(7.) Motion made, and Question proposed,
That a sum, not exceeding £188,322, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1889, for Public Education in Scotland.
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. J. P. B. ROBERTSON) (Bute)
said, he was prepared to have afforded the Committee somewhat ample information as to the circumstances and condition of Scottish Education; but the period at which this topic arose was so late that he thought he should best consult the convenience of the Committee if he brought his observations within the smallest compass. The Vote was for £568,322, which was an increase of £14,930, arising mainly upon day and evening schools, and, to a small extent, on Training Colleges and the grant under Section 67 of the Education Act in aid of local rates. As regarded attendance, the Estimate of the present year depended on the assumption of an increase of 2.5 per cent which might be expected to be reasonably accurate when it was remembered that last year there was a difference between the Estimate and the actual attendance of 500 only. The Estimate of the earnings of the children this year was 18s. 11d., as against 18s. 6¾d. last year; and in that connection he would remind the Committee that the changes in the Code 400 had, for the first time, been in operation for a whole year. Accordingly, it was possible that the Estimate upon which calculations were made was more or less problematical, although he had no doubt these would prove to be approximately accurate. As regarded night schools, the same calculation of increase was made with regard to attendance; and he hoped it would give satisfaction to the Committee to say that, although involving expenditure, the attendance in those schools had increased. There had been some vicissitudes of fortune on the part of the schools; but now there was an important increase of attendance, and he thought it would be considered that these schools constituted a very important arm, and that every encouragement should be given to them. At the same time, it must not escape attention that the present conditions under which night schools received State aid did not compel a corresponding local effort in the supply of funds; and it was matter for regret that in some cases very little effort indeed was made. That was a matter which might come to require consideration. Turning from that, the Committee would allow him to remind them that the main feature of the alterations in the Code was the dispensing with individual examination below the Third Standard; and the importance of that was shown by the fact that the children under that Standard represented about 50 per cent of the whole attendance. The next feature of the changes made was the development of class subjects, which was intended to raise the general intelligence of the classes and to widen the scope of the curriculum. He believed there was a general concurrence in that change, and in desiring that it should be continuous. The point he had first adverted to with reference to the lower Standards might be extended or not beyond its present limits; but he would now merely say that the degree in which it should be extended was necessarily one for watchful consideration on the part of the Department, who regarded with great interest the experiment now being made. It might interest the Committee to remember that this year, in the case of class subjects, elementary science was offered as an alternative to English; and that had special interest, looking to the fact that in elementary science the principles 401 of agriculture might be included, so that there was a wide and general bearing in this change in the direction of technical education of a highly practical kind. There were many subjects which deserved consideration if they had time to give it, but on the present occasion he should do no more than advert to one or two of them. The Committee would be aware probably that local difficulties had arisen in some parts of the country. The financial embarrassments of the School Boards in parts of the Highlands had brought things to a somewhat acute stage of difficulty in the administration of the Education Act; but with regard to that he hoped hon. Gentlemen would accept the assurance that the subject was receiving the closest and most anxious consideration at the hands of the Department, that they were in communication with the Boards concerned, and that they would take whatever means were open to them to afford some alleviation of the present difficulty and to help towards a solution of the crisis. The caution of the Education Department arose from the necessity of recognizing the bounds between the general Imperial contribution and local exertions; and he was sure the Committee would agree that it would be most injurious that anything should be done which would upset the ideas of local duty, and, on the other hand, prevent the attention of the Department being given towards some means of getting over what he trusted was but a temporary embarrassment. On the subject of secondary education the Committee would expect him to say a word on the new measures which had been adopted in relation to inspection. That was now the third year during which there had been inspection of the schools which imparted secondary education; and hon. Members must have been interested in observing the successful experiments which were made with regard to the inspection of schools of all kinds—State-aided and private. What had taken place with reference to the leaving certificate showed that there was a high appreciation of that kind of inspection, both as regarded the persons in charge of the school—the school managers—and as regarded the public generally. What was, perhaps, still more important was the action of those 402 professional and business bodies which had consented to accept the leaving certificates as dispensing with the necessity for examination in the departments to which those certificates related. The stimulus which had thus been given to the schools, and the information acquired by the managers and teachers as to the general standards which were looked for, were of the very greatest importance; and there would be general satisfaction in hearing that the Department looked forward to this as a very important although a very modest feature in the scheme. When he said modest he meant especially with reference to expenditure, because it was satisfactory to know that only £300 was required from Parliament for those purposes. The progress of technical schools under the recent Act had not been rapid; and it was necessarily very much in the arbitrament of the Local Authorities, influenced by local opinion, to decide as to how far it was to go forward with greater rapidity. At present there was a certain amount of reserve on the part of School Boards to come within the provisions of the recent Act; and it was possible that the grant now obtained for some of the branches of technical education, through the Science and Art Department, might induce School Boards to remain where they were rather than enter into what they might consider more or less an experimental course. But, at the same time, there was evidence of interest in the subject, and the Department had acted towards advancing and giving free play to the views of districts progressing that way by arousing the attention of School Boards to the opportunity afforded; and he thought they had done all that was incumbent on them probably to stir up what must ultimately depend on local action and on local opinion. As the Committee would be aware, the Endowed Schools Commission had been extended for one year—to the end of 1889. Their work was very nearly complete, and the continuance of the Commission was in order that there might be a proper winding up of its executive work. During its six years' work 442 schemes had been prepared by the Commission; of these, 79 were remitted by the Education Department for alteration; 293 were approved; 275 became law; one, referring to a school near Kirkcaldy, was rejected by the 403 House of Commons on a legal point, and 17 awaited confirmation. These were the statistics as to the important work of that Commission, and the action of the Education Department had been nearly continuous during the progress of these schemes. He thought he had put before the Committee, although in the barest outline, the facts of the case; and if he had condensed his observations within narrow limits, it was rather by way of suggesting that on an occasion like the present there was a scale or perspective in the length to which hon. Members might speak, and not from any want of appreciation on his part of the importance of the subject.
