HC Deb 15 May 1877 vol 234 cc984-8

Bill, as amended, considered.


said, the Bill proposed to take into the borough of Derby the hamlet of Litchurch having a population of 15,000 and four other hamlets, and also to include this large district within the district of the Derby School Board, although it was amply provided with schools, and if included would be subjected to a considerably increased rate. The 11th section of the Education Act of 1873 gave to any such district a right to say whether it would be so annexed or not. The clauses which were objected to were inserted by the Committee at the instance of the Education Department; and the House, upon the matter being brought before it, had referred the Bill back, after a debate and division, to the Select Committee, for the purpose of omitting those clauses, or, at any rate, re-considering them. The Committee had re-considered them, and reported that they saw no reason for making any alteration in the Bill. That decision was one which he thought the House would not concur in. He therefore moved to leave out Clauses 42 to 46, inclusive.

Add the following new Clauses, to follow Clause 41:—

(Borough school board.)

"Until such time after the commencement of this Act as the Education Department shall issue au order for uniting any one or more of the constituent parts of the added area to the school district of the existing borough, such constituent parts of the added area shall not be included in the school district of the borough, and, when such order is issued, the school district of the existing borough shall be enlarged accordingly."

(Until school district extended school board rate to be borne by existing borough.)

"In estimating the borough rate to be levied in the borough, the Corporation shall charge the expenses of the school board for the time being payable out of the borough rate exclusively upon the existing borough, or upon the existing borough and such part or parts of the added area as may be included in the school district of the existing borough under any order issued by the Education Department by virtue of this Act (as the ease may be), and the Corporation are hereby empowered to vary the borough rate accordingly."

(Portions of parishes included in extended area to be school districts.)

"So much of each of the several parishes, townships, hamlets, or places following (that is to say):— The hamlet or township of Litchurch, in the parish of Saint Peter, Derby; The hamlet or township of Little Chester, in the parish of Saint Alkmund, Derby; The township of Markeaton, in the parish of Mackworth; The township of Littleover, in the parish of Mickleover; The township of Normanton, in the parish of Saint Peter, Derby; as is by this Act added to the existing borough and existing sanitary district, shall in each case respectively be taken to be for all the purposes of the Education Acts 1870 and 1873 a parish by itself, and the ratepayers thereof may meet in vestry in the same manner in all respects as if they were the inhabitants of a parish; every such meeting shall be deemed to be a vestry, and save as provided by "The Elementary Education Act, 1870,' be subject to the Act of the fifty-eighth George the Third, chapter sixty-nine, and the Acts amending the same, and, subject as aforesaid, shall be summoned by the persons and in the mode prescribed by the Education Department, and the overseers of the whole parish shall be deemed to be the overseers of any such part of a parish."

Clause (Borough School Board,)—(Mr. Merewether,)—brought up, and read the first time.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the said Clause be now read a second time."


Chairman of the Committee to whom the Bill was re-committed, said, that no additional evidence had been brought before them, either by the opponents or the promoters of the Bill. The Committee had not been actuated by any pressure from the Education Department, and he claimed for Committees on Private Bills their right to insert or reject such clauses as the circumstances and the facts justified them in adopting or rejecting. After hearing the evidence given by the gentlemen of the Education Department, the Committee could come to no other conclusion than that it was undesirable to insert in the Bill such provisions as the Cardiff and Stafford clauses; and no other clauses were proposed. He thought the question ought not to be viewed as one of school boards or of voluntary school management simply. When they had an opportunity of extending a borough care should be taken that within proper limits the local government should be kept in the same hands for all purposes. There were several anomalies connected with this subject with which the House would be asked before very long to deal. The clauses which it was proposed to insert, although a little less objectionable than the Stafford and Cardiff clauses, would not, in his view, meet the case, and therefore he opposed their insertion in the Bill.


as a Member of the Select Committee, supported the proposal to insert the new clauses, as he wished to see the borough extended without destroying the administrative freedom of Litchurch. He protested against too much of departmental interference in the self-government of different localities.


as representing the borough of Derby, remarked that that borough had been made a battle ground between the Education Department and the Chairman of Ways and Means. It was immaterial to his constituents which way the matter was determined, as long as the Bill was passed; but his -personal conviction was that the course recommended by the Committee was a very sound one.


said, he had advised the reference back to the Committee, because they did not appear to have considered themselves quite free to examine the clauses proposed by the Education Department, but that reference was not to be considered in the nature of an Instruction to the Committee. They had taken the evidence of the Department, and had sent the Bill back unaltered; and now the House had to consider the matter upon its merits. He thought the question was one of too much importance to be decided by clauses in a Private Bill; and as the hon. and learned Member for Chatham (Mr. Gorst) had a Public Bill before the House dealing with the same subject, he thought the wisest course would be to omit clauses from 42 to 46 inclusive, and thus throw the parties back upon the existing law, That, he believed, would be a solution of rather a difficult question.


said, if these clauses were inserted they would infringe upon, and to a certain extent repeal, the Act of 1870. He hoped the House would follow the suggestion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which, he understood, the Chairman of Committees was quite willing to accept.


explained that this controversy had been originated not by him but by a former Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. His object in supporting the clauses was to secure harmony in the proceedings of the various Committees. The suggestion of his right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer to omit Clauses 42 to 46 inclusive, which the Committee had inserted on the suggestion of the Education Department, would commend itself to the House, and their omission would not damnify the Department. He thought that the Committee should have shown more respect to the opinion which the House indicated on the last occasion, and that if they could not adopt these clauses they should have accompanied their decision by a statement of the reasons on which they acted. He considered that the clauses proposed by his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Northampton (Mr. Merewether) would be a great improvement.


expressed his concurrence in the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He thought it was a full justification of the Committee for not accepting the decision of a fortnight ago, as forcing upon them the views of the Chairman of Ways and Means.


expressed concurrence in the view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


moved the adjournment of the debate, in order that further time might be afforded for the full consideration of the new proposals suggested by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.


seconded the Motion for adjournment. The best course would be to adjourn the matter, in order that it might be thoroughly understood by both sides of the House.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Debate be now adjourned."— (Mr. Pell.)


hoped that the House would accept the very reasonable proposition of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which had taken away the only bone of contention. There would be no advantage in adjourning the debate.


avowed his inability to make out what would be the effect of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's suggestion.


said, the effect of the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman would be to lead to a long lawsuit. If it were the wish of the House he would consent to the adjournment of the debate; but should the contrary opinion prevail he had no option but to accept what the Chancellor of the Exchequer had suggested.


observed that the clauses which the Committee had inserted in the Bill were now fought on the question of the construction of the general law, and he thought it would be bettor not to embarrass the Bill with the consideration of that question. The House was now in a position to decide whether it would complicate the question of the construction of the general law by the introduction of those clauses into the Bill, and no advantage would be gained by an adjournment.


while assenting to the proposal of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested an alteration of Clause 52.


remarked that the House had three or four cross issues to deal with, and the only rational thing they could do now was to adjourn the matter.

Question put.

The House divided:—Ayes 152; Noes 183: Majority 31. — (Division List, No. 121.)

Original Question put, and negatived.


moved to leave out Clauses 42 to 46, inclusive.

Clause 52, page 19, line 2, to leave out from " years," to end of Clause.

Amendments agreed to.

Bill to be read the third time.

Forward to