HC Deb 23 July 1889 vol 338 cc1175-80

Considered in Committee.

Clause 3.

Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 14, to leave out the words "County Council," and insert the words "joint Education Committee, as hereinafter mentioned."—(Sir William Hart Dyke.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'County Council' stand part of the clause."


When this Bill was last in Committee we were discussing the question of a joint Education Committee. Since the last discussion I have had the opportunity of seriously discussing the situation with my colleagues, and, looking to the fact that the Amendments proposed by the Government will make a vast and comprehensive change in the whole system of intermediate education in Wales, Her Majesty's Government have come to the conclusion that there is something just and fair in the objections which have been urged from both sides of the House, and therefore we are prepared to consent that the joint Education Committee shall consist of five members, three to be appointed by the County Council and two by the Privy Council. When we come to Clause 6 I propose to amend it in that way.

Question put, and agreed to.

Several Amendments agreed to.

Amendment proposed, Clause 5, page 3, line 10, leave out from "taught," to the end of line 24, and insert— To a scholar attending as a day scholar a the school established or regulated by a scheme and that the times for prayer or religious worship or for any lesson or series of lessons on a religious subject shall be conveniently arranged for the purpose of allowing the withdrawal of a day scholar therefrom in accordance with the said Section 15."—Sir W. Hart Dyke.

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the question"

* MR. STUART RENDEL (Montgomeryshire)

I hope that when his Bill is re-committed the Government will re-consider one of these words—I mean the word "day" before "scholar," which one word "day" I beg the Government to omit. The question of boarders is one about which the feeling is very strong in Wales. The Amendment, as it stands, would take away the protection which we wish to confer on boarders. I hope it may be possible to leave out the word "day."

MR. OSBORNE MORGAN (Denbighshire, E.)

I think the right hon. Gentleman would be rightly advised if he acceded to this request. He is hardly aware of the great amount of feeling which this matter has excited in Wales.


I appreciate the point which has been raised, but I cannot accept any Amendment virtually tending to widen the clause, which already extends the Cowper-Temple clause to day schools. If this is merely a question of verbal Amendment, so as to give better effect to the existing provisions of the Endowed Schools Acts, I will consider the point. I cannot undertake to extend the clause.

MR. T. ELLIS (Merionethshire)

May I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman? I think it would be rather hard if a Nonconformist child were a boarder at a school in Wales and were compelled to attend lessons on any religious subject in connection with some other religious denomination. It would be a very small change in the Bill to allow the child to be withdrawn from such instruction.

Viscount CRANBORNE (Lancashire, N.E., Darwen)

I certainly hope that the proposed change will not be made. Though I do not belong to Wales I care for the interests of the denominational schools, and I certainly think that the right hon. Gentleman has already gone to the extreme limit of what he ought to do.

MR. MUNDELLA (Sheffield, Bright-side)

The intervention of the noble Lord appears to me to be singularly unfortunate. The right hon. Gentleman's Amendments have changed the character of this Bill, considering the sharp collisions there are between Nonconformists and the Church in Wales. I think this clause should be allowed to extend to Board scholars as well as day scholars. The Welsh people do not object to religious teaching because there is no part of the Queen's dominions where such teaching is more given than Wales, but they do object to any particular denominational teaching being given to children whose parents object to it.

MR. G. T. KENYON (Denbigh, &c.)

The noble Lord (Viscount Cranborne) has thrown an apple of discord into the debate, although he does not appear to know much about the question. I think the suggestion made from the other side of the House is well worth the consideration of the right hon. Gentleman, and I would suggest that the matter should be left open for consideration at the Report stage.

Question put, and negatived.

Question, "That those words be there inserted," put, and agreed to.

Other Amendments agreed to.

Clause 6,


I beg to propose the Amendment standing in my name.

Amendment proposed, in Clause 6, page 3, line 34, leave out from "Act," to end of clause, and insert— There shall be appointed in every county in Wales a Joint Education Committee of the County Council of such county, consisting of three persons nominated by the County Council, and three persons, being persons well acquainted with the conditions of "Wales and the wants of the people, nominated by the Lord President of Her Majesty's Privy Council."—(Sir W. Hart Dyke.)

Question, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the clause," put, and negatived.

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."

SIR HUSSEY VIVIAN (Swansea District)

I desire to insert after "wants of the people" these words, "preference being given to persons resident in the county, for which such Joint Committee is appointed." I have communicated these words to my right hon. Friend, and I think he is prepared to accept them.

Amendment proposed to proposed Amendment, after "people," to insert— Preference being given to persons resident in the county for which such Joint Committee is appointed."—(Sir Hussey Vivian.)

Question proposed, "That these words be there inserted."


Of course the Government of the day, who would be responsible for the working of this Bill, must appoint the very best persons either within or without the county. As far as these words are concerned, however, I have no objection to that insertion as indicating that where it is possible to find two men in the county to represent the county that should be done.

SIR J. PULESTON (Devonport)

Would not the same principle apply to the appointment of persons by the County Council?


I would leave that equally open.

Question put, and agreed to.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 6, as amended, agreed to.

Amendment proposed, Clause 17, page 7, line 25, leave out from "children," to end of clause, and insert— Or, where the benefits of such endowment are divisible between two counties or between the counties in Wales, or any of them, and any place outside of Wales, then means so much of the endowment as the Charity Commissioners may determine to be applicable for the benefit of the county of the joint education committee. (2.) Any school or endowment of a school to which Section 75 of 'The Elementary Education Act, 1870,' applies, and any endowed school to which Section 3 of 'The Endowed Schools Act, 1873,' applies, shall, if the school is in the county of a Joint Education Committee under this Act, be for the pnrposes of the Endowed Schools Acts and this Act an educational endowment and endowed school within the county of such Committee."—(Sir W. Hart Dyke.)

Amendment agreed to.


Perhaps I may be permitted to say a word with regard to the commencement of the operation of this Act. I find the County Council do not meet until November next, and they would then take action with regard to this matter. I would suggest, therefore, that the Act commence in November.


Our meeting is on October 17th.


No doubt hon. Members will consult with regard to that.


I propose to move a new Clause, to the effect that the Charity Commission should report annually to both Houses of Parliament the proceedings under this Bill during the preceding year. I believe such a course would be of very great advantage to the working of this Bill. It would stimulate the Joint Committees, keep them in touch with one another, and conduce to the harmonious and consistent as well as energetic operation of the Act throughout the entire Kingdom.


I have drafted a Clause— That the Charity Commissioners shall include in the Report of their proceedings under the Endowed Schools Act a Report of their proceedings under this Act.


We do not at all wish that the proceedings under this Act shall be included in the general Report of the Charity Commissioners. What we desire is a special and separate Report, and I trust the right hon. Gentleman will accept my new clause.


Very well.


I move, then, the following new clause:—"The Charity Commissioners shall in every year cause to be laid before both Houses of Parliament a Report of the proceedings under this Act during the preceding year."

Question, "That this clause be read a second time," put, and agreed to.

Question, "That this clause be added to the Bill," put, and agreed to.

Bill reported, as amended, to be considered upon Friday, and to be printed. [Bill 349.]