§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee).1004
§ Clause 4:—
§ (9.0.) An Amendment by Mr. HERBERT LEWIS substituting the word "used" for "practised" was inserted in the provision forbidding local authorities to require that any particular form of religious instruction should or should not be taught or practised.
§ MR. CHANNING
moved the insertion in line 12 of the words "at present 1005 existing" after the word "college." The effect would, ho said, be to restrict the operation of the sub-section to existing secondary and technical schools and training colleges. He held that the local authority should have the right to insist that new schools aided by them should be undenominational where they considered it more desirable for the special character of the locality. He had already expressed his objection to the phraseology of the sub-section; the powers conferred by it were of too vague and general a character, and unless they were restricted, great practical difficulties would inevitably arise. It was, in his opinion, not clear that the local authority could provide or aid strictly undenominational schools. The question whether this power should be limited to existing schools raised most important points. It was important with regard to the prevention of the creation of objectionable schools, and it was still more important with regard to the freedom of action of the local education authority to provide undenominational schools when desired.
Another Amendment proposed—In page 2, line 12, after the word 'college,' to insert the words 'at present existing.'"—(Mr. Channing.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said he did not think the Committee could consent to the restriction proposed by the hon. Member. The effect would be that, although practically the Council, in regard to existing schools, was forbidden to take into account there particular religious teaching in determining whether or not they should be aided, yet in the case of new schools and colleges to be hereafter created, not by the County Council but by other persons, their religious character was to be taken into account in determining whether or not a grant should be made to them. That was he thought going too far. The Amendment, he would like to point out, did not raise the question to which his right hon. friend had promised consideration earlier in the day as to the conditions to be observed in schools set up by the 1006 local authority itself, but would distinguish between schools set up independently and divide them into two classes, one of which would be under restrictions and the other not.
§ MR. BRYCE
supported the Amendment on the ground that there was a substantial difference between existing schools innocently set up and new-schools, perhaps set up for sectarian purposes, but which the County Council might think ought to be unsectarian. He thought the Amendment deserved fuller consideration than the Government seemed disposed to give it.
§ SIR FRANCIS POWELL
opposed the Amendment. He objected to a distinction being drawn between schools already-existing and future schools, because the result would be that twenty years hence, great confusion would be produced in our educational system by having schools conducted under different orders. The hon. Member for Northampton had spoken of "objectionable" schools. What did he mean by that term? Presumably his objection was based on denominational grounds, but his remark seemed to indicate that the liberty which he professed to claim was to be one-sided, that liberty was to be given in one direction but taken away in another. It was necessary that the local authority should have regard not only to the suitability of schools but' also to the efficiency of education. He objected to a system founded on chronological distinctions which could have no logical basis or element of endurance. He did not wish the views of any extreme party of any denomination to prevail, but he did desire freedom for all, and he believed that anything which restrained freedom and restricted liberty was injurious to the cause of education. He, in fact, welcomed everything in the Bill which favoured freedom and gave security to it. because he believed such principles to be the very essence of sound education.
§ MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
said he thought it only right that the governors of a school should be free to deal with their own property as they liked, but not free to deal with money supplied by the State. 1007 But the hon. Baronet who spoke last went further than that. The sub-section would enable County Councils to subsidise out of public funds, schools which were definitely denominational, but which possessed no conscience clause. It was a power which County Coucils had never before possessed, and all the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire asked was that that should be limited to existing institutions. He would like to draw the attention of the Committee to two examples of schools which would be affected by this provision. The Girls' Public Day School Company—accordingly as there were funds at the disposal of the central body—were setting up schools of an undenominational character all over the country, and on the other hand there were the Woodard schools, which were also being set up all over the country as quickly as funds were available. Scholastically, they were excellent institutions, but they, aroused much irritation and sectarian feeling among large sections of the population, and unless this Amendment was carried the governors of those schools would be justified, whenever they started a new school, in applying to the County Council for rate aid for that new school, and the Council would have no power to refuse it. That was not desirable, and hence the proposal to limit the action of the sub-section to schools, etc., at present existing. The Amendment was necessary, and the compromise was one that might fairly be accepted.
§ SIR ALBEET ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said it seemed to him that they were beginning to change sides on the question of denominationalism. He, for his part, was opposed to religious tests, first because he considered them wrong in principle, and secondly, because experience had taught him that they were illusory. He sacrificed his position on the Council of King's College rather than submit to those tests, which had happily now been removed. His view of a conscience clause was that it was the corollary of the grant and acceptance of public funds. What was it that this clause did? It seemed to him to be such as would have met once, if not now, the desire of many hon. Members opposite, in that it prevented local authorities from interfering in the domain of dogmatic religion. If the Councils were to be guided in making the grants by religious views or 1008 ecclesiastical principles, there would be much wrangling and scrambling, with most injurious results, not only to the Council but to education and to the various teaching institutions. This was no new departure. Under the Technical Instruction Act, which included, in a large measure, secondary instruction, such aid as was contemplated here had been given and there had been no complaint and, practically, no religious difficulty. Grammar schools, whish had been spoken of by an hon. Member opposite as generally Anglican, had been aided by the Corporations hitherto, and surely they were not now going to terminate that aid. Take for another example the case of King's College. There the conscience Clause had been granted and religious tests had been abolished; but was the House prepared to say that it would not aid King's College in its great secular and scientific Educational work, always costly and beyond support by mere fees alone, because it happened to be a denominational institution, although the students were adequately protected by a conscience Clause? It was this consideration which led him, in a recent division, as to the need and right of conscience clauses, to take the same views as and to vote with hon. Gentlemen opposite. What they had to look to was, not to intermix with secondary education the religious difficulty, but to the secular results of their great teaching institutions, and wherever they found them progressing and established, and protected by a conscience clause and the absence of theological tests, they ought to encourage them by the aid they could render. They could not, if they would, remove the principle which invested so many minds, and which was the strongest of all convictions, that education without distinctive teaching was to them almost impossible. Even if one did not agree with it, that was largely, whether rightly or wrongly, English human nature and a feature of their national character, and if they suddenly reverted to a different system by declining to encourage learning because it was contaminated with denominational teaching, such a course would not be favourable to educational progress.
