HC Deb 30 July 1891 vol 356 cc843-66

1. Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £3,075,357 (including a Supplementary sum of £806,225), 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, 1892, for Public Education in England and Wales, including Expenses of the Education Office in London.

(12.0.) MR. MUNDELLA

I wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, before he makes his statement, whether the fee grant should be included with the result grant in one Vote. It seems to me that they should be separate. We shall want to discuss the grants separately, and to watch the progress under the application of the grant from year to year. I submit, as a question of order, they should be separate. It is true we can discuss the fee grant though joined with the result grant; but I think unless they are separated, we shall have a state of confusion worse confounded.


This is not a question of order to be decided by the Chair; it is a question for the Committee.


If the right hon. Gentleman will not object to the combination this year, I will undertake that, if there is a general feeling in favour of that course, next year the Vote shall be divided as the right hon. Gentleman suggests.

*(12.3.) SIR W. HART DYKE

The duty now devolves upon me, though at rather a late hour, to make the statement as to the educational work of the year ending August 31st, 1890. I have a twofold duty to perform; for while I have to deal with what has been done in the way of educational work in the year ending August 31st, 1890, I have also to deal with the amount required under the Estimate for the financial year 1891–2. I will not dwell at very great length on the educational work, because, no doubt, the chief educational interest of the day centres in the new work and the operation of the Code of 1890. Therefore, I shall content myself with a general statement as to the work done by the Education Department and the advance made in elementary schools. The grant for the financial year 1890–1 was £3,782,224, and the sum expended was £3,782,057, leaving a surplus of £167. That shows, at all events, a somewhat careful supervision on the part of the Education Department. The sum allowed for annual grants for day and evening scholars was £3,418,366, and the sum expended £3,415,183. The grant per day scholar under the old Code, up to September 1st, 1890, when the new Code came into operation, was 17s. 10¾d. per head. Under the new Code it was 18s. 3¾d., together amounting to 18s. 1¼d. or 1¾d. more than the Estimate, which made no provision for increased grants under the new Code. But the average attendance fell short of the estimate by some £30,000, and thus the Department were enabled to meet the increased charge under the new Code. The Expenditure in 1890 includes a sum of £3,530 for grants in respect of day training colleges payable under the Code of 1890, and not provided for in the Estimates. Now I turn to the Estimates for 1891–92, the first framed to meet the new Code. The sum asked for is £3,919,132, an increase over the year 1890–91 of £136,908. The increase of annual grants for day and evening scholars is £120,817, and there is also a considerable addition to meet grant for Day Training Colleges estimated at £11,150 for 1891. The remainder of the increase is due to increments in the salaries in the Department and outdoor staff, and also a not inconsiderable increase in the number of pensioners, something like 60 more teachers having received pensions. In 1890–91 the teachers receiving pensions were: 57 at £30, 272 at £25, 313 at £20; and now there are 82 at £30, 292 at £25, and 328 at £30. The average number of children on whom the grant will be paid is 3,794,156—an increase of only 11,600 as compared with the Estimates of the previous year, but an increase of 40,000 as compared with the actual results of that year, which were foreseen when the Estimate for 1891–2 was prepared. The rate of grant per day scholar is estimated at 18s. 6d., being an increase of 6½d. over the Estimate for 1890–91, and of 7¼d. over the rate per scholar during the last half-year of the old Code. But as the Estimate for 1890–91 was based only on the Code of 1889, the comparison should be with the rate actually earned under the new Code in the seven months of 1890–91, during which it was in force. Thus compared, the increase is 2¼d., the rate actually paid in 1890–91 under the new Code being 18s. 3¾d., and the Estimate for 1891–92 being, as before stated, 18s. 6d. The increase of 2¼d. is required under two heads: the normal advance in proficiency and increased grants to small schools, under Articles 104 and 105, where the population is less than 500. A large number of these schools are inspected in the summer months, and, therefore, have not yet received these grants. It may here be interesting to compare the additional grants to small schools paid under the new Code up to the end of April last with corresponding grants paid during the same period in 1889–90. The additional grants to small rural schools paid under the new Code from October, 1890, to April, 1891, amounted to £26,875, and the additional grants paid under the old Code in the corresponding period of 1889 were £13,956—an increase in 1890–91 of £12,919. The rate of grant per day scholar under the new Code has come very near the estimate given when the Code of 1890 was prepared. The figures I am giving represent only the commencement of an entirely new departure for the whole educational system, and it is, of course, perfectly obvious that in many cases the managers of schools have not appreciated the advantage which is afforded them in the new Code. In 1889 the number of schools inspected was 19,310, in 1890 19,419, increase 109, or .56 per cent. School accommodation in 1889 was 5,440,000, in 1890 5,539,000, an increase of 99,000 places, or 1.82 per cent. The scholars on the register in 1889 were 4,755,000; in 1890, 4,804,000, an increase