§ Order for Second Reading read.
§ THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL FOR EDUCATION (Sir J. GORST,) Cambridge University
The contents of the Bill of which I move the Second Reading are very well known already to the House, and have been the subject of considerable discussion, not only in another place, but out of doors among all those who take an interest in this question. But I feel it would not be respectful to the House of Commons if I did not say a few words in support of the Bill when I move the Second Reading, although I am afraid I may repeat observations which have been made elsewhere. The object of the Bill is to obtain statutory power and statutory sanction for a reconstruction of that Department of the State which has mostly to do, though not exclusively to do, with the education of the people in England 613 and Wales. The functions which the present Education Department exercise give it direct and complete control of the elementary education of most of the children in the country. It also, through that branch of the Education Department called the Science and Art Department, exercises a very considerable influence on the teaching of science and art, because it has the power of distributing the grant that is annually made by Parliament for the promotion of instruction in science and art, and it distributes it practically through the rules and regulations which it makes itself, of course with the consent of the Treasury; and that gives it very considerable influence in the promotion of science and art teaching among the various schools of the country. It also has very limited powers in relation to technical instruction, derived from the Technical Instruction Act. That Act gives no real initiative to the Education Department, but it enables it to exercise a certain amount of supervision and control over the application of the funds in the hands of county councils and the funds which they may themselves raise by rate for technical instruction. But the Education Department has no power and no function whatever in relation to the general higher education of the country, in what is roughly and rather loosely called secondary education. The object of this Bill is to enable the Government to create a Department of State suitable and fitted to have conferred upon it powers in relation to secondary education, which it is believed that Parliament wishes to be granted to it. The Royal Commission on Secondary Education recommended that there should be a central authority, a Government Department, in London, to supervise secondary education, and local authorities in the country. The opinion of the Government is that the central authority in London must be created and arranged before the local authorities in the country can be usefully set on foot, and it is to organise and arrange a proper central Department in London to exercise the sort of functions recommended by the Royal Commission that this Bill has been brought before Parliament. The Bill proposes the abolition of the existing Committee of Council on Education, and to replace it by a Board of Education consisting of the First Lord of the Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the Secretaries of State 614 for various Departments, having a President and a Parliamentary Secretary, in the same manner as the Local Government Board and the Board of Trade possess Parliamentary officials by whom the executive work of the Department is done. To this new Board of Education are to be transferred all the powers and functions which are at present exercised by the Committee of Council, so that it will stand in relation to educational matters and the distribution of the science and art grants and technical instruction exactly in the same position, and have exactly the same powers, as the present Education Department. Further, the Charity Commission is also dealt with. The functions of the Charity Commissioners in relation to education consist of two perfectly distinct parts. They exercise, first of all, a sort of judicial function, taking in this the place of the old Court of Chancery. They determine, in relation to any charitable fund, whether it is or is not applicable to educational purposes, and they determine this rather as a judicial body, exercising the functions formerly exercised by a court of law. Then their second, and entirely distinct, duty is, having determined the particular fund which is applicable to educational purposes, administratively, to frame a scheme by which it is to be applied, and, after that scheme has come to have the force of law, to exercise certain functions in the way of inspection and visitation. This Bill does not propose to touch in any way the judicial functions of the Charity Com-missioners. After the Bill has passed they will, as heretofore, have jurisdiction over charitable endowments, and they will be the Department to say whether any particular endowment is or is not applicable to the purposes of education. Of course, that is a power which they exercise under appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council on all questions of law, and subject to the supervision of this and the other House of Parliament on all questions of policy. That power will, under this Bill, continue to be exercised just as at present by the Charity Commissioners. But with regard to their administrative functions, power is given in this Bill to transfer from time to time any part or the whole of those functions from the Charity Commissioners to the Board of Education. Nothing is actually transferred by the Bill itself, but the Bill gives power for the 615 transfer, by Order in Council, of any part of those administrative functions, subject to the condition that any such Order should be laid on the Table of both Houses of Parliament, and not cone into force until it has so laid for four weeks. Besides that, sanction is given to the new Board of Education to inspect secondary schools under certain conditions. I suppose without Parliamentary sanction the Board of Education would have no right to exercise this function, but by the Bill the sanction of Parliament is given, and on the Board is cast the duty of looking into the secondary education of the country, either by inspectors of its own or by employing inspectors from the universities. It is also provided that this power is to be exercised with the consent of the managers, governing bodies, and proprietors of the schools so inspected, and if consent is obtained the inspectors may inquire into the character of the teaching given in those schools, into the provision made in the schools for teaching, and the number of teachers they have; also into the sanitary condition of all these schools as affecting the health of the pupils. Provision is also made enabling county and borough councils to apply the local taxation money, which by law is applicable to secondary instruction, to the payment of the expenses of inspectors under the Bill; but there is nothing in the Bill pledging the administration to the particular kind of inspection they will have.
§ SIR J. GORST
Yes. In the ordinary schools they will have no power to inspect unless with the consent of the governing bodies and proprietors of the schools. Under many schemes which have become law under the Charity Commissioners the Charity Commission has certain compulsory powers which they can exercise, whether the governing bodies please or not, and those compulsory powers can be transferred to the Education Board.
§ SIR J. GORST
No doubt any school may invite inspection, but there is no 616 absolute compulsion on the Board of Education. It is not obliged to inspect any school, but it may inspect any school if inspection is asked for. The next feature is the creation of the Consultative Committee. A great deal has been said about a Consultative Committee, to which the Minister of Education should have recourse on any technical question upon which the Department itself is scarcely qualified to determine. It is proposed under the Bill to sanction the formation, by the Board of Education, of a Consultative Committee. The constitution, the numbers, and the mode in which it is to be applied, are not provided for in the Bill. It will be an experimental proceeding, and it is thought better to leave the appointment of the Committee and the conditions under which it is to hold office to the discretion of the President of the Board of Education. But a certain portion is to be representative of universities and other bodies taking an interest in education. In the view of the Government it would be a mistake to make this Committee into a Parliamentary Committee, so as to tie the hands of the President. It would be better if Parliament, at all events at the outset, would entrust the matter to the President of the Board of Education, who might from time to time make alterations in the constitution of the Consultative Committee as experience would show to be desirable. The functions of the Committee are two. In the first place, they are to make a register of teachers for England and Wales, and I think that the regulations will be framed in a generous and liberal spirit. It will be a register to which everyone can find access who is qualified to teach the higher subjects of education.
§ SIR J. GORST
It is to be a register of teachers qualified to teach higher subjects. A great many elementary school teachers are so qualified, and they would, of course, be entitled to be put on the register. A great many representations have reached the Lord President of the Council, asking that the register should be applicable to Scotland and Ireland as well as to England. I am afraid it will be impossible to make this extension under the Bill. Personally, I think it a 617 great misfortune that the education of the three portions of the United Kingdom has been so divided; but whatever may be our private opinion as to the advantage of such a separation, I am afraid that the register of teachers must follow the same course. There is nothing, however, to prevent any Irish or Scottish teacher who is qualified from being put on the register of England and Wales. Now I think I have described, as nearly as I can, the purposes of this Bill. This is not a Secondary Education Bill; it is a Bill to make preparation for secondary education by establishing at headquarters such an organisation as will enable Parliament hereafter to confer upon those who have charge of education such functions and powers as the condition of the country in the matter of secondary education will require. I beg to move the Second Reading of the Bill.
Motion male, and Question proposed—
That the Bill he now read a second time."—(Sir J. Gorst.)
§ * MR CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
We are indebted to the right hon. Gentleman for the clearness with which he has brought this question before the House. The Bill, although small, is of enormous importance. The central principle of the Bill, which we heartily welcome, is the creation of a central authority to co-ordinate and stimulate and develop all branches of education. In view of the commercial competition in which we have to engage, it is essential to develop the technical and secondary and commercial education of the country as rapidly as possible, and place the whole system at the earliest moment on the maximum basis of efficiency. I have placed a notice on the paper, not in hostility to the principle of the Bill, but to obtain some assurances that local authorities will be created, and to raise the conditions under which they are to be created. So far as I can see we have no positive guarantee that there will be any local authorities established, or that there will be any local machinery created, during the present Parliament. This Bill will come into operation, we are told, on the 1st April, 1900, and it is therefore obvious that the central authority cannot be in operation with a view to the development of the local authorities for a considerable time after that date. The 618 Duke of Devonshire told us that the central authority was created for the purpose of guiding the local authorities, but this explanation in another place on this point was unsatisfactory, and we have a right to demand some assurance from the Government that we shall have an intelligible and workable scheme of local machinery within a reasonable time. I think the Bill is open to serious objection from its vagueness. Of course I do not expect that this Bill will be used by the Lord President of the Council and the right hon. Gentleman for a despotic and autocratic reconstruction of the education of this country. But in discussing this Bill we must bear in mind the central fact that this is a Bill to deal with the whole educational system of the country—elementary as well as secondary, and that we are giving very great powers to the new Department, as to which in the course of the Debate we should receive from the Government some assurance as to what the new Department will do, and what it will not do. But there is a question of still more urgent importance. The Department by the Bill will have extraordinary powers for delegating its most important functions of fixing the standard of education to other bodies. The fixing of the standard of education is a very serious matter, and should, in the opinion of many, remain solely in the hands of the Department. An important Amendment was obtained by my noble friend Lord Spencer in another place by which words were struck out of the Bill. The words were: "The Board of Education may, by their officers, or by any university or other organisation approved on that behalf by the Board, inspect, &c." The words, "or other organisation," were struck out of the Bill on the motion of my noble friend in the other House, and they were words of considerable danger, and I think it should be emphasised at the beginning of the Debate that if there is any attempt made to reintroduce those words it will be resisted to the utmost in their power by the friends of education. Many of us who were in the House during the Debates on the great and abortive Education Bill of 1896 will remember perfectly well that there was a feeling, as strong on the Government side as on the Opposition side of the House, that the proposals then made of delegating the supreme authority 619 of the Education Department of inspecting and testing education to all sorts of local committees, constituted in all sorts of ways, not specially responsible even to their own localities or to Parliament, and empowering them to fix the standard of education, was a serious danger. I think we ought to ask during the course of this Debate that we should have some guarantee against the indiscriminate delegation of these powers in constituting this central authority. All friends of education are delighted to see the Science and Art Department and the Education Department united, and to see the authority concentrated under one head, and we welcome the probable handing over of nearly all the educational functions of the Charity Commissioners to this new Board. I say we welcome all these proposals, and are willing to support them most heartily, but we must again, as we did in 1896, offer our determined hostility to the delegation of the authority of fixing the standard of education from the Department responsible to the House. I hope before we arrive at a further stage of the Bill that we may have all these points, and this point in particular, thoroughly cleared up. There are several details which had better be reserved for the Committee stage. So far as I am concerned I agree with the opinion given by the Archbishop of Canterbury that the proposed Consultative Committee is a superfluity not without its serious dangers. I hope that if this Consultative Committee is constituted in the Bill during its passage through this House we shall at least have the proposals which were made by the Royal Commission inserted in the Bill, that the appointment should be made for a certain specific period, and that these appointments shall be open to the revision of Parliament in case the Department in any sense passes over the bounds that Parliament intends, and in any way mischief arises in the working of this machinery. I wish also to express considerable doubt as to the advisability of devolving upon county councils the machinery for education to any larger extent. But what I wish to raise on the Second Reading is the broad question of principle. Her Majesty's Government are creating the most important engine created since 1870 for the development 620 and grouping together of all these branches of education, which are of the most vital importance to the future of the country. I think we have a right to ask for some guarantee, even at this stage, that certain principles shall be aimed at ultimately in carrying out the machinery of this Bill. The first is that education shall be continuous. Suggestions have been made in various Bills and proposals that secondary education should be separated from technical education, and that you should draw an absolute barrier between elementary and secondary education. By linking together elementary and technical and secondary education you will draw into the higher education the largest number of young people and make your whole system most effective. The second principle which I should like to insist on is that you should enlist the intelligent interest of the largest possible number in directly co-operating in the work of making your organisation efficient to meet the needs of the whole people. In emphasising that point I am insisting upon the view originally laid before Parliament by Mr. Acland, when, after the passing of the Technical Instruction Act in 1889, he put down a motion that the advantages of secondary and technical education could best be extended to all classes by a system of universal school boards in large areas. I support that view, and I ask Her Majesty's Government to favourably consider the plan of dealing with the whole series of the questions relating to elementary, technical, and secondary education laid before the country by my noble friend Lord Spencer last winter. His suggestion was that you ought to have directly elected educational authority everywhere to deal with elementary education, as a fundamental basis upon which to build your educational machinery for secondary education, which should be controlled by a body composed of representatives of the directly elected local authorities with representatives of the county council. While passing some time in Massachusetts (U.S.A.) I have felt a great envy at the way in which the great branches of education, from the elementary through the secondary and leading up to the university, are co-ordinated and are intelligently and vigorously worked by a local committee for the district, and a similar body deals in a similar way with the State. It co-ordinates and brings into regula- 621 tion the whole State, and brings into operation and urges into activity those localities which lagging behind and not cluing good work. What is the gist of my suggestion? It is that Her Majesty's Government should frankly and honourably admit that the use of Article 7 of the Directory of the Science and Art Department to create these cabinet-window authorities to deal with secondary and higher elementary education is a mere stop-gap expedient, and that they should boldly say, We are going to replace this confusion of authorities and jurisdictions and claims and interests by a simple and intelligible and work able authority such as the friends of education can accept. I have had many communications, especially from the North of England, in the last few years to work of the county technical committees. Some gentlemen are extremely proud of the work they do, and excellent work is now being undoubtedly by such a body as the Technical Board in London. At the same time, I have had representations that the work of those committees is very often the work of one or two officials, and is therefore divested not only of popular control, but of popular interest. In many districts the working classes for whom the matter was of most importance did not take the interest they ought in the development of technical and higher education. The result of having a directly elected authority would be to bring the largest number of minds into contact with these problems, the working out of which was now left in the hands of a few well-intentioned experts, and that is an aspect of the question which should nor be lost of. I have made one or two specific demands on the Government on this occasion. We ought to have a guarantee, with regard to inspection, that the Department retains its essential responsibility to the country, and we are entitled to say in the settlement of the local authority, that the principle shall be considered by the Government that the real interests of the masses would be best preserved by giving them a direct share in the working out of the new system of education.
