HC Deb 02 February 1897 vol 45 cc1084-171

Considered in Committee:—

[THE CHAIRMAN of WAYS and MEANS, Mr. J. W. LOWTHER, in the Chair].

Question again proposed, That it is expedient—(a) to authorise the payment, out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, of an aid grant to Voluntary Schools, not exceeding five shillings per scholar for the whole number of scholars in those schools; (b) To repeal as regards day schools so much of section nineteen of The Elementary Education Act, 1876, as imposes a limit on the parliamentary grant to Elementary Schools in England and Wales; and (c) to make provision for the exemption from rates of Voluntary Schools."—(First Lord of the Treasury.)

Debate resumed.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

, whose speech was interrupted on Monday' night by the operation of the 12 o'clock rule, said he had ventured to express to the Committee on the previous night, the great disappointment felt by the friends of the Voluntary Schools at finding that the Bill to be based upon this Resolution would not come into operation by the end of March. He was sure the disappointment felt in the House at that statement of the First Lord of the Treasury was experienced perhaps in a more acute form by persons interested in the Voluntary Schools throughout the country. It was certainly reflected very widely in the Press that morning. But the best thing the friends of the Voluntary Schools could now do was to hasten, as far as they could, the passing of this Measure; and if he assumed that Ministerial difficulties stood in the way of the Bill getting through before the end of March, he thought he should not be far wrong. In regretting that a scheme for giving relief to the ratepayers of the poorer School Board districts did not form part of the proposed Bill, he was conveying to the House the views of his constituents. He hoped he was not wrong in assuming, after the statement of the First Lord of the Treasury, which was made in more definite language that afternoon, coupled with statements the right hon. Gentleman had made himself a few days ago, that a Bill dealing with the question of the poorer School Board districts would be introduced by the Government this Session. If that were clearly understood it would tend to facilitate the passage of the Resolution through the Committee and the subsequent Bill through Parliament. Justified, as they believed they were, by the wording of Section 4 of the Bill of last year, many hon. Members on the Government side of the House, had, during the Recess, given definite pledges to their constituents that they would support the introduction of a scheme dealing with poor School Board districts, and it was a bitter disappointment to them that they were unable to give a complete fulfilment of those pledges now. But he thought he was right in assuming that the Bill would come at an early date and therefore on that point he would say nothing further. The next question was the consideration of the Resolution now before the Committee, apart altogether from the School Board district question. It seemed to him that there was only one course open to the friends of the Voluntary Schools in regard to that Resolution, and that was that if they could not have all that they had asked for together but were to get it in instalments they should leave nothing undone to secure the first instalment at the earliest possible date. He was therefore anxious to give all his support to the Government in their efforts to secure additional grants to the Voluntary Schools. He believed the proposed five shillings grant, if not as much as they should like to see given would yet do something to shore up the Voluntary School system for some years, that it would improve education moral and mental in the Voluntary Schools, that it would relieve the managers of those Schools of much cause for anxiety, and he trusted the application of the money would be so earmarked in the Bill and that it would do something also to improve the position of the teaching staffs. No one could by any stretch of imagination write the word "final" across the Measure. It was but a temporary expedient dealing with a pressing difficulty. He believed the Bill would help the Voluntary Schools until some Statesman was prepared to grapple with the whole problem of elementary education, and when public opinion on the subject was sufficiently ripe to propose in the House of Commons that the State should take over the whole cost of the elementary education of the country. When that time arrived the words "Board" and "Voluntary" would become memories of the past; and the question of education would be for ever disassociated from sectarian hate and political partisanship. There were one or two questions he should like to ask before he sat down. He wished to know whether it was proposed to make the grants on the basis of the average attendance of the children or on the basis of the whole number of children on the register of the school. As there was a difference of half a million between the children on average attendance and the children on the rolls there would, of course, be a material difference in the amount of money available if the grants were made on the basis of the number of children on the register. No doubt it was intended by the Government that the grant should be made in respect of average attendance. He would abstain from criticism of the Bill until its provisions were in print; but there was one statement of the First Lord of the Treasury to which he desired briefly to draw attention, that associations containing a large number of town schools would be given grants at a greater rate than associations containing a preponderance of rural schools. The fact that the right hon. Gentleman after making that statement was interrupted and had to make further explanations, showed the incredulity with which the announcement was received by both sides of the House. He thought it showed a little ignorance as to the cost of school management on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. The cost per head of maintaining thirty scholars in a school in the rural parts of England and Wales might be much larger than the cost per head of maintaining a thousand scholars in a school in any of the towns. In the rural districts the greatest difficulty had been experienced by the children in getting efficient education in those schools, and in getting education under sanitary and comfortable conditions. ["Hear, hear!"] It was not an unknown thing for rural schools not to be provided with an adequate supply of drinking water for the children during their meal time. The expenditure for this would involve a cost on the managers of the schools, which they were unable to meet under the present grant. He urged the Government to remodel the proposal to offer a greater proportion of the grant to urban schools by turning it round and giving the greater proportion to the rural schools. This was a subject which ought not, he thought, to pass unnoticed when the terms of the Bill were before them. Perhaps he might apologise to the Minister in charge for having intervened at all in the discussion. It was to him a matter of very material importance, not only for the fact that he had been connected with this work for many years, but from the fact that his constituents were deeply interested in the question of grants to the poorer School Board districts. There was no borough, county, or district throughout the country where the pinch of the School Board rate had been more keenly felt than in the Borough of West Ham, and he sincerely hoped that a pledge would be given on the subject by one of the Members of the Government of an explicit character.

MR. D. F. GODDARD (Ipswich)

said his first objection to these Resolutions was on the broad ground of religious equality. These Resolutions were conceived for the purpose of endowing the so-called Voluntary Schools to the exclusion of other elementary schools. The hollowness of the term "Voluntary" in this connection was plainly shown by the fact that in 1895 the Church of England schools had an income of £3,629,967, of which only £640,406 came from Voluntary subscriptions; an amount which really represented something like 2d. out of every 1s. of money used. He thought the time had come when the fiction of Voluntary Schools should be swept away, what was really meant was sectarian schools. What was really being done was to build up the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church by special grants of public money. The anxiety of these schools and Churches had never been for educational efficiency—[Cries of "Oh!"]—it had been to make their schools the nurseries of their ecclesiastical system. As a firm adherent to the principles of religious equality, he thought it was only right to protest against any such grant as this, and he believed the great mass of the people in the country would also object to it. They were going to tax the Roman Catholics for the benefit of the Established Church, and to tax the Nonconformists in order that in certain schools such catechisms, as that of Mr. Gace, which consigned Nonconformists to the nethermost hell, should be taught. It, must be clear to everybody that in supporting the Board Schools through the rates they were not supporting any distinctive doctrinal teaching, and at all events all classes of the community had the opportunity if they chose to avail themselves of it of being represented on the management, whereas there was no suggestion of control in these schools. His second objection was that this scheme would involve a great waste of the nation's money. He did not object to the expenditure of the nation's money for purposes of education, but he could see no guarantee that this money would be spent on, better education. As in the case of the Agricultural Rating Bill of last year, the help would go to those who needed it least. It could scarcely be contended that all these schools really needed anything like an extra grant of 5s. when they remembered that in 1893 there were over 1,000 schools which were maintained without any subscriptions at all, and that there were something like 670 or 674 schools which were maintained with subscriptions, of less than 1s. per child. He understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that the Associations which he referred to would increase the grant in, some cases and reduce it in others. He thought this would prove to be an apple of discord amongst, these Associations, as every one of those schools which had a chance of securing a 5s. grant would not make a claim for less. He did not notice any guarantee as to increased efficiency in the teaching in these schools. Again, no attempt was made to give the people whose money was to be used any more control over the schools than they had at the present time. He knew it would be said control would be vested in the Education Department. That was not the control the people asked for; they wanted a more definite local control. They demanded it, and that was what they would have. It was said by the Leader of the House that the accounts of the schools were to be properly audited. That was a distinctly good move, but it was not all that was wanted. It was necessary that the accounts should be published in the locality of a school, and so brought within reach of everyone interested. In conclusion, he desired to refer to the very serious remarks the First Lord of the Treasury addressed to those who were in favour of the present School Board system. The right hon. Gentleman told them they would only be rushing to the destruction of that system if they did anything to hasten the decay of the Voluntary system. Upon that point the Committee would, perhaps, allow him to quote some words of the Lord President of the Council. The noble Duke once said in the House of Commons:— There are many of us, and I do not scruple to say I am one of them, who believe that the principle of School Boards is the right and true principle in this matter. We believe that being the right and true principle, it will in the end prevail. We believe when once the time has arrived that Parliament has declared the education of the country to be the business of the State, it becomes inevitable that sooner or later the State education must be in the hands not of individuals, but of the representatives of the people.


, who was received with cheers, said the Debate had shown to him more distinctly than ever how delicate was the compromise at which Parliament arrived in 1870, and how delicate and fine was the machinery of that compromise. He had always felt, and he felt it most acutely during the six years he was at the Education Office, that if in the slightest degree that machinery was disturbed great friction might immediately result, leading possibly to the utter disorganisation of the whole educational system. To-day they were in the midst of one of those educational controversies which afforded deep anxiety to all those who had Party instincts and deep consternation to those who had good education uppermost in their minds; the discussion also afforded great joy to the Opposition of the day. ["Hear, hear!"] He did not complain of the attitude of Her Majesty's Opposition in regard to this proposal. It was, indeed, a scanty bill of fare that had been prepared for them during this Session, and if they chose the only dainty dish set before them and dressed and redressed it for the benefit of the constituencies the Government and their supporters must not be too hard upon them. Besides and beyond the difficulties which must always attend any fresh effort respecting elementary education in this country the Government were confronted to-day with an opposition which had been made keener by the events of last year. He had no wish to condemn the Government for the failure of last year, but hon. Members must, in dealing with opposition like the present, look at the case as a whole. No doubt the Debates of last Session created a bitterness which made it much more difficult to deal with the subject now in a calm and sober mood. Somehow or other the fear had been spread among the ranks opposite that the Government intended some day or other, by one fell swoop, to destroy the School Board system. Personally he had always recognised the School Board as a great part of our educational system, and however eager he might be, for obvious reasons, to support the Voluntary Schools of the country, he had never failed to acknowledge the great educational effect of the Board Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] He assured his hon. 'Friends that they would never forward the cause they had at heart by attempting to disparage the work done by School Boards. [Opposition cheers.] It might be that in their efforts School Boards had caused grievous financial difficulties to the Voluntary Schools, but that was an incident of the situation, and he said advisedly that the best thing he and his hon. Friends could do, if they wished to come to a good decision, was to recognise the fact that the School Board system must obtain in this country, as part of our great educational system, a recognition which was perfectly compatible with their support of the Voluntary system. ["Hear, hear!"] There was one other very important matter in which grievous harm had been done with regard to the settlement of this question. He had a strong belief that they could only solve this question, not by annihilating the central department, which must always exist as a security to the taxpayers, but by appointing some great educational authority in each county in England and Wales—["hear, hear!"]—and in the metropolis, which would be not only representative in its character, but beyond the possibility of reproach in respect to its dealings as between Board and Voluntary Schools. The Debates of last year had a most unfortunate result on the County Councils. During the first few weeks after the introduction of last year's Bill the County Councils, with one solitary exception, expressed a readiness to undertake the duties sought to be imposed upon them, but when it became known to the County Councils that in Parliament Members were flying at each other's throats, and that besides the administrative efforts they would have to make they would have to deal with such a vexed and difficult question as that raging in the House of Commons between Board and Voluntary Schools, they very naturally, as businesslike and practical bodies, expressed a wish to have nothing to do with the matter. Hon. Members found themselves hampered by what happened last year, but they also found themselves face to face with a proposal which, after all, had the merit of being an honest endeavour to carry out the pledge which had been again and again given, not only in the country, but in the House. ["Hear, hear!"] For many weeks past he had noticed it foreshadowed in the Opposition Press that the Government intended some coup or some trap, and his right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Treasury had been pictured as engaged in bird-catching and other interesting rural amusements and sports. [Laughter.] So far from the Government having designed a trap for the Opposition, they had been led by force of circumstances to prepare a trap for themselves. [Opposition cheers.] They had been obliged to place this Resolution before the House, which gave hon. Members, whether supporters, or so-called supporters, of the Government—[a laugh]—or Members of the Opposition, free scope for their ingenuity, and allowed them to indulge not in Second Beading but Committee speeches. ["Hear!"] If there was any trap set for any particular bird in this case it had been the one set by the Government themselves. [Opposition laughter.] It was obvious that the Opposition were going to fight out this matter to the bitter end. [Opposition cheers.] They were difficult to deal with. [Opposition cries of "Hear, hear!" and laughter.] If this Bill had referred only to necessitous Board Schools they would have heard throughout the length and breadth of the land denunciations of the Government for having only partially dealt with this great question. [Opposition cheers.] As far as his experience went, he was certain that it was utterly impossible for the Government to refuse to deal with necessitous Board Schools at an early date, and not only hon. Members of the Opposition, but those on the Ministerial benches had a fair claim to demand from the Government a very clear statement as to the time at which the House might look forward to for the introduction of such a Measure. ["Hear, hear!"] He had heard many speeches on the question; perhaps not so many in support of the Government Measure as he could have wished. [Laughter.] Though some hon. Members on the Ministerial side of the House seemed to have been puzzled as to what the Bill would or would not do, he confessed that he had never been so much puzzled as he was by the course of the Debate last night. He had always supposed that at the last General Election a large number of his hon. Friends, and some Members of the Government, gave very distinct pledges that the monetary inequality between Voluntary and Board Schools should once for all be done away with. He did not himself give pledges of that nature, but had always understood that they were given broadcast. [Opposition cheers.] He further understood that an effort was made during the last Session by the Government to redeem that pledge, but by a Measure so large and ambitious that it had to be withdrawn. One of the chief reasons of the failure of this Measure was the somewhat wholesale condemnation that it received from his hon. Friends below the Gangway on the ground that it did not go far enough—that it did not meet the requirements of the case. Now, the Government brought in a far less ambitious and far less comprehensive scheme which, to a great extent, met the demands of his hon. Friends with regard to the necessitous Voluntary Schools, and he never was more astounded than he was by the Debate that followed its introduction last night. He sat there hour by hour among supporters, not of Voluntary Schools but of Board Schools. [Opposition laughter.] Instead of hearing his hon. Friends thanking the Government for what they were proposing, he heard nothing of the kind. There was not even a murmur of thanks from them. [Opposition laughter.] Hon. Member after hon. Member rose around him until he was almost terrified out of his Parliamentary senses—[laughter]—not to commend the proposals of the Government under whose auspices they won their seats—[ironical Opposition cheers]—but to condemn them because, forsooth, they did not assist the Board Schools. He hoped he might be forgiven if he sat somewhat alarmed when he saw such strange phenomena going on around him. [Laughter.] Of course, it was to be understood that the action of the Government did not stop at the point of the present proposals touching the Voluntary Schools. He understood that a pledge, and a perfectly distinct pledge, would be given by the Government, in the course of the Debate, that a similar Measure would be applied to the necessitous Board Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] But, after all, the kernel of this question was the distribution of the money, and its importance led him to bitterly regret that they were unhappily prevented from setting up such an authority as he had intimated. There must be somebody responsible for the distribution of the fund, and the Government had fallen back on the Education Department, which was a good authority for the purpose as far as one point went. It had been hinted once or twice that the Education Department was not the proper authority for the purpose, and that there would be jealousies as between school and school and district and district. He believed there would be nothing of the kind. ["Hear, hear!"] If the Department were to be set up for the first time as a central authority in London to carry out the object, it would be a very bad and vicious principle, but this authority had always been engaged in giving grants to schools and carrying out this work under the Act of 1870, and so far as it would be responsible for the distribution of the funds he thought there would be no chance of bitterness or friction. Then as to the local authority. It was not the best that could have been obtained last year, but it was the next best at this date that could be devised to find out what really were the local needs and necessities of the schools. That was what was wanted. They did not want to see the money squandered on schools that did not require assistance. The proposal for an equal grant all round was, he believed, a foolish device for squandering the taxpayers' money. ["Hear, hear!"] Let them look at the question as they might, it was a matter of great importance to the taxpayers of the country as a whole, for the extinction of the Voluntary system would involve a large increase of national expenditure of many millions for elementary education. ["Hear, hear!"] The next point to consider was the new system of the association of schools. How was it going to work? He presumed that the associations would cover a very large area indeed; otherwise the system would be absurd. The more associations they had, the more intricate would be the work both locally and for the Department. Their primary duty would be to give the best information they could to the Department concerning every school in their area, and further to frame a scheme for the assistance of those schools. He believed that if they made association compulsory it would fail, but that it would work on a permissive basis. The schools that did not enter into the association would not be left out in the cold, but would be dealt with by the Department, which would be able to get information with regard to them from its own inspectors. The Department, as he understood the scheme, would not be tied by any local authority, but would be the supreme authority in regard to these transactions. It was very obvious that under such a scheme as this the Department would be able to deal, especially in rural districts, with many of the inequalities which occurred. It might be urged that this was new work for these associations. He did not think it would be so considered either by the Church of England, the Wesleyans, or the Roman Catholics. He would remind hon. Members that in every diocese the Church of England had her diocesan boards, which had not only to deal with large administrative work as regarded schools, but also and especially with this very work of aiding, through subscriptions, necessitous schools in their districts. Therefore, as regarded the Department, they had every information for the purpose of carrying out the new duties imposed upon them, and as regarded the local authorities, most of them would be dealing with work which, in many cases, they had been performing for years. Then there was the question of the allotment of this money to various localities or various areas. The First Lord of the Treasury had stated that a larger sum would be allotted to the urban or town districts than would be allotted to the country districts. That was, no doubt, an unpleasant statement for those who represented rural constituencies, but he thought some misapprehension existed on the point. In many districts, no doubt, such as Manchester and the larger Lancashire towns, where there were poor districts with large schools and a larger number of pupils in them—in the very poorest districts, such as he had referred to, and such as they had in the East End of London, it must be necessary to allot a much larger sum than would be allotted to the country. But he would ask the Committee to consider—and this was the test of the thing—whether it would be possible under this scheme for any rural school in any county in England which was in difficulties to continue to suffer and yet not get a grant from the Education Department, if it was to be supreme in these matters. As he understood, the proposals of the Government would be wide enough in their scope to deal with any necessitous school, whether in town or in country. ["Hear, hear!"] If they were satisfied on that point, it mattered little to those who represented rural districts, whether the gross sum allotted in each case was larger or smaller. All they required to be satisfied upon was that before the Bill passed through Committee it should be provided that in no case should a rural school which really wanted aid have withheld from it a grant to the proper amount. ["Hear, hear!"] He could not but allude to the question of subscription to Voluntary Schools. It was perfectly obvious that they must now allow this Measure to go forward as a relief to subscribers to Voluntary Schools. [Opposition cheers.] He thought it absolutely necessary that in this new Act there should be a direction to the Education Department that, in all cases in which help was given to Voluntary Schools, due consideration should be given to the subscriptions paid to the schools. He thought it should be a sine quâ non in all cases in which assistance was to be given to the locality that there should be some guarantee, on the part of the locality, that the subsisting subscriptions would be maintained. [Opposition cheers.] It would be urged that the more they gave to Voluntary Schools the more the subscriptions would drop away. [Opposition cheers.] He would like to tell the House what happened in the case of the Free Education Act, against which a similar objection was urged. In 1890, before that Act came into operation, the rate subscribed per head per child in Voluntary Schools was 6s. 7½d. In 1895—five years after the Act came into force—the rate was 6s. 9d. [Cheers.] That was, in his opinion, a conclusive answer to the objection that the first result of this grant would be to produce a diminution of subscriptions. ["Hear, hear!"] The Government had been rather roughly handled on the question of passing this scheme through before the 31st of March. He owned that he for one considered it was absolutely necessary that they should meet early this Session so as to be able to carry a Measure through for the appropriation of a certain sum in the Treasury, and that it should be handed over at once to the assistance of Voluntary Schools. [Opposition cheers.] It seemed that they were doomed to disappointment on that point, but he thought he had, at all events, shown two things—in the first place, that the grant of to-day was different from the grant proposed yesterday—[cheers]—and, in the second place, that the application of the grant was also totally different, that these proposals were by no means on all fours with the late proposals of the Government, and that it would be absolutely impossible to allocate what remained of this sum so as to fit it with the existing proposals of the Government. He had spoken at length, because he had felt that the occasion not only required but demanded it. [Opposition cheers.] It might be true that in this case, as in that of many of his hon. Friends, there were some things in this Measure of which he might not altogether approve. He should have liked a better and a more comprehensive scheme and to have had allied with this scheme something that would have given a clear definition of what elementary education really meant compared with what it meant when Mr. Forster gave them that famous guarantee with regard to expenditure upon their elementary education. Like many others on that side of the House he might be disappointed in one or two points, but he should support this proposal with his vote to the very end—[Opposition ironical cheers]—because he honestly believed that in the difficult, the almost impossible, circumstances of the case it was the very best proposal the Government could have produced. ["Hear, hear!"] He could not understand for what earthly reason hon. Members should be picking holes in this Resolution because it did not happen to suit the position of some obscure school in their constituencies. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] After spending 30 years in the support of a Party was he to throw Party loyalty to the winds because of some trifling matter such as this, and forget those huge interests—Imperial, national, and colonial—committed to the charge of his right. hon Friends below him? He almost shuddered to think of the hilarity with which hon. Members greeted the spectacle of hon. Friends near him attacking this proposal and who were delighted with their performance and yet were always so frightened when the time for voting came. [Cheers and laughter.] In all good humour and with the best of temper he would remind hon. Gentlemen that big majorities did not last for ever. [Opposition cheers and laughter.] He was old enough to give them the advantage of his experience, and he reminded them of what took place in the years 1868 to 1874. He was Whip to the Party in those years, and well remembered Mr. Gladstone's majority in 1868 of over 100, and how the Opposition cheered when the majority on a division was not more than 70 or 80. What killed that majority in 1874? He had his hand on the tiller throughout the whole of the election, and knew what upset that majority. [Cheers and laughter.] It was a clause in the Education Act of 1870; it was the disgust of Nonconformists with Mr. Forster and others leaders of their Party that upset the Government at that time. He could assure his hon. Friends that they were playing with edged tools in their criticisms of this Measure. [Opposition laughter.] If they wanted to understand the effect of their conduct let them look at the delight of hon. Members opposite. [Renewed laughter.] Hon. Members opposite had been bubbling over with laughter and cheers ever since last night. [Loud laughter.] Of this he was quite certain, that whatever criticisms of this Measure might come from the other side of the House, Her Majesty's Government had only to go forward with determination and they would secure an adequate result for their labours and real and lasting assistance to Voluntary Schools. [Cheers.]

SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

, who was received with cheers, said: It is not unnatural that an old and distinguished Whip like my right hon. Friend should have been disturbed by the strange phenomena by which he found himself surrounded last night, and I am not surprised that he should have delivered a rather severe lecture to Members on his own side who do not take quite the same view of their election pledges as he takes. I am under the impression that a great many Members opposite who unquestionably did pledge themselves in the strongest manner to support a Measure for giving additional relief to Voluntary Schools did in towns accompany the pledge with a declaration that they would do nothing to injure Board Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] I think they are—it is perhaps impertinent for me to interfere—I think they are fulfilling pledges given when they take exception to the manner in which the Bill proposes to deal with the interests of Board Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] I am rather surprised that the right hon. Gentleman (Sir W. Hart Dyke) should administer to us with his usual good humour and candour a lecture about making Second Reading speeches. I think my right hon. Friend has gone into the details of the Bill in a manner which suggests that he has had some better means of information as to the meaning of the Bill than we poor ignorant mortals could derive from the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury. I am not going to make a Second Reading speech, and I am not going into the details of the Measure on the present occasion. I feel the difficulty of discussing the details of any measure before the Bill in its entirety is before the House, and I confess I did not understand last night—I have not the acuteness of my right hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin—the scheme of the association of schools. I do not complain of that, for I can quite understand the scheme is complicated and does require to be seen in print before we can form a complete idea of it. But this stage of the Bill it not what the First Lord of the Treasury has described as a purely formal one. If this were a purely formal vote on which an ordinary Ways and Means Bill should be founded, then there would be great force in the statement the right hon. Gentleman made as to the non-necessity of protracted discussion, and there would have been a fair appeal to precedent that whereas the forms of the House require the introduction of a resolution in Committee, yet nevertheless the introduction should be regarded as a First Reading and Debate and should not be continued in a manner unusual to that stage of a Bill. But the Government have adopted a policy on this occasion which compels discussion now—["hear, hear!"]—and at this stage, on what we think the most vital parts of the Bill. [Cheers.] The Government have no right to complain of that discussion—they have no right to attempt to abbreviate it. [Cheers.] They have themselves selected this mode of procedure.


We had no alternative.


I quite understand that is the right hon. Gentleman's view, and I am going to deal with it. He said the other night there was no alternative, but there we join issue. There is no alternative, according to the Standing Orders of the House, when a Government proposes a Bill the main object of which is to grant public money, no alternative to the adoption of the course of introducing the Bill in pursuance of a resolution in Committee. That I concede to the right hon. Gentleman, but, while the orders of the House require that a Bill dealing with the granting of public money should be introduced in Committee of the whole House, the Standing Orders do not require that the resolution should be so limited as to preclude discussion on one of the vital principles of the proposal. [Cheers.] Let me put this fairly before the House. The Government might have proposed, but they have not, to give additional aid to denominational schools on the ground of grave necessity existing in certain schools or in certain districts. In that case it ought to be open to the Opposition to say, and we should have said, "Such aid should be granted to Board Schools where equal necessity prevails." ["Hear, hear!"] That is what the Government might do, but what have the Government done? They have proposed that such additional aid shall be granted to all denominational schools equally. ["Hear, hear!"] If that be so, then we have the right to say that all Board Schools should share in this grant, that they should be treated alike. ["Hear, hear!"] I am not dealing with the question whether that is a right contention or not; I am dealing simply with the procedure which the Government have adopted, and to which the right hon. Gentleman said there was no alternative. The Government have adopted a procedure which prevents any Member or any section of the House joining issue on this contention; they have precluded us alike from discussion and division what we consider the main objection to this Bill. ["Hear, hear!"]


What other form could we adopt?


What is the ground on which the restriction is made? The right hon. Gentleman says what form could he have adopted. It is not the invariable form to limit a resolution. A resolution is made wide, and then the Bill following upon that resolution limits its operation. ["Hear, hear!"] Now what is the justification, or what was it until 4 o'clock yesterday? It was this—the saving of time. This is the justification Members have put forward—that, it was necessary to pass any measure dealing with Voluntary Schools before March 31, and that any additional matter introduced into that Bill to make the Bill provocative of discussion and contentious in character would prejudice the passage of the Bill before March 31. That was what the country understood; that was what an overwhelming number of Members of the House understood. ["Hear, hear!"] Let us see whether there is any substance in that contention. Assume that it be the case; assume that the Government had not departed from their position, that they still say, "We will fulfill the pledges we gave last year; you shall have the money for Voluntary Schools before March 31"; assume that to be the case. Then I say the argument that the inclusion of grants to Board Schools would protract procedure is an unsound one. The inclusion of Board Schools would save time. ["Hear, hear!"] Measures of equal justice pass far more rapidly in this House than measures of discriminating injustice. [Cheers.] There would have been less discussion on the chief and main contention—there are many others—that whatever you do all schools should be treated alike. That would have been taken out of discussion altogether. The Government would have had the support of all denominationalists, of all Members who have pledged themselves to equal treatment between different classes of schools; they would have had the support of the School Boards and of the ratepayers, and that is not a support to be despised by any Government under any circumstances. [Cheers.] But now we are told it is not the intention of the Government to pass this Measure before March 31.


We hope to do so.


Well, of course, all Governments hope to do so. That is their desire.


Hear, hear.


That is their desire, their hope, and that is generally their illusion. We endeavoured to pass some Bills in our time, and we were satirised by no one more severely than the right hon. Gentleman himself as to the folly of the hopes we indulged in. The right hon. Gentleman does not imitate that folly. He says at once, I cannot pass this Measure by March 31. I hope to do it, I wish to do it, and if the House would quietly vote upon it without discussion it can be done. He knows as well as we do it is impossible that a Bill of this kind could pass into law before March 31. [Cheers.] Well, then, we have got the whole Session before us. The time limit is gone. [Cheers.] There can be no argument in saying there shall be this roundabout process of two Bills when the whole thing can be clone in one. [Cheers.] I venture to assert that if this Bill dealt out equal justice to the Board Schools as compared with the Voluntary Schools it would not require but one additional clause in it to cover all those who desire equality. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman who last spoke reminded us of the history of last year. Yes, it was on March 31 of last year that the Government, with the Session then all before them, and with other important Measures also mentioned in the Queen's Speech, introduced their gigantic scheme which was to overturn the whole settlement of 1870, and which was to revolutionise, either for evil or good, the whole system of national education in this country. [Cheers.] They were not then deterred by the time limit. [Renewed cheers.] If I remember aright, the right hon. Gentleman assured us at a much later period of the Session that it was the full intention of the Government that the Bill should be passed during that Session. If the Government intend to include Board Schools and to give them any relief whatever, there is no necessity why a Bill introduced on February 1, and when, therefore, there can be no pressure of time, should not include all the Government proposals. [Cheers.] We have a sort of pledge or promise. It has not been given yet but it is going to be given. The hon. Member for West Ham said he assumed a pledge would be given, and my right hon. Friend who has just sat down spoke, in a style with which a good many of us are familiar, as to his reliance on the promise not yet before the House, but which he said he believed would be before the House, with reference to the introduction of another Bill. If that be the intention of the Government, if that is to be the pledge of the Government, if they think it necessary to have another Resolution, another First and Second Reading, another Committee stage, and another Third Heading—all to save time—[cheers and laughter]—all to promote the rapid progress of this Measure through the House—[laughter]—then all I can say is let them ask men who have been in this House five years—I will not take a longer period—whether they will be deluded by such a transparent fallacy. [Cheers.] There is but one mode and one way in which the Government can make this pledge effective. It is this, and we shall hold them to it. If they are in earnest on this question will they pledge themselves to the House, as we pledged ourselves to the House in 1893, that they will not advise Her Majesty to prorogue Parliament until the Bill dealing with Board Schools has passed into law. [Cheers.] If they do not give that pledge, I think their pledge is absolutely worthless. [Cheers.] But there is one advantage in two Bills. I do not know whether it has occurred to the right hon. Gentleman—I do not impute to him that such a possibility has crossed his mind, but there is one advantage. He relies strongly upon the Standing Orders of this House, which require that Money Bills should be introduced in Committee. But there are some other Standing Orders of this House, and something more important than even Standing Orders—the Constitution—which does not allow a Money Bill to be altered, or amended, or dealt with in another place. They can reject it, they cannot alter it. If you have one Bill dealing both with Voluntary Schools and with Board Schools and that Bill goes to another place, it will either have to be passed or rejected as a whole. [Cheers.] I do not think even the Bishop of Chester would take upon himself the responsibility of rejecting a Government Bill under those circumstances. [Laughter and cheers.] But if two Bills go to the other House, one dealing only with Voluntary Schools, and the other dealing only with Board Schools, I should not like to prophesy what would be the fate of the second Bill. [Cheers.] But let us assume that the Government are of opinion that this grant ought not to be made to the Board Schools, why should they prevent Debate in this House? Why should they prevent the House expressing an opinion on that question? Why not let the arguments be heard, meeting those arguments with counter-arguments and not with the gag? [Cheers.] Why not meet them as every other question in this House is met—by fair discussion and full Debate? [Cheers.] Every Member of the House has a right to vote upon the question, and what the Government are preventing is the House voting on this simple issue whether Board Schools should be treated equally with Voluntary Schools. [Cheers.] Of course, hon. Members who feel strongly in favour of this additional grant to Voluntary Schools cannot, and will not, vote for the rejection of this Resolution. That is really the trap in which we are put. We cannot vote upon the question, Is it right or is it wrong to treat Board Schools the same as Voluntary Schools? We have but one division here, and that division is whether this Resolution should be rejected or accepted. We cannot expand it or put anything into it which would add to the expenditure by one shilling. When we arrive at the Committee stage any Member who moved an Amendment to include Board Schools would be met by the Chairman saying it was out of order. I say not only has this House the right to discuss, debate, and divide on this question, but our constituents have a right to know how we vote upon it. [Cheers.] There are some few hon. Members who can speak with authority on this question. There is my hon. Friend, the Member for Edgbaston, who has perhaps, done more for education in Birmingham than any man living. He has told us frankly what is the fatal blot in this scheme—it is the non-extension of the Bill to the Board Schools. But he cannot vote in this House upon it. If the right hon. Gentleman would simply strike out the word "voluntary" from his Resolution, and put in "elementary," he can restrict his own Bill as much as he likes, and with his big majority—now, I should think, after the crack of this afternoon's whip, reduced to perfect and unquestioning obedience—I have no doubt he can carry any Bill he likes. We do not expect to defeat it. [Ironical Ministerial cheers.] I thank hon. Members for that cheer, which is a frank expression that they do not like to talk about the Measure, and that they have an objection to argument. But you may depend upon it you will never shut the mouths of Members of this House or of people in this country who are strong advocates of doing justice to Board Schools by any such procedure as this you have adopted. The House of Commons is proud of its great traditions of fair play and free discussion, and I think that these traditions should be rigidly maintained whenever we are dealing with the appropriation of public money. [Cheers.] I have always regarded the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury as a consummate debater and a peculiarly fair opponent, and it would have been the very last criticism I should have passed on him that I thought him capable of endeavouring to pass legislation without giving the House the fullest opportunity of stating objections to the legislation which he himself believed to be good, but which others thought to be injurious. If the right hon. Gentleman will agree to change the word "voluntary" and introduce "elementary" it does not pledge him to alter his Bill or to extend its scope. But it would give us an opportunity of saying that these Board Schools and denominational schools should be put on an equal footing. If he will not do that he has no right to complain of our discussing the subject on this Resolution. It is not a question of one, two, three, or four nights which we ought to have for discussion. [Ministerial laughter.] Many of those hon. Gentlemen who are now laughing were not in the House at the time, but I can remember how, in the last Parliament, hon. Members opposite claimed to be entitled to a much longer time for the discussion of isolated clauses and phrases in a Bill to which they objected. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman complained the other night that my right hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham had introduced words which represented something that did not exist. My right hon. Friend alluded to the words "statutory equality." Those words are the Duke of Devonshire's. [Cheers.] That is an apt and accurate phrase. There is statutory equality at this moment, and if this Resolution were passed it would authorise the House to repeal that statutory equality. The right hon. Gentleman criticised my right hon. Friend the Member for Rotherham for not having read Section 97 of the Education Act. I am not fond of tu quoques, but I do not think the right hon. Gentleman himself could have read that section. It distinctly enacts that the conditions of the annual Parliamentary grant—and this is going to be an annual Parliamentary grant—"shall not give any preference or advantage to any school on the ground that it is, or it is not, provided by the School Board." [Opposition cheers.]