of 49,000, or 1.03 per cent. The average attendance stood at 3,683,000 in 1889, and at 3,718,000 in 1890, an increase of 35,000, or .95 per cent. The percentage of average attendance to the number on the register was nearly stationary. The percentage of passes in standard examinations were in 1889 89.10, in 1890 89.66. The scholars examined in Standard IV. showed an upward tendency, and exhibited an increased proficiency. In 1889 there were 973,000, and in 1890 there were 979,000, an increase of 6,000, or .62. With regard to cookery, the number of girls is steadily increasing. In 1889 there were 57,500, and in 1890 66,800, an increase of 9,300, and there is likely to be a still further increase. The number of certificated and assistant teachers had increased by 2,781, the numbers being in 1889 70,752, in 1890 73,533, but there had been a decrease of 787 in regard to the pupil teachers, so that the opportunity which is offered by the new Code to those who are unfit for the profession to devote their energies to other occupations has thus been made use of. There is nothing startling, I admit, in the rate of progress. It is satisfactory, no doubt, except in one point. The accommodation has increased largely, but I am bound to admit that the percentage of increase as regards attendance has not come quite up to expectations. Whilst the percentage of increase in the number on the register occasionally exceeds the percentage of the increase of accommodation the average attendance has fallen below the normal rate. Thus, the increase in the scholars on the resister was in 1888 52,000, in 1889 68,000, and in 1890 49,000. During the same years the increase in average attendance has been 88,000, 68,000, and 35,000. This may, no doubt, be accounted for in one or two ways. In the first place, the estimate of population we made has not been realised by the Census. We may, perhaps, be taking too sanguine a view in regard to population, but there is an increase of 6,000 more than on the school register. There is one other element—that perhaps the scholars pass too swiftly through the standards. It is satisfactory to note that there is a considerable increase in the number of scholars in Standard IV. I think there is also every indication that not only the standard of our education will be materially raised, but that efficiency in the schools is being greatly increased. With regard to the cookery classes, it is satisfactory also to notice how steady the increase is there. But I am not quite content with the progress made in the rural districts. Much remains to be done by combination and by peripatetic teachers in country villages in the same manner in which advantage has been taken of the Technical Education Act. Fair progress has been made in standard examinations and in the percentage of passes. The percentage of passes is 89.66, or 0.56 higher than in 1889. As this is the last record under the system of the old Code, I should like to give the percentage of passes according to the number of scholars in elementary schools in quinquennial periods from 1875 to the present date. In 1875 the percentage of passes was 79.74; in 1880 the percentage of passes was 81.20; in 1885 it was 85.14; and in 1890 we raised it to 89.66. I think this is a very valuable statement to be able to make with regard to the efficiency of our elementary schools. The old Code has done noble work in its time, and I trust that the new system which we are inaugurating will rather hasten than retard the progress of elementary education. During 1890 the number of pupil teachers fell from 39,397 to 29,610; whilst certificated assistant teachers, as was to be expected under the altered conditions, showed an increase of 2,781, or 3.9 per cent., compared with 2,069, or 3 per cent., in 1889. School expenses and the cost of maintenance per scholar in average attendance show an increase. In Board schools the increase has been from £2 4s. 6½d. in 1889 to £2 5s. 11½d. in 1890, or an increase of 1s. 5d. per scholar. In voluntary schools the increase has been 7d. per scholar, namely, from £1 16s. 4½d. to £1 16s. 11½d. Excluding London, the figures for 1889 are—Board schools £1 19s. 7¾d., voluntary schools £1 15s. 9¾d.; and in 1890, Board schools £2 0s. 7¼d., voluntary schools £1 16s. 5d., an increase of 11¾d. in the first place, 7½d. in the second place. In London the cost in Board schools has been, in 1889 £2 19s. 8¾d., in 1890 £3 2s. 7½d., an increase of 2s. 10¾d., and in voluntary schools there has been an increase of 5½d., namely, from £2 3s 7½d. to £2 4s. 1d. This, generally speaking, is the statement which I have to make in regard to our educational progress up to August, 1890. It is true that I have no record in the shape of statistics to give to the Committee in regard to the alterations introduced by the new Code, but as far as the Education Department is concerned every indication we have tends to show that a great educational success will be achieved. The Inspectors, who are enormously relieved by the new Code, spoke well of it in every regard. There is not a single item in the Inspectors' Reports which have been presented to the House that can be produced in order to show that there is likely to be any failure connected with the Code as far as inspection is concerned. Again, the teachers in every case are making loyal use of the freedom which has been given to them in regard to classification and other matters. The Code had been in operation since September 1, 1890, and there are only very few instances which can possibly indicate that the teachers have failed to recognise the responsibilities imposed upon them under the new Code. In regard to this new Code, a difficulty meets us which I have already mentioned with reference to the school year 1890, the falling off in attendance. The change inaugurated by the Bill which we have been discussing to-night will place some onus upon the Education Department for watching very