That a sum, not exceeding £26,582 be granted to Her Majesty, for salaries and expenses of the Registrar General of Births in England.
§ DR. CLARK
I want to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he will bring in any legislation in reference to 293 the £21,000 for superintendents, which will cease to be paid under the new arrangement. This Vote of £21,000, which we voted for superintendence, was under a Statute of William IV., I think, and it cannot be taken in the Estimate. This £21,000 ought not to continue to be paid out of Imperial resources, but the superintendents, like the ordinary registrars, ought to be paid the entire sum. They get 2d. per head, but the entire sum in Scotland is paid from local sources, and it was understood that this and all others were to be knocked off the Imperial Estimates, and paid for by the county councils and other councils out of the sum which they got for probate duty and licences. Once or twice we have been told that legislation would take place, but you can go on for years and not legislate; but, if you are going to pay this money, you will require to legislate, or else give an equivalent grant for Scotland. I want to know whether the thing is going to go on year after year, or whether you intend to place this charge upon the probate duty.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. R. W. HANBURY,) Preston
I think that is rather a question which ought to be addressed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. I have only to deal with the facts of the Vote. All these charges are fully endorsed by Acts of Parliament, and, therefore, all the items in this Vote are statutory.
§ DR. CLARK
Yes, but there is 50 per cent of the cost, and the sums paid for poor law purposes, and some of these charges are not statutory. The under standing was that in view of those local grants they should pay their fair share of taxes. This 2d. per case, which the Imperial Parliament pays, ought not to be paid. It has been paid for 10 years, and £210,000 has been spent upon it. We know that the present Chancellor of the Exchequer cannot get anything back, but the question is—is it to go on for 10 years longer, or, after this year, will those grants cease? I hope we shall have some legislative bargain under which these grants will cease.
§ Question put.
§ Vote agreed to.294
That a sum, not exceeding £340,535, be granted to Her Majesty for stationery, printing, paper, binding, and printed books for thee public service, to pay the salaries and expenses of the Stationery Office, and for sundry miscellaneous services, including the reports of the Parliamentary Debates.
§ MR. LOWLES (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
I should like to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether any saving, haw been made in the item for paper, and whether paper of English manufacture has been used.
§ MR. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
I observe with considerable satisfaction that there is a decrease in this year's Vote of about £20,000, and I should not be at all surprised if that has not been solely due to the energies of the right honourable Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury. But, still, the amount is very large, and I wonder whether it is not possible to have some better system. I am not very clear as to what recommendation to make on this subject. It does appear to me to be a rather curious thing that when a Member does not sent for all his Parliamentary Papers, but merely makes a statement from those which appear on the pink Paper, and when he asks for the Report at the Vote Office he is asked in a manner, not altogether free from suspicion, whether he has had a Paper before. I am not complaining of the way in which the officials perform their duty. I have no doubt they think that they are doing their duty in ascertaining that, and seeing that a Member does not get more than one copy of the Report. It does appear to me that there is an enormous amount of waste in regard to the Parliamentary Papers. I notice that a reduction of £20,000 has been made, and hope that the right honourable Gentleman will do all he can to obtain a further reduction in this very heavy expenditure in the ensuing year, for there is still an enormous amount of preventable waste in regard to the Parliamentary Papers. There is just one item to which I should like to call the attention of the Committee, and it is the item for the Parliamentary Debates. Under the existing system Members of this House have to wait for six or seven days as a general 295 rule before they even see a proof of the remarks that they make in this House. Now, I do think that it would be possible to shorten that period very considerably. I daresay under the existing system and scale of payment, the arrangement is as good as the remuneration will justify. Perhaps that is so. But there are other places where these things are managed very much better by the Government. For example, in the Legislature of Canada, any Member who has delivered a speech in the Legislature will see a proof of his speech on the following morning. It is handed to him just as if it were a newspaper. Now, if that can be done in Ottawa, why can it not be done in London? I daresay it would necessitate a slight increase of expenditure, but I do say that it is quite unreasonable that honourable Members should be kept for six or seven days without a proof of the speeches which they make. The speeches by that time will probably largely have passed out of their recollection. I do think that it might be possible to make some alteration in this respect.
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)
I wish to endorse the complaint of my honourable Friend the Member for Flint Boroughs, but for a reason which he has not stated. Not only are Members deprived of an early opportunity of correcting their speeches, but the daily editions of the Debates which are brought out do net make their appearance for many days and sometimes two or three weeks elapse before the Debates for a particular day are published separately and are accessible to the public. I wish also to express a hope that the Secretary to the Treasury will carry out still further the rules affecting the delivery and the printing of unnecessary Parliamentary Papers. We receive from time to time Papers containing notices of Amendments with regard to Bills which it is quite notorious are not likely to be dealt with by the House on the day on which they are delivered. This evil, I know, prevailed to a greater extent in past times, and some improvement has been effected, but I think it may be carried still further, and when notices of Amendments have been given very lately reference might be made 296 to a separate Paper which is always obtainable at the Vote Office, instead of the same Papers being delivered time after time. I should like to ask whether the printers charge for repeating standing matter—whether that is charged for as hew matter, or whether it is charged as it ought to be, and always is, in commercial circles, as matter already in type. The answer to that question, I need not point out, must involve a very considerable Sum of money. I am not sure that this is the proper Vote on which to refer to the reporting. I express this only as my opinion that the reporting of the Debates of this House does not reach that standard of excellence which I think might be attained, and which has been attained in times past. I do not know what the experience of other honourable Members has been, but my own experience has been very unsatisfactory.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
I think this reporting of the Debates is one of the Subjects on which we cannot congratulate the right honourable Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury as warmly as we have been able to do in other matters, I think the reporting this Session has been slow and inaccurate. I have not suffered so much, perhaps, myself as I deserve, but a friend of mine asked me particularly to bring the matter up, as he said that some of the reports of the Debates in which he took part were perfectly unintelligible, and they have taken a much longer time to get out than formerly. I think the volumes are nearly a week late. I would like the right. honourable Gentleman to explain more fully than he has done yet why the change was made with regard to the reporting. I do not see that any advantage was gained by it; on the contrary, I think a great deal of inconvenience has been suffered by the House. With regard to the reduction of the Vote I would like a little explanation. I see that there is a reduction of £20,000 in the Vote, which is put down as saving on paper supplied to the Government Department. Now, if the paper supplied to the Government Department shows such a saving as that, why is there no saving on the paper used by the House of Commons, and the other items for paper which appear in the Vote? I do not see 297 any saving in the paper in respect, of any other item in the Vote. It appears that the printing in the Government Department costs something like £390,000— the printing is £210,000 and the paper about £180,000, making nearly £400,000, which is a very large item indeed for the panting department. I would like to ask the right honourable Gentleman if he thinks sufficient economy is practised in this department and whether some further economy could not be effected?
§ MR. T. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
There is one point which I think is much mare important, and that is the delay in the printing of the answers to questions. As far as the reports of the Debates are concerned they come out in the Times, and are quite accurate enough for ordinary purposes; but the answers to questions are matters of local importance, and it is very often a very great convenience to Members that they should be able to send the answers off as soon as possible. Now, the delay in having the answers to questions is a very great inconvenience. I have heard complaints of the inaccuracy, of the reporting, but that is to a certain extent counterbalanced, as we are now having the reporting business done very much cheaper than we did in the old days, and therefore we cannot expect to have the same amount of accuracy in it. The answers to questions is really an important question, Which I think ought to be considered.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
I think I shall be in order in asking the right honourable Gentleman if he could not make some better provision for a better system of the interchange of reports between the two Houses of Parliament as to what is going on while the Houses are sitting. Years ago many changes were made, but there was a system, which the right honourable Gentleman is perhaps not aware of, under which brief reports of the proceedings from hour to hour were exhibited. I think it is desirable that we should have that still. We do not know what is going on in the other House. On that point I would wish to impress upon the right honourable Gentleman that it 298 is very important during the progress of the sitting of the whole House that we should have a report of what is going on in the other Chamber. There is no reason why it should not be made part of the present contract of those who are now doing the Parliamentary Reports, and who are engaged in both Houses of Parliament. It could be made part of that contract, that they should supply, say, every quarter of an hour, a report of what is going on in the other House. I have found frequently that I was quite unable to get the least idea of what was taking place in the other Chamber, because I did not happen to be present when the particular speech was being made. At five o'clock in the evening only this week the Foreign Minister made some important statement with regard to foreign affairs, and we were left in absolute ignorance of that statement until the following morning. Occasionally, with regard to the very important statements which have been made in the other House, the Debate in this House goes on in absolute ignorance of what is taking place in the other House. Now, occasionally there will be a question, of a Division, and the news flows down from one House to the other very rapidly. During the last fortnight, within the last week, a most important, statement was made With regard to the. Chinese question, and I asked in vain among half a dozen Members of this House to get some idea of what that statement amounted to. Now, Sir, I would suggest that the right honourable Gentleman should have a brief summary of the proceedings of the other House made up by the gentlemen who do the present Parliamentary reporting, and similarly with regard to the proceedings of this House; Members are not very constant in their attendance on the floor of this Chamber. That is an evil which lies, very deep, and which I would not be in order in discussing here; but as Members, spend a good part of their time out of this Chamber, necessarily, in other parts of the establishment, I think it is desirable that they should have ready and proper means of knowing what is going on.
§ DR. CLARK
On previous occasions I have very severely criticised the reports 299 we have had of the proceedings of this House, and the cash we paid for them. Now, on the present occasion I do not agree with my honourable Friend the Member for Islington and my honourable Friend the Member for Mansfield, because the present reports are one-third less in cost than was paid to the previous contractor. Instead of paying £5,000 or £6,000 for a very inadequate report, we are getting now a very much better and fuller report for £3,000 or £4,000. We are getting a much better report for 35 or 50 per cent. less money. The reason we do not get a perfectly accurate report is because of the conditions laid down in the contract. You do not want a fuller report, and you do not ask for it. You give this power to the contractor, to report as much as he thinks proper. The only limitation is that he must put in one-third of what you say, and with regard to the other two-thirds he can put in as much as he likes. Under these conditions you cannot expect a perfectly accurate report. If you crush all that is said into one-third, in doing so the ablest reporter could not be perfectly accurate. If you want a fair and honest report you must pay for it. As to the cost of printing, bills are often put down for days which have not even a ghost of a chance of being dealt with, and the Government spend thousands of pounds unnecessarily in this way. The First Lord of the Treasury, I find, is just as bad as the other Ministers, and I do not Know whether he is personally responsible. The right honourable Gentleman put off a Bill from Tuesday to Friday, with 10 pages of Amendments. The House knows that we have had hundreds of cases of that kind during the various stages of the Irish Local Government Bill, when these Papers were printed from day to day, when we knew several weeks would go on before they were brought on for consideration. There is another change which has been made, and that is that instead of having the reporters sweated we have got a contract now with the reporters, and they are no longer sweated. It is to their interests to continue this system, and they are paid on a reasonable scale. I think we are getting fair value for our money; in fact, rather more and better value than we have ever had before. We are now getting a good 300 report for a less price than we were paying in the past for a very bad report. I in the past have very often had to complain of our getting an inadequate supply for our money, but now, in the present instance, I am in a very different position. I am glad to say we are getting a very much better report, and getting it very much cheaper. I do not know whether it pays the contractor who has got the thing in hand, but I will say that they are giving us very much better value and it is only the fault of the House and Treasury that, we do not get a perfectly accurate report. Under the new contract the contractor is not bound to give more than one-third of what you say. If you are going to press the whole of a speech into one-third you cannot expect perfect accuracy, for even the best possible reporter could not be perfectly accurate under those conditions. As far as I myself am concerned, I have nothing whatever to complain of. I never read the speeches they send me, as a rule, although I read them sometimes; but I have never corrected any during the last 10 years, and I put them into the wastepaper basket. I think, however, it is only right to say that we are getting better value for our money than we have ever got before.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I have protested against the custom in this assembly before of refusing to supply Members of the House free with copies of reports of the proceedings. In the American Assembly, where every Member draws £1,000 a year, besides an allowance for travelling expenses, he gets as many copies of the report as he requires, and he can take as many as he wants. But here, where we get no salary or expenses, we are to be put to great expense in order to carry out our Parliamentary duties, and I think this is on instance of unparalleled meanness that we are refused the ordinary reports of the proceedings. Although it may be all_ right for men with large incomes, to those who have not large incomes the price of the reports is a very serious matter indeed. It costs five guineas a year to provide a copy of the reports, and although my honourable Friend says he puts his in the waste-paper basket, he only alludes to the proofs of the reports. 301 Anybody who takes an active interest in these Debates must find it necessary to consult the official Debates. A man might as well be sent into the law courts without the official reports of previous judgments. I have always thought that for an enormously wealthy country to refuse one copy to each Member is very mean, for he has a right to have at least one copy of the daily edition of the Reports. I have frequently raised this question. I do not know what the cost would be, but I fancy it would not be a very large figure, and, even if it were, it is a reasonable demand to make. I think, in view of the fact that no expenses are allowed to Members of this House, it is most unreasonable and unfair that we should not have supplied to us a report of the proceedings, which is absolutely necessary. Now, there is just one other point to which I wish to allude. I shall say nothing about the character of the reporting. I entirely share the opinion of the honourable Member for Caithness on this subject. I do not think it is quite fair to criticise these reports. The contractor has had to take on a new staff, and I cannot agree with my honourable Friend the Member for Islington that the reporting has been bad. The present contractor has had to follow the reporting of the Times, and for the reporting of the Times I have very great admiration. I think the character of the condensation in that paper is as fine a work as I have ever seen; and, therefore, I make a good deal of allowance for the men who are now undertaking this difficult task. They have not had long at it. I should be very sorry to say that I consider that the work is so good s that which has been done before, but I do not think it is fair to criticise the reporters after such short experience. I think, however, there is a great falling off in the "get up" and character of the reports. I see there has been some reduction in the cost of the paper, and there is an enormous fall in the cost of all kinds of paper, so that there might be a great saving in the cost of the paper without any fall in the character of the paper.
§ MR. HANBURY
The honourable Member for East Mayo has made a very fair statement with regard to the present 302 state of the reporting of the Debates in this House. It is perfectly true that fresh reporters have had to follow, and the present editor has had to follow, those who had undoubtedly set a very high standard of reports. This is the first year in which this contract has run, and it is perfectly true that the editor has had very serious difficulty in getting a proper staff together. I am glad to hear, on the whole, that there is no very great complaint with regard to the actual reports, although there have been minor complaints with regard to the time at which the proofs of questions and answers have been delivered, and also with regard to the time at which reports have reached Members. I will take care—in fact, I have frequently seen the editor upon these points—that this does not occur in the future, and I think lately there has been a considerable improvement. I am quite sure the editor has done everything he can possibly do to meet the wishes of the House in both these respects, but, being the first year he has undertaken the work, he has had difficulties to contend with which have been overcome by those who had the contract previously on account of their long experience of the work. I hope the House will give the present editor a full opportunity of showing that he can do the work effectively, because he has undertaken this contract under great difficulties, but he assures me that he intends to reach the high standard of previous years. It must, be remembered that he has undertaken the contract at a price very low indeed compared with the other tenders. Up till the time of, and during the last contract, the price, I think, was either £300 or £350 per volume, or, at any rate, it was one of those figures, and most of tha tenders which were received were for sums very largely in excess. Most of them ran up to £900, £1,000, and £1,100 per volume. The present editor undertook to edit these volumes and pay the reporters practically the same pay as his predecessors. You will see that there is an enormous difference between this tender and the lowest tender, and I hope that in the interests of economy, 11 the present editor can do the work, and he does his best to approximate to the high standard of the previous Debates, the House will give him a full oppor- 303 tunity of doing so, especially looking to the price at which they are being done. I myself agree with the honourable Member for Caithness, and I do not think that the House has much to complain of. With regard to the smaller matters in the actual Debates, such as those small inconveniences as to the proofs of questions and answers, those minor difficulties the editor has promised to deal with. As to the point raised on the necessity for reprinting, how far that should he done is not a matter for the Treasury, but for the officials of the House. There was a further point raised by the honourable Member for the Scotland Divison of Liverpool, which is, again, not within the jurisdiction of the Treasury, but of the officials of the House, namely, as to reports to this House, setting forth what is happening in the House of Lords, and vice versâ. I did not know that there was a practice of that kind, which obtained, in another national assembly, but, as I say, it is not a matter that comes within the purview of the Treasury. The honourable Member for Shoreditch referred to the price of the paper, and I will tell him frankly what has happened. I was very much struck with the high price of paper, and I have been able to effect a reduction in that respect. Moreover, I hope, I shall be able to extend my, economies in the direction of the reduction of this Vote. I do think, At any rate, that the change I have introduced will have a very considerable effect indeed in the direction of reducing the price of paper. I have also some reason to expect help from the actual makers of the paper in sending in tenders to the Government. One effect of that will be that we shall get entirely English paper, that is, made either in this country or in Scotland. In this respect alone I may tell the House, without going into detailed figures, that we have been able to save on this contract £50,000.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
Could not the right honourable Gentleman make these reports part of the Parliamentary contracts?
§ MR. DILLON
Sir, I have been convinced by experience that a change ought to be effected with a view to supplying Members with copies of the Debates free. I hold that it is an almost impossible thing to expect that we should devote our time, our labour, and meet the various expenses we are put to in our service to the nation, and then to be asked to pay for these reports. I say we ought to have them free of charge, whereas we are called upon for six guineas a year in order to secure a supply of them. Therefore, with a view to bringing about a change in this regard, I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by £100.
§ MR. LOUGH
The right honourable Gentleman has referred to the great saving he has effected in the prim of paper, and I should say that less than 10 per cent., or, at any rate, 5 per cent. of his saving alone would enable him to place these reports at the disposal of Members daily. It is only the price of ordinary paper, and it would be of the greatest facility to Members in furthering the business of the Session. One cannot always remember what has taken place the previous day in Committee, or remember how certain questions have been answered. I hope the right honourable Gentleman will display a little more interest in the matter than he manifested last year.
§ COLONEL WELBY (Taunton)
Might I suggest to the right honourable Gentleman, if it be possible, that each of those Members who wanted a copy should initial the pink Paper beforehand, because everbody might not require a copy. It does seem to me that this suggestion, if acted upon, would be doing a real service and would instruct us more fully as to what is going on in the House.
§ MR. CROMBIE (Kincardineshire)
For my own part, I think that the Debates would be found much more useful if these suggestions were acted upon. Somebody alluded to bound copies, or even parts of those copies
§ MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)
I think those Members who have taken, an interest in this question must acknow- 305 ledge that they are from time to time encumbered in their work by not having ready access to the reports of our proceedings. I think the suggestion that if by means of initialling the pink Paper we could procure a copy of the previous day's proceedings, it would he an enormous boon to us. It would facilitate the progress of the Debates, and be a very great gain to the Legislature besides. I do hope the right honourable Gentleman, if he cannot see his way to give an affirmative answer, will take it into his favourable consideration.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
As to the proposal of the honourable and gallant gentleman opposite—that we should sign the pink Paper if we wanted the report—I assume that what he proposes is that a Member should not sign if he did not want the report. Well, that, I think, would involve an amount of uncertainty which would make the thing impracticable. I think I can sympathise both with the suggestion of my honourable and gallant Friend and with the position of the Financial Secretary to the Treasury. He must know—we all know—that Members are overloaded, overburdened—in fact, perfectly submerged—in a sea of papers of all kinds, which they do not want; and what the Secretary of the Treasury has in his mind is, probably, that he would be sending to a large number of Members an additional burden to their already overburdened shelves. I suggest that there might be a remedy in this form: that, at the beginning of the Session, Members who are desirous of having copies should set down their names then; this would give a fair idea of the amount of printing it would involve. I think the right honourable Gentleman would find only a small proportion of Members requiring them; and it would not be a large addition to the present cost. I think, if he will favourably consider this matter, my honourable Friend here, who has no desire to be awkward, will doubtless withdraw his Motion for the reduction of the Vote. If the right honourable Gentleman does this—and, having already reduced the Vote by so many thousands—he will be entitled, not only to the praise of his colleagues, but to the gratude of the whole House.
