§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee).
§ [MR. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ Clause 7:—
§ (2.50.) SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
said the situation had materially altered since the House was last in Committee on the Bill. There was then an idea that the Amendment of the Clause which the right hon. Gentleman had promised to lay on the Table of the HOUSE would be satisfactory to hon. Members on that side of the House who took an interest in the question. That illusion, he was sorry to say, must be dispelled. The Amendment had not given a shred of satisfaction. Besides that, the subject-matter of Clause 8 would be imported by the Government Amendments into Clause 7, which would become a new Clause rather than an amended one. It would become the 792 earliest step in the settlement of the most vital part of the Bill relating to the management of the denominational schools. They had been very anxious to come to some understanding that the interruption of Committee on the Bill should come at the end of Clause 7 in order that they might not approach that important question at a time when they would not have full opportunity for discussing it, but now the Clause had assumed new importance, and he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to say whether, in the interests of the proper discussion of the Bill, and, of the temper in which it was to be discussed, the Clause should not be postponed. The proposed Amendment did not even profess to remove the impediment that stood in the way of agreement, and he asked him in all sincerity, and not from a desire to obstruct in anyway, whether, considering the short time intervening between now and August 8, and the other work to be done, the discussion on this, perhaps the most important point in the Bill, should not stand over. He held that that was a most reasonable proposal to make, and he therefore moved that the Clause be postponed.
I cannot put the question that the Clause be postponed, because the Committee has already entered upon the discussion of, and disposed of, two Amendments to it. I will put it as a Motion to report Progress.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Chairman do report Progress; and ask leave to sit again."—(Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.)
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I have listened with great attention to the observations of the right hon. Gentleman, and I really am unable to understand that there is any reason for putting off the discussion of this Clause till the other Clauses have been disposed of. Even if it had been possible to postpone the Clause, the reason falls to the ground after the ruling from the Chair. I cannot deny that the Clause as I propose to amend it, the Clause, in fact, as unamended, is one on which there has been, perhaps, more acrimonious discussion in the country than on any other. I can only express the hope—it may be a faint hope—that 793 these discussions in the House will be of a somewhat more friendly character. I would remind the House that I have never said a single word about the Clause which could mislead any one. I was at great pains the last time we were discussing the Bill, and I was adumbrating the general policy of the Government, to make it clear that we did not propose to alter the proportions of the management in voluntary schools. It is, I suppose, that provision of the Bill which is so unsatisfactory to the right hon. Gentleman and to which he feels bound to offer strenuous opposition. I greatly regret this, but do not see that it is a reason for giving it up. I would suggest that whether the policy of the Government be right or wrong, whether the proportion of elected managers to denominational managers is the correct proportion or the incorrect proportion, no adequate ground has been shown why the debate should be postponed until the autumn. The autumn session was a burden to Members, which he was anxious to reduce as much as possible, and with that object the Committee should get on with the Bill. It would be a great misfortune if the House had to sit over Christmas and even to January—["Oh, oh,"]—as had happened before and might happen again. The interruptions from the other side of the House supplied the answer to the right hon. Gentleman, and seemed to indicate that his followers did not favour the prospect of discussing the Bill in January or February next year. That was good reason for making the best use of the opportunity for discussion now presented.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said that objections and rulings from the Chair had hitherto prevented discussion of matters dealt with in a clause subsequent to that under the notice of the Committee, but now, to suit the convenience of the Government, it was proposed to throw that principle aside. The reason assigned for this was to get rid of the question at the present sitting of the House, because it was said if it were postponed until the autumn sitting the discussion would take until Christmas. It was evident, therefore, that the right hon. Gentleman contemplated a prolonged discussion.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the right hon. Gentleman had not listened to him, or he had not clearly expressed himself. He referred to the whole Bill as likely to require a long discussion, and that was reason for the Committee proceeding with all diligence.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said the right hon. Gentleman would not deny that this was really the fighting part of the Bill. The First Lord of the Treasury had made some suggestions to them in order that the autumn session might be short.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said he was not desirous of misrepresenting the right hon. Gentleman, so he would let that be his own point. If it were true that they were only to have today and tomorrow and no other days this week for this discussion, how many days would then remain? This was an important part of the Bill, and the right hon. Gentleman was anxious that it should be rapidly proceeded with in order that the autumn sitting might be shorter. The Committee did not know how many days were to be devoted to the Bill before the adjournment. How many days were going to be appropriated to Supply? He understood that there was to be a new form of Supply. They ought to know how many days were going to be given to water, and how many to the discussion of this Clause, which everybody admitted was the most material part of the Bill to be decided before the adjournment. The opportunities which remained at the fag end of a session was not the proper time when a question of this kind ought to be dealt with. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of acrimonious discussions in the country, but did the Committee think those discussions would be any the less acrimonious when the people knew that this Clause had been 795 smuggled through the House at the fag end of the session? Was that likely to reconcile- the people who were dissatis fled with, this arrangement? Therefore if the Government desired this question to be discussed, and he assumed that the right hon. Gentleman desired this, then they ought to be told how many days they meant to allow for the discussion of this Clause. That was a thing which they had a right to ask, and if they did not obtain this information, the proposal of his right hon. friend was a reasonable one, and quite in accordance with the usual practice in this House.
§ (3.8.) MR. McKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
said he did not know whether he should be in order in raising the point to which he desired to draw the attention of the Chairman, or whether he ought to wait until the First Lord of the Treasury's Amendment was reached. He wished to ask whether the Amendments placed upon the Paper by the First Lord of the Treasury were in order if moved as Amendments to Clause 7? The only part of Clause 7 which would stand if this Amendment were adopted would be—All public elementary schoo's shall be manage in the case of schools provided by the local authority.The rest of the Clause would be left out, and the right hon. Gentleman was proposing to introduce an alternative system. On many occasions the Chairman had ruled that when an alternative system was proposed to a clause, the proper proceeding would be to move to leave out the words to be struck out and submit the alternative system as a new clause. He held that there could not be a clearer case of an alternative proposal than this Amendment. Practically the whole of Clause 7 was swept away, and an entirely new proposal was submitted by the right hon. Gentleman. He argued that the words might come in as an Amendment to Clause 8, but he contended that this Amendment could not be in order on Clause 7.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
said that it was around this Clause that the struggles' in the country would arise, He had had no opportunity of consulting his own constituents in regard to this new proposal, which was practically a new clause, and it ought to be postponed until they had had an opportunity of consulting their friends in the country and their constituents. It was wrong and unjust to force this through the Committee by sheer weight of numbers without any opportunity of listening to reason. Upon these grounds he thought it was reasonable to ask that this Clause should be postponed.
MR. TPEVELYAN (Yorkshire, W.R., Elland)
said he did not know whether 1 the Committee realised the number of days which were available. They were going to have two days discussion on the Education Bill this week. On Tuesday evening it was probable that private Bills would be allowed to cut into the evening sitting. This was a part of the Education Bill which he thought everybody was anxious should not be curtailed, for it would not tell in favour of the smooth working of the Bill or tend to its quick passage into law if there was any sense of injustice felt on the part of the people who were opposed to it. There were eight whole Parliamentary days and two half-days before the adjournment. Of those days five were definitely given up to Supply. He wished to know if the Government intended to go on with the Water Bill. If so, it might be assumed that two half-days would be given to the London Water Bill, and that the remaining three Parliamentary days would be given to the Supplementary Estimates before the House. Of course it would be necessary to have some discussion on the resolution to adjourn. For the discussion of this absolutely vital point of the whole Bill, which was being brought up in a much more detailed form than originally proposed, they were going to have at the very outside three days discussion. He thought it was very doubtful whether a full Parliamentary discussion could be given in three days. The alternative was that the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister would have to have all night sittings, or else he would have to 797 closure the representatives of Nonconformity, which, he thought, was a prospect even he would not entertain.
*MR. CHAINING (Northamptonshire, E.)
said that the First Lord of the Treasury took up the cheers from certain quarters of the House as a sufficient argument for rejecting the proposal of his right hon. friend. He thought the right hon. Gentleman misinterpreted the cheers. The cheersindicated pretty clearly that in the face of the Amendment put on the Paper by the right hon. Gentleman, and in the face of the situation foreshadowed in the country, it would be inevitable that this Bill should be debated at great length during the autumn session as well as on the present occasion if the First Lord of the Treasury persisted in rejecting this Motion today. There had been the strongest expression of opinion with regard to the Amendments by leading Nonconformists already. They had foreshadowed almost interneeine war on this question, He had road with deep interest a letter in the press from the Rev. F. B. Meyer, in which he said that the Amendments proposed by the right hon. Gentleman filled him with despair, and that if he stood by them there was nothing before Free Churchmen but a long and bitter struggle. Another leading Nonconformist had described these Amendments as a studied insult to the Free Churches. They were at the very crisis of this Bill, where the strongest animosities were aroused. It was clear that the suggestion. of the First Lord of the Treasury would not bring them within view of a peaceful solution of these questions. They rather opened the door to more acrimonious discussion. Upon the proper and wise solution of these questions would depend the educational progress of the country for months and years, and he asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether he would not be well advised to postpone this Clause until it had received fuller discussion in the country.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said there was really not time left to consider the Clause properly before the adjournment. If the right hon. Gentleman deducted the days which were to be devoted 798 to Estimates, and Supplementary Estimates, the time to be given to the Irish Local Government Bill, the time he probably wished to give to the London Water Bill, and the time which must be given to the Appropriation Bill, how could he expect to be able to dispose of this Clause? If they were to do justice to the numerous points of importance raised by the, Clause, they could not dispose of it in four days except by use of the closure. He was perfectly certain that the right hon. Gentleman did not wish to employ the closure in a matter of this kind. If the Clause could not be rarried before the adjournment, the eight hon. Gentleman would be obliged to drop the discussion in the middle of the Clause. Surely no time would be saved by pressing it now, for if the right hon. Gentleman had to leave the Clause half finished. Besides the controversial questions which would arise on the Amendments, there were other points raised by other Amendments. There was a most important Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for East Somerset, in regard to the grouping of schools so that managers might be appointed for each group. That would require a great deal of consideration. He must say he thought that matter would be better dealt with as a new Clause, than by an Amendment which was practically a new Clause. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman would shorten the autumn session or diminish the strain upon the House by refusing to postpone the Clause now. The difference of one or two days which the right hon. Gentleman thought would be gained now would not be felt when he came to the autumn session. It would be better to get the Clause through in the autumn session without acrimony, than to press it through now.