carefully the question of school attendance. Mr. Synge, the Inspector for the Eastern Division, which includes the Counties of Bedford, Cambridge, Norfolk, Lincoln, Suffolk, and Essex, has referred to the obstacles in the way of ensuring regular attendance; the insufficient number of attendance officers, and the haphazard and unequal working that results from these officers having indefinite instructions and being left too much to their own initiative; the confusion resulting from differing bye-laws in adjoining districts; the dislike of Magistrates to enforce the law; the unwillingness of the Local Authorities to Prosecute employers; the fact that the Act of 1876 mentions one age and the bye-laws another for total exemption. With regard to securing school attendance, it will be the duty of the Department to watch closely the obstacles which may present themselves. In regard to the dislike of Magistrates to the enforcement of attendance by the law, I think the Bill which we have been discussing to-night will remove the chief cause that has prevented the attendance of children, namely, the poverty which can no longer be pleaded as an excuse for their non-attendance. We have heard on all sides that the freedom given to school teachers in regard to the classification of scholars is working admirably under the new system. I want to point out to the House what a valuable relief results from the freedom given to the teachers in regard to the general treatment of the curriculum. I stated long ago in this House my earnest wish to carry out the changes so as to give relief to the Inspectors. I have long been of opinion that there has been something vicious in our system hitherto, and I have always felt that the schools should be open to inspection any day and every day. Unless that is done we shall never perfect our school system as we ought to do. There can be no doubt that the new Code will give greater relief to managers, to teachers, and also to a great extent to Inspectors. We have done away with the system of payment by results on individual examination, and that alone will give immense relief to the Inspectors with regard to the disposal of their time. I should like, if the Committee will bear with me, to read a Circular issued on the 16th July, giving advice and instruction to Inspectors in carrying out this important duty.— Sir,—It is hoped that the time which has been hitherto employed in recording in greater detail the results of the annual examinations may now he employed in paying visits without notice. Such visits will in future form an important factor of your annual Report upon a school, and will differ from the annual visit of inspection chiefly in this, that the character and intelligence of the lessons, which may be given in your presence, and the order, neatness, cheerfulness, and general bearing of the scholars will constitute the principal objects of your observation. Some time should also be spent in friendly conference with the managers (whose presence is very desirable) and with the teachers on the general character of the education given, and on special detailed points of school management or teaching on which your advice may be sought. Now, Sir, I think that is a very im- portant document, and I merely quote it in order to show that the Department are determined that the improvements instituted in the new Code shall not end in any futile manner, but that they shall be real and solid improvements as regards the education given in the elementary schools. Another point of considerable interest to which I wish to allude is the relief which is given in the Code of 1890 in respect to the teaching of English as a class subject. That relief has been alluded to by a very large number of Inspectors as a most important provision. Mr. Howard, one of our Inspectors, states this in his Report— Grammar has always been an unpopular subject, more especially in the rural portion of Dorsetshire. It is generally found to be too difficult a subject for the rustic children, and will in future, I think, be gratefully relegated in many instances to the second place, if not discarded altogether. The compulsory precedence of English as a class subject has for years been looked upon as a grievance by managers, teachers, and parents in this district, and the removal of this condition will be cordially welcomed by them. What has been the result of this change? In the first place, it enables us practically to revolutionise our school system—that is to say, it enables us for the first time to deal in a broad and liberal manner with the intelligence of our children—to deal with the children as reasonable beings with hands to use and eyes to see, and to give them a class of education that will bring out their general intelligence and usefulness. It has been well said, all educational experience went to show that whatever they could do to cultivate the eye, hand, and the faculty of observation, quickened the interest and intelligence of the children, and would tell upon the whole course of education. This is the point I would emphasise here—that this relaxation in regard to English will enable managers and teachers of rural schools to give the children some kind of elementary agricultural education, for under this head agriculture will aptly come, and I venture to say the relaxation cannot be more profitably applied than in this direction. It has been said that we shall be overburdening the brains of the poor children, but I contend that the change will do nothing of the kind; on the contrary, it will for the first time really relieve the pressure, and at the same time "will enable the children, after they have learnt the three R's, to acquire a knowledge of elementary agriculture, which will enable them the better to get their living in future in the rural districts in which they live. Another point on which the Department has been much criticised is in relation to the teaching of drawing