§ SIR LYON PLAYFAIR (Leeds, S.)
said, that, unfortunately, the Scotch Education Department was practically separate now from the English Education Department, and he regretted that it should be so, because they thereby lost the advantage of seeing what good might be derived from the progress which was being made in Scotland. Some very important experiments were now going on in Scotland which deserved to be carefully watched in England, because the results promised to be very valuable. One of those was the collective examination, which promised well; and next, with regard to night schools, the enlarged subjects introduced into them had contributed to their success. Night schools were decreasing in England, because they were becoming unnecessary; but in Scotland they were increasing, because of the enlarged subjects which had been introduced. He did not think he would be disclosing any Government secret when he stated that lately the Treasury had consented that drawing in Scotland would be placed outside the ordinary 17s. 6d. limit, and that Scottish pupils would henceforth have the same advantages as English students. As regarded secondary education, he wished very much to show the appreciation, which he was sure all educationalists had for the experiment of the leaving examination in those schools. The sum expended on the leaving examination was a mere bagatelle; and not only did it do away with a number of evils in examinations, but a largo number of Bodies, such as the Pharmaceutical Society, and similar societies, which required examinations on entrance, now accepted the leaving 404 examination certificate; it therefore remained the only standard examination with them, and was, in consequence, of great advantage to the secondary schools of Scotland. He was told that in those schools where they had been successful with leaving certificates, the attendances had considerably increased. If there had been very little progress in technical schools, one reason of that was, that the endowed schools in Scotland, had, in many cases, become good technical schools, and the Boards had not felt the same interest, in places where there were few endowments, in having technical schools. He hoped the Scottish Education Department would keep in view that it was very important in manufacturing towns to train the hand and eye, and not to confine the instruction merely to writing, reading, and arithmetic. Those were now the subjects of experiment in Scotland, which, if their English friends would introduce here, would, he believed, give a stimulus to the English School Boards and lead to a good result.
§ MR. E. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said, his observations on this Vote would be confined to the grant to the Training Colleges. It seemed to him that the Government had, in this matter, practically challenged the opinion of the House, for this reason—the subject had been brought before the Committee of Supply two years ago by some hon. Members with whom he usually acted, and the Secretary for Scotland then promised that the matter should have his attention. That promise was left to a Departmental Committee, consisting of two officials and two Members of that House; but, with all respect to those Gentlemen, he did not think that Scotch Members could be held bound to accept this as a fulfilment of the promise of the Government, or be foreclosed by the opinions which those Gentlemen had expressed as to matters on which Scotch Members thought they ought to have an opinion of their own. His objection to the continuance of the grant were mainly two. He objected, in the first place, because the Training Colleges were denominational; and, secondly, because they supplied inferior culture, to the neglect of the Universities, which were well able to supply superior culture. He wished the Committee to notice that the public school system in Scot- 405 land was becoming more and more unsectarian. In 1872 the Church of Scotland had 1,311 schools; in 1887 it had only 85. In 1872 the Free Church had 523 schools, and in 1887 only 25; and it was curious to notice that the only denominations which had extended the denominational system in that period were the Episcopalians and the Roman Catholics. Further, it would be seen, from the number of columns in the Blue Book which were left blank, that the class for whom the grant was made did not appear to take any interest in the Training Colleges. He thought it time that the sectarian character of the Colleges should be done away with. The Departmental Committee to which he had referred had given some attention to this matter; but it seemed to him that in examining the question they had been imbued with the spirit of the Education Commission for England—a bias of a clerical character. For instance, in dealing with the suggestion that the Universities should undertake this work, the Committee asked what guarantee there would be for the religious and moral training of teachers; and, further on, when accepting the principle of University training, they said that religious instruction could be undertaken by the Professors of Divinity, showing that their minds hinged on this question of religious training of the young teachers. He did not know whether the Committee had considered that persons going to enter the ministry went to the Universities at an earlier age than teachers went to the Training Colleges, but he had never heard any fears expressed about their moral and religious training, or that it was incomplete. The time had come when the school system of Scotland should be relieved entirely from sectarian and clerical influence; and on that ground he was utterly unable to accept the conclusion to which the Committee had come. There was another point of great importance in connection with the Colleges. It was confessed in the Report of the Committee that the Training Colleges supplied inferior culture. He absolutely accepted the words of Professor Donaldson, of St. Andrew's University, when he said that the time had now come when the teaching profession should be put on the same footing as the other learned professions, and have 406 a definite course of training constituted for it at the University; that in the case of Theology, Medicine, and Law, University Chairs existed and students had simply to attend the classes, and by passing the examinations they became members of those Bodies. He thought that the same plan ought to be adopted in the case of education. The Committee refused to give the Universities this State function, not merely because they thought the Universities were not to be trusted in the matter of morals and religion, but because the young teachers were not up to the University standard; and that meant that the Colleges were deliberately and consciously providing inferior machinery, and that they were turning out inferior work. If the University standard were too high, it would raise the standard of the teachers; and although that might reduce the number, it would likewise reduce the supply of inferior men, and a better class would soon come forward to make good the deficiency. He would call the attention of the Committee, and especially of hon. Members who did not represent Scotch constituencies, to the very serious expenditure which the Vote involved. The grant for the Training Colleges was £29,000, and for Science and Art about £1,700 a-year—in all about £32,000, for which sum there were turned out about 400 inferior sectarian schoolmasters annually. His point was that they were spending in the manufacture of this spurious article from £35 to £40 a-year upon each teacher. Hon. Members who had been graduates of Scotch Universities would know that the Bursaries, through the aid of which so many distinguished men had been trained, only averaged about £10 a-year; and yet they were paying for what were really Bursaries £40 a-year to these inferior teachers. That, he said, was monstrous. He suggested that the £32,000 should be applied in the form of Bursaries, and £200 given to each of the Scottish Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, St. Andrew's, and Dundee, on their undertaking to provide a scheme of professional training for teachers, and of the desire or ability of the Universities to undertake the work he had no doubt. It was said that women attended the Training Colleges; but he would point out that women were already being gradually admitted to the privi- 407 leges of the University system. In his own University they were perfectly willing to undertake their instruction, and an immense work had been done for them in the higher branches of education. Moreover, in the Scottish Universities Bill special provision was made for the training of women at Universities, and that, he thought, supplied a complete answer to the only substantial point in the Report of the Committee. For those reasons he could not consent to the further continuance of this grant; and he hoped an opportunity would be give to Scotch Members to show that on the Opposition side, at least, they were practically unanimous in condemning this inferior, this sectarian, this un-Scotch system of supplying schoolmasters under a denominational system.
