HC Deb 30 June 1897 vol 50 cc847-51

This Act shall commence and take effect from the first day of January, one thousand fight hundred and ninety-eight, hereinafter referred to as the commencement of this Act.

MR. LEES KNOWLES moved, after the, word "to insert the words" save where the context otherwise requires."

Amendment agreed to.

*SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean) moved to leave out the words "the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight," and to insert— such date after the first day of August, one thousand eight hundred and ninety-eight as the Local Government Board may fix by order published in the London, Gazette. If there was any real intention of passing the Bill in the present Session it would have to be very much simpler and would have to be virtually framed by the Local Government Board. If this Amendment were carried, he should be prepared to move to leave out the greater portion of Clauses 3 and 4 and the schedules, and to propose that the rules for the election of the governing body should be left entirely to the Local Government Board.


hoped the Amendment would be accepted. Unless the rules were framed by some such body as the Local Government Board he predicted that many of the authorities who had petitioned for the Bill and some of the educational institutions that were not opposed to it, would abandon the Bill or ask to have it repealed in consequence of the complexity of its machinery.


said he must decline to accept the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman. He did not believe that the arrangements for the establishment of the general council were unworkable, but at all events, the Local Government Board could not take the responsibility of devising the perfectly new machinery which was proposed.


said it was not a question of the Local Government Board nominating the members of this council, but simply of their drawing up rules for their election. It was practically the only chance that the Bill would have of passing for the Local Government Board to draw up a scheme. If the Amendment were carried, he pointed out that the rules would be subject to the approval of the House, because they would be laid upon the Table of the House.

MR. W. E. M. TOMLINSON (Preston)

said he was not at all satisfied that the Bill as it stood would work satisfactorily. ["Hear, hear!"] He believed it might be improved in Committee, or perhaps a better Bill might be produced next Session. He did not think he could support the. Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman.


hoped the right hon. Gentleman would not press his Amendment. He did not know exactly what the object of the Amendment was.


said its object was simply to give more time for the Local government Board to prepare schemes.


pointed out that the Local Government Board had declined to accept the responsibility. The Local Government Board would have in interest in watching the working of the machinery.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill." The House divided:—Ayes, 176: Noes, 97.—(Division List, No. 260.)

*MR. HENRY KIMBER (Wandsworth) moved to omit from Sub-section (1) the voids "Education and." He said that he Bill was in no sense an Education Bill, but was limited to registration. It hid tided examination, but only as a step to the act of registration.


supported the Amendment. He said the proposed council would be a body entirely unsuitable for the supervision of the education of plumbers. For the whole of England and Wales (exclusive of London, in regard to which a more reasonable proposal was made) two-thirds of the General Council of 24 members were to be connected with the plumbing trade; and the remaining eight were to be members of the council of a borough, or other urban or rural district, or medical officers of health, or inspectors or nuisances, who were to be elected of large constituencies consisting of persons carrying on any trade employing plumbers, operative plumbers, and the members of the borough, urban, and rural councils. Could any body so elected be regarded as a proper educational authority? The largest proportion of this enormous electorate would be connected with the plumbing industry; and the result would undoubtedly be that the council would consist almost entirely of persons belonging to that industry. Such a body might be a very suitable one for registration; but it could not be said to be a suitable body to regulate without any control from a central authority the education and examination of plumbers. It was true that 20 additional members were to be elected by the General Council irons the nominees of a long list of sanitary institutes, technical colleges, and plumbers' associations; but this addition could not be said to render the General Council a fit body to exercise control over education. The General Council would be free to choose all the 20 additional members front the nominees of the plumbers' associations, neglecting altogether the representatives of those local authorities which were doing so much for the technical instruction of plumbers at the present time. The Council as proposed to be constituted might be a, good body for registration purposes, but it could not be a proper educational body.


thought it mattered very little what name was given to the Council. But certain educational powers were to be given, to the Council, and he hoped, therefore, that the Amendment would not be pressed.


hoped that the Amendment would be accepted. The County Councils had done a great deal in the last few years for the technical education of plumbers, among other craftsmen, and those efforts ought to be recognised. It would be a pity to compel those authorities to spend in other ways the money they now spent on the technical education of plumbers; but that would happen if this proposed Council set up an educational centre of its own. There were now 30 classes for plumbers carried on in different London Polytechnics, and it would be a pity to take away all the apprentices now attending those classes. A common centre would break up that healthy spirit of local effort and responsibility.


said that the words "Education and registration" were used according to the ordinary custom of bodies concerned with registration. The proposed Council would not attempt to become a teaching body itself; but would simply supervise the education of the students by other bodies and maintain its standard. In all registration of this kind, it was most essential that the body regulated should be largely represented on the central Council, and, therefore he saw no objection to the constitution of the Council.


said that all registration must be founded on education. The Council would have to direct the course of study of the students for instance; and therefore he hoped the Amendment would not be accepted.

Question put, "That the words 'Education and,' stand part of the Bill."

The House divided: —Ayes, 153; Noes, 123.—(Division List, No. 261.)

And, it being after Half-past Five of the Clock, further proceeding on consideration, as amended, stood adjourned.

Bill, as amended, to be further considered upon Wednesday next.