HC Deb 10 May 1901 vol 93 cc1367-420

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £713,881, be granted to His Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1902, for Public Education in Scotland, and for Science and Art in Scotland, including a Grant-in-Aid."


The figures which have been laid before the House in the usual manner are, I think all agree, perfectly satisfactory so far as they are concerned. The Estimate during the year has increased by the sum of £30,660. Of this sum £13,144 is in respect of the annual grants to day schools. That is due, mainly, to a large increase in the numbers in average attendance, and partly to an increase in the grant from 22s. 6¼d. to 22s. 9d. per scholar. The Committee will remember that we are just now coming into the first results of the Revised Code of three years ago. The estimate for the evening school grant shows a decrease of £950, in consequence of the falling off in the average attendance of evening scholars in 1900 as compared with 1899. The attendance in the evening schools has decreased by about 5,000, and now stands at 43,962. It is well to observe that this decrease in the evening schools attendance may be partially accounted for by the fact that the children stay longer in the day schools than formerly, and if that is a right deduction it is one that takes the sting out of the observation. On looking at the day school returns, it is found that the attendance has increased by 8,000. The number now in average attendance stands at 629,038. This figure includes nearly 3,000 in average attendance at higher grade schools other than those which are dealt with in Chapter 9 of the Code. I think the Committee will agree that it is an interesting feature that more than one third of these scholars are between fifteen and eighteen years of age. There are also in attendance at the ordinary day schools between 5,000 and 6,000 scholars over fifteen years of age. The average school rate in Scotland is 9.66d., an increase as compared with the previous year, it then being 9.25d. The total amount raised by the education rate was £923,358, of which £425,906 was spent on the maintenance of schools, which, with £28,215 voluntarily subscribed, represents the local contribution for the purposes of education. The contribution from Imperial funds by annual grants to day and evening schools amounted to £749,689, to which must be added a further sum of £369,771 for grants in relief of fees, making in all a total of £1,119,460 from Imperial funds, as contrasted with £951,573 from local sources. Grants have also been made for blind and deaf-mute children to the extent of £3,074; special grants to School Boards, £45,158; to voluntary schools, £12,244; Highland schools, £1,400; grants to training colleges, £45,210; science and art, £71,109; and agricultural education, £1,964. This represents a total expenditure during the year of £2,251,192. Besides this, large sums have been spent on education from the Local Taxation Account, under the Local Taxation (Customs and Excise) Act, 1890, the Education and Local Taxation Account (Scotland) Act, 1892, and the Local Taxation Account (Scotland) Act, 1898, amounting in the aggregate to about £144,000. The details of that are—to local authorities spending on technical education out of the residue grant, £54,136; secondary education committees, about £60,000; grants to higher class schools, higher inspection, and agricultural education under the Minute of 27th April, 1899, £29,450; making the total I have already given roughly as £144,000. That makes in all a grand total spent on education during the year of £2,395,192. Those are the year's results so far as they can be put before the Committee by means of figures.

But perhaps at the present time it would not be inappropriate if I said a few words upon the general question with regard to the present position of our educational arrangements. The time seems a convenient one for a survey of what has been accomplished during the last few years, more especially as we are in the position of announcing this year what we hope the Committee will recognise as a considerable step in advance for the future. In taking that review, which I may remind the Committee is really a review of the arrangements which have been come to since my noble friend has been at the head of the Education Department so far as Scotland is concerned, perhaps I may briefly call to mind the present position of the question. Of course, when you consider the question of Imperial grants you have to consider that which is a necessary corollary of that question, viz., the question of central control. You have also to consider that weapon or instrument by which alone central control is to be made effective—I mean the instrument of inspection.

It is about forty years ago that the Revised Code was introduced into England, but for the first ten years Scotland held aloof from it, and so far as Scotch education is concerned the Revised Code suspended its operations, and payments were not made in accordance with it. The Revised Code first became Scotch as well as English in the year subsequent to the passing of the Education Act of 1872; it was introduced in 1873 so far as Scotland is concerned. That Code, no doubt, was an advance on what had gone before, but, at the same time, it had certain features which the progress of educational opinion has long ago recognised as being dis- advantageous. Under the Revised Code you had to go entirely by results. You had a perfectly cast-iron standard, and you had in consequence very little, or, I might say, no room for local initiation. The first attempt at reform or change in this matter was made in the year 1886, when payment by individual results—as shown by the examination of each individual—was dispensed with in the lower standards. Further changes were made afterwards, but, until the recent changes, certain features of the original Code remained. The feeling of the Department when the policy which I am now explaining was initiated was that it was very much better, instead of going by the results of the examination of the individual pupils, to try and encourage the general efficiency of the schools, and it was thought that that general efficiency might be encouraged by providing that in the curriculum of each school certain essential elements should always be present, but that, given those essential elements, a great deal should be left to the individuality of each school, and to the development of that which each school could show was most suited to its own needs and circumstances. A further view taken was that it was better not to go so much by the individual pupil, but rather to try to have a fairly high educational standard, and then to concentrate effort upon making as many pupils as possible reach that standard. As a corollary of that you had, of course, to alter very much the work of the inspectors. The final change, as the Committee know, was made by the Revised Code two years ago; and I think that upon the last occasion when I had the honour of addressing the Committee upon this subject I brought before them the increased burden and responsibility which was cast upon the inspectors, and that view, I believe, generally commended itself to hon. Members who took part in the debate afterwards. As an incentive to reach as high a standard as possible, we introduced also the merit certificate, which has really proved an immense success. The number who have attained the merit certificate is very large, amounting to 21,706 during the year 1900. It is exceedingly gratifying to see that by the various changes we have made we are apparently attaining one of the recognised objects of the changes—namely, that of keeping the older pupils at school. The figures of this year show the very gratifying result that the older pupils have increased by no less than 16,000, and, of course, we recognise that we have not yet; reached the limit.

I have dealt hitherto in what I have said only with purely elementary education. In Scotland we have always to keep in view the fact that under the old system the Scotch schools did a great deal more than that. In the first place, the old burgh schools, which certainly went beyond elementary education, were taken over by the school boards under the Act of 1872, and further arrangements were made as to the possibility of spending the ratepayers' money upon them in the Act of 1878. Besides the old burgh schools, the old parish schools also did a great deal in trying to give a higher education to many pupils within their doors whose circumstances were such that they could never hope to go elsewhere and obtain a proper secondary education. Consequently, the aim of the Department has always been not to give up these old traditions, but to foster and encourage them. The way in which that was first attempted was by trying to help the schools by giving grants for specific subjects more or less savouring of secondary education. That system was not found, on the whole, to be perfectly satisfactory. There are two sides to everything, and it was found that these specific subjects became such an obvious medium for grant-earning that schools were tempted to add subject to subject in order to earn grants rather than to devote their attention to securing general efficiency in education as a whole. That defect we sought to cure, and hope we have cured, by the alterations made in the Code two years ago. As the Committee are aware, instead of these grants for specific subjects, the higher departments in the schools are given peculiar encouragement by the possibility of earning very large grants, these grants being given on the principle of general efficiency, and not in regard to particular subjects. In arranging for these higher departments the Education Department tried to impress upon each school that it should arrogate to itself a particular character—that it should have a curriculum of a certain definite character. The curriculum might be of a scientific nature, under which experiments could be made and the powers of observation in the children trained; it might be of such a nature as would meet literary and linguistic requirements; or it might have a more strictly commercial character. As long as one of those definite characteristics was chosen, the Code was so arranged that the schools could get these higher grants upon, as the Department believed, a liberal scale. The Committee will easily understand that the Department was bound in such a question concerning the Treasury not to turn the whole system of grants upside down—that is to say, they were bound in justice to the Treasury to see that, upon the whole, there should not be such an increase in expenditure as was not warranted by increased efficiency, and in that I think they have been perfectly successful. At the same time, we think we have made a better bargain; in other words, we get better value for our money than we used to do. The general opinion in Scotland is that so far as the working of the Revised Code has gone it has been a great success.

I come now to a still further change, There was always something more to be done, not exactly connected with either primary or secondary education, and that was done by what are known as evening continuation classes. These classes had a twofold object. In so far as they were of an elementary character they were meant for those who, either during their progress through the elementary school had not learnt all that they might, or, having learnt it, had been removed from educational influences, and forgotten a great deal, and needed to learn it again. In their more advanced forms the classes were meant for those who, anxious to go on with their education, and to acquire a knowledge of subjects which might be termed secondary education, were not in a position to go to a regular secondary school. The evening continuation classes had been instituted for some time, and were, I think, a great success. Within the last two years something else has happened. The science and art classes used to be under the direction of the Science and Art Department, at South Kensington. To a great extent the science and art classes deal with the same want as that with which evening continuation classes dealt, with the result that it was a piece of educational extravagance to have a divided management. Not only did you get different views under such divided management, but very often actually over-lapping agencies. Accordingly, when the Science and Art Department was transferred from South Kensington to the Scotch Office, it seemed an appropriate time to make this amalgamation, which seemed right in principle, and to take the opportunity, having larger funds at disposal, to put the whole matter upon a more satisfactory footing. That attempt is made in the Code which has just been laid on the table—namely, the Code for continuation classes. That Code now really takes the place of the old evening continuation classes Code, and of the Directory of the South Kensington Museum, in as far as it applies to Scotland. In fusing these two sources we hope to retain the advantages of both; but here, as in all Scotch education, we have thought it right that a certain call should be made on local effort. We have nothing to do in this matter with the 17s. 6d. limit, because that limit is a calculation necessarily based upon average attendance, and average attendance has not a proper place in the case of isolated classes, as these continuation classes must necessarily be. Accordingly, the scale that is laid down is that there shall be one-fourth contribution from local sources for every three-fourths taken from the Imperial Revenue. We certainly commend this continuation Code to the favourable consideration of the Committee. I have explained the views upon which it is based, and we believe that experience will show that our favourable anticipations will not fail realisation. Of course, what we have already done does not end the efforts which we recognise still to be necessary in the cause of education. We have recognised to the full that the time has come for a readjustment of the resources and a rearrangement of the direction of secondary education, and we attempted to deal with that problem last year. Owing to circumstances which we could not altogether control, there was not time to pass the Bill, but the Committee may rest assured that that Bill, or something like it, will be reintroduced at no very distant date, though I cannot hold out any hope for the present session. But, on the whole matter, I trust the Committee will consider that, in the efforts we have made to alter the system and to ensure general efficiency as against individual success, we have given a good account of our stewardship. We believe that interest in educational work is as keen as ever, and we may point to the fact that the increase in the Imperial grant shows that there has been progress in Scottish education, and that fair treatment has been received from the Empire. We hope that, with increased trust in local initiative, and greater elasticity in every branch of educational administration;, we may go on in the work of improving the whole system of our education, which I believe is dear to both sides of the House.