§ (3.22.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
expressed the hope that the right hon. Gentleman would listen to the appeal which had been addressed to him. The right hon. Gentleman had practically taken out of Clause 8 a most controversial sub-section, and put it into Clause 7 alter elaborating it. He now proposed to press the Clause through before the adjournment, He could not do that unless he meant to put pressure 799 on the House, and that would be exceedingly unfair and disastrous in the present state of the controversy. If they were going to have a late autumn sitting he thought they ought to rise early at this stage. This, after all, was the crux of the Bill. Upon the way this Clause issued from the Committee would depend the whole attitude of the great Nonconformist bodies of this country towards the Bill, and after all they were not to be ignored. They were in a minority in this House because it was a House which was not elected upon this issue. This had never been a fair and square issue before the electorate. He felt perfectly certain, if the issue now raised in Clause 7 had been put to the country at the last election, the complexion of the House of Commons, which had an overwhelming majority supporting the right hon. Gentleman, was not the one it would have borne at the present moment. The right hon. Gentleman was using the majority obtained on another issue to force the Bill upon the nation. The people of the country had hardly had time to consider the Bill. Why did the right hon. Gentleman take out the obnoxious subsection in Clause 8 and put it into Clause 7? It was not because it was better drafting. There was only one reason. He wanted this thing settled before the recess, because he thought it would influence the agitation which was now going on against the Bill. The hon. Member did not think that was fair. He believed it would have exactly the opposite result from that anticipated by the right hon. Gentleman. He had a letter from a man who had not taken a prominent part in agitation on the platform, but he was one of the most powerful in the Nonconformist ranks, and he had come to the conclusion that the Government had made up its mind not to meet the reasonable objections of Nonconformists. That man wanted to make it clear at the outset that, whether the Bill of the Government got through or not, they were simply at the beginning of the controversy so far as the free churches were concerned. Did the right hon. Gentleman mean to carry this through now in order to make it clear to the free churches of the country that this was his ultimatum? If so, 800 he thought it was a pretty serious state of things. It would mean two or three months of the bitterest agitation which the right hon. Gentleman had ever had to face. He believed that thousands of electors who voted for hon. Members opposite would not do it again. As one who was anxious that some sort of Bill should be evolved out of the present chaos, he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether it would not be better in the interest of education to arrive at some compromise by which they could obtain a fair workable measure. That was the alternative. The right hon. Gentleman would force on an agitation of which he did not see the end. He did not know the power and determination of the Nonconformists in regard to this matter. They might call it fanaticism if they liked, but fanaticism was a very dangerous thing to arouse, and no real friend of education would like to see it roused in connection with this or any other Bill. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman whether it would not be better to avoid all this agitation, and give the two or three months of the recess to the purpose of thrashing this matter out. What would the right hon. Gentleman gain? He might gain an extra day next week, but the only result would be that he would force this section through Committee under circumstances which would exasperate bitterness, because there would be a feeling in the country that there was no freedom of debate, and, what was worse, the right hon. Gentleman would only get half the section through, and the whole controversy would be renewed when the other half came to be considered. There were some departmental Bills that might, in the meantime, be got out of the way, and even some other Clauses in this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman was stirring up, without real knowledge, the forces at work in this business. They had discussed this matter with considerable equanimity in the Committee hitherto. The discussions did not represent a tithe of the real animosity outside. What surprised Nonconformist ministers who visited the Chamber was the spirit in which the Bill was discussed, and these said that hon. Members had not got the earnestness of the men who sent them there. 801 If the right hon. Gentleman did not listen to this appeal, he would do the Bill no good and do education no good.
§ *SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
said he supported the appeal made to the right hon. Gentleman on practical grounds. The first was time. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman had accurately estimated the shortness of the time before him to deal with this gigantic task in Clause 7. Assuming that the Adjournment took place on the Friday before the Coronation, there were only available ten Parliamentary days. Now, of those ten days eight were practically appropriated outside this Bill, and outside legislation altogether. There were three days taken next week for Supply and three days this week for the Irish Estimates and financial relations. Then they should not approach the Appropriation Bill in a temper of resentment. That was a Bill, which could not reasonably be closured, and the debate upon it might extend over two days. Last year the Second Reading occupied one day and the Third Reading one day. Putting aside all other questions that might arise, he was sure that after this week the right hon. Gentleman could not get more than two available days for the Education Bill. The next point was that urged with great force and eloquence by the hon. Member for Carnarvon. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that there were a great number of people in this country and on both sides of the House who, although disappointed with the proposals in the Bill, were anxious for a reasonable compromise. He was satisfied that if the right hon. Gentleman would only mark time, moderate men on both sides might put their heads together, and a solution would be found which would obviate the destruction of that popular control which should accompany the expenditure of public money and at the same time protect the legitimate claims of the denominational schools. But he was convinced that if the right hon. Gentleman forced this question on to a decision in the next two or three days, he would sweep away all possibility of a compromise. It would amount to a declaration of war, and he did not think that that would be wise in 802 the interests of the contending parties in the country or of education. That was a step which should not be taken until every other means had been exhausted. He appealed to the right hon. Gentleman not to go on with Clause 7 so far as it dealt with School Board schools and the schools to be provided by the new education authority. The right hon. Gentleman should leave the fighting question over altogether till the autumn. There would be a good deal to say on both sides of the House on questions, of considerable difficulty in this Clause, which were evidently not present to the mind of the right hon. Gentleman. He could not see how this Clause was to be worked in large towns like Wolverhampton, where he was Chairman of the School Board, so far as the School Board Schools were concerned. There was plenty of debatable matter in Clause 7 without approaching this contentious question. For these reasons, and in the interests of peace and a wise settlement of the question, he appealed to the right hon. Gentleman to arrive at some modus vivendi by which consideration of Clause 7 might be postponed.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that before he came to the larger question of subsidies which had been raised by the right hon. Gentleman and the Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, he might say with regard to the actual time at their disposal, that even on the right hon. Gentleman's own calculation it appeared that four days were left, during the present session for the discussion of the Education Bill, and that was the exact time which it was suggested by the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen might appropriately be taken up by the discussion on this question.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he himself anticipated with some confidence that they would not have less than four days for the discussion in connection with this clause.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)
said he would remind the right hon. Gentleman of the fact that he had 803 definitely promised a day for discussing the question connected with the shipping combination.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he did not anticipate there would be a whole day I required for the discussion of that subject. Coming to the larger question raised by the right hon. Gentlemen, to listen to the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite, one might really suppose that the Government were acting in a harsh and tyrannical manner, and that they and those outside for whom they spoke had real reason to complain of the procedure the Government had adopted He must absolutely repudiate any such view. If there was any grievance, it was on the part of the Government, and not on the part of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He was told that he had put down an entirely new clause on the Paper. It was not a new clause as touching the real matter at issue between those for whom the hon. Member for Carnarvon spoke and hon. Gentlemen on the Government side. The Bill as originally introduced, as it was defended, as it originally passed the Second Heading and was discussed in this House, always contained, and was intended to contain, a provision by which a majority of managers should be given denominational control under the new system. As he had said, that might be a good plan or a bad plan, but it was the plan of the Bill from the beginning, and it was absolutely unmodified by the expansion which the clause had undergone during the last few days. He admitted that the expansion left untouched the question of the relative numbers of managers of denominational schools, and in every other respect it was a concession. [Hon. Members on the Opposition Benches, "No."] It would tax the ingenuity even of hon. Gentlemen opposite to prove that it was not a concession in regard to the character and number of the elected members. Then they were told that the Government ought to have left the matter as it originally was in Clause 8, and not to have dealt with it in Clause 7. He might have been very well content to take that course if it had not been the obvious intention of the Committee to raise it on Clause 7. They had only to look through the Amendments standing in the name of the right hon. Member for South 804 Aberdeen and other hon. Members opposite to see that they had intended to deal with Clause 7 exactly as the Government now proposed to do. These hon. Gentleman had taken Clause 7 as the text and canvas on which they were going to embody their own particular scheme. It was obviously quite impossible to have avoided this discussion on Clause 7. Hon. Members opposite talked as if some tremendous attempt were going to be made to unduly curtail debate on this clause; but he thought the Committee would admit that they had shown a large measure of toleration in discussion. He was always having hopes dangled before him of a. compromise being arrived at on the Bill by reasonable men on both sides. There had been plenty of time for these wise men to come together, as there was absolutely no change in the essence of the clause since the Bill was introduced before Easter. He presumed all these peacemakers had been at work since that time. He said with the profoundest regret, if it were any satisfaction to the hon. Gentleman opposite, that, with a, full consciousness of all the difficulties which were likely to befall them in the matter, it was perfectly clear that the militant Nonconformists, whom the hon. Gentleman so efficiently spoke for, would be content with nothing except what was called popular control and management of denominational schools. For the Government to give that up, would be not merely to violate all their principles and pledges, and to betray those who sent them to this House, but would be to do something which seemed to him monstrously and utterly unjust. Being monstrously and utterly unjust, so far from bringing that peace to the community which was promised by hon. Gentlemen opposite, he confessed that, evil as might be the present condition of affairs, much though they might have to endure from sharp divisions of opinion among themselves, he earnestly and firmly believed that that evil was as nothing to the evil they I would have to endure if they wore to recede from what had always been a central principle of the Bill. He regretted that, in such circumstances, the Government were not met with greater generosity by hon. Gentlemen opposite. Hon. Gentlemen differed from the 805 Government conscientiously, and, so far as that particular clause was concerned at all events, strenuously and vehemently; but that was no reason why they should not proceed with all the good humour, temper, moderation, and wisdom they could command; continue the discussion during the days still remaining in the course of the present portion of the session—which, after all, would not be a very lengthened period—with all these excellent Parliamentary gifts and virtues; and, if possible, complete the discussion on a clause which he quite admitted was one of the most difficult portions of the Bill.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W.K., Morley)
said that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman seemed to him to be most unfortunate. The right hon. Gentleman stated that the view of his hon. friend was monstrously and utterly unjust; but they were just as much inclined to describe the position of the right hon. Gentleman as monstrously and utterly unjust. Surely, in the circumstances, the Government were unwise in not taking a broader view of the situation. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the Amendment as a concession to the views of the Opposition; but they regarded the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman as an aggravation rather than a concession; and that being the case, they were surely entitled to ask that the matter should not be decided at the present time. The right hon. Gentleman would not deny that, as far as they were concerned, the discussion had been carried on in perfect good temper; and, as the right hon. Gentleman admitted, it would be a great
§ pity to aggravate the feeling which had obtained up to the present. That view was not confined to members of the Opposition. A short time ago there was a letter in The Times from the Rev. Mr. Diggle, who was the denomination-alist Chairman of the London School Board, in which he stated that they were in danger of legislating in haste before the subject matter for legislation was ripe. That was precisely the opinion of his hon. friends; and therefore it would be wise to postpone Clause 7 until it could be seen whether there was any means by which they could arrive at an agreement regarding it.
