§ 6. £381,793, to complete the sum for the Science and Art Department.
§ 7. Motion made, and Question put, "That a sum, not exceeding £106,030 (including a Supplementary sum of £3,750), 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 1900, for the Salaries and other Expenses of the British Museum, and of the Natural History Museum, including certain Grants in Aid."
§ MR. LEWIS
I have given notice of a motion for the reduction of this particular Vote, which is not on the Paper. My object in doing so is to draw attention to the unjust manner, as we regard it in Wales, in which Wales is treated in respect to the Museum Grant. This is by no means the first time that this question has been raised in the House, and I may say that on every previous occasion we have had replies of the most favourable character from the Minister in charge of the Vote. It is one in which non-political bodies in Wales take a very great interest. The county councils have, I believe, sent to the Chancellor of the Exchequer resolutions upon the subject, and I venture to hope that those representations, coming from the most influential quarters that we have in Wales, will receive favourable consideration. We think that our educational system in Wales is imperfect so long as we have no proper museum provision, especially in connection with our intermediate schools. Some of the most important collections have been destroyed by fire, and we have lost some of our most valued treasures on that account, and what we ask is that a
§ national institution should be established in Wales, to which, I am sure, many collectors would be only too delighted to contribute.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! I do not think that this question arises under this Vote. The trustees of the British Museum are confined in their operations to the limits of certain Statutes, and the hon. Member must show that under these Statutes they could start a museum in Wales.
§ MR. LEWIS
I have always hitherto been allowed to raise this question either under the heading of Science and Art, or under that of the British Museum. I was under the impression that I was taking the proper course by raising the question on the Vote for the British Museum. I will move to reduce the sum for the British Museum by £10,000, on the ground that the provision made for Welsh antiquities, manuscripts, &c., in the British Museum is inadequate, and that that institution ought to collect, as far as possible, all the antiquities relating to Wales, all the valuable manuscripts, and so forth, and place them in one portion of the building, where the Welsh public would be able to consult them, and in that way be able not only to have easy access to the articles of interest to Wales in the British Museum, but also to be able to see them all together. I recognise, of course, that your ruling, Mr. Chairman, has restricted the scope of my remarks very considerably, but I would venture to say that my proposal would be perhaps the essential preliminary to the establishment of a national museum in Wales. I can only assure the right hon. Gentleman that the greatest interest has for many years past been taken in this particular question, that people belonging to all parties are heartily united in its support, and that the requests we have made have been very small and very reasonable.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 136; Noes, 51. (Division List, No. 337.)1319
|Aird, John||Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Barton, Dunbar Plunket|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r)||Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin)|
|Anson, Sir W. Reynell||Balfour, Rt. Hn. G.W. (Leeds)||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol|
|Arnold, Alfred||Balfour, Rt Hn J Blair (Clackm.||Bethell, Commander|
|Arrol, Sir William||Banbury, Frederick George||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Bigwood, James|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)|
|Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Murray, Rt. Hn. A.G. (Bute)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Murray, Chas. J. Coventry)|
|Brassey, Albert||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newdigate, Francis A.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Carlile, William Walter||Heaton, John Henniker||Purvis, Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir M. W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore'r||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Kearley, Hudson E.||Sidebottom, William (Derbys.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kimber, Henry||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes S. W.||Knowles, Lees||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Lawrence, Sir E. D. (Corn.)||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Steadman, William Charles|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Doxford, William Theodore||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Tomlinson, Wm. E. Murray|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverp'l)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (South'ton)||Lowe, Francis William||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Finch, George H.||Macdona, John Cumming||Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||M'Arthur William (Cornwall)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Fison, Frederick William||M'Crae, George||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Ewan, William||Wylie, Alexander|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Malcolm, Ian||Wyndham, George|
|Flower, Ernest||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Fowler, Rt. Hn. Sir Henry||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fry, Lewis||Monk, Charles James|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropsh.)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.)||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Joicey, Sir James||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Kilbride, Denis||Runciman, Walter|
|Billson, Alfred||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Souttar, Robinson|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Macaleese, Daniel||Spicer, Albert|
|Caldwell, James||M'Leod, John||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Cameron, Sir C. (Glasgow)||Maddison, Fred.||Ure, Alexander|
|Channing, Francis (Allston)||Morgan, W. Pritchard (Merthyr||Wallace, Robert|
|Curran Thomas B. (Donegal)||Moss, Samuel||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Dillon, John||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Williams, John Carvell (Notts)|
|Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, H. J. (Yorks, W. R.)|
|Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth||Oldroyd, Mark||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough|
|Hedderwick, Thomas C. H.||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Lewis and Mr. Lloyd-George.|
|Holland, Wm. H. (York, W.R.||Perks, Robert William|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Pirie, Duncan V.|
§ 8. £6,149, to complete the sum for the National Gallery.
§ * THE CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER (Sir M. HICKS-BEACH,) Bristol, W.
was understood to say that two Rembrandts which were valuable pictures had been purchased.
§ 9. £2,981, to complete the sum for the National Portrait Gallery.1321
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
I desire to say a few words in regard to the correspondence which has recently been published with reference to the National Portrait Gallery. I cannot help hoping that before another year Her Majesty's Government will consider as to whether this gallery, which is now so much appreciated by the public, cannot be treated with greater liberality. I am quite aware that there are very great demands upon the Government, but surely at a time when education of all kinds is being so much more appreciated, the artistic side might well be thought of. Perhaps I may be told that the artistic side of education and art itself are adequately represented by the National Gallery. I think then I may say that there is another side to the National Portrait Gallery, and that is the historical interest of it. Whatever may be the case with regard to the National Gallery, which is no doubt a popular gallery and attracts a great number of the public, yet on the whole the National Portrait Gallery appeals to the average citizen as much as, if not more than, the National Gallery. There are, no doubt, a considerable number of persons who value a picture on its artistic side, but there is a far larger class who take an interest in art from a historical point of view. There is another reason why the Government might do something to aid this collection. Up to the present time the national contribution has been, extraordinarily small. Not only is the annual Vote very small in amount, but the gallery itself was provided by the splendid generosity of one individual, so that it cannot be said that the nation has ever provided itself with a gallery of historical art. If Mr. Alexander had not presented at enormous cost that gallery to the nation, this magnificent collection would still be slowly deteriorating as it was for many years in the gallery at Bethnal Green, where the miserable parsimony of successive Governments left it to be gradually destroyed by 1322 the action of time. It is perfectly well known that one of the greatest authorities on art we ever had warned the Treasury over and over again that owing to the peculiar position of the gallery at Bethnal Green and the manner in which it was constructed, those pictures were bound to deteriorate year by year. At length, Mr. Alexander came forward, and owing to his generosity the country received this magnificent gift. That being so, the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery may surely appeal to the Treasury for something more generous to be done in regard to the sum given annually than is now the case. I need not repeat to the House the terms of the almost ludicrous reply, if I may say so, which was given the other day by the Treasury to the letter of Lord Peel The Trustees appealed to the Treasury for a moderate enlargement of the annual sum voted, and Lord Peel, on their behalf, called special attention to the fact that there were certain pictures in the market at that moment which were of very great importance. One of those pictures was a portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, by a distinguished English artist, and pictures of the Queen by English artists are exceedingly rare; another was a picture, of great artistic and also of great historical value, of King Charles I.; and the third was a picture of Queen Henrietta Maria. Those are all of very great interest, both from the point of view of art and of history. The reply, which will certainly be historic but not artistic, appeared to be that these three persons were not of sufficient importance to find a place in the gallery. That is the meaning which might be extracted from the words, although I venture to say it was not intended; but the letter was a most awkward one and exceedingly ill-expressed, and every newspaper from one end of the country to the other burst into what may be called a prolonged peal of laughter over it. I venture to make a most earnest appeal to the Government to consider the position of this gallery. If they study the figures which we can give them, and which are in the possession of the House, they will see that this gallery is becoming more and more appreciated from year to year. A great nation like this, which can afford to vote enormous sums of money for all conceivable purposes, some of which, in my opinion, are of very doubtful value, ought not to grudge the few extra hundreds 1323 which the trustees, through Lord Peel, have asked for, in order to buy pictures which very likely may pass out of the country altogether, or if they do not pass out of the country, it will be because of the generosity of some private individual who occasionally comes forward at the last minute and saves a picture of great national interest.
