§ 6. "That a sum, not exceeding £381,793, 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 Expenses of the Department of Science and Art, and of the various Establishments connected therewith, including sundry Grants in Aid."
§ * MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
The House will be aware that by a Bill which has just passed through Parliament powers hitherto exercised by the Science and Art Department are merged in the new Board of Education, and therefore, a new situation is being created. Now, the policy of the Science and Art Department since 1897 has been to create local authorities without any statutory right, simply by order, memorandum or circular, advising that such authorities or committees be formed in particular localities for the purpose of distributing the Science and Art grant, and to superintend, classify, and regulate the education given in the classes in connection with that Department. The point I wish to raise is as to whether the new Education Board will continue the same policy of forming these local committees; whether we are to go on adding to the existing confusion of jurisdiction and authorities, or are we to hold our hands until the Bill promised by the Lord President of the Council, and by the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President, constituting local authorities, has passed through Parliament? Or, again, is any effort in the meantime to be made by the Board of Education to simplify and regulate the present confused system? I have 1498 always entered my protest on behalf of the School Boards in a number of our great towns against Article 7, under which these local committees have been appointed by the Science and Art Department. I have always lamented myself the form in which the Technical Instruction Act of 1889 was framed, however laudable its intentions, and however good its practical results to the students through the action of the various local authorities. I have always held that the effective control and development of secondary education, as well as elementary education, should be on the lines laid down by Mr. Acland in his Resolution of 1890, which he had no opportunity of moving, viz., that the simplification of all the issues in question lay in the formation of elective authorities deriving their authority from the people of the several districts. I have always held that the whole system of education—elementary, secondary, and technical—should be linked together and carried out on one broad general principle. Thus, by a system of direct election, education would be much more closely associated with the inhabitants of each area, so as to enlist the greatest enthusiasm and most active support of the largest number of persons, and especially of the working-classes. In short, the true solution lay in the direction pointed out by Mr. Acland years ago—the encouragement of the direct, as opposed to the indirect, election of the authorities. But the policy of the Science and Art Department, for two years past, has placed serious barriers all over the country against the true and natural development of the School Board system. The policy of Article 7, like the policy of the Bill of 1896, was distinctly directed to oust popular control permanently from those new branches of education towards which such popular control would naturally move forward if left alone to work itself out in its own way. I have protested against that policy in the past and shall continue to protest against it in the interests of our School Boards. I thank the Government for having introduced a Bill creating a Board of Education to deal, not merely with secondary and technical education, but with the whole subject. I thank the Vice-President also for having refused to accept Amendments which would have separated one branch from the other, and would have destroyed unity of administration. I trust that we shall not see in the 1499 action of the new educational authority the policy persisted in of multiplying these nondescript authorities, illegal in their constitution and absolutely artificial in their construction, and not representative in any true sense of the word. However useful the work of some of them may be, they rest upon a wholly unsound basis, which we in this House, in the interests of the education of the people, ought to resist. This is not a new opinion, nor is it the opinion of specially advanced men, who would deal with these questions rather by theory than by practice. The right hon. Gentleman is well aware that the. Report of the Schools Inquiry Commission long ago recommended the development of the control of these branches of education through directly-elected authorities as opposed to anything such as is now being carried out by the Science and Art Department. The Report pointed out that no school or organisation could do so much for education as the earnest co-operation of the people. I want to see enlisted the sympathies and active help of the largest number of people. I am speaking with some knowledge of the working of this question in my own division, for there, through the organisations of the working-classes in co-operative and friendly and trade societies, we have secured a body of representative working-men who are doing work of the highest possible importance. Of course, it is possible by nomination to secure the assistance of educational enthusiasts and experts, but it is far better to obtain their help by the method of direct election, for then they have behind them a force of popular opinion such as you cannot get behind nominated bodies. These nondescript bodies were patched together on no plan or principle, and there might be favouritism in selection. There ought to be a distinct Board elected on a representative basis. The recommendation of the Commission had been that half should be thus directly elected. It seems to me that the policy of the Education Bill of 1896 upon this question was——
§ * MR. SPEAKER
Order, order! The hon. Member appears to me to be dealing with matters of legislation, which are, therefore, not pertinent to the Resolution.
