*MR. J. M. MACLEAN (Cardiff) rose to move:—
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty to exclude the Cowbridge Grammar School from the Intermediate and Technical Education Scheme of the Glamorgan County Council.
He said he regretted to bring forward this matter after midnight, but he had no choice. The question was one of considerable importance to a portion of his constituency, which included the boroughs of Cowbridge and Llantrissant. A Scheme laid on the Table by the Charity Commissioners included the Cowbridge Grammar School; and the objection to the Scheme was that it proposed to confiscate the revenue of a school which was regarded as a distinctively Church School. If this Scheme became law it would prevent the school any longer remaining under the Church of England, because there was a clause in the Scheme which provided that no religious catechism or formula distinctive of any denomination should be taught. [Opposition cheers.] They might say that the Scheme only went so far as the Endowed Schools Act, but that Act provided that collegiate and certain other schools should be exempt from the Act as far as religious education was concerned. He knew what the argument of hon. Gentlemen on the other side would be, and if they had a clear legal right with regard to the revenues of this school they should not be here. That would be settled in a Court of law. But with regard to all these cases, as Lord Salisbury happily said in another place when a similar case was brought forward, "Parliament has reserved to itself the right of equitable jurisdiction in dealing with cases that do not come exactly within the limit of the law." The Charity Commissioners were bound to respect the decision of the Educational Commissioners of Wales with regard to any scheme brought forward under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, and those schemes lay on the Table of each House for 40 days. Then, if no exception was taken, the matter was settled, but Parliament reserved to itself this supervision over these schemes. Parliament considered that, in the nature of things, there must be many cases arising where
it was extremely difficult to draw the line as to whether it was a Church school or not. That was the position with regard to Cowbridge Grammar School at the present moment. He did not propose to go into the ancient history of that school, which stretched back over a great many centuries. Sir Leoline Jenkins, who, towards the end of the seventeenth century reconstituted and re-endowed the school, and placed it distinctly on the foundation of a school attached to the church, was a well-known man in the reign of Charles II., and was very much liked and trusted by that monarch. He had a most interesting and varied career. He was first a principal of Jesus College, Oxford, next a Judge, afterwards recognised as an authority on maritime and international law, then an Ambassador to many Courts of Europe, transacting very important international business, and finally was a Member of the House of Commons for the University of Oxford, and was Secretary of State to King Charles. In the course of these varied employments he amassed a considerable estate—[laughter]—and, dying in 1685, left the bulk of his property to Jesus College, Oxford, subject to a charge of £450 a year for the benefit of the Cowbridge Grammar School. Jenkins was described in an interesting article in "The Dictionary of National Biography," as a very staunch Churchman, an energetic believer in the divine right of Kings, and, what seems to have been singular at that time, he was a man of the most exemplary life. [Laughter.] The preamble of his will proved that Leoline Jenkins was a man entirely devoted to the Church. He rejoiced that he was in the communion of the Church of England, and hoped it would always prosper for the good of the country. Indeed, he had the courage to write a pamphlet to try to persuade the Duke of York, who afterwards became James II., to give up the Roman Catholic Church and rejoin the communion of the Church
of England. There was no doubt, from the whole tendency of the will, that he intended the Cowbridge Grammar School to be an exclusively Church school. He required that the Headmaster of the school should be a man who should devote his whole time to the school, and should not undertake any cure of souls. [Opposition cheers.] That plainly means that the Headmaster should be a man in Holy Orders. Further on in the will there was a very significant passage, in which he provided that if a certain sum of money was saved it should be administered by the Trustees for the Grammar School, or for "any other charities for the better service of the Church in Wales." What other meaning could that passage have but that Cowbridge Grammar School was devoted to the interests of the Church Wales? He maintained that the whole history of this school clearly proved that it had always belonged to the Church of England. It had been asserted that that Church could not have any legal title to its endowments, but its Church of England founder had purchased it from its former owners at its full value, and had established it anew as a Church of England school. He had, therefore, created the school again, and had intended it solely for the benefit of the Church of England. In these circumstances it ought to be shut out from this new scheme for intermediate education in Wales. He thought that it would be difficult for any person to answer these arguments, and he failed to see how it could be shown that this school did not belong to the Church of England. The Church of England was now in such a position that she was naturally desirous to claim her own. What was the position of Churchmen at the present time? They paid the bulk of the taxes, both Imperial and local, a portion of which was devoted to carrying into effect all kinds of fancies—upon them fell the main cost of the Board Schools throughout England and Wales, and
at the same time they felt themselves bound by their conscientious convictions to maintain out of their own pockets their Voluntary Schools. In these circumstances it would be extremely hard to compel them to abandon the endowments that had been given to their Church by pious founders in past ages, which mitigated in some degree the heavy burden that was now imposed upon them by the present system of national education. He was aware that a few years ago a strong feeling prevailed among hon. Members opposite that the Church in Wales was not an institution that ought to be supported, as it was in a state of decay. The result of the late General Election, however, had altered the condition of things in connection with that matter.