§ * MR. JEBB (Cambridge University)
The Government is to be congratulated on the introduction of this measure. It is confessedly of limited scope, but none the less on that account it is a measure of great importance. It takes a step 622 which is the first and indispensable condition of any better organisation of our system of secondary education. It would be vain to set up new local authorities if they had still to deal with the various unconnected agencies which share among them the central control of secondary education. You must begin by doing what this Bill does, by creating a strong central authority such as will command public confidence, and can take a survey of the whole educational field. I do not regard this measure as a small and tentative instalment of educational reform. I regard it as effecting in itself a large and far-reaching, result. It creates an organ which is essential to the unity of any system of secondary education which may in the future be developed. I have observed, and I hope the hon. Member for East Northampton shire will also note, that the Government, speaking through the Lord President of the Council in another place, made clear their intention that the institution of local authorities is to follow the institution of the central authority, find is to follow it at no distant date. It will be observed that this Bill mentions the 1st of April next year as the date upon which the Bill is to come into operation, and it has been asked why the date fixed was not the 1st of January. The Lord President answered that question in another place, and that answer was that the Science and Art Department, which has always been in law part of the Education Department, was now to be formally united with the Education Department under a single administrative head. The Science and Art Department is to be revised as soon as Parliament has sanctioned the principle of this Bill. It is in contemplation to appoint a Departmental Committee for the purpose of undertaking the revision of the constitution of the Science and Art Department at South Kensington, and that Departmental Committee must perform its Work before the central authority sketched in this Bill can be fully constituted. Therefore it is necessary to give the Departmental Committee time to accomplish that work, and therefore the 1st of April has been named. But, as the Duke of Devonshire pointed out, that is no reason why the Bill for the institution of the local authorities should not be introduced next session. It is not necessary to defer that Bill until the 623 central authority is actually in operation. What is necessary is that, Parliament having passed a Bill for setting up the local authorities, the central authority shall be actually in operation before the constitution of these local authorities is taken in hand, because the central authority is the source to which those who have to constitute the local authorities would naturally look for guidance, advice, and information The question of the transfer of the functions of the Charity Commission to the new Education Board is one of very great complexity, and one which engaged a great deal of attention in the Royal commission on Education, which ultimately came to the conclusion that the whole of the educational faculties of the Charity Commissioners should be transferred to the Education Department. If such a transfer had been attempted in this Bill it would probably have made the Bill highly controversial. The Government, therefore, have been well advised in providing in this Bill that the transfer of the educational functions of the Charity Commission should be gradual and should be effected by Order in Council. One function of the Charity Commission, however, is transferred at once—namely, the function of examining schools subject to the Endowed Schools Acts. The Charity Commission under this Bill retain the power of determining what endowments are applicable to education, and when the Charity Commission have decided that, the future Board of Education will have the function of determining to what educational purpose the endowment shall be applied. There is a fear in some quarters lest this new Education Board should have a tendency to divert small endowments from primary to secondary education, but I venture to lay before the House this general consideration, which should tend to allay any such apprehension. The Charity Commission have had, for a long time, the power of so diverting small endowments from primary to secondary education; but, as a matter of fact, it has seldom exercised that power, for the reason that a proposal to do so generally excites strong local opposition. Such local opposition will be experienced by the new Education Board not less than by the Charity Commissioners. On the other hand, where the new Education Board and the inhabitants of a particular locality may agree that such an application of an endow- 624 ment now devoted to primary education was desirable, there should be facilities for effecting that change. Now I should like to say one word about the Consultative Committee. The hon. Member for Northamptonshire rather deprecated the Consultative Committee. The object of establishing the Consultative Committee was to place at the disposal of the new Education Board the advice of persons who had practical knowledge, and who were conversant with the details of secondary education. It was proposed in another place that the number should not be less than 12 or more than 25; and the Duke of Devonshire, while declining to fix the number in the Bill, indicated that those would be about the limits. In the Teachers' Registration Bill of last year the Teachers' Registration Council were to be 18. The Royal Commission proposed that its Education Council should not exceed 12 in number. We may take it, then, that something between 12 and 25 will be the number of this Consultative Committee. Not less than two-thirds of the members of that Consultative Committee are to be representatives of universities and other bodies interested in education. The functions of the committee are to frame regulations for forming the Register of teachers and to advise the Board of Education in the matter of the inspection of schools. The Consultative Committee is also to be taken into counsel on any matter referred to it by the board, but on such matters only. It is to have no statutory powers whatever. It is to be the creation of the Minister of Education, who can choose his own advisers, subject only to the proviso as to the two-thirds. The Minister will not be obliged to take the advice of this committee more than he sees fit to do so. I do not think, therefore, that those who are apprehensive that the control of secondary education might pass too much into the hands of educational experts have any reason to be alarmed by anything in this Bill. In administering the Army and Navy statesmen have at their disposal the advice of professional experts. To that extent, but no further, the statesman who directs education will have the assistance of educational experts. There is a further strong reason for appointing the Consultative Committee. The Bill takes power to inspect all schools for secondary education which it may be desirable 625 to inspect, and schools subject to the Endowed Schools Acts will be liable to compulsory inspection by the new Board, as they are at present by the Charity Commissioners. It is not intended at present to undertake any complete or systematic inspection of secondary schools. For financial reasons alone that would not be possible. But many masters of public schools have signified their willingness to accept inspection under certain conditions, in the hope that their example will influence smaller schools, and because they believe it is to the public interest that there should be an ultimate possibility of a complete and systematic inspection. But many headmasters of public schools are naturally and rightly anxious to have every possible security that the inspection shall not be such as will impose a rigid uniformity of method or system. In elementary education such uniformity is to a certain extent inevitable, but in secondary education elasticity is indispensable. The headmasters of public schools feel that they could not have a better security for such elasticity than that the Minister of Education should, at all events occasionally, refer to the advice of persons who are intimately and practically acquainted with secondary and university education. The Headmasters' Conference, representing the great public schools, and the Incorporated Association of Headmasters, representing a very large number of other secondary schools, have passed resolutions that the Consultative Committee, though not statutory, should at least have an assured and permanent existence, and the Government have, very wisely, assented to that view. With regard to the omission, by an Amendment in another place, of the words in Clause 3, "or other organisation approved by the Department," it is most desirable that there should be imposed strict limits on the delegation of such authority by the Board of Education. But the Bill in its original form proposed that an organisation other than the universities, if approved by the Board, might be employed as an inspecting agency. There is something to be said in favour of reinstating the words which have been omitted, since the clause as it now stands cuts out the examinations of such valuable agencies as the College of Preceptors and the City Guilds, and others. The Government has not seen its way to sanction the 626 application of the beer-money to secondary education generally as distinguished from technical education. Possibly when we come in some future session to the constitution of local authorities for secondary education that point, which is more particularly pertinent to that part of the question, may come up again. Meantime, I note with satisfaction that Clause 4, which gives powers to counties and county boroughs to contribute towards the cost of inspection, makes no limitation to schools giving technical instruction. The Lord President of the Council has expressed the opinion that that clause is so far an extension of the limits with which the beer-money may be applied. It must be remembered how very important this Bill is for the commercial and technical education of the country, and therefore for all its commercial and industrial interests. The example of foreign countries, and pre-eminently that of Germany, teaches us that the best use of school time, even with a view to a commercial or industrial calling, is to train the intelligence. The basis of commercial and technical education should be liberal. To obtain such a liberal basis it is necessary to organise all our resources for secondary education. What is wanted is not so much fresh expenditure of money, but rather a better, more systematic and more intelligent adjustment of existing means and agencies. This Bill is the first and a large step in that direction—a step which ought to have been taken many years ago. Now that it has come let us give it a cordial welcome; and let us earnestly hope that the Government will see their way next session to introduce a Bill for setting up local authorities for secondary education.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
This measure is, in fact, a concentration of educational authorities in one Department. The new powers which are conferred upon this Department are not compulsory in their character. There is a power to inspect schools, but no school need be inspected unless it desires to be. There is a provision for the registration of teachers, but no disability falls upon any teacher who does not trouble to have his name on the register; there is a Consultative Committee, which seems to inspire alarm in some quarters, but the duty of consulting that committee, thrown upon the Board, does not appear 627 to be very onerous. And yet in regard to the secondary education of the country, I look upon this Bill as a very large and important measure. The question of local authorities is very wisely postponed until the central authority is created. The constitution of those authorities is a more difficult subject than that which is now before us, but I hope we shall deal with the difficulties as they arise, and not risk the progress of this measure by anticipating difficulties which do not arise in this Bill, and which this Bill will not in any way increase. As to the inspection of schools, so far from desiring that it should be limited strictly to the official members of the Board, I earnestly hope the Department will use all the existing agencies. I say nothing as to the demand which is made in other quarters for inclusion among the bodies which may, with the approval of the Board, be admitted to inspect schools; but I can answer for this, that at my own university there is a Board, acting jointly with members of the Cambridge University, which does inspect schools, and although the matter has not gone very far a considerable number of schools have been inspected by this Board, and there is every prospect that the demand will be increased, and such inspections continued. As regards the lower grade schools, there is another Board, confined to Oxford University, which does conduct examinations, and the examiner, who goes down to the school to examine viva voce, is encouraged to report as generally as he can upon the education of the school. I venture to hope that it will not be made more expensive for schools to be inspected and examined from the universities than from the Department. As regards the Consultative Committee, I cannot share the apprehensions which have been expressed. The Committee would, no doubt, consist of a body of persons interested in education. It has been said that they would be "faddists," and that their crotchets would seriously impair the working of any educational system. Everyone who has been engaged in teaching has his own views as to the best way in which subjects should be taught. I myself, having been engaged in teaching for more than twenty years, have very decided views as to the teaching of the subjects on which I have been engaged, but if I were to confer with some other gentleman who has been engaged in education as long as I have he would very 628 likely tell me that those views were, to a certain extent, "fads." I do not say that I should agree with him. But I do say that a subject so large and various in character as secondary education should be under the guidance of persons possessed of ample knowledge, and should be treated with a light hand. There is another point to which I wish to refer—viz the registration of teachers. It is, no doubt, to be voluntary, but our hopes are that it may become a matter of honour and distinction to be on the register. And in order to be placed on the register there must be evidence of qualification—not only of general attainments exemplified by university degrees, or some such certificate of a good general education, but there must ultimately be a test of examination of some sort. I know there is a great mass of expert opinion in favour of the training and examination of teachers. I believe that outside expert opinion there is a very general belief that anybody can teach anything so long as he has obtained a university degree, and possibly has also distinguished himself in athletic amusements at school or college. On the other hand, it is said that the art of teaching is incommunicable, and that no one who is not a born teacher can possibly teach. My own view is something which lies between these two extremes. There is no doubt that in the past, and to a certain extent in the present, we have suffered from the belief that anybody could teach. On the other hand, I do not believe that teaching is an incommunicable art, and not to be imparted to another. Undoubtedly, there are born teachers, the great headmasters and professors like Arnold and Jowett, whose pupils fill great offices in Church and State, just as there are born orators and statesmen inevitably destined to occupy the front benches. But I hope and believe that, as there are a very considerable number of persons who, if they are modest and industrious, may, in time, become useful Members of the House of Commons, so there are a great many who—if they are taught how to teach, and required to have a certain amount of practice before they are turned loose upon a school, who if they are content to learn, as a teacher must learn, that he must understand the difficulties of other minds, and distinguish the difficulties which arise from honest stupidity and the difficulties which arise from perverse ingenuity—may become useful, 629 if not eminent, in their vocation. But they must be content with small results, hope for little, and hope too that, although the apparent results are disappointing, they may have done some good to those who have passed through their hands. It is contended that before registration there should be an examination in the theory and history of education. You may say that is not very valuable; but if a man is going to be a teacher, it is as well that he should know what other people have thought upon the subject, and what is its history. There is such an examination at Cambridge, and also at my own university. I was looking at these examination papers the other day. I know that I could not answer the questions, and in consequence I regarded them with a mixture of anxiety and dislike. I know that there are hon. Members of this House who have encyclopædic knowledge, and the papers are at their service. I welcome this proposal for the registration of teachers, not only because it will impress upon them that they have something to learn before they teach others, but because it will impart a sense of comradeship in the great profession of teaching which I believe to be one of the most honourable which any man can follow. I would say, in conclusion, that I know it is never wise to expect too much from legislation, and this Bill is studiously modest in its character. Yet I do hope that if it is honestly and generously welcomed and worked by the various bodies which may come under its purview, as I feel sure it will be by the universities, it will be the first step towards the co-ordination and harmonising of the secondary education of the country.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I hope I may be allowed to express the pleasure with which I have listened to the lucid, interesting and eminently practical speech of my hon. friend who has just sat down; and also the pleasure which is felt by a member of the University of Oxford at the fact that the members of that university have used their right to return to Parliament one who has long held so distinguished a place within its walls. It is a very great satisfaction to those of us who are attached to our university and who are interested in the cause of education to see two such distinguished representatives of the two 630 ancient universities, and that these representatives, so eminent by their learning and scholarship, should associate themselves at once with our discussions on this Bill, and should make such valuable contributions as they have done to our debates. I hope we shall often have the benefit of similar contributions from them. The Bill is a dry Bill; and it must he admitted that the subject is rather a dry subject. It is dry in the first place because it is technical, and in the second place because it is not controversial. There is no Party heat or excitement to be had out of the Bill in its present shape. It is a very important Bill, much more important than the House might have gathered from the speech of the Vice-President of the Council. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will forgive me if I say that I have seldom heard so important a measure introduced in so perfunctory a way. He appeared to minimise the Bill, and he played what musicians call the diminuendo; he showed the House what the Bill did not contain, but dwelt very little indeed on the points of the Bill, which were subsequently explained by the two hon. Members who have just spoken. I think that is rather a pity, as it obliges me to go a little more into detail than I would otherwise do. One expected from the right hon. Gentleman an explanation of the Bill, which he admitted himself was somewhat vague, somewhat obscure, and rather in the nature of a blank cheque, to be filled up by the Education Department. It is not very easy to criticise a blank cheque; and while a blank cheque contains great possibilities which may be used in different ways, it becomes rather essential to convey to the House what the possibilities are and to point out the different uses that may be made of the Bill. This Bill is the first attempt on the part of this House to deal with secondary education. As the right hon. Gentleman perfectly truly said—and I have no quarrel with anything he did say—the Bill has been conceived in a very judicious spirit, though it is a very little Bill.
§ SIR J. GORST
I think the right hon. Gentleman ought not to accuse me of that. There is not the slightest shadow of foundation for it. I think he himself thought very little of the Bill a short time ago.
§ MR. BRYCE
I beg to withdraw, of course, what I said, but that was the impression I gathered from the right hon. Gentleman. Everybody agrees as to the evils of the present system; everybody holds that there is a great deal of competition, overlapping, and waste, a great deal of unnecessary expenditure and unnecessary labour in the working of the different authorities, which, to a large extent, conflict the one with another, and therefore overlap. What everyone wants is to organise secondary education so as to get rid of competition and overlapping among the different authorities, and to bring them into just relations and harmony, and to co-operate for the common aim. That involves two processes—the organisation of the local authorities, and the organisation of the central authority. This Bill does not touch the local authorities at all. It passes them by. It deals with the central authority only. My hon. friend the Member for East Northamptonshire seems to think that it would have been better if the Government had brought in a Bill dealing with the whole matter. I subscribe, however, to the view that the Government have done right in presenting a Bill dealing only with the organisation of the central authority. In the first place, to deal with the whole subject would have been a large task, would have occupied much time, and would have involved much controversial matter. And, in the second place, it must be of great advantage to the local authorities that they should find a central authority already in being which would take their infants by the hands and guide their wavering steps. I hold that it was wise to deal with the central authority first. Let me say further that the object at which the Bill aims is right. It proposes to connect elementary with secondary education; it proposes to unify university and secondary education and bring them under one Education Department; and it proposes to collect the different funds now applicable to secondary education into one, which will be administered upon common principles. Further, it proposes to bring the endowed schools of the country into that organic relation with the secondary schools which ought to have been made long ago. These are all excellent objects, and I do not find in the Bill anything that one can object to as being positively wrong. What I com- 632 plain of in the Bill is rather its defects in vagueness and obscurity. It entrusts to the Government an uncontrolled discretion which it is not wise to entrust to any Government, even in the matter of education. One merit, however, the Bill must be admitted to have. It scrupulously avoids all controversial topics. I wish very much it had included a proposal to deal with the technical education money under the Act of 1890, but the Government apparently thought that that would be a little outside the scope of the Bill, and perhaps that would be true. I hope that the Government will adopt the same course which was adopted with so much firmness and judgment by the Lord President in the other House, and will keep this Bill entirely on its present lines, and not allow it to be extended so as to deal with any controversial topic, and particularly with any topics which excite ecclesiastical controversy. If the Government resist any attempt to bring in those topics, which are really irrelevant, I believe the Bill will become law easily and speedily, because I am not aware that there is a disposition—at any rate on the side of the House—to offer to it any opposition. But if those topics should be unfortunately introduced I think it does not require the gift of great prophecy to see that the Bill will have a troubled course, and it will be found very difficult to put it on the Statute Book this session. To come to the provisions of the Bill, which may cause a good deal of disappointment, I would like to call attention to them under the five different topics to which they relate. The first is the creation of a Board of Education; the next is the method of dealing with the Charity Commission; the third is the provision for inspection; the fourth is the Consultative Committee; and the fifth is the registration. In the first place, why have a Board of Education at all? Why a "Board"? Why not a secretaryship? Of course, it may be said that a secretaryship would set up a new Secretary of State. But why not have a secretary like the Secretary for Scotland, who is not a Secretary of State? The only argument I have heard in favour of the proposal is that it enables one Minister to act for another in his absence, but surely that is hardly a sufficient reason for multiplying the existing boards. The Bill extinguishes one old friend, the Committee of Council on Education, just at a 633 time when it had become not only familiar, but, I had almost said, beloved by the House and by the country, and the Vice-President himself vanishes just at the moment when he had succeeded in showing us how interesting and novel might be the relations of the Vice-President of the Council with the rest of the Government. But we should like to know what is to become of the Science and Art Department. That is one of the important things upon which we have no light in this Bill. We are told that there is to be another Bill. The subject of the Science and Art Department has been under consideration for at least four years, and it is quite time we knew whether the Science and Art Department is to be kept a distinct body or blended in the Secondary Education Department. Now, I come to the Charity Commission. The method of dealing with the Charity Commission is by far the most difficult, intricate, and controversial part of this proposal. That it is difficult is proved by the fact that this House has repeatedly investigated its working by Committees, and the greatest difference of opinion has been found to exist in regard to the manner in which it ought to be handled. The present measure does not in the least attempt to solve the difficulty. The Bill, as it were, walks up to it, looks the difficulty boldly in the face, and then passes by. The Charity Commission was originally a branch of the Court of Chancery, and it has two sets of work—the work under the Charitable Trusts Act and the work under the Endowed Schools Act. I think the right hon. Gentleman's recollection must fail him for the moment when he said that the appeal from the Charity Commission lies with the Judicial Committee. The appeal from the Charity Commission lies with the High Court of Justice. The two kinds of jurisdiction which the Charity Commission has are rather inextricably intermixed. They cannot without the greatest difficulty be separated, and that is the difficulty which this Bill ought to solve. It has not touched it. The Bill draws no line whatever between the powers that are and the powers that are not to be transferred. It does not say that the Order will transfer the powers relating to the Endowed Schools Act. In fact, if all the powers that the Charity Commission needs to conduct its over- 634 sight of educational matters are transferred, the House will have set up by this Statute a second Charity Commission. There would be two authorities, both exercising the same powers, and exercising them over the same schools, and perhaps from different views of policy. One would hardly think that that can be contemplated, but it is clearly within the powers of the Bill, and I think it would not only perpetuate the existing confusion, but be found very vexatious and annoying to the schools themselves, because it would subject them to double inspection and double control—first by the Education Department, and then by their old friends the Charity Commission. I therefore think that the consideration of these difficulties will satisfy the House that the Bill really does not go to the root of the question. But there is another point which ought to be referred to. The Bill gives power to make such provision as appears necessary for the exercise by the Board of Education of the enactments relating to the Charity Commission. But if the powers of the Charity Commission are transferred to the Education Department, what becomes of those provisions which contemplate a Charity Commission apart from the Education Department? Clearly the Endowed Schools Acts will require to be re-drawn for that purpose. What we are asked to do, or at any rate what it is possible to do under this Bill, is to give power to the Education Department in the form of an Order of the Privy Council, to re-draft the Endowed Schools Acts, and to introduce new enactments which will be required to meet the new condition of things. I think it is going rather beyond the very wide latitude which we have lately been accustomed to give to Government Departments in legislating by way of Order. If we are going to modify in many important points these existing enactments, if we are going to deal with the new state of things created, we surely ought to submit those provisions to Parliament, and have them discussed here in Committee. No Order can do it properly, because no Order can be discussed in this House. Even if an Order is laid before the House, it is not the same thing as discussing it in Committee in this House, and therefore I submit it is too much to ask the House to give these powers without some information as to the scheme which the Govern- 635 ment have in their minds. Everything, in fact, will depend on the Order, and the Order is not before us. The simplest course would have been for the Government to propose to take over the Charity Commission altogether. I do not deny that there are objections to be taken to that course. Those who have read the Reports of the two Commissions which have sat on the subject know what are the objections raised, but they seem on the whole to be rather less than the objections which will arise by adopting the plan of the Government. We shall be landed, I think, by this Bill into a number of difficulties which would at any rate be avoided if the Charity Commission were bodily incorporated with the Education Department. The question of inspection illustrates what I was endeavouring to put before the House with regard to the position of the Charity Commission. The inspection proposed by this Bill is not the inspection of the Charity Commission, and that is the only point on which I was not able to agree with the speech of my hon. friend the member for Cambridge University. I understood him to say that the inspection of the Charity Commission was to be taken over under this Bill. But the inspection contemplated in Clause 3 is not quite the inspection which is carried on by the Charity Commission. It is really the complement to that which is carried on by the Charity Commission. It has been already observed that the inspection under this Bill is to be optional. It is so much an optional inspection that it is not compulsory even as regards health. That seems to me to be an unfortunate defect in the Bill. We are all agreed that the health of children is a matter which might rightly and properly be dealt with in a compulsory way by Statute. That was a point on which the Education Commission were unanimous, as well as the witnesses, and it is clearly a matter of the utmost concern, and one to which I think even a private school would have no right to object. I do not quite understand how much the Government contemplate by this inspection. The Secondary Education Commission recommended that inspection should be left to local authorities. It is true they took the safeguard of providing that the inspectors should all be persons who had been approved by the central authority, the Education Department; but it seems to me that the Government 636 would probably have done better to have reserved the inspection of local schools for their measure dealing with local authorities, rather than to have thrown this extremely large task upon the Education Department. There is a considerable advantage in giving the inspection to local authorities. They would probably have to make the grant, and it is better that those who make the grant shall make the inspection on which that grant depends. The Bill is extremely uncertain and doubtful about the Consultative Committee. In the first place, we are told that it is to consist of "persons representing universities and other bodies interested in education." Now the word "representing" is ambiguous. It may mean persons chosen by universities and other bodies interested in education, but it may also mean persons who are qualified to represent the views and interests of those bodies, but who may be appointed by some other authority. Of course, all universities are interested. Then I suppose it would be admitted that such a body as the College of Preceptors, or the Teachers' Guild, or the Head Masters' Association, or the Head Masters' Conference are interested. Then the technical instruction committees of the county councils are interested; the borough councils are interested; chambers of commerce are interested; and the Association of Municipal Corporations which deal with these things are also interested. Then, as the noble Lord the Member for Rochester observed, the National Society are interested, and I suppose the National Union of Teachers are interested. In fact, there are a very large number of bodies who may be interested, but I think it would be extremely difficult to find any of those bodies having a special claim to be represented. I hope that the Government, either now or in Committee, will give us some indication of their views on that subject. Then, we should like to know whether the proceedings of this Consultative Committee are to be private or not. We understood from what passed in another place that the proceedings are to be private, like those of the Council of India, but perhaps the Government will give us some information on the subject. It will make a good deal of difference to the view we take in Committee. Then, we ought to know for what term the members are to be ap- 637 pointed. It is clear that if we give the Government the power of filling up this Consultative Committee we ought to know for how long members are to be appointed, because the House will scarcely be disposed to give any Government power to fill these positions for a great number of years. One of the two functions which the Consultative Committee has to discharge is that of registration, but the Bill contains no provision for the creation of a proper register. I was rather surprised to hear the right hon. Gentleman speak as if we were to understand that the Bill establishes a register of teachers. I should have thought that there ought to have been an express provision in the Bill for the creation of a register if it is to have any effect. Does the Government intend that the holding of a place on the register shall have a legal effect, similar, for instance, to that of being on the register of the Medical Council? It is very doubtful whether the Education Department is the right body to keep this register. It is a professional matter, and hardly a matter to put into the hands of a Government Department. Ought not the profession itself to run the register, in the same way that the Medical Council work the "Medical Register"? Another function of the Consultative Committee is to advise, but this provision goes a good deal beyond what has been contemplated. Whenever this power has been spoken of before it has always been with reference to secondary education. But here the Government purpose to give this body equal jurisdiction and equal scope in the matter of elementary education also. Is it, indeed, equally desirable to import the Consultative Committee into such a controversial arena as elementary education, with all its dangers? There is, for example, some danger that the Consultative Committee may advise the Education Minister to take some action which may place him in a disagreeable dilemma. The Minister may be pressed to convoke the Committee on some controversial question by an hon. Member, or by public opinion outside. He may, of course, refuse to yield to the request, but still it is not pleasant for a Minister to let it appear as if he were afraid to consult the Committee. There are a number of other points in the Bill which I will not trouble the House 638 with because I have detained it long enough. I have analysed the Bill somewhat minutely, because it seems to be essential for the House to know how nebulous when it is analysed are its provisions, how very little it tells the House as to what would happen when the Orders in Council are made which it contemplates. It is a leap in the dark, as to the results of which even the Government seems to be as much in the dark as the House itself. The Bill evades the difficulties of the question with so much caution that it suggests to me either that the Government has a divided mind as to the method of treatment, or else that they are afflicted with different counsels—either different views prevail among the members of the Government which it is thought desirable to conceal by looseness of phraseology in the Bill, or the Government have not made up their minds which view they should take as to these difficult problems. It is a pity that the House has not received more guidance from the Government than that which is vouchsafed by the Bill. It is very difficult to say what will emerge from it. At the same time, these defects do not prevent me from expressing hearty satisfaction at the fact that the Bill has been brought forward, and that at last we are taking a definite step forward and doing something to grapple with what has been one of the greatest defects of our educational system—namely, the absence of an organised authority to deal with secondary education. We all remember how this question was laid before the country by Mr. Mathew Arnold, who I regret is not alive to see what he wished come to pass. This measure may be worked so as to produce great good to the country, and I accept the Bill, and those on this side of the House are all disposed to accept it; and I will venture to say, in conclusion, that, if the head of the ship be carefully steered away from those rocks and shoals of controversy which endanger most educational proposals in this House, we can venture to prophesy for the Bill a smooth, easy, and safe passage to its desired haven.
* MR. GRANT LAWSON (York, N.R., Thirsk)
One of the features of this Bill is that it to a certain extent curtails the powers of the Charity Commissioners in educational matters. This may commend itself to some hon. Members, and I 639 certainly do not on this occasion raise objection to that particular clause in the measure. Let it not be understood that I stand here as the representative of the Charity Commissioners to object to this Bill. The Charity Commissioners have always recognised that their powers over endowed schools are provisional and temporary. The Charity Commissioners have worked in a friendly manner with the Committee of Council for Education for years, and I have no doubt that in the future they will work well with the new bodies proposed to be established. Hon. Members need not be afraid of double inspection and double control. The Charity Commissioners have plenty of work to do, and they have no need to go and seek for work. The last, speaker suggested the alternative that the Charity Commission and its work should be taken over by the Board of Education now to be set up. I should certainly oppose any such suggestion, on the ground that there are many charities which rest on the boundary line between educational and eleemosynary purposes, and if we diverted any of the moneys devoted to eleemosynary purposes there would very soon be a vote of censure in this House. There is one matter in this Bill which commends itself to me, as it will relieve the Charity Commissioners from an an absolutely impossible position. The hon. Gentleman forgets the possible interruptions to any scheme put forward by the Charity Commissioners at one stage. The Charity Commissioners, after long labour and after the fullest investigation, draft a scheme which then has to be submitted to the President of the Council, who considers the objections and approves or disapproves the scheme. The objections are generally made by some local Member, who is put up in this House more often than not by a gentleman whose child is receiving education from one of the Charity Commissioners' endowed schools to which he is not entitled, and then after a short discussion in this House, generally taken after midnight, unless the Government, whose President of the Council is responsible for their appearance in the House, chose to protect them, the result of all those years of labour is overthrown. That has been the result of a good many schemes, and I think it is right that, according to the Bill, more direct responsibility for the schemes should be thrown on the head of 640 the Education Department. The Charity Commissioners are not anxious to enter into any controversial question; and since I have had the honour of a seat on the Board, with one exception, no scheme has been passed and afterwards brought to this House. I hope that the result of the Bill will cause the President of the Board of Education to be recognised as a Minister for whose ministerial acts his colleagues share the responsibility. This will be satisfactory to the Charity Commissioners, but exceedingly embarrassing to the Government of the day. To make the best use of these educational endowments you want above all things independence and impartiality—impartiality as between different denominations, different localities, and different classes of persons. But of all the virtues impartiality is the most odious to the multitude. The result of the Bill will be that the honourable odium, which at present attaches to the Charity Commissioners, will attach to the head of the new Board of Education and to the Government of which he is a member, and I have grave doubts whether the Minister of Education will have the same invulnerable constitution and robust conscience as the Charity Commissioners. But, given a strong Minister, backed up by his colleagues, it is obvious that the Board of Education would do far more for secondary education than the Charity Commissioners have been able to do with their limited powers. The Charity Commissioners have always been compelled to look on each school as a unit and not as part of a general educational system, and it has been found very hard to move a school from a locality where there are too many, and they have no power to prevent educational authorities setting up entirely unnecessary schools. The principal use that the Charity Commissioners would be to the new Board would be in supplying them with a trained staff of experts whose services would be invaluable. If both efficiency and economy are considered, all these gentlemen will find permanent posts on the new Board of Education. The strongest ground for the present Bill is to be found in the state of confusion and divided authority which at present exist in regard to educational matters. The Report of the Royal Commission states that within the same town or district the local power over secondary education may be shared between the county or 641 borough council, the school hoard, various governing bodies, managing committees of proprietary schools, local committees under the Science and Art Department, and managers of Voluntary schools; and each of these local agencies must or may have relations with one or two or, perhaps, three central authorities which were similarly independent of each other. Speaking, not as a Charity Commissioner, but as a private Member, who has taken a great deal of interest in education, I think the first duty of the new Board will be to discover some definition of the word "elementary." So far as I know there is no legal definition of that word except in the Act of 1870, which says that an elementary school is a school in which the main portion of the teaching given is elementary. That is a definition founded on the undefined. The absence of a clearly defined boundary line between elementary and secondary education does an infinity of mischief. It encourages trespass, it is very hard upon the teachers, who are expected to know everything nowadays, and it casts upon the ratepayers the cost of many subjects which are not elementary. I believe there is plenty of money already granted to give to the children of those parents who are not able to pay for it education sufficient for their fullest capacities. So much money is wasted at present because the dull child cannot acquire these higher subjects, and the bright child would acquire them a great deal better in a secondary school. I hope the Board of Education will be able to provide a scheme under which elementary subjects will be so implanted in the child that it will take something little short of a surgical operation to eradicate them. This process should go on long enough for a certain safe distinction to be made between the children to whom book learning, as it is called, is possible and valuable and the children to whom it is not. The latter would go to work for which, perhaps, they had some aptitude, and the former would go on with their education at the expense of the State as high as their ambition or their talents would carry them. It is because I believe that only such a central authority as is now proposed can give a business like system of education of that kind that I support the Bill.
§ * MR. BIRRELL (Fife, W.)