§ MR. J. C. BOLTON (Stirling)
said, he rose for the purpose of calling the attention of the Committee to a grievance affecting his constituents in Stirlingshire, and which was especially felt by the masters of board schools in that county. Those gentlemen thought they were able to show that this grievance was due to the unfitness of Her Majesty's Inspector—Mr. Waddell—for his office; which resulted in a serious lowering of the educational system of the county, and placed in peril their professional reputation. The case of the masters had been fully stated in a Memorial addressed to the Secretary for Scotland, and bore the signature of 53 head masters of the district inspected by Mr. Waddell, the great bulk of whom were in the county which he had the honour to represent. The Memorial did not include the names of the head masters of every school in the county; but he believed it did include, with very few exceptions, those of the schools of any note in the county. They said that the educational position of Stirlingshire had been seriously lowered since the appointment of the present Inspector, and that schools which formerly held a high position had lost it, while their circumstances, in the mean time, were unchanged; and they said that in the year 1882, before the present Inspector was appointed, Stirlingshire stood higher than the average pass throughout Scotland in every subject and in all combined, and this statement they showed to be correct by reference to the Blue Book for the year. 408 But now they said that the county had fallen so far behind that, while the general pass of Scotland had improved, in Stirlingshire it was considerably lower, and that, instead of being higher, it was lower in every subject and in all combined. That, also, they substantiated by reference to the Blue Book for the year. It would be in the memory of some hon. Members that, on a former occasion, he had put a question to the Lord Advocate having special reference to the pass in specific subjects; and although the right hon. and learned Gentleman replied that the changes in respect of specific subjects had prevented accurate comparison, yet he did not state, as he (Mr. J. C. Bolton) thought he ought to have done, that the fall in specific subjects in Stirlingshire was an exception to the general rule throughout Scotland. Notwithstanding all the changes which had been made, the percentage in Scotland had only fallen by a fraction—that was to say, from 58,210 to 58,131 between 1882 and 1887, whereas in Stirlingshire the numbers had fallen from 3,503 in 1882 to 1,887 last year. Those gentlemen went on to say, in a statement attached to their Memorial, that the Inspector went beyond the Code, and that he put impossible questions in his examinations. In addition to the statement, a few sentences from which he had extracted, the Memorialists supported their case by individual statements made by 15 different head masters, having reference to questions put at the inspection of their schools which came under their special observation; and to a few of these he hoped the Committee would allow him to refer. Mr. Waddell, in the third stage of physical geography, put this question—How is the distance from the earth to the moon ascertained?Then, in the third stage of domestic economy, he asked—How much material would, you require for a dress for yourself, and how would you cut it out?Mr. J. Fergusson, the Gentleman who gave this account, also brought the grave accusation against Mr. Waddell that he left the school without examining in geography and history of Standard VI.; but, nevertheless, that he reported unfavourably as to those subjects. Another 409 head master said that one of the questions of Her Majesty's Inspector at his school, in Standard VI., was this—Suppose you take a sail down the St. Lawrence, and having arrived at its mouth, steer your boat East, what places are you likely to see?The children, he said, named aptly enough the islands, &c., with which they were familiar; but to every one of these answers there came the reply—No, that is not what I want.The head master said the answers were soon exhausted, and that, after a painful silence, the Inspector proceeded as follows—No, I suppose you do not know; I shall require to tell you. Why, you would see Greenland.If the children could have seen Greenland, in the case supposed, they must have been blessed with an extraordinary power of vision, extending over the distance between latitude 50 degrees and latitude 60 degrees, or about 600 miles. In another case the Inspector was stated to have held up a ball of worsted and a square of red flannel, and asked the children the question—Do you see any difference between these two articles?The answer came at once that one was a ball of worsted and the other a piece of flannel.Think again,said the Inspector; and the child replied—The ball of worsted is round, and the piece of flannel is square.To this the Inspector replied—No; I see you know nothing about it.And so the examination ended. The last example he should give was this—the Inspector was examining in the infant department, and, pointing to the upper part of a window, asked what was the shape of it. The answer was—"A semi-circle;" to which the Inspector responded—"Why?" and, after a short silence, he informed the children that they had not been taught to think; and so ended that matter. Now, he did not desire to have it thought or inferred that he held Her Majesty's Inspector condemned on these exeparte statements; but he did hold that the representations of 53 gentlemen, constituting the great bulk of the head masters of the schools 410 in Stirlingshire, ought to have received different treatment from that which had been accorded to them by the Department. The schoolmasters sought, and sought alone, that the matter should be investigated. That request, he was told, had been refused, the only notice taken of it being contained in a letter written by the Secretary to the Department, a copy of which he had in his hand. The Secretary wrote that he was directed by the Marquess of Lothian to state that he should adhere to the decision not to receive a deputation on the subject of the Memorial. He said—My Lords are at all times ready to investigate any specific evidence with respect to any alleged inequality of standard or imperfection of method; but after examining the statements now submitted in order to ascertain the weight which is to be attached to them, my Lords are unable to hold that these statements contain anything to warrant them in departing from their usual practice of requiring that the complaints must be supported by school managers, and must refer to a specific case.Now, he (Mr. J. C. Bolton) would submit to the Committee whether specific evidence with respect to alleged irregularity of standard or imperfection had not been given in the quotations which he had read to the Committee? If it was not a specific charge to say that an Inspector had reported that he had examined a class which he had not examined, then specific charges were something very different from what he had ever understood them to be. He maintained that specific charges had been made, and that the truth of these charges ought to be tested. The other condition which my Lords declared had not been fulfilled—namely, that the support of the school managers had not been received—was certainly plausible; but it was not a substantial argument. He would have the Committee bear this in mind—that the school managers were elected in April, and that, consequently, none of them were concerned in the matters referred to in the Memorial; and there was no proof, as a matter of fact, that those gentlemen would not be supported by their superiors. The allegation was that they were not supported by their superiors in the shape of having the signatures of those superiors attached to the Memorial; but the fact of their signatures being appended to the Memorial would have appeared to indicate that they had personal knowledge of 411 the accusations made in the Memorial, whereas they could not have had such knowledge, and it was not customary for school managers to be present during the examination of the schools. Moreover, if they had been present he did not think the Department would place much confidence in the opinion of those managers as to whether the examinations were properly or improperly conducted. He had endeavoured in these few words to place before the Committee as clearly as possible—contracting rather than enlarging his observations—the facts of the case. He trusted he had placed the grievances of those gentlemen fairly before the Committee; and he would now appeal to the Government to put a stop to the agitation which had commenced, and which would go on until those grievances were either proved or disapproved, or until the Government gave an assurance that they would take steps to have those accusations thoroughly investigated, and to remedy the grievances if they were really found to exist. He would urge that not only in the interests of the constituency he represented, whose educational interests were undoubtedly suffering, but as a matter of justice to a set of men who were as honourable, he believed, as any set of men in the Kingdom. He begged to move the reduction of the Vote.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item C, Salaries, be reduced by £100."—(Mr. J. C. Bolton.)