§ (9.35.) MR. ALFRED HUTTON
said that the hon. Member who had just sat down informed the in that at King's College 1009 they had been compelled to remove the tests and adopt a conscience Clause, and he also asked the Committee whether on that account this college was unfit to receive recognition in regard to its secular and scientific work. His reply to that argument was that King's College would not have been fit to receive that recognition if it had continued to maintain religious tests, and the fact that it had been compelled to remove religious tests was an exact illustration of what they wore anxious to secure for all kindred institutions. All they were asking for was that they should have the same safeguards which the hors. Member opposite had just been praising. That was all they were asking for, and that was what was being denied to them. As the Clause stood, if a County Council established a new school ho very much, doubted whether they would be able to require that any kind of religious teaching at all should be given in their own school. Everything depended upon the meaning of the words "particular form," which might be held to cover such teaching as was now given in board schools under the name of "undenominational religious teaching." He did not raise this question simply for a quibble, but he thought hon. Members ought to know what they were doing. By this Clause they seemed to be giving instructions to County Councils which would prevent them from being able to provide that kind of religious teaching which had been considered acceptable to all denominations. That was really a very serious consideration, for it was actually putting a premium upon the new growth of denominational schools everywhere. They were giving the opportunity and offering a premium to people to establish any kind of schools they liked, and then they would be able to say to the education authority: "Here we are occupying the ground, and you cannot do anything to damage us, for we have got our buildings and our teaching staff, and you cannot damage the work we have just started." In this way the local authority would be called upon to respect all the now schools which might spring up like mushrooms here, there, and everywhere.
§ MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)
said the hon. Member for West Nottingham had stated that public money had not been applied under any previous Act 1010 to the assistance of denominational schools or colleges, but there was something in this Clause which compelled the new education authority to make grants to this or that school without exercising any discretion. The whisky money had already been applied certainly in London, and he believed in other districts, to assist secondary schools of a denominational character. Moreover, the money granted by the Science and Art Department was public money, and that was frequently given to schools which could not be described as other than of a denominational character. This money had been granted to Roman Catholic schools, and it would have been granted to Jewish schools providing they applied for it, and were efficient. An attempt was made in the Bill to prevent local authorities taking into account certain considerations, but it had been pointed out by the hon. Member for Perth that they could not bind people to do this, but they might say: "You cannot grant this money ostensibly for certain religious teachings." If a member of any local education authority desired to oppose any particular grant, nothing in this Act would prevent him. To say that this was compulsory, was to make a statement which a mere perusal of the Clause would show was entirely unfounded. The only thing to be regarded was educational efficiency, and the place which a school held in the educational system of the district. If it could be shown that a school of any denomination would be able to do better educational work if slight or considerable assistance was given to the local authority, then it would be the duty of that authority to consider whether assistance should be given or not. That was a wholesome and sound educational doctrine, and one which ho was surprised that anybody who spoke as an educational authority should think of controverting.
§ MR. PERKS
said that this Clause must be read having regard to the vast number of councils which would now have to exercise these powers under the Act. During the progress of this Bill through Committee several Amendments had vested this power of dealing with grants in a vast number of Councils, some of them large and important bodies and some of them extremely small and 1011 unimportant. He would venture to point out what might occur if they looked forward, not twenty years, but a couple of years. What would happen when a proposal came before a small municipal council to grant aid either towards the erection or maintenance of some sectarian institution within its boundary? Take as an example some convent school erected by foreign institutions in various parts of this country, a good many of which now existed. They were officered by accomplished teachers, and were attracting inside them the children oven of Protestants. Imagine that a proposal came before a town council for a grant towards the technical portion or the secular part of the instruction given in such a convent school. The Chairman of such a town council, directly a religious argument was raised, would be in order in ruling it out, and in saying to the councillors, "You must assume that this is an unsectarian school, and must not be guided by your religious predilections." But would that course be pursued by a single town councilor? It was a doctrine of perfection, or imperfection. Suppose the proposition was to make a grant not to a Roman Catholic convent school but to one of Canon Woodard's schools where the children were marched to mass. Would it be possible for an ordinary mortal to divest his mind of his sectaarian bias? The Vice-President suggested that some other reason for rejecting the grant must be found than the theological character of the institution, such as educational inefficiency, but if the statute was to be interpreted in relation to something that was not in it, it was evidently defective. They did not want every one of these councils to become the arena of ecclesiastical strife, but this clause would achieve that result; just as was the case with the London School Board some years ago, these councils were now to be plunged into fierce and bitter sectarian strife. The First Lord of the Treasury had constantly confronted him with the case of the Wesleyan schools, and he had asked him earlier in the evening, What are you going to do about the Wesleyan schools?" They had upon the Consultative Committee Dr. Waller, but he was not the mouthpiece of Wesleyan policy, and he had been disavowed recently by 90 per cent, of the Methodists, but, nevertheless, the First Lord of the Treasury was 1012 willing to hang on to the coat tails of this excellent ecclesiastic, whom he held up as the representative of the Methodist Church. The Wesleyan Church absolutely repudiated him as an exponent of their educational policy. The First Lord of the Treasury selected for his argument the proposed new training institution in connection with the Wesleyans. One of the principles which they had laid down with regard to this institution was that it should be unsectarian, and that there should be a conscience clause for every student, and yet the Government were, with the assistance of the Gentleman he named, struggling might and main, to make this new training college a denominational and sectarian institution, where young people could only be admitted who were members of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, and who paid a penny a week, or a shilling a quarter, towards the support of the institutions of that excellent Church. Wesleyans repudiated that notion altogether. The right hon. Gentleman, in the argument he had used upon his point, was drinking from a tainted source. If the right hon. Gentleman wished to know the views of a large section of the Wesleyan Methodist community upon this point, and would make inquiries, he would find that in what he had just stated he had accurately represented the views of nine-tenths of the members of the Methodist Church in this country. For these reasons he should certainly support the Amendment of his hon. friend.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