§ *MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N.W.)
said that no doubt the object of the right hon. Gentleman in putting the Amendment down was that the clause might be passed before the House adjourned, but if hon. Gentlemen would look at the Amendment they would see that there were two pages of Amendments before the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment, many of which would be discussed, although they might be ultimately superseded by the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment. To proceed would, in the circumstances, be waste of time. Then there were five pages of Amendments after the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment. Therefore it would be practically impossible to dispose of the Clause before the adjournment, and its postponement would be an advantage to the Bill generally.
§ (3.58.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 93; Noes, 213. (Division List No. 307.)809
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil|
|Allen, Charles P (Gloue., Stroud||Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Sealae-|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Dawar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Havter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Douglas, Choles M. (Lanark)||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Duncan, J. Hastings||Holland, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Dunn, Sir William||Humphrey-Owen, Arthur C.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Edwards, Frank||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)|
|Caine, William Sproston||Emmott, Alfred||Jacoby, James Alfred|
|Caldwell, James||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea|
|Cameron, Robert||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Kitson, Sir James|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Labouchere, Henry|
|Cawley, Frederick||Fuller, J. M. F.||Langley, Batty|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Grant, Corrie||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Cremer, William Randal||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)||Levy, Maurice|
|Crombie, John William||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Harcourt, Rt. Hon Sir William||Lloyd-George, David|
|Lough, Thomas||Rigg, Richard||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|M'Kenna, Reginald||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Russell, T. W.||White, Luke (York E. R.)|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.|
|Norton, ('apt. Cecil Wiham||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Strachey, Sir Edward||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham||Tennan, Harold John||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Paulton, James Mellor||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd|
|Philipps, John Wynford||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Pirie, Duncan V.||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Price Robert John||Tomkinson, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Rea, Russell||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Mr. Herbert Gladstone|
|Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||and Mr. John Sinclair.|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Leamy, Edmund|
|Acland- Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Dillon. John||Lee, ArthurH (Hants, Fareham|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Doogan, P. C.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden||Doughty, George||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Ambrose, Robert||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Faber, George Denison (York)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Lowe, Francis William|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Balcarres, Lord||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fisher, William Hayes||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lundon, W.|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Flower, Ernest||Macartney, Rt Hn. W. G. Ellison|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ.||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Gardner, Ernest||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Garfit, William||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Gibbs, Hn A G. H. (City of Lond.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Bathurst, Hon. Alien Benjamin||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn)||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Core, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Manners Lord Cecil|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Middlemore, J no. Tnrogmorton|
|Bill, Charles||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Milvain, Thomas|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Boland, John||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Mooney, John J.|
|Bond, Edward||Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds||Morgan, David J (Walth'mstow|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Greene, W. Raymond- (Cambs.)||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (M'nm'thsh.|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Gunter, Sir Robert||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Hain, Edward||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Mount, William Arthur|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Murphy, John|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Harrington, Timothy||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Heaton, John Henniker||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Nicol, Donal Ninian|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Nclan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Homer, Frederick William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hoult, Joseph||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Chapman, Edward||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hozier, Hn. James Henry cecil||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.||O'Mara, James|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Joyce, Michael||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Percy, Earl|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Law, Hugh Alex.(Donegal, W.||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Delany, William||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lawson, John Grant||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Purvis, Robert||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Welby, SirCharles G. E. (Notts.|
|Rankin, Sir James||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)||Whiteley, H (Ashtonund. Lyne|
|Rasea, Major Frederic Carne||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Sarand)||William's, Rt Hn J Pow'll-(Birm.|
|Reddy, M.||Spear. John Ward||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Redmond, John E (Waterford)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Wilson. A. Stanley (York. E. R.|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge||Sullivan. Donal||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson||Talbot, Lord E (Chichester)||Worsley-Taylor, Herry Wilson|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Thornton, Percy M.||Wortley. Rt Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Royds, Clement Molyneux||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Rutherford, John||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Samuel, Harry S. Limehouse)||Valentia, Viscount||TELLERS FOR THE NOES —|
|Sassoen, Sir Edward Albert||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Warr, Augustus Frederick||Mr. Austruther.|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Welby, Lt-Col.A. C. E (Taunton|
§ (4.10.) MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)
said the Amendment he proposed to move involved an important principle, first of all as to whether the managers' appointments were to be permissive or compulsory, and whether the managers were to be delegates of the local authority, or whether they were to have an independent position. It was perfectly clear, from the Act of 1870, that the appointment of managers was to be permissive; it was quite clear that the School Boards under that Act were to have absolute power over the managers. They could appoint and remove them, and lay down rules for the guidance of their policy, and if they did not carry out those rules the School Board could remove them. Those were the lines on which the School Boards had hitherto proceeded; they had not in all cases appointed managers to manage the schools, because in some cases they had managed the schools direct; but wherever they had appointed managers, they had reserved to themselves the right to dismiss their managers if they did not conform to the rules laid down, and in some cases they had lost no time in exercising their powers. The Bill as it at present stood made the appointment compulsory, but he thought the discretion which was possessed by the School Boards should be given also to the new local education authority. As the clause stood, it would take away from the new education authority the control they ought to have, and set up another authority. If this great trust was to be imposed upon the local education authorities, entire confidence ought to be placed in their 810 discretion. The principle of the Amendment, if adopted, could easily be worked, either with the clause as it now stood or with the alterations proposed by the Government. In any case, the rating authority ought to be the governing authority. As regarded the denominational schools, the Amendment had no application whatever, as they stood on a different footing; but in common fairness the local authorities ought to have full control over their own schools, and therefore he moved the Amendment standing in his name.
In page 2, line 38, to leave out from the beginning to the word 'under,' in line 40, and to insert the words 'The local educational authority may appoint managers.' "— (Mr. Charles M'Arthur.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ (4.17.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
entirely concurred in his hon. friend's desire that the new authority should be, and remain, supreme in its control over education in all classes of elementary schools, and he would be sorry to think that anything in the Bill as at present drafted militated against that view. It seemed to be supposed that the managers would stand in a position of permanent opposition, to the authority by whom they were appointed. That, however, was not his anticipation. He agreed that they should hold office during the pleasure of the education authority, and that no collision should be possible or permissible; but at the 811 same time he did not think the Amendment or the principle laid down by the hon Member could be accepted. He would be sorry to see it left open to any education authority, especially that of a great county area, to have no local representatives or managers at all in connection with the schools. Therefore, while sympathising with the object of his hon. friend, he suggested it would be adequately met by the Bill as framed.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
was sorry to hear the First Lord's reply) because experience had shown that many School Boards had managed their schools admirably without the intervention of managers. That was almost universally the case with regard to the School Boards of the smaller areas, such as those with 10,000 inhabitants, which, under this Bill, would be autonomous for purposes of elementary education. The Vice-President would doubtless tell the First Lord that the School Boards of such urban districts were quite able, and found it more expeditious and economical, to manage their schools directly. He believed that, oven in such places as Liverpool, Leeds, and Sheffield, the School Boards had managed the schools directly, with most excellent results, and he sincerely hoped the power would be given to the now authorities to appoint managers or not, as they thought host. London, with its 1,500 school departments and half a million children, was on an entirely different footing. Obviously, the School Board could not manage each school, and had had to appoint managers. But even then they had insisted on the managers being directly under the School Board, and prepared a code of regulations outside of which the managers could not go. He hoped a similar policy would be pursued under the Bill. He admitted there was a difficulty with regard to county areas, and that schools in the remote districts could not be fairly managed from the county centre. In such cases local managers were necessary, but in the urban districts the authority should have the right either to appoint managers or to manage schools directly, as they thought best.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
feared that the First Lord hardly realised 812 all that was covered by the Amendment. He had dealt with the matter only from the point of view of the county areas, whereas the supporters of the Amendment had in view the urban districts, and particularly the non-county boroughs with small populations, in which it would be absurd to require the appointment of managers. The practice of School Boards was not to appoint managers. It was only in London and two or three of the larger places that that course had been adopted. The practice of the School Board was to appoint a School Management Committee, by which all details affecting the individual schools were dealt with. He quite agreed that in the county areas it was desirable to have managers, but in the small urban districts it was not only undesirable from the point of view of ordinary administration, but it was also placing another buffer between the ratepayers and the schools. The absurdity of the proposal was perhaps the best argument that could be brought against it. In a town of 12,000 inhabitants, about one-sixth of the population would be in the public elementary schools, and those 2,000 children would, as a rule, be accommodated in three schools. Was it necessary to compel the local authority to appoint eighteen managers for those schools? It would be really absurd to have three sets of six managers, plus the urban local authority, plus the County Council for secondary education — all exercising control over those unfortunate, schools. He earnestly hoped this question would be reconsidered as it affected the urban districts. In the county areas, where the central management was remote from the school, it was necessary to have somebody on the spot to see that the regulations were carried into effect. The present Amendment was possibly not the best that could be devised, and he suggested that the object could be secured by the substitution of "may" for "shall" in the first line of the Amendment to be proposed by the right hon. Gentleman himself.