§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R. Holmfirth)
It would certainly be better for those who required these reports to sign the Paper as suggested.
§ MR. HANBURY
In the discussion which has arisen, we have gone away from the recommendation of the honourable Member for East Mayo. As to the distribution of bound copies, the honourable Member appears to have based his suggestion on the fact that Members of this House who do not receive payment for their services would, in being furnished with these reports, be getting some small remuneration for the way in which they perform their services—
§ MR. DILLON
No, no! I said we did not want bound copies at the end of the Session. What I want is merely copies as soon as they come out. I suggested nothing about remuneration. If that recommendation were adopted, I said it would spare the Members who are hard workers in the House much extra labour.
§ MR. HANBURY
I am sorry I misunderstood the honourable Gentleman, Well, Sir, I do think there is a good deal to be said in favour of the suggestion of my honourable and gallant Friend; and if honourable Members could only find time to initial the pink Paper, it would be an undoubted check on getting unnecessary copies of the reports. I will consider whether there are any real difficulties in the way of adopting the suggestion.
§ MR. DILLON
After the statement of the right honourable Gentleman, I beg to withdraw my Amendment, Sir.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire)
I think, Sir, it would be a very great convenience to Members to be supplied with these reports, and if the right honourable Gentleman can see his way to accede to the request, I am sure all honourable Members will appreciate it.
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS (Notts, Mansfield)
I submit that such a change as is suggested for sup- 307 plying honourable Members with the daily issues of the "Parliamentary Debates" is only what they are entitled to. At present, unless one is on the spot to consult the official record or the file of the Times, it is impossible to find out what has happened at a previous stage. I suggest, Sir, that it might not be necessary to supply all the Members of the House with copies; but those who, at the commencement of the Session, intimate their desire to have them as they are published should be supplied.
§ MR. HANBURY
I will see whether it is practicable; and if there are no difficulties in the way, I will do what I can to accommodate honourable Members.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
Sir, the prices of paper and printing are enormous. The present idea is that the Blue Book should pay for itself, because you distribute over the cost of copies you sell the cost of setting up, but if people do not buy the Blue Books you lose. If you take, for example, this one which I hold in my hand—1s. 6d. is charged for it, but how much paper is there in it? Let us call it two pennyworth. Blue Books are supposed to be for the benefit of a large number of people outside Members of Parliament, and it does seem to me, Sir, unreasonable that you should put a prohibitive price on most of those Blue Books. Distribute them as much as you can through the country for the mere cost of printing and paper, and you will get people to take an interest in the Blue Books, or, at least, those of them that are interesting. In fact, instead of charging 1s. 6d. for an amount of paper that can be produced for 2d., I believe you would make a good deal out of the Blue Books by charging 308 3d. Blue Books are intended for the instruction not only of this House, but also for the public, and we know well at the present moment that none of the public libraries buy them. People sometimes ask me to send them Blue Books, and of course I send them; but they ought to be able to purchase them themselves at a reasonable price, and I think if the right honourable Gentleman would accept the suggestion he would be acting wisely.
AN HONOURABLE MEMBER
I know many people are anxious to get Blue Books, but the prohibitive prices will not allow them to do so. If the right honourable Gentleman could see his way to reduce the prices, many persons outside Members of Parliament would secure copies, which would have the effect of educating the people on the different subjects.
§ MR. HANBURY
I think the honourable Member for Northampton has somewhat exaggerated the public interest of these Blue Books, and therefore I do not see that much can be done to reduce the prices. But undoubtedly there are occasionally Blue Books published of great public interest, and many public libraries and private persons might like to have them. With regard to these the proposal of the honourable Member might be carried out. He proposes that in the case of Blue Books which might be of public interest that the Stationery Office might reduce the price, and I will see what can be done in that direction.
§ MR. PIERPOINT (Warrington)
I suppose there is not a single Gentleman in this House who would want all the books of reports—I myself would only want a few of them.
§ Amendment negatived without a Division.
§ On the Vote for £14,405, to complete the sum of £21,405, for the Office of Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues,
§ MR. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
I should like to see something appearing on the Estimate to represent the salaries of this Department; the officials might be paid by fees or have permanent 309 salaries, and I should like to ask the right honourable Gentleman whether he considers that it is the best way of remunerating the agent. The Report of the Committee of 1890 shows that the agent had received sums varying from £2,165 to £5,800; that appears to me to be a large salary. He provides his own office expenses, but I should like to ask the right honourable Gentleman, if he knows the figures for last year and the preceding year, whether it would not be more conducive to the public service that this payment should be made by means of a fixed salary; we shall then know exactly what the cost is—the salary for the agent and allowances for office expenses. Then there is another question which I have raised before now, a question of very great importance; I refer to the re-afforestation of waste land. I have raised that question with regard to Wales. I know there are difficulties in the way of the Woods and Forests Department, and they have been referred to by the right honourable Gentleman in reply to a Question of mine. He said that the common rights would have to be extinguished, and he said that possibly those rights would have to be dealt with by legislation. I should be sorry to take away from any commoner any right he might possess without giving him adequate compensation. I ask the right honourable Gentleman whether it would not be possible, by means of purchase, to extinguish these rights? Of course, the consent of a number of persons would have to be obtained, and certainly I should not like to contract to pay too high a price, but would it not be possible to purchase at a comparatively low price? Because, after all, judging by the rent of mountain land in Wales, it ought to be possible to buy out the commoners at a very low rate. If that could be done, there are large tracts in Wales which could be planted to the advantage of the ground estates and to the advantage of the nation. A large amount of employment would be given, and employment of a fixed character. I said I was alluding only to Wales, but the same policy might be carried out in England, although the amount of land at the disposal of the Woods and Forests Department in England is very trifling 310 as compared with Wales. We want the Woods and Forests Department to make a beginning in this respect. In other countries a good deal more has been done in the way of afforesting than in this country. In Belgium at least one-third of the waste lands have been afforested, and the State has found it extremely profitable, because they have made these waste lands productive. In France a great deal more has been done than ever has been attempted in this country, but in Wales, of the ancient forests that at one time covered the face of the land, the best timber was used for firing purposes, with the result that timber has become scarcer than ever. The supply of timber in the world is diminishing at a rapid rate. America before long will not be able to export timber the same as she does now. At present America exports timber to Sweden, and we were under the impression that the supply in Sweden was inexhaustible. We import £18,000,000 worth into this country every year. Many honourable Members believe that this country ought to be able to supply as many articles of home production as possible. This is one means by which that could be encouraged, and having regard to what has been done in other countries the necessities of our country would appear to have been neglected. The Woods and Forests Department is making very careful inquiry indeed as to whether it is possible to develop the resources of our country in this respect, and increase the national wealth. Private landowners are now going in for plantations, and to my own knowledge they find them very profitable. I have seen numbers of them with reference to the matter. But a great number of private landowners are unable to plant trees because they cannot wait for the result of their labours; but the State never dies, and can afford to wait a long period. I know from my own experience how profitable even thinnings are long before the trees have come to maturity. I hope the Government will give this matter their serious consideration, and will make a beginning under the auspices of the Woods and Forests Department with a view to extending the system as far as possible over the entire country. We have at present no Unemployed 311 Committee sitting, but it is possible that before very long we may have such a Committee again, and we would like to have something definite to lay before it as to the progress made with such an important branch of national industry.
§ MR. HANBURY
I am very much in sympathy with the remarks of the honourable Gentleman. I have no doubt whatever that in a large portion of Wales trees can be grown profitably and to the great advantage of the different localities. The Commissioners of Woods and Forests have taken much interest in forestry, but considering the extent to which it is carried on abroad I think it is one of the things in which this country is behind other nations. The Commissioners of Woods and Forests have engaged the services of the most efficient member of the forestry staff in India, and I know also they have made very careful inquiries abroad, especially in France, with regard to the system of forestry employed in other countries. It is to the advantage of the localities and the State that the planting of timber should be encouraged as far as possible; but anybody knows who is acquainted with the matter that it is a most difficult thing where there are a large number of common rights over property. You must practically get rid of every one of these rights or else you will not have that control over the property which is necessary. That is a very serious difficulty indeed. A large number of common rights exist nearly everywhere where there is Crown property, and it is very difficult to get rid of them. In the first place, there may be a complaint that we are dealing harshly with these persons; again, many of them may not agree to be bought out, and even then the money many of them would receive would not represent anything like the rights they possess. But I will mention to the Commissioners what the honourable Member has stated, with a view to ascertaining how far it is possible in certain places to get rid of these common rights, and to be able to develop timber plantations.
§ SIR C. DILKE (Gloucester, Forest of Dean)
The only practical plan in this matter is to get statutory powers over a portion, not over the whole, common. 312 That portion can then be fenced and planted, and the danger of the trees being damaged by cattle is prevented. Very often the part available for growing timber is not the best part of the common for the commoners. Another advantage is, that the portion enclosed would pay rates, whereas the open portion would pay no rates, and there would be a large contribution to local revenues. That is the only practicable arrangement.
§ Question put.
§ Agreed to.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That a sum, not exceeding £37,094, be granted to Her Majesty to complete the sum necessary to defray the charges for the year ending 31st March, 1899, for the salaries and expenses of the Works and Public Buildings Office.
§ DR. CLARK
On this Vote we can raise the policy of the right honourable Gentleman with reference to matters in this House, and I would suggest to him the desirability of giving the non-smokers information as to what is going on in the House. We have only got two printing machines in the smoke-room downstairs——
The proper place to raise that is the particular point in the Estimates most relevant to the matter which the honourable Member wishes to raise. It has been already so ruled several times.
§ Question put.
§ Agreed to.313
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That a sum, not exceeding £13,000, be granted to Her Majesty to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1899, for Her Majesty's Foreign and other Secret Services.
§ MR. DILLON
I do not intend to go at any length into this question. We have debated it nearly every year sine I entered the House of Commons, but, inasmuch as a great deal of this money has been used for certain infamous and abominable proceedings, and which were exposed in connection with a prosecution last year, when, as I firmly believe, and have been informed on good authority, that a certain agent of the Government was in Dublin, going about endeavouring to induce people to enter into a dynamite conspiracy, I will move a reduction. This agent was afterwards found out to be an informer, and was withdrawn without being placed in the witness-box and submitted for cross-examination, in view of the evidence which it was known the defence had in court. In view of the employment by the Government of agents provocateur, whom they still employ in Ireland, I do not think we should allow this Vote to go unchallenged. I do not intend on the present occasion to debate the matter at any length, but in order to place on record our objection to the system, I move that the Vote be reduced by £10,000. There will still be enough left.
Motion made, and Question put—
That a sum, not exceeding £3,000, be granted for the said Service.
§ SIR C. DILKE
I cannot support the reduction moved by my honourable Friend, for reasons which I shall state directly, although I think he is perfectly right in what he says with regard to the apportionment of some of this money. The reason I cannot support my honourable Friend is that I believe that in the spending of secret service money we are at a disadvantage. We do not spend enough. There is no great Power in the world that does not spend ten times as much as we do, and we are accordingly at a dis- 314 advantage. Some of us have attempted on this Vote year after year to obtain a definite promise that the Government would not allow secret service money to be spent as some of it is spent at present. I am not now speaking of the Irish point at all, but of the expenditure of secret service money on matters which ought not to be spent out of secret service money at all, such as additions to salaries and pensions—no doubt to very deserving persons. We have not been able to obtain a definite promise to the effect, but successive Governments have said they would discourage the practice. I know that we cannot get a definite promise, but I am sure we have the sympathy of the present Secretary to the Treasury in endeavouring to prevent the abuse of secret service money. I am sorry I cannot vote with my honourable Friend, but in the present state of Europe our secret service money should be larger than ever.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
My right honourable Friend admits that my honourable Friend has made out his case and that some of this money is spent improperly as regards Ireland. Therefore it is only reasonable that he should vote against it. But he wants mare money. My right honourable Friend's contention is that there ought to be more secret service money because foreign Governments are spending more than we are. But surely we have seen what becomes of spending money to corrupt the employees of foreign Governments in the Dreyfus case which is at present agitating France. Would my right honourable Friend expect us to follow such an example and to go all over the world offering large sums of money to foreign officials? We have no right to say to a foreign official: "Betray the secrets of your Government, and we will give you a large sum of money." The man who offers the money is as base as the man who accepts it; and yet the right honourable Gentleman would have it that we are at liberty to spend money badly in Ireland as a recognition of the principle that we should spend ten times as much as we are spending. I am putting it, if he will allow me to say so, in a clearer way, but that was practically his argument. I have always been against secret service money myself. I 315 think, under exceptional circumstances, it may be necessary to spend a little secret service money, but here we have a fund on which the Government can draw, and, as my honourable Friend the Member for East Mayo has shown, spend money improperly. Surely we ought not to agree to this expenditure, and therefore, if my honourable Friend goes to a Division, I shall vote with him.
§ MR. DILLON
I desire to make my position in this matter perfectly clear. The observations of the right honourable Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean have raised a rather interesting point. I remember, when we first raised this question, we made a distinction, and wanted the Government to give us an assurance, an honourable pledge, that this secret service money was to be spent in the service of the State abroad. That would cover the case raised by the right honourable Baronet. Though I am doubtful whether secret service does not lead to the grossest abuse, still I admit it is recognised that the Government cannot do without it. The point of our objection is that this Vote is for Her Majesty's foreign and other secret services, not only foreign, but other secret services; and it has been admitted that on many occasions the Government have refused to state how much of this money was spent at home. Now, I object to this, because I mentioned one particular case which occurred last year. I cannot myself positively state that what I described took place, but. I have no doubt whatever in my mind that it did. I have no doubt that the informer was an agent-provocateur, that he was withdrawn because it could be proved that he had approached certain young men in Dublin, who were prepared to swear that he had approached them, and invited them to join a dynamite conspiracy, and that at that moment and for many years before, he was m the pay of the Government. A few weeks afterwards he was put into the witness box at Bow Street as a Government agent. I only mention that as one incident. The poison, as I think it may be justly described, of manufacturing conspiracies, and promoting crime, for the purpose of discovering alleged secret societies, has been the acknowledged practice 316 of the Government and part of the police system in Ireland for years and years. The Government in Ireland and the authorities in Ireland do not attempt to deny it. It perverts the whole police system of Ireland, and I repeat that it is a poisonous and a most atrocious system. I wish to allude briefly to another case, which is sub judice, and in which, within the last fortnight, true bills have been returned against a sergeant of police. I do not want to say whether the charges made are true or false, but I am entitled to allude to the matter in this connection, because the man was brought before the grand jury at Castle bar, and true bills were returned against him. What are the charges? I allude to them because they strengthen my case. This police officer, in pursuance of his duty, wrote, it is alleged, a forged letter, signed in the name of a man who was connected with a political organisation, to a young man, asking him to meet others in order to attack a certain house at night, and to come with his face blackened. Then, it is stated, the police sergeant went with a posse of police, and they lay in ambush in order to capture the party. I do not say that those charges are true, but they represent the practice of the police, and by this abominable system the Irish police have been taught to believe that in the promotion of crime they are doing their duty if they can make out a plausible excuse that they are working for the discovery of what they imagine to be secret societies. That, in my opinion, is a hateful system. It is a doctrine which I heard denounced in my youth, and I have also read in the Press of this country that it is a system from which the people of this country are perfectly free. I do not know whether you are free from it or not in this country, but we are not free from it in Ireland. It is against that system I desire to protest. If the views of the right honourable Baronet are correct, why should not the Government put down two Votes, one for the foreign secret service, and one for the home secret service? Then the right honourable Baronet could urge an increase of the foreign service Vote and let us attack the home secret service Vote. So long as this system of inducing men to commit crime is used in any part of 317 the United Kingdom I shall feel bound to go to a Division against this Vote.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
I must say I wish to support my honourable Friend the Member for East Mayo. I think that for foreign purposes the secret service fund of this country is ridiculously small, because undoubtedly in many parts of the world it is necessary for the Government to be advised beforehand of movements of other Powers not always friendly to this country, and for that purpose, of course, a certain amount of money is required, and the use of it cannot well be revealed to Parliament. But the honourable Member for East Mayo has pointed out a way by which the views of the right honourable Baronet could, to a large extent, be met, and Ireland at the same time saved from the abuses committed there under this Vote. Now, I know how difficult it is to get Englishmen to understand that things can happen in Ireland which they would regard as impossible in any other part of the British Empire, but as a matter of fact secret service money has been over and over again used in Ireland by the agents of the Government, not, I am sure, with the connivance of the Government, for the purpose of hatching conspiracies, in order that they might be afterwards found out. Why, Sir, I remember the case of head-constable Talbot. That was a most striking and most terrible case. An agent of the Government actually swore in young men as members of the Fenian conspiracy, went to Mass, and although a Protestant partook of the Sacrament in the presence of these unfortunate young men, in order to carry out his purpose the more effectually, and all the time he was going through this mockery of religion he was swearing in members of the conspiracy and giving their names to the authorities. That, certainly, was monstrous, and I am sure no honourable Member would sanction it, but that is what has taken place, and is taking place to-day, and will continue to take place in Ireland as long as there is a public fund in this country to draw upon. For these reasons, although I agree generally with what the right honourable Baronet has said as to the necessity for a 318 larger secret service fund, I am bound to vote with my honourable Friend.
§ MR. MADDISON (Sheffield, Brightside)
The right honourable Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean seems desirous of imitating continental nations in this matter, and I can quite understand it from his standpoint; but, so far as the secret service money is spent in the United Kingdom, I shall be very glad to go into the Division Lobby with the honourable Member for East Mayo. I well remember the time when those wretched men known as the Walsall anarchists were sentenced, and it was said, and I am afraid there is a great deal of truth in it, that this abominable system was at the bottom of that affair, and that some of those young men were duped at the hands of the police. I hate anarchy as much as any man in this House, or anywhere else, but I am bound to say anarchy prevails the most where the most secret service money is spent. These subterranean methods of repressing crime, which ought to be repressed by the ordinary detective department, are, in my opinion, very dangerous, and I shall vote most certainly with the honourable Member for East Mayo.
§ DR. CLARK
I think it is time to get an understanding as to this Secret Service Vote, and how the money is spent. We understand that a certain portion goes to the Army and a certain portion to the Navy, and a certain portion to the Foreign Office, and a certain portion to the Colonial Office, a certain portion to the Home Office, and to the Irish Secretary, and other departments, and all these departments do is to go to Bow Street and swear that the money has been spent; that is all we know regarding it. Now, if you are going to spend for secret service £50,000—let us say, for the Foreign Office—I think that ought to be put upon the Foreign Office Vote. Whatever amount is spent by each of the various offices for secret service ought to come into the Votes of those various offices, and we ought to know the sums that are spent; we do not know at present. So far as we do know, the largest portion is spent in pensions. Perhaps the right honourable Gentleman might tell us how that 319 stands, because we have often had it stated that this is a Pension Vote. In many cases there are numbers of persons whose names used to appear on the Miscellaneous Votes as refugees, and whose widows and children now appear as pensioners. Persons who are stated to have assisted the British Empire in some way or another are now placed on the Secret Service Vote. I think, in a large number of cases of that kind, we ought to have a good deal more information than we have at the present time.
§ MR. HANBURY
The first point of the honourable Member (Dr. Clark) is that Parliament ought to know how this money is divided between the various offices of the Government. I think, if that suggestion were carried out, the great object of the Secret Service Fund would be destroyed, and I can hold out no hope of its ever being acceded to. Another point the honourable Member has taken is as to whether any pensions are paid out of this Secret Service Fund; whether any of it is given in pensions to persons who were provided for out of the ordinary Votes. I think it has been said by other Ministers in this House that the purposes to which this money has been applied are proper purposes for this Vote, and that it has not been diverted to any charge which ought to come upon another Vote. I think that meets the objection of the honourable Member as to pensions.
§ SIR C. DILKE
I do not think that the last remark of the right honourable Gentleman does meet the objection of the honourable Member, because I distinctly state here that, in old days, pensions used to be borne on this Vote, for the secrecy of which there was no reason. Of course, I am quite sure, as I said before, that the right honourable Gentleman sympathises with the House upon that point, and that anything he can do with the Departments in the way of not throwing pensions upon this Vote will be done. I should here like to allude to the attack which has been made upon my views by my honourable Friend the Member for Sheffield (Brightside Division). He said my views in respect of militarism were continental rather than British. I say that my only desire is to protect this country.
§ MR. HANBURY
With reference to what has been said by the right honourable Baronet upon the pensions which came upon this Vote, he must have been referring to before 1886. In that year a Minute was laid before Parliament, which provided that a solemn declaration should be made that the money had been properly spent by the Departments.
§ MR. DILLON
As I understand, we have no power over this Secret Service Fund, and the Secretary to the Treasury appears to have no more power over it than we have. I do not believe the Secretary to the Treasury knows how this money has been expended. It has been expended by the Foreign and the Home Offices, but the Secretary to the Treasury has no knowledge of how much has been expended by either office. What I want to know is this: has any of this money been used for the purpose of inciting to the commission of crime? Because I say it has been so spent. What indication have Ministers given as to the desire of Parliament as to the way in which it is to be spent? Not the slightest. The desire of Parliament is that it should be spent in the service of the Empire abroad. But does that mean that no part of the money should be spent for the purpose of inciting to the commission of crime? So far as Parliament knows, the money might be spent in corrupting this House. This Vote is usually passed without debate, and in a matter of this kind we are trusting entirely to the honour of Ministers that the money is not spent in the corruption of this House. There is no information given to the House, nor is there any safeguard as to the money being properly spent.
MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS
The statement just made by the Secretary of the Treasury as to this Secret Service Fund appears to me to show that the secrecy is not only against this House, but against the Government also. If I understand aright, certain Departments of the Government receive a portion of this fund, and, having received it, are at liberty to apply it in any way they please, and the Government as a whole has no knowledge of how it is applied. It may be that it is applied for purposes that the Government would not be able 321 to defend in this House; purposes which, if they came before the House, the Government would be bound to condemn. That is secret service with a vengeance.
§ should be used at home. There is another reason why it should not be used in Great Britain and Ireland for home purposes, and that is, in these countries we have the Police Fund, which is used for the same purpose.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 46; Noes 120.—(Division List No. 282.)323
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Lough, Thomas||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Bayley, T. (Derbyshire)||Macaleese, Daniel||Souttar, Robinson|
|Birrell, Augustine||M'Ghee, Richard||Steadman, William Charles|
|Brigg, John||Maddison, Fred||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Caldwell, James||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Cawley, Frederick||Moss, Samuel||Williams, John C. (Notts)|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Moulton, John Fletcher||Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, J. (Govan)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||O'Brien, J. F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Woodall, William|
|Doogan, P. C.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Woods, Samuel|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Hazell, Walter||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Joicey, Sir James||Rickett, J. Compton||Mr. Dillon and Mr. Labouchere.|
|Lambert, George||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Roche, Hon. J. (E. Kerry)|
|Aird, John||Cozens-Hardy, Herbert H.||Hozier, Hon. James Henry C.|
|Arnold, Alfred||Cranborne, Viscount||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn|
|Arrol, Sir William||Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Johnston, W. (Belfast)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Denny, Colonel||Kenyon, James|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lafone, Alfred|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r)||Doughty, George||Lawrence, Sir E Durning (Corn.)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Drage, Geoffrey||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Drucker, A.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Bill, Charles||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Loder, Gerald Walter E.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn E.||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)|
|Bond, Edward||Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc.)||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverp'l)|
|Brassey, Albert||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lowe, Francis William|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lowles, John|
|Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Lowther, Rt. Hon. J. (Kent)|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Fisher, William Hayes||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Butcher, John George||Flower, Ernest||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Fry, Lewis||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Garfit, William||McArthur, W. (Cornwall)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of Lond.)||McEwan, William|
|Chaloner, Capt. R. G. W.||Gilliat, John Saunders||McKillop, James|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Godson, Sir Augustus F.||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Milton, Viscount|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Monk, Charles James|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Gourley, Sir Edward T.||More, Robert Jasper|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Greville, Captain||Newdigate, Francis Alex.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Cook, F. Lucas (Lambeth)||Heath, James||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Holden, Sir Angus||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W.||Houston, R. P.||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. L. H.||Howard, Joseph||Pryce-Jones, Lieut.-Col. E.|
|Purvis, Robert||Strachey, Edward||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.||Strauss, Arthur||Wylie, Alexander|
|Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Verney, Hon. Richard G.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Spencer, Ernest||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Stanley, Lord (Lancs)||Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E.|
§ Agreed to.
§ On the Vote of £681,867, to complete the sum for public education and science and art in Scotland,
§ MR. CALDWELL (Lanark, Mid)
I desire to make a few remarks on this Vote. This is one of the principal Votes for Scotland, and we have generally had a whole day devoted to a discussion of it. I have, however, no desire to trespass at greater length than is absolutely necessary upon the time of the Committee. Now, the most satisfactory point, as regards Scotch elementary, education, is the average school attendance. The Lord Advocate has given us figures showing that, while the population has increased by 0.8 per cent., and the school register has increased by 1.05, the average attendance has increased by 2.1. That increase is not peculiar to last year; it has been steadily going on since 1872. The result is most gratifying, because it shows that so far as the parents are concerned, they have been doing everything they can with a view to promote regular attendance. The Department has given us a table with regard to the average attendance. According to that table the average attendance of infants has been 85.56 per cent. Well, I venture to say that that is a very high percentage. But whilst these particulars are very gratifying in themselves, they do not really represent the true state of the progress, even as regards school attendance. In For far the average attendance is particularly high, being as much as 90 per cent. Now, I would point out to the Lord Advocate the importance, not merely of giving the average attendance—for that explains nothing—but of tabulating the details of the attendance year by year, so that we may find out what schools are inefficient, and in what schools the attendance is increasing. The average attendance has increased by about two per cent, during the past four years, and 324 I think that is exceedingly satisfactory. What does it point to? It points to the fact that the parents are performing their part of the duty as regards the attendance of the children. My honourable Friend beside me gave voice to the prevalent delusion in Scotland that children are leaving school at an earlier age than they formerly did. Now, what are the facts? We find, comparing last year with the previous year, that the number of children on the rolls above 13 years of age has increased by 1,329. I think that disposes of the theory that the children are leaving school earlier. It has been said that the children are attaining Standard V. at an earlier period than before. Well, I cannot find any evidence in support of this statement, but I do find from the statistics available that the children are taking longer to pass the different standards than they did before We cannot very well make a comparison, of Scotland on the whole case, because we have not got all the statistics; but I find that there has been a large increase of school attendance, and if we take Standard III. the increase has been 10,814, and above Standard III. 1,910; the percentage has been far greater in the lower standards than it has been in the higher standards, and that shows that the children are being kept in the lower standards longer than previously. And the Government are going to bring in a School Attendance Bill, as if the fall in attendance were the fault of the parents. I venture to say that no parents could do more to have as many of their children on the school roll than the Scotch parents. Take, for instance, the statistics for Glasgow. In that city there were, according to the statistics, 12,139 children between 11 and 12 years of age, and on the school rolls there were 12,004 children. That is a deficiency of only 135 children. Again, if we take children between 12 and 13 years of age, we find, from the Returns, that the number was 12,441 in Glasgow, and on the school 325 rolls there were 9,614, a deficiency of only 2,827. These figures show that the children are really attending school, and that there is no foundation for the statement that children over 11 years of age leave school and go to work. I may tell the right honourable Gentleman the Lord Advocate that the children who pass Standard V. at 11 years of age are the clever children, the children who go on to secondary education schools. The Lord Advocate knows, that Scotch parents have a high appreciation of the value of education, and a boy or girl who makes progress at school is kept there as long as it makes progress or shows any special ability. The facts I have quoted show plainly that the parents are doing their duty, and are sending the children to school and keeping up the attendance, but they are not getting educational results corresponding to the increased attendance. It happens that hundreds are qualified by examining to enter the training colleges, and yet they have not got room. A very remarkable instance was brought before the notice of the Department. It was the case of Miss Somerville, of Lanark. This girl was a pupil teacher, and she passed an examination and received a first-class certificate. Well, this girl, though she received a first-class certificate, could not receive an entrance into the training college because there was no room. Could anything be more monstrous than that—that a girl who had actually served her time, and had passed her examination, and had got a first-class certificate, could not get admission? What is it that my Lords answer when the matter is brought under their notice?—I am instructed to state that an addition has recently been made to the number of students admitted to the training college, and my Lords are unable to say that there is a present prospect of these number being further increased.Why? The increase, the Lord Advocate told us, does not mean an increased demand of new teachers required for the increased attendance. Look at the injustice of the case of this girl, who, having passed an examination in the first class, yet cannot go to be a certificated trained teacher. No doubt it might be said that one could become certificated by becoming an active teacher. But what is the 326 case? If this girl does not get into the training college and become a certificated, trained teacher, she will not get the employment she otherwise would get. It is unfair to say that a girl who has pushed her way, and got a first-class certificate, must remain an outsider, and go about her business after she has devoted her time to your service. Why is it there is not room in those training colleges? Because the policy of the Department has been to play a game of cutting down the supply. In regard to any other thing in this country, would the public tolerate the narrowing of the door of entrance to those qualifying to enter into it? Yet that is being done in the case of the training colleges by the policy of the Department. Every year you require a thousand teachers to be properly trained to carry on your work, and yet your training colleges do not provide for more than one-half. And what is the result? Of course, the result is that these certificated teachers are in great demand, and that salaries are going up from £5 to £10 a year. They are mounting up simply because there is a scarcity and there is a demand. The most essential thing of all is to keep up the supply of these teachers. What is you policy? If your policy is to superannuate a lot of them, you make the position worse. You might say you are only going to superannuate inferior ones. But that shows that it is all the more necessary to have efficient teachers. Instead of that you are making no provision for increasing the number of efficient teachers. You are going to insist upon an ordinary examination, and still further to reduce the number of teachers. The whole policy of the Department is this—that instead of cultivating the teachers, you are closing the door against their higher advancement What is the result? Why, the teachers are masters of the Department. What are the school boards to do? What do school boards do in the case of Scotland? Why, they have nothing more to do than to pass estimates and salaries for the year and pay the teachers. They have no control over the teachers, and the state of things will be getting worse and worse. You give them vested interests, you give them superannuation allowances, and they will do just as much or as little work as they please. One of the great 327 features in education, as in everything else, is competition. You have no competition in the case of the Board schools. They are a perfect monopoly. Children are bound to go to these schools, and to no other, and if you do not make provision for having certificated teachers what is the result? The children must suffer. Inspectors in Scotland have complained of the inadequacy of these uncertificated and untrained teachers. They have deplored it, and yet all that the Lord Advocate tells us is this, that provision has been made for 88 more, and also for 30 students—that is, 118 altogether. The increased number required in the incoming year to meet the increased attendance is 328. Why has he not kept pace with the increased demand for these teachers? I therefore say that the whole policy of the Department has been to play into the hands of these teachers, to let them get a monopoly, having never done anything for the purpose of increasing the standard of the teachers, or for seeing that every teacher is properly trained. I venture to say that this really stands at the root of the whole of the education question in Scotland and in England. Every word that I have said about Scotland applies equally to England. There is no difference between the two countries in that respect, and it will he found that unless you begin to do as every business man would do, and that is to bring forward efficient persons, male and female, to become trained teachers, and give them the best education possible, you will never succeed with education in this country. You should train more than the number required. If they do not become teachers, they would add to the general intelligence of the country. I cannot for the life of me understand how it is that the Department has allowed this to go on for years. The Lord Advocate knows perfectly well it is not a new question. It has been brought forward in this House year after year, and nothing has been done to increase the number of trained teachers; and here is the case of this girl, doing her best and becoming qualified, and then having to go away, not able to enter her profession in the usual way after all the training she has undergone and all the sacrifice she has made. I hope now we 328 shall have some more attention paid to the interests of the parents, and the interests of the children, and that is why I started by first pointing out to the Lord Advocate the increased school attendance which has been going on for years; it was as great last year as ever, thus showing that parents are performing their duty; and I think when parents are performing their duty it is the duty of the Department to see that instruction is given up to the proper standard. I should have been very glad if you had brought on your Attendance of School Children Bill, but of course there was no time for that. The children are there attending the schools better than they have ever attended, and yet education is going down, and going down because you are not having a sufficient number of teachers coming forward.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR (Forfar)
It is not necessary for me to follow my honourable Friend in the very exhaustive treatment which he has given to this particular question of additional accommodation for the training of teachers in Scotland. Nor do I wish, Sir, to combat his contention that education in Scotland may not be making the progress that it ought to make; but I should like to say one or two words to the Committee upon the theory that he has put forward to support that view—that is to say, upon his remarks on the subject of attendance of children at school. I do not wish in any way to appear to dogmatise on the subject, which is surrounded by very great complications and difficulties; but I do think it is very important that in Scotland we should really endeavour to come to a clear understanding as to what the state of matters really is. Now, my honourable Friend's views are very interesting, but the first remark I would make upon them is this, that they are entirely in conflict with what must have been the views of the Government in bringing forward, in proposing to bring forward, the Bill to which he has alluded. If the Government did hold this view, that the parents in Scotland, and in every part of Scotland, were doing their duty in this matter of the attendance of children, and that the school boards everywhere were equally doing their duty, obviously it would not have been 329 the duty of the Government to bring forward the proposals which they laid before the House; but I am inclined to think that the Government were perfectly justified by the real state of the facts, and, if I may say so, I am inclined to think my honourable Friend is also to a great extent justified in his criticism. The difficulty is how to reconcile these two views, and my impression is, though I say so with hesitation and not with the confidence that one ought to have in these matters—and it is very dangerous to generalise about the attendance in schools, throughout Scotland—my impression is that it varies considerably with the character of the school, and that while in one part of the country you have a very good attendance, in another part of the country you will have a poor attendance. More than that, even in a school board district you may have a very much better attendance at one school in that district than you do at other schools in that district, and in that, of course, I am precisely supporting the criticism of my honourable Friend, who much desired in order to clear up this point, to see the statistics. But, Sir, there is abundant evidence, I think, to show that the Government were fully justified by the state of things in Scotland in asking the attention of Parliament to it. In the first place it is a very serious criticism that is made. It is said that not only is there this lax attendance, this degeneracy in attendance, so to speak, but some critics go further, and say that it is owing to our present system in Scotland. Now, let me say one word as to what that system is By the Act of 1872. of course, it was the duty of the parent to provide elementary education for his children so long as they were between five and 13 years of age. The subsequent Act raised the age to 14 years. Now, whatever may be the limitations allowed, that obviously shows that it was the intention of Parliament to encourage and to suggest the education of children until they were 14 years of age. Of course, there have always been powers given to school boards to exempt children of very needy parents from, attendance; but the situation, as I understand it, at present is that these exemptions—and these 330 exemptions have practically become the rule—and the standard of the necessities of education, in the eyes of the people and of parents, certainly in some parts of Scotland, is not what it used to be. Now take, for instance, Glasgow, which my honourable Friend alluded to. As he knows, not long ago there was a conference of the larger school boards of Scotland, at which the chairman of the Glasgow School Board was present, and, as bearing on the question of children leaving school at an earlier age than used to be the case, he gave it as his opinion that 50 per cent, of the children of Glasgow who passed the fifth standard passed that standard and left school, I think, at something very little over II years of age. My honourable Friend shakes his head. I am inclined to think that the increased attendance in the higher standard, to which my honourable Friend alluded, is due really to the cause which I have indicated, that is to say, that increase will be found among the children of the better-to-do parents, parents who are more likely to keep their children at school, and to whom, of recent years, more of such facilities have been afforded; and this has produced that, to a certain extent, satisfactory result. But when I go for further evidence to the reports of inspectors and the various evidences of public opinion on the subject I find that the Government were perfectly justified, from their point of view, in bringing forward their proposals. One inspector suggests that the age should be raised, and the standard should be raised; another inspector says that a new evil is manifesting itself in the rural schools—that he has found in several country districts a reprehensible laxity in regard to statutory duty. He says there are many cases where regularity of attendance is enforced, but some of the boards are now showing an inclination to let children slip from school and enter upon work while under the legal age and without passing the prescribed standard. There is also another interesting extract which I will give from the Reports, to the effect that sportsmen and golfers have no compunction in hiring beaters and caddies from the ranks of unfledged school pupils, and he suggests drastic measures. Another inspector says that 331 enforcing attendance at school is a task which country boards are very slow to face. That seems to corroborate the statement which has been made by many Members of the prominent school boards in Scotland, and it is evidently supported by the Secretary for Scotland, that there has been in recent years a very great increase in the demand for the labour of these children in certain parts of the country. In Glasgow the school board chairman says you cannot get a boy or girl 12, or 13, or 14 years of age for any employment, the demand is so great. If that is the case, I am inclined to think my honourable Friend's contention that parents all over Scotland are fully recognising their obligations is rather too general a statement. Now, I should like, if I may, to refer to another point, and that is this, that it may often be said that it does not really matter What our standard is; it is better to have a low standard and to keep to it than to suggest to the country an endeavour to enforce by compulsion a standard which is condemned by public opinion. Now, that may be the case; but, at any rate, at present, we are not holding before the country an ideal standard of results in this matter of school attendance. It is not pleasant to remember that we are behind foreign countries. It is not pleasant to remember that work which we had hoped would be carried out in recent years still remains where it did in the days of the Berlin Congress. For the reasons that I have indicated, that child labour has increased to a certain extent, and that, in some parts of Scotland certainly, children do attain the fifth and sixth standard at an earlier age than they did 25 years ago, I am inclined to think that we were right in encouraging the Government to do something to deal with this question of school attendance. I daresay, when we listened to the Debates on English education, some of us thought that these things did not go on in Scotland; but, as a matter of fact, there is evidence in Scotland of children going to work and leaving school and when they came back to evening classes in some cases they were found unable to write their names, or they experienced great difficulty in reading, and so forth. So the task before us is not easy. 332 It is often objected that we are educating, the children too much, that we had better take the clever children, and let all the others attain a moderate standard, and then we shall be doing right enough. Let us remember we are spending a great deal of public money on insisting upon a certain standard of education being compulsory, and our task is rather, in face of these facts, to endeavour to render the standard permanent, and not merely so to educate these children that in two or three years they may have forgotten all that they have learnt. Now, the question comes, is public opinion in Scotland, on the whole, ready for such proposals as the Government laid before us a short time ago? The English system is quite different. In England this matter of half-time or full-time employment of children in factory labour is regulated by by-laws; that is to say, in different districts school boards and school attendance committees, under the Education Department, are allowed to regulate these matters for themselves, whereas in Scotland we have one uniform compulsory line for half-time employment and another far full-time employment, and the inevitable comparison is limited between the two systems. I thing the great blot upon the proposals of the Government was the suggestion of an intention to apply the English system to Scotland. There is no demand for it, no suggestion, from Scotland, and no expectation of such a change in procedure. Delegates of the School Boards Association, which I believe represents some 100 of the principal Board schools, not long ago met to consider this question, and there is no suggestion to be found in their deliberations, so far as I know, pointing to the adoption of the English system. They expected, and they hoped, some of them, that the Government had raised the standard of education from the fifth to the sixth; others, I think, desired to increase the compulsory years for school attendance by one year. Some of them actually hoped that both might be done. It seems to me there are obvious objections to the proposals of the Government. I hope the Committee wilt not think that I wish to take up their time in discussing this question when it is not now before the House, but I think we are entitled, in looking at the school 333 attendance in Scotland, to compare the English system with the Scotch system, and to point out the disadvantages which the English system inevitably has. Now, there is one disadvantage which will occur at once, and that is, that there is conflict created by the by-laws in different localities. Take a migratory population. You find that a man and his family will be under one set of by-laws in one district, and another set of bylaws in another district. Take one other point, where, I think, this weakness is more evident. It is this: in the cities, where the standard of education is naturally disposed to be higher, where you would naturally expect to find it higher, there the school boards have a larger area, and are much more likely to be independent of their electorate; much more likely to be able to take a far-seeing view of such a subject as this. It is precisely there that you find in England the standard of compulsion for attendance highest. In the rural districts you find it lowest. Perhaps this criticism will be thought somewhat wide of the mark to-night, but we have not frequent opportunities in this House for discussing these questions of Scotch education; and, again, there is a generalisation made very often in regard to Scotch education from which I entirely demur, and that is that in every way it is superior to English education, and the system in vogue in England. One instance of such a mistake has been pointed out recently in regard to the system established in Wales, and I am perfectly certain that further examinations would disclose points in which we may learn a good deal from English systems and from English education. At the same time I do not think that this latest proposal of the Government at all met the expectations of the people of Scotland. It is surrounded with difficulty. It would be weak exactly where it ought not to be weak, and it would be strong exactly where strength is not needed. Another great objection which I have to the proposal, or rather to the English system, is this, that it withdraws from Parliament what has been hitherto regarded—and what has been the fact hitherto in regard to Scotland—as its statutory duty. This matter of regulating the standard of education should, I think, 334 be directly under the control of Parliament. It is a great advantage that Parliament should frequently be directed to the consideration of this question. One knows very well the general tendency there is, the strong and irresistible tendency it seems to me, to lighten this House of the burden of its proper work. This, I think, is another instance of it. Whatever you do, remove things from discussion in this House. Whatever you do, avoid opportunities of lengthening the Debate, avoid any chance of making yet further claims on the time of the House. Everyone must have recognised that this tendency is evident in a good deal of our legislation. Of course, it is not for me, Mr. Lowther, to refer to other questions of the same kind, but this very Session we have had evidences of it in legislation which has been proposed for Scotland; I mean the Bill dealing with private Bill procedure, which has been dropped. Well, Sir, I look forward with interest to what the Lord Advocate has to say upon this question of school attendance in Scotland, and I must say that I hardly think my honourable Friend's views, novel and ingenious and thoroughly consistent to his line of argument as they were, were the correct views. I should be very slow to think that when we have the fact that in certain districts of Scotland there is undoubtedly a decrease in school attendance, undoubtedly a lowering of the standard attained by children, undoubtedly an increase in labour on the part of children, especially of the poorer populations—that it was wise at such a time as this, or that it was possible, to support the view that parents are entirely doing their duty in this respect. No doubt every allowance must be made for parents. Often they are very needy, but it is not among the most needy parents that we find this state of things worst. It is rather among those whom I may call greedy parents, those who have least consideration for their children, and I cannot but think that the love for education, which is inborn in Scotland, if it was only encouraged and given free exercise, might in time overcome this tendency, due to degeneration, which, I think, undoubtedly exists. I hardly think my honourable Friend's views can be borne out; but it is a most complicated subject; it is very difficult, very 335 dangerous, to generalise upon it, and I look forward with very great interest to any explanation the Lord Advocate can give.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
I do not wish to interfere between my two honourable Friends, two rival experts, in regard to the question of school attendance. I want to get some practical explanation bearing upon the financial statement. I should have liked first to have moved a reduction of this Vote for the purpose of knowing who is responsible for this financial statement, because one more difficult or more misleading I think has scarcely ever been put before Parliament. I take it we are going to have a 12s. Vote for every scholar, 2s. beyond the English one. Well, now, if we have got, as we estimate, over 628,000 children, we only have £314,000 from the 10s. grant. Next, we have the £40,000 under the Act of 1890. That is a fixed sum. But there is a third source of revenue, about which I want my first information, and that is: how much is the residue grant that comes from free education from the Act of 1892? Our sources of revenue next year to pay 12s. per head of the scholars, are the 10s. voted by this House, the £40,000 that we get under the Act of 1890, and the residue grant that we get under the Act of 1892. These are three sources. Well, now, when I turn to the statement I find the £314,000 for the 10s. per head of the scholars; I find nothing at all about the £40,000; and then I find arrears of grant in previous years. Of course, there is no use my saying anything about that. It is not an arrears grant at all. This is simply a misleading statement. What it probably means is that the Treasury will give a supplementary grant, if necessary, of £21,000, and" that will make the total of £335,000. You do not otherwise get 12s. per head; and that is what I want to know—where the 12s. is to come from, and how much will be given in the way of supplementary grants? I think, if this £21,000 is the sum which is supposed to be required next year, then we lose by the contract the Scotch Office made with the Treasury at least £4,000 a year, because, in the contract made last year they take £26,000. If so, and 336 this £21,000 is what the Treasury is supposed to give us, then that is £5,000 that we lose during the first year. For the first time we have now got on this Estimate the Science and Art Department, and we have a new Vote here of £62,000. I am glad to see that Vote has increased by £4,000. In addition, of course, we have to consider another grant, not here, but administered by the Department, of £60,000. We are passing a Bill by which £35,000 will go to the Education Department for secondary education. The £60,000 is to go for secondary education, including technical education, and I am afraid very little of that money is being spent on technical education; I should like to know how much of it. Another point, upon which I desire information is, under the new conditions what will be done in reference to the scholarships under the Science and Art Department? I suppose the examinations will be held in Scotland, and the scholarships will be competed for by these various scholars. I do not know whether all the papers will go to London, and the determination will be in London; whether you are going to give a certain number of scholarships for Scotland, Ireland, and England. I want to know what is to be done in regard to scholarships given to Scotch students. If they get one of the first-class scholarships, will they be required to go, as they have done in the past, to London, or can they utilise their scholarships in analogous schools, like those at Edinburgh or Glasgow, or the West of Scotland Technical School, or must they go, in the future, as in the past, to the London College of Science here, or to the Irish College, if they only get a £50 scholarship? I hope the Lord Advocate will be able to tell me what is to be done in reference to these new arrangements. I think, on the whole—I may be optimistic—we have every reason to congratulate ourselves upon the development of our education in Scotland, both primary, scientific, and secondary, and consequently, I hope, if we pass a Bill next year, something will be done to develop technical education. Young men from Germany and other countries in the world have now quite cut out the Scotch boy and the Scotch young man from the positions they used to occupy, 337 and I hope, now that we have got the control in our own hands, we shall be able to keep up the high reputation we have had in the past, and shall be sending Scotchmen all over the world to take charge in the great manufacturing places where they have been so successful in the past.