The Vice-President of the Council was taken to 642 task with unnecessary asperity by the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen for the somewhat subdued and melancholy tones in which he introduced a Bill which not only abolishes himself, but that Committee which he has with such infinite skill introduced on many occasions to the notice of the House. The hon. Member for Cambridge University, in speaking of this new Board, spoke of it as a strong body and one well fitted to grapple with the great problem of education; but after all, the new Board would only be a Party body, and it is difficult to see how it is to possess the strength which it ought to possess if the education of this country is to be, as I hope it some day may be, removed from Party considerations and treated as a great national work in which all are equally concerned. That this is to be a political and uninstructed body is proved by the way in which the Government have called from the vasty deep another phantom called the Consultative Committee, which may be a good thing, though I doubt it. This Committee is to teach the Board its business. The Lord President always speaks when it is necessary for him to do so on educational matters in a manner which clearly shows how greatly disqualified he considers himself to be to speak upon such a subject. I myself am rather sorry to see the Consultative Committee constructed as it is in this Bill. It will soon be as stereotyped as the Board itself. There is one question upon which I should like to have some information. While the Education Department has acquired a considerable amount of information with regard to primary or elementary education, it does not know very much about secondary education. But the Endowed School Commissioners, working under useful Acts of Parliament passed in 1869 and 1874, are essentially experts, and have garnered a great amount of experience in the management of secondary schools. Is it proposed to annex the Charity Commissioners by this Bill? The language of the Bill is extremely vague, and I doubt whether it is possible, by a mere Order in Council, to carry over to this new Board all the provisions of the Acts of 1869 and 1874. Those provisions proceed entirely on the basis that there should be an Educational Department to whom the schemes prepared by the Charity Commissioners should be submitted, and if that body is to be destroyed 643 or altered in any way the whole gear of the machinery is destroyed. I really do not see how, by an Order in Council, these very important Statutes, under which a great amount of good has been done, can be practically repealed. The Vice-President told us there was to be no interference with what he called the "judicial" work which the Charity Commissioners now do in determining questions as to the allocation of charitable endowments to educational purposes. But my point is in regard to the administrative work. If the Charity Commissioners are not to be annexed, the new Board will be a very phantom body, with very little work to do. As to the adjustment of the claims of higher grade Board schools and Grammar schools, it is of the utmost importance that some way should be discovered whereby these two classes of schools should be placed under one authority, and assigned their respective rights, so that there should be no jealousy or rivalry between them, but that one should feed the other in due and proper course. Elementary teachers appear to think they can teach everything; but I do not share that faith, and it is very important that this process of distinguishing and separating, but yet carrying on in harmony, the work of the elementary schools and the really secondary schools of the country should be completed. The Endowed School Com-missioners are now engaged in this useful work. I was much alarmed by reading that some sort of instruction seemed to have been given to the Charity Commissioners to suspend for the next two years their operations in that direction, and not to carry out the Acts except where absolutely necessary. That is certainly carrying administration a little too far; it is suspending by an administrative Order the useful powers and work of the Endowed Schools Commissioners, and amounts to the suspensory power which in times past has cost monarchs their crown. If it be the intention of Her Majesty's Ministers to take over the Charity Commission, well and good; the new Board will then have very important powers and functions to exercise; but unless that is done, this Bill, instead of con solidating and concentrating authorities, will only make confusion worse confounded.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE (Rochester)
Undoubtedly it is high time that secondary education should be dealt with. Nobody feels more than myself how important it is that the necessary provision should be made to meet the wants of secondary education, that the existing confusion should be removed, and that there should be some means of giving the public a guarantee both of the efficiency of the schools and of the teachers. But in approaching a solution of this problem the Government have given to the world a Bill which, I think, well deserves the charge of vagueness which has been made against it. The Education Department is a very remarkable Department. It is sometimes loquacious, as in its Code; it is sometimes extremely reticent, as in this Bill; but it is always obscure. It is extremely difficult to fix the precise meaning of the proposals they make either to school managers or teachers, or of the proposals they make to Parliament. I hope the Second Reading of this Bill will be carried, but in many respects it will require very careful consideration. The question of the contributions from local sources for the purposes of inspection has the same vagueness as the rest of the Bill. Are the local authorities to contribute the whole or part of the expense? Is the Imperial authority to contribute any part? If so, in what proportion is the amount to be shared? As to the provisions for the registration of teachers, they are probably the greatest success in the direction of reticence that the Department has achieved. The subject is not new; it has been before both Houses on previous occasions. It was before the other House last session in a Bill which dealt with the subject in great detail, and consisted of five pages and 20 clauses. Those 20 clauses have reappeared in the present Bill in the form of about 20 lines. Doubtless that alteration has been made in order not to raise discussion. Clause 2 is very important. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen congratulated the Government upon having left the question of local authorities for a future occasion, so that subjects of acute controversy would be avoided. But you cannot escape these questions of controversy; they come up sooner or later, and the wise man would meet and deal with them at once. I doubt the wisdom of the supersession of the Charity Commissioners. While not admiring everything 645 the Charity Commissioners have done, I think they are an impartial body, and I regret to see them evicted from any control of educational endowments under the Endowed Schools Acts. It may be said that the clause does not propose to transfer the whole of the power immediately, but I assume that that is what will be done, because the Government attempted last year to make a division of the power as between the Charity Commission and the Committee of Council for Education, and the proposal was not very satisfactory. We are always bound to assume that the whole power will pass out of the hands of this House when we know that the House is going to lose all opportunity of preventing it, and will have to submit if that is the case. Clause 5 is supposed to preserve the control of Parliament. A clause of that sort appears in a great number of Acts of Parliament, but there are two forms of phraseology used. One is that it should be laid upon the Table of both Houses of Parliament for a certain number of days before it becomes operative, and the other is that if during that period either House carry an Address to the Crown objecting to the proposed Order or part of it, it ceases to be operative and is thrown out. As a general rule Radical Governments adopt the first form, and Conservative Governments the second, and for very obvious reasons; but I regret that on this occasion the Radical form has been adopted, which reduces the control of Parliament to a minimum. As regards the transfer of the powers of the Charity Commission, there is no doubt it is possible to so transfer them, because there is a clause in the Endowed Schools Act, 1869, which provides that any Order upon any scheme issued under the powers of the Act is conclusive. All we require to know is how the Government will interpret the power which is given to them under this clause. When we find that the powers under the Endowed Schools Act with regard to endowments are to be handed over to the Board of Education I naturally proceed to consider what protection is likely to be afforded to certain endowments which may be dealt with. The clauses dealing with the conditions upon which endowments may be used for educational purposes are very inadequate, and may be interpreted with great severity as against the apparent purpose 646 of the endowment. At present the power is wielded by the Charity Commissioners. We are setting up a system of secondary education all over the country—that I subscribe to and support—and in consequence there will be an immense amount of educational zeal brought to bear upon every sort of endowment which may by any possibility be laid under contribution, and there is very little doubt that the Act of Parliament will be interpreted rigidly and fully, and without any kind of that elasticity which tempers the wind to the shorn lamb. That power is to be transferred from the Charity Commissioners to a Minister who, whoever he may be, must be a partisan. He is not a judicial person, and is not, generally, judicially minded. His object is to carry out a policy which may be agreeable to his own convictions and his own political faith, and his whole bias is very properly against all the restrictions which an Act of Parliament may seem to place in the way of fully developing that policy. This Minister will not only be a partisan, but he will preside over the Education Department, and in matters of law that Department are not very well advised. On one occasion I had to approach the Department on behalf of one of my constituents who wanted to build a school room 30 feet wide, and the Department held that for the purposes of calculating the cubic space the width must be counted as 27 feet, because they had a rule that if a room was not 37 feet wide it must be considered to be 27 feet wide, and they proposed to treat it on those terms. The House will remember what took place with regard to the Berriew schools, where the Department were advised that their action in allowing certain signatures to a petition to be withdrawn was legal, but which, when the law officers of the Crown were consulted, was declared to be absolutely illegal, and great trouble had to be taken in three sessions of Parliament to get a special Act to set right that illegality. Some of the provisions in the End owed School Act are very arbitrary and inequitable, and the Charity Commissioners are placed in a very difficult position. They are very often bound to rule that an endowment is not a Church of England endowment which in all equity is a Church of England endowment. What resource have we? We come to this or the other House and point out that a great injus- 647 tice has been committed, and the curious position of the law is that while the Charity Commissioners are bound by those arbitrary conditions the Houses of Parliament are not, but can act according to the equities of the case, and set right the injustice which the Charity Commissioners have been forced to commit. The question is not made a Government question; it comes to us perfectly free, and we vote according to our conscience—or so much of our conscience as may be awake after midnight, when these Orders come up for consideration—and there is a chance of justice being done. What will be the position under this clause? These Church of England endowments will have this tremendous educational zeal applied to them, and being pushed in that way into the melting pot will come before the Educational Department, who, anxious to lay everything under contribution, will not act mildly, but will pass a scheme which will be laid upon the Table of the House. Shall we be able to vote freely upon it after 12 o'clock? Of course not; it will be a Party question. Consequently there will be none of that resource which at present exists for correcting an admitted inequity. It may not be possible to save the Charity Commissioners, but if the Endowed Schools Acts are to be applied with rigour and without there being, practically, any control left to independent Members of this House, they ought to be amended. We ought to look into these definitions to see that they are really equitable and not arbitrary before we allow the Charity Commissioners to be disestablished and the Education Department put in their place. I have naturally dwelt upon the religious provisions, but there are others which requires very careful treatment, such as the local claim on which independent Members of the House have an independent say, and are able to prevent injustice being committed to the localities which they represent. I shall not dwell upon the omissions of the Bill. It does not deal with over-lapping, or the definition of elementary education; it does not determine whether school boards are to supply secondary education or not. That is a matter which is absolutely urgent—more urgent even than the abolition of the Department of Science and Art. At present the question whether school boards may supply secondary education is being 648 tried before the Auditor in London, but whatever decision is arrived at the matter is urgent, because if the Auditor decides that the London Board has no right to supply secondary education something will have to be done in the secondary schools the school boards already supply. If the decision is in the opposite sense, we must look forward to a great extension of the activities of the school boards in that direction, and the House ought to have a very early opportunity of making up its mind whether these bodies who are not limited in the extent to which they may draw upon the pockets of the ratepayers are to be allowed to supply secondary education. The Bill does not deal with what ought to be the degree of religious education insisted upon by the State. The right hon. Gentleman opposite hoped the House would not deal with controversial matters; I hope it will.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE
I thought the right hon. Gentleman was one of those who declare there is no religious question in connection with secondary schools. There are a large body of gentlemen who hold that view. We were told when the Welsh Secondary Education Act passed that no religious question would arise, but I cannot say how many hours after 12 o'clock I have been engaged in trying to decide the way in which the religious education question ought to be settled in connection with that Act.
§ MR. BRYCE
I do not think the noble Lord understands the view of the gentlemen to whom he refers. What they say is that hitherto there have been no religious controversies with regard to secondary education in general, and that is amply borne out by the evidence given before the Secondary Education Commission. But nobody has said that it is not possible to make a religious question if it is desired to do so.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE
I cannot honestly say that I have read the evidence, but I have read the Report of the 649 Secondary Education Commission, and it contains only an extremely brief reference to this subject, and one which I thought was inadequate. There is no insuperable difficulty in dealing with the matter. There is a Bill actually before the House which deals with this subject completely, so far as all these questions are concerned. I earnestly hope the Government will treat the matter on a more generous principle and attempt to deal with the difficulties with which it is faced. I hope when we come to consider the various clauses the Government will see their way to extend to some extent the operation of the Bill, so as to protect the interests of so many of their supporters.
§ MR. F. S. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
As far as the main principle of this Bill is concerned—the establishment of a central education authority under a responsible Minister—that is surely a reform to which no serious objection can be taken. My only regret is that it should be to a great extent impaired by the fact that a great part of the Bill is in so very indefinite and hazy a form, and I am afraid that hazy atmosphere is hardly calculated to enable this measure to be steered perfectly clear of all shoals and reefs. At the same time, if anything can he done by which to avoid the more contentious questions which the noble Lord appears desirous of introducing, so much the better for what is, after all, the initial and antecedent step to the creation of local authorities and the co-ordination of the whole system of education in this country. In connection with Clause 2, the Vice-President, in his opening remarks, differed widely from what was said in another place by the Lord President of the Council, who was under the impression that the Charity Commissioners simply took over certain administrative work from the Court of Chancery. I am glad the Vice-President has corrected that, and shown that the Charity Commission has to exercise certain judicial or quasi-judicial powers; but granting that to the full, there is no reason why certain, at all events, of them should not be transferred to a Government Department. But there is one reason which would tell very strongly against the whole of the work of the Charity Commissioners being handed over to the Education Department, and that is that, 650 in addition to the powers which may be divided into judicial or quasi-judicial on the one hand and administrative on the other, there are distinctly two kinds of administrative work which are carried out by the Commission. There is the administrative work which is akin to that of the Education Department, partly under the Endowed Schools Acts, and partly under the Charitable Trusts Acts, and there is also the administrative work which is not in any way akin to that of the Education Department, but far more akin to that of the Local Government Board; and if the Charity Commission were merged wholly and entirely in the Education Department the latter body would have foisted upon it work which would be altogether alien to the objects and ends for which that Department was constituted. The way in which the powers are to be transferred is incorporated in the Bill in a very vague and indefinite manner. The provision set forth in the second part of Clause 2 imposes upon the Charity Commissioners a very difficult and laborious task, namely, to distinguish between what is religious and what is non-religious. Here you have a difficulty which appears to me to be as great as to distinguish between what is educational and what is non-educational, because, in many cases the two are absolutely intermixed, and so closely intervoven that it is quite impossible to separate them. Under this Bill the Charity Commissioners are to do that work. Are they to proceed by scheme? Will it be necessary, in every case in which the sum of £200 is allotted in part for educational purposes and in part for non-educational, to frame a new scheme to sever the two, and to go through all the stages which by law have to be passed through in order that a scheme may pass into law and have administrative effect? If so, it will be the work of years, involving an enormous expenditure of time, and probably the results will not be very satisfactory. If there is a more expeditious mode of producing that distinction, it ought to be incorporated into this measure. Clause 2 is evidently the most contentious part of the measure, and it is very doubtful whether that severance can, indeed, be produced between what is educational and what is non-educational. At the same time, I entirely agree in principle that the educational work of the Commission ought to be carried over 651 to the Education Department. As far as the Endowed Schools Acts are concerned, there can be no doubt on the subject. At the present time there is actually no Commissioner under the Acts on the Charity Commission, so that obviously there can he no work being done under the Endowed Schools Acts, and as soon as those powers are transferred to the Education Department it will be possible for something to be done in that respect. With regard to the Consultative Committee, the object of this Bill is to establish a responsible Minister of Education, and that Minister takes the shape of a President of the Board of Education rather than that of a Secretary of State, which is perhaps rather a matter of form than of principle. As to his responsibility, there may be some very serious objections urged in regard to the position which he may occupy in respect to this Consultative Committee. We know that in the present and previous sessions the Vice-President of the Council has come down to this House and put forward the existence of the Council of Education as a cloak for proposals which he has been obliged to bring before the House, and has sheltered himself to some extent behind the authority of that Council. If the Vice-President can do that now, will it not be possible for the Minister for Education to shift his responsibility to this Consultative Committee? There will be a dual responsibility, and it is not at all clear how that dual responsibility will work out. The Committee are only to speak when they are spoken to, and only to give advice when they are asked for it. On what subjects that advice is to be asked, and to what extent it is to be treated as binding by this House and in the delarations of the Minister, is not expressed in the Bill, and is obviously open to great diversity of interpretation. Then as to the form of the Consultative Committee. There are certain groups of questions that vary from year to year, which are more likely to be of importance from an educational point of view in one year than they are a few years after. If therefore you have a stereotyped body which does not change in its constitution, it is possible that the condition of affairs may be so altered that those who have been able to give very good advice on matters affecting, say, science may not perhaps be able to give equally good 652 advice with regard to matters affecting, say, language and other questions which may come before them. Our only refuge is in the individual responsibility of the Minister of Education. Let him take his advice from the best possible quarters; let him vary the sources to which he goes; but it would be a very great mistake to have this body consisting of members who cannot be changed. It seems to me that the two portions to which I have referred are open to serious controversy, and there are points of detail which will have to be discussed at a later stage; but nevertheless I earnestly hope that the principal portion of the measure may be passed into law this session—that is, that portion which establishes a central Board of Education and a responsible Minister of Education.
§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD (Essex, Epping)
We have had three criticisms of the Bill now before the House. With regard to the one put forward that the Minister of Education would shelter himself behind the Consultative Committee, I do not think there is any more fear of that than of the Secretary for India, in matters concerning India, coming down here and saying that his Council would not agree to his ideas. As to the criticism of the constitution of the Committee, there would be very few men found to serve on it unless their position were likely to last some time.