§ * MR. CHANNING
I fear, Sir, I have failed to convey my meaning. I was arguing that the exercise up to the present moment of the powers of the Science 1500 and Art Department in arbitrarily constituting local authorities, which have no direct basis in popular election, was not only undesirable but was opposed to what was recommended by an important Education Commission. But I need not pursue that subject further. All I ask is that the new Board of Education should adopt what seems to me to be a broader, more generous, and more popular view, and that it should not use the powers handed over to it by the Science and Art Department by continuing to create these local committees without any statutory basis whatever, but that it should rather suspend its action in this direction until the Bill constituting local authorities to deal with these questions passes through Parliament. In conclusion, I will only say that I have regarded, and do regard, in the same sense, I believe, as the present Lord President of the Council did in 1876, direct authority as the only proper solution of these complicated issues, and the only solution which will bring to bear upon them the forces which tend most strongly to the highest possible development of education. And, in order to emphasise the expression of that opinion on behalf of those who are interested in the great School Boards of the country, I now move the reduction of the Vote by £100.
To leave out '£381,793,' and insert '£381,693.'"—(Mr. Channing.)
§ Question proposed, "That '£381,793' stand part of the Resolution."
* MR. JAMES LOWTHER
I think the hon. Gentleman has certainly shown that the present state of affairs with regard to the administration of the Science and Art Department is very unsatisfactory, although there is some hope for us to be found in the fact that this body is to be largely abolished, and some steps are to be taken to mitigate the evils of which complaint is justly made. May I ask my right hon. friend if he can hold out any expectation that one very mischievous policy of the Department will henceforth cease to be enforced? It has, in pursuance of powers which have been handed over to it under the head of technical manual instruction, provided for instruction in Latin and Portuguese, 1501 amongst other subjects which appear wholly outside technical or manual instruction. I warned my colleagues upon the county council of which I am a member not to allow the Science and Art Department to mismanage affairs, and succeeded in getting Latin and Portuguese struck of the list of subjects which might be taught at the public expense; but there are still many absurd subjects remaining, and I fear the abuse is one which prevails in many other parts of the country. The Science and Art Department appears to be a body which is, to a large extent, independent; for when we call attention to its vagaries the right hon. Gentleman tells us that the matters are not within his official cognisance. But he also assures us that he exercises personal superintendence, and therefore I hold he must be responsible for the schedule to which I have just called attention. It is evidently clear that money intended by Parliament to be devoted to technical education has been improperly used by school boards, and notably the London School Board, for other purposes, and I did hope that when this practice of breaking the law was brought under his notice, the right hon. Gentleman would have given us some assurance that it would be put a stop to. I think we ought to expect that my right hon. friend, who has acknowledged his responsibility to this House for the action of the bodies on whose behalf he speaks, should insist on the law being obeyed. The school boards of this country have undoubtedly made themselves extremely unpopular in various ways, but that they should deliberately break the law, and that the official representative of the Department in Parliament should confess his inability to make them observe the law is, I think, a public scandal. I hope my right hon. friend will give us an assurance that if it is brought to his knowledge that any public body over which he exercises official control is breaking the law, he will take steps to see that the law is observed.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
I always listen with interest and respect to the criticisms which my right hon. friend passes on matters of this kind. As I understand him, he enters a protest against the teaching of foreign languages in our public schools.
* MR. JAMES LOWTHER
Oh, no. I was only referring to the schedule of subjects issued by the Science and Art Department for the guidance of County Councils.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
In whatever direction my right hon. friend's criticisms were directed, I venture to say that the teaching of foreign languages in our schools is a matter which demands most careful consideration.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
I do not include Latin, although it is very advantageous as a basis for acquiring other languages. Take Portuguese. Some people may regard Portuguese as an out-of-the-way language, but my knowledge of the demands of commercial education tells me that three languages are of especial importance—Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Anyone who is familiar, for instance, with the demands of the South American trade must be perfectly well aware that unless our people are very much better equipped with the instruments of international trade they will lose ground, as they are doing now to some extent, in the commercial competition of the world. I know of no language which is more useful, and which is more practically and peculiarly advantageous to the person who knows it than Spanish. In the City, a person who has a thorough knowledge of Spanish can command a considerably higher salary than a person knowing almost any other language. In teaching French and other foreign languages in our Board schools, we are performing a national and absolutely necessary duty. It maybe said that a knowledge of French, Spanish, and Portuguese would be unnecessary in many cases, but we have to teach all those things that suit the people generally, and then let the individual make practical use of them. I distinctly approve of the suggestion of teaching foreign languages in our schools, as the want of knowledge of them frequently hampers our trade with other nations.
§ MR. YOXALL (Nottinghamshire, W.)
