§ COMMITTEE. [Progress, 2nd May.]
§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 2.
§ *MR. ESSLEMONT (Aberdeen, E.)
I move an Amendment, in page 2, line 9, to leave out the word "sixty," and insert the words "one hundred." My object is to increase the grant for education from £60,000 to £100,000. I think there is now a golden opportunity of doing for Scotland what we have not been able to do since 1872. It is 16 notorious, and it is the opinion of all educationalists, that while the Education Act did a great deal for primary education, it has done for secondary and technical education very little. There have been many representations from Scotland as to putting the schools on a proper basis, so as to fit them for the great work they have undertaken. There should be evening schools for young people working in factories or at agricultural employment, where they may receive education according to their circumstances, and such as would fit them for their particular callings. It is admitted by all hon. Gentlemen that whilst Scotland in the past has been credited with being advanced in regard to education, we have receded very much in recent years, that we are falling behind the Continent and other industrial centres, and that unless we observe what is being done by our competitors who have continuation schools and the like, we shall go still further to the rear in the industrial race. A further want is also expressed in another statement coming from the Education Institute—To provide sufficient teaching for the children, it is necessary the staff of the schools should be strengthened.To put the matter as shortly as I can, we have three great Departments needing help. We have first the existing secondary schools, which are admitted to be in a backward condition owing to want of more Imperial assistance. In order that there may be free or cheaper education, we want a large sum of money for these secondary schools. In addition, we require a large sum of money for the inception of technical schools, with their workshops, appliances, laboratories, &c, and then for continuation education — particularly evening schools — we shall require considerable aid. Justice to Scotland cannot be done until these evening schools are free. Nothing was more apparent in the discussion on Free Education, as applicable to Scotland and England, than that the straits of the parents and the encouragement for children was not needed in the primary schools, but after the children had passed the compulsory standard. We require encouragement for those children who are willing to take advantage 17 of the continuation schools. Why, in our large burghs years ago, when there was nothing so good as the primary schools, we had voluntary contributions to mechanics' institutes, and those institutes conducted evening classes at very low fees for the benefit of the community. Many men who attained considerable positions in life were largely educated at those classes. While I am not sanguine enough to suppose that if provision is made we should have all the children taking advantage of it, I believe if we only get one out of ten, or even one out of twenty, the effect in Scotland can only be anticipated with the greatest possible satisfaction. I feel that this Amendment is more important than any Amendment which has commanded the attention of this Committee since I have had the honour of having a seat in the House. If the Government realised the possibilities attaching to the system of continuation evening and day schools throughout Scotland, I am sure they would never consider the miserable contribution which is going to be made for the relief of the local rates, a relief which, in the main, will be for a class who do not need it, and a class which, to their credit, have not been seeking it. I accept with gratitude the concessions made by the Government last night, when they promised a Departmental Committee, regarding which we await fuller information with interest. That Committee will, I think, see that the sum of £60,000 for continuation schools, including evening schools and secondary education, will not half meet the full requirements of Scotland. If we once hand over to the Parochial Boards and other rating authorities this money, we shall experience great difficulty in taking it away. Therefore I make an earnest appeal to the Government to yield at least some concession with regard to the great requirement throughout Scotland. I appeal to all who take an interest in Education in Scotland not to stand upon the sordid interest of the ratepayers, but to consider the advantage of the whole country. In conceding this Amendment the Committee would place Scotland in the position her past deserves and her present needs demand.
In page 2, line 9, to leave out the word "sixty," and insert the words "one hundred."—(Mr. Esslemont.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'sixty' stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I hope very much that the Government will accept this Amendment. I should myself have moved to leave out the words sixty thousand, and propose to insert the words one hundred and ten thousand, which stand in the name of my right hon. Friend the Member for Berwickshire (Mr. Marjoribanks), who is not able to be here to-day. I beg to submit to the Government and the Committee that the concession;—the frankness and heartiness of which we are glad to acknowledge—made by the Government last night to a demand for inquiry into the needs and conditions of secondary education in Scotland, and the means which will be taken to promote them, make it more than ever necessary that a larger sum than £60,000 should be allotted to educational purposes. That sum, in the opinion of those who have gone into the matter, will be found inadequate for all the purposes which are intended, and which, I believe, are contemplated by both sides of the House. It is, of course, very difficult to say beforehand precisely what sum will be needed, but we now know that we are to have a Committee to examine that question. That Committee will go into the facts; it will submit proposals which are afterwards to be embodied in the Bill before us, and when we have these proposals, and not till then, shall we be able to judge what exact sum of money is required to finish the work in an adequate manner. But it will be perfectly easy, if the recommendations of the Committee should be found to be in favour of even a smaller sum than £110,000, to give the residue to the Town and County Councils, to whom, in preference to the Parochial Boards, I would very much rather see it given. But, waiving that point for a moment, the Local Authorities can very easily get rid of the money. It will not, however, be so easy to take away the money from the Local Authorities and apply it afterwards to secondary 19 education, and if it were found that the Committee recommended more than £60,000, we may take it that the Committee will extend the purview of the scheme beyond the very narrow limit which has been contemplated in the Memorandum submitted to us. Therefore we are in a much stronger position for asking for a larger sum of money than we were yesterday, and, under these circumstances, I hope the Government will consent. I desire to observe that there is one object which does not seem to have been contemplated in the Memorandum. It is one of great utility, and which necessarily involves considerable expenditure of money. I mean the granting not only of free places, but scholarships or bursaries to the most promising children in elementary schools. Something was said about Wales, but it is not only for Wales, but also for England, that valuable evidence has been furnished by the experience of the last 20 years as to the need for small scholarships or bursaries to enable the promising children of the labouring classes to continue their education. To the parents it is not so much a question of fees; it is rather the question of dispensing with the earnings of the child. I think hon. Members will, if they inquire, see that there is a great deal of evidence to show that we cannot give the help we want to the best children of the labouring classes except by means of scholarships, and that course will mean a considerable addition to the expenditure to be incurred in connection with this scheme. In view of that and other points, I think the Government will see there is very good cause for the demand we now make for an increased amount. I should like to add, too, that we have been hoping to hear from the Government what form they propose to give to their agreement last night to appoint a Committee to consider this matter, and whether they would put upon the Paper an Amendment embodying the consequence of the concessions which have been made. I suppose, however, the Government will take an early opportunity either upon this Amendment or upon some of the Amendments which touch Sub-section B or sub-Section I, of stating 20 what they propose to do about this Committee, and in what form they intend to put upon the Bill the fact that a Committee is to be appointed; and that the Minute is to be framed in accordance with this recommendation. I also hope that the opportunity will be given of reviewing that Minute and the conclusions which the Committee may arrive at, before action is taken upon them by the Department. These are points on which we desire to be informed before we part with Subsection I.
§ *MR. HOZIER (Lanarkshire, S.)
Secondary education seems to be a somewhat confusing subject, and to have confused the primary arithmetic of hon. Members opposite. Certainly it has confused the arithmetic of my hon. Friends the Members for East Aberdeenshire (Mr. Esslemont) and South Aberdeen (Mr. Bryce). They seem to think that £60,000 and £50,000 added together make £100,000, while the right hon. Member for Berwickshire (Mr. Marjoribanks), I am glad to see, knowing less about secondary education, understands his arithmetic better, and has made the sum to be £110,000.
§ MR. ESSLEMONT
If I may interfere in this rather unnecessary arithmetical display, I may say that I intended that the £10,000 left over should be given to the Fee Fund, in order that all schools in Scotland may be free; but for the convenience of discussion, and in the interest of accord, I agreed to the £110,000. My hon. Friend need have no alarm as to our arithmetical ability.
§ *MR. HOZIER
I think it would have been better if my hon. Friend had put his scheme down as a whole. I do not see any Amendment on the Paper to that effect.
§ *MR. HOZIER
At any rate, it does not stand in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen. The Amendment before the House, as now amended to suit the rules of arithmetic, is that the whole sum should be £110,000—that £50,000 should be taken from the Parochial Boards and handed over for the purposes of higher education. I certainly trust the Government will not give way to this Amendment, 21 for they have at their backs every Conservative in the House, also a large majority of Liberal Unionists, and a considerable proportion of the Gladstonian Members. What says our old friend the North British Daily Mail, which represents the opinion of the vast majority of the Gladstonians in the West of Scotland at any rate? In its leading article of 5th April it says—It was, perhaps, Mr. Campbell-Bannerman's wonderful heat on this subject which induced Mr. Marjoribanks to suggest last night as a compromise that the Government should add to the £60,000 for secondary education the £50,000 assigned to the Parochial Boards for the relief of rates. The ratepayers seem to have got between the devil and the deep blue sea. This proposed further robbery by Mr. Marjoribanks of the ratepayers, by way of compromise, is worse than the Bill as it stands.By my Amendment yesterday I at least can claim to have done my best to avoid both the devil and the deep blue sea, as the North British Daily Mail puts it. As, however, only these two alternatives are now left before us, I unhesitatingly prefer the deep blue sea, and shall do my utmost to support the Government in resisting this Amendment.