Yes, but the section goes on to give a privilege to poor Board Schools which is not given to Voluntary Schools, whether poor or rich. [Ministerial cheers.]


What the section does is this. It provides that where the 3d. rate will not produce 7s. 6d. per head of the children at school, there shall be a small additional grant made to that school. [Ministerial cheers.] It enacts that the Parliamentary grant shall not be subject to any conditions restricting its application to Voluntary Schools or Board Schools.


That is restricting.


Do hon. Members think that the few thousand pounds which have been given under that Act were any advantage to Board Schools over Voluntary Schools? [An HON. MEMBER: "Certainly."] All I can say is that the hon. Member who says "certainly" cannot be very familiar with the circumstances of School Boards. [Cheers.] [AN HON. MEMBER: It gives £40,000.] At all events where is this statutory equality? Hon. Members do not mean to provide for Board Schools.


In this Bill.


Why is the principle of statutory equality to be departed from? The right hon. Gentleman told us that the number of children in average attendance in the schools was 4,500,000. Of these 2,500,000 are in Voluntary Schools, and 2,000,000 in Board Schools. The ratepayers of this country pay £4,000,000 in rates for the education of these children. The average rate in England is 9d.; in London 10¼d., in boroughs 8¾d., and in parishes 8d. That is a very heavy rate, and when you come to analyse it and apply it to parishes and boroughs, you have this result—that there are 1,764 parishes and 138 boroughs where the rate is 3d. and above, and you have only 206 parishes and 21 boroughs where it is below. The hon. Member for West Ham spoke of the enormous rating of his constituency. I may say there are 297 rural parishes where the rate is upwards of 1s., and in 108 boroughs and 892 parishes the rate is between 6d. and 1s. The burden of these rates is very heavy in the large towns. The right hon. Gentleman said the other night that Gentlemen on this side of the House were not noted for their readiness to relieve the ratepayers, and he based that accusation on the fact that last Session we claimed that relief to ratepayers should not be confined to one class of ratepayers, but extended to all. There is no reason why the relief now proposed should not be equally extended. But the great point of complaint is that there is unfair and undue competition between the Board Schools and the Voluntary Schools, and that the Government are bound to bring forward this exclusive Measure to prevent the destruction of Voluntary Schools. It is absolutely one of those delusions for which there is not a shadow of foundation that the Voluntary School system is decaying and dying out. Let me give a few figures. In 1870 there were 1,150,000 children in Voluntary Schools, to-day there are 2,500,000. [Ministerial cheers.] All honour to Voluntary Schools. But you cannot have all the signs of robust health and, at the same time, be dying of mortal disease. [Cheers and laughter.] Then in 1870 there were 8,281 Voluntary Schools. Since 1870 1,323 have been transferred to Board Schools. So, if matters remained as they were, there would be 7,000 Voluntary Schools, but now there are 14,479. Of the 1,323 which have been transferred to School Boards, 260 were British, or undenominational Schools. The transfer of the Church of England Schools is an unappreciable figure. There were only 19 transferred last year. Does that justify you in coining to the House and saying, "We claim public money because we are expiring?" [Cheers.] Put your claim on its true and proper ground, and the House of Commons will listen to it. The difficulty is not the extinction of Voluntary Schools, not that the scholars are decreasing, the buildings decaying, and their hold on the popular mind weakening, but this. The Education Department, wisely and righteously, as I think, have elevated the standard of popular education and have made demands on Voluntary Schools and upon Board Schools which have necessitated a large increase of expenditure. That is the true state of the case—not that there is any hostility and—most absurd of all statements—that there is competition. The chairman of the Birmingham School Board and by hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham have disposed of that from the School Board and teachers' point of view; and the hon. Member for Monmouthshire as far as his experience [...]ent. [Ministerial laughter.] His experience is great. He has been for 15 years the respected chairman of a large and successful School Board, where he told us there was perfect amity of feeling between both sides on this question. I do not believe there is any attempt, on the one side, to destroy School Boards, or, on the other, to destroy Voluntary Schools. The right hon. Member for London University complained of the hardship upon subscribers to Voluntary Schools who had to pay the School Board rate. Subscribers to Voluntary Schools pay their subscriptions towards what is to them a noble object. But paying rates is not, as some people think, a contribution to a private adventure school set up by a private body-in competition with existing schools. It is an obligation imposed by the Legislature on the community that where there is not a proper number of schools they shall provide them; and the private subscriber has no more right to complain of paying his School Board rate and trying to set off one contribution against another than a charitable donor has to say he will set off his contributions to private charity against his poor rate [Cheers.] If Voluntary Schools complain justly—I find no fault with their complaint—of the heavy expenditure put on their shoulders, so do the ratepayers. Why should the ratepayers be left out in the cold? ["Hear, hear!"] Why is the sympathy which the right hon. Gentleman claims a monopoly of for ratepayers not to be extended to those who live in large towns? Hon. Members have spoken very properly of their own experience in their own locality. I represent a town where Board and Voluntary Schools are in full working order, where they are both of high character, and there is no competition. I can assure hon. Gentlemen opposite whose experience is confined to rural districts that it is not the desire of the ratepayers in large towns to extinguish Voluntary Schools. In Wolverhampton we have upwards of 5,000 children in the Board Schools and upwards of 8,000 in the Voluntary Schools, and admirable Voluntary Schools they are. The grant earned is approximately much the same in both kinds of schools. We have schools belonging to the Church of England, the Church of Rome, and also to the Wesleyan body. Under this Bill the ratepayers of Wolverhampton, who are now—I think I am speaking correctly—paying a school rate of about 8d. in the pound, in a town where the rates are 7s. 3d. in the pound, where they feel the pressure of school rates quite as acutely as the supporters of Voluntary Schools feel the pressure of their subscriptions—if this Bill becomes law the ratepayers will see subscribers to Voluntary Schools in Wolverhampton receiving upwards of£2,150, while they will not receive a penny. Where is the justice of that? [Cheers.] What crime have School Boards committed that they are to be treated in this manner? One or two hon. Members, notably the right hon. Gentleman who spoke last, have censured seriously the constant attempt to denounce Board Schools and describe them as if they were national evils, a sort of insanitary dwellings which ought to be treated as if propagating a plague. All that hon. Members can say against Board Schools was that in certain cases they had been extravagant. What public body has not been extravagant in its time? [Cheers.] Have town councils never been extravagant? Have vestries never been extravagant? Have County Councils never been extravagant? Has the House of Commons never been extravagant? [Cheers.] There has been waste of public money everywhere, and I venture to say there has been less extravagance in connection with the School Board system than in connection with almost any other body in this country. [Cheers.] An hon. Member talked about the "bottomless purse of the rates." Do hon. Members who represent large towns endorse that? [Cheers.] Do they not know that there is nothing more difficult than to get an additional rate in large towns? Do they not know that the rates are virtually settled by the ratepayers themselves, and that School Boards are changed every three years by popular election? If the ratepayers choose themselves to increase their rates no outsider has any right to complain. [Cheers.] For anyone professing to know anything about our local expenditure to say that it is easy to raise the rates is simply to proclaim his own total and absolute ignorance. [Cheers.] The School Boards, I admit, have raised education to a higher standard, and they have endeavoured to reach a lofty ideal, and the House and the country should be indebted to them for it. [Cheers.] There are hon. Members in this House who say, Whatever else you spend money upon you must maintain the defences of the country. You must make your Navy as complete, as strong, and as efficient as you can because the defence of the country is the first consideration. I agree with that, but I would point out that this country has other defences besides the Navy. The dangers of this country are ignorance, vice, and crime, and against these three deadly foes the elevation of our national system of education has been one of our strongest bulwarks. [Cheers.] We know, and the President of the Board of Trade knows, that however much we may be encouraged and comforted by the recent returns showing that there has been an exaggeration as to foreign competition, every man connected with trade knows that there is a reality in that danger, and that it is necessary that our working classes and artisans should be educated to a much higher point than they are educated today; and no money can be better or more wisely spent than on education. [Cheers.] We are a rich nation. The money is pouring in, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer knows, by hundreds of thousands—I might almost say by millions at the present moment—and there can be no more beneficial application of the national wealth than the application of it to the improvement of the education of the people. There is no necessity on pecuniary grounds for discriminating between Board Schools and Voluntary Schools. [Cheers.] There is no reason of time; there is no question of opportunity. Both sides of the House will support a Measure of justice and fairness. There is no question of financial resources. We complain that the First Lord of the Treasury shut us up to this inept, inconvenient, and unfortunate method of dealing with this question, and we ask him to remove that restriction and enable us wholly and fairly to Debate the question in the whole House when the Bill comes before the House. We think we are entitled to claim a distinct Debate and a distinct Division upon that question. [Cheers.] If he deprives us of that, he may win, as I have no doubt he will win, and secure by a large majority the passage of this Resolution, but he will stamp it with a stigma of injustice which the whole country will appreciate. [Loud cheers.]


, who was received with cheers, said he had listened with very great surprise to the observation of the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken with regard to the procedure the Government were taking in this ease. The right hon. Gentleman was perfectly entitled to his opinion that it would be better to deal with all schools in one Bill. The Government thought it would be better to deal with Voluntary Schools in one Bill and with such Board Schools as required special treatment in another Bill. [Opposition laughter.] That was a matter on which there might be a difference of opinion, but he did not think there could be any difference of opinion in the House as to one suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that the reason why the Government had taken this course was that if there were two Bills it would be possible that in another place the Bill dealing with Voluntary Schools might be passed and that dealing with Board Schools rejected. He ventured to think that a more unworthy suspicion had never been uttered. [Cheers.] He did not think it was worthy of the right hon. Gentleman who uttered it or of the right hon. Gentleman who cheered it. [Cheers.]


It was done on the Paper Bill.


said it was an idea that never occurred to Her Majesty's Government. It was an idea they repudiated with indignation, and he ventured to think that it was a suggestion which should not have been introduced into the Debate. [Cheers.] He had listened with almost equal surprise to the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman with regard to the procedure adopted in putting this Resolution on the Paper. The right hon. Gentleman said:— Why do you not make your resolution wide enough to include all schools, Board Schools as well as Voluntary Schools? It was perfectly true, as the right hon. Gentleman said, that they might have a wide resolution and yet limit it by the Bill. It was also perfectly true that it was the duty of those proposing a resolution of this kind to make it conform as nearly as might be to the Bill to be introduced. [Cheers.] It would be, he ventured to say, contrary to Parliamentary practice and the traditions of the House to cast the net wide in the way that the right hon. Gentleman suggested, to frame a wide resolution, apparently by way of catching support in all quarters, when it had been determined that the Bill was to be confined to a particular class of measure. [Cheers.] Such a practice would be unworthy of that House, and in taking the course the Government had taken they not only had not been guilty of any want of fair play whatever, but they had, as he ventured to submit to the better judgment of the Committee, taken the only course properly open to them. [Cheers.] What was the grievance of the right hon. Gentleman? Did it prevent discussion on the question that Board Schools should be included? The right hon. Gentleman's own speech was the best answer to that. Would it prevent the right hon. Gentleman from raising the point again on the Second Reading? [Opposition cries of "Yes."] It would not. A declaratory Amendment might be put down and the rejection of the Bill might be moved on the ground that it did not extend to Board Schools. No idea could be more unfounded than that the Government supposed that the discussion of this question could be prevented by the form of the Resolution. ["Hear, hear!"] Another observation of the right hon. Gentleman was that this Bill was conceived in a spirit of hostility to Board Schools. There could be no greater mistake. The Government recognised the good work the Board Schools had done in secular education, and that in many cases they gave admirable religious education. But it was not a religious education which was satisfactory to the consciences of all parents. [Cheers.] It was said that this Bill was contrary to religious equality. He believed in religious equality, but it must be religious equality all round. [Cheers.] Was it religious equality that because the religious teaching in Board Schools was satisfactory to a number of parents, those parents who objected to such teaching as inadequate for their children should be rated for the support of the special religious teaching given in Board Schools and should be left to struggle with the difficulty of keeping up as best they could schools in which their children received the religious education they desired? It had been said how many things had been done in the name of liberty. Still stranger things were attempted to be done nowadays in the name of religious equality. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Rotherham said that this Bill did not carry out the principle laid down by the Prime Minister in 1895 when he said that the first point to be dealt with in reference to education was that in the conduct of the education of this country provision should be made by which the children might be taught the religious faith their parents desired them to be taught. The right hon. Gentleman said the Bill did not carry out that principle because there was no equivalent in it to Clause 27 of the Bill of last year providing for special religious teaching in schools at the request of a sufficient number of parents. Was that the only mode in which provision could be made for religious teach- ing? Surely by maintaining the efficiency of Voluntary Schools, which had been kept in existence at a vast sacrifice for that purpose, they were taking as effective a step as could be taken for carrying out the first purpose indicated by the Prime Minister. ["Hear, hear!"] The second purpose the Prime Minister mentioned was that some relief should be given to the ever-increasing burden of the Education Bate. The right hon. Gentleman said this Bill did not do that. But to what extent would the rate increase if Voluntary Schools died out? Surely the right hon. Gentleman must realise that, heavy as the rate might be in a place like Wolverhampton, it was nothing to what it would be if Voluntary Schools were suffered to be extinguished. A Bill which was intended to help Voluntary Schools to hold their own was not only in the true interest of religious equality, but was also in the interests of the ratepayer. ["Hear, hear!"] The right hon. Member for Rotherham had quoted from the reply of the President of the Council to a deputation of Archbishops and Bishops. He thought that quotation gave a most inadequate idea of what the Duke of Devonshire said on that occasion. The Duke of Devonshire was then dealing with a proposal that the fixed grant should be increased, and he pointed out with unanswerable force that if they increased the fixed grant all round they would waste the money of the public, because they would give the grant to all schools alike, and while some schools would want nothing, to others an increase of 5s. would not be enough. That passage in the Duke of Devonshire's speech was much more germane to the Bill than the passage quoted by the right hon. Gentleman. He had been unable to find in The Times report of the remarks of the Duke of Devonshire on that occasion the expression "statutory equality." If this expression was used it was in reference only to the question of the fixed grant. Any one who said that statutory equality in any wider sense existed was utterly and absolutely mistaken. There was no statutory equality as between Board Schools and Voluntary Schools. In the first place, the Board Schools had at their back the rates; they could draw on the rates to any extent, and did draw upon them to a very large extent, as the ratepayers of the country very well knew. And with regard to the Parliamentary grant, Section 97 of the Act of 1870 contained a proviso which conferred on Board Schools in poor districts a privilege which was not conferred on Voluntary Schools at all. Thus, so far from there being any statutory equality, there was statutory inequality, and it was with the view of, to some degree, redressing that statutory inequality that this Bill was brought forward by the Government. [Cheers.] Voluntary Schools were an essential element in the settlement of the educational question which was arrived at in 1870. The religious feeling of a large number of parents must be met. Whatever the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton might say as to the increased attendance in Voluntary Schools, and whatever was the cause, he appealed to the Committee whether it was not a matter of common knowledge that the Voluntary Schools were in very many cases very hard put to it indeed. It was with difficulty that they kept their heads above water, and the object of the Bill was to help them to increase their efficiency and make them contribute even more worthily than at present to the completion of the educational machinery of the country. He did not attribute to the Board Schools or to those who managed them any unworthy motives of competition with Voluntary Schools. He did not believe such motives existed, or if they did exist at all it was only in the most exceptional and special cases. Bat Voluntary Schools were inevitably suffering owing to the fact that they were in competition with those who had behind them the bottomless purse of the ratepayers. They were hard squeezed, and in some cases were in danger of being squeezed out of existence. But then it was said there were also poor Board Schools, and that they ought also to be dealt with. He thought one lesson must have impressed itself on the mind of everyone who had followed Parliamentary procedure of late, and that was the wisdom of doing one thing at a time. [Cheers.] The Government did not fail to recognise the case for aid to the poor Board Schools. What the First Lord of the Treasury had said on that subject must not be minimised in the way that had been attempted by some speakers opposite. The Government had every intention of dealing with the question of poor Board Schools at as early a date as possible. The method of best carrying out that object had been for some time under the consideration of the Government, and they would be prepared to bring their proposals forward on the first suitable occasion. [Cheers and Opposition laughter.] There was one remark he would make. If the Bill now under consideration met with such detailed resistance and obstruction as had been threatened—[cheers and cries of "Oh!"]—the country would be able to realise—[cheers and counter cheers and Opposition cries of "Romford!"]—that that obstruction was directed, not only against the Bill now under consideration, but might also in its effects prejudice the Bill for the relief of poor Board Schools. [Cheers and Opposition laughter.] Surely if right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite were in earnest in this matter; if what they desired was that the poor Board Schools should be aided, if what they were in search of was not a weapon to attack the present proposal of the Government, but if they were actuated by a genuine desire to help poor Board Schools—[Opposition cries of "All schools"]—they would with adequate discussion, but not more than adequate discussion, deal with the Bill now before the Committee. [Cheers.] The right hon. Member for Bodmin referred to the Bill as savouring of injustice because it might help Voluntary Schools without helping poor Board Schools in the same neighbourhood, and which he said were equally deserving of help. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would see the propriety of not quarrelling with a Measure of this kind merely on a question of procedure. The demands put forward by some Members of the Opposition went far beyond the question of aid to poor Board Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] They had been told that aid should be given to all schools alike, whether poor or rich, whether Board or Voluntary. That was a proposal not to improve educational machinery, but to relieve the rates. The hon. Member for the Edgbaston Division told them that any aid given to Board Schools in Birmingham would go to the relief of the ratepayer, and his speech was cheered by hon. Gentlemen opposite because they regarded it as hostile to the Measure now under consideration. He would like to know what reception hon. Gentlemen opposite would have given to a proposal made by the Government to apply the money of the taxpayer in relief of the ratepayers of Birmingham. [Cheers.] What a howl of derision would have been raised! They would have been met by all the arguments which were directed against another Measure with a similar object which was passed last year. [Cheers.] But such a proposal would not rest there. It would bring them to this—that the taxpayer should undertake the whole expense of the maintenance of education throughout the country to the relief of the subscribers and ratepayers alike. That might be a counsel of perfection; on its merits he expressed no opinion. But to call it a Measure which might be embodied in a simple little Bill was rather too strong. ["Hear, hear!"] He did not know what the Chancellor of the Exchequer would say to such a proposal. Was the country ripe for it? Was it not rather a waste of time, when the question before them was what could be done in a practical way to relieve schools that needed aid, to embark on the discussion of such an heroic remedy? The Measure under consideration was a modest and he hoped would be an effective Measure. It provided for a grant which in the aggregate was not to exceed 5s. for each child in all Voluntary Schools. That grant was not to be distributed to all alike. Some of the schools wanted nothing; some wanted a great deal more than 5s. per child. They must discriminate. At present there was no machinery available for discrimination, and they naturally turned to the Education Department and asked it to undertake a work for which he conceived it was extremely well fitted. There was a further advantage in such a simple proposal. This money, be it remembered, was not to be provided from local resources, but from the revenue of the country, and in those circumstances surely the control over the expenditure of the money should rest with the central authority representing the Government. They ought to control the expenditure of their own money. When ratepayers' money was expended it was reasonable that the ratepayers should control the expenditure; similarly when the money of the taxpayers was expended the right and reasonable thing was that the central authority, as representing the ratepayers, should have the control. How was the money to be expended? Not indiscriminately. It was to be applied for the relief of necessitous schools and to increase their educational efficiency, and in its application due regard was to be paid to the keeping up of voluntary subscriptions. The Education Department might in performing their task look for help to associations of schools. Such associations existed already to a not inconsiderable extent, and it was proposed to encourage their formation and enlargement. That would be done with all due regard to the religious convictions of those who maintained any particular Voluntary School. He thought it would be generally admitted that it would be little less than an outrage to force a school connected with a particular religious denomination into an association of which the general feeling was not in harmony with the views of that denomination. But generally it would be greatly to the advantage of schools and conduce to efficient discrimination if they were encouraged to join such associations. When such an association was formed there would be allotted to it a certain share of the aid grant according to the number of all the scholars in all the schools in the association. The rate according to which that share would be allotted would be 5s. per child, or if separate rates should be established by the Department for town and country schools, according to those rates respectively. That there was good ground for giving the Department power so to discriminate he should be prepared to prove when the proper time came. The share allotted to each association would be distributed in aid of necessitous schools with due regard to the maintenance of voluntary subscriptions, and it would be distributed by the Department according to the draft scheme which the association would be expected to prepare. Surely this was right? Some schools were rich and needed no help, whilst others were poor and needed help badly. Was it not reasonable that out of their share of the aid grant the managers of wealthy schools should minister to the necessities of other schools? Then he held that the abolition of the 17s. 6d. limit in the case of day schools was right. The grants could be earned only if the school was efficient enough to merit it. In the name of common sense, why should they penalise economy? If a school with smaller subscriptions was turning out an equally good article as a richer school, why should it not get the same amount of grant as was given to that school which possibly had had to spend a great deal more money in order to earn it? Surely it was also right that Voluntary Schools should be relieved from rates. Chapels, museums, scientific and literary institutions were exempted; and our Voluntary Schools were doing work which, in its nature, was a sacred work, and which, in many cases, was more valuable than that done by scientific and literary institutions. Such were the provisions of the Measure now under consideration, and it was a Measure of vast importance. He made no appeal to right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite for their support, although he might reasonably make such an appeal if any importance could be attached to the views expressed by the Opposition in the course of the Debate on the Education Bill of last Session. Of the many things of the same sort that were said, he would only quote one. Speaking on the Second Reading of that Measure the right hon. Member for East Fife said:— We were told in the Speech from the Throne that the position of Voluntary Schools is in many places precarious and requires further assistance from public resources. If this Bill had corresponded to the terms of that announcement—if, in other words, it had proposed some additional and even large provision from public resources to maintain a high standard of education where at present it is unduly low, and if that provision had been accompanied by adequate safeguards—[Opposition cheers]—for the control and the wise expenditure of the money that was granted, although we might have differed, and probably should have differed upon points of detail, it certainly would not have encountered the resistance which this Measure must he prepared to meet. ["Hear, hear!"] Right hon. Gentlemen opposite had cheered at the words "adequate safeguards." If that was the point on which they wanted light, why did not they reserve their criticisms until they saw the Bill? Now all the expectations held out by right hon. and hon. Members opposite last year were, it appeared, to be thrown to the winds, and the supporters of the Bill were to encounter an opposition as determined as that which met the previous Bill. It was impossible to please hon. Members opposite. If the Government introduced a large Measure they were told that it was too big; if they introduced a smaller Measure they were told that it was too small. The only course that the Government could reasonably take in these circumstances was to give up all idea of meeting the views of hon. Members opposite and to introduce a Measure which they believed to be right. He, therefore, made no appeal to the Opposition for help in this matter, but he thought that the Government were entitled to the loyal support of the Gentlemen who sat on the Benches behind them. [Ironical Opposition cheers.] He could understand the rapture with which hon. Members opposite hailed any symptom of a possible rift in the lute. He quite understood the disappointment which some of his hon. Friends felt because this Bill could not be passed in time to give Voluntary Schools the benefit of the quarter's grant for the financial year now current. He thought, however, that that feeling of disappointment arose from a misconception. The Bill of last year proposed to give the Voluntary Schools 4s.; the present Bill proposed to give them 5s. Therefore, in the first 12 months, dating from April I, during which the Bill would be in operation, the Voluntary Schools would get the amount which they would have earned under the Bill of last Session, if it had passed, in the course of, the 15 months beginning on January 1. But this was really understating the case, because under this Bill the grant would be estimated on an increased number of scholars, and so the Voluntary Schools would actually profit by the alteration made in the Bill of this year, for owing to the increase in the number of scholars the schools would receive, taken together, £616,000 as against £489,000 which they would have received under the Bill of last year. It should be borne in mind also that in any circumstances it would have been impossible to make any discrimination with regard to the distribution of the grant during the last quarter of this financial year. If the money had been paid away during this quarter it would have had to be paid to schools alike without that discrimination which the Government took to be the essence of the question. He appealed to his hon. Friends and to all those whose minds were open on this subject not to let a great cause be prejudiced by any feeling of disappointment, or by any difference on matters of detail or procedure. This Measure was concerned with a great cause; it was the cause of religious freedom and religious equality. ["Oh, oh!" and cheers.] They respected the views of those who were satisfied with the religious education given in the Board Schools; but they also respected the views of those who desired religious education of a different kind, and the Government thought that there ought to be fair play all round. They had now a favourable combination of circumstances for rendering substantial service to those Voluntary Schools which had done so brave a work. They had a favourable revenue—[ironical cheers]—they had a friendly Government. Let all those who were interested in the welfare of the Voluntary Schools therefore join together as one man in pushing forward a proposal which the Government believed, not only to be right in itself, but one for the benefit of Voluntary Schools which was practicable in existing circumstances. [Cheers.]