§ MR. BRYCE
said the right hon. Gentleman did not appear to appreciate the importance of the Amendment. The only answer he had given was that it was but reasonable that in the county local managers should be appointed, and that the County Council or its Committee should not undertake the whole 813 work. That was quite obvious, but surely the right hon. Gentleman remembered that Clause 1 provided that the Council of a borough with 10,000 inhabitants, or of an urban district with 20,000, should be the local education authority for the purposes of Clause 3. Could any reason be suggested for the appointment of local managers in a borough of 10,000 inhabitants? No gain could possibly result from the adoption of such a course, as it would be perfectly easy for the local education authority itself to control and supervise the whole of the elementary education in the area. The case was all the stronger when he considered the existing law. By Clause 6, the powers and duties of the School Board were transferred to the new authority, and under the existing law, the School Board had power to appoint managers if it thought fit to do so. Why should this power, which the School Board had hitherto had, be withdrawn from the new authority? It was very desirable to have unity of management in these smaller areas; and why—to take the case instanced by the hon. Member for North West Ham—should it be necessary to have three different sets of managers when it would be much better and simpler for the local authority to manage the schools directly? The management would be more efficient. This point appeared in a stronger light when they considered economy, for one of the greatest difficulties would arise from the uneconomical management of the school. It was pointed out in a letter in The Times by Mr. Edward Buxton, who was at one time the Chairman of the Essex School Board, that one of the greatest difficulties would be: when a board of managers incurred expenses they would have no motive in keeping them down. Surely, as far as they could they ought not only to keep the managers in close touch with the local authorities, but they should also group the schools. In the case of counties they would have to group the schools, but in the boroughs and the smaller urban districts they had the grouping power already, and they were going wilfully to depart from it by imposing the obligation to appoint managers where there was no necessity for it. As 814 was said by the hon. Member for West Ham, they wanted to distinguish large areas from small areas. He understood the hon. Member forth Exchange Division said that that plan worked well at Liverpool and Wolverhampton, and what reason was there to depart from it? He contended that in the case of the smaller boroughs and urban districts the power ought not to be withdrawn. He thought the right hon. Gentleman should introduce an Amendment which would distinguish between the cases in which managers ought to be appointed from amongst themselves, and cases where it was to be left to the local authority to appoint managers or not, as they thought fit.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he wished to make two observations, one on the form and the other on the substance of this Amendment. This proposal would make it absolutely impossible to go on with the Amendment which the Government had put down on the Paper. The thing was inadmissible in its present shape. As regarded the substance, no doubt an Amendment could be introduced embodying the view of the hon. Member at a later stage in conformity with the general framework of the Clause as the Government now proposed to adopt it. He would respectfully point out to his hon. friend the Member for West Ham that he thought his Amendment was unnecessary. In any case, it ought not to be discussed now.
§ MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
said the general rule had been not to appoint these Committees. Moreover, where these local Committees had been appointed in boroughs they had not been appointed for single schools, but for a group of three or four schools, and their powers had been so reduced that they had become merely visitors of the schools; so that practically, with regard to the School Boards in boroughs, they had been adverse to what was proposed in the Bill. The local authority, in the case of a borough discovering that it had too much work to do could, under Clause 15 of the Education Act, delegate its powers to a Committee. He hoped the First 815 Lord of the Treasury would make it clear that he was willing to accept this as an optional and not as a compulsory power.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
said that the addition of a very few words would leave it optional in the case of boroughs and urban districts where the authority was the only elected authority, and would leave, it still compulsory in the case of counties. He hoped the First Lord of the Treasury would insist upon keeping in the Clause the compulsory appointment of managers in the case of counties. The right hon. Gentleman said that no collision was possible or permissible between the local authority and the managers, but considering the composition of the bodies of the managers of voluntary schools, he failed to see the force of that argument.
§ *MR. CHANNING
thought the First Lord of the Treasury had not fully considered the differences between one place and another. His method might be applicable to the relation of the County Council to a large number of the areas under the County Council, but the right hon. Gentleman must be aware, from the construction of his own Bill, that the ultimate form in which this question of management would present itself would not only be limited to those urban districts over 20,000, but they would probably have to contemplate a state of things in which a very large number of authorities for small areas would become the local authority for elementary education. Therefore, this question was not limited in the form put by the First Lord of the Treasury, and the plan suggested was a wholly inadequate way of dealing with it. He invited the right hon. Gentleman to put before the Committee a more complete and elastic solution of the immediate difficulty they had to face.
§ (4.45.) MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
said his hon. friend had raised a very important issue by the Amendment. He thought the right hon. Gentleman did not meet the point put to him from this side of the House. That point was that when they came to his own Amendment they would have to consider a proposal that the education authority "shall have a body of managers." What those who were supporting the present Amendment 816 wanted the right hon. Gentleman to tell them was whether he would substitute "may" for "shall." The real difficulty would be in the small districts, and especially in the case of small School Boards where there was no need for managers at all. He instanced the case of Chiswick, where there were four schools and a School Board of nine members. They did not want managers there to see after the schools, at all. If in such a case there were managers for each school, there would be no end of friction and a large amount of trouble. In the case of a county, it would be necessary to have some sort of management over the schools.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR,
without giving a pledge, undertook to consider whether in small boroughs the appointment of managers should not be compulsory.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
asked whether, in a district having, say, 12,000 inhabitants and four schools, the town council would be compelled to appoint six managers for each, making twenty-four in all. Would a County Council for a whole county be bound to appoint managers for each school throughout the county, or could they group town, villages, or districts? It appeared to him the words of the Clause meant that each school should have managers of its own. He further asked the Attorney General to state whether the object the Government had in view would not be met by such words as "where the local authority think necessary."
§ THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir ROBERT FINLAY,) Inverness Burghs
said it would certainly not be necessary to have four distinct sets of managers; the authority would appoint six members as a managing body, and these would manage the four schools. With regard to the second question put by the hon. Member, he said there was a Clause touching it standing in the name of his right hon. friend, and he thought it better that he should refrain from discussing it at the present time.
§ * MR. GEORGE WHITE
was satisfied that School Boards would not, as a rule, if they had to recommence their work, 817 appoint managers; they would effect their object by the appointment of inspectors. Experience had shown that the local inspector came into collision with the school managers, who were far too apt to look to their own single school rather than to the whole of the schools under the Board. An expenditure desired by the managers of one school might be small for one school, but it became a large expenditure for the whole of the schools. In that way local managers did not promote economy. If they were to have separate sets of managers for each school, it would mean in the County of Norfolk that they would require 3,000 managers. He did not think that number could be found who would be willing to give the time necessary for management.
§ MR. HEYWOOD JOHNSTONE (Sussex, Horsham)
thought that it would be desirable to give the local authority discretion by such words as "may, if they think fit, and shall, if required to do so by the Board of Education, appoint a Board of managers."
§ MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR
expressed himself satisfied with the promise given by the First Lord of the Treasury, and desired to withdraw his Amendment.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
felt that something more definite should be said before the Amendment was withdrawn. It seemed to him that the proposal of the Bill was an extraordinary clumsy way of doing what was done now, without difficulty of friction, to the satisfaction of the Education Department and of the schools themselves. But the right hon. Gentleman went on to say that obviously the borough or urban local authority would have the power to appoint a Board of managers, and that it might consist of members of the local education authority. The First Lord did not seem to see the point raised by hon. Members on both sides of the House. What happened at the present moment was that where a School Board did not appoint a Board of managers to a school, the School Board was practically its own managers. Surely it was a very clumsy way of dealing with this question—both from the point of view of the local authority 818 and the schools themselves?—that the local education authority should pick out six members of their own body, each six members to be managers of, say, six different schools in the area. The right hon. Gentleman should give a more satisfactory explanation of his own proposal.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not divide on this Amendment, as it would prejudge the whole question, and would not be in the interest of the hon. Gentleman's own case. He was clearly of opinion that this was not the proper place to deal with the question at all.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said he quite saw that it would be disadvantageous to negative this Amendment, because afterwards nothing could be done upon it. But the point they wished to put before the right hon. Gentleman was that there were many cases where no managers would be appointed—where it was not desirable that managers should be appointed; but that the local education authority should do as the School Boards now did, and be the managers themselves. The right hon. Gentleman should give an undertaking to meet that point.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he could not agree to that, because it would be inconsistent with his own Amendment.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said the question was whether the right hon. Gentleman would give an assurance that, when he came to his Amendment, he would deal with this point. His own supporters told him that there were cases where it was very undesirable that there should be a compulsory appointment of managers. On all hands it was admitted that there ought to be this liberty.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said his difficulty in regard to this Amendment was that it would not read with the Clause at all, and that it raised the whole question at the wrong time. He must say—having listened to the debate, and being prepared to support the principle of the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment at the right time— 819 that, from a purely educational point of view, it would be inadvisable to force the issue now to a decision, and so prevent the raising of the question in another shape at the proper time. The best course would be to close the discussion now, and raise the question on the First Lord's Amendment.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said that the proposal of the Amendment would shorten the debate, otherwise the question would have to be raised over again.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he wished to ask the First Lord whether his objection to the Amendment was a purely technical one?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that surely he had gone as far as any reasonable man could expect the Government to go. It was not an easy thing to draft his Amendment off-hand. He had heard all the arguments, and he admitted that there was a good deal to be said in favour of making a distinction between some kinds of education areas and other kinds. But this was not the time to discuss that. Could anything be more reasonable than what he had said?
