§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £5,585,099, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Board of Education, and of the various Establishments connected therewith, including sundry Grants-in-aid."
§ The VICE-PRESIDENT of the COMMITTEE of COUNCIL on EDUCATION (Sir J. GORST,) Cambridge University
Attempts have been made in some quarters during recent years to introduce into the discussion on such occasions as this questions of a trivial and personal character; but the attention of Parliament has not been thereby diverted from the serious and important 21 facts which it has been my duty to lay before them. The facts have been considered and discussed by Parliament, by local bodies, by the public press, and remedies for the evils laid before Parliament have been suggested, and, in some cases, have been carried into execution. I think that on this occasion I can best occupy the time of the House by pointing out the conditions that will have to be fulfilled if the great reforms embodied in the Code of the present year, by which a single block grant is to be substituted for the separate payments which are made for various subjects of instruction, is to have practical effect. It is a great mistake to speak of that measure, the measure in the Code, as if it were an accomplished reform. It is rather of a negative than of a positive character. The provisions of the Code will remove the obstacles which prevent the establishment of a better system of instruction, but of themselves they do not accomplish that result. Progress is now possible, but the effect of the provisions of the Code is rather to permit it and not to ensure it. Now, in the first place, the policy of Her Majesty's Government must be seconded by the managers of schools. That has not always hitherto been the case. Her Majesty's Government having abandoned the system of individual examination, many school boards and many of the Voluntary associations have rushed into the breach and have of their own accord established a system of individual examination. Bishop Butler says, "Of education information is really the least part"; but these authorities act as if information was the whole object of education, and they employ the teachers in cramming into the children a number of facts which are afterwards disgorged by the diocesan or the School Board inspector in the shape of personal examination. Her Majesty's Government believe that a system of that kind is extremely detrimental to education, and I should like to read to the Committee the observations made by one of our inspectors. This applies to Voluntary schools, but the same thing applies to the case of the Board schools. The inspector says—A portion of each school's aid has been in some instances allotted to the payment of an 'organising visitor,' whose visits are quite unnecessary and not always wished for by the managers or teachers. Such visits, which, I am told, frequently result in individual ex- 22 amination of the old and worst type, cannot, except in the case of a bad school, do any good, and very frequently do much harm, tending as they do to throw the progressive teachers back into the old and evil path of cramming for results.But to carry out the policy of the Government it is not only necessary that the managers of schools should be willing to co-operate, but also that the co-operation should be active and intelligent. I am sorry to say that that also has not always been the case. In the beginning of this year a deputation of rural school teachers came to see me—they were quite leading men of their class—and with them I had a most interesting and most instructive conversation about the possibilities of better teaching for rural schools. The other day I received from one of these teachers a letter in which the writer said—I proposed a few days ago to take my scholars through the fields to notice the blossoms of timber and fruit trees. I had a note from my manager to the effect that there is very little educational benefit to be obtained by taking children into fields. The farmers and labourers laugh at the proposal.It is obvious from this that this teacher's efforts to secure a better kind of teaching for the children were nipped in the bud. I should like to call attention to how very differently these things are done in America. I quote from Mr. Salmon, of the Swansea Training College, who recently visited America—There is much out-door work every where I happened to reach Chicago during the first days of spring, and half the class-rooms of one school which I visited were empty in consequence of the children being gardening or watching the budding trees. In Central Park, New York, I saw several groups in charge of their teachers, and the sight was obviously common, for I was almost the only one who turned to look at it.But not only is it necessary that we should have active managers; something; must be done also to improve the supply of teachers. Now the mainstay of the supply of teachers is our pupil teachers' system. That system is unique. It is only in this country, in Great Britain and Ireland alone, that such a system for the supply of teachers exists. Of course, the system is so prevalent and so extensive in this country that it is impossible to change it, certainly hastily. The only thing to be done is to improve the system. But when you try to improve the system it is not only the Government but the managers of the schools them- 23 selves that are on the horns of a dilemma. If you leave things as they are, children in the rural schools can hardly ever attain to the training college, and will never become leading members of the profession of teaching, except in those few isolated cases where children of ability and energy force their way through all the obstacles that have to be encountered. As far as I know, only one or two reforms have been effected in the position of pupil teachers, since I became Vice-President of the Council. One was to slightly raise the age at which children are admitted pupil teachers up to the still very early age of fifteen; and another is the restriction of the hours during which they might be employed in the schools to twenty hours a week. Just think what that moans! It means all the secular time during which the school is opened; and a child who has to work in school for twenty hours a week has only the rest of its time to carry on its education and to develop those faculties which are necessary in a teacher of the young. A further attempt was made last year to impel those interested in the employment of pupil teachers to ensure their being properly educated. But if this sort of reforms are initiated by the Education Department, or by the managers of the schools, or are carried into effect, they will destroy the pupil-teacher system in rural schools. One of the school inspectors says—The naked and lamentable fact is that the regulations of the Department—the wise and humane regulations—which limit the hours of work for pupil teachers, are leading to their disappearance from the Voluntary schools. Under the School Board, which had for a long time acted upon the half-time system, and which does not reckon pupil teachers as necessary upon the effective staff, these regulations have, of course, fallen short of the previous practice. But in Voluntary schools which are staffed down to a minimum, or hut slightly above it, and where consequently pupil teachers are in charge of classes, it is obviously to the immediate interest of managers and head teachers—in the daily working of their time-table—to make arrangements which will avoid the dislocation caused by the pupil teachers leaving the school for their work at central classes. And thus it comes that the pupil-teacher system seems likely to wither away among the Voluntary schools here. Managers find it difficult to obtain them, and the head teachers don't want them, and there is a substitute at hand. I fancy that my lament will be echoed in any district in England. The teacher under Article 68 is rapidly becoming mistress of the situation.24 The pupil teachers under the most favourable circumstances are taught: they are not educated to teach: they are simply prepared for examination. I should be glad to send to any Member who cares to see it a set of pupil-teachers' examination papers. He will see how ridiculous is the information which these children are expected to acquire; and, secondly, how ignorant they are on all the subjects on which they are taught. I think the papers will show how it is almost impossible under the present system that you can have a supply of teachers educated and trained who are fit to carry out the improved system which the institution of the block grant renders possible. I have often told the House that the rural pupil teachers who have not the advantage of central classes are not, and cannot be, so well crammed as the town pupil teachers, who find their way to the training colleges. I have here statistics which prove the truth of that. I find that in the last Queen's scholarship examinations, of the men, in the first class only 4 per cent. and in the second class only 8.2 per cent. had served their time in rural schools; and of the women, in the first class, out of 2,070 candidates, only 74, or 3.8 per cent., and of the second class only 10.6 per cent. had been educated in rural schools, thus showing that in the training colleges, where the best of the teacher's education is finished, the rural pupil teacher is practically only conspicuous by his absence. Now, if Parliament really intend to have teachers properly trained and properly fitted for the work they have to do, they must pick the children out of the elementary or higher elementary schools when they are of a proper age; they must send them with scholarships to the secondary schools as they are trying to do in Wales, and they must have a sufficient supply of training colleges in which to train these young teachers as soon as they are fit to be trained. I now come to the question of the training colleges. At Christmas, 1899, 2,904 men presented themselves for examination. Of these 532 got into the first class, 897 into the second class, 1,126 into the third class, and 349 failed altogether. Of the women who presented themselves for examination, 2,070 got into the first class, 3,992 into the second class, and 2,583 into the third class; 1,644 failed altogether. But of those who suc- 25 ceeded in the examinations a great many teachers failed to get into the training colleges for want of room. I find that of the men who showed a desire to obtain admission to training colleges—2,838 in number—only 1,042 got in; 223 failed not because of failure in their examination, but because of lack of accommodation, and the remainder failed because of their insufficient educational standard. The case of the women is far worse. Of the 3,968 who desired to get into training colleges, 1,575 got in, and 1,369, though qualified, failed to get in through lack of accommodation. Thus one half of them were unable to get the training they desired for themselves. Every training college in the country is absolutely full. There are two sorts of training colleges—residential and day training colleges. There is a good deal of difference of opinion whether the training in the residential college or the training in the day college is, on the whole, the most advantageous. The objections which are taken against the residential college are that the students are shut up with persons of the same age and the same education, having in view the same profession in life, that the tendency of the system is to narrow their perception, and that they fail to get that liberal education which is so desirable. The objection to the day training college is that the students are not sufficiently under observation, and that it is on moral grounds, on grounds of character, undesirable to leave them so much to themselves. Neither of these objections necessarily applies to either the one kind of college or the other. There is a residential college at Cheltenham where the young ladies who go to be trained are mixed up with the girls of the rest of the school. They are not distinguished from them in any way, and they have the advantage of belonging to a very fine high school, in which there is a very good tone, and which is in every way a desirable place for the education of young women. They do not get that narrowing of opinion which they might got in a place where they were all shut up together. Nor is the objection to the day training college at all necessary. At both Cambridge and Oxford the young men who are in the day training colleges there are generally members of colleges, where they have the advantage of association with their college companions and where they are under the college discipline. Those 26 who are not members of colleges (and they are comparatively few) are under the Board of Studies of Oxford and Cambridge, which looks after the non-collegiate students. I was once taken to a hostel at Cardiff where there were a number of young women belonging to the day training college who were boarded and lodged with young ladies who were studying in the college and were in no respect distinguished from their companions, who were going into other professions and had other views in life, and, no doubt, they were as well taken care of as the students in the best training college in England. One would think that in these circumstances the Government had better leave the matter free, and had better leave students to adopt whichever kind of training they themselves or their friends or parents think to be for the best. But for some-reason or other the State now pays, and has always paid, more for a teacher being trained in a residential college than in a day training college, and as it is the day training college which is most easily expanded, and which can be most easily made to accommodate more students, I think a very easy reform would be to even the thing all round—that the State should give a definite sum for the training of a teacher, and leave it to the young teacher and his friends to decide in what particular establishment he should prepare himself. The real fact is that there is no such thing as a Queen's "scholarship." It is not a scholarship in the ordinary sense in which a county, or college, or university scholarship is a scholarship. It is an undertaking on the part of the State to pay a sum of money to the institution in which the young person is trained, and I believe that if an arrangement wore made by which the whole thing was levelled all round, you might establish two classes of scholarship. I do not know that it is so much to the interest of the State to train a young person who has taken only a second class as one who has taken a first class. It is just and right that the first class should have the larger scholarship, and if the second class students choose to go on in the profession, their friends should find something towards their maintenance in the training school. Anyhow, I am quite certain that the only way in which you can make a large and immediate extension of training college accommodation is by putting the day training students on 27 the same footing as the residential students, and inviting the University Colleges of Oxford and Cambridge and other institutions for the education of young people to extend their day training college accommodation and so increase the number of places. But you not only want more places in your colleges; you want a greater elasticity in the curriculum of the colleges themselves. I cannot understand why teachers should all be educated and trained upon one single model. You do not do it in your university. There one man goes in for literary studies, another man for science, and another man for mathematics, and if you are going to have rural teachers to carry out any of those schemes which have been discussed during the last few months in the press, of teaching children more by observation and by a kind of elementary science than by mere reading, writing, and grammar, you no doubt require a special kind of training. At present the efforts of the trained teacher in the rural schools are not always very successful. The rural schools are chiefly staffed by town-bred teachers, who, having passed a less favourable examination, are obliged to take a rural school as a kind of pis aller. They generally go there passing the time until they can do something better for themselves. One of the inspectors told me he heard, in a large infant Board school, the headmistress, giving a lesson on the rabbit, toll her class that another name for the rabbit was the hare. And at another Board school in the same place the same inspector heard a teacher inform her class that cows' horns were made of ivory, and she wrote ivory with great complacency on the blackboard. But without these extravagant instances, this is the kind of way in which the teaching is too often done by the present trained teacher. This is the sort of way in which agriculture and horticulture have been taught.The scholars," says the inspector, "read books in class on agriculture and horticulture for half an hour. They then copy a portion of the lesson in exercise books or the teacher dictates a summary of it, and this is called science! Nothing is done to cultivate the power of observation, and there are no experiments.Some persons have said that you want to have an inferior class of teachers for rural schools. No, you do not want an inferior class of teachers, but you want a 28 class of teachers who are trained to teach in rather a different manner from that in which town children are taught. A country child cannot receive abstract knowledge as easily as the town child does. First, the children want their powers of observation, which are generally very good, developed and brought out. They want to learn how to find out facts for themselves, and, finally, they want, what they can easily do in the country, to apply their knowledge to some particular and concrete purpose. There are three types of teacher we can conceive of. There is, first of all, the present teacher, who, in his place and with the kind of children to whom his teaching is suitable, is extremely good; then there is the rural teacher, who teaches by observation and experiment; and, finally, there is the kindergarten teacher, who is to teach the very young; and I cannot see why an arrangement should not be made by which all these kinds of teachers should be produced for our children and be properly trained in proper institutions so as to be able to carry out the instruction which is best. Now I come to the children. There is no use having a block system unless your children are able to come to school under circumstances in which they can benefit by the teaching. First of all there are the infants' schools. I think the very name of infants' school is an absurdity. Infants ought not to be at school, but at play. In our country we begin our attempts at education a great deal too soon, just as we leave off a great deal too soon. I met at Whitsuntide in the Tyrol a fine young fellow who told mo with great pride that he was six years of age and had never been inside a school, but that he was going this autumn after the long summer holidays were over, and then he would remain at school, really attending school, going there every day, and staying the whole time until he was fourteen years of age. I could not help contrasting the lot of that little fellow with the lot of the ordinary English country boy. He is cooped up in school as soon as he is throe years old, when he had much better be playing about in the lanes or fields. He has a quantity of information crammed into him which his little brain is quite incapable of assimilating—often by the assistance of the cane—and he is taken out of school at eleven or twelve years to 29 labour for the rest of his life. The fact really is that infants' schools are what one of the inspectors called some of them —they are storage places for babies. And they are instituted not so much for the benefit of the children as to enable the mothers of the children to have leisure to go to work. If the State chooses to establish nurseries of this kind we should make them nurseries, and we should assimilate the teachers of the youngest children, at all events, to nurses. When an inspector talks about "the lower babies' mental arithmetic leaves much to be desired," I should certainly like to punish severely any teacher who can be proved to have tried to teach mental arithmetic to babies. I should say that the age of six is quite early enough to attempt to exercise the human brain, and that at six, and from six to eight, the kindergarten system of teaching is the only one which is really suitable for these tender children. No doubt there are many children who have the good fortune to fall into the hands of women who are highly trained in the kindergarten system, and who not only do no harm to the children but do them an immense amount of good, but how many of these poor, helpless babies fall into the hands of such good teachers? An inspector says—At an outlying infants' school (Flockwell Heath, average about eighty) among the hills, I asked for the help of a monitor for the babies' class. The next year I found a 'cretin' in charge of this class, a harmless semi-imbecile who had herself remained at the school among the infants until she was fifteen. When she left, the headmistress wanting someone to keep the babies quiet when she could not attend to them, and being unable to get anything out of the Board, put on this poor thing and paid her three pence a week out of her own pocket, knowing that she would be kind at all events. Thus I found an 'infant' aged fifteen one year, and promoted next year to be paid monitor.Well, another great objection to these infants' schools is that there are so many older children in them. I think the Committee will, perhaps, agree with me that eight is a very liberal superior age for a school infant. Out of two million infants in our schools there were 3,543 under three years of age, and there were no loss than 320,923 who were over seven years of age. I have got a list of the schools in which there are children over eight. In one school in Cheshire, which heads my list, there were no less than 31.8 of the infants over eight years 30 of ago. There are no less than sixteen schools which have over 20 per cent. of infants over eight, and it is the presence of these infants over eight which renders absolutely necessary that severe discipline which has been referred to.
§ SIR J. GORST
Oh no, they are not in the same district. They are scattered all over England. Passing from the infant schools, I think the whole Committee will agree with what I said—and as to which I was asked so much last year—that the State having provided free education, school buildings, and teachers, the least we can expect from the parents is that they will send their children to school in a fit state to receive the instruction which the State has provided, and the children ought not to be sent to school to receive instruction in an unfit state, either through hunger or through fatigue caused by undue labour out of school hours. As regards the feeding of children it is the general opinion that this is a matter which should be left altogether to private charity, and that the school authorities should not deal with it. I got into a great scrape last year by enumerating some opinions that it was the duty of the school authorities to see that the children were fed before they were taught. I am quite willing to agree that children should be fed by charitable agencies if they can be, but it seems to me that if you compel children to go to school and compel them to receive instruction, then you have the obligation thrown upon you to make some provision by which those children shall be sent to school in a fit state. This is not a private duty thrown on the parent, it is a public duty which the State has a right to insist on being fulfilled; and, if proper laws are made and a proper administration of the law carried into effect, I believe the cases in which children would be sent to school unfed and unfitted to receive instruction would be extremely rare. One or two examples made of negligent parents would prevent the recurrence of the offence. It is not the poor parent—it is very seldom extreme poverty which causes the trouble as to underfed children. It is generally idleness, or drunkenness, 31 or carelessness on the part of the parents which is at the bottom of the mischief, or it is greediness for the small earnings of the children. It is not, I say, the poor, but the negligent parent, who is the real offender. I believe that posterity will view with surprise and wonder the state of affairs in this matter, and will marvel how this generation was so stupid as to tolerate it. I must observe that our official statistics are vitiated by the fact that we include in the average attendances children between three and five. I hope that in future will be avoided, as the average attendences can be arrived at by comparing the attendance of children above five years of age on the book of the school. As to children between three and five, not only are the parents at liberty to send them or not as they choose, but I venture to say that the best parents will not send their children before the school age. A good mother will not allow her tender child to go to school before five. Another matter to which I wish to call the attention of the Committee is how the percentage of attendances is arrived at. It is arrived at by taking the average attendance through the year and comparing it with the number on the books on a particular day, very often the last day of the year. That must obviously lead to very erroneous results, because, from some cause, there might be such shifting of the population as would give misleading results as to attendance. There would be a bad attendance made. On the other hand, if a large number of immigrants came into a parish at the end of the year and the children attended the school, that would show a very good attendance; but I have no doubt that the errors in this respect probably answer one another. Everybody knows why the attendance is so varied. In the first place, the maximum fine is so small for neglect; and I will place before the Committee two examples of how the present law works out. They are mentioned by one of the inspectors in his report. He says—I mention the following case as typical, not exceptional. A certain family are supposed to attend Paddington St. Mary Magdalene's School. There are three girls and one boy. Since July, 1897, the parents have been fined 5s. for each girl, and in their case the fine has been effective. For the son they have been summoned five times, but, as the fine is only 5s. and John earns 10s. a week helping a coster, he and his parents agree that 32 breaking the law is more profitable than obeying it.Here is another case in another inspector's report in London. He says—The parent has been summoned, convicted, and actually fined, and (which is not always the case) made to pay the fine, which amounted to 3s. 6d., for continued gross neglect of the attendance law. 'And how,' I asked the teacher, 'is the child doing now?' 'Oh,' she said, 'she has only began to attend this week, for she was not allowed by her parents to come last week. They kept her at work because, as they said, she had first to earn the amount of the fine.'Well, here is another case showing how it is sought to support the law—During the last four months a colleague and myself have been the attendance committee of the Hoard. We investigated 317 cases of irregularity, 4,580 visits were made by the attendance officer, and after repeated adjournments for improvement we brought four cases before the magistrates. No. 1, no attendance out of 68; No. 2, no attendance out of 68; No. 3, 22 attendances out of 35; No. 4, 27 attendances out of 35. All the cases were adjourned, attendance orders being made, and the School Board had to pay 8s. a case for the luxury of bringing the defaulters before the magistrate.It is evident that with the law as it stands a very much better attendance could be secured. There were cases in 1887 where the attendance was 76 per cent.; it is now 92 per cent., and I believe it has never been less since 1893, entirely owing to the energy of the attendance officer. The other day a deputation from the National League of Teachers waited on my noble friend the President of the Council, and immediately after that deputation, quite unsought for by me, I received from the manager of a rural school in Cambridgeshire a letter, in which he stated that he had requested the schoolmaster to work out the total of the attendances at that school. Everything was against them to start with; the mothers went out to work at a steam laundry or a jam factory. Yet with great patience the efforts made had yielded good results. The number on the roll on the previous year gave an average attendance of 98, 96, and 98, and so on. There is a reluctance on the part of the authorities to be severe, and a great deal is expected from patience and persuasion. The percentages are 98, 97, 99, and 98. They may occasionally be smaller in consequence of whooping-cough, heavy snows, feasts in surrounding villages, or scarlet fever, but there are only three weeks in the whole year in 33 which the attendance is less than 97 per cent. That shows what a schoolmaster backed up by a good manager can do even under the present law. At Askrigg, a village in Wensley Dale, where some children have long distances to travel, an energetic master was very successful in getting good attendance. On the occasion of a local sheep-washing the vicar met a boy going to school, and asked him how it was. "Why, sir," the youth replied, "if I went to t' sheep-washing t' master would go clean off his head." Now as to inspectors. This new system will give an inspector no increase of his direct power. He still will act entirely under the orders of the Education Department, and any action of his can be appealed against; but it will give him enormously increased influence and responsibility. In the first place it will be his duty to give advice to teachers and managers of schools as to what they can do, and as to what it is expedient for them to do; and he will be particularly qualified to give this advice because, going all over the schools of the neighbourhood, he has the opportunity of seeing good work in one place which may be imitated in another. I have a remarkable case here. There has been a good deal of talk recently about school gardens; and this is a letter to the county council of Essex from a schoolmaster in Essex—My gardening class was first established in 1895, so it has been in operation five years. The garden is about one rood in extent, and is worked as a whole, not in single plots, by the class. The class varies in number, according to the number of eligible boys, as they must be in Standard IV. and upwards. The average number, however, is fourteen or fifteen, which is as many as one man can successfully superintend. The crops grown are those of an ordinary kitchen garden, and such as would be grown in the lads' gardens at home. About half the total area is given over to fruit cultivation, gooseberries, currants, raspberries, and strawberries. Apple culture is taught from my own fruit borders. Flower culture is not neglected, as the boys plant and prune roses, plant bedding plants, etc., and keep the lawn and edges trim. In fact, most of the work in a good general garden (except greenhouse and hothouse work) is done here by the lads. My aim is not so much to turn out 'horticulturists' as to make the lads take an interest in their own gardens at home, and to work these on proper principles. We take elementary botany as a class subject, and the scientific lessons therein learnt are illustrated as much as possible in the plant life of the garden. I may say that there is no lesson that the boys enjoy more than their Friday afternoon gardening 34 lesson, and it has materially helped to improve the attendance on Friday. When I mention that in our local show last year (embracing four parishes) we exhibited in the amateurs' and open classes ten exhibits, and the prize record was nine firsts and one second, you may judge that our school garden is not to be despised in the local competition. I am sorry I have no lad eligible to apply for a horticultural scholarship. There is such a dearth of country houses in this immediate neighbourhood that very few boys go in for gardening as an occupation.The inspector, spreading about his district the example of an undertaking of this kind, can do enormous good. There are many who might not have the ability to invent such a scheme, but they can imitate it. Then the duty of an inspector will be occasionally to put his veto on proposals of managers and teachers. But that veto will be rarely exercised. It is seldom that the inspectors discourage even an experiment in the schools; and if any inspector were to veto any plan which he ought not to veto there is always the Education Department to appeal to. Therefore I do not think that the interference of inspectors is very much to be feared, while their advice and counsel will be of immense advantage to schoolmasters and managers. To perform duties of that kind we ought to have a most excellent staff of inspectors. The present staff of inspectors was organised under a different system in the days of payment by results, and consisted of inspectors who looked after the schools, and of sub-inspectors who did the rough work of individual examination, and saved the inspectors a certain amount of fatigue in work of that kind. Now, all inspectors have the same functions, and might be better divided into seniors and juniors. An inspector ought to be a man of very liberal education, to have his mind and faculties very well developed, and to have considerable knowledge of the history of education, not only in this country, but in other countries; and he ought to have some experience himself of teaching. But, above all, you want an inspector of character—an inspector who has sufficient independence to dare to tell the truth, because all central authorities like to reward people who prophesy smooth things. Since the time of the prophet who announced to Ahab impending death, disagreeable truths have always been punished with affliction rather than welcomed with reward. Inspectors should be appointed for life. I have 35 received a letter from the Secretary of the Cambridge Appointments Association, in which he says—We have several applications from men who wish to be sub-inspectors of schools. They know that they could not possibly get an appointment as inspector, and therefore they fall back upon the lower-paid appointment. But as far as I can see there is no entry for them unless they will risk a long period of training. One who wishes for such a berth is a Trinity man who took a first in classics, knows a good deal of French and German, and would do his work conscientiously. But I suppose it would be rash to advise such a man to go to a training college on the chance of being afterwards appointed.That shows that there is ample material among the growing youth out of which inspectors can be chosen. As to women inspectors, if the Committee will recollect how large a proportion of the children in the schools consists of infants and girls they will see that women inspectors are a very desirable addition to our staff. An experiment was made in the appointment of some a few years ago, and that experiment has been very successful. At present they are all of the lowest rank—the second class of the sub-inspectors; but even for such positions there are now upon the books of the Education Department a very large number of applications from very highly trained women, who have taken high degrees at Oxford and Cambridge, who have had teaching experience, and who have an enormous amount of zeal for and desire to promote the interests of education. That will show the committee that, as far as inspectors are concerned, men and women, we have ample material on which to draw for the very best kind of inspectors; and that now that the Department will have to depend so much upon its inspectors for the efficiency of its schools there is no danger of the system breaking down. I am very much obliged to the Committee for listening to this long explanation. I wanted to show that we must not rest with the idea that the reform of the present Code is accomplished, but that it only gives the opportunity of really improving our schools. I have sketched out some of the conditions which will have to be fulfilled, some of the difficulties which will have to be faced, and some of the things which will have to be accomplished before the expectations which have been excited by the new departure can be really satisfied as to improvement in the elementary education of the country.
§ *MR. WILLIAM JONES (Carnarvonshire, Arfon)
After hearing his interesting exposition of the principles of the Education Code, one regrets that the right hon. Gentleman was not the responsible Minister for Education during the last four years, for if we had had him, a keen lover of education, who knows the principles of education, not merely to give us this exposition, but to translate it into schemes of practical advantage to the country, it would have been a great boon and a commanding benefit to all classes. But what has he done really? He has given us admirable suggestions, but he has practically pointed, out no single real remedy. He has given us grievances, he has desired to do away with them, and he has applied sticking plaster to the arm of a man suffering from heart disease. I thoroughly sympathise with almost everything he has said, but at the same time he has been addressing a letter to posterity in the vague hope that that letter some day or other may reach its destination. He has told us the shortcomings of rural schools and infant schools. He has pointed out what were the reforms needed for teachers. I believe we are all in agreement with his suggestions. Already educationists have pointed out these grievances and the means by which they may be remedied. Take, for instance, the question of rural schools. The right hon. Gentleman has said, and said rightly, that it is a matter of impossibility to fill the rural schools with efficient teachers. Why? One reason is that in spite of an aid-grant amounting to three-quarters of a million, and in spite of another grant on the block principle in the new Code, most of which will go to Voluntary and rural schools, there is no provision in the Code or in any other scheme proposed by the right hon. Gentleman to enable these schools to be filled with admirably equipped teachers. During the Whitsuntide holidays I have visited several rural schools, some of them being Church schools and some Voluntary schools of other kinds, and the teachers have told me that they are obliged to keep their schools filled with apprentices and with that wonderful factor in our educational system, namely, "Article 68." Why is this? Because the teachers themselves have no power to select their own assistants. In one Church school the headmaster told me that he was invariably handicapped, and when I asked 37 whether he could not select the most brilliant boy or girl to become his assistant, he replied that not merely could he not get his assistants from the majority of the children, but he could never get them at all, as the power of selection rested with the manager. I say that the teachers themselves who have trained the children and who know their mental power and teaching capacity, are the people who should select the assistants. Then the right hon. Gentleman has submitted another proposition with regard to these rural schools. He says the teachers ought to come from urban schools or from places where the teachers can be trained. Why cannot the managers of these Voluntary schools, who are receiving so much grant, see that these teachers are properly trained and efficiently equipped for their work. The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday that the subscriptions this year in connection with Church schools had sunk below the figure at which they stood in 1897. Surely with this aid-grant and the grant on the block principle the managers of these schools ought to furnish what I consider to be the most important factor—a really good teacher, one who has been properly endowed as regards education, both as to scholarship and as to technical training. But we do not get such teachers. A few years ago a committee of experts sat to inquire into the pupil teacher system. The chairman of that committee was a clergyman of the Church of England, the Senior Inspector of Schools. All the members of that committee were agreed that this system of getting teachers on the cheap child-labour principle was a vicious one, and ought to be remedied by the pupil teachers and apprentices being sent to secondary schools or to pupil-teacher centres, and prohibited from teaching until they were better trained and more intellectually equipped. Our rural schools are simply filled with little boys and girls and "Articles 68." It was reported to me the other day that in the Oxford Diocese about 40 per cent. of the pupil teachers belonged to "Article 68." That is a shameful state of affairs, because, after all, "Article 68" in the majority of cases means a female who can show a certificate of good health or a certificate that she has been properly vaccinated, and may be without any teaching diploma whatsoever. Such a system would not be tolerated in Switzerland, Germany, 38 France, and America, in fact, in any other civilised country except our own. The right hon. Gentleman has said that in Wales we are doing something with our pupil teachers. In my constituency, and in the neighbouring division, some of the school boards have established a system of sending intending pupil teachers to our county schools, where they study for two or three years before they begin to teach. There is no sense in putting boys or girls 14 or 15 years of age to teach classes of forty or fifty children. This is not a sectarian question at all. It is simply a question of educating more manly men and more womanly women. But until you train your teachers and give them all the powers possible through education in centres and secondary schools where they can mix with children drawn from all classes, you will not get the sort of teachers who can bring humanizing methods to bear on their pupils. Then there is the question of giving money for the training of these teachers. I would vote for an even better grant than the aid grant and the block system grant. I would support the State spending a million of money in educating our teachers. After all, what would a million of money be, spent in that way, when we can spend forty or fifty millions on war? One million, if properly administered would be ample to train our juvenile apprentices by having them sent to secondary schools. I nope the right hon. Gentleman before he leaves his office will be able to do something in this direction. We all know what a fine educationist he is, but whenever he has attempted to put his desires into practical shape he has been handicapped and crippled. He is very much like another great educationist in this country who tried to preach the same gospel—a man who was, perhaps, one of the finest inspectors we ever had—namely, Mr. Matthew Arnold. The right hon. Gentleman's words breathed the spirit of Mr. Matthew Arnold; but like him he seems to be losing faith in his own ideals.Let them have it as they will;We are tired: best be still.However, I hope in this Committee the right hon. Gentleman's plea will be sufficiently backed in his right endeavours, and not by educationists on one side of the House, as this question is altogether above sectarianism and party. Then 39 there is the question of sending teachers to training colleges. The right hon. Gentleman says that existing training colleges are inadequate. I think the present equipment of training colleges can be reformed, and I will tell the Committee why. Most of the training colleges are denominational. Out of forty-three, thirty-five are purely denominational, and admission is generally conditioned upon connection with a particular church. Therefore, owing to the fact that our training colleges are left in the hands of denominational authorities, we are losing the best and most efficient teachers every year. We have excellent day training colleges. There are fourteen of them which are of vital importance, as being open to all. But we ought to give sufficient grants to keep the students either in a hostel or in a home. In day training colleges we pay for the training of females £30 a year—£10 for instruction and £20 for the hostel; while for males we pay £10 for instruction and £25 for maintenance. But in the denominational colleges we pay £50 a year. Why should there be that disparity? The grant for the day training colleges should be brought up to the level of that for the denominational colleges, and the denominational colleges should be freed from the provisions and regulations which debar the best Queen's scholars from entering them. In dealing with this question I desire also to suggest that we should combine in order to bring pressure to bear upon the Government. I know the present condition of things is not the fault of the right hon. Gentleman, or of the Board of Education. I know there are officials humane enough to adopt these schemes, and practical enough to carry them into effective force. What is wanted is that pressure should be brought to bear upon the Cabinet. As far as I can see, the only persons who at the present time exercise any influence are the Archbishop of Canterbury and some noble Churchmen. We ought to free our education from sectarian influences, and mould it in the highest interests of the State. There is nothing like education to raise the status of citizenship. Germany and Switzerland have seen this. In Switzerland they pay 2¼d. per head of the population for the training of teachers, while we in a rich country like Britain pay scarcely a penny per head. Let us pay a 40 sufficient grant to equip our schools with proper teachers, and so remedy the deplorable state of things now existing.
§ MR. HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
I agree that the new Code introduced by the Government is the beginning of a new system of elementary education. I think we have now had a new light thrown upon the advantages of teaching country children under this system, and we can only express the earnest hope that the right hon. Gentleman will inspire the same intelligent spirit into all these institutions. If that is so we shall soon have a new era of teaching in our elementary schools. My principal object in rising is to call attention to a very remarkable and significant omission from the speech of my right hon. friend—I mean the entire absence of any statement as to higher education and what policy the new Board is likely to pursue. We spent some time last session discussing this question, and we certainly understood that something would be done without any more delay than was absolutely necessary, and that some time in the spring the new Board would come into active existence and take up seriously its duties as regards higher education. This is the only legitimate opportunity which this House is likely to have this session of discussing this question, and I wish to take advantage this afternoon of the opportunity afforded by this Estimate to ask some questions as to the position and the policy of the new Board as affecting higher as well as elementary education. I ventured to ask my right hon. friend a question the other day* as to the powers that would be transferred to the new Board, and as to the date when it would be fully constituted. I hope that to-night he will be able to give me a more satisfactory answer than he gave upon that occasion. He stated that before long—that was the indefinite expression he used—there would be a statement upon this subject made in another place. I venture to say that if he repeats that answer to-night this House will hardly take it as satisfactory. We were given to understand last year that from the time this Act came into force if we did not have here in this*See The parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. lxxxiii., p. 730.41 House a responsible Cabinet Minister as President of the Board of Education we should, at any rate, have the right hon. Gentleman, or someone who was in a position to speak with authority for the new Board, instead of having to deal with it as we have done before in a most unsatisfactory way. So far as we have seen at present, the now Act has had very little effect, and many of us cannot help thinking that the cause of education suffers very much from not having in this House of Commons a responsible Cabinet Minister representing the Education Department. We know that the right hon. Gentleman does everything he can in this direction, and we have to thank him for many improvements in many matters in connection with the new Code this year; but we should be very much more satisfied if he were authorised to speak with the authority which attaches to a Cabinet Minister in the position of President or responsible Vice-President of the new Board, and was able to toll us not only what the difficulties are, but also what is the general policy of the new Board for remedying these defects, and give us some assurance that those difficulties would be really remedied. It really comes to this, that in the present position of affairs the House of Commons has lost its control over the educational policy of the country. I do not think that ought to be the case when we have so recently passed a new Act. My right hon. friend will perhaps forgive me if I repeat this afternoon one or two questions which I put to him the other day. I hope he will be able to tell us before this debate ends why there has not yet been appointed any Assistant Secretary for Higher Education. Perhaps he will be able to tell us what line is to be drawn as regards the appointment of such an assistant secretary, and whether technical and secondary education are to be divided in the future. He may also be in a position to say whether the Government will lay upon the Table of the House the Report of the Departmental Committee which inquired so carefully into this question. We do not desire to insist upon every portion of that Report being laid upon the Table of the House, but I am sure many of us would like to know what the reasons are that lie at the bottom of the policy which is to be adopted by the new Board of Education, and how far the Departmental Committee recommended that 42 powers should be transferred to the new Board from the existing Department. I think it is the more necessary because we have recently had laid upon the Table what is professedly the outcome of the Act of last session, namely, a draft Order in Council. I do not know how far I am in order in asking questions about the Order in Council as regards the transfer of certain powers of the Charity Commissioners, but I think I shall be in order in asking a few general questions. There are two clauses in that Order. The first clause relates to England and Walt's at any rate, and, as far as I can understand, it merely transfers certain concurrent rights to inspect, which are the necessary concomitant of the Act of last year, Those powers are not taken away from the Charity Commissioners, but are left in their hands, and are given concurrently to the new Board. What I should like to know is this—will there be a concurrent inspector of secondary schools under the dual system, or will the new Board inspect education, leaving the Charity Commissioners to inspect the financial administration? We do not want any more inspections than are absolutely necessary, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman and the Government will see that there is no overlapping in this matter, and that there is no multiplication of inspecting authorities, because we have enough of them already. When we come to the other clause of the Order in Council we find that it is confined to Wales alone. Why, I would ask, is this transfer to take place for Wales and not for England? What good reason can the right hon. Gentleman give us why the Board of Education should not have similar powers as regards secondary schools in England as Wales possesses? I know only of one reason, and that is that there already exists an Intermediary Education Act in Wales, although it is nearly five years since the Commission reported upon the necessity of a similar Act for England. If that is the only reason I hope the right hon. Gentleman will assure us that a very short time will elapse before a similar Act is passed for this country. We have had very recently some light thrown upon this subject. We found the other day that in the view of the Government it was advisable that the powers now vested in the Charity Commissioners should be transferred to the Board of Education in respect of the City 43 of Birmingham. I should like to know why this should not also apply to other parts. What is good for Birmingham should be good for other places. Is it not desirable that all these great educational endowments should be under the new Board of Education rather than half under one body and half under another? I hope the right hon. Gentleman will let us know in short what is to be the policy of the Government. Is the new Board to be the central authority for secondary education as well as for elementary education? If that is so, ought not the new Board to take over the powers of the Board of Agriculture in regard to education? As the right hon. Gentleman has pointed out, agriculture is a subject which has to be taught in elementary schools, but the Board of Agriculture has nothing whatever to do with the elementary schools or the secondary schools, speaking generally. They have nothing to do with the science schools where the principles of agriculture form part of the education. The only institutions in the country where the Board of Agriculture have any supervision, and where it is their duty to inspect, are those few institutions which are directly aided by Treasury grants, and administered by the Board of Agriculture. Surely, what we want is some body that contains within itself a body of inspectors with agricultural knowledge and keenly interested in agricultural affairs, who shall keep an eye on every class of schools in the country where agriculture or any- thing bearing upon agriculture forms part of the system of education. We cannot expect the Treasury to authorise a double set of inspectors for agricultural education in this country. If this is the case, then surely the new Board ought to take over the educational inspection now exercised by the Board of Agriculture. I do not think that the Board of Agriculture should be divested of its powers for research. We have a very good precedent in the case of Scotland, where a few years ago the ordinary inspection exercised by the Board of Agriculture was given over to the new education department, the Board retaining its powers for research and experiment. That division is perfectly feasible; it has worked very smoothly in Scotland, and I hope the new Board will see its way to adopt it also. There is another subject which I hope the new Board will lose no time in dealing with, and that is 44 the question of evening continuation schools. For a long time in country districts evening continuation schools have been growing it is true, but growing very slowly and spasmodically, and without any proper system of encouragement from the local authorities. If the right hon. Gentleman will consult the Return of evening continuation schools he will see that the number of these schools differs enormously in different counties, and I think he will agree with mo that the great variety in the numbers which exists is largely due to the fact that in some counties these schools are encouraged and subsidised to a very large extent by the county authorities, whereas in other counties they are not subsidised at all. It may be invidious to mention names, but it can be clearly shown that evening continuation schools exist and flourish where they are aided not so much by the present inadequate Treasury grants, but where the Treasury grants are supplemented and completed by the county authorities. For that reason I venture to urge on the new Department the desirability of allowing county authorities, especially county authorities who are recognised under Clause 7, to undertake the supervision of these schools outside the large towns. In the large towns evening continuation schools are on the whole very well organised, but in small parishes they are not organised in the same manner, and it is in these cases that larger local areas are required for the organisation of our educational system. At present no county authority is under any statutory obligation to aid these continuation schools. I consider the county authorities should be under some obligation in the matter, and the best way of securing that is by allowing them to administer the Treasury grants for these schools in the same manner as is provided by Clause 7 for science and art schools. I suppose we shall have no further opportunity of discussing this question during the present session. We are promised in the remote and distant future—a future always receding—the introduction of another Secondary Education Bill, but it is clear we have now arrived at a stage of the session when many hon. Members may think more important subjects remain to be discussed, and when it is useless to expect that we shall see or hear anything of another Secondary Education Bill during the present year.