§ MR. SPEAKER
The hon. Member is entering upon matters that are foreign to the subject under discussion.
§ MR. MACLEAN
said, that at the last General Election it was evident that the feeling of the majority of the electors was in favour of maintaining Church endowments, and, after having saved those endowments, they were not going to let the Church be robbed of its schools. It was a matter of very great importance that under the guise of promoting the education of the people, violent hands should not be laid upon foundations bequeathed to the Church by pious founders centuries ago. He appealed with confidence to hon. Members on the Ministerial Benches to take are that this valuable educational charity should not be snatched from the Church; and he appealed, not altogether without hope, to hon. Members opposite to act in this case in a spirit of equity and fair play, and not to bring discredit on the scheme for intermediate education in Wales, which on the whole was likely to work for the benefit of the Welsh people, by connecting it with an act of spoliation.
§ MAJOR W. H. WYNDHAM-QUIN () Glamorgan, S.
seconded the Resolution 1579 He thought it would be generally admitted after the very clear statement just made, that the question of Cowbridge Grammar School was deserving of the attention of the House. Here they had a case of the Charity Commissioners directly interfering with an ancient grammar school, and they were only able to do so by the fact that the managers of the school were not able to produce the original foundation deed. The older the institution, and the longer its connection with the Church, the more difficult it became to satisfy the Commissioners that it belonged to the Church. Apart from documentary evidence, it was their duty to satisfy the House that there was and had been a close bond of union between this school and the Church. This school dated back 300 years, indeed, he believed it was established earlier than that. Shortly after the school was founded, there came the stormy period of the Commonwealth, and no doubt it was during the time the district was distracted with civil war that the foundation deed was lost or destroyed. He submitted that the facts afforded convincing proof of the connection between the Church and this school. In the first place there was the earnest desire of the founder to promote the interests of the Church at a time of great bigotry. It was known that his intention was that the Headmaster should be in Holy Orders. It was known that he connected the school with other pious charities for the better service of the Church in Wales, and that he founded two fellowships at Jesus College, Oxford, and attached a condition that boys coming from the school who gained these fellowships should take Holy Orders. He also insisted that the school pensioners should attend the services at the College. In 1847 the school trustees subscribed £100 towards the restoration of the church on the condition that the members of the school should occupy their accustomed pews. Having regard to the character of the man who did so much 1580 for Cowbridge School, surely they must conclude that it was his intention that religious instruction should be given according to the formularies of the Church of England. Then it was on record that it was the chief ambition of boys to gain scholarships at Jesus College, Oxford, and that it was obligatory on the successful candidates to take Holy Orders. The formularies of the Church, including the Catechism and the 39 Articles, had always been taught in the school. What stronger evidence, in the absence of the original deed, could they have as to the denomination to which the school had always belonged? This scheme would certainly not be likely to increase the reputation of the school. It now attracted boys from a great distance, from almost every part of South Wales, in fact. If the scheme were imposed the school would inevitably sink to the level of the ordinary intermediate schools in Glamorganshire. Whilst supporting the scheme as a whole, he protested against the proposed inclusion in it of Cowbridge School.
§ MR. DAVID THOMAS (Merthyr Tydvil)
thought that it was unfortunate to discuss a scheme of this importance at so late an hour, and when it was impossible to place all the circumstances of the case before the House. He congratulated the hon. Member for South Glamorgan on the temperate manner in which he had argued the case from his point of view. His only regret was that the hon. Member had not made his maiden speech with a better case as his topic. The speech of the hon. Member for Cardiff was also a temperate one, though many of his facts were wrong, and he appeared to have been badly coached. He feared that recently the hon. Gentleman had been more occupied in the part of playing friendly critic to the Leader of his own Party, and in denouncing the Secretary for the Colonies over the Transvaal business; but he asserted that the hon. Gentleman no more represented the feelings of his constituents in Cowbridge 1581 on this school question than he represented his constituents at Cardiff on the Transvaal. In the first place, he contended that this was not a Church School. His authority for saying so was the Rev. Edward Jenkins, who was, he believed, the prime mover in the agitation for the exclusion of Cowbridge from this scheme. "This is not a religious question or a political question," said the rev. gentleman, "but a question of true and genuine patriotism as to whether the inhabitants of a town and district would allow an educational charity to be alienated from the district." This scheme was the last of fifteen schemes in Wales under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act. In Glamorgan they had waited for seven and to-day there was a large number of buildings built at enormous cost waiting to be occupied. Last year the scheme lay on the Table of the House for almost the statutory period, and if Parliament had not dissolved, the scheme would have passed into law. Up to that time no objection had been taken to it in the House. The Welsh Members felt it was so hard a case that the schools should remain unoccupied that they, in the short Session approached the Education Department, and begged them to introduce a short special Act. He believed they should have succeeded had it not been for the action of what was irreverently called the Church Brigade." It was the "Church Brigade," a mere handful of the clergy, who were opposing this scheme now, and he was sorry they had made a tool of the hon. Member for Cardiff. The scheme, which was a compromise, was the creation of the Joint Education Committee, and had been prepared with the assistance of the Charity Commissioners, and had boon approved by the Education Department. The locality never had opposed it. Indeed the opposition to it had come as a great surprise to many in the locality. The whole district of Cowbridge would be immensely benefited by the scheme. 1582 £500 a year would go back for the educational purposes of the Grammar School. There was no question of alienation at all, but whereas now this endowment depended very much upon Jesus College, Oxford, whether they would give it or not, the scheme made it obligatory on Jesus College to give this £500 to the school. In addition, they would receive £600 per annum from the general fund of the county. Cowbridge, were it not for the school, would not be made a district at all, having a population of under 8,000, was made a separate district under the scheme, and would receive the £600 just the same as other districts in the county with a population of over 40,000. The scheme had been under the consideration of the Charity Commissioners, and the Joint Committee for several years, and under it, a girls' school, at a cost of something like £2,400, had already been erected. If the hon. Member for Cardiff looked carefully at the scheme, he would see that Christian teaching was prescribed there.
§ MR. MACLEAN
I said that there was no provision for the teaching of religious formularies and the Catechism.
§ MR. DAVID THOMAS
said, that Clause 88 contained nothing to prevent even religious formularies from being taught by the master of a boarding school. As to local feeling, the Town Council of Cardiff had petitioned the Joint Education Committee in favour of the scheme. A local association of farmers, landlords, and Churchmen had unanimously supported the scheme, and he believed that the School Board also supported it. The leading Conservatives in the district, including two ex-Mayors of Cowbridge, were in favour of it. A public meeting was called by the Rev. E. Jenkins, at which a resolution excluding the school was proposed; but an amendment, including the schools, was moved by a strong Churchman and Conservative, and was carried by an overwhelming majority. That showed very strongly what the local feeling was; it 1583 was, he believed, almost unanimous in support of the scheme. The school, they had been told, was a Church school, but his contention was that it was not a denominational school at all. There was absolutely nothing in the will of Sir Leoline Jenkins to show it was his intention that the school should be a church school. The original founder, who was once Home Secretary, was no more a member of the Church