HC Deb 14 August 1893 vol 16 cc235-6

Order for Third Reading read.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now road the third time."—(Mr. Acland.)

*SIR R. TEMPLE (Surrey, Kingston)

complained that, owing to the sharp manner in which his right hon. Friend the Minister for Education had taken the various stages of this Bill, he had not had an opportunity of submitting certain Amendments desired by the teaching profession. The Bill came on in the Committee stage in the small hours of Thursday night or Friday morning. He had certain important new clauses which would not alter the Bill, but which, in his judgment and in the judgment of the teaching profession, would greatly improve the Bill. These new clauses were moved out of Order by the Chair, but it was said that they might be moved as Amendments to the clauses of the Bill. He therefore gave notice that he would move his points as Amendments to the clauses on the Report stage. But the Bill passed through Committee, and straight away his right hon. Friend the Minister for Education put the Bill down on the Notice Paper, so that it came on on the very same day, and it was impossible for him in point of time to remodel the Amendments so as to bring them on on the Report stage. It was the practice at the Report stage to give written notice of Amendments beforehand, and that was impossible on his part owing to the manner in which the right hon. Gentleman put down the Bill. Then when the Bill came on on the Report stage there was so much noise at the moment in the House that he could not hear the Clerk at the Table, and it was only by the kindness of Mr. Speaker, to whom be had appealed, that he got to know that the Bill before the House was the School Attendance Bill. The Report stage was passed, so that again he had no opportunity of taking the sense of the House on the important questions he had to raise. His Amendments proposed to facilitate the manner in which children might leave school now that the age for half-time employment had been raised. He had no hope of passing these Amendments on this occasion if his right hon. Friend objected. But he wished a specific deliverance from the right hon. Gentleman as to whether he agreed with him on the point. Probably his right hon. Friend agreed with him, only there were certain objections raised in the Education Department which his right hon. Friend did not feel himself quite strong enough to overcome. He should, however, like his right hon. Friend to take the responsibility of saying in face of the House whether or not he agreed with him and with the great mass of the teaching profession of England on this point? His right hon. Friend had, so far, taken refuge in silence. Having said so much, lie had no objection to raise to the Bill, and would vote for its Third Reading.


I do not think it would have been in Order for my hon. Friend to have moved the proposed Amendments to this Bill. I know the interest which my hon. Friend has taken in this question, and I agree with him to a large extent. The matter has my close attention, and as I am sure my hon. Friend will not expect me to go into general details, I hope the Bill will now be allowed to pass.

Question put, and agreed to.

Bill read the third time, and passed.