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling, &c.)
said, he did not intend to say much, but he wished to support, as strongly as he could, the appeal which his hon Friend (Mr. J. C. Bolton) had made to the Government. He (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) had not the slightest inclination or desire to prejudge the question. From all he had been able to ascertain amongst the community, the feeling with regard to this particular Inspector was that he was an exceedingly able and conscientious man, but in some respects failed to bring out the proper educational results which should come from his examinations. However that might be, those results were sufficiently startling to require some investigation and explanation. Here was a district which hitherto had held a very fair place among the districts of 412 Scotland, so far as education was concerned. Suddenly, on the appointment of this Inspector, it dropped in a mysterious way in almost all its averages. In 1882, as he understood it, of the eight districts of which the Western Division of Scotland is composed, there was only one higher than Stirlingshire. In 1887, Stirlingshire suddenly became the lowest. On the subjects of reading and arithmetic, Scotland varied only to the extent of 3 per cent between 1881 and 1887, yet Stirlingshire had fallen 11 per cent in those specific subjects. He was aware that in this there had been some alteration of the Code which affected the figures; but any change in the Code or in the figures one would expect would be equal in its effect all over Scotland. Since the application of the present system of inspection there had been an unfortunate blight on the educational results in Stirlingshire. He was not able to go into the subject of the inspections, as he had not been present at any of them, and he did not know what the cause of this state of things might be; but he felt, with his hon. Friend, that he not only represented the feelings of the schoolmasters but of the District, when he said that this was really a condition of things which was quite exceptional, and required explanation. The Government took refuge in this position—they said that any complaint of this kind ought to be made through the managers of the school, and that they could not recognize direct applications or complaints by the schoolmasters. That, no doubt, was true in the case of an individual complaint from one schoolmaster; but here they had 53 head schoolmasters and the public feeling of the district all declaring that some investigation was required; and, under the circumstances, he should have thought the Government would have considered the case one which required looking into. He should have thought that it would not be an improper course if the Scotch Education Department had referred the complaint of the teachers to the School Boards concerned, and asked whether they concurred in it. He merely threw that out as a suggestion, as one way in which the difficulty might have been dealt with. However that might be, his object was to represent to the Lord Advocate and the Government 413 that there was serious perplexity and anxiety on this subject in Stirlingshire and the neighbourhood; and he trusted the right hon. and learned Gentleman, after what had been said, would not be content with saying that these were vague charges, or that this was an improper way to bring them forward, but would say that this was a state of things that should be inquired into, and that he would, by the appointment of another Inspector, or, by investigation through the Chief Inspector, give some attention to the general feeling in the district.
§ MR. J. P. B. ROBERTSON
said, that the Department, of course, found it necessary to discourage general sweeping accusations against an Inspector. It would be absolutely impossible to maintain a system of inspection if such accusations were allowed. On the other hand, there was no indisposition on the part of the Department to obtain information as to the anomalous results of an inspection. It might be that the standard of inspection was too high, or that it was being applied in a way more or less capable of amendment. That matter, however, the Committee would agree fell within the province of the Chief Inspector. It was for him to ascertain whether the system was working smoothly, and whether this was a case where that statement applied. Hon. Gentlemen might be satisfied that in that case the Government would draw the attention of the Chief Inspector to the matter without undue interference with the action of the Inspector, who might find a way of making matters work more smoothly. He trusted hon. Gentlemen opposite would accept that explanation.
§ MR. J. C. BOLTON
said, if the right hon. and learned Gentleman would forgive him, he would like him to be a little more definite. If he understood the right hon. and learned Gentleman rightly, the Department would consider whether they would not use the Chief Inspector as the medium of ascertaining whether these allegations were well or ill founded?
§ MR. J. P. B. ROBERTSON
said, he did not propose to appoint the Chief Inspector to make an Inquiry into the case. What they would do—and that was fair and reasonable—was this. They would direct the attention of the Inspector to the fact that there were these apparently unsatisfactory results, and it would be for the Chief Inspector, 414 in the proper course of his duty, to look into the matter.
§ DR. CAMERON (Glasgow, College)
said, he thought that decision would hardly restore public confidence. He had no doubt that the Chief Inspector—Dr. Kerr—was a gentleman of great capacity and impartiality, and so forth; but, unfortunately, the idea had got abroad in the district affected that he was extremely favourably disposed towards this particular Inspector. The complaint had not come from the schoolmasters of the district alone; but the Falkirk School Board had passed a resolution on the subject—although it was true that a contrary vote had been given by a majority of one in the Stirling School Board. What the schoolmasters and their supporters wanted was that there should be a change in the inspection, and that the Chief Inspector of the district—Mr. Ogilvie—should go down and take the thing in hand, and see whether the district was really as bad as it was represented to be. Specific subjects had fallen lower in Stirlingshire than anywhere else under the present system. They were threatened with extinction, for the schoolmasters declared that they could not subject themselves to the snubs and heartburnings consequent upon the action of this School Inspector. From an administrative point of view, he (Dr. Cameron) would ask the Lord Advocate to consider whether, by means of a little shifting in the districts, transferring Inspectors from one place to another, friction could not be avoided?
§ MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
said, he did not think that the proposed inquiry on the part of the Chief Inspector would be satisfactory. The schoolmasters would have no confidence in an inquiry the only effect of which would be to exonerate the Inspector. It seemed to him that the question was of such magnitude that it could only be satisfactorily settled by having an impartial inquiry. If the matter was patched up by the Chief Inspector, as proposed, and the Inspector complained of were removed to another district, it would only be regarded as a censure upon that Inspector; whereas, if they had an impartial inquiry, they would have a protection not only for the teachers but for the Inspectors themselves. If the result of the inquiry was to show that the complaints made 415 was groundless, the teachers would be careful in making complaints in future. Looking at the fact that great dissatisfaction would spring up if any other course were adopted, he thought that there should be a full and impartial inquiry into the matter.
§ SIR LYON PLAYFAIR
said, he considered that his right hon. Friend (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman) had suggested the most prudent course to pursue. He (Sir Lyon Playfair) was of opinion that, in listening to remonstrances from collective teachers or from individual teachers in regard to the results of the examination of an Inspector, all the use of inspection would be lost. There had been a remarkable change in Stirlingshire, no doubt; but that might be explained by an ordinary system of inspection. Probably it would be well for the Department to transmit the Memorial to the School Managers, and ask whether there was ground for investigation; but they might just as well put an end to inspection altogether as to listen to the complaints of schoolmasters, however numerous they might be.