in the rural schools. There, again, we come to the point to which I have alluded. I venture to assert that there is many a child in a rural school who, though he would be much distressed if pressed far beyond the three R's, would be happy to continue to learn with the pencil in his hand—the pencil allied with the pen in his education. It is true that there is a difficulty with regard to teachers for drawing, and the subject cannot be applied to every school. But when I mention that the Science and Art Department has had to put a large increase on the Vote for drawing in the elementary schools, and that there has been an increase of 36 per cent. during the past few months in the number of scholars being instructed in drawing in our elementary schools (the total number being 43,650), it will be seen that the advantage is highly appreciated. What is it we wish to do with these rural children? Do we wish for ever to send them into the towns to struggle for a living, and to add to the population of districts already congested? Do we wish to see them continually pursuing this will-o'-the-wisp, a clerkship in the towns. No; we want to make them useful in the country districts. For 15 years I have been an unfortunate agriculturist. I have been among agricultural people nearly all my life, and I say advisedly that no better provision, no more important change, has ever been introduced into our educational system than that of drawing supplemented by manual instruction, and, as I have said before, a general elementary education in agriculture. If I wanted to employ a lad on my farm I should say, "Give me a lad who has been trained up in this system, who knows how to use his eye and hand; who knows how to trim a hedge straight; who is handy, and who would rather mend a gate (knowing how to do it) than be so clumsy as to break one, and I will take him on my farm, and will take care to retain him there, however much his parents may think that by some patent of their own he would be able to make a fortune in a town. I will not detain the Committee longer. It is a late hour, but I hope I may be forgiven if I have dealt, and dealt with some warmth, with regard to these changes, because they are important changes; and when the new mode is criticised, when it is said that it overburdens the children, it is, I declare, a libel upon it. It is a Code which gives freedom that no Code ever gave before. It introduces a change of a vast character, which will enable the children not only in towns but in the country to become useful citizens, and to get for the first time an adequate living in honest employment in the localities in which they were born and bred. There is one other matter I must allude to, and that is the question of evening schools. With regard to them great advance is being made. I have alluded already to the fact that the attendance has not risen according to the actual needs of the population, and I have alleged as one reason the swiftness with which the children now pass through the standards. It is of the utmost importance that the evening-school system should be largely increased. Mr. Blakiston, one of our Inspectors, says— Evening schools which had almost died out in Bradford seven years ago are now rapidly increasing. They have, however, changed their character. Whereas their object used to he the rescue from ignorance of those whose education had been neglected in childhood, their present purpose is to extend the knowledge which has been previously acquired in some of the many excellent day schools. This year the number of scholars will be more than 2,000. It is very satisfactory to find that in four years the number enrolled has more than doubled itself. The London School Board has made great efforts in regard to evening continuation schools. In 1889–90 the average attendance of evening schools was 6,779, and in 1890–91, in the winter, it increased to over 10,000, an increase of 49 per cent. In the towns in Lancashire, too, there is an equally good record of improvement. I hope that this is only a commencement. These changes the Department can only inaugurate. We can only do our best by the changes we make to tempt school managers to undertake evening schools. The relaxations made in 1890 as to the subjects taught in evening schools are thoroughly appreciated, and I hope that within a year or two an enormous increase will be recorded throughout the country. It is one of the most important branches of the educational system, and it is perfectly lamentable to think how long this method of meeting the difficulty, which has met educationists at every turn, as to what is to happen to a child in the interval between passing the standards and going out to work, has been neglected. I hope school managers will take to heart the observations I have made, and that they will speedily, where they have not done so already, inaugurate a perfect system of evening schools. I do not think I ought to detain the Committee any longer, and I feel I must apologise for the disjointed nature of my observations. The time of the Session and the hour of the night at which I have had to make my statement are unfortunate for any one placed in my position. I hope the Committee will appreciate that, and forgive the disjointed nature of the remarks I have made. I have had to compress two or three subjects of the greatest importance into a very small compass, and all I ask the Committee is this, that they will give fair play to the proposals I have put forward. The Department have always had fair play from Parliament hitherto, and I am sure that they will have it in the future. I ask for the plaudits of the Committee for what is good in these proposals, and for their honest criticism of what is bad. I ask, further, for their confidence in the changes the Department have made, and for their encouragement in carrying out a work which is of vital importance to every man, woman, and child in this country.

