§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 5:—
Amendment again proposed—
In page 2, line 20, after the word 'apply,' to insert the words ' to every local education authority established by this Act.'"—(Mr. Henry Hobhouse.)
§ Question again proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
* MAJOR SEELY
, resuming his speech, said that if the Bill were passed as 1265 originally introduced, he believed that three-fourths of the County and Borough Councils would adopt it, whereas the remaining one fourth would refuse to adopt it. Those who supported the Bill most strongly thought the Bill was strong enough to stand on its merits, and that those County Councils who at first might refuse to adopt it would, in course of time, see that its effect was quite different from that which they anticipated, and would adopt it. If the Bill passed as it stood, three-fourths of the Councils would be in the same position as they would be under the Amendment, but if the Amendment was passed, the other fourth would be compelled to adopt and enforce a measure to which they were bitterly hostile. To compel public bodies to adopt a Bill against their strongest convictions was a new principle of legislation, and it would be a very unwise thing, and, in his belief, would end in confusion. When religious differences came in at the door, reason and logic flew out of the window. When there was an opposition so fierce as had been displayed in some quarters of the country with regard to this Bill, it would be wise to pause before public bodies were forced to accept these proposals. It was a truism that Englishmen might be led, they would not be driven; it appeared to him to be unwise in this case to attempt to drive the Councils, and he, therefore, should vote against the Amendment.
§ MR. FENWICK (Northumberland, Wansbeck)
said he should vote against the Amendment. The Secondary Education Commission, on which he had the honour of serving, came to the unanimous conclusion that at first, at all events, the new authority charged with the maintenance of secondary education should not also be burdened with the administration of elementary education. Until the new authority had gained experience of the new work cast upon it, it would, in his opinion, be unwise on the part of the House to throw upon it wider responsibilities in providing for elementary as well as secondary education. He believed that, if the responsibility of providing for elementary education as well as second-try education was imposed on the new authority, the 1266 result would be that secondary education would be starved. Why were they now considering the Education Bill at all? It was on account of the backward condition of secondary education in this country. They had suffered so much in their industrial and commercial interests because of the neglect they had been guilty of in this matter, that the Government had been compelled to take up the question.
* MR. GEORGE KENYON (Denbigh Boroughs)
denied that there had been; any expression of opinion on the part of the County Councils in Wales that they desired to have a free hand in this matter as stated by the Member for West Denbighshire and the Member for Pembrokeshire. As far as he was able to judge, from the shoals of resolutions he had received from associations, federations, and other 'ations, there appeared to be only three points on which they were agreed. The first was that the Bill was the worst possible Bill that could have been introduced, the second was that whatever else was done, there should be one authority for all grades of education, and the third was that whatever authority was set up, it should be compulsory upon the Councils to adopt it. He should like to know how his hon. friends proposed to reconcile these last two points if they voted for the option which was proposed in the Bill. It seemed to him that they were rapidly travelling in the direction of an unlimited number of local authorities. As the hon. Member for Camberwell had pointed out the other night, the number of authorities had already been increased from about 200 to over 1.000 by the changes that had been made in the Bill. If the optional character of Part III. was maintained, the result would be confusion more confounded. He sincerely hoped the Committee would pronounce against that, and would insist that it should be compulsory on all the Councils to adopt it.
§ MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)
said the question of the option should be approached in a business-like manner, in the interests of the national education and not in the interest of Party, and they should aim at arriving at striking 1267 some happy mean as between voluntary and board schools. At present the voluntary schools wore badly off for teachers and money and they were to a large extent dependent on charity. But the proposal of the Bill was to remove as far as possible the schools from popular control, and, therefore, in his opinion it was a bad Bill, and ought to be opposed in the interests of the ratepayers. It was not a fair bargain as between voluntary and board schools. If it were passed the School Boards would be guillotined. He would part from the School Boards most reluctantly. They had been crippled very much by the present Government.
§ MR. NUSSEY
said the right hon. Gentleman was practically responsible for the education of the country. If he had disapproved the judgment he should have introduced some Bill to reverse it.
§ MR. NUSSEY
repeated that if the judgment were injurious to education it was the duty of the Government to alter the law. The elections would, if the Bill stood as it was, be conducted with all the bitterness of a religious conflict. Further, they were forcing on local authorities duties which some of them did not want, and he believed that it would be a long time in many of the counties before anything was done. if the authors of this scheme believed in if they would allow their Bill to stand 01 fall on its own merits, and he should vote against the Amendment.
§ * SIR JOHN DORINGTON (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
said that tin County Councils had already whetted their appetites on good work, but their were checked in their advance by the distinction between secondary and secular education. The Councils had proved 1268 themselves capable of dealing with the educational problem and now they would have the elementary system also placed under one authority. He knew it was held by some that that principle had been broken into, but he did not think so. There would be one governing authority, "namely, the County Council, and he believed they were already well trained to do this work. Upon administrative grounds it was absolutely necessary that this optional Clause should go. Such a proviso would practically destroy County Councils for administrative work. When Parliament wanted business done they did not trust it to the House of Commons as a whole, but; to a body of men who held one opinion, I namely, His Majesty's Ministers. [Opposition cries of "Oh! oh!"] He believed that the Cabinet were agreed, but perhaps there were certain Cabinet secrets known to hon. Gentlemen opposite which he was not aware of. In the past, County Councils had occasionally been entrusted in good faith with optional powers on large subjects. They might go back to the institution of the police force, which was optional at first, with the result that very little was done, and in the end it was found necessary to abolish option and impose it upon counties as a whole. That was a proof, that when a thing was made optional it did not work well, but when it was made compulsory those bodies who declared that they could not before work it, afterwards worked the thing effectively. If, in the administration of roads, County Councils had been allowed option, very I probably nothing would have been done, and the roads would have remained in the very unsatisfactory state in which the y were, but when it was made compulsory ! this state of things was soon altered. If in this matter of education the thing was made compulsory the whole discussion, whether it was good or bad, would at once disappear. It had been said that the West Riding of Yorkshire was opposed to compulsion, and why? Because they said they could not do the work. He was surprised at this, on the part of a great county, because it was simply a question of administration, and if the administration of this part of the Act were made compulsory, the question whether 1269 one religious body would be more favoured than another would disappear. It was most important not to introduce into County Councils that political element which would be introduced if we gave them the option of applying or refraining from applying the Act. If, however, Parliament said they had a duty to perform, that duty would be performed without difficulty and without exciting hostility. They wanted a rule which was adapted to particular circumstances. The northern districts of England required a very much higher expenditure upon what was called technical education, by which he meant that education which was directed towards teaching the population something by which they would have to gain their livelihood in the future. That education ought not to consist of teaching little scraps of science here and there, in an amateur manner, for that was precisely what they ought to avoid. Their technical and secondary education, if controlled by the State, ought to be directed to something that would be useful to the people in building up this great Empire. Therefore, he thought it would be a very sad thing if this optional Clause remained in the Bill. The County Councils Association, which was a very large body, representing all the counties in England, had voted with only about seven exceptions in favour of the general principles of this Bill. That meant that they would be willing to undertake the duties which would be imposed upon them by this Act. He knew that the educationists of his own county were willing to undertake the duties, but they were satisfied that if this optional Clause remained, although an enormous majority of the County Council would resolve to carry out this Act, it would not be desirable to do so on account of the friction and political hostility which might be excited, and which would not exist if the Act was only regarded from an administrative point of view. For these reasons he should give his hearty support to this Amendment.
§ *(9.35.) SIR CHARLES DILKE
said that up to the present time the county represented by the right hon. Baronet who had just sat down had not spent more than a moiety of the whisky money upon education until this year.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
In that case the right hon. Baronet could not fairly argue that they had been checked by legislation. The main argument of the right hon. Baronet opposite was that it was absolutely necessary that this optional clause should go and he used the most unfortunate phrase that the administration should be entrusted to a body who were all agreed upon this subject. If education was to be administered by a kind of Cabinet consisting of gentlemen who were all agreed, the Committee could well imagine the treatment the minority in the constituency would receive. When they were told that it was desirable that these bodies should represent popular opinion he wished to point out that in the county of Gloucester popular opinion was on his side, if they counted heads of the population. The right hon. Baronet stated that this change had been facilitated because some of the districts had been relieved of their heavy rate, but surely he knew that even these new proposals did not relieve some districts to the full extent of the rate. When he said that it was absolutely necessary that this optional clause should go, he was afraid that what he meant, and what many Chairmen of many County Councils meant, was that they would have a very much easier life if option were struck out, because of the strong popular feeling which would be otherwise imported into this matter. It meant that they were not to trust the opinion of the people and that the whole thing was to be done in a hole-and-corner manner without the people being able to express any opinion upon it. If the optional clause were to be cancelled because of the strong public feeling that would be imported into local affairs, the result would be that this question would be settled without reference to the opinion of the people. He was not surprised that some gentlemen desired to escape the unpopularity of these decisions in their constituencies, but he maintained that they ought to be obliged to face it. They could not 1271 trust the rural County Councils to administer matters of this kind without Party feeling. The Leader of the House had hardly made a decent, defence of the change of front on the part of the Government in regard to this matter. The right hon. Gentleman said that, since his own speech upon the introduction of the Bill, financial proposals had been introduced which had changed the whole position. But why wore those financial proposals not made consistent with the scheme of the Bill? This 7s. 6d. grant was only to be given to the counties which adopted the Bill, and why was increased financial assistance to be given to those counties which adopted the Bill? The Government had not treated the House honestly in this matter, because, although it was supposed that this had been left an open question, the Government had already proved, by their financial proposals, that they had made up their minds to get rid of the element of option, which seemed all along to have been a sham. Turning to the educational effect of the Amendment, he said it had been assumed by the mover of the Amendment and others that the argument was all on their side. The hon. Member who moved this Amendment said that this clause would not be good for education. Hon. Members, however, could only speak for the parts of the country which they knew. As regarded three rural counties of which he had some knowledge, he did not hesitate to say that they were destroying the efficient educational machinery which now existed, and that they were substituting for it, machinery which would not do the work under the same efficacious system. Some of his hon. friends on this side had prophesied as regarded the future, and the hon. Member for North Camberwell said that they would probably improve the Bill out of recognition by its authors before it got through Committee, and it was upon that prophetic ground that he invited them to support the Amendment of the hon. Member for East Somerset. Of course they saw some indications that great improvements might be made, but he thought it would be wiser to wait until they had got those improvements before they attempted to force 1272 a Bill upon rural counties which was opposed to all their best educational feeling, and which would put an end to the best system of education which existed there. This was really the last occasion for them to lament the fate of School Boards. This Amendment killed the School Boards, and put an end to them for ever. The hon. Member for Newcastle had told the Committee what enormous pain it gave him to put an end to the existence of School Boards, but if he felt such pain, as the hon. Member professed to feel, he should certainly vote in the way in which he was going to vote, and not in the way which the hon. Member opposite had stated. He knew that by his action he was killing the School Board system. He (Sir Charles Dilke) was one of those who had something to do with the creation of School Boards in 1870, which had been a greater success even than those who created them expected them to be. The whole fight, again, on Lord Sandon's Bill in 1876 was round this question of the School Boards. Since 1876 to the present time, they had been a greater success than they were before, and by this Amendment the Committee would destroy all their accumulated knowledge, which was of such infinite advantage to the country. He hoped that they would hear no more of this cry from the front Ministerial Bench that they were anxious to trust the ratepayers of the rural counties.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
agreed that all educational questions, which he looked upon as of national and imperial importance, ought to be settled by the opinion of the people; but, he asked, where was the opinion of the people expressed? It was expressed, and ought to be expressed, in the House of Commons. He did not want to reopen the question as to whether the School Board system or the voluntary school system ought to be perpetuated, for that was not the question. Whether they perpetuated one or the other, it should not be a matter of local option but a question which this Committee ought to decide upon its own responsibility. It was quite wrong to allow a matter of this 1273 kind to be determined by County Councils or by any other authority leys than Parliament itself. If he wished to have a strong argument upon that point he could not find a better one than the Debates which had taken place upon this Bill Surely no public body ought to be called upon to determine a great question of this kind except Parliament itself. Was education not a matter with which they were bound to deal on their own responsibility as a great question of imperial and national importance. What would be the administrative difficulty if they had local option. The hon. Member opposite was very anxious to preserve the School Board system, but he looked upon this question from a much wider aspect. Was the question of the preservation of the School Board and voluntary school system a matter to be decided by local option? Hon. Members opposite wished to preserve the School Board system. Did they wish to leave it in the power of the County Council after a triennial election, to vote the system out of existence? It was the same with regard to the voluntary system. Was it to be supposed that the same zeal and energy would be displayed by voluntary school managers if on a triennial election of a County Council the whole system might be upset? They might destroy a School Board at one election and reinstate it at the next; and they might destroy a voluntary school at one election and reinstate it at the