I think we all must be satisfied that the Government have been able so to arrange the Scotch Votes this year that an opportunity has been given for the discussion of this important matter. Last year Scotch Members had no opportunity at all of expressing their views upon this subject, and even now the one complaint I should venture to make is that the right hon. Gentleman has not been able sooner to put us in possession of the Report which we received this morning, and which is necessary for the proper understanding of this subject. I wish to give expression to a very natural feeling, which is especially evoked by the presence of the Vice-President of the Council. A very wise man has said that one of the greatest pleasures in life is the contemplation of the misfortunes of others; and that pleasure is often enhanced by the admiration of our own more fortunate position. Here we have before us an object-lesson showing the difference between Scotland and England. The right hon. Gentleman charged with the interests of English education has been labouring under great difficulties for many years to achieve two things, namely, the unification of authorities, and to do away with the mischievous distinction which has been drawn between primary and secondary education. The right hon. Gentleman comes in among us to-night, and discovers that Scotland has for many years possessed or is this year completely achieving both of those objects. In most points, I think, the statement the Lord Advocate has placed before us is most satisfactory—such, for instance, as the increase of 16,000 older scholars. The alterations which have been made in the regulations will have the effect of maintaining that old Scotch traditional system, which I have always thought to be the really essential characteristic of Scotch education, namely, that boys and girls in a public school are able to attain a very much higher degree of learning than is usually associated with the words "elementary education." We have always had the ladder of education in Scotland, thanks to the wisdom of our forefathers. It was considerably endangered forty or fifty years ago by the introduction of the system of payment by results. We have managed to shake that fetter off, and I hope that now, under the auspices of the right hon. Gentleman and those who act with him, we are fairly embarked upon a career of improvement which will redound in every respect greatly to the advantage of our country.

MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

said he did not need to go over the details in regard to the question of Scotch education, although he held altogether a different opinion with regard to the policy of the individual examination of the pupils. In the year 1872 the policy of the educational authorities was to ensure that the poorest child in the State should receive a satisfactory education. The pupils were tested by individual examinations. The policy was to make sure that the lowest class were educated. They had made education compulsory, and the parent would require some security that his child would be educated if he was compelled by law to send his child to school. The State was asked to pay a certain contribution for the education of each child, and the policy of the Act of 1872 was that they were to have some security that the very poorest children in the community should be educated. What was the security that the parent had in 1872 by the system of individual examination? It was this. There were standards for each year, and individual examination took place in each standard. In this way it was ascertained whether the child was making progress, and payment was not given for any child unless the latter were shown to be properly educated, and had passed the required standard. Then the parent knew what progress his child was making. That system continued through the various standards, and the result was that, as far as the lowest ranks of society were concerned, every individual child in the lower ranks was receiving a proper education, and it was not left to the end of his curriculum to ascertain what progress a child was making. What was the result of the change which was now being made? They were taking away individual examination, and the parent would not know until his boy was thirteen or fourteen years of age whether he had been properly educated. They were changing the order of things. The policy of 1872 was to begin with the lower classes of society. Now they were directing their attention not so much to the lower strata, provided the upper strata were pushed on. This was a complete reversal of the policy of 1872, and he ventured to predict for it absolute failure.

Another point which he desired to draw the Lord Advocate's attention; to was the proposal to increase the salary of the Secretary of the Education Department from £1,200 to £1,500. He believed the meaning of this was that the Secretary of the Education Department was likely to retire soon, and then he would get a higher pension. He did not see why there was any ground for increase in this salary. It was all very well to say that the number of children had increased, but if they compared the work in England with Scotland they would find that in England the work was seven times as great as in Scotland, and the salary paid in England was; £2,000. An increase of £300 a year in this salary, together with the appointment of an assistant secretary, was a great increase. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had stated that this House went in for extravagance, but this time the Government were extravagant. The Lord Advocate would remember that under the Act of 1890 the payments to the Scotch Education Department instead of the fee grant were made upon the footing of eleven-eightieths of the amount given to England. They strongly objected to this principle, but the Government insisted that it was their proper share. This happened to be less than 10s. per head given to England by some £4,000 or £5,000. They had to take eleven-eightieths, but when their numbers in Scotland increased very largely, and it was seen that they would receive £4,000 or £5,000 more, the Department changed the rate from eleven-eightieths to 10s. per child in Scotland, which was the same rate as in England, with the result that Scotland lost by the change between £4,000 and £5,000 a year. The principle was that whenever eleven-eightieths produced a total sum lower than the 10s. per head, Scotland was given the former, and when 10s. per head produced a lower total than eleven-eightieths then the 10s. was adopted as the basis for Scotland. Supplementary Estimates for England had been brought in for some years, and Scotland was deprived of its share of eleven-eightieths. He had brought this matter under the notice of the Scotch Education Department, and he found that Ireland was in precisely the same position. He put the Irish Members up to this and they got their fair share. The Chancellor of the Exchequer promised to make up any deficiency in the fee grant to 12s., but what did they do with the £21,000 for that purpose? They put it into this account, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer got every penny of it back. The money was either surrendered to the Exchequer or the Chancellor of the Exchequer was relieved from the payment of those fee grants. In 1897 there was a contention that Scotland ought to get in respect of voluntary schools payments which would have amounted to £110,000; but an arrangement was put into operation by which it only got £66,000. Of this £66,000 they had not received £26,000, the sum which was to have been devoted to keeping up the capitation grant to 12s. The Lord Advocate had said that unless they got this £26,000 from the Chancellor of the Exchequer they could not make up the grant. What were the facts? In Committee on the Education (Scotland) Grants on the 21st of June, 1897, the Lord Advocate said— You are only giving us £40,000. To that must be added £26,000 which was given—outside the Bill, no doubt, but it was given all the same—to keep up the grant to 12s. The hon. Member who had just spoken (Mr. Caldwell) did not seem to know that the money out of which that 2s. was paid was now exhausted, and accordingly if the Chancellor of the Exchequer did nothing for them they would not be able in future to pay the Scotch schools more than the 10s. per child which they now got directly, as in England. The additional 2s. had been paid in the-past out of savings on the probable grant. But these savings were now eaten up, so that unless they got this £26,000 in the future from the Chancellor of the Exchequer they could not make up the grant. The fact was that ever since that time they had paid the 12s. entirely out of Scotch money, and there was not a penny on the Estimates for any deficiency to be made up by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

There was one honest man in this House, though a very hard man, and he was the Chancellor of the Exchequer. It was no use asking the Scotch Office anything, but he would quote to the House the answer given to him by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to a question put on 17th of July, 1900:— This matter has not been dealt with on the basis of equivalent grants since a fee grant of 10s. per child throughout the United Kingdom was substituted for the equivalent grant system in 1897. Up to that time the Scotch Education Department had paid a fee grant, not of 10s., but of 12s. per child, partly out of an Exchequer grant and partly out of the residue of the Local Taxation Fund. It was thought that this fund could no longer make up the amount necessary to provide the additional 2s., and as part of the additional aid given to education in Scotland in 1897 we undertook that if it failed any deficiency should be made up to the Exchequer to an extent which was estimated by the Scotch Office at £26,000 as a maximum, but by the Opposition at no more than £18,000. Since that time, however, the continued productiveness of the share of the Death Duties which goes to the Scotch Local Taxation Fund has enabled that fund to bear the cost of the additional 2s. fee grant to-Scotland, and so the anticipated contribution from the Exchequer has not been required. I certainly cannot accept the view that we agreed to pay this £26,000, whether it was required or not; but the fact that it has not been required might, I think, be taken into account to some extent in considering the proposals for further expenditure on Scottish education that may be brought before me. What more could they expect him to say? How was it that that miscalculation was made? He was not going into the details, but he would explain to the Lord Advocate that he had been entirely misinformed. By the Act of 1890 free education in Scotland got the balance of the probate duty, customs, and excise duties, and that was continued up to the present moment to make up the equivalent necessary to keep up the Scotch fee grant to 12s. From the year 1890 up to the present time no more money had been needed to keep the fee grant up to that amount. That was the miscalculation which the Scotch Office fell into. Scotland got some other money from England at that time. The amount was to be 10s. per child, and it was allocated to other purposes by the Bill. The Act of 1892 repealed the balance which was being paid to the free education fund, but it was re-enacted, and the fee grant was left precisely as it stood before. As a matter of fact it was by means of the balance of the probate duty and the customs and excise duty, due to Scotland after certain fixed payments were made, that the capitation grant had been kept up. The result was that they had been paying the money necessary to make up the grant to 12s. a year entirely out of Scottish money. The Lord Advocate seemed to have been badgered a good deal at the time about this matter, for in July, 1897, he said— In 1892, when in the intervening time free education had been granted to England at the rate of 10s. per head, Parliament thought fit to make an exchange between the two moneys, that was to say, it took away the old sum, which, being put into the local taxation account, was given out to pay the capitation grant of 12s. for educational purposes, and replaced it by a direct education grant, which was now calculated in precisely the same way as the English grant, namely, at 10s. per head. Then he goes on to say— As a matter of fact, the proceeds of the original grant had been so exuberant that they had sufficient savings to make up the twelve shillings since 1892, although they were only getting ten shillings for the direct Parliament grant; but during those years they had spent their savings, and accordingly, by this year, if they had gone on without a further promise from the Chancellor of the Exchequer, they would only have been able to pay exactly ten shillings per head. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that, as they had been conducting their system in Scotland on the scale of twelve shillings, he would make up this two shillings out of the Imperial Treasury. Now, all that was absolute nonsense. They never got a penny more, and what they wanted was a Scotch Education Department which could understand the meaning of those Acts of Parliament. They had been promised £66,000 for education every year, but for four years they had got only £40,000, so that they had not received upwards of £100,000 which should have been spent for purposes of education in Scotland. So far as the change from eleven-eightieths to 10s. per head was concerned, the Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that it was not fair to take the lowest total when it was against Scotland, and he said that if he was going to change the principle he would change it from the beginning.

The Scotch Education Department would do nothing. The result was that they had to go to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and he said, "Go to the Scotch Office," and so nothing was done. As he had pointed out, £100,000 had been lost to Scotland in the way described. He moved the reduction of the salary of the Secretary of the Department by £300.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £300."—(Mr. Caldwell.)