§ SIR DONALD CURRIE (Perthshire, W.)
said, that a deputation of his constituency on the borders of Stirlingshire had waited upon him a few days ago to press upon him the consideration of this subject, and to induce him to bring it before Lord Lothian and the Government. He thought the Lord Advocate should undertake to press the matter upon Lord Lothian, and that speedily, because he was sure that this continued ill-feeling on the part of the teachers and parents would cause great injury to education in the district.
§ MR. J. W. BARCLAY (Forfarahire)
said, there was considerable dissatisfaction in Scotland with regard to these Inspectors, and the question had been very prominently brought forward lately, owing to several appointments. He was afraid that some of the Sub-Inspectors were not fit to be appointed Inspectors; but he though there was a sufficient number of educated teachers in Scotland who would be willing to accept the post of Sub-Inspector, if they had the chance ultimately of becoming Chief Inspectors, for which work they would be perfectly qualified. The rule in England was that the Chief Inspectors should be appointed from the body of 416 Sub-Inspectors, and he thought the same rule should be made applicable to Scotland. That would be a great stimulus to the Sub-Inspectors in the discharge of their duties. He hoped that in any future appointments of Sub-Inspectors due attention would be paid by the Department to this question.
§ SIR GEORGE CAMPBELL (Kirkcaldy, &c.)
said, he had been much alarmed by the statement of the hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) that the School Board of Stirling had not only omitted to support the Memorial of the schoolmasters, but had absolutely, by a majority, refused to do so. He (Sir George Campbell) thought it a most dangerous thing to allow the teachers to memorialize the Government in opposition to the view of their School Boards.
§ MR. J. C. BOLTON
said, he had not heard the grounds on which the hon. Member for the College Division of Glasgow (Dr. Cameron) had made that statement. He had not heard that any School Board had decided against the Memorial by vote; quite the contrary. He was unable to accept the proposal of the Lord Advocate, as it seemed to him to be clogged with so many qualifications and conditions that it could not be satisfactory to the community that he represented. If the Lord Advocate would say that some means would be taken—he would not tie him to the particular means—to ascertain the correctness or incorrectness of the statement made by those gentlemen, he would accept that, He (Mr. J. C. Bolton) had not been satisfied to take up this case and bring it before the Committee without first ascertaining from gentlemen whom he knew had given great attention to the matter of education in Stirlingshire, whether or not, in their opinion, there were good grounds for the statements made by the schoolmasters. He could assure the Committee that the result of these inquiries convinced him that, although there might, in any individual case brought forward, be circumstances to exonerate the Inspector, yet, on the whole, the general opinion was in conformity with the view expressed by the schoolmasters. Unless the right hon. and learned Gentleman could go further, he (Mr. J. C. Bolton) must ask the Committee to express its opinion upon the matter.
§ DR. CAMERON
said, he wished to explain that the Falkirk School Board had memorialized the Government in this matter; and a Motion expressing want of confidence in the present system of inspection, and asking for a Senior Inspector to be sent to inspect their schools, brought before the Stirling School Board, had been lost only by one vote.
§ MR. J. P. B. ROBERTSON
said, that the complaint of the Falkirk School Board had been dealt with by the Department, and the Board now expressed its complete satisfaction with the way in which the matter had been disposed of.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 46; Noes 81: Majority 52.
|Anderson, C. H.||M'Donald, Dr. R.|
|Asher, A.||M'Ewan, W.|
|Barbour, W. B.||Morley, A.|
|Barclay, J. W.||Nolan, J.|
|Blane, A.||O'Brien, P.|
|Buchanan, T. E.||O'Connor, A.|
|Burt, T.||Parnell, C. S.|
|Caldwell, J.||Philipps, J. W.|
|Campbell-Bannerman, right hon. H.||Pinkerton, J.|
|Childers, right hon. H. C. E.||Provand, A. D.|
|Cozens-Hardy, H. H.||Roberts, J.|
|Crawford, D.||Sexton, T.|
|Crilly, D.||Sinclair, J.|
|Currie, Sir D.||Sullivan, D.|
|Esslemont, P.||Summers, W.|
|Farquharson, Dr. R.||Tanner, C. K.|
|Finucane, J.||Thomas, D. A.|
|Firth, J. F. B.||Trevelyan, right hon. Sir G. O.|
|Foljambe, C. G. S.||Wallace, E.|
|Haldane, R. B.||Will, J. S.|
|Hunter, W. A.||Woodhead, J.|
|Kilbride, D.||Bolton, J. C.|
|Leake, E.||Cameron, C.|
|Mackintosh, C. F.|
|Addison, J. E. W.||Campbell, J. A.|
|Ambrose, W.||Carmarthen, Marq. of|
|Anstruther, Colonel R. H. L.||Charrington, S.|
|Baird, J. G. A.||Clarke, Sir E. G.|
|Balfour, rt. hon. A. J.||Coghill, D. H. Colomb, Sir J. C. E.|
|Banes, Major G. E.||Cooke, C. W. R.|
|Barry, A. H. S.||Cranborne, Viscount|
|Baumann, A. A.||Cross, W. H.|
|Borthwick, Sir A.||Dalrymple, Sir C.|
|Brodrick, hon. W. St. J. F.||Darling, M. T. S.|
|Brookfield, A. M.||Davenport, H. T.|
|Bruce, G.||De Worms, Baron H.|
|Burghley, Lord||Dyke, right hon. Sir W. H.|
|Campbell, Sir A.||Egerton, hon. A. de T.|
|Campbell, Sir G.||Elton, C. I.|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro-||Mattinson, M. W.|
|Fergusson, right hon. Sir J.||Maxwell, Sir H. E.|
|Finlay, R. B.||More, R. J.|
|Fisher, W. H.||O'Neill, hon. R. T.|
|Fitzgerald, R. U. P.||Parker, hon. F.|
|Fletcher, Sir H.||Parker, C. S.|
|Gathorne-Hardy, hon. A. E.||Playfair, right hon. Sir L.|
|Gedge, S.||Plunket, right hon. D. R.|
|Goldsmid, Sir J.||Ritchie, rt. hn. C. T.|
|Goldsworthy, Major General W. T.||Robertson, rt. hon. J. P. B.|
|Goschen, rt. hon. G. J.||Seton-Karr, H.|
|Herbert, hon. S.||Stanhope, rt. hon. E.|
|Hill, right hon. Lord A. W.||Stewart, M. J.|
|Hill, A. S.||Tapling, T. K.|
|Hunt, F. S.||Temple, Sir R|
|Jackson, W. L.||Tyler, Sir H. W.|
|Kelly, J. R.||Vernon, hon. G. R.|
|Kenyon, hon. G. T.||Waring, Colonel T.|
|Kerans, F. H.||Webster, Sir R E|
|Kimber, H.||Webster, R G.|
|King, H. S.||Whitley, E.|
|Knowles, L.||Whitmore, C. A.|
|Lawrance, J. C.||Wilson, Sir S.|
|Lewisham, right hon. Viscount||Wortley, C. B. Stuart-|
|Madden, D. H.||Douglas, A. Akers-|
|Matthews, right hon. H.||Walrond, Col. W. H.|
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. C. S. PARKER (Perth)