next. That, he understood, was the hon. Gentleman's idea of what he called taking the opinion of the people on a question of this kind. That was not his view. The opinion of the people was expressed in this House, and hon. Members had to take the responsibility, and they ought not to shirk it. Let them not try to establish an administrative impossibility and administrative inefficiency with regard to their local bodies. There was another point which had never been answered, as far as he had been able to gather, from any speech made on the Opposition side of the House. How would they deal with finance under this local option system? They would have districts side by side which, both with regard to rates and aid from the Imperial Exchequer, would be absolutely distinct. Would they have 1274 one system of finance for one term of three yours, and another system for the next three years? It would be impossible to obtain an efficient scheme, educationally or financially, under a system of local option. It was entirely a mistake, in his opinion, to give what were properly legislative duties to an administrative local body. If that were done it was impossible to avoid raising the same sort of antagonism and political contest that they had in the House of Commons. Of course they must thresh out questions of that sort in this House, but they would break up the administrative efficiency of the County Councils as soon as they introduced legislative questions which excited strong feeling and passion. He had always taken a very strong view against utilising rates for Imperial or national purposes, but he recognised that a very large concession had been made by the Government in regard to rates for purposes of elementary education. He thought one of the most valuable reforms in the Bill was the proposal to spread the education rate over a sufficiently large area and to raise it by the county rate. The vice of the present system was that they sought to raise the School Board rate from far too small an area. He quite appreciated why hon. Members opposite who disliked the Bill desired to keep the local option clause in it. If this local option clause were retained it would, he believed, be fatal to the true administrative efficiency of the Bill.
§ (10.3.) MR. BRYCE
said the hon. Member for the Stretford Division felt that his passion had been strongly moved on this question. He gathered from the force of the hon. Gentleman's remarks that that was true. He could not say that he felt strong passion with regard to the Bill. It was a difficult question, and the Committee should endeavour to eliminate the element of passion altogether. He did not desire to approach the question from the point of one who was either a friend or an enemy of the Bill as a whole. It appeared to him that there were quite a number of points which might be considered with reference to the retention or the abolition of this Option Clause and which were irrespective of their liking for the 1275 Bill or not, and therefore he should address himself specially to hon. Members on the other side of the House who, he presumed, were mostly in favour of the Bill. If they assumed the point of view of hon. Members opposite who were in favour of the Bill there would still be many considerations to be weighed before they decided to abandon the option. He did not at all deny that there was a great deal to be said in favour of the Amendment. He did not think the case for the Amendment had been put better than by the hon. Member for East Somerset. The hon. Member said with great truth that it would create a certain measure of confusion if they had two different systems existing. He said that the Government had proposed a grant of 7s. 6d. per child, which was adapted to the case of the Bill with the option, but not to the case of the Bill without the option, and he stated further that there might be quarrels over the question of the Bill if they referred it to the next County Councils elected after the Bill passed. They had been placed in a most difficult and disagreeable dilemma. After all, the Government must have thought, when they were drafting the Bill, that this clause was the better alternative. They on that side were really defending the Government Bill. He admitted the difficulties referred to by the hon. Member for East Somerset, but would they obtain peace by striking out the option? Would not very acute quarrels arise immediately at the elections of the next County Councils over the educational questions which were referred to them? [Ministerial cries of "No."] Some hon. Members opposite did not think so, but some of the County Councils themselves apprehended this very difficulty, and they might be expected to know, and therefore he could not think they were any more likely to secure peace by striking out the option. Then there was the question of resistance to the payment of rates, a subject which the First Lord had dealt with in a very fair and conciliatory manner. Whether the hostility would take the form some of his hon. friends predicted he was not qualified to say, but at any rate there was a danger. Every one knew that feeling was extremely hostile 1276 on this subject; and if they were going to have a difficulty of this kind would it not be better to endeavour to minimise and localise it by not raising the question in an acute form all over the country at the same time? If they must contemplate the possibility of this resistance, he would much rather see it in some of the counties and boroughs than see it everywhere at the same time. There was another difficulty. He was surprised that more had not been said about the feelings of the County Councils themselves. Some of the most important were strongly against the taking over of this educational work at once. These bodies were entitled to some consideration on the part of the House. It was a new thing in legislation to thrust important duties on unwilling bodies. He could not remember any case in which functions so large and new in their character had been suddenly placed on the local authority. If any hon. Member could give an instance in which that had been done he would be glad to hear it. It was an exceedingly large and difficult experiment, in the solution of which time would greatly help, but the Committee should remember that the local bodies were not equipped for the new work in point of staff. They would want secretaries, inspectors, and local Committees. There would be a vast mass of work to be done, and they ought to have time to prepare for the work before they were called upon to do it. All he pleaded for was that the authorities should be given a chance of taking up the work at the time when they felt themselves fit for it, and not when they were without preparation. He really failed to see how the voluntary schools would suffer if the Option Clause were retained in the Bill. He could not see why the proposal of an Exchequer grant should not be adapted to the case of the voluntary schools, or why the School Boards, if retained, should not have the power and the duty of supporting them. If the Exchequer grant could be made applicable to the voluntary schools so as to preserve them from starvation the principal argument advanced in favour of the Amendment fell to the ground. He really felt that the financial part of the case which was dwelt upon with so much emphasis by the hon. Member for the Stretford 1277 Division was not at all insuperable. It was only a question of modifying the Amendment the Government had given notice of, and of putting in a provision to meet the case of the voluntary schools by giving them a share in the rates. There was nothing in this question which need determine their decision upon the retention of the option. He came to a point which had been dwelt upon by some of his hon. friends on this side of the House, and that was the loss of the School Boards, He did not conceal from himself that in all probability the School Boards would have to go; but he thought it was a great pity that they should go in this sudden way, so as to lose the benefit of the knowledge and experience they had acquired. A particularly strong case could be made for the School Boards in towns like Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham, and Liverpool. The number of anomalies and difficulties in the Bill were so great that it could not be looked upon as a final measure. It was quite possible that the necessities of the case might drive the House back to an authority specially elected for the purpose of education. Then why destroy the School Boards now?