with regard to the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners in reference to the future management of Emanuel Hospital; and I am sure I shall not misinterpret the feelings of the House, when I say, that there are few, or no hon. Members on either side of the House who, taking an interest in the question, do not share in the satisfaction which I now feel in, at length, finding myself possessed of an opportunity of inviting the House to a thorough discussion upon the whole question, and also of taking the opinion of the House upon the important issues which are necessarily connected with it. I do not suppose that the House will expect from me many words in the nature of apology or explanation with regard either to the Motion itself or the importance of it at the present moment. With regard to the terms of the Motion, they are prescribed by the Act of Parliament, and in reference to the position which I occupy, speaking from these benches, from the occupants of which I do not expect any general support, I hope I may be permitted to state that I am here in willing recognition of a duty which I consider I owe to those whom I have the honour to represent in this House. The constituency which I represent includes within it not only the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, the Governors of Emanuel Hospital, but also the Corporation at large—deeply interested, as they are, in Christ's Hospital, and similar institutions, as well as the various City Guilds and Companies who have so many other endowments of a similar character intrusted to their care. Under these circumstances, I should certainly have failed in the duty which I owe to the great Bodies whom I represent if I had, for a single moment, hesitated from any personal consideration to render, and that most willingly, any assistance which may be in my power in bringing before this House the grounds upon which they conceive that the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners with reference to Emanuel Hospital ought not to proceed any further. Now, Sir, allow me to state to the House a few words with regard to the endowment of this Hospital. The endowment of Emanuel Hospital had its origin in a bequest which was made by Anne, the widow of Lord Dacre and sister of the Lord High Treasurer Buckhurst, bearing date about 280 years back, by which that benevolent lady assigned the revenues of a certain manor, Brandisburton, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, together with other moneys, in trust for the erection and support of a Hospital for the relief and maintenance of 20 poor persons and "the bringing up of 20 poor children in virtue and good and laudable arts in the said Hospital, whereby they might the better live in time to come by their honest labour." That being so, the trustees of Lady Dacre's will, in the course of time, preferred a request to the Crown, in accordance with which, in the year 1601, a Charter of Incorporation was granted, under which the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London were appointed after the death of the surviving executors to be the trustees for ever for the management of the affairs of Emanuel Hospital. And I think that the House will not be surprised when I state that there existed obvious reasons why the Corporation of London should have been selected. Lady Dacre was grand-daughter of Sir George Brydges, a former Lord Mayor of London, and had passed some portion of her early life within the City of London. That, I think, the House will consider a sufficient reason why she should have suggested that the Lord Mayor and Aldermen should be the trustees under her will. [Mr. GLADSTONE appeared to express dissent from this last observation.] Sir, I do not think the right hon. Gentleman ought to interrupt me in my narration of the simple facts, because the right hon. Gentleman will have an opportunity hereafter of answering me and of correcting any misstatements should I make any. The fact, I may tell the House, was mentioned to me on the previous day by a gentleman who told me that he had it from a person who knew what he was talking about. Well, now, Sir, the history of it is this—Lady Dacre was daughter of Mr. Sackville, who had married the daughter of the Lord Mayor, Sir George Brydges, and I cannot help thinking that there is nothing whatever unreasonable in the suggestion that the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London should, therefore, have had the preference over the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, or the Corporation of Westminster, with its Lord High Steward, High Bailiff, and 24 Burgesses, as the Governors of the Institution in Westminster for carrying out the purposes of the trust. The manor of Brandisburton was let, in accordance with Lady Dacre's wishes, for the long term of 100 years; hut in the course of years the leases of the manor fell in, and the value of the trust property having become largely augmented, as would naturally be the case after a lapse of years, the trustees extended from time to time the benefits of the Hospital to a larger number of persons than those who originally partook of them. And amongst those who took an active part in the management of the trust, I have found the names of Sir John Barnard and Sir Richard Carr Glyn, whom, I may observe, I mention for the purpose of dispelling any notion which may have been prevalent as to times gone by that jobbery in things of that kind was as rampant in the City as they are generally supposed to have been. This condition of things has remained ever since, and, as far as I can tell, the only charge against the Governors—the only charge I have ever heard—is that they did not anticipate the change which has occurred in public opinion, and that, instead of applying to the Court of Chancery or to Parliament for enlarged powers for the purpose of carrying out, on an extended scale, the trusts which had been confided to them, they have simply confined themselves to the strict execution of' the trust. I now come to the Royal Commission, which was appointed some 10 or 12 years ago, for the purpose of inquiring into the Endowed Schools on account of the insufficiency of the power of the Charity Commissioners to deal with these endowments, and I most willingly bear testimony to the assiduity, diligence, attention, and zeal of the Commissioners, and to the value of the Report which they presented to the House upon the conclusion of their arduous labours. One of the first acts of the present Government, after they had come into office, was the introduction of a Bill, one of the principal objects of which was designed to carry out the recommendations of the Endowed Schools Inquiry Commissioners by the appointment of Commissioners whose duty it would be to prepare schemes for the future management of School Endowments, which, having passed through certain prescribed forms, would be laid before Parliament, and take effect, by being imported into the statute law of the Kingdom, if within 40 days objection had not been taken to them. I need not tell the House that the Bill excited much apprehension throughout the country, that that apprehension was expressed in this House, and that deputations—I may mention notably one from Bristol—waited upon my right hon. Friend (Mr. W. E. Forster), who made to them declarations similar to those which he subsequently stated in the House of Commons. On moving the second reading of the Bill, my right hon. Friend, after referring to some cases of gross abuse, admitted that many of the schools were good, and said— I could point to several most excellent schools which we discovered in the course of our inquiry, and since I introduced the Bill I have found objections made to it, not by the bad schools—they never come near me—but by some of these good schools. They are afraid of the Bill sow, I wish to assure them and the House that it is not for the good schools that Bill is framed. We cannot, of course, exempt such schools by name for in that case there would be no end to endeavours to obtain it; but schools which are well managed need fear nothing from the operation of a Bill which is to introduce good management."—[3 Hansard, cxciv., 1362.] Now, Sir, the effect which was produced by these words of the right hon. Gentleman uttered in the present Parliament, and therefore within the recollection of many hon. Members, is shown by the debate which followed. The hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope) who rose to address the House after my right hon. Friend, expressed the relief which such an assurance had given him, and I myself, and many other hon. Members did so likewise, the result being that the Bill which had been threatened with much opposition for a considerable time passed its second reading without a division, and that at an hour which permitted a Tests Bill to occupy the remainder of the night. Such being the effect, let me ask the House what was the intention of the statement. I am perfectly sure that my right hon. Friend never could have meant to take the slightest advantage of the House, for I am sure I echo the general feeling in saying that no man from the manner in which he has conducted public business is more entitled to the confidence of the House than he is. In point of fact my quarrel is not with the Minister but with the Endowed Schools Commissioners, who in carrying out the Act have thrown overboard the assurance which was given by my right hon. Friend. I wish at once to state to the House that I desire to say nothing whatever disparaging of the three gentlemen who were nominated Commissioners—Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Arthur Hobhouse, at that time one of the Charity Commissioners, and Canon Robinson, for it would certainly be most improper to impute to those gentlemen that they had in the slightest degree been governed by any other motive than the same conscientious feeling to perform their duty, for which I claim credit myself. But I must be permitted to say, that they have avowedly and designedly thrown over the declarations of my right hon. Friend, and in proof of this statement I would beg to quote to the House Lord Lyttelton's remarks in the House of Lords on the 30th of June, the year before last, 1871, when the first scheme for the management of the Hospital was rejected by that House. That noble Lord upon that occasion said— It was not for him to attempt to defend the words of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Forster) which had been so often quoted; but the Endowed Schools Commissioners did not stand upon the words of any Minister of the Crown, or of anyone whatever, but upon the Reports of the School Inquiry Commission, to which the noble Marquess (the Marquess of Salisbury) had not once referred, and the recommendations of which they maintained they were endeavouring to carry into effect in their schemes. They stood also upon the terms of the Act of Parliament, in which not a word was said about bringing abuse and mismanagement home to the present managers of the schools."—[3 Hansard, ccvii. 874.] Having read to the House the remarks made by Lord Lyttelton upon that occasion, on the 30th June, 1871, I think I may be permitted to say that although the course which has been taken by the Commissioners might possibly be strictly within the letter of the Act of Parliament it certainly is not within its spirit, and that it is contrary to the entire feeling of the country at the present moment. Further, I say that if it was not their duty it would at least have been wise and discreet on the part of the Commissioners, not at once, in the first instance which came under their notice, to push as they have to the extreme the powers with which they asserted they were intrusted under the Act. If, instead of communicating in wordy letters penned with the intention of every word remaining as a record of the mighty vein in which their opinions were expressed, they had at the outset invited the Lord Mayor and other Governors of Emanuel Hospital to discuss matters with them in a friendly, quiet, and practical way before anything was reduced to writing—if this had been done I venture to think there would have been very little of all this trouble. But what was the course which was taken upon that occasion? The Governors of Emanuel Hospital prepared a scheme from which scheme the Commissioners disagreed and then prepared one of their own in which principles were asserted and provisions included, which naturally raised a feeling on the part of the Governors against that scheme. Without going into detail, which might weary the House, the resulting consequence was that a very long and wordy war ensued between the two parties, which ultimately ended in the Commissioners adhering to the scheme which they had propounded, and its being laid upon the Table of both Houses of Parliament, shortly after which it was rejected by the other House. Well, Sir, the breath was hardly out of the body of the defunct scheme when the Commissioners returned to the charge and lost no time in preparing a second scheme, and upon that another long correspondence of a very recriminatory character upon both sides passed, and eventually the matter was carried up by appeal to the Queen in Council, and the Court of Appeal heard and decided the question at issue between the litigant parties, not upon the merits of the scheme itself, which were not under its cognizance, but only upon points connected with its legality. I trust the House will forgive me for saying that I hope a decision will not be come to upon a false issue. The House should bear in mind that they are not pitting the one scheme against the other. The scheme of the Governors is not before the House. It has now to consider the scheme of the Commissioners only, and although the present scheme differs very much from the former one, and if I may be permitted to say so, certainly shows the wisdom of the other House in rejecting it, although the present scheme is better than the first which was propounded, and more palatable to those it affects—the Governors of the Hospital, it is one which, under all the circumstances of the case, I venture to submit, ought not now to be accepted. It is not fair to the Governors, I submit, that they should be called upon to give their consent to a scheme which contains some of the most, to say the least of them, controvertible propositions, at a time when they are under the examination of a Committee sitting up-stairs. The whole question of the very existence of the Commission—its powers and all the many matters raised in these angry discussions are at the present moment sub judice before the Select Committee to which I have referred. It might have been reasonable to have simply proposed that the consideration of the scheme upon the Table should be postponed until that Committee had reported, but unfortunately the House is in this position, that if the scheme be not disapproved before the 6th of June next, it will become the law of the land. Although the Committee up-stairs has sat now for a considerable length of time, I am debarred by the Rules of the House from taking any cognizance of the evidence which has been given before it, notwithstanding the general nature of that evidence might be collected from the newspapers of the clay. At the same time, however, it is fortunate that I am not prevented from referring to things which have been said by the Commissioners at an earlier period, and which they now set forth as the guiding rule of their policy. At a meeting of the Social Science Association, held on the 8th of June, 1869, when the Bill was passing through Parliament, a paper bearing very much upon that question was read, and then Mr. Hobhouse—at that time a Charity Commissioner, and about to be appointed one of the Endowed Schools Commissioners—in the course of discussion made use of the following extraordinary language. And I tell the House at once that I quote it in order to show what were the ideas prevalent in the minds of gentlemen who were then about to be intrusted with the functions of that Commission. Mr. Hobhouse, upon the occasion I have alluded to, used these extraordinary words— To talk of the piety or benevolence of people who give property to public uses is a misuse of language, springing from confusion of ideas. As a matter of fact, I believe, as I have elsewhere said more at length, that donors to public uses are less under the guidance of reason and conscience and more under the sway of the baser passions than other people. Now, Sir, I cannot help saying that those words, distilled, as it were, from flint, are the words which fell from the mouth of a "Charity" Commissioner. Some Members of this House were present not very long ago on the occasion of the interesting ceremonial of the foundation stone of the Chapel of Keble College at Oxford being laid. I should like to know what would be the feelings of Mr. William Gibbs, who towards the close of his long well-spent life, in giving a portion of his hard-earned gains to the purposes of the building of that Chapel, if he were to be told that he was "under the sway of the baser passions" of human nature. In point of fact I can hardly read such language to the House with patience, and yet the gentleman who used it, and was about to take those principles as his guide, was appointed to be an Endowed Schools Commissioner. We have been told that Corporations have no bowels of compassion and no conscience; but the Grocers' Company only the other day gave £20,000 to aid in building and endowing a wing at the London Hospital. Let me ask the House, was this an act dictated by the baser passions of human nature? And yet some day we may see an attempt made upon some pretext or other to lay hands upon such an endowment as that. Mr. Hobhouse went on to say— Having now reviewed the principal doctrines and arguments on this subject, I am in a position to state the two simple principles which should be established with respect to foundations. The first is that the public should not be compelled to take whatever is offered to it. The second principle is that the grasp of the dead hand should be shaken off absolutely and finally. The dead hand! That is to say, if they take the money, when the donor was dead and gone they might appropriate the endowment to what ever purpose they might please. At the time, Lord Lyttelton said, that if he and Mr. Hobhouse were allowed to do that which they certainly should feel it their duty to attempt, "the pious Founders would go to the wall." And he (Lord Lyttelton) added that— He still doubted whether managers of endowed schools had not some cause to complain that they were not placed under the control of men of less pronounced views upon the subject than himself and Mr. Hobhouse. Now, Sir, I think I need not tell the House that the natural result of such views being entertained in such a quarter was that they were carried out in the scheme which is now lying upon the Table of the House. And it is because I object to principles like these being allowed to remain as the governing principles in the minds of the Commissioners that I do ask the House to pause until the Committee up-stairs has decided what course it will take, and Parliament has come to a conclusion as to whether it will be desirable to continue the Commission in its present shape, or in any way to alter its constitution. It is for these reasons, which I think the House will view as reasons of a public character, that I do ask the House to withold its assent to the present scheme. I do not for a single moment mean to deny that the scheme of the Commis- sioners is not in some respects a good scheme, but I find that in it which I contend the Governing Body are justified in opposing. It is certainly not to be expected that they should approve their unceremonious removal from the government of the Hospital or the manner in which it is proposed to divert the endowment from the purposes to which it was originally dedicated by Lady Daere. The executors under the will of that benevolent lady drew up rules for the government of the Charity, and the purposes for which it was intended were clearly explained. It is perfectly evident that the poor whom she had in her mind were not persons living by daily labour, but persons who having been in a better position of life had through some unavoidable misfortune and not through any fault of their own, become reduced in circumstances. I maintain that the children of such persons are those whom Lady Dacre intended to benefit. And of these there are many cases such as that of a widowed mother having three or four children, for whom she managed to gain a scanty subsistence from needlework, keeping herself and them off the parish to whom the word "poor" may be properly applied and to whom the advantages of the endowment might be properly extended. It is now said that no children are to be allowed admission into the school unless they can pass a certain examination; but it is perfectly absurd to suppose that a child of seven years of age, born of parents in the circumstances I have just mentioned, can be prepared for such an examination in writing and the rules of arithmetic as is proposed. There are, no doubt, certain exhibitions to be granted, but if they are to be conferred upon the boys entering the school, I should like to know of what advantage can they be to children of the age and in the position I have been speaking of. The Governors of the Hospital are charged with seeking to maintain patronage in their own hands purely for the purpose of patronage, and the inhabitants of Westminster, on the other hand, are claiming for themselves the exclusive right to the benefit of the endowment. A handbill was lately published, calling a meeting in Westminster, to protest against the "scandalous abuses" of the Charity by the City, and demanding that it should be applied for the benefit of "the rightful owners—namely, the deserving poor of the City of Westminster and Chelsea." That meeting was presided over by an hon. Member of this House, the Member for Hertfordshire (Mr. Brand), who, claiming to be a descendant of Lady Dacre, alleged that she had endowed the Charity solely for the benefit of the poor of Westminster and Chelsea. Now, Sir, I think I shall be able to show that this statement is far from being well founded. I hold in my hand a list of the children now in this Hospital, from which it will appear that out of the 58 poor children now its inmates, there are 29 taken from Westminster, 3 from Chelsea, 2 from Hayes, 6 from Brandisburton, and 17 from London. There is in one instance a blank against the name of a child, in the column which should show the place it came from, and I think the House will be surprised to hear, that although the hon. Member for Hertfordshire presided upon the meeting in which it was claimed that the Charity should be applied solely for the benefit of the poor of Westminster and Chelsea, the child in question had come from Hertfordshire, having been admitted by the Governors in contravention of the rules, at the expressed request of Lord Dacre. I trust I shall be able to show that the charity was never intended for the benefit of the poor of Westminster and Chelsea more than for the poor of any other places. There is nothing either in the will, or in the Charter of Incorporation of the Charity, which justifies the claim which has been put forward on behalf of those districts. The charity was incorporated under the name of the "poor of Emanuel Hospital in or near Westminster, in the County of Middlesex," and not of the "poor of Westminster and Chelsea." After the means of the Hospital had increased, the Governors resolved that the number of inmates should be augmented, but they expressly declared that they did not find anything in the will of Lady Dacre, or in the Charter of Incorporation, or in the Act of Parliament of 1794, which limited admission to the benefits of the Charity to the poor of any particular district, and acting upon this view, they nominated children from among the poor of the City of London as well as of other places. Now, Sir, I do not wish to take up the time of the House longer than is really necessary for the purpose of placing as succinctly and as shortly as possible before you the real circumstances of this case. I think that I have shown, as regards the administration of the affairs of the Hospital, that the Governors of that Hospital have not subjected themselves to the charge of having in any way misappropriated or mismanaged the affairs of the charity, and that they have not departed from the terms of the will of Lady Dacre. I submit to the House that I have further shown that the Governors are willing to enter upon a different course of instruction in the School. All that the Governors contend for is that they shall not be removed from the management of the School without any default on their part having been shown. I need scarcely refer the House to the high position which is at the present moment held by the City of London School in support of my argument. I submit that the City of London is capable of managing such institutions as these with perfect success. With regard to the religious view of the question, I may state that of the five Aldermen of the City of London who hold seats in the House at this moment, four are Nonconformists, and one is of the Jewish persuasion, and that, therefore, it can scarcely be said that the Church of England would be likely to exercise any denominational influence in the management of the School. Sir, on the whole I trust that I have made out a case which justifies me in appealing to the House not to approve the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. I think I have shown that the Governors, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, have not only not abused their trust, but that, on the other hand, they have conscientiously carried out the trust which was confided to them by its benevolent Foundress, and that I am justified in appealing to the House not to approve of this scheme. I therefore beg to move the Resolution of which I have given Notice.