§ MR. HOBHOUSE
I bow to your ruling, Sir. I sincerely hope my right hon. friend will be able to give us, before the debate closes, a further statement with regard to the constitution of the new Board, the policy of the new Board, and the view he takes of its functions as regards higher education generally. I cannot think that in calling attention to the higher branches of education I have exercised my opportunity of participating in this debate in any illegitimate manner. After all, elementary education, though extremely important, as lying at the root of our educational system, is amply discussed in many of its aspects year after year in this House. But we want in addition continuation schools and higher schools and thoroughly good technical instruction to complete the education of the children of this country, and until we have a properly organised Department I do not think the Committee will be satisfied with the general results achieved.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH (Flintshire)
I desire to congratulate the Vice-President of the Council on the very interesting statement he has made this afternoon. He always gives the Committee something original, something different from what we expected, and he has acted on that principle to-day. I congratulate the light hon. Gentleman on the various improvements he has been able to carry through during his tenure of office. I congratulate him on the block grant system and the abolition of the barbarous system of payment by results, which for a long time strangled the education of the country, and made the work of elementary teachers perfectly intolerable. At the same time I think that some additions will be required. I think, for instance, that the difference between 21s. and 22s. is hardly sufficient to be an adequate stimulus to teachers. However, I believe that we are now on the right road in adopting the principle of the systems of Germany and Switzerland. Formerly our educational system was one of verbal pedantry, and I congratulate the Committee on the steady advance we are making in an intelligent conception of what an educational system should be, and on the large extension of manual 46 training which has taken place during late years, and the larger amount of discretion now given to managers as to the kind of education that ought to be given. I agree with what the Vice-President said as to the importance of rural children being trained in habits of observation. In America training in habits of observation is much greater than in this country. I had an opportunity of seeing something of the educational system of America. I went over the great training school in New York, the largest in the world, where 2,700 lady teachers go through a four years course in order to fit them for the work of teaching in the elementary schools. I found in one class that the subject of study was the leaves of trees, their form, structure, and uses. In another class the teachers were being taught the management of the Stock Exchange and how to handle stocks and shares. In that way education in America is admirably practical, and is carried on exactly on the lines described by the right hon. Gentleman this afternoon. Mr. Lowe once said that our educational system was the worship of inutility. That is so no longer, because I am glad to say that the Vice-President has a genuine enthusiasm for education. He has had the good fortune of seeing the resolution of the Berlin Conference, of which he was a member, carried into effect—namely, that the half-time ago should be raised to twelve. I also congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the Bill passed by my hon. friend the Member for South Shields last session, to which he rendered valuable assistance—namely, that children in the agricultural districts should remain at school in winter time up to the age of thirteen. I also congratulate him on what, I think, is a very good departure— namely, the grafting of a system of higher education on our present elementary school system. That, I think, is eminently practical, and will provide exactly what is required by the children of what I may call the intelligent artisan classes. I think, however, the limit of age ought to be extended to sixteen or seventeen years. I also congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on the great extension of evening continuation schools. That is a question in which I take a very deep interest. Many years ago I myself carried through the House unanimously a resolution in favour of 47 establishing evening continuation schools. At that time the total attendance was only 30,000; now it is 435,000. That is a very gratifying increase, but we have still too many children leaving school altogether at twelve or thirteen, and forgetting nearly all they have learned. But there is no comparison even yet between our system of education and that of Germany. The technical schools of Germany are most wonderful institutions, and to prepare for them the children pass through a long period of continuation schools up to the age of sixteen or seventeen. I have made these remarks on the general question with a view to congratulating the Vice-President, but I desire now to make a few criticisms, not so much on the right hon. Gentleman personally as on the defects which spring out of our dual system of education. I will require to ask the indulgence of the Committee for a few minutes while I endeavour to show some of the results of the administration of the Education Acts of this country by the present Government, for I hold that under the administration of the present Government the defects of the dual system have been greatly aggravated. The fact is that clericalism in England is gradually producing similar results in this country as it has produced in France and most other Continental countries. Clericalism is now in control of a large portion of the education of this country. It is drawing its bands tighter and tighter, and it is coming more and more into collision with the convictions of the masses of the people, and often with the convictions of the teachers themselves. I am aware I cannot now discuss the foundations of our system of education, but I can discuss the question of administration. I allege that the law has been strained in favour of clerical pretensions. There is much more friction in the country now than there was a few years ago, and this friction has chiefly occurred among what I may call the Protestant and Nonconformist sections of the country. Two and a half millions of children are now being educated in clerical schools. I must make a protest against what I conceive to be an abuse of the Education Act—an abuse which, when that Act was passed by the Liberal Government in 1870, it was never intended should be tolerated. It has become a customary thing to march the children of Nonconformists, as 48 well as other Protestant children, into church to attend what in some cases is called "the service of the Mass." I have had several cases brought before me in which the whole school is expected to march to Mass on saints' days, which are very numerous in some schools. Now, I hold that that is a colourable evasion of the law. I do not think it is according to law, although the Vice-President of the Council has repeatedly stated in this House that the Government or the Education Board has no right to interfere. I think that was not the view taken ten or twenty years ago, and I do not think it is the view that will be allowed to be taken ten or twenty years hence. I was challenged by the First Lord of the Treasury, on the day before the adjournment for the holidays, to give instances of such things. I gave one instance, although I had not prepared myself with all the detailed facts. But I have now a list of many cases, which, if necessary, I can give to the House, where children are marched to these services of the Mass. Out of a large number I select a few—ALL, SAINTS', HARLESDEN.—Children taken every saint's day to Eucharist service, which is another name for the Mass.HASCOMBE VOLUNTARY SCHOOL. — Children sent to church every Tuesday in Lent.BERKHAMSTED, AND OTHER PLACES.— Children marched in procession to a service of a highly ritualistic character without the opportunity being given to the parents to object.ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S, BRIGHTON.—Two thousand children from the National schools marched once a week to hear Mass in a Church-of England school.DORCHESTER, OXFORDSHIRE.—The scholars marched to a High Church mission without the permission of the parents.
§ MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
The hon. Member says "without the permission of the parents." Did the parents object?
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
The children were directed to go, and the parents were not asked whether they wished them to go or not.
I ask the hon. Member how he makes the Board of Education responsible for these practices?
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I have already intimated my opinion that it is a misuse 49 of the Education Act of 1870. I am quite aware that the Board of Education denies that it has any power in the matter. However, I will not press the subject, except to repeat that in my opinion it is an abuse of the Act of 1870, and that there should be sufficient protection for the children against such practices as these. It is alleged that the Conscience Clause protects children from compulsory attendance at these services. I am assured it is not so in practice. I am told that in many ways children are penalised for non-attendance, so that poor parents dare not forbid them. They often hold their houses on sufferance from large proprietors who are influenced by the vicar. I will give two or three specific cases in which the Conscience Clause has been abused—LONGBRIDGE DEVERILLL, WILTS.—A man and his wife came to work for a local farmer, and attended the Primitive Methodist chapel. The children attended the Church of England school, the only one available. They claimed the Conscience Clause, to the astonishment of the teachers and managers. At the end of the school year the eldest boy obtained one of the vicar's prizes (which was a prayer book). On saints' days the school was closed, and the children were taken to church, but this boy was set to work to clean out the school water-closets, etc. This is the spirit shown in that village and in many others in Wiltshire to-day, where the priests are members of the E. C.U. and other such societies.DEVIZES, WILTS (The Rev. J. Day). —There are nine hundred Nonconformist Sunday school scholars in Devizes. Five hundred of them at least are compelled to attend Roman Catholic or Anglican day schools, mostly Anglican. Sacramentarian teaching, it is very well known, is directly given in the day schools here. Not long ago one of my Sunday scholars wanted to be a teacher in St. James's School. I missed him from my Sunday school, and when I inquired, the mother said that he was obliged to go to church.LUDLOW.— The rector is a High Churchman. Many children of Nonconformist parents attend his school. Saints' days are regularly observed, and on many of them the children are marched to the parish church. To-day, for instance, being Ascension Day, he has all the children taken to church. The district visitors do their best to induce the parents to send their children to the National school, and to my knowledge persuaded a woman close by my house to take her children from the British school, telling her that her children were being taught heretical doctrine. —(W. O. Robinson.)CAMELFORD, CORNWALL. — Church of England school here with 250 scholars; three-fourths of them are children of Nonconformists. A general holiday is given on Confirmation 50 day, Ash Wednesdays, and other Church festivals, but a great fuss is made if a scholar stays away to attend a service at any of the Nonconformist places of worship. No child can become a pupil or enter the teaching profession without first becoming a communicant, and this has taken some from our churches and is a great cause of annoyance.—(Thomas E. Wakefield.)I will now give a still stronger case, the particulars of which were collected by Mr. Hirst Hollowell—I was written to by a small farmer in Elton, Derbyshire, not long ago, and he said that he had demanded the Conscience Clause at the Church of England school for his children, with the result that for several mornings they were kept shut in a small cloakroom for three-quarters of an hour in the suffocating air without education. At my request he demanded different treatment, and got it; but the fact that his children were treated in the way they were shows the spirit in which the Conscience Clause is often carried out. At Thrapston, Northamptonshire, a mother came to me and said she was a Baptist, but, having to send her child to the Church of England school, the only one in the town, she sent a request that her child should not be taught the Creed or Catechism. In spite of this both were taught to her, and one day the child, in school, said, 'Please, teacher, mother says I am not to be taught this.' Before the whole school the teacher answered, 'Oh, your mother does not believe in the Catechism, then. What does she believe? Does she believe in the devil?'The Rev. J. T. Home, Crowe, writes on 17th January, 1900—Many Free Churchmen in the town are-subject to the indignity of having their children marched to the Established Church-for the purpose of being taught sacramentarian doctrines before the school work proper is commenced.St. Barnabas, Crewe, is a church where this practice is carried on. In reply to a complaint, the Education Department said, in a letter dated 26th April, 1900—With regard to religious instruction I am, to invite your attention to Section 7, Sub-Section 1 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870.A question was put in the House of Commons by Mr. C. P. Trevelyan as to whether it was legal for school managers to march scholars to religious worship during school hours without first obtaining the permission of the parents. The, reply was to the effect that—The practice of occasionally taking-scholars to places of worship during the time set apart for religious instruction has never been objected to by the Committee of Council, and is in their opinion legal.51 At any rate the country is getting to clearly understand how the law is being carried out. I wish to ask the Vice-President whether it is legal for the Anglican clergy who teach the Mass and the Confessional to remove teachers from their schools who refuse to teach such doctrines? I have letters from National School teachers telling me this is the case. One informs me that the vicar threatened to dismiss him unless he joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. The insecurity of the tenure of Voluntary teachers makes them the slaves of the parish clergyman. Mr. Jackman, president of the National Union of Teachers, gives some deplorable cases of arbitrary eviction. He mentions that a mistress was dismissed because she would not attend "Early Communion"; a master was dismissed because he attended evangelical services in the neighbouring village; another because he refused to chant the psalms; another because he refused to sit in the choir, and another because he managed the village library. Surely it is time this tyranny should be put an end to. I am informed that there are 2,700 ritualistic clergy who have complete control of 2,700 Voluntary schools. Another grievous abuse is that by order of the Department considerable numbers of Protestant children are obliged to attend Roman Catholic schools owing to the absence of Board schools with free education. It is generally supposed that elementary education is now free, but this is a delusion in some places so far as Protestants are concerned. At Southport the parents of 1,200 children applied for free places, and on 19th November, 1896, the Department directed 300 of these children to find free places in St. Mary's Roman Catholic school and the Dean Cooke Roman Catholic Memorial School, and informed 300 more that they must wait until a new Church of England school was built in the Marshside district. Nearly all the children in question are of Protestant families, and most of them Non conformists. Claims for 406 free places were sent in at Chorlton-cum-Hardy. At the request of the Education Department the school attendance officer of the district council made an investigation. Subsequently a notice was issued by the Department requiring 142 new free places. This notice expired on 20th January, 1900, but as yet nothing has been done. The De- 52 partment in this case indicated that there were 158 free places in St. Augustine's Roman Catholic School, and it has reduced the claims from 406 to 142 partly on the ground that there are these places in the Roman Catholic school. The general policy seems to be that while there is any spare room in Roman Catholic schools there is no necessity to build schools for Protestant children.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
Well, it is entirely opposed to the feeling of the country. At Levenshulme all parents of children in and above Standard II., applying for free education, were informed that free places would be provided for their children at St. Mary's, Levenshulme. This is a Roman Catholic school. The parents were individually addressed by the Department, and Hilda Margaret Harrison was one of the children so directed to attend. At Clayton-le-Moors, near Accrington, six parents received letters from the Department directing them to send their children to St. Mary's Roman Catholic School. Amongst them were Mr. D. Bashall, Mr. J. H. Hacking, Mrs. S. A. Griffiths, and Mr. J. Aldritt, who objected to send their children to Roman Catholic schools. Thirty-two applications for free places were made at Rugby. The Education Department replied that there were free places at the Roman Catholic schools. It was rejoined that the parents were Protestants, but the Department again stated that the Roman Catholic schools contained the only places available. I assert that this is an intolerable abuse, and is done under the clerical pressure which is brought to bear on the Education Department. The High Anglicans much prefer that children should be sent to Roman Catholic schools than to Board schools, and I am informed that now under the School Board system of London considerable numbers of Protestant children are forced into Roman Catholic schools. I quote from a letter I received last year from a London Board School teacher—The Romish schools in London are swarming with Protestant children, who are being indoctrinated and trained at first hand by Romish teachers, not at second hand, as in the Church of England schools. How can this be proved? By asking for a Return of Protestant children who are attending Roman Catholic 53 schools in the London School Board district. Once in these schools, we know what will happen. How, then, have these children got into Romish schools? Not certainly by the wish of their parents, but against it. They are driven into these schools by the direct action of the employees and officials of the London School Board. This is the process. A poor working man's child presents himself or herself for admission to a Board school. The signs of the parents' hard lot are visible on the child. Though clean, his or her clothes are not so good—they are most likely patched, and not cut in the latest fashion—as the poor hard-worked mother has been the tailor. The superior head teacher looks at the child, sees at a glance the class it belongs to, and does not consider it fit companion for the well-clad children of the clerks and tradesmen, whose children are getting a superior education for nothing at that school. So the superior head teacher shakes his or her head, and, under one pretence or other, illegally refuses to admit the child. The visitor then conies round and finds the child not in attendance. The mother reports the refusal. The visitor then, instead of reporting the refusal to headquarters, as he is bound to do, for his own ease, or to please the teacher, suggests the Romish school. The poor parents, harried by the school board, are driven, for the sake of peace, to send the children to the last place they would otherwise wish them to go.The right hon. Gentleman, I perceive, does not believe the truth of this statement. I hope means will be taken to verify it.
§ SIR J. GORST
I do not disbelieve the statement. I say that is a question affecting the gentlemen composing the school board.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
Let mo go to another point—the use to which Anglican training colleges are put by the extreme clerical party. I do not know how far I will be allowed to advert to this question, but I may point out that nearly all the certificated teachers for Voluntary schools are trained in denominational residential training colleges, the great bulk of which belong to the National Church. There I are forty-four residential training colleges and only fourteen day training colleges, so that many Board School teachers are also taken from the former; and I wish to point out to the House that the examining bodies of these colleges can lay down what rules they choose for the entrance of students. They can exclude altogether Protestant Nonconformists unless they abandon their faith; but they may go further than this. I strongly suspect they have the power of excluding even Protestant Churchmen, because I find 54 that the heads of some of these colleges are Ritualists, members of the English Church Union and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament. The principal of Culham College in the Oxford diocese is a member of Lord Halifax's Society, the English Church Union; so is the chaplain of Truro College. The National Society undertakes to examine the candidates for admission to these colleges on religious knowledge, and the majority of its examiners I am told are Ritualists believing in sacerdotal doctrines, and the Rev. Canon Brownrigg, its general secretary, is a member of the English Church Union and formerly of the Holy Cross Society.
§ *SIR F. S. POWELL (Wigan)
I am sorry to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but I cannot hoar a word he is saying.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I was saying that the Rev. Canon Brownrigg, the general secretary, is a member of the English Church Union and formerly of the Holy Cross Society.
Order, order! I do not know what the religious views of these gentlemen have to do with the Board of Education Vote.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I bow to your ruling, Sir, and will merely ask the right hon. Gentleman whether even should those colleges believe in auricular confession he has a right to offer advice—
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
And I wish to know from the Vice-President whether it is competent for the examining body to exclude from any training college Protestant Churchmen who refuse to profess faith in auricular confession; or is the Department powerless? This is a vital question for the future of this country. I wish to ask whether the large grants which the Education Board gives to Anglican residential colleges will be withheld if they recommend the students to go to confession, as is done in several theological colleges?
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
Then I would like to know what is the meaning of this 55 article in the Day School Code dealing with admission into training colleges. Article 118 (page 27, Code of Regulations)—The Department may refuse to recognise in a training college any student who has, subsequently to the publication of the list of Queen's scholars, signed an engagement to enter another training college without the written consent of the authorities of the latter college. In other respects the authorities of each college settle their own terms of admission.And, again, what is the force of Article 119—Upon proof by the authorities of any college that candidates have not fulfilled the conditions signed by them on admission into the college, the Department may refuse to grant parchment certificates to such candidates, or to recognise them as certified teachers"?
§ SIR J. GORST
The conditions to which the hon. Gentleman refers are the conditions which shall be required in the teacher.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I hope it may be so, but it is put down here in the most extreme form. May I further ask the Vice-President if the cognisance of the Department extends to the manuals of history taught in training colleges? Is it held that any version of English history, however falsified to suit Ritualist prejudices, may be drilled into the pupils at these colleges? This is no imaginary evil. A class of historians has recently appeared who unite in one aim, that is, to disparage the Protestant Reformation, and to vilify the reformers of the sixteenth and the Puritans of the seventeenth century. I wish to know if the Department has anything to say about historical teaching, concerning which that accurate historian, Mr. J. Horace Round, states—The matter becomes really serious when our schools are flooded, through the agency of the clergy, under the guise of faithful history, with treatises in which notorious facts are either ignored or explained away.Is the Vice-President aware that the Archbishop's chief inspector of religious knowledge in training colleges holds up to admiration in his text book absolutism in Church and State, and praises as great Englishmen Archbishop Laud and Charles I., while he holds up to contempt the reformers of the sixteenth century, and Puritans like Cromwell, Hampden and Milton in the seventeenth? This is an 56 age of Imperialism. The present Government represents the Imperialistic spirit. It plumes itself on binding the colonies to the mother country by the closest of ties. It also wishes, in which I entirely agree, to cement a cordial alliance with our kinsmen in the United States. A great Anglo-Saxon confederation looms in the distance as an ideal which fires the imagination of millions. Is this likely to be brought about by insulting the memory of the Puritan settlers in New England; by describing the vast Protestant communities of America, Canada, and Australasia as "Protestant heretics"; by training up the next generation of Englishmen to despise the men who founded the great Commonwealths-across the ocean? The best blood of the New World came of the victims of priestly tyranny in this country. The men of the "Mayflower" are held in reverence both in the United States and in Canada, and here we have a reactionary school of clericalism insulting their memory and holding up priestly bigots to the admiration of the rising generation. Will not the same result happen in this country as in France? The Dreyfus case shows the lengths to which priestly bigotry will go. France is divided into two nations—the clerical and the anticlerical—and each tries to destroy the other. So it is in Italy; so it is fast coming to be into every European country. Are we to see England rent into clerical and anti-clerical through the abuse of our national system of education?
The Board of Education has no control over that. The school board depends upon the electorate.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I will ask your ruling upon this, Sir. Suppose a school board breaks the education law by requiring a catechism to be taught, is there no power in the Executive to require the Board to comply with the law?
If the hon. Gentleman alleges that there is some power 57 in the Board of Education which the Board has not exercised, and that the law has been broken in any particular, of course the hon. Gentleman is entitled to go into it. I understood the hon. Gentleman to complain that in certain school boards certain gentlemen hold certain religious views. Clearly the Board of Education has nothing to do with that. That has nothing to do with the Education Vote.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
The Liverpool School Board endeavoured to introduce a catechism into the Board schools. When the Vice-President was asked whether it was legal, he replied that it was so because not distinctive of any denomination. I altogether deny this construction of the Act of 1870. It forbids all formularies distinctive of particular denominations. This catechism was based upon one published under the auspices of the Free Church Council—in my opinion an excellent compendium of Bible teaching, yet I hold it was a colourable evasion of the Act of 1870 to teach it in Board schools. I am told it has now been withdrawn. A similar attempt has been made to introduce catechetical teaching at a board school at Seacombe, in Cheshire; and at the Board school at Church Cop-penhall, near Crewe, the rector, who was chairman of the school board, displayed the parish almanac in the Board school, containing the following statements—Registration means that a child of wrath has been born into the world. Holy baptism means that your child is born again of water and the Spirit. We are not Christians until we have been christened or baptised.The supernatural powers entrusted to the first Apostles for the benefit of men's souls, and the authority delegated to them by Jesus Christ, are still given to every bishop and priest at his ordination. The clergy of the Church are the true successors of the Apostles in this kingdom.The Church of England is a true portion of the Catholic Church, being the same Church as existed in this country before the Reformation. She never calls herself Protestant—a word we must carefully avoid if we would be true to our spiritual mother.Confessions are received every Saturday evening from 7.30 to 8.30, when the rector will be found in the Church, and at other times by appointment.In reply to a question I put, the Vice-President replied as follows—My attention has been called to this almanae by the hon. Member in question. The Education Department does not seem to have any power to interfere in the matter.… 58 The only thing the Education Department have power to prohibit is a catechism or a formulary. An almanac is neither the one nor the oilier."†
§ SIR J. GORST
I think the hon. Gentleman should also in fairness state that the instant attention was drawn to the almanac it was taken down on representation being made.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
It would not have been taken down but for the question being raised in this House. I will say in conclusion that the administration of the Education Acts is thoroughly partisan under the present Government. It is inspired by an unworthy jealousy of the School Board system, and is directed by the clerical party led by the small body of High Churchmen who co-operate with the hon. Member for Rochester (Viscount Cranborne), and the hon. Member for Greenwich (Lord Hugh Cecil). The personal opinions of the Vice-President are much more liberal. He is an excellent educationalist. Were he not hampered and trammelled by his clerical supporters he would administer the Department in a liberal and progressive manner. But we are bound to make our complaints to him, as he alone in this House represents the Education Department; and I hope that ere this debate concludes he will give some reply to the various cases of complaint we bring against the administration of his Department. I move to reduce the salary of the Vice-President by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £100, in respect of the Salary of the Vice-President of the Council."—(Mr. Samuel Smith.)
§ SIR J. GORST
The duty of the Education Department is to keep itself entirely clear of religious controversy. Its functions in regard to the religion which is taught in denominational and School Board schools are of the most limited character. The Department has only two functions to perform. One is to see that the Conscience Clause is substantially observed, that is to say, to take care that every parent who desires in a denominational school or in a Board† See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. lxxix., page 1100; refer also to Vol. lxxx., page 43.59 school to withdraw his child from the religious instruction which is given is not intimidated, but is really at liberty to withdraw the child. With the religious instruction given the Education Department has nothing whatever to do; and if it were to interfere and to dictate to the Roman Catholics, for instance, what particular religion they should teach, or to the Wesleyans or the clergy of the Church of England what particular religion they should teach, it would be entirely transcending the functions committed to it by Parliament, and would be guilty of a gross dereliction of duty. As far as I know, the hon. Member has adduced no instance in which a parent during the administration of the present Government has been practically unsupported by the Education Department in his right to withdraw his child from any religious instruction. The other duty in relation to religion thrown upon the Board of Education arises under the prohibition under the law of school boards from teaching a catechism or formulary of a distinctly denominational character. The Act provides that where complaint is made that such a catechism or formulary is being taught the Education Department shall decide judicially whether such catechism or formulary is of a denominational character, and the decision of the Education Department is final. I am very glad to say that in my time a case has never arisen for judicial decision, though there have been threatenings in that direction. There was what appeared to be a serious case at Liverpool, where a catechism was framed by a school board, and at one time it looked very much as if a judicial decision would be required from the Department whether that particular catechism was or was not a violation of the law. Of course, had it become the duty of the Department to decide that question, the Department would have used its best ability in arriving at a final decision. But, happily, we were not required to do this, for the local school board withdrew the catechism. At the present time there is a case pending—I do not know whether it is the case the hon. Member has referred to—in which certain members of a school board have complained that the use of the Apostles' Creed and "My duty to God and to my neighbour," taught in a Board school, is a violation of the clause. That is alleged by certain members of the 60 Board, while other members take an opposite view, and the question is, I believe, nearly ripe for decision. The last time I had to do with it I directed the parties to make any addition they desired to the correspondence that had taken place, and it would then become the duty of my noble friend the Lord President of the Council and myself to come to a judicial decision to the best of our ability. It appeared to me in my innocence, before I was called upon to decide judicially, that our "duty to God" was a proposition upon which there had been agreement among all creeds, and that "our duty to our neighbour" expressed exactly the sort of opinion Pagan philosophers of old would have maintained. If the question docs come up for decision I will try to disabuse my mind of all preconceived prejudices, and, in conjunction with my noble friend the Lord President of the Council—and possibly with the assistance of the law officers of the Crown —we will come to the best final decision we possibly can. But that has never been done yet; the Department has never yet exercised this very serious power conferred by the Act. These are the only two particulars upon which the Board of Education has a right to trouble itself or take any side whatever in religious controversies in regard to school teaching. As to criticising an almanac or a history of the Prayer Book, or giving an opinion on the ritualistic proclivities of teachers or managers, in any attempt of that kind we should be guilty of a gross violation of the duty of the Department under the Act. The hon. Member for Flint has referred to instances of Protestant children being sent to Roman Catholic schools. But that is according to law. As the law stands, a parent is entitled to a free place in a local school, and, on the other hand, a school board has no right to build additional school accommodation so long as free places are to be found in existing schools. The Education Department does not take cognisance of the religious denomination of the school; all it does is to ascertain through its inspector whether there are free places in the school, and as long as there are free places we have no jurisdiction. It is not for me to say whether that is a satisfactory state of the law; if in the opinion of the hon. Member it is not, then his efforts should be directed to 61 inducing Parliament to pass a law providing for every child a free place in a school of the denomination to which the parent belongs, and that might alter the present state of things. But as the law stands, all the Department can do is to give the child a free place in a school where such place exists, and not until all the places are filled has the Department power to require a school board to build an additional school.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
I understand, according to your ruling, it is impossible to go to what may be called the bottom of the question, and I will only detain the House for a few moments in regard to what fell from the hon. Member for Flint. He referred on this occasion, and also on a previous occasion, to a large number of instances of grievances, which, of course, it is quite impossible to test on the spur of the moment. He referred on this occasion to a book which he quoted from on the last occasion, and he repeated the accusation against that book, which he said is used, or intended to be used, in schools and training colleges, that it is fundamentally opposed to the whole tenor of the Reformation. Of course, it would not be in order to comment on what the hon. Member said on a previous occasion, but I may be allowed to say that I have had an opportunity of looking into the matter he instanced on the last occasion, and the impression left on my mind is altogether different from what he said in regard to the book. He mentioned one foolish book which he said was written by the principal of a training college, but he did not tell the House that the author had ceased to be principal for sixteen years, and that it is a book which is exceedingly difficult to get. In answer to my application the publishers stated that they had only some copies in quires, and I am told by the National Society, though millions of books pass through their hands for purposes of education, they have never had any application for this particular book. I think the impression the hon. Member gave was that it was an extraordinary kind of book, which was being used in a training college.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I beg pardon, I did not say that. I merely stated that that book represented the teaching in that particular training college.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL
Sixteen years ago. The hon. Member referred to another book in the Church History series, and commented severely on the fact that it made no mention of the reign of Queen Mary. Had he studied the book more closely he would have found that the reign of Queen Mary is altogether irrelevant to the "History of the Prayer Book." The writer refers to the first Prayer Book published during the reign of Edward VI., and mentions several reasons why it caught the mind of the English nation. The first reason is—It was Scriptural. The English people have always loved the Bible, and the new translations of that Book in strong, intelligible English had deepened the feeling of reverence for it; the country welcomed the fuller and more systematic use of the Book, and the discarding of apocryphal and childish legends.The truth is that the author holds the opinion which has always been recognised, that the Puritans of the seventeenth century were mistaken men, and that the Church of England suffered at their hands. That is an opinion perfectly loyal to the Church of England, and one perfectly proper to teach. Let the Committee observe critically the position they are put in. The hon. Member comes forward and makes accusations. When we try to test the charges we find they bear a different interpretation from that he puts upon them. Although no one disputes that the hon. Member is perfectly sincere, his recklessness of assertion is such that it would be foolish for the Committee to accept on his authority all his statements or any of his statements with reference to the books taught in the schools. He also spoke of breaches of the law. I was surprised to find that he seemed to think the Liverpool Catechism had a Romanising tendency. As a matter of fact this particular catechism was taken out of the Nonconformist catechism drawn up by distinguished Nonconformists.
§ *MR. SAMUEL SMITH
I agree with the noble Lord, and I am glad to hear him speak so well of it, but I hold that the teaching of the catechism in a Board school is contrary to law.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL
I quite understand. At any rate, this case is of the class the hon. Member mentioned. It is a grievance not against the particular teaching a clergyman may give at a 63 school, but it is a grievance against teachers generally, because they do not teach what the hon. Member approves. It would be a feeble remedy for the grievance merely to stop the clergy from teaching the children. It would be an impossible remedy, for you would have to go into an elaborate inquiry on controversial ground before you could determine whether in this particular school or that particular school it was improper to take the children to service. You would have to create in the Education Department a tribunal to deal with such questions. It is perfectly impossible to prevent the clergy from taking children to services of that kind. I do not know whether they do or do not. It might or might not be an offence against the ecclesiastical law, but it is not one on which the Department can intervene. We have always recognised that it is very unfair that in a largo part of the country there should be only Church of England schools, and that Nonconformists should be obliged to send their children there, but the remedy is in the hands of the Nonconformist leaders. If they will agree with us that the true principle of education is that every child should be brought up in the belief of its parents, the whole question will be solved in a very short time. If the Nonconformist leaders will extend that measure of consideration they claim for themselves to the Church of England, a friendly arrangement might be come to by which the education of this country should be resettled, not on the present undenominational basis, but on a denominational basis, and then the real Nonconformist grievance would disappear. We will most gladly enter into any kind of discussion with Nonconformists with the object of meeting their views if the Nonconformists are equally ready to meet ours. We have over and over again said to Members in this House who are interested in this matter that it really rests with the Nonconformist leaders to say whether or not the religious question shall continue or be brought to a friendly settlement. We must all recognise how great an obstacle to educational progress is the fact that there are two religious bodies contending over the school children. From our point of view it is inevitable; we consider that religious education is the most important part of education, and we can never consent to sacrifice the most important to 64 the less important part. None the less, from an educational point of view it is deplorable. I think there is nothing more absurd than to contemplate the attitude of the different religious bodies respecting educational reform; the question at the back of their minds is, "How will this affect the controversy between denominational and undenominational schools?" They remind me always of two cats, who watch one another in an attitude of constant suspicion, varied by occasional imprecation. We witnessed it this year over the block grant. I myself spent a great deal of time in considering what the effect of the block grant would be on denominational schools, and I have no doubt those interested in the opposite point of view were exercised by similar considerations. From an educational point of view that is undoubtedly ridiculous. Religious peace on the educational question can be easily brought about if Nonconformists are prepared to accept the fundamental proposition that the determination of the religious education of the child belongs to the parent.
§ MR. BIRRELL (Fifeshire, W.)
I am glad that the noble Lord has so clearly explained to the Committee that the great obstacle in the way of a good system of education in this country is not the attitude assumed by the parents, but the attitude assumed by religious proselytisers on both sides of the House belonging to different kinds of religion. It is a most extraordinary thing that in none of the instances of alleged grievances in regard to religious education have we heard anything of the parents. I have a curious case of that in my own constituency in Scotland. Scotland is generally supposed to be a Protestant country, but there is in my constituency in Fife a Roman Catholic school which is the only school in the district, and whither Protestant children come. I have had political meetings in the school attended by the Protestants of the district. I have often been told by religious agitators, who abound in that neighbourhood, that it is a monstrous grievance that the children of Scotch Presbyterians at the latter end of the century should be obliged to go to a Roman Catholic school within a few miles of the ancient town of Dunfermline. I have always said that I will agitate and grow excited over the matter the moment I am re- 65 quested to do so by the parents of any of the children who are condemned to go to this school. I have said it in the school, and in the newspapers in the district, but from that day to this not a single complaint has ever been made to me personally or through the post by any of those parents, and I do not believe the Protestantism of that parish is less sound than that of any throughout the length and breadth of Scotland. My hon. friend the Member for Flint has spoken of the grievance of sending a child to a "Romish" school. It would be a grievance if a Protestant child—or rather a child of Protestant parents, for I do not see why we should brand a child with the religious idiosyncrasies of its parents—were sent to a school during the hours when the special doctrines of that branch of the Christian Church we call Roman are taught, but there is no allegation that that is the case. There is no allegation of proselytising being the result to children sent to these schools. I do not think any Presbyterian parent need be under any apprehension in sending his child to a school called Roman Catholic if the Conscience Clause is observed, or even if it is not. At different periods of my life it has been my lot to learn both the shorter catechism of the Church of Scotland and the catechism of the Church of England; neither I nor my parents were Presbyterians or Anglicans, yet I learnt both these catechisms without any injury whatever to my independence of mind. Of the two catechisms the document of the Church of England is the least denominational I have ever learnt. In fact this is not a question of the parents or of the children, it is a question of the agitators belonging to religious bodies, who think the children should belong to them when they grow up. A religiously-minded parent deeply holding and strongly attached to a religious opinion or an irreligious opinion can send his child with perfect safety to a Board school or to a denominational school, to whatever de nomination it belongs. I can instance the case of a man for whom I have great respect, who entertains the very strongest Agnostic opinions, whose children have received at a London Board school special commendation and prizes for a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures My Agnostic friend has no objection whatever to his children being so in 66 structed. He would, indeed, be a fool who in these days would deprive his children of the benefit of sharing a knowledge common to the rest of the human family. I think in this matter we ought to deal out to Anglicans the same measure of justice we are prepared to deal out to Roman Catholics. The Roman Catholics belong in this country to a poor class. Many of the parents lead lives in which they become indifferent Catholics, and the priests and others interested in the Roman Catholic faith feel it a duty to provide the children with schools, which are really missionary schools. A man, if he really cares for his religion, can himself instil it into the minds of his children. We are told over and over again that it is a monstrous crime that we do not provide Anglican schools, so that Anglican parents may have the pride and satisfaction of sending their children to them. But if the parents care a snap of the finger for their Anglicism they will see that their children on Sundays, and in Sunday schools, are instructed in the doctrines of Christianity. The fact is that an enormous number of parents in this country are totally in-I different to and ignore religion altogether. They may think it a good and desirable thing for other people, or say at Election time that they wish their children to receive religious education, but personally they are indifferent to it. Consequently the religious bodies are really missionary societies, and they watch each other, as the noble Lord has said, like angry animals to see that no proposal made in this House interferes with what is really a missionary enterprise—namely, teaching the children of this country distinct religious dogmas. We must make up our minds whether we wish the education of this country to be religious or non-religious, and I quite agree that the time has come when we may advantageously reconsider that question. I dislike the notion of all the schools of this country being denominational, and I hope there will always remain a large number of persons who will be satisfied with what is called Hoard school religion, which, as the Archbishop of Canterbury has admitted, I think cheerfully, is a very excellent form of Christianity. Though it may not be enough for some people, I should have thought in other cases it might supplement the deficiencies at home. I should, indeed, be sorry if it were thought neces- 67 sary to stamp every school in the country even during one hour of the day, with distinctive religious opinions. I only rose to ask the House to bear in mind that the grievances are grievances of the religious bodies and not of the children. I think no instance has ever been brought home to my mind that the children of Nonconformists are subjected in the schools to treatment of which they need be frightened. In the training colleges, Nonconformists who wish to adopt the teaching profession undoubtedly do suffer an intolerable wrong. It may be said that the Nonconformists should establish training colleges of their own, but the fact remains that we have supported out of the public purse training colleges to which it is practically impossible for Nonconformists to obtain an entrance. They therefore are cut off from one of the grandest opportunities of doing public service that are open to the young men of the present day and of time to come. I do think the Church of England would do well, exercising the great authority and power it does in this matter, if it did all it could to extend these advantages to Nonconformists, who are every bit as pious as churchmen themselves, and who, after all, entertain and share for the most part the great bulk of their opinions, and who are well qualified to contend with the scepticism and materialism of the age, which is a far greater danger than any which has been named, if they were allowed to enter the schools. The right hon. Gentleman is very sympathetic in these matters, but somehow he does not seem able in the Department to which he belongs to give effect to the principle he puts forward. Whether there is an influence by his side which interferes with the carrying out of the excellent, magnificent, and enlightened opinions which he holds, I do not know, but I do not think that during the time he has held his present office the application of the principles he has so often expounded has been very greatly extended throughout the country.
§ *MR. HUDSON (Hertfordshire, Hitchin)
said there was one point which had not been brought before the Committee, but upon which he had received a large number of letters from various schoolmasters throughout the country, and that was the question of the right of appeal from the decision of the manager. A 68 good deal could be said on both sides of the question, but certainly in nearly all the States of Europe, and in all the Colonies, the masters had the right of appeal. In this country under the recent Act the teachers had to pay part of their salaries to a pension fund, the whole of which payments they lost if they were dismissed. There was no doubt that cases did occur in which masters were dismissed for insufficient cause, one instance being a case in which a master was dismissed because in the evening he managed the village library. It was but fair that there should be the right of appeal, either by a clause being inserted in the contract that all masters and managers had to sign, that masters should not be dismissed without reasonable cause being assigned; or to the Education Department itself.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)
I should like to add a few words in support of the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken. All over the country teachers feel the disability under which they suffer, and to which reference has been made, to be a very acute grievance. Evidence of this comes from the whole of the country, from north to south. The grievance has been felt for many years past, but it appears to the teachers to be peculiarly unjust to them since the passage of the Superannuation Act under which their incomes are affected. They are now compelled by law to pay in a portion of their salaries to provide superannuation for themselves, and it is therefore peculiarly wrong that either the school board or denominational managers should be at liberty to send them about their business without any reason being assigned, seeing that by such dismissal they lose the payments they have made. It is a very small matter that these people who do such excellent work ask at our hands. You, Sir, have told us that we can speak only of what the Department can do. I hope I may be allowed to say that when we vote money for the Department we ought to be at liberty to say what the Department ought to have power to do. It seems to me that the Department ought to have the power, and to exercise it, of insisting that every teacher should be under agreement, and whether or not the words were in the agreement they should be supposed to be there, that no teacher should be dismissed without 69 reasonable cause assigned. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken of some action which I have taken in opposition, as it happens, to the policy of the National Union of Teachers. The teachers have desired that they should be more rather than less free to inflict corporal punishment. I have had an interview with a number of teachers in my constituency, at which they laid before me their view that a diminution of their power was a derogation of the dignity of a noble profession. At the end of the interview they put before me this grievance with regard to unjust and capricious dismissal. I asked them what would be the position with regard to the question of unjust or capricious dismissal if the meeting before me had been one not of elementary school teachers, but of clergymen of the Church of England. I said that the clergymen would probably have addressed to me exactly the same argument in favour of their freedom to dismiss teachers as the teachers had used with regard to their freedom to inflict corporal punishment upon children—that the clergymen would have said that any diminution whatever of the power now in the hands of managers of schools would be a derogation of the dignity of a noble profession. To my mind it is a very strong argument, though I do not know that it is a very noble one, that those who pay the piper should call the tune. It is the nation and not the managers of the school who pay the teachers, and therefore it is right that there should be an appeal granted to the teachers against any dismissal which they consider to be unjust or capricious.
§ *MR. TALBOT
was understood to express a desire to correct a misstatement of the hon. Member for Flintshire with regard to training colleges. He was not going to enter into the question of the teaching given in the colleges. The colleges formed an important part of the educational equipment of the country, were directly under the control of the Vice-President of the Council, and therefore came under discussion in connection with the Vote then being considered. The grievance alleged by the hon. Member for Flintshire was that the training colleges were almost exclusively in the hands of the Church of England, and that therefore Nonconformists had cause of complaint. But if Nonconformists con- 70 sidered they had a grievance in that matter the remedy was entirely in their own hands. The Church of England training colleges, to which it was said Nonconformists had no access, were founded by members of the Church of England, assisted, no doubt, by the State. There were plenty of wealthy Nonconformists, and why did not they come forward and establish Nonconformist training colleges? Any sort of training; college could be built—
§ *MR. TALBOT
was sorry that the conscience of the hon. Baronet had awoke too late; he should have built his training colleges a few years ago. At the present moment Nonconformists could build training colleges on exactly the same footing as members of the Church of England, and no doubt the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President would give | them every encouragement, while certainly the Church of England had no desire in any respect whatever to hinder the formation of such colleges founded by Nonconformists or anyone else. The Committee had been told that the supply of teachers was lamentably short. Here, then, was a grand opportunity, if there was a real want of teachers throughout the country, for Nonconformists to put their hands into their pockets and provide more accommodation; but until Nonconformists showed their confidence in their own principles by establishing training colleges they could not expect much weight to attach to their complaints.
§ MR. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
The subject which I wish to bring before the Committee is one that appeals to Members in a way very different from the important question which has just been somewhat desultorily discussed. I wish to bring before the notice of the Committee and of the Vice-President an omission from the purview of the Education Department in which I feel an interest is taken on both sides of the House; I refer to the poor law schools. 71 The points I wish to raise are extremely definite and practical, and I will detain the Committee very shortly in dealing with them. The Committee is perhaps not wholly aware that a very large number of the children of this country who are receiving elementary education are not under the control in any form of the Education Department in respect of that education. The children to whom I refer are the pauper children who do not attend ordinary public elementary schools in the district. There are here and there instances in which the children in the workhouses may be sent to public elementary schools in the neighbourhood, but those cases are very few, and owing to the necessities and the circumstances of the case that system cannot be very generally adopted. I do not refer to cases of boarded out children—they may no doubt attend ordinary public elementary schools—I refer generally to the great mass of the children of paupers who come under the influence of the poor law in this country. These children have an entirely separate system of education. They are educated by teachers who do not intermingle with, and who are really practically ineligible for, ordinary elementary school work. The teachers in poor law schools are a class apart; they are not submitted to the training which other teachers have to undergo, and the experience they gain does not fit them to be teachers generally for the Department. Some amelioration was made in this matter after I brought the question before the House a number of years ago, but that amelioration has been very small, and has had little practical effect. These teachers are not under the Education Department similarly to other teachers. In the next place, the education of the children is under the inspection not of the ordinary educational inspectors, but of inspectors of the Local Government Board. The result of these two facts is that the education given to our pauper children is given by inferior teachers, is of an inferior nature, and is wholly cut of touch with the general education of the elementary schools of the country. I can appeal to Members on both sides of the House who have taken part in the work of the guardians to corroborate what I say as to the distinctly inferior nature of the education. Who need better teachers and better education 72 so much as the pauper children? Such children would be described in the ordinary educational system of the country as peculiarly difficult children to deal with, and therefore as requiring a peculiarly good class of teachers. Under these circumstances there is another difficulty which arises. Our pauper children are not always in the workhouses. Their fathers and mothers may become paupers and then go out again, so that for a certain period of their lives the children are under the ordinary educational system of the country, and for another period they are under a totally different system—namely, the pauper children's educational system. The result is that they are very greatly thrown back in their education by the transfer from the one system to the other; their education is greatly hindered by the fact that when they pass from the one system to the other they do not fit in to the system to which they go in consequence of having been prepared in the system from which they come. What I am bringing forward is no theoretical difficulty. A number of boards of guardians have brought this question before the House and the Department from time to time in various ways. It. was first brought before me by the board of guardians for the parish a part of which I represent in this House, and twelve years ago I brought the matter before the House in the following way. The Shoreditch Board of Guardians, being very anxious to take the children out of the influence of the workhouse, set up a school with a number of boarding houses in a country district a, few miles out of London—Hornchurch, and there they carried on a system of education of as high a type as they could. Their difficulties have been just those difficulties which I have endeavoured to lay before the Committee, and they have urged the Department to take the education in the schools from under the inspection of the Local Government Board and to place it under the ordinary education inspectors. Other districts in London have felt the same difficulty, and have made the same request. Their desire has been to secure a better education for the children under their control. Of late others outside London have made the same request. The guardians of Birmingham are now bringing the matter before the Local Government Board or the Education Department, or both, and are 73 making the same request. When I first brought the matter forward the Education Department was very anxious and willing to undertake the inspection of the education of these children, but the Local Government Board was at that time very much against the transfer. That was the block against any further proceeding at that time. But a few years ago when I again approached the Local Government Board, I found, to my gratification, that the Board, as represented by its present head and Parliamentary Secretary and officials generally, was strongly in favour of the change. Then I thought the case was gained. But when I approached the Education Department I found it had changed its mind, and instead of being in favour of, it was against the change. It is because the Education Department is now the unwilling Department that I bring this matter forward on this Vote. What was the answer when I brought this matter forward in 1897? What was the answer we received when a deputation waited on the right hon. Gentleman? The answer seems to have been of a very inadequate nature. First of all, the right hon. Gentleman said the education to be inspected was a very small portion of the real education of the children, that the real education consisted of the whole influences that are brought to bear upon them in their day to day work, etc., etc. But that argument equally applies to the whole work of the Education Department. The Education Department has to inspect and to certify, to deal with and to control, that portion of education in its widest sense which is comprehended in school work and dealt with by the school inspector. Beyond that, we are all well aware that the real education of the child, whether in the workhouse or at home, depends on many influences which go far beyond what the Board of Education can touch. As I understand, the right hon. Gentleman does not want to take over the inspection of the education of these children unless he has handed over to the Education Department the whole control of the every-day life of these children—of their food, clothing, habitation, and everything else. That may or may not be a very good thing, but it is a counsel of perfection surely, even from the point of view of those who desire it. I do not desire it. I frankly say that I do not think the Education Department of this country 74 is a fit and proper body to take over the whole every-day life of the pauper children; I think that work is best left to the guardians, who are daily becoming more and more enlightened as to their duties. We need not, however, enter into that dispute, because even to those thoroughly in favour of that point of view it is a counsel of perfection, and would require a series of Bills or legislative measures which I do not think at the present moment or for many years to come any Government is likely to undertake. Under these circumstances I ask, why do you allow your schools to be such an enemy of good? Why do you refuse to take this one step because you wish at some future indefinite time to take some much larger step? So much for that particular argument. Another argument which the right hon. Gentleman used in his reply to us was that there was no means of enforcing the Report of the Department upon the guardians. The boards of guardians who desire to have their schools placed under the Education Department for the examination of teachers and the like are perfectly willing to have their grant depending, as any other school, upon the Report of the Local Government Board. It is perfectly clear, from the Report of the Education Department, that this is a mere matter of departmental arrangement. There are difficulties in it, but if the heads of the two Departments will put their heads together they can arrange that the boards of guardians shall be dealt with like any other school managers would be if they did not submit and fall in with the requirements of the Education Department. These are the main arguments, and I have tried to put the case as shortly as possible, so as not to delay the Committee upon this matter. I submit that our pauper children would receive a far better education if they were placed for the examination of their education and for their teachers' certificates under the Education Department than they can have if left under the Local Government Board. The Local Government Board is essentially not an educational body. The Board of Education has its experts, and it has devoted twenty-five years or more to the consideration of all educational problems. It has at its head a most thorough educationist in whom we feel great confidence. Why should we cut off our pauper children from all these 75 good influences because of some theory of perfection which the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Council seems to hold? I really think that the pressure and representations now made might at any rate lead the right hon. Gentleman to seriously reconsider this matter, for I feel confident that the minor details of the arrangements between the two Departments could be got over. I would like to make one suggestion. There are in this country something like 600 unions, and they have each got their own pauper children. It may be felt by both Departments—and I think I have the President of the Local Government Board with me in this—that a clean sweep to turn, willy-nilly, the whole of these pauper schools under the Education Department might be too sweeping a stop. If that be so, then let us take those of the most important boards of guardians in the country who are now begging to have their schools transferred to the Education Department. Let us take them seriatim and try the experiment upon those who are willing. I do not say that that is exactly what I desire should be done, for I should like to see it done altogether; but if there be a difficulty in doing it altogether, here you have certain boards of guardians begging and anxious to be willing helpers in carrying out any new arrangement, and why not do it in respect to them? In 1863 and up till then the education of pauper children was under the Education Department, and not under the Local Government Board, but it was transferred from the Education Department to the Local Government Board because of departmental difficulties.
§ MR. STUART
My right hon. friend agrees, and he thinks he makes a point out of it. Now I am going to make a point the other way. In 1863 you had boards of guardians dealing with the education of pauper children who were desirous of doing as little as they could for the education of those children. Now you have quite a different state of things, for the boards of guardians you can try the experiment with are extremely anxious to do their best, and I think the right hon. Gentleman opposite and the President of the Local Government Board will admit that certain boards of guardians for whom I am pleading are 76 doing everything in their power to improve the education of their children. They are labouring hard to bring about this result, and the reason they are coming forward asking for this transfer is to make them able to do their work more effectively. This is not a pecuniary question with the boards of guardians. Of course the guardians now get a grant for these pauper children from the Local Government Board, but if the transfer took place they would then get a grant upon the Report of the inspector of the Education Department. I have looked, into this matter in some of our most important poor law schools, and if you work out what they get now under the present system you will find that it is within a few pounds of what they would get under the block system. If it is anything it is a slight loss to the board of guardians to make the change to the Education Department. This is not worth counting, for their object is not to get a double grant, but to place their schools upon the basis under which they will be subject to reward and punishment, and under which they will secure an education for the children which they cannot secure now. Their whole object is to improve the education of pauper children, not to keep it back. I hope I have put this question without going beyond what is in order, and I do not wish to criticise the way in which the Local Government Board carries on this work. The Local Government Board does the best it can under difficult circumstances, but what I criticise is that the right hon. Gentleman and the Board of Education are not meeting the Local Government Board by effecting a transfer, which I think is desirable in the best interests of a class of children in this country who need good education more than any other class.
§ *MR. DAVID MACIVER (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
No one can appreciate more than I do the services of the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Council, not only upon educational matters, but also throughout his whole public career. There is no one who more thoroughly agrees than I do with the admirable and interesting statement which the right hon. Gentleman has made to-night. But the immediate subject which I wish to bring before the Committee is not so much my right hon. friend's personal 77 views as the administration of his Department and the effect which the new code is likely to have upon the great community of Liverpool. Upon this occasion I speak not only for my own constituency, but in reality for the whole of Liverpool. I feel that I owe an apology to the senior Member for Liverpool (Mr. Lawrence), who, on a recent occasion when a similar subject was under consideration, spoke with great authority for the people of Liverpool; and whom I do not wish to supplant. But I have been more recently in Liverpool, and only yesterday I had the case put before me very clearly by the Secretary of the Liverpool School Board. There is no difference of opinion there upon this question. I have also a further justification for venturing to speak on this subject, because some of the schools which are most hardly hit in Liverpool by what the Education Department propose to do are in my own constituency, and because the chairman of the Liverpool School Board happens to be a valued constituent of mine, and a gentleman who through long years, and with but scant remuneration and scant consideration for the excellent work he has done, has devoted his energies and abilities to the cause of religious teaching in Liverpool. I want to give the Committee the most recent statement which has been made with authority in Liverpool, and I will take the speech made by Colonel Morrison, who is a very well known and much respected Liverpool man, and who happens to be the vice-chairman of the Liverpool School Board. I will give a sentence or two from that speech, and I will quote just enough to show that we are not antagonistic, but that we appreciate and value the new Code and what it does, and we also value and appreciate the Minute of the Education Department, although we think that that Minute requires some alteration and amendment to meet the case of Liverpool and other communities in a similar position. Colonel Morrison said—The new Code was not so much a modification of what had gone before as it was a reformation, or even a revolution. No such far-reaching change had come over the spirit of the educational dream since the great Act of 1870. The vicious principle of payment by results was now gone, and they were introduced to a totally new atmosphere and completely different circumstances.78 I will not trouble the Committee by any lengthy reading of extracts, but I do wish to show that we have the authority of Colonel Morrison, speaking for his colleagues, upon this question. He points out—Under these heads Liverpool Hoard schools would lose £1,020 per annum, and the losses to Voluntary schools would be severe. Many single schools in this diocese would lose £50, £60, and more per annum according to circumstances. Whilst this new Code undoubtedly did an immense amount of good by levelling up, it also levelled down and crippled numerous schools which had hitherto done good work.Colonel Morrison went on to say—The Liverpool School Hoard had done their best to persuade the Board of Education to recognise higher classes in existing schools for the purpose of the Minute, and to give their grants for higher teaching in the higher classes providing the classes were reasonably organised to meet the necessary requirements of the Minute. So far, however, the Board had failed in its endeavours. He was convinced in his mind, and all the Liverpool Board were firmly convinced that this separate teaching in separate departments was educationally the greatest possible mistake. They have never followed it in the Liverpool Board; they had always gone exactly on the opposite principle, and he believed they were doing the very best for the education of the children.I wanted to refer to the Church schools, but perhaps it is best that I should refer to the Wesleyan body, which at this moment would, I think, be especially appropriate. The Senior Wrangler of the year had his early training in a Wesleyan Voluntary school, and I hold in my hand a letter from Mr. P. H. Ingram, the principal of that school, a portion of which I will venture to quote to the House. He says—The Code as at present existing will have the tendency to level up poor schools and level down the better class schools, producing an average which is far below what is possible and what ought to find could he attained were all schools to be placed upon a thoroughly sound financial basis. The results of the new Minute cannot but tend to a lowering of the general standard of education throughout the country.For one moment I will quote a sentence or two from what Canon T. Major Lester, the chairman of the Liverpool School Board, says in reference to his own schools. He says—This subject is becoming more grave and imperative as day after day passes on. We must lose on our two schools £70 yearly. The 79 maximum should be 26s., and that amount would prevent extravagance and yet keep up schools. If so, we were blighted. If the Minute passes as it is, and our Voluntary schools are not allowed to compete for higher education, and must have two musters, and children leave us at the fourth standard, then we shall be wiped off and die out one by one.The Liverpool School Board as a whole hold such views. The National Association of Voluntary Schools hold views which are practically the same as those of the Liverpool School Board. They consist of members of the Church of England, Wesleyans, Nonconformists, and Roman Catholics—all earnest and good men, and all desirous of doing the best they can for the cause of education. I will also refer for a moment to what I saw in to-day's local newspaper in a report of the annual meeting of the National Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church, which was held yesterday, and I want to emphasise a paragraph in the report of that society which harmonises absolutely with the views of the Liverpool School Board. This report says—The new Code of 1900 was, on the whole, welcomed by the Committee. The Block Grants were looked upon as a great step in the right direction, but the Committee hoped that the Board of Education would so carry into execution the recent Minute on higher elementary schools as to secure higher grade Voluntary schools from loss.I do not wish to weary the Committee by speaking at any length, but since I came into the House I have received a letter from the secretary to the school board, and there are one or two paragraphs in that letter to which I ought at least to refer. He says, with reference to the Code and the Minute—To neither are they opposed in principle; but to the details of both they take serious exception, as calculated to injure rather than to benefit education as a whole. The evil, as you know, is confined to the better schools, and arises from the withdrawal of the Specific Subjects Grant. That grant amounts to only a little more than £36,000; but the whole loss falls on some 3,000 departments out of over 30,000. The loss averages about £12 per Department but in many individual schools in Liverpool and other large towns it reaches from £40 to £80.He goes on to say—Is it worth while for so paltry a saving to discourage so seriously as they are doing all the most enterprising schools of the country?There is another passage which it is my duty to point out to the Committee. The 80 Vice-President of the Council made a calculation of the number of children affected by the withdrawal of the Specific Subjects Grant, and he made it out to be something very small indeed. I think he said it was something like 6 per cent. of the whole; but, as the secretary of the Liverpool School Board puts it, there is a fallacy which underlies that. He says—It is not only those who are now receiving such instruction that are affected by the matter. Those also are similarly interested, who, in the ordinary course, would in due time enter upon such instruction. Thus at least 1,260 children must be added to the 346,000 to find what proportion of the whole are affected, raising the total now interested to over 30 per cent.They recommend that the following be added as an additional clause to the Minute—The Board of Education may apply the general terms of this Minute to the upper classes of any public elementary school which the Hoard is satisfied complies with the conditions of the Minute with regard to equipment, and to strength and quality of start.I have now almost finished, and I have to thank the Committee for so kindly listening to me. I have endeavoured as best I could to put before the Committee views which, although they are my own, have far greater authority behind them than if they were simply my own. The Liverpool School Board, as is perfectly well known, has always enjoyed the confidence of the whole district, and there are on the Liverpool School Board men of different religious views, all of whom are anxious to do their best for the cause of education. I do think that I have made out some sort of a case showing that one cast-iron rule ought not to be applied to rural and town districts. The circumstances vary. Liverpool is no inconsiderable place. Hon. Members have spoken of Wales, but what is the population of the Principality of Wales as compared with that of Liverpool? The population of Liverpool is more than half the entire population of Wales, and in Liverpool there is no doubt or hesitation whatever about this as to what is wanted. They approve generally of the New Code, but they say that the regulations as they understand them are going to work disadvantageously for the best class of schools in Liverpool, and they ask my right hon. friend and the Education Department to give their case reasonable and fair consideration, and to interpret 81 their Minute in such a way as will help the Liverpool schools to maintain their position. I am sure the right hon. Gentleman has no desire to do any real injury to those excellent Voluntary schools.
§ SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
The hon. Member opposite has made a strong attack upon the age at which children should go to school. Recently we have had largely to increase the number of our infant schools because hitherto we did not expect to have to find accommodation for children under five years of age, whereas it has been found that the working classess send their children to school as soon as they are three. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that it was not necessary to have any education for children below the age of five, and that under that age they ought to be running about the lanes all day. That might be all very well for a healthy boy of twelve, but children of six years and three years cannot run about the lanes all day, and they require some place for rest. There is a nursery made for them. In crowded centres their mothers have no time to attend to them, and there is no room in which they can be conveniently kept during the day time; therefore, to be able to send these young children to school is a very great boon to the working classes. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that there were some infant schools in which the infants were not altogether treated kindly. I do not know what is the rule of the Education Department with regard to the cane, but I certainly think it ought to be prohibited in infant schools, and I would think very little of the school manager who permitted it. I am happy to say that my experience has not been that of the right hon. Gentleman I have soon nothing but kindness in infant schools. I believe it is now a rule of the Education Department that infants are not to be kept sitting still, but that they are, at the end of every twenty minutes or so, to be allowed to run around the room. The seats, too, are much more comfortable, and the infants' legs do not dangle down as in the old days. There is no light thrown on their eyes, and the schools are kept warm and well ventilated. My experience is that these little children are very fond indeed of school. The right hon. Gentleman told us of an infant 82 school in which a half-witted girl was made a monitress in order to amuse the smaller babies, while the school mistress taught the older infants. It is very easy to raise a laugh in this House, but if we look at it from a common-sense point of view that was a very sensible arrangement. We all agree that babies of that age do not want teaching, and the right hon. Gentleman says that this half-witted girl was very kind to the infants, being no doubt actuated by that love of children generally inherent in half-witted people. It seems to mo that it was a very sensible arrangement that this girl should have been allowed to keep quiet the very little children. I have seen so much of infant schools, especially in rural parishes, that I earnestly trust the right hon. Gentleman, notwithstanding the opinion enunciated this evening, will not make any alteration with regard to them.
§ MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)
I desire to allude to the question of the tenure of teachers. It is a matter which arouses a very great deal of interest throughout the whole of the teaching profession, and which concerns teachers in Voluntary schools as well as teachers in Board schools. It is of course a matter which affects teachers employed under microscopical school boards rather than teachers employed in large school boards where the search-light of public opinion is promptly brought to bear on all cases of injustice or tyranny. However, this is a question on which all teachers are practically united, and it is one of very great importance to education, because on the quality of our teachers really depends our progress in educational matters. The fact that we have been fortunate enough in this Parliament to pass a teachers' pension scheme has given the question of tenure even more importance than it had before. It may now be said that we nurse teachers from the time of their apprenticeship up to the time of their certification. They are examined several times with regard to their physical health as well as to their intellectual capacity and personal character, but once they are certified they never know whether they will be continued in their employment for a sufficient period of time to entitle them to pensions, although they are compelled to keep up their pension payments. We differ in this respect from every other country in Europe, and I certainly hope 83 that the right hon. Gentleman, who has always been a sympathetic friend to the teaching profession, will recognise the importance of dealing with this matter. It can be dealt with, I believe, by an article in the Code, and, if not, there will be no difficulty in passing legislation for the purpose during the present session. The only other matter to which I should like to direct the attention of the Committee is that of the poor law schools referred to by the hon. Gentleman for Hoxton Division. No one acquainted with the Report of the Committee which was issued in 1895 can fail to recognise the fact that children brought up in poor law schools suffer both in quantity and quality as regards the education which they receive. The whole Report, to which I believe the right hon. Gentleman was a signatory, is a condemnation of poor law schools. I frankly agree with the hon. Member for the Hoxton Division that if these schools are to exist at all it would be better that they should be under the inspection of the Education Department, but my point rather is that these schools ought not to exist at all. Guardians are, I believe, getting more enlightened, and if they chose to treat children in the proper way there would be no need to send them to the workhouses at all, and they would be freed from that taint which is always associated with the workhouse, and which will always attach to these poor law schools however much you improve the character of the education given in them. If a system of boarding out were adopted the children could attend the ordinary schools, and would be merged in the general child life of the country. Until that can be done I confess I think the Education Department would do well to take over the inspection of poor law schools. Their inspector's report would not, I think, be ignored by any board of guardians, and even if it were ignored, public opinion would be brought to bear on the more glaring defects and they would be remedied. I hope on both these matters we shall have a sympathetic assurance from the right hon. Gentleman.
§ *MR. MATHER (Lancashire, Rossendale)
The right hon. Gentleman has made a speech to-day which on the whole is very satisfactory to hon. Members on this side of the House, and the views he expressed are very much in sympathy with the views which we entertain also. 84 His speech did not differ from others which I have read in former years, proving that the view he takes of national education is much broader and more liberal than the view generally held by the Government. With regard to the many subjects he brought forward very little difference of opinion can exist; but there is one omission to which I should like to direct the right hon. Gentleman's attention, and that is that no reference has been made by him to the state of things produced by the Minute which was discussed a few weeks ago. By that Minute the higher grade schools are placed, as the right hon. Gentleman knows, in a very uncertain position. They are no longer to be supported by special grants, which have been their chief means of subsist-once. We are left in doubt as to how long higher elementary education is to be left in this suspended condition—partly in the air and partly on the ground. If this Minute is to be of any value—if it is to confer benefit on these higher grade schools—it would be well if it were carried out quickly. At the present time technical schools are practically empty during the day, though they provide, of course, excellent instruction in the evenings. If we were to provide a two years course for boys of fourteen years of age, coming from higher elementary schools, in the ordinary technical schools of the country in the daytime, we should fit them at sixteen years of age to become far more efficient apprentices in all the more scientific industries of the country, and also more fitted to engage in other walks of life, and in a few years we should have a totally different population. I am intimately acquainted with the systems prevailing in Germany, Switzerland, America, and elsewhere; and as one largely interested in the scientific industries of England, I feel we are suffering immensely for want of well-educated boys to come as apprentices or to take responsible posts, whereas in other countries there are hundreds of young fellows available for all the workshops, and after a few years in the shops they are placed in positions of responsibility. I am not speaking now of the higher technical schools, but of schools such as we have in Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, and elsewhere, and if we could throw them open during the day to scholars from the higher elementary schools, I am quite sure that the parents would only 85 be too glad to send them, in order that they might be better prepared for the positions they are to occupy in after life. I regret, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman did not allude to the higher grade schools which he said on a previous occasion the Department intended to establish. I think it is a matter of very great importance, and I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be good enough to inform the Committee what provision the Board of Education has made, or is about to make, to encourage the school boards and managers of Voluntary schools to establish higher grade departments in connection with their schools. I presume that the Education Department has considered the question as to how these higher grade departments are going to be established. I hope this is not one of the excellent "intentions" of the Education Department. We have heard a great many of them since the right hon. Gentleman has practically presided over the education of this country. I have the most perfect confidence in the right hon. Gentleman's intentions, but there appears to be some obstruction always in his way. He does not disclose all the facts to us, but his speeches indicate that there is always some lion in the path, or someone who throws cold water on all his excellent intentions. I trust the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give us some encouragement that the Board schools and also the Voluntary schools are to have facilities offered to them to start these higher grade departments. It would be a very cheerful announcement to the country, and we would all do what we could to assist the right hon. Gentleman to carry forward his good intentions. I should also like to allude to another omission in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. He criticised the infant schools, but did not say how he would improve them. I differ entirely from the right hon. Gentleman with regard to infant teaching. My experience of infant teaching is based entirely on a system which I have almost all my life endeavoured to encourage—namely, the kindergarten system, carried out especially for the children of the working classes. The right hon. Gentleman gave an example of the kind of teaching to be found in infant schools; I should like to give another example, which, if he would do me the honour to consider it, might perhaps help the Department in making 86 infant school teaching one of the most important factors, if not the main foundation of education in this country.
§ *MR. MATHER
At three years of age. In the town of Salford I erected an infant school for 400 "gutter" children who were trained on that system. They entered the school at three years of age, and proceeded to the Board school at six or seven. Not only were the habits of the children improved, but the habits of the parents were also improved through the influence of the children. So much was that the case in Salford that it was quite an interesting sight to all interested in. education to visit the school to which I have referred. The teaching requires to be totally different from that given at the age of seven. Children at the age of three are in the most impressionable period of their lives. If they are allowed to ramble about the streets from their wretched homes they become vitiated without any criminal intent, and become imbued with ideas and habits that the elementary schools cannot remove. That is a very important part of the explanation as to why, after thirty years of excellent elementary teaching, so very few of the children of the working, classes in after life do justice to the training and education they received at school. I believe it is because that from three to six—the most important part of child life — they are allowed to run around the streets and pick up habits and ideas which they never got rid of. The impressions which children receive during that period remain with them throughout their lives. Of course it is not attempted to teach such children their letters or to-deal with them in any way on the lines of ordinary elementary education. That would be absurd and would merely damage the children, and make them mere machines. If the right hon. Gentleman would only go a short distance from this House, I could show him a kindergarten school where the children enter at three and remain until they are six or seven. He will find it a perfect paradise, and the children's lives are so happy that they would rather be there than anywhere else. Such was the effect produced by the Salford school to which I have referred, that the little ones came on Sundays, 87 on holidays, and on Saturday afternoons, and knocked at the doors to be admitted into the school so that they might have the enjoyment which they could not get elsewhere. The whole neighbourhood, in fact, was changed by that school, and the homes were vastly improved by the better habits the children brought into them. At the first start of the school the mothers would threaten "to do for" the school mistress if she attempted to touch her children if they needed to be washed; but after a time not only did the children come to school clean themselves, but the mothers came with them clean also. Infant teaching may be carried out in a manner which is a blessing to the children and prepares them for the teaching in elementary schools and for after-life. I would only mention one other matter. It appears to me that teachers throughout the country generally who subscribe to the pension-fund require greater consideration than they now receive at the hands of the Education Department as regards summary dismissal. That is a matter which cannot be dealt with legally by the Department, but I think there is a moral obligation on the Board of Education, and I would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether it would not be possible that the unreasonable complaints and the summary dismissals from which teachers suffer might not be dealt with through the Department. I trust the right hon. Gentleman may be able to give us some further information with regard to these points. I can assure him that I have the highest regard for the excellence of his motives and for the good work which has been accomplished by the Department during the period it has been under his control.
§ SIR R. C. JEBB (Cambridge University)
I desire to refer to the Minute of the Board of Education of April 6th, proposing to establish new higher elementary schools. That Minute, it will be remembered, fixed the age limit for higher elementary schools at fifteen, and it has come to my knowledge that some very able schoolmasters contend that their views in regard to the age limit have been incorrectly recommended to this House, and that I am the person responsible. I think I can clear up the point in a very few words. The document, gene- 88 rally known as the Joint Memorandum, was drawn up in 1897 as the outcome of a conference between associations which represented the head masters of the secondary schools and of the higher-grade schools respectively. That Joint Memorandum nowhere explicitly defined the age limit which the signatories thought desirable for higher primary schools, but there is one passage in it from which the age contemplated by the signatories might be inferred. That passage states that the higher primary schools ought to include pupils who had taken a three or four years course after having passed the sixth standard. Boys usually pass the sixth standard about the age of twelve or thirteen, and therefore four years after that would bring up the age to sixteen or seventeen for the higher primary schools. I was quite aware of that when I referred in a recent discussion to the Joint Memorandum.* I referred to it only for the purpose of bringing out those principles for the delimitation of primary from secondary education, which the Joint Memorandum embodies, and in regard to which it is a most important document, as being the first attempt at a concordat between the masters of primary and secondary schools. But one or two of those who signed the Joint Memorandum complained that I had represented them as thinking that the recognised limit for the higher primary schools should be fifteen. Looking at the official report of what I said in Hansard, I cannot find that I said anything which justified any such misapprehension. Since I have been assured that my remarks could be so interpreted, and have been so interpreted, in the country, I think it is only just and right to these gentlemen to say publicly to the Committee that I did not intend to claim these gentlemen as supporting the age limit of fifteen for the higher primary schools. Their view is that in the higher primary schools education should go on to the age of sixteen or seventeen. I thank the Committee for having permitted me to make this statement, and I will only add that in the passage which they complained of, I used the phrase "higher elementary schools," which is the phrase of the Minute, and not "higher primary schools," which is the phrase employed✶ See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth series], Vol. lxxxii., page 600.89 throughout the Joint Memorandum. The eminent services of these gentlemen to education in their own sphere entitle them to this clear and emphatic statement upon my part.
§ *SIR F. S. POWELL
I hope I am not violating the rules of the House if I express great regret that so large an amount, upwards of £11,000,000, should be included in the same Vote. It is a matter deserving of comment that so large a sum, dealing with such a miscellaneous body of subjects, should be included in the same Vote. I do not think it necessary to allude to the speech made by the hon. Member for Flint at an earlier period of our proceedings to-night; but as I am a member of the committee of the National Society, I feel bound to say a word on behalf of the secretary, the Reverend Mr. Brownrigg, who is not able to speak for himself. The hon. Gentleman described the rev. gentleman as belonging to an extreme party in the Church; that accusation is entirely unfounded. I have had the privilege of the acquaintance of Mr. Brownrigg for many years in connection with the Society, and I confess that I do not know at this moment to what school of thought he belongs. He is a loyal Churchman, entirely unattached to any section into which the Church at present is most unhappily divided. As a poor law guardian, I think the remedy for the disease of pauper children is to send them to the elementary schools. In Bradford we send all our pauper children, clad in ordinary attire, to the elementary schools, where they mingle with the other children and behave and acquit themselves in a very satisfactory manner. There is in my opinion no other solution for dealing with pauper children. You must separate them from the workhouse altogether, and hand them over to proper foster-mothers, and send them to the elementary schools of the country. Until that is done the pauper taint will continue, and all your labour will be in vain. With reference to the new minute in regard to which some discussion has arisen, I would like to make one remark. I refer to one article which deals with elementary schools which requires an attendance of two years at an elementary school before the pupil is entitled to attend the higher elementary schools. In Bradford we have a school, the 90 children of which are in great difficulty. The school conducted by the college is broken up, the college having been transferred to the technical instruction committee of the City Council; and the children are not eligible for the higher elementary school under the Act because of the two years limit. I am told by those who manage our technical college at Bradford that these children suffer great hardship in consequence of the injustice of the new Code, and I am also told that there are Germans and others who do not know our language who have lately come to London who are morally entitled to these advantages. What experience may show generally as to the operation of that clause I do not venture to say, but I think the remarks I have made show that great care must be taken, and possibly some changes made in future years. Some questions were put earlier in the evening by the hon. Member for East Somerset, and the debate on this question has drifted, as unhappily it usually does, into a denominational question and a religious controversy. But I hope my right hon. friend will not omit to give a full reply to the hon. Member for East Somerset, as I am as anxious as he is to know what is the operation at the present time of Clause 7 of the Directory. I believe the right hon. Gentleman has taken great interest in the working of the clause, and I hope he will inform us in the course of this debate what districts are within the operation of this clause, and what prospect there is of a larger number of districts being so affected. I will not deal with the transfer from the Charity Commissioners to the Education Department, as in my judgment the minute is meagre and ambiguous. The friends of education do not feel certain to which Department application should be made in any given case. This is not a matter of secondary importance, it is one which deals with great institutions and has important relation to the future progress of education in this country. Until we are better informed on this subject those who have to conduct the operations of grammar-schools and secondary education will feel under great difficulty. The present condition of affairs is a great impediment to education and progress. The hon. Member for East Somerset asked, and I desire also to know, what the decision of the Government is as regards the division in 91 the new Board of Education between secondary and technical education—or rather between elementary education on the one hand and technical and secondary education on the other. Are secondary and technical education to be treated separately under two secretaries—one to conduct the technical and one the secondary department? I wish to express my great regret, as a member of the Council of the Victoria University and member of the Council of the Yorkshire College of Leeds, that larger grants are not made to our modern universities. The Victoria University, which deals with all England, but more strictly with Lancashire and Yorkshire, has a grant of £2,000 a year; the University of Wales has a grant of £4,000, double that which the Victoria University commands. I do not wish to diminish the grant for Wales, but to most emphatically and respectfully put in a claim on behalf of the Victoria University. The same remark applies to university colleges.
I must remind the hon. Member that the motion now before the Committee is to reduce the Vice-President's salary. The hon. Member cannot discuss other subjects under this particular motion now.
§ *SIR F. S. POWELL
I should wish to make some further remarks, but I am afraid I should be out of order if I proceeded. I must, however, express great satisfaction at the course of the debate to-night. I think it shows that the sympathy of the Committee is with the educational reforms which have taken place, and that we desire to see greater reforms, to which these are only preliminary. I hope the anticipations of the sanguine will be fully fulfilled, and that those who are called upon to take part in these debates in years to come will look back to this present day as the dawn of a better era of education.
§ *MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
We have listened to the speech of the Vice-President, which was of a most astonishing character, a speech not of a Minister, but of a Front Opposition Bench critic. We are accustomed here to Ministers contenting themselves with defending the maladministration of which they have been guilty. The right hon. Gentleman who 92 sits in the seat of authority, who is responsible to this House for the administration of the Board of Education, has not coupled with his statements of what ought to be done, anything like a plain intimation that he will endeavour to carry out the suggestions he put forward. I regret that we have received from him no hint of that kind, because some of his suggestions are easy of accomplishment. We had from him a speech full of paradox and full of extreme instances, and I think the average teachers have a right to complain of some of the instances given. The Committee is told that infant schools of this country are conducted by trained persons guilty of ignorance and want of refinement and want of qualifications, and it is unfair that instances of the ignorance of Article 68 teachers should be quoted as typical even in extreme cases of these admirable women who conduct our infant schools in this country. The right hon. Gentleman complained that some of the school boards continued the bad old system of individual examination which the Department had abolished so far as it could. But I feel that in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman there is nothing in the shape of a hint that he intends to prohibit this bad old system from continuing, though he knows very well that he can do so by a stroke of the pen. The right hon. Gentleman complains that school boards and voluntary organizations are still proceeding on these old and antiquated lines; but why does he not stop it? It is only one of the cases of disparity between the ideals and the administration of which his speech is full. The right hon. Gentleman urges the necessity of encouraging day training colleges; but why does he not go on to say that he will try to induce the Treasury to provide the £10,000 per annum necessary to place them, in respect of grant, upon an equality of footing with the residential training colleges? With regard to the reform of inspection, a step forward was taken during the vice-presidency of Mr. Mundella, when the lower-grade inspectors were translated into sub-inspectors, and another step in the direction of reform was taken in the days of Mr. Acland, when one or two of them were made inspectors of schools, but since then the process has been arrested. One could perhaps put up with that, because it was what the schools had been 93 accustomed to. But there was an ominous foreshadow in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman to-night as to the appointment of sub-inspectors in future. We were told that in the old days when payment by results was in vogue it was necessary to have sub-inspectors, who had been teachers, but now the sub-inspectors might be men not qualified by experience in the schools to do that kind of work. I certainly formed the impression that it was the intention of the Board of Education in future to cease to appoint as sub-inspectors men who have been teachers in schools, and to appoint young men on the list of a University Employment Agency who have no experience in schools at all. I wish to point out that no matter how learned academically, how earnest and sympathetic, and how high his ideals in regard to education the inspector you send into the public elementary schools, if he himself has had no experience in a public elementary school, or of elementary school children, and does not know the limitations of their environment, or their ability, will pitch the key too high, and he will become unsympathetic, contemptuous, and perfunctory, except in very rare instances indeed. At present, if it were not for the sub-inspectors, who know from long experience what can be done in a school, and how far the limitations do apply and hamper, the inspection of the schools of the country would be carried out in a very imperfect fashion indeed. The lack of friction is often due to the fact that the inspectors who are sent to do the work without previous experience at all rely on the experience of subordinates — the sub-inspectors who have been teachers—and so difficulty is avoided. I would warn the Committee, and particularly the Vice-President of the Council, against any idea of stopping the appointment in future, to the lower grades of inspectorate at any rate, of men who Inexperience know something about the work and the limitations incidental to public elementary schools. I have met inspectors who have risen from the ranks of teachers in France, Switzerland, and Germany, and I venture to state that inspectors so chosen will compare favourably in every respect with the inspectors of this country. Another important subject is the relationship between the school managers and the teachers. Remarks have been made in this debate about the 94 dismissal of teachers by the managers. That is an obvious difficulty, and I do not mean to dwell upon it. It might destroy a teacher's income for months or years. It might blacken his record. It might impair his chance of getting employment again. In some cases it might limit or annul his claim to a pension. There are difficulties of this kind every year, but I want the Committee to consider the effect upon children in a school where there is friction of this kind between the managers and the teacher. In many cases in my own knowledge the educational system has been upset for months and years by these quarrels and disturbances. Parents have withdrawn children from schools, and fresh schools have been opened. Parents have refused to recognise the teacher brought in at the point of the bayonet, so to speak, to replace the dismissed teacher. These things are known to the Board of Education, and to the inspectors and officials, and to hon. Members. I venture to hope that this debate will not close without an assurance being given by the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President that the Department will undertake to do something to prevent this kind of thing in future, and to see that teachers obtain some protection against capricious dismissal. I heard of a ease the other day where a teacher who was four months short of the period necessary to qualify for a pension was dismissed by the managers of the school. The dismissal of that teacher left him unable by four months to complete his term of qualification. He is approaching the age of sixty-five, and in this country it is true that a teacher over forty or forty-five has a very small chance of getting new employment at all. I venture to say that in all cases of that kind the Board of Education ought to interfere. The Board of Education is all powerful when once the Code is passed by the House. The Board of Education has the machinery and can satisfy itself as to the merits of any particular dispute. The Board could easily make it a stipulation that there shall be for the teacher and managers a form of agreement containing a clause which would give the teacher protection against unjustifiable dismissal. The Board could make it a condition of the grant that they shall retain to themselves the right to decide between managers and teachers in matters of dispute. I hope we 95 shall have some assurance on these points. Can we have the extra grant for the training colleges? Can we be sure that the inspectors to be appointed in future shall be both men of academic distinction and experience in schools? Above all—and it is a matter of importance at the present moment, because of the operation of the Act of 1898—can we have from the right hon. Gentleman an assurance that he will, to the best of his ability, secure that teachers whose lives are in the right and whose efficiency is unquestioned, shall have protection against dismissal arising from difficulties of creed, politics, or temper without any reference whatever to the efficiency of the work of the school?
§ *COLONEL MILWARD (Stratford-upon-Avon)
I desire to support in a few words the argument of the hon. Gentleman with reference to the dismissal of teachers owing to the friction between them and managers. I do not think the grievance very often occurs, but I feel that from time to time it is true that teachers are dismissed for inadequate reasons, and in that case they have no power of appeal. Although it is perfectly true that in many other walks of life men are dismissed from the positions they hold owing to the hardness of those who employ them, there is a difference in the case of school teachers who are quasi-public servants. I wish they were public servants altogether, but I think that in their present position they ought to have a right of appeal against arbitrary dismissal. A board of guardians cannot dismiss even the most humble servant without the right of appeal to the Local Government Board. I think the same thing should hold true in reference to school teachers, whose position is a difficult one and dependent upon a certain length of service for a pension. I admit that the right of appeal to the Education Department is a difficult question, but the difficulty might be overcome if a local educational authority was established. With a county or borough authority to which appeal could be made there would be a better chance of the real merits of the case being understood. The same may be said in reference to the complaints the hon. Member for Flint brought forward that teachers have taken advantage of their position to force upon the minds of children religious doctrines 96 of which parents do not approve. Possibly there have been such cases, but I am convinced they have been few and far between. At the same time I have the greatest sympathy with Nonconformists who find themselves in a parish with only one school to which they can send their children, and in the management of which they have no confidence. On the other hand, it is quite clear that the country does not wish to see universal school boards, and that being the ease, a local educational authority to which parents could appeal would be of the highest value. If there was a borough or a county authority, and if there was any complaint in regard to religious instruction it would be far easier to appeal to a local authority than to a central authority. May I say I think that all this points to the fact that the time is coming when there should be a review of the educational policy of this country. If you look to what is taking place in Convocation, and to the views expressed by educational authorities, you will find that there is a feeling in favour of a change. If the Government would have the courage of their convictions and introduce a local authority in education the alteration would give the greatest impetus that could be given to the education of the country.
§ LORD EDMOND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
I am glad to think that of all those questions referred to by my hon. friend below the gangway the right of appeal, or rather the grant of some right of appeal, to teachers against arbitrary dismissal, is perhaps the one that comes most home to the educational mind. I was exceedingly glad to hear what fell just now from the hon. Member who addressed the Committee, because it shows that those feelings are not confined to one side of the House. It is perfectly obvious that the importance of this question has grown enormously since Her Majesty's Government started a superannuation fund for teachers. Before that the question of the possible right of appeal in the case of a teacher was one which chiefly appealed to what may be called the sense of dignity and importance of the office of schoolmaster; but it did not, except in a minor degree and indirectly, carry with it considerations of the import-taut pecuniary interest now attached to the office of schoolmasters, who are 97 obliged by law, after a certain date, to contribute a certain sum from their salaries to the superannuation fund. If they are dismissed before they have contributed for the full period indicated, they are liable to lose their pension and also the benefit of their contributions. My hon. friend who addressed the House just now spoke of certain cases which were within his knowledge. I think he acted wisely in not giving names and places. It is quite clear that the matters involved in these cases are matters of great delicacy, and that to name the cases and the individuals would, perhaps, increase the sense of hardship by giving them special publicity. I can certainly say for myself that I am acquainted with details of cases of arbitrary dismissal upon inadequate grounds by both Voluntary school managers and small school boards. The question of poor law schools is of urgent importance in the metropolis and many of the larger towns, but less so in small towns and country districts because of the wise provision in the Local Government Act, 1888, by which county councils can pay the fees of children and charge them to the Exchequer contribution to the county fund. The effect has been to encourage boards of guardians to send children to public day schools, and in the county of Wilts I do not think any children are educated in the workhouses. What is really required in the great towns is the benefit of the same machinery, because the obvious difficulty is that the number of poor law children in the metropolis might be so great as to swamp the schools of the districts. In what he said about training colleges and the grievances of Nonconformist teachers the Vice-President has shown his desire to meet the difficulty and has indicated the right course to pursue. This is one illustration among many of the difficulties that arise from the system of attempting to combine the benefit of denominational education with the benefit of the School Board system. As many hon. Members have already said in this debate, and nobody said it more clearly than my noble friend the Member for Greenwich, you have the supporters of the Voluntary system and the supporters of the School Board system, like cats on the roofs of two opposite houses, engaged in rivalry upon this question. The only result is that the supporters of the Voluntary system are strong enough to prevent the 98 School Board system doing a great deal of useful work, and on the other hand the School Board system is sufficiently strong in many cases to prevent the Voluntary system getting the benefits which might be obtained from it What we in this House, who should try to control and still these unfortunate rivalries, really want to do is to see whether some system cannot be invented which will give fairplay to both these principles without bringing them to stand in one another's way, strong enough to thwart one another but neither of them strong enough to get the upper hand and carry out their educational work. I can perfectly imagine, though I should differ from it, that if Parliament was to say that the Voluntary system should alone be recognised, and the whole of our educational system be organised according to the religious views of different parents or different sections of opinion, it would be possible on those lines to organise a great system of education capable of producing very good results. I can also perfectly realise that if we had a great system of undenominational education under such boards or other public authorities, there also great and admirable results must accrue to the nation which established such a system. But we have been obliged, for the reasons which prevailed in 1870, to arrive at a compromise—as we nearly always have to do in England. I would venture to say to the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich that all the arguments he used and the similar arguments used by others in this debate were the same as were used in 1870, and we had to come back to the Cowper-Temple Clause and the unsectarian system of education which that clause gives, simply because every other system failed to obtain a majority of this House. The end of all those long and bitter debates was simply that we had to arrive at a compromise. I venture to say that if the noble Lord was Minister for Education and tried to reduce into practice the ideas he has brought forward, he would find after long debates that it was not in his power to bring forward sufficiently strong battalions to overcome the opposition which those ideas would excite, and we should have to come back to the point we reached as long ago as 1870. We should have to recognise both of these great classes—namely, those who desire to have Voluntary schools and 99 those who desire to have the School Board system. In whatever way we follow out those ideas, we shall always have more or less to recognise that those two great classes of ideas do exist, and that whether we agree with them or whether we do not, they are held by large numbers of our fellow-countrymen. All we can do is to go on adapting and extending our machinery without attempting too much. The point we seem to have come to is as to whether or not we can attempt to meet what has been acknowledged by the Vice-President, the First Lord of the Treasury, and the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich to constitute the real grievance of Nonconformists—namely, that there are an enormous number of parishes in which the whole control of the education of the children is in the hands of one denomination, and that denomination the Church of England, so that presumably the child of Nonconformist parents must be withdrawn from religious education or accept a form which is not that with which the parents agree. The idea of the noble Lord appears to be that we must attempt in some way or other to revive the famous 27th clause of the Bill brought in by the Vice-President, by which the child of Nonconformist parents was enabled to claim to receive within a Church school— I do not know from whom, whether from the minister of its own religious denomination or from the teacher of the school—a different religious education, and that therefore in all these schools there should be two systems of religious education going on. When that Bill was brought in the clause was universally condemned. [An HON. MEMBER: Not universally.] Not universally, but by a great majority of this House, and in matters of this kind we are obliged to consider the majority. The Bill broke down very largely because that clause did not receive from any quarter an amount of support sufficient to float it over all the shoals and difficulties in this House, and I do not believe it would be any use whatever attempting to revive that proposal. I may be asked what is the use of my criticising these proposals if I have nothing to propose myself. I will only say that the real difficulty and grievance has always appeared to me to consist less in the question of the religious education 100 given to the child than in the management of the schools. The real grievance of the Nonconformist is not that his child has to go to a school in which he may be taught something in regard to religion of which the parent disapproves. There are exceptions, but as a rule I believe the clergy of the Church of England are not as unreasonable as some people imagine in regard to the actual religious education given in the schools. There is an enormous amount of religious education given in Church of England schools which is of a character that the child of Nonconformist parents can very well accept-There are cases where it is not so. You occasionally have an indiscreet clergyman or curate who causes great commotion far outside his own district by introducing high-flown notions about sacerdotalism, or by bringing in a special catechism invented by some High Church society to which he belongs, but such things are exceptional. The real grievance is that in an enormous number of parishes the whole control and management is in the hands of the Church of England, which in practice means, is in the hands of the clergyman of the parish, and therefore everybody who is not a member of the Church of England is shut off from the management of the schools. That has a very bad effect in two ways. It causes in the minds of Nonconformists a feeling of injustice, and educationally it has the bad effect of preventing a large section—and very often the most active section, and the section which takes the most interest in education—from having anything to do with the village school. If you want to interest the parents and the community at large in education, the first thing to be done is to make every parent and ratepayer feel that the village school is his school, that he has something to do with it, that he is interested in the management of it, and that it is possible he may be called upon to be a manager. These are the considerations I venture to submit to the Committee in regard to this question of education in our rural districts. This is a question which mainly affects our rural districts rather than the towns. In the towns there are generally school boards, and even where there are not such boards the Nonconformists as a rule are able to keep up a British school, to which they may send their children without any fear of their religious conscience being interfered with, and in the management of 101 which Nonconformist parents are directly represented. But there are larger questions than these upon which I would venture to say a word. I want to ask the Vice-President whether before this discussion closes it is not within his power to tell us something as to what his Department is doing in regard to the Education Act of last year. I read with the greatest pleasure an article this morning in a paper which is not generally considered to be a revolutionary paper, or which is never looked upon as anything but a staunch supporter of Her Majesty's Government. I mean the Morning Post. That article was one of almost extreme bitterness in regard to the conduct of the Education Department, of the noble Duke who presides over it, and of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, for their neglect in fulfilling the expectations raised by the Act of last year. The article stated that it could only assume that the right hon. Gentleman and his noble chief were conscious that there was something slightly absurd in the Act coming into operation on the 1st of April, and that the coming into operation of the Act was wisely put off for a day in order that it should not be said in this House that the Act had been designedly started on All Fools' Day, because the conduct of the Education Department under the Act would have led anybody to suppose that the British public and this House were being made complete fools of in regard to the expectations of last year. The article points out that last year we were told that directly the new Minister of Education was appointed we should have a real re-organisation of the Department, that there should be three secretaries—one for primary education, one for secondary education, and one for technical education; but nothing whatever has yet been done, and no sign has been given that anything is about to be done. In addition to that, according to the Act itself, a consultative committee of experts was to be appointed, and we were told that this committee was to be a most important body. We all imagined that my hon. friend the Member for Cambridge University would be immediately placed upon that body, and that by this time we should be receiving the great advantage of his experience and knowledge, and perhaps that of the recently - elected Member for London University. But that consultative committee appears to 102 have been completely forgotten. Is it or is it not intended to do something in this matter; and, if so, what and when? There is also another point. We have had a new Code, and we have had a Minute with regard to higher grade schools. No doubt both these documents are interesting and important documents, but, as has been pointed out in all these discussions, we have been placed at a great disadvantage because we were told last year that there was to be a great system of education—primary, secondary, and technical—and that when the Bill of last session became an Act we were to be allowed to consider the whole of this question together on one great and comprehensive scale. What has become of the Secondary Education Bill? The question is intimately connected with the Vote we are discussing to-night; it is still more intimately connected with the Minute in regard to higher grade schools. This Bill hangs fire from week to week and from month to month. We are told that the Bill is to be introduced either here or in another place. When is it going to be introduced? In every county in England, in every place, in every society, in every assembly where education is discussed, the cry goes up, "When is this Secondary Education Bill going to be introduced?" There are numbers of most useful schemes at this moment hung up simply and solely because people are not informed as to what is going to happen in regard to secondary education. The hon. Member opposite expressed a strong opinion in favour of having a county authority. I entirely agree with him. I have always regretted we were not able to obtain in 1896 the clause which dealt with the formation of county authorities. There were many objectionable things in that Bill, but I almost think I would have swallowed them all if we had been able to get the county authorities. I still hope we shall get the county authorities, and I want to know whether we are to be told anything this session in regard to this important matter. I would venture to press the question still further, and to ask whether there is any serious intention on the part of Her Majesty's Government, even if they introduce this measure, to pass it into law. It is a matter of injustice to the whole teaching profession and to the educational authorities of this country, and it is hardly respectful to this House 103 that a promise of a great measure of this kind should be dangled before them from week to week and from month to month while at the same time nothing is done to redeem that promise. I do not think the Committee will be satisfied to be told that this is a matter for the noble Duke the President of the Council. This is the House which votes the money for education, and we are entitled to know what the intentions of the Government are. The Government have mentioned this matter in the Queen's Speech, and when a Bill is promised in the Queen's Speech the House is seized of the promise, and has a right to ask for its redemption, or, if it is not redeemed, to know why. I earnestly trust the right hon. Gentleman will be able to allay the apprehensions which undoubtedly do exist that the House is being played with upon this question, and to remove the feeling that we shall probably separate, perhaps never to meet again in this Parliament, without the fulfilment of this great promise in regard to secondary education—a promise which at the commencement of this Parliament, and at the General Election which preceded this Parliament, was dangled before the elector's of the country, and had no small share in placing the right hon. Gentleman opposite in the position he holds to-night.
§ *MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
Though I am a very young Member of the House, it has been my pleasure to hear the Educational Estimates introduced very frequently during the last twenty years. It was the practice of former Vice-Presidents to keep back the statistics referring to the education of the country until the debate took place, and then to give a few extracts from them, something in this style:—"That whereas the percentage of attendance in the schools during the past year was 87.4, it is this year 87.6; and although the progress has not been very marked, yet it is in the right direction, and the House may therefore be satisfied. That the number of children has increased by some few hundreds in the year, which is a further evidence of progress." And so the old practice went on year after year; Vice-President succeeded Vice-President in giving us these trifling statistical details, and I think that these methods did a very great deal of harm in the country; they lulled the people to sleep; the people thought the condition of our elementary schools 104 was satisfactory; they pressed but few reforms upon the Education Department. But my right hon. friend has initiated a different form of procedure. I do not know whether it is because he loves being in a scrape. He told us during his statement this evening that he got into a great scrape recently for a statement he made, and I am inclined to think he will get into several more for some of the statements he has made to-night. But I believe he enjoys that kind of thing. At all events, he has succeeded in placing before the country some few truths which are not very pleasant to listen to, but facts which it is well the country should know; and though the right hon. Gentleman will be subjected to a large amount of criticism in regard to some of his statements, yet it is better we should have criticism than the lethargy and apathy which marked previous years. I admit I am often puzzled when the right hon. Gentleman is speaking. I have a shrewd suspicion that it is not always a departmental speech he is making. There are often indications that he is making a strong attack upon his own Department, and certainly he does not always appear to be cordially supporting the present Government. I am therefore sometimes a little puzzled as to the goal he is seeking and the object he has in view. If it be that from the knowledge he has gained in the Department and from the sympathy he has with child life he is trying to arouse that public opinion before which even the strongest Government must bow, I think the right hon. Gentleman is engaged in a good work, no matter how strange the procedure may at first sight appear. I believe he has done much during the last five years to arouse public opinion in regard to our schools, and I believe he himself would be surprised if he had the opportunities some of us have of ascertaining the great change which is taking place in public opinion outside this House on the question of the schools. If the next General Election be not completely overshadowed by one important topic, I shall not be surprised if this question of the schools plays a very large part in returning the next House of Commons. Many of the moderate men are sick and tired of these perpetual religious squabbles, and are heartily disgusted with the fanatics on both sides—with the Nonconformist who sees nothing but prose- 105 lytising in the Church schools, and of the Churchman who sees everything that is godless in the Board schools. They cry out, "A plague on both your houses! Stand aside, and let the more moderate men of the country settle this question once for all, and give us a unified system of national education." It is significant that the debate initiated by the hon. Gentleman opposite collapsed almost instantly, and I am not going to trespass on the indulgence of the House by attempting to continue it. There are points mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman which I should like to emphasise. He has taken up an entirely new topic to-night, one that has been left alone for too many years—namely, the system of teaching in our infant schools. Children from three to seven or eight years of age are systematically crammed. The notion among managers, both Board and Voluntary, teachers, and the Department itself, until within recent years, was that the great object of school work was to impart information rather than to develop intelligence. I recollect going into a large school at Munich a few years ago, and, noticing the early hour at which the junior department came and the late hour at which they left, I remarked, "Do these children work all this number of hours?" and the directress of the department said, "Work? They never work." "Then what do they do all day?" I asked. "They play all day." The Germans in their infant departments realise the force of Montaigne's dictum that the games of the children are their most serious occupations. Now that the Department is breaking the fetters from off the teachers and setting them free, I do urge the Vice-President of the Council to see that the system they have destroyed is not reset up by school boards and by the Associations of Voluntary Schools. In the early days when the inspector went round to every school and dug up every tender plant to see how it was getting on, and then pushed it back into the soil again, grants depended upon those examinations, and the school managers having a keener eye to grants than to education, employed an inspector to go round in order to put the children through their facings before Her Majesty's inspector arrived. This used to be a sort of dress rehearsal. Now the Board of Education have declared the play itself to be injurious, but they still allow the dress rehearsal to go on. No one can tell the amount of mischief this prac- 106 tice is causing throughout the country. I have here the syllabus, or teachers' work-book, which is adopted by the Leeds School Board, which one would have thought was an enlightened and progressive authority. This work-book, which is to be filled up by the teacher, maps out every single subject to be taken in the babies' class, and every subject is split up into its separate divisions. These infants are inspected, and I remember a school where the inspector reported that the mental arithmetic of the lower babies was defective. I have a bundle of such reports which apply not to our much abused Voluntary school managers, but to one of your largest school boards which sends round its inspectors to the infant schools, and this is their conception of what the education of infants should be. In one of the schools to which I allude there was a report issued to the effect that good progress in handwriting was being made by the children of three years of age. There was also a report in one district to the effect that the pronunciation of the babies was defective. Conversational lessons, kindergarten, drawing, conversation, and scripture each had a separate report by this Board's inspector in the babies' class under the Leeds School Board. That is the system which is allowed to go on in Leeds. But what is the object of the change made by the Board of Education? Following the example of Continental countries very slowly, the Board of Education have concluded that this continual examination of the young child hinders its progress. What happened? When an inspector arrived your timid child always failed, and the courageous little mite who did not care a brass farthing for the inspector—although he might be the worst in the class—passed all right, and got the Government grant, while the timid and delicate little one failed. Looking at the question all round the Board considered that the individual examination of the children prevented the best methods being employed, and the teacher became an artisan instead of an artist. Teachers looked for grants and results instead of to education and the happiness which it might bring to the children. The Board of Education have now destroyed this absurd system, and they test the value of education given by the methods employed by the teachers. Now the Board ask, "Have you a competent teacher; are 107 the methods you are employing thorough, sound, and educational; and are you as well equipped as the German and Swiss schools are with educational plant? If so, then the children are bound to make satisfactory progress." But while the Board of Education have thrown the old system aside themselves they are still permitting it by school boards and Voluntary school managers.
§ *MR. ERNEST GRAY
The right hon. Gentleman dissents from this, but will he toll us what he has done to stop this system? Have the inspectors been instructed to advise Boards to avoid this folly? Have the Associations of Voluntary Schools had it pointed out to them by any of Her Majesty's Inspectors what the result of this continual inspection of young children will be? For many years the Association of Voluntary Schools have employed organising masters as inspectors under another name. Of late years they have increased the number of these masters and given them more detailed work. The explanation is very simple because the Act will not allow these associations to expend money on secretarial work, and so they resort to the very simple expedient of making the secretary to the Board the organising master also. That sort of thing goes on in diocese after diocese. The inspector has to justify his existence and in some cases he goes round to school after school and undertakes this detailed examination. I have a report from one of these inspectors in the south of England, which covers six pages of foolscap. I do hope that the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Council will not content himself by simply making eloquent addresses, but will go back to Whitehall and see that the principles he professes here are put into practice. If he cannot do this then let him come back here and tell us who is hindering those reforms. Above the kindergarten must come the popular school, and above that the higher elementary school and the technical institute, and for a very few indeed the higher schools and afterwards the University. But the foundation of all this will be your kindergarten system. When the private schools have disappeared and we are able to adapt ourselves to conditions such as prevail under a German system we may hope to see the kindergarten the real foundation 108 of all intellectual educational work in this country. I wish some of those who look with suspicion upon the amount of money we are expending upon education and who talk about religious difficulties and nonsense of that sort, could go and spend a week in one of the great educational establishments of Zurich and Geneva and see what is being done all up and down the provinces abroad. There every person rich or poor sends his child off to the kindergarten school where the children got the foundation for the work of the higher schools. After this they realise that their course is clear right on to the University. But in those countries they get their children to attend regularly at school. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President referred to this point for a moment, but he might have spent a little more time in raising this great question. You may have the very best system of school management and the very best teachers, but you cannot get the best results unless the children attend regularly. What is the case in England? I intend to refer to this question again on account of a most remarkable statement which was made by the Lord President of the Council. The right hon. Gentleman made a speech in which he stated that in our English elementary schools we had an average attendance of 82 per cent.—that is, according to the returns, out of every 100 children no less a total than 18 are absent every day. The Duke of Devonshire stated that these figures were very misleading, and that they must not be accepted as an accurate record of the position. He went on to point out that a true estimate should be founded upon the number of avoidable absentees, and that from this total of eighteen you must eliminate all children who are ill and those who are absent owing to domestic trouble, and so on. What conclusion did the Duke of Devonshire arrive at? After taking these considerations into account he concluded that, instead of eighteen out of every 100 being absent, there wore only about 6 per cent. absent through avoidable causes. I challenge the Vice-President of the Council to produce the evidence upon which that statement is founded. Let us have the figures before us. It is the universal experience of everybody familiar with the management of the schools of England that that figure is 109 altogether inaccurate and altogether wrong. That statement is founded upon the assumption that the 18 per cent. of irregular children are evenly distributed all over the country. That is an entire fallacy. I was in Abergavenny the other day, and there I found that the average attendance of the children was something like 72 per cent., and how can you carry on your education successfully under circumstances like that? Your labour and your money might just as well be thrown into the gutter. You are starting and building your schools now upon the assumption that you will have 94 percent, present. Now you have in Wales 25 per cent. of the children away from school every day. The figures are not even throughout the country. In some counties it is possible to obtain an attendance of 87 or 88 per cent., but in other counties it sinks down so low as 72 and 73 per cent. But what is the Vice-President of the Council doing in this matter? He deplores this again and again in his speeches, which upon tin's subject leave nothing to be desired. He has said that he would press it upon parents and local authorities that something should be done to get the children to attend school more regularly, but what is he doing? There is active hostility to this on the part of some parents, school attendance committees, and small school boards. Some 2,400 school boards exist, but my opinion is that we could do comfortably without 2,000 of them. Many of these small school boards are composed of five members, who possess but the barest conception of their duties. Some of them actually employ the children who ought to be in the school. Some of these school attendance committees meet every two months, and it is their duty to appoint an officer to look after these irregular children. Go down into South Wales, and you will find that the man who collects the tolls is appointed by the board to look after the children who do not attend regularly. In some cases the officer employed is paid £2 per annum for performing this duty. What does my right hon. friend do with those school boards? I have begged of him to appoint inspectors of attendance who would go round and see how these authorities are discharging their duty, but I have not yet heard if he is prepared to do that. The Blue-books are full of laments from the inspectors that they cannot get the children 110 to attend school. And yet the school attendance committees and defaulting school boards are not compelled to carry out the law. My right hon. friend will perhaps reply that we have a Bill before the House which will remedy this, but very little progress is being made with that measure, and I begin to fear that that little Bill may be lost to us, and that this state of things will continue. I must apologise for touching upon this subject again. I almost regret having to bring questions of this detailed character before the Committee, but if hon. Members could realise as I do how the work of the school is hindered, and the amount of mischief which is caused by this irregular attendance of the children, then they would not be surprised at my anxiety that this subject should be pressed home. It is not merely that the children who are absent lose the benefit of the instruction, but they also do an immense amount of mischief to the children who do come regularly to school. If the Board of Education take a decided policy on this question I am sure the great majority of parents would support them. With the indulgence of the Committee I desire to refer to one other question. I venture to endorse the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President that if you want a proper system which will work successfully in your schools you must have the children attending regularly. On the other hand if you want to induce the parents of this country to send their children regularly to school there must be the assurance that when they are there they will be properly taught. Many of the working classes deny themselves, and have to pinch and economise in order that their children shall go to school. No one knows this better than the hon. Members who represent factory districts. If we force parents to send their children to school it is our duty to see that those children are properly educated. I do not think that even the right hon. Gentleman will contend that all our teachers are properly qualified for this work. So long as you allow nearly one-half of the children of this country to be taught by mere boys and girls, who are nothing but apprentices; so long as you allow some 17,000 young women, with no other qualification but the age of eighteen and vaccination, to teach, or pretend to teach, in your schools, you are hardly justified in compelling every parent 111 to send his children into such schools. Such a state of things is a fraud upon the parents. It is robbing the children of part of their education, wasting public money, and failing in our duty to the people to allow such utterly incompetent persons in our schools. It is ridiculous to talk about such persons teaching, for they cannot teach. It must have been one of those teachers who said that the hare was another name for a rabbit. I once heard of a teacher who told the children that Cinderella was the first Queen of England. I have seen the handwriting of some of these teachers, and they have not the ghost of a notion of how to write a letter. Some of them have been housemaids, and others have become tired of the needle. Therefore they are of the cheap and nasty order, and this is money thrown away. Of course the inspector has to approve of them, but it is simply a case of Hobson's choice. If he does not take that article he has nothing else. I am sorry to say that by far the great majority of these incompetent teachers are in the Voluntary schools. And why? Certainly not with the free will of those who employ them. It is simply because the funds are not sufficient to allow them to put a decent staff into every school. About 2,000 of these teachers are in board schools. Under the London School Board the young person of the age of eighteen as a teacher is absolutely unknown. Under the London School Board 81 per cent. are trained certificated teachers who are properly qualified, and only 4 per cent. are uncertificated adults, and they do not employ a single one of those incompetent teachers. In the county of Monmouth, instead of 81 per cent. as under the London School Board, only 26 per cent. are certificated teachers, and no less than 30 per cent. are uncertificated assistants. No less than 29 per cent., or nearly one-third, of the teachers in the Board and Voluntary schools in the county of Monmouth are apprentices who would not be admitted into a Swiss school. In Cologne they tried our system thirty years ago, but they found it was bad and they got rid of it, and until the teachers are properly trained they are not now allowed to practise upon the children. In the county of Monmouth no less than 15 per cent. of the teachers come under Article 68. What is the Vice-President's Department 112 doing to see that these schools are properly staffed? His reply, I am afraid, will be that a year ago they made some attempt to improve the conditions and limit the number of these teachers, but the House of Commons thought differently. I suppose that one must not criticise a vote given in the House of Commons, but I do wish that the right hon. Gentleman would try another experiment, and come down to the House again and tell us clearly what is necessary for the sound education of the children, and if he fails to get the support of the House he should throw himself upon the country to see whether the people will support him or not. I do not believe that the vote given in this House truly represented the state of the feeling outside. I feel confident that the people of this country wish their children to be well taught and that the school managers would employ competent teachers if they had the money. We want proper control and management and the necessary funds to carry out this object. At Oxford some French friends of mine asked me why we employed these pupil teachers if they were so bad, and what answer could I give? Simply that England was too poor to give better grants. Is England too poor to support its schools? The battles of the future will be fought between the intellect of nations, and the nation will win those struggles which best fits out its schools and which relies most upon the equipment of its young children. England, I am afraid, is resting satisfied upon what it has accomplished, and I hope the Vice-President's speech will do something to remove some of that apathy. It is not a question merely of the training of the children, and it is not a domestic matter. I am not pleading simply on behalf of the child or the working man's home, but the question is one of infinitely greater importance. The question is whether the electorate of a few years hence who will have to build up this House and control the destinies of the Empire, will be a wise and understanding people. They may be if the Board of Education will secure for them these reforms, but I am certain that if we go muddling along in our schools in the way which has characterised our policy during the last twenty-five years, we have nothing to look forward to but defeat at the hands of the Germans, and in some trades at the hands of the Swiss, and also 113 an ignorant electorate, than which there could be no greater disaster to our country.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon, etc.)