§ * SIR M. HICKS-BEACH
What appears to me to be ludicrous in this matter is, not the Treasury letter, but the interpretation which has been placed upon it. By a peculiar form of criticism, which consists in adopting the answer of the Treasury to one request as the answer to another request, it has been made to appear that the Treasury has described Her Majesty the Queen, King Charles I., and Queen Henrietta Maria as persons who were not celebrated in history. In the first instance, the trustees asked for a special grant for the purchase of these three pictures, and that application was declined. Then they asked that their annual grant might be increased by a considerable amount, and they based that request on the ground of the increased cost of artistic pictures which they might desire to add to the gallery. To that a reply was returned to the effect that the intention of the National Portrait Gallery is rather to provide a gallery of portraits of celebrated characters in English history than a gallery of art. The result has been somewhat singular. The trustees of the National Portrait Gallery valued the three pictures to which the noble Lord has referred at very high prices, and I have seen a criticism of their valuation which describes it as quite excessive. As far as I am aware, no picture by Sir David Wilkie has ever reached the price put upon this particular picture by the trustees, and with regard to the other pictures, they are by no means of first-class artistic value. Since making that request to the Treasury, the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery do not now desire to purchase this particular portrait of Her Majesty the Queen, and with regard to the other two pictures of King Charles I. and Queen Henrietta Maria, it is notorious that there is in the National Gallery collection a picture of Charles I. of far greater artistic excellence; while there are pictures already of both these sovereigns in the National Portrait Gallery. That brings me to 1324 what is the real point of difficulty. Is the National Portrait Gallery to have its grant increased in order to enable it to bid against the National Gallery for the purchase of works of art in the market? That, I think, would be a ludicrous proposition, and one which the Committee would never sanction. I am informed that there are a good many portraits in the National Portrait Gallery which are by no means of historic importance, many of which have been given by the relatives of persons shortly after their death, and which have been allowed to find a place in the National Portrait Gallery. I would suggest to the noble Lord and his colleagues that they would be doing a useful work if they weeded their gallery of the pictures of persons of no historic importance. I would also make a further suggestion. I think it might be possible to make some arrangements between the trustees of the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, by which the portraits of persons of historical importance in the history of the United Kingdom might be transferred from the National Gallery to the National Portrait Gallery. That would be greatly to the advantage of the National Portrait Gallery, and would stamp it as the national collection of portraits rather than of works of art. If an arrangement of that sort could be made, I should be quite prepared to consider, on the part of the Government, an application for the increase of the funds at the disposal of the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, by which, if necessary, they might, from time to time, purchase valuable portraits of celebrated personages in the history of the United Kingdom, because then they would not be in competition with the trustees of the National Gallery. I hope I have not detained the Committee too long in explaining what seems to me to be the real difficulty.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
In reply to what has fallen from the Chancellor of the Exchequer upon the general question of the position of the gallery, I can assure the right hon. gentleman that the points to which he has alluded have been present over and over again in the minds of the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery. I quite agree that some years ago there was a tendency on the part of the then trustees of the National 1325 Portrait Gallery to buy pictures which, from the historical and artistic point of view, combined, were not altogether worthy of the collection. I must also add that the pictures which come within that criticism are not those of personages recently deceased, and in this respect the Chancellor of the Exchequer is wrong. We have a rule, which we can only depart from by special arrangement, that we do not buy pictures of persons recently deceased. The whole of the pictures which are on our walls of persons recently deceased are pictures which have been given to us, and which have cost us nothing at all. We have had, for instance, a magnificent gift of pictures by that famous artist, Mr. Watts. I do not think anybody desires that we should refuse to accept such a magnificent gift as that. In regard to the question of a joint arrangement, I join with every single word which the right hon. Gentleman has said, and if he can persuade the authorities of the National Gallery to enter into any such arrangement I am sure nobody will be more delighted than the trustees of the National Portrait Gallery. So far as I can recollect, whenever any suggestion of that kind has been made by the trustees I do not think it has ever been received in a friendly spirit by the trustees of the National Gallery, for they do not like to denude their walls of pictures, some of which are the finest works of art, and they are determined to keep them there. I am quite willing to grant that from a commonsense point of view there are certain absurdities in these two galleries, which are door to door and back to back, occasionally appearing to compete with one another; but I must deny that under the present management it can be shown that the two galleries have driven up prices one against the other. If the right hon. Gentleman will examine carefully into this question, and put himself in communication with the trustees, he will find that they have had present in their minds all those points he has mentioned.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 10. £6,000, to complete the sum for the Wallace Collection.
§ 11. £67,700, to complete the sum for Universities and Colleges, Great Britain, and Intermediate Education, Wales.1326
§ 12. £4, to complete the sum for London University.
§ 13. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £701,861, 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, 1900, for Public Education in Scotland, and for Science and Art in Scotland."
§ SIR CHARLES CAMERON (Glasgow, Bridgeton)
I desire to draw attention to the refusal of the School Board for Kilmalcolm to provide school accommodation for the 900 children who are inmates of the Quarrier Homes at Bridge-of-Weir. Mr. Quarrier considers that he is entitled to have the children in his homes educated at the public schools. He asked the School Board authorities to admit these children into the public schools, but they have refused to do so, and in this action they have been backed up by the Scotch Education Department, and that is what I desire to protest against. I asked the Lord Advocate the other day a question with regard to an exactly similar case in another parish, where there is a home maintained by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, and in that home there are sixty or seventy children from all parts of Scotland. Now these children are educated at the Board school, and so far from there being any objection to them, the authorities are very glad to have them, because they find that the grant from the Imperial funds for their education pays all the expenses which they are put to. In the parish to which I allude it was necessary to enlarge the school in order to accommodate these children; but in the case to which I refer no such necessity exists, and Mr. Quarrier is willing to send the children to the school, but the authorities will not receive them. The result has been that since the middle of April last these children have been receiving absolutely no education. The excuse made by the Lord Advocate is that the Department do not think it is fair that these children should receive their education at the expense of this parish; but it is equally hard in other parishes where public institutions of this kind have been founded. I maintain that, as the law does not impose upon any other body except 1327 the School Board the duty of educating children, and as education is made compulsory by law, the School Board is bound to educate these children. The law takes no cognizance of Mr. Quarrier; it cannot compel him to educate these children. An offer has been made by the Education Department to pay for these children if Mr. Quarrier would submit his schools for examination; but Mr. Quarrier has a conscientious scruple to earning grants, and he has never availed himself of his right to obtain educational grants. The law cannot compel him to accept them, but the law does give the Department power to provide for the education of these children, and in leaving the matter in its present deadlock the Department is grossly neglecting its duty. I do not believe there would be any hardship on the parish if these children went into the public schools, because they would earn quite sufficient to defray every cost to which the School Board would be put in providing for their education. But there is a much greater obstruction than the question of expense. The parish concerned is a favourite residential district, and a number of genteel people send their children to the board schools, and they do not like their children coming into contact with Mr. Quarrier's waifs and strays. Such action is contrary to the whole principle of education in Scotland. Mr. Quarrier is a ratepayer, but the law does not demand that a man should be a ratepayer before he can have his children educated, or even that the children should be his own, because if a man has charge of children and they are not sent to school he is liable to be punished. The excuse put forward on behalf of the Department is absolutely flimsy and unsatisfactory, and I must protest against the elaborate show which is being made of care for secondary education, when such an elementary duty as the education of these children is so absolutely neglected and repudiated by the Department. I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by the sum of £1,000.
Motion made, and Question proposed—
That a sum, not exceeding £700,861, be granted for the said Service."—(Sir Charles Cameron.)
§ THE LORD ADVOCATE (Mr. A. GRAHAM MURRAY,) Buteshire
There is really not the slightest justification for 1328 the statement of the hon. Baronet that the Department has been in any way supine in this matter, or that they have made a flimsy excuse. The position is a very peculiar one. Of Mr. Quarrier I do not wish to say anything, except that he seems to be a gentleman whom it is difficult to get to give way when he has once made up his mind. Mr. Quarrier collected a large number of what the hon. Baronet calls waifs and strays and placed them in what after all is a little country parish. All of a sudden, and moved thereto by the fact that a legal decision had been given for which no one was specially responsible—it being merely a decision of the courts putting in force the law of the land—Mr. Quarrier announced that these 900 children would have to be educated at the Board schools.
§ SIR CHARLES CAMERON
Mr. Quarrier stated that he would provide for the education of the children as long as he was not rated.
§ MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
But it was not possible for the local body to grant him an exemption from rates. As far as educating these 900 children at the Board schools is concerned, that is physically impossible, as the accommodation is not equal to it. The School Board, rightly or wrongly, contend that there is no absolute duty on them, under the circumstances, to take these 900 children. An application was made to the Department, and, as the hon. Baronet is aware, the Department made an offer to Mr. Quarrier that if he would continue to educate these children as before they would be perfectly prepared under the condition of inspection to admit his school to a full share of the grant from public schools. Mr. Quarrier did not see his way to accept the offer, and the Department is confronted with the refusal of Mr. Quarrier on the one hand, and with the asseveration of the School Board on the other that they are not legally liable for the education of these children. I am not going to say now what the ultimate decision of the Education Department may be. What I do want to tell the Committee is that the matter is not such plain sailing as the hon. Baronet thinks. He seems to imagine that there is nothing more to do except to provide new schools for the education of these children, but 1329 then Mr. Quarrier might say, "No; I have changed my mind. I will educate the children myself again." It is not a simple question, but a question which has to be worked out very carefully. It is a question in which the Department cannot be forced. Negotiations have been going on with the School Board, and also with Mr. Quarrier. I can assure the hon. Baronet that the matter will be carried to an issue. The Department is in no way responsible for Mr. Quarrier choosing to raise the whole question by suddenly stopping the education of these children instead of raising it by procedure at law.
§ SIR CHARLES CAMERON
The law in Scotland provides for the education of all children. The right hon. Gentleman says that Mr. Quarrier brought about a crisis by suddenly stopping the education of these children, but before that I asked a question of the right hon. Gentleman on the subject and he informed me that the case did not arise, whereupon Mr. Quarrier brought it to an issue by marching the children to the school. The case has now been running on for nearly four months, and while the Education Department are deliberating these children are growing up absolutely without education.
§ MR. PIRIE
I am exceedingly glad the hon. Baronet has moved the reduction of the Vote. I only regret the hon. Member for West Renfrewshire, in whose constituency the district concerned is, is not present to give us his advice. This is a matter which is exciting almost as great an interest in Scotland as the case of Dr. Lamont, and may lead to an equal scandal. I may say, without exaggeration, that Mr. Quarrier is a man whose charity and benevolence are almost worldwide, and the outcome of his self-sacrificing labours is that 900 children are left for four months without any education at all. The right hon. Gentleman said that Mr. Quarrier was a difficult man to persuade. I am glad that he is, when he realises that he is right, and I hope that all Scotchmen when they realise they are right will not allow themselves to be persuaded they are wrong. Taking into consideration that a great many buildings and institutions such as Volunteer drill-halls, churches, and so on are exempt from rates, I think the regulations might 1330 have been somewhat relaxed in this case, at any rate until it was settled. The Lord Advocate says that Mr. Quarrier might have raised this question in a court of law. That is the old story—the weak having to bear the expenses against the strong. It is the most extraordinary idea of fairplay that I can imagine, that an appeal to the law should be made by the weaker rather than by the stronger party. The stronger should give way pending a settlement of the question; and then we would not see 900 children going without education. I intend to support the reduction of the Vote.
§ MR. A. GRAHAM MURRAY
Legal proceedings have nothing to do with the question. As regards the other matters, the hon. Gentlemen suggested that there should be a stretching of regulations, but there are no regulations to stretch to meet the views of hon. Members. The matter does not concern the administration of any Government Department.
§ MR. SOUTTAR (Dumfriesshire)
I know Mr. Quarrier's homes, and I admit the good work he has done; but I do not feel myself entirely in accord with what has been said by previous speakers. I think Mr. Quarrier has put himself in a false position. I know it is impossible to make an exception in the case of a charitable institution in the matter of rates. If a concession is made to one a hundred would claim it, and a good deal of embarrassment would ensue. I think Mr. Quarrier was wrong in fighting the question of rates. Of course, Mr. Quarrier is a poor man, and cannot fight the question in the Courts himself; but we must not forget that he has a large and influential backing, and there would not have been the slightest difficulty in finding the money. Mr. Quarrier made a mistake in stopping the education of these children. That was not a Scotch proceeding, and he has raised the question in an objectionable way. The fact remains, as the hon. Baronet says, that although the Scotch people are so very jealous in regard to educational matters, 900 Scotch children are at present not being educated in these schools. I am exceedingly glad to hear that there is a hope that this state of things will not long continue.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 66; Noes, 141. (Division List, No. 338.)1331
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.||Joicey, Sir James||Perks, Robert William|
|Asher, Alexander||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. J. B. (Clackm.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Billson, Alfred||Kilbride, Denis||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'l'nd||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Caldwell, James||Lewis, John Herbert||Runciman, Walter|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Lloyd-George, David||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||Macaleese, Daniel||Souttar, Robinson|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Donnell, Dr. M. A. (Qn's C.)||Spicer, Albert|
|Dillon, John||M'Crae, George||Steadman. William Charles|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Leod, John||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Maddison, Fred||Wallace, Robert|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley||Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr)||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Harwood, George||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Moss, Samuel||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts.)|
|Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth||Norton, Captain Cecil W.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.|
|Hedderwick, Thos. Chas. H.||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, Jos. H. (Middlesbro')|
|Hogan, James Francis||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Holland. Wm. H. (York, W. R.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Charles Cameron and Mr. Pirie.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Oldroyd, Mark|
|Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)|
|Aird, John||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Monk, Charles James|
|Arnold, Alfred||Finch, George H.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Arrol, Sir William||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||More, Robert Jasper (Shropsh.)|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Fisher, William Hayes||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Fison, Frederick William||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Flower, Ernest||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Fry, Lewis||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Gedge, Sydney||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Gibbs, Hn A.G. H.(City of Lond||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bethell. Commander||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Purvis, Robert|
|Bigwood, James||Gilliat, John Saunders||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Ritchie, Rt. Hn Chas. Thomson|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Robertson, H. (Hackney)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Gorst, Rt. Hon. sir John Eldon||Round, James|
|Brassey, Albert||Goschen, Rt Hn G. J (St George's||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon Robert Wm.||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Butcher, John George||Heaton, John Henniker||Sidebottom, Wm. (Derbyshire)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Stanley Hn. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Strauss, Arthur|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Kimber, Henry||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore'r||Knowles, Lees||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox. Univ.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning (Corn||Tomlinson, W E. Murray|
|Charrington, Spencer||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cochrane, Hn Thos. H. A. E.||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn. (Swans.)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverpool)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Lowe, Francis William||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lowles, John||Wylie, Alexander|
|Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Lubbock, Right Hon. Sir J.||Wyndham, George|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Lucas-Shadwell, William||Wylie, Marmaduke d'Arey|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Macdona, John Cumming||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Doxford, William Theodore||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||M'Ewan, William|
Original Question put, and agreed to.
§ 14. £2,000, to complete the sum for the National Gallery, etc., Scotland.
§ 15. £621,117, to complete the sum for Public Education, Ireland.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
I wish to direct the attention of the Committee to a very great abuse that has arisen in connection with public education in Ireland. There are three or four extremely important questions which we have been anxious to bring under the notice of the Committee, and which we have been urged to bring forward by various parties interested in public education in Ireland. We made various appeals to the Government to give us another day for the discussion of the Irish Votes. The limit of time has been cut down this year to three days, instead of the four which were allowed us in the first year after the new rule as to Supply was introduced. The consequence is, that several of the largest and most important of the Irish Votes have been thrown over till this evening. This extremely important Vote for Public Education in Ireland really ought to have had a whole night in itself. I am not prepared to discuss the Vote to-night, for there is no adequate time to deal with it. Another reason which induces me to take this course, is that the large body of Irish Members had given up the hope of the Vote being discussed, and returned to Ireland. It is purely accidental that even a few of us are here on the present occasion, for we had no assurance that even a few hours would be given to the Vote to-night. I abstain, therefore, from entering into the question, and have risen only for the purpose of protesting against the treatment given to Irish supply this year.
§ Vote agreed to.
§ 16. £560, to complete the sum for Endowed Schools Commissioners, Ireland,
§ 17. £1,300, to complete the sum for the National Gallery of Ireland.
§ 18. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £2,450, 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 1334 day of March 1900, for a Grant in Aid of the Expenses of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland."
§ MR. DILLON
We had this year a very full discussion on the Queen's Colleges, which occupied an entire night. I only desire to make a few observations in order to protest against this Vote, and I will take a Division against it. We have had promises and declarations from Ministers with regard to this whole question of University Education in Ireland, which, I regret to say, have been departed from. In the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury during the debate this year on this question of the grievances of Irish Catholics, and the shameful oppression of the Irish Catholics in regard to University Education, a retrograde step has no doubt been taken. So far as we can judge from the answers of Ministers, we are now further removed from a hope of a settlement than we were twelve years ago, when a remarkable speech was made by the present Chancellor of the Exchequer on the eve of the defeat of the Tory Government; and certainly further removed than we were on the eve of the General Election of 1892, when the then Unionist Government gave the Irish Catholics distinctly to understand, not directly by the mouth of the Leader of the Government, but by various subterranean and irregular channels, that if the Unionists were returned to power this Irish grievance would be immediately dealt with. Now, the First Lord of the Treasury himself has gone so far on this question as to declare, in so many words, that if the Unionists could not settle this grievance, their moral claim to govern Ireland was severely shaken; and he conveyed the impression, in a great and remarkable speech a year ago last January, that he felt that the claim of this Parliament to be able to govern Ireland as well as a native Parliament could do, would be shattered and destroyed if this Parliament and Unionist Government were unable to redress this grievance. The First Lord of the Treasury, in the discussion on this matter six weeks ago, seemed to be under the impression that I was discouraging his efforts, and was ungrateful to him as an Irish Catholic for the exertions he had made to convert his party and others in the country to his point of view on Irish University Education. But that is not 1335 the fact. I have never spoken on this subject, either in Ireland or in this House, without saying that the Irish Catholics on this particular question, however bitterly we may differ from him on other questions, owe him a great debt of gratitude. But there is a limit to patience, and though we fully recognise the exertions of the right hon. Gentleman, and admire the eloquence with which he has stated our case, we do say that the time has come when the Government ought to declare their policy more specifically and categorically than they have hitherto done. The shadow of another General Election is deepening over us, and we are entitled to ask the Government what is their policy on this question, which they have over and over again declared to be one of first-rate importance. I say that the position taken up by the Government is indefensible. As I understand it, those leaders of the Government who are most concerned with and have had largest experience in Irish affairs admit that justice is on our side, and that the whole life of Ireland is warped and injured by the present system, in support of which we are now called upon to vote money. That is the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, of the First Lord of the Treasury, and the present Chief Secretary, and others, who have had any experience, or are or were responsible for the government of Ireland. But while they fully admit that, and have all along admitted it, they are drifting on in this extraordinary fashion. They say that, being a responsible Government, and admitting that it is a question of first-rate importance, they cannot deal with it on ordinary party lines. I say that is not a tolerable position to take, and that no Government ought to be allowed to adhere to it, at all events for a long period of years. They ought to be prepared, it is their duty, and according to all the tradition and practice of English politics, to state frankly to the country, and to the House of Commons, before the next General Election, whether their party and their Ministers are able and willing to grapple with this great question of Irish University Education, if they do not, I do not think they can complain if we dwell strongly on this confession of impotence on their part, as an argument for relegating this question, as well as other great questions of a purely Irish character, to the control of an Irish Legisla- 1336 ture. Great as are the differences which divide the Irish Members on some matters, if you relegated this question to a committee of Irish Members, including all sections, it would be settled by a larger majority than any other question could be settled, because we would have the solid vote of the whole of the Nationalist Members. On this question the Irish Members are in a majority of at least six to one. It is a monstrous oppression that the Irish people should be denied the acquisition of a university education. I say deliberately that in the province of education you cannot inflict a greater penalty, or a greater disablement, than to deny the Irish people the advantages of a university education. If I had to choose to-morrow—I do not say this view is shared by all my colleagues—as to whether I should first get a good system of primary education, or secondary education, or university education, I should without hesitation select university education first. I hold that on this question of education it is essential to build from above downwards, and that the greatest evil a country can labour under is a denial of the highest university education. But when we come to look into the future, what is our hope? In my own experience, during the last fifteen years, this question was retrograded. We brought it to an issue three years ago, but it was limited to debates in the House; and a few weeks ago we were assured that it had made progress. Are the Unionists prepared, in order to maintain the Unionist system, that the Irish Catholics should look forward to a boundless future, denied of the advantages which their Protestant fellow subjects enjoy? I know that this demand of ours will not have the sympathy of a great many Members of this House who habitually act with us in a friendly way. I know perfectly well that they hold strong views, which in my judgment are not sound views, and which cannot be logically held, but they hold them conscientiously, and are tying the hands of the Government on this question. I do not believe the main difficulty arises from the Government benches, but from the benches behind. How can the Government justify their position if they are in favour of religious schools? They invoked our aid to maintain religious teaching in the schools of this country, and because we believed in religious 1337 teaching in the schools we voted for our opponents, but when the same question is transferred to Irish soil these hon. Gentlemen refuse to support their own Government in conceding the claims of the Irish Roman Catholics. On what logic do those Gentlemen support their action? In England they advocate consistently in season and out of season religious teaching in schools, but when it comes to Ireland, a large section of them take their stand beside the hon. Member for South Belfast, and endeavour to intimidate the Government. In every assistance that is given to the denominational schools we are obliged to admit that there is serious injustice on the whole as regards the children of "non-com.'s" of this country, and many of them have suffered under great difficulties at times, but in Ireland no one can say that anything of that kind is involved. We have made no proposals except the simple proposal of the Government, who have sanctioned the suggestion, that there should be a university in Dublin for Catholics. The First Lord of the Treasury has gone so far as to declare in so many words that if the Unionists cannot settle this grievance their moral claim to govern Ireland is severely shaken. I have always admitted that Irish Catholics owed a debt of gratitude to the First Lord of the Treasury. They fully recognise the right hon. Gentleman's exertions. If hon. Members refer to the speeches and letters of Dr. Hamilton, the best qualified speaker upon the subject, they will find that he points out that such a university is in the interests of higher education, and he urges that so long as the present system is continued the interests of higher education are being sacrificed to the interests of partisanship and religious bigotry. Those of us who have approached this subject from that standpoint and not from the view of religious bigotry, or in a party spirit, have always opposed any agitation to disendow or despoil Trinity College. We have recognised that in Trinity College we possess a great institution of very distinguished history and great traditions, which undoubtedly has done a great deal to uphold in a position of honour in very dark times the name of Ireland in the paths of the higher learning before the world. We are, therefore, not anxious to destroy that institution or to agitate against it, because we want rather to build up than to pull down. But our 1338 patience has been badly rewarded. The Bishops of Ireland at their last meeting declared that if there was further delay in dealing with this grievance they would be compelled to call upon the people of Ireland to inaugurate an agitation against Trinity College. It will be a dangerous position of affairs, and a dangerous thing for this country, when that fiat goes forth. The Church of Ireland is very strong, and Trinity College is very strong, and I should be very sorry to agitate against either; but if the Irish Roman Catholics are driven to despair Trinity College will undoubtedly come down. Justice we will have in obtaining that higher education for our people, which we have longed for and which we have fought for from the remote periods of our history. So that it may come about that owing to the perversity on your part, and the stupidity which always obtains in dealing with Ireland, you may bring on Trinity College great misfortune, and drag down education in Ireland to a lower level than that at which it at present stands. You have Mahommedan Colleges, and that does not trouble your conscience in the least. There is a project, preposterous to my mind, to establish a great college at Khartum in which Christianity is not to be taught; but when the English people are asked to place the Irish Roman Catholics on a level of equality with the other portions of the United Kingdom, and to grant an endowment, their consciences rise against the proposal. I warn the Government that before next election they will be forced to make a more specific declaration in this matter, and that if they persist in protestations of impotence they will thereby give a great impetus to the demand for Home Rule.
§ MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)
thought that the Irish had some ground of complaint against the Government in respect that they were led to hope, from communications by subterranean channels, that a Unionist Government would deal with Roman Catholic University education.
§ THE CHIEF SECRETARY FOR IRELAND (Mr. G. W. BALFOUR,) Leeds, Central
I never made any such communication.
§ MR. DILLON
When I referred to communications by subterranean and irregular channels, I had in my mind, for one thing, a well-remembered speech of the hon. Member for South Tyrone before the election of 1892, when he declared to the electors that if a Unionist Government was returned the subject would be dealt with.
§ MR. PERKS
, continuing, said at all events the unholy alliance seemed to have come to an end, or it would come to an end when his Irish friends thoroughly appreciated the fact that they would get nothing from Her Majesty's Government. Nonconformists were opposed to any scheme of Roman Catholic University education, because it was no part of the duty of the community to give money for religious instruction. How absurd it was for Irish Members to argue that English Nonconformists had no right to express an opinion upon Irish religious questions, when they were the very men who came forward to help the Government to saddle upon English Nonconformists an obnoxious system of elementary education! This question was no nearer a solution than it was years ago. A Liberal Government, supported as it was to such a large extent by the Nonconformists of England, Scotland, and Wales, would never consent to establish and endow a Roman Catholic University for Ireland.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
It may be regrettable that the people of Ireland are not Dissenters—not even Wesleyan Methodists; but they are not, and, being in the main either Catholics or Presbyterians, they have somewhat different views on the education question from those of my hon. friend; and if they have the right to differ on religion, surely they are entitled to differ with regard to a question with which religion is inextricably mixed up—namely, the particular form of university education. My hon. friend is still angry with the part the Irish Members took on the voluntary schools question; but he has 1340 apparently forgotten that our attitude was largely regulated by the fact that there is a very considerable Catholic population in this country, and that the legislation of the Government dealt not only with their educational position, but also with their strongest and profoundest religious convictions. We should have been untrue to our convictions if we had not stood up for the rights of conscience of our own people in supporting the educational policy of Her Majesty's Government. I desire to discuss the question from a non-partisan point of view. I myself am an old student and graduate of Queen's College, Galway, and whatever poor attempts I have made with regard to education were largely owing to that college. I desire to state the good as well as the bad side of these colleges. Let me first say that in Ireland the university system has this enormous advantage over the university system in this country—that the colleges are brought home to the doors of the poor. I certainly should not have had the least chance of getting a university education if I had been born in this country; therefore, I hold that one of the first things we must consider if we are to bring the university system within reach of the people is that we should have universities largely distributed over the country. I desire to bear testimony to the extraordinary ability, and to the genius even, of some of the men who were at the head of the Queen's Colleges. I am glad to note that Professor D'Arcy Thompson is still there, and I must say that whatever love I have for literature I, largely owe to the fact that I had the happiness and privilege of being one of that gentleman's pupils. The men who formed the Queen's Colleges formed the idea that by bringing together the youth of different classes and creeds and races at the most susceptible period of their lives they would raise up another and a. broader-minded generation of Irishmen, and get over the racial and religious difficulties. This is the idea of some; others have different views. They think that every means should be adopted, for undermining the faith of the majority of the Irish people. Have their ideas been realized? Splendid buildings have been erected and equipped; and yet they do not touch the merest fringe of the people. What is the use of those splendid buildings and of the 1341 broad and generous views on which they are founded, if the people for whom they are intended obstinately remain outside? It is preposterous that at this time of day we should be discussing the question whether a nation, predominantly and intensely Catholic, should not have the system of education which it desires because the Protestants of England do not think it good for them. If that is not religious bigotry and intolerance I am unable to understand the meaning of the words. The hon. Member demanded that because he was Protestant and England was Protestant, Ireland should not have Catholic education.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
I welcome the interruption. A large amount of what in its essence is Protestant education is maintained at the public expense in connection with Dublin University. Therefore we have this extraordinary contradiction in Ireland—that Protestantism, the religion of the minority and of the rich, is endowed at the expense of the State, while the education of the Catholic majority is left without any State aid. It has been suggested that we should level down by spreading the endowments of Trinity College over the whole of Ireland, but that is a policy that would be as bitterly opposed by Protestants as by Catholics in Ireland. I would further point out to the hon. Member that we have more distinctly and truly Catholic education in this country, amid the Protestant majority, than we have in Ireland.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR
No, but in the elementary schools. Is it not grotesque that the liberty which we give to Catholics in Protestant England we refuse in Ireland? The Queen's Colleges, I admit, have done a great deal of good so far as education is concerned, but I trust before the close of this Parliament, in which those in favour of a close union of religion and education are in such an overwhelming majority, Ireland may be no longer left with this grievance unreformed, and that that country, which is rich only in 1342 the ability of her sons, will not be allowed to see two more generations pass without enjoying the supreme advantage of university education.
* MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS
I do not complain of the hon. Member for East Mayo that he has availed himself of the opportunity to make an impassioned and able appeal on behalf of Ireland for the creation of a Roman Catholic University. It seems to me that after the declaration of the Duke of Devonshire in another place it required something to rehabilitate the question in this House. What I complain of is that the hon. Member has endeavoured to convince the House, not to-night, but on a former occasion, that nearly all the public bodies in this country are in favour of the demand: in fact, the statements which he made on a former occasion would have led the Committee to suppose that it only required a little more courage on the part of the present Government, and then a Roman Catholic University would soon come into existence. The hon. Member has conspicuously left out of account the opposition he must encounter at the hands of the Nonconformists of this country. I can confirm the statements which have been made by my hon. friend the Member for Louth in regard to the unanimity, as well as the strength, of the feeling which exists among the Nonconformists of this country in regard to this question. They are resolved that, whatever an Irish Parliament may do, should one ever come into existence, they will resist to the utmost any attempt on the part of the Imperial Parliament to create such a university. The hon. Member for East Mayo and the hon. Member for the Scotland Division argued as though there were not two sides to the question, and no doubt they think Nonconformists a narrow, bigoted and intolerent set of persons. In my opinion it is quite possible for Nonconformists to defend and to vindicate their position by an array of arguments which is entitled to some respect. I assume the House will not devote another evening to this question, especially as in less than three hours the guillotine is to fall on all the remaining Votes in Supply. I wish, however, to refer to one remark of the hon. Member for East Mayo. The hon. Member has represented the opponents of this scheme as being ready ruthlessly to 1343 sacrifice the interests of higher education. On the contrary, the opponents of this project think that they are safeguarding the interests of higher education by offering resistance to any of the proposals which would put university education in the hands of ecclesiastics of the Roman Catholic Church.