MR. A. C. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomery)

stated that the proposals of the Government would be opposed by him to the utmost of his power. He did not look upon the abolition of rating as a serious consequence except that it implied the general principle of giving directly or indirectly religious instruction out of the rates. On that ground he objected to it, but as a practical matter he did not apprehend that it might cause serious difficulties. He thought, however, that its tendency might be to strengthen the claim which the community had on the Voluntary Schools because it would bring the community in as the creditors of those schools when the time came to deal with them in a different manner from that which was now being pursued. As to the 17s. 6d. limit, he agreed that to penalise a school simply because it had managed with scanty resources and by economy to earn a satisfactory grant was impolitic. The 17s. 6d. limit, however, consecrated the principle of local contribution, and its abolition, therefore, greatly changed the character of the schools. The provision as to audit by the Education Department was good as far as it went, but he hoped that it would be a real and effectual audit, such an audit as that, which was given by the Local Government. Board to County Council accounts. The grant of 5s. per child would not be nearly enough to help the poorer country schools up to anything like a high standard of efficiency. He should also like to know something of the machinery, constitution, and working of the proposed associations. His experience of country business was that the number of men who would do work of this kind was limited, and the amount of time at their disposal was pretty heavily drawn upon at present. He doubted whether there would be a sufficient number of men of experience in business to carry out the work, and the consequence would be that it would fall a great deal too much into the hands of the clergy. Business which was exclusively conducted by the clergy would not command the confidence even of Churchmen, and the real objection to the whole of this arrangement was that it placed the control of the funds which were intended to be applied for schools at which all children attended in the hands of one religious body. The association in short would be a Committee of the diocesan conference. He acknowledged that the Voluntary Schools conducted by the clergy were in many cases conducted with great toleration and a fair regard to the feelings of Nonconformist parents, but what was objected to was the entire absence of local control. Local control was wanted, not so much to ensure the right expenditure of money, as to ensure protection against interference with the Conscience Clause, interference with the religious belief of the parents of children, and generally against an intolerance which was in too many cases the characteristic of the working of clerical schools. Both the Solicitor General and his hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University had been misled by the jingle of State Aid, State Control, Rate Aid, Local Control, The latter, for the reason he had given, was necessary whether the aid was local or Imperial. As an illustration he took a case from his own constituency, which was an extensive county. In one part of the county there was a solid block of 155,000 acres, with a population of 24,000, and a rateable value of £7 18s. per head, which would be recognised as a high rateable value. In the whole of this area there was not a single Board School or British School; they were all Church Schools. Something like a half of the population of this large area were Nonconformists, and they had no security whatever except the good feeling of the parson of the parish that their children would be saved from being proselytised. He compared this district with an area, of the same county consisting of parishes where there were Board Schools or British Schools. The latter area had a rateable value of £129,000, and a population of 24,466, making the rateable value per head £4 17s. 6d. In the first block he had mentioned there were 2,508 children in average attendance, and the district would therefore have a grant of £627 per annum. In the other area there were 3,515 children in average attendance, of whom only 1,343 were in non-Board Schools; so while the area with a rateable value of £7 18s. per head would get £627, that with a value of only £4 17s. 6d. per head, though more populous, would only get £336. There was no reason whatever for the inequality of treatment as between Board and Voluntary Schools, because the Board Schools were as much the result of the Voluntary efforts of the people as the Church Schools were. The Board Schools were established with the full assent and consent of the people who set them up. They all knew the great inequality in the pressure of taxation as between rateable and other property, but to accentuate this inequality by relieving the ratepayers of the towns more largely than the ratepayers of the country was only one more instance of the extremely retrograde nature of this Measure. In short, this Measure was simply and avowedly one for the endowment of the Church. That was the long and the short of the whole business. The whole argument of the Solicitor General pointed in this direction. In his opinion the hon. and learned Gentleman had somewhat exaggerated the extent to which conscience operated to induce parents to send their children to Voluntary Schools. He did not think the Voluntary Schools were preferred because the parents craved for definite religious instruction, as it was called; it was because they dreaded the rates. Whenever there was a fight whether there should be a School Board or not, one did not hear anything said about religion; one only heard the argument that to have no School Board would save the rates. He believed the religious instruction given in the Board Schools was acceptable to the great majority of the parents, and for his part he had greater sympathy with the consciences of those who did not wish to have dogmatic teaching forced upon their children, than of those who wished to force dogmatic teaching upon people who did not want it.

On the return of the CHAIRMAN OF WAYS AND MEANS, after the usual interval,


said the announcement that, contrary to public expectation, the grant in aid of the Voluntary Schools was not to be made available during the current financial year would cause great regret to both Churchmen and educationalists throughout the country; and, knowing as he did that Voluntary Schools urgently needed assistance, he thought there was some ground for complaint against the Government. ["Hear, hear!"] He regarded the question of education as the most vital question of the day, and therefore one to be considered entirely from a national standpoint. ["Hear, hear!"] His right hon. Friend the Member for Dartford had reproached some supporters of the Government for being too critical in this matter. But education transcended in importance every party question; and, in his opinion, those did best for their party who, in dealing with such an important question, endeavoured to do the best for the State. Therefore, in the interest of the State, he would follow some of his hon. Friends in a friendly criticism of the proposals of the Government, hoping that those proposals might yet be modified in some important points of detail. Education was the great national need of the day. A commercial standpoint was not, perhaps, the highest ground from which to view education, but it was one which in these days of commercial rivalry between nations could not be altogether neglected. He believed that if the matter were thoroughly investigated it would be found that any want of success on the part of the people of this country in holding their own against the commercial competition of other nations was entirely due to their deficiencies in education. In the laxity of the State in not providing the means of primary education until 1870—for what had been done before that date was not of any moment—as contrasted with the educational efforts during the last hundred years of countries like Germany, was to be found the chief cause of the success of foreign competition. Our national system of education rested upon two classes of schools—the Voluntary and the Board. He regarded both classes of schools as complementary parts of our national system of education, and thought that both should have full justice done to them. ["Hear, hear!"] The hon. Member for Ipswich had said that Voluntary Schools were devoted not to education but to theology. That phrase, he thought, showed a great want of knowledge of the history of Voluntary Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] It ought to be remembered that the Voluntary Schools were alone, for a long period, doing the work of education for the people of this country, while other countries were working at State education. [An HON. MEMBER: Why?] Because the State was neglecting its duty. Apart from history, however, without the Voluntary Schools they would have to find room for 2½ million scholars, and what an expense in buildings, capital, and income that would entail. He believed that the best expenditure we could make was on education, but the chief danger with the ratepayers to-day was lest there should be a reaction against education owing to its cost. The worst blow, therefore, that they could strike at educational progress would be to cast such a burden on the ratepayers as would be involved in dispensing with Voluntary Schools, or in allowing them to die. Moreover, the great portion of the nation demanded these schools. He did not think that dogmatic theology was in any sense the best training for children, but they could not shut their eyes to the fact that a vast number of people thought that no education was complete unless it was based upon religion. Voluntary Schools were therefore necessary. He wished equally that the Board Schools should be maintained in efficiency; he knew their great value, at any rate in our large towns, and the worst thing they could do for education would be to limit in any way their operations. He was in favour of largely increasing the resources of the Board Schools rather than limiting them. He believed that in education equality was equity, and the best way of maintaining the Board School system in the ultimate interest of the Voluntary Schools themselves was by equality of treatment. He thought the Church had most to fear in the end from a departure from the compromise of 1870. The Solicitor General had said that one object of this Bill was to redress the inequality between the Voluntary and Board Schools, and he pointed out that £40,000 a year might be expended on Board Schools. But this Bill proposed to give £650,000 a year to the Voluntary Schools, and, therefore, so far from redressing the inequality, it created a new inequality. [Opposition cheers.] He regretted that they were not dealing with both classes of schools at the same time on equal lines; and if it were yet possible to do so, he believed that would be the best mode of complying with the wishes of the country. He thought it was a matter of profound regret to many of them that this differential treatment should have been entered upon when a permanent settlement might have been arrived at. He could not help noticing in some of the speeches which had been delivered, and in the Resolution, a strong tendency towards the very dangerous doctrine of differential treatment. The right hon. Member for Bodmin had spoken of poor districts in Cornwall, and there were similar lands in Yorkshire which would receive no aid, while other districts round about would receive considerable aid. They might regret the fact, even if it were necessary, that, whereas Manchester would get very large sums, the equally poor schools languishing in the densely crowded districts of our metropolis would receive comparatively small aid. London would receive much less than Manchester, and towns and districts which paid their own rates would have to contribute through their taxes to the maintenance of the Voluntary Schools in other parts. ["Hear, hear!"] These and other differences of treatment would render this Bill difficult of operation. He thought that a voluntary association would have great difficulty in deciding the difference of grant between different schools, and that there would be very considerable dissension in consequence. The better course would have been to deal simultaneously with both classes of schools. The Voluntary Schools required help, and it should be given them upon conditions, the primary one being the representation of parents upon the management—[Opposition cheers]—and that would also have been to choose the line of least resistance. They must remember that if the schools had not to pay the rates the ratepayers would have to make up the difference; and that seemed to him to establish an additional claim to their supervision of the work done by the schools. He did not see that it was at all necessary that the control of the grant should be with the Education Department, for what they wanted in dealing with the details of education was local knowledge and sympathy. He was certain that the great want in our education was sympathy at home with the education of the children. He had represented the opinion of his constituents in this matter. His constituency had discussed this question, and the majority of the clergymen there had determined that, in the interests of the Church and education, it would be wise to have some representation of the parents on the management of the schools. In such a case there was no need for two Bills; the condition was not an objectionable one, and a Measure embodying it might have passed rapidly, and even before the termination of the present financial year. One could not but regret that education was again thrown into the cauldron of theological and political disputation. Instead of all parties recognising the vast necessity which existed for supporting and improving our forms of education, instead of realising that it was our great want at present that we had not that education which would fit us for competition with other nations, we were having bitter discussions, with the ultimate result that no adequate grant was forthcoming this year either for Voluntary or necessitous Board Schools. In this matter simultaneity and spontaneity would have been principles well worthy on application by the Treasury Bench.


did not believe a greater surprise was ever sprung on the House of Commons than when the First Lord of the Treasury, replying to a question yesterday, announced that the grant in aid of Voluntary Schools would not take effect during the present financial year. Nobody in the country or in the House had, before that reply, received the faintest hint that such was the intention of the Government, and up to the present hour the Treasury Bench had not deigned to offer the slightest atom of explanation of the grounds on which they had departed from a policy which had been accepted as settled by the whole of the country during the whole of the autumn and winter. Why were they asked to come here a month earlier than usual if this Bill was not to be passed before the end of the financial year? No one could say a justification was to be found in the programme of the Government, for no Government, particularly one with such a majority as the present, ever commenced a Session with so meagre a programme. He accused the Government of a breach of pledge, for they distinctly said, when the Bill of last year was dropped, that the money was earmarked, and was lying in the Exchequer for the Voluntary Schools, and would not be devoted to the reduction of the National Debt. Speaking, in the course of the Budget speech, of the Education Bill of last year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said there was a surplus of £433,000, out of which he proposed to provide for any charge that would be placed on the Exchequer by that Bill, and, the right hon. Gentleman added, after that charge was defrayed, a modest surplus would remain. They were now told by the First Lord of the Treasury that the calculation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that if the Bill of last year had passed, only £100,000 would have come to the Voluntary Schools. [The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER: "£120,000."] He could not understand why the sum was so small. They were told the Bill would not have come into operation until the 1st of January of this year, but if that were so the solicitude of the Government for the Voluntary Schools contrasted very unfavourably with their solicitude for the agriculturists of the country. It was all very fine for the Government to say they had raised the grant from 4s. to 5s. Yes, but last year everybody was a friend of the Voluntary Schools, and even many Members on the Opposition side of the House declared that 4s. was absolutely inadequate. It was mean and shabby to the Voluntary Schools to deprive them of the £120,000 which the Government gave a distinct pledge was earmarked for them.


