HC Deb 22 July 1889 vol 338 cc988-9
MR. ARTHUR ACLAND (York, W.R., Rotherham)

I beg to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether a memorial has been received by the Government from the School Boards of Manchester and Sal ford, the Manchester School of Art, the Manchester Technical School, the Stockport Technical School, the Harris Institute at Preston, the Whitworth Committee, and the Union of Lancashire and Cheshire Institutes specially urging the Government to pass the Technical Education Bill, pointing out that the opportunities for technical education promised in successive Bills to the children of the working classes are passing away each year for thousands of boys, while increased facilities seem to be afforded for such instruction in other countries; and, whether the Government propose to comply with the request contained in the Memorial?


The facts stated by the hon. Member are correct, and the Government are quite aware of the great interest taken by the country in technical education and the pressing importance of dealing with it. The Government have been engaged in the past few days in endeavouring to find some solution of the difficulty which surrounds the question in regard to elementary schools, but, I regret to say, without success. We therefore propose to at once introduce a measure dealing with the higher branch of the subject.


I beg to give notice that in consequence of the complete breakdown of the efforts of the Government to deal with this question in connection with the elementary schools, which the Government declared to be urgent three years ago, I will at the earliest opportunity next Session move that, in the opinion of this House, it is only by the universal establishment of School Boards in England and Wales that we can hope to obtain in a thoroughly satisfactory form a system of technical education for the working classes of this country.

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Brightside)

Will the measure which we have been told is to be introduced by the Government be deferred until next Session?


I hope to introduce a short Bill this Session.


Then are we to understand that the Measure which the Government are to introduce will deal only with the higher branch of the question of technical education, and not at all with the lower branches?


If the right hon. Gentleman will wait until he sees the Bill, it will probably be more satisfactory than he appears to anticipate.