—those bodies which in the great towns had done such admirable and useful work. When the experience of a few years had enabled them to see the working of the new system, they might be able to devise a scheme under which the merits of this system might be combined with the retention of School Boards in towns. He looked with great apprehension on the difficulties that would arise by throwing all at once such an enormous amount of work on the Borough Councils. Why destroy the existing authority now, unless there was some overwhelming necessity, and no overwhelming necessity had been shown. Considering that the difficulties of the voluntary schools might be dealt with by retaining the option, and that they would otherwise be sacrificing the School Boards, he thought that the balance of advantage was against the Amendment of his hon. friend. He had one more argument. It had been said by the First Lord early in the evening that after all they were only at the Committee stage, and that when the Report stage came en they would be in a 1278 better position for dealing with any question in regard to the powers of the County Councils and County Boroughs, as developed in Clauses 7, 8, and 12. That observation seemed to him very important. When they were discussing at the beginning of the evening the question of the postponement of the clause it was well observed by the First Lord that they should be in a much better position to judge of the propriety of throwing all these subjects at once on all authorities. If they knew precisely what the constitution of the authorities and their power would be they would be far better able to judge whether this option should be retained or cut out. There were the questions which would arise under Clauses 7, 8, and 12, and surely it was possible that alterations would be made in these clauses which might change their opinion in regard to option. He would suggest that the Option Clause should stay in the Bill at present, but let it be understood that if the Bill was so altered in Committee reasons might present themselves, when they came to the Report stage, for the desirability of striking out or retaining the option.
* SIR W. HART-DYKE (Kent, Dartford)
said he would endeavour to follow in spirit the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, who had advanced arguments from his own point of view for deferring the operation of this clause, so far as compulsion was concerned. The right hon. Gentleman had said that they ought to be patient, and that they had some right to demand that they should know more of the actual operations of the future clauses of the Bill as it came out of Committee. The right hon. Gentleman said that it was perfectly true and well known that a very large number of elementary schools were in a lamentable condition for want of funds, and he suggested to the Committee the very ingenious device that in all counties where the clause was not adopted the elementary schools should receive as a subsidy the 7s.6d. grant. He could not conceive of a more tinkering piece of legislation. What they asked for was to settle this problem once for all on a secure and lasting basis. The device of the right hon. Gentleman would not get rid of the 1279 main objection of the Nonconformists to the Bill, viz., the principle of the payment of rates in. support of the schools of the Church of England, arid, therefore, the device would produce very little results. After all, whatever course was taken they would be met with many difficulties, but those who supported the Amendment were in the main willing to face these difficulties and undertake the obligations involved. The right hon. Gentleman had said that here and there there were important counties which wished to defer their obligations. He had been in the West Riding of Yorkshire after the resolution referred to had been passed, and he found that all they asked for was that secondary and technical education should be dealt with first, and elementary education afterwards. There was another very important county, Lancaashire, in which every conceivable authority was clamouring to deal once for all with this educational problem. Was there any use, therefore, in saying that the authorities were not willing and eager to adopt the obligations imposed by the Bill 1 There was only one county, Northamptonshire, which had repudiated the obligation. [An HON. MEMBER: Durham.] He wanted to know how, when, and where the fierce passions which hon. Members opposite had spoken of were to be aroused when this scheme came to be introduced into practice. He thought his hon. friends opposite would concede that on this side of the House there had been a general tendency to deal with the Bill in a generous spirit so far as the Nonconformists were concerned, and he might assume that when the Bill came out of Committee their position would be considerably better. If that was so, where were these fierce passions to come in, and where were they to be aroused? Was there a single School Board school which would fall under the rule of the new authority that was likely to be disturbed if it was doing good work—or indeed either board school or voluntary school — and gaining a good grant. His reason for saying so was a practical one; the disturbance of these schools would be a useless expenditure, and the local authority would be as economical as possible for the purpose of saving the rates. It would 1280 be the duty of the educational authorities in the old School Board districts, as sensible men, to see that first and foremost proper representatives of the old School Boards were placed upon new Committees of management. Therefore, he maintained that the great disturbance and friction that was to come out of the Bill only rested in the heated imaginations of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He thought the Amendment ought to be supported because it would make a good Bill out of an in-different Bill. He himself never was a believer in an. optional Bill, and he did not believe for one instant in all the terrors of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He gave the Amendment his hearty support, for, as he had said, it would insure a good and practical measure.
§ (10.35.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that the right hon. Gentleman who had just spoken, and who, whenever he spoke on educational matters, was listened to with respect by the representatives from Wales, had given expression to one or two views in which he heartily concurred. But when the right hon. Gentleman said that the County Councils of England and Wales were willing and eager to adopt this Bill, he asked—Why, then, not leave it to their option? The right hon. Gentleman had used another argument which he would have thought would have been against the dropping of the option Clause. He said that this Bill would be so altered in its progress through Committee, that the objections they on that side of the House entertained to it at the present moment would be removed.
* SIR W. HART-DYKE
said he did not allege that all the objections would be removed, but that many of them might be removed by a more generous and liberal treatment.
