HC Deb 08 August 1896 vol 44 cc238-57

1. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum not exceeding £595,922 (including a Supplementary sum of £4,125), be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March 1897, for Public Education in Scotland."


said he was very glad to see that generally politics had not much to do with Education in Scotland. They had Voluntary Schools, but they had no trouble with them He congratulated the Scotch Education Department on the Minute they had issued and the spirit and intention shown in it. It might interest the House to know that a Committee was appointed by the Secondary and Technical Education Association of Scot land to consider the whole Question, and he had the honour of drafting the Report of that Committee, which was indorsed by the Association. The Report anticipated by six or eight months the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Secondary Education. The idea in the Minute of the Department appeared to be, to have two different bodies, the Borough and the County Committee, to administer Secondary Education, and he would like to know to what extent there had been any response to the spirit and intention of the Minute. He would like to ask how the Government were carrying out the Minute in the case of counties in which there were a great many police burghs. Then he would like to ask, because it was not stated in the Minute, whether the funds for secondary and technical education were to be kept apart, as they were now, al though they were distributed by the body. He specially put this matter of the distribution of the grant before the Lord Advocate for this reason, that the right hon. Gentleman admitted that in some of the towns in Scotland too much money was given, while on the other hand, in some of the rural districts too little was given. He hoped the Department might see their way so to distribute their money as to give it where it was most wanted. There was another matter he would like to mention which he did not think had been raised in the House before. It was with reference to the establishment of libraries in schools. He thought it should be made a condition in the Code that no school would be considered efficient which had not a library. He had started libraries of the kind in rural districts, in a number of small boroughs and in a large city, and the universal experience was that they had been a great success. The objections taken to establish these libraries were several. In the first place, objection was taken on the ground of cost. His experience was that in schools with an average attendance of from about 120 up to 1,200, a shilling per child was sufficient to adequately and effectively start a library; and its maintenance did not amount to more than 2d. per child per annum. When it was con- sidered that £2 or £3 per child per annum was spent in education, this was an absolutely trivial matter. Another objection taken was that there were already free libraries, and plenty of cheap literature; but the value of a school library was in having it in the school. When the books were close at hand the children were induced to take them out. A further great advantage in school libraries was that the books were all most carefully selected. He would just give a few extracts from communications received from the head masters of schools to which he had given libraries, and he could endorse their views from his own general observation. Of the Longforgan School Library, which he started ten years ago, the schoolmaster wrote:— For the year ending 31st December, 1895, we had 81 readers, and 640 volumes were taken out. The books most in demand were on travel and history. Such books as Kingsley's, where science and interesting narrative were combined, were very popular, and also Scott's novels.' The head master further added:— I have much pleasure in again expressing my strong conviction of the beneficial effects of such school libraries. The regular readers are by far the most intelligent pupils, and I hope the time is not far distant when a small school library will become a universally recognised requisite, like the other conventional apparatus, such as maps, diagrams, etc. Another head master, in a small burgh school with an average attendance of about 200, wrote that the library has been largely taken advantage of, the average issue per week being twenty volumes. Sometimes the parents apply for books. From an educational point of view the library is of the greatest importance. There is more reading, and it is a pleasure and a recreation, giving greater fluency and increased vocabulary. Increased intelligence is evidenced in the ordinary work of the classes. Through the volumes in the library the pupils get new interest in their school work. As we take elementary science as a class subject, my oldest pupils take books from which they read for this and gather information on the subject. I think the library has created a taste for reading. Another head master in a small burgh school, after a short trial, said:— I note with the greatest satisfaction an appreciable improvement in the composition exercises, both in regard to range of thought and quality of diction. The library has created a love for reading which did not formerly exist. It is helpful in preparing for unseen tests in reading. Many children who formerly attended school request, through their brothers and sisters who are present, the loan of particular books. In Dundee he started five school libraries of about 200 volumes each, the cost being about £20 per library. These libraries had been so much appreciated that the teachers and scholars, on their own initiative, had got up school concerts and other entertainments in order to get funds to buy more books. The head masters