§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ (Mr. J. W. LOWTHER, Cumberland, Penrith, in the Chair.)
§ Clause 7:—
In page 2, lines 38 and 39, to leave out the words 'shall be managed in the case of schools.' "—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)
§ Question again proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ (9.0.) MR. WHITLEY,
continuing his speech, said he thought the situation might be fairly summed up by saying that, whereas under the Bill the item of public control was to be 2 in 6, under the concession it was to be 1 in 6. The percentage of popular control was to be reduced under the clause. He had been sceptical for a long time about the real value of the "sacred right of parents," but now the Government had themselves put that value at one-sixth of the control in the management of the schools. That was not at all satisfactory, and he thought they would feel justified in taking the Amendment of the First Lord as a direct challenge on the items of popular control and the representation of parents. The 847 first Government Amendment was really no concession to the principles for which they were fighting, and intended to continue to fight until the Bill was passed.
§ *MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)
said he bad been a careful listener to the debates throughout, and he fully realised the difficulties of the situation: indeed, he believed that if an archangel from Heaven came down with a Bill on this subject he would create more enemies than friends. That being so it seemed to him that this was essentially a matter for compromise. To a considerable extent that had been done with regard to earlier clauses, and he thought, having regard to the enormous majority of the Government, it would be admitted it had not been used in a harsh and unconstitutional manner up to the present. But they now came to the crux of the Bill, to its very pith and marrow, to that portion which had raised the anger of the community in a way he had not seen since he had been connected with politics. When he heard last week that the Prime Minister-proposed to make a concession, he experienced a great feeling of relief. He hoped for the end of religious warfare going on in the constituencies—warfare which did infinite harm to religion, and was particularly painful to men who objected to make party capital out of religious convictions. Unfortunately, he had been disappointed. The concession was no concession at all, and the Government had gone on the principle that if the Opposition declined to walk into a trap they would strengthen its jaws and push them into it. To his mind, the expenditure of public money without efficient public control was most serious. The point had been urged over and over again during the debates, but had never been met with any efficient counter-argument. In fact, it appeared to him that the Government had been unwilling to bind themselves to this principle, because they recognised how it would open the door to all kinds of jobbery and injustice. But if the principle was true, surely the corollary that the proportion of public money should be proportionate to the amount of public control was equally true. It was to establish the truth of this principle they were fighting that night. They recognised that the voluntary schools had done good work in the 848 past. They recognised that the denominationalists had made great sacrifices for their denominations and for education. He did not think there was any desire to deprive them of anything to which they were justly and equitably entitled. They all recognised that the voluntary schools required more money, that they ought to have it, and that they rightly appealed to the public purse to help them. But surely the public ought to have control over these schools according to the amount of public money they contributed to their support. That seemed to be an absolutely fair and equitable solution, and if either side asked more than that it was surely making an improper and unconstitutional demand. On that basis he calculated that the public were entitled to representation to the extent of two-thirds of the managing bodies. At any rate he thought their position on the Opposition side of the House was perfectly clear. They ought to assert the principles which they had always held, and promise the country that when they obtained a majority they would give effect to those principles by legislation. He would give a word of warning to those who thought that by passing the Bill in its present form they were doing a good service to the Church of England. That was a mistake. He did not think any denomination could prosper which took an unfair advantage of its position in the House of Commons. The Church of England could not, any more than its humblest adherents in this House, serve both God and Mammon. And if an undue share of the loaves and fishes was to be taken for the Church of England they would do incalculable injury to the spiritual side of the Church of which he was a member. He thought also its powers for good would thereby be crippled in a serious and wanton manner.
§ MR. TOMKINSON (Cheshire, Crewe)
said he desired to lay before the Committee resolutions which had been passed by the County Council of Chester, and the Borough Council of Crewe. The inhabitants of Crewe numbered 40,000. The Borough Council, by twenty-two against one, passed a resolution stating that it was strongly of opinion the Bill now 849 before the House was a retrograde and not a progressive measure, and that it was unjust, inasmuch as it threw the whole cost of education in denominational schools on the rates and taxes of the whole community while giving the management and control of such schools to the denominations to which they were attached. Crewe was a place without a School Board. Throughout the whole of the county of Chester there were extremely few School Boards. The County Council of Chester, on which there was a considerable majority of Conservative members, passed a resolution by a majority of two to one stating that the number of managers of public elementary schools to be appointed by the local education authority was insufficient, and should be a majority. That was no catch vote. It was passed at a full meeting, of which sufficient notice had been given. These two expressions of opinions were typical of thousands throughout the country. The great principle embodied in these expressions had become household words in this country—namely, that representation should go with taxation. That was one of the strongest arguments against the Bill, and he was sure it would be used effectively against it.
§ MR. FREDERICK WILSON (Norfolk, Mid.)
said the clergy would become very much better managers if they had to undergo some sort of popular election. Did they think that under this Bill a Primitive Methodist would ever be selected? The ministers of that denomination, changed every two or three years, and it was almost a matter of certainty that they would not be appointed managers. Nonconformist ministers would feel greatly aggrieved towards an Act of Parliament which practically ousted them from their fair share in the management of the schools.
§ MR. EDWARDS (Radnorshire)
said he, would infinitely prefer that the Government should give a Parish Council power to appoint four instead of two managers. The Bill provided that the County Council should be the supreme authority in matters of education, and that the locality must be subordinate to the central body. It 850 was not necessary to the power of the central authority that the central authority should appoint a majority of the local managers. The power would be just the same even if the central authority appointed none of the managers. It was obvious, therefore, that it the central authority appointed only two local managers it would carry out the intention of the Government, that was to say the central authority would be in touch with the local authority. The First Lord of the Treasury seemed to think that the central authority would be more in touch with the locality if it appointed a majority of the local managers. He was bound to say that that was not the fact. He understood that the object of putting the locality in touch with the central authority was that the local education authority might have the benefit of the special knowledge possessed by persons living in the locality. The advantage of allowing the locality to choose the majority of the local managers was that they secured that persons should be appointed who were fully cognisant with the needs and requirements of the neighbourhood. Surely nobody was more competent to choose such persons than the locality itself. The County Council was chosen over a wide area. The individuals composing the County Council were not necessarily best judges of those who were in their own locality the fit and proper persons to be local managers. There was an element of uncertainty in the matter. If, however, the locality were left to decide it would know who the best persons were. Under the plan of the First Lord the four managers to be appointed by the central authority might all be local men. They ought to he local men, or they would not be fit and proper persons to do their work. But if they were all local men what could be the objection to allowing the locality to choose the majority of local managers? Hon. Members opposite were often claiming that the wishes of the parents should be regarded in the matter of the religious instruction given to the children. If it were a matter of principle that the parents should decide as to the religious instruction 851 of the children, he failed to see why they should not have the deciding voice in the matter of secular instruction. He could not see that they had any great advantage in the Amendment brought in by the First Lord, and he expressed the hope that the right hon. Gentleman would see his way to allow the locality more power in the choosing of local managers than it had new.
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said the new clause introduced by the First Lord of the Treasury opened up questions which concerned the whole of the United Kingdom, and it brought them face to face for the first time with the realities of the Question before them. The Committee had been asked to deal with schools not provided by the local authority in accordance with the conditions of the trusts. In the first place, they would require a definition of the expression "trust managers."
§ MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON
said that phrase was entirely unknown to the law and upon the meaning of it the successful working of this Act would depend. That phrase introduced them to the real elements of this question. As a Scotch Member, having no interest in local disputes in this country, he submitted that they were bound to recognise this distinction. There were voluntary schools and voluntary schools. They were not all of the same order. He recognised a complete distinction, as to the rights to which they were entitled, between voluntary or denominational schools which were connected with a voluntary sect and those which were connected with a State Church. The law of the Church of England was part of the law of the land, and the law was what Parliament made it. He refused to recognise the Church of England as a sect at all. It was a great State institution unlike any other Church which had no connection with the State. Therefore, he suggested two points of distinction between purely voluntary schools which ought to have complete freedom, and those which came under the conditions of trust deeds which were bound to teach according to 852 the law of the land. He held that they ought to know that the doctrine which was taught in schools said to be Church of England schools was really the doctrine of the Church of England. When endowments were given for the purpose of promoting the teaching of the doctrines of the Church of England the House had a right to insist that the doctrinal instruction in those schools should be really instruction in the doctrines of the Church of England.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
said the hon. Member who had just spoken had introduced a new element into the discussion, but it was one which he did not think would advance the businesslike consideration of this clause. The hon. Member had mentioned the fact that certain schools were managed under trust deeds, but that fact had been very well known for a great many years, and it had not been disclosed to them for the first time by the proposals made by the First Lord of the Treasury. The hon. Member opposite had laid down the principle that they should treat voluntary schools connected with the Church of England on a totally different principle to other denominations. That might be the hon. Member's notion of what was just, but when it came to be threshed out he did not think it would be found that many hon. Members would agree with that principle. He desired to thank the First Lord of the Treasury for having adopted a most valuable principle, which he himself had embodied in an Amendment he had placed on the Notice Paper— namely, that there should be combined representation of the county authority and the locality. He had the greatest confidence that the county authority would select representatives of local opinion on the management of the schools; but, in addition to that, the locality would desire to have some proportion of the representative body appointed directly by its own voice. He had suggested in his Amendment half and half; but so long as these two elements were combined in the managing body, he did not attach much importance to the proportion of the representation. The control had been given to the county authority, and the managers would have 853 to carry out their directions. The county representatives would be on the Board to see that the requirements of the county authority were properly carried out. Even an active minority, or one or two really efficient public representatives, would be quite sufficient to prevent abuses, and to see that the directions of the county authorities were carried out. He thought they would all recognise that the First Lord of the Treasury had made valuable improvements in this Bill by the proposals he had put forward.
§ (9.50.) DR. MACNAMARA
said he was glad the Government had adopted the principle of throwing the maintenance of voluntary schools upon the public funds, and had given up all idea of trying to maintain them by voluntary contributions. He was glad they had now put these schools on the local rates, for that would render it impossible for parsimony any longer to appeal to piety for the money for those schools. But there were swift and certain consequences of that course of action which the Government were endeavouring to avoid —and that was, public control to the full of the public funds voted for those schools. He was at least glad that they had got a Government bold enough to take this matter by the horns, and throw over the voluntary contributor, and give them education entirely out of the public funds. But a most interesting matter arose in consequence of the position taken up by the Church of England. Up to a few years ago the Church of England was against rate aid, and all for State aid. The -Roman Catholics believed in rate aid. They were willing to make a contract in regard to secular education if the Government would leave them their religious education. The Roman Catholics contended that the Government did not pay them sufficiently fo secular education, for which they did not receive a fair return. That was a perfectly logical position to take up. Until within three or four years ago the Church of England was violently against rate aid, and all in favour of getting further aid from the State. Some years ago Dr. Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, said he was in favour of grants from the Exchequer, 854 because aid from the rates implied interference by the ratepayers with the management of the schools. They might gerrymander this as much as they liked, but if the voluntary schools were to receive aid from the rates, they must eventually be brought under public control. The position of the First Lord of the Treasury was a pathetic one in this controversy. He was beset by hard taskmasters, but he must know, as a student of English history, that if the voluntary schools came upon the rates, in the long run, which in this case would be a short run, the ratepayers must have a hand in the control of the schools. The Government were trying an impossible task in endeavouring to avoid the consequence of rate aid. In a short time he believed, these schools would lose their distinctive character and become national schools in the best sense of the word. The voluntary subscriptions were paid by many people in order to avoid the School Board rate, and the amount of subscriptions would fall off as the rate became leviable. Estimating that only an eleventh of the cost of maintenance would come from voluntary sources, he said it seemed to him to be quite an untenable position to take that this entitled voluntary subscribers to two-thirds of the representation on the management. There was the capital value of the school premises, but he did not understand that because fifty years ago somebody built a school largely from public money, that for all time gave the managers a lien on the consciences of the children of the district; that did not give the right to keep popular representation for perpetuity in a minority. The consequence of coming on the rates could not be avoided; and the swift and inevitable result must be that schools would lose their denominational character and pass into the control of those who found the money for their maintenance.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY
thought that his hon. friend had lost sight of the control which would be exercised over these schools by the new education authority. In the discussions of the Bill, exaggerated importance had been attached to the duties and powers of the managers. One 855 would think, from what had been said, that the managers of a voluntary school at the present time had an entirely free hand to do what they liked with regard to the education of the children, and to do exactly what they liked with the money granted by Parliament for the maintenance of the school. No one knew better than the hon. Member for Camberwell that that was not the case. At present the managers of a voluntary school, whether Anglican or Catholic, were bound hand and foot. They must carry out the whole of the instructions of the day school code, and there were the inspectors of the Board of Education to see that these instructions were observed. That was their position now. Their accounts must be audited, though not in as public a manner, perhaps, as was proposed. The changes that were made in this Bill on the present system were so vast that he wondered the opposition did not come from the Church party, from those who were supposed to have this intense desire to maintain their separate control in these schools. Surely those who talked of the necessity of public control, who followed the changes that the Bill made, were not the people who should adversely criticise the proposal of the Government. By paying the whole of the Government grants direct to the new education authority instead of to the managers of the schools, they secured complete control of the secular instruction. The curriculum was laid out for them centrally and locally, and they could not vary the secular instruction by one iota. In the appointment of teachers there was the veto of the Board of Education and of the local authority. The local authority could ensure that any man appointed, either as a head or as an assistant master, must hold the qualifications necessary for that post, and could prevent any jobbery in the appointment of the teachers. Moreover, there was to be a veto on the dismissal of the teachers. The teaching staff and the money both being in the hands of the new authority, what really had local managers to do? They would have the control of the religious teaching in their hands, but even there their powers were not quite unlimited. It was the duty of the education authority to report to the Board of Education any breach of the conscience clause, and therefore the managers were 856 not quite free in the matter of religious instruction. If they were going to take from the managers of the schools their control of the religious instruction given therein, let them say so at once. The proposal to appoint one-half, or more than one-half, of the managerial body really contemplated, disguise it however much they might, the entire destruction of denominational instruction in the schools. [Hon. MEMBERS on the Opposition Benches: No, no.] There was a possibility that a change might be made by which religious instruction might he removed from the schools altogether. [Renewed cries of "No, no."] He repudiated the assumption running through the debate that there was a large amount of malpractice going on at the present time in the voluntary schools. There were some 14,000 voluntary schools, and in not more than two or three cases in the course of a year did any malpractice occur worthy of a Question in this House. Where there was trouble the parents of the children in the district could prevent it. The hands of the parents would be materially strengthened under the Amendment now before the Committee. It was said that one person nominated as manager by the education authority and two trust managers was exactly the same thing as four trust managers and two nominated by the education authority. That was not the case. The proportion was the same, but the strength of the two would outweigh the strength of the one. The two managers who were representatives of the local authority could report any appearance of mismanagement or malpractice and the local authorities could always stop that by curtailing the funds of the schools. It seemed to him that they were obtaining, under this Amendment, an improvement on the Bill as originally drafted. He must say that the control of these voluntary schools, which, he agreed, was inevitable when they gave them rate aid, would become as perfect as it could be made, short of excluding denominational teaching from the schools altogether. What were the trustees which the Committee were talking so much about? Some thousands of them consisted, in each parish, of the vicar, the licensed curates, and the churchwardens, one of whom was popularly 857 elected every Easter. He had more than once taken part in such elections of the churchwarden in order to secure a representation of the locality on the Board of Management. He knew that the parents, by means of that representative, had considerable control. The elective representative could report all that passed in camera, and effectually put a stop to anything like the suspicion of malpractices. He had no hope, certainly no expectation, when this Bill was introduced that the power of the present managers would be reduced to the small limits they now found in the Bill. Did the Committee realise that in many cases more than half of the managerial body would now have to stand aside, and leave the whole control of the school, such as it was, to four of their colleagues nominated by the local educational authority? If the managers appreciated what was wanted by this Bill, if they realised and accepted the position frankly, and tried to work it in the spirit intended, then he believed the Amendment would go far indeed to secure peace in the village schools and communities. Having observed the working of the voluntary system for twenty-five years, he could say honestly and fearlessly that there was not the mismanagement in their ranks which many imagined, and that they had not used these schools as proselytising establishments. Here and there a case might occur, but as a rule the spirit of the Education Act was carried out fairly and fully by the managers of these schools. They were accepting now a very large measure of control, and he believed that when this Bill was in working operation, both in town and country, the stray cases of malpractice which had occurred would become impossible. The ratepayers would find that they had a real control over these schools, and that their suspicion of the parson and the squire had been very largely unfounded. The parson took a real interest in education, and the squire had drawn his cheque to make good deficiencies. They would be very largely relieved of that duty. [Opposition cries of "Oh, oh!" and ironical laughter.] Why should hon. Gentlemen opposite protest against that? This Amendment, therefore, ought to give a very large 858 measure of satisfaction. Many of the voluntary schools had been doing the same work, both secular and religious, as the Board schools, and they had been worked with the same free spirit. Where the management was now restricted to the vicar of the parish and the squire, they would have joined to them others in the district to share the burden. The fact was that in many cases hitherto they could not get parents to join the Board of Management because of their fear of financial responsibility. He was very glad that those who had borne the burden so well in the past would now get relief, and that the ratepayers would obtain direct representation on the managerial body.
§ (10.25.) MR. BRYCE
said that they might all agree with the hon. Gentleman in two things—first, that this Bill would very largely indeed relieve the parson and the squire from their liabilities; and, second, that this Amendment marked a very critical part of the Bill. The First Lord of the Treasury had admitted that this was the part of the Bill which caused the greatest difficulty, and excited the greatest controversy. It threw, for the first time, the burden of maintaining denominational teaching on local taxation. That was the novelty of the Bill. It had always been hitherto held that local rating must be followed by local control; and it was because the Bill denied that that it had received so much opposition. This Amendment did not raise the religious difficulty directly, but it was closely connected with it, because, great as were the objections which many hon. Members entertained to having denominational schools at all, or to supporting denominational schools out of public money, these objections might be largely alleviated, if not altogether removed, if sufficient public control were provided, and if they knew that the abuses of the old managers complained of could always be removed by the presence of competent representatives of the local authority to see fair play. There were many points in the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment which required a great deal of discussion. For instance, that part which dealt with the alteration in the 859 management of the ex-Board schools and the grouping of voluntary schools in the same area with the ex-Board schools. There was no denying that this Clause had been received with great disappointment. He did not blame the right hon. Gentleman for having caused that disappointment. It was quite true that some hon. Members, on both sides of the House, sprang rather hastily from the interpretation of the right hon. Gentleman's words to the conclusion that he was going to give that majority on the Board of Management which they all desired. There had been almost a fervid expression of satisfaction at the words used by the right hon. Gentleman which would not have been shown if they had read the words of the Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman evidently conveyed to the mind of some hon. Members a meaning which he did not intend to convey. He did not blame the right hon. Gentleman, but there was this disappointment. The right hon. Gentleman spoke of the term "concession." He objected altogether to the use of that word "concession." They were not in an Oriental country, to be satisfied with words of grace being dropped upon them. If the right hon. Gentleman made an alteration in this Bill, they presumed that he did so because he thought it would bring his Bill into accord with the sentiments of the people. They must look at all these alterations which the right hon. Gentleman made, only from one point of view, viz., whether they were likely to meet the wishes of the people and to make the Bill a better Bill. He did not care whether they met their wishes or not; he only wanted to know whether they would meet the popular sentiment. He might be allowed to say that the right hon. Gentleman had been entirely misled in regard to the wishes of the people, and he ought to know that there had been the deepest dissatisfaction, not merely amongst the Liberal Party and the Nonconformist bodies, but amongst a large proportion of the members of the Church of England. [Ministerial cries of "No, no."] Hon. Members might not think so, but that was the impression he had received from conversing with many people who did not share his political opinions, and from reading the reports of the meetings of 860 the County Councils. That Conservative body the County Council of Essex desired that all these schools should be under boards of managers created by the local authority, and the same opinion had been expressed by the County Council of Cheshire. The Association of County Councils had also passed a similar resolution, insisting upon the element of popular control as represented in the nominees of the local education authority. How could, under these circumstances, hon. Members opposite represent that this was a demand made by the supporters of Board schools? He believed that the overwhelming majority of the County Councils desired popular control; and if the right hon. Gentleman postponed the Bill for two months, he, for one, would wait for the decision of the County Councils upon it with perfect unconcern. What was the position at present? The House should remember that the dissatisfaction of which he spoke, and which had re-appeared on this new Clause becoming known, had existed for a long time past. It was due to the fact that in about 8,000 rural parishes the only school was one which was under the control of the clergy of the Church of England and their nominees.