said absurd exaggeration as to what was likely to happen if this clause was carried had been used by gentlemen who really seemed to have denominationalism on the brain. The present Amendment would create an absurd state of things, as it would divide the schools which might be aided into different classes, according to the date at which they were established. That was not a thing which could be logically justified, or would produce satisfaction. If certain conditions were objectionable, and the Committee had decided them to be so, they were just as objectionable to one class of schools as to another.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
thought the Committee were getting into very great difficulties with regard to the payment for sectarian teaching. The subsidising of sectarian schools out of the rates was being provided for to an extent never before contemplated, and now, when they wished to limit this system of payment to existing teachers, they were met with the argument that they would be creating two classes of schools. The question involved in that discussion was whether they were to permit the extension of a system of sectarian institutions practically supported out of the rates, ft might be said that they ought to trust County Councils not to subsidise sectarian schools, but from his knowledge of County Councils he was by no means certain that they would be as liberal and broad-minded in this matter as some members of the Committee thought. He was quite sure that this clause would introduce a spirit of religious animosity into County Council elections. It was said that the Councils, in making grants, should be guided alone by secular results. That was a very popular principle, provided that all educational establishments were on an equality. But there would be districts in which sectarian schools would be producing good secular results, and practically monopolising the secular teaching in those districts; as long as they produced those good secular results they would be maintained to the exclusion of other schools into which the children of Free Churchmen could enter. That would be an injustice to those who, for conscientious reasons, could not avail themselves of the facilities which the sectarian schools offered. He thought it was admitted on the other side of the House that, whatever they might be prepared to do in the way of leaving existing colleges and schools untouched, they were not prepared t o extend and make permanent this system of denominational education maintained so largely out of the rates. The right hon. Gentleman had assured them that under this Bill the friends of undenominational education would have great advantages, but it seemed to him that they were extending the principle of paying out of the rates for the maintenance of sectarian institutions and sectarian teaching. He appealed to the Government not to 1014 increase the disabilities, and aggravate the situation, so far as the Nonconformists were concerned. What they asked for was liberty; they did cot ask for advantages for their own denomination; but if they could not be placed in a position of equality with regard to existing institutions, they asked that they should not be placed under greater disabilities by the extension of this principle.
§ (10.6.) MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said the hon. Member opposite had appealed for equality. The object of the Bill was to produce equality in. certain matters. In his opinion the true view of equality was that schools in which, by the desire of the parents, a certain kind of sectarian education was given and schools in which, also by the desire of the parents, the children were taught in an unsectarian way should be treated alike by the State for the purposes of higher education and secondary instruction. The question was whether or not religious considerations were to interfere with the proper distribution of these grants for secular education. The principle of the clause was that those considerations should not enter into the matter, but hon. Members opposite seemed to think that they should. Did hon. Members contend that if a school, on general educational grounds, was entitled to grants for secular education, those grants should be withheld because it happened to be a Roman Catholic school? If so, the Amendment was certainly not likely to promote equality of treatment. In their extreme desire to better the clause, hon. Members failed to keep in view the object of its provisions, and also that the Amendment would apply to both parts of the sub-section.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
thought the hon. Member had overlooked the fact that this particular sub-section was a disabling section, and that its deletion would not tie the hands of the County Council; it would leave them perfectly free. If the Amendment were carried, the County Council would be perfectly free to give a grant to any denominational school. As he understood the matter, the Government contemplated the local 1015 education authorities having to deal with schools established by bodies other than themselves, and that they would be concerned solely with the question of giving grants to those schools. Under those circumstances the Government had decided that the Council should not require that any particular form of religious instruction or worship should or should not be taught. But suppose the local education authority, in order to satisfy the need^ of a district, decided to establish a school; what would be the effect of this particular sub-section on the local authority? It seemed to him that when they came to deal with a school, established and maintained by the County Council, this particular subsection would disable it from arranging any form of religious instruction at all. This was a question which ought not to be left in doubt. They ought to know whether if a County Council established schools of their own they would have a perfectly free hand in deciding whether any, and if so what, kind of religious teaching should be given in those schools.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said that if a County Council established schools of their own, they would have a perfectly free hand to decide whether any religious instruction should be given, and an Amendment would be moved to give the Council a perfectly free hand in regard to the schools established by them. The only exception would be that no one should be excluded from the school on the ground of religious belief.