I rise to second the Motion; but I trust that I shall not be supposed in doing so to put myself forward as in any way impugning the abstract merits of the scheme proposed by the Endowed Schools Commissioners. Irrespective of the question of whether it is a school which ought rightly to be built on the ruins of old Emanuel Hospital, it is a proposal of a broad and liberal character; and as both that scheme and the one proposed by the Governors of the Hospital are good in their way, I shall be glad to see them both carried out in Westminster, where there are, Heaven knows, room enough and numbers of poor children enough not only for these, but for many more, similar foundations. In the debate upon the question in "another place" which led to the defeat of the Commissioners' first scheme, the agony was piled high, and it was vehemently alleged that if the plan of the Endowed Schools Commissioners were not at once adopted, a grand opportunity would be lost which could not recur again. On the other hand, I contend that considering the state of misunderstanding which, as I shall show, exists, as to the animus of the Commission, and having regard to its being at this moment on its trial before a Committee of this House, nothing can be lost by a seasonable delay in determining upon the proper scheme under which such an endowment should be administered. In the debate on the second reading of the Endowed Schools Bill on the 15th of March, 1869, my right hon. Friend (Mr. W. E. Forster) emphatically assured the House that it was not against the good schools that the Bill was framed. He said— since I introduced this Bill I have found objections made to it, not by the bad schools—they never come near me—but by some of the good schools. They are afraid of the Bill. Now, I wish to assure them and the House that it is not for the good schools that the Bill is framed. We cannot, of course, exempt such schools by name, for in that case there would be no end to endeavours to obtain it, but schools which are well managed need fear from the operation of a Bill which is to introduce good management."—[3 Hansard, cxciv. 1362.] The right hon. Gentleman is too honest to deceive the House, and too much of a statesman to be a tactician. But his promise has not been carried out. The two men who have falsified that pledge are two of the most honest and upright men in the country—my right hon. Friend is one, and the other is my very old and honoured Friend Lord Lyttelton, whose transparent honesty and earnestness shine in every action of his life. Neither of them, I am sure, ever had any intention to mislead either Parliament or the country; but the cross currents of the controversy were too strong for them, and they have drifted from their moor- ings. I regret that two such men should have put themselves in a position absolutely false and untenable. It is a great warning to my Friends on this side of the House, for none of them know to what they may come if they are reduced to the unhappy dilemma of walking across the floor, and taking that bench. At that time, however, Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Hobhouse, and Mr. Robinson were myths. The Endowed Schools Commissioners were not yet appointed. The recommendations of that first Commission, which examined into the condition of our endowed schools, and on which the Act is professedly framed, no doubt laid down a wide scheme of very trenchant alteration; but it was qualified altogether by the proposal that the reform should in all cases be carried out by "provincial boards"—that is, by local bodies of men of intelligence and county position, acting under central control, but conversant with, and accessible to, local claims and circumstances. But matters assumed a very different colour when, by the Bill, the management was instead proposed to be given to an irresponsible secret trio sitting in Victoria Street. I myself, following the right hon. Gentleman in the debate, pointed out the alarm already caused by the power proposed to be vested in the "triumvirate" to initiate, to reform, to alter schemes, subvert constitutions, and recast the whole arrangements of the numerous endowed schools of England. I do not for one moment say that is my right hon. Friend's intention, for he has disclaimed it in emphatic terms; but it must be remembered that the animus imponentis is not necessarily what governs any law." [3 Hansard, cxciv. 1383.] Referring to "apprehension," I observed— My right hon. Friend said to the good schools,—'Don't be afraid, our Bill does not touch you; it is merely for the bad schools.' But, in fact, it does touch the good schools as well as the bad. It sweeps in, with some named exceptions, every endowed school, great or small, more than 30 years old."—[Ibid.] That was the original proposal, although in Committee we succeeded in extending the period to 50 years. I will now turn from these comforting assurances of the right hon. Gentleman to an extraordinary Blue Book couched in touching, not to say plaintive accents, by the Endowed Schools Commissioners, and published last year. We have heard of the Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ from a man of eminence, but this is the first time that a public body in the position of a Commission has put forward an Apologia pro Vitâ Suâ. It is an appeal to the merciful consideration of the House from a moribund Commission, and it sets forth how great have been its endeavours and its failures, and how persecuted it has been of gods and men. It has not been able to abolish Greek even in the borough of Bradford. The House of Commons thought, when they were passing the Endowed Schools Act, that the word of the right hon. Gentleman was as good as his bond, and yet, what is the gloss which the Commission of Three put upon the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, and what is their definition of their duties in regard to schools, both good and bad? It appears from their defence that they regarded themselves at liberty to re-model the institutions of the governing bodies of schools throughout the country, whether cases of abuse lead arisen or not. They say— It will be desirable also to advert to one general issue that has been raised, and which, if it were ultimately to be decided contrary to the views which we ourselves have been acting on, would in our judgment, most seriously interfere with the working of the Act. Are we at liberty to re-model the constitution of these governing bodies throughout the country on general principles, proceeding on the accumulated experience of many previous generations, which, in our opinion, as in that of the Schools Inquiry Commissioners, point to the conclusion that existing systems of appointment are defective and inexpedient, and that they need to be reformed on some such principles as we have adopted? Or are we abound to look at each case, estimate the actual balance of good and. evil which in each such case can, whether in consequence or in spite of the actual form of government, be shown to have resulted, and deal with the question of the Governing Body accordingly? Or, to put it more definitely, and in the form which the contention has actually been found to assume, are we to leave a given Governing Body materially unaltered in its composition, unless we can establish against it a case of abuse or breach of trust? We have acted on the former view. We conceive that the latter proceeds on a misconception of the whole bearing of the Schools Inquiry Report and of the Endowed Schools Act. Thus not only are the pious Founders to go to the wall, but the pious trustees also. How is the House to reconcile these views with the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman that it was only the bad schools that had anything to fear from the Act? The Vice President of the Council may say that the Commissioners might set up a different school with different objects, income, masters, mistresses, trustees, and everything else, and yet that he had kept faith with the House, if only it appears with the same name as that of the institution which it has supplanted. He may say that it was the same school, just as the Irishman's was the same knife after it had got a new haft and a new blade. But would that be dealing fairly with men of sense and honour? What did the right hon. gentleman mean by a school? Did he mean the bricks and mortar, the desks, and the forms upon which the scholars sat, or the human souls by whom the school was directed, who watched over its discipline, finances, and teaching? Of course he meant the latter. The right hon. Gentleman may lay the blame upon those enfants terribles the three Commissioners, who did not care for anything he had said, and who looked only to the Act of Parliament. But who was the parent of the Act, which defined the duties and responsibilities of the Commission? Who had appointed the Commissioners, and approved their successive schemes? Why, the right hon. Gentleman. I acquit the right hon. Gentleman of any attempt to play with our credulity. He may appeal to his good intentions; he has had enough no doubt to furnish a good many pavements; but my right hon. Friend has not shown himself to be the legislator that we had hoped to have found him. The Commissioners play their trump cards in this Report, and like ladies who choose the postscript when they wish to sting, they have put their strongest point in a foot-note. They give an extract from the Report of the Select Committee on the Endowed Schools Bill:— Tuesday, 13th April, 1869.—Clause 10. An Amendment made; amendment proposed at the end of the clause to add the words, 'But such power shall not extend to deprive any such Governing Body, whether corporate or unincorporate, of any of their rights and powers, or to remove either wholly or partially, any such Governing. Body, or to dissolve such corporation, without such satisfactory proof that such Governing Body has abused or improperly used the trusts for which such Governing Body was appointed' (Mr. Alderman Lawrence). Question put, 'That those words be then added.' The committee divided—Ayes (2), Mr. Alderman Lawrence, Mr. Talbot; Noes (18), Lord Robert Montagu, Mr. Dillwyn, Mr. Buxton, Sir S. Northeote, Mr. Walter, Mr. Walpole, Mr. Mowbray, Mr. Hope, Mr. Goldney, Mr. Melly, Mr. Bright, Mr. Howard, Mr. Winterbotham Mr. Adderley, Mr. Acland, Mr. Parker, Sir J. Pakington, Mr. Gregory. My right hon. Friend at the head of the Government cheered significantly when I read out my own name; but I appeal to this vote of mine as the strongest proof of the correctness of my position. I should certainly never have given it on that side if I could have taken a glimpse into futurity. In my unsuspecting innocence, I voted with the majority because I relied on the words of assurance which had been given on the subject from the Treasury bench; and I believe I may say for other Members of the majority, that if they had been endowed with a little more foresight and a little less unsuspicion they would have voted otherwise. The Commission at present, and for the purposes of this discussion, must be taken to be in extremis. It is on its death-bed, "unhouseled unaneled." What moral right has the Commission, backed by a consenting Government, now that it is on its trial before a Committee due to that very Government, to force on a scheme to which it has itself attached so peculiar a value, as a precedent for future action, which, after all, may never come about? Again, has the right hon. Gentleman ever fairly appreciated what the results of legislation of this sort would be on that innumerable body of good people in the land who devote a portion of their property to good works? What is that which has marked England above all countries of the world in modern times? It is the national affluence and exuberance in giving. This Commission is dealing with an enormous mass of private endowments. Many of them may have been abused. Deal with them ruthlessly, if you please. Those that have been well administered leave as they are, as far you can. I thoroughly admit that you can make better institutions theoretically. The system of private endowment is often cumbrous and wasteful. It is a common saying that three societies are usually started in England to do work which one can well perform. But this is the inevitable fine which we have to pay for freedom of choice. You may by your system of radical transformation develop power and symmetry, but at what price? At the price of stopping for all time to come the supply of voluntary foundations. We see too much in foreign States of the oppressive control which Governments consider themselves entitled to exercise over all the functions of social life, whether the constitution of the country calls itself a paternal despotism, or a democratic republic—twins both of the same mother, and that not liberty. The day might come, when, as like the French Minister of Public Instruction, some Vice President could point to the clock in his office and say, "at this moment all the boys in all the public schools are construing such a page of Livy." Let the edict go forth that the intentions of a Founder will not be respected after the death of that Founder, and money that would have been left for charity will be spent on private luxury, or given to the nearest friends or kinsmen. That question, and that question alone, is the one which stands behind the pending division. Whether Emanuel Hospital flourishes, or whether it perishes is in itself but a small matter; but it will be a bad day alike for liberty and for beneficence, if the dead hand of a State Department is allowed to weigh upon the spontaneous creations of personal self-sacrifice. What the House is called upon this day to elect is between the old English ideas of liberty and charity, and the modern assumptions of bureaucratic government, the only effect of which will be to check those good impulses of human nature upon which we have hitherto as a people so successfully relied. On these grounds, without too narrowly scrutinizing the competing schemes, I desire to second the Motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying Her Majesty that She will be graciously pleased to withhold Her assent from the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners for the management of Emanuel Hospital, in the parish of St. Margaret, in the city of Westminster."—(Mr. Crawford.)