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
(5.10.) MR. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W.)
said the issue raised by his next Amendment was a very clear one. It was inevitable that it should be raised when they came to discuss the question of management. Having regard to all the circumstances of the case, and in the interests of educational efficiency, was it not best that all those schools should be managed under the same conditions of management? If this Bill passed, the position would be that in the case of every public elementary school there would be equal power of rating and aid, equal Imperial grants from the Treasury; and the whole secular instruction in these schools would be under the control of the same education authority. There was a distinction between the two classes of schools, which arose from the fact that the denominational schools were built and owned, not 820 by the local education authority, but by the denomination which had provided the funds for building the schools. As a Nonconformist, he desired to meet that position frankly and fairly; and in his judgment that difference between the two classes of schools should be reasonably and justly made in some other way than that proposed by the Bill. What he and those who agreed with him wanted was to do away with any sense of injustice in regard to a system of education which should be national. If the Clause was passed in its present form, it would be the means of stirring up very serious strife and discord throughout the country for months and years to come. Feeling most deeply that the question of elementary education was vital to the progress of the country, he deplored that an opportunity of this kind was to be allowed to pass away without doing something to meet the difficulty, and ensuring unanimity in regard to the justice of the Nonconformist demands. He might be asked how he was prepared, if he did not accept the plan of the Government for the irresponsible management of denominational schools, to meet the difficulty of compensating those who had spent so much money in erecting these schools, and have done it under the stimulus of what they considered to be the best interests of the country. In the first place, he would give an adequate money payment in the shape of rent for the school buildings; and in the second place, he would agree that the definite religious instruction in all these schools should he ensured by the Bill. He ventured to say that if that were done, the justice of the case would be met, and there would not be created in the country any feeling of injustice. If all the managers of every public elementary school were to be nominated in every case by the local education authority, he ventured to submit that the local education authority would be a thoroughly representative body, and representative not of any one class or section of the community, but of the whole area in which the public elementary schools were established. For these reasons, it was most important that we should do justice when we closed these schools, and adequately compensate those who had spent large sums of 821 money on them. It was most important that this management principle should be so arranged as to insure equal treatment in every school.
In page 2, line 38, after the word 'schools,' to insert the words 'within the area of any local education authority.' "—(Mr. Herbert Roberts.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the proposal of the hon. Gentleman, is he understood it, was to have an identic system of management whether they were dealing with a school provided by the education authority or with a denominational school. But that would cut away the very principle of the Bill, and the basis of compromise which was intended. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to have in his mind some expedient by which the denomination of a school could be retained while having precisely the same kind of management as that provided by the education authority; he had never heard of any such scheme and he doubted whether any scheme of the kind was practicable. Under these circumstances, he could not accept the Amendment, which seemed to him to cut the very root of the compromise the Bill was intended to effect.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said the Amendment raised the question of what kind of control the educational authority was to have over 140,000 voluntary schools. The Committee ought to have some more information on this question. I Was there to be any control over these managers, or were they to be absolutely independent of, and superior to, the local authority? That was the real issue on which this matter was to be judged.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
They are absolutely under their control as far as I secular instruction is concerned.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said, so they had been told, but he had read the Bill, and, so far as he understood it, if the local education authority came to one decision and the school managers to 822 another, it was to be left to the Board of Education to determine between them. In Clause 8 there was a sub-section which read—The managers of the school shall carry out any directions of the local education authority as to the secular instruction to be given in the school.In Section 2 of the same Clause, however, they read—If any question arises under this section between the local education authority and the managers of a school, that question shall be determined by the Board of Education.Really, the right hon. Gentleman should not contradict in such a manner, when there was such a Clause as that.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he apologised if he had been guilty of any rudeness. He assured the right hon. Gentleman that the control of the education authority was absolute over secular education. If the Education Department was brought in under the section read, it could only be to determine whether a question in dispute related to secular education or not"
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said that might be the right hon. Gentleman's idea but it certainly was not in the Bill. The words used were "if any question arises." Therefore, this great education authority was practically to be a subordinate authority, for the managers were to be independent of it, and might submit a question in dispute to the arbitrament of the Education Department. Another point was that they could not enforce compliance—there was no power in them to refuse a rate. Clause 8 said—Compliance with this section shall be one of the conditions required to be fulfilled by an elementary school in order to obtain a Parliamentary grant.So that it was the Parliamentary grant in the hands of the Board of Education which was the power to enforce compliance. There was no power to withhold the rate—they were bound to maintain efficiency, and bound to pay the rate, and withholding the Parliamentary grant was the only method by which they could enforce compliance. The consequence was that the managers were absolutely independent of the local education authority. The local education authority first of all, must have its directions disobeyed, 823 and when they were disobeyed the method to enforce compliance was to withhold not the fund at their disposal, which they themselves raised out of the rates, and which they were bound to give in order to maintain efficiency, but the Parliamentary grant. The whole question was whether the managers of these voluntary schools were, or were not, under the control at all of the local education authorities. So far as he read the Bill, they were not. It was all very well to say the local education authorities were supreme in secular education, but they were not supreme. As the Bill was framed, with the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman to Clause 8, there was no control over the managers of the schools whatever.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that, as the Bill stood, the education authority was supreme. The sixth Clause provided that the control of all secular instruction in public elementary schools should be given to the local education authority; in the sub-section of the eighth clause read by the right hon. Gentleman this provision as to secular instruction was carried further If any question came before the Board of Education under that sub-section, they must decide it according to law, and the law was that the directions given by the local education authority as to secular instruction were to be carried out.
§ *DR. MACNAMARA
said no doubt the hon. and learned Gentleman was perfectly right, but he would point out that Clause 6 laid it down that the local education authority was to be the supreme authority with regard to secular schools. How was that policy carried out? The Government had a very difficult problem to solve. They were endeavouring to preserve denominational education with public control. How the First Lord of the Treasury could imagine he was giving supreme control over secular education to the local education authority when only two of the six managers appointed would represent the public, he did not know. The difficulty would arise mostly under the sub-section which said these authorities must keep up to a certain standard the fabric of theses schools. The 824 Government had this impossible task before it, and what the ultimate result would be, he could not say; but directly the schools were put upon the rates, only one inevitable result would be arrived at, which no amount of gerrymandering would put off. This Amendment proposed to set up, so far as it could be set up at the present stage, one form of management for all classes of schools, whether denominational or not. That was impossible and he thought the Committee ought to endeavour to settle the question of the management of the public authority schools first, and afterwards come to the question of the denominational schools. They could agree without much difficulty as to the form of management of the public authority schools, therefore let them get a good and effective management of those schools, and get that out of the way first, and, then they could come to this, as he believed, insoluble question of the management of the denominational schools.