§ MR. HUNTER (Aberdeen, N.)
I think the Government see that the situation has been altered by what occurred last night. The Secretary for Scotland, in asking for £60,000, had in view a carefully prepared Departmental Estimate, from which we gather that £57,000 would be required to carry out the views of the Department. As I understood the statement of the First Lord of the Treasury last night, in referring the subject to a Committee, he proposes that this Committee should deal not only with the subject for which this sum of money is provided, but should also take into account the provision for evening or continuation schools. If this is done, it must, apparently, necessitate some enlarged provision under that category. Practically, the whole of the £60,000 was absorbed by the original scheme of the Department; and if we add to that secondary education a provision for evening or continuation schools, it would be almost indispensable to make some additional provision for it. There is another point with which I did not 22 trouble the First Lord last night, but it comes in one of the Amendments which is down for to-day, and I invite his most careful attention to this question. I dare say he has not left it altogether out of consideration; but I am not sure that he is in possession of the very strong views which prevail widely—indeed I may almost say universally—amongst the bulk of the voters. In the scheme which is proposed by the Government—which I do not criticise at this moment—provision is made for reducing the fees; but no provision at all is made, or at all events very little and totally inadequate provision is made, to meet what I consider to be the great weakness of our system of secondary education in Scotland. Some years ago, at the Grammar School at Aberdeen, the fee was 10s. 6d. per quarter, which came to a total of two guineas a year. That was considered a very high fee, and in the county schools, where the education was quite as good in many respects, much lower fees were charged. Since that time a very great change has taken place in Scotland in consequence of the raising of the standard of the Universities, which has necessitated a more prolonged period of training and a better training in the secondary schools. At the time of which I speak it was quite possible for a working man, if he were in good employment and if he were a careful man, to send his boys to the Grammar School. But now that is altered, and I do not know what the fees are; but probably they are 30s. a quarter and perhaps more, for the fees have been quadrupled since the time of which I speak. And what has been going on in Aberdeen has been going on all over Scotland. The result is that the old connection which existed to a large extent in Scotland between the poorest class and the higher education—the link which connected these two has been broken, and very properly broken, in the interests of education, and a more expensive and prolonged education prevails in the secondary schools. That can be met in one way, and in one way alone, in justice to the interests of education, in justice to the large bulk of the people of Scotland, in justice to the Universities, and in justice to the working man. This way 23 is not by lowering the fees where fees ought properly to be charged. I do not think that fees ought to be made too low. I think where a fee is charged that fee should be approximately, if not entirely, a full charge for the value of the seat. With regard to the middle-class schools, there is no occasion for any appeal on their behalf. I believe the parents of the children attending those schools are able and willing to pay the necessary amount; but what is required and what is urgent is that those parents who are not in a position to pay the fees at all, and who, moreover, are not in a position to afford to keep their children in idleness, should have some assistance. This is a most material item. There are, undoubtedly, two classes of poor people. There are some parents who, if they were relieved from the payment of the fees, might meet the other expenses, and there is a class still poorer who are unable to do without the wages which their children can earn when they are at work. If we are going to put our secondary education in Scotland, I will not say on an entirely satisfactory, but on a tolerably satisfactory basis, it is absolutely essential that there should be a very large expenditure for exhibitions, and these exhibitions must be given for merit and for merit alone, and should be given to the boys from the State-aided schools. I contend for the State-aided schools in this matter, and for those schools where poor boys attend, and I say that the exhibitions should be given as a result of competition. Now, how much would that require? I take it that on the average for these two classes of parents—those for whom fees were paid, and those who received a grant for maintenance—you could hardly pay less than £10 a year. That is a very low sum, and if we had 5,000 boys and girls—because we ought to include girls in this provision so far as education is applicable to them—the cost would be about £50,000; and I venture to put it to the Government whether, in taking the money which is allotted to us, they could not take over £50,000 in addition to the £60,000, in order to provide not only for the continuation schools, but also an ample margin for bursaries? Suppose this 24 Committee, when it comes to inquire into this subject, finds that any proposals put forward are fatally hampered by the absence of exhibitions and bursaries, what will they do? I believe you cannot make a proper or satisfactory system of secondary education in Scotland unless you get the poor boys into the schools. If the Committee finds that that is so, what position will you be in when you have only £60,000 to work with? The reasonable thing is to take precautions, and take a larger sum of money, if it should be found on examination that the sum you have taken is not enough. The money would not be lost, nor would it be thrown away. It is at your own disposal, and might be applied to other purposes. What I would suggest is whether it would not be possible to cut this discussion short by adopting this view? Instead of limiting the 1st clause to £60,000, to put in £110,000, and put in such words as these, "That so much of the money as would not be required under this sub-section should be disposed of later on." That would give you elasticity. That is to say, if the Committee, having examined the question, found it necessary to go as far as £110,000, they would have the money; but if it were not necessary to go so far, the Memorandum you lay before the House provides for a less sum, and the balance would be distributed in a manner you can settle in the Bill. That, I think, is a fair offer to make to the Government; and if the Government would adopt it, it clearly would meet the views of my hon. Friend, and would enable us to dispose of this difficult branch of the Bill.
§ (3.21.) MR. MUNRO-FERGUSON (Leith, &c.)
My hon. Friend has raised the point in a very practical way. He has pointed out how, in consequence of the proposals laid before the House, we shall have in various ways to provide for fresh contingencies. I think the original proposal from the Education Department is inadequate, but there is one point to which attention has not yet been drawn. Very little provision is made in the Draft Memorandum for secondary education in the country districts. The burgh schools are to get the 25 bulk of the money, and about £15,000 is given to the other schools. In the course of the discussion last night it became apparent that a portion of this £15,000 is to be given to schools in Glasgow, and after a sum has been set aside for inspection it is evident that a very small proportion even of this £15,000 will be available for secondary education in the country. One of the duties of any Departmental Committee which inquires into the subject will be to ascertain how secondary education can be provided for in the country districts; and I venture to prophesy that a much larger sum will be required to meet the requirements of the country districts than seems to have been considered necessary in the Memorandum from Dover House. My hon. Friend proposes to meet this increased expenditure by applying to education the money which it is proposed to give to Parochial Boards. I think that would be a very fair proposal. I suppose the poorest Parochial Boards, and those which have the greatest difficulty in getting in their money, are the Boards in the Highland districts; but the Highlands have lately had a special grant for educational purposes, and in many Highland districts education can be conducted with little or no burden on the rates. In the manufacturing districts the times have not been bad, and the number of poor children has been somewhat diminished, and I do not think any special case can be made out at present for giving any assistance to Parochial Boards. I can imagine cases where the burdens of the Parochial Boards may have been very severe; but such cases do not exist now, and I think the Government may very fairly apply the money they propose to give to these Parochial Boards to the purposes of secondary education. This would take a considerable sum of money, and I trust the Government will see its way to give us a larger sum than they now propose.
§ *(3.25.) MR. SHAW-STEWART (Renfrew, E.)
I am afraid the events of to-day will rather discourage the Government in making concessions, because it seems that the concessions of last night form the ground, in the opinion of some hon. Members, for an 26 enlarged discussion on subsequent Amendments. It appears to me that hon. Members do not quite realise that all public bodies in Scotland, or nearly all, are anxious that this Bill should pass as it stands now. The hon. Member who has just sat down sees no reason why the Parochial Boards should have their share of this money; but he forgets that the charge for pauper lunatics is a very heavy one. There are those who sit on this side of the House who have thought that this Bill, being the equivalent of a grant to England in aid of the rates, should give the money solely in aid of the rates in Scotland. But the Government have given way on that point and have assigned a certain portion of the money for education. They have met the wishes of Gentlemen on the other side with regard to the disposal of that money, and have gone further and indicated their willingness to allow the County and Town Councils a free hand with regard to the allocation of their share of the money. Now, seeing that the public bodies of Scotland desire the Bill as it stands, and that the Government have done their best to meet the reasonable wishes of Gentlemen opposite, I do hope this discussion will not be long continued.