*MR. MAXWELL (Dumfriesshire)

said the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition had referred to the position in Scotland as compared with England. He thought they might congratulate themselves on that. He was very glad to hear from the Lord Advocate that he intended to re-introduce on the earliest possible occasion an Education Bill on the lines of that of last session. There was very great need at the present time for the unification of education authorities in Scotland. Nothing showed more the interest of the Scotch people in education than the line they had taken with regard to secondary education. It appeared to him also that it was necessary to put secondary education on a proper footing. With regard to the new code, he did not share the fears of the hon. Member for Mid Lanark that it would be a dismal failure. He believed that all who took a practical interest in education in Scotland looked with favour on that new departure. The hon. Member for Mid Lanark seemed to think that the old system of payment by results was necessary to force the teacher to pay attention to the younger children. It appeared to him that in making a statement of that kind the hon. Member had a very poor opinion of the Scotch teacher. He did not think the Scotch teacher required any stimulus of that kind. If the merit certificate was to be regarded as the goal at which every Scotch child should aim, it was the teacher's interest to instruct the child so as to be able to take the certificate at as early an age as possible. In the Returns laid before Parliament it was very desirable that they should have figures with regard to the merit certificate and the labour certificate. The Lord Advocate had stated that 12,000 merit certificates were taken last year. Returns showing the number of pupils who had taken these certificates would indicate whether the new system was a success. Referring to the position of children in remote parts of the country, the hon. Member said they were at one time educated at a school in a central village, their board from Monday to Friday being paid by the school board. The accountant had, however, disallowed that charge on the ground that it was one the school board was not entitled to incur. The consequence was that school boards of large scattered parishes had been put to very serious difficulty. The only means they had to get over the difficulty was to employ a teacher to live in a remote district where there were perhaps half a dozen children. They thereby incurred very great expense, and towards meeting this expense the grants under Article 19 D (a) of the Code did not go very far. He urged upon the Lord Advocate the desirability of making some increase in these grants, for he believed, on the whole, school boards had tried to do their duty in this matter. He believed, as one who took considerable interest in educational matters, that a very great change indeed had been made by the introduction of the merit and labour certificates.

*MR. THOMAS SHAW (Hawick Burghs)

said the matter to which the hon. Member for Mid Lanark had called attention was not at all a trivial affair. It was not a light matter. In 1897, as the Committee would remember, he took a deep interest in opposing the proposals of the Government in reference to the distribution of the money. He ventured to point out then that the amount of the equivalent grant to which Scotland was entitled was £110,000 per annum. How was that argument met? It was met by a statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the effect that, once and for all, this equivalent grant had disappeared, and that Scotland need no more look for it under that head. The excuse given was that referred to by the hon. Member for Mid Lanark. It was then definitely announced that the sum of £66,000 would be paid by the Government to Scotland. Their complaint in Scotland now was this: that a Parliamentary pledge was given, but, unfortunately for Scotland, it had not been kept, and that instead of £66,000 they had only got £40,000, this diminution representing in four years a sum of over £100,000. The way in which that arose was very simple. It was proposed out of the £26,000 a year which ought to have been received to raise the capitation grant from 10s. to 12s. As events had turned out the extra 2s. had been provided out of entirely different sources—out of Scottish money pure and simple—and the grant from the Imperial Exchequer of £26,000 a year had not been made. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had admitted plainly that that Parliamentary pledge was given, and that in any readjustment of Scotch education finance that must be remembered in favour of Scotland. He wanted the Lord Advocate now in presence of the Committee to adhere to that pledge. Depend upon it, if this went on much longer, a sense of acute misfortune would grow in Scotland, because they held that they had been deprived of money for educational purposes to the extent of the difference between £40,000 and £110,000. per annum. It was not as if Scotland did not require it. They had claims ready to consume it. They had free education in the primary schools up to the age of fifteen, and he could imagine no better use for that money, if paid regularly, than that it should be applied in abolishing fees in the continuation schools.

*SIR MARK STEWART (Kirkcudbrightshire)

said Scotland was entitled to a considerable sum of arrears which, if paid, they could easily find a way of using. He hoped that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in framing another Budget, would take this into account, and that Scotch Members would not have to make this protest year after year. The hon. Member for Mid Lanark had moved to reduce the salary of the secretary of the Department. The secretary was one of the most competent men in the public service, and had a thorough grasp of the whole system of Scotch education. It had been suggested that some allowance should be made in respect of children whose parents lived in remote districts. He hoped that matter would be considered before another year was over. Many a man had been forced to leave the situation where he had been for years in order to come to a town or village for the education of his children. That was surely a great hardship to subject a working man to. Otherwise he had to board his children out. With respect to the question of an appeal for teachers he asked the Lord Advocate if anything had been done. Of course the theory was that, if they gave the right of appeal from a school board direct, they would weaken the power and authority of the Board. He did not want to do that but he knew of very great hardship in the case of teachers who had been dismissed in a somewhat summary manner and no reasons given. He thought some way out of the difficulty might be found. There was no feeling that all boards were imperious, tyrannical, or harsh, but cases would occur where dismissals seemed vexatious. There were a few teachers whose tenure began before the Act of 1872 came into operation, and those men could only command comparatively small pensions as compared with teachers who came in at a later date. A strong feeling of hardship was felt in these cases. He knew that the Department had given some assistance, but he thought it might give a little more. He trusted the Lord Advocate would bring in the Scotch Education Bill of last Session again. He believed the Scotch people and Members were ready for the Bill; he did not say in the same form as last session, for he was aware there was strong opposition to the rating clause. If that difficulty could be got over it would be of great advantage to pass a good Education Act for Scotland to include this small Bill, or at any rate one clause of it.

MR. J. WILSON (Glasgow, St. Rollox)

hoped that the Lord Advocate would be able to announce that Scotland was to obtain the arrears to which she was entitled. These amounted to over £100,000, and they could use that sum exceedingly well. New buildings were required for the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College, and for that purpose £80,000 had already been contributed, but to provide suitable premises £180,000 was required.


said it would, perhaps, be convenient that he should now reply, not so much upon general matters as upon the point raised by the hon. Member for Mid Lanark. In the first place he wished to assure the hon. Member that he perfectly understood his remarks were not intended in any way as a personal attack on the present Secretary of the Department. So far as that official was concerned there was no change. It was quite true that his official salary, if they looked at the Estimates, seemed to have been raised from £1,200 to £1,500, but then in previous years he used to draw besides his salary of £1,200, a sum of £300 in respect of higher education. That sum was now included in his salary. The only additional sum which he drew, in respect of the greatly increased work of the Science and Art Department, was £150, but that was a personal and not a pensionable salary, and so far as his position as a pensionable officer was concerned he was really in precisely the same condition as on the Estimates of last year. Passing on to refer to the vexed question of arrears, to which the hon. Member for Mid Lanark had called attention, he said he did not know exactly how to deal with it, or in what manner to approach it. The Committee had no doubt listened with rapt attention to the figures unfolded to them by the hon. Member in his very best style. He thought he had heard the hon. Member's speech many times before. The hon. Member had gone back over the history of the funds, and he had told them of his own exertions in the matter, and of the long struggle in which he had been engaged with the view of setting the matter right. It would be a very simple matter if what the hon. Member for the Border Burghs said was correct, that there was a pledge given in 1897 by the Government that £66,000 should be granted to Scotland. Of course if there was a pledge given there would be nothing simpler than to ask the Government to redeem that pledge. But with great deference to the hon. Member for Mid Lanark and the hon. Member for St. Rollox Division, no such pledge was given. He did not want to defend the Chancellor of the Exchequer, because the hon. Member for Mid Lanark was most complimentary to the right hon. Gentleman. In fact he drew a rather unflattering contrast between the representative of the Scotch Office and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He spoke of the one as "honest and hard," and the other as "tricky and soft spoken." After all the Chancellor of the Exchequer scarcely deserved the encomium of "honest and hard," if it were the fact that he had never kept his pledge to the House that he would give £66,000 to Scotland. No such pledge was ever made. The view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer was that this was not a question of an equivalent grant at all. He would remind the Committee that the whole matter arose in 1897. In that year a large sum given to assist necessitous board schools and voluntary schools in England, and the claim was at once made that if England were to get this sum, Scotland ought to have something too. It was said that the proper way was simply to make an arithmetical calculation, and to give eleven-eightieths of the amount given to England to Scotland. It was said that there was a precedent for this. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer never admitted the principle of this claim, holding on the contrary that the principle of equivalent grant in the matter of education was perfectly absurd. The true position was to give equality of general treatment as between the two countries, and to hold that if either country could show that it had educational needs of the same class as were ministered to in the other country, it was fair to make a claim on the Chancellor of the Exchequer. There was no pledge to give the £26,000 which had been referred to; on the contrary, such a pledge would have been in opposition to the view that the Chancellor of the Exchequer took. At that time there was a wrong appreciation of the future as regarded what sum would be necessary to raise the Scotch grant from 10s. to 12s. per head. He (the Lord Advocate) had said that it was expected that it would come to £26,000 a year. As a matter of fact, they had not required to draw on that sum at all. But still they had the promise of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that if at any time the other funds were not sufficient the grant would be kept up to 12s. The probate duty had exceeded the most sanguine expectations, and it was through the failure to believe that the probate duty would ever come to the present very large sum that the miscalculation was made in 1897. He entirely denied that any sum was promised or any injustice done to Scotland if they once abandoned the inadmissible principle of there being an equivalent grant to another country when anything was given to one. If, on the whole, they found that Scotland was paid as much from the Imperial Exchequer as England, he could not see that upon that matter there was a Scottish grievance. Now, taking the total Imperial figures for 1900–01, he found that they were for England £8,667,745, and for Scotland £1,267,073. Taking the average attendance, the figures were, for England, £4,743,518; Scotland, £629,867. If they divided the sum by the number of scholars in average attendance, the capitation payment to England was £1 16s. 11½d. per head, and to Scotland £1 18s. 3¾d. He did not say that because Scotland got a little more England had a grievance—probably she earned it by extra efficiency. But on the other hand, it was absurd to say that Scotland was not treated as well as England. With regard to questions put to him by hon. Gentlemen behind him, concurrently with the increase of merit certificates, labour certificates had gone down very substantially. The subject of pupil teachers was occupying the attention of the Department, but it was a matter which would have to be dealt with by the two Educational Departments of Scotland and England. They could not have a different system on the two sides of the border, and they must have a concerted policy between the two Departments. In regard to the question of pensions, he realised that the older teachers regarded it as a hardship that they did not receive as much as those who came in now, but the terms were fixed by Act of Parliament, and the Department had no power to alter them.