thought that the Government ought to go further than that, and say not merely that the schools should be open to everybody, but that there should be no dogmatic teaching in them at all. The more the Bill was gone into the more was the whole conspiracy unmasked. It was now perfectly clear that the intention of the Government was not only to strengthen denominational education in primary schools, but also to enable the County Councils, wherever the Church party were in a majority, to found secondary schools in which dogmatic teaching would be permitted. Such a proceeding ought not to be tolerated. This was not a question in which only 1016 large and responsible authorities like the County Council were concerned. It was a question of enabling little cathedral towns, with a population of about 10,000, completely dominated by the cathedral clergy, to found sectarian secondary schools. That was simply devolution run mad, and a limit ought to be placed upon it. He was not sure, however, that the Amendment in its present form answered the purpose. It sought to confine the subsection to existing schools, but unless a further Amendment were carried, limiting the powers of the County Councils in regard to schools founded in the future, the present Amendment would be rather dangerous. When they came to the small areas it was quite a different matter, and he did not think they ought to trust them with this power. The existing schools would not be entitled to make these conditions, but schools in the future would be able to get their grant on the understanding that their teaching would not be given as a condition of the grant.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said the Amendment of his hon. friend was to confine this clause to existing schools, so that with regard to future schools the County Councils and these little authorities would be perfectly at liberty to make any conditions they pleased. They ought to say that these County Councils should not be entitled to subsidise secondary schools out of the public funds which gave religious teaching to any denomination. His hon. friend opposite did not think it was fair that schools which gave a teaching which was special to any donomination should be placed at a disadvantage. Let them consider for a moment the case of an undenominational school. In that school every appointment was open to every religious denomination, and the religious teaching would not offend the consciences of the Members of any other denomination. In such schools there would be no teaching derogatory to the religion of any hon. Member of the House, but it was a totally different matter when they came to a school which taught the dogmas of any particular denomination. Such a school would exclude from its 1017 appointments on the teaching stuff those who belonged to any other denomination, and his point was that if anybody desired an exclusive school for himself, or his particular sect, he should be prepared to pay the penalty. They had no right to treat these little sectarian, schools in the same way as schools which were open to everybody. The Amendment of his hon. friend was a very doubtful one unless it was carried much further, for if it was confined to existing schools, it would be perfectly open to these little councils not only to subsidise, but to found, denominational schools. The greatest difficulty really was that these councils, instead of setting themselves the task of founding a first class educational system for their district, would simply subsidise private schools. Hitherto they had avoided that danger by excluding all these private venture schools. There would be the pressure of personal interest, and those interested in a particular denomination, who desired to get a grant from the County Council, and instead of getting a public school system built up according to modern ideas they would get a lot of schools established for which the council was not responsible. Under these circumstances he thought it would be undesirable to press the Amendment to a division.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
agreed that there would not be much advantage gained by accepting the Amendment of his hon. friend the Member for East Northamptonshire. He had risen not for the purpose of continuing the general discussion upon this Amendment, but to take this opportunity of giving a further instance which had occurred to him as to the effect of the legislation proposed under Part 1 of this Act. By Clause 4 a limitation was placed upon the action of County Councils. Under the Intermediate Education Act of 1889 a system of secondary education had been created, but it had not been created simply by the levying of the rate of ½d. in the £ but by virtue of a combination of efforts, It had been done by the various bodies working in conjunction with the Charity Commissioners and acting together under the Endowed Schools Act of 1869 and the Amending Acts. By Clause 88 1018 of the scheme of the County Council of Glamorganshire, it was provided that religious instruction in accordance with the principles of the Christian faith should be given in the schools by members of the ordinary staff, under such regulations as might be made from time to time by the school managers. That was agreed to by the House, because at the time they were getting certain ancient endowments. The practical question he wished to put from this argument was whether County Councils could give to any one of these schools any part of the 2d. rate.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said his point was that if the Glamorganshire County Council could only give and. rate then it became an important question to limit the new County Councils as much as possible. He wished to know if the County Councils could give to the school any part of the 2d. rate.
§ (10.35.) MR. BRYCE
said the Committee seemed to be in some little difficulty with regard to the meaning and effect of this Amendment, and perhaps this was not surprising when they considered what the effect of the clause would be. He would try to explain what he thought was the effect of his hon. friend's Amendment. It was intended to exclude the case of future schools. Future schools might be of two classes. They might be schools established by some associations or private persons, or schools established by the local authority itself. He understood that his hon. friend refrained from dealing with the case of schools established by the local authority, because it was understood that such schools were to be governed by the Amendment which the First Lord of the Treasury had undertaken to move. The right hon. Gentleman had intimated that he would accept an Amendment limiting the power of the local authority in regard to the establishment of future secondary schools, and the effect of that was to be that the local authority would not be able to establish sectarian schools. That might mean a school with no conscience 1019 clause, or one which was managed by a religious denomination. When the Amendment was moved it would be for the Committee to consider whether it made the school sectarian in the broader sense of the term where it had a conscience clause, or whether it directed that the schools should be unsectarian in the broader sense of the term. Future schools were to be dealt with by the Amendment promised by the First Lord of the Treasury, and that was his answer to the objection to the Amendment taken by the hon. Member for Carnarvon, and the hon. Member for Swansea. Were it not for the Amendment to be moved by the right hon. Gentleman, there would be very great force in the criticisms made in regard to this Amendment. Therefore he would confine himself to the other cases, and not to the schools to be established by the local authority. His hon. friend's Amendment was useful with regard to this clause. There was one thing that was most likely to happen under this Bill. When the Act was passed, and when the question of establishing these secondary schools arose, it was quite probable that various sectarian organisations would endeavour to cover the ground with sectarian schools. It might well be that the local authority would think that sectarian schools would not be best fitted to meet the needs of the district. The hon. Member for East Somerset said that what they had to think of was efficiency, and that it would not do to draw a distinction between two classes of schools. But surely they could draw a distinction between efficiency and the question of a class of people to whom a school appealed. A sectarian school appealed to a very small class, and had a claim upon some particular denomination. It was not accessible to all children, although it might be so tinder a conscience clause, but children were not there by the same full right as those who belonged to the particular denomination. Let them imagine themselves members of the County Council. Let them suppose that they were aware that two or three sectarian organisations were going to endeavour to establish sectarian schools in a particular county. Surely they might reasonably think, without any prejudice or animosity of any kind, that an unsectarian school was likely to be more useful than a 1020 sectarian school, and holding that view they would be entitled to argue in favour of distributing the grants to unsectarian rather than to sectarian schools. In such a case when the ground was going to be covered, the local authority might fairly warn the sectarian organisations that it preferred to see unsectarian schools, and that if they persisted in establishing unsectarian schools they need not look to the local education authority for grants. That was a matter of educational policy, because it was intended to do that which would be for the benefit of the greatest number. For these reasons he submitted that his hon. friend's Amendment was a very good one, and was entitled to their support upon the ground that in a very large number of cases it would prove to be the best way of meeting the general wishes of the people.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said that he understood the principle of this Amendment to be that in no secondary school hereafter, whether provided by the local authority or by some other sectarian organisation or otherwise, would aid be given by the local education authority if the school was of a sectarian character. It was not a question of a conscience clause, but what they desired was that at no future time should any public funds be given to a sectarian school, whether provided by the County Council or by a local organisation of a sectarian character. They did not know the terms of the Amendment which was to be proposed by the First Lord of the Treasury, therefore they were in a difficulty in discussing this Amendment. According to the clause as it now stood, they practically said to the education authority in regard to secondary schools "Hands off! you cannot dictate that anything shall be done in these schools, or require that anything shall not be done." He would put to the Committee a couple of concrete cases. He assumed that if the education authority were not permitted to speculate at all, in considering the application of the money, upon the religious tenets taught or practised in the school, and in the discussion upon the appointment of teachers, no religious consideration could come in. Supposing a teacher were appointed. If no inquiry was made into the form of religion the 1021 teacher might he a religious or an irreligious man. Supposing a County Council found hereafter that the head master of a school was an Atheist, and they found that he was inculcating in the school the principles of Atheism. Would they be allowed to make any representations at all? Take the case of a man whose religion was not inquired into, and he turned out to be a Ritualist and indulged in practices to which the majority of the parents of the children in the school objected? According to the clause as it now stood the very County Council had no voice at all in telling this man that he must not carry on Ritualistic practices. The right hon. Gentleman said that the school managers would take that into account, but were they to be able to control this matter when the educational authority could not? They had not provided in this Bill that the educational authority should provide any scheme at all. If they had provided schemes like the Welsh scheme, and made provision for unsectarian religious education, then they would know where they were. Who were to be the managers of the secondary schools? He failed to see anything in the Bill which indicated that they were to be managed as the elementary schools were managed.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said the existing secondary schools were under schemes settled by the Charity Commissioners.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he was not discussing the existing schools at all. The Amendment dealt with schools which did not exist. There was no provision to show how the managers were to be appointed or got rid of, or how a scheme was to be promulgated or provided by the County Council. The only proper rotation of the difficulty so far as future schools were concerned was to provide that, whoever established them, they should not partake of a sectarian character at all.
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
said the Amendment of his lion, friend was most important in relation to the provision of technical education by sectarian organisations. Everybody in the House knew that, 1022 owing to history and many other causes, there was one denomination in this country which possessed by far the greatest amount of wealth, and that denomination was able to far more richly endow educational institutions than any other religious denomination in the country. He was in favour of the proposed limit because he believed the perpetuation of the sectarian element would be bad for the future education of the country.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
asked for information as to the intention of the Government with regard to the future of secondary education and the action of the local authorities. He thought the Committee should know exactly the view of the Government with regard to the Amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the sole object of the Amendment was to exclude from the general purview of sub-Section I. schools to be founded in the future. Those schools, at first sight, were either provided by the local authority or by other agencies, and they must confine-the sub-section as it stood to schools not provided by the authorities. As to local schools, the Government proposed that they should be in the same position as schools now in existence. He did not say that they could all agree upon that, but it was a clear issue, and he honed the Committee would come to a decision upon it.
§ MR. MOSS (Denbighshire, E.)
said they were told that the object of the Bill was the betterment of education. It was known that for the past thirty years the secular schools had turned out better scholars than the schools where denominational education was given. If that was challenged he could produce statistics to prove the statement. It was a great hardship to citizens who held other views that a dogma distinctive of any particular religious denomination should be taught at the public expense.
§ SIR WILLIAM MATHER (Lancashire, Rossendale)
suggested that they should leave the Consultative Committee of the Board of Education to determine exactly the course to be pursued in relation to the subject raised by this particular Amendment. 1023 He understood the Amendment to mean that in future the schools to be established by any organisation should open these schools, without religious tests, to students of all denominations. [Cries of "No."] Anyhow, he thought it might be left to the Consultative Committee. Many questions would arise in future; which could not be anticipated in framing the Bill.