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
Perhaps my honourable Friends will allow me to reply, as succinctly as I can, to the various questions put to me. Now, the first question that was raised by my honourable Friend the Member for Forfarshire yesterday was that of the audit. So far as the audit is concerned, I really think he has scarcely done us justice in the use of such strong language about the Department. I do not wish to prolong this matter, because I have spoken about it on previous occasions, but succinctly I say, without fear of contradiction, that if he will look at the discussions upon the Bill when the clause was put in, he will find that I never gave the slightest promise that there should be what he is now asking for—a regular State audit for Voluntary schools. What I did may was that I would be glad to put in something equivalent to the words of the English clause, in order that the same class of audit should be exacted from the Voluntary schools in Scotland as was exacted from Voluntary schools in England. My honourable Friend, upon that, yesterday based a demand of a perfectly different character, because his speech yesterday was nothing less than a demand that there should be a regular State Audit Department to audit the whole accounts of the Voluntary schools. I pointed out, upon the last occasion on which I spoke, and I point out again, that so long as the schools properly spend the money which they get in the Government grant on proper subjects—that is to say, do not waste it or divert it to other objects, so far as their trust deeds are concerned, that is not a matter which is looked upon by the auditor in the State Audit Department at all. What, in the case of the Board schools, the State auditor, if I may call him by that name, looks into, is to see that the schools, which are dependent on the rates, are not expending the ratepayers' money upon things which would be ultra vires. It was pointed out, 338 on the second discussion that we had, the discussion which arose on the code, that the conditions exacted by the Education Department for the Voluntary school audit were less stringent in Scotland than in England, and it was said against me that I had not really carried out my bargain by not having any alteration made. Although, of course, I did not give an actual promise, I wished certainly to be as good as my word. The suggestion was made that we should put the matter exactly on the same footing as in England. Honourable Members will remember that we read at that time the English Minute, which provided that the auditor should do certain things. Accordingly, there has been now an alteration made in the form which is set out by the Scotch Education Department, and there is a note now to the effect that the auditor must be a chartered accountant, banker, or bank agent, or some person specially approved by the Department. That is in exactly the same language as is used in the Minute of the English Education Department, and accordingly the total result is that, so far as the audit is concerned, precisely the same audit is exacted from the Voluntary schools in Scotland as is exacted from Voluntary schools in England; and I think I am absolutely entitled to say that I have fulfilled to the utmost the only promise which I made at the time of the passing of the Voluntary Schools Bill. The other question of instituting a new system altogether, and having a State Department audit for the whole of the Voluntary school accounts in Scotland, is, of course, one which is perfectly understandable, but it is a very much wider question; it is not contemplated; and in my judgment it is not a matter at all called for, and it would bring no attendant good in its train. Now, the honourable Member for Caithness asked me next some questions upon finance. He, of course, is right about the three sources from which we make up the fund out of which we pay the 12s. There is, first of all, the 10s. grant from the Treasury, then the £40,000, and then there may be—not always is—there may be, a balance from the residue grant of 1892. But he temporarily forgot, when he turned to the Estimate, and said, "I see the 10s. grant, but see nothing about the £40,000," that 339 he was discussing an Estimate not before the House, and that the £40,000 could not be there, because he will remember that the £40,000 is one of those items of what we have been accustomed to call intercepted money.
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
Really, the honourable Gentleman is asking a little too much. The Estimates are quite bulky enough as they are, and it is a new doctrine to suppose that you are to have a set of figures on the Estimates which do not belong to the Estimates at all, but really belong to the accounts of the Department. It would be just as reasonable to say that there ought to be a note along with the Estimates setting forth all the payments out of the Consolidated Fund. On what we are here discussing really that £40,000 could not be put on the Paper; it is not a sum which the House is asked to vote. It is a sum which is assured to the Education Department by statute, and which really does not come before this Committee at all. So much for the £40,000. Then as regards the small balance under the Act of 1892, that is a very uncertain and a very fluctuating sum. In many years it has been nothing at all. It is liable, of course, to absolutely the same observation as I made with regard to the £40,000, because it is the balance paid out of intercepted moneys; and you do not, and you could not, find mention of it in the Estimates for the year. As a matter of fact I may tell the honourable Member that for several years it has been nothing; one year it was £3,000; this year I believe it is going to be larger, but as a matter of fact it had not come in at the time these Estimates were framed. Of course we look upon it in the Department more or less as a windfall. It does not appear, and could not appear, in these Estimates, and really is not present in the calculations for the year.
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
Well, I happen to know about that, because as a matter of fact that was merely in one sense a windfall. There was a legal question raised between the Education Department and the Treasury upon it, and it was referred to me, and I decided that it should go to the Education Department, and so they got that money. But some years it has been nothing; and this year—I now know what we did not know at the time these Estimates were framed—there will be a considerable balance. Then I think the other matter he wanted to know about was the technical education. Well, now——
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
Oh, yes; afterwards. The honourable Member also asked about technical education. Well, I think he has not observed all the Votes that are made in technical education. Practically they will all be found, if he looks through the various items of the reports which are at the end of the Education Report of the year, which gives an exhaustive description of how all the moneys of the Committees, both burgh and county, are spent. He, of course, will remember that, so far as technical education is concerned, the technical education money goes to county councils and burghs—that is to say, technical education, as opposed, I mean, to secondary education. The Education Department only gets £60,000 direct from the Treasury, but, of course, there is the other and fluctuating amount.
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
Certainly. The money that is practically spent on technical education comes mostly, I think, out of the fluctuating balance, which amounts from year to year to about £50,000, and of that fluctuating balance, I am informed that about two-thirds are spent on technical education. Then he asked about the science and art. I believe the facts at present to be these, that a temporary arrangement is made—the examinations are held in Scotland, but they are necessarily conducted by the Science and Art Department of the whole country. The division of scholar- 341 ships is at present under consideration; I believe the scheme has not at present been finally fixed. As far as the attendance of the students is concerned, it is found that, at present, at any rate, the students themselves very much prefer to go to the college in London.
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
I think that answers the distinct questions that were put to me upon the figures; and I how come to the other points that were dealt with. The honourable Member for Mid Lanark, who has practically spoken upon two subjects, contended that the attendance has gone on increasing, but that that was not accompanied by what he calls any improvement in education. He deduces that result from consideration of statistics, in which he finds it proved that the numbers of children in higher standards have somewhat decreased, concurrently with an increase in these attendances. Now, I think it is very unsafe to draw a deduction as to the quality of education from mere consideration of figures alone, and it is quite obvious there may be several influences which might interfere with the correctness of the deductions as drawn. There is, first of all, this question: it might well be a very proper proceeding on the part of the education authorities not to be too hurried in pushing the children through the lower standards and putting them into the higher. As a matter of fact, I think I remember in some of the Debates that we have had in this House in other years complaints have actually been made on the ground that there was too much of a hurry in getting the children into the higher standards. Well, the honourable Member for Lanark says that deduction is based upon this hypothesis, that so far as the quality of the education is concerned, all you have got to do is to count the number of children in the higher standards. If you have got many in proportion to the number in the lower standards, the education is good; if you have few in proportion to the number in the lower standards, the education is not food. Sir, I do not think that is a safe deduc- 342 tion; I do think it is a very dangerous thing to draw a deduction as to the quality of education based upon counting the figures of those in the higher standards alone. Then there is another thing. Attendance is very likely very much affected by other influences, such, for instance, as the spreading of secondary education, and the consequent decrease in the number of children at school of parents of what we may call the more easy and better classes. I am told that it is very probable that, to a certain extent at least, the decrease in attendance is accounted for by that fact. Now, of course, the honourable Member for Lanarkshire really called attention to these facts in order to table his views on the attendance of children at school. Now, I cannot help thinking I should scarcely be in order if I really discussed that question. Therefore my honourable Friend will excuse me if I do no more than make a brief reference to it. I make a brief reference, also, for another reason, because so far as what may be called the merits of this legislation in this case—as to whether legislation is necessary—I think the honourable Member for Forfarshire fairly answered the honourable Member for Mid Lanarkshire, because I do not think I am wrong when I state that the honourable Member for Forfarshire says that he is entirely an advocate for the necessity of, I will not say the Government proposals, but for proposals of that sort, although, of course, he does not quite agree with the form in which those proposals were put. I would like to say one thing, make one remark, which, in the contest which the two Members had, was not made by either, but which, I think, goes in favour of the Government proposal. It is this, that honourable Members will remember that those proposals were voluntary and not compulsory. If the honourable Member for Lanark is right, in the teeth of what I think is a very hazardous deduction—because I take it the deduction he drew was that by an application of the statistics of Glasgow he found out the condition of school attendance all through Scotland, which, I think, is a statement that was only to be made to show the danger of it—if he was right, why then, of course, he will know that if the Government Bill were passed at 343 this moment, the school board, who, after all, are the best judges of the educational needs of their own locality, of course, would not find it necessary to make any alteration of the by-laws at all, because, if the honourable Member for Mid Lanark is right, it is all an illusion to suppose that the children do not really stay at school, and that this period of interregnum—the interregnum between the school age and the working age—which would follow if these proposals are introduced, is merely the result of a diseased and disordered fancy. Accordingly the fact that that provision of the Government is optional and not compulsory seems really to be the salvation of both my honourable Friends. As I say, I will not discuss this at any length. Now, the honourable Member for Forfarshire rather objects to this being done by by-law and not by statute. The proper way to attain to that is by the Bill before the House. I have no doubt he will live to see the Bill introduced.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR
My method of argument was simply to compare the English system with the Scotch system, which is suggested, no doubt, by the Bill, which, I think, is perfectly germane to this discussion on such an occasion as this.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR
I only wished to inform the House. I do not wish to trespass on their time unduly.
MR. GRAHAM MURRAY
I only wish just to say this, that of course, if there is a uniform and compulsory standard, it will be necessary to treat every district in just the same way. The real justification of the introduction of the clause in the system is this: that the difficulties of different neighbourhoods are very different, and you cannot expect neighbourhoods which are surrounded with difficulties to go to the height that is possible in other places which are more favourably situated. Accordingly, if you do not want your system to break down altogether, you are bound, if you adopt a compulsory statute system, to graduate that system to what we may call the 344 weakest link of the whole chain. If we go by by-law you do allow a certain elasticity to be introduced as to the neighbourhood, and that, I think, is a justification for the Government proposals. Now, I have only one other word to say before I conclude. It is with reference to this matter of the training colleges. The honourable Member for Lanark, I think, has scarcely done justice to the proposal of the Department, because, I suppose, even in, his view, the proposals might have been worse because they might have been nothing. As it is, they have moved to a certain extent in the direction he wishes. I think in his speech he forgot one thing, which is, that these training colleges are the establishments of the Government. They are private establishments really aided by the Government. Yet the honourable Member indulged in a denunciation of the Government because of the difficulty in which a certain lady was put. I am very far from wishing the House to understand I have no sympathy with a lady who, it seems, is very anxious to follow a certain career, and seems qualified for it, who does not find the fates propitious, and does not seem to find room in a certain institution which she wishes to get in; but I am bound to say that that applies to many persons of both sexes in all departments of life. I go back again to say that these colleges are, after all, private enterprises, despite what the honourable Member has said to show that there is any duty on the State to provide places in them for all the teachers who desire to come forward. I think he has shown the efforts the Department have made in the direction advocated. I hope with this explanation the Committee will now allow us to get the Vote.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Sir, I am surprised at the haste in which this Vote is wanted. Why, it has not occupied more than two and a half hours altogether, and of that time the Lord Advocate has taken about an hour. Here is a Vote which, under the old system, you would have had a whole night to discuss. We are told that this is a new system of Supply which is beneficial. I do not see where the benefit comes in, if we are to be hurried in this way in regard to a Vote 345 affecting a most important matter in Scotland. What is the hurry?
THE CHAIRMAN (Mr. J. W. LOWTHER)
Order, order! We are discussing Supply. Will the honourable Member confine his remarks to that.
§ MR. CALDWELL
Very well. The Lord Advocate, to take up his last point, that of the training colleges, says the State are under no obligation whatever to provide training colleges for those who have passed through the ordeal of pupil teachers and who wish to enter their profession as teachers. I venture to say a more extraordinary statement never was made from the Treasury Bench. To say that pupil teachers, who have undergone the whole of the education requisite to qualify them to pass examinations requisite to qualify them to go into a training college—to say that these people who have done that have no claim whatever on the Government to demand admission into a training college is, I venture to say, the most extraordinary thing that could ever be uttered from the Treasury Bench. To say that the State is no more bound to provide training colleges for the teachers than to provide for any other profession or walk in life is a most extraordinary statement to come from a Treasury Bench.
§ MR. CALDWELL
The Lord Advocate says the State does not provide colleges now. The Lord Advocate knows perfectly well that every penny of the expenditure of these training colleges is borne by the State. He knows that the whole expenditure—every copper of it—at the present moment, although nominally in the hands of denominations in Scotland, in reality comes out of the Imperial Treasury, and is borne on these Estimates—every penny of it. Why is it that you have admitted that responsibility to provide State training colleges?—and you have admitted that responsibility. Upon what principle can you say you are not to fulfil your responsibility according to the circumstances and the exigencies of the occasion? It is a most extraordinary position. What is the use of 346 education at all, of spending money on an educational system, if you are not to have properly trained teachers qualified to carry on the work of education? I venture to say that the whole key to education in the country is the having properly educated, trained, certificated teachers; and your own inspectors point out the great inferiority of those who are not in the training colleges—the want of more training colleges—and you are giving money every year just now—your Bill before the House at the present moment is to give more money—with the view of increasing the teaching of secondary education in your elementary schools. Yet, not with standing all that, you are making no provision to supply the requisite teachers trained for the purpose of carrying that out. And the Lord Advocate took no notice of the statistics. He did not say whether the accommodation of the training colleges was, or was not, sufficient. That is the contention we maintain—that the accommodation in these training colleges is not one-half of the requisite amount—not half what is required—and we insist that if the denominational training colleges are not sufficient to provide that accommodation, you must provide that accommodation by the State. Let me tell the First Lord of the Treasury what is the case of this lady I have referred to. Let me tell him of this case. It is this: here is a lady who has passed her examination as a pupil teacher, and she has passed an examination for admission into the training college.
Order, order! The honourable Gentleman is not entitled to repeat again and again the same thing.