Sir, it is to some extent satisfactory to commence the discussion of a controverted matter like this by narrowing the field of debate, and especially in a case like this, where the points are so numerous and the details so intricate that it is difficult to bring the House to a close and accurate view of what the subject at issue really is. My hon. Friend who has just sat down has stated to the House the motives which led him to think we ought to en- courage the liberality of private foundation by showing a great and studious respect, of course within the limits of reason, for the wills and the wishes of Founders. Well, Sir, I am disposed to agree with my hon. Friend on this point, and I claim the whole benefit of the principle he has laid down for the scheme of the Commissioners. I repeat, that I will undertake to show my hon. Friend that I claim the whole benefit of the principle that he has laid down for the scheme of the Commissioners, and against the proposition which he has urged upon the House. That is what I undertake to show. Well, now, Sir, it is with great satisfaction that I observe, after having heard two hon. Gentlemen as competent to do justice to a cause they take in hand as could possibly be desired, that for all practical purposes they confine their objections to one point—that is the re-construction of the Governing Body. My hon. Friend the Member for the City of London in the course of his speech threw out a skit against competitive examination; but it was only a passing word, and with that single exception, I state the literal truth when I say that in those two speeches nothing has been urged against the scheme except the alteration in the Governing Body. It has been urged that my right hon. Friend near me promised that the good schools should not be interfered with, and it is somewhat strange to hear that on account of that declaration a Bill was passed through Parliament which gave no protection to those good schools, which made no attempt to divide them, and which left all schools open to the invasion of the Commissioners, though it was notorious at the time—and in this I challenge contradiction—that even such schools as King Edward's School and Christ's Hospital were within the jurisdiction of the Commissioners. Well, Sir, I am not going to commit the folly and presumption of being the expositor of the words of my right hon. Friend, who will have an opportunity of referring to them himself; but the use which is made of those words does not show that they were received with the simplicity and child-like candour which my hon. Friend claims. There is considerable worldly wisdom in the mode of handling them, in attempting to fasten upon my right hon. Friend a promise that nothing should be interfered with except schools which were scandalously bad. This consideration is, I need scarcely say, absurd on the face of it; and I shall pass on at once to the next point, which is, that the whole matter is under discussion upstairs. My hon. Friends appear to think that there ought to be a year of jubilee given to this Commission. The Commission was a temporary Commission, and it was, of course, to be a matter for consideration whether it should be renewed at the end of the four years when its labours would terminate. My hon. Friend says that the Commission is unhouseled unaneled; that it has not been absolved from its delinquencies. But it seems that with the exception of its first scheme with reference to Emanuel Hospital, all its schemes are in operation. The object of the inquiry upstairs involves no charge, and raises no suspicion against the Commissioners, and if this objection is taken at all, it should have been taken before. Why have you been allowing their schemes to be carried into operation? This scheme involves no new principle, but it happens to deal with a Governing Body which is of a very formidable character. The Commissioners have dealt with schemes in which all the principles occur which are involved here—the reconstruction of Governing Bodies, the consolidation of charities, and the alteration from boys to girls. My hon. Friend very justly says that the House itself has been a party to the schemes of the Commissioners. In this very Session we have passed into law the Grey Coat Hospital scheme, which is founded identically upon the principles of this scheme, with one exception, that it had not the misfortune to come into contact with the Corporation of the City of London. Now, however, that the Corporation of the City of London is called upon to submit to the common law which has governed our proceedings with regard to other corporations, an attempt is made to prevent the previous labours of the Commission from bearing the fruits which the public have a right to expect. Then I was surprised to hear my hon. Friend dwell at length upon some opinions that had been expressed by the Commissioners. But what have they to do with this scheme, which must be decided upon its own merits? Now, Sir, my hon. Friend has thought it worth while to quote some words used by Lord Lyttelton. My hon. Friend, probably, does not know Lord Lyttelton. [Mr. CRAWFORD: No.] If he had, he would have known that Lord Lyttelton was a man so modest in the estimate of his own abilities that he would be sure to find some reason for doubting his own fitness for the appointment. But that has nothing to do with the matter. It may, or may not, be an excellent reason for blaming an appointment made by the Government, but it cannot, in any way, affect the merits of the scheme itself. An attempt has been made in different towns and boroughs to create alarm by representing the scheme as one that invades the sanctity of wills to frustrate the intentions of Founders, and to allow the caprice of a public Board to overrule the objects for which those ancient institutions were established. I venture to say, on the contrary, that if hon. Gentlemen are really desirous of having the principles of reform applied in the spirit of temperance and moderation to the schools in which they may respectively take an interest, they have a model of that moderation in the scheme that is now before them. Well, now, Sir, I will not beg the question as to one point which has been referred to—namely, that as to the Governing Body. The grand charge against the scheme is that it invades the right of the Governing Body of Emanuel Hospital. I will discuss that point in two aspects. In the first place it is assumed by my hon. Friends that we are nowhere to alter the constitution of a Governing Body unless in consequence of having established against it some positive charge, either of malversation, or at any rate of scandalous neglect and incapacity. That, Sir, is the proposition which we are invited to adopt, and that proposition is in flat contradiction to the whole proceedings of this House for the last 20 years. For the last 20 years we have been dealing with Governing Bodies of all kinds. We have altered the Governing Bodies of the public schools and sent them adrift. I myself was a Governor of the Charterhouse. I was sent adrift, and have lost some very valuable privileges. But we had not the power—we had not, perhaps, the will—of the Corporation of London. Not only so, but Governing Bodies have been displaced and re-constructed in places where they were the legal owners and beneficiaries of the property. The Governing Body of Eton, for instance, were displaced, and their powers handed over to another to which only two members of the old body were appointed. Did we charge those bodies with malversation, scandalous neglect, or incapacity? Not at all. What, again, did we do with the Universities? Why, Sir, the Universities were governed before 1854 and 1856 respectively by Bodies which I must say—although there may, of course, be differences as to particular points—were Governing Bodies entitled to high respect, and against whom no charge of a definite nature was ever attempted to be substantiated. But they did not petition Parliament to be maintained. They did not complain of violent interference with their rights and privileges. They sacrificed themselves for the public good, and so has every other public body, except the one represented by my hon. Friend. And the demand he makes is this—that there shall be one law for the world at large, and another law for the Corporation of London. All other Governing Bodies in the world at large—be the individuals composing them high or low—in one part of the country or another—be they Governors of Universities or schools—shall, for the public good, and on general grounds of policy and expediency, be liable to be displaced; but beware of touching the Corporation of the City of London—a body which has enjoyed for 30 odd years the proud distinction of being the only unreformed Corporation in the country. That Corporation must be dealt with on principles different from those which are made for common mortals. Even its prerogative over Emanuel Hospital shall not be interfered with, except on some charge of misconduct which has never been attempted to be established in any other case. Well, Sir, it appears to me that it would be the greatest folly for Parliament to proceed on the absurd principle, that with respect to trusts of this kind, constituted in ancient times, and under circumstances widely different from the present, there should be no interference of any sort until something like a penal process has been gone through, and something like the verdict of a jury given, finding criminal misconduct or else gross neglect or incapacity on the part of the Governing Body. That would be the way to inflame the question, to exasperate the minds of men, to check the progress of practical reform. Therefore, if it is expedient on grounds of public policy that this Body should be dealt with, there is no call upon the Commissioners, or upon the Government, who approve their action, to bring any charge against the Corporation of London with respect to its control and management of the school. But, Sir, the change proposed is a moderate one. In general, when those Bodies have been re-constituted, the old Governing Body has been allowed, to a very limited extent, a place in the new. In this case, however, the Corporation have 11 out of the 21 Governors, a small majority, but a majority. The change, therefore, is applied upon the principle which we have acted on in other cases; but it is a singularly moderate and limited application of the principle. But, Sir, let me go a little further. I have said we may assume, without any impeachment of this scheme, that the Governing Body has been faithful to its trust. Many of the displacing Governing Bodies were to theirs. But I say boldly, that the case of this public body is not unimpeachable. They have not adhered closely to the will of the Foundress. Let us examine that matter. What was the will of Lady Dacre, the Foundress? It has been said that Lady Dacre did not indicate the place, the inhabitants of which she meant to leave the benefit of her charity. Now, mark the challenge I give! It is this. I ask you to support the scheme of the Commissioners—you that respect the will of Founders and the legal right of the inhabitants of certain places. Well, then, take the will, and you will see that the Foundress refers to two objects of charity—20 poor persons and a number of poor children. The Corporation of London came into possession of the Charity in 1623, and yet there were no children on the foundation until 1737. [Mr. CRAWFORD: There was no money for them.] That is no argument at all. Why did they not divide the money they had between the two objects? But I do not make a great deal of that charge, because you will say—"Oh, these were very old stagers, many generations ago. Do not ask us to answer for their misdeeds." I will not. I come to the question—Have the Corporation been faithful stewards of the will and intention of the Foundress and of her executors, who were the depositories of her confidence, as to the persons she intended to benefit? What did Lady Dacre say? My hon. Friend says she gave no indication as to the place whence the people were to come who were to enjoy the benefit of the foundation. Lady Dacre directed that the Hospital should be erected in Westminster or in some other place near adjoining thereto towards the relief of aged people and the bringing up of cbildren–20 poor folks and 20 poor children. She also says that the Hospital was to be called Emanuel Hospital in Westminster—"And my desire is that the said Hospital should be called Emanuel Hospital in Westminster." Well, my hon. Friend says that that is no indication as to the place the people were to come from. Let my hon. Friend carry himself back 300 years, and I ask him whether, when a foundation was made in a particular parish or place, it did not follow, reasonably and naturally, in the absence of specification, that it was intended for the people of that place? But I have not yet done with my hon. Friend. I have shown what Lady Dacre said; but, besides Lady Dacre, there were her executors, and my hon. Friend does not depreciate the executors of Lady Dacre, for the principal part of what he has quoted as the declarations of the Foundress were not her declarations, but those of her executors. No doubt my hon. Friend thought he was quoting unimpeachable authority, but I would ask him on whose authority he stated that the Corporation of London was indicated by Lady Dacre as the Governors of the Charity. I believe there is no foundation whatever for that statement, and though it is difficult to prove a negative, there is no reference to it in the case submitted by the Corporation to the Privy Council, or in any document known to it. I believe neither the Foundress nor her executors indicated the Corporation; their appointment, according to the Charter itself, being the act of the Crown and the Government. My hon. Friend has attributed the same weight to the declarations of the executors as if they were made by Lady Dacre. In that conclusion he is quite right, but he is bound by it, and I am afraid he has not carefully read all the circumstances. I have shown presumptive evidence that the recipients were to be drawn from Westminster, and I will clinch it by a positive declaration in the executor's statutes:— We ordain that the said 20 poor people shall for ever be chosen and taken out of the City of Westminster, and the parishes of Chelsea and Hayes, in the county of Middlesex, in manner following:—viz., 17 out of the City of Westminster, two out of the parish of Chelsea, and one out of the parish of Hayes. But my hon. Friend comes down to support the wills of Founders—[Mr. CRAWFORD: As to the 20.] Very good. The 20 exhausted the whole fund; and does my hon. Friend suppose it was the duty of the executors to point out what was to be done with accretions of money which they had no means of foreseeing? Had those accretions existed at the time, does it not follow that they would have been distributed in the same way? [Mr. CRAWFORD dissented.] Then, Sir, I will quote the Corporation of London itself against my hon. Friend. For instance, what view did the Corporation of London take in 1819? Why, they provided that a number of additional children might be brought in; but whence were they to come? From other parishes in Westminster; so that the Corporation, acting upon a principle never infringed till then, still recognized that Westminster, with the limited exceptions I have cited, was entitled to furnish the recipients of the Charity. Then, Sir, we come to 1844; a year which, as far as this matter is concerned, I am sorry exists in the annals of the City of London. A Committee of Aldermen was appointed to examine the matter. Did they think it would be according to public policy to extend the foundation beyond Westminster, and to abolish restrictions and privileges? Their thought was how much they could draw into the City of London—a city fed with charities, gorged and almost bloated with charities—that remarkable city, containing a larger extent of property devoted to so-called public objects—and for the application of which it is impossible to give satisfactory reasons—than any other city in the country. Though Westminster was poor to the lowest depth of poverty, and London was rich up to almost a splendid magnificence of wealth, that Committee looked into the deed and reported that, as they were advised, there was nothing in it to prevent their admitting other parishes to the benefits of the foundation, and, notably, the people of London. Why, Sir, if that is the way Founder's wills are to be acted upon, and if hon. Members come down to support an appeal, every word of which goes directly against the proposal involved, it is time to ask whether the English language has lost its meaning, and whether when we profess to act upon any principle, we habitually mean or suggest its very opposite. In the year 1819 Westminster had 17 recipients out of 20, and, had the number of recipients been doubled, it might have had 34 out of 40; but when, in 1844, the growth of the property admitted further enlargement, Westminster was allowed no portion of it, and it has been allowed only 34 out of 64. No doubt he is worse than an infidel who careth not for them of his own household; and, perhaps, the Corporation felt that their first duty Was to the City, and that whatever grist was thrown into the mill the first article of their moral code was that it should be drawn into the City. A defence has been set up by the document I hold in my hand that at that time there was no similar school in the City of London; but my hon. Friend has disposed of that plea, by telling us that most of the great Companies possessed establishments more or less similar. I am quite certain that neither of the hon. Aldermen behind me is cognizant of the contents of this extraordinary document issued in their name, or, at least, that they were not before it was issued; for it accuses the Corporation not merely of confiscation—a polite word, to which we are so accustomed that nobody would resent its application to himself under any circumstances—and, not satisfied with the liberality of the allowed vocabulary, it says:— The Commissioners do not like being charged with Communism and confiscation; these ugly words apply to their actions, whether they are charitable or not. Communism is the mild term which is applied in the name of the City of London, I am sure to the horror of my hon. Friend, to the Commissioners acting under and in the name of Her Majesty, because they are endeavouring to bring back to the poor of Westminster that which Lady Dacre intended for them. My hon. Friend was judicious in avoiding a discussion of the scheme, for he knew well that no case was to be made against it, and candidly admitting that in many points it was good, he did not show a single point in which it was bad. He said, indeed, it was ridiculous to apply the uniform test of competitive examination to very young children, which may be the case, but that is not the basis of the scheme. It provides that 60 children are to be freely admitted, and to have the whole cost of their education defrayed. It has been objected that they are not to have the cost of clothing, certainly not a very large objection; the answer to which is, that the Governors have express power to re-imburse the parents in respect of the expense of the children's attending school, and therefore in respect of their clothing. They are to be appointed by the test of merit, ascertained in some form or other. And in order that there may be an obvious and available test of merit, what is contemplated is that they shall be taken who have been for some time in the elementary schools of the country. The daily competition of every elementary school establishes the law of merit among children in every tolerably well-conducted school, and supplies the easiest method of founding the future scheme on a principle which is perfectly fair and just—namely, the test of merit, not too rigidly tied down by competitive examination. Why, Sir, there is not even a shadow of truth in the charge that the Commissioners have drawn away from the poor what was intended for them. I paid great attention to the argument of my hon. Friend the Member for the City on the description and class of persons for whom this establishment was intended; and, without entering into the details, which are rather complicated, I assent to the doctrines he laid down; and I observed that he did not at all say they were contravened by the scheme of the Commissioners. As to the class of persons who ought to be received there is, at this moment, really no question between us. But the quarrel between us is that the Commissioners contend for the principle of merit and the Corporation contend for the principle of patronage. It is very important that the House should know and understand in its own mind which of those principles it prefers. [Mr. CRAWFORD: Selection.] What is the selection? It is the private individual will of each member of the Court of Aldermen. Is he to be liable to any control? By what test is he to act? By his own private judgment? How is it possible the members of the Court of Aldermen can be in a condition to know where the fittest children are to be found for a purpose of this kind? It is, Sir, what is called patronage that is set up against merit. And not only so, but merit is condemned. I will read a short passage well worthy the attention of the House from this document, in which it would appear that in the nature of merit—I never knew it before—there is something sinful. It is hostile to the nature of charity. Charity and merit—according to the document which has been circulated among you to teach you how to vote—cannot go together. You are called upon, it says, on this great occasion to try two most portentious principles or conclusions. The first, which is really overwhelming, is whether the Corporation of London is to be deprived—though no charge is established against it—of the trust which the Foundress confided to it, it not having given the benefit of these schools to the people for whom the Foundress designed them. But the second is this—and I draw special attention to it—whether the great charities of this country are to be suppressed in the name of the law. Why, Sir, the writer must have been almost overwhelmed by the horrible character of the scheme he contemplated. What made him think the great charities of the country were to be suppressed in the name of the law but that the scheme contains the claim of merit—that detestable quality? Here, Sir, are his words— Whether the great Charities of the country are to be suppressed in the name of the law, for that which is obtained by merit of one's own is no longer charity. That is to say, in the name of the irreconcilable hostility between merit and charity, you are called upon to deprive the people of Westminster of that which the Foundress's executors intended, and which the Commissioners propose to give them; and in the name of the sacredness of Founders' wills, you are called upon to make an exceptional rule on behalf of a Governing Body which in and since the year 1844, and in defiance of the principles laid down by itself in 1819, has in this case distinctly overridden the will of the Founders. I venture to say that, under these circumstances, the Commissioners have pursued an eminently temperate and moderate course in so constituting their Governing Body as while they introduce a considerable infusion representing partly the other Charities to be consolidated with Emmanuel Hospital, and partly the people of Westminster through their elected School Board, they have pursued an eminently temperate and moderate course towards the Corporation of the City, deserving a return far different from that which they have received, in granting the absolute majority of the new Governing Body to those who belong to or are directly connected with that Corporation. And I venture to say that a spirit of moderation pervades this scheme. The rights of the people of Westminster, though they may not be of an exclusive character—into that I do not enter—are yet entitled to a great deal of respect. These local circumscriptions ought not to be ruthlessly and wholly disregarded. Let us not be misled in this instance by the experience of the Universities. The Universities, and particularly Oxford, were full of foundations tied down to a particular neighbourhood, and these, as a general rule, were thrown open. That was quite right in regard to grand national and central institutions like Oxford and Cambridge, which enjoy national privileges and powers, and which are intended for the whole country. But in respect to these humble establishments for the relief of want and destitution, or for the giving of elementary, and something more than elementary, education, why, in the world, are not local circumscriptions to be respected? I want to know why you are going to take away from the people of Westminster a portion of that which the Foundress intended for them? Why are you going to stop up the fountain of charity in Westminster by allowing the Corporation of the City of London to step in and take away part of that which belongs to it? That I have proved by documents, which my hon. Friend had not read when he unwarily seconded this Motion. Well, Sir, having said thus much, I need not detain the House any longer. There is a great deal that might be said, and ought to be said, in order to explain the nature of this scheme in detail, but I have confined myself very much to the matters which have been urged against it by the Mover and Seconder of this Motion. I would only say in conclusion one word with regard to the House itself. I own, Sir, it appears to me that there are others concerned in this question besides the Commissioners. First of all, there is the Executive Government. The Commissioners are not the servants of the Executive Government, but the Executive Government accepts a plenary responsibility, just as plenary as if it were original, for the acts of the Commission when it advises Her Majesty to give Her sanction to the scheme. But that is not all. I want to know whether the credit of the House of Commons is not engaged in the course which it is about to take in regard to this measure? You have passed, I understand, 120 schemes of the Commissioners. No attempt has been made to show—and if it were made, it would entirely fail—that this scheme contains any principle whatever which has not been embodied in former schemes, unless you are ready to hold that it is a new principle if it touches the Corporation of the City of London. Sir, I would ask, is the House prepared to recede from its Acts, to alter its policy, to disavow this important statute of four years ago, to discredit the machinery which it has not found ineffective, and which has nowhere been condemned—to discredit and condemn a scheme against which no single charge has been attempted to be made, with the exception of this charge of this change in the Governing Body? Is the House, at the bidding of my hon. Friend, and through the exercise of those influences which are artfully suggested to particular bodies in the country, and innocently, but not very constitutionally, used in order to influence hon. Members in the vote they are about to give—is it in circumstances like these, for motives and on grounds like these, and with respect to a scheme which those who propose to condemn cannot venture to discuss, that this House is to forget and forswear, practically, its own course of action, and to lay down, by implication, a principle to this effect, that all that it has clone, all that it has permitted to be done, to these 120 foundations, ought to have remained undone—that even the very plan of the Grey Coat School of Westminster itself, of which this plan is the complement, was wrongly passed, and that now, forsooth, an entire revolution is to be effected, and. for the purpose of what? Not, indeed, to vindicate the sacredness of the Foundress's will, not to secure to the objects of the Foundress's beneficence that which was intended for them, but for the purpose rather of consecrating negligence and wrong, and for the purpose of establishing, where, to say the least, there has been, no special fidelity in the execution of the trust, an exceptional law, involving in its essence the principle of a preference which is hateful to Englishmen, and proceeding on the principle that that which is to be applied to every other body in the country, is not to be applied to the consecrated existence of the Corporation of the City of London.