§ MR. F. S. STEVENSON
I did not suggest that the Consultative Committee should be changed when they did not agree with the Minister. I suggested that it should not be a constant and unchanging body, because different questions might come to the front in different years, and those who spoke with authority on one question might not necessarily speak with the same authority on another question.
§ COLONEL LOCKWOOD
I regret very much the line taken by the Member for Rochester. When we come to discuss the question of local authorities it will be time enough to enter upon the question he has raised, which must be a thorny and difficult one, and one which will raise controversy. I should have hoped the noble Lord would have approached the question with a broader mind, and that it would have been possible on this occasion to get away from the religious difficulty. If this Bill passes it will be found that many of 653 the difficulties which are feared will be smoothed away, and I hope we may enter upon a course of uninterrupted smoothness, not only for secondary education, but for all education. I am deeply imbued with the belief that if we take this first step in the organisation of our education we shall have already begun a great work. But if we do not take it, not only shall we not keep abreast of other nations, but we shall lag behind. On the question of education the House is apt to leave itself too entirely in the hands of experts. Experts are all very well in their way, and they certainly have their uses. But here we have a question which interests every single man, woman, and child throughout the Empire. It seems as if we were afraid to speak of educational matters in this House. The Bill concerns individual parents, because they have a right to demand at the present time a sufficient number of schools, public as well as private, easily accessible, and not, as at present, existing in large numbers in one part of the country, and altogether absent from another. These schools ought to be at a reasonable fee, and have a course of study planned out in such a way as to make it easy for parents to understand the course of study through which their children will be put. These schools must be properly linked by curriculum to the other schools of the national system; and above all the parents have a right to demand that the schools, few or many, shall be efficient. "Sire," said the French Senator to Napoleon I., "the desire for perfection is one of the worst maladies that can afflict the human mind." We must not expect perfection, but we must not pitch the standard of expectancy too low. It concerns every class in the community, who have a right to demand that when their boys and girls grow up they shall be able not only to maintain their position in their class, but to improve on it. We must remember that in these days, when we are assuming enormous responsibilities connected with the continual increase of our territories, we have not only the duty of conquering and protecting, but the still greater duty of educating those whom we conquer and protect. And the young men whom we send out to these countries to rule and assist in ruling our dependencies should be the best educated men whom the world can produce. We must not only keep abreast with, but excel others. I believe 654 that, when other achievements of this Government are forgotten, this commencement of the organisation of a new system of secondary education will be looked upon as one of the best Acts passed by this Parliament, and will reflect credit not only on the Government, but on hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House who have helped to pass it. I believe it is possible to disassociate this measure from Party feeling. I call the Bill a wise measure and a dignified measure. It is true it deals only with the central authority, and for that reason it has been found fault with by the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire, and the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen. I put it to these hon. Gentlemen what chance we would have of passing a Bill of this description if it dealt with both the central authority and the local authorities. We have already seen this evening the possibility of opposition. If it had been brought in next year, we would have been nearer a General Election, and we would have discussed the local authorities with that warmth which I believe is the greatest enemy to education at the present time; and in trying for both we should probably have lost both. The foundation on which we have to place this very tall and heavy edifice of education must be broad based, and therefore we must establish a sound foundation first, and afterwards raise the super-structure. Another difficulty as regards the creation of local authorities now is that there is no agreement at the present time between the county burghs and the non-county burghs, and the ground for that will be well paved by this Bill. Now, first of all the Bill provides for a Minister of Education. If it did nothing more, it would be an extremely valuable measure for creating, for the first time, a Minister who is responsible for the education of the country. Then it unites the Education Department with the Science and Art Department, and it provides for the taking over of the educational side of the Charity Commissioners by Order in Council. This is a provision which seems to have excited the fears of the noble Lord the Member for Rochester, but I believe there are safeguards in the Bill which will prevent the allocation of moneys to secondary education which were meant for religious purposes. At the end of Clause 2 it is provided:That any question as to whether an endow- 655 went, or any part of an endowment, is held for, or ought to be applied to, educational purposes, shall be determined by the Charity Commission, as at the present time.Well, this allocation of the educational side of the Charity Commission will avoid waste and friction and divided counsels. I agree that the duties of the new Minister will be very heavy, but the present Vice-President is not likely to shirk them. The Bill has safeguards which I believe will ensure its successful administration. The great public schools were consulted, and have expressed their willingness, with one exception, to come under its provisions, provided that the system of university supervision to be set up is parallel and equivalent to the inspection conducted by the State. It is, therefore, necessary that the first inspectors chosen should be men of the very highest possible position, and should be equal to the very best that the universities possess. They ought to be men of wisdom, tact, experience, and kindly sympathy; and their appointment will fix the plane, but not the extent, on which the work will be undertaken. Then we have the Consultative Committee which has been so much criticised by hon. Gentlemen. This is an extremely important part of the Bill, and it is viewed as such by all the teaching profession. Some hon. Members wanted to know what would be the use of a Consultative Committee. I think it is very apparent. It will be a means of ascertaining and focussing educational opinion on many difficult matters. But its methods should be diplomatic, methods of gentle suasion, and not of coercion. It will encourage experiments, prevent stagnation, register results, and pave the way for a satisfactory way of dealing with the local authorities. Lastly, this is a dignified measure, because it deals with all schools, without distinction or disqualification, and recognises that what the public ask for is some official and intelligible certificate of efficiency. At the present time a parent has no guarantee as to whether the school he wishes to send his son to is a good school; there is no intellectual test, no sanitary test, and there is no guarantee that the teachers can teach. All these the Bill provides for now or in due course. Inspection is optional for all, and rightly so, but if the best schools accept it, and we know that they will, it will very soon be a stigma for any 656 school to remain uninspected. Further, to this Consultative Committee is entrusted the registration of teachers. Thus in time the public will possess a guarantee not only of the efficiency of the schools, but of the efficiency of the teachers. Further, this is a conciliatory measure. It paves the way to deal successfully with the creation of local authorities, and a pacific settlement of the religious difficulty. It is a Bill of potentiality in the sense used by Dr. Johnson, who, when he sold the brewing business of Mr. Thrale, said "We are not selling a parcel of tubs and vats; we are selling the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice."
§ * MR. HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
I am afraid I cannot take quite such a roseate view of the Bill as my hon. and gallant friend who has just sat down; but I can say that it is a great relief and satisfaction to those who take an active interest in education, and have been trying for many years to get legislation on the subject, that the Government have now taken up the question in earnest. It is now nearly four years since the reform of secondary education was dealt with by a Royal Commission. Most of the conclusions arrived at by the Royal Commission have been acceptable to the profession and to the majority of local authorities, and it is rather a matter of surprise that the Government have not dealt with the question seriously before now. We all remember the Bill of 1896, which I would call a hasty and false start. The Government, no doubt, dealt with some of the questions touched upon by the Royal Commission, but they mixed up with them in their Bill all the controversial topics which rage in regard to elementary education. They have shown much greater discretion in the present Bill, by proposing to begin with organisation at the top, rather than at the bottom. The first part of the Bill professes to give us a really responsible Minister of Education which the House so earnestly desires. We shall, I trust, have no longer a divided responsibility on the matter of education, but have a Minister who can grapple with the matter as a whole. It is proposed to amalgamate the several Departments, but I presume that amalgamation will not be an absolutely complete one. I imagine what is in- 657 tended is to have one Department, one Secretary, and a certain number of Sub-Departments somewhat analogous to the Board of Trade. I think the elementary education of the country can hardly be at first administered on very different lines from what it is at present. As regards secondary education, what is wanted is the careful preservation of the freedom and elasticity so often spoken about. We also desire to have some guidance and more judicious supervision of the whole field of secondary education than we have hitherto had. In order to combine these two policies I trust we shall have in charge of secondary education a man of large grasp—not a doctrinaire, not a man of the type of the ordinary schoolmaster, but a man who will be able to take a large view of the field of local administration as well as school management and school teaching. The question of the separation of secondary from technical education deserves further inquiry by the Departmental Committee to be appointed. There are many institutions where technical education is entirely covered by secondary education, but there are other schools which are purely technical, and which should be treated on different lines from secondary schools. The Agricultural Department is not mentioned in the Bill, but it has the distribution of a considerable sum of money, and the power to send inspectors to inspect certain kinds of teaching given in the schools. I hope that we shall have some assurance that part of the new policy will be to bring the educational side of the Agricultural Department more closely in contact and co-operation with the other educational departments. As to the Charity Commission, I think this Bill is wise in avoiding the difficulties raised in last year's measure. The difficulties of dealing with the problem of dividing the functions of the Charity Commissioners are very great, and I cannot take the sanguine view adopted by some hon. Members. The noble Lord the Member for Rochester apprehends great danger from the amalgamation of the Charity Commission with the Education Department. I myself believe that his alarm is unnecessary, as no Minister will go any further in converting charity endowments to educational purposes than the Charity Commission have already done. I think the way in which some charity schemes have been rejected after twelve 658 o'clock by this House, and without the Government of the day raising a hand in support of them, is something of a scandal. I believe the responsibility for all these schemes should lie with the responsible Minister at the head of the Department. These administrative schemes should be referred for inquiry to Committees, the same as Provisional Orders, and finally decided upon by this House. Under this Bill there will be transferred to the Education Department the inspection of the schools now vested in the Charity Commission, and therefore we shall do away with the absurdity of a double inspection, which is a great waste of time and public money. I confess I would like to ask a few questions on the subject of inspection. The intentions of the Government do not seem to me quite clear. I do not think they have made up their minds as to whether inspection should be central inspection, or local inspection, or central inspection paid for by the local authorities. The Government evidently propose to employ the university bodies for the purposes of inspection. But why should the universities have a monopoly of this kind? Such a body as the City of London Guild and some of the county councils could provide men who would be very useful and suitable as inspectors. I consider the proposed appointment of a Consultative Committee is eminently wise, both for the schools and for the teachers, and it will probably work well. Surely we need not be alarmed about advising. Departmental Committees are appointed every day to advise Ministers, and the Minister can take the advice offered him or not, as he thinks fit. A great deal has been said about the omission of the difficult problem of local authorities. I wish to warn the Vice-President that mere delay will not solve this question. On the contrary, the difficulties will increase. For instance, we have seen quite recently in London a new difficulty cropping up owing to the greater zeal and activity of the London School Board. Therefore the question will have to be grappled with sooner or later. I agree that it cannot be grappled with in this Bill, but sooner or later we must face this question, and necessarily cut this Gordian knot by enactments made by this House. If we are to have legislation on this subject, we must, as far as possible, observe two conditions. We must banish the jealousies 659 of the different local authorities and have regard only to the interests of education, awl we must, as far as possible, avoid unnecessary denominational controversy. It was pointed out before the Royal Commission that this controversy did not exist to any large extent in the case of secondary schools, and I would refer to Dr. Temple's evidence on the subject. I do not say that this difficulty is wholly non-existent, but do not let us do anything to exaggerate it or to anticipate the evils which may arise. I wish to support this Bill most heartily on the understanding that next session we shall have some further measure on the more difficult parts of this controversial question. I understand that the date put into this Bill does not in any way pledge the Government not to introduce legislation in the early part of next session, and if they can only follow up this measure by a measure dealing with local authorities also then the reorganisation of secondary education may be one of the most important and beneficial portions of Unionist legislation.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
I desire to thank the Government and the Vice-President of the Council, on behalf of the Chambers of Commerce and commercial classes, for the introduction of this Bill. Some differences of opinion have arisen upon its introduction, and the speeches in which they were raised have been brief and to the point. Some of us feel great confidence in the work of the right hon. Gentleman, and thank him for what is done in the cause of education. What struck me especially in the speech of the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen was that if his advice had been taken and his views adopted the matter would have been full of controversial points, and we should not have had any Bill at all. I consider education the greatest and most urgent of all our problems, and we are behind the world in this matter. Only a century ago a great statesman in Germany said it was imperative that they should make up intellectually the loss which they had sustained materially. I think that should be a stimulus to us to do all we can for this great national object. We have already done a good deal, and we have paid a good deal for elementary education, but in secondary education we have not done very much in the way of organisation and co-ordination. We had, 660 until this Bill was introduced, no Minister of Education, no public inspection, no public consultative board, no royalties given except by the Science and Art Department, and few public moneys to support secondary schools, though some work has been done by municipal bodies, yet secondary education is of the most vital importance, as it is the only way to technical education and on to commercial education.
Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present; House counted, and, forty Members being found present.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
I admit that a great deal has been done in recent years for technical education, and when I hear criticisms passed upon the municipal authorities as to the way the work has been conducted, the wonder is that with such a small amount of money so much could be done, because the money was thrown to the authorities, and they were left to the task of distilling wisdom from whisky and genius from gin if they could. So much has not been done as ought to have been in the case of commercial education, and the work seems to be incomplete which gives so much to obtain a knowledge of production and which neglects that which tends to distribution. The neglect of foreign languages in a large measure contributes to the serious growth of commercial competition to which our country is subjected and there is a tremendous amount of money which could be appropriated to that purpose, and would be better appropriated than it is at present. The great success which has attended German trade since 18[...]3 has been attributed by many people to the support which has been given to technical and secondary education in Germany, but that is not the view of others. The thing which I desire to advocate to-night is that this Bill will place our secondary and general education in its proper position, and that is the only royal road to technical and secondary education. If we wish to follow the example set us by other countries, this is the only way it can be done. As to the Bill itself, I think, although the Bill will never do much, it will do something towards removing the difficulties in the path of progress, and that is urgently required. The authorities would derive 661 great advantage from central direction and control, and I think it was a wise and prudent course to introduce that in this Bill. One criticism on the Bill to-night has been as to the constitution of the new Board. What we require is a Minister of Education, and provided the Bill gives a Minister responsible to Parliament for the greatest of all subjects for administration in this country, we shall be content. May I just make one remark on Clause 3. When the Bill was in another place it stated that "the Board of Education may by its office or any university or other organisation inspect schools." As the Bill comes up to us the words "or other" are struck out. Now, although the university, no doubt, will do excellent work in this direction, I must point out that the words are not that the university must inspect the schools, but that they should be inspected through the university's organisations, which may be composed of members of the university or persons selected from elsewhere. Those persons selected would be educational experts, and I am bound to re-echo what was said by another speaker, that educational experts do not get all the respect that is claimed for them. I think they are responsible for the present condition of things in this country, and therefore I am not in favour of putting this work upon them. I think it is most undesirable that they should inspect the schools. The single point I desire to draw attention to is that I trust there will be no attempt whatever to divert the work the local authorities have been doing in regard to inspection, and placing it in other hands. Now that the municipal authorities have shown their ability in the inspection of technical education, to divert this power would be a great mistake The university, for instance, would hardly be the authority to inspect polytechnic and other industrial institutions. When we remember that the City Guilds, the College of Preceptors, and the London and other Chambers of Commerce have been strenuously, and at considerable outlay of funds, promoting the extension of commercial education—to take all that away and place it in the hands of the universities would be a very serious mistake. In Clause 3 there is the continuance of a practice against which I must enter my [...]ery strong protest, that is, that money 662 payable to county boroughs may be devoted to the cost of inspection. It is a serious mistake to divide boroughs by a population line, which is arbitrary, instead of by a line which is discriminating, and without any consideration whether they have been doing good educational work or not. That is a great impediment to the progress of education in this country, and I hope that at no distant date some new arrangement, which will reduce the present friction between non-county boroughs and county boroughs, and which will give the former the proper recognition which is due to the work that they have actually done for education, will be adopted, instead of one which I believe to be seriously prejudicial to educational progress. I think the Bill as a whole will accomplish a great object, and I trust it will command, as it deserves, the support of the House.
§ * SIR F. S. POWELL
I feel that no friend of education would be doing his duty if he did not thank the Government in the warmest terms for the introduction of this Bill. We have [...] many years for this measure, and I should feel the greatest regret if through any friction or any undue desire to extend its scope the passage of the Bill were to be for a moment in jeopardy. The Government have acted wisely in confining the measure to the setting up of a central authority. The opinion in the country on that point is entirely unanimous, but when you come to deal with the local authorities disagreement begins. This measure is in accordance with precedent. In 1871 the Local Government Board was established and took over the administration of the health laws which had been carried out partly by the old Poor Law Board, partly by the Privy Council, and partly by other authorities. From the time that central authority was established most wholesome reforms have been carried out in the whole province of our sanitary and Poor Law administration. Subsequently the Board of Agriculture was established, and while before there had been confusion, embarrassment, conflict, and absence of progress, there has since been advance, and everyone interested in agriculture is grateful for the establishment of the Board. There has also been the same progress and absence of friction in every department of its work since the estab- 663 lishment of the Secretariat for Scotland. When the Minister of Education is once in his place and has the opportunity of examining the whole educational field many of the difficulties and embarrassments which now afflict us will disappear, and there will be the same progress in education that there has been in other departments of administration. Allusion has been made to Manchester in reference to overlapping which takes place. In Manchester the School Board, the authority which deals with technical education, and the Victoria University are all working together, and there is a complete ladder from the humblest elementary school to the Victoria University itself; and a similar result may be achieved in other towns if like energy and wisdom is displayed. The recommendation to have an Education Minister is not made now for the first time, but has been made by successive Commissions and Committees, the last of which was the Committee of last year, which dealt with museums at South Kensington and elsewhere. Reference has been made to the Charity Commission. I have the greatest regard for the work done by that body, and have no hesitation in speaking of it in the warmest terms of commendation. In many cases that work is of a judicial character, but such work is subject to review by the courts of law. No doubt hardship is inflicted upon some schools by the operation of the Charity Commission, but that operation is not voluntary, it is forced upon them by the Statute, and I should rejoice to see some modification of the Act of 1869. The law in this respect should be the same in England as it is in Scotland. At the same time I believe the Commissioners have done right and have acted in accordance with law; and if Parliament has rejected the schemes presented by the Commissioners the only result has been that those schools have remained entirely unreformed, all the evils have continued, and in many cases a great wrong has been inflicted upon the community. There is much ground for separating the charity work of the Commission from the educational work. Education is a subject which requires greater flexibility than mere charitable endowments. There is a growth in education, a rising of new wants and a continual development, which cannot attach to the ordinary charity where you are dealing with blankets or food. I 664 admit there would be great difficulties in such a division of functions, and one of the many which must arise would be with regard to the sale and purchase of land. About such a point it would be impossible to decide without very careful and full consideration. Registration of teachers is also not a new subject, as it was the recommendation of a Committee some years ago. No one ought to be entrusted with the education of youth in secondary schools, any more than in elementary schools, who has not undergone and has had the advantage of a technical training. Mr. Acland was strongly of opinion that no one ought to be a teacher in an endowed school who was not so qualified, and I think there is great justice in that view. There has been some confusion between inspection and examination. Inspection, as defined in this Bill, is one thing, and examination is another. The Charity Commissioners have lately introduced into many schemes a clause by virtue of which the school is compelled to submit to examination. That means a careful examination of each individual student by such an authority as the Oxford and Cambridge Examining Board. But the inspection mentioned in this Bill is of quite a different character. It relates to the character of the teaching, the safety of the buildings as regards health, and the qualifications of the teaching staff; and such an inspection ought to be made of every school. No group of gentlemen can have a heavier responsibility than that for the health of 200 or 300 boys who are entrusted to their charge; and great advantage would accrue from the Government pointing out any defects in the arrangements of the school by which the health of the scholars was affected. As to the Consultative Committee, the only difference between it and the Council recommended by the Secondary Education Commissioners is that the latter mentions a term of office. It would be a wise amendment of the Bill to lay it down that no one should hold office on the committee for more than a certain number of years, there being power to reappoint where desirable. Five years is a very convenient period, as it gives the officer an opportunity to learn his work and to give the benefit of his experience to the school. It is clear that the Government is not bound to act on the recommendation of the Committee, whose function is rather to convey information than to direct. The idea 665 is really that recommended by the Museums Committee last year. It is a wise policy that the Consultative Committee should consist partly of educationalists and partly of those who are not strictly educationalists. In all these matters there ought to be an intimate connection between the purely educational expert and the man of the world. The former is too apt to live by himself in his own library, and it is desirable that he should have the assistance of men moving in society who know the wants of the community and the needs of the population. I sincerely trust that this Bill will become law this session, as we have already delayed too long. It is miserable to read reports of education in other countries and to find how far behind we are. Let us take this step in advance, and constitute a powerful and experienced central authority. I believe that then all other difficulties will fade away, and that the common desire to advance education will prevail, become dominant, and overrule all obstacles, and that we shall have in the course of a year or two a system of education in this country of which every Englishman and every Welshman will be proud.
§ MR. C. P. SCOTT (Lancashire, Leigh)
I hope the Vice-President will give us a little more light upon the constitution of this new Board. This is the central point of the Bill, and yet it is the point upon which the Vice-President has given us the least information. He has told us nothing of the reasons why we should have a board rather than a different organisation, and certainly the reason given in another place was not a very convincing one. We do not want any more sham boards. We have suffered quite sufficiently by one phantom Board without establishing another. We have heard again and again of the Committee of Council for Education, which is brought out when some screen is required behind which the Vice-President can take refuge for the responsibility which is not, but which ought to be, his own. This Bill is demanded because at present there are at least three bodies doing parts of the work which would be better done by one authority. It is also required because the Education Department itself is not properly organised. There are, indeed, two Education Ministers, but we do not know 666 which has authority and which has not. The one is the working head of the Department, apparently without power, the other has power but does not work the Department. The one has knowledge and no responsibility; the other has responsibility and no knowledge. It is not a satisfactory state of things to have a Department spending £10,000,000 a year, and having charge of the greatest functions of Government, and not to know who we are to regard as the chief of this great engine of State. What arrangements is this Bill going, to make? There is to be a President and also a Parliamentary Secretary; and there is be besides, this phantom Board. Is this Board to be absolutely a phantom or is it not? Is it to do nothing whatever or is to do something? If it is to do something, what is it to do? There are other phantom Boards already in existence. There is the Board of Agriculture, the Board of Trade, and the Local Government Board. None of these Boards ever meet, and they are practically of no use whatever. The Committee of Council for Education does meet sometimes, and on more than one occasion it has been consulted, and, presumably, the Committee has counted for something in the consultation. As the Bill provides that the Board of Education shall take a place in educational government, presumably the powers of the Committee of the Privy Council will be transferred to the new Board, and it is conceivable, therefore, that this Board will meet and discharge certain important functions on critical occasions. It will not meet often, but it will meet sometimes, and on the occasions it does meet it will count for something. I think we ought to know whether that will be the case, or whether the Board will be absolutely of no use whatever, and is to be simply a sham. Then, I think we ought to know what is to be the position of the President of the new Board. At present the Lord President of the Council is the President of the Committee of Council for Education. He is a great officer of the State, holding a very dignified position, and he invariably is a Peer, and therefore cannot sit in this House. That does not matter when, as happened when the last Government was in power, the Vice-President of the Council is the real head of the Department, and the President is nothing at all. But what exists at the 667 present day is not so satisfactory, and I wish to know whether the President of the new Board is to sit in this House invariably or whether he is to sit in the other House. The Bill expressly provides that the Lord President of the Council may be the President of the Board. In that case he must be a Peer by rule or practice, and he cannot sit in the House of Commons, and therefore we shall have here only an Under Secretary. That would not be a satisfactory arrangement, and the existing arrangement is more satisfactory, because we have a working head in this House, and the only fault we have to find is that he has not the power and responsibility which he ought to have. The Lord President of the Council, who may be President of the new Board, has, apart from this Bill, important educational functions to perform, such as the granting of charters to new universities, and there will be a certain temptation to put into the hands of the Lord President all of our educational functions, so that the whole educational work of the country may be concentrated in one man. We shall strongly object to the House of Commons being deprived of the control it now has. I hope the Vice-President will relieve our anxieties on that subject. As regards the registration of teachers, the Vice-President appears to imply that the register is to be exclusively for secondary teachers.
§ MR. C. P. SCOTT
I hope that is not true, and that the register, will include elementary teachers as well. There seems to be no reason why we should not have different classes in the register. It seems to be a matter of vital importance that the whole of the education staff of the country shall, as far as possible, be brought under registration, and I am glad that the Vice-President has now indicated that that is likely to be the case.
§ * MR. EVELYN CECIL (Herts, Hertford)
I rise to give the Bill my general support, and I am all the more glad to do so because I think it is certainly the b[...]ginning of a solution of numerous problems connected with this very important subject, which have been waiting for a solution too long. I trust that in setting the ball rolling, both in regard to the question of overlapping 668 in various districts by various authorities, and in regard to the registration of teachers and the institution of a Consultative Committee, the Bill will be beginning a very useful work, and as such I shall heartily support the Second Reading. But I do regret a little, notwithstanding the reason that has been given, that its date of commencement is put off until 1st April 1900. It is important that a supplementary measure should follow this Bill, and though I have no doubt that the Government in no sense adopted 1st April because of its tricky and delusive associations, I trust that the reputation of 1st April in this respect will be belied, and that next session will see the introduction of a supplementary measure. The portion of the Bill as to which I have the greatest doubt is the clause dealing with with Charity Commissioners. My hon. friend the Member for Thirsk, though he expressly said that he was not speaking as a Charity Commissioner, was as exceedingly ready to abrogate and give up the functions of the Charity Commission as regards matters which are to be referred to the Committee, and I think it is a pity that the Charity Commission should be dealt with in that way. Of course it would be possible that the Charity Commission should be dealt with wholesale and transferred to the new Board of Education, but, on the other hand, I am very well satisfied as a whole with what the Charity Commission has done. It is at present decidedly an impartial body, and its decisions in general, not merely as regards England, but under the Welsh Intermediate Education Act, have been very widely received with satisfaction. If, on the other hand, you are going to transfer these powers to the new Board of Education, you are running the risk, no matter which Government may be in power, of handing over those powers to an authority which has some Party bias. Under these circumstances, I repeat that I have a doubt whether it is altogether desirable to transfer the powers of the Charity Commission. But there is another omission in this Bill on which I should like to touch, and that is the entire absence in the Bill of any definition or indication of what is to be treated as primary education and what is to be treated as secondary. This is one of the fundamental questions which has to be decided, and without which we cannot properly deal with the secondary educa- 669 tion problem, and I think it would be much more satisfactory if this new Board of Education had some indication of the principles upon which it was to go in treating primary and secondary education. The policy of administration so far as regards this Board is a leap in the dark, and it is impossible to say in what direction the Committee might, under the present proposal, think it its duty to work. Everybody, I think, admits that the transition between primary and secondary education ought to be made easy; but at the same time the fact that there is a transition ought not to be lost sight of. All of us will no doubt agree that the secret of good secondary education is a good foundation of primary education, but that is no reason to my mind for cramming secondary education into primary schools, to the detriment of both. It is in that respect that I should like this new Board of Education to exercise a very careful supervision. For myself, it seems to me that the connection between primary and secondary education ought to be the Board of Education. That should be the connecting link between the primary and secondary local authorities. I cannot help feeling strongly that the whole of the two sets of education are essentially distinct. The methods of the two are distinct, and the inspectors who inspect the two separate schools ought, in my opinion, to be distinct. The subjects which are taught are essentially distinct. There is, as one speaker pointed out, more elasticity to be practised in secondary educational subjects than in primary, and, both for the benefit of primary education and secondary education, I should much prefer to see two sets of authorities established locally to deal in the first place with primary education and in the second with secondary education, and the connecting link between these local sets of authorities the new Board of Education. There is another question which I should like to see more specifically dealt with in this Bill, or referred to in the speech of my right hon. friend who introduced it, and that is the question whether secondary education ought to be entirely free. It is a question which very materially concerns the administration of this new Board, and until it is more or less settled I think we shall be groping about in the dark with reference to the management of our 670 secondary schools. I do not know what precisely is likely to be the policy of the new Board, but one has to remember that this question of free administration of secondary education is every day becoming more and more pressing. According to one very competent authority engaged very directly with London evening continuation schools, some 90 per cent. of the attendances are merely for pleasure. They are for the purpose of attending magic lantern entertainments or something of that kind, and the attendances drop off as soon as the humour takes the scholar. Ten shillings in the pound, I am informed, is really wasted, and I am also inclined to think with regard to these evening schools that there are far too many subjects taught. There is the danger of turning our people, who have dabbled in a number of subjects and are not very competent in any one of them, into jacks of all trades and not masters of any. That is not a very satisfactory result, but it is a result which can largely be avoided by supervision. Scholarships are, to my mind, the secret of the solution of many problems connected with secondary education. By them there is every means of finding out boys or girls with a genius for any particular subject and enabling them to pursue that particular subject for which they have a genius, and to pursue it free. This is a most estimable and desirable aim for every educational enthusiast, and I should have welcomed any scheme of that kind, a scheme such as is largely set up by the Technical Education Board in London, if it could be spread more widely throughout the country through the means of the supervision of the new Board. The object of scholarships, no doubt, is to find the right man for the right place. But my doubt is whether there are always right places enough to put the right men in. We must do our best to make sure that so far as we can there shall be. If the new Board can work out these problems I think it would do a great good to the community; but at the same time I do not believe that we can work them out unless we very rapidly proceed with a further Bill to establish local authorities. Should the result of this Debate be to ensure that the Government will bring in such a Bill next year its value will be considerable, and for my part I shall all the more heartily sup- 671 port the Second Reading of the present Bill.
§ * LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
I think that we shall all agree that this Debate has been a very interesting one. A great number of important points have been raised during the discussion, and probably other points will be raised as the discussion proceeds. But I find that we are placed in rather a peculiar position in regard to many of these points, and I think that the feeling and desire of the House is that the Vice-President of the Council should be in a position to give some reply in the course of this Debate. But owing to the rules and practice of this House the Vice-President has no right to reply, and will not he able to again address the House. That, I think, is extremely inconvenient, because, as I have said, a very great number of points have been raised which certainly require elucidation and reply. I therefore propose to conclude the observations which I shall with the permission of the House make by proposing a motion, for purely formal reasons, that this Bill be read this day six months, This will necessitate a further question being put from the Chair, and give the Vice-President the opportunity of replying which I have no doubt he desires. Before I touch upon the points raised I would ask the permission of the Vice-President to offer him my humble congratulations upon being the Minister to put forward a proposal to terminate a controversy which has been carried on for a great number of years—namely, as to whether there is to be or not in this country one Minister—a Minister of Education—responsible for the whole education of the people. I can recollect this question being raised over and over again in this House, especially by one, I think, this House will always bear in honour—I mean Lord Play fair, who was for many years a Member. It has been very truly asked why we are to have a Board of Education instead of a Minister of Education. My hon. friend the Member for Leigh (Mr. Scott) has pointed out with, I think, unanswerable force many objections to inventing another Board. My opinion in regard to these Boards is very much the feeling of Oliver Twist in regard to the Bench. We know perfectly well that there is no such thing as a Board any more than there was such a thing 672 thing as a Bench in his case. We are told that if it is our good fortune to be summoned before the Board, we will find behind it the Lord President, the First Commissioner of Her Majesty's Treasury, the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and we may also find the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chancellor, but we know perfectly well not one of them will be there. My right hon. friend the Member for South Aberdeen criticised the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Council for having attempted to minimise the importance of the Bill, and for having adopted a rather depressed and lugubrious tone in addressing the House. But by Sub-section 2 of Clause 1 and the next sub-section the Vice-President conies forward to abolish his own office, and therefore it is not to be expected the Vice-President should glory too much in being the last of the Vice-Presidents. I think I may venture to pay him a tribute of respect; and that, so far as we are concerned on this side of the House, we shall not look back with regret to many of the utterances of the last Vice-President of the Council, and if he had adopted a more solemn tone in regard to it we should not be inclined to criticise it. I wish to put in a caveat to what fell from my hon. friend the Member for Leigh, who assumed that the Lord President must be a member of the other House. The Lord President can be, and has been a Member of this House, and it is a right that we should not allow to pass away from us. Lord John Russell held the office of President of the Council when he sat in this House. Passing from that aspect of the question, I would ask the Vice-President of the Council when he replies to try and give us some little assistance as to what the distribution of the work is to be between the Education Department and the Charity Commission. I am not disposed to attack the Vice-President himself on the vagueness of the drafting of this clause. That is the great fault of all Parliamentary Bill drafting. But I would ask any hon. Member of this House to imagine a court of law having to construe such words as, "The Order may transfer or make exercisable by the Board of Education any of the powers of the Charity Commissioners in matters appearing to Her Majesty to relate to education, and the Order may make such provision as appears necessary for applying 673 to the exercise of those powers by the Board of Education the enactments relating to the Charity Commissioners." Why, there are forty or fifty Acts of Parliament dealing with these questions, and it seems to me that the clause opens up an indefinite vista of litigation. And for this reason: Supposing an Order is made by the Education Office in regard to a charity, partly educational and partly eleemosynary, and that that Order is sent to parties in the local district affected by that Order, naturally the first step they would take would be to dispute the jurisdiction of the Education Department, and it would require a decision of a court of law to settle the point. As to the question of inspection, although it may be a desirable thing to keep the inspection of secondary schools in the hands of the Education Office, and of university bodies, county council and other committees ought not, even by implication, to be deprived of those powers which they have exercised with such excellent results to schools to which they have given pecuniary grants. I would advise the right hon. Gentleman to introduce words into the clause to safeguard the interests of the county councils who have voted money to these institutions. This brings me to a point as to which a great Variety of opinion has been expressed, in regard to the action of the Education Office in connection with Clause 7. I am inclined to think that the action of the Vice-President has worked for good, but we should reserve our right to ask whether the Education Office has exceeded its legal right. I think the County Council Education Committees have done good work. These County Committees are, after all, the representatives of the people, and where they have co-opted members from the outside, these are the very persons who would under a representative system be elected on these committees, such as the leading members of the school boards. I certainly hope that the large school boards of the country will in the future take their position on these committees as a matter of right. I would also ask the special attention of the right hon. Gentleman to a point raised by more than one speaker as to inspection. I know there are a great number of gentlemen connected with education who do not realise that inspection and examination are not the same thing. But I am not pleading for the 674 restoration here of the exact words struck out in another place, because if diocesan associations attain the right by law of inspecting and examining schools, or even inspecting without examining, we should at once get into a sphere of jealousy which it has been the feeling of this House if possible to avoid. One discordant note I observed with regret fell from the noble Lord the Member for Rochester. I earnestly hope that when we get into Committee we shall be animated by but one desire—to keep out of this Education Bill those difficult and thorny religious questions which have so obstructed and interfered with the progress of education. Let there be a truce at least for one year on that point, and let us pass this measure into law. If we do not do that, I am bound to say that at this late period of the session the chances of the Bill becoming an Act will be greatly interfered with. I believe it will be nothing short of a public disaster and a public scandal if we allow any considerations of that sort to stand in the way, and if we do not unite in a work which I believe will be an honour to this session. I beg to move that the Bill be read a second time this day three months.
To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day three months'"—(Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."
§ * THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
The noble Lord ended his speech with an eloquent appeal to pass the Bill, and expressed his earnest desire that this session should not pass without this measure being carried into law. I am afraid the Amendment of the noble Lord is hardly calculated to carry out the end he has in view.
§ * LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
I only moved the Amendment as a matter of form, in order to give the Vice President the opportunity of replying.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
If the reply of my right hon. friend to the various points raised were to be regarded as concluding the Debate, there might be no 675 objection to such a course. But, as my noble friend is perfectly well aware, such a reply might give rise, under certain circumstances, to a new Debate. Am I wrong in saying that most of the points raised by my noble friend, and by other speakers, can be more properly dealt with in Committee than at this stage? Every speaker, on both sides of the House, including the noble Lord, has blessed the Bill, and expressed a desire that the Second Reading should be carried without a Division, and agreed to as soon as may be. Under these circumstances may I venture to suggest that the House should now read the Bill a second time, and reserve to the Committee stage the reply upon the details which my right hon. friend is perfectly ready to give when that time comes. We would then be spared at present a further Debate which might in its turn lead to further discussion.
§ SIR H. H. FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
It is unfortunate that the right hon. Gentleman was not in the House when my noble friend began his speech. I wish to be perfectly frank with the First Lord of the Treasury. There is a feeling prevailing on both sides of the House that in a Debate of this importance the House is entitled to have some answer from the Vice-President of the Council to the variety of questions which have been raised before the Bill is read a second time. Moving that the Bill be read a second time this day three months is a course which is constantly adopted in order to give an opportunity to the Minister in charge of making explanations. We on this side of the House do not wish to prolong the Debate, and we do wish that the Bill shall be read a second time before 12 o'clock. At the same time we think that at half-past ten the time has arrived when it is due to the House that the Minister in charge of the Bill should, at all events, give sonic opinion on the variety of questions raised during the Debate. That is all we ask for; there is no intention of delaying the Second Reading. If that be done I will undertake that the motion of my noble friend will be immediately withdrawn.
§ SIR GORST
Upon that understanding I will try to answer the questions that have been put. I should like to premise, 676 however, that most of the questions are questions of detail, which ought to be dealt with in Committee, and many of them are questions which it would be impossible, until the Bill has come before the Committee, for even a Minister of Education to answer. In the first place, I have been asked the reason for establishing a Board of Education. As my noble friend the President of the Council has given his reasons in another place, it is rather hard for me to be asked to explain the matter. But inasmuch as there is a Board of Trade, a Local Government Board, and a Board of Agriculture, it was thought that it would be in accordance with the general desire of the House that there should be a Board of Education. I do not know that it makes a great deal of difference, but a Board will be set up with a President and a Parliamentary Secretary, instead of a Secretary of State and an Under Secretary. A great deal has been said about sham boards and paper boards, but they are potential. It is quite true that they do not often meet, but that is because the Minister in charge is in contact with his colleagues, understands the feelings of his colleagues, and has their confidence. Certainly the Committee of Council for Education has met, and I have the authority of my noble friend the Secretary of State for India, who held the office which I now hold, for saying that the Committee of Council for Education had on one occasion been called together, and had actually met and transacted business. I have been asked by the hon. Member for the Leigh Division of Lancashire who the new Minister is to be. It is rather hard to ask me such a question, seeing that the House has not yet passed the Bill, and that I am not Prime Minister.
§ MR. C. P. SCOTT
The right hon. Gentleman misunderstands what I said. I wanted to know what position the new President would occupy; whether he was to be a Member of this House or would sit in another place.
§ SIR J. GORST
That depends upon the advice to be given by the Prime. Minister to Her Majesty, and I cannot foresee whether he will advise Her Majesty to appoint a Member of this House or the other House. I have been lectured for not having shown a proper sense of the great importance of this Bill; but I 677 would refer the right hon. Gentleman who made the criticism to a speech which he himself delivered a fortnight ago at Cambridge, in which he said that the Bill was a slender and meagre measure as regards the central authority, and an entire evasion of the most important questions connected with education. Then the right hon. Gentleman asked some questions about the transfer of the powers of the Charity Commissioners. I think the right hon. Gentleman's speech to-night, and other speeches which have been made in this House, show how extremely difficult it would be to transfer those powers which are now in the hands of the Charity Commissioners to the new Board of Education. I will tell the House how it is proposed to effect this extremely difficult operation. What are the proposals of tile Bill itself? It proposes that these powers are to be transferred from time to time, and the idea of the framers of the Bill is to undertake that extremely difficult task very gradually. They will begin by transferring to the Charity Commissioners sonic of the powers which are most easily transferred, and which it is quite obvious that the new Board of Education might more conveniently exercise, such as the power of inspection. Such a power as that might be conveniently exercised by the new Board of Education. I desire it to be understood that it is intended to proceed, from time to time, tentatively. It I were at the present stage to attempt to tell the House how these different alterations were to be carried through, or to even attempt to explain some of the difficulties and some of the modes by which they might be surmounted, I am sure I should give rise to a Debate in this House which would cause a grave waste of legislative time. I have been asked questions with regard to the inspection, and I might point out that the provision alluded to was introduced in another place by Earl Spencer, and therefore I do not know why the noble Lord the Member for Cricklade should find fault with that Amendment.
§ * LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE
I did not find fault with the Amendment. On the contrary, I approved of it, and what I said was that it would be better if certain other words were substituted.
§ SIR J. GORST
I am glad to hear that that is the view of the noble Lord oppo- 678 site. It is most important that we should employ the inspectors of county councils and bodies of that kind as well as inspectors of universities. I might point out that the people who struck those words out think we have gone too far, and some other words should be substituted. When we get into Committee on this measure I shall be glad to consider any Amendment proposed by the noble Lord opposite in order to carry out the views which he has expressed. The hon. member opposite has asked questions about the teachers' registration, but hon. members must recollect that the teachers referred to are practically registered already, and are qualified to act as teachers of higher education. This, however, is a matter which the Sub-committee will deal with when it is appointed, and it would hardly do for me, before the Sub-committee is appointed, to tie them down by any declaration stating exactly what sort of a register they will have, and what conditions they will attach to it. In the Bill as it stands this matter is purposely left at large so as to give the Sub-committee the greatest possible amount of discretion, and it would not do for me to curtail that discretion by any pledge on the part of the Government at the present moment. A general complaint has been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen as to the vagueness of this Bill, but that vagueness really consists in leaving a considerable amount of discretion to the Board of Education and the Consultative Committee. I really do not see how that vagueness, as the right hon. Gentleman calls it, could have been avoided, unless the Government attempted to put into the Bill a cut-and-dried scheme. Again I say that if a scheme of that kind were to be inserted in the Bill it would give rise to an amount of discussion—for there are so many difficulties connected with the matter—which would certainly make it impossible to pass this measure through the House this session. It is quite true that this Bill gives a large amount of discretion to the Board of Education, but the House will still have a hold over the question, for it will have to be done under the supervision of this House, and every Order will be laid before this House. If the House should happen to disagree with the amount of discretion given to the Board of Education as administered by 679 that body, it has the remedy in its own hands.
§ Amendment, by leave withdrawn.
§ Main Question put and agreed to; Bill read a second time.
Motion made and Question proposed:—
That the Bill be committed to the Standing Committee on Law, etc.'—(Sir John Gorst.)
§ MR. BRYCE
I think that this is certainly a Bill which ought to be dealt with in Committee of the whole House, for it is a measure which is not of a highly technical character. I am not aware that any Bill of this kind which concerns so many interests as this measure involves has ever before been referred to a Grand Committee. This measure deals with a great many different interests which cannot be well represented on such a Committee as the Standing Committee on Law.
§ SIR J. GORST
I am very much astonished at the opposition of the right hon. Gentleman, for in his own speech he admitted that this was not a Party question, and stated that he did not wish to oppose the Bill. He also said that he agreed with the principle of the Bill, and in the speeches which have been made tonight not a single hon. Member has got up and objected to the principle of the Bill. Even the noble lord the Member for Rochester did not object to the principle of the measure, although he desires to see a provision to guard certain interests which he represents put into the Bill, and he announced that if there was a Division he should vote in favour of the Second Reading of the Bill. I am, therefore, most astonished to hear the right hon. Gentleman say that this is not a technical Bill. Why, the measure bristles with technicalities, and I think everybody agrees that a Bill which is so very highly technical is in every way suited for reference to this Committee. I think if ever there was a Bill suitable for the consideration of the Standing Committee on Law it is this measure.
§ * MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
Since this Debate began we have had 680 from the noble Lord the Member for Rochester and the hon. Member for Hertford some very ominous pronouncements. They agree with the principle of the Bill, but they declare their intention of putting in some very important Amendments. I think their views are not likely to be shared by a majority of the House, but may be by a majority of members of the Grand Committee, and therefore I think this Bill ought to be sent to a Committee representative of the whole House. There is also a further question of grave importance involved, and that is the selection of the President of the Board. I think it ought to be made absolutely sure in the terms of this Bill that this House should possess the President, and therefore I think this question should be considered in Committee of the whole House.
§ * SIR JOHN LUBBOCK (London University)
The hon Member who has just sat down has given as his first reason against referring this measure to a Grand Committee the fact that the noble Lord the Member for Rochester and the hon. Member for Hertford have declared that they will have to move important Amendments of a contentious character. The hon. Member, however, knows that the Government are most anxious to pass this Bill, and they would therefore doubtless object to the introduction of any Amendments which would have the effect of rendering it impossible to pass this Bill this session. Surely, therefore, the hon. Member may entirely relieve his mind from any fear on that score, as the Government would naturally object to the introduction of foreign matter likely to endanger the passing of the Bill. As the whole House appears to wish that the Bill should pass, I think the course which the Government propose is the one most likely to be successful. Under the circumstances, I hope my right hon. friend the Member for South Aberdeen will not press his Motion.
§ VISCOUNT CRANBORNE
There seems to be an impression that we shall gain a certain advantage by referring this matter to a Grand Committee, but personally it does not affect me. A great many people do not know what is intended to be done after this Bill is passed, and whether this measure is to be looked upon as the last word of the Government upon 681 the subject of secondary education, or whether there is going to be something to succeed it. I think it would be more satisfactory if we can have some assurance from the Government that it is intended that this measure shall be supplemented at a later period by another Bill. For my part, I shall not oppose the sending of this measure to a Grand Committee, but I do think it would be a great mitigation to the feeling of many gentlemen interested in this subject if they could be assured that there was a very definite intention on the part of Her Majesty's Government not to deal with this question in a slipshod fashion, but to really do something with the view of placing secondary education on a proper footing.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I do not quite know what the noble Lord means by stating that he hopes we do not intend to deal with this matter in a slipshod fashion. If he means that this Bill is not to be taken as a complete settlement of the secondary education question, I quite agree with him. This is only to be taken as an instalment of some further Bill which will place secondary education on a more satisfactory basis. I think the right hon. Gentleman opposite, the Member for South Aberdeen, was rather hasty in pressing upon the House his objection to this motion, because this measure is essentially one which ought to be sent to a Grand Committee. I think it is precisely the particular kind of Bill which would be most properly and satisfactorily dealt with by a Grand Committee. I could quite understand, if the Grand Committee was the only further opportunity which hon. Members would have of discussing the details of the measure, that they, might regard its relegation to that Committee with some jealousy and doubt; but if any hon. Gentleman will look at the measure closely he will see that there are certain provisions which the House of Lords were not able to introduce, and which remain, therefore, to be introduced in Committee. If, therefore, the discussion in the Grand Committee is not satisfactory, hon. Members will have full opportunity of revising the decision of that Committee when it conies down to this House for discussion on the Report stage. Therefore I hope the House will not carry out the view suggested by my right hon. friend, but that in the interests of secondary education they will send this measure in the first place to 682 a Grand Committee, and then on the Report stage take it into full consideration in the presence of the Members of the whole House. If it were worth while to bring forward precedents for the course we suggest, it would be easy to do so, but I do not care to deal with that question now, because I think that the general sense and feeling of the House is that no Bill was ever more fitted to be dealt with by the Grand Committee than this measure is.
§ * MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
If I thought that the view taken by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the London University was correct, and if I thought that the religious question raised by the noble Lord the Member for Rochester would be effectually stifled in Committee if any efforts were made to introduce it, I should be glad to see the Bill go to a Grand Committee, because there are obvious advantages in discussing such a Bill in that Committee. But if we are to have discussions on the religious difficulty as it might arise in secondary schools, I think it is of the utmost importance that such a discussion should take place in the full House, so that the country as well as every hon. Member of this House might: take an interest in the proceedings, and we should know exactly where we stood in the matter. If, therefore, we can get some assurance that the burning controversial questions which we have all done our best to avoid will not be raised in Grand Committee, I should advise my right hon. friend the Member for South Aberdeen not to press the point. On the other hand, if there is a chance of these questions being raised, I think we ought to have an opportunity of fully considering them in Committee of this House.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
It is not in the discretion of the Government to decide what shall or shall not be raised either in Grand Committee, in Committee of the whole House, or on the Report stage, but it is emphatically the earnest desire of the Government that these religious questions shall be excluded, as far as possible, from the discussion of this Bill.