Order, order! If any other Member spoke of it, he might equally claim to repeat the story to him. He is not entitled by the rules of the House to do that.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I must bow to the rules of the House. But, at any rate, the Lord Advocate did not meet the case which I presented. He put it in this 347 way: here was the case of a lady who had no possible claim to be admitted to a training college—that she suffered no injustice because she did not get admission to a training college. He did not meet the case that was presented at all. It was this, that this pupil teacher had passed the whole of her course as pupil teacher. She had passed the whole of her examinations to get into the training college; she has passed in the first-class division, and the second-class division was quite competent to admit her. What had she done therefore? Encouraged by the State she had become a pupil teacher; she had passed the examination which was prescribed, and she passed in the first-class division of that examination, and the second class qualifies for admission to the college, and she did not get admission. Why did she not get admission? Simply because there was no room. There was no other reason. Simply because there was no room. She is kept out of that position simply because there is no room.
Order, order! The honourable Member goes on repeating the same thing over and over again. If he goes on repeating it I shall have to call on him to resume his seat.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I venture to say, Sir, at any rate, that we have had no explanation whatever from the Lord Advocate which is at all satisfactory why the State should not provide training colleges for those who have passed these examinations. Then with regard to the other matters that were referred to—the matters of statistics. The Lord Advocate says the question of satistics does not matter; that they cannot possibly prove anything. Well, what is the use of statistics at all if they are not proving anything? He used statistics himself about Glasgow, about the children of 11 and 12 years. We have not got the statistics—certainly we have not got the statistics of Scotland, but that is not our fault. What I point out is that you have got education going on in Scotland, you have an attendance much higher in Scotland than it is in any other part of the United Kingdom, you find the children remain longer at school, and yet the higher subjects are not being passed 348 there corresponding with that increased attendance. There has been no explanation given, no explanation whatever; there has been no contradiction of the statistics. Now, I venture to say that, so far as any statistics have been presented to us, we have no statistics whatever. This is an attempt which is being made to get through this Vote as fast as possible in order to prevent any possible discussion.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I am sure I have no desire to shorten the discussion upon, this Vote. The only reason that I desire it should be taken quickly is than there are other questions in connection with this Vote upon which honourable Members desire to speak, and I am desirous that they may have an opportunity of dealing with these questions.
§ CAPTAIN SINCLAIR
The right honourable Gentleman has reserved his defence on the proposed adoption of the. English system in regard to the attendance of children at school. Nothing he has said has shaken me in my belief that there is not sufficient ground for the adoption of that system in Scotland He said that no doubt different parts of the country have different peculiarities. If you follow that out to its logical conclusion you would make it perfectly impossible for us to have a uniform system of any kind. I shall not oppose that subject further now, but I desire to say that under this system of audit there is not the same protection for the taxpayer in the case of Voluntary schools in Scotland as there is in the case of Board schools, and in order to lodge a protest against the system I move to reduce the Vote by £100.
§ MR. COLVILLE (Lanark, N.E.)
I do not think the explanation of my right honourable Friend is at all relevant to the subject. When the funds are found by the Government, surely there ought to be adequate accommodation for all who are competing to enter the teaching profession, and, in my opinion, having 349 regard to the necessity of doing so, the Government ought to find room; but I rise mainly in order to emphasise the necessity of an attempt being made to take up the important question of technical education in Scotland. That it is important is shown by the fact that the competition of foreign countries is beseeming every day more and more serious, and unless we have a thoroughly good system of education we cannot hope to retain the position we have hitherto held in commerce. I would suggest to the Lord Advocate that he should take steps, either by appointing a Committee or a Sub-Committee, to take the whole question of the system of technical education in hand, and that he should bring forward some scheme to deal with one of the most important branches of education in Scotland.
§ Dr. CLARK
I should just like to make one or two remarks upon this matter. Too much must not be said upon the division with regard to science and art between England and Scotland, because this is the first year of its trial, and it would not be fair. Now, with regard to the training college, I notice that we have 240 male students, and that we have 695 female students going through the training college. The only explanation, so far as I can see, as to the preponderance of female students, is that a large number of the male students do not go through the training college, but go through the Universities and take their degrees there. The result is that the male students go through the Universities, while the female students are crowded together in the training college. Now, I think that something ought to be done to develop the system of University education for female students, and the granting of degrees to ladies.
§ Mr. CALDWELL
With regard to the male students who pass through the Universities the number which is returned is 40, and therefore the explanation of my honourable Friend would not seem to be a good one. There is another point I wish to refer to, a very important point, and that is the question of finance. The Committee will 350 remember, when the Voluntary Schools Act for Scotland was before the House, what the right honourable Gentleman stated was that Scotland was to receive from the Imperial Exchequer £26,000, such sum being required to make up the 12s. grant. Now, what we want to know is this—you are now giving us the balance, the probable balance, if £12,000; the total sum required to bring up the grant from 10s. to 12s. upon 620,000 children is about £62,000—what we want to know is: are you going merely to take out of the Imperial Treasury this difference—the £10,000 or £12,000, whatever the amount may be—or are you going to give us the whole £26,000 with which you are debiting us, and which you have said we are going to get under the education grant? I venture to say we ought to have the whole £26,000 from the Treasury as a fixed quantity, and leave units to be made up afterwards.
Mr. GRAHAM MURRAY
I wish when the honourable Gentleman quotes my words he would give the exact text. Had he done so the Committee would find that I never promised £26,000 out of the Imperial Treasury. What I did say was that the right honourable Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer had promised on behalf of the Treasury to make good the sum of money, whatever it might be, necessary to bring the grant up to 12 s. in place of 10s. It is quite true that we are getting a larger amount than usual under the grant of 1892, but we are not getting £26,000. That figure was mentioned by me, probably upon the figures supplied me, as an estimate. It is quite true, with the expansion of people and the greater number of children, that in subsequent years we shall have to call upon my right honourable Friend to increase the amount, but at present the only promise he makes to us is that he will increase the grant and bring it up to 12s., and that is all we can at present ask him to do.
§ Mr. CALDWELL
Supposing you give us this £12,000 this year, you only require £11,000, about, to make up. Do I understand that the position now is that it is only £11,000 which the Chan- 351 cellor of the Exchequer requires. A certain sum was made up, it was exactly as the right honourable Gentleman the Lord Advocate stated, and it was estimated that a sum of £26,000 would be required to perform that obligation, and now we find that instead
§ The Vote to complete the sum of £4,400 in aid of the maintenance of the National Gallery, School of Art, and Museum of Antiquities, Scotland, was agreed to.352
§ of £26,000 all that will be required is £12,000.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 38; Noes 88.—(Division List No. 283.)351
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N.E.)||Lough, Thomas||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Bayley, T. (Derbyshire)||Macaleese, Daniel||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Brigg, John||M'Ghee, Richard||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Burns, John||Maddison, Fred.||Williams, John C. (Notts)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Moss, Samuel||Wilson, John (Govan)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||O'Connor, A. (Donegal)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Doogan, P. C.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Hudd'rsf'ld)|
|Gourley, Sir Edward T.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Hazell, Walter||Spicer, Albert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Lambert, George||Steadman, William Charles||Captain Sinclair and Mr. Caldwell.|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Ambrose, William (Middlesex)||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Arnold, Alfred||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Arrol, Sir William||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fisher, William Hayes||McKillop, James|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manc'r)||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Monk, Charles James|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Fry, Lewis||More, Robert Jasper|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Garfit, William||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Godson, Sir A. F.||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)|
|Bond, Edward||Gilliat, John Saunders||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Butcher, John George||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbysh.)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Heath, James||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Helder, Augustus||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Howorth, Sir Henry Hoyle||Round, James|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hozier, Hon. J. H. C.||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kenyon, James||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready||Lafone, Alfred||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Lawrence, Sir E. D. (Corn.)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Cornwallis, F. S. W.||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Wyndham, George|
|Curzon, Rt Hn. G. N. (Lancs S W)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Loder, G. W. Erskine||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Drucker, A.||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Lowe, Francis William|
|Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Lowles, John|
§ On the Vote to complete the sum of £600,781 for salaries and expenses of the Department of Science and Art,
§ Mr. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
I desire to call the attention of the Com- 353 mittee to the fact that there has been lately made by the Department a change in the system of distributing grants in connection with the Science and Art Department. Up to lately the amount paid by way of grant to a class or school was paid direct to the schools or classes individually, in respect of work done, and in proportion to the amount of work done. Now in place of that system there is an arrangement whereby the grants are to be handed over in the future in a lump sum to a most unsatisfactory kind of local authority which has come into existence in some 30 parts of the kingdom, and which has no statutory sanction, but which has been approved by the Science and Art Department, an authority composed of school boards, corporations, and county councils. I regard it as very important that there should be established in this country a local authority upon secondary and technical and elementary education. But if that be not possible, then there should be established in every administrative county or county borough an authority to administer all public funds received by schools in respect of technical and secondary instruction. I wish to put to the right honourable Gentleman in charge of the Department that this arrangement has not been a good one at all, and that it has caused considerable feeling which is far from inducing friendly co-operation in any given area between the persons having to deal with secondary and technical instruction. What has been done is to set up a system which, as the right honourable Gentleman will find out, will prevent any impartiality in the future. For instance, you have the school board at the throat of the Technical Education Committee, and you have the school board against the town council. That is not what I would desire to see. What I would like to see is all these bodies working together as a joint board, as at Manchester. At Burnley and Bradford, for instance, there is not the sympathetic working and hearty co-operation found that is found at Manchester. At Manchester the voluntary rate was earned, and it was decided that the three authorities I have referred to should be equally represented upon the joint board. At Bradford and Burnley they are not equally represented; the school board is not equally represented 354 with the others, and the Science and Art Department has refused to interfere. The right honourable Gentleman has said that all he has to do is to approve the arrangement come to locally. I ask him to decline to approve the local arrangement which is not satisfactory. What I want to put to him most strongly is this, that he must prepare the way for a satisfactory system of local control, more by refusing to agree to these unsatisfactory arrangements than by approving them. Now what has been the policy of the Science and Art Department? It has been a despairing effort to retain to itself the central authority. In order to do that they have started to hold public inquiries, which differ from those which they used to hold in the fact that they are conducted more privately. Now I heard the right honourable Gentleman's speech about the immense importance and also the necessity of better instruction, technical and commercial, in this country, and I believe he is perfectly honest in what he has said, but I want to point out to him that the bodies which have done the most to procure a good commercial education for the sons of the people of this country are the school boards which have set up higher class Board schools, and it is owing to them that the technical and commercial instruction in a higher degree is so satisfactory. Now, the school boards say—We have, rightly or wrongly, responded to a local call to meet a national need; hitherto, we have provided instruction for the children of the better-off artisan, and the lower middle class in towns; we have established a kind of vested right, and desire that, when the new authority for secondary and technical education is set up within an area by statute or by local arrangement, under Departmental Minute, what we have done and what we are doing, shall be recognised in the constitution of this authority.If the right honourable Gentleman will only see that on these authorities the school boards shall have a fair share of representation—the share suggested by the Royal Commission on Secondary Education—then I think all the friction to which I have referred will pass away. School boards, with leading members of which I have conversed on the subject, do not desire that the present state of things shall continue, and have no wish to occupy the position of dog-in-the-manger, 355 but they do complain that they have not been fairly recognised by town councils as members of education committees. Then, when they have gone to the Science and Art Department, hoping to receive justice in this matter, hoping that the central authority would rectify such injustice as local feeling may have produced, the Vice-President has taken up the attitude that, all he has to do has been to approve of what has been done locally. But I submit to the right honourable Gentleman, and to the Committee, that, for the sake of harmonious and complete educational development, paving the way for setting up a statutory local authority over the area, that you would do well to consider the matter, and, taking a strong line, say that you will henceforth recognise no association whatever that does not give full representation to school boards. If the right honourable Gentleman will only do that I feel that this friction will pass away with good results, but I venture to say that, as things are at present, the attitude of the Department is laying up for itself stores of trouble, that will hamper and hinder to a large extent the development and fruition of the education system I desire.
§ Mr. BRIGG (York, W.R., Keighley)
The worst part of the charge against the new arrangement appears to be that certain bodies have not a proper share of representation upon the local body distributing the grants, which they equally ought to have. Well, the honourable Gentleman who has just spoken did not name those bodies; nor do I; but, at the same time, I admit that it is desirable that there should be fairly equal representation. I do not wish to say what it should be, and I do not think the honourable Member himself would be prepared to define the exact proportions which the various bodies ought to have, including trustees of charities, grammar schools, and endowed schools. As has been already mentioned, Manchester appears to have done away with a great deal of friction which used to occur, and in other cases it only requires a little management, I think, on the part of those concerned, with hints and suggestions from the central authority, and also a little consideration for one another on the part of local bodies, to arrive at a satisfactory 356 solution in any area. I do not deny the claim put forward by the honourable Member for Nottingham, that board schools have done most of the work of recent educational development; but, as far as I can gather from the Report, they have only some 43 efficient high-grade board schools—a small number compared with the large number of committees in existence who take their instructions from the Department. In a few places there seems to be, I will not say friction, but some little difficulty in regard to the distribution of money by the county council committees. So far as I can learn, the Department is perfectly within its rights in seeking to devolve on any body of persons who are willing to constitute themselves into a committee the allocation of these funds for educational purposes, but of the members of a large county council it is always possible to select men of experience and capacity for such a committee, and when it is remembered that half the members elected on some of the existing school boards are put there for the purpose of hindering the work of the school boards, it is not to be wondered at that the committees now elected by the comity councils compare favourably with school boards. If the Department can by any means suggest, some way whereby the authorities can be controlled, so that they shall work without friction, it will, as far as the large towns are concerned, simplify matters very much.
§ Mr. MORE (Shropshire, Ludlow)
said he desired to support the application of the Shropshire County Council for the 6-inch geological survey of the Science and Art Department, with the memoir which accompanied it. The expense would be comparatively small, and the memoir, in particular, would be of great advantage to the county.
§ On the return of Mr. Speaker, after the usual interval,
§ Mr. GRAY (West Ham, N.)
In asking you to consider the administration of the science and art teaching I need not detain you for more than a moment, or two, because the case has been very fully entered into by my honourable Friend. I for one subscribe most heartily to what has been said. I do not think that it 357 should be supposed that, in venturing to criticise this most important clause, we are making any carping attack. The Committee will remember that when we had the Bill of 1896 before us our greatest trouble was the proposal for secondary education. It was then thought desirable that the relative positions of the school board and the county council should not continue. Now, I think there is something more substantial than the pride of the school board in this matter. I am quite sure the Vice-President will be disposed to agree with me that, if any authority formed a board of secondary education, it is most desirable that it should be thoroughly representative. I have no doubt myself that large sums of money have been thrown away through lack of knowledge on the part of the secondary education authorities of the curriculum and the possibilities of our elementary schools. Schemes for scholarships are formed, but that can only be properly done by having full representation on that body of the various authorities in the district. I am aware that in some large centres there will be no school board whatever, but that is no reason why we should not have some representation on the authorities which would in future have to distribute the science and art grant, and which would have to distribute the whole of the grant made by the State for the purpose of secondary education. I want the Vice-President to understand that I for one am certainly not objecting to the attempt now being made by the Education Department to form in every administrative county and county borough one authority for the control of secondary education. The House of Commons failed to do it by legislation, and I for one am heartily glad the Department is trying to get it by administration. I for one wish them all success in their endeavour. We wish that in the doing of it care might be taken that the whole of the persons interested are fully represented on these authorities, that those who are controlling primary education shall have full representation on the boards of government for secondary education, in order that we may avoid that which has taken place in the pftst—waste of labour and waste of money. Judging from the representations made from various dis- 358 tricts of the country, a large amount of friction has arisen in the administration of these classes. There is a belief, I know, that the Science and Art Department is endeavouring to get into its hands the control of secondary education. I for one believe that that opinion is altogether without foundation. I do not believe that Parliament, will ever allow the Science and Art Department to have control of secondary education. I am afraid it is almost too much to hope that we may have in the future one authority for primary and secondary education. Every care should be taken that the new authority for secondary education shall work in complete harmony with those who are dealing with primary education. I know that most of the school boards justly pride themselves upon their excellent higher grade schools, and I know some of the good work those schools are doing. But we must not see the work of secondary education impeded through any injured amour propre of the school boards. I do also realise that there are certain of our large Voluntary schools equally doing work which will be criticised in districts where there are no school boards in the large towns. There are eases in which the teachers of the London School Board have been trained in the Voluntary school. We have heard a great deal during the past year of the lack of representation on the school board. I submit to the Vice-President that there is also this to be considered, that wherever the school board does not adequately represent the primary education of the district some meeting should be called of those who have the control of other forms of primary education to secure seats on the board. I for one am desirous of seeing this principle extended. I believe that nothing would confer a greater boon upon the country or tend more to the extension of commercial education, which is probably our greatest need at the present moment. Technical education in its industrial sense is now being fully represented in the great technical institutes and higher grade schools of the country. It is doubtful whether we are not overdoing it. The particular phase of education in which we are most lamentably in arrear is the commercial side of technical education. That is the 359 phase in which we are most defective. It is a phase of educational life in which these newly-formed educational authorities may be of the greatest service. It is a matter of such extreme importance that I venture to hope that the Committee will not regret for a moment the time which has been expended in bringing the matter before the Vice-President, not with any idea of personal criticism, but simply in the hope of strengthening his hands.
§ Dr. CLARK (Caithness)
I would like to ask the Vice-President two questions. One is a question of policy. There has teen a great increase this year in the administration. It is one of the badly administered Departments. Here we have a number of pluralities—clerks who ought not to go beyond £350 getting £500. There is a whole class of new clerks, and the Vote has been increased from £17,000 to about £20,000. Two or three of the old conditions still continue. One, I think, ought not to continue very much longer. That is the Dublin director. He has resigned with a pension of £430 a year. He has done his duty, I have no doubt. He got £800 a year as the director of the Museum of Science and Art, and he acts as secretary of the Royal College of Science in Dublin. He also got an appointment on the Geological Survey. Now we have a Director-General of the Geological Survey, and one would think one would be quite sufficient. In addition to that he has another office; he gets £800 a year as Surveyor-General. This is one of the favourite Votes of the Secretary to the Treasury. He is not here, I regret to say, otherwise I should have liked to have asked him why we have got all these sinecures and pluralities, and why men are getting 50 per cent, more than the maximum salary laid down by the Civil Service regulations. I want to know why the administration has increased so much, and why you want so many clerks.
§ SIR J. GORST
The increase in the administration is to be found in the new clerks of the second division. A good many savings have been effected in other directions. The permanent staff has been increased, but the temporary writers have been probably reduced. 360 With reference to clause 7, that does not relate to secondary education, but to the science and art grant. It relates entirely to Voluntary schools, and no manager of any existing school need come under it unless he chooses. No school board or higher grade school who receive any kind of assistance from the Science and Art Department need come under it unless they choose. All the county councils carrying on any kind of science and art education have their rights reserved. No one now engaged in giving science and art instruction need come under that clause. The friction in the administration of the Act has arisen from one quarter. It was not a spontaneous objection, but an organised objection by a body called the Association of School Boards, which has entirely misapprehended the purpose of this clause, and which has disseminated a good deal of misleading information to its constituent school boards. So far as I have been able to gather, the objections were two. First of all, it is asserted that the Department is proceeding without statutory authority. That is true. In the administration of this Vote the Department is not under any statutory authority. The grant is administered under the terms of the Vote which the Committee is about to give, under the control only of the Treasury and according to the rules which the Science and Art Department make for themselves, which they publish to the world in their directory. It is the pleasure of Parliament to allow this Vote to be administered without statutory authority. So long as that obtains the Department cannot quote statutory authority for anything they do. The other objection that has been made is that in endeavouring to economise the Science and Art Department is forestalling the action of Parliament. Those who have studied the Secondary Education Bill brought in by the Lord President in another place will see that it is not contemplated by the Bill to create any local authorities for secondary education. If anything is to be done in attempting to co-ordinate existing authorities until Parliament interferes it is quite clear that a long time will elapse before any remedy is likely to be provided for the unfortunate overlapping and confusion which is said to exist. Honourable Gentlemen have 361 rather complained about the Department because they have no statutory authority. Not one of those bodies has been recognised as responsible for science and art instruction until an inspector of the Department has been down and person ally conferred with the members of the proposed body, and has painted out to them the desirability of giving a proper representation to those in the district who were actively engaged in the promotion of science and art education. I am bound to say that that advice has generally been listened to, and that the composition of those bodies has been altered in accordance with the views of the Department, so that speaking of them generally they are representative in their character, and are not confined to members of the Technical Instruction Committee. Well, now, I am very glad to say that, so far as our experience has gone, this experiment has been very successful. The plan has been adopted in a very large number of counties in England, and fresh counties are continually making applications to be recognised as the authority responsible for the science and art education of their districts. I am informed that Wales will come in en bloc, while the county of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire have adopted the scheme, and that, so far as the other counties are concerned, there is every probability that it will be substantially adopted, as a whole, to the great advantage, I think, of science and art education. A considerable number of county boroughs also have adopted the plan, some which have school boards, and some which have not; but I cannot say that the success of the scheme in the county boroughs has been as great at present as it has been in the administration of the counties. There has been the objection organised by the Association of School Boards, which has caused a great number of school boards to hold aloof, and at present there is a very large number of county boroughs who still hesitate to adopt this plan. But let me just call the attention of the Committee to the state of things which now exists in these county boroughs. Ton have two distinct, and very often rival, authorities, each carrying on a certain part of science and art education—that is all we have to do with here, and I am not speaking of 362 elementary education—overlapping and interfering with each other, and frequently spending the money which they receive from the Imperial Exchequer in competing with one another instead of providing a science and art education for the people. You have the technical instruction committees of the town council which possess statutory authority under the Technical Instruction Act to provide technical instruction, which includes science and art education for the people. They have funds at their disposal, partly derived from the Imperial Exchequer, and whisky or beer money, as it is called, which amounts to about three times the grant of the Science and Art Department, and they have also a limited power of rating. They can maintain technical institutes, and subsidise schools and in various ways promote science and art education in their district. Then you have got the school boards, which have no statutory authority whatever in regard to science and art education, and which have never been recognised by the Science and Art Department, but have the control of the elementary schools and the higher grade schools, that are the natural feeders of the science and art schools. They frequently carry on science and art education in higher grade schools, I admit, to the immense advantage of the people of the borough, and they can command and levy a school rate to a practically unlimited amount. I would not do anything to prevent the provision of higher grade education, of science and art education, or of secondary education in these districts by these bodies; but it occurs to me, as a man of common sense, that it would be much better if this provision were made in concert and union between these two bodies rather than in discord and rivalry. It certainly seems to me that every great borough ought to have a system of science and art education and higher education which was settled upon one plan for the whole borough, and that every shilling, either of the ratepayers' money or of the public money, which is spent in that borough, ought to be spent upon one well-settled plan in which each school or each authority should take its own part, and not interfere with or overlap, the efforts of any other. It was in the hope of inducing 363 the people themselves to make a plan of this kind that section 7 was put into the Act. It is an invitation to the technical committees and the school boards in the great boroughs of this country to come together and make agreements which, they could very much better make than either Parliament or the Science and Art Department; and when they have made these agreements among themselves, and when they have formed such a body as in their opinion is suited to the wants of their locality, and will preside over the system of higher education which is suited to the particular circumstances of the case, then we say, "We will come in and hand over to you the whole of our science and art grant, so that you may spend it according to the one plan which you administer, and so that there may not be any overlapping of the system of education which you have established for the town to which you belong." Now, I do not at all despair of that invitation being accepted and that plan being carried out; and I will tell you why. Because the town council and the school board both represent the ratepayers. They both have the ratepayers for their masters, and it is clearly to the interest of the ratepayers that their money and the public money should not be wasted, but should be spent upon one intelligible plan. I believe that when the ratepayers of the towns come to understand that this is the case they will make the town council and the school board come to terms for this purpose. I am quite ready to admit that there are many places in which the school boards and the town councils are very ready to come to terms, and will come to terms after discussing this question of the preponderance of any one scheme. I believe that in many cases that will very soon be settled, and we shall then see the money of these great towns going to one scheme; and where the town council and the school board unfortunately choose to continue their quarrel. I believe the ratepayers will make both parties come to terms, and will insist on putting a stop to a state of things which is not to the interest of the ratepayers of the town and not to the advantage of education. Now, there has advantage of education. Now, there has been a great deal said about some dark conspiracy on the part of the science and Act Department, 364 with which my noble Friend the Lord President has had to do, and which I administer under his direction, to interfere with higher education. If there is I am not conscious of it. I have never heard of such a thing. I have no idea whatever that there is on the part of the Science and Art Department any desire whatever to curtail the operations d of school boards in the provision of higher education for the people. On the contrary, I believe that the Department has continually done its very best to forward, so far as the statutory authority under which the Education Department has to act will allow it, the efforts of school boards to provide higher education. I think if an agreement took place between the school boards and the technical committees of the town councils as to higher-grade schools, the higher education would be very greatly promoted. Now, I will not detain the Committee any longer than just to say, in reply to the honourable Member for Shropshire, who complained that the geological survey is not being carried out as it ought to be, that the matter is now being inquired into by the Committee of Council, and, if necessary, we shall apply to the Treasury to enable us to advance the work more rapidly, so that I hope that when he next asks me a question on the subject I shall be able to give him a satisfactory answer.
§ MR. GRAY (West Ham, N.)
There is one question I should like to ask the Vice-President, for, if he will allow me to say so, he has avoided the whole point of the criticism on this clause 7. None of us have ventured to attack its principle, and in fact there is warm approval of the step the Department has taken, and the whole point of the criticism was as to the representation upon the central body of the various district educational authorities. I understand the right honourable Gentleman to say that he offers advice to the authorities when they are forming a new board. Now, will he tell me this? In the event of that advice being declined or not being acted upon, does he refuse to recognise the scheme which they put before him? Because if, after having offered them advice, he allows them to substitute a scheme of their own, in which the various existing 365 authorities are not introduced in proportion to their influence in the locality, then I am afraid he is taking upon himself a position of exceedingly great difficulty. That is the whole point of my criticism. I am glad he is giving the advice, but if he gives advice and then allows the local people to neglect it and to set up a rival scheme of their own, and then sanctions that rival scheme, then mischief will be done instead of good. I shall be very glad if the Vice-President will kindly make that point clear.
§ Sir J. GORST
I stated how far the Committee of Council was prepared to go, and spoke of giving general advice. We do not give specific advice as to how many representatives a school board should have. I decline to do so, because I do not think it is the function of the Science and Art Department, without any statutory authority, to prescribe anything of the sort. I have said the school board ought to be represented, and I still hope that will be done. If the authorities want to slight and disregard our advice and insist upon having some body which is not generally acceptable to the people of the district, I will not say what might be done, for such a case has not yet occurred. The honourable Member represents me as if I were creating an authority, but the whole principle of this clause is that the authority is to be created locally. We have to say to the people, "It is your business to meet together and decide what representation shall be given to the local authority." The whole responsibility is thrown upon the local people, and not upon us.
§ MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)
Everyone interested in secondary education and technical education must to a certain extent welcome any step tending to improve the machinery and increase the results of such education in this country. But I have had representations made to me by some of the leading school boards on this subject, and although I am under the disadvantage of not having heard the whole of the speech of the right honourable Gentleman, yet I think that the case of the Department, so far as I gathered it, hardly meets the natural claim of the great school boards. I do not think anyone who has watched the course of this question will deny that the whole policy of the Department, while in the hands of the party opposite, has 366 for years past tended in the direction which the school boards have dedicated themselves and have used their powers to obviate—that is, of drawing a line, between elementary education and the higher and secondary education, whereas, all the best interests of education demand that elementary and higher education should not be divided, but closely connected together. The right honourable Gentleman expressed a hope with regard to the development of the higher grade schools, and wished that their connection, with the school boards should not be broken; but I would remind him of the action taken by the present Archbishop of Canterbury and those who discussed this question from his point of view when the great Bill of 1896 was before the country. The policy they insisted upon, and which they pressed upon the reluctant acceptance, as I believe, of the right honourable Gentleman, was that there should be a complete severance between elementary education, and secondary education. I am bound, therefore, to enter a protest against any scheme which operates against the satisfactory development of higher and secondary education under the authorities, directly elected by the ratepayers for strictly educational purposes, and proposes to transfer higher and secondary education to any composite authority appointed indirectly under the control of the county council. Anyone who listened to the discussions on the Technical Instruction Bill in 1889 must acknowledge that that was the last device of the Government of that day, a makeshift, because no better machinery could then, be given, in order to get something done for technical instruction. No one will deny that something useful has been done by the action of county councils under that Act. But it remains a cardinal error of policy to have created this chaos and conflict of authorities dealing with portions of education, instead of developing the whole system of education by the same machinery. I have studied the question very closely in its application in the State of Massachusetts, where perhaps the highest results have been obtained from the unity of elementary and secondary education, and by having one system throughout. There they have achieved the greatest success in the United States by adopting this system of having authorities for educational purposes alone. The handing 367 over of education to authorities who are elected for other purposes, and may not have experience of, or sympathy with, the work, is unsound. Anyone who looks into our present provision of machinery for education must see that it is a mere structure of makeshifts which ought to be got rid of. For the moment I wish to enter my protest against this policy, not so far as it may tend to increase the advantages and opportunities of secondary education but to protest against going still further in the wrong direction towards this haphazard and chaotic confusion of the machinery of education. We ought to have an authority like the school board, but to include the higher types of expert instruction so as to carry out this higher education. That is the authority we must look to in the future, and not to this heterogeneous grouping of makeshifts. I do hope, Sir, that the policy adopted by Her Majesty's Government on this matter will be guided, not by opponents of school boards, in the educational department and ecclesiastical coteries, who have striven to divert the channel of education from the directly-elected authorities to 'authorities which have not the same direct and natural interest in education itself, but by a rational appreciation of the necessity of developing education in the highest way throughout as one harmonious whole.
§ MR. LOUGH
There are two questions involved in this matter, and the first I should like to ask is in regard to Sunday opening. Can the right honourable Gentleman give us any figures as to the result of the great experiment inaugurated by this House two years ago, and whether any extension of the principle has taken place during the year? There is a rumour abroad about the closing of South Kensington Museum on Sundays, but I trust there is no truth in it, and the Committee will be glad to be reassured on the point. Another point I wish to direct the right honourable Gentleman's attention to is the miserable charge made for admission to the museum. I see that in the case of London, Edinburgh, and Dublin as much as £1,100 is collected in fees every time. I regard that as a contemptible fact. Besides, the effect of charging for admission on certain days is to make people uncertain as to the day on which they can go in free. In regard to Dublin, I see that only £25 is collected in the 368 whole year for admission fees. Could not the right honourable Gentleman see his way to abolish these fees altogether, and make these splendid collections of specimens of art and nature more accessible to the public? I feel sure the Committee would regard with keen satisfaction any announcement tending in this direction.
Sib J. GOKST
Mr. Lowther, I have never heard anyone suggest that there was to be any closing of the museums on Sundays. With regard to the question of fees charged on certain days, I am afraid I cannot give the honourable Gentleman the assurance he needs. As to the results of the Sunday opening, the honourable Member will find the figures in the Report or the Science and Art Department. In the first year there was a very large attendance. In the second year it dropped off, but in the third year the attendance recovered itself, and at the present time there is no sign of a falling off.
§ MR. J. BURNS (Battersea)
In regard to the recommendation of the honourable Member for Islington, I believe that the abolition of fees during the week will incidentally benefit the public and will not damage the workers.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I should like to point out the singular circumstance of Scotland having no college of science and art. We cannot understand it. Scottish students who are desirous of availing themselves of the privileges of such a college have either to come to London or go to Dublin. I fail to see any ground whatever for making an exception of Scotland in a matter of this kind. Surely Scotland is as advanced as any of the three kingdoms in the acquirement of secondary education. They are as much interested in industrial and scientific pursuits as the other countries; and I assert that there can be no good ground for denying to Scotland a college of science and art, when London and Dublin enjoy that privilege. If we take the result of examinations in the United Kingdom, Scotland would come out more favourably in proportion to her population than either of the other two as regards those who are studying and those who pass. Now, in the case of London the Estimate appears to be £30,342; in the case of Dublin, £7,030. Well, we do not begrudge whatever may be necessary, 369 either for London or Dublin, for the expenses connected with the College of Science and Arts. But surely it is not treating Scotland in accordance with a fair principle of Imperial policy by denying her the same privilege. It is certainly not a convenience to Scottish students when they have to go into college either in London or Dublin. They are put to the expense of travelling and living away from home, all of which severely handicaps those young students who belong to the poorer and artisan classes. Again, where you have a college of science and art, the country in which it is established tends to develop and improve along with the mental improvement of the people. It brings men into contact with the higher grade of teaching. Another point is this: not only have we no college of science and art in Scotland, but see how we are treated in the matter of museums! In our case the sum which is given for that purpose is only £2,600 a year, whereas if we turn to the corresponding entry for Dublin Museum the amount is £3,600. We do not object to the amount which goes to Ireland, but we do object to a smaller sum going to Scotland, and for this reason: it must be remembered that in a matter of this kind London—that is to say, England—has got the monopoly. We do not quarrel with the fact necessarily; but undoubtedly in the matter of taxation Scotland pays a great deal more than Ireland. It pays 11 per cent, against Ireland's 9 per cent. Therefore, I venture to say, taking the population of Scotland, and taking her share of the contributions to the Imperial Treasury, she should be treated at least on an equal footing with Ireland, either as regards the museums or as regards a college of science and art. Then another matter is with regard to the museum fees. That is a matter that has been referred to here. We have a very special grievance in regard to that matter. The amount in the case of Scotland is £130, and in Dublin it is only £25. I think the whole thing should be abolished. It must be remembered that, particularly In Scotland, there are what are called trades colleges, where people go from the surrounding districts. These are open every day in the week. It is obvious that those people who happen to be at a college on the particular day of the week 370 when the fee is charged are placed in a very unfair position as regards these fees, which they have to pay simply because they happen to attend their college only on the particular days on which these fees are charged. There is no particular reason why the fees charged with regard to these museums should be charged, because the public, from the necessity of the case, come every day in the week, and it is not possible for those coming from a distance to the metropolis to fix a particular day. I hope, Sir, we shall succeed in the case of museums in abolishing the fees, which are of very small amount—£130. It is not worth keeping up these fees. These fees are very unfairly levied, because they are levied, in many cases, upon the working classes who come from the provinces into the metropolis. I hope, therefore, that we shall find, as regards these foes for museums in Edinburgh, that they will be abolished in the same way as they have been in other cases. If there is no reply I will move a reduction.
§ SIR J. GORST
Sir, the honourable Member appears to be angry because there is not a school of science and art in Edinburgh as well as in London and Dublin. It is nothing new, and why he should discuss it on the last days of the Session I do not know. It has always existed so. There has never been a school of science and art in Edinburgh at any time. I really do not know why we should enter into the relations of the three parts of the United Kingdom at this hour of the night and at this period of the Session.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I cannot understand the reason advanced. The only opportunity that we have of raising this question is upon this Vote. If this Vote comes on at this period of the Session is it our fault? We have nothing to do with putting down the Votes. We have no other opportunity of raising this question, and instead of answering us on the merits the right honourable Gentleman simply replies: find some other means of doing it. Are we to vote money for the Royal Colleges of Science and Art in London and Dublin, and have none for ourselves? What does the right honourable Gentleman take us in Scotland to be? We avail ourselves of the present opportunity, and the right honourable Gentleman seems to think it a very 371 strange thing that while England and Ireland have these things we should find fault because we have not got them.
§ SIR J. GORST
The honourable Member is quite mistaken there. The Royal College of Science and Art at South Kensington and at Dublin are full of Scotchmen.
§ MR. CALDWELL
I say these Scotchmen had to come up from Scotland to London and pay their lodgings in London to attend the institution in London; and the same also with regard to Dublin. That was the grievance. We ought to have a college of science and art at our own door, the same as they have in London, and the same as they have in Dublin. In these circumstances, Mr. Lowther, I must move a reduction of £1,000 in this Vote.
§ Dr. CLARK
Perhaps the right honourable Gentleman will come to some arrangement with the Scotch Members in regard to this matter, because you are now transferring the whole of the Scotch portion of the Science and Art Department to the Primary Education Council of Scotland. You might arrange, as regards the number of scholarships gained by Scotch students, they they could attend either the Glasgow College of Science or the one in Edinburgh. At the present time students do come up and gain scholarships—a large number—and they have the choice of going to London or going to Dublin. I think you should give them a further chance by giving them £50 or £100 when they win a scholarship, so that, instead of going to London or Dublin, they could go to Edinburgh. If the right honourable Gentleman will say that this matter will be considered, perhaps the Member who spoke last would withdraw his Motion.
§ Sir J. GORST
Mr. Lowther, I promise that it shall be considered whether it will be possible to allow those in Scotland who want to, to go to one of the Scotch colleges of science and art instead of coming to London. But I must warn the honourable Gentleman that I have no doubt he will not be able to persuade a Scotch student that, by attending a college at Glasgow or Edinburgh, he has the same chances as in London.
§ Mr. CALDWELL
The alternative would not be a suitable alternative. I insist we ought to have a similar institu- 372 tion in Scotland to those you have in. Dublin and London.
§ Sir J. GORST
It was with the greatest difficulty we could persuade the Irish students to study in Dublin, and not come to London.
§ Motion, by leave, withdrawn.
§ DR. CLARK
Sir, this is one of the Votes in which the Secretary to the Treasury knows very well there are a great number of sinecurists and pluralists, and a great many clerks who get about 50 per cent, more than they ought. This Vote has increased considerably. It has jumped up from £17,000 to £20,000 for administration. There are nine new clerks; their number has increased from 50 to 59, and the right honourable Gentleman is under the impression that occasional clerks are dispensed with; but that is not the fact, because the Item in this respect has increased also—from £1,100 to £1,400. I am not going to enter into all the cases of sinecures and pluralists, but I will take one. I am not sure whether the right honourable Gentleman himself is responsible for the appointment. They have appointed quite recently as Director of Museums in Ireland a gentleman who was an officer, and is now getting £450 a year pension. This being one of the things the right honourable Gentleman was strongly opposed to when he was on this side of the House, I am going to give him an opportunity to vote by moving to reduce this Vote by £100. This Gentleman ought not to have been appointed to work of this kind; he ought to have been a different type of man altogether. The same with the gentleman who has two or three directorships. But I suppose the right honourable Gentleman has not been long enough in office to get things arranged. Perhaps it will assist him to get things arranged if I move to reduce the Vote by £100.
That Item L1 be reduced by £100 in respect of the salary of the Director of Dublin Museum of Science and Art.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 47;. Noes 106.—(Division List No. 284.)373
|Allen, W. (Newc.-und.-Lyme)||Lambert, George||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Bayley, T. (Derbysh.)||Lough, Thomas||Spicer, Albert|
|Birrell, Augustine||Macaleese, Daniel||Steadman, William Charles|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||McArthur W. (Cornwall)||Strachey, Edward|
|Brigg, John||M'Ghee, Richard||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Burns, John||Maddison, Fred.||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Caldwell, James||Molloy, Bernard Charles||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Moss, Samuel||Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Dalziel, James Henry||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Hudd'rsf'ld)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Dillon, John||Paulton, James Mellor||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Dr. Clark and Mr. Herbert Lewis.|
|Doogan, P. C.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Hazell, Walter||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Joicey, Sir James||Robertson, E. (Dundee)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Flower, Ernest||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Atkinson Rt. Hon. John||Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Fry, Lewis||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Garfit, William||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Gilliat, John Saunders||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Godson, Sir A. F.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Purvis, Robert|
|Bill, Charles||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Brassey, Albert||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Roche, Hon. Jas. (Kerry, E.)|
|Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Heath, James||Round, James|
|Butcher, John George||Helder, Augustus||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Howard, Joseph||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||Hozier, Hon. J. H. C.||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Kenyon, James||Strauss, Arthur|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lafone, Alfred||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawrence, Sir E. D. (Corn.)||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey N.|
|Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Talbot Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)|
|Curzon, Rt Hn. G. N. (Lanc, SW)||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Lorne, Marquess of||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lowe, Francis William||Williams, J. Powell (Birm.)|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Lowles, John||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Drucker, A.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Wylie, Alexander|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Wyndham, George|
|Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Maclure, Sir John William||Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)|
|Finch, George H.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne||Monk, Charles James||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||More, Robert Jasper|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
§ The Vote was agreed to.
§ On the Vote to complete the sum of £162,280 for the British Museum and Natural History Museum,
§ Mr. LEWIS
I have only one word to say with regard to this Vote. It has 374 been my duty upon previous occasions to draw the attention of the right honourable Gentleman to the right of Wales to a share of the museum grant, but having regard to the recent decision of the Committee upstairs, it is unnecessary to take up the time of the House by any refer- 375 ence to the subject. We shall wait with interest to see what action the Government will take.
The Vote was agreed to, together with the Votes to complete the sums of £16,274 for the National Gallery and National Gallery of British Art (Millbank), etc., and £6,025 for the National Portrait Gallery.
Upon the Vote to complete the sum of £5,927 for the purposes of the Wallace Gallery (Hertford House),
§ Mr. CALDWELL
I think the right honourable Gentleman the Secretary to the Treasury will remember that I put a question with regard to this matter. I would like to know what is likely to be the total cost of the upkeep of this Gallery. There is not only a sum of nearly £6,000 for the building itself, but there is a considerable sum for other expenses, maintenance, repairs, and so forth. Could the right honourable Gentleman give us an idea of what the total cost, including interest on the money, will be of this collection? Can he give an estimate of what may be necessary in the way of repairs and upkeep of the building, because it does seem to me that there will be a very large sum of money required. I do not object to the expense, but I should like to know.
§ MR. HANBURY
The great difficulty with regard to this collection is that Hertford House is a very difficult house to light, and no doubt the charge for electric light will be very large, but in other respects the expense will be small, because if the house is properly lighted the only additional expense will be in connection with the ordinary charges for the guardianship of the collection, which will be the same as for an ordinary collection.
§ MR. CALDWELL
As the right honourable Gentleman knows, there has been a good deal of expense with regard to the house itself in order to put it into proper condition, and in other ways to make it suitable for a public collection, and a good deal of money has been spent, but now we have the house in such a condition that it will be in every 376 respect one which will be almost perfect for a public exhibition.
§ MR. BARTLEY
I think I might remind the Committee that this is a somewhat peculiar building. The beginning of this Vote was a Vote last year which came with those Votes which had to be guillotined, and there was discussion at the time. I think it is to be regretted that the House was not put in a position of discussing it, having regard to the fact that it was guillotined last year.
§ MR. HANBURY
There is another £4,000 to be spent in alterations, and after that the expenses will be small.
§ The Vote was agreed to.
§ Upon the Vote to complete the sum of £28,452 for sundry grants in aid of scientific investigation,
§ DR. CLARK
I really think we should have some further information with regard to these grants. The first is one of £5,000 to the Royal Society, and we do not get any information as to the way it is spent. The next is £3,500, upon which we do get some information; but before going to that we want to know how the £5,000 was spent.
§ MR. HANBURY
These are like most grants in aid; when the money has been paid out of the Exchequer we consider we have discharged our duty in handing over the fund. We are not able to follow it out. That is the case in all grants in aid. The money is paid, and, so far as we are concerned, we nave discharged our duty.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
Sir, I want to move a reduction of £500 on item B 377 of this Vote. You voted £15,300 to the Royal Society for meteorological purposes, and then you appoint a Committee which at once votes £1,000 of the money to themselves for their services, and another £800 to one of their number, who acted as secretary, so that, practically, out of £15,300, about £2,000 is spent on the gentlemen themselves. There is no reason at all that one penny of this money should be spent on the gentlemen of the Royal Society, because you have a number of your own officials doing work of exactly the same kind; you have the society doing one portion of the work in one portion of the kingdom and your own officials in another part doing the same work. Once or twice, when Sir George Stokes was a member of that Committee, I wanted him to explain why the Royal Society spent about £2,000 on themselves, but I could not get an explanation from him. We have a Meteorological Society in Scotland, we whom you vote only £100. There is a very valuable observatory on Ben Nevis—perhaps the most valuable in Great Britain—on which the Scottish society have expended £18,500. The work of that observatory would have ceased last year were it not that a private gentleman generously gave £500 to prevent it being closed. Here you have Parliament voting £15,300 to the Royal Society, and the Committee placing a large portion of the grant in their own pockets, and at the same time permitting one of the best observatories to be closed were it not for the generosity of a private individual. Is there anything more shameful than that? The Secretary to the Treasury tells us that they will spend the money for the public benefit; but they do not—they spend it on themselves, and do not care about the society. Now, I want to see if I can come to terms with the Treasury. Will the right honourable Gentleman give us £500 for the next five years? Will the Treasury, for the benefit of science, give £500 for the next five years, in order that valuable researches may be gone on with? This observatory, upon which the Scotch society spent £18,500, would have been closed but for the public spirit of a private gentleman, who gave £500 to enable it to be carried on for another year.
§ Mr. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)
I join with my honourable Friend in expressing a hope that the Treasury may see their way to give this £500, so as to prevent the society having to fall back on private generosity, because I think it is most undignified for such an institution to exist by private subscriptions. I have a Question on the Paper, to ask the Secretary to the Treasury, in view of the statement he made the other day, if he thinks it a legitimate thing to bring pressure to bear on the Meteorological Office to do their duty. But one need not be surprised that Scotland suffers under a great injustice in this matter, and I trust the Government will see to it.
§ MR. DALZIEL (Kirkcaldy Burghs)
Sir, I can assure the right honourable Gentleman that so far as Scotland is concerned this is not a party question. I think, judging from the expressions of opinion in the newspapers, there seems to be a general feeling that this is a matter to which the Treasury might give attention. Now, I do not know if it has been under the attention of the right honourable Gentleman. What I think we are entitled to ask is that he will have some sort of inquiry with a view to obtaining this very small grant of £500 a year. I think it is a lamentable thing that but for the generosity of a private individual this observatory would have to be closed.
§ MR. HANBURY
I confess I have a great deal of sympathy with the honourable Member in the request he makes. Of course, there is a grant towards the Scottish Meteorological Society, but, as the honourable Member has said, it is a very small one. Undoubtedly the grant of £15,300 a year for these meteorological purposes is a considerable one, and the whole question is whether it is properly proportioned. I agree with honourable Members that this Ben Nevis Observatory is one of considerable value, and, as far as the Treasury is concerned, we will do what we can to bring pressure to bear on those who have the distribution of this grant. I do not think the House ought to be called on to vote a larger sum for the whole of the United Kingdom, and the sole question is as to how the money should be distributed between the various portions. I think, 379 perhaps, the Meteorological Council of the Royal Society have not attached sufficient importance to the observatory at Ben Nevis. I will undertake, however, on behalf of the Treasury, to have the matter thoroughly investigated in order to ascertain whether out of this Vote a larger amount cannot be granted to Scotland in respect of this observatory. I think this Ben Nevis Society ought to receive more than it receives at the present moment.
§ MR. BRIGG
I wish to ask the right honourable Gentleman how much of this grant he could put his finger on, and say, "That is paid for scientific investigation and original research." It would be quite easy to make a long speech from notes which I have in my hand, but the facts are that we are making considerable grants to these Royal societies, whilst at the same time we are handing over £104,705 for the university, and a very small portion for original research. We are simply starving original work in a scientific direction, and, while other countries are spending a large sum, from whose competition we are suffering, I think it is high time that there ought to be some qualification given for the grants. We should have some return in the form of original work for the grant we give. We pay the expenses of the Department, but we are really getting little or no work done.
§ MR. WOODALL (Hanley)
said he desired some information as to the grant to the British. School at Athens.
said that in 1895 a temporary grant of £500 in aid of the expenses of the British School at Athens was agreed to be made. This Vote was to continue for five years, and the Trea- 380 sury had satisfied themselves of the great value of the archaeological work of the school.
§ Motion put.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ On the Vote for £66,507 to complete the sum for grants in aid of the expenses of certain universities and colleges in Great Britain, and for expenses under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889,
§ MR. HANBURY
The honourable Gentleman complains that no provision is made for the upkeep of the libraries of the Scottish universities. All I can say is that they have £42,000 a year to spend, under this Vote, and I should have thought that out of that large sum they might have found whatever amount is necessary for their libraries.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ £20, London University.
§ MR. BRIGG (York, W.R., Keighley)
I do not wish to introduce the general university question on this Vote, and I am sure, Sir, that you would not allow me to do so; but I should just like to say that I see in this Vote a very good reason why we should proceed to establish a real university for London. This may be the last time that we have this Vote before us, and I do not think we should part with it without paying a tribute of respect to a university which has been carried on for so many years, and done such good work, at so little expense.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ £271,600, embassies and missions abroad and consular establishments abroad.
§ SIR C. DILKE
I propose to move a reduction of this Vote by £100, or any convenient sum, in respect of the salary of Sir Arthur Hardinge, who is our representative both in Zanzibar, for 381 the islands, and also on the coast strip of the Sultanate of Zanzibar. I shall be as brief as I can in stating this question, but I trust the Committee will not be inclined to think that because our case is one which can be very briefly stated, it is otherwise than a very strong case indeed for the reduction which I propose to move. Some of my honourable Friends have complained that, as regards slavery in the islands of Zanzibar, the Foreign Office have gone back from the promises that have been made in this House. Whatever other honourable Members may be inclined to do, it is not my intention to raise the question of slavery generally; I wish to confine myself to-night to the extraordinary change of front which has been executed in the last few months by the Foreign Office in relation to fugitive slaves in the coast strip, a matter which we brought before the House last year. I shall never cease to hold the view—I hold it with increased strength year by year—that the Foreign Office is wholly unfit, admirable, as an office, though it is, to discharge duties of the kind which in Zanzibar it is supposed to discharge. The Foreign Office is an office organised for diplomatic work, organised for protecting the interests of the country abroad, organised for conducting the consulates abroad, but not organised for controlling colonies and colonies of a kind peculiarly difficult to govern, more difficult to govern than most of the Colonies controlled from the Colonial Office. In this particular case of Zanzibar we have repeatedly brought the matter before the House, and we have shown that the British authorities as they really are in this nominal Protectorate, the coast strip of Zanzibar, were violating what we think to be the first principles of the English law in returning fugitive slaves to their owners. On the 24th June last year there was a Debate on this subject in this House, and on that occasion, after the. Under Secretary had made the usual Foreign Office defence, he was thrown over—I am speaking in the recollection of a good many members of the Committee, who were present on that occasion—he was completely thrown over by the Leader of the House and the Attorney General. The Attorney General having been invited to do so by the 382 former Attorney General, distinctly laid down the English law in the broadest and strongest terms; he declared that it was unlawful for a British subject to detain a slave or to be concerned in detaining a slave under any circumstances whatever. A considerable impression was made on the Committee at that time by that declaration. Then several of us endeavoured to get a declaration from the Government as to the administrative Acts that they would sanction or adopt, and we got from the right honourable Gentleman this undertaking—that it should be made clear to all engaged in administration on the spot that no breach of the law—that is, the law as laid down by the Attorney General, should be permitted. On that we declared ourselves satisfied, and the Motion for reduction was withdrawn. On the 28th June, four days later, the Under Secretary came down to the House and explained that he had not been previously acquainted with the original documents that we had produced; in other words, that he had not known to what extent the law of England, as laid down by the Attorney General, had been violated, and he confirmed the statement of the Leader of the House, that a telegram had been sent directing the authorities on the spot to conform themselves to the law as laid down by the Attorney General. Now, what has happened since? The Under Secretary told us earlier in the present year that it had been found impossible to perform the promise of the First Lord with regard to slavery in the coast strip. On the 10th February the Under Secretary said—As regards the mainland, a pledge was given last year that at the earliest possible date the abolition of slavery would be carried on the mainland also, but the conditions are not favourable to the task.Then he said we must wait for the result of the experiment in the islands—a plea that was wholly rejected last year by the House. He said that the construction of the Mombassa Railway had raised the price of labour, and then he gave another reason, and one that bears very closely on the fugitive slave question, namely—the temptation held out by the missionaries to induce slaves to run away from their masters, and settle on the mission lands.383 That puts us in the position in which we were a year ago, because these charges against Bishop Tucker and the missionaries had been made over and over again; they were gone into in the Debate last year, and I thought we had satisfactorily refuted them. The Attorney General, as I have said, completely threw over the Foreign Office, and virtually held that Bishop Tucker had been right throughout.
§ SIR C. DILKE
Bishop Tucker's contention was that the warrants addressed to the police in the employ of the Foreign Office were illegal warrants; and the Attorney General stated to the House that it was undoubtedly unlawful for a British subject to detain, or to be concerned in detaining, a slave under any circumstances whatever; and the Leader of the House said that it should be made clear to all engaged in administration on the spot that no breach of the law as then laid down by the Attorney General would be permitted; and a telegram was sent out in those terms. Now, I say that, after the statement, of the right honourable Gentleman on the 10th February last, we are back where we were before. The Committee will be able to judge of that for themselves. On the 5th July last year the Council met, under the presidency of Sir Arthur Hardinge, to consider the telegram which had been sent by the Foreign Office after the statement of the Attorney General and the promise made by the Leader of the House. They met for that express purpose, and no other. At that meeting, the Committee will find on page 8 of the Blue Book, Mr. de Saumarez, one of the administrators in question, expressed the opinion—that the Attorney General's declaration in Parliament, however weighty as an exposition of the English law, and however binding on executive officers in their executive capacity, could not be regarded as a legal decision, obliging a judicial officer, sitting judicially, to deny to a suitor the benefits of a still unrepealed local law.That is the doctrine by which the Foreign Office has reverted to its original practice, and continues to attack Bishop 384 Tucker and the missionaries for doing that which we thought they had been held, in the course of the Debate last year, to be right in doing. Mr. de Saumarez also said that he thought that a British judge under the Foreign Office—whose salary, the Committee will observe, is included in these Votes—would be protected from any penalties to which Ms action would otherwise have rendered him liable—that is to say, that a British subject administering the Mahomedan law is no longer subject to English law. There is the new Foreign Office doctrine. Then, Sir Arthur Hardinge gives his own decision, and it is on this ground that I move the reduction of his salary, because of the doctrine which his speech lays down, not for the first time, I am sorry to say. Sir Arthur seems to have become infected with the views of slavery which are those of "General Mathews," as he is called, and the other advisers of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Sir Arthur Hardinge gives his own views in these words—The declaration of the Attorney General would greatly strengthen the missionaries in the neighbourhood of Mombassa in their practice of encouraging the slaves to leave their masters and settle on the mission lands.There is the real origin of the statement made in this House in February by the Under Secretary as to—the temptation held out by the missionaries to induce slaves to run away from their masters, and settle on the mission lands.They are practically the same words. Therefore the real originator of this doctrine which has been adopted by the Foreign Office is Sir Arthur Hardinge, and it is on that ground that I move the reduction of his salary. In his dispatches Sir Arthur Hardinge expresses the view that the activities of Bishop Tucker and the missionaries have been increased in consequence of the declaration of the Attorney General. Of course that is so. We do not desire any concealment about this matter. Many of us encouraged Bishop Tucker to act on the law as laid down by the Attorney General. No doubt Sir Arthur Hardinge found on his return that the old practice of restoring runaway slaves had been 385 largely put an end to; but by this decision of the Council he has succeeded in defeating the intention of the Leader of the House and the dictum of the Attorney General, and in bringing things back to where they stood before the Debate of last year took place. It seems to me this is a subject on which, even in the last days of the Session, this House ought to express an opinion, and I therefore beg to move the reduction.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That Item C be reduced by £100, in respect of the salary of the Consul General at Zanzibar."—(Sir C. Dilke.)
One of the difficulties of these Foreign Office Debates which arise on the Diplomatic and Consular Vote is that the spokesman for the time being of the Department has to contemplate a discussion which may possibly range over the whole sphere of the diplomatic and consular service, whilst, except by the courtesy of the honourable Member who proposes to raise a particular question, it is impossible for him to prepare a defence.
§ SIR C. DILKE
May I say that I communicated with the Conservative Whips several days ago my intention of raising this question.
At any rate, no specific warning reached me. Of course, unless one knows what particular matter is to be brought forward, it is impossible to prepare one's self with information. I did hear that the right honourable Gentleman proposed to raise some point in connection with Uganda; I know how greatly he is interested in Uganda, and I prepared myself on that subject; but I had no idea whatever until he rose just now that the particular topic upon which he wished to arraign the Foreign Office was the conduct of Sir Arthur Hardinge and Her Majesty's Government in respect of slavery on the coast strip of Zanzibar. If, therefore, I have not the whole of the materials for giving a satisfactory reply to the right honourable Gentleman, I hope the Committee will understand the difficult position in which I am placed in replying to a very carefully prepared and well thought out attack.
§ SIR C. DILKE
It is natural that we should desire to call attention to a matter of such importance.
I do not at all dispute the right of the right honourable Gentleman to call attention to the matter; I am only pointing out that he has a considerable advantage over me because he has been able to prepare his attack, while I have only had the few minutes during which he was speaking to prepare my defence. I entirely dispute the two propositions which I understood to form the basis of the right honourable Gentleman's attack. He said in the first place that the dictum of the Attorney General pronounced in this House last year, and upon which Her Majesty's Government had taken action, had subsequently been disregarded or ignored by them; and, secondly, that, led by Sir Arthur Hardinge, the Government had been tempted or persuaded into a complete reversal of their policy and a violation of their promise with regard to this 10-mile strip of coast. I dispute both of those propositions. The dictum of the Attorney General, which is in the recollection of every Member who was present during the Debate last year, was telegraphed out to Zanzibar. It strictly defined the attitude and obligations and conduct of British officers engaged in the discharge of their duties there, and it has been consistently acted upon since. I know of no case in which it has been violated.
There is no distinction that I, at all events, wish to draw between the two. Of course, the dictum of the Attorney General applied only to British subjects, and the British subjects concerned are British subjects who are acting in the position of British officers. The dictum is quoted on page 6 of the Blue Book. I know of no case, and I challenge the right honourable Gentleman to produce a case, in which a British officer has violated the law as laid down by the Attorney General. But what was the real meaning of the attack which the 387 right honourable Gentleman has just delivered? I venture to say that he is really under a misconception in this matter. He spoke of the action of the missionaries, and he seems to think that in the remarks I made about the missionaries in February of this year I indicated on behalf of the Government some sympathy with a violation of this dictum of the Attorney General. Now, Sir, when I was alluding to the conduct of the missionaries on the coast strip I was making no reference to the action of British officers in connection with fugitive slaves at all. I was alluding to a fact which is brought out more than once in the Blue Book—it is brought out on page 8 and again, I think, on page 16—that the attitude of missionaries in persuading slaves to run away from their masters and take refuge at mission stations was distinctly in violation of the engagements entered into by the missionaries themselves. Those engagements are recorded in this Blue Book; they had been consistently carried out for a number of years by the missionaries, and it was not till last year that, acting on the instructions of Bishop Tucker, they were openly violated—I am not saying whether rightly or wrongly, but the missionaries did undoubtedly violate the engagements entered into by the Church Missionary Society. I pointed out in a previous Debate that we might have expected that a pledge once given should have been observed, and that this action of the missionaries was most unfair to the landowners——
I don't understand the meaning of that interjection. I say that it was most unfair to the landowners whose slaves—the cultivators of their estates—were thereby drawn away.
I do not desire to discuss the law with the honourable Gentleman, but I altogether dispute his proposition. I only mentioned that in order to correct a misapprehension under which the right honourable Gentleman opposite appeared to have fallen. I cannot help noticing, Sir—and I have noticed it before—that the right honourable Gentleman, when a reply is being made to an attack of his, constantly engages in conversation with somebody else.
§ SIR C. DILKE
I apologise most sincerely to the right honourable Gentleman. I was merely replying at the moment to a question addressed to me by my honourable Friend the Member for Northampton.
Sir, the only other point raised by the right honourable Gentleman was as to the engagement given by the Leader of the House a year ago with regard to the abolition of slavery on the mainland. That engagement Her Majesty's Government have in no wise departed from. They hope to carry out on the mainland the same measure of abolition as they have already succeeded in introducing on the islands. But, as I said last year, it is necessary to wait and see what the result of the experiment we have made will be—what, on the one hand, will be the social and political effects, and, on the other hand, what will be the cost of that policy. The cost of the judicial and other procedure which we have instituted amounts at the present moment to about £12,000 a year, and I anticipate that before long it may be necessary for the Government to come to this House for financial assistance. We do not think it wise at the present moment to throw on the shoulders of our officials the enormous responsibility and to incur the great cost which would result from pursuing a similar course on the mainland to that which has been pursued in the islands. And there is another point which I would ask the right honourable Gentleman to bear in mind. Does not the whole experience of the past, especially the last two or three years, teach us that we should be very careful how we handle these questions on the mainland? Two years ago it fell to my lot to make 389 certain statements and explanations with regard to mutinies and rebellions and warlike movements in this quarter of the world. Since then we have had a serious outbreak in Uganda. At the present moment we have equally serious, although rather smaller, troubles a little further north; and Her Majesty's Government, with the full consciousness of the responsibilities imposed upon them, are unwilling to add to them the risk of any fresh outbreak or disturbance on the mainland. The promise we have given we will carry out, but we are not going to be hurried in our action by any appeals in this House, or any charges in this House, which are based, I think, on insufficient knowledge of the facts of the case. I hope I have made out these propositions: in the first place, that there has been no going back from the engagement entered into last year; in the second place, that the action of the missionaries has been entirely in violation of the pledges given by themselves; and, in the third place, that, as regards the mainland, the Government cannot at the present time assume the responsibility of repeating the experiment now being carried on in the islands.
§ MR. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)
The right honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary has not really replied to the point raised by the right honourable Member for the Forest of Dean. Sir Arthur Hardinge has declared, according to the extract that has been quoted from the Blue Book, that it is his duty to carry out the Mahomedan law relating to the legal status of slavery in Zanzibar, and we have had to-day from the Under Secretary the acknowledgment that, for all practical purposes, the Government intend to protect Sir Arthur Hardinge. Now, I want to ask, is the Government prepared to protect British missionaries and British subjects who give protection to runaway slaves in the British territory? Is the Government prepared to protect them with the forces of the Crown, as it ought to be against any rising on the part of the Mahomedans, who want to get their slaves back? If the Government are not prepared to do that, then I think the 390 British Empire has come to a very low ebb indeed. There is one question I should like to ask the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. A few years ago, in the island of Zanzibar, we forced a Sultan upon the people there, whom they did not want, by the power of our ships that were in the neighbouring waters. Those ships were used there for the suppression of the slave trade. What did we do? We put a Sultan upon the throne with the force of our ships, and we allowed that Sultan to take over 20,000 or 30,000 slaves. How many of those slaves, of whose labour for the last three years the Sultan, has had the full advantage, but Sir Arthur Hardinge insisted upon freeing? The truth is, we are not really in earnest upon this question, and until such time as the Government really see that we are doing an illegal thing, and an immoral thing, and a thing that is diametrically opposed to the wishes of the country, there will be no proof that we are in earnest. Rather than that the Sultan of Zanzibar should be master of this House, it is about time that we were masters there, and had our way perfectly open in the interior of Africa. It will have to be fought for in the end, and the sooner the better for the credit of the House and the credit of the country.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I am sorry that the right honourable Gentleman the Colonial Secretary is not here.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Then I expect that the Secretary for the Colonies will answer the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. The Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs complained that we should desire the immediate freedom of slaves in Zanzibar; his contention is that we ought to wait until an experiment has been tried. He said that if the experiment on the islands succeeded, the freedom of the slaves on this strip of the mainland might be undertaken. But I think I remember a very eloquent speech of the Secretary for the Colonies addressed to my honourable Friend the late Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, in which 391 he protested against my honourable Friend applying this very doctrine of taking time to free the slaves, and insisted that it was perfectly monstrous that they were not freed at once.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
Just so; and therefore, even if we do not have a speech from the Secretary for the Colonies, I have no doubt we shall have him voting with us to-night. This is a question which concerns our national honour and our good name in the world. The right honourable Gentleman smiles, and I know there are Gentlemen in this House who utterly ignore such old principles as, for instance, that no slave should be recognised where the British flag floats. Is this a British protectorate? The right honourable Gentleman laughs at the very idea. The mere notion of freeing slaves is monstrous to him; they ought to remain in slavery, according to the right honourable Gentleman's view, until a series of experiments have been tried somewhere. He says the cost would be too much. Why, a little while ago I protested against money being squandered for the benefit of the ex-slave-owners of the West Indies. Of course, my protest was no good, but when it comes to a question of spending money in order to free slaves under our flag, then the right honourable Gentleman laughs at the very notion, and talks about the cost. Here we have a certain number of slaves. The right honourable Gentleman does not deny that Zanzibar is a British Protectorate, and that the British flag flies there. He says that these slaves are so wicked as to seek to free themselves from their slavery, and it appears that the missionaries have committed the execrable crime of refusing to give up the slaves who have come to the mission stations. The right honourable Gentleman says that sooner than that one of these wretched slaves should escape the missionaries ought to take them by the neck and drag them before a court of law and get them sent back to their masters.
The whole of the honourable Gentleman's speech is a most grotesque and comical travesty of what I said. I never said that the missionaries ought to do anything of the sort. I merely said that the missionaries, having given a pledge, ought to keep their word.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE
I do not see much distinction. The right honourable Gentleman said that the missionaries ought to restore the slaves to their masters because they had made certain promises. The right honourable Gentleman lays that down on the ground that the Church Missionary Society in London had entered into some engagement. I do not care if a thousand Church Missionary Societies in London had entered into an engagement; they cannot pledge the missionaries out there. Bishop Tucker utterly repudiates such an engagement. This bishop—an infinitely better bishop than those that we have in this country in another place close by—repudiates this obligation; he protests against it. I say that no Englishman ought to return a fugitive slave. It is the business of every Englishman to do his very best to aid and abet the escape of a fugitive slave, and if the fugitive slave takes refuge in the house of an Englishman I can conceive nothing more monstrous or iniquitous than that that man should take the slave and carry him back to his master. The right honourable Gentleman may smile as much as he likes, but he and I understand each other about these matters. He knows what I say is the fact. Let it go out to the country as the finale of this Session that at the present moment Her Majesty's Government say that they hold, notwithstanding the opinion of the Attorney General, that slavery ought to exist under a British Protectorate, that the officials of the Foreign Office ought to aid in carrying on slavery—that that is the legal status of men under the British Protectorate, and that British' officers and British ministers are to be employed as a species of bloodhounds to run down these slaves.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
I cannot help thinking that the tone which the right 393 honourable Gentleman the Under Secretary had adopted, not for the first time, is an unfortunate tone, and does not correspond to the feeling's of the House or of the country with regard to fugitive slaves. I protested earlier in the Session against What I thought was a very unfortunate attack by the right honourable Gentleman on Bishop Tucker.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
So the right honourable Gentleman says, but I confess I placed a very different construction on the language he used. Now, I wish to state very shortly the reasons why I shall vote for the reduction of the salary of Sir Arthur Hardinge. I found myself on the language of his dispatch of the 20th July, 1896. In my opinion that language on the subject of fugitive slaves is entirely unworthy of a representative of the British Crown, and the British people. This dispatch, on page 7 of the Blue Book, says:—I informed the council of the recent declaration made in Parliament by the Attorney General and communicated to me in your Lordship's telegram of the 26th ultimo, respecting the restoration to their masters of fugitive slaves. The council considered that the effect of this declaration might conceivably be serious and that it was certainly somewhat embarrassing, as it made it illegal for British officials in the province of Seyyidieh and Tanaland to enforce the Mahomedan lex loci respecting slavery, which, until it was formally repealed, the native courts, even those presided over by British judges, could with difficulty refuse to administer.That is the first statement of objection to the declaration of the Attorney General, which we understood was to be a declaration of the policy of the English Government. But then there is this further:—The declaration of the Attorney General would greatly strengthen the missions in the neighbourhood of Mombasa in their practice of encouraging slaves to leave their masters and settle on mission lands by better terms than any native landowner could afford to offer them.The dispatch proceeds:—Was there any means by which we could, even though only perhaps in a limited degree, protect the native population indirectly, if 394 we were precluded from doing so directly, against the unfair competition of the missions—with all their capital and influence—in the native labour market, and prevent the mission stations from being converted into chartered sanctuaries for lazy or vagabond slaves?Sir, I protest against that language being used by a representative of the British Crown and the British people. I am old enough to remember that that was the language with reference to runaway slaves that preceded the Civil War in America. That was the language which was used of Lloyd Garrison and others who encouraged slaves to seek their freedom and protected them when they were fleeing from their masters. This is the objection raised by a servant of the Grown to the declaration of the Attorney General—because it makes it difficult for British officers to carry out the slavery laws and encourages missionaries to protect fugitive slaves. And this is in the interest of—what? In the interest of landowners, who object to the competition of the missions, the competition of free labour against slave labour. In my opinion that dispatch, considering the spirit in which it is couched, is one which ought to be condemned; and for that reason, if there is a Division, I shall vote with my right honourable Friend.
I do not want to intrude again on the Committee, but there is one sentence I want to say, if the Committee will allow me, in reply to the right honourable Gentleman. The right honourable Gentleman must be unaware of, or must have forgotten, an incident that happened in the career of his own Government when he censures Sir Arthur Hardinge for enforcing the Mahomedan lex loci.
§ SIR W. HARCOURT
I condemned the language in which he referred to the Attorney General's declaration as an interference between British officers in carrying out the law, and an encouragement to the missionaries to protect the slaves.
Yes; but, more than that: the question upon which we have been arraigned is whether the Mahomedan lex loci, under which slavery is legalised, ought or ought not to be maintained on this coast strip. Why, the very last act of the late Government, of which the right honourable Gentleman was the Leader in this House, on the day before they quitted office, was a telegram sent by Lord Kimberley to Sir Arthur Hardinge, who at that time was taking over, on behalf of Her Majesty, the protectorate of the mainland of Zanzibar, authorising him to give an assurance to the natives that the religious law of Islam, under which slavery is the lex loci of the locality, should be maintained.
§ DR. CLARK
I think not; but, however, I want to go back for the moment to the Amendment of the right honourable Member for the Forest of Dean. The law of England was laid down very definitely by the Attorney General on the occasion of the Debate last year, and the First Lord of the Treasury gave a pledge that instructions should be sent out to our officials in Zanzibar to the effect that under the British law, as laid down by the Attorney General, as well as under the Indian Penal Code, the action of sending back slaves to their masters was illegal, and that British subjects would be liable to very severe penalties for so doing. In accordance with that pledge, the authorities in Zanzibar are telegraphed to, and thereupon a meeting of the council is called. What is the result? Sir Arthur Hardinge and Sir Lloyd Matthews decide that, notwithstanding the English law, as laid down by the Attorney General, and notwithstanding the Indian Penal Code, they 396 will administer the law exactly as they please. It simply comes to this: the opinion of this House was expressed on both sides, and upon strong pressure the First Lord gave a pledge which we could not get from the right honourable Gentleman on this side three or four years before. In accordance with that pledge, definite directions were sent out to our officials in Zanzibar—gentlemen whose salaries we pay. The only notice they take of it is to say, "We will carry out the law just as we please." I say that officials who refuse to loyally carry out the decisions of this House, and the decisions of the Government employing them, ought no longer to be in our service. Sir Arthur Hardinge ought to be dismissed, and Sir Lloyd Matthews ought to be dismissed. We ought not to be content with simply reducing the salary of Sir Arthur Hardinge; a much stronger expression of disapproval on the part of this House is demanded.
§ COMMANDER BETHELL
If I correctly understand the decision given by the Attorney General last year, whatever Sir Arthur Hardinge or anybody else may say or do, they are not relieved from the obligations of the British law; I mean that whatever directions Sir Arthur Hardinge may give to those gentlemen who are serving the country out there, he cannot release them from the obligations of the British law; whatever they do is done at their own risk. Under those circumstances, I conceive that the matter raised by the right honourable Gentleman opposite is, after all, not one of very great importance; it is reduced rather to a question of discipline, as between Sir Arthur Hardinge and the Government, who are his official superiors. There is one point to which I would draw the attention of the Committee. The fact that the present Government, as well as the Government that preceded them, have found such difficulty in effecting this change is, I think, at any rate, a strong indication of the difficulties of carrying it out. On the evidence of all these gentleman who have the responsibility of carrying out this policy it is obvious that there is much more difficulty than we, who merely read the papers, might sup- 397 pose. I, of course, have always been in favour of the release of slaves, but, as I understand the matter, that is now in practice carried out.
§ COMMANDER BETHELL
I understand it is practically carried out in Zanzibar. I know that honourable Members opposite say that the slaves should be at once freed, but in these matters it is not always possible to do what one would desire. However strongly we may feel about slavery existing under our flag, it is undoubtedly the fact that there are great difficulties in the way of any immediate effective action.
§ MR. DALZIEL
When the late Government were in office they pledged themselves to make inquiry into this matter, and promised to take action. But what was the position then of the right honourable Gentlemen who now sit upon the Government Benches? An honourable Member moved an Amendment censuring the Government, and upon that the Government promised to make inquiry and to take action; but the right honourable Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham was not satisfied with a mere pledge of that kind. He said: "This question has been negotiated for years, and we are no nearer to a solution now than we were years ago." He said it was a public disgrace that slavery should exist under the British flag, and that it was quite time that it came to an end. I wonder whether the right honourable Gentleman has forgotten that speech.
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE COLONIES (Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN, Birmingham, W.)
Would the honourable Member give me the reference to that speech?
§ MR. DALZIEL
That is on the 8th March, 1895. That was the right honourable Gentleman's opinion at that time; three years have passed, and that state of things has not come to an end yet. Now, we are not to-night going to debate theoretical questions; we are going to consider practical questions. It is not a question whether slavery exists in 398 Zanzibar, or whether its legal status has been abolished there, or is going to be abolished somewhere else. The plain unvarnished fact remains that at the present moment we allow the existence of slavery under the British flag. Therefore it seems to me an extraordinary position that, although this matter was made a question of a vote of want of confidence during the time of the late Government, and honourable Gentlemen opposite were going to turn out that Government because it had not fulfilled its pledges, yet here to-night Gentlemen opposite, who censured the late Government a few years ago, and insisted on a policy which would abolish slavery, are going to support the present Government, although practically nothing has been done of any real value to carry out the policy that they then enunciated so strongly.
§ MR. H. J. WILSON (York, W.R., Holmfirth)
In the course of the speeches of the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs I have again and again noticed, with a dissatisfaction which, I believe, is shared by a great many Members of this House, that the right honourable Gentleman, with more or less flippancy of manner, has justified or made light of slavery in a way which is not consistent with the traditions of the British people or with the traditions of this House. I have listened again to-night with regret to the remarks of the right honourable Gentleman, and when at last he got to the point at which he spoke of unfairness to landowners, I thought, and I am sure that many Members shared the feeling, that we had got to a pretty climax indeed when the question of human freedom was being discussed on the point whether landowners should treat human beings as if they were on the level with cattle. Sir, I did not rise for the purpose of continuing the discussion, but I believe there is a very strong feeling, and I should be sorry to suppose that honourable Members opposite do not share that feeling, that whatever difficulties there may be in connection with this question, it ought to be treated with the utmost possible gravity, and it is painful to us to hear any kind of palliation of the idea that 399 there should be an absolute property in human flesh.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
There is no desire whatever to treat this question in any manner other than as it should be treated, and the honourable Member who has just sat down has but expressed one of the mere commonplaces of political and social belief permeating every section of the House and in the country. I do not rise to continue the discussion, but to suggest that it is desirable in the interests of important business still to come, that the House should now divide upon this Amendment and then take this Vote, and I will take no further Vote afterwards.
§ SIR C. DILKE
So far as we are concerned we are perfectly ready to take a Division now, but there is another question, I understand, to be raised by an honourable Member opposite upon this Vote.
§ MR. GEDGE (Walsall)
I only wish to make one observation. I regret that my right honourable Friend the Member for the Honiton division of Devonshire is not in his place. He is president of the Church Missionary Society, and could have spoken with authority. As a vice-president of the society, in his absence, I may say that I have no knowledge whatever of any such pledge being given, as has been alleged. We have the utmost confidence in Bishop Tucker; he is a man of calm and fair judgment, and not at all a man who would take up the point of view of a zealot or enthusiast; he is thoroughly acquainted with the whole subject, and his accuracy can be absolutely relied upon; and I am satisfied that he can have given no pledge of this kind.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes 55; Noes 119.—(Division List No. 285.)401
|Allen, Wm. (Newc.-under-L.)||Joicey, Sir James||Spicer, Albert|
|Bayley, T. (Derbyshire)||Labouchere, Henry||Steadman, William Charles|
|Birrell, Augustine||Lambert, George||Strachey, Edward|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Lewis, John Herbert||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Brigg, John||Lough, Thomas||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Burns, John||Macaleese, Daniel||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Caldwell, James||M'Ghee, Richard||Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Maddison, Fred.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Warner, Thomas C. T.|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Moss, Samuel||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Clough, Walter Owen||Moulton, John Fletcher||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, H. J. (York, W.R.)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Woodall William|
|Dillon, John||Paulton, James Mellor||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Hudd'rsf'ld)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Woods, Samuel|
|Doogan P. C.||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Fry, Lewis||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Rickett, J. Compton||Mr. William McArthur and Mr. Causton.|
|Hazell, Walter||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarsh.)|
|Arnold, Alfred||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Bond, Edward||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)|
|Bagot, Captain J. F.||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Brassey, Albert||Chelsea, Viscount|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Clare, Octavius Leigh|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Bucknill, Thomas Townsend||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Bullard, Sir Harry||Coghill, Douglas Harry|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin||Butcher, John George||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Brist'l)||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs)||Colomb, Sir J. C. Ready|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Compton, Lord Alwyne|
|Bill, Charles||Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||Cook, Fred. L. (Lambeth)|
|Cooke, C. W. E. (Hereford)||Kenyon, James||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cornwallis, F. Stanley W.||Lawrence, Sir E. D. (Corn.)||Purvis, Robert|
|Curzon, Rt Hn. G. N. (Lanc, SW)||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Curzon, Viscount (Bucks)||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Round, James|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Loder, G. W. Erskine||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Fellowes, Hon. A. Edward||Long, Bt. Hon. W. (Liverp'l)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Lowe, Francis William||Stanley, Lord (Lancs)|
|Finch, George H.||Lowles, John||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.|
|Finlay, Sir R. Bannatyne||Lowther, Rt. Hon. J. (Kent)||Strauss, Arthur|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey N.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||Maclure, Sir John William||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUny.)|
|Garfit, William||McArthur, C. (Liverpool)||Verney, Hon. Richard G.|
|Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras)|
|Gilliat, John Saunders||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Webster, Sir R. E. (I. of W.)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E.||Milton, Viscount||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Monk, Charles James||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||More, Robert Jasper||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks)|
|Greene, W. R. (Cambs)||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Murray, C. J. (Coventry)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Wyndham, George|
|Heath, James||Nicholson, William Graham||Young, Comm. (Berks, E.)|
|Helder, Augustus||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Hozier, Hon. J. H. C.||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Pierpoint, Robert||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
§ Main Question again proposed.
§ MR. LOWE (Birmingham, Edgbaston)
I have given notice of a Motion for the reduction of one item of this Vote, in order to raise a question of considerable importance to a large number of my constituents; but I do not think I should do that at this late hour, especially remembering that there is other business of great importance to come before She House. I am quite willing and desirous to postpone my Motion if another opportunity can be given me. The question I desire to raise is one of great importance to my constituents, and before waiving my right now to move a reduction, I should like some assurance that another opportunity will be afforded me.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I understand from my honourable Friend that the question he refers to is not one that can be disposed of in a minute or two. Perhaps he may be able to find an opportunity on Monday. If we take this Vote now, the Report will be put down for Monday. We propose to closure the Votes in Supply at 10 o'clock on Monday.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY
I do not think my honourable Friend quite appreciates my suggestion. If he adopts it there is more than a good chance that he will find an opportunity on the Report stage.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again on Monday.