MR. HALDANE (Haddingtonshire)

said they did not want to discuss the policy of equivalent grants, although there was a great deal to be said against them. This Amendment was based upon a special arrangement made in the year 1897, at a time when money was being given for voluntary schools in England, and in circumstances which made it a matter of moral obligation on the part of the Government to make a grant to Scotland at the same time upon the same footing, or at least to give a binding promise to that effect. But for that being done it would have been regarded as an intolerable

grievance. It seemed plain enough that in the year 1897 what was tantamount to a solemn promise was given that £26,000 should be forthcoming for Scotch education. They now asked that that pledge should be repeated, and, as the Lord Advocate had not repeated it he thought the hon. Member for Mid Lanark had made out his case.


said he had already categorically denied that there was any definite pledge.


said he had betas reading carefully, as a whole, the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it appeared to him that the House was intended to understand that £26,000 would be forthcoming for Scotch education.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 98; Noes, 110. (Division List No. 181.)

Allen, C. P. (Glouc. Stroud) Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)
Ambrose, Robert Farquharson, Dr. Robert O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.
Asher, Alexander Ferguson, R. C. M. (Leith) O'Doherty, William
Austin, Sir John Ffrench, Peter O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Flavin, Michael Joseph O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Bell, Richard Flynn, James Christopher O'Dowd, John
Black, Alexander William Gilhooly, James O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Boland, John Griffith, Ellis J. O'Malley, William
Brigg, John Haldane, Richard Burdon O'Mara, James
Bryce, Rt. Hon James Hammond, John O'Shanghnessy, P. J.
Burke, E. Haviland- Hayden, John Patrick Partington, Oswald
Burns, John Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Pirie, Duncan V.
Caine, William Sproston Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Power, Patrick Joseph
Caldwell, James Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Rea, Russell
Cameron, Robert Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Joyce, Michael Redmond, William (Clare)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Kinloeh, Sir John George Smyth Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Channing, Francis Allston Layland-Barratt, Francis Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Colville, John Leamy, Edmund Roche, John
Condon, Thomas Joseph Leng, Sir John Sullivan, Donal
Craig, Robert Hunter Lundon, W. Tully, Jasper
Crean, Eugene MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Ure, Alexander
Crombie, John William MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Wallace, Robert
Cullinan, J. M'Fadden, Edward Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Daly, James M'Kenna, Reginald Weir, James Galloway
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Mooney, John J. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Delany, William Moss, Samuel White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Murphy, J. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Dillon, John Nannetti, Joseph P. Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Donelan, Captain A. Newnes, Sir George Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
Doogan, P. C. Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Duffy, William J. O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid) Mr. Thos. Shaw and Capt-
Elibank, Master of O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Sinclair.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Bailey, James (Walworth) Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bain, Colonel James Robert Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Baird, John George Alexander Beach, Rt. Hn. W. W. B. (Hants
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.
Bigwood, James Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Plummer, Walter R.
Bullard, Sir Harry Heath, James (Staffords, N. W. Pretyman, Ernest George
Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow Helder, Augustus Purvis, Robert
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hermon-Hodge, Robert T. Randles, John S.
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh. Higginbottom, S. W. Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hope, J. F. (Sheffi'd, Brightside) Rentoul, James Alexander
Chamberlain, J. Austen (W'rc'r Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham Renwick, George
Chapman, Edward Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Ridley, Hon. W. M (Stalybridge
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas Thomson
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Johnston, William (Belfast) Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Lee, Arthur H (Hants, Fareham Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cranborne, Viscount Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew
Cust, Henry John C. Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S. Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Denny, Colonel Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Smith, H C (North'mb Tyneside
Dickson, Charles Scott Lonsdale, John Brownlee Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Spear, John Ward
Duke, Henry Edward Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Macdona, John Cumming Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool Stroyan, John
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Thorburn, Sir Walter
Finch, George H. Majendie, James A. H. Thornton, Percy M.
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Manners, Lord Cecil Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Garfit, William Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H E (Wigton Tuke, Sir John Batty
Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Valentia, Viscount
Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Melville, Beresford Valentine Warr, Augustus Frederick
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Montagu, (Huntingdon) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Green, Walford D (Wednesbury Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Wilson, Arthur S. (York, E. R.)
Greene, Sir E W (Bury St Edm'ds Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Guthrie, Walter Murray Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Hain, Edward Nicol, Donald Ninian TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midd'x Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Sir William Walrond and
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert W. Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Mr. Hayes Fisher.

Original Question again proposed.

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

*MR. BLACK (Banffshire)

drew attention to the distribution of the equivalent grant for Scotland under the Local Taxation Act of 1898, under which it was agreed that a certain sum should be applied out of the equivalent grants to higher education in Scotland, in such manner as might be settled by the Scotch Education Department. In the allocation of the grant he pointed out that the Education Department had made serious mistakes, following a policy of encouraging higher schools in large towns to the exclusion of secondary education in rural districts. The traditional educational policy throughout Scotland had been to direct special attention to pupils in elementary schools carrying on their education in the same schools into the higher grade, and a policy which cut out the elementary schools was in absolute opposition to the scheme which the right hon. Gentleman professed to promote with such earnestness. In Banffshire there were more scholars over the compulsory age than in any other county in Scotland, and a good system of secondary education was carried out in Banffshire, producing excellent results, as he showed by quotations from reports. Yet the county was excluded from any share in the equivalent grant because it had no large-towns with higher grade schools. He suggested that the Department should have some regard to local circumstances and give assistance out of the equivalent grant, when it was assured good work was done in secondary education, even though there were no special secondary schools in the administrative area. This would be in harmony with educational traditions in Scotland, and not have the effect the present policy of the Department had of sending young people into the towns in search of secondary education. He moved the reduction of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries), be reduced by £100 in respect of the salary of the Secretary."—(Mr. Black.)


Before the motion for the reduction is put, a point of order arises as to whether the hon. Gentleman can move this reduction. It is a complicated matter, and I do not quite know whether the hon. Gentleman understands it. The hon. Gentleman is speaking of money which is granted out of the local taxation account, and which does not come under this Vote at all. So far as the Education Department of Scotland is concerned, the Secretary is bound to allocate it in this way. It is impossible for us, as an administrative machine, to alter the distribution of this money, unless we bring in a new minute; that being so, I should like to ask whether, the money not really belonging to this Vote, a reduction can be moved.


said that this was a matter which was within the full authority of the Scottish Department. They had it in their power to alter the distribution of this money by superseding the Minute under which the distribution was made by another. It had always been held that it was purely a matter of discretion.


, rising to a point of order, said that this matter appeared to him to come under the rule that nobody had a right to criticise a Minister for a thing which he had not done. One could only criticise a Minister's acts; no one could attack a Minister because he had not done something.


Order, order! As I understand, the hon. Gentleman does not propose to reduce the amount of the appropriation; he proposes to reduce the salary of the Secretary for Scotland, and therefore he would be in order.


The point raised by the hon. Member is the sum distributed under the Minute of April 27, 1899. The question is exceedingly complicated. The amount to which the hon. Member has referred is really a small contribution to the whole fund which is dedicated to secondary education. The principal nucleus of the fund devoted to that purpose is the £60,000 derived from the local taxation account of April, 1892. So far as that amount is concerned the hon. Member has no grievance as Banffshire gets its full share.


Have I not a grievance with regard to the rest?


If the hon. Member looks at tables 10 and 11 at the end of Report of the Education Department for Scotland, circulated this morning, pages 50 and 70, he will find the share which Banffshire gets; in other words, Banffshire gets its share, and if there is anything wrong in the way in which that share is distributed among the schools, the responsibility does not rest with the Secretary but with the County Committees. Besides that, there is a certain sum under the Local Taxation Account (Scotland) Act, 1898, which is distributed under the Minutes of the 27th of April, 1899, and 1st of May, 1900. I may remind my hon. friend that the policy of that Minute was fully discussed at the time, and it received the general approval of the education authorities of this House. The distribution of the money under that Minute, which, after all, is a very small sum, represents £37,000 allocated for higher education exhibitions and certificate examinations, £2,000. The hon. Member for Border Burghs is also an educationalist, and I am sure he thinks no money was ever better spent. Agricultural education; £2,000. That, surely, is not excessive. Then there is a grant under paragraph 3 of £25,000, and the rest is carried under paragraph 6 to the Committee. The hon. Member's real grievance comes under this sum of £25,000. He says that of that £25,000 Banffshire gets nothing. The paragraph in the Minute which deals with this money is paragraph 3, and that says this— The remainder of the balance available under that section shall be applied in aid of such higher class secondary or technical schools in Scotland as are not in receipt of grants under the Scotch Code, provided that no aid shall be given to any school not being either a school under the same management as a State-aided school or a higher class public school, or a school managed under the provisions of any Act of Parliament, or scheme, or provisional order issued pursuant to an Act of Parliament. In other words, you are to give it not to private institutions, but public schools, but they must be higher class schools. This is for the purpose of helping secondary education, and surely it is more sensible than to spread this £25,000 over the whole of Scotland? It would be simply to fritter the money away to divide it pro rata among the different areas according to population. Nobody supposes that this Minute is anything more than a temporary arrangement, and the time has come for the rearrangement of the various sums devoted to secondary education; but the whole matter must be dealt with in a Bill. We are anxious and wishful to introduce a Bill at the earliest possible moment; and it would be most unjust if the salary of the Secretary was reduced because we could not at once sweep away all these schools.


expressed his agreement with the remarks of the Lord Advocate. He believed it was better that this money should be directed to specific secondary institutions than spread over the secondary branches of primary institutions, as it would be under the scheme adumbrated in the Amendment.

MR. BRIGG (Yorkshire, W.R., Keighley)

said there was no worse thing than to make a fine division between the elementary part of instruction and that which in this country was called the higher grade system. He was not prepared to go into details, nor was he disposed to accept the Lord Advocate's declaration that there was no power in the Department to deal with the question. If there was not, there ought to be.


I did not say there was no power. I said it could not be done without an alteration of the Minute.


said that was the very point. Scotland set an example to the rest of the country, and they should be supported when they advocated that these higher schools should be amply supported.