(12.46.) MR. MUNDELLA

I think it would be a cruel infliction on the Committee to detain them for long at this late hour of the night in criticising the speech of my right hon. Friend. It is due to him to say that there is no occasion for any apology on his part. Having regard to the long hours the right hon. Gentleman has been in the House and the laborious duties which have fallen on him, I think he is to be congratulated both upon the physical and intellectual vigour which has enabled him to hold out so long. I venture to hope that this will be the last time when the Minister for Education in this House will have to rise after 12 o'clock to make his annual statement, and I trust he will never be called upon again to make his statement so late as July 30. It ought to be made much earlier in the Session, and I will ask the right hon. Gentleman that next year he shall try to give the House the Report of the Committee of Council on Education two or three months earlier. I cannot understand, too, why the Reports of the Inspectors should not be delivered as early as March. They are sent in in January, and therefore it is only a question of printing. The right hon. Gentleman has to-night asked for a Vote unprecedented in amount. Such a Vote has never before been asked for in this House, and, moreover, no State, no Government, in the whole world has ever voted in one year so large a sum as this country is voting this year for education. The French Government, under M. Gambetta, made very large Votes, but they were for a special year, and no State has ever given so much as England is giving for ordinary purposes. The present Vote is for no less a sum than £4,750,000, and when free education comes into full operation the Vote may in two or three years be expected to reach the figure of £6,000,000, irrespective of the amount required for Scotland and Ireland. These are very big figures, and the question is, Are we getting value for the immense sums we are spending I wish I could say we were, but there still remains a great deal to be done. The Department, I think, has been a little dilatory in seeing that adequate school accommodation is provided wherever it is wanted. The Reports of the Inspectors show that in many districts, in the North-Eastern Division especially, the accommodation is insufficient. There is one parish near Harrogate where there are 200 children who have to go by train to school. I should like to see a little more vigour and less dawdling on the part of the Department in exercising its powers in this respect. The Report I have in my hand says the School Boards of Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull, Halifax, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, and other manufacturing centres have been and are still building new schools and enlarging old ones, but in many cases have failed to keep pace with the growing demands. The Inspector complains that at York, although a School Board has been in existence two years, the schools lack sufficient class rooms, cloak rooms are required, and the ventilation is unsatisfactory. In many places, too, there is an actual deficiency of school places. I have received a letter from a clergyman, who states that at Colchester there are many children of 13 years of age who have not even passed the First Standard, and, unfortunately, it is in the sacred name of religion that the diffusion of education is in many cases impeded. He adds that the compulsory clauses are practically inoperative. I am well aware that much good work has been done, but we ought not to flatter ourselves that we have done all or half of what we ought to do.

(12.54.) MR. TALBOT

I cannot allow this Debate to close without congratulating my right hon. Friend on the interesting statement he has made under such adverse circumstances. There is one point which I wish to press upon the attention of my right hon. Friend. Much has been done in the way of securing pensions for the older class of teachers, but there is a small body of them—deserving, although small—who having entered the profession as pupil teachers between 1846 and 1851, now find themselves in some cases shut out from a claim to these pensions because they went to Training Colleges, and so deferred the period of their actual work. If they had begun to teach with less preparation, they would have had their claims recognised at once. It does not seem to be fair that they should be lost because they devoted longer time to their preparation. The right hon. Gentleman opposite was, I think, a little impatient in the observations he has thought fit to make. He should remember that there will necessarily be some deficiency in any system that is adopted, and also that the large sum of money it is proposed to vote, and which is greater than that which is paid by any other country in the world for educational purposes, might be enormously increased if great care were not exercised in consideration of these matters. Of course, there are weak points in our educational system; but what we say is that those weak points are becoming yearly less and less, and it is somewhat discouraging to those who have the management of our elementary schools, and who are doing the great work of educating the people, to be met by this annual complaint that we are far behind every other nation. On the contrary, I say that there is no other country which has made so much progress in education as we have made during the last half century, and that England at the present moment is not far behind other nations. I should like to press on my right hon. Friend the necessity of considering the rating question, which is one deserving of great consideration from two points of view. The excessive rating of the School Boards is undoubtedly a great burden to the ratepayers, and I trust that the rating of the school buildings will not be lost sight of, and that we shall have some assurance that it will not be overlooked. This assurance has been already given, as I understand, in answer to questions; but I shall be glad to receive a renewal of it upon the Estimates.

*(1.0.) MR. MORTON

I do not agree with the remark of the right hon. Member for Sheffield in saying that we devote the largest sum of money given by any civilised country to educational purposes. I believe I am right in saying that a larger sum is spent upon this object in America.


In America it is entirely a local contribution; not one penny is granted by the Central Government.


It does not matter how you get the money, whether from the Local Authorities or from the State, as long as the amount is all right, and there can be no doubt that the amount spent in America is much larger than in England.


More than double.