§ (5.38.). MR. CHANNING
said the First Lord appeared to object to this Amendment because it gave uniformity to the management in both forms of schools. It was perfectly obvious if by this Amendment they adopted a method applicable to both classes of schools, subsequent Amendments would be required to guard in detail some of the rights of the voluntary schools, and that, he understood, his hon. friend would assent to. The First Lord had stated that he had never heard any suggestion for protecting denominational teaching, yet suggestions had repeatedly been made from the moment the Act of 1870 had passed. Many educational experts, and notably Dr. Crosskey, so long the Chairman of the Birmingham School Board, have again and again recommended the voluntary schools should be granted a rate and be placed under the control of the School Board, and should, in spite of that, have a right to retain their school buildings for denominational teaching, outside the distinctive hours of the ordinary secular curriculum of the school. That plan had been referred to again and again in the debates in this House. Assuming, therefore, that his hon. friend 825 would consent to Amendments which would cover some sort of provision for denominational teaching, of a distinctive type, in these schools granted to the religious bodies, the Amendment before the House would be essentially a businesslike Amendment, and a proper one for them to support. He did not see. any suggestion from the point of view of the First Lord's Amendment which would tend to educational efficiency. The supporters of voluntary schools in country districts must wish their schools brought; into the organisation of the higher education of the whole area; they did not wish to be treated on an isolated and distinct basis, and that being so, it seemed to him that the more they assimilated the form of the administration of these schools, rendering uniform the character of their management, the better the machinery they were creating for securing the real efficiency of each school. He had always held that under the scheme to which he had referred it was perfectly possible to reconcile the efficiency of the school with the retention of distinctive religious teaching, and he would welcome any proposal which would guard the rights of those interested in denominational teaching in the voluntary schools, and would, at the same time, bring those schools into that one uniform scheme which was essential for secular education in the counties.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
said in regard to the suggestion of the hon. Member for North Camberwell that this discussion should be postponed in order to deal with one class of school before coming to the other, his contention was that this Bill, from the point of view of finance at all events, placed both classes in exactly the same position from the public point of view, and that from that point of view the relationship of the schools to the public authority should be exactly the same. What reason was there for Parliament to treat these two classes of schools differently? None; yet Parliament was now asked to make a great distinction between those schools, whoso chief end was to provide denominational teaching and those who did not provide such teaching. He did not think Parliament ought to be invited to make any such distinction in the treatment of these 826 schools. He was aware that a difference had been recognised previously, because the right hon. Gentleman had said "why object to pay rates for these denominational schools when you do not object to pay taxes for them." The answer was simple. The taxes had been paid for the maintenance of these schools under the arrangement come to in 1870. In 1870 they arrived at a compromise which recognised the denominational schools, and undertook to grant a certain limited amount to them, while they on their part found an equal sum in voluntary subscriptions. That had now gone, and both classes of schools were put on the same footing so far as finance was concerned, and the time was rapidly approaching when these schools, so far as management was concerned, would have to be put on exactly the same basis as the public authority schools. The right hon. Gentleman had said the money for the denominational schools would not be paid out of the Exchequer, but out of voluntary subscriptions, but he did not think the Government believed that a single penny for the maintenance of the voluntary schools would be provided by means of voluntary subscriptions; the whole of it would come out of the Exchequer. The right hon. Gentleman had said far harder things than had been said on the Liberal side of the House. He had said it was an outrage to try and prevent the children of denominationalists being educated out of the rates. Nobody wished to shut them out. The outrage was that denominational schools should be maintained out of the rates. The right hon. Gentleman spoke upon this matter as if the Committee were making proposals to re enact the Conventicles Act, not as regarded Nonconformity, but as regarded secondary schools. There was no such intention on the part of anybody. The intention was not to prevent the denominational schools having these rights, not to limit the religious teaching, but to insure that such religious teaching should not be given by the public authority; that it should only be given with the consent of the public authority, and at times provided by them. That was the rule which had been laid down for many years, and that proposition, if accepted, would end in the freedom of education 827 from the bitterness of religious controversy. With regard to its being immoral to levy rates for this purpose, as the right hon. Gentleman said, that surely was putting it rather high.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I did not say so. What I said was that to resist the legal obligation to pay rates would be immoral.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
thought that was a distinction without a difference. He did not think that these things should be considered from a moral standpoint. There was no justification for denominational schools to claim to have supreme control of these schools, and if the right hon. Gentleman recognised that fact some arrangement might be come to.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE
said there was no part of the Education Bill now before the House which had caused greater disappointment than the want of appreciation on the part of the Government with regard to this matter of public control This Bill aggravated rather than relieved the difficulty. Everybody hoped that when the question of education was reopened, the question of public control, where public funds were concerned, would be recognised in a different way to which it was by this Bill. Where schools were maintained entirely out of public funds they should be governed, so far as secondary and secular education was concerned, by those who contributed to the fund, and if an arrangement could be come to with hon. Gentlemen opposite with regard to religious teaching, he was sure it would be met by those who sat with him. The whole contention of hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House in favour of their maintaining their control was in consequence of their having supplied the buildings. The present management of those schools, which had been, and which would continue to be, maintained by public funds, was largely in irresponsible hands, and often in the hands of one man, but if it passed from the hands of that one man to the denomination, there would still be a grievance. He contended that taxation and representation should go together. What was the present position of the 828 teaching profession in the denominational schools? No one who had taken any active part in the education question could be without abundant illustrations of the tyranny that was practised over the teachers by the managers. One teacher had told him he was only able to obtain and retain his present position by becoming organist and choirmaster; that for twelve and a half years he had not had a holiday.
called attention to the fact that the hon. Member was straying far away from the question.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE
said he desired to point out the injustice which was perpetrated under the present system of management. This Bill would not remove that injustice, and he was confident that until they got a larger local control into the management of the schools they would never get the teachers fairly treated.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE
said he understood the Amendment opened up the whole field of control; if that was not so he apologised. With regard to the Amendment, it seemed to him there could be little said beyond the principle he had already laid down: that schools which were supported entirely out of the public funds should be wholly governed, so far as secular educaton was concerned, by those who contributed the money.
§ *MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
said the Prime Minister and the Attorney General had given an extremely important assurance, namely, that Sub-section 2 of Clause 8 related merely to what was or was not secular education, but such an assurance would not affect any judicial decision. Would the right hon. Gentleman assent, therefore, to the insertion of certain words, such words for instance as—
said the hon. Gentleman was now proceeding to amend Clause 8. They had better dispose of Clause 7 first.
§ *MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said he was only asking the right hon. Gentleman for an assurance in that respect, because such an assurance might greatly affect their attitude on this Amendment. He would like to draw attention to one or two anomalies which would exist unless the uniform control which it was the object of this Amendment to secure was adopted. There were schools which not only received their maintenance, but interest on the cost of buildings paid by way of rent from public funds. Would not those schools be placed under the same kind of control as schools provided by the educational authority?
§ (6.10.) MR. BROADHURST
expressed surprise that the First Lord of the Treasury should not have accepted this Amendment. He should have thought it would have commended itself to the right hon. Gentleman, whoso whole argument had been that the Bill was to promote uniformity, and to have one central system of education throughout the country. This Amendment sought to maintain and provide for the effective and efficient control of all schools throughout the country, whether denominational or otherwise. The fact was, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that the Nonconformist had been a willing contributor through taxation to the funds of voluntary schools, and had acquiesced without protest in being deprived of any share in their management. An assertion of that kind was entirely misleading. Ever since 1870 there had been unceasing protest. He had with him a Church organ—perhaps he should say an organ of the Church—the Church Gazette, in which it was stated that one of the dangers of the present time was the attitude adopted by the Church towards education. The Prime Minister had said that he did not read newspapers. He wished that the right hon. Gentleman did read newspapers, and that he had seen the letters which appeared last week from leading Nonconformists of this country. He would there have discovered a determination that they would not be taxed against their consciences for the teaching of a religion which they did not subscribe to, while in their own case they had themselves 830 to pay for the religious teaching they desired. This Amendment was a preliminary skirmish. The real great contest would come when they arrived at the Amendment of which the First Lord had given notice, but every opportunity must be seized of warning the Government against the mighty wave of passion that they would have to face unless the Bill was modified, and Amendments of this kind accepted. The Government were doing a great disservice to the parish clergy. Some hon. Members opposite did not understand the intense mistrust, he might almost say the hatred, of the clergymen of the Established Church in some parts of the country. [Cries of "No."] Then they did not know their countrymen, and they were legislating for a class they did not understand. They had not yet realised the strength of the religious sentiment of the working-class portion of the Dissenters in the country. It was proposed to give to the clergy practical control of schools which the people paid for out of their rates and taxes. The representatives of the people were to have no effective control whatever in the management of these schools. That was the case against the proposal. The Nonconformists were to be rated in order that the clergy might have sole control and management of national schools. This was the view of the case put forth moderately. [Laughter.] They would find it was put forth with moderation when they compared it with what they had to meet in the country. He hoped the Government would yet see their way to accept the modification proposed in the Amendment, though he did not expect they would. They were rushing forward towards a great national crisis in ecclesiastical affairs. He was not concerned in small matters of detail; he was only concerned in the great central principle that they had no right to rate him for religious purposes. If what was now proposed became law there would be such a feeling of national resentment that no Government would be able to maintain themselves in office who did not modify, if not repeal, the Bill which was designed and supported by Church influence, and drawn as though for the purpose of insulting 831 Nonconformists. This Bill was a challenge to the manhood of the dissenting working men, and they would not be slow to accept it if by brute force the measure was placed upon the Statute-book.
§ MR. LLOYD - GEORGE
said the Amendment really raised the question of uniformity of management — whether there should be the same management for Board schools and voluntary schools. It was the one Amendment that raised the question of the Scottish system. The First Lord of the Treasury had commended the Scottish system as thoroughly logical, and, therefore, he ought to commend his hon. friend's Amendment to the House. He did not think it necessarily destroyed the denominational character of the schools. Two safeguards
§ would still remain for the sectarian part of education. The first was the buildings, which were the property of the denominations to which they belonged. A denomination would be able to say "If you don't permit us to give the religious education that suits our denomination we can withdraw these buildings, and put you to the expense of providing others." The second safeguard was that the managers would be elected by the parents who sent their children to the school. That was the Scottish system, and they might depend upon it that the religious teaching was dogmatic enough.