Mr. Speaker—I am sorry to say that the words which we have just heard from the mouth of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government have not only had a tendency to obscure this question, but are calculated to lead the House to a false issue; and not only to a false issue, but to an issue which has never yet been raised; and I desire, in the first place, to clear the question from the fog and mist in which it has been enveloped by the speech which has just been delivered. Now, Sir, the first remarks of the right hon. Gentleman were as to the removal of the Governing Body. I am not aware that that is the question under the consideration of the House; but I am aware that there are questions involved in the consideration of this subject in which the country takes a far wider interest than the mere question of whether the Governing Body shall continue to be the Aldermen of the City of London. The Corporation of the City of London claim no vested rights whatever in Emanuel Hospital. Let that be clearly understood, and I hope also that the House will not allow itself to be led away on a side issue. The great question before us is, whether the House will indorse a new policy which has been inaugurated by the Endowed Schools Commissioners, and that policy—I shall repeat the word which seems to have excited surprise in the mind of my right hon. Friend—a policy of confiscation. It is a policy of confiscation, and it is nothing more and nothing less. The true point—the real question which the House will have to decide by its vote this evening—is, whether free schools which have been founded by private benevolence are to be allowed to exist in this country, or whether a free education is to be given to those only who have received a certain amount of instruction, whilst those who are without education shall be prevented even from entering on the lowest round of the ladder; in other words, whether private benevolence shall be allowed in this country henceforth to establish schools where education shall be free, or whether it shall be insisted that no one shall enjoy a free education in this country, no matter what shall be the merit of the poor child, unless he can compete successfully with the better trained child placed in competition with him. Sir, that I take is the question which the House has to consider; but it is the question which the right hon. Gentleman has studiously kept out of view. The right hon. Gentleman has told us something of the manner in which this trust has been fulfilled by the Aldermen of the City of London, and I am quite surprised that, with the facts before him, he should have ventured to make the remarks that he has addressed to the House. He has sought to enlist the sympathies of those who are in favour of giving effect to the will of Founders; but I will call up in judgment against him the statement signed by his own Solicitor General in the late case of Appeal before the Privy Council— Neither by Lady Deere's will nor by charter is any preference given to the children of any particular parish or place in the enjoyment of the benefits of the Charity. Now, having read those words, I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman whether he did not, a little while ago, endeavour to enlist the sympathies of hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House? He claimed their votes because, he said, the Founder's will had been departed from. That was the mode in which the right hon. Gentleman appealed to hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House; and with regard to the hon. Member (Mr. Beresford. Hope) who seconded the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for London, he declared he must have seconded that Motion in mistake, because had he known how the will of the Founders had been departed from he was sure he would not have been found seconding that Motion. But the Solicitor General has emphatically declared that the will of the Founder has not been departed from. Here are his words which I will read again— Neither by Lady Dacre's will nor by charter is any preference given to the children of any particular parish or place in the enjoyment of the benefits of the Charity. I have said that a good deal of mist and fog has been thrown around this question, and I say that the attention of the House has been attempted to be diverted from the main question at issue. It is no question of the vested rights of Aldermen. It is no question of the continuance of the Governing Body, and with regard to Westminster, so far as the Aldermen of the City of London are concerned, I think I may say that if the Endowed Schools Commissioners had given expression to their views on the subject, and if they had stated that owing to the vast charities of the City the whole of Lady Dacre's endowment ought now to be devoted to the parishes named in Chelsea and Westminster, I have no doubt that such a proposal would have met with their acquiescence. But, Sir, my charge against the Commissioners is that they have put forward a theory which has never been sanctioned by any Act of Parliament to the effect that no gratuitous education shall be given except as the reward of what they are pleased to call merit, which means intellectual proficiency. We have heard with regard to schools at Tunbridge, at Bedford, and at Bristol, and in many other places, the Commissioners insist that no gratuitous education shall be given except as the reward of intellectual proficiency. They have used a word more euphonious. They call it merit, but they do not hesitate to tell you that that means intellectual qualities. Does not this mean—can it mean anything else than that any child in the middle class will, in competitive examinations, always beat the poor and needy one whose early education has been neglected? Where a school is intended for the poorer classes there ought not to be any scheme by which that class is practically excluded. One matter I have not referred to with regard to Emanuel Hospital that it is not an Hospital in the ordinary sense of the term, but an asylum for the homeless and needy. I have already stated that neither in the will of Lady Dacre, nor in the charter of incorporation, is any reference whatever made to the locality where the children are to come from who are to be admitted into the Hospital. In Scotland—in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh—you find some of the large schools are built a little distance from the City of Edinburgh, and I think it would rather puzzle some of our friends in Edinburgh if the inhabitants of the districts where those large schools are situated were to claim the privilege of having their children educated in those schools to the exclusion of the children of the inhabitants of the city. Well, now, Sir, I will refer to the commencement of the proceedings of the Endowed Schools Commissioners with regard to Emanuel Hospital. You may remember—if not, I must recall it to the recollection of the House—that one of the principal rules which the Act has laid down for the guidance of the Endowed Schools Commissioners is that in all cases where the income of the school amounted to over £1,000 per annum the managers of those schools should have the opportunity of making out their own scheme and laying it before the Commissioners, and that the Commissioners should first consider that scheme before they framed one of their own—that they should consider it before they dealt with the endowment. In view of this rule, on the 28th January, 1870, the Governors of Emanuel Hospital framed a scheme for the improvement of their School which they submitted to the Endowed Schools Commissioners, and I ask the attention of the House to the Commissioners' Report. The reply which was given contains these words, dated the 15th February, 1870, and is signed by Mr. Roby, their secretary— Until more comprehensive inquiry takes place, the Commissioners cannot enter upon the details of the scheme nor can they even determine what is the most useful kind of school to aim at. Would the House believe that up to the present time no comprehensive inquiry whatever has taken place with regard to Emanuel Hospital? The Governors of Emanuel Hospital, notwithstanding their repeated endeavours, never succeeded in inducing the Endowed Schools Commissioners to carry out the Act either as to its letter or as to its spirit, and to give that consideration to the scheme they had carefully prepared under the provisions of the Act of Parliament. On the 8th July, 1870, the Endowed Schools Commissioners put forward a scheme under which they removed all the Governors with the exception of three, and substituted admission fees of 14 and £6 for one class, and £2 and £3 for another class of children, and £20 for board and £6 fees at a boarding school, in place of the free education and maintenance now given at the School. To the proposal which I have just mentioned the Governors naturally objected, and the Commissioners having fully admitted that their proposal involved the diversion of the trust from the intentions of the Founder, the House of Lords rejected the scheme on the 30th June, 1871. The Queen's Answer was received on the 3rd July, and the Commissioners, five days afterwards—namely, on the 8th July—intimated their intention of persevering with a similar scheme. The Commissioners accordingly drew up a second scheme, in which they increased the number of Aldermen from three to seven, and effected what they themselves admitted to be a considerable improvement upon their original scheme. There is no reason to doubt that by further delay a fresh scheme might be brought forward which would be an improvement upon the present proposals, and which might be carried into effect without alarming the country in the manner that the present scheme has done. If they admit that the argument in the House of Lords tended to improve the scheme that was then proposed, it is probable that the discussion in the House of Commons will still more improve it. The question is—whether the scheme, word for word, and plan for plan, as placed before the House, is the very best one that can be devised? No doubt, the Endowed Schools Commissioners can frame a scheme which will carry out the objects of the Endowed Schools Act and not create the alarm which this has created. They have admitted that if the scheme now under discussion be carried out, many children now being taught in the Hospital will be turned into the streets without compensation. The Commis- sioners have not only adopted a policy of confiscation, but they have given a new meaning to the word. If I have understood it aright, confiscation usually moans taking wealth from the rich, but the Endowed Schools Commissioners have discovered that under this Act they may seize the funds bequeathed for the poor and needy and apply them to other and alien purposes. The Endowed Schools Commissioners have been appointed under an Act of Parliament, and are responsible to the Legislature. This House might therefore express an opinion upon their schemes without calling the governmental departments in question. The Commissioners have gone upon the principle that—"He that hath much shall have more, and he that hath little shall have less." Is this principle to be allowed? Are these funds to be applied to different purposes, and the very children for whom the schools were founded to be told, as they were told by the Commissioners and the Commissioners' friends over and over again, that they must not look to these funds to maintain and educate them for the future, but that they may be educated by the parish in union schools. These are the very words that have been used—in fact it is the use of these expressions throughout the country which has aroused so much indignation. It is not the mere question of Emanuel Hospital, but there is a broader and a wider issue which has to be considered, for there are many cases throughout the country in which schools have been founded for the education of the poor. What has been the history of many of these schools? Look at Harrow, founded by John Lyon, the bricklayer, for the free education of the poor class from which he had sprung. What would be the feelings of Julia Lyon if he were now to visit Harrow and find that the poor whom he intended to benefit are rigidly excluded? And Harrow is no solitary case. Throughout the country many a man who had left his little town and acquired elsewhere a competence, founded a free school in order that the poor lads of his native place should not have to encounter the difficulties he had himself experienced for want of educacation. These schools in too many instances have been diverted to the exclusive use of the middle and upper classes. When the Endowed Schools Act was passed it was everywhere hailed with satisfaction, because it was believed to be intended to correct abuses and to restore to the poor the privileges of which they had been unjustly deprived. It was never conceived to be possible that the aim of the Commissioners should be what they have now openly avowed—to take from the poor the educational advantages provided for them by the Founders of the free schools. This is a, Motion which the Government need not regard in any way as reflecting upon them. The Endowed Schools Commissioners are responsible to the House of Commons for their acts, and the House of Commons is at perfect liberty to pass a judgment upon their acts. It is not a question of Liberal or Tory. The whole Christian sentiment of the country has condemned the action of the Endowed Schools Commissioners—the whole Christian sentiment of the country feels itself outraged by what they have done, and I believe that this will exercise considerable influence at the next General Election, if, indeed, it has not had some effect in one or two of the recent contests. The Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London, is simply a Motion to advise Her Majesty not to assent to the scheme laid before the House, in order that improvements may be made consistent with the Act. I believe that an arrangement can be made by which all needful reforms may be effected; but I cannot help thinking that, unless these schemes are revoked, the hopes of those who expected that children would be taken from the gutter and trained for the University will be disappointed. In point of fact, the children who will reap the benefit of the new schemes will be the sons of those who can pay for tutors to "cram" them, and thus the poor will be deprived of an immense benefit, especially intended for them by the pious Founders of such institutions as Emanuel Hospital.


Mr. Speaker, I have been astonished to hear the Prime Minister argue that the House ought not to consider the language of the promoters of these schemes or the general views they have expressed, but ought only to regard the question in the abstract. I contend, on the contrary, that where the conduct of the Endowed School Commissioners is concerned the House may fairly consider their motives, policy, and the grounds of their action. When Mr. Roby declared that after 50 years the wishes and intentions of Founders ought not to be considered he was introducing a principle of confiscation into the country. Instead of offering inducements to good and Christian men who wished to benefit others before they left this world, the Commissioners were putting every possible obstacle in the way of any future religious and charitable endowments. I wish hon. Members would go and see Emanuel Hospital. They would find it an excellently managed institution. The good it has done for two or three centuries cannot be overstated. Suddenly, however, although no complaints have been made of the management of the Hospital or School, a scheme is propounded that not only overthrows it but incorporates it with three other charities with which it had nothing to do, and destroys the principles on which the Charity was founded by Lady Dacre and her brother, Lord Buckhurst. Of the 64 children in the School, 40 are orphans. One is the child of a widow left perfectly destitute with seven children; another is the child of a widow left with 13 children; and another is the child of a widowed mother left with nine children. Generally speaking the children belong to the class of suffering and destitute poor and. are not those of the middle class. The right hon. Gentleman has attacked the management of the City of London School, but as a proof of the excellence of that school I will appeal to the testimony of Lord Lyttelton. The noble Lord says— The City of London School presented an example of a great metropolitan school educating a large number of day scholars with distinguished success. It was a great day school in the heart of London having little connection with the Universities, and educating, apparently, with great success a very large proportion of boys who were not intended for Oxford or Cambridge. At the same time the classical and mathematical education given there was so good, that of those who did go to the Universities nearly all distinguished themselves; and in one year (1861) the four chief honours at Cambridge were gained by young men educated at this school. Then again, Sir, Mr. Fearon, who is also a well-known educationalist, and one of the Assistant Commissioners of the Schools Inquiry Commissioners, says— The City of London School is an admirable institution, and as near perfection perhaps as any very large school can be. Now with regard to the excellence of the Emanuel Hospital School, we have the unsolicited testimony of Sir William Wright, the Chairman of the Hull Dock Company and one of the magistrates of the East Riding of Yorkshire, who, in a letter to the Lord Mayor of the 25th of April, 1871, said— I cannot resist bearing my testimony to the judicious and careful way the Brandesburton Estate has always been managed. The erection of schools by the Trustees of Emanuel Hospital in the parish testifies to their care and attention when education in rural districts was not general. They have often been referred to as an encouraging example to others, and have been useful in a considerable degree 1,y their good example in causing others to erect schools. I can bear my testimony as a magistrate for the East Riding to the value of these schools in a moral and social sense. I should be sorry to see any change made in the management of the property. I have no personal interest in the matter, direct or indirect, and simply give my opinion as a perfectly independent looker-on. I therefore ask, Sir, why we are to have this great change? The school has been carried on with admirable results, and the scheme of which we complain is in no respect needed. In spite of what the right hon. Gentleman has said I think we have great reason to mistrust this kind of legislation, of which we have already had too much. It is somewhat remarkable that the first thing which a Republican Government always indulges in is spoliation. They usually commence with the Church, and then they proceed to deal with religious establishments. I do not believe that advantages greater than those realized under the existing system can be obtained by the change; but whether that be so or not, I contend that we have no right to do what in effect will amount to making Acts of Parliament a basis for more spoliation.


It was not my intention when I came down to the House this evening to take any part in this debate, but as the hon. Member for the City of London pointedly alluded to me in the course of his remarks, I feel bound to say a word or two in my own defence. The hon. Gentleman stated that, according to some of the reports that he had seen, I had, on taking the chair at the meeting held at Westminster on a recent occasion, laid claim to being a lineal descendant of the Foundress. I dare say that the hon. Member has sometimes suffered, as I myself have, from ill-founded report in the course of his public life. I never stated any such thing on the occasion in question; in fact, I was very careful indeed to state accurately the reasons why I did take the chair, and what I said was that I wished to decline the honour, but that the special interest I felt in the Charity, owing to an accidental family association, induced me to accept it. The hon. Gentleman went on to say that the people assembled at the meeting at Westminster laid claim to the benefits of this Charity as a special right of theirs, and that I encouraged them in taking that view of the question. I do not retract one single word that I stated at that meeting. The hon. Member for the City of London alluded to the will of Lady Dacre, and in that will will be found the following words, at the commencement of it, or nearly so:— And whereas my lord in his lifetime and myself were purposed to erect an hospital in Westminster or in some other place near adjoining thereunto and to grant one hundred and ten pounds in money towards the building and edifying thereof and forty pounds a year in lands for ever towards the relief of aged people and bringing up of children in virtue and good and laudable arts in the same hospital, whereby they might the better live in time to come by their honest labour. If he will read that in connection with what follows, he will see what the evident intention of this lady was:— And for the perfecting of our said purpose were minded to become suitors to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty for her princely incorporating of the same hospital for ever. To the end therefore that the same may be done accordingly with a further augmentation, I will and devise that my said executors shall cause to be erected and built a meet and convenient house with rooms of habitation for twenty poor folks and twenty other poor children. If you look at the words, you will see very clearly that the intention of this lady was that this Charity should be applied to the relief of people and to the benefit of children whose parents resided in Westminster. Sir, I said at that time that if I was asked whether the funds of this Charity had been applied in past years for the benefit of the poor of Westminster, or even for the benefit of the poor in any part of England, I should answer both those questions in the negative. It has been clearly shown by the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, from the will of Lady Dacre, that her intention was that the poor of Westminster should be the objects of her bounty. The words of Mr. Fearon show distinctly that the funds of this Charity have not been applied to the poor especially. He says no doubt that certain reserved cases would receive due consideration at the hands of the Commissioners, but there were certain people who were sure to get their children into the Charity. This Charity was originally intended for the relief of 20 poor people and the bringing up of 20 poor children. Since that time the property of this Charity has increased very greatly, something like 40-fold; the population of Westminster has increased enormously, and yet now there are only 29 Westminster children being educated in the school. I will, with the leave of the House, just point out the case of William C—, Brandesburton, farm-bailiff, at wages of 16s. per week, six children dependent; William S—, Brandesburton, farm-labourer, has nine children, seven of whom are dependent on him; George R. G—,Brandesburton, agricultural labourer, has nine children, five dependent; average wages, 15s. per week. And if hon. Members will be good enough to look at the Report of Mr. Fearon, or to the paper which has been sent to them this morning, they will find that, with individual exceptions, the children are not of the class which Lady Dacre intended to benefit. It has been stated that the children educated at this Hospital are persons of the class that Lady Dacre meant to benefit. I deny that entirely. Lady Dacre never made any mention of the Corporation of London; she never appointed them trustees, but they were appointed after her death. I much wish that this question could be dealt with fairly; but the hon. Gentleman, acting, I presume, upon the advice of the Corporation of the City of London, or upon the advice of the solicitor of that Corporation, has shirked the real issue in this case, and he has brought a general charge against the Commissioners; and therefore I would ask the House, or I would ask the hon. Member for Westminster, whether he thinks it is fair or just with respect to the people of Westminster, that this scheme should be repudiated by this House simply because hon. Members are not pleased with the general conduct of the Commissioners. The Corporation of London is a very powerful body and a very wealthy body, and certainly in the performance of its proper duties commands the respect and admiration of the world; but I am surprised that the Corporation, a powerful and wealthy body, admirable in the discharge of its proper functions, but certainly not fitted for the management of education, should resent so keenly the loss of some little, miserable patronage. I must express my surprise at the discreditable, I might almost say the disreputable opposition shown by this Corporation at the bare thought of an improved state of things in respect to the management of this Charity. As long as the education given in this establishment was one purely of an elementary character, there could be no objection raised; and Lady Dacre, as far as she could, gave the means for that education to a few people in the City of Westminster; but now things have changed with the times, and an Education Act has tended to place within the reach of every child the means of education. I stated the other day that I heard a working man say—"What we want is elementary education, and also, if we can have it, I want to see that the most deserving of our children should go step by step up the ladder." Primary education was the want of the working classes at the time that Emanuel Hospital was founded, but this being now provided by the State, their want, as was remarked to me by one of their number, is secondary education with a ladder of schools whereby the most deserving can reach the Universities, and this involves selection by a test of merit, such as the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners proposes. I am glad to see that the hon. Member for Westminster is coming into the House, and I will therefore take this opportunity of saying that I found that there was one feeling amongst the people at that meeting to which I have referred—it was an open meeting—there was one feeling, and it was this—that these people thought that this Charity was a right of theirs; that the Founder intended the Charity for Westminster, and that they did not wish to go down the Strand through Temple Bar, cap in hand, and ask for a favour which they believed to be their right and which they believed to be the right of their children. Therefore, the fact of the matter is this—that the Court of Aldermen are merely fighting to retain their patronage. To my mind it has been shown clearly that the special constitution of this Governing Body should be changed, not only because the present Governing Body has shown itself in the past signally ignorant of the educational wants of the working classes, but also because of the better organization of this Charity for the future. I say that the Corporation of the City of London has diverted the benefits of the Charity to outsiders, and has shown ignorance of the benefits of the working classes. Well, Sir, I think the House has already declared that when any benefit can accrue from a change the Governing Bodies of these Charities ought to be changed. In the present instance the Governing Body will retain the control of the alms-house and one-third of the funds. As far as that part of the Charity is concerned Lady Dacre's intentions will be carried out under the changed state of circumstances. Sir, in conclusion I must say, that if the Motion of the hon. Member for the City of London is accepted by the House I shall look upon it with great regret, and I shall feel that the influences which have been brought to bear upon hon. Members by the Corporations of various cities have induced them for once to forsake the principles of political freedom.


Mr. Speaker, I cannot help saying that I think a Motion of this kind ought to specify the obnoxious parts of the scheme, so that the Commissioners might be able, as was the case with the Resolutions of the other House in 1871, to endeavour to meet them. Unless these points are stated the Governors cannot meet the difficulties that they have to contend with—they are not in a position to do so without these points are stated upon which objection is taken to the scheme. When this matter was before the House last year, two objections were made to the scheme. One was that it would divert a largo portion of the endowment from the education of the poor, and secondly, that there was no charge whatever made against the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London in respect of the management of the affairs of this Charity. The objection which was taken on the former occasion that the funds would be diverted from the education of the poor has not been repeated to-night, having, as far as we can see, been remedied, and the only remaining objection appears to be the change in the Governing Body. Well, Sir, I think, that taking into consideration the exact state of education in Westminster with the various foundations existing there, the very best way of dealing with these educational endowments is that which is now proposed by the Endowed Schools Commissioners. The intention of the Founder of those institutions was to secure for the poor of Westminster education, and that a good one, and having regard to the altered circumstances of the present time I am decidedly of opinion that that object will be more effectually attained by the scheme which is now proposed by the Commissioners, than that which has been propounded by the Corporation of the City of London. Sir, under these circumstances I do most earnestly entreat the House not to adopt the Resolution which has been proposed by the hon. Member for the City of London.