The right hon. Gentleman says it is more than double, and I have no doubt he is right now, although he was wrong before. If I had not corrected him when I did a wrong impression would have gone abroad to the country, but what I want to do is to increase this Vote as far as may be necessary. As I have said, we are not doing half what the Americans are doing. I ask the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Council what he meant the other day when he told us, in answer to a question put to him, that there was a rigid audit of the accounts by the Inspectors when they inspected the schools. I have had 20 years' experience in these matters in a practical way, which probably they know nothing at all about at the Head Office, and I say that even supposing there ought to be a proper audit, it is not likely that any one of the heads of the Department know anything about auditing accounts. With regard to the rigid audit spoken of by the right hon. Gentleman, I say unhesitatingly that during my 20 years' experience there has been no such audit in the schools with which I have been connected, and if there had been, I am quite sure a great many items would have been struck out of the accounts, and there would probably have been some struck out of my own accounts. I wish to ask whether it is proper that fees should be charged for religious and sectarian examinations, because one wishes to be careful as to what is done in this way. We know that the Diocesan Inspector regularly inspects the Church schools, and of course the Inspector has to be paid by someone. But we were told the other day it was wrong to put into these accounts anything for the Sunday schools or religious teaching of any sort; and, therefore, I wish to know whether it is right that these fees for diocesan inspection should go into the accounts submitted to the Department. I wish further to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it would not be wise to insist upon having successful teachers who are fitted for the work appointed as Inspectors of these schools instead of gentlemen who are appointed simply because they are clergymen or the sons or relatives of the aristocracy, but who know nothing whatever about elementary education. Another question I wish to ask has reference to the annual grants to the Training Colleges. This appears to be a new item. I believe that all the 44 Training Colleges mentioned here are sectarian, with three exceptions, and I do not think that that is a very satis- factory state of things. I would add that we in this country are not so far advanced in elementary education as Canada was in the year 1860. The children there not only receive their elementary education free, but they also go to the Grammar Schools free, and if they pass a satisfactory examination, and their friends are willing, they can then go to the Colleges almost free. Moreover, in the northern States of the United States there is a much greater advance in connection with education than we are able to show. I do not expect we shall reach the level attained either by our own Colonies or the United States for many years to come, but we are advancing by rapid steps, and I for one should be glad to vote more money for educational purposes which we might easily be enabled to do by reducing our military expenditure.


I can assure the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Mundella) that the Department is fully alive to its obligations in regard to seeing that adequate school accommodation is provided. This and the other questions as to auditing accounts, and so forth, will be carefully considered. There are various articles in the Code of 1890 which provide the necessary securities, and I shall be happy to give the hon. Member a copy. It will be more convenient both for him and me that he should read them than that I should wade through them here at this hour of the morning.

*(1.32.) MR. MORTON

I think the right hon. Gentleman might as well have suggested that we should adjourn this matter now. He says the hour is too late to go on with the discussion. I agree that he has had a very hard night's work; but the Government of the country must go on. I therefore move, Mr. Courtney, that you do report Progress and ask leave to sit again. I am anxious that the business of the Session should be brought to an early termination, but I want to go into these matters properly. The right hon. Gentleman has not answered any of my points satisfactorily. I do not press him to do so to-night as I am willing to go into the matter to-morrow, and, therefore, it is that I move to report Progress.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Morton.)

(1.35.) MR. MUNDELLA

I would appeal to the hon. Member not to persist in his Motion. The House has spent a good deal of time on the question of education this Session. It was, I think, very unfair that the right hon. Baronet should have been called upon to make his educational statement at so advanced an hour of the night and at so late a period of the Session. I think it a very-bad precedent and one which should never be followed in the future. The House is jaded. For myself I feel that I have been here too long to-night, and I hope that we shall now allow the Government to take the Vote. There will be nothing gained by our delaying it.


If the Government get this Vote, will they consent to report Progress? As the right hon. Gentleman will see, most of the reporters have withdrawn. If the Government get this Vote will the Chancellor of the Exchequer be satisfied?


It is not a question as to whether I shall be satisfied, but whether the Committee generally will be satisfied. I do not wish to take too many Votes to-night, but there is a great desire to make progress, and I think we might be allowed to proceed with the Estimates.


I would ask leave to withdraw my Motion, but, of course, I must go on with my criticism of the accounts.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question again proposed.

*(1.38.) MR. MORTON [Cries of "Divide!"]

If there is any impatience on the other side, I must persist in my Motion for adjournment. I am willing to go on with the discussion of the Estimates, but I must not be interrupted. As to the audit of these accounts, the right hon. Gentleman told us the other day that there was a very rigid one carried out. It was on that statement that I based my question. He now says that it is an "adequate" audit. I do not say it is necessary that there should be a "rigid" audit, but it does appear to me that it was deceiving the country to say that there was a rigid audit, when, as a matter of fact, there was nothing of the kind. I am sorry the right hon. Gentleman did not go into the question of appointing teachers to the position of Inspectors. I regret that he neglected that point, because I know he is thought a great deal of by the teaching staff outside, and I do not think it is fair to them that they should not have an opportunity of getting some of these appointments.


That has been effected long ago.


There may have been one or two of these appointments given to teachers, but there have been very few. And now I desire to ask two or three questions on the figures themselves, and to move a reduction. I do not understand at all the case of the London Office. I do not object to the salary of the Vice President. He does his work pretty well, but I find that he has a secretary at a salary of £1,800, and it is on that item that I am about to move a reduction, because I find that the secretary in Scotland only gets £1,200. I see that this salary is "personal" to the present secretary, meaning, probably, that when there is a vacancy in the office the salary will be reduced. But I do not think the English secretary should be paid more than the Scotch. I do not believe there is more work to be done by this gentleman in the English Office than by the gentleman in the Scotch Office, for the latter is also a senior examiner. Altogether we pay much more for educational business in England than we do in Scotland. So far as I can see we pay quite enough for the Scotch business, and I think, therefore, there ought to be a reduction on this Vote. One of the senior examiners gets an allowance of £100 per annum. What does he receive that for? It seems to me an extravagant and unnecessary payment beyond the £1,200 a year salary. This senior examiner has assistant examiners, of the salaries of £800 a year. There are junior examiners at £600 a year, one of them being usually employed in connection with the Science and Art Department, and another in connection with the Civil Service Commissioners. [Cries of "Divide!"] This extra work is done, generally speaking, in office hours, therefore it is unfair that these officials should get extra payment. [Cries of "Divide!"and interruption.] should also like to know whether the architect gives the whole of his time to his office. I do not want to detain the Committee, but in order to obtain an answer I move to reduce the Vote by the sum of £1,000.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That Sub-head A Salaries, be reduced by £1,000."—(Mr. Morton.)


I wish to ask the Vice President of the Council a question with reference to Inspectors being promoted from the ranks of schoolmasters. Although when I raised this question a year ago, I got a promise that the claims of schoolmasters to these appointments should have favourable consideration, I believe no such appointment has been made.


Since it has been decided to consider the claims of teachers to these appointments, there has been no vacancy in the Inspectorate which has not been absorbed.

(1.46.) MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)

Having listened to the remarks of the hon. Member for Peterborough, I do not think he asked any frivolous questions, and I hold that he is entitled to an answer. At the same time, considering the lateness of the hour, I hope he will not press the Motion to a Division. I trust that next year the Estimates will be discussed at an earlier stage of the Session. It is not, however, advisable that we should now lay ourselves open to the charge of obstruction in connection with the passing of this Vote.

DR. TANNER (Cork Co., Mid.)

There has been no obstruction. The hon. Member for Peterborough ought to have an answer, and we should have been spared a good deal of trouble if the Vice President of the Council had done his duty. I hope my hon. Friend will take a Division.

Question put, and negatived.

Original Question again proposed.

*(1.51.) MR. MORTON

As I did not trouble the Committee to divide, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will now give us an explanation with regard to the Inspectors under Sub-head C. Will he give us an assurance that qualified teachers shall be eligible for these appointments in the future? It is only fair that those who do the hard work should have a chance to get the well, paid offices.


The school teachers of this country know that they have always had my sympathy. I have stated already that we have decided to adopt the policy of not excluding teachers from these appointments, but since that decision has been come to no vacancy has occurred which could have been so filled.


These gentlemen want and are entitled to something more than the sympathy of the right hon. Gentleman; they want these offices. Now, 1 desire to get some explanation with regard to the allowance of £250 per annum to the Inspectors for travelling and personal expenses. The gross amount of that item is £20,000, but, in addition to that, there is an additional charge of £14,000 for travelling and incidental expenses. Is not the £250 a year sufficient?

*(1.55.) SIR W. HART DYKE

I can only tell the hon. Member that the question of travelling expenses is carefully watched by the Department. They are necessarily considerable, but none are incurred that can be avoided.


I think we ought to have further explanations than that. If the agreed allowance of £250 is not sufficient, it should be increased. Why are there two items; why is not the whole sum properly set out.


The Estimate is in its present form to enable Parliament to distinguish between the money paid for travelling and that for personal expenses.


I feel very strongly on the question of the promotion of school teachers. The right hon. Gentleman says there has been no vacancy in the Inspectorate. According to the Estimates there were 67 Inspectors last year, while there are only 65 now. Are there not two vanancies to be filled up? Again, there were 42 sub-Inspectors last year, while there are 45 now. Are the sub-Inspectors being made to do the work of the Inspectors, and are promotions to the superior ranks avoided?


When I said there were no vacancies I referred to the higher division of Inspectors. I will inquire further into the matter.


I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by £1,000 as a protest against the appropriation of a sum of money to denominational education in this country. It is very remarkable that while some of the supporters of the Government are engaged in opposing denominational endowment of Roman Catholics in Ireland, they sanction the spending of Imperial money upon Episcopalian Colleges in this country.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item H be reduced by £1,000, part of the cost of Training Colleges."—(Mr. Lloyd-George.)

MR. T. W. RUSSELL (Tyrone, S.)

When the hon. Gentleman says some of the supporters of the Government are opposing the endowment of Roman Catholics in Ireland, let me point out that in Ireland we have a mixed system of State education, and that it is proposed to infringe upon that system. In England and Scotland the system is denominational. I am against denominational education, hence the position I have taken up.