MR. PARKER SMITH (Lanarkshire, Partick)

thought the proposal was a most retrograde one. It failed to distinguish between lower secondary schools and mere higher departments of ordinary schools. Certain Members, such as the hon. Member for Mid Lanark, always had the feeling that money was wasted if it went higher than a certain level. They believed it ought to be spread equally over the whole country, and that justice demanded that every school and every child should have an equal amount of attention. It seemed to be thought that the true principle was to begin with the very lowest, and to level the lowest up to the level of the next stratum, and to pay no attention to the higher needs of children to whom a real secondary education might be given until the impossible task of levelling up the strata below had been accomplished. For a long time there was jealousy over the expenditure of any money whatever in regard to higher and secondary education, but now he was glad to recognise there was a greater tendency to acknowledge the separate needs of secondary education. He regarded the principle of securing an effective education as far as they could go for the children whom they could not carry beyond a certain stage, and of giving a higher and better style of education to those who could go on to secondary schools, as infinitely more valuable than that of giving to every locality an equal share of the money. It was known from the very first that there would be jealousy of the great centres on the part of localities, but it was felt that if the money was equally divided among the localities it would be wasted. It would simply help the higher departments of elementary schools, and would not really develop and carry on secondary schools as they ought to be. There was the local jealousy which had been put forward in an extremely crude form by the hon. Member for Banffshire, but it was impossible to have effective secondary schools in the more remote parts; they must be concentrated in particular localities. The children who were fit to profit by higher education should have the best means and opportunities of getting that education, and should not be hampered by the consideration that other children, who were not equally fitted for development, did not get an equal amount of money spent upon them. That kind of equality was not desired, but it was desired that everybody should have exactly equal opportunities to enjoy the benefit of education, and to rise to the highest education the country could give. The old parish schools did the very best that could be done for the children at that time, but there certainly was not that equality of attention given to each child which the hon. Member for Mid Lanark desired. It was the common and proverbial reproach that the stupid children were neglected, while the dominie employed himself in the more congenial task of developing and carrying on the one clever boy who happened to be with him, and in giving him the secondary education which often led from the crofter's cottage to the university. That was how education was discriminated in those days. We had now advanced to a different point in the scale. It was not necessary to neglect the stupid boy in order that the clever boy might get to the secondary school, and from there, through bursaries and other means, be carried to the university. To adopt the scheme suggested would be to throw back the whole educational system of Scotland, and to set up one country against another. They were now getting rid of the trammels of the old Code, and were reaching a state of greater freedom in the distribution of money for educational purposes. To upset a Minute which was doing first-rate work, and which had developed secondary education in the country, not on account of any general criticism or of any faults in the system, but merely because Banffshire did not get an adequate share of the plunder, would be a truly retrograde action, and one which he could not believe the House of Commons would ever sanction.


denied that this was a mere matter of local jealousy. The feeling was not confined to any one locality, but was spread all over Scotland. It was not a question of whether one locality received less money than another; it was whether they were to have some secondary education, or none at all. Many of the pupils had not the means to leave their homes and to go to these centres of population, and unless the needs of the several localities were considered according to some principle of local option, a very large number of persons who, under a proper arrangement, would receive adequate secondary education, although perhaps not so advanced as might be given in large centres, would receive none at all. That was the issue before the Committee. He repudiated the suggestion that this was a mere matter of local jealousy. It was a matter of importance to the whole education of Scotland. The Lord Advocate had referred to the miserable sum available. It was a miserable sum. A great deal more money was needed for the purpose, and he hoped the Lord Advocate would be able to give them satisfactory assurances when he introduced his Education Bill that the amount would be increased. He asked leave to withdraw his Amendment, expressing the hope that the Lord Advocate would give full weight to the arguments which had been adduced.

*MR. J. A. CAMPBELL (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)

had a certain amount of sympathy with the hon. Member in regard to the schools in Banffshire. There was no county in which better work had been done in the higher departments of the ordinary schools. He trusted that that work would continue, and that neither the Government nor the Scotch Education Department would cease to encourage the advanced education in ordinary schools in places where there was no higher class school convenient. But the matter before the Committee was the application of a particular sum of money, not very large in amount, and the question was as to-how it could best be applied for the promotion of secondary education. The higher class schools in Scotland, having no Government grants under the Code, were more in need of assistance than any other, and therefore he thought the Department had a good case in confining their attention in the distribution of this moderate sum of money to those schools.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

Original Question again proposed.

*MR. WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

said there were two or three grievances in connection with the Highland schools to which he wished to call attention. In the case of the school at Ullapool, there were three years arrears of the annual grant of £60, formerly paid by the governors of the Trust for Education in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Although not a large amount in itself, to this small school it was of considerable importance. In 1897 the clerk to the school board was instructed to send a communication with reference to the grant, but failed to do so. Three years afterwards the authorities swooped down upon the school board, and said that because they had failed to do certain things this grant was to be withdrawn. Why was not a communication made at an earlier period? The school rate at Ullapool was 7d. or 8d. in the £1, but if the board had to call upon the ratepayers for this amount the rate would go up to 16d. or 17d. Such an action, however, would be illegal. What did the Lord Advocate propose the school board should do? He trusted the right hon. Gentleman would give an assurance that the money would be paid. With regard to Highland schools generally, he complained that children were taught in schools which were in an unsanitary condition. The buildings were not properly ventilated, and there was not an adequate water supply. Sanitary inspectors reported upon the deficiencies, but no attention was paid to their reports by the Scottish Education Department. Many of the schools had no cloak-room, and the wet clothes of the children, instead of being dealt with systematically, were bundled pell-mell one on top of another. If the managers failed to provide proper accommodation it was the duty of the inspectors to report these matters to headquarters. It was the business of the secretary of this Department to arrange matters. Probably they would be told that it was the school board managers who had not performed their duty. He would remind the Committee that in the Highlands of Scotland, in Ross and Cromarty, there were 6,000 heads of families who had no votes because their rent happened to be under £4 a year. He knew he would be out of order in discussing that point, but he wished to point out that those people were disfranchised through no fault of their own. In many of the schools which he had visited he found that the infants were compelled to sit for hours on forms without backs. [Ministerial laughter.] Hon. Members opposite laughed, but he had gone round the schools with doctors who were higher authorities on this subject than hon. Members opposite who laughed, and they had informed him that it was a very serious thing for young children to sit for hours on forms without any back. On behalf of those little children he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to take some steps to remedy this state of things. He thought the scholars should be given a better knowledge of agriculture. What possible chance was there under the present system for boys and girls to get any knowledge of handicrafts or of agriculture? There were scarcely any industries in the Highlands, and he thought that more attention should be paid to agriculture. The Secretary for Scotland was most anxious that the young men of Scotland should go abroad. But if they did send them abroad, why not send them properly equipped? What was the use of sending them abroad without a knowledge of building construction? He knew they would not all stay in the Highlands, but they should be educated so as to give them a chance, when they went to other lands or into the large cities, of earning a living, not merely as hewers of wood and drawers of water, but as skilled workmen. The late Mr. Gladstone was of the opinion that more attention should be paid to handicrafts in the Highlands, and Lord Rosebery was of the same opinion. He trusted that some attention would be paid to these matters.

With regard to inspectors' holidays he knew of one inspector who had not had a single day's holiday for two years. That was a matter which ought to be arranged better by the Secretary to the Department. It was his business to see that those gentlemen who worked so hard should have a reasonable holiday every year. He begged to move a reduction of £500 on the Vote in respect of the salary of the Secretary to the Educational Department. If the right hon. Gentleman gave a satisfactory reply he would withdraw his motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £500, in respect of the Salary of the Secretary."—(Mr. Weir.)


said that before the Lord Advocate replied he wished to put forward a complaint on behalf of the Leith School Board, of which he had given the right hon. Gentleman notice. He thought he would be able to show that the money which should have been devoted to Scottish education might have been, at any rate, usefully spent. The obligations contracted by the State had been so modified by the financial effects of the Code of 1899 that the basis upon which educational progress in Leith had been founded was greatly affected. Under the new Code there would be a loss of rather more than 1s. 6d. per head in Leith, amounting to a total of £700 a year. The Leith Academy, which was working admirably before the new Code was adopted, had now been disorganised. Before the change 122 out of 161 pupils obtained merit certificates, but the year following the change only 93 out of 240 went up to the higher classes. There had been an increase of staff at this Academy, which was called for under the new regulations, and the cost of this increase would be between £300 and £400 a year. The school board rate would rise from 1s. 2d. to at least 1s. 5d., and perhaps to 1s. 6d. The Leith School Board foresaw what the consequence of the new Code would be, and they made representations to the Department, which he was asked to support. The Department thought otherwise, but the worst fears of the board had been realised under the new Code. The progress of education in Leith during the sixteen years he had represented Leith Burghs had been remarkable. In 1885 the schools rate was 4d. in the £, but in 1899 it was 1s. 3d. The accommodation for children, which was very small in 1885, had now become quite adequate. In 1885 the number provided for was 5,213, but in 1899 there was accommodation for 13,428. The average grant earned per scholar in 1885 was 17s. 11½d., but this had increased in 1899 to £1 5s. 5½d. The total expenditure per scholar in average attendance in 1885 was £1 14s. 6d., but in 1899 it was £3 6s. 9¾d. The cost of staff per school in 1885 was£1 7s. 8d. and in 1899 £2 7s. 9d. In 1885 the cost to the rates per scholar was 7s. 7½d., but in 1899 it was £1 3s. 1¾d. Those figures showed that very large burdens had been placed upon the community during the past fifteen years. The rates of the locality had been trebled while the Government grants had only been advanced by one-third. The cheerfulness with which the burden of the rates had been borne testified to the confidence in the board, and he could praise the board with all the less reserve because it had been composed of gentlemen who did not agree with him in politics. The work which the board had done would not have been done had it not indulged in perfect confidence as to the stability of contracts made under the Code. The more obvious causes of the loss were the redistribution of grants in favour of smaller boards, and the consolidation of areas which needed assistance. If the smaller boards required assistance, why should it be given at the expense of the rates in Leith or at the expense of the Department's reputation for continuity of policy?

Another reason for the deficiency was doubtless the amalgamation of the Science and Art Department with the Scottish Education Department. No doubt some of those economies, on account of overlapping, were in the public interest, but one of those economies was the lowering of the status of the school of science in Leith to that of a higher grade school. By this agreement with the Department the board was bound "to equip and continue in perpetuity part of the academy as a science and art school." And yet, when a deputation of the school board met the Department to discuss this change of status to a higher grade school, it was told that the status of the academy was largely a Treasury matter, and that the Treasury had insisted on the change. Therefore, after spending £20,000 on this institution unnecessarily, the board lost it as grant-earning expenditure. That expenditure would not have been incurred unless the school of science had been approved of by the Department. The inference was that at the time the Department was hard up, and it had been cutting its coat by the Treasury cloth. The inevitable result of the policy of the Government was that voluntary schools had been subsidised and voluntary subscriptions diminished, whilst their national Scotch system had been left stranded in order to find a national subsidy to a Church school or to relieve people who would not rate themselves for educational purposes. That he believed was the real origin of the injustice from which Leith now suffered.