I do not think the hon. Gentleman really understands the situation. Under our Bill of last year it was proposed, and we should have adhered to the proposal, to give 4s. per head to the children in Voluntary Schools. That would have involved a payment of one-quarter of that sum in the current year and 4s. in the year 1897–98, or 5s. per head in all. That is precisely the sum we propose to give under this Bill, only it will all be paid in 1897–98 instead of a quarter in 1896–97 and the rest in 1897–98.


said he did not believe that if the Bill of last year had been passed it would have been possible for the Government to have stood by the 4s. grant, for not a single supporter of the Government supported the 4s. grant. Their view of the present Bill must be altogether in view of the declarations of the Government. If the Bill had been a short Bill intended to give the Voluntary Schools in the present financial year the money they lost by the withdrawal of last year's Bill, it would have been passed, he believed, in a very few days. The Government, however, had introduced a Measure which must be regarded as their Education Bill for the year, because, although they spoke vaguely of introducing another Bill in the course of the Session for the purpose of giving grants to necessitous Board Schools, anyone who had listened to the language used yesterday by the First Lord of the Treasury, or who read his remarks in The Times to-day, would be forced to the conclusion that this Bill was the Government Education Bill for the Session. There was not a shadow of a chance of the Bill slipping rapidly through all its stages, because by divorcing the grant to Voluntary Schools from that to necessitous Board Schools, the opposition to the Measure had been enormously increased. In his opinion the fate of the Bill had been seriously endangered by the policy and conduct of the Government. It would be idle for the friends of the Voluntary Schools—and he spoke as a friend of them—to shut their eyes to the serious issues which had been raised by the new departure of the Government. The Bill had to be considered, not from the point of view of a temporary Measure, but from the point of view of a permanent Measure, of a Measure giving a grant of £600,000 to the Voluntary Schools for ever, and giving it without any satisfactory pledge that a corresponding grant would be offered to the necessitous Board Schools. That, he believed, would be a disastrous position in which to place the Voluntary Schools. As to the merits of the Bill itself, he would say, without hesitation, speaking on behalf of the Catholic Schools, that it was a great improvement on the Bill of last year, because it offered those schools a grant of 1s. a head more than the previous Measure. As far as they could understand the explanation of the First Lord of the Treasury, the result of the Government proposal would be to give to the really poor schools—and all Catholic Schools were poor schools—something more than 5s. a head, probably an average of 6s. The abolition of the 17s. 6d. limit was an advantage, but he regretted that the Government had not proposed to abolish the provision against unnecessary schools, a provision which was odious to Catholics at any rate. Still, the Bill offered considerable advantages, and so far as it affected Catholic Schools it would receive no opposition from him and those around him. At the same time, they could not forget that the case of the Catholic Schools was unfortunately tied up with that of the Protestant Church Schools, and no doubt the Bill as it stood would inflict grave injustice on large districts in the country—giving grants to one district and not to another, to parishes which needed no help; and to others, which sorely needed help, none at all. ["Hear, hear!"] No one could deny that the Nonconformists suffered from grievances in the country districts, but the Nonconformists would be the first to admit that the claims of the Catholic Schools in no way touched those grievances. The present Bill, however, made no pretence to remove those grievances, and he contended that if the object of the Measure Was to secure just treatment for the Voluntary Schools as a whole, the wise policy would have been to insert something in the Bill which would have disarmed opposition and have given a quid pro quo to the Nonconformists. The Catholic leaders and the Catholic people in this country had been in favour of dealing with this question in a broad and generous spirit, and of removing grievances wherever they existed. But this Bill set up fresh grievances, and therefore it was not calculated to remedy existing injustice. Nevertheless, he should support the Bill. [Ironical Ministerial cheers.] Indeed, he was bound to do so, in consideration of the increased grant it gave to the Catholic Schools—to those poor schools which were only maintained by armies of collectors, who gathered, Sunday after Sunday, the pence of the poor for the purpose. At the same time he regarded the policy of the Government, from the point of view of the Voluntary Schools generally, as very unsatisfactory and dangerous to the best interests of those schools. What was the history of the question? Just before the General Election of 1895—on the eve of the fall of the late Government—Lord Salisbury, speaking, he thought, in London, and also The Times in a leading article commenting on his Lordship's speech, gave advice to the friends of the Voluntary Schools not to place all their reliance upon a grant from the Imperial Exchequer. On the contrary, they were advised to look to the rates, and both Lord Salisbury and The Times said it was the first duty of the friends of the Voluntary Schools to come to an agreement among themselves. But others held the view that there could be no final settlement of the question unless the necessitous Board Schools were dealt with at the same time as Voluntary Schools. The subject was discussed by the country, the Election came on, and hon. Members opposite went to the country, and to a man pledged themselves to endeavour to make it the first business of the Government to do justice to the Voluntary Schools. The Party came back with a majority of 150, but on this question, with the support of the Irish Members, they had a majority of 320. How did they redeem their pledge? The whole question between State aid and rate aid, and the inequality between the two sets of schools, was debated at length in the country, and a remarkable meeting took place at the Church House. At that meeting, acting on the advice of The Times and of Lord Salisbury given 18 months before, the representatives of the two archdioceses of this country came to an almost unanimous Resolution, based on what appeared to him to be a just and reasonable proposal for a final settlement of this question, that there should be a grant from the Imperial Exchequer all round, to Board and Voluntary Schools alike, and that in School Board districts Voluntary Schools should be allowed a proportion of the rates. What was the answer after the Church had come round to the Catholic programme, and had adopted the advice of Lord Salisbury? The Times stated that the proposal was preposterous, and could not be seriously made. Only that day he laid side by side those two articles from The Times—the one written in June, 1895, and the other in November last—and it was almost impossible to imagine that so much audacity could exist even in The Times. He looked forward to the future both of this Bill and of the Voluntary Schools with the greatest possible alarm. He intervened in the Debate of last year and pointed out that in his judgment this whole Question was one of friendly negotiation and compromise, and he believed so still. He believed the question would never be settled on any permanent basis until the two opposite parties in that House and in the country entered into friendly negotiation and conference. He believed that the evil which had pursued the Government in their policy of last year and in their policy of this year was that they had brought in a Measure, not of compromise, and resting on what he might describe as give and take, but had sought to pursue a policy of "knifing" their opponents, and of doing injustice. When the Bill of last year was withdrawn on the 23rd of June last, the Leader of the Oppositon made a most remarkable offer of which no notice was taken at the time except to receive it with jeers and contempt. It appeared to him that if that offer had been properly treated it offered a basis of settlement much better, he feared, than the Voluntary Schools would get under the present Bill. The Leader of the Opposition said:— If the Government would now reconsider this matter and would be content to confine this new authority to secondary education, where I dare say it might be highly useful and advantageous if they would give the advantages to Voluntary Schools, which, subject to reasonable conditions we are willing to grant, then they might pass, with the general consent of the House of Commons, and with the approval of the country, an Education Bill which would be useful and permanent. That was one of the things about which he (Mr. Dillon) was most concerned—that it should' be permanent. And, though the "reasonable conditions" of the Leader of the Opposition might have been a matter for difference of opinion, still he was convinced that an arrangement could be arrived at—at least, speaking for the Catholics he knew it could be, because they had never been afraid to trust the parents of the children and public authorities to a very great extent, and give them reasonable control. That offer of the Leader of the Opposition was commented upon in the following language by The Daily Chronicle of the following morning—and he took The Daily Chronicle because he knew it to be one of the most extreme opponents of the Education Bill of last year, and of this year also:— Sir William Harcourt last night offered a compromise with the purport of which we heartily agree, and which Sir John Gorst did not seem entirely disposed to reject. The Vice-President of the Council had now disappeared from the scene. Let the anti-School Board part of the Bill he obliterated. Let the Government confine themselves to a simple plan of relief for the Voluntary Schools, by rate aid if they so please, accompanied by adequate popular control. What did their friend The Timed say? It spoke then the language of the irreconcilable Members on the Opposition side of the House:— We have never dreamed of suggesting that the vital provisions of the Bill should be exercised while those of less importance should be retained. It should be remembered that the vital provisions of the Bill were those provided for the purpose of destroying the School Board system, and those of less importance were those giving relief to Voluntary Schools. This is, however, the substance of the 'terms of peace' which Sir William Harcourt offered, with an insulting affectation of seriousness, in the course of his speech on Professor Stuart's Amendment. The Government had taken Sir William Harcourt's advice too late and insufficiently. They had brought in a Bill in a new, and, to him, a more acceptable shape, but in a shape for another reason likely to give rise to a most furious and, he was afraid, a prolonged opposition. He desired to say one word on the question of popular control. The hon. Member for the, Cambridge University (Mr. Jebb) in the speech to which they all listened with intense pleasure, laid down the principle that they had no right—and they had no right—to penalise and to line children because their parents sent them to schools where dogmatic religion was taught. Until they devised a system under which a child who went to a school where dogmatic religion was taught had equal advantages from the public funds with a child who went to a school where there was no denominational teaching, they could never settle this question. The Catholics, at all events, recognised that one of the essential conditions of such a plan—and it would ultimately have to be devised—was that there should be a system of popular control extended over the schools as was consistent with the preservation of dogmatic teaching. Of course it stood to reason that you could not ask, without self-contradiction and becoming absurd, religious schools to accept control that might take away their religious character; but short of that the Catholics of this country were prepared to accept popular control. He could bring forward many proofs of this from statements of the Bishops and the Cardinal. On May 16, 1896, there was an article in the Tablet, supposed to be the organ of Cardinal Vaughan, and mouthpiece of his views, and certainly was not Nationalist. In that article occurred the following passage:— As far as the Opposition is concerned, Mr. Balfour is absolutely master of the situation. Why then is he content to apply what he deliberately admits is an inadequate remedy, when all the while it is in his power to be just to the uttermost farthing?.. The official representatives of the Church of England are afraid to trust the people; they dread the rates because they fear the interference of the ratepayers. It is an odd situation. The Church, which calls itself national, is afraid of the local authorities, while the religious body which is the most unpopular in the land is ready to trust them, and believe they would deal justice to all. All they asked for was justice and equality. They offered every reasonable control to ratepayers, and if he were asked to-morrow what suggestion he would offer for a settlement of the question, he would say the suggestion put forward and adopted at the Church meeting, on the resolution that increased grants should be made all round to Board and Voluntary Schools, coupled with the warning that in those Board School districts where School Boards would not treat Voluntary Schools fairly, the grants might be withheld. There had been threats that, if Voluntary Schools were allowed to participate in the rates, there were certain men who would go to prison rather than pay the rates; but that he thought unfair and absurd. Suppose Catholics and others had refused payment of rates in that way, where would Board Schools be? It would be perfectly competent for the Government to introduce a Bill which would offer to every School Board in the country grants in aid exactly equal to all schools on this condition, that if a School Board in any district would not give fair play to Voluntary Schools by allowing a maintenance grant equal to that allowed to Board Schools, then the Government grant might be withheld from that district. His conviction was that if this matter were left in the hands of School Boards that the Boards and the managers of Voluntary Schools would pull together more peaceably than many people imagined. The Bill as it stood would have the support of his vote, not without foreboding as to its fate and to its effect if it passed into law. He did not believe the policy of the Government was wise as regarded Voluntary Schools, and he believed it would be injurious to the future of those schools. Last year, when the Government came to the House with an unbroken majority, with a mandate from the country, and high enthusiasm in favour of Voluntary Schools, they could have settled this question on a firm, just, and lasting basis, but they threw away their opportunity then, and he feared they would throw away their opportunity now.

SIR JOHN KENNAWAY (Devon, Honiton)

recognised that the hon. Member represented the Catholic portion of the community, whose sacrifices on behalf of education were well known, and he was glad to hear the hon. Gentleman announce his intention of voting for the Bill in the belief that it would confer large benefits on those he represented. The hon. Gentleman had boasted very largely of the readiness of Roman Catholics to submit to ratepayers' control; but he would like to ask the hon. Gentleman whether he would allow ratepayers a voice in the selection of teachers? ["Hear, hear!"] And also if he thought that ratepayers generally would consider any control adequate which did not give them a voice in the selection of teachers? ["Hear, hear!"] Passing from that, he thought the policy of the Government, as explained in the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury, made two things very clear. One was that the Government were fully prepared to carry out the pledges made by their supporters on the hustings to maintain Voluntary Schools, and also that there was no wish on their part to upset the settlement of 1870 on which our educational policy was based. There was a fear last Session in the minds of many on both sides of the House, fostered by some things in the Bill, and various speeches made outside the House, and it was much to have the assurance from his right hon. Friend, given on the previous night. It was not fair to say that while the attack on School Boards last year was open this year it was covert. He did not think there was ground for saying that he saw no possibility of an attack on School Boards under the Bill, and he should have thought this fact would have gone far to remove opposition to the Measure. These two facts enabled him to give his hearty support to the Bill, and he had hoped that after statements made over and over again by hon. Members opposite, a simple Measure to give relief to Voluntary Schools would have had their support, and that both Parties might have co-operated for this end, and that with a moderate amount of discussion the Bill would have become law. As regards the Unionist Party, he believed they were steeped to the eyes in pledges to support Voluntary Schools, and to do their utmost to remove a strain upon those schools well nigh unbearable. To the promises made, the present position of the Party in the House was largely due. The people of England felt very strongly in regard to Voluntary Schools, and the importance of religious education for their children, and preferred the personal religious instruction Voluntary Schools offered. All interested in education had admitted again and again that variety of management was desirable, and that healthy competition between Board and Voluntary Schools advanced the cause of education, whilst there was also the fear, which was present to them, of the large charge, amounting to millions, that must be cast upon the rates and upon education if the Voluntary Schools were wiped out of existence. That being the opinion strongly held on that side of the House he did not see how they could recede from the position they had taken up and decline to afford that substantial measure of aid to Voluntary Schools which was proposed to be given under the Bill. ["Hear, hear!"] It was proposed that the assistance should be given in a discriminating manner so that those who needed it might have help, and those who did not should not have it. He would ask the House could the Government have done less than they had done after all they had said in view of the great urgency of the case and of the greatness of the need at the present time? Right hon. Gentlemen opposite had spoken of the injustice that was to be done to the Board Schools. Where was the injustice that was involved in the matter? Was it unfair to give additional State aid to the Voluntary Schools under the present circumstances? No doubt, at first under the settlement it was intended that there should be exact equality between the schools in this matter. But if ever there was equality it had practically ceased by the enormous increase of the expenditure involved in education, and equality had ceased in this way: the Board Schools had rates to draw upon to an unlimited extent, whereas the Voluntary Schools had no increased facilities to draw upon to meet their increased expenditure. Something was necessary to be done to redress this balance of inequality which had been growing and increasing so much. Perhaps the rate might be delightful in theory, but there were two obstacles in the way. One was the Nonconformist conscience, which would not tolerate paying the rates for the maintenance of denominational schools, and also the Ratepayers' Association which had put its foot down so firmly to resist any further charges upon the rates. Therefore, if additional aid was to be given to redress the inequality which at present existed they could only fall back upon an additional grant from the State. He quite admitted the hardship of the poor Board Schools, but with them it was not a question of existence, it was a question of efficiency. With the Voluntary Schools, on the contrary, it was a question of existence. The Board Schools could afford to wait a short time till the pledges of the Government could be fulfilled. This demand on behalf of rich and powerful communities that they should have more from the State in aid of the Board Schools than they now received was to him a new idea to a largo extent. It had often been urged in that Debate as if the Board Schools received nothing at the present time from the State except the large grants given from the Exchequer. As regarded the poor and necessitous Board Schools he hoped it would be recognised that the Government were in earnest when they introduced the question last year before which time very little was heard on the subject. He trusted the friends of such schools would be satisfied with these promises, and would wait a reasonable time till their demands could be fairly met. He could only state it was his hearty intention to support this Measure. The question of the existence of Voluntary Schools had become a burning one, and whatever might be done in that House he believed the Government in their honest attempt to give that relief to Voluntary Schools which they so greatly needed would have the cordial and generous support of the country.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