I quite agree with the right hon. Gentle- 1503 man that Portuguese is a very important language, and that instruction in foreign languages and other commercial subjects is quite as important to this country as technical and manual instruction. We have in this country, shops, factories, and mills, with an admirable and practical system of instruction in technical and manual subjects, but we have no system of instruction in commercial subjects; whereas in Switzerland, France, and Belgium there are well-equipped commercial schools. I rejoice to know that England and Wales are at last doing something in this direction also. On this Vote I had intended to indulge in many strictures on the administration of the Science and Art Department, but I feel that we are at the outset of a new era, as a result of the passing of the Board of Education Bill. The administration of the Department will probably be transformed, and we shall obtain a new charter for science and art teaching in this country. Under the circumstances, I will not trouble the House with the observations I had intended to make. I hope that there will be a proper development of really artistic teaching, and also of technical and manual teaching; and if we are prepared for that, I do not think in a few years we shall regard our country as so far behind in educational matters as it is at present.
§ MR. LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
I only wish to ask the right hon. Gentleman, in any re-organisation that may be made in the Department, not to forget the claim of Wales to a museum grant. The right hon. Gentleman has treated us with great courtesy in the matter, and it is therefore not necessary for me to say anything further.
§ THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL ON EDUCATION (Sir J. GORST,) Cambridge University
I hope the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire with excuse me if I do not follow him at length in the speech he made on the conduct of the Science and Art Department with reference to Section 7. I have often explained in this House what has been done The Science and Art Department make use of the Technical Instruction Committees and other local bodies to distribute grants. The system prevents overlapping and has proved otherwise 1504 effective, and I am very glad that the policy of Section 7 is making steady progress, and that a number of county and borough councils are coming into the scheme. As far as I know, the present Department has no intention of modifying that policy.
§ * MR. CHANNING
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to admit that the Science and Art Department has taken it upon itself to delegate the duty of distributing these grants to locally created bodies which have no statutory basis?
§ SIR J. GORST
The Science and Art Department has power to do that. It is doing what it has a perfect right to do, in a manner which it thinks most economical and wise. With regard to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Thanet, the Department has never sanctioned Latin. As regards Portuguese, the Science and Art Department has no control in the matter at all. The right hon. Gentleman was very severe on the Department because it had not prevented the illegal expenditure of money by the London School Board in teaching science and art. I explained to the House on a previous occasion that it has pleased Parliament to entrust the control of school board expenditure, not to the Education Department, but to the Local Government Board. The Science and Art Department cannot interfere with the London School Board, and has no right to say whether a particular item of expenditure is right or wrong. As to the legality of the expenditure, the decision is with the Local Government Board. I have no power to make school boards observe the law, but while on this particular case, I am very glad of the opportunity of stating how the matter stands. No doubt the auditor of the School Board for London has decided that its expenditure upon science and art teaching is illegal, and his general decision is expressed in every case in these words:School boards have no legal authority to use, expend, or apply any portion of the school funds in or about the instruction or examination of day schools or classes in science and art.The decision of the auditor has not been appealed against.
§ MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)
The School Board for London has applied to the Local Government Board on two or three occasions for permission to appeal against the decision of the auditor.
§ SIR J. GORST
At any rate, there is the ruling laid down by the auditor. This is not the first time that a decision of that kind has been given; it has never been upset, and I have no doubt whatever that that expresses the law. What is the Science and Art Department to do in these circumstances? It is quite clear that it cannot abruptly withdraw all its grants, and it must assume that the School Board will now bring itself within the law. But we could hardly expect a change of that kind to be made in a week or a fortnight, especially if the School Board are appealing against the decision. As to the question of a museum grant for Wales, I have no doubt that it will receive most favourable consideration from the new Board of Education.
§ MR. FLOWER
With regard to the question of the science and art money, there has been a conflict of authority and great difficulty in ascertaining what is, and what is not, the law on the subject. My right hon. friend says the decision arrived at by the Local Government Board was not a new decision, but was in confirmation of previous decisions. As far as I know, the last case was decided in 1889—ten years ago—and since that time the School Board has gone on establishing schools and classes which have been to a very large extent successful, and which have undoubtedly played a very important part in the work of public education. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Isle of Thanet spoke about the action of the School Board for London, and drew attention to the fact that a part of the expenditure had been surcharged by the Local Government Board. The right hon. Gentleman wanted to know what the London School Board are going to do. As a member of that distinguished body, I should like to assure my right hon. friend that we are going to obey the 1506 law, but we wish to ascertain what the, law really is. That is a very important, matter, and one which affects not, London only, but all interested in education throughout the country, and I am bound to say that I think if the School Board for London appeals, as I believe they intend to, they will take the right course in the matter. My right hon. friend knows that so far as one of the chief sources of our overlapping is concerned, the School Board for London have entered into amicable and convenient, working arrangements with the Technical Instruction Board and the London County Council, which will, I trust, prevent these evils in the future. With regard to the local authorities, I sympathise a great deal with the theory held by the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire. I think that the school boards have established, by long and consistent service, the right to claim some representation on these new authorities. The Royal Commission offered very fair and practicable terms, and I hope that the Department will, so far as they can, see that those school boards in the country have a fair and adequate representation.