§ MR. LLOYD GEORGE
said he was exceedingly glad to hear that from the right hon. Gentleman, because it might really assist in the solution of the difficulty. It was more than they could expect that all their objections would be removed. What he meant was that if their objections in regard to the absence of popular control over the voluntary 1281 schools were met, a Motion to drop the option, made at the end of the Bill, would probably be received with unanimous acceptance, and, moreover, a week in Committee would be saved as well. But he could only argue at the present moment as if the Bill were to remain as I it now was. He must assume that all their objections remained. If so, the dropping of the option was as serious a step as the First Lord could take. He ventured to tell the right hon. Gentleman, with all moderation, that he was on the threshold of a great mischief, unless he contemplated some real alteration in the Bill in the direction of meeting their objection with regard to the want of popular control. If the right hon. Gentleman was going to drop the option, he was doing it on inadequate grounds unless he meant to meet them on this point. The hon. Member for North Camberwell said it was necessary to drop option from an educational point of view, and he instanced the cases of Stockportand Preston—where there was nothing but voluntary schools—which gave no token of zeal for education. He said that if the Bill were made compulsory, these towns would be compelled to support their schools adequately. But would they? Supposing they were compelled to adopt the Act, what guarantee was there that they would give more in the way of rates than they I did now in the way of voluntary subscriptions? They would get 7s. 6d. per child, and they would spend it, but was there a single Clause in the Bill which would force them to spend a, penny more than now? Not one. The Education Department treated the schools in those towns as if they were effcient, and gave them the Imperial grants as if they were efficient, and that was what would huppen afterwards. The Education Department would riot compel the County Councils to do their work, and even if they were prepared to do it, there was no power within the four corners of the Bill to enable them to do it. Why did not the right hon. Gentleman withdraw the grants from the insufficient schools in these towns? It was because that Preston and Stock-port were powerful corporations. He contended that one result of adopting the Amendment would be to reduce the level of educational efficiency. The 1282 education in the rural districts would not be raised, but the education in the urban districts would be depressed. Hon. Members opposite had attacked this Clause really as if it had been an Amendment proposed from this side of the House. One hon. Member said that no sane man believed it possible to work the Bill with option in it. It was not his business to protect the sanity of the Minister in charge of the Bill. Unless rumour was a lying jade, this Clause was the work of the only Minister in this House who had had experience of local government. He thought it very unfortunate that the Clause should be proceeded with in the absence of that Minister, an absence they all regretted, more especially the cause of it. The hon. Baronet the Member for the Chester-le-Street Division had said that half a loaf was better than no bread. It depended entirely upon the quality of the bread; for if that bread was poisonous he would prefer no loaf. He ventured to say that if the Bill was carried in its present form passions would be raised in the country the like of which men of the present generation had never seen. A resolution was carried the other day—he expressed no opinion on it at the present moment: it was not necessary—by the whole body of the Welsh Congregationalists, who were responsible men, and whose leaders were men of known confidence, declaring that if the Bill were passed in its present form they would deem it their bounden duty to resist the payment of rates for the voluntary schools. It was folly for the Committee to ignore such facts. The right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury said that if he resisted the payment of rates it would be an immoral proceeding. He should like to know why. If a man had a conscientious objection to obeying the law, was it an immoral act for him to defy it? The First Lord of the Treasury was the right hon. Gentleman who in this House defended the doctrine of the limits of human endurance. What was that doctrine? It was that a mob, bound to obey the law, was justified, under the influence of passion, I in smashing property and endangering j life, simply because some one had excited them beyond the limits of human endurance. The men of whom he spoke were 1283 not the type of which mobs were made. They were some of the best and most law abiding citizens in the land, and what they did, they did deliberately and from a serious sense of their duty to their country, He would remind hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite of another doctrine they propounded. They, on that side, were simply learning the lessons which had been taught to them, he remembered that when the Home Rule Bill was passing through the House, the argument used, not by wild Orangemen or irresponsible Members, but by the Colonial Secretary and other right hon. Gentlemen now on the Treasury Bench, was that if the measure were carried the men of Ulster would refuse to pay the levies imposed upon them by the Irish Parliament—"that Ulster would fight, and that Ulster would be right." In what respect did that doctrine differ from the doctrine of the Nonconformist who said that he had a conscientious objection to the payment of rates? The right hon. Gentleman had no right to charge some of the best and finest men in the land with immorality because they made that declaration. If a Nonconformist were living in a district where the majority of the population was not of his faith, he must accept the consequences of democratic government. If the option were dropped, and if Churchmen were in a majority, they would control every school in the district. If the Churchmen were in a minority they would still control the voluntary schools. If the Nonconformists were in a majority they would only control a certain number of schools; and if they were in a minority they would have no voice in the management of any school at all. Did the right hon. Gentleman think that men of public spirit and self-respect would rate themselves in such circumstances, or allow themselves to be coerced. If the Government really meant to press the matter through, the County Councils in Nonconformist districts would defy the pressure of the central Government, and no power in the land could coerce them. They were the best citizens in the land, the most intelligent artisans, and the best of the middle classes. They were foremost in every form of public work, except one, and that was picking oakum, which 1284 seemed to he left to those who believed in segregation. The right hon. Gentleman said there was no precedent. Had he forgotten the Vaccination Acts? When the Town Councils refused to put them into operation, what was the result? The whole system broke down; but when the option was given, not to the local authorities but to the individual, the Acts worked well. In that case they had not got the religious element which justified people in opposing the law, and, above all, they had not got powerful organisations like the Nonconformist organisations in resistance to the law. He asked hon. Members, when such powerful organisations were banded together and were perfectly united, was there any case on record where coercion had been effective against them. If the Government persisted in forcing such men to contribute to schools, the doctrines of which they repudiated, and in the management of which they had no voice, the result would be disastrous to the whole system of education in the country.
