HC Deb 27 July 1893 vol 15 cc650-1
MR. SNAPE (Lancashire, S.E., Heywood)

I beg to ask the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education what are the main objects of the inquiries of the Departmental Committee appointed to represent the Education Department, the Science and Art Department, and the Charity Commissioners; whether they include an investigation into the relative spheres of action of the Local and Central Authorities; if not, whether the powers of the Committee can be extended to such an investigation; whether the membership of the Committee can be increased in numbers so that it may comprise other than official members; and how soon will some account of the proceedings of the Departmental Committee be presented to the House? I beg also to ask the right hon. Gentleman whether the Government will introduce legislation next year with a view of establishing a properly organised system of secondary education in England?


The primary object of the Departmental Committee is to bring about more co-operation between the Departments concerned in matters in which they are jointly interested. The value of such a Committee to the Departments is so great that it will very probably become a permanent arrangement. The question of the organisation of secondary education has been before this Committee, which will gladly receive information from the Local Authorities as to the subject mentioned in the hon. Member's question. If each Local Authority were willing to forward to the Committee an account of the present position of secondary education in its district, and to give evidence if necessary, much very valuable information could be acquired. I do not propose to lay any formal Report on the Table from the Committee; but I hope to publish at a later stage sonic of the information received, whether from the Departments or from outside, which may seem likely to be of general interest. Considering the special character of this Committee, as I have described it, I do not think it would be feasible to add further Members to it. It is impossible to give any promise as to legislation next year; but it is very desirable that some further powers should be given to Local Authorities with a view to the establishment of a well-organised system of secondary education.

MR. BARTLEY (Islington, N.)

Why should any selection be made? Would it not be more satisfactory to place the whole particulars before the House, and not make any selection?


A great deal of it is purely Departmental matter, and refers to discussions between various officers of the Department.