Brigade than the present Home Secretary was. He supposed that two centuries ago all were Churchmen [Ministerial cheers], just as four centuries ago all were Roman Catholics. ["No, no!"] He supposed, too, that had Sir Leoline Jenkins lived in these days he would have been a Nonconformist. ["Oh, oh!"] Legally, the hon. Member had not a leg to stand on. The hon. Gentleman had not told them about the Statutes of 1862, under which the school was at present governed. In 1862, when the Charity Commissioners were very largely guided in their actions by the Court of Chancery, statutes were prepared. There was not a single word in those statutes to make this a denominational school, and that fact was rather significant, because the tendency of the Court of Chancery at that time was to drag in every endowment which by any possibility they could claim to be a Church endowment. The fact that they did not do that in this case was strong evidence in his favour. Besides, the governing body at the present were not necessarily a Church body. One, if not more of the Fellows of Jesus College was not a member of the Church of England. No public body of any kind had petitioned the Charity Commissioners on religious grounds against the Scheme. The scheme, as he had already expressed was approved by the Charity Commissioners, and it was a Department scheme which had been approved by the Education Department. It was entirely contrary to Constitutional practice for right hon. Gentlemen in the position of the Members for Cambridge University and the Thirsk Division, to throw over the Department in the way they were doing or intended to do. It was unfair to the Department they represented, because they were making a political matter of this subject, and it was especially hard upon the permanent officials of the Department, 1584 who had no opportunity of defending themselves in the House. He urged hon. Members not to lightly throw over a scheme which competent men had taken years to frame, and on the grounds that this was not a denominational school, and that the Mover and Seconder had not brought forward one iota of proof in support of the case they had attempted to make out, he begged the House to pass the scheme in its entirety.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
said, that while he fully endorsed the remarks of the previous speaker, he wished to supplement them by some observations on the facts relating to the school, and the presentation of the scheme now on the Table. He wished also to acknowledge the temperate tone that had been adopted by the Mover and Seconder of the Motion before the House. The first and principal argument to be urged against the Resolution was that the school in question, as would be found by the will of Sir L. Jenkins, and the scheme of 1862, as well as the Statutes of Jesus College, Oxford, was not a Church or a denominational school at all. The second argument was that this Motion was an attempt to upset a scheme which really represented a fair compromise of the conflicting interests of parties and creeds in the county of Glamorgan. The third ground they took was that it was unjust at the present moment to exclude the Cowbridge School from the scheme, and persevere in the Motion of the hon. Member, because the County Council of Glamorgan, relying upon the compromise arrived at, and believing it would be carried out, already on the faith of this scheme, had begun to spend the ratepayers money not only in the county, but actually in the town of Cowbridge. The fourth ground was that the scheme had been sanctioned by the Charity Commissioners, and what just cause could be alleged for going against what was always understood to be in the nature of a judicial decision? The last ground was, that the effect of the exclusion of this school from the operation of the scheme would be detrimental to the school, to the best interests of the Church of England in the county of Glamorgan, and to the well-being of the great and yearly increasing population of that shire. 1585 He had made it his business, as the hon. Member for Cardiff had done, to read the will of Sir Leoline Jenkins, and also to get the whole history of the School. His hon. Friend the Member for Cardiff had stated the effect of Sir Leoline Jenkins' will, but later on, in the course of his speech, he referred to the sum of £450 as being bequeathed under the will to Cowbridge School. In that, according to the investigations he had made, he was entirely wrong. What he found was this, that Sir Leoline Jenkins, after a formal devise and bequest of what he described as a certain school and schoolhouse (situated and so forth), which was then called the Free School of Cowbridge, to the Principal Fellows, and Scholars of Jesus College, Oxford, said:—The estates and premises by me devised and bequeathed to the said College are intended to bear a, charge of pious and charitable uses. My meaning is that the same shall be charged in the manner and order following, namely: I do appoint that out of the said estate and premises by me aforesaid given and devised to the said College, there shall be paid £100 for ever to the uses following: To the Schoolmaster of Cowbridge aforesaid