§ MR. C. P. SCOTT
No serious defence for the course which has been proposed has been set up by the right hon. Gentleman, who has treated this matter in a 683 manner with which we are all so familiar, and he has not given a single reason in support of the reference of this measure to the Grand Committee, except one reason which eminently has no weight whatever. I think this is a matter which ought to be discussed in Committee of the whole House, and should not be left to the Report stage. I believe there is every desire on the part of hon. Members on this side of the House to see this Bill passed into law, and they do not desire that it should be unduly delayed. We have no desire to obstruct this Bill; but, on the contrary, we are anxious to help it forward in every way we can. But we do require adequate opportunities for discussion, and we do not want to be put off to the Report stage, where the discussion cannot be so effective, and where nobody can speak more than once. As the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen has pointed out, with regard to such a question as that relating to the Charity Commission we ought to have the benefit of information from those who are competent to give an opinion on questions of this kind, which is a matter of vast public importance. It is a matter of the greatest interest, and instead of its discussion being curtailed and suppressed its consideration ought to be encouraged in every way. If the Bill were discussed in Committee of the whole House I venture to say that it would pass through very quickly, and therefore I trust this Bill will be proceeded with and discussed in the ordinary way.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
I rise for the purpose of asking my right hon. friend the Leader of the House whether, when he says that this is not a final scheme of secondary education, he really means that the question is to be reopened during the course of the present Parliament. Probably the discussion on this Bill might very easily be shortened if it was understood that next session a more important Bill would be brought in dealing with these various questions. I think it would be necessary to discuss in the Grand Committee matters which have been raised in various parts of this House which are of great interest, and which, sooner or later, must he discussed by the only tribunal which can possibly deal with them—namely, by the House of Commons.
§ * MR. CHANNING
I wish to bring before the First Lord of the Treasury one point which I understand has not been alluded to in this discussion, and that is the inconvenience which arises from the undesirable course adopted in dealing with two of the sub-clauses of the Bill appertaining to the money question, and the rating and making provision for the cost of the Department, which are withheld from the consideration of the Grand Committee. This is certainly a most irregular course to take, for it will divorce those clauses from the proposals which will go before the Committee upstairs, who will be called upon to deal with the remaining portion of the Bill. Those two matters will have to be dealt with across the floor of this House. It seems to me a most irregular and improper course to adopt, and that in itself ought to induce Her Majesty's Government to reconsider their proposal to send this Bill to a Grand Committee. It is a very irregular course, and one which is peculiarly open to objection in dealing with such a measure. The rating question will certainly raise a good deal of discussion, and it would be almost impossible for the discussion in the Committee upstairs to be carried on fairly unless the provision with regard to rating has been dealt with in the usual way in the first instance in this House in Committee of Supply.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I desire to remind the hon. Member that the sub-sections to which he refers can be dealt with in the Grand Committee. The part which cannot be dealt with there is Sub-section 2 of Clause 6, which I think it is very essential should be dealt with in Committee of the whole House.
§ * MR. CHANNING
These sub-sections raise the question of money, and that question alone raises a great many other questions in which money has to be voted by this House. I think the arguments which have been advanced against the course which has been proposed deserve the careful consideration of the House. It seems obvious that one or two very important questions will arise which will naturally call for expert opinion, which cannot be provided by the ordinary composition of the Grand Committee and the small number of Members who may be added to it. I hope that even now 685 the Government will reconsider their proposal to send this measure to a Grand Committee.
§ SIR W. HART DYKE (Kent, Dartford)
I do not think there is any doubt that this Bill can be fully discussed in Grand Committee. It seems to me that it is ridiculous to raise all these intricate matters which must be dealt with later on as a whole, and I would not support the Second Reading of this Bill unless I believed that Her Majesty's Government could see their way to deal with this question more fully at an early date. It would place Her Majesty's Government in a very unenviable position to go out of office and leave this question without filling up the gap which this measure will leave open. With regard to the matters which have been raised they are no doubt of great importance, but they must be dealt with when legislation on the subject is completed by the addition of the local authority. When a measure is introduced for the purpose of constituting the local authority, that will be the time to raise these questions, and not when the present Bill is being referred to a Grand Committee. This Bill is one which deals purely with one portion of a great question, and that is the establishment of a properly co-ordinated central authority to deal with secondary education.
§ * SIR H. H. FOWLER
If the Bill before the House assumes the shape which my right hon. friend has pointed out, I do not think there will be very much objection to it on this side of the House, or to the views which he has expressed. The House, however, has already had notice so clear and unmistakable that my right hon. friend himself has had to appeal to those who gave that notice. We have had notice that questions of the greatest gravity are to be raised in Grand Committee. Of course it is perfectly true, as my right hon. friend the Member for the University of London has pointed out, that it is very improbable that the Grand Committee will accept those views. Nevertheless there is a possibility of it. Various questions have to be discussed and settled there, and those of us who are acquainted with the strong interest which the noble Lords who have spoken have in this question know that when they make up their minds to raise a question which they think of vital im- 686 portance they do so. This Bill bristles with very controversial questions which will have to be settled by this House whatever the decision of the Committee may be. Now, assuming that the decision of the Committee followed the views of my right hon. friend the Member for the University of London then the noble Lords opposite would not accept it; assuming that the Committee accepted the views of the noble Lords, then I assume that Members of this House—and also the Members of the Government—would not accept that view. Therefore sooner or later these questions will have to come to this House to be decided, and as a matter of convenience it seems to me that time will be saved by having those questions settled in Committee of the whole House rather than upon the Report stage. I appeal to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House to consider these points, because he is peculiarly sensitive about taking any step which might indicate a prolongation of this Debate. I assured the right hon. Gentleman an hour ago that if we were offered an opportunity of fully discussing one or two points at a later stage the Amendment to which he objected would be withdrawn and the Bill allowed to be read a second time. That course was agreed to, and the Bill was read a second time an hour earlier than it otherwise would have been. On this side of the House we want this Bill to pass; but we say that the settlement of these matters, which are of great importance, can best be taken in Committee of the whole House, and if that course were adopted it would be a saving of time. But there is another point which I desire to raise. The right hon. Gentleman said he would not refer to precedents, but I should like to refer to one precedent. I cannot give him the exact time, but I remember a very powerful speech made by the right hon. Gentleman opposite when he was Leader of the Opposition, in which he laid down with singular accuracy and clearness the true constitutional position of Standing Committees, namely, that they were not to be the means of a Government getting through controversial Bills without full discussion in the House, but that the Bills to be sent to Grand Committees should be bills upon the details of which vital questions could not he raised. I always thought that the views which 687 the right hon. Gentleman stated then were sound and statesmanlike views. There is a danger that this habit of sending Government Bills to Standing Committees will grow, and Bills of great importance may be taken from the general consideration of the House, and practically the Committee stage may be eventually abolished altogether, and we shall be thrown entirely upon these Grand Committees. Now these Grand Committees are not attended as they ought to be by the Members. I remember a Report being presented of the numbers of the Members who took part in the Grand Committees during a period of seven years, and I think there were very few divisions in which more than thirty Members recorded their votes. That is a very small Committee to deal with important questions, and even the Government have not that force in a Grand Committee which they have in the Committee of the whole House. I know that questions are sometimes settled in a haphazard way on the Grand Committee, and where there is a principle involved I think the question should be taken from that Committee and settled by a Committee of the whole House. If the right hon. Gentleman had said a Select Committee, I should have supported that, because the House would not have been deprived of its control in that case, and no doubt these technical questions which require discussion by experts would have been more effectually dealt with in a Select Committee which cannot be done in a Grand Committee. I make one more appeal to the right hon. Gentleman on this question, and I make it in the interests of the Bill and in the interest of the rapid passing of the Bill. At all events, by keeping these questions out of the Bill you avoid setting up a dangerous and tempting precedent to all Ministers, not only to use this power, but to abuse the institution of Grand Committees. I, therefore, earnestly appeal to the right hon. Gentleman not to send this Bill to the Grand Committee.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The right hon. Gentleman has laid down the rules which he thinks ought to govern the relegation of Bills to Grand Committees, and perhaps this appeal may be allowed as an excuse for my adopting the unusual practice of making a third speech. I do not want to controvert those rules, and I 688 do not say whether I agree with them or not. I think it is unnecessary for me to do so, for, in truth, this Bill conforms to every canon which can be laid down to govern the conduct of this House in relegating Bills to Grand Committees, and the quotation which the right hon. gentleman has made from some forgotten speech of mine supports that view. It is true that my noble friend and one or two other hon. Gentlemen in this House desire to raise questions of principle, but if the topic of religious education is introduced in Grand Committee into this Bill, then I frankly say that it is clearly impossible that this Bill can pass into law in the course of this session. I do not think it is likely that such questions will be introduced, and I do not believe that we shall find this measure burdened with this additional weight of controversy. If it is, I confess that, with such forecasts as I am able to make, we shall not have time to deal with it this session. But if the measure remains as it is now, as a measure altogether outside the limits of acute religious controversy, then surely we may hope that the labours of the Grand Committee will assist the Report stage, and the Bill will remain what it is now, a non-controversial measure as to the principles of which there is no dispute upon either side of the House, and which in the nature of things may very properly be dealt with by the Grand Committee. I venture to press very earnestly upon the House the propriety of sending the Bill up to the Grand Committee, because unless we do that the chances of this Bill becoming law this session are very faint indeed, and the result would be that the chances of dealing with the question of secondary education, of which this is only an instalment, would become fainter and fainter.
§ DR. CLARK (Caithness)
You are sending this Bill now to a Grand Committee where 20 Members may determine any question of principle in it. There are two clauses here to which I should like to call attention. They are Subsection 2 of Clause 3, and Sub-section 2 of Clause 6, which affect the money to be voted by Parliament. Such proposals will necessarily have to go before the Committee of Ways and Means, because you are placing a burden on the country. I wish to know if a Grand Committee can insert such sub-sections. If so our 689 control of finance in this House is gone altogether. The only course that can be taken will he, after it has come to the Report stage, to again recommit the Bill so that these clauses may be considered. That being so, why should we he placed in this position? Why should one portion of this Bill go before one Committee and another portion be dealt with by another Committee? The Grand Committee has often modified clauses in Bills' during the present Parliament, and when it has been proposed to modify those proposals in this House you, Mr. Speaker, have ruled that we cannot do it. Therefore, so far as those clauses are concerned, when they come back to this House we shall be unable to modify them. Any thing which is done in the Grand Committee we cannot modify in this House, and the only means of doing it would be to recommit the Bill to the House for that purpose.
§ * MR. SPEAKER
With regard to the hon. Member's first question, I may say that as regards Sub-section 2 of Section 3 that can be dealt with by the Grand Committee because it does not involve a charge upon the revenue, and therefore need not be preceded by House resolution in Committee of the whole House in accordance with Standing Order No. 62. As regards the second point, which refers to
§ the second sub-section of Clause 6, it would be necessary, before the Grand Committee dealt with that sub-section; that there should be a Committee—not a Committee of Ways and Means—but what is generally called a Money Committee of this House, and a resolution put in that Committee authorising the expenditure, and that would have to be passed in Committee, and would be reported to the House. After that had been done, then the Grand Committee would be in a position to insert the clause.
§ MR. SPEAKER
They could be modified, but the charge cannot be in creased, or its incidence altered: If the hon. Member wished to increase the salary he could not do it, but he could reduce it. The procedure which I have described in regard to Sub-section 2 of Section 6 has often been followed in this House.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided: Ayes, 182; Noes 80. (Division List No. 206.)691
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Chamberlain, J.A. (Worc'r)||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Man.).|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Finch, George H.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Charrington, Spencer||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Firbank, Joseph Thomas|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W.(Leeds)||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Barry, Rt. Hn. A. H. S. -(Hunts)||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Folkestone, Viscount|
|Barton, Dunbar Plunket||Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H (Bristol)||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Garfit, William|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Goldsworthy, Major-General|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Cornwallis Fiennes S. W.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Goschen, Rt Hn G. J. (St. G'rge's)|
|Bethell, Commander||Cox, Irwin Edward B.||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)|
|Bill, Charles||Cross, Herbert S. (Bolton)||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Blakiston-Houston, John||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Curzon, Viscount||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Dalbiac, Colonel Philip Hugh||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bousfield, William. Robert||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gull, Sir Cameron|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Denny, Colonel||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hardy, Laurence|
|Brassey, Albert||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Heath, James|
|Brookfield, A. Montagu||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Helder, Augustus|
|Butcher, John George||Drage, Geoffrey||Henderson, Alexander|
|Carlile, William Walter||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir W. Hart||Hill, Sir Edward Stock (Bristol)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Hobhouse, Henry|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbys.)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Hornby, Sir William Henry|
|Cecil, E. (Hertford, East)||Fardell, Sir T. George||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Howell, William Tudor|
|Hubbard, Hon. Evelyn||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-||Moore, Arthur (Londonderry)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Jackson, Rt. Hn. Wm. Lawies||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Sidebottom, T. H. (Stalybr.)|
|Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Morgan, Hon. F. (Monm'thsh.)||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Johnstone, Hey wood (Sussex)||Morrell, Geo. Herbert||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Kemp, George||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Kenyon, James||Mount, William Geo.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. William||Muntz, Philip A.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Keswick, William||Myers, William H.||Strauss, Arthur|
|Kimber, Henry||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Northcote, Hon. Sir H. S.||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Lea, Sir T. (Londonderry)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Lecky, Rt. Hn. William E. H.||Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington)|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Percy, Earl||Valentia, Viscount|
|Llewellyn, E. H. (Somerset)||Pilkington, R. (Lancs, Newton)||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Llewelyn, Sir D.- (Swansea)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Pollock, Harry Frederick||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset))|
|Long, Rt. Hn. W. (Liverpool)||Priestley, Sir W. O. (Edin.)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Purvis, Robert||Wilson, J W. (Worcestersh. N.|
|Lowe, Francis William||Rankin, Sir James||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Lubbock, Rt. Hon. Sir John||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Lucas-Shadwell, William||Rentoul, James Alexander||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Lyell, Sir Leonard||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wyndham, George|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Robinson, Brooke||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter||Younger, William|
|Maclure, Sir John William||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Ryder, John Herbert Dudley|
|Milbank, Sir P. C. John||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Murnaghan, George|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir H.||O'Connor, J. (Wicklow, W.)|
|Austin, M.||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Bainbridge, Emerson||Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Pease, Joseph A. (Northum.)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir W.||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Billson, Alfred||Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale-||Price, Robert John|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. C. H.||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh|
|Burt, Thomas||Horniman, Frederick John||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Caldwell, James||Humphreys-Owen, A. C.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Cameron, Sir Charles (Glasgow)||Johnson-Ferguson, Jabez Edw.||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Carmichael, Sir T. D. Gibson-||Joicey, Sir James||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Kearley, Hudson E.||Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Labouchere, Henry||Smith, Samuel (Flint)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lambert, George||Souttar, Robinson|
|Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cmb'land)||Steadman, William Charles|
|Colville, John||Leng, Sir John||Strachey, Edward|
|Commins, Andrew||Lewis, John Herbert||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Lough, Thomas||Sullivan, T. D. (Donegal, W.)|
|Crilly, Daniel||Macaleese, Daniel||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davitt, Michael||M'Crae, George||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Dewar, Arthur||M'Ewan, William||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (H'fl'd.)|
|Dillon, John||M'Ghee, Richard|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Leod, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Doogan, P. C.||Maddison, Fred.||Mr. Scott and Mr. Yoxall.|
|Douglas, C. M. (Lanark)||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand|
§ Bill committed to the Standing Committee on Law, &c.