* MR. CARVELL WILLIAMS
The First Lord of the Treasury, in a very notable speech which he made on a former occasion, did two things; however, he failed to do some other things. He made it quite clear to me, if it had not been made clear before, that a sectarian university is a contradiction in terms. He submitted to the House certain safeguards and restrictions the object of which was to mitigate, if not to put an end to, Protestant opposition to this proposal. But he did not say, from the beginning of his speech to the end, that the scheme which he then adumbrated had received the consent of the heads of the Irish Church. For aught we know to the contrary, if the Government were to introduce a Bill framed in accordance with the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, that proposal would be rejected by the heads of the Roman Catholic Church. The right hon. Gentleman, with all his desire to provide safeguards and restrictions, did not for a moment suggest that the government of the university should be otherwise than in the hands of the heads of the Roman Catholic Church, or of members of the Roman Catholic Church, lay or ecclesiastic. I do not remember that the right hon. Gentleman went so far as to suggest that the governing body of the university should be a mixed body. If a Catholic University is to be in the hands of ecclesiastics, it follows as a matter of course that the government of that university will be in accordance, as far as possible, with the views of the ecclesiastics. They will put the interests of the ecclesiastics first, and the interests of education second. I venture to express the opinion that no scheme for the creation of an Irish Roman Catholic University will be accepted by the Roman Catholic Church unless it gives to it sole control over its management. That, I contend, is a contradiction 1344 in terms. A university, to be worthy of its name, must be unsectarian and comprehensive. I desire to enter my caveat against the assumption of the hon. Member for East Mayo, that only a few and very insignificant number of persons are opposed to the scheme which he so ardently advocates.
§ MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)
The hon. Member for Mansfield states that the Catholics in this House regard the Nonconformists of England as a narrow, bigoted lot of persons. In my opinion, however, there is no difference in principle between the point of view from which Nonconformists look at this educational problem and that from which Catholics look at it. Nonconformists are in favour of lay education in the public schools, because they are so small a body that they could not have schools of their own, and because, also, they are afraid that if religion were taught in schools it would be the religion of the Established Church, and that their children would be saturated and swamped in the views of episcopacy and establishment. Consequently they do as a minority what Catholics in Ireland do as a majority. Nonconformists will not have schools supported by the State for their children with what I believe is called a common denominator of Christianity—something that all believe in, such as the devil and hell. Animated by that spirit, Nonconformists cannot see any other means of preventing their children getting submerged in Episcopalian Protestantism except by demanding a purely lay education. Will anyone tell me that if in the morning England were to wake up Nonconformist, or half-Nonconformist, every Nonconformist minister and every Nonconformist chapel and conventicle would not at once insist on beating the drum in favour of sectarian schools? (Opposition cries of "No.") What do I say to that denial? I say, "Sour grapes." You wish to protect your children from the contagion of Episcopalian Protestantism, and you say, "We will insist on having schools in which no religion at all shall be taught, but merely the dry bones and skeletons." The Catholics look at the matter from exactly the same point of view, but they approach it from a different standpoint. The Catholics say, "Religion is so important to us, our faith is so dear to us, that we would rather have no 1345 education at all than that our children should be taught in Protestant schools." That is our position. You want the education first, and in order that your children may get the education, you say, "Oh, let religion go and be hanged." That is really what it comes to. You say, "We will have an undenominational Christianity." We say, "We will have our children taught their religion, even though they are taught nothing else." That being so, we have refused to go into those schools which are Protestant. You send your children to those schools, though you know they are Protestant, taking all the risks of infection, as you believe it to be. Contrast your position in denying us in Ireland this education. Within a stone's-throw of this House you will find that the poor, by their pence, have not only erected a temple of God, but have provided a little school where they keep themselves apart, having their own faith and their own masters and their own education. Compare that position with those who are able to get a million guineas from Methodism in the course of six or eight months, and ask yourselves which is the nobler position, and which is the greater or the poorer. What is our position in Ireland, where the Catholics are not in a minority, but in a majority? We claim that if we had the country in our own hands we would oppress no religion, but would give equally to each what was meet to its demands in the matter of religion. And we are so animated with the desire of keeping our children pure and undefiled from a faith in which we do not believe, that we will abstain from sending them into schools where that religion is taught. It is said that if we have this university we must get it, but not at the public expense. Will any man show me how a university education can be had in Ireland except at the public expense? I am old enough to remember—though it is thirty years ago now—how the Catholic bishops went begging and craving to this House—for what? They did not ask you then for a university education at the public expense, they asked you merely for a charter. They said, "Give us a charter for our universities." But Protestant England—though the Catholics did not ask for a penny, but only for a roll of parchment and a bit of sealing-wax upon it— 1346 refused the Catholic bishops and the people of Ireland that charter. Therefore it is idle at this time of day to suggest that we should not do this at the public expense, when the first essential of a university is that it should get State recognition of some sort. The hon. Member opposite turns the argument the other way. I am bound to say I think the position of Nonconformists in this matter towards us is entirely different from the position of the hon. Member for South Belfast. I believe the Nonconformists of England are not bigoted. I believe they desire to extend us this right. But they feel that if they do so they would be cutting away the ground from under their own position in England in relation to their own claims. It is not that they would seek to deny us our rights, but they are afraid of inflicting an injury to their own position. I respectfully say there is no reason why we should be sacrificed because of their political or religious necessities. The hon. Member for South Belfast is animated by an entirely different view in his opposition to a Catholic university education. His position is that the Pope and the Scarlet Lady are practically Siamese twins. It has been said the difference between a Calvinistic Presbyterian and a Presbyterian proper, was that the Calvinistic Prebyterian believed that the Catholic was destined to be damned, whereas the Presbyterian proper believed that he would be damned anyhow. I do not know whether the hon. Member for South Belfast occupies one or both of those positions. To-night he turns round and says in two or three interruptions, "Oh, but your Pope allows you to send your children to Oxford and Cambridge." But what is the position? The Catholics in England are in a minority, and a very small minority. Those who acquire higher university education are generally the sons of people of high lineage and of large means, who can afford not only to pay for this university education, but to pay for the conditions which the Pope has prescribed as ancillary to their children going to Oxford or Cambridge, namely, that they shall pay for residence in a hall or college presided over by some dignitary or ecclesiastic of the Catholic Church; so that, although they are at Oxford and Cambridge, they are at the same time under strict supervision so far as religious education is concerned. But with regard 1347 to elementary schools, wherever Catholics are sufficiently numerous they maintain a school, and therefore it is idle to contend that the case is the same. In Ireland there is a further reason, and one which does credit both to the Pope and to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. I read recently an account of a visit to Ireland of a Protestant dignitary, and he was describing the difference between the religious life of the Irish and the English Protestant Churches. He said that it seemed to him that the Protestantism taught in Ireland was of such a wholly different character as to be almost a different religion. For 300 years has not the object of Trinity College been to subvert the faith and to sap the integrity of the Catholic Church? The whole system had that object, and the Education Code was established with the same view; and, as the hon. Member for the Scotland Division said, so recently as the days of Archbishop Whateley there was an absolute confession under the hand of those who established the system that its object was proselytism and the perversion and subversion of the faith of the Catholic Church. Therefore, for my part, even though the Pope had not prescribed these conditions, I would approach the question of going to Oxford or Cambridge from an entirely different point of view—and for this reason. As a rule, Englishmen care very little about religion. In Oxford or Cambridge I am quite satisfied that the professors do not care a dump of what religion a man is, and the last thing any