§ (3.29.) MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanark, Partick)
It is clear to me that more money will be needed for the purpose of secondary education. It seems to me that the Memorandum before us cuts matters very fine, and is a very sanguine estimate as to the amount of expenditure which can be got out of a limit of £60,000. This discussion has rendered it abundantly clear that more money will be needed, and I think more money should be provided. The hon. Member for East Renfrew has stated that the public bodies in Scotland are in favour of this Bill as it stands; but if an Amendment were made by which the money was taken from the Parochial Boards and given to any other purpose, I do not think any other public bodies except the Parochial Boards would be opposed to the change. I have put down another Amendment with regard to this money, but I regard that as the second best Amendment. 27 If the Government will not accept the proposal, which I regard as most important, to give the whole of the £50,000 for secondary education, I hope they will be prepared to consider the Amendment I have put down for dividing the money between secondary education, the Universities, and Town and County Councils. There is another ground on which I think the £50,000 will be wanted for secondary education. The Committee is to consider the Welsh precedent; one important part of that precedent is the power the counties have of rating themselves to the extent of a halfpenny in the pound; and I trust there will be enthusiasm enough created in Scotland to lead the counties to rate themselves, especially if, as in Wales, each pound provided out of the rates is met by another pound out of the Treasury. A halfpenny rate in Scotland produces exactly £50,000, and if the Welsh precedent is adopted, that sum might be used with great advantage as reproductive expenditure, leading not only to the expenditure of the £50,000, but double that amount by encouraging the levying of rates in all the counties of Scotland. My hon. Friend the hon. Member for South Lanark (Mr. Hozier) promises the Government the support of all the Conservative and Liberal Unionist Scotch Members; but I should like to wait to see the Division List before being so certain.
§ (3.32.) THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
Certainly, on behalf of the Government, I do not feel that we have any right to complain that the question of altering the allocation of the money should be raised this afternoon, even after the compromise last night. I distinctly understood from the right hon. Member for the Stirling Burghs (Mr. Campbell-Bannerman), who spoke on behalf of hon. Gentlemen on that side, that though it was, so to speak, guaranteed that the Bill should get through this afternoon, it was also understood that this and certain other questions should be raised, discussed, and voted upon. I must, however, make one mild protest against a certain line of argument adopted by all the speakers. I do not propose to argue whether this £60,000 is the exact amount which should be carried out of 28 the £265,000 for the purposes of education. It is possible to make an ingenious and powerful speech either for or against any possible arrangement or re-arrangement of the money at our disposal. One argument, however, ought not to be pressed, and I think it has been pressed. We have been told that the result of having this Committee will be that much more money will be required for the scheme than would be required had the Scotch Education Department been allowed to manage their own affairs, and to frame a scheme as seemed best to them. As the Committee knows, I should have preferred leaving this matter to the Education Department; but, in order to meet the wishes of hon. Gentlemen who said that the £60,000 would be wasted or not spent to the best advantage, I consented to the Departmental Committee. But the fact that that concession has been made ought not to be turned against the Government and used as an argument for giving more funds on the ground that the Committee will recommend a more costly scheme than that sketched out in the Minute before the Committee. I rise simply to say that, whatever the view hon. Gentlemen may have on the subject, the appointment of the Committee ought not to be used to press us to place more money at the disposal of the Committee. The Government, as the Committee will have anticipated, feel obliged to adhere to the general distribution of the fund sketched out in the Bill, which distribution has no direct connection with the Departmental Memorandum which was the subject of discussion yesterday, and we shall feel ourselves bound to vote against the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman. I understand that in my absence the hon. Member for Aberdeen asked a question as to whether it was the intention of the Government to introduce words into the Bill embodying that part of the compromise which had to do with the formation of the Committee. I should have thought, on the whole, that that was not expedient, because what will be entrusted to the Committee will be the framing of material out of which an Educational Minute will have to be constructed, and that is an operation which will be completed, 29 I suppose, within the next few weeks. I do not see the object of introducing into the Bill, which is to be of a permanent character, the elements of an arrangement which must be of a temporary character. I think the Committee will understand that that would mean the introduction of words which would lose all their meaning and significance when the Committee had concluded its labours; and, therefore, I think, on the whole, it would not be advisable to put these words in the Bill.
§ *(3.37.) MR. STEPHEN WILLIAMSON (Kilmarnock, &c.)
I will be no party to oversetting the agreement substantially arrived at last night, and I have a variety of objections to this proposal. The hon. Member for East Aberdeenshire (Mr. Esslemont) spoke of having a secondary school within three miles of every child in Scotland. Such a scheme as that is as impracticable as it is unwise, and £110,000 would go little further in the direction of securing such a desideratum than the proposal in the Bill. My idea is that this Departmental Committee will have enough to do in formulating a scheme for the use of the £60,000. Let that sum be wisely spent, and it will form the basis, possibly, of a larger scheme afterwards. I think it is a waste of time to discuss the difference between £60,000 and £110,000, and I shall vote for the Bill as it stands.
§ *(3.40.) MR. BUCHANAN (Edinburgh, W.)
I cannot agree that it would be waste of time to discuss what part of this money should be given to secondary education. I think the First Lord of the Treasury rather strained the argument we are using when he said that we urged the appointment of the Committee as a reason for giving more money to secondary education. I understood the result of last night to be that the scheme of the Department and of the sub-section of the Bill was one of secondary education, practically by grants, and to show that the scheme and the money provided would hardly be sufficient to carry out that scheme, and that, therefore, much less was the money enough to carry out an enlarged scheme; and it was decided that a Departmental 30 Committee should sit and consider a better scheme of secondary education, and not one so limited as the one before us. We should be very much disappointed if a Minute were drawn up contemplating assisting secondary education by fee grants only. That was last night generally condemned as inadequate, and I and other hon. Members have put down Amendments expressing that view. The Bill contemplates taking out of the £60,000 the sum expended on the inspection of higher schools. We at present get a portion of that sum under the Estimates, and we think this new sum of £60,000 should not be encroached upon, and the Estimates saved by means of it. I would strongly urge on the Government that we expect from the Report of the Committee a much wider scheme of secondary education—wider in its substance than that before us. We shall not be content, and it is absurd to imagine that the public of Scotland will be content when they are told that the new system of secondary education to be inaugurated is to be based on, and limited to, grants in aid of the fees. It was in view of the pressure put on the Government that they agreed that the scope of the scheme should be further extended. I expected to see on the Paper words embodying the compromise. I should like to know if we are expected to pass this sub-section in its present form, because I think there would be considerable objection to that from the fact that it would limit the consideration of the Committee to a system of grants and the cost of inspection of higher schools, the general decision being that such a system would be wholly inadequate to the wants of Scotland.
§ (3.45.) MR. CALDWELL (Glasgow, St. Rollox)
It seems to be assumed on the other side that this Bill deals with the whole subject of secondary education in Scotland. Secondary education is at present subsidised by the rates in Scotland and by Imperial grants. In England you have elementary education, but in the Scotch Act the term "elementary" does not occur. From time immemorial, and by the terms of the Scotch Education Act, every parish school is bound to have secondary education at the top of its 31 instruction, and the ordinary Board school in every Highland parish is qualified to send students to the Universities. That is the case in Glasgow and throughout Scotland, and pupils are sent, at the expense of the rates and the Imperial grants, from the Board schools to the Universities. The system introduced by the Bill is a mere offshoot, and will not tend to extend the secondary education which is bound to be provided by the parish. You cannot have secondary education in Scotland except in the ordinary parish schools; the country is too sparsely populated to have secondary schools, as proposed, in certain districts. The Scotch Education Department has let down the secondary education in the parish schools, and the consequence is that the enthusiasm of the teachers has fallen off, and the attendance at the Universities is decreasing. Your scheme will ruin secondary education, as you propose to take it out of the parish schools and to have certain district schools. If there were secondary education at the top of the curriculum of the parish schools, the elementary education would be better, as the teacher would work with a view to the higher grade; but by taking away the secondary education you lower the enthusiasm of the teacher and the tone of the school. You may have your district schools, but you will not have them equipped. What do you hold out to the School Boards to induce them to have a secondary department in the ordinary Board schools?
I think the hon. Member will see that he is straying away from the point of the Debate.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Very well, Sir; I will say a word with regard to Parochial Boards. Is it right that they should not get any portion of this money? Notwithstanding all that has been said to the contrary, the Parochial Boards in Scotland are well-managed Boards, and yet they do not get within £30,000 or £40,000 of what they would get if they received the proportion of subsidy which is given to English Parochial Boards. But there is another point. The franchise in Scotland, as in other places, is dependent upon the payment of the poor rate, so that 32 if you give a subsidy to the Parochial Boards, you would thereby, by enabling the rates to be lowered, put it in the power of many persons to pay their rates who otherwise could not do so, and thus put them in a position to exercise the franchise. That is a very serious item in the Highland parishes, where the parochial rate is very considerable, and the non-payment disfranchises so many people. Then there is the fact that the rates of the Parochial Boards are paid by precisely the same parties who pay other rates, so that by relieving the rates of the Parochial Boards you are practically subsidising the county ratepayers. There is, therefore, no reason why, in distributing a large sum of money like this, you should select one Rating Authority only in a county or a parish. A portion of it ought to be appropriated for the purpose of relieving the poor rate, and if that were done, the general ratepayers would be in precisely the same position as if one body got the whole of the money.
§ *(3.53.) MR. ANSTRUTHER (St. Andrews, &c.)