He would briefly condense the points of the board's case. On the 24th of March, 1899, the board expressed its apprehension to the Department as to what the consequences of the New Code would be. It stated also that on the faith of the Department's Circular of the 19th August, 1898, it established a science school. It was surprised to find that the 17s. 6d. limit would apply, although the Circular letter implicitly stated that it would not apply. That limit was applied, in spite of the specific assertion in the Circular that it would not be. The Department stated that it gave the board the option of continuing the institution as a school of science, but the condition of the Department and financial exigencies rendered that impossible. The board had no option but to accept the higher grade scheme, with all its limitations and loss of grant-earning power. The higher grade schools were a new feature in Edinburgh, whilst the Leith School of Science was in full swing when the board was compelled to upset all its arrangements by this new system of a higher grade school. The board believed that if they were to restore the name it would increase the attendance, and they indicated that the test for merit certificate seemed to be applied to Leith with extraordinary rigour. The percentage of passes varied from 94.7 in Dumfries to 41.2 in Leith, and yet all the Leith schools had otherwise earned the highest possible grants, and received the most excellent reports. The correspondence between the board and the Department had been circulated, and he would not weary the House with long extracts from the correspondence beyond quoting the following assurance given him by the board regarding the science school— The preparation of the plans, the provision of fittings and equipment, the preparation of the various schemes of work, and the appointment of teachers, etc., were all carefully considered, and brought into line with Government regulations existing at the time. No part of the work was entered upon, because of the board holding views of their own as to the method of making educational provision. The desire of the board has all along been to carry out the spirit of Government regulations. All the board's schemes and plans have been submitted to, and approved by, the Department, so that were the Department to adopt a course in any way condemnatory of the construction of the academy or of any scheme of education, elementary or advanced, in Leith, they would in effect be censuring their own work. The petition of the Leith School Board was that it had— 1. Had to spend some £20,000 on the science school, which might have been saved had it been equipped at first as a higher grade school; 2. Has suffered a loss of over £700 (equal to 1s. 6¼d. per scholar in average attendance) for the year 1900, while for some inexplicable reason it has not received the extra 6d., under Article 19 B(2). 3. Has since the 1899 Code had to expend between £300 and £400 additional in respect of an increased number of teachers rendered necessary by that Code; and 4. Has suffered not only in grant-earning power, as already mentioned, but also indirectly from the change in the status of the school, which has been largely the cause of the great decrease in the number of scholars going into the higher departments after having secured the merit certificate. The board represented that the recent policy of the Education Department was calculated to shake the confidence of school boards in the continuity of departmental policy and so prejudice the cause of education, and they would urge that such alterations be made as might make it possible for the schools of the board to earn as much in future as they were able to do prior to the Code of 1899. On these grounds he strongly urged that the Department should once and for all decide what its educational policy should be, so that in incurring large expenditure for educational purposes all boards might know that they could depend upon the continuity and the stability of contracts entered into with the State. He had never before, that he could recollect, had occasion to address the House on any local grievance with respect to his constituency in the last sixteen years, but he felt bound to represent the cause of education in Leith, which he thought had suffered not only at the hands of the Department, but also, in common with the rest of Scotland, at the hands of the Government.


The grievances of Leith may be practically divided under two heads. The first complaint is that they have not received as much and they have had to spend more-under the New Code than they would have had to do under the old. The second complaint is as to the science school. In the correspondence to which the hon. Member has referred, the Leith School Board wrote to the Department to the effect that they anticipated the effect of the New Code, would be to raise their rates from 1s. 2d. to 1s. 5d. or 1s. 6d., and they attributed this increase to the action of the Department. I am able to show that the total loss of grants over all the-schools of the Leith School Board is something less than £400, while the only additional expenditure which the board specifically urge as due to the action of the Department is the expenditure of £300 or £400 to increase the number of teachers instituted by the change. These amounts would represent about a halfpenny rate in Leith. Therefore, I think it is abundantly clear that an increase of 3d. or 4d. in the £1 in the rates is not entirely due to the action of the Department. But, apart from this and upon general grounds, the changes made in the Code of 1899 were, as the hon. Member knows, made in pursuance of a general educational policy. Putting aside for the moment what is, after all, the real justification of our action, namely, the educational advantage of the new system as against payment by results, the effect as a mere instrument of getting money out of that milch cow the Treasury has been decidedly favourable to the schools of Scotland. For the year previous to last year under the old Code the sum per head extracted from the Imperial Exchequer in grants was £1 2s. 1¾d., but in the year which has just passed under the New Code the amount per head is represented by £1 2s. 4d. Therefore, quite apart from the educational policy—although that is the justification of the whole proceeding—if you look upon it as a mere question of how much you get for Scotland out of the Treasury, the New Code has been a gain to Scotland and not a loss. The hon. Gentleman when speaking of Leith felt that he could not altogether forget that. He merely said that the New Code had been of benefit to many of the smaller boards in Scotland. I assure you it has been of benefit not only to the smaller boards, but, on the contrary, to a great many of the larger boards. I notice in the report of the Committee on School Work—the work of the board schools in 1899–1900 in Edinburgh—the following passage— The grant per scholar last session, calculated on an average attendance of 28,866, was £1 4s. 2d. The previous session, on an average attendance of 28,314, it was £1 3s. 7¼d. It will be seen, on reference to the analysis of His Majesty's Inspectors' Reports, that the increase over the previous session is almost wholly due to the large grants earned in the Higher Grade Departments of Broughton and Bruntsfield schools which amounted to £3 9s. 3¼d. and £3 6s. 2½d. respectively per scholar. The schools which were inspected under the old regulations, i.e., the Code of 1898, earned an average grant per scholar of £1 3s. 9d, while those schools inspected under the Code of 1899 earned £1 5s. 5½d. per scholar. The total amount of grants actually earned for the session was £34,899 9s. 1d., compared with £33,420 17s. 1d. for the previous session. A larger town even than Leith is now in a position to see the effect of this Code, which, it has found, has been entirely to our advantage in getting money out of the Treasury. After all, these regulations are entirely general in their character, and if it is a matter of fact that Leith has not got as much as she used to get, and that Leith has suffered from regulations of that character, it must be, I think, because it has had a smaller number of advanced scholars according to the school population. Now, I believe one other argument that was used was that a fewer number entered in 1899 in the secondary departments. But before 1899 pupils were entered into the secondary department without any preliminary test either as regards age or qualification. In the succeeding year there was introduced a perfectly reasonable test—the merit certificate examination—and I am afraid that there again the only inference about Leith one can draw is that in the past it included as secondary scholars a class who ought not really to have been considered as secondary scholars at all, and as soon as they were subjected to the test of the merit certificate they did not secure their status as secondary scholars. So far on the question of grants. I turn now to the higher grade department. That after all is merely a question of organisation. I have already explained to the Committee how the system has changed, and how we are now distributing together the money which we used to distribute to continuation schools, and the money we used to distribute under grants of the Science and Art Department. That will no doubt make an essential difference in some places, but the real difficulty in Leith lies in something quite else. The so-called school of science in Leith was not a separate school at all. It was only a section of the secondary department of a public school taught by the same teachers. In the New Code of 1899 provision is made by giving grants on the Parliamentary Votes to those public schools that made science a prominent feature in their curriculum. The only grants for science which can be made to a school which is a public school are the parliamentary grants. If a board is dissatisfied with the status of a school as a public school they can adopt, if they choose, the method described in the Act of 1872, and convert it into a higher grade school. In that case they would forfeit the parliamentary grant, but what they cannot do—though they would like to do it, and the grievance is that they cannot do it—is that they cannot have a school at one and the same, time a higher class and a scientific school. When we come to the money they spend, that is really very difficult to follow, for this reason, that the money spent on this school is inextricably mixed up with the technical school or the school of art. The truth really seems to be that perhaps we have been too sanguine as to the nature of the grants in general, and the Leith board seems to have spent a little too much money, and the only way they can get that back is to increase the number of pupils receiving advanced instruction; but there I am afraid they are probably hampered by a tendency which, I think, exists—the hon. Member will know more about it than I can tell him—which is that there are, I think, a good many parents in Leith and Edinburgh who will not retain their children at school to the age of sixteen or seventeen, because they prefer to send them to other schools that are not free schools. You will always find that in a well-to-do place like Leith, for very obvious reasons. There they cannot unfortunately have their school both a public school and a higher class school. I hope that disposes of the case of Leith.

I now come to certain very varied matters that were brought to my notice by the hon. Member for Ross-shire. There were a good many of them in which really it was somewhat difficult to follow him.


Shall I go over them again?


I do not mean it is difficult to follow him in that sense, but I mean it is a little difficult to make out how the permanent secretary of the Education Department is to cope with the matters of which he complains. For instance, he complains that there are many Highland schools where the children have no cloak-rooms, and where constantly they have to keep on wet garments. Well, all these matters, of course, in regard to proper school accommodation are matters primarily for the school boards, but really, to expect the Secretary of the Education Department to know the condition of all the cloakrooms in every school in the Highlands is rather, I think, to credit that admirable official with more argus eyes than he is generally provided with. It is said, "Why did he not find out that children were sent to school in an infectious state?" He would, indeed, have an extraordinary prophylactic power if, sitting in Dover Street, he could say that a child had returned to school sooner after an attack of measles than he ought. These matters savoured more of public health than of education, and must be treated to the best of our ability by the resources that are open to us on the spot. If there is any specific case, any Member who does not shrink from putting questions might bring it before the notice of the House. I am sure we should not consider the subject too trivial, and we would be able to look into even the smallest matter. But as to the general complaint, without chapter and verse, I really do not know, even after this debate, what I could tell my friend the Secretary of the Education Department. The hon. Gentleman compared the number who were learning Greek and Latin with the number learning book-keeping and various other more modern studies—[Mr. WEIR: Agriculture]—agriculture, and so on. He spoke of the difficulty of young men from the Lews going out into the world without being properly equipped. I did not gather from him that those 6,704 who were learning languages were learning them in the Lews, and although the general sentiment as to the propriety of being instructed in agriculture and so on is very proper, it is obviously quite impossible to give a thorough curriculum in all these subjects in all the elementary schools in the Kingdom, which are the institutions we are now discussing. I would remind the hon. Member that technical instruction is just one of those things my noble friend the Secretary for Scotland is very anxious to take into the work of the Congested Districts Board. I hope he will be able to do it in an amending Act.

