HC Deb 22 August 1889 vol 340 cc125-7
MR. BROADHURST (Nottingham)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury, whether he is aware that the School Board Chronicle and other newspapers are strongly opposed to the Technical Instruction Bill; whether he has seen communications in the Press from the Chairman of the Nottingham School Board, and from other education authorities, to the same effect; whether, having regard to these facts, he has any reason to modify the views expressed on Tuesday; and, whether he will now consent to adjourn further progress with the Bill till next Session?


Is it not a fact that the Technical Instruction Bill, with the proposed Amendments of the hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Mather) was supported by all the members of the Royal Commission on Technical Instruction who have seats in the House of Commons, as well as by Sir Philip Magnus, the director of the City and Guilds of London for Technical Instruction; and whether it has not been intimated to the Vice President of the Council that, while regretting the failure of the Government to provide for technical and manual training in elementary schools, the members of the late Commission regard the Bill as indicating a recognition of some of the more important of their recommendations?


Yes; the statement contained in the question of the hon. Member is correct.

MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the hon. Member for Birmingham (Mr. Dixon) has Amendments on the Paper, and does he know of any other paper besides the School Board Chronicle that is opposing the Bill?


I am aware that the hon. Member for Birmingham has placed Amendments on the Paper. Hon. Members must be aware that newspapers invariably take opposite sides on all debated questions. If we are to wait, before proceeding with legislation on any specific subject, until there is an unanimous opinion in the Press with respect to it, I fear we shall have to suspend legislation altogether. I have not seen the communication from the Chairman of the Nottingham School Board, nor the communications from other educational authorities, to the effect described by the hon. Member. I have no doubt, however, that there are Chairmen of School Boards who differ from the Chairman of the Nottingham School Board. What has been already said upon the subject supplies, I think, sufficient justification for the course which the Government think it their duty to pursue. Those who have studied the question closely are almost unanimously of opinion that the Bill ought to be proceeded with.


Has the right hon. Gentleman observed that the supporters of the Bill on the Opposition side of the House have nearly all bolted?


I wish to know whether we are to understand from the reply of the right hon. Gentleman that he has not read or considered any of the arguments advanced in the School Board Chronicle and other papers directly representing the School Board?


Order, order!