Having followed the course of the Debate last night very attentively, I cannot agree that the concession of a Departmental Committee made by the First Lord of the Treasury in any way warranted the assumption that such a Committee would have power to recommend schemes involving expenditure larger than that proposed by the Bill. I agree very much with the remarks of the hon. Member for South Lanarkshire (Mr. Hozier), and I know I am stating a fact when I say that a very large number of bodies in Scotland hold strongly the view that the whole of this sum should be applied in relief of local rates. At the same time I accept with readiness the concession that the Government has made in providing that a certain sum shall be applied to educational objects, more particularly to the objects of secondary education. I should like to make a suggestion to the Lord Advocate, which might, perhaps, be taken into consideration by the Departmental Committee when it comes to deal with the Memorandum. It has been brought to my notice by those interested in certain endowed schools, concerning which it remains to be seen whether 33 they will come under the scheme or not by reason of their constitution, that the fairer arrangement of the grant in aid of secondary education would be, by extending it to every pupil in a secondary school rather than making it conditional on certain limitations. I do not intend to go into any detail, but I merely wish to throw out that suggestion, which I hope the Committee will keep before them. We have no warrant for supposing that power will be given to the suggested Departmental Committee to enlarge the sum mentioned in this clause, and for that reason I hope the Committee will now decide that the sum to be granted towards secondary education shall be that mentioned in the Bill and no more.
§ *MR. MARK J. STEWART (Kirkcudbright)
I should like to point out that the proposal to grant £60,000 for secondary education is a tentative measure. Although the hon. Member maintains that we have already a system of secondary education in Scotland, yet that system is practically not in operation. This is a very important point to recollect, because if you are going to grant a large sum of money for secondary education you ought to show that you have a large number of pupils wishing to avail themselves of it, and that is not the case. The people of Scotland have to a large extent got into the habit of sending their children early in life to labour or industrial pursuits, so that they do not continue at school in the same way as in the past. If we can induce people to let their children take advantage of secondary education by cheapening the means of getting it, we shall have made a good beginning. I am satisfied that the Government will do well in holding firm to this Bill, and not relinquishing one iota of it. They have made considerable concessions which I am glad of, but I do hope they will go no further.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling, &c.)
The point we are discussing is one of great importance, but it is not one of great width for the purpose of discussion, and I venture to say that we have all made up our minds on which side we are going to vote. I would, therefore, appeal to my hon. Friends whether we might not divide on 34 this question, as to whether the £60,000 should not be increased to £100,000. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House has complained that some of my hon. Friends have employed the concession of a Departmental Committee as a weapon in support of this extended grant. I suppose the Committee would recommend something larger than is contemplated in the Memorandum that has been issued by the Department. When a Committee is appointed to inquire into the question of a larger scheme of Secondary Education in Scotland, I think you naturally contemplate some thing a little beyond that with which you are dealing, and so I think we are justified in discussing this matter from that point of view. Well, as I have already remarked, I do not think there is much more to be said on this simple question as to whether the £60,000 is enough, and I suggest we should now divide.
§ MR. SINCLAIR (Falkirk, &c.)
I should like an explanation from the Lord Advocate with reference to a question that must arise in connection with the practical working out of this scheme. Naturally, it is supposed that there will be a large number of new scholars drafted into the schools under this Secondary Education Bill. That involves of necessity, in many cases, if not in all, new buildings, and in other cases re-organisation of old buildings. What provision is made for all this? And again, even in those schools which already have suitable buildings, what provision is made for the equipment and necessary apparatus of teaching which will be required? It seems to me these are questions which should be asked and answered before we go to a Division.
§ (4.5.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 180; Noes 123.—(Div. List, No. 100.)
§ (4.19.) MR. CRAWFORD (Lanark, N.E.)
I beg to move the next Amendment which stands in my name, namely—in page 2, line 9, to leave out "secondary" and insert "intermediate." In doing so I feel indeed very strongly the obligation to consult brevity, so as to limit the discussion in conformity with the arrangement come to last night, and in which the Government 35 have now gone a considerable distance to meet us. This Amendment, I need hardly tell the Lord Advocate, is to be taken in connection with the definition of the word "intermediate" which I propose further down—namely, that "intermediate education" should mean secondary education and technical education. Now, the object of this Amendment is to meet the requirements of needy country districts such as I represent—constituencies such as mine, in which no secondary schools exist, and perhaps are not likely to be established—and in such districts where, through being of a purely mining or industrial character, the intermediate education between the common schools and the University, assuming they were to go so far, which is required would be obviously rather of a technical kind than of what is usually understood by a secondary kind. The definition of secondary education which I have taken is the one which exists in the Scotch Education Act of 1872; and from that Act it has been borrowed, and put almost verbatim into the Welsh Education Act of 1889. Now, I think it would be a great pity if this money, which is proposed to be given to advanced education beyond the common standard, should not be applicable to technical education where that is the principal want of the district; and I am fortified in that view by the fact that at present the County Councils have a sum of £48,000—doubtless not a very large sum—at their disposal, which they are to apply all over Scotland for technical education. A considerable inclination has been displayed in the County Councils of Scotland to devote the whole of that sum to that purpose; but they are hampered very much by the smallness of the sum, and by having no machinery at their disposal to administer it. Now if the line between secondary and technical education were removed, undoubtedly these sums, already available for technical education, would flow into the same purse as the sum which the Bill proposes to confer. I think these considerations are extremely obvious in themselves. I do not think anything I can say would be likely to make them clearer. It is natural for the Department in distributing this money to leave out the subject which does not 36 happen to be under their control; but I think I have shown to the Committee that the actual circumstances of the case show that these two subjects should not be separated. I have received the very strongest representations from gentlemen deeply interested in the operation of advanced education in the counties, from members of County Councils and Chairmen of School Boards who take a very active interest in this subject, and they tell me if there is to be any hope for the useful application of this money to advanced education in these poor districts, the legal separation of technical and secondary education would be absolutely fatal. There is nothing in this proposal, so far as I can see, to interfere with the scheme of the Bill, or to affect the compromise arrived at last night, and I trust the Government will see their way to accept it.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 9, to leave out the word "secondary," and insert the word "intermediate."—(Mr. Crawford.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'secondary' stand part of the Clause."
§ *(4.23.) MR. HOZIER
I hope the Government will see their way to accept the Amendment now proposed by my hon. Friend, or the Amendment of the hon. Member for Aberdeenshire, or the Amendment of the hon. Member for Forfarshire. They all mean the same thing. I earnestly trust the Government will see their way to accept some such Amendment as this, because I do think that if the rural districts are to get any benefit whatever from this grant to secondary education, it is most likely to be got in the direction of having lecturers going about from place to place, lecturing on agricultural subjects such as dairy work, agricultural chemistry, and so on, and also having lecturers going about lecturing on mining subjects in the mining districts.
§ *(4.25.) THE LORD ADVOCATE (Sir C. J. PEARSON,) Edinburgh and St. Andrews Universities
I do not think any fault can be found with the definition which the hon. Member suggests, so that "intermediate education" should include both secondary and technical education. But the very fact that a 37 word is required to be imported for the first time into Scotch educational matters reminds one of the fact that hitherto technical and secondary education, strictly so called, have proceeded in Scotland on different lines. I think it is natural that it should be so, and I hope the hon. Gentleman will at this particular moment be satisfied with the assurance that I am now about to give. The Bill as it now stands, with the Amendment which I propose to add later on in consequence of the compromise arrived at last night, does not exclude aid in furtherance of the promotion of technical education. But I do protest strongly against the idea that it would be an improvement in the Bill that technical education should be brought in under this subsection which we are now considering. It appears to me that secondary education should be allowed to proceed and develop mainly on the lines on which it has hitherto gone in Scotland, and that there would be very considerable inconvenience in bringing in technical education in the narrow sense of technical instruction, and setting it side by side with secondary education, properly so called. The hon. Gentleman has reminded us that Town and County Councils are in receipt of annual grants under a recent Act of Parliament which they have under their control to distribute in that direction. As we know, a good many both of Burgh and County Councils have done good work in that distribution; and they will have the power under the provisions of this Bill, as amended, to contribute in aid of the furtherance of technical education properly so-called out of the money which they will get under what I may describe as the Residue Clause. In consideration of that fact I think that the main objection of the hon. Member that this Bill does nothing to further technical education falls to the ground. There is also another matter which must be kept in view—namely, that while secondary education properly so-called is in the main very much of the same kind in all quarters of the country, yet technical education very largely varies with the localities; and that being so, there is, it appears to me, an appropriateness in leaving that department of education very 38 much as regards initiation and furtherance, in the hands of Town and County Councils who have had a start in that direction under recent legislation.
§ (4.29.) MR. BRYCE
There is one observation which fell from the Lord Advocate on which I wish to make a remark. With regard to technical and secondary education, he says that technical education is strictly local in its character. I do not think he is justified in assuming that this £60,000 will not be applied by Local Authorities.