for the time being, to be named and appointed by the Principal of the said College, so long as ho doth not undertake any cure of souls, but keep himself wholly to the business of the School, £10 per annum.And the balance of the £100 was to be applied to Scholarships and Exhibitions. Afterwards the will of Sir Leoline Jenkins came before the Court of Chancery. There was a decree of 1686, by which certain questions were decided, and the effect of which was that the whole estate was vested in the Principal and Fellows of Jesus College, subject to certain rent-charges, the rent-charge of £100 payable to the Cowbridge School being one of them. From 1686 down to 1862 he could find nothing of a public character that affected the question, and he had been informed on the highest authority—the Bursar of Jesus College, Oxford—that there was no document in the archives of the College which in any way altered the effect of this will and the decree of the Court. The scheme of the Charity Commissioners of the year 1862 had never been printed, and he understood that the effect of the scheme was to leave matters practically as they were before. He had, accordingly, inquired how this School had been managed up to the present time in this legal position 1586 of affairs. He must beg the House to draw a distinction between the time before 1881 and the time after 1881. He was now going to read what, with the best researches he could make and on the authority of those who knew the College, he understood was the way in which the School was managed before 1881. There was no governing body other than the Principal of Jesus College. The Principal of Jesus College appointed the Headmaster, and not even the Fellows of the College had a word to say as to the appointment. When the Headmaster was appointed he conducted the School as he liked, subject only to an occasional inspection and examination by a person appointed by the College. The College paid £50 annually to the School under the will of Sir Leoline Jenkins, repaired the buildings, and once, in the space of 200 years, rebuilt a portion of them, and, in addition to this £50 and the repairing of the buildings, paid small sums for prizes and scholarships. That was the state of things down to 1881, when the Statutes which at present governed Jesus College were passed. The Universities Act of 1877 came into effective operation, as far as Jesus College was concerned, in 1881. By the Statutes of 1881 power was given to appoint a Headmaster of a Welsh school a Fellow of the College without examination, and to allow him a sum not exceeding £200 a year. By another of these Statutes power was also given to pay and apply any sum not exceeding £200 for the benefit of Cowbridge School, if and when the revenue of the College should be sufficient. These Statutes were not both acted upon at once by the College authority. They acted upon the second almost immediately, but it was only when the present Headmaster of the school was appointed, in 1886 or 1887, that the College exercised the power of making the Headmaster of this school a Fellow of the College. Since the time when the present Headmaster was made a Fellow of the College, the position was this: The College paid the Headmaster in respect of the Fellowship £200 a year, and it paid £100 by way of addition to his salary. That was not obligatory, but was purely voluntary and discretionary on the part of the College under the Statutes of 1881. It had also paid £100 for scholarships at the School, 1587 which was also voluntary and discretionary; it had continued to pay £50 a year under the decree of 1886, and it had continued to repair the buildings or make payments to the Headmaster for the repair of these buildings. That was the exact position in which the School stood at present, supposing it was excluded from the operation of this scheme. It had been in the habit of receiving since 1881—if they excluded the £200 to the Headmaster—a total sum of about £500 a year from the College, but it must not be understood that the payment was necessarily to be continued. If and when a vacancy occurred in the position of Headmaster by the promotion of the present gentleman to be a Bishop, or by any other event, the College need not elect the new Master to be a Fellow, and that payment of £200 might cease. That, he said, he had made out to be the legal position after a most minute investigation of the facts of the case. Let them now consider the history of the scheme, and see how the matter came before the House. He observed that his hon. Friend, with that skill which distinguished his advocacy, did not point out to the House the nature of these schemes under the Intermediate Education Act of 1889. Under that Act the County Councils in Wales had a power which did not belong to English County Councils. They had the right of levying a rate not exceeding one halfpenny in the pound for the better provision of secondary education in the Principality. The Act also provided for the creation in each county of a Joint Education Committee, consisting of three members of the County Council and two others, representative of the educational interests of the county. All the Welsh counties