congratulated the Government on the fact that the right hon. Baronet on this occasion was able to give them his support, though he was hound to say he was not able to agree with him in the reasons he gave for according that support. He understood the argument of the right hon. Baronet was that the compromise of 1870 would not be affected by the Bill, that the educational position would not be materially altered and that, therefore, this Bill ought to pass the House of Commons. Their position on that side of the House was this: In the first place they did not in the least know what the Government were going to do in regard to their further instalment in education. All they did know was they were going to vote £600,000 to Voluntary Schools. They did not know whether the proposals of the Government in regard to the Board Schools would involve the sum of £50,000 under Section 97 of the old Act or whether it was really going to be substantially an equivalent grant to the Board Schools in the future. Until they were certain they were going to receive justice as between the different classes of schools in this matter they were not able to swallow this Bill without comment and without opposition. He was bound to say the speech of the Solicitor General made them feel that as regarded the Board Schools the further Bill which the Government had been promising would be, as far as they were concerned, totally inadequate to meet the case. The Solicitor General and the right hon. Gentleman who had last spoken, talked of the poorer School Board districts and necessitous Board Schools. But ho, for one, considered there were large towns where the rates were very heavy for educational purposes, such as London, Birmingham, and elsewhere, which were quite as much in need and deserved as much consideration as some of the poorer School Board districts, and unless those towns were dealt with on terms of equality and justice they should certainly not be satisfied with the proposals of the Government. The Bill of last year was supported chiefly on three grounds. In the first place it was stated that the Department was over-worked, and therefore there ought to be a considerable amount of decentralisation. Under the proposal of the Government, as they understood it, the work of the Department would not be diminished by one iota, while all the difficulties of distinguishing between rural and urban schools, and dealing with the now association schools would be cast on the shoulders of an already over-burdened Department. The second reason was, that rural Voluntary Schools and the smaller Board Schools were in such a state of inefficiency that they required levelling up to a better standard. As regarded this Bill, the smaller Board Schools got nothing, and the rural districts less than the urban. The chief argument in support of the Bill was that the burden of Voluntary Schools had become so intolerable that they must give them substantial relief. The Bill did not relieve those upon whom the greatest strain existed—who had to pay high rates. This Debate and that of last year, showed that there was no hostility on the Liberal Benches towards Voluntary Schools. Whatever they might have thought on that side of the House years ago, they all now admitted that the Voluntary system was a necessary portion of our great educational system and ought to be properly supported. It gave variety and some advantages that, at all events on the lowest ground—that of cost—it was agreed that the extinction of the Voluntary Schools was out of the question. They also agreed that some Voluntary Schools were in a destitute condition and required more assistance than other schools in other parts of the Kingdom. Last year the Government defined Voluntary Schools as belonging to three classes. The first class consisted of necessitous schools where the rates and subscriptions were high. But under this Bill the rates would not be diminished, and the subscriptions, though high, would not be reduced in larger proportion than elsewhere. The second class of necessitous schools were those which were small and in rural districts, where the cost of management was out of proportion to the income of the school. As regards these, they were told that they would receive a lower grant than schools in urban districts which required it less. In the third place, they were told that Roman Catholic schools were among the most necessitous. He believed everyone wanted to give generous treatment to Roman Catholic schools, which had a special interest in the denominational question, and were unquestionably among the poorest schools. While admitting that Voluntary Schools deserved support, and that there was a considerable number of necessitous Voluntary Schools, he contested the argument that the Voluntary Schools, as a whole, required exceptional treatment, and should receive separate and larger grants which were not equally extended to Board Schools. As the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton had pointed out, the Voluntary Schools were not diminishing in numbers or attendance, but increasing. In London, where the strain upon them was greatest because the subscriptions were larger and the School Board rate heavier than in any other town in the Kingdom, instead of diminishing the Voluntary Schools were increasing, and instead of being squeezed out were in a stronger position than they ever were before in the history of education. While there were 400,000 children in the Board Schools in London, the number in the Voluntary Schools was larger by many thousands, and had increased by some thousands during the past year. As regarded the financial position of the Voluntary Schools, taking the Church of England Schools altogether, while the burden of subscriptions had only increased in the last 15 years by £40,000, they were receiving a grant of no less than £640,000 a year and educating 430,000 children a year. Neither as regarded the strain upon them nor their financial position was a separate grant to Voluntary Schools justified without giving an equivalent grant to Board Schools. It had been pointed out how unequal the proposal of the Government would work in regard to the grant. While in London £70,000 would be received less than schools in Lancashire, Londoners paid in rates for education £2,250,000 a year, against the small sum paid by those who received a larger amount. The only guarantee there had been for some years against the disappearance of subscriptions had been the so-called 17s. 6d. limit, and though he agreed that that particular system had great evils, and, in some cases, caused great hardship, at the same time it was the one guarantee that the large amount of annual subscriptions—£840,000—should not disappear. Therefore the Opposition would certainly scrutinise the Bill very carefully to see whether there was any real guarantee that the amount proposed to be given to Voluntary Schools would really go towards increased efficiency in these schools, and in no sense towards a diminution of subscriptions. He would ask the Government, if the plan was that the subscriptions should go on and that the extra assistance should all go to increase the efficiency of education in Voluntary Schools, what became of the cry of the intolerable strain? The old cry was against a high rate and heavy subscriptions; but if nothing was to be done to reduce the subscriptions, what was to become of the cry of the intolerable strain? Taking the proposal as a whole, the Opposition could not help opposing it, because it seemed unjust as between the different forms and classes of schools, because it settled nothing and unsettled everything, and would do a great deal to destroy and diminish education by putting Board Schools in an inferior position to Voluntary Schools, and by raising, in an aggravated form, all those denominational and theological questions which have for so many years delayed the progress of education in this country.


thought there been an unnecessary amount of criticism of the Measure from Members on the Ministerial side of the House, and he would not follow the example that had been set in that respect. He did not regard this proposal as in any way a final settlement of the Education Question. He regarded it as an instalment, and he hoped it was an earnest of benefits yet to come. After the experience of last Session, he was not surprised that the Government had not seen their way to introduce a comprehensive Measure instead of dealing with the Voluntary Schools alone. He had been somewhat surprised to learn the enthusiasm aroused by the School Board system in some hon. Members on his side of the House. He had no desire to attack School Boards, but he could not feel any enthusiasm for the system. He believed it was in many ways a bad system, and that School Boards had gone in for a great deal of unnecessary extravagance, and he believed they would have been more injurious to the education of the country had it not been that Conservative Churchmen had made it their duty to take an active part in School Board work. He looked upon the present Bill as an improvement on the Bill of last year, inasmuch as it gave 1s. more to the Voluntary Schools, and he believed the managers would be grateful for it. He was glad to see also that under the Bill there would be great inducements to Voluntary Schools to associate. The abolition of the 17s. 6d. limit would, he thought, be a great benefit. It had undoubtedly acted hitherto as a great discouragement to deserving schools, and was contrary to the principle of payment by results. He was also glad to know that school buildings were to be exempted from rates. There was, no doubt, much to be said in favour of the relief of necessitous Board Schools, and the Government had promised at a later date to introduce a Measure for that purpose; but Board Schools were in a very different position from Voluntary Schools, as they could go to the ratepayers for money whenever they wanted it. The Church Schools in this country had done a great work, and he believed that this Bill would greatly encourage their managers and enable them to keep the schools going.


said that, coming as he did from a country where there were universal School Boards, tempered only by the "Shorter Catechism"—a document for which he should feel bound to express more respect than he really entertained, were it not for the undoubted historical fact that it was an article of foreign importation, having stamped upon it the odious words, "Made in England"—he approached this thorny question in a more open state of mind, and was able to detect, perhaps, a certain amount of humbug on both sides. He was very much struck by a remark made by the hon. Member for Wigan, that a great number of children in that part of the country daily attended Church Schools, and nevertheless on Sunday went to a Nonconformist Sunday School.


My remark did not apply only to Wigan, but was general, and applied to the whole country.


said the comment he made on that observation, now known to be true of all parts of the country—[laughter]—was this—what a slipshod, unscientific, invertebrate, and, he would add, undenominational kind of religious education must that be which, given on five or six days of the week in these Church Schools all over England, yet left the children perfectly free on the Sunday, without any mental discomfort, without any moral queasyness, without certainly any painful dislocation of faith, to leave this sacramental atmosphere of the Church School and go on Sunday to some Baptist or Congregational place of instruction. [Laughter.] He believed that to be absolutely true—[cheers]—and it proved that this so-called religious difficulty did not exist, and that this miserable attempt to divide the children of this country into two hostile camps scowling at each other for the love of God was a perfect sham and an imposture. [Cheers.] The fact was that, with the exception of the Roman Catholics and the Jews, the great bulk of the people who sent their children to these schools, so far as they thought at all upon religious questions, thought alike, and very rarely entered into the domain of controversial theology. He had known himself a great number of children who had been taught in excellent Elementary Church Schools and who yet remained—dear little things—as ignorant of the Pauline theology as even the right hon. Member for London University would wish them to be. [Laughter.] He doubted very much whether of the Members of the House, all of whom had had a secondary education, there were three who could write an essay of as many pages on, say, the doctrine of the Trinity without falling on one side or the other into the most horrible heresy, which in better ages or happier days they must have expiated with their lives. [Laughter.] The fact was these things were not taught by religious teachers of any sense in any school. The present Archbishop of Canterbury once kept a school, a place of secondary education, but on denominational lines. He preached in the college chapel sermons which powerfully influenced for good the minds of the young fellows who listened to him. He had published a selection of these sermons under the title "Rugby Sermons," and he (Mr. Birrell) defied any Member of the House, simply from a perusal of these sermons, to gain any notion whatever as to what the Archbishop of Canterbury—he did not say now, but then—thought on these doctrinal points which separated Churches. This was not because he was without a dogmatic creed, but because he was a schoolmaster who knew his business. ["Hear, hear!"] The House ought, without difficulty and without much distinction of party, to have simply one object in view in all these educational questions, and that was to see that the secular education, of the children of this country was carried on in well-built sanitary schools, supplied by well-trained and, therefore, well-paid and independent teachers—["hear, hear!"]—who were equipped with all the necessary tools of their most distinguished science. No parent obviously should be compelled by law to send his child to an ill-built, ill-taught, or ill-equipped school. ["Hear, hear!"] But when there was a choice between two schools, each of which satisfied these tests, it seemed to him pedantic tyranny to prevent a parent from choosing which of the two he would send his child to, or to punish him in any way for that choice. The only persons at present aggrieved in this respect were the Nonconformists in the 8,000 parishes in which there were none but Church Schools. Churchmen had recognised this grievance but had not suggested any way by which it should be remedied. It was said truly that some Voluntary Schools were very hard put to it to carry on their work, and that they could only keep their heads above water by mendicancy, and by sending round the hat with a vehemence which was hardly consistent with their Christian character. The stress upon the Voluntary Schools was a stress put upon them by the Education Department, and the schools in the poor School Board districts suffered from precisely the same disease. The only difference between the two cases was that the Voluntary Schools could not find the money because their friends were not well enough off to supply it, whilst the Board Schools could not find the money because the rates did not provide it. To talk as the Solicitor General had done about the "bottomless purse of the ratepayer" was a form of playful extravagance which he might, having regard to the gravity of the rest of the speech, have denied himself. [Laughter.] Why did one kind of school poverty call for immediate relief more than the other? As a lover of education he did not wish to see the schools of the country starved or stinted. He was one of those extraordinary people who thought that enough money was not spent on either Board Schools or Voluntary Schools. Far too little money was spent on the preservation of the mind of the nation. The breed of the nation was no doubt equally important, but he did not see what that House was to do to improve that. [Laughter.] It was a saying of the greatest man who ever held a seat in that House—Francis Bacon—that the mind and breed of the nation were the only two things that intelligent politicians should concern themselves with. Under our present system, though there was hardship in both cases, the poor School Board district suffered most. In a poor School Board district the wretched parent was rated up to the eyes for an inefficient education, whilst in a purely voluntary district the parent paid no rate, nor did he as a rule contribute at all to the support of the school, being content to leave that operation to the religious zeal or political partisanship of his betters. Therefore, the stress upon the poor really fell with greater heaviness in a poor School Board district than in a district where there were only Voluntary Schools. The Bill of the Government he approached with somewhat the same feeling of astonishment as he was constantly in during the discussions on the Measure of last Session. Honestly, he could not make out what Ministers were at. He would have thought that, given a popular Tory Minister who was a sound Churchman, when in England at all events—[laughter]—and given a large Tory majority, the first thing Ministers would have done would have been so to buttress and fortress the Voluntary Schools as to place them upon a financial basis which would have made them perfectly independent for all time, and that, having made them safe, he would have left the School Board system alone, a system which, though only 25 years old, was deeply rooted in, the respect and esteem of the community, and have done nothing to raise the faintest suspicion of unfairness of treatment. The Bill, however, that was introduced last year wounded the pride of the School Boards and did not fill the pockets of the Voluntary Schools. It had, therefore, comparatively few friends and died ignominiously by the roadside. Now that the Bill was dead he noticed that there was an inclination in some quarters to say something in commendation of it, and he should follow that example. Although it was a bad and ill-conceived Bill, it contained evidence that the persons who constructed it had in view a very great object, and many of its clauses, if they could have been taken by themselves, would have conferred great educational benefits upon the country. But this Bill was, in the language of Shakespeare, "the baby of a girl," a poor, puny, mean thing, and he doubted whether it would receive Christian baptism at the hands of any clergyman of the Church of England, though, having regard to its fragility, he should be sorry if that ceremony should be postponed indefinitely. [Laughter.] No one had supported the Bill who had not admitted that, taken by itself, and if it were to stand alone, it was an unfair and therefore an unjust Bill. Everybody had said that it must be supplemented, and that another Bill must be brought in to remedy the injustice, to destroy the inequality which this Bill created. [Cheers.] The Leader of the House in reply to this criticism was civil; he put his hands to his ears and said:— If you would only hold your tongues, and not discuss it over and over again; if you would only be content to say a thing once and never repeat it —[Ministerial cheers and laughter]—the Government would slip this Measure and proceed to bring in another. But what impression would be made on the Treasury Bench if they only made an observation once? [Laughter.] It was only by saying a thing over and over again that they made the faintest impression upon the Government, and he had often heard an argument succeed on its fiftieth repetition which failed to excite remark on its first utterance. [Laughter.] He thought that any minority was entitled, however small it might be, and however mean might be the intellectual calibre of its members, to protest against having the odium and the shame of an unjust Bill thrown upon them if their exposure of it delays the introduction of another Bill which would set this evil right. Who established and endowed the inequality? Why, the Government. They it was who created the injustice, and then said, "If you only take it quietly we will, at our leisure and in our own good time, introduce another Measure and so make it all right." Now that March 31 had no longer any Parliamentary meaning for them he could not understand why the Government did not do what they admitted to be just in one Bill. The Government should remember that not one of their supporters had defended the Bill as a "financial entity"; they had only granted to it a somewhat dubious support on the ground that it was to be followed by another Bill on an uncertain day. Hon. Gentlemen might trust their leaders, but their leaders could not expect that the Opposition should place the same confidence in them. He was surprised to hear the Solicitor General speak with so much emotion about the remark of the right hon. Member for Wolverhampton as to the possible action of the House of Lords when the Board Schools Bill came to be considered. The Solicitor General, surely, was not entitled to say what might happen in another place. They knew that worms turned, and even peers might revolt—[laughter]—and there was nothing to prevent the Lords from taking the bit in their teeth and throwing out such a Measure. He was also surprised that the supporters of the Voluntary Schools should be so satisfied as they were with this miserable dole. He thought that the Bill was not only unjust, but inadequate for the purpose which it had in view; and, though they did not know what provisions were being made in the Bill to maintain the subscriptions, they knew that the 17s. 6d. limit, which was some security for their continuance, had been removed. It might, therefore, turn out that what the schools gained in public money would be lost in private subscriptions; and in that case the intolerable strain which existed would still continue to press upon them. He wondered, therefore, that some hon. Members opposite did not raise their voices in favour of such a treatment of Voluntary Schools as would render them independent and able to carry out the great work entrusted to them in a satisfactory manner. So far as the Resolution was concerned, he regretted that the right hon. Gentleman was unable to take the advice to alter the words of his Resolution so as to enable this question to be fairly and properly discussed. The Members of the Opposition should not be asked to go into a Debate with their hands tied behind their backs, and possibly with their tongues restricted by the interposition of the Chair. [Cheers.]

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

moved as an Amendment to the Resolution, in Sub-section (a), line 3, before the word "Voluntary" to insert the word "necessitous." The hon. Member, who spoke amid a babel of noise, said the only ground upon which the Government put forward their proposal was that Voluntary Schools were suffering from an intolerable strain, and that to maintain them in efficiency it was absolutely necessary there should be a grant in aid of them. But there were certain Voluntary Schools in respect of which it could not be said that they were suffering from any such intolerable strain, but were, on the contrary, in no need of aid, and even the Government and their supporters admitted that would be the case. He proposed, therefore, that the Resolution should be confined absolutely to necessitous schools. In the interests of absolute equality between the two systems it ought to be so confined.


said it was perfectly true the Government meant to confine as far as they could the grant of this money to necessitous schools, and when the Bill was in the hands of Members it would be seen that the best machinery had been provided to carry out that purpose. If the word "necessitous" were introduced before "Voluntary Schools" the result would be not merely to confine the aid grant to necessitous schools, but to diminish the total amount of the grant given to Voluntary Schools generally. The Government could not assent to that, and were unable therefore to accept the Amendment.


supported the Amendment. He desired, he said, to approach the question from a non-Party spirit. The great defect of the proposal of the Government was this—that instead of trying to deal with the obvious evils of our educational system, they had raised the whole question of national education in a most violent form. His hon. Friend, in moving his Amendment, aimed at touching one of the obvious evils in the educational system. There were extremely necessitous Voluntary Schools all over the country, such, for instance, as the Catholic Schools mentioned by the hon. Member for East Mayo. The acceptance of the Amendment would ensure what would otherwise not be secured, that some substantial relief should reach these schools. Every one of those Catholic Schools which existed in 1870 was still maintained, though the proportion of scholars who could pay any fee whatever was only one-fourth of that in other Denominational Schools.