The hon. Gentleman says he is opposed to denominational education. Trinity College, Dublin, is a standing protest against his remarks. I shall support the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs.


I beg to support my hon. Friend (Mr. Lloyd-George) in the Motion he has made. The hon. Member for South Tyrone said that the schools in this country are denominational. The schools in Wales are only denominational in the sense that they are controlled by one denomination.


I hope the hon. Member for Carnarvon will withdraw his Motion. That Motion is based on the fact that a certain amount of opposition was raised to the Training Colleges (Ireland) Bill the other day. I cannot stretch my conscience to vote against denominational education in England, because we are badly treated on that point in Ireland.


I trust the Government will not come to the conclusion that we do not feel strongly on this matter because more Members from the principality do not take part in the discussion. I assure the Government that this is a matter on which we feel very keenly indeed. My hon. Friend the Member for Carnarvon is perfectly justified in bringing this subject forward, and I hope he will not be deterred from going to a Division by the remarks of the hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for Galway.

(2.15.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 15; Noes 88.—(Div. List, No. 409.)

Original Question again proposed.

*(2.23.) MR. MORTON

I am aware that indentures are sent from the Education Department, and that they provide that there shall be no Sunday labour? We in our parish have always stipulated that none of the teachers need do any Sunday work. After what we have heard to-night and what we see in the papers in regard to the employment of teachers, especially in rural districts, I should like the right hon. Gentleman to assure us that the condition as to Sunday labour shall be carried out.


I assure the hon. Member I shall do everything to see that the provision is carried out.

Question put, and agreed to.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That a sum, not exceeding £327,067, 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, 1892, for Public Education in Scotland.

(2.22.) MR. CALDWELL

This is one of the most important of the Scotch Votes, and I am surprised we should be asked to take it at this hour of the morning. On every previous occasion when this Vote has been taken we have had a statement made by the Minister in charge of it. When the Government boast of having carried legislation, the people of Scotland will realise that it has been carried at the expense of attention to the affairs of Scotland. The attempt to force through this Vote shows the people of Scotland the absolute impossibility of their country's affairs being conducted by the Imperial Parliament. The Education Vote is the only Vote which is really of interest to the people of Scotland, and seeing that the Government are not prepared to make a statement by way of explanation, I beg to move that yon, Sir, do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again. If the Government resist the Motion, I will not put the Committee to the trouble of dividing. I am prepared to go at length into the Vote, but I protest against us being expected to do so at this time of the morning. The people of Scotland will see that if these are the circumstances under which the Scotch Representatives are to conduct business in the Imperial Parliament, it is nonsense to have their work done in the Imperial Parliament. We cannot possibly get the Vote to-night, but I can go on for an hour.


We may be able to come to some arrangement. I would suggest that we should postpone this and the Irish Education Vote, and make some progress with the non-contentious Votes in Class V.


This Vote is in its order, and I know a number of Members have left on the understanding that it was impossible that this Education Vote could be finished to-night, and the Votes in Class V. taken. I am ready to go on with the Vote, but if it is not proceeded with, I do not think the Government should ask us to take the Votes in Class V.


I must ask the Committee to consider what is the attitude of the hon. Member. In the first place, he objected to proceeding with the Vote. If we had opposed him he would have denounced us. We agreed to postpone the Vote, and suggested we should make progress with the Votes in Class V.; but, no, the hon. Member objects to our doing that. We will go as far as the Committee generally is willing to go, and no further.

*(2.30.) MR. C. S. PARKER

I certainly support the view that we should put off the Scotch Vote until to morrow. It is unprecedented that the Education Vote should be taken at such an hour as this, and without a full statement from the Lord Advocate, which we cannot expect at this time of night. As to taking other Votes, I may observe there are several to which Notices of opposition have been given, and Members giving those Notices have left the House, naturally supposing the Votes would be taken in their order, so I do not think we should proceed with those Votes.


We will take the Votes to which there is no objection.

MR. SEXTON (Belfast, W.)

I think the hon. Member for the St. Rollox Division (Mr. Caldwell) is perfectly justified, and I protest against the unwarranted construction put upon the hon. Member's action by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The whole proceeding is one of give and take, and, as the hon. Member has expressed his readiness to proceed, I do not see that there is any justification for the remarks of the Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is the first time I have heard the Votes in Class V. described as non-contentious. There must certainly be Debate upon them, and I think it would be sharp practice to take the Vote for the Consular and Diplomatic Service unexpectedly in the absence of the hon. Member for Northampton, who we know takes great interest in that Vote. There are Votes in Classes VI. and VII. not the subject of Notices on the Paper, and these, perhaps, might be taken.

*(2.32.) MR. GOSCHEN

Let us then proceed. I do not wish to force any Votes, and I accept the suggestion that we shall go on with Classes VI. and VII., excepting such as have Notices against them.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

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