took advantage of the Act. The Glamorganshire Council proceeded to consider the whole question of secondary education in the county in a broad manner. It determined in the interests of the ratepayers to do what it could to save expense, and use existing endowments. It opened negotiations with the schools. It appointed a Joint Education Committee, and it would be apparent, from what he had said, that the Joint Education Committee as a committee was representative of all the currents of opinion in the county. On the Committee there was the 1588 late Lord Swansea, acting for the Liberal Party. On the other side the leading man in all the negotiations was the present Member for Swansea Town. The Joint Education Committee opened negotiations with Jesus College and the Charity Commissioners, and a meeting took place in London on May 3rd, 1892, between the Joint Education Committee of the county of Glamorgan, which included Sir Hussey Vivian and his hon. Friend the Member for Swansea Town, and a deputation from Jesus College, consisting of the Rev. Mr. Hawker Hughes and Mr. D. Ritchie, and also the Assistant Charity Commissioner, Mr. W. N. Bruce. If there was opposition on the part of anyone to the inclusion of Cowbridge School, the point ought then to have been taken. So far from that being the case—and he was speaking after seeing a copy of the report made by the deputation from Jesus College—other points were raised. No one on the Joint Committee—not even the hon. Member for Swansea Town—suggested the exclusion of Cowbridge School. The question was on what terms it should be included? In effect the Committee said, we know the extent of the liability of the College, but we ask you, in the interests of education, to continue the voluntary payments you have been making, and if you agree to the six schools being included in the scheme, we will add a grant of £600 a year. The College did not raise any objection to the inclusion. Their deputation only stipulated that the School should not sink into a second grade school, that the scheme should provide for the sort of education that grammar schools had been in the habit of giving. For instance, they asked that Greek should be a subject which it should be obligatory on the part of the School to teach, and to this the Committee agreed. Not a suggestion was made by the Committee that the School should be excluded. The deputation reported to the College, and on the 14th May the College authorities voted the necessary alterations in the Statutes of the College for carrying out the arrangement made. Such was the history of the scheme. From the time of that meeting no authority of any kind connected with the county had been told there was any opposition to the inclusion in the scheme of 1589 Cowbridge School. Last year or the year before, the County Council or the Joint Education Committee entered into a contract, on the faith of this scheme, to build a school for girls; and he did not know how his hon. Friends opposite justified their coming, at the last moment, when nearly £2,400 had been spent upon this girls' school, and objecting to the Cowbridge School being included. It might be ecclesiastical equity, but it was not business morality. If the school was taken out of the scheme, he asserted, having read the Statute carefully, there was nothing to prevent the Principal and Fellows appointing a Nonconformist to be Headmaster. He appealed to the supporters of the Motion to reconsider their position, for he was not without hope they would yet withdraw their opposition. The effect of excluding Cowbridge School from the scheme would be that it would lose £600 a year given by the County Council. It would be left a small school with unsatisfactory buildings fast falling into dilapidation. It would be left relying upon the energies of the present Headmaster, and upon two sums of £50 each; and it had no guarantee that Jesus College would continue the present payment of £400. It would also be brought face to face with the fact that the County Council might proceed to erect, side by side with the girls' school, a new intermediate boys' school, with proper buildings, an efficient Headmaster and assistant masters able to cope with the exigencies of modern examinations. He appealed to the House as practical men to consider the facts stated. It was better for all parties, it was better in the interests of the School and the people of the county and, indeed, of the Church, that this scheme should pass as it stood, and he did not think that any oratorical adornment was needed to increase the effect of the plain statement he had made.
MR. GRANT LAWSON (York, N. R.,) Thirsk
said, he was willing that the Motion should succeed, but not as a Vote of Censure on the Charity Commission. In this matter the Commission had no option; they were merely an executive body. It was true that they might have submitted to Mr. Acland, their V ice-President, alternative schemes; 1590 one including, the other excluding, the School. Mr. Acland would not have accepted the latter.
§ MR. THOMAS ELLIS (Merionethshire)
Let me ask the hon. Gentleman if the Charity Commissioners ever had any desire to submit an alternative scheme? ["Order."]