The hon. Member is not addressing himself to the Amendment. There may be reasons why the Amendment should be accepted, but the hon. Gentleman is not dealing with the Amendment at all. He is urging no reason why it should be accepted in place of the original Motion.


said his argument was that the chance of relief for these schools was damaged by the proposals of the Government being so large. Last year the assistance to the Voluntary Schools was defeated by the Bill being too comprehensive; and the same danger now presented itself. The First Lord of the Treasury said that the Association of Voluntary Schools which were to be formed would enable the necessitous cases to be dealt with. But he could not see what common bond there would be between the schools forming the Association. Why should the representatives of one school be anxious for a larger grant to another and more necessitous school if their own grant was thereby diminished? There was no guarantee for discrimination.

MR. H. H. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

, who was received with loud cheers, said: I regret the impatience with which in some quarters of the House this Amendment has been received. In the view of a great number of us on this side it is a matter of very real and substantial importance. [Cheers.] What is the proposal my hon. Friend has made? It is that the grants to be provided by Parliament should be confined to necessitous Voluntary Schools. [Cheers.] I listened with respect to the short and somewhat contemptuous observations made by the First Lord of the Treasury—[cries of "No, no!" and "Hear, hear!"]—in reply to that proposal. The question I wish to put—and it deserves a serious answer on the part of the Government—is this, Is this grant you are now asking us to vote out of the public money, to be given to Voluntary Schools which do not come within the category of necessitous schools? I gather from what the First Lord of the Treasury has said that the answer would be in the negative.




Very well; that forms at least a basis for the Amendment. If the grant is only to be given to necessitous Voluntary Schools—because, admittedly, Voluntary Schools not necessitous, need no aid from the ratepayers—why should we not insert words in the Amendment confining the purpose and scope of the Vote to the class of schools which it is conceded are alone to be benefited? ["Hear, hear!"] I can see a reason why the Government should reject this Amendment. It is this—if we limit the grant about to be made to payments to necessitous Voluntary Schools, then 5s. per head would only have to be paid for the children attending such schools. But the proposal of the Govern-men is that, although relief is to be given only to necessitous schools, yet the sum to be distributed is to be calculated at 5s. per child in all Voluntary Schools, necessitous or not. In other words, the 5s. per head is not a true—I do not like to use invidious terms—but a false and fraudulent description. [Cheers.] You are to take the whole number of the children educated in all Voluntary Schools of the country, whether these schools are necessitous or not, and then, giving your dole to the necessitous schools alone, you, of course, embrace a far smaller number of children than if the dole applied to all Voluntary Schools, and you are not in that case giving 5s., but 6s., 7s., or even 10s. per child. [Cheers and counter-cheers.] I see that that proposition receives assent on the Treasury Bench. [Ministerial cheers.] Then why have you not the courage to put it in your Resolution? [Cheers.] This is not a grant—and it is not intended to be a grant—of 5s. per head of the children in the schools which are proposed to be relieved by the grant. It is a grant intended to be measured by the whole number of children in Voluntary Schools, necessitous or not, but the benefit of which is to be received alone by those schools which are necessitous. ["Hear, hear!"] If that be so, what we are asked now to appropriate out of the taxpayers' money is not 5s., but some indefinite number of shillings above 5s. for each child in the necessitous Voluntary Schools. [Opposition cheers and cries of " Hear, hear!" from the Ministerial Benches.] The discussion has not been useless, having elucidated that point. I ask one more question. Are you going to give 5s. per head to necessitous School Boards based, not upon the number of children educated in these schools alone, but upon the number of all the children attending the Board Schools? These are questions to which we are entitled to have, not a contemptuous brushing aside, but an explicit, categorical, and unmistakable answer before the Committee divides on this Amendment. [Cheers.]


, who was loudly cheered, said: The right hon. Gentleman has asked me two questions. One of them, it seems to me, he is rather late in the day in asking. [Laughter.] The other is rather premature. [Cheers.] The question the right hon. Gentleman has asked in regard to Voluntary Schools surely could have been answered by any Gentleman who took the trouble to listen to my statement yesterday, or to the subsequent speeches which were delivered from this Bench. [Cheers.] The needs of the Voluntary Schools vary between comparatively wide limits. Some Voluntary Schools need nothing; some need a small subvention; some need 5s., an average grant; some need considerably more. The sum we allocate to be divided into these various amounts among the Voluntary Schools is calculated upon the rate stated in the Resolution before the Committee. If we were to accept the Amendment the result would be to diminish that amount by a very large sum, and we do not mean to diminish it. [Cheers.] For that reason we cannot accept the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman. With regard to the second question put by the right hon. Gentleman—namely, whether we were going to adopt the same principle in regard to Board Schools—I would remind him that one of the reasons why we have not introduced into this Bill any question dealing with Board Schools is that, from the very nature of the case, similar provisions cannot be applied. ["Hear, hear!" and Opposition cries of "Oh!"] The need may be equal; I do not confess that; I do not dispute it; I do not deal with it one way or the other; but the machinery by which that need is to be met must, from the very necessities of the case, be a different machinery. It is absurd of the right hon. Gentleman to ask me whether the machinery is to be applied in the same way, and when hon. Gentlemen will consent to allow us to have this Bill, and when we are in a position to introduce the Bill dealing with Board Schools, then I shall be able to explain, I am sure to their satisfaction, why it is that a machinery applicable to the one case is not equally applicable to the other. [Cheers.]


Sir, we are not here upon a question of machinery. [Cheers.] We are here on a question of principle, for you are dealing with public money. [Cheers.] We are on a financial Resolution. You have told us now that you are going to ask for a grant of £600,000, not for the purposes which are stated in the Resolution, but for a different purpose. [Ministerial cries of "No!" and Opposition cheers] You are going to deal with this money, not for all Voluntary Schools; but I must say the ingenuity with which this Resolution has been framed is such as to make it impossible almost to get at the real intention of the Government upon the matter. If we understand the explanation given by the First Lord of the Treasury, it is that you are to take 5s. a head from schools that do not want it for the purpose of using that money for schools which are alleged to want it. [Cheers.] A more tortuous, a more indirect, and, in my opinion, a more improper—[cries of "Oh!"]—manner of taking £600,000 I never knew. But the searching question is the second question of my right hon. Friend. When he asks whether this principle is to be applied to the Board Schools of the country, what answer does the right hon. Gentleman give? It is perfectly easy for him to say whether he will follow the same principle, but he evades the question. [Cheers.] There must be different machinery, yes, but you may have different machinery for arriving at the same end. Do you mean to arrive at the same end? We have had an endeavour to support this grant to Voluntary Schools by great promise of what is going to be done for the Board Schools. Promises have been held out in order to induce hon. Members on the other side of the House who do not feel very comfortable—[laughter]—to support your Bill. The policy of the Government has been to say to them, "Open your mouths and shut your eyes and then you will see what the Board Schools will get." But I do not know whether hon. Gentlemen opposite are ready, not to open their mouths, but to shut their eyes, which is more important in regard to this matter. On this side of the House we are not disposed to shut our eyes in this matter—[Ministerial laughter]—and we shall endeavour to open the eyes of other people. [Cheers.] I daresay the right hon. Gentleman is about to shut our mouths—[laughter]—we know that their favourite system is—[Cries of "Order!"]


I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that there is a specific Amendment now before the Committee.


I am trying to ask, Sir, whether the principle of this Amendment is about to be applied not only to the Voluntary Schools but to the Board Schools. That is a very practical matter—whether £600,000, or thereabouts, is to be given to the Board Schools as well as to the Voluntary Schools. The greater part of this Debate has turned upon demands made from every side of the House that equal justice should be done to the Board Schools as to the Voluntary Schools, and the Government had held out this expectation as an inducement to us to proceed with these resolutions. Surely, therefore, it is necessary to ascertain how far that inducement which has been, held out by the Government is an inducement which ought to lead people to support this Bill. I gather from the answer of the right hon. Gentleman that the Government have no intention whatever of dealing with the Board Schools upon the same principle that they have applied to the Voluntary Schools. ["Hear, hear!"] It was of great importance we should ascertain that, and I think that the Amendment of my hon. Friend has been of the greatest value, because it has detected what are the real intentions of the Government in this matter. We may form our own opinions as to what are the views and intentions of the Government in dealing with the Bill which we are told we are to have, some day or other, on the subject of Board Schools. It is our duty to ascertain before we pass this Bill for the Voluntary Schools what the principles are upon which the other Bill is to be dealt with. I have my own opinion as to what will become of that Bill as soon as the Government have got the Voluntary Schools Bill; but, however, that is a matter which we shall have an opportunity later on of discussing. I should like very much to state my reasons for a very profound scepticism as to the future of that Bill, but that is a matter which does not arise. [Ministerial cheers.] Yes, but the Amendment has been a very good test, a very good method of forecasting the fortunes of that Bill, and I think the answer the First Lord of the Treasury has given is such as will satisfy us as to what the real intentions of the Government are in dealing with the Board Schools. [Opposition cheers.]

Question put, "That the word 'necessitous' be there inserted."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 112; Noes, 320.

The announcement of the figures was received with Ministerial cheers.

(Division List—No. 12—appended.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (Wol'tn) Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)
Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Perks, Robert William
Allan, William (Gateshead) Goddard, Daniel Ford Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Allen, Wm. (Newe under Lyme) Gold, Charles Pirie, Captain Duncan Vernon
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Griffith, Ellis J. Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)
Atherley-Jones, L. Haldane, Richard Burdon Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Randell, David
Bainbridge, Emerson Harrison, Charles Rickett, J. Compton
Baker, Sir John Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Barlow, John Emmott Hazell, Walter Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Robson, William Snowdon
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Schwann, Charles E.
Birrell, Augustine Joicey, Sir James Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea) Souttar, Robinson
Brigg, John Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Spicer, Albert
Broadhurst, Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth Stevenson, Francis S.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Labouchere, Henry Strachey, Edward
Burt, Thomas Lambert, George Tennant, Harold John
Buxton, Sydney Charles Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Caldwell, James Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accr'gton) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Causton, Richard Knight Leng, Sir John Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Channing, Francis Allston Lockwood, Sir Frank (York) Walton, John Lawson
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Logan, John William Wayman, Thomas
Colville, John Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Wedderburn, Sir William
Dalziel, James Henry M'Arthur, William Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) M'Kenna, Reginald Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Davies, W. Rees-(Pembrokesh.) M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles M'Leod, John Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Doughty, George Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Dunn, Sir William Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Wilson, John (Govan)
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Woodall, William
Ellis, Thos. Edw.(Merionethsh.) Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hud'rsf'ld)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose) Yoxall, James Henry
Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton) Mundella, Rt. Hn. Anthony John
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Nussey, Thomas Willans TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Mr.
Fenwick, Charles Oldroyd, Mark Lloyd-George and Mr.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Paulton, James Mellor Lough.
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Bartley, George C. T. Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)
Aird, John Bass, Hamar Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Brassey, Albert
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Arnold, Alfred Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants) Brookfield, A. Montagu
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Beckett, Ernest William Bucknill, Thomas Townsend
Arrol, Sir William Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Butcher, John George
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bemrose, Henry Howe Carew, James Laurence
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bethell, Commander Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Bhownaggrce, M. M. Cecil, Lord Hugh
Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Bigwood, James Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.
Baird, John George Alexander Bill, Charles Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.)
Balcarres, Lord Blundell, Colonel Henry Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Bond, Edward Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry
Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds) Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Charrington, Spencer
Banbury, Frederick George Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Chelsea, Viscount
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Bousfield, William Robert Clare, Octavius Leigh
Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Graham, Henry Robert McDermott, Patrick
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.)
Coddington, Sir William Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry) M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim
Coghill, Douglas Harry Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) McKillop, James
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gretton, John Malcolm, Ian
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gull, Sir Cameron Marks, Henry Hananel
Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.) Gunter, Colonel Martin, Richard Biddulph
Condon, Thomas Joseph Halsey, Thomas Frederick Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo. Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Melville, Beresford Valentine
Cox, Robert Hanson, Sir Reginald Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Cranborne, Viscount Hardy, Laurence Milbank, Powlett Charles John
Crean, Eugene Hare, Thomas Leigh Milner, Sir Frederick George
Cripps, Charles Alfred Heath, James Milward, Colonel Victor
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Helder, Augustus Monckton, Edward Philip
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter Monk, Charles James
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Hickman, Sir Alfred Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)
Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N. (Lanc. S. W.) Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Hill, Rt. Hn. A. Staveley (Staffs.) More, Robert Jasper
Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead) Murdoch, Charles Townshend
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute)
Daly, James Hobhouse, Henry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Dane, Richard M. Hogan, James Francis Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Davenport, W. Bromley- Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh Nicol, Donald Ninian
Denny, Colonel Hornby, William Henry Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Dillon, John Howard, Joseph O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon Howell, William Tudor O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)
Donelan, Captain A. Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Donkin, Richard Sim Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Doogan, P. C. Hudson, George Bickersteth O'Kelly, James
Dorington, Sir John Edward Hughes, Colonel Edwin O'Malley, William
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Isaacson, Frederick Wootton Parkes, Ebenezer
Drage, Geoffrey Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Parnell, John Howard
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Pease, Arthur (Darlington)
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Pender, James
Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan Johnston, William (Belfast) Penn, John
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Johnstone, John H. (Sussex) Philipotts, Captain Arthur
Engledew, Charles John Kemp, George Pierpoint, Robert
Fardell, Thomas George Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Farquhar, Sir Horace Kenny, William Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon
Farrell, James P. (Cavan W.) Kenrick, William Pollock, Harry Frederick
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Kenyon, James Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Mancr.) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William Power, Patrick Joseph
Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Kilbride, Denis Pretyman, Capt. Ernest George
Fielden, Thomas King, Sir Henry Seymour Pryce-Jones, Edward
Finch, George H. Knowles, Lees Purvis, Robert
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey Pym, C. Guy
Fisher, William Hayes Lafone, Alfred Rankin, James
Fitz Wygram, General Sir F. Laurie, Lieut.-General Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Flannery, Fortescue Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall) Rentoul, James Alexander
Fletcher, Sir Henry Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Richards, Henry Charles
Flower, Ernest Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W.
Flynn, James Christopher Lecky, William Edward H. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Folkestone, Viscount Lees, Elliott (Birkenhead) Robinson, Brooke
Forster, Henry William Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a) Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry)
Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. (Essex) Roche, John (East Galway)
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Rollit, Albert Kaye
Fowler, Matthew (Durham) Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham) Round, James
Galloway, William Johnson Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool) Russell, Col. F. S. (Cheltenham)
Garfit, William Lorne, Marquess of Russell, Sir George (Berkshire)
Godge, Sydney Lowles, John Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rutherford, John
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Gilhooly, James Lucas-Shadwell, William Saunderson, Col. Edw. James
Gilliat, John Saunders Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Savory, Sir Joseph
Goldsworthy, Major-General MacAleese, Daniel Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Gordon, John Edward Macartney, W. G. Ellison Seely, Charles Hilton
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Macdona, John Cumming Seton-Karr, Henry
Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. G'rg's) Maclure, John William Sharpe, William Edward T.
Goschen, George J. (Sussex) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Goulding, Edward Alfred McCalmont, Maj.-Gn. (Ant'm, N) Sidebottom, William (Derbysh.)
Simeon, Sir Barrington Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset)
Skewes-Cox, Thomas Taylor, Francis Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm.)
Smith, Abel (Herts) Thorburn, Walter Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Thornton, Percy M. Willox, John Archibald
Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Spencer, Ernest Tritton, Charles Ernest Wilson, J. W. (Worc'shire, N.)
Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Verney, Hon. Richard Greville Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Stephens, Henry Charles Waring, Col. Thomas Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart Warr, Augustus Frederick Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Stock, James Henry Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras) Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy
Strauss, Arthur Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight) Younger, William
Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Wharton, John Lloyd TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Sir
Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath) Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.) William Walrond and Mr.
Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Whitmore, Charles Algernon Anstruther.

Main Question again proposed:—

And, it being after Midnight, and Objection being taken to Further Proceeding, the Chairman proceeded to interrupt the Business:

Whereupon THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."


proceeded to put the Question.


Mr. Chairman, may I direct your attention to the fact that the Closure cannot be moved according to the 25th Standing Order?


The hon. Member is labouring under a mistake. I am putting the main Question. No Closure has yet been moved.


Then I object to the main Question—it is after Twelve o'clock.


If the hon. Member objects, then it is open to move the Closure.


I move that the Question be now put.


I object to that.

The House having been cleared for a Division,


, seated, with his hat on: Will you now, Mr. Lowther, hear me on a Point of Order? I object to this Motion, and I submit, Sir, with great respect, that the Motion for Closure cannot now be put, in accordance with rules after 12 o'clock. ["Oh, oh!" "Order, order!"] May I simply say this to show how this occurs? ["Order, order!"] First, the Motion on which a Division was taken was a subsidiary Motion and not part and parcel of the whole Motion in reference to the transaction before the Committee, it was merely an Amendment. That being so, if, on that Amendment there had been a Motion for the Closure and if that had been carried and the Amendment disposed of it would have been competent for The First Lord of the Treasury to propose the Motion on the whole Question. Put when he made his Motion, the Question had not been proposed. [Interruptions and cries of "Order!"] I submit, Sir, that it is utterly impossible in accordance with the rules for any Chairman to invalidate the rules in reference to the Closure, and put the Closure in the midst of the transaction. [Cries of "Order!"] And, Sir, if you will forgive me, it is scarcely within the province of a Chairman to suggest the Closure himself. [Cries of "Oh, oh!" "Order!" and "Hear, hear!"]