Mr. Speaker, in the first place I am a member of the Committee upon the Endowed Schools Act to which allusion has been made as sitting upstairs, and therefore I speak with some degree of reserve upon the subject now before the House. My connection with the Commissioners is such that it is disagreeable to me to speak upon such a subject as this; but in asking the House to listen to me for a few moments, I am acting more with a view of stating the exact position in which I stand, than from a desire of going fully into the question before the House. Before going into the matter I would say that the case of St. Margaret's Hospital is bound up with that of Emanuel Hospital if the scheme for Emanuel Hospital passed, it would necessarily follow that the scheme for the other would pass also. But I must say I think it would be better if the sanctioning of the whole of those schemes could possibly have been postponed until the House had before it the decision of the Select Committee upstairs. Now, Sir, the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister has charged the Corporation of the City of London with having neglected the interests of Westminster, in the management of Emanuel Hospital. But the Corporation of London have the right to frame such statutes as they please under the charter, and they do not quite deserve all the hard things that the right hon. Gentleman has thought it necessary to say of them. I will, however, with the permission of the House, leave the Prime Minister and the First Lord of the Admiralty to fight out that matter between them. With regard to St. Margaret's Hospital, it was founded by Charles I., and notwithstanding that it does not technically come under the 19th clause of the Endowed Schools Act, nevertheless it can be hardly supposed that Charles I. would have chartered any institution to teach any other religion than that of the Church of England, to which he was so much attached. And, therefore, it is thought we should be justified in asking the House to refuse assent to that part of the scheme which relates to St. Margaret's Hospital, because it does not carry out the intentions of the Founder. It will be in the recollection of hon. Members that in the last edition of that much debated scheme a clause gave a certain number of wholly free exhibitions, and also a certain number of partially free exhibitions, for people residing in St. Margaret's and St. John's, Westminster. But it is uncertain whether the Governing Body of the new schools will have any funds out of which to provide those exhibitions, which are to be dependent upon the success of the new schools. New schools outside of Westminster were to be set up at an outlay of £15,000—a very large expenditure of capital—and if the schools do not pay there will be no funds to provide exhibitions for these children. Well, Sir, I look upon this scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners as a gratuitous instance of change for change sake, and I will now give some of the results of the management of St. Margaret's Hospital for the last few years. The endowment was a small one, and therefore the number of boys is not very large; but the Master of that Hospital has informed me that out of that number 38 have obtained situations as clerks, and in similar capacities, the majority of whom are doing well, and some of whom have succeeded in reaching good positions. One of them is assistant accountant to a railway company, another is ledger clerk in the London and Westminster Bank, another is private secretary to a nobleman, another is junior clerk to the Endowed Schools Commission, and so on. It appears to me that the Governors of this Charity are doing straightforward, honest, and successful work for those who are committed to their care; and yet, forsooth, it is proposed to take that work out of their hands, and to place it in the hands of a new, untried body. Amongst the 22 children now in the school there are eight who are sons of widows, and I believe there is not a single instance of jobbery in any of the nominations. Now, Sir, it appears to me that if the present Governors are doing a work humble, but so far successful—it appears to me that if they have not been guilty of any malversation of the funds—it appears to me that if they are carrying out to the best of their judgment the intention of the Founder, it is hard to say to them "Your time has come, you shall be done away with." Sir, under these circumstances, I do trust that the House will not give its sanction to the scheme of the Commissioners.


Sir, the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Mr. Baillie Cochrane) made some very general remarks to the House. He quoted some documents which he said he had never read, and he produced one which was full of the names of the recipients of these charities which being given only in initial it was of course impossible to remember. I will mention one or two points which I believe did not occur to either the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight or any other Member. It has been objected to the scheme of the Commissioners that a large sum is to be spent in building, which will be wasted if the school does not turn out successful—that if money is spent and the school does not turn out to be successful that money will be wasted. The Governing Body is proposed to consist of the Lord Mayor and Corporation, and partly of the gentlemen who have given their attention to it, being nominated by the Westminster School Board. If the Governing Body in that way cannot make it a success, I really do not know what can. When it is said that a large sum will be spent in building which would be wasted if the school does not turn out successful, I ask, may not the same ob- jection be levelled at other schemes; for instance that of the Corporation, in which it is proposed to spend £20,000 in buildings? Every precaution is taken for the scheme of the poor. The hon. Gentleman says that the government is entirely taken away from the present Governing Body of all these schools, and he goes into an elaborate argument about amalgamation, which I must also notice later. The hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) speaking on behalf of the Corporation confines his remarks chiefly to a denunciation of the way in which the school has been converted from a poor man's school to a rich man's school. He certainly did seem to bring that forward as an argument in favour of the old Governing Bodies as against new ones. Well, now, it seems to me to go entirely the other way. The conclusion of his speech was a terrible warning to us not to vote against this Resolution lest it should prejudice us at the next election. I did not come into this House to regulate my conduct upon whether I could keep my seat or not, by voting in a particular way, but I came into this House to propose and to vote what I thought was right, and those arguments, I must say, are entirely lost upon me, as I hope they are on everybody else. Now, Sir, the hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. J. G. Talbot) is the first Gentleman who has confined himself to the details of the subject at present before the House. We have nothing whatever to do on this occasion with the general policy of the Commission. There might be some excuse for saying that the main staple of this debate, if not the great debate upon that subject, is pending over and must occur within six months; but we are not here to criticize the utterances of individuals amongst the Commissioners or those who have been speakers at private meetings, the Society of Arts and so forth. I regret some of those utterances myself as well as anyone, but I certainly cannot see their applicability to the present debate. The chief charge which was made against the scheme on a previous occasion, but not so much to-night, is that it takes away the endowment from the poor and gives it to the middle-classes. Hon. Gentlemen who think they have read these schemes and studied the real facts of the case—I cannot understand it— anything more false upon the face of it cannot be conceived. It has been said—"By the poor we do not mean the ordinary poor, we mean the very poor." I could show you a large number of shops and dwellings which evidently are in the hands of substantial people, and I can show one or two in the hands of wealthy people, the shops being very much above the usual character of shops in the district; the children of those parts are in the school. It does not give the number of children admitted to any other but elementary schools. Upon looking into it you will see that where a man has three children he has got two in one school and one in another. It is said there are poor people in all classes. That is perfectly true. Well, then, Sir, with regard to the districts which are to be affected, the hon. Member for West Kent told us that the Corporation of the City of London bad a perfect right to divert the benefits from Westminster and give them to other places. If the hon. Member for West Kent had listened to the speech of the Prime Minister he would have heard him admit that they had a legal right to do so. It is quite true that very often it is desirable in reforming these foundations to extend the areas. The scheme provides that one-third of the scholars should be orphans, and one-third children from elementary schools; and surely it cannot be contended that the rich put their children in elementary schools! Considering that the College was planted in the midst of a population of 137,000, I apprehend that no reasonable ground can be urged for extending the area, so as to include the City which is already gorged with endowments. I hold in my hand a list of 17 parishes in the City of London, and their average population is 181 men, women and children, and their total charitable endowments are £1,291 a-year. Well, now, Sir, not one of those parishes has applied to the Endowed Schools Commissioners for schemes to provide for the education of City children—not one of those parishes to every one of which Section 30 of the Act was open, and which might have come to the Commissioners for a scheme, and to divert a scheme from those endowments, which are frightfully wasted—not one of them has taken advantage of that section 'of the Act of Parliament—not that they had not the example before them. And when my hon. Friend the Member for the City spoke of the grocers' scheme, I can hardly believe he has read that scheme, because that scheme is, indeed, a noble scheme—they devote £30,000 partly from funds over which they have control, and partly from useless and mischievous tolls—they have created a second or third rate school open without favour, and without patronage—without reserving any patronage whatever in respect of it. It seems to me that that is an example which the parishes to which I allude and the Corporation of the City of London might well follow instead of seeking to appropriate the poor man's ewe lamb. They will not use their own endowments which the law allows them to do for the purpose of giving education—they will not take advantage of that which they come whining to us to do. The hon. Member told us of a rich man who had a large flock of sheep, and he wanted to entertain a stranger. He declined to kill his own sheep, but went to his neighbour and took away his ewe lamb from him. That is the story which has always occurred to me in considering a matter of this description. The City of London School has been quoted frequently enough. The City of London School is an admirable school. It has been created out of a small portion of some funds which were originally left entirely for the education of four poor boys. Part of those funds is devoted to the City of London School, and another part goes nobody knows whither; but if it was legal to make it into so good a school that it retained boys to the age of 18 or 19, and actually even till they obtained a scholarship, how can they say we are robbing the poor? Well, then, there is the subject of selection, and we are told that these are details, and that the question is whether eleemosynary principle is to apply. I wish hon. Gentlemen to think a little of this. It does not mean as has been constantly, and without sufficient reason, asserted, mere intellectual capacity. It includes honesty and good conduct; and it is necessary again to repeat what has been repeated before, because it seems to make no impression upon hon. Gentlemen—that this is not a question of competitive examination. The real issue is whether pupils are to be selected by some responsible body or by irresponsible patronage. Selection by merit, which I construe as including honesty and good conduct, as well as mere intellectual ability, stimulates both parent and child; but, on the other hand, selection by private patronage fosters idleness on the part of the child, and neglect on the part of the parent. It is open to them in every possible way to ascertain the children who are the most deserving, and that is what is meant by merit; but it has been so constantly repeated that that admission is only to be by competitive examination that I almost begin to think that the people will begin to believe in it themselves. I am not here to condemn competitive examination. It may be a very fine institution; I have nothing to say against it. It is a mere bugbear to lead us away from the real issue, which is this, as I said just now, whether the election is to be made from a responsible body acting together upon some recognized principle, or whether it is to be left to the irresponsible patronage of individuals. Now, Sir, I really was astonished to hear the right hon. Baronet the Member for Lambeth say that concessions might be made in this matter. I certainly was under a different impression altogether. I was under the impression, and I am so still, that if the Governing Body were modified in accordance with the recommendations of the Commission all would follow straight. Then is it too much to ask that the interests of Westminster, and the interests of education, pure and simple, should be represented on the Governing Body of this Charity? I am very doubtful myself as to the advisability of vestries controlling either this or other schools. It appears to me that filtering it through the Westminster School Board for instance is an admirable means for combining the representation of the locality with the representation of the educational requirements of the country. I believe that if that had been conceded we should never have heard of this Motion of my hon. Friend, and no doubt the Commissioners for their own peace of mind would have been very glad to have conceded it; but it seems to me that in interpreting the Act they had no choice, and that they were actually required to bring into light new schools, and to take a body organized for the purposes of school management, and not a body elected by a body of ratepayers already overwhelmed with duties which they perform gratuitously enough. We have heard it said that in the case of the Grey Coat schools the school board had some difficulty in finding gentlemen ready to undertake the duty belonging to the Governing Body. That difficulty is met by the scheme. Now, Sir, it appears to me that the hon. Member fur West Kent has devoted the most argumentative part of his speech to argue against the amalgamation. For my part, I have heard with regret the opinion expressed against the amalgamation of neighbouring endowments, for by such amalgamation, besides gaining efficiency and unity of management along with economy of management, you also make it possible to carry out a due gradation of schools. I was very much surprised to hear the words that fell from the hon. Member for West Kent upon this part of the subject, because we all know that the hon. Member for West Kent has given a great deal of attention to this matter—the interests of education. I was very sorry to hear him give the weight of his authority to the scheme for the amalgamation of neighbouring foundations.


I beg your pardon, I do not object to amalgamations, but to being amalgamated.


There is community of management and efficiency to be obtained, but that is a small part of the benefits you gain: the possibility of carrying out what is so much desired by all educationalists—the improvement of schools. You are unable to separate in three different ways between girls' and boys' schools, between boarding schools and day schools, and between two or three Greys and middle-class schools. It is with immense difficulty that this is ever carried out. In the case of schools in small country towns, the difficulty of altering the class of school is almost insuperable, but here the foundations are all together, and when there really was no argument that would hold water at all brought forward against amalgamation, I should have hoped that the public spirit of the Corporation of London—a great Corporation which has done great things in former times—would have risen to the idea of carrying out this plan of gradation and classification instead of putting forward its power and wealth and influence to defeat instead of to support a scheme so beneficial to the poor and to the interests of education, and that upon the miserable plea of the value of these endowments, which are worth about £1,000 a-year. Now, Sir, I have only to advert to one more matter before I conclude the observations which I have to make to the House. If those Founders could be amongst us at this time, I think they would be the first to cry out—"Save us from our friends." I say this with regard to the Founders upon whose intentions such stress has been laid. I think if they could look up they would be the first to make that outcry. I think they would be pained to see how their intentions are disregarded. They, no doubt, started that kind of school which was the best for the interests of the poor, and of education in their days. But, Sir, I ask the House—is it likely that 300 years could elapse without seriously modifying the state of things. And do we not know—is it not notorious to all of us that the state of things is very much changed? And would not these pious Founders be shocked if they could be told that in this 19th century their foundations were to go not to benefit the poor, but to save the rates or the subscriptions, as the case may be, of a. few comparatively wealthy individuals. Now, Sir, the word confiscation has been very properly used in the course of this debate—so frequently that, as the Prime Minister said, we have ceased to care much about it. But if that word is to be used it ought rather to be used with respect to the way in which these funds are now being used than with respect to what is contemplated under the scheme. I will not mention names or places, but I heard a conversation the other day, which I will mention to the House. It was this—one person said to another—"Well, there is such and such a foundation which does nothing on earth but save Mr. So and So £200 a-year. I think it scandalous." Another gentleman said—"I think it scandalous the other way—to take it away from him." Well, now, Sir, was it the wish of Lady Dacre that this foundation should be applied to teaching children to earn their living by honest labour? It was. It was the wish of that good lady. I believe that everybody who has given patient attention to this subject, or the vast majority, consider that this hothouse system of taking children into hospitals, clothing them, feeding them, and educating them, and taking the charge of them entirely away from their parents, is the very worst system that can be adopted for enabling children to fight the battle of life. If education is to be only elementary, we are distinctly lowering the ordinary type of education instead of raising it to those poor children, and then we are told we are following the Founder's intention. It is not the Founder's intention, and it flies entirely in the face of the Schools Inquiry Act—it is the fashion rather to call the Commission the conclusions of theorists and doctrinaires; I should rather call it the conclusions of those best qualified to judge, who, after long, patient, laborious investigation of a vast mass of facts extending over 800 schools, are better judges of what is wanted for education and for the poor than any isolated or small body. Well, then, Sir, we are told by the hon. Mover, and his remark was cheered from this side of the House that the greatest fallacy was acting adversely to the wishes of benevolent donors. What, however, can be more encouraging to those who wish to give money for the benefit of the poor than to know that henceforth the State will not allow these foundations to lapse into a condition of neglect, but that they will be kept practically useful, according to the wants of the time? Was there ever a time in the whole history of England, when such noble foundations have been made as within the last 10 years. Without speaking of the munificent gifts of Mr. Peabody, I may mention the case of a lady, whose will was made within 12 months ago, who has left, besides enormous benefactions in her lifetime, no less than £60,000 in charitable foundations. I may mention that at the town of Bradford the other day, no sooner had the scheme of the Endowed School Commissioners become law than a gentleman came forward and added a donation of £6,000 to the funds of the school there. Another instance came before me lately in which a gentleman gave a sum of £15,000 for educational purposes, and one of the very few conditions which he made was this—that the foundation should be overhauled by the Charity Commissioners, or by some similar body every 50 years, and applied to the best uses to which it could be applied. The fact is that benevolent per- sons are not deterred by any such apprehensions, but are still giving largely to educational foundations, and such cases dispose conclusively of the argument that Founders would be scared away by well-considered changes like that which is now proposed. Now, Sir, in my humble judgment, the importance of the real question that the House has to decide, cannot be exaggerated. If every hon. Gentleman who is going to vote to-night had read the vast mass of correspondence which is showered upon us every day—if they had time to study it carefully, I should have had no fear whatever for the result. I do not often trouble the House, knowing the impossibility that Members should fully inform themselves, I felt bound to say a few words. I admire the Corporation of London as a public body. I have no interest one way or the other. I have a great many friends in the Corporation of the City of London. I admire them as a public body. The Endowed School Commissioners I know nothing of officially, and all I know is this that they have turned me off the only Governing Body to which I ever belonged; but I have a great interest in the cause of the poor and in education, and for the poor I plead; and I applaud the advice given to the House on the first night of the Session by the right hon. Member for Buckinghamshire—to remember that it has to fulfil the functions of a senate as well as those of a vestry. It appears to me that if we agree to the Motion of the hon. Gentleman we shall be, not indeed fulfilling the functions of a vestry, but ministering to those narrow views and paltry ends that have so often made the word "vestry" a byeword, and I should be unable to adopt the usual philosophic consolation—"It will be all the same 50 years hence"—for I shall go home in a melancholy frame of mind. [Laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen seem to rejoice in my grief; I have no inclination whatever to do so in theirs, but I certainly shall go home without being able to apply that philosophic consolation to myself. When hon. Members laugh, all I can say is that I should feel for them sincerely were they placed in a similar position. It is, Sir, a most painful thought to me that the interests of Westminster, of education, and of the poor, are at stake tonight; and the effect of this vote will be felt, perhaps, when we are forgotten, but when the injury which will be done by the vote of the House will be past recalling.


—Mr. Speaker: I shall give my vote to-night with very great goodwill in favour of the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London thinking that the bequest was intended for the poor and that the scheme was for the benefit of a higher class, as I consider it the duty of the House to prevent the diversion of the few endowments still enjoyed by the poor. Sir, as far as I can understand the matter, it appears to me that the Government has helped to thwart a scheme for extending the income of Heriots' Hospital, Edinburgh, which was bequeathed specially for the poor, to other classes and other objects. The principle of the present scheme being the same as was put forward in that case, in my humble judgment it ought likewise to be set aside. Sir, it is for these short reasons without going further into the question that I shall feel it my duty, without hesitation, to support the Motion of the hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London.


Sir, in rising to address the House, on the question before it, I beg to say that I think Westminster ought to be represented on the Governing Body, and I believe it is on the whole expedient that these four educational charities should be rearranged in the interests of the poor, for whom they were designed. It might have been better to leave Emanuel Hospital distinct and to consolidate the other three; but I do not object to the scheme on that ground, and my sympathies are rather with the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. M'Laren) than with the hon. Gentleman who has brought forward the Motion. It seems to me, Sir, that the real issue is not whether it is expedient that the Corporation should be Governors, or whether its scheme is a good one, but, rather, whether the scheme of the Commissioners is really the best that can be devised, and I further think that it should be tested by the direction of the Founders "that children should be brought up in good and laudable arts, whereby they might better live in time to come by honest labour"—a design which is consistent with public policy and with modern views, except, indeed, the notion of some that education bestowed on the poor otherwise than on the principle of competitive examination is injurious rather than beneficial. A dull and stupid but respectable boy, has, perhaps, a stronger claim than a quick intelligent boy, for without a regular school training he would have little chance in the world. The action of the Commissioners I admit has been beneficial in many cases; but, Sir, I object to their scheme as a diversion of the large sum of £10,000 of the funds from the poor. Let me call attention to the fact that Mr. Fitch, reporting in 1870 on King Edward's School, Birmingham, which was designed for the poor, stated that it was attended by children of the lower middle class who paid nothing, while the poor for whose benefit it was originally intended went to other schools where they had to pay something like 2d. or 3d. a-week for such learning as they got. At first sight that may appear to be hard upon the lower classes, but the fact is that to a great extent they are self-excluded from the benefits of the free school. There is a strongly marked tendency on the part of all classes to separate themselves from other classes in matters of education. Thus well-to-do people will not send their children to schools where a large proportion of the scholars are taken from the lower classes, and the lower classes cannot afford to allow their children to attend schools where a good education is given for a sufficient time to profit by it. But in the face of this fact the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners proposes, that while a largo number of children of the lower classes shall be freely admitted to the day and boarding schools to be established under it other children are to pay £25 per annum for being educated in them. Now, Sir, though I fully appreciate the spirit that prompts this desire to bind the two classes together, I feel that the proposal is an impracticable one, and will result in transforming the schools into middle-class schools, and in depriving the poor of Westminster altogether of the benefit of the endowment. Then, Sir, under another part of the scheme it will be open to the Governors to put into the schools orphans, not from Westminster alone, but from any part of the kingdom, which I hold to be contrary to the intention of the Founders who intended that the benefits of the charity should be confined to the children of the poor of Westminster, Chelsea, and Hayes. I regret that there is not some intermediate tribunal between the Endowed Schools Commissioners and this House before whom questions of this kind could be discussed and settled. I look upon the appeal to the Privy Council in reality as a mere nullity, because that body can only deal with the question whether or not the Commissioners have exceeded the powers which the Act of Parliament gave them, and cannot enter into the merits of the scheme which they have originated, and which was objected to by those who are interested in the endowment affected by it. I think that it would be quite practicable for the Commissioners to frame some scheme under which the children of the poor of Westminster, Chelsea, and Hayes may obtain the benefit of free education, and under which the right of patronage might be transferred from the individual Governors to a Board who would be instructed to judge of each case by its merits. I think, Sir, the House will agree with me that in this way children might rise step by step from the national and elementary school, and ultimately to the University. In conclusion, therefore, I would call on the House by its vote to-night, not to allow the intention of the Founder of this Hospital to benefit the poor of Westminster to be departed from.