§ (6.28.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 120, Noes, 273. (Division List No. 308.)835
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Rickett, J. Comp'on|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Rigg, Richard|
|Ashton, Thomas Gar||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon Herbert H'nry||Hayne, Rt. Hon. CharlesSeale-||Russell, T. W.|
|Atherley-Jones L.||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir ArthurD.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Helme, Norval Watson||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hemphil, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Bell, Richard||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Holland, Sir William Henry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Horniman, Frederick John||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jacoby, James Alfred||Tennane, Harold John|
|Caine, William Sproston||Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, William(Carnarv'nshire||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Cameron, Robert||Kearley, Hudson E.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Campbell-Bunnerman, Sir H.||Kitson, Sir James||Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Langley, Batty||Thomas, J.A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Cawley, Frederick||Layland- Barratt, Francis||Tomkinson, James|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Levy, Maurice||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lewis, John Herbert||Ure. Alexander|
|Cremer, William Randal||Lloyd-George, David||Wallace, Robert|
|Crombie, John William||Lough, Thomas||Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarahen)||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||M'Kenna, Reginald||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Weir, James Galloway|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lauark)||Morgan, J. Lloyd Carmarthen||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Moulton, John Fletcher||Whitley, J.H. (Halifax)|
|Edwards, Frank||Newnes, Sir George||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst'ne||Normon, Henry||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, Fred W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Fitzmaurce, Lord Edmond||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W. R.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Paulton, James Mellor||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Hudderst'd|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Phillips, John Wynford|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. H'rb't John||Price, Robert John||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Priestley, Arthur||Mr. Herbert Roberts and|
|Grant, Corrie||Rea, Russell||Mr. Alfred Hatton.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E.(Berwick||Reid, Sir R Threshie (Dumfries|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E)||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lawrence, William F. (Liv'pool|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F.||Dillon, John||Lawson, John Grant|
|Agg Gardner, James Tynte||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lee, Arthur H (Hants, Fareh'm|
|Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden||Doogan, P. C.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Ambrose, Robert||Doughty, George||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Douglas, Rt, hon. A, Akers-||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Duke, Henry Edward||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A.R.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Loder, Gerald Waller Erskine|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Dyke, Rt Hon. Sir William Hart||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristot, S.|
|Bailey, James (Walworsh)||Faber, George Denison (York)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lowe, Francis William|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale|
|Balcarres, Lord||Field, William||Loyd, Archie Kirkmah|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Finch, George H.||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Fisher, William Hayes||Lundon, W.|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Flower, Ernest||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Bathurst, Hon Allen Benjamin||Gardne, Ernest||MacDounell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Garfit, William||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H (City of Lond.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Beresford, Lord Chas. William||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elg n&Nairn||M'Cann, James|
|Bigwood, James||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby - (Line.)||M'Kean, John|
|Bill, Charles||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||M-Iville, Beresford Valentine|
|Boland, John||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Middlemore, John Throgmort n|
|Bond, Edward||Gray, Erness (West Ham)||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Greene, Sir EW (B'ry S Edm'nds||Milvain, Thomas|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Molesworch, Sir Lewis|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Greene, W. Raymond - (Cambs.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Brookfield, Colonel Monoagu||Grenfell, William Henry||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shrepsh.||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mooney, John J.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||More, Robert Jasper (Shropshire|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Gunter, Sir Robert||Morgan, David. J. Walthamstow|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Morgan, Hn, Fred. (M'n'm'thsh.|
|Butcher, John George||Hall, Edward Marshall||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Hambro, Charles Eric||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Mi'd'x||Mount, William Arthur|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nde'ry||Murphy, John|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Hammond, John||Murray, Rt Hn. A. Graham (Bute|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hanbury, Rt Hon. Robert Wm.||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Ceed, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Harrington, Timothy||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Haten, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.|
|Chapman, Edward||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Henderson, Sir Alexander||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos H. A. E.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Horner, Frederick William||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||O'Mahey, William|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hoult, Joseph||O'Mara, James|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh'm||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Parmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. ArthurFred||Peel. Hn. Wm Robert Wellesley|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Percy, Earl|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Jordan, Jeremiah||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Joyce, Michael||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Crossley, Sir Saville||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Keswick, William||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Delany, William||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Purvis, Robert|
|Pym, C. Guy||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Welby, Lt. -Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Rankin, Sir James||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Welby, Sir Charles G.E. (Notts.|
|Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Whiteley, H.(Ashtonund, Lyne|
|Reddy, M.||Smith, AbelH.(Hertford, East.||Whitmore. Charles Algernon|
|Redmond, Jno. E. (Waterford)||Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks||Williams, Colonel R (Dorset)|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Spear, John Ward||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E R.)|
|Richards, Henry Charles||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybr'dge||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)||Wilson-Jodd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thom.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Round, Rt. Hon. James||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Royds, Clement Molyneaux||Sullivan, Donal||Wylie, Alexander|
|Rutherford, John||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Thornton, Percy M.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.||Sir William Walrond and|
|Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln||Valentia, Viscount||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ MR. TREVELYAN
said he wished to ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he did not think that the simplest way of accomplishing the end of making a difference between the County Councils and the Councils of boroughs and urban districts distinct, would be to insert the words which he proposed in his Amendment. The Clause would run as follows:—" (a) Where the local education authority is the County Council, it shall have a body of managers consisting of." Then the next line as to the number of managers would be omitted, and, when they came to (b) it would read, "where the local education authority is the council of a borough or urban district that authority may appoint a number of managers." He begged to move that Amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he understood that the intention of the hon. Gentleman was to draw a distinction between the borough and urban district schools and the County Council schools. He had drafted an Amendment to carry out that object, but it would come on in the big Amendment after the word "shall." That would be a more convenient place for it. The sub-section of his Amendment would run thus, with the inserted Amendment which he proposed:—" All public elementary schools provided by the local education authority shall, where the local education authority is a council of the county, appoint a number of managers, etc," down to "minor local authority." Then it would run, "where the local education authority is the council of a borough or urban 836 district, they may, if they think fit, appoint a body of managers of such numbers as they may determine." That, he thought, would meet the object of the hon. Gentleman.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that perhaps they might start with his Amendment now. He did not desire to make any long speech—
§ MR. M'KENNA
said that on a point of order he wished to ask the ruling of the Chairman as to whether the Amendment was in order. He submitted that though the substance of the Amendment might be germane to the Clause, still the form of it was such as to be an alternative to Clause 7. The proper course would be to move it as a new Clause.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
contended that the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment was an Amendment to sub-Section (e) of Clause 8, and ought to be moved to that sub-Section and not to Clause 7. Whenever an Amendment was germane to something in a subsequent Clause the Chairman had invariably ruled it out of order in regard to the Clause under 837 discussion at the time. This Amendment dealt with the number and proportion of managers, and the result of this Amendment, if carried, would be that sub-Section (e) would have to be left out of Clause 8.
This Clause deals with the management of schools, and clearly all matters that are relevant to the management of schools can be dealt with on this Clause. It is quite true that sub-Section (e) of Clause 8 seems also to deal with the management of schools. I do not profess to bean expert draftsman, but I should have thought that sub-Section (e) of Clause 8 ought to have come under Clause 7, because the whole question of management is dealt with in Clause 7. The hon. Member for North Monmouthshire suggests that this proposal is an alternative, and therefore cannot be raised here. I should say that the Amendment of the First Lord of the Treasury is an elaboration, but not a destruction of, Clause 7, and I do not think it is of so different a character as to justify me in ruling it out of order. It is a mere elaborating proposal, and we often have elaborating Clauses.
§ MR. M'KENNA
pointed out that Clause 7 provided that all public elementary schools should be managed by managers appointed under Section 15 of the Elementary Education Act, 1870, and in the case of schools not so provided by the persons who were the managers for the purposes of the Elementary Education Acts, 1870 to 1900. In the amended Clause now proposed by the First Lord of the Treasury, these two proposals were dropped, and an entirely different proposal was raised. Under these circumstances he submitted that this Amendment was not a mere elaboration but a wholly distinct proposal, and the whole purpose of Clause 7 was altered. Therefore, he submitted that there could not be a clearer case of this proposal being an alternative one, which ought to be moved as a new Clause.
I cannot take the view of the hon. Member upon this point. I grant that it is a considerable change, but it seems to be fairly relevant to the Clause.
§ (6.50.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he thought the Committee would feel that the ruling which had just been delivered from the Chair was at all events in accordance with the views of a very large number of hon. Members who wished to endeavour I to amend this Clause, and had put I down Amendments on the Paper. Although he admitted that his Amendment greatly expanded the Clause, yet I his proposal was quite in harmony with the original Clause. He noticed an Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen which not only provided, ashis Amendment provided, an elaborate scheme of management, but it was an absolute contradiction of the Clause to which his proposal was an Amendment. Therefore he had not gone so far as the right hon. Gentleman in endeavouring to carry out this change. He did not think it would be necessary to say much in moving his Amendment, but he would like to preface what he had to say by reminding the Committee, as he thought he should have to remind them again and again, that they were not now dealing with the control of secular education in these schools nor with the authority that had the control of, or was responsible for, these schools. He had heard the speech of the hon. I Gentleman the Member for Leicester, in which he had denounced this Bill as withdrawing all management from the parents and giving it all over to the clergymen of the parish. He was not going to discuss that point. Controversial as this Clause was, or had been made, it did not deal with the fundamental, supreme local authority dealing with education. That authority was the local education authority; and the managers, whether of voluntary schools, or of schools provided by the local education authority, possessed, and could only possess, a very subordinate position indeed as regarded anything connected with the secular education of the schools.
What were the plans that had been pressed upon them for providing this management? There was not much controversy between them, he thought, as regarded the schools provided by the education authority. He had already intimated his intention of accepting an 839 Amendment modifying the proposal of the Government in the direction desired on both sides of the Committee, and he did not think there ought to be much dispute as to the management of provided schools. Except possibly that he might be asked, both with regard to provided schools and voluntary schools, what was the object of introducing the parents? It might seem a fanciful arrangement, and it certainly was not in accordance with any educational precedent that he was aware of; but, on the whole, he was disposed to say, though he should not think of making it an important Government question, that it was a gain where they had the parent of the child on the management body. The parents of the children, he thought, had means of information as to what went on in the schools from the children's point of view—which was worth remembering—that other managers were not likely to have. He thought there was something to be said for the scheme he had suggested. At all events, it carried out that object, if it were a good object, without attempting the impossible, or nearly impossible, task of having a separate register of parents, and all the elaborate machinery which an individual register required.