§ SIR C. J. PEARSON
The Local Authorities I have referred to are those Parliament entrusted with the distribution of the sum available for technical education.
§ MR. BRYCE
That is exactly what I am coming to. The argument in favour of Local Authorities such as County Councils and Town Councils is equally true with regard to School Boards. School Boards are also Local Authorities, and there is no reason why the distribution of money appropriated for special purposes, such as technical education, should not be entrusted to School Boards equally with County Councils, or Town Councils. Therefore, I fail to see why a sharp line should be drawn between these Local Bodies. The School Board of Glasgow is just as well qualified to make distribution of this money as the County Council of Lanarkshire. The Lord Advocate says the County Council will have the power, under the Amendment which he proposes to make part of the Bill, to apply any part of the sum coming to them for the purposes of technical education. We welcome that Amendment from him, and we are very glad that he sees his way to recognise the claims of technical education. But I want to point out to him that at present the powers of the County Council affecting technical education are very largely interfered with and restricted, and made to a considerable extent inoperative, by the fact that there is no proper machinery for carrying them into effect. What is wanted is that the County Council shall have the power to give the money either to the School Board, or to some other Local Authority, or else that it shall have the power to invent machinery for itself. The main contention of the hon. Mover of this Amendment and of those 39 interested in technical education is this: that you cannot divorce technical education from secondary education, and if you want to benefit technical education you must supply the County Council with machinery by which it can be carried put, and the School Boards ought to co-operate. I, therefore, appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to see if he can give the machinery by which the County Council can use the money for technical education.
§ (4.32.) MR. ESSLEMONT
As this Amendment embodies the object sought by the one standing lower down on the Paper in my name, it will not be necessary to move the other Amendment if the decision is taken upon this. I have heard with great disappointment the announcement of the Lord Advocate that he is not going to accept this most reasonable Amendment. We have been trying to point out that you are going to confine the benefits of this £60,000 more to existing secondary schools, which are less needed, than to technical instruction throughout the counties, and you are really depriving us in the counties of any opportunity we might have of taking advantage of this for all useful purposes. The Member for South Aberdeen has said that it is impossible to dissociate secondary and technical education in the counties and smaller burghs. What we want is only liberty under this clause, and under the Definition Clause, to take them up together in the counties, and I hope the Lord Advocate will reconsider this matter. I think it is a concession he can make without the slightest injury to any of the parties concerned. I can see no interest that will be served by leaving out the word, but I can foresee a very great disadvantage in working the Act if the word is not accepted.
§ (4.35.) MR. LENG (Dundee)
I think it is much to be regretted that so hard-and-fast a line is to be drawn. I represent a city which is comparatively rich in these endowments for secondary education. The Lord Provost informed me yesterday that there was actually more money for secondary education than can at present be advantageously applied. But now Dundee is a large manufacturing city, and we have great need for further development of technical 40 education; and although the citizens have most intelligently encouraged the establishment of technical education institutions, they are insufficient to meet the demand for technical instruction, and it would be of very great service if the authorities had power to apply such sums as may be awarded to the city I represent in this direction. If, however, a hard-and-fast line is laid down—if you say, "We will only apply it to secondary education," then you are sending money to an object which is really not requiring it, and depriving us of it for a purpose for which it would be beneficial. I would re-enforce the appeal to the Lord Advocate to allow more elasticity in the matter.
§ (4.37.) MR. PARKER SMITH
I have very great difficulty in supporting this present Amendment to change the word, because I think secondary education fully wants the £60,000. But what I do feel is most desirable in this Bill is that the control of secondary and technical education should be put into the same hands. Therefore, it seems to me—especially if we have in view that the Town and County Councils are to spend part of their money, if they please, on technical education, and as we know they are prepared to spend a large part of that residue grant upon technical education—most desirable that it shall be made use of so that the two sets of expenditure should go together, should be under the same control and in the same hands. I wish the Lord Advocate could see his way to accept this Amendment, not with the view of spreading the £50,000 out thinner, but of giving those who will have control of this money also the control over that devoted to technical education.
§ (4.38.) DR. CLARK (Caithness)
The very first day that the right hon. Gentleman introduced the Bill he was asked what he meant by secondary education, and he then took the hard-and-fast line, that by secondary education he practically meant classical education—
§ DR. CLARK
When the right hon. Gentleman introduced the Bill I asked whether secondary education would embrace technical education, and he 41 said he thought it would not. Since then he has persistently refused to look upon technical education as a branch of secondary education. I look upon this as the most important question to-day before the Committee. It will be remembered that last year, when we moved an Amendment to the Scotch Clause, which came before the English one, the Government absolutely refused to meet our desires, and on a division the English Members outvoted us, and prevented the Scotch Councils using the money for technical education. When the English Clause came on they had changed their minds, and the Amendment was accepted permitting a portion of the money to be used for technical education. On the Report stage the Scotch County Councils received the same power as the English, but when they got the money for the purposes of technical education there was no machinery. For some time we have been trying to get technical education in Scotland and in other parts of the Kingdom, because so far as that branch of education is concerned we are far behind other countries. Take the condition of things in Germany. A boy goes to a primary school, then he can go to a secondary school. But you have two classes of secondary schools in Germany; you have got the classical schools and the scientific schools. Boys, if they want to enter commerce or trade, go to the scientific schools, where they get scientific teaching as a basis, and then go to the technical schools. By that means you have got German workers and German manufacturers in a better position to fight us in the markets of the world. Now we think something might be done to get us back that which we have lost in consequence of our education becoming a branch of the English Education Department. We have been dragged down to the English level. I think something should be done to organise technical education. In Ireland, £10,000 is spent by the Imperial Parliament in promoting agricultural education, and surely this money we are now dealing with ought to be used for the purpose of making the most that could be made of our young men. A Commission has been sitting during the present Parliament, and we have 42 been considering their proposals. These proposals take the money left for the education of the poor in Scotland, and give it to large middle-class educational establishments. That money ought to have been used for the technical education of the children of the poor, but a Commission appointed by a Liberal Government has given it to the rich. Some of us feared that the same thing would have occurred so far as this £60,000 is concerned, but I hope when this Departmental Committee sits they will recommend to the Goverment a course much more advanced and liberal than is suggested by their present scheme, and that this money may be used in organising intermediate education in Scotland, and in developing, on the old Scotch lines, the parochial schools, so that they may be made more useful.
§ (4.45.) MR. MUNRO-FERGUSON
If it is difficult to draw a line between secondary education and technical education in towns, it will be found more difficult to draw a line between the two kinds of education in the country. In the country districts technical education would form a larger proportion of the advanced education than would be the case in towns, and if the country districts are to have a fair share of attention under the Secondary Education Scheme it will be by giving full encouragement to the development of technical education in these districts. I see no objection to introducing the word "intermediate," simply because it is a new word. If intermediate education had been considered in all its bearings the shortcomings of the Memorandum of the Education Department would not have been so apparent, and I think the Government will be acting wisely if they adopt the suggestion that has been made. The Lord Advocate referred to the grant which the County Councils could already dispose of in support of technical education. That grant is an extremely small one. The County of Ross-shire, which is one of the largest in Scotland, with a scattered population, gets a grant of £500, and not only is the grant so small and insignificant in reference to the work that has to be done, but the difficulty of expending 43 that money is very great because of the restrictions upon the actions of the County Council. I do not think that can be quoted as any argument against the Amendment.
§ (4.47.) MR. SINCLAIR
I thoroughly sympathise with the opinion expressed by the hon. Member for the Partick Division when be said this £60,000 was little enough. It is too little for secondary education alone, but there are places that want no more, but want a great deal for technical education, and there are other places where the means available ought to be divided between the two, some for the one and some for the other, and there are other places where secondary education alone ought to be considered. It does seem to me the administration of these funds ought to be placed in the same hands, and I trust we shall, before we go to a Division, have some assurance from the Lord Advocate that we shall have the two funds administered in the same way by some machinery which would be introduced afterwards in the Bill.
§ *(4.49.) SIR C. J. PEARSON
Perhaps I may say a word in answer to the appeal of the hon. Member who has just sat down. I would remind the hon. Member that there has been for several years in Scotland an Act under which it is optional for School Boards to provide for technical education. That has been done very sparsely. That Act has been very little used. The case, therefore, stands thus:—At the present moment there is a certain power given by Parliament to the Local Bodies, to whom I have referred as being authorised to distribute the small amount under the Act of 1890, to divert in that direction money given primarily in the relief of rates. It is still in the power of the School Boards to make provision for technical education under the Act of 1887; but, following the lines of the Act of 1890, the result would be that these bodies would have the distribution not merely of the small and no doubt inadequate amount under the Act of 1890, but of the entire amount under what I might call the Residue Clause of this section. That being the precise position, I am unable to give way in this matter.
§ MR. SINCLAIR
May I ask whether the sum that is given under the residue 44 grant can be administered by the Local Boards?
