HC Deb 04 August 1891 vol 356 cc1361-3

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Lords Amendment be considered forthwith."

(11.54.) VISCOUNT CRANBORNE (Lancashire, N.E., Darwen)

I should like to take this, the last opportunity that will be offered, to make an appeal to the Government in respect to this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman is aware that the Bill has undergone several changes—


I must remind the noble Lord that the Question before the House is that the Lords Amendment be considered forthwith.

Question put, and agreed to.

Lords Amendment considered.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment."

*MR. H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

I do not object to this Amendment. The House will observe that the clause from which we dissented, and which the House of Lords do not insist upon, is replaced by an entirely new clause, and which, while it carries out the principle of grouping so much desired by the noble Lord opposite (Lord Cranborne), nevertheless completely prevents any result which would involve an increase of the Parliamentary grant to any school whatever. It is not for me to express an opinion as to whether the grouping, deprived of pecuniary temptations, will be extensively carried out; but, so far as this House is concerned, we have to recognise that the House of Lords have accepted the Amendment this House sent up, and have sent down to us a new clause containing words which distinctly reserve the sole right of the House of Commons to deal with the appropriation of public money. I frankly acknowledge the objection urged on this side of the House has been met, and I have no objection to offer to the Amendment.


No doubt the clause now before the House, though, perhaps, it does not grant everything we hoped for, is an important clause, and I am glad the right hon. Gentleman assents to it. May I now say that which I was about to say just now by way of appeal to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—and this is the last opportunity for doing so. Will the right hon. Gentleman use his influence with a view to having this Act—as it soon will be—placed before the country in a complete form without delay? As he is aware, the time is very short, and school managers will have to make their arrangements under the new scheme within a very brief period. The Bill has gone through many changes, of which this is the last—


The noble Lord is committing an irregularity in point of form. The only Question before the House is this particular Amendment.


If you will allow me to explain, Sir. I was not going to make any comments upon the Bill; only I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman to use his influence to have the Act ready for issue as soon as the printer can print it. It is a complicated measure; it has undergone many changes which it has not always been possible for school managers to follow. As I am not in order, I will not do more than offer this for consideration.


This is an important point. The Act will come into operation at a very early period, and it is desirable that a copy of it should be placed in the hands of the public at the earliest moment possible.

Question put, and agreed to.