§ MR. MOULTON (Cornwall, Launceston)
pointed out that this Amendment might be very valuable to the cause of secondary education. It still left it open to the Government to make a deliberate choice with regard to denominational schools in future, but it was most important, in the interests of secondary education, that they should draw the line, by way of compromise, between those that existed and those to be created in future. It had struck him in the course of the debate that all the speakers had spoken of secondary education as if it were in pari material with primary education. They forgot that in secondary education was included purely technical education. However proper it might be that religion might be taught in schools of a higher grade than elementary, it was absurd to say that any religious denomination might set up a chemical school and teach religion in the intervals of dscussing the density of bodies or the structural formulæ of organic acids, and that the educational authority must be party to it. If the future of technical education was to be sandwiched with lectures on the Apostles' Creed, then we should never get into the position we all so earnestly desire. A man might be thoroughly religious in all his life, but he did not want to mix up his religion with his mathematics, and he did not think of Job and pakæontology at the same moment. Surely we might
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Brigg, John||Cawley, Frederick|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead||Broadhurst, Henry||Cremer, William Randal|
|Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud||Bruuner, Sir John Tomlinson||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Bryce, Kt. Hon. James||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Duncan, J. Hastings|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Caldwell, James||Edwards, Frank|
|Black, Alexander William||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Ellis, John Edward|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Causton, Richard Knight||Farquharson, Dr. Robert|
§ rise above these miserable sectarian views of life, and realise that we are doing the best thing for religious education when we recognise that serious studies may very well be carried on at times when we do not devote our thoughts to religion. There were a great many schools which must be called secondary schools at present in existence, but he regretted to say that very few of them were technical in the sense in which he was using the word. He hoped that in future those technical schools would abound. The Amendment conceded to existing schools that no County Council should stipulate that a certain religious formula should or should not be taught, but to say that in the future no County Council should stipulate that for a technical school no particular religious formula should be taught was to start secondary education with the brand of sectarianism. He asked the Government not to look upon this as an Amendment which tied their hands in regard to the future of secondary schools. Let us agree so far as we can. Let them take this Clause with its extraordinarily severe restrictions as applying only to existing schools, but let them leave for more careful thought the decision as to what powers the County Councils should have with regard to new schools.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
asked whether the Amendment now proposed would interfere with the power of the County Council to give help out of the new 2ds. rate to the Welsh intermediate schools. He hoped the Amendment to be moved by the First Lord of the Treasury would soon appear in print, so that they might be able to appreciate it.
(11.8.) Question put,
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 105; Noes, 263. (Division List No. 271.)
|Fenwick, Charles||Lewis, John Herbert||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Spear, John Ward|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Spencer, Rt. Hri. C. R (N'rthants|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Markham, Arthur Basil||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Grant, Corrie||Mather, Sir William||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E (Berwick||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Tennant, Harold John|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil||Morley, Charles (Breconshire||Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Moss, Samuel||Thomas, DavidAlfred(Merthyr)|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. CharlesSeale-||Moulton, John Fletcher||Thomas, F. Freeman. (Hastings|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Newnes, Sir George||Toulmin, George|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Trevelyan, Charles Phillips|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Palmer, George Wm. (Reading||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Paulton, James Mellor||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Joicey Sir James||Perks, Robert William||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Jones, David Brynmor(Swans'a||Philipps, John Wynford||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.|
|Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire||Priestley, Arthur||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Kitson, Sir James||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, FredW.(Norfolk, Mid.|
|Lambert, George||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Langley, Batty||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Layland-Rarratt, Francis||Runciman, Walter|
|Leese, SirJoseph F.(Accrington||Russell, T. W.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh||Mr. Channing and Mr.|
|Leng, Sir John||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford||Samuel Evans.|
|Levy, Maurice||Saipman, Dr. John G.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. SirAlex. F.||Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Charrington, Spencer||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Churchill, Winston Spencer||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-|
|Ambrose, Robert||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Colomb, SirJohnCharles Ready||Flower, Ernest|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Balcarres, Lord||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Foster, SirMichael(Lond. Univ.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Foster, PhilipS.(Warwick, S. W|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Balfour, RtHn(Gerald W. (Leeds||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gardner, Ernest|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cranborne, Lord||Gartit, William|
|Bathms, Hon. AllenBenjamin||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Godson, Sir AugustusFrederick|
|Beach, RtHn. SirMichael Hicks||Crossley, Sir Saville||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Gore, Hn G. R. C, Ormsby-(Salop|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon|
|Bignold, Arthur||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Goschen, Hon. GeorgeJoachim|
|Bigwood, James||Davis, SirHoratioD (Chatham||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bill, Charles||Delany, William||Green, Walford D.(Wednesb'ry|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Greene, SirE. W(B'rySEdm'nds|
|Boland, John||Dickson, Charles Scott||Gretton, John|
|Bond, Edward||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Dillon, John||Groves, James Grimble|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Guthrie, Walter Murray|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F.(Middlesex||Donelan, Captain A.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Brassev, Albert||Doogan, P. C.||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Duke, Henry Edward||Heath, ArthurHoward(Hanley|
|Brown, AlexanderH.(Shropsh.||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.|
|Bull, William James||Dyke, Rt, Hn. Sir William Hart||Helder, Augustus|
|Butcher, John George||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Henderson, Sir Alexander|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Faber, George Denison (York)||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.|
|Caatley, Henry Strother||Fellowes, Hon. AilwynEdward||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.||Fergusson, Rt Hn. SirJ. (Manc'r||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Howard, John(Kent, Kav'rsh'm|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Finch, George H.||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Morrison, James Archibald||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. ArthurFred.||Mount, William Arthur||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Mowbray. Sir Robert Gray C.||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Murphy, John||Seely, Maj. J. E. B(Isleof Wight|
|Kennedy, Patrick James||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Kenyon-Slamy, Col. W. (Salop||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Nicholson, William Graham||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Knowles, Lees||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)|
|Lambton, Him. Frederick Wim.||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.||Smith, HC(North'mb, Tyneside|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)|
|Law, High Alex. (Donegal, W.)||O'Brien, Kendal(Tinperary Mid||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs).|
|Lawson, John Grant||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Leamy, Edmund||O'Connor James (Wick low, W.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||O'Malley, William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||O'Shee, James John||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Peel, Hn. Win. Robt. Wellesley||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Penn, John||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S||Percy, Earl||Valentia, Viscount|
|Loyo, Archie Kirkman||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Pretyman, Ernest George||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E(T'unton|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Purvis, Robert||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Pym, C. Guy||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Rank in. Sir James||Whiteley, H(Ashton-und-L'ne|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Reddy, M.||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|MacVeagh. Jeremiah||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|M'Govern, T.||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|M'Kean, John||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Renwick, George||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Richards. Henry Charles||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks)|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Staly bridge||Worley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Ridley, S. Horde (BetbnalGreen||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wylie, Alexander|
|Middlemore. John. Throgmorton||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney||Wyndham-Qurn, Major W. H.|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Robinson, Brooke||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Young, Samuel|
|Mooney, John J.||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Moore, William (Antrim, N.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Mora, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Morgan, DavidJ(W'lthamstow||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Sir William Walrond and|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said it would be in the recollection of the Committee that at an early stage in the afternoon he had promised to move an Amendment to the Amendment in the sense of the Amendment moved by his hon. friend below the Gangway, and also of the Amendment on the Paper of his hon. friend behind him on the same subsection. The Amendment which he now proposed was to add to the words already passed, "Shall or shall not be taught or used in any school or college" the words "aided but not provided by the Committee, and no pupil shall be excluded from any such school or college provided by the Council on the ground of religious belief ". That embodied the proposal of his two hon. friends, and in 1028 accordance with the suggestion he had made in regard to the scheme, and he now moved the Amendment.