§ *SIR. C. J. PEARSON
It would be in the discretion of Town or County Councils to distribute it, as they have the power to do under the Act of 1890.
§ Question put.
§ (4.55.) The House divided:—Ayes 197; Noes 136.—(Div. List, No. 101.)
§ MR. CRAWFORD
The next Amendment which stands in my name refers to the distribution of money and to the compromise which I understand was arrived at last night between the First Lord of the Treasury and a right hon. Gentleman on this side.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The view which I think is generally entertained by all parties on this subject is that we should not introduce into the Bill any more binding words than, those which are there already. Sub-section 1, as the hon. Member knows, leaves great latitude with the Scotch Education Department for the distribution of the money. The Scotch Education Department has to frame a Minute under which the money will be distributed; and for the purpose of preparing that Minute the head of the Department will have associated with him four other gentlemen to form a Departmental Committee. That was, I think, the idea yesterday.
§ MR. CRAWFORD
I think there was a general impression that the arrangement which was come to would be carried out by some change in the structure of the Bill on this point. For my own part, I feel that if the arrangement is thoroughly carried out, it may not be absolutely necessary to change the Bill.
§ MR. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
Though it may not actually be necessary to insert a provision relative to this Committee, I hope the right hon. Gentleman will favourably regard any proposal to make the words as they stand in the Bill less binding instead of more binding. I will just mention that in one section there are the words "in making grants." That is, I believe, the technical wording. "Making provision" would, I think, be better. I also wish to know whether the words "Minutes of the Department submitted to Parliament" mean that they shall lie on the 45 Table of Parliament, and not go into force until Parliament has approved them?
There is an Amendment of which the hon. Member for Edinburgh (Mr. Buchanan) has given notice.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
I beg to move, in page 2, line 12, to leave out from "defraying," to "and," in line 15. I should like to draw attention to sub-section (a). To that sub-section I have two objections: The first is, that it makes a prior claim that this money is to be spent on the inspection of higher class schools. I do not think that should come in the first place. My second objection is, that there is already a sum voted in the Estimates for the inspection of these schools. I do not agree that the Government ought to relieve itself, out of this £60,000, of an obligation which has been in the Estimates since the year 1885. That is the ground upon which I put down the Motion to omit this sub-section. I move the first Amendment which stands in my name.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 12, to leave out from the word "defraying," to the word "and," in line 15.—(Mr. Buchanan.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ *MR. C. S. PARKER
I think it is a very fair remark that as a sum is already on the Estimates we should not take the whole of the cost out of the £60,000. I am, however, aware that the sum hitherto on the Estimates has been very inadequate, and especially for conducting these examinations for leaving certificates. Knowing this, I think it marvellous that the Department has been able to conduct the examinations as well as it has done on so small a sum. I agree that more 46 money is required, but I think we might maintain upon the Estimates the amount Parliament has hitherto granted. Perhaps that condition would be met by substituting "towards defraying the cost" for "defraying the cost." I want also to know whether, in parting with this Bill, we shall part with all power to make modifications such as require legislation? It is quite clear that if this Departmental Committee is to have a free mind to consider alternatives such as that just withdrawn, such alternatives cannot be rendered operative except by Act of Parliament The simplest way would be to have an understanding that, if any such legislation is required, a Bill for the purpose shall be brought in later, in order that it may pass this Session.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman has asked me whether anything we are now doing would limit the power of Parliament to deal with such recommendations as the Committee to be constituted under our promise of yesterday may make.
§ *MR. C. S. PARKER
We could not limit the power, but I ask whether there is any intention on the part of the Government, if such a scheme as that withdrawn is approved by the Committee, to give effect to it by legislation?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not think it would be competent for the Government to pledge themselves to bring in legislation to carry out the recommendations of the Committee—recommendations of which there is at present no notice at all, and of which we cannot form an idea. But, of course, it is always our desire to promote the interests of education; and if legislation will do that, and without controversy, of course we shall be glad to do it. With regard to the question more immediately before us—Sub-section (a)—I would advise the Committee not to make any modification, and I think I can meet the objections of the hon. Member for Edinburgh and the hon. Member for Caithness. They appear to think, and not unnaturally, that this sub-section is intended to relieve Parliament from an obligation which is embraced in the annual Votes—to provide a sum for dealing with the inspection and examination of these schools. 47 That is not the case. We propose to continue the Vote every year in precisely the same amount as in past years. But that Vote—£300—is not annually enough to meet the cost of inspection, which is about £2,000 per year. I think I have got the figures correctly. The difference between the £300 and the £2,000 is made up by contributions from the schools, or from the pupils; but in either case it is a burden the institution or individual can ill afford to bear. I think, after that explanation, the House will think this object is in itself so worthy that it will allow it to remain in the Bill.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
We are indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for stating that the grant will still continue. I willingly accept his assurance, and ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *MR. BUCHANAN
I will now move the other Amendment which stands in my name, substituting in page 2, line 16, the word "provision" instead of "grants."
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ Amendment agreed to.
§ (5.22.). MR. JOHN WILSON (Lanark, Govan)
I beg to move in page 2, line 19, to leave out sub-section 2. I desire to say that I move this Amendment without the slightest hostility to Scotch Universities. I think that this money, which is practically Scotch money, the Universities have no claim to, inasmuch as, according to the Treaty of Union, the Universities are entitled to be subsidised out of the Imperial funds, to the extent of their requirements. There is no one who believes more than I do in the benefits conferred by our Scotch Universities. They are recognised all over the world as institutions of learning second to none. At the same time, I hold that this £30,000, which in this Bill it is proposed to give to them, should be otherwise disposed of. I do not know in what way the Government intend this money 48 shall be applied. If it is given in a lump sum to the Universities I fear this House will have but little control over it. On the other hand, if there were indications that the fees of those who attend the Universities were to be reduced on account of this grant something might be said in favour of it. I should like to hear from the Lord Advocate in what manner this money is proposed to be applied.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 19, to leave out sub-section (2).—(Mr. John Wilson.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'In distributing a sum' stand part of the Clause."
§ (5.27.) MR. PARKER SMITH
I have on the Paper an Amendment of exactly the contrary tendency to this, but I do not intend to move it, because, the Government having announced their determination of sticking to the mode of distributing the money as stated in the Bill, I do not think it worth while to put the House to the trouble of a Division. I do not think anyone would be found to grudge the Universities the money. My hon. Friend says that the money required by them should come from somewhere else. The Scottish Universities have claims on the national funds which are inadequately recognised at present. The fact, however, of this £30,000 being given now out of purely Scottish funds in no way prejudices the claims of the Universities upon the funds of the Treasury at some future time. I do not think £30,000 will be found enough for the needs of these institutions in view of the new Ordinances. But I do not see how the amount can be stretched at the present time, and no one with the interests of the Universities at heart would care to let drop £30,000, which is practically a bird in the hand, in order to prosecute claims under the Treaty of Union upon the hard heart of the Secretary to the Treasury. Therefore, I think Scotch opinion in general will be perfectly content to let this sum stand.
§ (5.32.) DR. FARQUHARSON (Aberdeenshire, W.)
The hon. Member for Govan (Mr. Wilson) says he objects to giving the Universities this money because he wants the people of Scotland to have the entire benefit of 49 it. I cannot see any way by which the people of Scotland can get more benefit from it than by granting it to the Universities, which are doing a grand educational and democratic work for the Scotch people. We know the Scotch Universities are poor, and will be poorer in future, because the Ordinances of the Commissioners will cut down some of the emoluments, and competition is also making headway. A greater strain will, before long, be thrown on the resources of these Universities, partly on account of the Ordinances which will compel new Chairs to be established, partly on account of the pension fund which grows more serious year by year, and partly because the teaching of the future—which will be of a more technical character—will require more elaborate appliances in the way of museums and laboratories, and these will have to be maintained out of the funds of the Universities. I am sorry that my hon. Friend (Mr. Parker Smith) does not intend to move his Amendment, because I consider £30,000 is too small a sum when divided between four Universities, and I think £50,000 would be a more appropriate amount. As he is not going to move his Amendment, I will not move the Amendment standing in my name. I hope, however, that the Government will stick to their guns in this matter, and that the Committee will vote in favour of this grant.
§ *(5.35.) SIR LYON PLAYFAIR (Leeds, S.)
As I was one of the former University Commissioners for Scotland, I know by experience how difficult it is to bring up the Universities in Scotland to a line with those in England. Formerly Scotland was in advance of England in relation to many modern subjects, but lately it has fallen behind, and the English Universities have improved their teaching and the variety of their degrees. The Scotch Universities are unable to do that because they have not enough money; and if you take away the monopoly of arts—by extending the selection of subjects for degrees—you take so largely away from the fees of existing Professors that they will be unable to continue to furnish education. The reason why this £30,000 is given to the Scotch Universities is to enable 50 the Commissioners largely to open up the teaching of the Universities so as to adapt it to modern times; and if the hon. Member (Mr. John Wilson), who represents a district which has done so much for popular education, knew that the money was to be given for that purpose, and not for increasing salaries, but purely for the purpose of putting these Universities on a level with the Universities in England, he would not oppose this grant.