He passed to the voluntary schools, and he asked whether any of the plans that had been suggested were really so good as the one the Government had proposed. It had been suggested that half the management should be appointed by the popularly-elected bodies, and it had been suggested that a majority should be given to the popularly-elected bodies. Both those schemes, whatever else could be said of them, were open to the objection, which was really vital from their point of view, that they would absolutely undenominationalise the schools. [Opposition cries of "No."] That never was part of their original scheme; it was not part of it now; and he did not think the Committee ought to adopt either of them. Another plan which had been suggested was that there should be six managers, as proposed by him in his Amendment, but that only two of those should be members of the denominational bodies, two should represent the parents, and two the authority, but that all that concerned 840 the denominational and religious education should be in the hands of the two members who represented the denomination. It was true that that, in form, and, possibly, in a majority of cases in substance, would make and keep the schools denominational schools; but he thought it would be to introduce a wholly unworkable instead of a workable system. It would have another grave defect, of which he would say something presently. But the first objection was almost enough. They were going to have the teacher selected by the two managers representing the denomination, but, when he was selected, the teacher was to be subject to the supervision of the whole body, which would be very differently composed from the fraction which elected it, and they would inevitably have an amount of local difficulty and friction, in many cases, in their body of management which, he thought, would be absolutely ruinous to the smooth working of the system. That was a practical objection.
But there was another objection which he felt very strongly, and which, he was quite sure, neither the Committee nor the country should lose sight of. He had been charged—and the Government had been charged—wilh doing his best to throw the whole religious teaching into the hands of the parsons; to make it as denominational as possible; as absolutely outside any popular element as possible; and as wholly confined to the narrow circle of what, in some cases, was described as religious bigotry. That was what the plan he was criticising would do, and that was what the, plan of the Government would not do. By the plan he was criticising the selection of the teacher, and the whole of the regulations of the denominational teaching in the schools would depend on two; men out of the whole body of six managers. Under the plan of the Government the whole of the six managers were equally concerned in the selection of the teacher, and in the regulations of the religious curriculum. There were those who had said that there would be an undue influence of the clerical element in these schools. That element, obviously, was diluted under the plan of the Government, but it would be concentrated 841 under the plan he had criticised. In the Litter shape it appeared to him in its most virulent form, if he might use an uncomplimentary adjective, and in the former in its most diluted form. The majority of the six managers of these schools would obviously he laymen. [''Oh!"] At all events, the number of cases in which there were four of the clergy available to be managers of the schools must be very few; and he was quite sure that it would be as repulsive to the great body of Churchmen, of Wesleyans, or of Roman Catholics, to see four managers out of the six so chosen as it would be to any hon. Gentleman opposite. From this paint of view, the Bill had, in his judgment, received an avalanche of unjust criticism. The plan he proposed seemed to him incomparably better than the plan which had been contrasted with it. That plan, he objected, was in some respects more denominational than that which he recommended, but it was unworkable, and, above all, it would make the clerical element in the management unduly prominent. In these circumstances he thought the Committee would do well to accept this modification, if it was indeed a modification, of the original proposal. Much was gained by raising the number from three to six, and keeping the proportion the same. It not only avoided the criticism, which was very prominent in some of their earlier debates, that undue clerical influence was to be feared, but it avoided the total or possible exclusion of the locality from any management or interest in its own school. There were to be two representatives of popularly - elected bodies; one of them must be, and the other often would be, somebody locally interested in the school; one of them must be a parent, and therefore, in close touch with the needs of the children and the sentiments of the parents. This amended form of their original proposal was intended to be an honest endeavour, while keeping the denominational character of the school, to admit a local and an elective element. He believed the system would work to the satisfaction of the parents and those interested in the schools in ninety-nine hundredths of the country; and he was perfectly sure that, whatever other 842 reproach it might be open to, it was not open to that class of reproach which he most often heard levelled against their proposals.
In page 2, lines 38 and 39, to leave out the words 'shall be managed in the case of schools' "—(Mr. Balfour.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ (7.6.) MR. TREVELYAN
said the Amendment raised two issues. viz., the amount of representation which the locality was to have on the managing body of schools described in the Bill, as provided by the local education authority, and the popular claim to representation on the managing body of voluntary schools. As to the, first and less controversial question, the decision as to the amount of representation to be given to the urban districts and village councils was a matter of great importance, as regarded the effective working of the Bill. In the counties, the managing bodies for the urban districts and villages would be very far removed from the local education authority. There ought to be on the managing committees, people who knew the district, and care should be taken that no friction was caused by people being imposed on a district against the wishes of the inhabitants. Above all, there ought to be on that body persons chosen by the people of the locality, in order that the latter might be given a sense of proprietorship in the schools. The local Education Committee, chosen by the County Council, was a long way from the villages and the urban districts, the schools of which it would manage, and yet these places had, hitherto, through their School Boards, managed their schools themselves. In Yorkshire and Lancashire there were districts which for thirty years had had the whole of the management of the schools in their own hands, and had conducted it to the satisfaction of the people, and yet under this Bill they were in future to be dependent upon the judgment and the charity of the County Council in the selection of the majority of the managers of their schools. That would inevitably lead to friction in many 843 Urban districts and industrial centres. Under the Bill, one-third only of the managers were to be appointed by the locality. What would happen? He had in mind a village in Warwickshire, where for a long time they had had a School Board. To that Board they had elected the local grocer and doctor, and two or three artisans, but they had refused to choose the clergyman, not from any religious prejudice, but because they did not think him a competent man. Now, however, the County Council would appoint two-thirds of the Committee, and they were almost certain to lay down the principle that on this Committee the clergyman of the district should have a seat. ["Why?"] In most of the southern counties, where the squires were predominant, it was the opinion of the squires that the person who should manage the education of the district was the clergyman— ["No"]—and it was not unnatural, having so little local knowledge, that they should lay down some general rule such as that the clergyman must be on the managing body. At any rate, it would be very difficult for the County Council to select anything like the sort of men who would be chosen by the people of the district, as only the latter could know the character of the more humble members of the community. Yet these were the very people who, in many cases, had done more to improve education in the villages than those in the higher walks of life; and it would be a serious loss if the inhabitants of the locality were no longer to be able to choose the managers of their schools.
Passing to the larger question of the management of the voluntary schools, he did not think the right hon. Gentleman pretended that there was any very serious concession in his new proposals. Many on that side of the House were thoroughly sick of the religious bickering on this question, and in looking around for a remedy, even before the introduction of the present Bill, had come to the conclusion that a system of universal School Boards could not be acceptable to the whole community, or offer a final solution of the question. But he desired to explain why he thought the proposals 844 of the Government were hopeless as a final solution, and to indicate a possible policy upon which the Committee might agree as a tendency of the final solution. The proposal of the right hon. Gentleman aimed at striking a balance between two different claims. There was the claim that when public money provided for almost the whole of education, the public should have the predominant voice in its managment; and there was the equally valid claim that an opportunity should be provided for those who desired it to give special religious and dogmatic teaching to their children. The right hon. Gentleman proposed to meet the difficulty by a feeble compromise, which certainly those who cured for public control could not for a moment accept. But in some parts of Australia, and especially in New South Wales, a very successful attempt had been made to deal with the question in a different way. The claims on both sides had been admitted to the full. The principle was definitely laid down that the public, in virtue of the fact that it provided almost all the money, was to have absolute control, and, at the same time, every one had a right to claim for his children the special teaching he desired, and in New South Wales the denomina-tionalists were permitted to go into the schools and give that special teaching. That system was accepted by the Church of England in Australia as a thorough and complete success; and to such an extent were the facilities availed of, that in 1897 there were no fewer than 28,000 children in the diocese of Sydney being taught in this special manner. He suggested that some such system was the only possible solution of the question in England. It was true that it would fail to meet one serious difficulty of the situation, viz., the demand of a certain number, though he believed not the majority, of Churchmen and of Roman Catholics to have the schools completely in their own hands, and with the religious tone they desired. No doubt it was unsatisfactory that in Australia the Roman Catholics stood outside the national system. Nobody would propose that such should be the case here, but there was a way in which the difficulty could be met. If the voluntary schools were to have full power of 845 going to the rates, of receiving these immensely increased grants from the central Government, and no longer to have to maintain the schools out of voluntary subscriptions, there would have to be some such system as he had described, unless they were to have perpetual and violent friction. To Roman Catholic schools and a certain number of Church of England schools, which would not fall in with such a system, he suggested a smaller grant should be given from central funds, and no assistance from the local rates. The bulk of the people of this country would not consent permanently to accept a system under which they provided practically the whole of the cost of the maintenance of the schools, and yet were in a minority on the managing body. He deeply regretted that the Government had not taken the opportunity of endeavouring to find some method by which both sides on this question would be satisfied.
§ *MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
supposed this proposal was intended to illustrate the regard the Government had for the sacred right of parents to have their children brought up in the way they desired. The result was that out of six managers one was to be a parent, and he was to be chosen, not by the other parents, but by some other body. If that was the attitude of the Government towards that sacred right of which they had heard so much, it was an irony on all that had been said by the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters in the course of these debates. Those who opposed this proposal admitted the right of the parents, but contended that it should form part of the denominational, not of the public, control; and that what the right hon. Gentleman should have done was to have given the parents some representation, which representation should have come out of the majority, and not the minority, of the managing body. Public control was to be represented by two managers out of six, and now one of those two was to be given to the denominational party. If the right hon. Gentleman had said that out of the four managers appointed by the denomination two should be parents, he would have gone far to meet the Opposition on this point; but the Amendment, instead of giving anything, took away from the 846 little they had before. The right hon. Gentleman had been asked for bread, and had given a stone. The public voice on the Committee would be practically non-existent, as the person appointed by the County Council would probably be a busy man, unable to attend all the meetings; so that at many meetings important business would be transacted without any real representative of the public being present, as the one parent would really be the representative of a private interest.
§ It being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report progress; to sit again this evening.