§ * MR. PEEL (Manchester, S)
said it was an extraordinary thing, after the conciliatory speech of the first Lord of the Treasury, that the Committee should have heard such a speech as that which had just been delivered. He noticed, however, that it was greeted by very few cheers, even on the hon. Member's own side of the House; and he did not suppose that any one was impressed by the stage thunder in which the hon. Member had indulged. His right hon. friend had asked how these passions, of which the Committee had heard, were to be aroused. It was by speeches of that kind, and by them only. The hon. Member was not satisfied with denouncing the Bill, but he threatened the Committee with some sort of revolution in some parts of the country, and he said that some of the men he knew so well would refuse to pay rates. If they refused to pay rates, they ought to go to prison. It was a scandalous thing that language of that kind should be used in the House, and especially on an occasion when everything had been done that could reasonably be done to meet the requirements of the other 1285 side. The matter had been left open to the House, and he hoped most earnestly that the option Clause would be omitted. He agreed with what had been said that, if the option Clause were not thrown out, the Bill would lose its vitality. Over and over again it had been asserted that they could only have a proper system of secondary education by founding a proper system of elementary education. If it were left to the option of the County Councils, and if Parliament did not decide what the duties of the County Councils should be, they could not have a proper Education Bill at all. From what he knew of County Councils, they were far more ready to accept powers and to ask for powers than to refuse powers offered to them; and all that was wanted was to make any recalcitrant County Council properly use the powers entrusted to it. What would happen if these powers were not adopted? Let the Committee imagine the state of mind of managers of small board schools and voluntary schools who would not know when the guillotine would descend on them. The sword of Damocles would be hanging over their heads, and they would not know at what time they would be extinguished. They should have uniformity in such matters. When County Councils were established they did not send round to every county and ask whether it desired to have a council. Under the Bill there would be a great deal of licence and liberty as to how far, and in what manner, these powers should be carried out, in accordance with the varying circumstances of the County Councils and 1286 Borough Councils; but there could be no justification on the part of anyone who cared to promote the objects of the Bill, for saying that Parliament should not discharge its proper duties, by clearly defining what are and are not to be the duties of subordinate authorities.
§ *(11.0.) SIR JAMES WOODHOUSE Huddersfield)
said that the Amendment was of very serious and far-reaching importance, as it involved the question whether the provisions of the Bill should be optional or compulsory. After a great deal of consideration, he had arrived at the conclusion that the original scheme of the Government was a wise and prudent one; and that each local authority should be left to determine for itself whether the provisions of the Bill, extinguishing the existing educational authority, should or should not be adopted. As the representative of a large industrial community, and as one who has had no small experience of Local Government, he was satisfied that to extinguish the School Boards, at all events in the great cities and towns, would be fraught with much danger to the education of this country. What case had been made out for destroying the School Boards in large communities? He admitted that the same case did not exist with regard to rural School Boards or School Boards in small urban areas; but with regard to the large cities and towns, like Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Huddersfield, which he had the honour to represent, he was satisfied that if the School Boards were extinguished great mischief would result. 1287 Surely the onus of showing why these authorities should be extinguished rested on those who sought to extinguish them, and not on those who sought to defend them. Every one admitted they hey had done good work, and that, but for them, the advance which had been made in education would not have been possible. They had broadened and bettered the whole scope of the educational system of the country; their formation had stimulated the managers of other schools to greater exertions than they otherwise would have made; they had given a new and healthy impulse to instruction, and for that they deserved the respect of the country and of the House, rather than that they should be treated in the manner suggested. Although he deprecated very strongly the sectarian feeling which had been introduced into the discussion, and although, as an educationalist, he regretted it, still, he could not help feeling, especially when he saw by whom the Amendment was supported, that the real secret of the desire to extinguish these educational authorities was inspired by the same spirit which was expressed by the Prime Minister a few years ago when he said "our first duty is to capture the School Boards." Feeling that that was the real motive behind the Amendment, he very strongly objected to it. He further objected to it on the ground that municipal councils in the great cities and towns in the country had already quite enough to do, without imposing on them new and onerous duties in connection with primary education, which they had never demanded. What should be the test as to whether there should be one authority to deal with education alone, or whether it should be included as part of the work 1288 of municipal authorities? Surely it was the dignity and importance of the work to be done. Was not education in itself sufficient to require all the energy and attention of a body of men taking a deep interest in that subject, and chosen for that work alone. Who would venture to suggest that they should for example transfer the administration of the Poor Law in the towns to the municipal authorities. It was recognised that education required a separate Department of the Government to deal with it, and why should not the same principle be applied with reference to the local authorities? He objected to taking out of the hands of the people the power of saying whether they would transfer to the local authorities the work which was now being done so well by the School Boards. In his own constituency there was a very strong feeling in the matter, and he would therefore oppose the Amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I wish to suggest to the Committee that it might be possible to bring this debate to a termination. It has been a very interesting and very important debate; it has continued for many hours; and every point of view has found full expression, and, in these circumstances, I would suggest that we should bring it to a termination.
§ * MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)
said he wished to appeal to the right hon. Gentleman not to press the Committee to terminate the debate too rapidly. They were in the last ditch with regard to the School Boards, as if the Amendment were carried they would see the last of those great institutions which, 1289 they were all agreed, had done so much good work for education. The contention of the hon. Member for the Stretford Division was that that was a question which ought to be settled by the House rather than by the local authorities. There was a good deal to be said for that point of view; but he suggested, first of all, that the House of Commons was not elected to deal with the question now before it. Let them appeal to the country and ascertain the feeling of the people; and then they might fittingly accept the views of the representatives of the people in the House. As a matter of fact, Parliament was I elected to finish the war rather than to finish the School Boards. Opposition to the Amendment did not come from one side only. He had received two opinions from the two principal educational authorities in the borough he represented. First of all, there was a resolution passed by the School Boards, which it might be said was a biased opinion because they were fighting for their lives; but at the same time they had a right to be heard. That resolution; said that it appeared desirable in some respects that the question should be determined locally rather than that it should be arbitrarily imposed on, each district by Statute; that it might be decided by a poll of ratepayers; that if it were rejected another poll should not be taken for three years; and that in default of such a poll the concurrence of the School Board should at least be necessary. That was a very fair position for the School Boards to take up. He had also a resolution from another body, which was even more important. It was a resolution passed by the Day Church Schools Association, which put on record the 1290 Associations appreciation of the excellent relations which had always existed between the Ipswich School Board and the Ipswich voluntary schools, and trusted that Parliament would not make the adoption of Part III. of the Bill compulsory. That showed that the question was not a one-sided one. The hon. Member for South Manchester criticised his hon. friend the, Member for the Carnarvon Boroughs for stating in this House what had been so freely stated outside. He thought the hon. Member had utterly forgotten history when he spoke. A large number of people in the country most strenuously objected to be rated for the teaching of certain kinds of religious instruction in which they did not believe. He did not wish to use anything in the nature of a threat, but he thought it desirable to remind the Committee that the question had been fought once before. People objected to pay rates, and they won their fight. Looking back on that thirty years of history, was it to be conceived that the Nonconformists of the present day were not at least as strong now, and certainly more numerous, than they were when that fight was fought. They were taking up the same attitude now; and they would object to be rated for religious instruction in which they did not believe. He urged the right hon. Gentleman not to disregard the matter, as a large number of people believed that the abolition of School Boards by the passing of the Bill would be a very grievous injustice, and against it they would continue to protest.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
The right hon. Gentleman made an appeal to the Committee to bring this discussion to a 1291 close, and I shall not stand in the way of that result for any length of time. But at the same time I think that the right hon. Gentleman cannot have fully realised the tremendous importance of the vote we are about to give. It is, to my mind, the most important point that has been raised since we commenced our discussions on this Bill, because it involves nothing less than that we should either consent to, or protest against, the slaughter of the School Boards of the country. I admit my feeling of objection on that point goes far beyond the question of option, for, option or no option, I have never yet heard any good reason why School Boards should be superseded. My hon. friend the Member for North Camberwell has spoken of the necessity of raising the standard of education and efficiency in denominational schools and he pointed to the case of the borough of Preston as one in which education was very backward, and he attributed that to the lack of public spirit there; then he proceeded to the neighbouring borough of Bolton, and showed what splendid educational results were achieved there, and how liberally the rates for education were imposed there. What is the cure offered by the Government? That Bolton should lose its School Board and be brought with Preston under the general system. When the best schools in the country are found to be under School Boards, surely that is not the part of our educational system to which destructive forces should be applied. I am no friend to any proposal for superseding School Boards; but the Bill provides that there should be an option in the matter. Two eminent and conspicuous supporters of the Government have denounced as 1292 pure insanity the proposal deliberately inserted in the Bill by the Government. But it has at least this much to be said for it—that some large and important bodies are most reluctant to undertake this new duty, and we are not likely to add to the efficiency of our system by imposing such duties on unwilling authorities. I shall vote against the Amendment, and never before have I voted in a greater conviction that I am right.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS (Carmarthenshire, E.)
said he would vote against the Amendment for two reasons. The first was that if the Amendment was passed the School Boards in his constituency, which had been a great success, would be got rid of, and an educational system which had effected nothing but was good would be brought to an end. The second reason was that if they did away with the present system, which was the best so far as they had gone, they would be doing so on the chance that another system would be better, although it had never been tried. From every corner of his constituency he had received resolutions asking him to oppose the Amendment to the utmost of his power. When he found that in his constituency the work of the School Boards had been a great success, and that his constituents were practically unanimous in favour of supporting the School Board, he, like his great leader, should be only too glad to vote against the Amendment.
§ * MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)
said he too would oppose the Amendment, and would support the permissive character of the Bill to prevent the abolition, so far as possible, of School Boards with all their accumulated experience in management. He imagined that a very great 1293 deal of opposition to the permissive clauses of the Bill arose from a fear that in practice they would starve out the voluntary schools. He had given an earnest of his own desire to deal justly and fairly by the voluntary schools by putting an Amendment on the Taper providing that in any urban district where the Council did not adopt the Act, and where the School Boards were accordingly continued, all the powers under this Act should vest in the School Boards, which, of necessity, would then be compelled to support financially the voluntary schools within their area just the same as any other school. They, in supporting this Amendment, asserted the right of direct popular and public control in rate-aided schools; they might, however, be beaten on the present occasion, but they would be face to face with this position that the demand would continue. For years past, the House, when dealing with great measures, had always considered the claims of the Opposition in a spirit of fairness which shewed itself in the ultimate form of the Bill, so that both sides could accept it as a basis of action for years to come, and so prevent an agitation immediately developing in the country for its repeal. He claimed that they approached the question in the purest educational spirit, and that they only desired to arrive at a conclusion which would enable them to develop and improve teaching throughout the country. In supporting the Clause as it originally stood, they were not actuated by any want of sympathy with the voluntary schools. They stood by the dual compact of 1870, when the voluntary schools were admitted into the National system, and they wore prepared to stand by it still, and endeavour to bring the voluntary schools up to a position of greater efficiency.
§ * MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said he hardly thought the Committee realised the gravity of the step which was about to be taken, as regarded, at all events, some parts of the country. In Wales they were not opposed to education, and wished to do all that they possibly could to promote it; but unless the Committee proceeded on some different principle, he could assure the right lion. Gentleman that the effect of forcing the measure upon the County Councils of Wales would be so grave that every one who took part in that action, would feel that there was something, at any rate, to regret in it. He agreed with the hon. Member who moved the Amendment that difficulties would arise even if the original proposal were accepted; but he ventured to say that infinitely greater difficulties would arise if they adopted the proposal which the hon. Member laid before the Committee. He was aware it was advisable to keep as far as possible aloof from subjects which appeared to unduly stir up party feeling and sectarian passion; but it was right that some indication, at all events, should be given of the intense feeling which prevailed in some quarters outside the House on the question. He would only indicate the existence of that feeling, and express a hope that something would be done during the progress of the Bill through Committee, to avoid consequences which many of them had only too much reason to fear.