§ (5.37.) DR. CLARK (Caithness)
I do not think that Parliament ought to be asked to vote money unless we know how it is going to be spent. We have heard something on the subject from one University Commissioner, and I see another Commissioner present from whom I should also like to hear what is to be done with this money. At present we do not know what this money is for. It may be for increase in the salaries of the professors, or for new buildings, for new Chairs, or for bursaries, but whatever it is for, I think that from the Government, or from a Member of the Committee, we are entitled to some information, and then we may consider whether we will grant the money or not. I feel very strongly inclined on the grounds urged by the Member for Govan, to vote against this proposal, and when I bring to the recollection of the Committee the causes that have produced this Bill, I hope it will be seen that there is force in the opposition. We have been complaining of the inadequate grant given to Scotland, in comparison with England and Ireland, for local purposes, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed to give us the Probate Duty, and it was understood that all local grants were then to be taken off the Paper. But that has not been carried out so far as England is concerned. There are still local objects in England for which we vote money, but all that has been taken away from Scotland. We have been using our money for educational purposes, and now we are asked to use Scotch money not for local but for Imperial purposes. It is not more than three or four years ago—it was in 1889—that an Act was passed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, called the University of Scotland Act, 1889, discharging all claims on public money so far as the 51 Universities are concerned, in consideration of a sum of £42,000. That means that from the Union until 1889, the Scotch Universities were maintained by the Government in accordance with the articles of the Union, but then the demands of the Scotch Universities for additional new buildings alarmed the Treasury, who determined to stop that kind of thing, and so brought in this Bill to which I have referred, and by which for £42,000, this House and Scotland were to give a full discharge to the Treasury. I voted against that proposal, and you, Mr. Courtney, took the extreme course at that time of refusing to put some of my Amendments. At one time Scotland had only one more Member than the County of Cornwall, and we could not help ourselves. The policy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in repudiating an honest obligation, and giving us this miserable £42,000 in lieu, comes out again in a new form in this proposal. I protested against and repudiated the fraud on the Scotch people and the Scotch Members in giving us this money in full discharge, and I say that the honourable obligation remains, and I hope that the Government will not compel us to be bound by this decision. Then, again, ought the maintenance of Universities to be a local or an Imperial question? If, since the Union, the policy had been to defray all the costs of the Universities from local sources, something might perhaps have been said, but at present all the costs that are required, and everything necessary for the University of London, are defrayed by Parliament. Parliament runs the University of London as if it were an adventure school—it takes all the fees, and pays all the costs, and in order to attract students to that University there are scholarships and degrees. All these expenses are defrayed out of public money, and the maintenance of this University is the care of Imperial, and not of local, funds. The same thing practically occurs in Ireland, for in the case of each of the three Queen's Colleges, there is a grant in augmentation of the salaries of the Professors. Then there is a grant of £15,000 to the New Victoria University, and a grant of £12,000 to the Welsh College. So far as Ireland, Wales, and England are concerned, 52 the policy of subsidising and supporting the Universities has been carried out since the Union, and hence I repudiate, as far as I possibly can, this attempt on the part of the Government, for a paltry sum of £42,000, to get rid of the obligation they incurred under the Union. Just now the University of Aberdeen requires new buildings, and I do not know whether the money required for that purpose will have to come out of this grant, or whether we shall get it from the Treasury, who do not seem very willing to part with it. I think the Government ought to withdraw this part of the Bill altogether, and they ought to consider the question of putting upon the Imperial Estimates what is required for the maintenance of the Scotch Universities, and for keeping them in accordance with the development of education on a level with the English Universities. If it were impossible for us to get money from the proper source, we might, perhaps, consider using our own local money, but I do not see why we should do that until it is perfectly clear that this Government, or the next Government, will not carry out an honest obligation and will get rid of it in the mean and dishonourable way that I have alleged this Government has tried to do.
§ *(5.46.) MR. J. A. CAMPBELL (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)
I have pleasure in acknowledging the manner in which the merits of the Scottish Universities have been referred to by everyone who has spoken, and even the hon. Member who has just sat down (Dr. Clark) has not said anything against them. The question before the Committee is whether this provision in the Bill is a proper one. The hon. Member for Govan (Mr. J. Wilson) thinks it is not, but although I agree with him that under the Treaty of Union there is a strong obligation on the part of the Imperial Exchequer to see to the interests of the Scottish Universities, yet I must say it is an obligation which can only be put in operation from time to time with some degree of difficulty and delay; and in the meantime, while these Universities are in need of assistance, we have here a provision which meets the case, and is, in my humble belief, a very proper provision. It is said that this is Scotch money, but here is 53 a purpose that is of general interest to Scotchmen, and for that reason I shall support the grant of £30,000 to the Scottish Universities. It may seem a little unusual for anyone to decline a larger grant for any purpose in which he has some interest, but I must say that, if we went to a Division on the Amendment of the hon. Member for Partick (Mr. Parker Smith), I should not support him in his proposal to increase the amount. I am too anxious to see the Bill passed to make any difficulty with regard to the distribution of the money, and I would say that, considering the whole circumstances, a grant of £30,000 to the Scottish Universities is a very fair one. The question has been asked, "What is to be done with this money?" This money is required for carrying out the provisions of the Universities Act of 1889, by which very large additional charges were thrown upon the Universities, and a scheme of great extension was opened out which will entail large additional expenditure. The Commissioners reported to the Government some time ago how inadequate were the funds placed at their disposal by the Act, and it is in answer to their representations that this additional grant is proposed. The hon. Member for Caithness (Dr. Clark) has questioned the whole conduct of the Government in connection with the Universities, and has complained that the annual grant of £42,000 provided in the Universities Act of 1889 is stated in the Estimates to be a full discharge of all claims on public money. But a reference is made in the Estimates to the Act of Parliament, and in the Act there is an explanation of that expression. The £42,000 was in lieu of what had been spent on the average upon the Universities for annual charges for a certain number of years, with such addition as the Government consented to make. And this £42,000, which included an addition to what had been annually spent on the Universities, was given in lieu of all claims, past and present, at that time. There were claims then running upon the Exchequer, and it was in satisfaction of these that this money was given. It by no means covered all claims for the future for annual wants. Grants for buildings were never included 54 in these annual charges, and neither the grant of £42,000 under the Act nor the proposed new grant of £30,000 has anything to do with buildings. To show that that is so, I may state that an application was recently made from the University of Aberdeen to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for a grant for additional buildings, and, if the House approve of it, we are to receive an instalment towards a total grant of £40,000 from the Exchequer provided there be a local subscription of like amount. The hon. Member for Caithness (Dr. Clark) is either mistaken, or has expressed himself in such a way as to leave the Committee under a wrong impression, with regard to what is done in the case of the University of London. He said the Exchequer takes the whole burden of the University of London, applying the fees towards defraying it. The result of that arrangement, however, is that last year the expenditure on the University by the Treasury, in the first instance, was £15,480, but the fees received amounted to £15,200, so that the whole burden on the Imperial funds was less than £300.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I beg respectfully to remind the Committee that somewhat less than an hour remains for the completion of this stage of the Bill. All present are aware that a pledge of very binding character was entered into last night that it should be concluded at this Sitting. There are still questions of some interest to be disposed of, and I would very respectfully press on the Committee the necessity of advancing as rapidly as possible.
§ (5.48.) MR. CALDWELL
I do not desire to detain the Committee, but it is an important question whether the Universities should get the £30,000, and whether it should be Scotch or Imperial money. It was well-known that the scheme of the Commissioners would involve more than the £42,000 in the Act, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave an undertaking during the passage of the Bill that more money would be given out of the Imperial Purse if the Ordinances of the University Commissioners showed that more was required; and the hon. Member for the Glasgow University (Mr. J. A. Campbell) admits that the claims of the University for further funds were in no 55 way discharged by the £42,000. I hope my hon. Friend will go to a Division as a protest on the part of Scotch Members that this £30,000 ought to come from the Exchequer and ought not to be introduced, as the thin end of the wedge, to attempt to settle the burden of the Universities on the localities in future.
§ (5.55.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 236; Noes 104.—(Div. List, No. 102.)