In page 2, line 12, after the word 'college,' to insert the words 'aided but not provided by the council, and no pupil shall be excluded on the ground of religious belief from a school or college provided by the council.'"—(Mr. A. J. Baljour.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. BRYCE
said of course he recognised the action of the right hon. Gentleman in giving the promise he had made, and he was glad that he had moved this Amendment. He was afraid, however, that it did not meet the wishes of that side of the House. From the very first 1029 they had desired something much larger—that no council should in future have the power of providing out of its funds, which were public funds, any school of a sectarian character. The light hon. Gentleman's Amendment did riot go that length. It only provided that no pupils should be excluded on the ground of religious belief; but what they desired was that no preference should be given to any one religious body over another, but that a real and absolute religious equality should prevail; that though there might be religious instruction of different types provided for the wishes of different denominations, these denominations shall all be on an equality, and that no public funds should be in the hands of one religious denomination more than another. They asked that on two grounds. In the first place it conformed to those just principles of equality which the Legislature had long ago adopted in dealing with this question. There had been exceptions, such as the grants to the denominational schools, but against these exceptions they had never ceased to protest. In the second place, it had been recognised in the case of the ancient Universities, to a very large extent indeed in the case of the schools under the Endowed Schools Act, and it had even now been recognized in the case of King's College, which had been founded by the Church of England.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the right hon. Gentleman was arguing in favour of a Cowper-Temple Clause for these schools and colleges to be hereafter erected by the education authority. He suggested that that would be more convenient and 1030 quite legitimately discussed as a proposed addition to the clause.
§ EARL PERCY
said he wished to ask the exact meaning of what the Amendment would be. They were all agreed as to the object of the Amendment, but it might confine this clause to the schools and colleges already aided.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that they had provided in the sub-section already passed for schools and colleges "aided, or to be aided." They now came to such schools and colleges as were provided by the Local authority, and his Amendment said that no persons should be excluded from a school or college provided by the local authority on the ground of any religious belief.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he thought that it would be desirable that the term "college" should include "any day or residential college for the training of teachers."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said with all respect that to make the addition of these words would spoil the drafting of the Bill. It was perfectly clear and obvious that the reference was not merely to ordinary secondary schools, but to schools devoted to training teachers.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said he would suggest, as a pure matter of grammar, the words "no child shall be excluded from any school or college."
said it seemed to him that it would be a little awkward to provide for the less before the greater. It was quite clear that the Amendment on which they were afterwards to take a discussion ought not to follow, but to come before the word "person."
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY
said he entirely agreed with the remark of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, because the Cowper-Temple Clause covered the whole position, and what they were giving now was a conscience clause applicable to new colleges and schools established by County Councils. A great many hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House were very clearly of opinion that where new colleges were established they should be of an unsectarian character. They were quite prepared to preserve to the existing colleges their present privileges, but where they were going to take public funds, and nothing but public funds, for building new colleges, that was another question. Consequently a conscience clause would not be needed, for the Cowper Clause would cover the whole position.
§ (11.35.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said his hon. friend appeared to think that the Cowper-Temple Clause was the better o the two. He himself did not take that 1032 view. The Amendment which was before the Committee was the one which was promised by the Government; and if it were passed, his friend would have an opportunity afterwards of voting for the Cowper-Temple addition to it.
§ MR. MOULTON
said that the last words in the Amendment raised a very serious question as to the status of future public schools.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
asked, on a point of order, whether the Cowper-Temple Clause was in fact raised by the Amendment at all?
§ MR. MOULTON
said he was not referring to the Cowper - Temple Clause. He merely wished to point out that the last words of the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman opened up a new question altogether, which was quite apart from the question touched on in the earlier words of the Amendment. Pie would suggest that they should first discuss the first part of the Amendment, which had reference to schools or colleges aided, but not provided, by the local authority.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he did not think there was any difficulty in dealing with the Amendment in its present form. Of course, it would be necessary for hon. Members who believed that the proviso should extend not merely to schools provided by the local authority, but also 1033 to schools aided by them, to endeavour to amend the Amendment. He would propose to insert after the word "college" in the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment the words, "to be established hereafter, and provided or aided by the council."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman would reintroduce the point which had been decided by the last Amendment.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said his hon. friends and himself were desirous of discussing whether the proviso was to apply to all secondary schools in the future, and he hoped that a discussion of that kind might be in order.