said, they had so little time for the discussion of the Education Vote, that he would not have spoken at all were it not for the very direct attack made by the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. E. Robertson) upon the Committee of which he (Mr. C. S. Parker) had the honour to be Chairman. He was sorry that the hon. and learned Member, having delivered his attack, had left the House, so that he was unable to hear a word in reply. He (Mr. C. S. Parker) did not claim for the Committee that they, as a Committee, could speak with any great authority. All hon. Members would, no doubt, have preferred a Royal Commission; but at the time when the Committee was appointed there was a flood of Royal Commissions and probably the reason why the right hon. Gentleman who at the time was Secretary for Scotland appointed a Committee rather than a Commission was that the House and the Government would grant no more Commissions. But, whatever authority might attach to the recommendations made, he hoped hon. Members would give some weight to the evidence taken by the Committee. He regretted that accidentally the evidence relating to Training Colleges, 419 being in a separate volume, might easily be overlooked. He was sorry that an hon. Member representing a Scotch constituency should have made so unqualified and so unmeasured an attack upon the schoolmasters of Scotland, who were conscientiously doing their duty. They had been accustomed to think that the schoolmasters of Scotland could, at least, hold their own with the schoolmasters of England. The hon. and learned Gentleman, without saying a single word in their favour, had described them as teachers of an inferior and sectarian character, and had misstated altogether the facts as regarded the part taken by the Universities in training Scotch schoolmasters. How could any hon. Member read the Report of the Committee, and then proceed to say that the Universities in Scotland were standing by neglected? If it were said that in England while Training Colleges were doing the work the Universities were standing by neglected, there would, of course, be much truth in the statement; but to say that about Scotland was an entire misrepresentation of the fact, the fact being that in Scotland schoolmasters of ordinary schools went more to the Universities than in any other country in the world. Yet the Committee recommended that still more should be done to combine College training with University education. It was recommended that every master who was qualified to do so with profit should attend University classes; that anything he had to do in the Normal School should give way to University requirements; and that the whole curriculum should be so arranged as to assist the students rather than embarrass them in their University studies. Again, the Committee's recommendations were not, as represented, wholly in favour of existing Colleges. They had recommended that if any other Body equally well equipped, and willing to take upon itself the same financial responsibility, would come forward to undertake the training of teachers, a share should be assigned to them in the work. If the University of St. Andrew's, which was the only University that seemed at all keen about it, chose to build upon that recommendation, organizing itself as a Training College, and undertaking the necessary responsibility, ha would gladly advocate its claim for grants in respect 420 of teachers trained. He was surprised that on the question of Training Colleges the Committee should be accused of having a clerical bias. He did not think there was anything particularly clerical about his hon. and learned Friend the Member for the Inverness Burghs (Mr. Finlay) for instance, or about the Under Secretary for Scotland (Mr. Cochran-Patrick), whose enlightened speeches on education many hon. Members would recollect, or about the Secretary to the Education Department. For himself he said nothing. The Committee were under no clerical bias. They were under the influence of the evidence which they took from the Universities, from the teachers themselves, from the Chief Inspectors of Schools, and from the chief School Boards elected by the people of Scotland to conduct their educational affairs. He might refer especially to the evidence given on behalf of the Glasgow School Board. He did not wish to make any invidious comparisons; but he must say that he admired the ability and thoroughness with which that Board transacted all its business, considering the vast population it had to deal with. If anyone would read the Report of the Committee, he would see that the Committee were prepared to support any other Body who were in a position to take part in the excellent and very necessary work which was being done, both for male and female teachers, by the existing Colleges. He hoped hon. Members from Scotland would not hastily make up their minds to overthrow the present system in favour of a crude scheme of 800 University Bursaries for young men and young women intending to be teachers. The question would be brought up again early next year, and he trusted that, in the meantime, hon. Members would study the Committee's Report, together with the evidence taken, and form their judgment calmly and deliberately. He certainly thought that for the present, at any rate, the Committee did not go very far wrong in recommending that the grants to the old Colleges should be continued.
§ MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)
said, he thought the hon. Member for Perth (Mr. C. S. Parker) had rather misunderstood the remarks made by the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. E. Robertson). He (Mr. Hunter) did not 421 understand the speech of the hon. and learned Member to be at all in the nature of an attack, but rather in the nature of criticism, which criticism was very short, owing to causes they all understood. He should not follow the hon. Member (Mr. C. S. Parker) in his defence. The hon. Member had stated his own views, along with the other Members of the Committee in the Report which was before the House. He (Mr. Hunter) only wished to say to the Government that it was impossible to exaggerate the importance of affiliating the training of teachers to the work of the Universities. He did not say it ought to be an absolutely indispensable part of the scheme of University reform; but his contention was that no scheme of University reform for Scotland would be worthy of support which did not include the entire training of teachers, both male and female. With that remark he should content himself, because at that hour of the evening—6.15—it was impossible to discuss the question as it ought to be discussed. The Committee's Report amounted to this—firstly, a justification of denominational Colleges, on the ground that the teaching was inferior to that of the Universities, and therefore more suitable to the class of persons who attended; and, secondly, a justification of denominational Colleges, on the ground that they imparted moral and religious training. He (Mr. Hunter) could speak, from personal experience both as to the products of the Training Colleges and of the products of the Scotch Universities; and he assured the hon. Gentleman that the Committee over which he presided were rather taken in by some of the evidence. It was nonsense to pretend that better moral and religious training was given in the denominational Colleges than was given in the Universities.