When we consider the efforts which both sides of the House have made to secure a full attendance, it is obvious that there lies behind the Motion of the hon. Member for the City of London (Mr. Crawford) much more important issues than the existence of Emanuel Hospital. The issues which he has raised are calm and reasonable. He asks us whether there is any justification for interfering with the purpose and management of the Hospital, and whether its present system does not provide for the poor and needy better than the proposed scheme of the Commissioners. I need not remind the House that the reiterated allegation of confiscation is a complete misunderstanding of the elementary principles of law. A public trust in property has no analogy to the rights of private possession. The Lord Mayor and Aldermen are mere trustees, not even ap- pointed by the Founder, but by Queen Elizabeth. The State, when it passes over a trust, still remains supreme trustee and may alter it according to public necessities. The Municipal Act of 1835 passed over educational trusts from the municipalities to distinct bodies of trustees, but no one called that confiscation. The Corporation of London, by its power, got itself excepted on that occasion. The Governors were the first to initiate reform in 1870, and they were perfectly justified, for public opinion was united in condemning the hospital system. Here is Emanuel Hospital, with £2,300 a-year, teaching 64 children, no better and no worse than an inspected elementary school, which would contract to do the educational part of the work for £29 a-year, or at 9s. per head. That is the value of the educational advantages offered to the children under all the baneful influences of hospital life. They live in contact with alms people, immured in monastic seclusion, cut off from home influences and home affections, respecting neither themselves nor their parents, who have cast off on others their parental duties and obligations. What has been the outcome of Emanuel Hospital from the time of Queen Elizabeth to this year in the reign of Queen Victoria? There is not a parish school in Scotland with £100 a-year from rates which could not point to a roll of boys who have risen in the world through its educational influences. Where are the laurels to grace the brows of the Aldermen in the management of Emanuel Hospital with 20 times that endowment? The Papers sent in for our information admit that it has not contributed to the intellectual advancement of the scholars. But we must not blame the Governors so much as the Hospital system for this failure. Boys in hospitals become stunted in intellect, dwarfed in morals, and destitute of individuality and independence. When the Governors proposed reform they acted rightly; but they acted wrongly and unfairly in attributing to the Commissioners a want of consideration for the wishes of the Foundress, when their own scheme violates her intention far more profoundly. Adaptation of original designs to existing necessities is the truest method of carrying out a Founder's intentions. The Governors in their first scheme demand superiority over that of the Commissioners by a more distinct recognition of religion. They even give the form of prayer which the school children are to say each night before going to bed. If the subject were not too sacred, I would read that prayer to the House, because it betrays, in a remarkable manner, the spirit of subserviency in which the children are brought up. The children are ordered to pray that they may meet the worthy Governors, the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London, in the heavenly kingdom. As I shall show, from their own words, that the Governors have no intention of allowing these poor scholars to rise to their own level on earth, the hope expressed in this prayer may contain in it a consolation, but it savours much of that more popular form of prayer for village schools— God bless the squire and his relations, And help us in our proper stations. This spirit of subserviency is betrayed all through the printed Papers. I quote in their own words the object of the school— Hewers of wood and drawers of water would still be wanted, and in properly educating such to gain their living by their honest labour, as Lady Deere directed, Emanuel Hospital is fulfilling its proper function in the work of education. Now, here the Governors put a very humble, and, as I think, unjustifiable interpretation on Lady Dacre's words, which are that her school shall be "for the bringing up of children in virtue and in good and laudable arts." These are words quite as capable of a large and generous, as of a low and contracted interpretation. But the Governors defend their view by a sentence which, as it is the essence of their opposition, I commend to your special attention. They say— We are charged with having made no attempt to make the school the means of eliciting superior qualities and promoting the possessors of them. We freely admit the charge, and we should hold it to be a breach of our trust to divert the bounty intended for the poor and destitute for the purposes of higher education. This is the question between the Commissioners and ourselves. You will observe that this sentence contains a non sequitur. You may have poor and destitute, and yet you may give them a higher education. But the Governors would still reply—"We glory in not having done so, for our school is for the hewers of wood and the drawers of water, and it is not for us to care for their intellectual development." Yet, with singular contradiction, their first scheme provides for an upper school in which Greek and Latin, French, German, and mathematics, are to be taught—a wonderful education for hewers of wood and drawers of water. But as their new schools are to be transported to a genteel suburb of London, perhaps they contemplated a school for the gentlemen of the neighbourhood. If so, these shrieks of plundering the poor will have little effect upon us. Struck by the inconsistency of their argument, this higher school disappears in the new scheme of the Governors, who dive again into low education. Well, if they revert to the policy described in that remarkable sentence which I read, I say without fear of contradiction in this House, that the Lord Mayor and Aldermen ought to be deprived of exclusive management of educational endowments for the poor. The Corporation of London is ancient, and such ideas of education are very ancient and obsolete. They are as antiquated as some of the statutes of Emanuel Hospital itself, for in these I find careful provision made for expelling the inmates when they commit sorcery or witchcraft, or when they have had their ears or limbs lopped off by the executioner. Well, but that was the position which the Governors have taken till a few days ago in the piles of documents which they have heaped on us. But last Friday they issued a new paper, in which is a letter to the Commissioners renouncing this glory of their past management. In this they say— In deference to the views which the Commissioners have propounded, and with which the Governors agree, of giving the opportunity to a poor child who may show an aptitude for rising in the social scale, they absolutely propose to keep such a child in their school up to 15 on the mere A B C of education. Then they console themselves with the belief that three out of every 1,000 children may desire higher education, and they think, but they do not promise, that they may help these few up to 18. For their information, I may tell them that the Scotch experience in parish schools gives 70 in the 1,000, not three; so their good intentions will likely collapse, and they will take refuge in their old do-nothing policy. If they were sincere in their half-hearted recantation of a most miserable error, then they would practically give up their opposition; for the object of the Commissioners' scheme is to carry out this intellectual development of meritorious children in a rational and practical way, suitable for the future occupations of the working classes. There is a chief reason for hostility to this scheme, very operative with the Governors, but which has been well kept in the back ground in their representations to us. It is the abolition of their private patronage by the substitution of merit on the part of the children. The Governors fancy that we have forgotten the teachings of the Schools Inquiry Commission. That Commission pointed out that selection by patronage produced baneful results in education. Since 1869 large experience has been gained, and it proves the truth of the principles then enunciated. Take the case of Birmingham, where the trustees of King Edward's Schools voluntarily renounced their selection by patronage, and admitted boys of proved merit. I appeal to the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) whether this system has not been crowned with signal success. In that town the most lively differences exist on subjects of education, but I am informed that there is a perfect consensus of opinion as to the benefits of the abolition of patronage in regard to the admission of scholars to the endowed schools. Allow me to give another instance which is peculiarly valuable, because, unless I much mistake, it is the model on which the Commissioners have built the scheme which now engages our attention. Any hon. Gentleman who has visited Edinburgh must have been struck with the palatial edifices which surround it. These are hospital schools, which, however, find it difficult to procure inmates, because the Scotch people now condemn the hospital system. The Merchant Company of Edinburgh possessed three of these schools, having an income of £20,000. Only 230 children were benefited, or, I should rather say, injured by these endowments. A few years ago the Merchant Company abolished the hospital system, and founded day schools, in which the free places were opened to merit instead of to patronage, grading the education according to different conditions and wants in life, and converting the hospitals into boarding-schools, having also free places open to the meritorious children of the day schools. The result has been that, instead of the cramped education which was given to 230 children, 4,600 children now receive the benefits of the graded education. A considerable proportion pay fees, and enable the foundationers to participate in the benefits of a large and efficient teaching staff. On the old system, the Governors could only pay £1,700 to their teachers; now they pay £20,000 a-year. It is by the contributions of paying pupils that foundationers receive such large benefits, and hon. Members who have objected to the scheme of the Commissioners, because they allow paying pupils to attend the schools, cannot have given full consideration to the large benefits which flow from this participation. These weighty experiences in Birmingham and Edinburgh ought to convince the House that the conceptions of the Commissioners are not theoretical, but are of the largest practical and beneficent application. The establishment of graded schools, some just above the primary, and others giving technical instruction suitable for industrial occupations, as the Commissioners proposed to found by their scheme, would be of enormous value to the poor. The rich have their grammar schools and Universities; the poor in England have nothing but the three R's of the primary schools—a miserable level of education. There is nothing for their clever boys to aim at, nothing that will help them to use their intellectual faculties as a means of promoting them in the industrial pursuits of life. To supply that want the House passed the Endowed Schools Act, the purpose of which, as stated in the Preamble, is "to place a liberal education within the reach of all classes." To carry out the intentions of Parliament, as thus expressed, the Commissioners have carefully framed this scheme. In itself it is undoubtedly good, and well adjusted in its relations to the poor. Then and not now is the time to criticize the general action of the Commissioners; but the scheme for Emanuel Hospital should be decided irrespective of those general considerations. If we arrive at a hostile vote to-night, a severe blow will be struck, not at the Commissioners, but at the principles represented by them—namely, that the poor, like the rich, should have an education fitted to advance them in their several callings. Before I sit down, let me remind you that our vote does not affect merely the question whether the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London are to have the exclusive management of a small Hospital in Westminster, or share that management with the people of Westminster. The Governors are no doubt important civic dignitaries, and have around them prandial hallucinations of greatness. Their small interests have therefore swollen to vast proportions. Fortunately, however, they have put the general principles of their case clearly before you, and these issues are expressed in unmistakeable language. For my own part, I think that these issues are not only unwise, but highly ignoble. Nevertheless, there they are, and upon them we must vote. They tell us that it is none of their duty to elicit superior faculties among the poor, or to promote the possessors of them. I use their own words once more—"This is the question between the Commissioners and ourselves." Upon this question your votes will be judged to-night, and depend upon it that the working classes will well scan our votes when they understand the ignoble issue which the Corporation of London has raised. Let us by accepting the scheme of the Commissioners tell the Governors and tell the people that we approve the scheme precisely because we do sympathize with the efforts of the poor to better their condition. I do not believe that Lady Dacre ever did intend to have that narrow construction put upon words which in themselves are large and generous. But if she did, the living are not always to be governed by the dead. Why even our most solemn Acts of Parliament are reversed and altered by succeeding generations. Are the statutes of a charitable Founder never to be revised so as to render them suitable to changed times? The State is supreme trustee for all educational endowments. And it is wise and necessary for a State to elicit superior merit among the poor, and to promote its possessors, because the intellectual fund of a nation never can be too large, and in our country it is much impoverished. But, as supreme trustee of educational endowments, the State has a larger duty even than this. It is bound to diffuse knowledge and learning, so that they may become the heritage of all its citizens—not according to the accidents of birth, but according to the natural distribution of intellectual faculties. For the poor, education is their sole chance of heritage, and when they feel that they, as well as the rich, may participate freely in it, you will give far more enduring securities for social order than by adopting the views of the Governors of Emanuel Hospital when they ask you to help them in keeping down education to the lowest level of hewers of wood and drawers of water, without eliciting their superior faculties and without promoting the possessors of them.


Sir, in the course of this debate two difficult questions have been argued with great power and ability—the one general and the other more particular—and the general question is as to how far the Endowed Schools Commissioners have been acting in conformity with the spirit and intention of the Act of Parliament, while the particular question is how they have discharged their duties with reference to the scheme for Emanuel Hospital. Now, Sir, these two questions are wholly distinct from each other, and the answer to them depends on such distinct considerations, that in my humble opinion they ought not to have been brought before the House at the same time, because it is impossible to arrive at a fair conclusion upon them when they are taken together. Indeed the former question can scarcely be decided by the House at all, inasmuch as it has been referred to a Select Committee which has not as yet reported upon it. Therefore I shall say nothing more about it at the present moment, except to reserve to myself the full power of considering it whenever it may be brought under the consideration of this House. If, however, the particular question had been brought forward by itself I should have been able to form a clear and distinct opinion with regard to it. Now, Sir, my hon. Friend and Colleague, the Member for the University of Cambridge, has rested that question solely on the intentions of the Founder which my hon. Friend insisted ought to be upheld. Far be it from me to dispute that proposition; but then those intentions should be liberally interpreted in order to adapt them to the requirements of the age. Well, now Sir, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman at the head of the Government, I think there cannot be a doubt in any man's mind that the intention of the Foundress, Lady Dacre, in this particular instance was not the intention which has been advocated on the part of the Corporation of the City of London. In my judgment the intention of Lady Dacre was that without circumscribing the locality or the parishes or the places in which the education was to be carried on—both the almshouse and the school should be intimately connected with the City of Westminster. This House evidently assented to the proposition of the First Minister of the Crown with reference to the first 20 children who were thus to be provided for, but when the question afterwards arose whether the same principle is to be applied to any accumulations by which the fund had been increased, a doubt seemed to be entertained as to how the accumulation should be applied. Now Sir, it is some years since I practised in the Court of Chancery, but I will venture to say, notwithstanding that, that no principle is more just and clear than this—that when a fund has been given for charitable objects, and in the course of time it has greatly increased, it is invariably applied in an extended scheme for the benefit of those objects who were originally intended to be applied. And although in this no particular locality has been actually designated in the will of Lady Dacre, yet all the circumstances show that Westminster was to be the principal object of her bounty; and, so, as far as we can, in extending the scheme according to the requirements of the age, I think we ought to have special regard to that part of the metropolis in preference to the City or any other part of it. Now, Sir, the hon. Member for Lambeth made an admirable and interesting speech on behalf the City; but throughout that speech it was perfectly evident that he could not maintain to the full the instructions which had been placed in his hands. It cannot but be regretted I think, that the hon. Member omitted all allusion to the schemes which have been proposed from time to time on the part of the Governors, as well as to the counter schemes which have been proposed on the part of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. In a matter of this importance everything turns upon a comparison of the schemes of these two Bodies. In the first instance I thought that the Endowed Schools Commissioners were very much to blame for not having attended more carefully to the propositions which the City were empowered by Act of Parliament to offer for their consideration, and in my opinion they certainly ought not to have dismissed them so summarily as they evidently did. In my opinion also they are further to blame for having a little exceeded their duty, in proposing their scheme in such a shape that the House of Lords had no alternative but to refer it to the Queen in Council. By this original scheme it was proposed to give no more than three or four members of the Governing Body to the City of London, and in other respects it had too little regard to the objects of the Charity. The scheme now gives to the Corporation of the City of London a majority of the Governing Body, and the objects of the Charity as contemplated by the Foundress. Of the rival schemes as at present submitted, I am decidedly of opinion that that of the Commissioners must be preferred. The scheme of the Corporation of London proposes that both day and boarding schools should be built 20 miles in the country; but everybody knows that children cannot go 20 miles to a day school, so that the children in Westminster would be virtually excluded. The scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners is, that the day schools are to be in Westminster; and then the only question will turn upon the mode in which these children will be qualified to enter. According to the scheme of the Corporation of London, they are to enter by selection—that is to say at the will of the Aldermen—not to use the word "patronage." Under the other scheme they are to be taken from the elementary schools, in which all the children of the poor—the very class whom Lady Dacre intended to benefit—will be equally considered, with this difference only, that the preferable choice will be made as the reward of industry, and not as a favour to the negligent and idle. Now, Sir, I should indeed be very sorry to say anything against observing the intentions of the benevolent Foundress. No hon. Member has stronger opinions than I entertain myself about carrying out such intentions, provided they are adapted to the wants and requirements of the age in which we live. Nor, indeed, should I be found opposing views which have been very earnestly pressed upon us by the hon. Member for Lambeth, in respect of offering a gratuitous education to poorer children. My belief is that the opportunity of doing so is better given by the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners than it would be by the scheme of the Corporation of London. I am afraid that I shall not please those who cheer me by what I am now going to add. The Government themselves have referred the general question to a Committee, and it certainly is a grave question whether the House ought to come to an absolute decision on a particular scheme like this until it has determined on the nature of the powers which it is intended to confer upon the Endowed Schools Commissioners in respect to future schemes that may be propounded and settled by them. In saying this, I am perfectly aware that I am taking a course which it is very difficult to tread without stumbling, and I have great doubt whether I should not vote against the Motion of the hon. Member for the City, or whether I should not abstain from voting, which I never do voluntarily if I can avoid it. But, Sir, believing that it is a matter of immense importance that the Endowed Schools Commission should be carried on with the full concurrence of Parliament, the only conclusion I can arrive at, however unsatisfactory it may be to myself and to others is, that I have no other alternative but to vote with the hon. Member for the City until that concurrence is clearly ascertained. I shall not do that with the view of stopping the scheme of the Commissioners, but in order that it may be adopted after mature deliberation as to what are the powers which the Endowed Schools Commissioners are to be entitled to exercise with the full concurrence of Parliament. This I believe will be the best way of giving satisfaction to the country upon a question of such vital importance as that which has now been brought under our notice.