I think I have gone through what I may call the multifarious subjects to which the hon. Member called attention. I come to the specific complaint as regards the school at Ullapool. I may say in passing, of course, that the Secretary for the Education Department, on whose salary he moves a reduction, is only very incidentally implicated in this affair at all, because he has only got what I may call an advisory position. The real parties are the Governors of the Trust for Education in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Now, these persons are a statutory body, and they act under a scheme which allows them to give grants, and, of course, they are bound by the conditions of the scheme. Under Section 33 of their scheme there is this— The governors shall at once reduce or withdraw a grant if they are satisfied that it is not being applied in accordance with the provisions of this section, or the conditions made by them; provided always that if the goyerning body of the school have incurred any special obligations on the faith of the grant, it shall be competent to them to appeal to the Scotch Education Department, and in that case the consent of the Scotch Education Department shall be necessary to the withdrawal or reduction of the grant. That is the only way in which the Scotch Education Department comes in. The gravamen of the hon. Member's charge was that there were no auditors, as in England, that matters were allowed to slide for three years, and that at the end of three years they pounced on these unfortunate people. Let me tell the Committee how matters exactly stand. In 1891 the school board made application to the governors for a grant to Ullapool school, and on particulars furnished by the school board a grant was made, subject to the further conditions drawn up in respect of that school. These further conditions contained this— That the school board should maintain such a teaching staff as should be fully adequate to give efficient instruction in the higher subjects. In 1895 the governors began to have suspicions that the staff was not as it ought to be, and acordingly they wrote to the school board requesting them to increase the expenditure to the extent of £100, and intimating that if they did not do it the grant would be taken away next year. In answer to that they received a letter in 1896, which contained the following— In compliance with the request of the governors, the expenditure on the school staff has been increased, and my Board propose to still further increase it this year. Surely this is a sufficient answer to the charge of the hon. Member that the governors were letting matters slide and not looking into them. I do not know what else the governors could do. If you get a letter back from the authorised clerk of a school board you cannot suppose that it is written behind the backs of those for whom he professes to write. The governors' suspicions were again aroused, and they pointed out that the expenditure had been altogether inadequate. They got an answer to that which they did not consider satisfactory, and they wrote again and informed the school board that they could not go on with the grant until they had had an inspection by one of their own number. Well, they did inspect, and found that the teaching was utterly inadequate. What happened then? I think the school board then really saw their own position. Now I quote from a letter which the chairman of the school board himself wrote. He says— I frankly admit that for years the School Board of Lochbroom received grants without fully implementing the conditions on which they were received. I further admit that when you first wrote the late clerk of the board that you got an evasive and inaccurate reply, but the matter was never submitted to the board, which only recently came to know the whole facts. I know well that a school board is a corporate body, and legally responsible for the action of its predecessors.


What is the date of that letter?


The date is December, 1899. When you get that confession from the people themselves, can the hon. Member come here and say it is the fault of the Scotch Education Department that they did not interfere with the governors for having stopped the grant for two years?


Three years.


No, two, I understand. It says two in the Papers I have got. I cannot help thinking that the Committee will not consider, after the explanation I have given, that in this matter, at any rate, there was very much cause for criticism of the action of the Secretary of the Education Department.


said he did not refer to scarlet fever or any other fever at Ulla- pool, but in the whole of the Highlands of Scotland. He hoped that this business would be attended to. He was not satisfied with the reply of the right hon. Gentleman. Reference had been made to Section 33 of the scheme under which the governors acted. Why did the governors not "reduce or withdraw" the grant at once when they found the teaching staff was inadequate? They allowed three years to pass. The governors ought to have stopped it at once, so that the school board of Ullapool might know where they were. The right hon. Gentleman had not pointed out any way for relieving the school board of the difficulty. It would be illegal to impose a rate for these arrears. The Secretary of the Department should have placed on the governors the duty of seeing that the work was properly attended to instead of allowing three years to pass, with the result that the Ullapool board had got into this difficulty. He regretted that in consequence of the unsatisfactory reply he could not possibly withdraw the motion.

Question put.

The Committee proceeded to a Division.

MR. Weir

was appointed a Teller for the Ayes, but no Member being willing to act as second Teller, the Chairman declared that the Noes had it.

Original question again proposed.


said he wanted some information as to the item of £250 for counsel for legal work. Why was the work not carried on at Dover House by the Lord Advocate or the Solicitor General for Scotland? Who was this gentleman, receiving £250 per year as

counsel to the Scotch Education Department?


said he was sorry the time of the Committee should be occupied by those frivolous objections.


moved that the Vote be reduced by the sum of £250 in respect to the salary of junior counsel.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £250, in respect of the salary of counsel."—(Mr. Weir.)


said that there had always been a counsel for the Scotch Education Department. The gentleman was junior counsel and a Scotch advocate in practice. The hon. Member for Ross-shire asked why he or the Solicitor General for Scotland did not do the work. It was for the simple reason that the Scotch Education Department, like other Departments, was entitled to have a junior counsel for ordinary advice in legal matters.


said there was no information as to whether this legal gentleman was established in Dover House or in Edinburgh. The Lord Advocate's explanation was most unsatisfactory, and there was no reason why, because it had been paid for a number of years, this salary should be continued to be paid, when the Chancellor of the Exchequer was asking for economy in every Department. The work should be done in Dover House, and after the uncourteous manner with which his inquiry had been treated he would insist on going to a division.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 63; Noes, 161. (Division List No. 82.)

Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Leamy, Edmund
Ambrose, Robert Delany, William Lundon, W.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dillon, John MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Donelan, Captain A. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Boland, John Doogan, P. C. M'Fadden, Edward
Brigg, John Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Mooney, John J.
Burke, E. Haviland- Ffrench, Peter Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Burns, John Flavin, Michael Joseph Moss, Samuel
Caldwell, James Flynn, James Christopher Murphy, J.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Fuller, J. M. F. Nannetti, Joseph P.
Colville, John Gilhooly, James Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ry Mid
Craig, Robert Hunter Hommond, John O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Crean, Eugene Hayden, John Patrick O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.
Cullinan, J. Jones, William (Carnarvons.) O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)
Daly, James Joyce, Michael O'Doherty, William
O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Tully, Jasper
O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Power, Patrick Joseph Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
O'Dowd, John Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)
O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Roche, John TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
O'Malley, William Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) Mr. Weir and Mr. William
O'Mara, James Sullivan, Donal Redmond.
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F. Flower, Ernest Partington, Oswald
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Garfit, William Paulton, James Mellor
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Pirie, Duncan V.
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn) Plummer, Walter R.
Asher, Alexander Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Pretyman, Ernest George
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Purvis, Robert
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Randles, John S.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Greene, W. D. (Wednesbury) Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Bain, Col. James Robert Greene, Sir E W (B'ry SEdm'nds Renshaw, Charles Bine
Baird, John George Alexander Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Rentoul, James Alexander
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r) Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Renwick, George
Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds) Guthrie, Walter Murray Ridley, Hon M. W. (Stalybridge
Banbury, Frederick George Haldane, Richard Burdon Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Harris, Frederick Leverton Ritchie, Rt Hon Chas. Thomson
Beach, Rt Hn. W. W. B. (Hants. Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Bell, Richard Heath, James (Staffords., N. W. Ropner, Col. Robert
Bigwood, James Heaton, John Henniker Royds, Clement Molyneux
Bill, Charles Helder, Augustus Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)
Black, Alexander William Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Bond, Edward Higginbottom, S. W. Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Brassey, Albert Howard, John (Kent, Faversh.) Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Johnston, William (Belfast) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Bull, William James Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Spear, John Ward
Bullard, Sir Harry Layland-Barratt, Francis Spencer, Rt. Hn. C R (Northants
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Cautley, Henry Strother Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbys.) Leveson-Gower. Frederick N. S. Stroyan, John
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol S. Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r Lonsdale, John Brownlee Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Channing, Francis Allston Lowther, Rt. Hn. Jas. (Kent) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ.
Chapman, Edward Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Thornton, Percy M.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Tuke, Sir John Batty
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Macdona, John Cumming Ure, Alexander
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Maconochie, A. W. Valentia, Viscount
Cranborne, Viscount M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Crombie, John William Majendie, James A. H. Walker, Col. William Hall
Dewar, John A. (Iverness-sh.) Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Warr, Augustus Frederick
Dickson, Charles Scott Melville, Beresford Valentine Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Milward, Colonel Victor Webb, Colonel William George
Duke, Henry Edward Molesworth, Sir Lewis Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-
Durning-Lawrenee, Sir Edwin Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Elibank, Master of Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Willoughby, de Eresby, Lord
Faber, George Denison Morrell, George Herbert Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Morris, Hn. Martin Henry F. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw. Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r Murray, Charles J. (Coventry Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Nicholson, William Graham Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Finch, George H. Nicol, Donald Ninian
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Sir William Walrond and
Fletcher, Sir Henry Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Mr. Hayes Fisher.

Original Question again proposed.

*MR. C. M. DOUGLAS (Lanark, N.W.)

said he wished to obtain, if possible, some declaration of policy from the Government in regard to the training of teachers in Scotland. A new departure, was inevitable and essential, and it rested with the Government to say what their new policy was going to be and what changes were to be made. The majority of Scotch Members would agree with him that in this, as in almost every matter concerning Scotch education, they were happily able to exclude the religious difficulty. They had a system of compromise which worked with moderate satisfaction to the great majority of the people of Scotland, although, in his opinion, it inflicted a certain degree of injustice on the Roman Catholics in Scotland. There was no keenly felt animosity in any considerable section of Scottish opinion against the denominational character of the Scottish training colleges, but it was perfectly plain that a great reform of these institutions was essential in order to meet the demand for school teachers. The churches of Scotland could not be expected to contribute largely to putting the training colleges on a proper educational footing; and, in fact, they did not recognise any binding obligation on them to raise the standard of efficiency of their training colleges.