§ DR. R. MACDONALD (Ross and Cromarty)
said, that, as one who had passed through one of these Colleges, he wished to say a word upon the subject under consideration. He maintained that the present Training Colleges were entirely unnecessary as matters now were. They were simply secondary schools, and not of the very best class of secondary schools. The hon. Member for Perth complained that the hon. and learned Member for Dundee had described these establishments as sec- 422 tarian. What else were they but sectarian? They were purely sectarian. If they were not sectarian, why should they have two establishments at Glasgow within 200 yards of each other—one belonging to the Free Church, and another belonging to the Established Church—when one staff would have sufficed for both? He quite agreed that the sooner the money now given to these Training Colleges was given to the Universities the better. What was more, he had been informed—he did not know that it was a secret—that the last Government absolutely drew up a scheme for doing away with the Training Colleges in Scotland. He hoped that the time was not far distant when such a step would be taken.
§ MR. FINLAY (Inverness, &c.)
said, he desired to say a very few words on the question of Training Colleges, as he was a Member of the Committee of which the hon. Member for Perth (Mr. C. S. Parker) was Chairman. He (Mr. Finlay) did not, in the least degree, object to the friendly criticism the hon. and learned Member for Dundee (Mr. E. Robertson) made upon the Committee and upon its Report; but he wished to say a word or two upon the arguments with which his hon. and learned Friend supported his criticisms. As he (Mr. Finlay) understood, the objects of the Training Colleges were two in number. In the first place, they were connected with religious bodies in Scotland. The reason for that, he presumed, was two-fold. In the first place, there was general satisfaction in Scotland with the work of these Colleges; and, in the second place, he apprehended that the Colleges could not be justly stigmatized as sectarian, for special inquiry was made by the Committee as to whether there was any hardship upon those who did not happen to belong to the denomination with which the Training College was nominally connected. There was an absolute and complete failure to supply the Committee with a single case of hardship in that respect. A Memorial was sent in to the effect that cases of, at least, alleged hardship were continually coming up. The Committee asked for particulars; but those who had sent in the Memorial said that they had found, on inquiry, that the statement had been made by mistake, and that now they did 423 not intend to allege there was any hardship at all. Furthermore, his hon. and learned Friend (Mr. E. Robertson) desired a better style of culture than that which was imparted in the Training Colleges. In that desire he cordially agreed with his hon. and learned Friend; but he thought in that matter his hon. and learned Friend's zeal had really outrun his discretion, for he had forgotten two very important considerations. The first consideration was that many of the School Boards in Scotland could not at present afford to pay for the services of a graduate of the University to act as teacher. That was a matter of practical consideration which the hon. and learned Member for Dundee should not altogether lose sight of. The second consideration was that, in addition to University training, it was necessary that anyone who was going to act as a teacher should be specially trained for teaching. At present Universities were not prepared to give the special training for the profession of teacher which was supplied in the Training Colleges. The hon. Member for Boss and Cromarty (Dr. R. Macdonald) spoke of the Training Colleges as mere secondary schools. But they gave special training to teachers, which was just as essential for the profession of a teacher as special training was essential for the profession of a doctor or clergyman. He quite concurred in the idea, which was very freely stated, that the ideal state of things would be that every teacher in a Scotch school should be a graduate in a University, and should also have gone through a special professional training for his vocation as a teacher. That, certainly, was what ought to be aimed at; but they must look at this matter from a practical point of view. His hon. and learned Friend the Member for Dundee seemed to be speaking in the air. He seemed altogether unaware how the educational wants of Scotland could be effectually met. He protested against the hon. and learned Member's proposal that they should sweep away machinery which had existed so long, and which was now doing excellent work. His proposal was certainly enough to show the unpractical nature of his views upon that point. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that they ought to devote all the money which they devoted to maintaining the Training Colleges to the 424 supplying of Bursaries for the benefit of students in the Scotch Universities, in the hope that the students would afterwards devote themselves to the profession of teaching. As things at present stood, with the salaries School Boards were able to offer, they would find those who had gone through University training, with the help of the proposed Bursaries, would turn their attention to other and more profitable professions. They could not expect those who availed themselves of the Bursaries to bind themselves to adopt teaching as a profession. Certainly, if they obtained such a bond from the students, they never could enforce it. He really thought that if his hon. and learned Friend had paid a little more attention to the evidence adduced before the Committee, he would have abated somewhat his zeal for some of the theories he had laid before the Committee.
§ MR. MUNRO FERGUSON (Leith, &c.)
said, that when the Scotch Estimate for Education was brought before the Committee at 5 o'clock on a Saturday in the middle of December, it was hardly likely that the debate could be a very satisfactory one. The Lord Advocate, at the close of his very interesting speech, said that he had no intention to take up much of the time of the Committee, and the same position had been taken up by every succeeding speaker. He intended to follow the example which had been set; but he very much doubted whether that attitude would meet with the approval of the people of Scotland. He did not think that the Scotch people wished the debate upon the educational system of Scotland to be turned into a mockery to which no real attention whatever could be given. He hardly agreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Leeds (Sir Lyon Playfair) when he spoke of the disadvantage of the Scotch educational system being disconnected from the English system. He believed their only security was that they were separated entirely from an administration which, at all events, whatever the faults of their own might be, was inferior to theirs. But he could not help thinking that one of the great hindrances to the educational system in Scotland was the excessively small areas of the School Boards, which had a prejudicial effect upon teachers, and also upon the general con- 425 duct of education. He hoped some means might be found by which the areas of School Boards could be enlarged. The right hon. Gentleman alluded to the unsatisfactory condition of education in the Highlands; and he (Mr. Munro Ferguson) believed, from considerable experience of that part of the country, that the great reason for the unsatisfactory state of educational matters in the Highland counties was the excessive poverty of the inhabitants, that rendered the payment of fees for education unpopular; and there was no method by which education could be more improved within that area than by the introduction of free education. Primary and secondary education had been referred to; but it appeared to him that the two systems, primary and secondary, in Scotland were becoming so intermixed, primary overrunning into the province of secondary, that it would be difficult by-and-by to disentangle them. He was delighted to hear that the question of drawing, not being included in the 12s. 6d. limit, had been settled, for he believed that to that they might look, to some extent, for the failure in the working of the technical education system last year. Drawing, he might say, formed the basis of technical instruction, and, without an efficient system of instruction in drawing, it would be hopeless to expect a successful outcome from the Act of last year. Of course, there was the larger question of money; and if they had in Scotland a system such as the majority of the people desired, there would be a much larger part of the cost of education supplied from State funds on this account. They had borne their system of technical education up to now without State aid; and, in fact, the Government did not seem able to allot the £5,000 devoted to agricultural schools in the early part of the Session. The State must vary its regulations, and, in some way or other, the means must be found by which Scotland would be enabled to keep her foremost place in educational matters. If in England the educational system allowed the people to be distanced by competition in Germany and America, that was the look-out of the people of England; but if Scotland could not obtain the time in the House, and by the help of the Government, to carry out the reforms considered essential, Scotch 426 Members would have to defend the interests of their constituents in the best way they could. His firm belief was that, owing to the Irish policy of the Government, time had been uselessly employed that might have been usefully occupied in Scotch educational affairs, and Scotch people would insist that their requirements should have attention.