SIR W. HART-DYKE (Kent, Dartford)
As the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire laid a rather heavy hand on an offspring of mine—the Technical Instruction Act—I should, like to say one word with regard to it. In framing that measure I was met with some difficulty at every point. But the operation of the Act has grown, and spread a veritable network of technical instruction throughout the country. I believe that in future it will assist to solve the remaining difficulties of our educational system, by leading to the formation of local authorities for secondary education.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 99; Noes, 36. (Division List, No. 358.)1507
|Arnold, Alfred||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Malcolm, Ian|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edwd||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Monk, Charles James|
|Balfour. Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Fisher, William Hayes||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)|
|Barnes, Frederick Gorell||Fison, Frederick William||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Flower, Ernest||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Bathurst, Hon. A. Benjamin||Galloway, William Johnson||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Beach. Rt. Hn. Sir M. H.(Bristol||Gilliat, John Saunders||O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)|
|Bethell, Commander||Gladstone, Rt. Hon. H. J.||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bigwood, James||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Purvis, Robert|
|Blundell, Colonel H.||Gorst. Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chs. Thomson|
|Brassey, Albert||Gull, Sir Cameron||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Campbell, J. H, M. (Dublin)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. R. W||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Hayne, Rt. Hon Chas. Seale-||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Chaloner. Captain R. G. W.||Howard, Joseph||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Chamberiain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.)||Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Charring, on Spencer||Kimber, Henry||Spencer, Ernest|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Knowles, Lees||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Cooke, C. W. R. (Hereford)||Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard|
|Curzon, Viscount||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn- (Swans.||Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Doughty, George||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesh'm)||Wyndham, George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverpool)||TELLER FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Lowtber, Rt. Hon. Jas. (Kent)|
|Drucker, A.||Maclure, Sir John William|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hedderwick, Thomas Charles H||Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)|
|Asher, Alexander||Horniman, Frederick John||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Souttar, Robinson|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Kilbride, Denis||Steadman, William Charles|
|Caldwell, James||Labouchere, Henry||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.)||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Ure, Alexander|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Macaleese, Daniel||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dillon, John||M'Ewan, William||Williams, John Carvell(Notts.)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W. R)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Moss, Samuel||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Channing and Mr. Yoxall.|
|Harwood, George||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)|
§ 7. "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".
§ 8. "That a sum, not exceeding £6,149, 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 1508 of March, 1900, for the Salaries and Expenses of the National Gallery, and of the National Gallery of British Art, Millbank, including a Grant in Aid for the purchase of Pictures."
§ 9. "That a sum, not exceeding £2,981, 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 Expenses of the National Portrait Gallery, including a Grant in Aid for the purchase of Portraits."
§ 10. "That a sum, not exceeding £6,000, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete 1509 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 Expenses of the Wallace Collection (Hertford House)."
§ 11. "That a sum, not exceeding £67,700, 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 Grants in Aid of the Expenses of certain Universities and Colleges in Great Britain, and of the Expenses under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, 1889."
§ 12 "That a sum, not exceeding £4, 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 Expenses of the University of London."
§ 13. "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."
§ 14. "That a sum, not exceeding £2,000, 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, 1900, for a Grant to the Board of Trustees for Manufactures in Scotland in aid of the maintenance of the National Gallery, School of Art, and Museum of Antiquities, Scotland."
§ 15. "That a sum, not exceeding £621,117, 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 Expenses of the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland, including a Grant in Aid of the Teachers' Pension Fund, Ireland."
§ 16. "That a sum, not exceeding £560, 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 Expenses of the Office of the Commissioners for manag- 1510 ing certain School Endowments in Ireland."
§ 17. "That a sum, not exceeding £l;300,. 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 Expenses of the National Gallery of Ireland, including a Grant in Aid for the purchase of Pictures."
§ 18. "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 day of March, 1900, for a Grant in Aid of the Expenses of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland."