HC Deb 23 July 1901 vol 97 cc1354-427

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]

Clause 1:—

Amendment again proposed— In page 1, line 5, to leave out sub-clause (1)."—(Mr. Channing.)

Question again proposed, "That the words' Where a school board' stand part of the clause."

SIR W. HART DYKE (Kent, Dartford)

first congratulated the Chairman on his return to the House, and then said that he wished to make an appeal to the Committee and to the Government in the interests of peace and the future of education, and especially in the interests of the voluntary schools. It was perhaps unfortunate for his mission as a peacemaker that he had criticised the proposals of the Government; but he had spoken as an old and irresponsible Member of the House of Commons whose official life was happily closed, and who had always felt an extreme keenness on this question of education. If he had spoken strongly it was because he had felt strongly that no good could come to education out of party strife. He would take back everything he had said in criticism of the Vice-President, and would put on sackcloth— uncomfortable as it was in the dog days— if he could secure thereby a favourable hearing for the appeal which he wished to make. On the essential merits of the question in dispute there was very little difference between the two sides of the House, and he appealed to the Government to accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Rossendale standing later on the Paper. That Amendment left all the earlier part of the clause dealing with the local authority untouched; but it would enable the school boards, with the consent of the Board of Education, to carry on the work of the schools and classes to the same extent and on the same conditions as at present. The object of the Bill was to secure for one year certain classes and schools in the position which they now held. Both the Government and their supporters wished those classes to be maintained. In fact, the other night the First Lord of the Treasury admitted that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the classes would not be interfered with.

The Amendment of the hon. Member for Rossendale simply declared that in any case the local authority should allow them to be continued. What, then, was the difference between the two positions? The supporters of the school board system acknowledged that the school beards were not to be the sole authority in the future for secondary education; but they thought it hard that for these few months an authority should be put over them which was not to be the ultimate authority. Was it worth while to provoke all this strife, accompanied by an agitation on every platform in the country, for the sake of allowing this authority to interfere here and there if they wished to do so? The First Lord had given away his case when he admitted that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred no such interference would take place. What, then, was the difference? He might be very stupid, but he could not see it. Was it on behalf of the principle that the school boards in the future were not to be the body to guide the destinies of secondary education? Well, that principle had been conceded already; it had been conceded for forty years, ever since the Newcastle Commission sat, by every Committee and every Commission which had considered and reported upon the question. Again, he asked, why all this strife? Three or four years ago the Association of School Boards, after a solemn meeting, came unanimously to the opinion that they would be satisfied with a one-third representation on the new authority. The point had even been conceded in 1895 by the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen, the Chairman of the Commission upon Secondary Education. He ventured to say that the subject of contention between both sides of the House was of the most meagre and attenuated description. It might be urged that there was an objection to allowing these schools to be carried on for twelve months where objectionable practices prevailed; but this Amendment destroys that objection altogether; it gives the Education Department absolute power to deal with such evils. The Education Department might object to be brought into the arena of strife; but it was rather hard, considering how many years the Education Department had been condoning this system, and how many Vice-Presidents had made speeches praising the efficiency of the schools and presiding at their opening, that, in this emergency, the Department was willing to run away from its guns, and not pretend to look another way for twelve months. As to how much or how little there was left to struggle for, he asked right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the House whether there was a man, woman, or child who cared a brass farthing as to which way the House might decide this question? [Cries of "Oh, oh."] He was pressing this question on the attention of the Government and the House in the cause of education alone. The strife in this House in these unpleasant days would not end here. It would be carried into the constituencies, and hon. Members would hear of it again next session when they met to settle the difficulty which had puzzled statesmen for the last thirty years, and had ever created bitter party warfare. It was in the interests of education and of the settlement at which they all wished to arrive that he was pleading for peace. Surely the postponement of the settlement of this great question had been long enough. He knew that some hon. Members might think lightly about it, but many of them took a serious view of the situation, especially as regarded the thorough technical and practical education of our people. It was easy to get thirty millions to prevent another Majuba Hill, but hon. Members must beware lest by neglecting the settlement of the education question they did not bring a Majuba Hill as regards our trading position and commercial prospects which would be as disastrous as any reverse on the field of battle. He also pleaded for peace on behalf of the struggling voluntary schools, not only in the country districts, but in the poorer parts of London and our other large cities. What was going to be their future after all this strife, compared with what it might be if some arrangement were made permitting of an amicable, just, and lasting solution of the difficulty? He further asserted, without fear of contradiction, that when they went cap in hand and begged the local authorities to grant the voluntary schools something from the rates they would get very different treatment indeed compared with what they would have got under a calm, well-considered solution of the problem. He might be wrong, but he had studied this question for many years, and he could not help regretting the action of many of his friends on this matter. The noble Lord the Member for Greenwich was not in his place, or he would have liked to remind him that he had had the honour of canvassing the out-voters in Greenwich four years before the noble Lord was born, and from that day to this he had been in the thick political strife. While he was one of the greatest admirers of the noble Lord's ability, he would take leave to pit his experience against that of the noble Lord in such a matter as education. Again, he would plead for peace on both sides of the House. If hon. Members would make one big effort to drag this question out of the mire of party politics, there was no reason why next session there should not be a real and lasting settlement.


If any one but my right hon. friend had made the speech to which we have just listened, I should have thought I had some slight grounds for complaint—not at all in connection with the substance of the speech, but in connection with the occasion on which it has been delivered. The speech was not—at all events, apparently—on the subject of the Amendment now before the House, namely, the leaving out of Sub-section I., or the first few words of Sub-section I., but was in favour of an Amendment standing in the name of another distinguished educationist, the Member for Rossendale, which is far down on the Paper, and is not yet before the Committee in any clear and succinct form. I do not think that that is a very fortunate form of procedure, but my right hon. friend may sin a great deal, and he will always find forgiveness in this House. He has so much enthusiasm for the cause of education, he is so popular on both sides, his character carries such great and deserved weight, that I do not find it in my heart to say a single word more upon the actual form in which he has raised the question before us.

I turn at once to the substance of my right hon. friend's speech, and I rise immediately after him because I think it is only due to the Committee that I should state perfectly clearly at this early stage of the discussion exactly how the Government view the proposal of my right hon. friend and the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Rossendale. I think we entertain no doubts in our own minds as to the course we ought to pursue, and, entertaining no doubts, we think we ought to make that course perfectly clear to all interested in the further progress of the Bill. My right hon. friend spoke in the interests of peace, and no one who listened to him could doubt that, when he pleaded with the Committee to treat this great question of education in a non-party and a non-controversial spirit, he was pleading sentiments which came from the very depth of his heart, and that he pleaded for a cause in which he most strenuously believes. I should be sorry to think that anything which the Government had done or are doing is raising any unnecessary dust of controversy or introducing bitterness where otherwise peace might be expected to prevail. Let us examine this matter in a perfectly candid spirit. My right hon. friend says that there is hardly any practical distinction between the plan proposed by the Government and the plan which he advocates. He has told us that, so far as he can see, there is not a single-man, woman, or child outside this House to whom it makes the smallest difference whether the plan of the Government or that of the Member for Rossendale be adopted. If that be an accurate statement of the facts, it is indeed an unfortunate thing that we should meet in embattled ranks on this occasion, that party whips should be issued, and that long and better controversies are to be expected. But if it be as my right hon. friend says, and if the practical difference between the plan of the Government and the plan of the hon. Member for Rossendale be as insignificant as my right hon. friend declares it to be, surely the majority of the House and the Government who are responsible for legislation must have their way, and those who differ from them must abandon their opposition. If there is no difference between us let peace be restored. Surely the way to restore peace is for the minority to say—"Well, we prefer our plan; but we agree there is nothing in it, and we are quite ready to admit that under both plans the great stream of education will go on, that there will be no very great deviation of the course, that there will be practically no diminution of it; that under the circumstances had we been in power this is not the course we would pursue; still, as the course the Government suggest makes practically no difference to the schools in which we are interested, we are quite ready to accept their plan." I do not observe that when the proposition is thus stated the love of peace receives the same amount of applause as it did when my right hon. friend was so persuasively developing his views to the House.

Why is it that there is this apparently inevitable division of opinion? I am certain that, if my right hon. friend thinks the matter over, he will see that hon. Gentlemen, or some of them, may have more to say for the course they are taking than he seems to suppose. If his view of their action was correct I should say that they were wasting the time of the House, and unnecessarily embittering controversy by the course they are pursuing. It may be, though my right hon. friend is not aware of it, that hon. Gentlemen opposite are fighting, as we believe we are fighting, for a great principle which in our respective judgments is to govern the future of secondary education in this country. My right hon. friend said, What are you afraid of in regard to the school boards and secondary education? Everybody has declared against the school boards having anything to do with secondary education. It has been the result of Commission after Commission, declaration of policy after declaration of policy, and the school boards themselves have conceded the principle that, while they are responsible in their various localities for primary education, it is to some other authority that secondary education should be entrusted. I do not at all dispute the historical accuracy of my right hon. friend's retrospect, but is he quite sure that on the opposite side of the House there are not to be found gentlemen much interested in education whose view of the future organisation of education in this country is not a local authority elected ad hoc in the great areas of the country, who shall have control, as the school boards have at present, over the rates to be raised in the locality, and be responsible for the whole of the education? If that ambition— perhaps not loudly expressed at present— does not lie at the root of much of the opposition, then I am wholly unable to explain the vehemence of the opposition. In our view, it is manifest that such an extension of the authority of the school boards, transmuting their powers and constitution, but at the same time leaving them an ad hoc authority, with independent rating powers, to deal with all education—to such a plan we are unalterably opposed. I believe that to be the principle for which many hon. Gentlemen are fighting. My right hon. friend asks gentlemen on this side of the House—For what principle are you fighting? The principle for which we are fighting is plainly stated upon the surface of the Bill. We are fighting for the view that the ultimate authority for secondary education, the authority which is to have control of all local pecuniary aid for secondary education, must be the local authority. A committee of the local authority may be constituted in a future Bill as you please. It may contain, if you will, representatives of the school board, or of this or that great educational interest, but it must be a committee of the local authority. It must be from the local body it must draw its authority, and it is from the local body it must get ultimately the local financial aid by which its work is to be carried on. That is the principle that is embodied in a very rough but sufficient form for the purposes of the year. Does my right hon. friend not think that is a great gain to the cause which he himself has at heart? Does he not think that for the House of Commons to lay down the broad principle I have stated, and which is held not on this side of the House alone, but fey many educationists on the other side also, is a great gain? If he wants to know whether it is a great gain or not let him consider the alternative policy which he is recommending. He practically tries to destroy the Bill altogether, and to turn it into a measure for continuing the status quo for twelve months more. That is putting shortly what the Amendment amounts to.


Not to shut up the schools.


I agree that as regards the fortunes of the schools there will probably be little or no difference between the two plans. But I am talking of the principles laid down in the Bill, and of the inevitable inferences that will be drawn according as the Bill is shaped one way or the other. From the Bill, as we have presented it, it will be perfectly clear to the House and the country that we consider the proper authority for organising secondary education is the local authority. From the plan recommended by my right hon. friend there is but one inference to be drawn, and that is that he wishes to prolong as long as possible—[An HON. MEMBER: For one year]—a condition of things which is substantially illegal at present, and which in no way conforms to the ultimate lines on which we think education should be organised. I have said that is the only inference to be drawn from the abandonment by the Government of the Bill as it stands and the substitution of the totally new Bill which my right hon. friend suggests. I am wrong. There is another inference to be drawn—namely, that the Government and the party which supports them do not know their own minds in the matter; that they have no policy, or, if they have a policy, that they are not prepared to stick to it in the day of battle. I think such a lesson would be fatal. If the Government were to practically abandon their scheme which appeared in the original Bill, and is repeated in this interim measure, and which is embodied in every speech dealing with the subject on behalf of the Government—embodied in the statement made by the President of the Council, in the speech made the other day by the Vice-President of the Council, in the speech I had the honour to make in behalf of the Government— I say if we were to abandon it for no satisfactory reason that I could discover in the speech of my right hon. friend, then the country would say that the Government—whatever merits they may otherwise possess—were quite unfitted to deal with education, that they were persons who did not know to what goal they were striving, what end they were seeking; who at the first wind of controversy reversed their course and steered for a port which they have never shown any desire to reach before; and, there- fore, that such persons were unfitted, in the matter of education at all events, to have public affairs in their hands. Of course hon. Gentlemen opposite have long taken that view of the Government, not only with regard to education but in all other matters. I suppose that is their one bond of union which brings them together. The total incompetence of the Government, whether in the fields of peace or the fields of war, whether in executive administration or in legislation—it is a commonplace with hon. Gentlemen opposite. But my right hon. friend does not take that view. He pleaded eloquently, not only for the importance of the problem of education, but for its instant and pressing necessity, He said, Avoid any course which may produce delay in the settlement of the question, for delay will have a disastrous effect on the economic future of our rising generation to whom the great commercial interests of Great Britain are to be entrusted. But does my right hon. friend think that if we adopted the course which he presses upon us we could come down to the House next year with a comprehensive Bill—[Cries of "Why not?"]—or, if we did come down with such a Bill, that we should have the smallest chance of passing it into law? [Cries of "Why not?"] I presume we should not have gained the respect of hon. Gentlemen opposite. [Cries of "You are wrong."] I am sure we should have lost the confidence of hon. Gentlemen who sit behind us. They would rightly feel that we are not safe guides in the matter of education; that it is not to hands so feeble and vacillating that the settlement of so vital a problem should be entrusted. And, even if they were converted by the arguments of my right hon. friend, the public outside, upon whom they and we alike depend, would form the judgment which no subsequent action of ours could reverse, I am convinced, that in this matter, if in no other, we had shown ourselves hopelessly incompetent either to make up our minds, or, our minds having been made up, to ask the House to go with us to the end; and if the public came to that judgment, then good-bye to those useful and immediate projects of reform in the field of education which my right hon. friend so urgently desires. My right hon. friend has produced no argument whatever in support of his proposal based on the necessities of the evening continuation or higher grade schools, for, in his view, and in my view, both plans would probably have much the same effect on the future fortunes of these schools. But, while our Bill will be taken by the House and the country as an authoritative declaration of the general line upon which we mean to proceed in our future Bill, if we followed his plan it would be taken with equal certainty and justice as an indication that we had handed our educational policy bodily over to the other side of the House. I cannot ask the Committee to take that step, and I earnestly trust—I know it would be vain to appeal to educationists on the other side of the House—but I ask the Gentlemen on this side of the House that they will support the Government in a policy which I honestly believe is one in which the best interests of our country are intimately involved.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

I agree with the right hon. Gentleman that this is an unfortunate occasion on which to discuss the large questions raised by the speech of the right hon. Baronet and by the right hon. Gentleman himself But the language which the right hon. Gentleman has used does not make it necessary that I should endeavour to state what we regard as the real question at issue. I should like to endeavour to recall the House to the question actually before it, which is sometimes forgotten in listening to the eloquent periods of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman complained of the bitterness imported into this question, but that bitterness is entirely due to the fact that when the original Bill was introduced it was heralded by innumerable declarations that it was intended to commit the House and to establish the principle that the elementary schools as well as secondary education was to be taken out of the hands of the school boards. Having watched the matter for many years, I am convinced that there is no reason why secondary education should be a matter of party or political controversy in the House, if theological questions are kept out of it. If this Bill had been brought forward originally as a purely and simply secondary education measure, if it had not been said that it was to be a Bill for establishing an authority which was to control elementary as well as secondary education, I do not believe that the party feeling which we all regret would have ever arisen. There has been no desire on this side of the House to make party capital out of the question, so far as secondary education is concerned; and if it has become a matter of party, it is because it has been looked upon as the first step in an educational revolution which is to extinguish the school boards, and the provisions attached to the school boards by the Act of 1870, and, therefore, to completely transform our whole educational system. The right hon. Gentleman has carried over to this Bill, although only in a shadowy shape, the large principles which were involved in his first Bill. He has reiterated them to-night; but could any one imagine a worse opportunity for asserting the large principles in this particular Bill? I wondered, in listening to the right hon. Gentleman, whether at all moments of his speech he remembered what this Bill was. It is a Bill for enabling a certain number of schools and classes to be carried on for one year, and one year only. Why should that Bill settle any principle at all? Why should a Bill which is only a temporary expedient to correct an error in the interpretation of the law—[Cries of "No, no."] Surely it could not be denied that the law had been wrongly interpreted by the school boards, and even by the Vice-Presidents of the Council, who had given their blessing to these schools! This is a Bill which is only intended to operate for one year, and the right hon. Gentleman has told us that a complete Bill is to be introduced next year. But when that Bill is introduced we shall have to discuss all these questions over again. The right hon. Gentleman has said that this Bill is not to set up a permanent authority. Of course not. That permanent authority is to be set up next year, and why should we discuss now all these questions on a temporary Bill?

Let me tell the right hon. Gentleman that we are not moved, in regard to the position we take up, by a blind devotion to school boards. It is nothing of the kind. What we care about is to see this educational work properly done, and efficiently done. We do fear that there will be a general stoppage of these higher grade and evening continuation schools. I believe that perhaps the large majority of the local authorities proposed to be set up by this Bill will allow the school boards to go on with their work. But we do fear that there will be some cases in which there will be a stoppage, and we further fear that in many cases there will be a regrettable delay in the communications between the local authorities and the school boards which will prevent the schools being carried on as soon as desirable. The right hon. Baronet the Member for Dartford laid stress on the fact, due to his own experience, that there will be friction arising from the subjection of one electing body to another. More especially will this be in the case of borough councils, where the two bodies are elected by the same electorate, and in the same areas; and that will prevent, as the right hon. Member for Dartford well knows, the question being approached next session in the pacific and reasonable spirit with which it ought to be approached. The First Lord of the Treasury says that there are only two courses open to the Government. The first is to allow the school boards to go on in the way hitherto followed, and which the courts of law have declared to be illegal. I understand his objection to that course, and that it is quite a tenable position. But then the right hon. Gentleman says that the only alternative is the proposal contained in the Bill, which is to subject the school boards to the control of the county and borough councils. Surely there is a third course—namely, to maintain the status quo for a year only. By maintaining the status quo I do not mean that the school boards are to be allowed to go on doing what they have done at their own free will and pleasure, but that they are to go on doing it under the control of the Education Department, which will show them that they are not entitled to carry out their own free will and pleasure in individual cases, and which will prevent any abuse of their rights. I put it to the Committee that there is no committal on the part of the House to any principle if we allow the school boards to go on for one year only, in the course they have followed, subject to the control of the Education Department, which will show to everyone concerned that the school boards are not doing the work of their own power. The Amendment which has been suggested by the hon. Member for Rossendale would be a proper compromise, although many of us on this side of the House would have liked to have gone much further. It is, we think, however, a reasonable concession which may be made by the Government. I will not go on to argue the larger question raised by the right hon. Gentleman opposite about the future constitution of the authority for secondary education, for I do not think that ought to arise on this Bill. The reason why I regret the course the Government have taken in objecting to this compromise suggested by my hon. friend is that there will be no saving of time, that it will bring us face to face next session with an irritated state of mind, and that we shall not have the same chance of settling in a reasonable and temperate way a question which might be settled without political controversy such as this Bill will give rise to.

MR. MATHER (Lancashire, Rossendale)

said that as his proposed Amendment had been mentioned by almost every speaker in the debate he might be permitted to say a few words as to the attitude he had assumed on this very important question. He was sure that many hon. Members on the other side as well as that side of the House would agree with him that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dartford had done himself great honour by the speech which he had delivered, devoid as it was of all party animus, and obviously devoted to the great cause of education. This was an occasion unique in the history of educational legislation, where a fair compromise might be arrived at without any further dicussion of an acrimonious character, without any delay in business procedure—a delay which would be almost calamitous at this period of the session. He thought hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side of the House should consider that they had in the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dartford a sort of "Daniel come to judgment." With all due respect to the right hon. the Vice-President of the Board of Education and others sitting on the Government benches, there was no one to compare with his right hon. friend the Member for Dartford, who, in educational legislation, spoke with the authority of successful experience, and not as a scribe. That right hon. Gentleman was the author of the most important Education Bill which had passed this House since 1870—a Bill which had brought to the young people of almost every town, village, and hamlet in this country a certain amount of technical and scientific instruction in relation to their various callings in life which they could not possibly have had but for the compromise which the right hon. Gentleman had made on behalf of the Government of the day in passing the Technical Instruction Act in 1889. They were entitled to regard the appeal which that right hon. Gentleman had made to-night to the Leader of the House and his friends around him as of the greatest possible interest and significance. The First Lord of the Treasury had answered that appeal by suggesting that the Government would lose prestige in the country, and the confidence of his own party, by giving way to the recommendation of the right hon. Member for Dartford, and by adopting the Amendment, or something like it, which he suggested.

The First Lord of the Treasury had defended his position by a statement which could not be substantiated by the facts of the case. He spoke of what he called the essential principle of the Bill as the new Secondary Education Authority. But the Secondary Education Authority proposed incidentally in the Bill to be constituted of Municipal Councils in the future had no relation whatever to what the Committee were discussing, namely, the means of carrying on for one year higher grade elementary schools and classes. That was the essential principle of the Bill. At this moment the Government had not decided that the education imparted in the higher grade schools was secondary education, in the sense in which all the civilised countries in the world regarded secondary education. The judges in the Cockerton case had declined to define what was secondary education, or to draw the line between secondary and elementary education; they left this to the House to determine. The higher grade elementary schools in England were not to be compared with the secondary schools of Germany and America. The Cockerton judgment had simply proved that in the Act of 1870 there were certain subjects not included, which had been taught in board schools under the term of higher elementary education, and that these were not legal. If the secondary education of which the Government spoke had been defined by Parliament to be the higher elementary education and the higher-grade education which the school boards had given for so many years, there might be some reason for the Government creating a secondary authority to take charge of it. But, since there was no definition of secondary education by statute, why should the Government make another step in the wrong direction, and establish a secondary education authority only for higher elementary education when no such authority was required? The First Lord of the Treasury had laid great stress on the fact that many Members on both sides of the House would probably recognise that in the future educational authority which was to be constituted throughout the country there should be a very large infusion of the local authority of each district. On that point he entirely agreed with the right hon. Gentleman. But while the major portion of the future authority for secondary education might consist of the municipal councils and the local authorities, the House had not yet agreed as to the composition of the other portion. No decision had been come to as to whether that portion of the authority should be elected ad hoc, or be composed of members of certain associations and bodies throughout the country, duly delegated under an Act of Parliament to take part in the educational work of the country. The Vice-President of the Council, in introducing the Education (No. 1) Bill, gave no indication, when pressed, of what the future authority should be. Beyond the fact that the majority of the members of the authority should be drawn from the municipal councils, the matter was left entirely in the air. The Committee, therefore, in considering this short Bill, were still working in the dark. They had not, at present, as he understood the ruling of the Chairman, the right or power to discuss the secondary education authority of the future. The Bill did not propose to create that authority now. In its preamble, and in almost every line except those he proposed to exclude by his Amendment, the Bill simply meant that things should go on exactly as before, that it should be lawful for one year for local authorities to give money for the work of school boards in higher elementary schools and classes; that it should be lawful for school boards to accept money from local authorities to carry on the same education they have hitherto given, and that it should be lawful for the Board of Education to sanction the class of teaching which the school boards had hitherto given under the authority of the Board of Education. He asked the Leader of the House, therefore, whether it was fair to charge those on that side of the House with party spirit because they proposed a simple Amendment such as that he had put down for the consideration of the Committee, which carried out the whole of the essential principles of the Bill—




asked in what particulars it failed to carry out the essential principles of the Bill. The Government proposed to give the local authorities power to find the money legally to carry on certain schools and classes for one year, which the Cockerton judgment found at present unlawful. So did the Amendment. The Government proposed that school boards should be able to accept that money legally. The Opposition was entirely with them. The Amendment proposed that it should be spent under the control and direction of the Board of Education, and not under that of a Municipal Council, for one year. The Board of Education was the supreme authority to direct the education of this country. So far as legislation had gone, there was no higher authority. The Board had done its work during many years and under many difficulties with great credit to itself. There appeared to be at present some difficulty on that Board, but he would not enter upon that matter now. At any rate, the supporters of the Amendment were at one with the Government, if they would agree to a simple Bill for carrying on for one year the education to which they had been accustomed for the last twenty years, and for bringing in the local authority only as suggested in his Amendment; but they could not agree that the local authorities should be established as the secondary education authority unless they had an opportunity, with the Speaker in the Chair, of being able to discuss with the Government the question of the best secondary education authority under which these schools should be placed permanently in the future.

He was of a sanguine disposition, and was not without hope that even yet the First Lord of the Treasury would see his way to modify the somewhat harsh position he had taken up. The Opposition were not moved by party spirit in this matter. They were anxious only for the education of the country. They were desirous of seeing that which had been of such service in the past placed for one year more in the happy position it had occupied for so many years. But in order to meet the cases which had been presented from time to time, in which the Vice-President had shown that some abuse of the liberty enjoyed by school boards had been possible, the Amendment proposed that the Board of Education should take entire control of the matter, and determine the subjects that should or should not be taught. If the matter were treated in a proper spirit, without party strife, it would be possible, without prolonging the debate over that night, to pass the Bill, and get on at once to other matters of great and pressing national importance. He, therefore, begged the right hon. Gentleman to consider the weight of argument on the Opposition side of the House, and, if possible, to modify his position, so that the Bill might be passed with the consent of all educationists on both sides of the House.

MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)

felt sure that at least 80 per cent. of Members of the House would have been glad if, as the result of the discussion, some arrangement could have been arrived at which would secure the object in view, and at the same time not give away the principle. But no one could have been surprised that the Leader of the House did not see in the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Rossendale Division a proper basis of such a compromise. He himself could not assent to the view of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Dartford division that the question between the two parties was a very trivial one, nor, on the other hand, could he see anything in the course of the debate to justify the assertion of Members on the other side that this Bill was the first step in an educational revolution. If the Committee realised that they had a practical question to deal with, it might greatly shorten the discussion, and help them to find a way out of the difficulty. Hon. Members opposite cheered when the Member for the Dartford Division suggested an arrangement. But an arrangement which gave up the whole matter in controversy to the views of one side could hardly be called an arrangement at all. If any arrangement was made it should be one in which each side gave up something, but nothing that was essential, and he believed that such an arrangement was possible. The Amendment which had been suggested as a basis of a compromise, however, would give away that for which the supporters of the Bill were contending, and would not solve the practical difficulties with which the Committee were faced. He did not agree that any great principle was at stake in the sense of endeavouring to establish a new principle. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the principle he had in view was that of the local authority being the body charged with secondary education. He heartily assented to that principle, and to the view that nothing should be done by the present Bill to interfere with it. But the Committee should remember that that was not a new principle. It was established in 1889, when county councils and certain local authorities were made the authorities for technical education, and empowered to find funds to a certain amount for that purpose. That principle was confirmed in the episode of the whisky money, and the county councils were continued as the authorities to distribute the fund in relation to technical education. But there was a question of difference not touched by the Amendment, and which had not been dealt with in the debate, and that was the practical difficulty created by the Cockerton judgment. There was the question of overlapping. That evil had been absolutely stopped by the Cockerton judgment, and the difficulty created by that judgment had to be met without renewing the difficulty which that judgment removed. The first essential, therefore, was to provide in some way that the two sets of authorities, who were now treading on one another's toes, the one being lawfully charged with secondary education, and the other having unlawfully taken the field, should meet together and find a modus vivendi for the year. That was the main question before the Committtee, and it was not provided for by the Amendment. It was suggested that the matter should be left to the Board of Education. Such a compromise would not work at all. The question was very complicated, by reason not of its wide ramifications, but of the multiplicity of its details. In every district in which this overlapping existed there were two sets of schools, the one run by the school board and the other by the county council, dealing with the same subjects. Nobody knew—except the school boards and the county councils, and they knew very well indeed—what were the difficulties between them; they knew exactly on what subjects the one was emptying the class-rooms of the other; they knew exactly where they had one set of pupils with two schools, each with a half-set of pupils; and if they could just meet together and discuss the matter they could in the simplest way possible solve the difficulty. That was the object of the Bill—to bring the two authorities together to settle the terms on which the matter should proceed during this year. Those who were unlawfully working in the field would have to submit to some sort of terms from those who were lawfully working, so that the schools which were required and were doing good might be carried on. In the cases where they were not doing good no doubt some arrangement would be made for having only one set of schools; in other cases, doubtless, the county council would permit them to go on. The form of the Bill was perhaps a little unfortunate in one or two ways, and had been misunderstood by some authorities in the country. The school boards in some places did not understand why they should go to the county councils, and in some places the county councils did not quite understand what was proposed. He believed that all the Bill intended was that the two authorities should meet together in cases where there was overlapping, and that where overlapping did not obtain the existing system during the year should not be touched at all. If the Committee would get rid of the idea that they were discussing the whole question of secondary education he thought that some arrangement might still be arrived at, but it could not be on the basis of the Amendment under discussion.

MR. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)

I should not detain the Committee for more than two or three minutes, but I wish at this early stage of our proceedings to add my voice to those which have already been raised in support of a course which I am certain, if the Government could see their way to adopt it, would lead to a speedy and pacific settlement of the temporary difficulty with which alone we are at present concerned. Let me say at once that I demur entirely—and in this respect I agree with the hon. and learned Member who has just spoken—to the doctrine which appeared to be propounded by the First Lord of the Treasury, that we are by the passing of this Bill settling any principle of education whatsoever. In whatever form this Bill is passed, it will be perfectly open to all of us in the next session of Parliament, when the Government come forward with their settled scheme, to discuss that scheme with free and unfettered hands, and it will not be possible for anybody to say that the House of Commons in this session of Parliament, by its decision in regard to the best method of dealing with a special emergency, has precluded its judgment as to the ultimate educational authority throughout the country. I would say further—and I am not dealing with this matter in any controversial spirit—that even from his own point of view, if the First Lord of the Treasury is anxious to get on the Statute-book in this inchoate and anticipatory form some kind of parliamentary recognition of the fitness of municipal authorities for educational work, he is doing a very ill-service to the cause of education by introducing it in this extremely irritating form. It would be far better that the question of what the ultimate educational authority shall be—a question on which there are wide differences of opinion among educationists not corresponding with the lines of party cleavage—should be decided altogether apart from the temporary and transient embarrassments of the Cockerton judgment.

That being so, I ask the Committee to consider for a few minutes what is the best way to deal with the difficulty. Two courses of dealing with the emergency have been suggested—one is to give the power of sanctioning the continuance of irregularities for a twelvemonth to the county and borough councils, and the other is to give the power to the Board of Education. That is what the whole thing amounts to. As practical men, who want to deal with this matter in a practical way, we have to decide which of these two courses is the best. I happen to know something about the Cockerton judgment, and I find that the most extraordinary misapprehensions even now prevail as to what was actually decided in that case. May I tell the Committee what was decided? The most extraordinary misapprehensions prevailed as to what was decided by the Cockerton judgment. Two propositions, and two only, were decided. The first is that it is not legal at the expense of the rates to give instruction to persons who are not children. The second is that it is not legal to give instruction in any subject which is not prescribed by the Whitehall Code. These two propositions, and no others, were decided to be the law. I have mentioned this matter for the purpose of clearing up a matter upon which there appears to be a good deal of general misapprehension. The Cockerton judgment says you cannot give education to anybody who is not a child at the expense of the rates, but it leaves entirely unsolved the question— What is a child? It does not decide when a human being ceases to be a child. This is a question upon which the Cockerton judgment says nothing. It I says that you are not to give education in any subject which is prescribed by the Whitehall Code, but it leaves entirely unsolved the question as to what are the limits of the education which the Whitehall Code may prescribe. The Judges were most careful not to define any superior limit to elementary education. The result is that the body, whatever it is, which has to determine whether the school boards shall continue this work will have to answer two questions on which the law as at present decided throws no light, and which, if the decision is left to the local authorities, may be decided in one way in one place and in another way in another place. The local authorities will have to determine most difficult and delicate legal questions, without any canon or guide to secure that their decisions will be uniform. If that is the case, would it not be far better to leave the determination of these questions to an authority like the Board of Education, which, though not judicial, is free from all local prepossessions and prejudices, and which has at its disposal the best expert advice in the country, and which can lay down uniform rules to prevent classes from being capriciously closed in one place and continued in another? It is a mere question of administration to meet a passing emergency; and the most practical and business-like method is to leave it to the Board of Education.

SIR J. FERGUSSON (Manchester, N. E.)

asked whether this discussion was in order.


The Amendment before the Committee practically raises the whole principle of the Bill. When the Committee comes to a decision on the Amendment—as I suppose it will some time—and if it rejects the Amendment, it will assert that Sub-section 1 stands part of the Bill, and that will exclude all the alternative suggestions which are now being made.


Upon a point of order I wish to ask a question. The present Amendment is one to exclude local authorities from having anything to do with, the matter at all. Surely that will not exclude an Amendment which recognises the action of the local authority, and which associates something else with the local authority. Surely there is a marked difference between these two propositions


I should not like to express an opinion with regard to the merits of a particular Amendment. All I wish to say is that the general principle of sub-section I will be affirmed by this decision, and if that is so then any proposals for leaving matters as they are or for establishing another authority altogether or for negativing the power of the local authority would naturally fall to the ground.

SIR RICHARD JEBB (Cambridge University)

said that the work contemplated was of a scope which the Board of Education could not possibly perform. The problem was essentially a local one. The Board could only obtain the necessary local knowledge by holding a series of inquiries, which would take time, and if sanction had to be given at all it had to be given within a very limited period. The right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken had protested against the Bill being regarded as settling any principle. He said that next session when the Bill was introduced they must come to the question with an absolutely open mind. But if the Government had simply suspended the Cockerton judgment for a year they would have been endorsing the principle that school boards were the proper authorities to undertake the control of education above the elementary stage. [Opposition cries of "No, no."] He maintained that that was so, because if the Cockerton judgment had had no existence, and if the school boards could have gone on spending the school board rate on any kind of education they pleased, there would have been no limit to the field of secondary education over which they could have spread their operations Was it not certain that in these circumstances the school boards would have strengthened their hold on this field and have been in a much stronger position at the end of the year than at the beginning?

Had the Government adopted this course they would have been recognising the principle that the school board was a proper authority not only for primary education, but for higher education also. He thought the course adopted by the Government was the only proper one under the circumstances. They had heard a good deal about the friction which was likely to arise, but everything appeared to indicate that there would be no such friction. He looked with great hopefulness to the future. It had been said that upon the Ministerial benches they had no desire except to disparage the work of school boards and higher elementary schools. He fully recognised the good work which the higher grade schools had done, for they had supplied a great deficiency in education, and all praise to them for having done so. Everyone interested in education was fully aware of the good work which had been done in this way, but because school boards had done some, good work in secondary education during a transitional period, it did not follow that when at last we organised our secondary education we desired to constitute them the permanent authority for that purpose. He thought the circumstances of the case were a sufficient justification for the course which had been adopted by the Government.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

said that hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House, and especially the First Lord of the Treasury, were responsible for prolonged debate. The right hon. Gentleman would not make a temporary arrangement, but would insist on laying down a principle which should be the permanent principle for secondary education in the future. The First Lord insisted that they should have a Second Reading debate on a Bill which was to be produced next year, and which the House knew nothing about. It was a perfectly novel proceeding, unheard of before, and the First Lord was responsible for the whole thing. He was one of those who believed in having county authorities for secondary education. The principle had been tried in Wales, and had been working for years with absolute success. Indeed, he would be glad to see county authorities have control, so far as Wales was concerned, of elementary education. In no respect had the present principle been a greater success than in the avoidance of sectarian controversy. He did not know any place where such controversy ran keener than in Wales. Yet when they came to Wales now they were clear of it. That showed, therefore, that as far as he was concerned, at any rate, he was not afraid of the establishment of this principle in regard to secondary education.

The point to which he took objection was this. The First Lord said they were establishing a principle. What principle? They were establishing the principle that county councils were to govern secondary education. But that was not what was proposed by the Bill that was withdrawn. That measure proposed that county governing bodies should be established. He could understand a proposal of that kind, but that was not the principle established by this Bill. Secondary education in Wales was governed by a county governing body. Now the First Lord of the Treasury proposed that the county councils, which were a totally different body, should control secondary education. That was the principle established by this Bill, and it was a totally different thing from what was proposed before. The way in which it was proposed to establish this principle was the very worst in the world. They were now asked not merely to establish a principle, but to give power to the county councils to deal with higher grade education. They were asked to give the county councils this power before they had got any organisation to carry on the work and before they had had any experience. What happened in Yorkshire? There they had a number of higher grade schools and grammar schools, and only three technical schools under the county council. The higher grade schools were under the school board, and the grammar schools were under other authorities. This Bill proposed that the whole of the schools should be placed, not under the authority which managed the majority of them, and which had had the most experience, but under the authority which had had charge of only three of the schools. Surely that was a very serious thing to do. If the county councils were to have any real authority to promote and assist education in any way there might be something to be said for the proposal of the First Lord of the Treasury; but the only thing which the county councils would be able to do was to retard education. They could only exercise their authority in one way, and they had no responsibility.

The school boards were subject to the Vice-President of the Council, but the county councils would not have any responsibility. The only way in which the county governing bodies could exercise their functions at all was by stopping the work of the school boards, and so saving something to the ratepayers. That showed clearly what were the intentions of the Government. Under no circumstances could education profit. For his own part he did not believe in these small school boards in rural districts; he was in favour of larger areas; he should not mind if they were county areas, and he should be still more pleased if the right hon. Gentleman in his Bill next year proposed to give power to the smaller county councils to federate, and if there was the same authority in regard to elementary education as in regard to secondary education. Under the proposal before the Committee the local authorities would have no pride in their work, and the only way they could exercise their functions would be by stopping the schools, and saying to the electors, "We have stopped these schools, and saved you a rate of 3d. in the pound." That was the only boast they would be able to make. What kind of statesmanship was that? It demonstrated clearly what the object of the Government was, and under no circumstances could education profit, for it lost either way. The real reason for this Bill was not the anxiety of the right hon. Gentleman to establish the principle that the county councils should be the educational authority; it was the knowledge that in some cases the power would be utilised so as to put up elementary education at a sort of Dutch auction between the Church schools and the school boards. The Church schools would say, "We will do this for nothing," and where there were strong Conservative town or county associations the business would be handed over to the church schools. The desire which animated the whole policy of the Government was to promote the interests of the sectarian schools at the expense of the schools which represented the people of the country. That was a great misfortune in view of the keen commercial competition in which we were engaged with other countries. In the United States they had got education up to the age of eighteen practically, and sometimes up to the age of twenty-one. In Germany the age limit was sixteen, and while they were engaged in this life-and-death competition with foreign countries the English Parliament was discussing a Bill, not for setting up an authority to stimulate education, but an authority to cut down educational work which had hitherto been done by the local authorities.

[Mr. JEFFREYS (Hampshire, N.) in the Chair].

MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)

said he regretted the attitude taken up by the Government on this question. He thought the action the Government had taken in this debate showed that they looked more to party advantage than to the interest of education. Most moderate views had been addressed to them from both sides of the House, and there had been absolutely no party passion brought into the matter at all. No one could say that during the debate there had been introduced any party bias or religious antipathies. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dartford Division and the Member for the Rossendale Division had made a moderate appeal to the Government, and no one could say that these authorities were not seriously desirous of aiding the education of the country. When two gentlemen like these had taken the action they had done there could be no doubt that party bias was eliminated from this matter. But there was another authority greater than these hon. Gentlemen, and that was the late Education Minister, who wrote the other day to The Times, suggesting that the Government should legalise the action of the school boards for one year in order that they might carry on the work in which they had been engaged, and that a comprehensive measure should be brought in next session. That would be a statesmanlike course to pursue, and it had the advantage of having all the educational authorities in its favour, but unfortunately the Government had seen fit to reject all these appeals. He could not but think that the reason was, as stated by the First Lord of the Treasury, that the Government felt that if they accepted the Amendment of the hon. Member for the Rossendale Division it would so shake their prestige that they would not be able to pass any Bill at all. He did not agree with the right hon. Gentleman in the pessimistic view he took of the Unionist party. He thought the Government might withdraw the Bill, as had been suggested. They would then show that they placed education before the interests of party. But if it was a fact that the right hon. Gentleman placed party before education, he regretted it very much indeed. He did not think that was the attitude on that side of the House. They had never made education a party question; they had always gone in for educational and not for party advantage; what they had advocated was whatever would better the education of the people of the country, and he know that that was also the position of many hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial benches. He was perfectly certain that every fair-minded person would say that they on that side of the House had endeavoured to keep out religious bias from their educational discussions; and, if that had been imported, it was because they must repel attacks made upon them in the country and in this House. He regarded education as being one of the most vital subjects in which they could engage. This Bill would not do anything for education. The Government had a great majority, but it could do nothing under the Bill, and the county councils could do nothing, to promote secondary education. He defied the right hon. Gentleman, who was one of the most acute logicians and one of the most subtle reasoners in the House, to show how this Bill could promote education. The Bill did not give to the county councils any power of initiating education, nor to the school boards; it only said that the county councils could put their ban on any educational effort by the school boards in the country. A great deal had been said in the course of the debate as to overlapping. If there was overlapping he regretted it; but he would rather see overlapping on education than anything else. He did not see why there should not be a continuity of policy in education. There was overlapping in armaments, but he would rather see overlapping in education than in armaments. As an agriculturist he maintained that what they required was a real good secondary education on agriculture; but this Bill did nothing to promote agricultural education, and because of that, he strongly opposed it. Then again, what effect would the Bill have on local government? He belonged to the county council in Devonshire, and he knew that friction would be set up if one local authority were to override another. The county councils had done the administrative work entrusted to them most admirably, but they had not been elected for educational purposes. The duty of administering the "whisky money," which had been thrown on their hands without any preparation, and without any help from the Board of Education, had been fairly well done, although at first much money had been wasted, and it became necessary to get order out of chaos. Now, however, they were doing their technical work in nearly all the county councils well. What he feared was that if the county councils had to superintend the multiplicity of details which would be thrown upon them by this Bill, they would not be equal to it. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President shook his head, but he could quote against him the right hon. and learned Member for Cambridge University, who had asked how the county councils could have the staffs to see whether the school boards overlapped the other educational bodies, and whether there was unhealthy competition. It was ridiculous to suppose that, if this Bill passed, the county councils would appoint a new staff of inspectors for one year only, to go and see whether the school boards were carrying out their duty in a proper manner. Therefore, he maintained that this Bill was the most irrational ever submitted to the House. One thing was certain, and that was that the county councils, knowing the appointment of several inspectors to find out where there was competition in secondary education would naturally cost money, would let things go on as they were, and that new prejudices would be initiated under the Bill. He thought the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President ought to have consulted the feelings of the county councils in this matter, and he would have found that in scarcely a single instance would they have agreed to having this duty thrust upon them. He remembered that in 1896, when the first Education Bill was before the House, the Devonshire County Council, which consisted of 75 per cent. of the supporters of the present Government, protested against the technical work being thrown upon them. He had been told that the Devonshire County Council had actually had sent down to them a circular from the Board of Education asking if it was their intention to carry out the provisions of this Bill. Was that not rather presumptuous, when the Bill had not passed into law? If this matter were relegated to the county councils, unwilling as they were to undertake new duties, they would depute the superintendence of school boards to their technical education committees. But the technical education committees could only make recommendations which had to pass through the county councils, and he had often seen more considerable schemes thrown out by the county councils because, forsooth, these were going to cost so much money. He would very much prefer that the Board of Education, instead of throwing this duty upon the county councils, should have taken it upon themselves for this one year. The Board of Education could supervise the school boards, and pare off those excrescences which they said existed. If the Amendment of his hon. friend the Member for Rossendale were carried, the Board of Education could check any extravagance. He hoped the Bill would share the same fate as that which had lately been dropped, and also the Bill of 1896; and he was assured that if the county councils had been consulted a great change would have come over the spirit of the scene.

MR. SHARPE (Kensington, N.)

said he did not understand the criticism of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down. It seemed to him that the Bill provided exactly what the hon. Gentleman wanted, namely, that the county councils or their technical education committee were to be called in to control the school boards in the management of the particular schools referred to in this Bill. He was rejoiced to hear the First Lord of the Treasury say that the Government were determined to take up a firm attitude on this question, which would satisfy the bulk of their supporters and the rank and file on the Government benches. He was not opposed to, but desirous of, extending technical education and higher education; but as a ratepayer he objected to have his rates appropriated to the payment of charges for education which were never intended when free education was granted. He took leave to say that the Cockerton judgment was pronounced by the strongest Court of Appeal of this generation, and that court had declared what the law really is. According to the scope of that judgment the rates could only be devoted to the education of poor children under fourteen years of age who were on the roll of elementary schools, and who were engaged in learning in some one of the standards. He did not object to free education, but the whole discussion had arisen out of the fact that the school boards had gone out of their way for the purpose of giving higher class education free to persons who were not entitled to it. In the evening continuation schools education was given out of the rates to adult operatives who were earning wages, and engaged in business all day, many of whom were foreigners who were being taught English, and all the absurdities happened to which the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President had referred. He wished to affirm that the free education contemplated by the Act of 1870 was for children, not adults, and to be confined to elementary subjects. It was true that elementary subjects had never been defined; but they ought to have been defined originally by this House, being those for which the school board rate was intended. If that had been done when the additional provision was made for technical education, they would not have been constantly involved in the difficulties which had arisen from the natural desire of various school boards to extend the sphere of their operations.

MR. OSMOND-WILLIAMS (Merionethshire)

said he supported the Amendment of his hon. friend because they were on the threshold of a very grave and great crisis of the nation. If the Government passed this measure into law it would leave an evil mark on the life of the British people for generations to come. The Liberals had done some little good to the life of the nation in the past; and never a greater work for good had been done than in passing the Education Bill of 1870. The school board system in England and Wales, although not so well carried out as in Scotland, was the greatest step ever taken towards the enlightenment of the British people; but Mr. Forster, great statesman as he was, would have done better in passing that Bill had it not been for the influence of the Church of England, which had always been jealous of, and anxious to prevent the State from doing its proper work in regard to education. The school boards had evolved out of their elementary work new grades of higher education, and for years there had been no complaints as to the way that work had been carried out. Indeed, it had been commended and encouraged by the Board of Education in every way. He was not wrong in stating that both the Vice-Presidents of the Council and the Permanent Secretaries of the Department had been at the opening of different buildings for higher-grade schools which had been erected by the money of the ratepayers through the school boards. He considered that in trying to pass this Bill the Government were aiming a murderous blow at the nation, whom it was their duty to serve, because the school boards of England and Wales were practically unanimous in condemning the Bill and in asking for an enabling Bill. The first Bill contained some sound provisions, but this Bill contained none. If hon. Members wished to form some idea of the working of the Bill as regarded London he would ask them to look at the commentaries which the Chairman of the London School Board had given upon it. He said that this Bill empowered the County Council to prohibit the continuance of no fewer than 395 schools that they might forbid the opening of any new schools, and that the County Council, which was elected on quite a different issue, would have the control of part of the rates for which the London School Board was the responsible trustee. Could they imagine a more shattering blow to the education of the youth of London? And that would be the same in many of the large towns in the country. With all the good intentions in the world, the county councils would be working entirely out of their own sphere, and, the consequence would be that the fine educational development of the last twenty years would crumble away and die, that the school boards would have no interest in their work, and that through the influence of clericals and reactionaries there would be stagnation in education. They had heard the opinion of the right hon. Member for Dartford, and he would appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite, who had a genuine interest in education, and who had spoken against this Bill, that they should not be driven like sheep into one lobby, but join with the other friends of education in voting against the Bill.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

said the speech of the hon. Member for North Kensington was that of a very worthy follower of the Vice-President of the Council. It expressed the whole spirit of the Department as it was now controlled by the Vice-President, namely, that education was a thing to be haggled about, and to be restricted, and that the people were to have as little as possible of it. That was the real difference between the Government side of the House and their side. They believed that education was not to be measured by so many pennies, and that free education was not to be confined to the very poorest of the poor. They believed that education was of such importance to the nation that it was not a benefit so much to particular children, but to the nation as a whole. That was the reason why he heartily supported the Amendment to leave out the first sub-section of Clause 1, because that clause bore throughout evidence of the restricting hand. It began by saying that only the schools or classes that had been carried on during the last twelve months were to be carried on in the future, and it went on to say that the local authority might empower the school board to carry on for the period of one year the work of the school or class to "such an extent and on such terms" as might be agreed upon between the local authority and the school board—an invitation to the local authorities, elected for other purposes, to keep down the expense of education in their localities. And it wound up by saying that the local authority might apply to the maintenance of a school or class such sum out of the school fund as the council or local authority might sanction. He wanted to know what human authority could tell twelve months beforehand what that sum might be. The result would be that the local authorities in defining the extent to which the school boards might go in carrying on these continuation and higher-grade schools would be liable to a new surcharge. In his own constituency there were eleven continuation schools, educating 2,000 boys and girls. Under the Minute of the right hon. Gentleman, which was the collateral of this Bill, the grants to these schools paid under Mr. Acland's Code would be cut down 28 per cent.


The hon. Gentleman cannot discuss the Minute under this Amendment.


It is out of order to discuss the Minute of the Education Department under this Amendment,


said he could illustrate his point perfectly well in this way—that in his own constituency the result of the educational policy of the right hon. Gentleman, as exemplified by the Minute of the Department, would be to reduce the grants to these schools in his constituency from £1,200 to £800, a difference of £400 in the income of the schools. Now, these schools were managed by a voluntary committee, not by the school board, and the result was that they found themselves between the devil and the deep sea. They could turn neither to the school board, because there was the restrictive clause, nor to the technical committee of the county council, and the irony of the situation with regard to these schools, which would be so badly hit by the educational policy of the Government, was that they had escaped the Cockerton judgment. So far as his constituents were concerned, the first sub-section was absolutely unworkable; and the irony of the situation was that the schools which had escaped the Cockerton judgment would be the very first to suffer severely under the combined action of the Act and the Minute. That showed pretty distinctly the objections they held to the first sub-section. It was unworkable, and was restrictive in every way. As to the statement of the Vice-President, and of the First Lord of the Treasury, that no school would be closed under the operation of the present educational policy of the Government, he had ample evidence to disprove that ten times over; but owing to the ruling of the Chair, there would not be an opportunity of bringing it before the Committee. He hoped, however, that the Committee would realise that the assertion that no school would be closed was not justified. A great number of schools would be closed, and children who had a right to attend them would be excluded. For those reasons he would strongly support the Amendment.

MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)

said that it was pretty clear that after that Amendment had been disposed of, the possibility of a compromise would no longer be open to the Committee. He desired to say a few words in favour of a middle course. It was a matter of great regret to him that what promised to be a long and bitter controversy upon a national question should have been provoked upon such a small issue as that contained in the Bill. If it were a great constructive measure, laying the foundations of a new system of secondary education, and if it were necessary for that purpose to determine what authority was to administer higher education in the future, then he certainly should not flinch from the struggle. But it seemed to him to be an unnecessary waste of time, and he was afraid of temper also, to try and fight out on that Bill future problems. If his right hon. friend the First Lord of the Treasury had seen his way to accept the olive branch which had been held out to him, he would not have been making a surrender. He would have been merely effecting a compromise, which he ventured to think would be regarded by the majority of hon. Members—there were, of course, irreconcileables on both sides—as an arrangement which would not involve any disgrace on the Government or the Opposition. His right hon. friend was asked to accept the proposal that funds for certain schools during the coming year should be supplied, not out of the school funds at the disposal of the school boards, but out of the funds of the Technical Instruction Department, and that the actual position in which such schools were to be carried on was to be at the discretion of the Government themselves. That was the concession offered by the Opposition. On the other hand, the supporters of the Bill were asked to bind the hands of the municipal authorities to a considerable extent in the matter. But he ventured to think that they would have had a valuable quid pro quo, inasmuch as they would have avoided party strife over a measure which they must assume contained within itself the germs of future legislation, and would have made the path of future legislation smooth and easy. He quite appreciated the difficulties of the Government in changing their position at that stage of the Bill, and probably that was the reason that they declined to give way. He was sure the First Lord of the Treasury would agree when he stated that long before the Bill was introduced he urged on his right hon. friend the advisability of putting it into such a shape as would command general assent. He had always thought that a middle course might have been honourably adopted by both sides. It would be impossible to accept on his own side of the House the proposal to give the school boards power to carry on the schools referred to in the Cockerton judgment, because many hon. Members knew that there were clearly proved cases in which money had been spent unwisely and extravagantly by the school boards. On the other hand, it was not necessary to go so far as the Bill went, and to call in the municipal authorities and give them the power of absolutely overriding the school board, should they choose to exercise it. There was a middle course, but it could not be taken without calling into play the Board of Education itself. He never could see himself that it was right to allow the Board of Education to shirk its responsibility. After all, it was the authority which superintended education. He did not want to blame the Department for any action in the past, but he thought it should assume more responsibility. His right hon. friend stated that it was impossible for the Board of Education to take any action, because it had no knowledge. Who had knowledge, if the inspectors of the Board of Education had none? The county councils had no knowledge; and the only authority which was in a position to deal with the classes in question was the central authority through its inspectors. He quite admitted that it was extremely difficult for the Board of Education to deal with the matter, but it was equally difficult for the local authorities. Many of the county councils would not meet until next October, and it would be extremely difficult for them to deal effectively with the duties which it was proposed to give them. There was a middle course possible, and it might still be taken by a modification of the Bill. If the local authorities could not come to terms, the Department of Education might be brought in as arbitrator. That would save a good deal of friction, and the local authorities would have the assistance of the only authority which up to the present had had any experience of dealing with education. Then it was admitted that the practical outcome of the Bill with reference to stopping the classes objected to would be little or nothing. It was astonishing that hon. Members on his own side who objected to some of those classes should view with equanimity the position in which, as far as he could see, the Bill would land them. Speaking specially of London, the result would be that the London County Council would continue all those classes en masse. His hon. friends were perfectly content with the shadow rather than the substance, as long as they could determine a great principle. But the result of the great principle they were contending for was that the classes which, in their opinion, were not only illegal, but wasteful and injurious, would be continued en masse with the consent of the local authorities, regarding whom his hon. friends had not, up to the present, expressed very great confidence. He was sorry that no compromise had been arrived at. It would not only have saved their time and trouble during the few remaining weeks of the session, but it would also have prevented the beneficent legislation of next session being seriously and materially prejudiced.

MR. FULLER (Wiltshire, Westbury)

said he had no desire to debate the educational policy of the Government as defined in the Bill before the Committee. He merely wished to bring to the notice of the Vice-President a humble case, not unlike the aristocratic cases of the school boards in Leeds or Gateshead. It was, however, a case which he thought deserved the consideration of the Government. The most important commercial and industrial centre of Wiltshire was the town of Swindon. It was asserted by the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House that no schools would be closed as the result of the present educational policy of the Government. In Swindon there was a bye-law, and a very proper bye-law, that no child should be allowed to leave an elementary school until it had passed the seventh standard or had attained the age of fourteen years. As the result of the policy of the Government, the evening continuation school and the adult elementary school in Swindon were to be closed in six months' time. The adult elementary school at present educated between forty and sixty men, and the evening continuation school, which, under the bye-law to which he referred, contained scholars mostly over fourteen years of age, was also to be closed by the School Board of Swindon, in deference to the educational policy of the Government.

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER resumed the Chair.]

Another anomaly was that the evening elementary schools, which up to the present contained scholars mostly over fifteen years of age, would after the Act came into force be nobody's children at all. The technical education authorities were expressly precluded from giving them elementary instruction, and the elementary education authorities were precluded from helping to instruct any scholar over fifteen years. That was a result of the educational policy of the Government. In conclusion, he would only say that if they were to discuss a great principle, as was suggested by the Leader of the House, it ought to have been by a frontal attack and not on a side issue, as it had been brought before the Committee.


said he rose principally for the purpose of congratulating the Government on their refusal to entertain any notion of compromise with reference to that Bill. He ventured to think that if the Leader of the House had yielded to the blandishments of the right hon. Gentleman, or the very polite but somewhat insidious arguments of the Opposition, very general and widespread disgust would be caused throughout the Unionist party not only in the House but in the country. He did not profess to be an expert on that subject Some people were experts on all subjects, but he was quite ready to admit that education was not his strong point. But the question before the Committee was so simple that he really thought that a person who was not an expert was perfectly entitled to apply his mother wit to its solution. What was the case before the Committee? The Government had introduced a Bill, as he understood it, to tide over the period between the pronouncement of the Cockerton judgment and such time as they would be properly able to deal with the question in a permanent and general form. Very naturally, and he ventured to think very legitimately, the Bill foreshadowed in its general scope and outline the legislation which they wished to introduce next year. The main idea of the Government's scheme of education was that the educational authorities should be a committee of a municipal council, or a committee formed partly by members of a municipal council and partly from the association of independent elements. Therefore he held the Bill quite properly developed that main idea in a tentative and temporary form, that which was to be the characteristic of legislation next session He could quite understand hon. Members on his own side, and also on the opposite side, who had given long years of their lives to the consideration of the question of education, naturally and in proportion to the length of time they had studied the question, having strong views regarding it, and wishing to know whether in voting for the principle of the Bill before the Committee they would be committing themselves to the principle of a great measure not disclosed either to the House or to the country. But the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife should reassure hon. Members, for he said most clearly and distinctly that the present Bill would not commit anyone, and he himself did not see that by voting for it anyone would be committed to a definite principle. As a matter of fact, by voting for the Bill hon. Members would actually secure to themselves an advantage. What would happen? A similar method or idea, not necessarily the same, would be embodied in the Bill of next year, when they would be able to judge whether the experiment contained in the present Bill would be a success or failure. One of two things would happen. Either the measure now proposed by the Government would have succeeded or to some extent have failed. If it succeeded, the Government would be able to say, with undeniable force, "We have tried our plan on a rough and ready scale; it has succeeded; let us make it permanent." But assuming the present Bill did not succeed—although such things should be judged with tolerance, as they were oftentimes failures in the beginning, what an opportunity would be provided for the Opposition. They would have the result of the practical experiment of the Government—it would form a basis for their criticism, and they would be able to say, "You have tried your plan; it has failed; sweep it away." He did not see how any hon. Member in voting for the Bill would be committing himself to any definite principle. The hon. Gentleman the Member for the Westbury Division asked why they had not had a frontal attack. It was not even a pitched battle. It was only a reconnoitring patrol sent up along the line to obtain information and cover the front of the advancing army. It was not for him to dictate the tactics of the Opposition, but he thought they were very unwise in unmasking their batteries, wasting their ammunition, and dissipating their energy on what was, after all, only a minor operation of war. It was very easy to understand honest doubt being entertained on that particular question, but he did not think the Opposition were actuated with honest doubt. Their motive was more insidious.

It was dictated by a mischievous and factious proposal to discredit the third Education Bill of the Government. If any such compromise as had been proposed were accepted by the Government, and endorsed by the Committee, it would be a very heavy blow to education—and the very worst kind of blow, for, apart from quality, it would reduce the quantity of education throughout the country. He was credibly informed that the Education Department could never hope to deal in the same tolerant and sympathetic spirit with schools throughout the country as would the local authorities, who knew local needs and sympathised with them. That was the third Bill introduced on the subject, and though it might not be of very much consequence to hon. Gentlemen opposite, it was of some consequence to hon. friends and himself to have it passed. It would, if defeated, deprive the country of the inestimable advantage of being able to look before it leaped, and, before embarking on serious permanent legislation, to have the result secured by practical experiment before it. He rejoiced that the Government had stood firm in the matter. Had they accepted a compromise it would have caused discontent in the House and in the country. He himself received yesterday a letter from the chairman of his association, which was as follows:— Dear Sir,—Without going into the details of the Education Bill of the Government, I hope they will insist upon passing it. It will indeed be a weak Government if it repeatedly permits its measures to be broken, The Conservative party ought not to be made ashamed of its leader. That was his whole point. They were not ashamed of their leader, and were only too glad to support the position he had taken up. Every concession which the Government had made, whether on the subject of the coal tax or the conduct of public business, or with reference to education, had been received thanklessly and gracelessly by the Opposition, and made the basis of every kind of taunt conceived in ill-nature, and very often expressed in vulgarity. Since that was a financial measure to tide over a temporary difficulty, it should be administered by the authorities representing the ratepayers. Although the Bill was a small one, it involved great issues quite unconnected with education. It involved the credit of the present Government, and therefore the Government could not accept the compromise. He rejoiced that the Government had stood firm upon this point, and, so far as he and a great many of his hon. friends were concerned, he could say that as they had unfurled the flag and called upon their supporters to stand by them, they need have no fear as to the result of the division.


thought that the Committee was greatly indebted to the hon. Member for Oldham, whose candour had enabled them at last to discover some of the arguments with which the Government supported this Bill. Members opposite, when all their arguments had been demolished, would cheerfully walk into the lobby in support of the Government. The hon. Member's speech might be described as the military view of the situation. True there was nothing to be said for the Bill—


I never said so.


The hon. Member did not tell the Committee what was to be said for it, but he said that, inasmuch as it involved the credit of the Government, and this was the third educational experiment which they had made, they must stand to their guns, hold to their position, and, right or wrong, there must be no surrender.


I never said "right or wrong," and the hon. and learned Member is, I am sure, too great a master of words to take refuge in misrepresenting what I said. The argument I used was that the Government were right, and therefore there should be no surrender.


said if the Government were right he failed to appreciate the force of the appeal made by the hon. Gentleman. The First Lord of the Treasury had said that the principle involved in the Bill was of immense value; the right hon. Member for Dartford that the principle was of no value; another hon. Member had said it was of little value because it was established already; and the hon. Member for Oldham had said that the immense value of the principle was that it was purely experi- mental in its character, and that in the course of twelve months the Government would be able to determine whether or nor it should be permanently enshrined in the legislation of the country. His admirable command of military phraseology had enabled the hon. Member for Oldham to describe this measure in two words. He said it was a reconnoitring patrol. And while that military movement was going on in the various county councils of the country, some of them allowing continuation schools to go on, some stopping their continuance, some imposing onerous conditions, and some rendering slight assistance, the Government would be completing their information upon this subject, and next year they would have the immense advantage of this great military manœuvre.

But when he came to look at the matter a little seriously he was at a loss to understand what plausible answer could be made to the suggestion of the right hon. Member for Dartford, which had been reiterated by other hon. Members. Every argument the right hon. Gentleman suggested in answer to the right hon. Member for Dartford entirely failed. The right hon. Gentleman had said he was struggling not for the form of, but the principle involved in, the measure; but the Amendment embodied that principle quite as effectively as the Bill. The Amendment of the hon. Member for Rossendale, which was the golden bridge by which they would reach common ground, constituted the authority to which the right hon. Gentleman said he was most anxious to entrust the education of the country. He appealed to the Vice-President and the hon. and learned Gentleman beside him to say whether there was any difference in the meaning of the words "may" and "shall" in that connection. If his views were right, and there was no difference, then there was no reason for any longer keeping up an idle controversy as to the exact form the Bill was to assume. The schools were in serious case, and in some of the larger county boroughs there was a serious danger attending the condition of the schools. The statement which he made upon previous occasions, that the school boards had come to the conclusion to continue no longer the responsibility of carrying on without Parliamentary assistance the continuation schools which they had established, had been challenged by the Vice-President, who said his Department had no information with regard to the action of the school boards in relation to this matter. As the Bill was founded on the assumption that school boards were in cordial co-operation with the county councils for the carrying on of education, it was all important to examine the information at the service of the Board of Education. He had in his hand the resolution which the Leeds School Board had passed, and the letter addressed by them on the 18th of June to the right hon. Gentleman's Department, enclosing a copy of the resolution. The hon. Member read the documents referred to, and, continuing, said that they certainly ought to have been brought to the attention of the right hon. Gentleman. The Bill, innocent as it seemed, let loose all the elements of sectarian discord, and carried into great centres the very evil which an Education Bill ought to avoid. The precious principle which it was endeavoured to introduce into this Bill would of itself raise great controversies, but, when coupled with a denominational struggle for supremacy, it would seem that the right hon. Gentlemon had surrounded the question with unnecessary difficulties, which might have been disposed of if he had treated the matter in a business way. Nobody would be influenced by these proceedings when the Education Bill was introduced next year, and not a single hour would be saved in discussing that matter. He thought the Amendment of the hon. Member for Rossendale was reasonable from all points of view, and for that reason he had taken part in the debate in the hope that, even at the last moment, the Government might be disposed to accept this suggestion.


said he felt he was in some difficulty with regard to the interpretation of the Bill. The hon. Member for Oldham said there was no principle to be found in the Bill, but the First Lord of the Treasury had stated that the reason he was unable to accept a compromise was because he wished to lay down a great principle for the guidance of public officials. This was a most extraordinary time to attempt to do any such thing, when they only had three weeks to carry through the business of the Government. Was that the time to affirm a great principle with regard to the future? The reason why there was such strong feeling upon this matter was that, first, hon. Members were told that the Bill was to be framed so that the local authority was to be made the authority for secondary education, and not the school board; and, second, that in order to get rid of the present chaotic condition of education in this country the same authority should control both elementary and secondary education. So that the Government were really going to affirm the further principle that the county councils were to be the governing authorities for elementary education. If that was really the true interpretation many would feel bound to oppose the Bill. He objected to the attacks which had been made upon the school boards of the country. He had heard a good deal from hon. Members opposite about education in Scotland, to which they ascribed the positions occupied by Scotsmen in all parts of the Empire, but why did not

they take advantage of it? In Scotland they had a school board in every parish, which governed not merely elementary but secondary education also. If the right hon. Gentleman wished to see a similar state of things in England let him follow the Scotch example; he believed that in that direction lay the true solution of the question. He was not at all an opponent of the principle which the Government had suggested. If he thought the county council itself, and not a committee of it, were going to be in the future the authority in regard to both elementary and secondary education, he did not know that he should offer very much objection to it. But he did object to the suggestion that they were going to, as it were, pack a committee of the county council for this purpose, and he objected also to the time which the Government had chosen for asserting the root principle of their Bill.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 239; Noes, 159. (Division List No. 349.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F. Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Finch, George H.
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne
Anson, Sir William Reynell Chamberlain. J. Austen) Wor'cr Fisher, William Hayes
Arkwright, John Stanhope Charrington, Spencer Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Churchill, Winston Spencer Fletcher, Sir Henry
Arrol, Sir William Clare, Octavius Leigh Flower, Ernest
Atkinson, Rt. Hon John Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Foster, Philip S. (Warwick'S. W.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Coghill, Douglas Harry Garfit, William
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Baird, John George Alexander Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn
Balcarres, Lord Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Gordon, Maj, Evans (T'rH'mlets
Baldwin, Alfred Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
Balfour, Rt, Hn. Gerald W (Leeds Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Goulding, Edward Alfred
Banbury, Frederick George Cranborne, Viscount Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Cripps, Charles Alfred Greene, Sir EW (B'ry S. Edm'nds
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)
Beach, Rt. Hon. W.W. B. (Hants. Crossley, Sir Savile Grenfell, William Henry
Beckett, Ernest William Davenport, William Bromley- Gretton, John
Bignold, Arthur Denny, Colonel Groves, James Grimble
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo. Hall, Edward Marshall
Bousfield, William Robert Dickson, Charles Scott Hambro, Charles Eric
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford
Brassey, Albert Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Harris, Frederick Leverton
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Bull, William James Dorington, Sir John Edward Haslett, Sir James Horner
Bullard, Sir Harry Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Heath, Jas. (Staffords., N. W.)
Butcher, John George Doxford, Sir William Theodore Heaton, John Henniker
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow Duke, Henry Edward Helder, Augustus
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Hermon-Hodge, Robert T.
Cautley, Henry Strother Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph D. Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Fardell, Sir T. George Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightsd.) Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Houldsworth, Sir William H. More, R. Jasper (Shropshire) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Hoult, Joseph Morgan, DavidJ.(Walthamst'w Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham) Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Morrell, George Herbert Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Hudson, George Bickersteth Morris, Hn. Martin Henry F. Spear, John Ward
Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Morrison, James Archibald Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Morton, Arthur H. A) Deptford) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Mount, William Arthur Stroyan, John
Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute) Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Johnston, William (Belfast) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Talbot, Rt.Hn.J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Nicholson, William Graham Thorburn, Sir Walter
Kenyon, James (Lancs, Bury) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Thornton, Percy M.
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.) Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Tollemache, Henry James
Knowles, Lees Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Laurie, Lieut.-General Parkes, Ebenezer Tritton, Charles Ernest
Law, Andrew Bonar Peel, Hn. Wm. Rbt. Wellesley Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Lawson, John Grant Penn, John Valentia, Viscount
Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H. Percy, Earl Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard Wanklyn, James Leslie
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Platt-Higgins, Frederick Warde, Colonel C. E.
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Warr, Augustus Frederick
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Pretyman, Ernest George Webb, Colonel William George
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Purvis, Robert Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Whiteley, H. (Ashton und Lyne
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Randles, John S. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Lowe, Francis William Rankin, Sir James Williams, Rt. Hn. J. Powell-(Birm.
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Willox, Sir John Archibald
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Reid, James (Greenock) Wills, Sir Frederick
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Rentoul, James Alexander Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Renwick, George Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Macdona, John Cumming Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green) Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Ritchie,Rt.Hon.ChasThomson Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Robinson, Brooke Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cambs Ropner, Colonel Robert Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Maple, Sir John Blundell Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Wylie, Alexander
Manners, Lord Cecil Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Maxwell, W.J.H.(Dumfriessh.) Saunderson,Rt.Hn.Col.Edw. J. Younger, William
Milner, Rt.Hn.Sir Frederick G. Seton-Karr, Henry
Milton, Viscount Sharpe, William Edward T. TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Moleswo th, Sir Lewis Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Abraham, William (Cork,N. E.) Craig, Robert Hunter Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cullinan, J. Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)
Ambrose, Robert Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Holland, William Henry
Asher, Alexander Delany, William Horniman, Frederick John
Ashton, Thomas Gair Doogan, P. C. Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Duncan, J. Hastings Jacoby, James Alfred
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone Joicy, Sir James
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan Jones, David Brynmor(Sw'nsea
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Farrell, James Patrick Jones, W'lliam (Carnarvonshire
Bell, Richard Fenwick, Charles Joyce, Michael
Boland, John Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Kay Shuttleworth, Rt HnSir U.
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Ffrench, Peter Kearley, Hudson E.
Brigg, John Field, William Kennedy, Patrick James
Broadhurst, Henry Fitzmaurice, Lord Fdmond Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Flavin, Michael Joseph Lambert, George
Burns, John Flynn, James Christopher Langley, Batty
Burt, Thomas Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Layland-Barratt, Francis
Buxton, Sydney Charles Fowler, St. Hon. Sir Henry Leigh, Sir Joseph
Caine, William Sproston Fuller, J. M. F. Levy, Maurice
Caldwell, James Gilhooly, James Lewis, John Herbert
Cameron, Robert Goddard, Daniel Ford Lloyd-George, David
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Grant, Corrie Lundon, W.
Causton, Richard Knight Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.
Cawley, Frederick Harwood, George Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Channing, Francis Allston Hayden, John Patrick MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- McDermott, Patrick
Mansfield, Horace Rendall Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Sullivan, Donal
Mather, William Pirie, Duncan V. Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Mellor, Rt. Hon John William Power, Patrick Joseph Tennant, Harold John
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Priestley, Arthur Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Rea, Russell Thomas, Alfd. (Glamorgan, E.
Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Reckitt, Harold James Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Moulton, John Fletcher Reddy, M. Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, Gower
Murphy, John Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Trevelyan, Charles Phillips
Nannetti, Joseph P. Redmond, William (Clare) Wallace, Robert
Newnes, Sir George Reed, Sir Edw. James (Cardiff) Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Nolan, Col.John P. (Galway, N.) Rickett, J. Compton Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Rigg, Richard Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Norton, Captain Cecil W. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifiion) Weir, James Galloway
Nussey, Thomas Willans Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) White, George (Norfolk)
O Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid Robson, William Snowdon White, Luke (York, E. R.)
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Roe, Sir Thomas Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Schwann, Charles E. Whittakar, Thomas Palmer
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth
O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.
O'Dowd, John Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Woodhouse, Sir J. T. Huddersf'd
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. Shipman, Dr. John G. Young, Samuel
O'Malley, William Soames, Arthur Wellesley Yoxall, James Henry
O'Mara, James Soares, Ernest J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. M'Arthur,
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Spencer, Rt. Hn C R (Northants
Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Strachey, Edward
MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)

said that he based his Amendment for a slight extension of the powers to be given under the Bill on the ground that the growth of higher grade schools and evening schools had been natural and almost automatic. It had not been artificially forced by the school boards, but had been developed in proportion to the wants and desires of the community. He contended that the growth and development of such instruments of education had been proved by experience to be desired by the people and to be essential to the education of the children; that that growth should not be artificially arrested within the narrow limits of the Bill; and that existing classes and schools should not only be allowed to continue, but that the local authorities should be enabled to empower school boards to create schools and classes of the kind contemplated by the Bill. Everyone who had followed the question knew that the growth of higher grade and evening schools in London was of the most marked character. During the last two years the increase in the number of evening schools was 13 per cent., and in the number of pupils 15 per cent. throughout the country. Taking London alone, the increase in evening schools was 24 per cent., and the increase in the number of pupils was over 100 per cent. Those figures furnished a tremendous argument in favour of giving some further lati- tude than that proposed in the Bill. With regard to the higher grade schools, the increase in the number of children per annum was between 300 and 400, which almost represented an additional school every year.

MR. FLAVIN (Kerry, N.)

asked on a point of order whether hon. Gentlemen were entitled to hear an hon. Member who was addressing the Chair.


I think it would be very desirable that the hon. Member should be heard, especially as I fail at present to see what relation his speech bears to the Amendment.


said that with all due respect to the Chairman's opinion, it was probably owing to his not being able to make himself heard that his argument did not make itself plain to the Chair. His argument was that the growth of higher grade and evening schools was natural and continuous, and a growth which every rational educationist ought to take into, account in making provision even for the coming year alone. The result of passing the Bill without his Amendment would be that that growth would be arrested. As it was, the natural expansion of these schools had been enormously restricted in London by the administration of the Minute of April, 1900. He might mention also the case of Burnley, from which there was an appeal to allow the higher elementary school to be recognised. That was refused by the Department, and the parents were told that the children might go to the grammar schools. There were many similar cases throughout the country.


As far as I am able to gather the hon. Member is now taking exception to the past administration of the Board of Education. I do not see how that can be in order on this Bill, or how it is covered by the Amendment. The only difference I can discover between the Amendment and the wording of the Bill is that while the wording of the Bill describes the period during which particular schools or classes have been illegally conducted as one year, the Amendment of the hon. Member extends that period further back. The hon. Member must confine himself strictly to the words of his Amendment.


said he was extremely sorry that he had not succeeded in making his argument clear. His reference to the past administration of the Board of Education was by way of illustration to show that great arrears had to be made up, as well as the prospective demands for similar provision by the school boards, and this made a still stronger argument for this Amendment. The whole of his case was that there was a continually increasing demand for that kind of educational facilities, and that the school boards of London, Liverpool, Burnley, and other large towns had already taken steps to supply them, to which effect should be given. On those grounds he would move his Amendment, which he hoped would receive some consideration from the Government.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 5, after the word 'board,' to insert the words 'is at the time of the passing of this Act maintaining or has in order to meet the educational wants of the district taken steps to provide or extend or.'"—(Mr. Channing.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


The Bill of the Government is confined to existing schools, and the definition of existing schools is very wide and liberal. As I understand, the hon. Member desires to enable local authorities to empower school boards to maintain existing schools, and also some other schools which may in some way or other come into existence after the passing of the Act. That is an extension of the Act which the Government cannot accept. The local secondary school authorities which it is hoped the Bill of next year will create are the proper bodies to manage any new schools, and in that I agree with the Report of the Secondary Education Commission. The only ground on which a provision of this kind could be inserted is that of urgent and pressing necessity, I can assure the Committee that no such urgent necessity will arise. We have the technical instruction committees, which can establish technical schools, and which, for the most part, have not at all exhausted their powers. Only in a few places have they spent all of their funds. In places where there are no schools the local authorities have power to spend technical instruction money, and now that they will be released from the competition of the school boards it is very probable that the effect of this Bill will be to stimulate the local authorities to establish new schools. Besides that, the school boards have got very large powers of extension as far as day schools are concerned under the higher elementary Minute of last session which is now embodied in the Code. I can assure hon. Members that as far as day higher elementary schools are concerned there is no urgency at all. As regards evening schools, what is wanted is not extension but concentration. In the opinion of the inspectors of the Board of Education the schools will be very much improved if they are concentrated instead of being extended. There is abundant room in the schools for many times the number of students, and anyone who wishes to attend an evening school in any of the great towns will not be prevented by want of school accommodation. As regards the country districts, I think there will be a very large extension and increase in the number of evening schools during the present winter, in consequence of the Bill with which we are now dealing.

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

said he had listened with amazement to the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that, as regarded evening schools, what was wanted was concentration and not multiplication. If the Government thought it desirable that evening education should spread among the people the way to secure it was to employ evening schools near their doors. That was the only business way of extending education, and it was necessary for success that the nation should open as many educational emporiums as possible. He did not know whether he should be in order in discussing the question of the Evening School Minute.


I should think that is rather a subject by itself. I do not quite follow how it would come in here.


said that under the Evening School Minute, evening schools might be provided by other authorities than the school board.


But this clause applies only to school boards.


said that at the present moment many school boards were considering the desirability of opening new schools which the experience of last winter had convinced them ought to be established. The Amendment moved by his hon. friend would enable those schools to be opened provided that the consideration and the planning of them had taken place before the date of this Act. That was an argument for allowing an extension of this Act, and it would enable school boards to start a few more schools. He hoped the Committee would accept this Amendment.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

said the Amendment was one to which he attached great importance, and he thought that the substance, if not the actual wording of the Amendment, ought to have been accepted. The Amendment was in no way antagonistic to the principle of the Bill, which had been settled by the House. It was all very well to say that there was room for more pupils in the buildings where classes were held now. That was perfectly true, because the evening school pupils were drawn from a much more limited class than the day school. But what was the use of having empty buildings at one end of the town when the need for educational facilities existed at the other end? In Leeds they could draw a straight line nine miles long, and what was the use of having a large school at one end of that line when the pupils who wished to attend lived at the other end. He did not see what objection the Government could have to this Amendment. According to what had already been stated the Education Department had no objection to doubling the number of pupils in an evening school which had already been established, but they objected to the same number of pupils being accommodated in two schools one at each end of the town. In districts where only one school could be maintained, and where that school had not yet been opened, why should the local authority be prevented during the coming winter from opening it? He was not asking that the school board should have a free hand, for this was all subject to the sanction of the county council. The danger was that if they did not get the pupils in the schools at a certain age, they lost them for all time. The Amendment brought forward was a reasonable proposal to give these young people an opportunity of getting this education during the forthcoming winter. Many hon. Members appeared to assume that the county councils had already had some experience in primary education, but they were altogether unacquainted with the work of the evening schools. The county councils had not the legal power to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic under the Technical Education Acts to young persons of any age in evening schools. If the Government could see their way to accept the substance of the Amendment it would remove very much of the opposition which existed, whether well founded or ill founded. Many educational authorities had declared that this proposal would prevent the development of their work, and he asked the Government to free themselves from that attack by accepting this Amendment If the county council and the school board thought it was desirable that a new school should be opened, why should they not have power to do this. He did not know whether the Government desired to avoid a report stage upon this Bill, but if they did there were other means of introducing Amendments of this kind. Entirely apart from any partisan feeling and purely upon educational grounds he urged the Government to reconsider their decision upon this point.

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

said the Amendment touched with a generous hand the scheme of the Bill. All work was sanctioned which was in existence up to July 31 of this year. All he asked was that where it was desired to extend any necessary work during the coming year opportunity for extending it should be given. The Amendment was dictated by every consideration of educational expediency and wisdom, and he hoped the First Lord of the Treasury would agree to it. In reply to a question put by him the First Lord of the Treasury stated definitely that there would be no opportunity given of opening new schools. Under the Higher Elementary Minute, a very small number of schools had been established, and it stood to reason that there must be a large number of instances where they desired to extend their work. In reply to the hon. Member for West Nottingham the Vice-President of the Council said that, under the present law, the county councils could spend money upon teaching, reading, writing, and arithmetic, but the right hon. Gentleman appeared to have overlooked the Minute of the Education Department issued on the 8th of December, 1893, which laid down a rule to the contrary. It was impossible for the night schools to use their money for those subjects, although they could do so for technical instruction. It was futile for a Minister of the Crown to stand up in this House in the face of that Minute and say that they could get money for this purpose from the county councils. This Bill would sterilise all the work which was in being on the 31st of July in public elementary schools. Last year 183 new night schools were open, and 34,000 new pupils were enrolled. It was quite fair to assume that a similar number of new schools would be required next year, and that a similar number of new pupils would have to be provided for. Last year in London they opened 27 new schools and enrolled 27,000 new pupils. According to this Bill, they could not open a single new school or enroll a single new pupil. He had received many communications from all parts of the country upon this subject. The clerk of the Birmingham School Board had written a letter to him to the effect that the Birmingham School Board would be very glad if the necessary authority was given to them to extend their evening school work. In Birmingham the school board had recommended the discontinuance of two of these schools, and they wished to open two other schools in more suitable districts. This Bill did not provide for that emergency.


They can transfer one of the old schools to a new district.


said that that was an advance upon the Bill before the Committee which would absolutely sterilise the work of the school board. In this case they wanted to shut up two old schools in districts where they had not succeeded, and they wished to open new ones in growing parts of the city of Birmingham, but, according to the statement of the First Lord of the Treasury, they could not do that. Birmingham desired to open new in place of old schools. The clerk of the Manchester School Board had written to him stating that there, with the rapidly increasing suburbs, it was found necessary to open new night schools to supply the needs of new and growing districts. That board had had applications from several voluntary managers to open night schools next winter in premises where there were no night schools last year. This Bill did not provide for that, and, so far as he could gather, hon. Members opposite did not desire that it should do so. He had hoped to make a speech in no party sense whatever. He thought provision should have been made that, with the sanction of the Education Department, where there was a real demand for the extension of the work in regard to the higher elementary schools and the night schools, the work should not be shut down, and that there should have been permission to meet the reasonable demands of the locality by opening night schools beyond those which were in being during the past year. He did not know whether hon. Members realised the fact that every year at least 400,000 boys and girls left the elementary day schools. That meant that there were 2,500,000 young people in their teens. He dared say that many of them were under beneficent influences in polytechnics and other places, but it was clear that there must be a large extension of the night-school system to meet the requirements of that class. He was sorry that it was not possible to provide for this perfectly natural extension which did not involve overlapping, and he hoped that even now he might appeal to the First Lord of the Treasury to agree to some provision whereby the school boards would be able to open hew schools during the coming year on receiving the sanction of the local authority for the purpose of so doing.

MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, Morley)

said that the right hon. Gentleman's interpretation of the position was this—the county council could give money out of the rates to the maintenance and extension of these schools if they were not public elementary schools carried on by the school board, but evening schools carried on by a diocesan association.


said that the hon. Member was mistaken. What he said was that in future none of these school could be elementary schools, because in such schools it was only legal to have children and to teach elementary subjects.


said that the distinction was rather one of definition. Elementary subjects did not become secondary because they were taught to persons over fifteen. These subjects remained elementary although the children had grown to be adults in the estimation of the Department. Could a school board carry on an evening school which was not a public elementary school, and could it start a new one under this Bill? He very much misunderstood the Cockerton judgment and this Bill if a board could start a new school which was not a public elementary school, and therefore they could not have money from the county council for this purpose. If they had evening schools teaching elementary subjects, either to adults or to young children, and they did not call them public elementary schools, but called them by some other name, and if they were carried on by a diocesan association, they could come and claim the grants according to the right hon. Gentleman's interpretation of the circular which his hon. friend had just read out. Surely the work carried on by the school boards was so good that, at any rate, without any contravention of the splendid principle recognised by the Bill, such schools as were in contemplation at the present time might be allowed to be established.


said he would venture to add an appeal to the First Lord of the Treasury on this subject. He instanced the case of a borough which had recently extended its municipal area under a Bill passed by this House. In that area there were two particular places where evening schools were required, and in one case there was an evening school which ought to be taken over by the town authority. On the other side of the town there was a district entirely without an evening school, and which was extremely anxious to have that accommodation provided. There they had a case which under this Bill was completely cut out. Why, in Heaven's name, should the Government insist on this cramping provision of the Bill? Why could they not allow schools already in contemplation, and in many cases arranged for, and approved of by inspectors, to go on during the next winter?

MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N.W.)

said the question under consideration was even more complicated now than it was at the beginning of the evening. It seemed to him that the Vice-President made it worse as he went along. There were plenty of Members opposite who had connection with the technical instruction committees, and he ventured to say that no one had acted on the principle laid down by the right hon. Gentleman that night. He was quite sure when they came to deal with the matter through the technical instruction committees that the way the Vice-President said would be so easy would be found not only difficult, but absolutely illegal. If it was a good work which was being carried on in the evening schools, why should the Government arrest its natural development for even twelve months? Surely the right hon. Gentleman might trust the new authority to provide what was necessary in the way of increased accommodation and facilities for the work. The right hon. Gentleman said there was no urgent necessity for this extension, because the technical committees had not exhausted their powers. If they had not exhausted their powers, they had in most cases exhausted their funds. They could not, in his judgment, under the Technical Acts, as at present administered, provide for the elementary instruction which was carried on in the evening schools specially. The Amendment destroyed no principle which hon. Members opposite were contending for, and he hoped the Government would meet them in this matter.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 165; Noes, 242. (Division List No. 350.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Abraham, William (Rhondda Hobhouse, H. (Somerset, E.) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud) Holland, William Henry Pirie, Duncan V.
Ambrose, Robert Horniman, Frederick John Power, Patrick Joseph
Asher, Alexander Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Priestley, Arthur
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herb. Henry Jacoby, James Alfred Rea, Russell
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Reckitt, Harold James
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Reddy, M.
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Joyce, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bell, Richard Kearley, Hudson E. Redmond, William (Clare)
Boland, John Kennedy, Patrick James Rickett, J. Compton
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth Rigg, Richard
Brigg, John Labouchere, Henry Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Broadhurst, Henry Lambert, George Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Langley, Batty Robson, William Snowdon
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Layland-Barratt, Francis Roe, Sir Thomas
Burns, John Leigh, Sir Joseph Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Levy, Maurice Schwann, Charles E.
Caldwell, James Lewis, John Herbert Scott, Charles Prestwich (Leigh
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Lloyd-George, David Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford
Cawley, Frederick Lough, Thomas Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lundon, W. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Craig, Robert Hunter Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Shipman, Dr. John G.
Crombie, John William MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire
Cullinan, J. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Soarcs, Ernest J.
Delany, William M'Arthur, W. (Cornwall) Spencer, Rt. HnC.R. (Northants
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) M'Dermott, Patrick Strachey, Edward
Doogan, P. C. Mansfield, Horace Rendall Sullivan, Donal
Duffy, William J. Mather, William Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Duncan, J. Hastings. Mellor, Rt. Hn. John William Tennant, Harold John
Dunn, Sir William Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Elibank, Master of Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan. E.)
Emmott, Alfred Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidsto'e Moulton, John Fletcher Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Murphy, John Thomas, J. A. (Glamorgan, G'wer
Farrell, James Patrick Nannetti, Joseph P. Tomkinson, James
Fenwick, Charles Newnes, Sir George Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.) Tully, Jasper
Ffrench, Peter Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Wallace, Robert
Flavin, Michael Joseph Norton, Capt. Cecil William Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Flynn, James Christopher Nussey, Thomas Willans Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid White, George (Norfolk)
Gilhooly, James O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) White, Luke (Yorks., E. R.)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herb. John O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Whiteley, George (Yorks., W. R.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Gordon, Maj. Evans-(T'r H'm'ts O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Grant, Corrie O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) O'Dowd, John Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.) Woodhouse, Sir JT (Huddersf'd)
Hayden, John Patrick O'Malley, William Yoxall, James Henry
Hayne, Rt. Hon. C. Seale- O'Mara, James
Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D O'Shaughnessy, P. J. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Channing and Mr. Ernest Gray.
Healy, Timothy Michael Partington, Oswald
Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H. Paulton, James Mellor
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Brassey, Albert
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Ralfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds Bull, William James
Anson, Sir William Reynell Banbury, Frederick George Bullard, Sir Harry
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Butcher, John George
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol) Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.
Arrol, Sir William Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants.) Cautley, Henry Strother
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Beckett, Ernest William Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire
Bailey, James (Walworth) Bignold, Arthur Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Blundell, Colonel Henry Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Baird, John George Alexander Bond, Edward Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.
Balcarres, Lord Bousfield, William Robert Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r
Baldwin, Alfred Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Charrington, Spencer
Churchill, Winston Spencer Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hoult, Joseph Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham) Pretyman, Ernest George
Coghill, Douglas Harry Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Purvis, Robert
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hudson, George Bickersteth Randies, John S.
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Rankin, Sir James
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Compton, Lord Alwyne Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Reid, James (Greenock)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Remnant, James Farquharson
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Johnston, William (Belfast) Renshaw, Charles Bine
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Rentoul, James Alexander
Cranborne, Viscount Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh) Renwick, George
Cripps, Charles Aifred Kenyon, James (Lancs., Bury Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green)
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas Thomson
Crossley, Sir Savile Keswick, William Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Dalkeith, Earl of Knowles, Lees Robinson, Brooke
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Law, Andrew Bonar Ropner, Colonel Robert
Davenport, William Bromley- Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Round, James
Dewar, T. R. (T'r Haml'ts, S Geo. Lawson, John Grant Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Dickson, Charles Scott Legge, Col. Hn. Heneage Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S. Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Dorington, Sir John Edward Llewellyn, Evan Henry Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.
Doughty, George Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham) Seton-Karr, Henry
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Duke, Henry Edward Lonsdale, John Brownlee Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lowe, Francis William Simeon, Sir Barrington
Fardell, Sir T. George Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. Lucas, Col- Francis (Lowestoft) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Lucas, Reg. J. (Portsmouth) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Macdona, John Cumming Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Finch, George H. MacIver, David (Liverpool) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Spear, John Ward
Fisher, William Hayes M'Calmont, Col H. L. B. (Cambs Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)
Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Fletcher, Sir Henry Majendie, James A. H. Stroyan, John
Flower, Ernest Malcolm, Ian Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Foster, PhilipS. (Warwick, S. W. Manners, Lord Cecil Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Gardner, Ernest Maple, Sir John Blundell Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv
Garfit, William Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond. Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriesshire Thornton, Percy M.
Godson, Sir Augustus Fred. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Tollemache, Henry James
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn Milner. Rt-Hon. Sir Frederick G. Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Milton, Viscount Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc) Molesworth, Sir Lewis Valentia, Viscount
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Goulding, Edward Alfred Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Warde, Colonel C. E.
Green, Walford D. (Wednesbury More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Warr, Augustus Frederick
Greene, Sir E. W (BrySEdmnds) Morgan, David J. (Walthamst'w Webb, Col. William George
Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh. Welby, Sir CharlesG. E. (Notts.)
Gretton, John Morrell, George Herbert Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Greville, Hon. Ronald Morriss, Hon. Martin Henry F. Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Groves, James Grimble Morrison, James Archibald Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Willox, Sir John Archibald
Guthrie, Walter Murray Mount, William Arthur Wilson, A. Stanley (Yorks, E. R.)
Hall, Edward Marshall Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Hambro, Charles Eric Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G (Midd'x Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Nicholson, William Graham Wylie, Alexander
Haslett, Sir James Horner Nicol, Donald Ninian Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Heath, James (Staffords, N. W. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Helder, Augustus Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Younger, William
Hermon-Hodge, R. Trotter Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampstead Parkes, Ebcnezer TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich) Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Penn, John

said he had placed this Amendment on the Paper because it had been pointed out to him that there would be some difficulty in regard to the payments to the teachers unless the date was extended to the 1st of August.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 6, to leave out 'thirty-first day of July,' and insert 'first day of August'"—(Mr. George White.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."


This has been inserted in order to widen the limitation, but I will undertake to inquire into the matter, and if it does not achieve this object I will see that it is set right.


said he would withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 6, to leave out 'July,' and insert 'December.'"—(Mr. Herbert Roberts.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'July' stand part of the Bill."


I cannot accept this Amendment, because it might cut out altogether a number of schools. I do not think there will be any difficulty in the working of the schools, and I can assure the hon. Member that there will be no difficulty whatever in getting everything ready by the time provided.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 213; Noes, 130. (Division List No. 351.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Hoult, Joseph
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Crossley, Sir Savile Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E. Cust, Henry John C. Hudson, George Bickersteth
Anson, Sir Wm. Reynell Dalkeith, Earl of Jebb, Sir Rich. Claverhouse
Arkwright, John Stanhope Dalrymple, Sir Charles Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Davenport, Wm. Bromley- Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton
Arrol, Sir William Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo. Johnston, William (Belfast)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dickson, Charles Scott Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)
Bagot, Capt Josceline FitzRoy Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dimsdale, Sir John Cockfield Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)
Bain, Col. James Robert Doughty, George Keswick, William
Baird, John George Alexander Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Knowles, Lees
Balcarres, Lord Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lawson, John Grant
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds Fergusson, RtHnSirJ.(Manc'r. Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Banbury, Frederick George Fielden, Edw. Brocklehurst Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.
Bathurst, Hn. Allen B. Finch, George H. Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Beach, Rt.Hn.SirM.H.(Bristol Finlay, Sir Robt. Bannatyne Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham
Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants Fisher, William Hayes Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)
Beckett, Ernest William Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fletcher, Sir Henry Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Bignold, Arthur Flower, Ernest Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft
Blundell, Col. Henry Foster, PhilipS. (Warwickm, SW Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Bond, Edward Gardner, Ernest Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Bousfield, William Robert Garfit, William Macdona, John Cumming
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middls'x Gibbs, HnA.G.H(CityofLond. MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Brassey, Albert Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin&Nairn) M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cam.
Bull, William James Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml's) M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire
Bullard, Sir Harry Gore, HnG.R. C. Ormsby-(Sal'p Malcolm, Ian
Butcher, John George Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Manners, Lord Cecil
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Cautley, Henry Strother Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Green, WalfordD(Wednesb'ry Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.) Greene, Sir EW (B'ryS Edm'nds Milner, Rt.Hn.Sir FrederickG.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs. Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Gretton, John Montagu, Hon. J. S. (Hants.)
Chamberlain,Rt.Hn. J. (Birm. Greville, Hon. Ronald Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r Groves, James Grimble Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Charrington, Spencer Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Guthrie, Walter Murray Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hambro, Charles Eric Morrell, George Herbert
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G. (Mid'x Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Morrison, James Archibald
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Heath, Jas. (Stafferds. N. W.) Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Helder, Augustus Mount, William Arthur
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hoare, Edw. Brodie (Hampst'd) Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hobhouse, H. (Somerset, E.) Nicholson, William Graham
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hope, J.F. (Sheffield, Brightsi'e Nicol, Donald Ninian
Cranborne, Viscount Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Saunderson, Rt. Hon. Col. E. J. Valentia, Viscount
Parkes, Ebenezer Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Seton-Karr, Henry Warr, Augustus Frederick
Penn, John Sharpe, William Edward T. Webb, Colonel William George
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Simeon, Sir Barrington Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Pretyman, Ernest George Skewes-Cox, Thomas Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)
Purvis, Robert Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Randles, John S. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks Willox, Sir John Archibald
Rankin, Sir James Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wilson, A Stanley (Yorks, E. R.
Reid, James (Greenock) Spear, John Ward Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Remnant, James Farquharson Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Renshaw, Charles Bine Stroyan, John Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Rentoul, James Alexander Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Wylie, Alexander
Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Ritchie, Rt. Hon. C. Thomson Talbot, RtHnJ. G. (OxfdUniv. Younger, William
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Thornton, Percy M. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Tollemache, Henry James
Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale- Partington, Oswald
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir A. D. Paulton, James Mellor
Allen, CharlesP (Glouc., Stroud Healy, Timothy Michael Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Asher, Alexander Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry Holland, Wm. Henry Pirie, Duncan V.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Horniman, Frederick John Power, Patrick Joseph
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Hutton, Alfred L. (Morley) Priestley, Arthur
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) Rea, Russell
Bell, Richard Joyce, Michael Reokitt, Harold James
Boland, John Kearley, Hudson E. Reddy, M.
Brigg, John Kennedy, Patrick James Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Broadhurst, Henry Langley, Batty Redmond, William (Clare)
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Layland-Barratt, Francis Rickett, J. Compton
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Leigh, Sir Joseph Rigg, Richard
Burns, John Levy, Maurice Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Lewis, John Herbert Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Caldwell, James Lloyd-George, David Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Lough, Thomas Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Causton, Richard Knight Lundon, W. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Cawley, Frederick MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Channing, Francis Allston Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)
Condon, Thomas Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Soares, Ernest J.
Crombie, John William M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R. (Northants
Cullinan, J. M'Dermott, Patrick Sullivan, Donal
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Mansfield, Horace Rendall Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Delany, William Mather, William Tennant, Harold John
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Doogan, P. C. Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Duffy, William J. Murphy, John Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Duncan, J. Hastings Nannetti, Joseph P. Tomkinson, James
Dunn, Sir William Newnes, Sir George Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Elibank, Master of Nolan, Col JohnP. (Galway, N.) Tully, Jasper
Emmott, Alfred Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Evans, S. T. (Glamorgan) Nussey, Thomas Willans White, George (Norfolk)
Farrell, James Patrick O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'r'y, Mid. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Ffrench, Peter O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Gilhooly, James O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth
Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbt. J. O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Dowd, John
Grant, Corrie O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Herbert Roberts and Mr. Yoxall.
Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick) O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Malley, William
Hayden, John Patrick O'Mara, James

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 7, after 'maintained,' insert 'according to the regulations of the Board of Education in force at the time the school board began to provide the school or class.'"—(Mr. Yoxall.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said the object of the Amendment he now moved was to secure that evening schools and classes and higher grade schools might proceed upon the lines of the plan laid down with the consent of the Board of Education when they were first instituted. He desired to prevent new disabilities being imposed by the administration of the Board on the schools which the Bill relieved from the effects of the Cockerton judgment.


I do not think the words the hon. Member proposes would at all have the effect which he intends. We are at present engaged describing the schools to which the Act is to apply. If there is a school for which the school board began to provide, say, six years ago, and which was then in accordance with the regulation of the Department, and if the regulations have been altered since, it would be excluded altogether from the operation of the Bill. The words of the hon. Member would really limit the number of schools.

MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)

suggested that the words "in force at the time the school board began to provide the school or class" should be left out of the Amendment.


My objection to that form is that it is wholly unnecessary.


said his desire was that these schools should not be submitted to the condition laid down by the right hon. Gentleman in his night school minute.


said he might be content with an assurance from the right hon. Gentleman that the new evening schools Minute or any new regulations issued by the Science and Art Department would not be imposed on these particular schools during the next twelve months.


The regulations and the minute must apply to all the schools.


said it would be open for the right hon. Gentleman by a stroke of the pen to say that the Science and Art Department regulations withdrew the grants from the schools in question, and in that way render nugatory the purport and intention of the Bill.


I am afraid it is quite impossible to enter into any private arrangement by which the grants will be given perfectly fairly and honestly according to the regulations. If they are not properly dealt with, any hon. Gentleman will have the power of arraigning the action of the Department next session. If the school boards wish to have grants from the Board of Education they will have to conform to the regulations of the Board of Education as in the past.

Question put, and negatived.


I do not quite understand the next Amendment on the Paper, standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Morley Division.


said he understood that the practice had been to disallow the expenditure of the local rate by the school board upon certain classes of higher grade schools and evening continuation schools. The words used in this Bill were "school fund." That included more than the local rate, for it comprised every other source of supply which a school might receive. It included the endowments and the Government grants, the income from fees and local subscriptions. The Act of 1873 distinctly laid down that any school board might accept any gift or endowment, and use it for any educational purpose whatever. He thought it was a little hard for the right hon. Gentleman to extend the Cockerton judgment in the way he had done. It was never intended that the provision in the Act of 1873 was to be annulled in this way. The right hon. Gentleman told them that he had made inquiries from his legal advisers in order to get to know how much it would be safe to allow the school boards to give.


I never said anything of the sort.


said he understood the right hon. Gentleman to state that he had consulted his legal advisers as to what it would be safe for them to give.


What I said was that the London School Board had consulted their counsel, and he had advised them what it would be safe for them to do.


asked if the advice given to the London School Board was going to be the basis of the proposal which the Government were going to carry through.


The hon. Member is so fond of misrepresenting what I said. I never said that I consulted my legal advisers upon the matter.


said he would withdraw that statement, although the right hon. Gentleman did introduce that argument in his speech. He thought the Vice-President of the Council might have consulted his own advisers instead of resting content with the advice of the London School Board upon the matter. The Government should try to make everything safe as far as possible. The right hon. Gentleman was using the words "school fund" in such a way that the school boards would be prevented from using their Government grants, fees, and endowments in any way they chose, and by doing this the Vice-President of the Council was going far beyond what were the intentions of the judges in the Cockerton judgment, and in what had been understood to be the intention of this Bill. He did not think the County Council ought to have the power to veto the expenditure of the money received from other sources than the local rate, and he begged to move his amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, lines 7 and 8, to leave out 'school fund,' and insert 'local rate.'"—(Mr. Alfred Hutton.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'school fund' stand part of the clause."


This is a purely legal question, and I am advised that the language is properly used by the draftsman and adopted from the language in the statute, and also used by the Court in the Cockerton judgment. The words in the Bill are:— Where a school board has maintained any school or class to the maintenance of which the school fund is not lawfully applicable. Of course, if the fund was lawfully applicable, it would not come under the Act"


I cannot agree with the right hon. Gentleman. The school fund was a technical term, but the fund may be constituted from a number of sources—from fees (now abolished), from Parliamentary grants, from the rates, and, in some cases, from endowments. The effect of the Cockerton judgment is that that part of the fund derived from the rates is not legally applicable to these classes, but that does not include endowments. It would be better for clearness to adopt the Amendment of my hon. friend, which will make it perfectly clear that what is meant is only that part of the school fund contributed by the local rates.


was afraid that to do so would injure schools now conducted by small school boards, where not infrequently evening schools had been carried on by contributions and on condition that no expense should fall on the rates. In future there would be two classes of evening schools under the control of the school boards—one, the elementary evening schools with the restrictions of Paragraph 21 of the Minute; and the other, the schools under dual control which had been hit by the Cockerton judgment, and which would receive relief by this Bill. If the words "local rate" were used instead of "school fund" some of these schools would be prevented by the Minute from giving instruction to children over fifteen, and the effect would be to restrict a number of schools which could be continued under the provisions of the Bill.


said the hon. Gentleman was importing new matter in connection with restrictions which might be imposed by a Minnte hereafter to come in force. He was extending the scope of the Bill.


said that within the next few days the Minute would be in operation, and then there could be but two classes of schools carried on by the school boards. If what he had said now was not strictly correct it would be correct next week.


May I read to the Committee a few of the last words of the Master of the Rolls in the Cockerton judgment? I say it is not within the powers of a board as a statutory corporation to provide science and art schools or classes of the kind referred to in this case, either in the day schools or in evening continuation schools, out of the School Hoard rate or school fund.


said this was a restricting Amendment, that was to say it narrowed the class of cases to which the remedy provided by the Bill might be applied.

SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)

said that the Cockerton judgment in the Divisional Court was limited to the application of the local rate, but the judgment of the Court of Appeal extended to the application of the entirety of the school fund, and therefore to limit the Bill to the local rate fund would be to limit the relief afforded by the Bill.


thought that in one form or another they ought to provide that where continuation schools had been supported otherwise than out of the rates they should not fall within the provisions of the Bill. If the money did not come out of the rate, but from an endowment, the school board ought not to be obliged as a matter of principle to go and ask

leave from the local authority to continue the work. A school so supported would not come within the purview of the Bill at all.


In the Bill we have followed accurately the words of the Cockerton judgment, and in following those words we have surely taken the safest course. The Cockerton judgment has distinctly laid down that the school fund is applicable only to elementary education, and I think that it would be most dangerous to vary our Bill from the words of that judgment.

[The LORD ADVOCATE took the Chair at 1 a.m.]

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 185; Noes, 112. (Division List No. 352.)

Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden Cranborne, Viscount Hoult, Joseph
Anson, Sir William Reynell Cross, Alexander (Glasgow) Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham
Arkwright, John Stanhope Crossley, Sir Savile Hudson, George Bickersteth
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Cust, Henry John C. Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Arrol, Sir William Dalkeith, Earl of Johnston, William (Belfast)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Dalrymple, Sir Charles Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Dewar, T.R.(T'rH'mlets, S. Geo. Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Dickson, Charles Scott Keswick, William
Bain, Colonel James Robert Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Knowles, Lees
Baird, John George Alexander Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Lawson, John Grant
Balcarres, Lord Doughty, George Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Doxford, Sir William Theodore Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.
Balfour, RtHnGerald W. (Leeds Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Banbury, Frederick George Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.)
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H (Bristol) Finch, George H. Lonsdale, John Brownlee
Beach, Rt. Hon. W. W. B. (Hants. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Beckett, Ernest William Fisher, William Hayes Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)
Bignold, Arthur Fletcher, Sir Henry Macdona, John Cumming
Blundell, Colonel Henry Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W. MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bond, Edward Gardner, Ernest M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bousfield, William Robert Garfit, William M'Calmont, Col. H. L. B. (Cambs
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)
Brassey, Albert Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn Majendie, James A. H.
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'mlets Malcolm, Ian
Bullard, Sir Harry Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Manners, Lord Cecil
Butcher, John George Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Cautley, Henry Strother Goschen, Hn. George Joachim Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Green, W. D. (Wednesbury) Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Greene, Sir E. W. (B'ryS. Edm'nds Molesworth, Sir Lewis
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs. Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Gretton, John Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r Greville, Hon. Ronald More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Charrington, Spencer Groves, James Grimble Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)
Churchill, Winston Spencer Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Morrell, George Herbert
Clare, Octavius Leigh Guthrie, Walter Murray Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hambro, Charles Eric Morrison, James Archibald
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hamilton, Rt. HnLordG.(Mid'x Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Heath, James(Staffords., N. W.) Mount, William Arthur
Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Helder, Augustus Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich) Nicholson, William Graham
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Nicol, Donald Ninian
O'Neill, Hon. Robt. Torrens Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Valentia, Viscount
Parkes, Ebenezer Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Warde, Colonel C. E.
Peel, Rt. Hn. Wm. Rbt. Wellesley Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Webb, Colonel Wm. George
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sharpe, William Edward T. Welby, Sir CharlesG.E.(Notts.)
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Skewes-Cox, Thomas Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Pretyman, Ernest George Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.) Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne
Purvis, Robert Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Randles, John S. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Rankin, Sir James Spear, John Ward. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Reid, James (Greenock) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Remnant, James Farquharson Stroyan, John Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Rentoul, James Alexander Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Younger, William
Ridley, S. Forde (BethnalGreen) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Talbot, Rt. Hn.J.G.(Oxf'dUniv. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Thorton, Percy M.
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Tomlinson, Wm, Edw. Murray
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E) Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Pirie, Duncan V.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Holland, Wm. Henry Power, Patrick Joseph
Allen, CharlesP. (Glouc., Stroud Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Priestley, Arthur
Asher, Alexander Joyce, Michael Rea, Russell
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Kennedy, Patrick James Reddy, M.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Langley, Batty Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Layland-Barratt, Francis Redmond, William (Clare)
Boland, John Leigh, Sir Joseph Rickett, J. Compton
Brigg, John Levy, Maurice Rigg, Richard
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Lloyd-George, David Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Burns, John Lough, Thomas Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Caldwell, James Lundon, W. Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Causton, Richard Knight Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Cawley, Frederick M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Channing, Francis Allston M'Dermott, Patrick Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Mansfield, Horace Rendall Soares, Ernest J.
Cullinan, J. Mather, William Spencer, Rt.Hn.CR (Northants
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Morley, Chas. (Breconshire) Sullivan, Donal
Delany, William Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport) Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Dewar, John A (Inverness-sh. Murphy, John Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Doogan, P. C. Nannetti, Joseph P. Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Duffy, William J. Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway N. Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)
Duncan, J. Hastings Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Tomkinson, James
Dunn, Sir William Nussey, Thomas Willans Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Elibank, Master of O'Brien Kendal (Tipperary Mid. Tully, Jasper
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Farrell, James Patrick O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) White, George (Norfolk)
Ffrench, Peter O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Flynn, James Christopher O'Dowd, John Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Gilhooly, James O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.) Y'oxall, James Henry
Goddard, Daniel Ford O'Malley, William
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Mara, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Alfred Hutton and Mr. Corrie Grant.
Hayden, John Patrick Partington, Oswald
Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale Paulton, James Mellor
Healy, Timothy Michael Pearson, Sir Weetman D.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report Progress; and ask leave to sit again"—(Mr. A. J. Balfour)—put, and agreed to.

Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.