of these five Dundee Board schools were exceptionally high-class men, and their conjoint report was most valuable. He should give a few extracts from their first report, dated two or three years ago, which had lately been endorsed by individual letters from them, showing that the interest was more than kept up. In thirty weeks 6,278 books were issued, of which 3,804 were works of fiction and adventure, 1,365 history and biography, and 1,009 physical science and natural history. Amongst the apparent benefits derived from the libraries are increased vocabulary, with a corresponding facility in the use of words and phrases; a widened interest, arising from increase of information, leading to habits of reading and thinking; greater opportunity of directing the tendencies of the pupils, due to the presence of suitable books in the schools, and a power which is concentrated in a collection of desirable literary material fit for supplementing the efforts of the teachers. The composition exercises of the older pupils have been much improved. The most omnivorous readers are the smartest at answering in school. The libraries have raised the general intelligence of the school, aided reading as an art, and been of service in the more mechanical drudgery of 'getting up' spelling. The libraries are of immense advantage to the various members of the staff. They have never been found of the slightest hindrance to the preparation of home lessons. Many parents take more active interest in their children's work, and participate in the luxury of a fascinating story or a popular scientific treatise. We are much pleased to have aided in this truly educational movement. In the recent confirmatory letters it was stated that— There is still considerable difficulty, notwithstanding the addition of 50 volumes, in satisfying the children's demands. There are at least 210 pupils in attendance in our fifth and sixth standards, and of these 200 are regular readers. The parents of 67 of these pupils assist their children in selecting the books from the catalogues and frequently read the books themselves; 31 pupils have cards as members of the Dundee Free Library, 18 of whom have joined in the present year; the reason chiefly given is that they wish to read hooks which are not to be found in the school library.' Another of the head masters writes:—'The intelligence of the classes is very much improved since the institution of our school library." Another says:—' The books of travel and adventure have greatly helped the geography lessons. The library has been a great boon.' Another says:—'Before the introduction of the school library we were much troubled with many of the pupils reading 'penny dreadfuls.' We could not put down the practice; the school library, however, has killed the 'penny dreadful,' and the pupils now store their minds with literature which will at least he wholesome and stimulating to the intellect. In this particular school they had more than doubled the number of books originally given. From some of the large School Boards in England he had received similar encouraging reports, many of them having libraries in each school. In Scotland there were only 341 school libraries. In France the Government had established 20,000 libraries within ten years. One of H.M. Inspectors wrote:— I can testify to the great usefulness of school libraries in country districts. I helped in starting a number of them, and the invariable testimony has been that they have done much to improve the intelligence of the pupils and to foster in them a desire for reading. The tendency of this is to improve both the composition and the spelling of the schools. The cultivation of a habit of reading in the pupils before they leave school will also, I think, induce them to continue reading and improving themselves after they leave it, which will be a matter of great consequence to most of them. Another Inspector said:— Wherever a school library exists and is properly used, improved intelligence, greater wealth of ideas, greater readiness and power of imagination, greater clearness and precision in reasoning, greater frankness and better manners are the result.' He added:—'The whole good of the institution is due to the fact of its being a school library. That the Free Library can be substituted is nonsense. On this point there are so many and so obvious objections that it would only weary you to point them out. … What is the use of teaching a child to read and then giving him nothing to read, or of teaching him composition without giving him ideas to compose? It is a case of asking bricks without giving straw.' Dr. Kerr stated that the Leith School Board have set an admirable example in supplying all their schools with the nucleus of a library and museum cases. Teachers and scholars have taken a keen interest in them, and they give musical entertainments for their more complete equipment. Libraries are connected with several of the Edinburgh Board Schools. It is to be hoped that before long all will have them.' Dr. Harris, the head of the Education Department in the United States said:— When the time shall have come to pass that every child in the public schools shall have the privilege and encouragement of a school library, popular education will have taken a long step forward.' He further says:—'In my opinion, no better use can be made of the school money furnished by each of the States than in expending a small portion in the purchase of suitable reference and library books. Dr. Kerr stated that The female candidates for the training colleges had confined their reading within too narrow a limit. He strongly urged the necessity, especially in the rural districts, of making provision for keeping the children at school during the most impressionable age.


said he was inspired by the condition of the House to ask the Lord Advocate whether he would not give some undertaking that next year Scottish educational matters, at any rate, might be taken at a time when they might be discussed. At that moment his right hon. and learned Friend had only one supporter from Scotland on his side of the House; they on their side of the House were in the majority, as usual, on these questions, but it was a somewhat narrow one on this occasion. [Laughter.] No statement had been made on Scottish matters in that House, whereas on the English Education Estimates the programme was laid down for the year, and in Ireland there was a regular Board which had the supervision of education. Scottish educational matters were controlled very slightly by that House, and, by the very nature of its constitution, the Scottish Education Department had very much the character of a bureau, although no doubt it was controlled by a very able official. There was no direct representative of the Scottish Education Department in the House, and it must be admitted, therefore, that they were under a great disadvantage. The discussion of these Estimates was a farce under the circumstances in which they found themselves that afternoon, although it might very well be that that was unavoidable on account of the state of public business and the management of business.


said that if the House re-enacted the new Rules with regard to Supply, as he hoped they would, next Session, it would be the desire of the Government then, as it had been during the present Session, to meet as far as possible the wishes of all sections of the House. He thought that one advantange of the Rules would be that if there were Votes of importance which were not discussed this year they could be given special attention to next year, and certainly the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman would be carefully considered by the Government next year.


said there had been no attempt to so regulate the number of days given to the Estimates that Scotland would get its share of the time available. Scotland, up to the present, had not had two days devoted to its Estimates, while Ireland had had five days and England had had the balance. He entirely agreed with the hon. Member for Leith that they were under a great disadvantage in not having a direct representative of their Education Department in that House. Another disadvantage was that that Department was in London. The statement which had been made by the Lord Advocate on the previous night was short but pregnant, and he thought that Scotchmen could look with pride at the extraordinary advance which had been made in educational matters in Scotland, where the standard of education was already high. They had been progressing in many directions, there had been a very considerable increase in the average attendance, and they had also shown some progress in the direction of keeping the children at school for a longer period than in the past. With regard to the increase in the evening schools, he would venture to sound a note of warning. It was hardly credible how quickly the children forgot what had been taught them in the elementary schools, and it had been known that children who had passed the sixth standard had, when attending evening schools, to be instructed in the rudiments of the threee "R's." Therefore the increase in regard to the evening schools was not altogether evidence of progress. The Lord Advocate had informed the Committee that only the small percentage of 2.91 of the scholars in Scotland were paying any fees. He thought that was a satisfactory statement; but there was a very serious objection to the system by which some of the children paid fees and others did not. They should at the earliest possible moment abolish fees in their schools in order that they might be able to say that their public schools were absolutely free. In the matter of agricultural education he recognised that the Education Department had it transferred to them only recently; but it would seem that nothing like sufficient attention was given to the subject. He agreed with his hon. Friend the Member for Forfar, that practical teaching in agriculture was likely not only to be more popular, but more advantageous than theoretical teaching. He knew there were some difficulties in the way of practical teaching, such as the want of teachers, and the cost; but considering the enormous strides that were being made by other countries in the matter of agriculture, they in Scotland ought to be spending much more on agricultural training than was provided in the Estimates. The question of the teachers' pensions was very important. He was glad to observe that there was a small increase in the amount given by the Department for that purpose. If the Department only knew the enormous amount of assistance given, and the amount of gratitude evoked even by that paltry sum, he was sure they would be the first to deal drastically with the matter. The teachers had been far too long suffering. The present position of a teacher in Scotland was that under the present system of things he had all the disabilities of the Civil Service, and not a single one of its advantages. Those who carried on the important work of education ought to have some provision made for them in their old age. In Scotland they had the School Board in every parish; then the county and borough committees; and the County Councils, which administered certain amounts for technical education—besides the Society for the promotion of Christian Knowledge, and he was afraid this multiplication of education authorities would lead to a considerable amount of friction. It would therefore be well for the Education Department not to congratulate themselves too soon on the results of the system. He would end where he began, and say that they had every reason to feel proud of their education system in Scotland; and if the Education Department was only brought more clearly into touch with the people, it would be convenient to all concerned. In regard to the Highands and Islands of Scotland, there was a general feeling in Scotland that the Department had recognised, more than they were prepared to do some years ago, that it was necessary to take into account the peculiar idio-syncracies of those districts. He was glad to see that, though the amount of Gaelic taught was not so large owing to the pressure of other subjects, the Department, by the appointment of assistant inspectors and teachers, recognised the fact that if a child were born of Gaelic speaking people, it was the greatest absurdity to put it to school with a teacher that know nothing of its mother tongue.