of them would seek to do would be to pervert the mind or attack the faith of any gentleman under their control. That comes of the liberality of thought which prevails in this country; that comes because you have all your political problems settled in this country; that comes from the ingrained and long descended habit of thought which has been cultivated in Tory and Liberal circles for generations. But is it the same in Ireland? In the opinion of the Member for South Belfast the Battle of the Boyne only occurred yesterday. He is as militant over those dead bones and feels as keenly about the matter as though the bloodstains were still fresh. That is the opinion which prevails, and, forsooth, we are to send our children to be instructed by a professoriate which is mainly manned by gentlemen holding such opinions. I remember 1348 hearing it said a long time ago that a distinguished surgeon in Trinity College when giving his lectures on anatomy, commenced by saying, especially if Catholics were present, "Gentlemen, I have dissected many subjects, but I have never yet come across the human soul." These things spread and percolate amongst the Catholic population. There is an instinctive dread—it may be unreasonable, but there is an instinctive dread—amongst the masses of the people of Ireland, that the object for which Queen Elizabeth founded Trinity College is still in vogue, even in the days of Queen Victoria—viz., the subversion of the Catholic people. If the Nonconformists are so anxious for equal education amongst all people in Ireland, why is it that from these benches we do not have continual motions for the destruction of the Divinity School at Trinity College? I never hear the hon. Member for Mansfield, or the hon. Member for Louth, get up to ballot for a Tuesday in order to attack this abominable system, under which thousands of pounds of public money has been devoted to sending forth youths equipped in Episcopal doctrine to act as the clerics of Protestant ascendancy in Ireland. I have never heard them say a word about it. They are quite satisfied that this Divinity School should prevail there. ("No.") I have no doubt the hon. Member who says "No" is such an iconoclast that if he could, without any great trouble of body or mind, pull down even Episcopalian Protestanism, he would pronounce an opinion in that sense, but we see no active efforts on the part of the Church militant on this side of the House to destroy the form of the Church militant. They are quite satisfied to allow it to remain, and, speaking for myself, I also am quite satisfied. I do not desire for one moment to deprive them of this. For my part, I never saw much good derived from the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland. I think it was rather rudely attacked, and the question was very stupidly handled. As far as I am concerned, if the Protestants of Ireland desire to have their Divinity School at Trinity College, so long as I and my children are not asked to attend it, let them have it. What do we ask? Here are we supplying you £8,000,000 of money, some of which is to go to the 1349 South Pole looking for icebergs, some to establish an observatory on the top of Ben Nevis, some for shooting the Boers, some for providing an open door in China, some to keep up Buddhism and Hindooism, some to create a college in favour of Mahommedanism in some part of Africa. What do we want? We want about as much money as would build a battleship in order to start this system. It is our own money we ask for. We do not ask for your money. You rob us of £3,000,000 every year, according to the Report of your own Commission. You pack the jury, and then quarrel with the verdict. It has now come to this, that one House will not allow us to found a university, and the other House will not allow us to drain our sewers. It is to that position we are brought to-night in this temple of British liberty. We must not have a university, we cannot even have a corporation; we cannot manage our cattle. Although the Catholics of Ireland have to contend under these unequal conditions, and have to come over here to your Parliament to look after the wants and grievances of their country, yet you hope at the same time to maintain loyalty in the
§ hearts of the Irish people. When we advocate things that do not affect the Empire or the union, but which would enable our young men to enter your Civil Service, and to obtain distinction through the methods of education, you have some Protestant scruple which is to debar us, and keep us in such a condition as if emancipation had never taken place. Under these circumstances, I say the Emancipation Act is a fraud. The people of Ireland have this small demand. It is a demand which they have persisted in for generations—I may say for centuries—and considering that it is not yet more than eighty or ninety years since you compelled them to go abroad, not merely for religious education, but secular, I do think it is a remarkable thing that in the closing days of this century a sum of one or two millions of money should be denied by this House, in the day of £100,000,000 Budgets, to enable the Irish people to receive that higher education in accord with the system in which they believe, and in satisfaction of their consciences.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 169; Noes, 26. (Division List, No. 339.)1351
|Aird, John||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Gibbs, Hon. V. (St. Albans)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Charrington, Spencer||Giles, Charles Tyrrell|
|Arrol, Sir William||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Gilliat, John Saunders|
|Asher, Alexander||Clough, Walter Owen||Goldsworthy, Major-General|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Gordon, Hon. John Edward|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Goschen, Rt. Hn G J. (St George's|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds)||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Curzon, Viscount||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gull, Sir Cameron|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Dalziel, James Henry||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm.|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Chas. Seale-|
|Bethell, Commander||Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Hedderwick, Thomas Charles H|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter|
|Bigwood, James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead|
|Billson, Alfred||Doxford, William Theodore||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V.||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Bond, Edward||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Jenkins, Sir John Jones|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Johnstone, William (Belfast)|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Fenwick, Charles||Keswick, William|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Kimber, Henry|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Finch, George H.||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn|
|Brodrick, Rt Hon. St. John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)|
|Bullard, Sir, Harry||Fisher, William Hayes||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cumb'land|
|Butcher, John George||Fison, Frederick William||Lea, Sir Thomas (Londonderry|
|Caldwell, James||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swans.)|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin)||Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.||Lloyd-George, David|
|Carlile, William Walter||Flannerry, Sir Fortescue||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Flower, Ernest||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)|
|Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.||Fry, Lewis||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Gedge. Sydney||Lowe, Francis William|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen(Wore.||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Lowles, John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (C. of Lond.)||Macartney, W. G. Ellison|
|Macdonna, John Cumming||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir J. M.|
|Maclure, Sir John William||Richards, Henry Charles||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool||Rickett, J. Compton||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Maddison, Fred.||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.||Sutherland, Sir Thomas|
|Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Ure, Alexander|
|Monk, Charles James||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wallace, Robert|
|More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Round, James||Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Runciman, Walter||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||Warde, Lt. -Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Moss, Samuel||Savory, Sir Joseph||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard||Williams, J. Carvell (Notts)|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Williams, Jos. Powell- (Birm.|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)||Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)|
|Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Sidebottom, W. (Derbyshire)||Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Souttar, Robinson||Wyndham, George|
|Oldroyd, Mark||Spicer, Albert||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Perks, Robert William||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Purvis, Robert||Steadman, William Charles|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Hogan, James Francis||Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh)||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow)||Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Crilly, Daniel||Kilbride, Denis||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Macaleese, Daniel||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||M'Donnell. Dr. M. A. (Queen'sC|
|Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley||M'Dermott, Patrick||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Dillon and Captain Donelan.|
|Harwood, George||M'Leod, John|
|Healy, T. M. (N. Louth)||Molloy, Bernard Charles|