§ MR. CALDWELL
said, he did not rise to continue the debate on the general question of education, for the occasion did not offer the opportunity the subject demanded. One matter, however, he desired to refer to. It was admitted, he believed, on all hands, that secondary education in Scotland showed symptoms of decline; but not only was that the fact, but since 1886 the attendance at Scotch Universities—which from the year 1861 to that date had increased rapidly to the extent of 50 per cent—had declined without parallel in the educational history of Scotland. It was important to observe that the decline of secondary education was connected with the decline of private schools in Scotland; accordingly, as the School Board had usurped the whole educational interest, Scotch secondary education had gone down, and this was now affecting attendance at the Universities. From the Return laid before the House, it appeared that the decline in secondary education was beyond control, unless some extraordinary effort was made. There had always been an anxiety to ascertain what had been the progress of education in Scotland since 1872 but it could never be made out from the Reports of Her Majesty's Government; and there was now a Report that placed the matter beyond doubt—the Report of the Scotch Education Department last issued. From that Report it appeared that in all the schools in Scotland, State-aided and non-State aided, the average attendance was 544,886; and, as that number represented 77.8 of the number on the register, there was the important fact that there were 700,000 children on the rolls of all the schools, State-aided and non-State-aided. Comparing that with 1872, and without going into all the details, there was this important fact—that there were 546,000 on the rolls, and in 1881 there were 558,000 children in the Census Returns. So, in fact, it was beyond doubt that, at the present 427 moment, taking it per population, there were 17.40 of the population attending schools, and in 1872 there were 15.92. In point of fact, out of 700,000 attending schools, only 60,000 were due to the operation of the Education Act, the remainder being due to the increase in population. Another important fact was that in 1872 there were 280,000 children attending State-aided schools, and 266,000 attending non-State-aided schools, so that 200,000 had been transferred from the one to the other. The Education Department would have it believed that there was that increase in attendance; but nothing of the kind—it was simply a transfer of children. Looking at the important result that, according as private schools were reduced, secondary education and University attendance had declined—and that was the important point he wished to place on record in the meantime—when again the House had the Education Estimates under consideration it would be impossible lightly to dismiss so important a matter.
§ DR. CAMERON
asked were the Committee to understand that it was not intended to proceed with the Crofter Emigration Vote?
§ Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ (8.) £10,325 (including a Supplementary sum of £300), to complete the sum for the Universities, &c., in Scotland).
§ MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)
said, he had given Notice to move the reduction of the Vote by £1,000, which was about the sum contributed by the Exchequer to the Divinity Chairs in Scotland. For many reasons he did not on that occasion propose to enter into the question at length, nor did he think he should trouble the Committee with a Division, considering the period of the Session at which they had arrived. But there was one aspect of the question, unconnected with the denominational aspect, to which, for a few minutes, he would direct attention. He found, from a Report before the House, that the total amount of endowments, including the Government grant to Divinity Chairs, was no less than £7,742. That was a remarkable fact, for that was almost the amount the Government proposed, in 428 the Bill now about to be withdrawn, to add to the existing Government grants for the Universities of Scotland; and he thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be justified if he buttoned up his pockets and refused to part with another 6d. from Imperial funds until the money that the Scotch Universities already possessed was properly utilized. Comparing the number of Divinity students with the amount he had mentioned, he found that, in round figures, the education of each Divinity student cost £40 from the endowments. That sum of money was, in itself, amply sufficient to carry out the required reforms in improving and widening the curriculum of Arts in the Universities of Scotland. Not troubling the Committee with other statistics, he took, as an instance, the University of Aberdeen. There the endowments devoted to Divinity amounted to almost £1,946, and the average number of students was 30; the total amount of fees was £178, and the result was that every Divinity student in Aberdeen University cost £66 out of the funds of the University, and the grants made by Parliament. How did that compare with the figures as regarded Art students? He found that, estimated in the same way, the cost was £4 15s. per annum! The whole of the endowments—not speaking of Bursaries, and leaving those aside—the whole of the endowments payable to Art Professors amounted to £4 15s. per student per annum. Taking the whole of Scotland, that was but about one-fourth of the amount devoted to Divinity. Could that be considered a fair division? The Government, in their proposals, did not propose to make any addition to Divinity Chairs, and it would have displayed unreasonable courage if they had proposed to do so in the face of the facts he had stated; but he was prepared to go a step further, and, in the face of those facts, would commit himself to the proposition that it would be a public scandal if, when one of those Chairs became vacant, it was allowed to be filled up. It was monstrous that for £66 given to one professional class, only £4 15s. should be allowed to general education. What could be done in the way of enlarging the curriculum of Arts with that endowment of £7,700? There could be an enlargment of existing Art Chairs, the establishment of a Chair of English 429 Literature, of French, of German, of History, another of Experimental Physics and Biology; and all with that money alone, and without another penny from the Exchequer, and providing a complete curriculum of Arts. He was not going to enter into any question of religious equality; he only wished to point out to those facts, and ask the Government to take them into serious consideration before the re-introduction of the University Bill.
§ MR. J. A. CAMPBELL (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)
said, he only wished to correct a mistake into which the hon. Member for North Aberdeen (Mr. Hunter) seemed to have fallen. He gathered from the hon. Gentleman's remarks that he asserted the attendance of Divinity students at Aberdeen University was 18. However that might have been in any one year, the number now was 37, and it had been at a similar figure for many years past. He thought the hon. Member must be giving the number of first-year students only; but the students attended the Divinity Classes for three years.
§ MR. HUNTER
said, he had got his figures from the Return, and he understood that in each year the total was given in every class of students; he counted up the total number of students, and he found that in the last 27 years the number came to just under 18. If he was wrong, he must be equally wrong in the Faculty of Arts; else there should be more than 1,200 Art students in Aberdeen University, which the hon. Gentleman would not find.
§ MR. J. A. CAMPBELL
said, however the hon. Member fell into the mistake, he could assure him that the number of Divinity students in Aberdeen University was 37; that it was 32 last year, and 33 the year before.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ (9.) £100, to complete the sum for the National Gallery, &c., Scotland.