MR. J. CALDWELL (Lanark, Mid)

complained of want of statistics as regarded all schools—State-aided and non-State-aided. There should be no difficulty, because every School Board was bound to see that every child of school age was attending. That presupposed knowledge whether and where it was at school. The information would be most valuable. There had always been a difficulty in getting the Department to consent to a return of the kind. As regarded the Report of the Department and the Lord Advocate's statement, undoubtedly an improvement in results was shown this year. The Government grant had increased by 3½d., and stood now at £1 1s. 4¼d. This, no doubt, was largely due to increased expenditure. "Maintenance per child" had increased by 1s. 3¾d., and stood in Board Schools at £2 9s. 2¾d. The increased expenditure was not all borne by the rates, because the fee grant to the schools had increased from 11s. 4½d. to 12s., an increase of 7½d. It was gratifying that they had an increase of educational value in the increased Government grant which was a justification for the increased expenditure. It was also satisfactory to find that the average attendance had increased by 1.39 per cent. as against .8 in the increase of population. The inspectors' reports as to organisation and discipline also showed an improvement. He fully recognised educational progress in Scotland, but there was another side to the matter. There was an increase in the numbers of children between 13 and 15 years of age and upwards attending school, and yet the educational results were not commensurate. There was an extraordinary increase in the number of children in the infant department—74,841, against 70,016 in the previous year. There were too many children in this department who were retained instead of being pushed forward. Pecuniarily it was to the advantage of a school to retain children as long as possible in the infant departments as they got more money for them. As it was not compulsory that a standard a year should be passed they found that the school age was being prolonged. Dr. Kerr, in his general report for the southern division, said: If something is not done to cheek the present backward drift as regards relation between age and standard of attainment, we shall, within a year or two, have a very considerable number of children legally leaving school before they pass the fifth standard, because they have, prior to that age, reached 14, the age of exemption. So that while the age of attendance at school was increasing the children were not making educational progress. Comparing 1889 with 1894, he found the children were of an older age in every one of the standards, and comparing 1894 with 1895, he found the same results. Close on 40,000 children in the second standard were upwards of 11 years of age. Formerly their system of grants was "payment by results," and no child could be presented a second time in the same standard. But now there was an "average" system, and there was no guarantee that the child was pushed on to the next standard. It was expected to pass a standard a year, but there was no compulsion in the matter, and the result was it was to the interest of the School Board, pecuniarily, to retain children as long as possible in an inferior standard, because they made more money by retarding the progress of education than if they got the child through the standard of exemption. Mr. Lobban, the inspector for the Inverness district, said: For the last year or two I have had to keep a watchful eye on the undoubted tendency to retain children in classes disproportioned not only to their age, but also to their general attainments. It is no uncommon thing to find that from 20 to 30 per cent. of the so-called infants are over nine years of age. At the recent inspection of a large school, which was not visited last year, I found that close upon 40 per cent. of the children in the second standard were upwards of 11 years. It was no good shutting one's eyes to the fact. The old system of examination, payment by individual results, allowing children to be not twice presented in the same standard, kept the children on the move forward. The new system of examination offered a premium to keep children back. More money was obtained, as payment was largely on the average attendance, and the longer children were kept at school the more money made. Keeping children in the lower standard would make the classes show increased intelligence and earn "excellent" grant more easily. Teachers followed the direction of the money. Hence an increased "excellent" grant was counterbalanced by the increasing age of the children, and the undoubted drift to prolong children in the lower standard. A word or two as to the training colleges. These were supplied from the pupil teachers, but there had been a decrease of male students and an increase of female students. The inspectors complained of a great want of sufficient trained teachers and a large surplus of untrained teachers. Dr. Ogilvie in his Report for 1895 for the western district, which represented one of the best educational centres, said:— It is to be regretted that the inadequacy of the supply through these channels (the training colleges), loaves an open door for the increasing contingent of so-called acting teachers. The growing preponderance of the untrained element is getting to be a matter of serious moment. When they considered the enormou sums of money that were paid for education between the local and Imperial taxpayers in Scotland—amounting to about £2,000,000 a year—it must be obvious that the efficiency of the schools largely depended upon the training and efficiency of the teachers. They ought, therefore, to have great regard as to how the teachers were trained. The cost of the Scotch Training Colleges amounted to £46,000 a year, a very small sum compared with the £2,000,000 spent upon education, and everyone must admit that education could not possibly give the best results unless they got it through properly trained and efficient teachers. The training colleges were supported almost entirely by a grant of the Treasury of £34,675, which was borne upon the Estimates and by the fees of the students. There were denominational training colleges at the present moment. Three belonged to the Church of Scotland, three to the Free Church, one to the Episcopalian and one to the Roman Catholic denominations, and they were paid Government money for training and supplying teachers, the churches not contributing a single penny to the support of the colleges. He contended that, seeing they had in Scotland practically a national system of education paid for heavily out of Imperial and local money, they should have efficient national training colleges under the State, and should not be at the mercy of denominations either as regarded the carrying on of the work or the school buildings. The training college buildings were very small, and the result was that they were not able to teach the requisite number of students who passed their examinations and who were qualified to enter the colleges. He did not expect that the present Government would do anything in the way of providing national training colleges—they would prefer to preserve the present denominational system, and he would not, therefore, argue which was the better. He recognised that the change in the date of the examination for certificates from December to July had proved advantageous, the students getting the full benefit of a session's attendance at the University. Since permission had been given to female students to attend the University the number had increased from 32 in 1894 to 97 in 1895. Complaints, however, were made of the date fixed for admission into the training colleges. The examination took place in December, but the students were not admitted until the following September or October, an interval of nine months. If they continued in this interval as pupil teachers, they were overburdened with work at the school, and they did not take any further interest in their studies as they had passed their examination It would be much better if the examination was fixed at a later period, so that the students might take advantage of the Easter Recess when the training colleges could have an examination. The pupil teacher might continue in the school until the July holiday before he entered the training college, and there would not then be the long period of nine months interval, which was a great temptation to the pupil teacher to idle away his time or engage in other work. He advocated a change in the date of the entrance examination with a view to securing continuity in education. With regard to the evening schools, the Lord Advocate had given them some very gratifying statistics. Whilst not at ail desiring to cry down the benefit of such schools—to which he wished every success—he believed the results were over-stated. Dr. Stewart, in his general Report for 1895, dealing with the evening schools in the northern division, said:— The schools are as far as ever from realising the original intention, and in many cases the laxity of the managers in allowing them to he farmed, and in neglecting the proper supervision of registration, has placed temptations in the way of the unscrupulous, not merely to falsify registers, but to teach the easiest and least useful subjects for the purpose of earning as much money as possible. Of course he did not say that that was a general description of the evening schools throughout Scotland. The inspectors in other divisions reported more favourably. Still Dr. Stewart's Report was a correct description of a great deal that was going on with regard to evening schools, so that the large numbers read out by the Lord Advocate as attending evening teachers were subject to a considerable discount. Turning to the question of the fee grant, he observed that the right hon. Member for Sutherlandshire had said the Educational Department were to be congratulated on the fact of having converted the Treasury to the view of giving a fee grant of 10s. per head. In 1889, he himself argued in favour of this view with the Government of the day, but the First Lord of the Admiralty, who was then Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the rate must be based on the basis of an equivalent grant of eleven-eightieths for Scotland, and he refused to give effect to the principle the Scotch Members contended for. At that time such a principle would have given more money to Scotland, and the Treasury had only assented to it this year because the system of 10s. per head would give something like £6,000 less to Scotland than would the former method of calculation. He inquired of the Lord Advocate what steps had been taken to get back the arrears of the fee grant amounting to £30,000, and suggested that the Secretary to the Treasury should utilise the time between then and Monday to prepare a supplemental Estimate for this amount. There was another matter which had been going on for many years in Scotland in regard to certain schools. According to the Education Act of 1872, in Scotland no school could get a Government grant unless such school was required in the locality, "regard being had to the religious belief of the parents." In the case of the Dunehatton School, the Education Department had sanctioned a grant to an Episcopalian school, which at the time had only the children of two Episcopalian families in attendance. The Department regarded that as a proper interpretation of the Act, that the school was required in the locality, regard being had to the religious belief of the parents. In Scotland they had always recognised a difference between Roman Catholics and Protestants, but they did not make any distinction as to Episcopalians. In the case to which he referred, however, the Education Department had set up this distinction so that a grant might be given to a school attended by the children of two families. Tins school had been put down there for proselytising purposes. It had been a source of universal agitation and annoyance in the locality, and for the sake of one family—for the other family were the teachers—it also went in and competed with a school which was deprived of the benefit of the money which might go to the education of the children attending the Board school. For years the School Board had been fighting the Education Department. They had resigned time after time, and they had been re-elected time after time, and the whole district had been going on agitating, and yet the Department insisted on keeping that school up there and maintaining a source of annoyance to the neighbourhood. They were disturbing the whole educational machinery for a paltry thing of that kind. The School Board was re-elected again only the other day. They put up some of the landed people in the district, but the old School Board was elected by a large majority. That should put an end to this.

MR. VESEY KNOX (Londonderry)

said there was no doubt that a sum of £30,000 was wrongfully kept back from Scotland in past years. Whatever case the Treasury might be able to make out against the Irish National Board for not having applied for more money, and for having been guilty of some laches, he believed there could be no such case made against the Scotch Education Department. The Scotch Education Department in every year asked for the largest sum which they could ask for—namely, eleventh-eightieths of the sum which England got the previous year. But they were unable to know what England was going to get for the current year, and consequently they were always a year behind, and in the result they received £30,000 less than they ought to have received. He could not see on what principle the Treasury could defend that. In the case of Ireland, though they had not given them the money, they had admitted the principle, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that he regarded this sum as a debt due from the Treasury to Irish Education. He imagined it would, at this period of the Session, satisfy his Scotch friends if they were told that the Chancellor of the Exchequer also regarded this £30,000 as a debt due from the Treasury to Scotch Education. There was another point, and that was the £6,000 a year of which Scotland had been deprived by the adoption of the new system. He thought that, to prevent misunderstanding in the future, it would be desirable if they had a statement as to who really did originate this notion. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated to the House that the Scotch Education Department had revived this proposal, but the information which had reached him was not quite the same. That information was to the effect that the Scotch Education Department made this suggestion years ago, when it would have given some benefit to Scotland, that they did not accept the suggestion, and that the Treasury now took up the idea of reverting back to the old suggestion when it was to the disadvantage of Scotland. If that was so, he thought the Chancellor of the Exchequer had cast an unmerited slur on the Education Department. It seemed to be just and clear, that if England initiated a principle on which these grants were to be divided because it was to the advantage of England, she ought to stick to the bargain now, even although it had not been in the long run to her advantage. His hon. Friend the Member for Sutherland had stated that in his opinion there was no religious difficulty in the education of Scotland. In his opinion the grievance under the Catholics which Scotland suffered was a very grave one. The Catholics formed 10 per cent. of the population. They contributed to schools in which the Presbyterian religion was taught, and in which there was no pretence that it was undenominational teaching as in the Board Schools. That was a much more grievous injustice than was the injustice of the Establishment, and until that grievance was remedied it could not be said that there was no religious difficulty in dealing with Scotch education. Many poor people from the part of Ireland he represented had gone to Scotland, and he knew their intellectual and social growth had been stunted by the fact that the education which they got in the Catholic schools was not as efficient as the education which was supplied out of the rates—paid for by them as well as others—in the Board Schools.

MR. J. H. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)

asked the Lord Advocate if the Department had done anything to carry out the promise made last year with regard to the charge for books in schools. This was a serious question for working people in Scotland who might move from one parish to another. He hoped the Lord Advocate would be able to tell him that all charges for books had been abolished. He also hoped the Department was doing all it could to employ Scotch inspectors. He had had a representation from the teachers in which they complained that when there were vacancies in the inspectorate the appointments were given to Englishmen from Oxford and Cambridge instead of to Scotchmen.


said the hon. Member for Forfarshire had asked what had been the response to the new minute regarding secondary schools and what advantage had been taken of the proposals therein contained. The response had been this—that 21 Committees out of a total of 33 had taken advantage of the offer, and the contributions amounted to something between £4,000 and £5,000. They were made by nine County Councils, 14 burghs, and 21 police burghs. The hon. Member also asked whether the money for technical education was to be kept separate from that devoted to secondary education. That was so. Under the regulations, money which was offered by County Councils and burghs out of their technical education funds was bound to be spent by the Committees on the purposes of technical education and not diverted to any other branch of secondary education. The next question was as to the method of distribution. The Education Department had not altogether had a free hand there, because that House had very largely taken charge of that matter. By the original minute of the 11th of August 1892, the money available was to be distributed on the principle that the amount earned by each school should be determined mainly by the work done in that school, and the schools which were entitled to share in that money were to be selected by the Burgh Committee. There was a special Committee appointed to report upon that minute, and they practically reported in entire accordance with the minute. A new minute was issued on the 31st of January 1893, resting on the same principles and differing only in details. That minute, however, after Parliamentary discussion, was abandoned for one under which a proportionate amount was allotted to each burgh or county Committee, to be distributed according to a scheme drawn up for the approval of the Department by each burgh or county Committee. Accordingly the Education Department, having regard to the importance of continuity of administration, had not proposed any reversal of that system and had endeavoured to preserve it. The answer, therefore, was that it was distributed according to population. The hon. Member also asked whether there was any probability of legislation upon this subject. The whole subject would be very carefully considered by the Education Department during this autumn, and the question of whether legislation was necessary was one upon which they would make up their minds when they reviewed the whole situation. On the question of libraries the Council were in general sympathy with many of the remarks of the hon. Member. As a matter of fact, already there had been a good many schools in which payment had been sanctioned for libraries. Out of 3,000 schools there were libraries in 400. It was a long step between encouraging the giving of books and going the full length of making it compulsory that every school should have a library. The matter was a large one, but the hon. Member must not think that the attitude of the Department was at all hostile to the view the hon. Gentleman had expressed. In regard to the secondary schools, the Department recognised that they could not take credit altogether for the numbers attending the secondary schools, because probably they were to a certain extent at the expense of the day schools. Still, there had been a considerable improvement even after discounting anything in that way, but there was no desire to overrate the progress which had been made. As regarded the remarks upon the necessity of stimulating utilisation of educational advantages, he would remind the hon. Gentleman of a paragraph in the Report which dealt with a kindred matter. It said:— In connection with this they desire to call attention to the good done by the National Home Reading Union, which has done much to perpetuate the work of the schools by the lending library. The hon. Member for Sutherland spoke about fee-paying schools. There were not a great number of them in the country, but the Department still thought they were a great help in the long run to the poorer children. Fees were charged in the lower standards, so that free education was enabled to be provided to those who needed it in subjects which they otherwise could not get. No doubt attention would be paid to the remarks of the hon. Member in regard to agricultural education, but it was too soon to say anything about that as the transference had only been made to the Department, who had scarcely got the matter properly in hand. As to teachers' pensions, they were making endeavours in that direction, endeavours which, so far as they had gone, had been successful. The hon. Member for Mid Lanark asked whether additional statistics could not be obtained about non-aided schools. In places like Glasgow that might be easy enough, but there was great difficulty in dealing with the whole country. There was, however, a Return being made up dealing with the whole question of school supply, and that Return would represent the sum total of the information which the Department could get without superhuman efforts. Then the hon. Member called attention to the increasing number of children being kept in the infant department, and he said the schools had a pecuniary interest in doing so, because they got 1s. extra grant. The hon. Gentleman instanced the inordinate numbers in Glasgow, but he was confounding infants and infant departments. There was no infant department in Glasgow. Besides that, the hon. Member forgot that a child never paid a School Board, as it had to be paid for over and above the grant. In regard to examinations, it was one of the instructions of the Department to inspectors that in giving a school a certificate of fair or excellent they were to keep in view whether, according to their experience, there was an abnormal number of children kept in the lower standards. No doubt there had been a falling off in the number of male students in the training colleges, and the Education Department was very sorry for it, but they were not altogether responsible. The profession, for the nonce, did not seem to be so popular as it used to be. Lately there had been an attempt, which had not been yet fully developed in its results, to associate the universities in this matter, and allowing students to enter through the universities as well as through the training colleges. In regard to the fee-grant, the Education Department on this matter were with the hon. Member. The Education Department had always held that they ought to get eleven-eightieths. In years to come he hoped they might revert to their old position, and that they would get more under the 10s. grant than if calculated under the eleven-eightieths. In regard to the remarks of the hon. Member for Londonderry, he could not say more than what the Chancellor of the Exchequer said the other day, which was that Scotland would be treated upon the same principle as Ireland, and that the money would be made good. The precise way in which it might be made good he did not know.

Original question put, and agreed to.

Resolution to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit again upon Monday next.