§ (6.10.) MR. ROBERTSON (Dundee)
I beg to move, as an Amendment, in page 2, line 23, at end to add—To take effect after a Resolution approving of the same has been passed by the House of Commons.Though this Amendment raises rather a large question, as I have no desire to detain the House, I shall confine myself to a very few moments. I call the attention of the Committee to this: Under the Bill, as proposed, the ordinances made by these Commissioners must be submitted to Parliament. The principle, as I said before, is that in these matters we should make the grant dependent not upon the joint vote of both Houses, but upon the vote of this House alone. I believe there may be a constitutional question of some difficulty here. I believe this is a Money Bill. This Bill originated in the House of Commons; and what the House of Lords can do with a Money Bill, if once it gets there, is more than I can say. There is a sort of impression abroad here that the House of Lords ought not to amend a clause in a Money Bill. If, instead of leaving the matter to the University Commissioners, we should dispose of it ourselves by a clause in the Bill, I take it that the House of Lords would not be doing right in either amending or rejecting that clause. In other words, the House of Lords have no power to amend a Bill of this kind. By leaving it to the University Commissioners, and by leaving the House of Lords a direct veto on the ordinance of the Commissioners, it seems to me that by a side wind we are giving the House of Lords power which constitutionally it ought not to have. I daresay the Government are not disposed to consider the 56 possibility of accepting this Amendment. It is in deference to the conciliatory spirit shown by the First Lord of the Treasury last night that I refrain from dealing with the question with that scope which I think the importance of the question demands. But I put this distinct point and suggestion as a protest against the lassitude with which the pretensions of the House of Lords are now received on this side of the House. I believe the time is come when we must make a stand against anything like co-ordinate authority between the two Houses. For my part, I am tired of going about the country and demanding the abolition of the House of Lords. I am not satisfied to repeat the jingling phrase, "You must mend it or end it," and then come to the House of Commons and calmly see the most extreme pretensions put forward on behalf of the House of Lords without any protest.
In page 2, line 23, at end, to add, "to take effect after a resolution approving of the same has been passed by the House of Commons."—(Mr. Robertson.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there added."
§ *(6.16.) SIR C. J. PEARSON
I hope the hon. and learned Member will not press his Amendment to a Division. A scheme has only recently been laid down by Parliament for the guidance of the Commissioners, and for giving effect to their ordinances. The effect of this Amendment would be to alter the Rule which has been so long in force with respect to both Houses of Parliament.
§ (6.17.) MR. CRAWFORD
I do not often appear very favourable to the House of Lords, but I think a far stronger case could be made against that establishment than was contained in the remarks which the hon. Member just offered to the House. The proposal to treat this money which is to be administered by the University Commission, of which I have the honour to be one, in a different way from the rest of the money under their control is not merely an inconvenient proposition, but it suggests what is an act of impossibility. We cannot separate the £30,000 from the rest of the money which we have to administer.
§ (6.19.) MR. HUNTER
I think this is an Amendment which, under other circumstances, ought to be pressed on the Government. I had no confidence in the University Commissioners; and, after seeing their ordinances, I have still less confidence in them. I think my hon. and learned Friend should withdraw his Amendment.
§ (6.20.) DR. CLARK
If this Amendment is carried it will compel the Government to have these questions discussed before twelve o'clock, because these ordinances will not become law until they are sanctioned by the House of Commons. For this practical reason, as well as for the very weighty ones of my hon. Friend, I trust he will take a Division.
§ (6.21.) MR. ROBERTSON
I should like to say that when I ventured to put this Amendment on the Paper I had entirely forgotten the fact that my hon. Friend the Member for Lanarkshire was a Member of the University Commission. Had I remembered that, I would not have proposed this devolution of his duties. I shall agree to the suggestion of my hon. Friend, and ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
(6.23.) MR. PHILIPPS (Lanark, Mid)
In moving the Amendment which stands in my name, I shall be as brief as possible. Sub-section 3 purports to give the sum of £25,000 to the Parochial Boards for the maintenance of pauper lunatics, but the Parochial Boards are obliged to apply the rates for their maintenance; and, therefore, if you give them the £25,000, you will only be giving it in relief of rates. Now, the rates are paid half by the occupiers and half by the owners, and, therefore, by this sub-section it is proposed to give £12,500 directly to the owners in relief of rates. And as it is now recognised by everybody that the relief of rates benefits not the occupier, but the owner, you are giving a further sum of £12,500 indirectly to the owners of Scotland. I object strongly to raising money by general taxation—by the taxation of industry—and to devote that money to alleviating the burdens that now fall upon land in any shape. I am pledged to my constituents, if, and when, possible, to increase the proportion of the taxation of the 58 country that is paid by the landlords. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to take every opportunity of not, at any rate, decreasing the burdens falling upon landlords at the expense of the industrial community.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 24, to leave out sub-section 3.—(Mr. Philipps.)
§ Question proposed, "That sub-section 3 stand part of the Clause."
§ (6.24.) DR. CLARK
This is the first of two Amendments which, I trust, may be carried in the form of a compromise, because I take it that all the rest of this money will now go to the Town and County Councils; and that the balance, if it does not go to the Parochial Boards, will be equalised by them. So far as the ratepayers are concerned, probably it is a matter of six and half a dozen whether it is a reduction of rates through the Parochial Board or through the Town and County Councils. The only difference is that if the whole of the money goes to the Town and County Councils, under this modified form, then it will not all go to the landlords; if it goes in its present form, the bulk of the money will be paid not by the landlords, but will come from the taxation of industry. The effect of the Bill will be to at once place £37,500 in the pockets of the landlords, because they pay one-half the rates. That will increase the value of their property, and even the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he wrote about this matter, protested against these hereditary charges upon the landlord being taken off him, although he may have changed his mind since then. I think this will be a sort of compromise that, instead of giving it to the Parochial Boards you give it to the County and Town Councils, when it will be used for other and more useful purposes.
§ (6.28.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The Government have not intervened in this matter at an earlier stage because they desired to carry out the agreement that was entered into last night for shortening the discussion. This Amendment opens up a gigantic question, and I do not suppose that it is expected that we should enter upon a discussion of it now. We do not agree with the view expressed as to the 59 theory of taxation, and we must adhere, as far as we can, to the lines of the distribution of the money which have already been laid down. That Being so, we cannot accept the Amendment.
§ (6.30.) DR. HUNTER
I should submit to the Government that this is the point where the compromise should begin. Why should not the whole of the £75,000 go to the Town Councils and the County Councils? So far as the ratepayers in the counties are concerned, it is absolutely immaterial whether you give it to the County Councils or to the Parochial Boards, because, both in the case of the County Councils and the Parochial Boards, the rates are paid half by the owner and half by the occupier; and, therefore, so far as the relief of the rates is concerned, it is absolutely immaterial whether you give it to the one or to the other. If you are desirous to give them the opportunity of using this money for any wise public purpose, then you will give it to the County Council. If you are determined that this money shall be misappropriated—misappropriated for the relief of the landlords—then, no doubt, you will adhere to the provisions of the Bill. This is a question of great importance, and I hope my hon. Friend will take the sense of the House upon it.
§ Question put.
§ (6.30.) The Committee divided:—Ayes 230; Noes 108.—(Div. List, No. 103.)
§ MR. ESSLEMONT
The discussion has turned somewhat on the same subject as my amendment concerns. I think there was some excuse for giving £25,000 for pauper lunatics, because in Scotland we are in this respect differently treated to England. But the relief to the ratepayers should take the form of an extra shilling per head of pauper lunatics, putting us in the same position with England. The reason which induced many Members to vote for the previous amendment was the expectation that there would be better treatment for the pauper lunatics if sent to asylums than under the administration of the Parochial Boards. But as regards Sub-section 4, the question resolves itself into a contribution from the poorer to the 60 richer part of the community, that is to say, it is a relief to the landlords. If Sub-section 4 were omitted, the effect of the clause would be that we should have £50,000 to give to Town Councils and County Councils, and after the concessions made by the Government this amount could be distributed for any good purpose required in the neighbourhood.
§ MR. HUNTER
I ask your ruling, Sir, on a point of order. Am I right in my opinion that a decision on a motion to omit a Sub-section precludes an amendment being proposed to this Sub-section? I have an Amendment to propose the omission of the words "Parochial Boards in Scotland."
The question will be put in a form to preserve the possibility of such an Amendment if there is a desire to move it.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 2, line 31, to leave out sub-section 4.—(Mr. Esslemont).
§ Question, "That the words 'In distributing the sum of £50,000,' stand part of the Clause," put, and agreed to.
§ MR. HUNTER
I now move the omission of the Reference to Parochial Boards, in order to follow that up by a subsequent Amendment to provide for the introduction of the authority of County Councils, Town Councils, and Police Commissioners of Burghs in Scotland.
The hon. Member for Aberdeen intimated his intention to move an Amendment altering the words "Parochial Boards" Consequently in putting the Question I did so in the form "That 'in distributing the sum of £50,000,' stand part of the Clause." The Committee affirmed that Question, the words stand, and now the hon. Member for Aberdeen moves his Amendment.
§ MR. HUNTER
It is a question of the substitution of County Councils for Parochial Boards, and upon that question I should think the Government would be prepared to meet us without any further argument.
It being ten minutes before Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Thursday.