§ (11.26.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 271; Noes, 102. (Division List No. 281.)1297
|Abraham, William(Cork. N. E,)||Fardell, Sir T. George||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Ac'and-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Long Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fergusson, Rt Hn SirJ. (Manc'r||Lowe, Francis William|
|Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden||Finch, George H.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Anstruther, H. T.||Fisher, William Hayes||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouh)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Flower, Ernest||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Flynn, James Christopher||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Foster, Sir Michael(Lond. Univ.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Balcarres, Lord||Foster, PhilipS. Warwick, S. W.||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Galloway, William Johnson||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Gardner, Ernest||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Garfit, William||M'Govern, T.|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinb'rgh W|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gordon Hn J E (Elgin & Nairn||M'Kean, John|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Gorst Rt Hn Sir John Eldon||Maxwell, W J H(Dumfriesshire|
|Beresford, Lord Chas. William||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Bill, Charles||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Milvain, Thomas|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Grant, Corrie||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Boland, John||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bond, Edward||Green, WalfordD (Wednesbury||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Gretton John||Mooney, John J.|
|Brassey, Albert||Greville Hon. Roland||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Groves James Grimble||Morgan, David J(W'lth'mstow|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Bull, William James||Haldane, Rt. Hn. Richard B.||Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford)|
|Butcher, John George||Hamilton Rt Hn LordG(Midd'x||Mount, William Arthur|
|Butcher, John George||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry||Mowbray, Sir. Robert Gray C.|
|Carlile William Walter||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.||Murphy, John|
|Carson, Rt Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Murray, Charles J (Coventry)|
|Cavendish V C W (Derbyshire||Harwood, George|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Chapman Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Col. JohnP. (Galway, N.)|
|Churchill, Winston Spender||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Heath, James (Staftords. N. W.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Higginbottom, S. W.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brighside||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hornby Sir William Henry||O'Brien, P. J. (Tiperary, N.)|
|Colomb, SirJohnCharlesReady||Hoult, Joseph||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh'm||O'Malley William|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)|
|Cross. Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. ArthurFred.||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Johnstone, Heywood)Sussex)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Delany, William||Joicey, Sir James||Pease, Herbt. Pike(Darlington|
|Denny, Colonel||Jones, William (Carnarv'nshr'e||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Dewar, John A. (Invernes-sh.||Joyce, Michael||Penn, John|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Percy, Earl|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P||Kennedy, Patrick James||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Dillon John||Kenyon. Hon. Geo. T (Denbigh||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop.||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Donelan Captain A||Keswick, William||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Doogan, P. C||Law, Hugh Alex (Donegal, W.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Lawson, John Grant||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Leamy, Edmund||Purvis Robert.|
|Doxford. Sir William Theodore||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants., Fareh'm||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Leese, Sir JosephF.(Accrington|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Randles, John S.|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Rankin, Sir James|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Emmott, Alfred||Lockwood, Lt. Col. A. R.||Reddy, M.|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks) j||Warr, Augus'us Frederick|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Spear, John Ward||Wentworth. Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Renwick, George||Stewart, SirMark J. M'Taggart||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Richards, Henry Charles||Stock, James Henry||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Ridley, Hn. M. W (Stalybridge)||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Ridley, S. F. orde (Bethnal Green||Stroyan, John||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Struit, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Sullivan, Donal||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)|
|Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G(Oxf d Univ.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Ropner, Colonel Robert||Thorburn, Sir Walter||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Round, Rt. Hon. James||Tollemache, Henry James||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Royds, Clement, Molyenx||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Young, Samuel|
|Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Younger, William|
|Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Tuke, Sir John Batty||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Tully Jasper|
|Shaw Stewart. M. H. (Renfrew)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Walrond. Rt. Hn. Sir William H||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Simeon, Sir Barrington||Wanklyn, James Leslie||Mr. Henry Hobhouse and|
|Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Warde, Colonel C. E.||Dr. Macnamara.|
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead||Hemphill. Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Allen, CharlesP. (Gloue, Stroud||Holland, Sir William Henry||Rigg, Richard|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Horniman, Frederick John||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hutton. Alfred E. (Morley)||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Jacoby, James Alfred||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Black, Alexander William||Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea||Runciman, Walter|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Kitson, Sir James||Russell, T. W.|
|Brigg, John||Labouchere, Henry||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Lambert, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Leng, Sir John||Spencer, RtHn. C. R(Northants|
|Caldwell, James||Levy, Maurice||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cameron, Robert||Lewis, John Herbert||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Lloyd-George, David||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lough, Thomas||Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Channing, Francis Allston||M'Kenna, Reginald||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Cremer, William Randal||Mellor, Rt, Hon. John William||Thomas, J. A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Moss, Samuel||Tomkinson, James|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Moulton, John Fletcher||Toulmin, George|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Newnes, Sir George||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Edwards, Frank||Norman, Henry||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Norton, Captain Cecil William||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Palmer, Geo. Wm. (Reading)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth.|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk, Mid.|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Paulton, James Mellor||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||Perks, Robert William|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hn. Sir William||Pirie, Duncan V.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Price, Robert John||Sir James Woodhouse and|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Priestley, Arthur||Major Seely.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
§ Question proposed, "That lines 27 to 31 be omitted."
§ Agreed to.
MR. ALFRED BUTTON
asked whether he would be in order in moving an Amend- 1298 ment, the object of which was to give the County Councils an opportunity—say, a period of three years—to make the necessary arrangements for taking over this work.
* THE CHAIRMAN
I think that would be a contradiction, though not a direct contradiction, of what the Committee have already agreed to.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
said he did not wish the period to be so long as to defeat the decision of the Committee.
* THE CHAIRMAN
If I were to admit the Amendment, how could I refuse a proposal to leave out "three" years, and insert "fifty"? That would really nullify the decision of the Committee. The Amendment should have been moved as an Amendment to the Amendment.
§ Question "That Clause 5, as amended, stand part of the Bill" put and negatived.
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
On a point of order, Sir, the question you put from the Chair was that Clause 5, as amended, stand part of the Bill, and you declared that the noes have it.
§ Committee report Progress; to sit again upon Monday next.