Sir, at this late hour, I will only detain the House a few moments. The hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh stated that the views of the Corporation of the City of London were as ancient as they were obsolete. I will recall to his notice the City of London School, and what the Inquiry Commissioners said with respect to that school, for the purpose of showing how ancient are the views of the Corporation of the City of London. Mr. Fearon states, with reference to the City of London School— This education is as cheap as it is good, and subject to the limits of the school it is practically open to all respectable persons residing within 20 miles of St. Paul's. I have now mentioned some of the principal peculiarities in this school which seem to me to deserve the attention of the Commissioners. I will only add that this school has struck me as by far the best among the second grade, by far the nearest approach to my idea of a good secondary school; and as an institution which is, most unquestionably, of the highest use and value to the country. And he also there states the two facts which particularly struck him in inspecting the school were the thoroughness, the precision, exactness, and soundness of the elementary work, and the scientific way in which everything was taught from its first rudiments; the care that was taken to make the boys grasp the principles upon which their knowledge was based. Now, Sir, I think that the Corporation of the City of London has entirely vindicated its character with respect to its view of education, because it is admitted that the City of London School stands upon a proud pre-eminence as to the education given there, and as to the liberal principles of the masters, and therefore I think it cannot be said that the views of the Corporation are ancient with respect to education. With respect to the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners which we are discussing to-night, it is not so small a matter. Emanuel Hospital stands in the front of the hospital schools throughout the country; and it is looked upon as a matter of great importance how the scheme is received in this House. We hear much of the benefits arising from the examinations and exhibitions in the upper schools. And it is now attempted to introduce the principle even in the lower schools. Are we to have it said—are we to affirm the principle that in future there shall be no free education throughout this country, unless that free education shall be given to those whom the hon. Member for the University of Edinburgh says are likely to rise high in the schools? But there are large numbers who have neither the opportunity nor the capability of receiving a high education. Are boys of the ages of six or seven to be trained for examination in order to obtain a gratuitous education as what is called the "Reward of Merit?" With the permission of the House I will read an advertisement from The Times, which shows how very soon demand regulates supply, and how supply is equal to the demand. Soon after the Endowed Schools Act was passed in 1869, about 1870 there was an enunciation by the Commissioners of their views, and in 1871 there appeared this advertisement in The TimesParents who have boys to place at schools should send for particulars to a grinder of small boys, who teaches by a simple and most successful method. That was followed up the next day by the following advertisement— Teaching extraordinary; boys prepared for a public school; every subject taught upon an entirely new plan; Latin taught in two months. In four months a pupil has done his Latin and Greek from the beginning, has begun Latin verse, and is reading Greek Testament; Grammars thoroughly known, with formation of Greek tenses. English subjects taught by an equally new and successful method—no copy book, no spelling book, no dictation—but spelling and. writing guaranteed. Boys are not crammed, and not pressed, but thoroughly taught. A time-table, which is never exceeded by five minutes. No boy over 13 received, and preference given to those between 10 and 11 who have never been to school. It is a great defect in the Endowed Schools Act that, the moment the Endowed Schools Commissioners have submitted a scheme to the Education Department, there is no power anywhere to alter or amend it. The Education Department can only approve or reject, and the appeal before the Privy Council is only a technical one—there is no power except to reject. So that, after the scheme has been brought before the Educational Department, it is perfectly unalterable. The House of Commons can only address Her Majesty, praying Her to refuse her assent to the scheme. Sir, without trespassing longer upon the patience of the House, I ask the House to vote for the Motion of my hon. Friend and Colleague.


Sir, I believe in every remark that has fallen from the hon. Member for the University of Cambridge. But it seems to me that the simple thing which we have to consider is this—is the scheme which has been proposed by the Endowed Schools Commissioners a good scheme, and indirectly is it a better scheme than is offered by the City? Now, without pretending to be anything like satisfied with the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners, I am bound to say that, after having opposed some of their schemes, that this seems to me the very best scheme, and the one perhaps which, of all others, is the most deserving of consideration—the scheme which we are now considering—and I venture to assert that if there had not been a powerful Corporation before us, interested in the question, there is not a single proposal presented by the Endowed Schools Commissioners that would not have passed the House. What seems surprising to me is this—that the City should think that they have been hardly used. Well, it seems to me not improbable, as it often happens in the political mysteries of this country, that if the City should succeed this evening they will soon find, so far as their present interest is concerned, that it is a dearly bought victory. Well now, Sir, much has been said this evening about the wills of Founders. But, happily, the question has been so much narrowed that there is not much to say. I fully endorse the doctrine of my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge, in which he said that the will of the Foundress should be respected and interpreted by the experience and and thoughts of the age. I ask the House, can any one doubt how entirely the circumstances under which this endowment was made have changed during the last 20 years. In the first place, 300 years ago, when Lady Dacre made her generous gift to the poor, there was no public provision for elementary education, except that which was offered by charities of this description. Now, the elementary education of the poor is guaranteed by the State; consequently, if you devote endowments to the education of the poor, what do you do? You devote endowments not to the poor, but to the relief of the rates. This endowment amounts to about £2,000 a-year. It was said by a Member of the Commission the other night that one-fifth of the rates is paid to the poor. Therefore, if you spend the whole of this £2,000 in elementary education, you will distribute £400 of this very fund amongst the poor, and you will give the remaining £1,600 to retired merchants, the millionaires, and the wealthy traders. I ask the House, is this doing justice to the poor? I say that it is not. But I hope that I am not one of those unreasonable beings who think that everything in the past is inferior to that which exists in the future; but I do believe that in some things we have improved, and in nothing so much as the way in which we look upon the poor. 200 years ago–100 years ago even—it was a fashion for high-minded people—even persons as good—as able as Lady Dacre, to think that the object of creating charitable endowments was to keep the poor in the position in which they were born. I venture to say that in this respect there has been an entire revolution. We think at the present day that what we ought to do with the poor is not to keep them in the position in which they were born, but to do every thing that the Legislature can do to enable them to have a full, free, and fair opportunity for the exercise of those faculties with which they are endowed, by giving them a chance of rising in that position of life—so that they may ultimately obtain that position in life that they are qualified to fulfil, with much advantage to themselves and to the community at large. Now, Sir, this being the case, it seems to me that much in the course of this debate has been urged in defence of the City which seems to me extremely difficult to understand, and one thing which has been put forward by the City as against the Endowed Schools Commissioners is this—it is not difficult to show that the Commissioners are doing more by education than the City. Then it is said that the City is doing a great deal for the poor. What does the City propose to do? To constitute a boarding school for 100 boarders. That is the first part of their scheme. We have not got the smallest possible security that a single boy going to that school would be a poor boy—the school to be situated in the country. Now, Sir, let us look at the guarantees provided by the Endowed Schools Commissioners. They say the persons who receive the reward for these endow- ments must be educated in the elementary schools, and they distinctly and emphatically lay down—I might almost say with too great emphasis—that they must not live in elementary schools. But, in addition to that, they must also be poor children. Therefore, we have the most explicit guarantee that so much as the Endowed School Commissioners are concerned these endowments will be devoted to the poor. But now lot us look at the second part of the scheme of the Corporation of the City of London. They propose to constitute a school of 300 scholars—not in Westminster—not in the City of London, but in some part of the whole country—it may be in Dover, it may be in Colchester, it may be in Dublin, or anywhere else—it may be 60 miles away from London. It is evidently contemplated that this day school should be a middle-class school to which the middle classes of suburban residents can send their children. It is never contended that a day school situated in one of the home counties should be a school which will afford the smallest possible advantage to the poor of Westminster, or to the poor of the City of London, or to the poor of the parishes of Chelsea. It seems to me that there is great danger in allowing schools to be taken out of the centre of the population and put upon the fringe of cities in the country districts. If I could have my time over again in this House I certainly would oppose many schools being taken out of London which have been taken out of London, and in order to show you that I am not one alone in this House, I certainly would join anyone in this House, when the case of the Birmingham scheme conies on, in resisting that being taken out of the centre of the town. I say that the scheme of the Corporation of London evidently contemplates making ads a middle-class school, without any guarantee whatever that the poor of the metropolis will be benefited by it in any way whatever. And as I said just now there seems to be great danger in allowing schools to be taken away from the centres of populations. The City proposes the school to consist of 100 boarders. I believe that it will have all the defects and vices of a charity school. Well, now, Sir, having said this much about the scheme of the Corporation of the City of London, let us look at what the Commissioners propose to do on the other hand. In the first place, there is a boarding school in the City. What will that consist of? There is not the slightest security that it will not have all the defects and vices of a charity school. What is the City of London School? Because that is a case which always comes within their arguments. I know of the great and distinguishing success of that school. I admit it, but that is not a charity or hospital school. I know that there is no school that has furnished so many distinguished students to Universities as that school. But that is not a charity school—it is not a hospital school—anyone can go there. It is a school that is based upon the same principle as the Endowed Schools Commissioners have always contended for, and therefore it is an instance which certainly does not support the argument of the hon. Member for the City of London. I do not think anyone could have read the printed matter which has been circulated upon this subject, or taken the trouble to ascertain the feelings of the people of Westminster—for I happen to live in the parish immediately affected by the scheme—without coming to this conclusion—that it is a great strike between patronage and merit that is now going on, and it seems to me that this House cannot possibly decide a more important truth, and one more vitally affecting the future welfare of this country. Now, if the City obtained its own way, how would these endowments be administered? There would be favours bestowed and favours received. What does that mean? Why, it means dependence, subserviency, and obsequiousness. As a working man of Westminster said to me the other day—"I am not going to crouch and cringe through Temple Bar for this favour; if I ask for it I shall have to give something in return, but if I have a boy of sufficient merit who can enter one of these schools because he proves himself to be meritorious, because he receives a good character—if he were admitted not as a favour but as a reward for his conduct I should feel proud to accept the boon. It would sacrifice none of my self-respect." Now, Sir, I promised the House when I commenced that I would be brief, and I am only going, in conclusion, to say this—I am going to make an appeal to this House. There is at the present moment before us an issue at stake which is of far greater importance than the cause of education, and that is the freedom and independence of this House itself. I must say that if they had the slightest doubt as to how they should vote I should have been decided at once by the way in which this question has been forced, and the way in which Members have been pressed. I believe there is a power which it is most important to resist if we are going to maintain the independence of Parliament, and that is the influence of the Corporation of the City of London. I must say that it seems to me that the Corporation of the City of London have been liberally dealt with—they will probably never get such good terms again, and if they are defeated they will have to attribute their defeat to no small extent to the undue pressure which has been brought upon the House. I trust, under all the circumstances of the case, the House will not accept the scheme, notwithstanding we have been told that the patronage of the City is at stake. In conclusion, I venture to say that much as we may respect the historic associations of the Corporation of the City of London—fully as we may recognize they have rendered in former times this country, we cannot accept them as the great educational authority for the City of London.


I am not one of those Members of the House who are supposed by the hon. Member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett) to be in terror of town clerks. Neither am I jealous of the position of the Corporation of the City of London. On the contrary, I believe that that Corporation has done much for the freedom of this country; and I know that many localities which have been deprived of the benefits they had long received from their endowed schools look to this division with very great anxiety. I have presented not less than three Petitions from my own constituents in the sense of the Motion proposed by the hon. Member for the City of London. Therefore, Sir, without the fear of any town clerks before me, I intend to support the Motion which the hon. Gentleman has submitted to this House; and the more so on account of the very remarkable speech which has been made by the right hon. Gentleman the First Minister of the Crown. To his supporters, who were then about to separate, that speech must have been what the French call très appétisant; but it was founded upon a total mistake, for the right hon. Gentleman repeated over and over again, with respect to the appointment to these schools of children from other localities than the City of Westminster, that the Corporation of London had violated their trust, and defeated the charter under which they acted. [Mr. GLADSTONE: No, I said the statutes.] I am sorry if I did not quite catch the meaning of the right hon. Gentleman. I heard him advert to statutes; but the statutes are the creation of a former Governing Body. The Corporation of the City of London were not bound by the acts of their predecessors, but only by the will of the Founder and the charter; and the language which the right hon. Gentleman used distinctly implied that they had been guilty of a breach of trust. The House separated, as it usually does at that particular hour, under that impression, and it was a totally erroneous impression. I happen to know that that was the case; and it recalled to my mind a passage in an address delivered by Mr. Carlyle to the University of Glasgow, where he said that of all disagreeable objects the most disagreeable was an eloquent man declaiming upon false premises. That was precisely what the right hon. Gentleman was doing; but I shall not vote upon this occasion merely upon the narrow issue whether the scheme before us is the best. I have nothing to do with the scheme which was proposed by the Corporation of London. It has been rejected; and I hope that this House will to-night respond to the feeling of the country, the feeling of alarm which has been excited at finding that, although, when the House of Commons was engaged in passing an Act which empowered a Commission to correct abuses, it was assured by the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Committee of Council that under that Commission no good school had any cause to fear undue interference, yet in correspondence with myself, a senior governor of a charity in this country, this principle is distinctly enunciated; I will not read it, but I have it here; that no matter how beneficial may have been the administration of a charity, it is the settled policy, not of Parliament, but of the Commissioners—that hereafter the funds of that charity shall cease to be applied to elementary education, and that only some small portion of the sums hitherto applied; and I speak of the case of a charity in the administration of which I have taken part for more than 20 years; that only some small portion of the funds hitherto applied to the free education of the poor shall be returned to them in the form of prizes for attainments. That has been plainly and distinctly enunciated, and I now declare before the House that no hon. Member, except it may have been the right hon. Gentleman himself, after the debates on the Endowed Schools Bill, believed that where there was a faultless administration the system was to be broken up in this way, and that funds which had been thus administered, and belonged to the poor themselves, to provide them with an education that enabled many of them to advance their position, should be so diverted. At this moment there is one of the senior clerks in the Bank of England, who was educated at one of these schools; and I know several men who stand high in the administration of railway and other companies who were also educated in these schools. That is my reply to the hon. Member for Brighton, when he says that this gratuitous education, as he calls it, is degrading. Sir, I hold that it is not gratuitous, that it is the property of these men themselves, and as much their inheritance as is my estate mine. The hon. Member says that such a position must have a great effect on the character of these men; that they cannot rise. Sir, I know that they do rise, I have seen them. There is nothing; degrading in being educated out of funds that belong to you of right, and it is in defence of that right and of this property which is now systematically assailed and attempted to be diverted from its proper objects by the Endowed Schools Commissioners, that I shall, from a sense of duty, and with the full concurrence of my constituents, support the hon. Member for the City of London in resisting this measure.


Sir, in rising to address the House in reply to the Motion of my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London, I do not think it will be necessary for me to trouble the House more than a few minutes, for there is very little I can say that has not been already said in support of the scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. The question has, on both sides, been so completely exhausted that I shall make but very few remarks in opposing the Motion of my hon. Friend. Sir, with reference to the recipients of the Charity, it is quite true that neither Lady Dacre's will nor the Charter of Queen Elizabeth declares that they shall come from Westminster; but what my right hon. Friend stated was that Lady Dacre, in her will, pointed to the City of Westminster by declaring that the Hospital should be there, and that the executors she appointed, who might fairly be taken as interpreters of her will, ordained that for ever afterwards the recipients of the Charity should come from Westminster, Chelsea, and Hayes. Now, Sir, the Corporation, conscious that some fault might be found with them for taking recipients from the City, urge that since the establishment of certain schools there the necessity no longer exists. Now, it has been abundantly proved how very rich the City is in such foundations, and, at the same time, how very poor is Westminster; but permit me to say that it has escaped general observation that, in both the schemes put forward by the Corporation, they still propose to take children from the City of London. In the first scheme certain limitations were introduced; but, in the second, there were none at all, and it was left to the Governors to choose the children in what proportions they might think fit. Sir, I have rarely listened to a speech with greater pleasure than to the one delivered by my right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole), who has stated the arguments against the Motion with equal force and truth, and who, if he does not convince himself, must have convinced a good many of his hearers. My right hon. Friend said the issue before the House was not the general conduct of the Commissioners, but this particular scheme; and then having shown that the scheme ought to be supported, announced that he should vote against the scheme of which he approved, because the House had not the general question before it. Well, then, Sir, with reference to the Commissioners, I would remind the House that a Select Committee is now sitting to inquire into the whole subject, and I hope that hon. Members will reserve their judgment till they have the whole of the facts before them. I should not be acting loyally towards the Commissioners, however, if I did not tell the House that a great and difficult reform is entrusted to them; and, however general may be the feeling in favour of this reform, there is sure to be opposition to particular schemes—sometimes an interested, sometimes an innocent opposition; and a strong case ought to be made out before the House discredited the Commissioners in the discharge of their difficult task. I have always noticed that a clever speech generally hangs round a man's neck for the rest of his life, and if any hon. Member chances to make a clever remark—which by the way is not likely to be my case—I have noticed that it is pretty certain to be thrown back so often into the face of the speaker that he is generally sorry he ever made it. The quotations, however, which have been made from the speeches and writings of the Members of the Commission have not been fair, because they have been made without the context. Now, the question is whether the House will take upon itself the responsibility of preventing this scheme from becoming law. And I can hardly understand how my right hon. Friend came to suppose that if his speech should upset the scheme, it would, nevertheless, in some way or another, come to life again. The effect of a hostile vote upon the present Motion would certainly be to put an end to the scheme, and the House remembering that it is now about to exercise a judicial function, will try the matter upon its merits. Perhaps, Sir, it is right that I should allude to the frequent reference to some remarks of mine which were made in 1869. They have been quoted over and over again, but not correctly. What I did say I am perfectly willing to abide by. I observed that schools that were well managed need fear nothing from the operation of a Bill which was to introduce good management, and that it was only bad schools for which the Bill was framed. ["Go on!"] I have read all that was quoted, and there was nothing stronger than that. Those who heard that speech understood perfectly well that I was introducing a Bill for making the best use of the educational endowments of the country, and what I meant was, that those bodies who were turning their endowments to the best advantage need not expect to be interfered with. When my hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Beresford Hope) supported the Endowed Schools Bill, did he mean that all schools in which a flagrant abuse could not be found were to be left alone? Now there were schools which, though not bad schools, might be turned to much better account. There was no school more completely in that position than Christ's Hospital, and my hon. Friend knows that Christ's Hospital was one of the most prominent cases that came before them in the deliberations of the Committee on the Endowed Schools Bill before it was passed. I do not for a moment say that the Corporation of London have pocketed the funds, or have been giving dinners out of the income of the School. I am perfectly willing to admit that the Corporation have conscientiously striven to discharge their duty. But, then, with an income of £2,500 per annum, there are only 64 boarders receiving an elementary education. If that is a good School, then it is clear that, with such an income, it might be made better. There are three other schools in Westminster. The income of this School, with the three other schools in Westminster included in the scheme, is £4,600, out of which 92 boarders and 55 day scholars are taught, and receive only an elementary education. These schools may be so much better, and do so much more good, that the Commissioners would have neglected their duties and disregarded their instructions if they had left such endowments as these without interfering with them at all. Let me ask, Sir, if it is not much better that, with the funds of these institutions, the Commissioners should provide a boarding school for from 15 to 300 boys, and two day schools for 300 each? One of these schools is to supply good technical training for engineers and mechanics; and I cannot imagine anything more in accordance with the wish of Lady Dacre, who directed that the children should be instructed in—"laudable arts, so that they might best be enabled to earn their own living hereafter." The children in the other school will receive elementary education and obtain instruction in science, French, and political economy. The Commissioners, Sir, have been charged by the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight, among others, with spoliation and confiscation. The scheme will give a good free maintenance and teaching to 60 boarders and free teaching to 120 day scholars; while it will, in addition, aid from 30 to 60 boarders, and defray three-fourths of the expenses of 80 day scholars. The new schools will, therefore, assist the poor far more than the present schools as conducted by the Corporation. Now, Sir, the Corporation gives the nominations to the school to their poor protégés, whom each Alderman chooses in rotation. They must be the children of resident householders who have been settled for three years where they live; but this provision excludes lodgers, and consequently a large number of the poor. Besides this, at present, no examination or previous education is required; and the result is that in many cases the Charity proves almost a curse, because it induces parents to neglect the education of their children until they go into the school. Well, now, Sir, with respect to the charge of confiscation, if it be said that the rights of the Governing Body are confiscated, I must point to the reform that has been initiated by my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge (Mr. Walpole) when he introduced the Public Schools Bill, since which time many Governing Bodies have been changed, with the general concurrence of the country, and I may add, with the concurrence of the Governing Bodies themselves. Now, Sir, let me ask the House—is Westminster to be the only place which is to be deprived of the power of choosing any member of the Governing Body of an endowment relating to that locality? I need hardly remind the House that there are large issues behind the pending Division; and those issues are, first, whether the reform which was commenced by the unanimous consent of public opinion is to receive a very heavy blow and great discouragement; and, secondly, whether in future poor children shall come in—not by patronage and favour—but by some test of merit; and, thirdly, whether having passed the Elementary Education Act the House will be content to allow these endowments to be devoted to the promotion of elemen- tary education which is otherwise provided for, or whether the endowments shall not be applied to the encouragement of higher education? Then there is also another issue—namely, whether it is not desirable to encourage the amalgamation of neighbouring schemes so that they may be more economically managed? And then there is this question, whether we shall not carry out this reform upon this principle—namely, that endowments ought to be made the most of, and that we ought to get the best Governing Body we can. Sir, those are the questions that are to be decided by this Division, and I appeal to the House to decide them in accordance with the verdict which they gave when this Act was passed, and to do so notwithstanding the opposition of the Corporation of the City of London.