§ MR. LAMBERT
said it seemed to him that the last part of the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman contemplated the idea that the County Councils or the local authorities could in future establish denominational schools or colleges. He strongly objected to the words, and could not imagine anything more subversive to public feeling. He wished to ask if his interpretation was right.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the County Councils could act as suggested by the hon. Member, but not as a consequence of his Amendment. Of course, they would not be able to do so if the addition suggested by hon. and learned Gentleman below the Gangway were accepted. That would make it impossible.
§ MR. LAMBERT
asked if the right lion. Gentleman would accept his hon. and learned friend's addition.
§ MR. LAMBERT
said that they ought not to empower the local authorities to set up denominational schools or colleges. It was impossible for them, however, to discuss the matter properly without seeing the Amendment in print; and he would, therefore, suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should report progress and put the clause as amended on the Paper. If the County Councils were to be empowered to establish denominational colleges, he would be obliged to vote against the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment, oragainst any other Amendment that would bring that about.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL
said he wished to suggest to his right hon. friend that it was now clear that by making concessions to the Opposition he was only prolonging the debate and running the risk of destroying the Bill. He would suggest to his right hon. friend to withdraw his Amendment now, and bring it up on Report, which would enable him to make any change which was desired, without giving the Opposition an opportunity of delaying the progress of the Bill.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS (Carmarthenshire, E.)
said he wished to understand what the Amendment really was. Did it mean that any denomination could start a school of its own, and work it as a denominational school 1035 although it was supported out of the rates? IF that was the moaning of the Amendment ho certainly did not want concessions of that kind. It was not a concession at all, and instead of being in the interests of the education of the country, it would simply continue the ill-feeling which existed in the country.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said it would be impossible to misrepresent the meaning of the Amendment more than it had been misrepresented by the two last speakers. The Amendment was perfectly clear. It first of all restricted the sub-section to the case of schools which were aided, but not provided, by the local authority. With regard to schools' provided by the local authority, it was enacted that no pupil should be excluded from them by reason of his religious conviction. Did any hon. Member dissent from those two propositions? The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen desired a further Amendment, which would apply the Cowper-Temple Clause to all schools aided by the local authorities, but that could be discussed tomorrow. It did not in any way affect the proposal of his right hon. friend, which simply carried out the conclusion at which they had arrived in a previous discussion.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said the Amendment made things worse than they were. As the sub-section stood, there was grave doubt as to whether the local authority could found a denominational school; but with the Amendment added, there could be no doubt about it. The words of the subsection were, that the Council should not require in the application of money 1036 that a particular form of religion should be taught in any school or college. That, surely, meant that if they founded a college they should not require that any particular dogma should be taught in it. If the Amendment were added, it would mean that the local authorities would be entitled to found a sectarian college, although they could not exclude from that college a pupil on account of his religious belief. Surely, by implication, that meant that the local authority could found a sectarian college. It was all very well for the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich to call this a concession to the Opposition, bat it looked more like a concession to the noble Lord and his Party.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that he agreed with the noble Lord. He thought the words exceedingly dangerous without the Amendment of his hon. and learned friend.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he would oppose the Amendment very strongly if the words he suggested were not accepted.
MR. HERBERT ROBERTS
asked what would be the position of teachers under the Amendment. Would they be subjected to a religious test?
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE
said it would be unfair to ask the Committee to decide on the question without 1037 seeing the various Amendments on the Paper. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would agree to report progress.
MR. WHITLHY (Halifax)
said that for once he found himself in agreement with the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich, and he thought they would be well advised to oppose the Amendment in its present form. He had always held the view that if a council applied money to a school, it should not be empowered to make the religious instruction in that school a condition of the grant. The First Lord of the Treasury assented to that view, but the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment went in a totally contrary direction, as, by implication, it meant that a council might establish a really denominational school or college. He thought that if the right hon. Gentleman withdrew the latter words of his Amendment, they might be able to arrive at an agreement; otherwise they would be bound to oppose it with all the strength in their power. He hoped the Committee would not come to a hasty decision on the matter, as if the Amendment were passed it would entirely upset what they understood to be the meaning of the Clause.
MR. GRIFFITH (Anglesey)
said he desired to join in the appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to withdraw the Amendment. He regretted that the noble Lore the member for Greenwich should be thought fit to lecture the Opposition. H would inform the noble Lord that legitimate discussion in the House of Common was a fairer method of Parliamentary opposition than loitering in the lobbies The question they had to consider was whether the right hon. Gentleman's 1038 Amendment put them in a better position. He submitted it did not. As the Bill now stood there was no hint, or suggestion, or advice to the councils to found denominational colleges or schools; but he submitted that the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman was a direct suggestion to the councils to found such colleges and schools. If the Amendment were passed in its present form, the councils would conclude that the normal state of affairs was that they should establish educational schools and colleges, and as a concession to Nonconformist they would not be excluded from them, le thought that was a humiliating position; he submitted that the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman aggravated the injury, and he trusted the Committee would reject it.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would allow progress to be reported. Various opinions had been expressed as to what the effect of the Amendment would be; and he was quite sure the right hon. Gentleman would be well advised to report progress, as they could not possibly discuss the matter tonight. He begged to move to report progress.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman report progress, and ask leave to sit again."—(Mr. Samuel, Evans.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he would not oppose the Motion. He had moved the Amendment, because the House generally, and not least the Opposition, at an earlier stage of the discussion thought that it would be a proper Amendment to move, and that that was the proper place to move it. Certainly it was his intention to act in accordance 1039 with the views of hon. Members; but he might have to consider whether that was possibly not the best way of attempting to carry on the Bill.
Question put, and agreed to.
Committee report Progress.
To sit again Tomorrow.