The process is not so elaborate as the hon. Member seems to think it is. If he will look at Rule I. he will observe that the Closure may be moved "on the interruption of business." It was moved on the interruption of business—[cries of "No, no!" "Hear, hear!" and "Order!"]—the interruption of business took place when the hon. Member objected to my putting the Question. ["Hear, hear!"] That was the interruption of business, and thereupon the Closure was moved according to Rule I. ["Hear, hear!"] The Question is, That the Question be now put,

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 296; Noes, 142.—(Division List—No. 13—appended.)

Aird, John Cripps, Charles Alfred Hare, Thomas Leigh
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Heath, James
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Helder, Augustus
Arnold, Alfred Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N. (Lanc. S. W.) Hickman, Sir Alfred
Arrol, Sir William Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Hill, Rt Hn. A. Staveley (Staffs.)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Dane, Richard M. Hoare, Samuel (Norwich)
Bagot, Capt. Joceline FitzRoy Davenport, W. Bromley- Hobhouse, Henry
Bailey, James (Walworth) Denny, Colonel Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh
Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Hornby, William Henry
Baird, John George Alexander Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Balcarres, Lord Donkin, Richard Sim Howard, Joseph
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Dorington, Sir John Edward Howell, William Tudor
Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle
Banbury, Frederick George Douglas-Pennant, Hon. Edw. S. Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Drage, Geoffrey Hudson, George Bickersteth
Bartley, George C. T. Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hughes, Colonel Edwin
Bass, Hamar Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Edwards, Gen. Sir James B. Isaacson, Frederick Wootton
Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Jebb, Richard Claverhouse
Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants.) Engledow, Charles John Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Beckett, Ernest William Fardell, Thomas George Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Farquhar, Sir Horace Johnston, William (Belfast)
Bemrose, Henry Howe Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Johnstone, John H. (Sussex)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man'cr) Kemp, George
Bethell, Commander Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Bhownaggree, M. M. Fielden, Thomas Kenny, William
Bigwood, James Finch, George H. Kenrick, William
Bill, Charles Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Kenyon, James
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fisher, William Hayes Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William
Bond, Edward Fitz Wygram, General Sir F. King, Sir Henry Seymour
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Flannery, Fortescue Knowles, Lees
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Fletcher, Sir Henry Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey
Bousfield, William Robert Flower, Ernest Lafone, Alfred
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Folkestone, Viscount Laurie, Lieut.-General
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Forster, Henry William Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall)
Brassey, Albert Foster, Colonel (Lancaster) Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)
Brookfield, A. Montagu Fowler, Matthew (Durham) Lecky, William Edward H.
Bucknill, Thomas Townsend Galloway, William Johnson Lees, Elliott (Birkenhead)
Butcher, John George Garfit, William Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)
Carew, James Laurence Gedge, Sydney Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. (Essex)
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.) Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire) Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)
Cecil, Lord Hugh Gilliat, John Saunders Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool)
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Goldsworthy, Major-General Lorne, Marquess of
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.) Gordon, John Edward Lowles, John.
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Goschen, Rt. Hon. G. J. (St. G'rg's) Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John
Charrington, Spencer Goschen, G. J. (Sussex) Lucas-Shadwell, William
Chelsea, Viscount Goulding, Edward Alfred Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Clare, Octavius Leigh Graham, Henry Robert Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Macdona, John Cumming
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Green, Walford D. (Wednsbry) Maclure, John William
Coddington, Sir William Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs) McCalmont, Maj.-Gen. (Ant'mN)
Coghill, Douglas Harry Gretton, John McKillop, James
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gull, Sir Cameron Malcolm, Ian
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Gunter, Colonel Marks, Henry Hananel
Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds) Halsey, Thomas Frederick Martin, Richard Biddulph
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo. Massey-Mainwaring, Hon. W. F.
Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm. Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Cox, Robert Hanson, Sir Reginald Melville, Beresford Valentine
Cranborne, Viscount Hardy, Laurence Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Milbank, Powlett Charles John Rentoul, James Alexander Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Milner, Sir Frederick George Richards, Henry Charles Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)
Milward, Colonel Victor Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W. Taylor, Francis
Monckton, Edward Philip Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Thorburn, Walter
Monk, Charles James Robinson, Brooke Thornton, Percy M.
Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Round, James Tritton, Charles Ernest
More, Robert Jasper Russell, Col. F. S. (Cheltenham) Verney, Hon. Richard Greville
Murdoch, Charles Townshend Russell, Sir George (Berkshire) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Gr'h'm (Bute) Russell, T. W. (Tyrone) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Rutherford, John Waring, Col. Thomas
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Nicol, Donald Ninian Saunderson, Col. Edw. James Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Savory, Sir Arthur Richard Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Seely, Charles Hilton Wharton, John Lloyd
O'Kelly, James Seton-Karr, Henry Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Sharpe, William Edward T. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Parkes, Ebenezer Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Parnell, John Howard Sidebottom, William (Derbysh) Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm.)
Pease, Arthur (Darlington) Simeon, Sir Barrington Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Pender, James Skewes-Cox, Thomas Willox, John Archibald
Penn, John Smith, Abel (Herts) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Philipotts, Captain Arthur Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch) Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh. N.)
Pierpoint, Robert Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Spencer, Ernest Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon Stanley, Lord (Lancs) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Pollock, Harry Frederick Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth) Wyndham-Quin, Major W H.
Pretyman, Captain Ernest G. Stephens, Henry Charles Wyvill, Marmaduke d'Arcy
Pryco-Jones, Edward stewart, Sir Mark J.McTaggart Younger, William
Purvis, Robert Stock, James Henry
Pym, C. Guy Strauss, Arthur TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir
Rankin, James Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley William Walrond and Mr.
Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Start, Hon. Humphry Napier Anstruther.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Dixon, George Lambert, George
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Donelan, Captain A. Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'lnd)
Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke Doogan, P. C. Lees, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Doughty, George Leng, Sir John
Allen, Wm.(Newc. under Lyme) Dunn, Sir William Lloyd-George, David
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Ellis, John Edward (Notts) Lockwood, Sir Frank (York)
Atherley-Jones, L. Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Logan, John William
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton) Lough, Thomas
Bainbridge, Emerson Farquharson, Dr. Robert Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Baker, Sir John Farrell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Macaleese, Daniel
Barlow, John Emmott Fenwick, Charles MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) McDermott, Patrick
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Flynn, James Christopher M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.)
Birrell, Augustine Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir H. (Wol'h'tn) McKenna, Reginald
Brigg, John Gilhooly, James McLaren, Charles Benjamin B.
Broadhurst, Henry Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John McLeod, John
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Goddard, Daniel Ford Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Gold, Charles Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)
Burt, Thomas Griffith, Ellis J. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Haldane, Richard Burdon Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Caldwell, James Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose)
Causton, Richard Knight Harrison, Charles Mundella, Rt. Hn. Anthony John
Channing, Francis Allston Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Nussey, Thomas Willans
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Hazell, Walter O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Colville, John Hogan, James Francis O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Crean, Eugene Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Oldroyd, Mark
Daly, James Joicey, Sir James O'Malley, William
Dalziel, James Henry Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nse') Paulton, James Mellor
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Jones, William (C'rn'rvonshire) Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)
Davies, W. Rees-(Pembrokesh.) Kearley, Hudson E. Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)
Davitt, Michael Kilbride, Denis Perks, Robert William
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kinloch, Sir John Geo. Smyth Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Dillon, John Labouchere, Henry
Pirie, Captain Duncan Vernon Sheehy, David Wedderburn, Sir William
Power, Patrick Joseph Souttar, Robinson Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.) Spicer, Albert Williams, John Carvell (Notts)
Provand, Andrew Dryburgh Stanhope, Hon. Philip J. Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)
Randell, David Stevenson, Francis S. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Rickett, J. Compton Strachey, Edward Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath) Wilson, John (Govan)
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Tanner, Charles Kearns Woodall, William
Robson, William Snowdon Tennant, Harold John Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hudd'rsf 'ld)
Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Yoxall, James Henry
Roche, John (East Galway) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Schwann, Charles E. Wallace, Robert (Perth) TELLERS FORTHE NOES, Mr.
Scott, Charles Prestwich Walton, John Lawson Thomas Ellis and Mr.
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Wayman, Thomas McArthur

Main Question put accordingly. The Committee divided:—Ayes, 325; Noes, 110.

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Aird, John Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r.) Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r)
Allan, William (Gateshead) Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Field, Admiral (Eastbourne
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Charrington, Spencer Fielden, Thomas
Ambrose, William (Middlesex) Chelsea, Viscount Finch, George H.
Arnold, Alfred Clare, Octavius Leigh Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Clarke, Sir Edward (Plymouth) Fisher, William Hayes
Arrol, Sir William Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Coddington, Sir William Flannery, Fortescue
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Coghill, Douglas Harry Fletcher, Sir Henry
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Cohen, Benjamin Louis Flower, Ernest
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Flynn, James Christopher
Bailey, James (Walworth) Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.) Folkestone, Viscount
Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Condon, Thomas Joseph Forster, Henry William
Baird, John George Alexander Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)
Balcarres, Lord Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd) Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r) Cox, Robert Fowler, Matthew (Durham)
Balfour, Gerald William (Leeds) Cranborne, Viscount Galloway, William Johnson
Banbury, Frederick George Crean, Eugene Garfit, William
Barnes, Frederic Gorell Cripps, Charles Alfred Gedge, Sydney
Bartley, George C. T. Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.)
Bass, Hamar Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton) Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Gilhooly, James
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N. (Lanc, S. W.) Gilliat, John Saunders
Beach, W. W. Bramston (Hants.) Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Goldsworthy, Major-General
Beckett, Ernest William Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Gordon, John Edward
Begg, Ferdinand Faithful Dalrymple, Sir Charles Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Bemrose, Henry Howe Daly, James Goschen, Rt. Hn. G. J. (St. G'rg's)
Bentinck Lord Henry C. Dane Richard M. Goschen, George J. (Sussex)
Bethell, Commander Davenport, W. Bromley- Goulding, Edward Alfred
Bhownaggree, M. M. Davitt, Michael Graham, Henry Robert
Bigwood, James Denny, Colonel Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Bill, Charles Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Green, Walford D. (Wodnesb'ry)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dillon, John Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)
Bond, Edward Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. Dixon Gretton, John
Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Donelan Captain A. Gull, Sir Cameron
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Donkin, Richard Sim Gunter, Colonel
Bousfield, William Robert Doogan, P. C. Halsey, Thomas Frederick
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Dorington, Sir John Edward Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.
Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.
Brassey, Albert Douglas-Pennant, Hon. E. S. Hanson, Sir Reginald
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Drage, Geoffrey Hardy, Laurence
Brookfield, A. Montagu Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Hare, Thomas Leigh
Bucknill, Thomas Townsend Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Heath, James
Butcher, John George Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan Helder, Augustus
Carew, James Laurence Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter
Cavendish, R. E. (N. Lancs.) Engledow, Charles John Hickman, Sir Alfred
Cavendish, V. G. W. (Derbyshire) Fardell, Thomas George Hill, Rt. Hn. Lord Arthur (Down)
Cecil, Lord Hugh Farquhar, Sir Horace Hill, Rt. Hn. A. Staveley (Staffs.)
Chaloner, Captain R. G. W. Fairell, James P. (Cavan, W.) Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead)
Hoare, Samuel (Norwich) Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire) Savory, Sir Joseph
Hobhouse, Henry Melville, Beresford Valentine Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard
Hogan, James Francis Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Seely, Charles Hilton
Holland, Hon. Lionel Raleigh Millbank, Powlett Charles John Seton-Karr, Henry
Hornby, William Henry Milner, Sir Frederick George Sharpe, William Edward T.
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Milward, Colonel Victor Sheehy, David
Howard, Joseph Monckton, Edward Philip Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)
Howell, William Tudor Monk, Charles James Sidebottom William (Derbysh.)
Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Hudson, George Bickersteth Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)
Hughes, Colonel Edwin More, Robert Jasper Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Hunt, Sir Frederick Seager Murdoch, Charles Townshend Spencer, Ernest
Isaacson, Frederick Wootton Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Grah'm (Bute) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Jebb, Richard Claverhouse Murray, Charles J. Coventry Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth)
Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Nicol, Donald Ninian Stephens, Henry Charles
Johnston, William (Belfast) Northcote, Hon. Sir H. Stafford Stewart, Sir Mark J. McTaggart
Kemp, George O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Stock, James Henry
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Strauss, Arthur
Kenny, William O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Kenrick, William O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Kenyon, James O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William O'Kelly, James Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Kilbride, Denis O'Malley, William Talbot, John G. (Oxford Univ.)
King, Sir Henry Seymour Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Tanner, Charles Kearns
Knowles, Lees Parkes, Ebenezer Taylor, Francis
Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey Parnell, John Howard Thorburn, Walter
Lafone, Alfred Pease, Arthur (Darlington) Thornton, Percy M.
Laurie, Lieut.-General Pender, James Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall) Penn, John Tritton, Charles Ernest
Lawrence Wm. F. (Liverpool) Philipotts, Captain Arthur Verney, Hon. Richard Greville
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Pierpoint, Robert Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Lecky, William Edward H. Platt-Higgins, Frederick Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)
Lees, Elliott (Birkenhead) Plunkett, Hon. Horace Curzon Waring, Col. Thomas
Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans'a) Pollock, Harry Frederick Warr, Augustus Frederick
Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. (Essex) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Power, Patrick Joseph Webster, Sir R. E. (Isle of Wight)
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Pretyman, Capt. Ernest George Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool) Pryce-Jones, Edward Wharton, John Lloyd
Lorne, Marquess of Purvis, Robert Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)
Lowles, John Pym, C. Guy Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rankin, James Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm.)
Lucas-Shadwell, William Rentoul, James Alexander Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Richards, Henry Charles Willox, John Archibald
Macaleese, Daniel Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Macartney, W. G. Ellison Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson Wilson, J. W. (Worc'sh., N.)
Macdona, John Cumming Robinson, Brooke Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Maclure, John William Roche, Hon. James (East Kerry) Wodehonse, Edmond R. (Bath)
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Roche, John (East Galway) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
McCalmont, Maj.-Gn. (Ant'm, N) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
McDermott, Patrick Round, James Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
M'Hugh, E. (Armagh, S.) Russell, Col. F. S. (Cheltenham) Wyvill, Marmaduke d'Arcy
M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim) Russell, Sir George (Berks.) Younger, William
McKillop, James Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Malcolm, Ian Rutherford, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir
Marks, Henry Hananel Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) William Walrond and Mr.
Martin, Richard Biddulph Saunderson, Col. Edw. James Anstruther
Massey-Mainwaring, Hon. W. F.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Buxton, Sydney Charles
Acland, Rt. Hon. A. H. Dyke Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Caldwell, James
Allen, Wm. (Newc. under Lyme) Birrell, Augustine Causton, Richard Knight
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Bolton, Thomas Dolling Channing, Francis Allston
Atherley-Jones, L. Brigg, John Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)
Austin, Sir John (Yorkshire) Broadhurst, Henry Colville, John
Bainbridge, Emerson Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Dalziel, James Henry
Baker, Sir John Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)
Barlow, John Emmott Burt, Thomas Davies, W. Rees-(Pembrokesh.)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lambert, George Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Dixon, George Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land) Robson, William Snowdon
Doughty, George Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington) Scott, Charles Prestwich
Dunn, Sir William Leng, Sir John Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Lloyd-George, David Souttar, Robinson
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Lockwood, Sir Frank (York) Spicer, Albert
Evans, Sir Francis H. (South'ton) Logan, John William Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Lough, Thomas Stevenson, Francis S.
Fenwick, Charles Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Strachey, Edward
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) McKenna, Reginald Tennant, Harold John
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) McLaren, Charles Benjamin Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Fowler, Rt. Hn Sir Henry (Wol'tn) McLeod, John Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Wallace, Robert (Perth)
Goddard, Daniel Ford Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Walton, John Lawson
Gold, Charles Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Wayman, Thomas
Griffith, Ellis J. Morley, Rt. Hon. John (Montrose) Wedderburn, Sir William
Haldane, Richard Burdon Mundella, Rt. Hn. Anthony John Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Nussey, Thomas Willans Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Harrison, Charles Oldroyd, Mark Wilson, Frederick W. (Norfolk)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Paulton, James Mellor Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Hazell, Walter Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Humphrevs-Owen, Arthur C. Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham) Wilson, John (Govan)
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Perks, Robert William Woodall, William
Joicey, Sir James Pickersgill, Edward Hare Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hud'rsf'ld)
Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea) Pirie, Captain Duncan Vernon Yoxall, James Henry
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Provand, Andrew Dryburgh
Kearley, Hudson E. Randell, David TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Mr.
Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth Rickett, J. Compton Thomas Ellisand Mr. McArthur
Labouchere, Henry Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)

The announcement of the numbers was received with cheers.

(Division List, No. 14—(appended.)

Resolved,—That it is expedient—

  1. (a) to authorise the payment out of moneys to be provided by Parliament, of an aid grant to Voluntary Schools, not exceeding five shillings per scholar for the whole number of scholars in those schools;
  2. (b) to repeal as regards day schools so much of section nineteen of The Elementary Education Act, 1876, as imposes a limit on the parliamentary grant to elementary schools in England and Wales; and
  3. (c) to make provision for the exemption from rates of Voluntary Schools.

Whereupon the Chairman of Ways and Means left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Resolution to be reported upon Thurs day.


Will it be the first Order?


Yes, the first Order.