MR. GRANT LAWSON
said, he was speaking of the courses that were possible, not of the course that was followed. This being no Vote of Censure he should vote not as a Charity Commissioner, but as an independent Member of the House. ["Oh!"] It was said by a noble Lord, in 1882, on a similar occasion to the present, that what was strictly legal was not necessarily just. Strictly speaking, this school was not a denominational school. If it was it never would have been before the House. [Laughter.] But the very object of giving appeal in these cases to the House was to see that where moral justice went one way and legal justice another way, moral justice and not legal justice should prevail. [Cheers.] It might be that the Nonconformist would appeal to-morrow and he should vote on the side of those who contended that mere legal quibbles should not deprive any denomination of property which they had held for centuries.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorgan, Mid)
said, the hon. Member had come to the conclusion to vote against the scheme of the Charity Commissioners, of which body he was a Member. He thought the House was entitled to hear from the hon. Baronet the Member for Swansea, who was one of the Joint Education Committee which actually proposed this scheme to the Charity Commissioners, whether he still adhered to the views he held two years ago; and if not, what new light had he received on the subject to induce him to change his mind. This scheme, passed by the Charity Commissioners, passed by the Joint Education Board and passed by the Glamorgan County Council, came before the House as a complete scheme for the County of Glamorgan, and he submitted that the onus of proof that the Cowbridge School was a Church School, lay with those who desired that it should not form part of this comprehensive scheme for the County of Glamorgan. Those who made such a request 1591 to the House were bound to admit that in fact and in law the Cowbridge school was not a Church School. What could be stronger proof of the undenominational character of the school than the fact that the Charity Commissioners, acting in their judicial capacity, decided that the school did not come within the operation of the 19th Section of the Act of 1869, which excluded Church schools. The hon. Member who moved the Motion, had said that it was the clear intention of Leoline Jenkins' will that the school should be a Church School. If that were so the Charity Commissioners would have decided that such was the intention of Leoline Jenkins. But any impartial person who read the will must come to the conclusion that Jenkins never intended that the school should be a Church school. The hon. Member for Cardiff relied on two passages of the will. In the first passage Jenkins undoubtedly recited that he was of the Church of England, which he said he believed was a "true and sound member of Christ's Catholic Church"—not be it noted "the true and sound member," but "a true and sound member." The hon. Member for Cardiff went on to say that the founder obviously intended that the Headmaster of the school should be a man who had taken Holy Orders because he actually prohibited the Master from having a cure of souls, and he actually took the stipend from the Master if he undertook the cure of souls. He did not mean to suggest that under the will of the founder the Headmaster of the school might not be a clergyman of the Church of England, but he contended that there was no necessity that he should hold that office. As regarded the question whether the founder intended the school to belong exclusively to the Church of England, he might refer to one paragraph in the will in which the founder stated that the scholars were to be children of such inhabitants of Cowbridge, who were too poor to pay for their children's schooling. Was it to be supposed in these circumstances that the benefits of endowment of the school were to be confined exclusively to one class—namely the members of the Church of England—of inhabitants of Cowbridge. In his view all the poor children of the place were to benefit equally by the endowment, 1592 whatever religious denomination they might belong to. The hon. Member for Cardiff had told the House a great deal about the founder, but very little about the school. The hon. Member said that the founder was a person who had been held in great consideration by King Charles II., and that he was desirous of conferring this endowment upon an exclusively Church school. But there were a great number of people who did not regard this Cowbridge School as a Church school at all. He did not for a moment contend that the fact of a boy being a member of the Church of England was disqualified in any way from sharing in the benefits of this endowment, but what he did assert was that the Church of England children had no exclusive rights to those benefits. In his view this endowment ought to be absorbed in the great educational scheme for Glamorganshire. The 45th Section of the scheme showed how careful the founders of it had been to preserve all the endowments which the school had enjoyed up to now, whether by right or by matter of favour. As to the question of religious formulary, this school was not to be turned into a school where no religious education should be given. It was provided that there must be religious education given in the school. There was no provision at all with regard to boarders which would prevent the Headmaster, if he liked, teaching them one particular formulary of religion. He would not weary the House with any further remarks on the matter, but he did ask in whose interest the Motion was made? And for what purpose, public or otherwise? It could not be for the interest of the school, because under this scheme, the school, instead of having an income of £500 a year would have £1,100. There would also be building grants and additional benefits in the way of bursaries and scholarships and so on. Was it for the interest of the district? It was perfectly clear that it was not. His hon. Friend was careful to avoid saying what the feeling of the district was; but the decision of the Town Council was against him and the feeling expressed at public meetings was against him. Therefore the House must come to the inference that the Motion was not made in the interest of the district. The Motion was brought 1593 forward entirely in the interest of the Church of England. The hon. Member for South Glamorgan, whom, if he would allow him, he wished to congratulate on a very successful maiden speech, had said that the supporters of the Motion were anxious that the school should not become a worse school than it had been, that they wanted to continue the school as it was, that they did not wish the school to sink to the level of the intermediate schools. He ventured to tell the hon. Gentleman that in the future it would not be a matter of sinking to the level of the intermediate schools, for the intermediate schools would be raised to a very much higher level than the Cowbridge School. On the contrary they desired that Cowbridge School should be raised to the level of the other schools which they hoped to see planted all over the country.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 160; Noes, 45.—(Division List, No. 24.)