Sir, the last few sentences of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down show that my hon. Friend the Member for the City of London ought to have the majority of the House tonight. It has been admitted, after all the sneers against the Corporation of the City of London, that what they are fighting now is not the question of the independence of Emanuel Hospital alone, but also a number of great and momentous questions, and certainly nobody has put this more forcibly than the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Council. Having stated that the proceedings of the Endowed Schools Commissioners have awakened in the country such a feeling that a Committee of the House has been appointed to consider the course that they have pursued, and while that Committee is still sitting, although not formally, yet substantially upon the issue now before the House, while all the momentous questions which he has stated have not been concluded he asks the House to agree to this scheme of the Endowed Schools Commissioners. We are, in point of fact, asked to agree to this scheme which ought to be argued with reference to all schemes that may be propounded by the Commissioners. [An hon. MEMBER: Who said that?] The Prime Minister stated it in the course of the debate. The hon. Member for West Kent (Mr. J. G. Talbot) stated that there was only one exception taken to this scheme. What is that? That it destroyed the Governing Body. I heard the First Minister of the Crown declare how many Governing Bodies had already been destroyed. He stated that he himself had been displaced from the government of the Charterhouse, which I consider a public calamity. In the whole course of this debate I have not heard one single shadow of an argument to justify this displacing of Governing Bodies. The Prime Minister has not attempted it, and my hon. Friend opposite has not attempted it. I therefore ask the House to wait until the general policy of the Endowed Schools Commissioners comes to be argued. ["Divide, divide"] Why is this House to say, notwithstanding all we have heard, that this Motion ought not to be carried?


Sir, at this late hour I will not tax the patience of the House by any lengthened observations in reply. I shall go to the division with the feeling that if I should be in a minority the decision of the House will have been arrived at after the full discussion which I have desired, while, if I should be in a majority, I shall feel confident that when the question comes to be dealt with again a scheme will be proposed for the sanction of Parliament with all the advantages of the arguments which have been adduced this evening, and with a full knowledge of what the determination of the House is after the Report of the Committee has been presented.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 238; Noes 286: Majority 48.

Agnew, R. V. Bentinck, G. C.
Akroyd, E. Benyon, R.
Amphlett, R. P. Beresford, Colonel M.
Arbuthnot, Major G. Bingham, Lord
Archdale, Captain M. Bourke, hon. R.
Arkwright, A. P. Bright, R.
Arkwright, R. Brise, Colonel R.
Assheton, R. Broadley, W. H. H.
Baggallay, Sir R. Brocklehurst, W. C.
Bagge, Sir W. Brooks, W. C.
Bailey, Sir J. R. Bruce, Sir H. H.
Ball, rt. hon. J. T. Bruen, H.
Barnett, H. Buckley, Sir E.
Barrington, Viscount Burrell, Sir P.
Barttelot, Colonel Butler-Johnstone, H.A.
Bates, E. Buxton, Sir R. J.
Bathurst, A. A. Cameron, D.
Beach, Sir M. Hicks- Cartwright, F.
Beach, W. W. B. Cave, rt. hon. S.
Beaumont, H. F. Cawley, C. E.
Bective, Earl of Cecil, Lord E. H. B. G.
Chambers, Sir T Holmesdale, Viscount
Chaplin, H. Holt, J. M.
Charley, W. T. Hood, Captain hon. A.
Chelsea, Viscount W. A. N.
Clive, Col. hon. G. W. Hornby, E. K.
Clowes, S. W. Hutton, J.
Cochrane, A.D.W.R.B. Jackson, R. W.
Cole, Col. hon. H. A. Jenkinson, Sir G. S.
Collins, T. Johnston, W.
Corrance, F. S. Jones, J.
Corry, hon. H. W. L. Kavanagh, A. MacM.
Crichton, Viscount Knight, F. W.
Croft, Sir H G. D. Knightley, Sir R.
Cross, R. A. Knox, hon. Colonel S.
Cubitt, G. Lacon, Sir E. H. K.
Damer, Capt. Dawson- Laird, J.
Davenport, W. B. Langton, W. G.
Dawson, Colonel R. P. Laslett, W.
Denison, C. B. Lawrence, Sir J. C.
Disraeli, rt. hon. B. Lawrence, W.
Duncombe, hon. Col. Learmonth, A.
Du Pre, C. G. Legh, W. J.
Dyke, W. H. Leigh, Lt.-Col. E.
Dyott, Colonel R. Lennox, Lord G. G.
Eastwick, E. B. Lennox, Lord H G.
Eaton, H. W. Lewis, C. E.
Egerton, hon. A. F. Liddell, hon. H. G.
Egerton, Sir P. G. Lindsay, hon. Col. C.
Egerton, hon. W. Lindsay, Col. R. L.
Elliot, G. Locke, J.
Elphinstone, Sir J.D.H. Lopes, H. C.
Feilden, H. M. Lopes, Sir M.
Fellowes, E. Lowther, hon. W.
Fielden, J. Lusk, A.
Figgins, J. M'Arthur, W.
Finch, G. H. M'Laren, D.
Floyer, J. Mahon, Viscount
Forester, rt. hon. Gen. Malcolm, J. W.
Fowler, R. N. Manners, rt. hn. Lord J.
Galway, Viscount Manners, Lord G. J.
Gilpin, Colonel March, Earl of
Goldney, G. Matthews, H.
Gordon, E. S. Mellor, T. W.
Gore, J. R. O. Myrick, T.
Gore, W. R. O. Miller, J.
Gray, Colonel Miller, hon. G. W.
Greene, E. Mills, Sir C. H.
Guest, A. E. Monckton, F.
Hambro, C. Monckton, hon. G.
Hamilton, Lord C. Morgan, C. O.
Hamilton, Lord C. J. Morgan, hon. Major
Hamilton, Lord G. Mowbray, rt. hon. J. R.
Hamilton, I. T. Muncaster, Lord
Hamilton, Marquess of Neville-Grenville, R.
Hardy, rt. hon. G. Newdegate, C. N.
Hardy, J. Newport, Viscount
Hardy, J. S. Newry, Viscount
Hay, Sir J. C. D. North, Colonel
Henry, J. S. Paget, R. H.
Herbert, rt. hon. Gen. Pakington, rt. hn. Sir J.
Sir P. Palk, Sir L.
Hermon, E. Parker, Lieut.-Col. W.
Hervey, Lord A. H. C. Patten, rt. hon. Col. W.
Heygate, Sir F. W. Peek, H. W.
Heygate, W. F. Pell, A.
Hick, J. Pemberton, E. L.
Hildyard, T. B. T. Percy, Earl
Hill, A. S. Phipps, C. P.
Hoare, P. M. Plunket, hon. D. R.
Hodgson, W. N. Powell, W.
Hogg, J. M. Raikes, H. C.
Holford, J. P. G. Read, C. S.
Holker, J. Ridley, M. W.
Rothschild, Brn. L.N. de Torrens, W. T. M'C.
Round, J. Trevor, Lord A. E. Hill
Royston, Viscount Turner, C.
Sackville, S. G. S. Tumor, E.
Salt, T. Vance, J.
Sandon, Viscount Vandeleur, Colonel
Sclater-Booth, G. Verner, E. W.
Scourfield, J. H. Wait, W. K.
Selwin-Ibbetson, Sir Walker, Lt.-Col. G. G.
H. J. Walpole, hon. F.
Simonds, W. B. Walpole, rt. hon. S. H.
Smith, F. C. Walsh, hon. A.
Smith, R. Waterhouse, S.
Smith, S. G. Watney, J.
Smith, W. H. Welby, W. E.
Stanhope, W. T. W. S. Wells, E.
Stanley, hon. F. Wethered, T. O.
Starkie, J. P. C. Wharton, J. L.
Straight, D. Wheelhouse, W. S. J.
Sturt, H. G. Wilmot, Sir H.
Sykes, C. Winn, R.
Talbot, C. R. M. Wynn, Sir W. W.
Talbot, J. G. Yarmouth, Earl of
Talbot, hon. Captain Yorke, J. R.
Taylor, rt. hon. Col.
Thynne, Lord H. F. TELLERS.
Tollemache, Maj. W. F. Crawford, R. W.
Tomline, G. Hope, A. J. B. B.
Torr, J.
Acland, Sir T. D. Brogden, A.
Adair, H. E. Brown, A. H.
Adderley, rt. hn. Sir C. Browne, G. E.
Agar-Ellis, hn. L. G. F. Bruce, rt. hon. H. A
Amcotts, Colonel W. C. Bryan, G. L.
Amory, J. H. Buckley, N.
Anderson, G. Buller, Sir E. M.
Annesley, hon. Col. H. Bury, Viscount
Anstruther, Sir R. Cadogan, hon. F. W.
Antrobus, Sir E. Callan, P.
Armitstead, G. Campbell-Bannerman,
Ayrton, rt. hon. A. S. H.
Aytoun, R. S. Candlish, J.
Backhouse, E. Cardwell, rt. hon. E.
Bagwell, J. Carington, hn. Cap. W.
Baines, E. Carter, R. M.
Balfour, Sir G. Cartwright, W. C.
Barclay, A. C. Cavendish, Lord F. C.
Barclay, J. W. Cavendish, Lord G.
Barry, A. H. S. Chadwick, D.
Bass, A. Childers, rt. hon. H.
Bassett, F. Cholmeley, Captain
Baxter, rt. hon. W. E. Cholmeley, Sir M.
Bailey, Sir T. Clifford, C. C.
Beaumont, Major F. Cogan, rt. hon. W. H. F.
Beaumont, S. A. Colebrooke, Sir T. E.
Beaumont, W. B. Coleridge, Sir J. D.
Biddulph, M. Colman, J. J.
Blennerhassett, Sir R. Colthurst, Sir G. C.
Bolckow, H. W. F. Cowper, hon. H. F.
Bonham-Carter, J. Cowper-Temple, right
Bouverie, rt. hon. E. P. hon. W.
Bowmont, Marquess of Craufurd, E. H. J.
Bowring, E. A. Cunliffe, Sir R. A.
Brady, J. Dalglish, R.
Brand, H. R. Dalrymple, D.
Brassey, T. Dalway, M. R.
Brewer, Dr. D'Arcy, M. P.
Bright, J. (Manchester) Davies, R.
Brinckman, Captain Dense, E.
Bristowe, S. B. Delahunty, J.
Dent, J. D. Hughes, W. B.
Dick, F. Hurst, R. H.
Dickinson, S. S. Hutt, rt. hon. Sir W.
Digby, K. T. Illingworth, A.
Dilke, Sir C. W. James, H.
Dillwyn, L. L. Jardine, R.
Dixon, G. Jessel, Sir G.
Dodds, J. Johnston, A.
Dodson, rt. hon. J. G. Johnstone, Sir H.
Duff, M. E. G. Kay-Shuttleworth,
Duff, R. W. U. J.
Edwards, H. Kensington, Lord
Egerton, Admiral hn. F. King, hon. P. J. L.
Enfield, Viscount Kingscote, Colonel
Ennis, J. J. Kinnaird, hon. A. F.
Erskine, Admiral J. E. Knatchbull-Hugessen,
Ewing, A. Orr- right hon. E.
Fawcett, H. Laing, S.
Finnie, W. Lambert, N. G.
Fitz Gerald, right hon. Lancaster, J.
Lord O. A. Lawson, Sir W.
Fitzmaurice, Lord E. Lea, T.
Fitzwilliam, hon. H. W. Leatham, E. A.
Fletcher, I. Leeman, G.
Foljambe, F. J. S. Lefevre, G. J. S.
Fordyce, W. D. Leith, J. F.
Forster, C. Lewis, J. D.
Forster, rt. hon. W. E. Lloyd, Sir T. D.
Foster, W. H. Lowe, rt. hon. R.
Fortescue, rt. hon. C. P. Lubbock, Sir J.
Fortescue, hon. D. F. Lyttelton, hon. C. G.
Fothergill, R. Macfie, R. A.
Fowler, W. Mackintosh, E. W.
Gallwey, Sir W. P. M'Clean, J. R.
Gavin, Major M'Clure, T.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. M'Combie, W.
Gladstone, W. H. M'Lagan, P.
Goldsmid, Sir F. Magniac, C.
Goschen, rt. hon. G. J. Marling, S. S.
Gourley, E. T. Martin, P. W.
Gower, hon. E. F. L. Massey, rt. hon. W. N.
Graham, W. Matheson, A.
Gray, Sir J. Maxwell, W. H.
Greville, hon. Captain Melly, G.
Greville-Nugent, hon. Merry, J.
G. F. Miall, E.
Grey, rt. hon. Sir G. Milbank, F. A.
Grieve, J. J. Mitchell, T. A.
Grosvenor, hon. N. Monk, C. J.
Grosvenor, Capt. R. W. Monsell, rt. hon. W.
Grosvenor, Lord R. Morgan, G. O.
Grove, T. F. Morrison, W.
Guest, M. J. Mundella, A. J.
Hadfield, G. Munster, W. F.
Hamilton, J. G. C. Muntz, P. H.
Hanbury, R. W. Murphy, N. D.
Hardcastle, J. A. Nicholson, W.
Hartington, Marq. of Northcote, rt. hon. Sir
Headlam, rt. hon. T. E. S. H.
Henderson, J. O'Brien, Sir P.
Henley, Lord O'Conor Don, The
Henry, M. O'Donoghue, The
Herbert, hon. A. E. W. Ogilvy, Sir J.
Herbert, H. A. Onslow, G.
Hibbert, J. T. O'Reilly-Dease, M.
Hoare, Sir H. A. O'Reilly, M. W.
Holland, S. Palmer, J. H.
Holms, J. Parker, C. S.
Horsman, rt. hon. E. Parry, L. Jones-
Hoskyns, C. Wren- Pease, J. W.
Howard, hon. C. W. G Peel, A. W.
Howard, J. Pelham, Lord
Hughes, T. Pender, J.
Philips, R. N. Stone, W. H.
Pim, J. Storks, rt. hn. Sir H. K.
Playfair, L. Strutt, hon. H.
Potter, E. Stuart, Colonel
Potter, T. B. Taylor, P. A.
Power, J. T. Tipping, W.
Price, W. E. Tollemache, hon. F. J.
Ramsden, Sir J. W. Torrens, Sir R. R.
Rathbone, W. Tracy, hon. C. R. D.
Richard, H. Hanbury-
Richards, E. M. Trevelyan, G. O.
Robertson, D. Verney, Sir H.
Roden, W. S. Villiers, rt. hon. C. P.
Ronayne, J. P. Vivian, A. P.
Russell, Lord A. Vivian, H. H.
Rylands, P. Walter, J.
St. Aubyn, Sir J. Wedderburn, Sir D.
Samuda, J. D'A. Weguelin, T. M.
Samuelson, B. Wells, W.
Samuelson, H. B. Whatman, J.
Seely, C. (Lincoln) Whitbread, S.
Seely, C. (Nottingham) White, hon. Col. C.
Seymour, A. Whitwell, J.
Shaw, R. Williams, W.
Shaw, W. Williamson, Sir H.
Sheridan, H. B. Willyams, E. W. B.
Sherlock, D. Wingfield, Sir C.
Sherriff; A. C. Winterbotham, H. S. P.
Simon, Mr. Serjeant Woods, H.
Sinclair, Sir J. G. T. Young, A. W.
Smith, E. Young, rt. hon. G.
Stansfeld, rt. hon. J.
Stapleton, J. TELLERS.
Stepney, Sir J. Adam, W. P.
Stevenson, J. C. Glyn, hon. G. G.