In these circumstances there were only two alternative lines of progress open, namely, to reinforce the existing colleges and improve their equipment, or by some administrative change to associate the training of teachers more closely with the higher education of the country. He confessed he was altogether sceptical as to the first, and he would look with very grave suspicion on the management of the training colleges in Scotland directly from Dover House. He should look with greater hope to the increased use of the facilities offered by the Scottish universities. That was a process that was now going on, stimulated, he most willingly acknowledged, by the wise policy of the Education Department. The sanction of the Education Department to the attendance of training colleges' students at the universities was obtained in 1874, when there were only thirty-three students at the universities. In 1896 there were 246, in 1897 320, and in 1898 380. That was the policy, the advancement of which would, he believed, solve the difficulties they were in. In the first place, training colleges were extravagant institutions; he did not mean extravagantly managed, but the system was extravagant. The average student cost for teaching £28 a year, whereas the average student at Glasgow University—a man reading the classics, philosophy, and the very expensive studies of science and medicine—cost only £16, about half the cost in the training colleges. That was not due to wasteful management, but to the fact that the system was a wasteful and extravagant one to work. Again, the educational results produced in the training colleges, excellently managed as they were in their own way, were very unsatisfactory. In the first place, it was plain that the best students were entirely dependent for the best of their teaching on the universities, and yet they could not really belong to the universities. They were in the universities, but not of them. Their life in them was not the principal part of their educational existence; and it was in the nature of the case that students working in two entirely different types of institutions should frequently find a collision in their minds between their work at the universities and at the colleges. He did not for a moment mean that there was any friction between the authorities of the universities and the training colleges. He thought that by discretion on both sides that had always been largely avoided, and could now be said not to exist, but there was the difficulty that the students were working for two sets of people not in close relation with each other. Training college education tended in the nature of the case to be narrow and mechanical. It consisted chiefly in a close and somewhat mechanical instruction in the narrow range of subjects afterwards to be taught, and he doubted if it tried to produce anything that might be called a broad or generous scholarship. He very much doubted whether that very grave defect could be remedied in the existing institutions. Inspected as they were, they could not hope to get rid of the tendency to substitute cramming for education, or of their narrow spirit of professionalism, and they could not attain to the quality of the education given in the universities. They could not afford to employ the same class of men and the same high type of scholar as the universities; they had not the intellectual breadth or the social advantages of the universities; and they could not give the same idea of the academic method of learning and teaching.

There was a further consideration of importance connected with the greater introduction of teachers to the universities. He believed it would constitute a greater and more substantial advance than any other step could constitute in the social position of the teachers. All who knew anything about Scottish education recognised that one of the greatest difficulties to which it was exposed was the extreme difficulty of providing an adequate staff of teachers. From his own experience of Scottish students he could not resist the conviction that that was in a large measure due to a certain sense of inferiority that existed, wrongly and foolishly enough, in the minds of many people with respect to teachers, but especially teachers in the public elementary schools. He was glad to think that that feeling was disappearing, and it was most important that they should do all they could to hasten its disappearance. He was certain that a University education received with men destined for other professions—the future minister or lawyer or doctor—would do more than anything else to affect the social status of the teaching profession.

He would not theorise, but refer to facts. As he would remind the Committee, in 1896 there began a rapid and, as he thought, a fortunate increase in the number of training college students attending the universities, and he believed that the Committee would agree with him that it was something more than a mere coincidence that the number of men students attending the training colleges during the two years in which that great development took place increased by fifty per cent. Up to that time the inspectors had noticed, with apprehension and dismay, that the number of men applying for admission to the training colleges was steadily falling, but with an increased use of University opportunities there came—he himself was a spectator of it—a greater desire on the part of competent men to enter the teaching profession. In general he was sure that the Committee would accept the view that the less supervision, the less restraint, and the less separate treatment there was the better would be the teacher and the higher the social status of the teaching profession. His solution of the problem would be to entrust the Universities of Scotland frankly with the teaching work, and to endow them with the necessary funds, leaving separate institutions no more than the mere supervision of the future teachers. That would not be made to apply to the Roman Catholic or Episcopalian colleges. He would be very sorry to see them compelled to consent to that management. But he believed that, after some consideration, and perhaps some controversy, the Presbyterian colleges would willingly assent to such an arrangement. The Presbyterian colleges in Scotland had never been slow to approach educational questions in a broad-minded and fearless manner, and they had never allowed sectarian interest to stand against educational advantage. He believed they would adopt the same public-spirited and patriotic course as they did in 1872, when they put on one side all the difficulties which might easily have been interposed. He fully realised the difficulties of such a policy as he had suggested—difficulties which were so great ten years ago that the Scottish Universities Commission found itself unable to arrive at any decision on the point. He should like to say two things about the action of the Committee. In the first place nothing was put forward except a very limited and one-sided scheme, which was expressly rejected because it was limited, and did not apply generally, In the second place, since that decision or absence of decision, on the part of the Universities Commission there had been a very great increase in the use made of the universities by training college students, which led him to hope that the main difficulties in the way could be overcome.

What he wished to urge on the Government was that whatever policy was adopted in the meantime ought not, at all events, to preclude some such final solution as he had suggested, but rather to lead up to it. He suggested that the Department ought not to develop the existing institutions, whether governed by the churches which would not pay for them or by the Department which must, but rather that the Department should devise an administrative method which would preserve its own interest in the teachers in their future work, and yet allow them to avail of the very best educational opportunities that are open to them of the Scottish universities for all sections of the Scottish people something of the sort already existed. In Aberdeen and St. Andrews, Queen's students took their education at the universities under the supervision of local committees. He recognised all the difficulties of such a scheme, but he believed that it was not only possible, but was the only wise course open to them. They should not develop the inferior side of the existing system, but rather its best side, and they should continue in a more coherent and rapid fashion that policy to which all the facts of the case had driven them, and which had been adopted, he might almost say, in principle. It might be urged that he was prejudiced in favour of the universities. He was not concerned to deny it, but it was no argument against the reform to urge that it might be advantageous to the universities. No money was better spent on education in Scotland than that which was spent on the universities. For his part he thought there could be no sound or complete educational system in which universities did not exist as part of it, the goal of its achievement and the object of the ambition of all. That had been to a certain extent true of the Scottish universities, and the best results of education in Scotland were due to that fact as much as to any other. He hoped the Government would recognise the seriousness of the issue connected with the training of teachers, and that the Committee would have an assurance from the Government that they would not formulate any plan for dealing with the matter without a more complete discussion that was possible that night. Nothing but good could result from such a discussion, and he believed that there was no educational policy in which the Government would have more cordial and united support from the Scottish people than that of maintaining and developing the connection between the universities and the whole system of public instruction.


I confess that in many of the individual remarks of the hon. Member—


On a point of order, Mr. Chairman, I understood the hon. Member to move a reduction.


I began by moving a reduction.


It is not necessary to move a reduction, and the hon. Member did not conclude with a motion.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item Q (Annual Grants to Training Colleges) be reduced by £100."—(Mr. Charles Douglas.)


With many of the remarks of the hon. Member, with many of the sentiments he expressed, and with much of the general tone of his speech, I believe I am quite rightly representing the views of the Government and the Department when I say that we are in entire sympathy. It would really be almost painting the lily to say that we entirely agree with him in his praise of the universities, and in his wish that members of the teaching profession in Scotland should have the advantage not only of university training, but university contact with men in other branches of life. But when I have said that I am left in very great doubt as to what precisely the hon. Member wishes the Government to do. I would wish on this educational evening that I was entitled to set hon. Members down to the task of writing precisely what they think is the proposal of the hon. Member, and if that were done, I think we should have varying results. In particular, the hon. Member left me in doubt in what he said about the training colleges themselves. He began, as far as I could see, by deprecating some suggestions in the report of Dr. Stewart, which had the result of interfering with the present training college system.


Of confirming the present college system,


Oh, I misunderstood the hon. Gentleman. He went on to say that he thought the training colleges were in accordance with the general desire of the country. I am entirely with him in his remarks with reference to the Roman Catholic college. That is the best equipped and most thoroughly efficient of all the training colleges we have, and I am perfectly certain that no more unpopular step could be taken with the very large number of Roman Catholics in Scotland than for the Department to take proceedings in any way to put an end to that college. Passing from that, while I understood his opening remarks to be generally in favour of the training colleges, he very quickly began to dissemble his love, and in the latter part of his speech he called them extravagant, academic, and suffering from all the disadvantages of an inspection system, which really prevented any proper training being given in them at all. So far as the inspection system is concerned, let me remind the hon. Member that it is not looked upon as a system to be desired from the educational point of view; but, so far as I know, it is an absolutely necessary corollary. If public money is given to any institution, you must have a check, and therefore inspection is a necessary evil. But what, after all, is the function of the Department in connection with training colleges? It is not a condition or a rule of the Department that a man cannot be a certificated teacher without going through a training college. Any man may be a certificated teacher who can pass a certain examination, and who also, of course, can show a practical experience of teaching in schools. In one sense it is really for persons to come forward and offer themselves as teachers, so far as the Department is concerned, but if the matter were left entirely alone no doubt the stock of teachers would suffer. Accordingly, all the efforts made by the Department are not to impose a particular standard for teachers—that is done by examination—but with a view to fostering the training of teachers in order to provide a proper supply for the educational needs of the country.

We take these colleges as we find them and we do the best we can with them. The hon. Member says that the teacher who is trained in one of them will never be like the man who is brought into contact with the life of a university. I agree; but what has been the policy of the Department. As he knows, we have done our best to enlist the unversities in this cause. In the first place we have tried to put a certain tincture of the universities into the training colleges themselves, by arranging that students at the colleges, if they are fit, should take a certain amount of their classes at the universities, and the expense of taking these classes is treated and paid as a training college expense. Then, as the hon. Member mentioned, we have inaugurated a system of Kings' students as opposed to King's scholars. King's students are not in the training colleges at all; they get their education at the universities. The hon. Member, no doubt, would like to see that system very much increased. We are doing our best to increase it, but let me remind the hon. Member of one thing. There is yet to be proved about King's students whether we shall get what we want. There is a practical guarantee that if a man is trained in a training college he will become a teacher. There is a certain check upon the training colleges in this matter, and consequently we are quite certain that in giving money to the training colleges we are at least getting teachers. We have not got that guarantee in the case of King's students, and we must have the proof of experience. We might train a King's student and then he might turn round and say "Well, I have changed my mind. I am not going to be a teacher after all." I do not know exactly what could be done in that case. You cannot take the money from him, although you might possibly try to recover it. Therefore, the hon. Member will see that there is a certain amount of difficulty in the way of what I might call the unlimited extension of that system. But, so far as the system goes, we are entirely with the hon. Member. I would like to know what precisely the hon. Member wishes the Department to do. He gave us what he called one practical suggestion. He said develop the present training colleges. If he means to improve the curriculum, we shall do our best in that direction, and also in increasing the opportunities for going to the universities. I do not think we shall make any decided change of policy without further discussion, and therefore I hope the hon. Member will be satisfied.

It being midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.

House adjourned at five minutes after Twelve of the clock till Monday next.