The speech delivered by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down does a great injustice, perhaps rather unintentionally, to my part of the country. He has held Wales up as the one part of Great Britain where the attendance is execrable. I am sure the hon. Member for North-west Ham does not wish to be unfair to Wales, but it is exceedingly difficult for children of a tender age to attend school in some parts of Wales. In a mountainous country the hon. Member must know that it is difficult to send a child five years of ago some four or five miles to the nearest school. Therefore the hon. Member cannot fairly compare the attendance in a mountainous district with the attendance in other counties in this country. It is a gross piece of unfairness, and I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman has (not for the first time) been guilty of it. As a Welsh Member I thank the Vice-President for his references to the efforts which Wales is making to improve its educational system. He spoke of them in very eulogistic terms, and yet the hon. Member for North-west Ham lectures the Welsh community on their own educational system, which they understand considerably better than he does. The hon. Gentleman was very severe on those who complain of the grievances under which Nonconformists in this country suffer as regards educational matters. I observed that the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich, although I would not for one moment suggest that he has any excessive sympathy with Nonconformists, admitted the grievance. Other hon. Members opposite also admitted it, and it was reserved to the hon. Member for Northwest Ham to get up and talk about the grievances of Nonconformist children, to quote his own words, as "nonsense." But I may point out to him that his own speech was a complete refutation of that accusation. The hon. Gentleman also, referring to the motion of my hon. friend the Member for Flintshire, in respect to which my hon. friend is the spokesman of millions of people in this country, said that it was all nonsense and that there was no such grievance.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
The words of the hon. Gentleman were that the religious difficulty in schools was all nonsense, and yet his own speech offers a complete refutation of that statement. What is one of his own complaints with regard to the educational system? It is that Article 68 teachers are a necessity in the Voluntary schools because the schools have no funds to pay better teachers. How is it that they have no funds? It is true that they have a large grant from Imperial sources, but they cannot supplement it by local aid. Docs the hon. Gentleman mean to suggest that they can get local aid to place Voluntary schools on the same footing as Board schools without giving local control? And if local control is given then the religious difficulty disappears. Take some of the parishes-referred to over and over again to-night, where the bulk of the population is Nonconformist, and where the only State school is under the control of the minister of another denomination. What would happen if local rates were summoned to-the aid of that school? You would have local representatives on the committee of management, and the school would cease to be a sectarian school, and would become a parochial school under a committee of management representing the bulk of the ratepayers. Does not that mean that the religious difficulty is at the root of the whole business? [Mr. GRAY dissented.] The hon. Member shakes his head. Can he point out to me how he is going to raise this fund without getting local control?
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
In Catholic districts in Germany there are Catholic schools, but that is because the bulk of the ratepayers are Catholics. In other districts there are Protestant schools, because the bulk of the ratepayers are Protestants.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
But if you have them both side by side there is also a committee of management. I challenge the hon. Gentleman to give a single case on the Continent where a Catholic school in a district is the only school and where the majority of the people are Protestants.
§ *MR. GRAY
Oh, yes, there would be no difficulty in proving that. I cannot give a case where there is only one school, but it is perfectly possible to have an authority managing the whole education of an area, and under that authority you can have a Roman Catholic school and a Protestant school in each of which the religion required by the parents is given. I have seen it done, and such people laugh at the religious difficulty and know it is non-existent.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
So well they might laugh, because it is a totally different system from the system in this country. The hon. Gentleman is evading the point. I am giving a case where the only State school is managed by a clergyman representing the minority of the population, the bulk of the population being Nonconformist. The hon. Gentleman knows perfectly well that there is no similar case to be found on the Continent.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
It is perfectly true that there is a grievance in some parts of Belgium, but in the vast majority of cases there the population is Roman Catholic and there is no large Protestant minority. I do not think there is a single case where the majority of the people being Protestants the school is managed by a priest of the Catholic Church. In Switzerland the teachers are appointed by a committee representing the ratepayers in the district, and yet the hon. Member quotes Switzerland as a country where no religious difficulty exists. Nor would there here if we followed the Swiss system. Let me take another case as showing that the religious difficulty is at the bottom of our educational trouble. What happens in regard to the training colleges? I find there are six undenominational training colleges which have 294 vacancies. But there 116 were 511 applicants who passed in the first class, which meant that there were 217 applicants who had passed in the first class who were excluded from these colleges for want of room. What happens in the denominational colleges? They have more vacancies than can be supplied out of the first class, and those vacancies have to be made up, not out of the 217 applicants who had passed the first class and were excluded from the undenominational colleges, but out of second-class and sometimes third-class candidates who were willing to take denominational tests. That means that 217 teachers who had passed in the first class are excluded from the teaching profession for the benefit of teachers of second or third rate ability, simply because the training colleges have got denominational and sectarian tests. And yet in face of these facts the hon. Gentleman says that the religious difficulty is nonsense. The religious difficulty is at the root of all our trouble. The hon. Member talks of England being poor, when she is spending 200 million pounds in war and in preparation for war. England is not too poor to expend money on education. The difficulty has been pointed out by the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich in his exceedingly candid speech. It is that we have got two hostile systems in this country, each watching the other and barring the way. The hon. Member knows as well as and probably better than most hon. Members that it is part of the policy of the friends of the Voluntary schools in most districts to keep down expenditure on the education in Board schools. It is a kind of economy, but it is not brought forward for purposes of economy. They do not want money expended on the Board schools because they do not want the Board School system to spread. What is the effect on the Voluntary schools? I have voted against every proposal to give the Voluntary schools a single penny unless it is accompanied by local control. The friends of the Voluntary schools vote against money being given to the Board schools, and we thus have two hostile systems entwined as it were in this country. This is a state of affairs that ought to be put an end to, and I was very glad to hear the suggestion of the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich as to an agreement between the two parties. I am afraid it is impossible in this country 117 to do away altogether with all sectarian teaching, but I am perfectly certain that, if the friends of both systems were to meet there might be a way out of the difficulty. There was one thing the noble Lord said which I was rather sorry for. He said very frankly that he admitted the grievance of the Nonconformists, but he said practically that as long as they inflicted a grievance in certain districts on the other side their own grievance would be continued. That did not strike me as a very Christian principle, or one that should be put forward in the interests of religious education. The grievance is undoubted. What we complain of is this—and it is the principal grievance of Nonconformists—that in about 8,000 parishes of England and Wales the children of Nonconformists are excluded from the teaching profession. The First Lord of the Treasury did deny that, but I think, if he will allow me to say so, he has not gone very much into the question.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I do not think that is so much the grievance The grievance of the Nonconformist parent is first of all that he has nothing at all to do with the control of the public school. He may have control of the parish pump, but he has no voice whatever as to the education of his children; and the other grievance is that his children are excluded from the teaching profession except on the condition that they attend the services of the Church of England. That is an undoubted grievance. I know the Vice-President will deny it.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
I will give a case in point, and ask the Committee if it is a theoretical grievance. The Wesleyan Conference went into the matter very fully, and they found that out of 980 schools, practically the only State schools in their districts, and under the management of the Church of England, tests were imposed in no less than 890 cases.
§ SIR J. GORST
Did they find any single case in which a "Wesleyan child was 118 prevented from becoming a pupil teacher by belonging to that sect?
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
Yes, they did. I have got a case here which happened in the west of England. But even if that were not so, the right hon. Gentleman knows that that is not a fair way to put it. Suppose we find that the majority of children in a given school are Dissenters, and that in that school no Dissenters have ever been allowed to become teachers. It is perfectly true that we cannot prove that the schoolmaster went to such and such a boy or girl and said, "Unless you become a member of the Church of England I cannot entertain your application to become a pupil teacher." But if you get 800 parishes where the bulk of the children are "Wesleyan and you find that no Wesleyan has ever been a teacher, it is perfectly fair to draw the inference that the test is imposed in such cases. I know from personal observation, as does every hon. Member that represents a Nonconformist constituency, that there are tens of parishes where the children are in the main Nonconformists, but in which no Nonconformist has ever been known to become a pupil teacher within the memory of man. That is the experience in my own constituency, with one or two exceptions; and although you cannot prove that such and such a boy was deterred from entering on the teaching profession because he was a Nonconformist, is it not fair to infer, if you draw all your teachers from the sect to which the clergyman who manages the school belongs, and not from the denomination to which the children belong, that tests are imposed? These are schools for the purpose of teaching children the doctrines of the Church of England, and I think it is perfectly right as long as this system remains in existence that children belonging to a particular Church should be taught by teachers who are members of that Church. There is nothing at all in that which any clergyman may disavow. But this is the real test which I have asked the right hon. Gentleman over and over again to consent to. Will he consent to a Return of all the teachers in Voluntary schools who are members of any other denomination except the Church of England? This is a real and very substantial grievance. Every religious 119 denomination in the kingdom has petitioned the Board of Education to remove it. The noble Lord the Member for Greenwich frankly and honestly admits it, and the Vice-President of the Council is alone in saying that it is a purely paper grievance. I ask him to put it to the test by granting the Return I have asked for over and over again, and if he does he will see that it is a very substantial grievance and ought to be removed.
§ SIR J. GORST
I will now proceed to answer the various questions put to me, but I will not answer the question put by the hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, because I answered it a few weeks ago when the hon. Gentleman made exactly the same speech, and I told him then that it was quite impossible for the Education Department to make an inquisitorial search into the religious opinions of teachers. I not only said that a few weeks ago, but I said the same thing on many other occasions when the same question was put to me during the five years that I have been at the Education Department. It is the officials of the Education Department who protest against a precedent being set for an inquiry by them into the religious opinions of the teachers. Now in the first place my hon. friend the Member for East Somerset asked me a great number of questions about the secondary education branch of the Board of Education. The Act of last session only imposed on the new Board of Education with reference to secondary education two functions. One was to undertake certain powers of the Charity Commissioners transferred by Order in Council, and the other was to inspect such of the secondary schools as asked for inspection. The Order in Council transferring the powers of the Charity Commissioners is now on the Table of the House, and if the House assents to it it will come into force on the 1st of November next, so that there is still ample time for the Board of Education to make the necessary arrangements. With regard to the inspection of secondary schools, I am informed that very few secondary schools have up to the present applied to the Board of Education to be inspected—not more than about a dozen. Most of them are making inquiries as to the conditions of inspection, and therefore it is rather premature to find fault with the Board of Education, because all these 120 matters are not now before the Committee. With regard to the organisation of the Department I can only give my hon. friend the answer which I gave a few weeks ago, and that is that the matter is still under the consideration of the President of the Board of Education, and that he hopes shortly in another place to make an announcement on the subject. My hon. friend asked me some questions as to the draft Order in Council which is before the Committee. Undoubtedly the powers according to the text of that Order will be concurrently exercised by the Charity Commissioners and the Board of Education; but an arrangement has been made between the Departments which will prevent any overlapping, and there is a distinct arrangement between them as to what powers should be exercised by each.
§ SIR J. GORST
I think communications should be addressed to the Secretary to the Board of Education after this Order comes into force. My hon. friend also asked me why the transfer of certain powers is restricted to Wales. The answer is that the case of Wales is rather more urgent than that of England, because in Wales an Intermediate Education Act is in force, and it is more important that secondary educations powers should be applied earlier there. We have no intermediate education at the present moment in England, and the expectation is that the experience derived from the administration of these powers in Wales will guide the Board of Education in the transfer of further powers to. England. The third point to which my hon. friend referred was that there was no transfer of powers in connection with the Board of Agriculture. There is, however, no occasion for that, because all the powers of the Board of Agriculture are exercised by the Board of Education already. The fact is that the Board of Agriculture does nothing either in-primary or secondary schools: its function at present is confined to making, certain grants to agricultural colleges. With regard to the observations of my hon. friend as to continuation schools, I entirely agree. I think it is most desirable that the administration of 121 the grants to evening continuation schools in rural districts should be exercised by the county council, and should be managed by the secondary education branch of the Board of Education. That, of course, is a matter which will require some consideration. It is now under the consideration of the Board of Education, and I hope that before very long an arrangement will be made satisfactory to my hon. friend. My hon. friend the Member for Wigan also asked me about Clause 7. The announcement of the intention of the Government to establish secondary educational authorities has, of course, put an end to the voluntary arrangements under that clause. Twenty-eight out of forty-nine administrative counties have formed committees under Section 7, and fifteen out of sixty-one county boroughs. The hon. Member for the Hoxton Division and other hon. Members spoke about poor law children. I entirely agree with my hon. friend the Member for West Bradford that the real solution of the difficulty is that all poor law children should be sent to ordinary elementary schools. There is now no difficulty whatever about it. The plan was invented in Sheffield, and it has now been adopted in several counties as well as in large towns. The children, instead of being taken into the workhouses, are boarded out in houses scattered in various parts of the town or district in small numbers, twelve or so in each house, and from those houses they attend a public elementary school—Board or Voluntary —and mix with the ordinary children. They mix with the ordinary children of the town and are as much as possible dissociated from all connection with the workhouse. In other places there is nothing to prevent the children living in the workhouse and attending elementary schools; and although life in the workhouse is very bad for them, it is very much mitigated by their attending the elementary schools. I remember myself being present at the Poplar workhouse when something approaching 200 of these children, who were living in the workhouse, came in from attendance at the elementary schools where they had been receiving their education. The only cases to which the remarks of the hon. Member apply are what are called the large boarding schools. I must confess that these large boarding schools are very bad institutions, and the sooner they are 122 done away with the better. I have no desire to give a kind of testimonial from the Education Department to the efficiency of these schools by undertaking a sham examination of the mere elementary instruction which is given in them. I quite agree with what the hon. Member for Hoxton said, that it is a very great misfortune that the children of the country are not all under one Department. Some are under the Poor Law Board, and some under the Home Office. My private opinion is that that is a very bad arrangement. Those under the Poor Law Board get the workhouse taint, and those under the Home Office get a kind of prison taint. It would be very much better if all the children of the country were placed under the charge of one Department. If that cannot be done, it seems to me it would be a very unfortunate arrangement if you were to establish in these schools, which I trust are fast disappearing, a kind of double authority; because if you had the Local Government Board giving instructions in respect to these children in one direction and the Education Department in another, you must inevitably have friction between the two Departments. In fact this arrangement, which formerly prevailed, was cancelled in 1863, and it would be very inadvisable to revive a system already tried and found wanting. The hon. Baronet the Member for North Norfolk and the hon. Member for Rossendale both expressed apprehension that my remarks applied to the kind of infants' schools in which they were interested; but those were not the schools to which my earlier remarks were directed. That sort of infants' schools are highly to be commended, and they might be extended throughout the country with advantage. My remarks applied to the common type of infants' schools in this country described by the hon. Member for North-west Ham, whore infants at the tender age of three are drilled in reading, writing, and arithmetic—a proceeding to which I object as much as the hon. Member. I have seen infants' schools in which the children really play, and where their brains are not cruelly exercised. There is one I know very well in the South of London where the children are employed in making what we in our younger days would have called mud pies, but what is now called clay modelling. In this school, which is presided over by a lady 123 who I suppose has been trained under the kindergarten system, the reading, writing, and arithmetic are relegated into the background. The children are hardly taught at all; but they are taught clay modelling, drawing, and colouring with water, and the results are most extraordinary. The children are delighted, but they never read or write, and never do mental arithmetic. It is said by the inspectors that when these children are turned out of these infants' schools into schools for higher children, they are better readers and writers and even better arithmeticians than the children who had been drilled in schools where their little brains were exercised prematurely. I hope the remarks I made about infants' schools will not be misunderstood. I most highly appreciate schools of that kind; but what I want is to get the country to realise that many of these children are put into schools where they do not play, and where their poor little brains are exercised prematurely, with great disadvantage to the infants. The hon. Member for Rossendale, I think, was very unreasonable in complaining that the higher elementary schools had not been already established. The Minute was only laid on the Table just before we adjourned for the Whitsuntide holidays. The hon. Member must give the Department a little time. Applications have already been received for a number of these schools, and I have no doubt that some arrangement will be made for establishing such schools after the vacations. A question has been asked by the noble Lord the Member for Cricklade as to when the Secondary Education Bill will be introduced. I understand that it will be introduced shortly in another place, but the exact day I am unable to fix. The only other point to which I need refer is the question of dismissal of teachers. That question has been forced on the attention of the Government by a great number of speakers on both sides of the House. I must frankly admit that I think it will be necessary, will be inevitable, after the passing of the Act by which pensions are given to teachers, to bring in some measure to prevent their unreasonable the and improper dismissal. I think the Education Department has a right to do this, because, as has been said by some of the speakers, those who pay the piper have a right to call the tune, and the Education Department 124 does pay the greater part of the teachers' salaries. Therefore, I think they have a reasonable right to have a voice, at least, in the dismissal of the teachers. I do-not think, however, that the question needs legislation; it can be done by means of a Minute. There is no impossibility in making such an arrangement as that without constituting the Education Department a Court of Appeal in every possible case, which would be quite impracticable. I think there would be no difficulty in obliging managers, whenever they dismissed a teacher, to give a written statement of the ground on which that dismissal has taken place, leaving to-the Education Department the right of saying whether that ground was reasonable or not. I have expressed my own opinion about the question; I might have gone further and said that it would be considered by the Department, if I was not afraid of the hon. Member for West Nottingham. I understand that the theory of the hon. Member for West Nottingham is that no physician has any right to diagnose any disease until he is prepared to effect an immediate cure. I undertake, however, that when the Code to be introduced next year is considered, this matter also will be considered, and that I will represent what has been said to-day to my noble friend the President. I hope that the wisdom of the new Board of Education will be able to find out a solution of the difficulty, so that teachers will have reasonable security that no rash and capricious dismissal should deprive them of the advantage of the pension they have earned, and the security of their position to which they are entitled.
§ Mr. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
At this hour of the evening I wish to confine my observations to a few points which have arisen in the debate, and especially to that last mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman—namely, the tenure of the teacher's office, and the right of appeal against capricious dismissal. I think that the debate this evening has satisfied the Vice-President—indeed, I gathered from his speech that he admits that there is little or no difference of opinion on this subject. I was extremely glad to hear him give the assurance, which we may take practically as a promise, that this matter will be dealt with in the Code. It is a matter of the highest importance to the teaching profession, not only because it is a corollary 125 to the granting of pensions, but because it tends very much to increase the credit and standing of the teaching profession. One of the best means by which to induce men of superior character and ability to become teachers is to give an assurance that they will not be subject to arbitrary dismissal hereafter. I would like to add, although I do not see the Lord Advocate present, that this is a question which has attracted a great deal of attention in Scotland, and I hope that what has been said by the right hon. Gentleman will be taken notice of by the Scotch Office, and that some similar provision will be made for Scotland as the right hon. Gentleman has promised for England. Another point to which I wish to refer is in regard to the training colleges. I do not think there is any desire to press the right hon. the Vice-President too far in relation to the hope he has held out in regard to these colleges, but we were glad to hear him speak to-night of the necessity of having more day training colleges. Residential colleges have rather a tendency to induce an ultra-professional and mechanical quality, and the cultivation of a certain set of ideas, as is not unnatural to men brought up entirely in a sort of seminary, and not moving in the larger intellectual and professional world. From these disadvantages day colleges are more free. Now, both the older universities and colleges have opened facilities for students who come from the outside to receive the best kind of teaching. That has been of great benefit; it has tended to raise the standard of the profession, and to diminish the chasm which used to yawn between the elementary and secondary teachers. The elementary teachers who come to the university feel themselves brought within the range and scope of the profession, and into closer touch with those who are trained for the secondary schools. These are con-
§ siderable advantages, and I do not think the new Board of Education could do anything better than signalise its constitution by an advance in the direction of day training colleges. I hope we may take the words of the right hon. the Vice-President as more than a mere platonic expression of sympathy, and that he will proceed with steps by which the Board of Education will give effect to his ideas. If the right hon. Gentleman will only do so, I believe he will have the unanimous support of the House. Upon the other topics which have been raised to-night I will not enter, except one. I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he proposes to make known to the House, either by way of Minute or otherwise, the distribution of functions between the Charity Commissioners and the Board of Education. I understood him to say that under the new Order there would be concurrent powers, but that there is to be an arrangement by which some of these powers would be exercised by the Board of Education, and others exercised, as heretofore, by the Charity Commissioners. That is not an unreasonable arrangement, and certainly it would be to the advantage of those who have to deal with charities on the educational side. I do not suppose that an Order in Council will be necessary—in fact, it would be unsuitable—but there might be a Minute issued by the Education Department which might specify the different functions to be exercised by the Charity Commissioners and the Board of Education.
§ SIR J. GORST
The suggestion of my right hon. friend opposite is most valuable, and it will be considered.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 46; Noes, 128. (Division List No. 143.)127
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Birrell, Augustine||Horniman, Frederick John||Pease, Joseph A. (Northumb.)|
|Brigg, John||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire)||Price, Robert John|
|Caldwell James||Lawson, Sir W. (Cumberland)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lewis, John Herbert||Runciman, Walter|
|Colville, John||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Dewar, Arthur||M'Kenna, Reginald||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thomas M.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr)||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Gurdon, Sir William Brampton||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Hudd'rsf'd)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Woods, Samuel||Mr. Samuel Smith and Mr. Lloyd-George.|
|Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ.)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Balcarres, Lord||Fry, Lewis||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Galloway, William Johnson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gedge, Sydney||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond)||Peel, William Robert W.|
|Bemrose, Sir Henry Howe||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Pender, Sir James|
|Bethell, Commander||Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Bill, Charles||Goldsworthy, Major-General||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Gordon, Hon. John Edward||Purvis, Robert|
|Brassey, Albert||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Rankin, Sir James|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Gull, Sir Cameron||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire)||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Round, James|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hanson, Sir Reginald||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Hardy, Laurence||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.)||Heaton, John Henniker||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hermon-Hodge, Rbt. Trotter||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd)||Smith, J. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hobhouse, Henry||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Jebb, Richard Claverhouse||Talbot, Rt. Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.)|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Cotton-Jodrell, Col. E. T. D.||Keswick, William||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Cross, Herbert S. (Bolton)||Kilbride, Denis||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lafone, Alfred||Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C. E (Tauntn)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks)||Welby, Sir C. G. E. (Notts.)|
|Denny, Colonel||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Liverpool)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Macdona, John Cumming||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Maclure, Sir John William||Wyndham, George|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r)||M'Killop, James||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Finch, George H.||Mellor, Col. (Lancashire)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Milward, Colonel Victor||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Flower, Ernest||Monckton, Edward Philip||Sir William Walrond and|
|Forster, Henry William||Morrell, George Herbert||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ It being Midnight, and objection being taken to further proceeding, the Chairman left the chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.