§ *MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
said that this was an entire misconception. In many of these schools there was a large admixture of managers quite free from clerical control.
said that, in point of fact, where there was a trust deed it usually provided that all the managers should be members of the Church of England—the vicar, the curates, and the churchwardens. It was a matter of common knowledge that, these bodies were, in point of fact, under the control of the clergyman, who was a most active member of the Board of Managers, all from a perfectly good motive, no doubt, and everybody knew that they had done a. good work for education. At any rats, there was no question that in these 8,000 parishes the school was held to belong to the Church of England, and that its management ought to be confined to the Church of 861 England. It was the only school available, with rare exceptions, no matter what the population might be. The grievance took three forms. In the first place, the clergyman and his friends were practically omnipotent, and the local people had no voice in the management. That system might work very well where the clergyman possessed the confidence of the people, but where the clergyman was not popular, and where he introduced forms of service in the church which the bulk of the people disapproved of, they could not expect the people to be satisfied with the administration of the schools by such a clergyman. In a second place, although by common consent and agreement the Nonconformists, as a rule, desired to have religious instruction, Bible instruction, moral instruction based upon the Bible, they were obliged to do one of two things — either to consent to their children, receiving Bible instruction mixed up with the Catechism or to forego religious instruction altogether. The third grievance was the grievance of tins teachers. He had read a letter which impressed him very much, which appeared in The Times, by Cardinal Vaughan, in which his Eminence compared our position with that of Germany. It was evident that the Cardinal thought it would improve our position if we adopted the German system. But when the contrast was made between them, the position of the Protestants in Germany was as unlike as anything could be with the position of those who objected to the denominational system in the English rural parishes. The Protestants in Germany practically all belonged to the denomination which called itself Evangelical. There were practically no Dissenters amongst the German Protestants, and the Protestant dogmatic instruction amounted to very little. If hon. Members thought that they were going to secure a religious atmosphere by the system which prevailed in the Protestant schools in Germany, and that they were going to have the children brought up with a profound respect for dogma, they were very much mistaken. What Cardinal Vaughan had probably in his mind was not the case of the Protestants in 862 Germany, who worked very well with the Gorman Catholics where the population was almost entirely Catholic, but that of the Catholics. The case of the Catholics differed from the case of the Protestant schools in two points. In the first place, among the Roman Catholics the priest was responsible for the people, and it was the duty of the people to follow the priest. The Roman Catholic layman took his faith from the Church, and the priest was the authorised exponent of his faith in the serise in which the Protestant minister was not the authorised exponent of the Protestant faith. There was no question on the part of the Catholics of dissatisfaction with, or dissidence from, the Catholic faith as it was taught or in the management of the Catholic schools as administered by the priests. There they had a fundamental difference between the position of the Catholic laity towards their priesthood and the position of the Protestant laity towards their minister. He was not speaking on behalf of the small dissenting laity, but on behalf of the large section of the Church of England laity who did not consider the new schools of the Church of England as being exponents of the faith as they received and believed it. The other part of the Catholic case was that the Catholic schools were, with few exceptions, situated in places where there was also a Protestant school, therefore they were entitled to treat the Catholic school on a different basis from that of the Protestant episcopal school in the rural parish. How did the right hon. Gentleman's Amendment meet this position? He did not think it removed this grievance in the least. The right hon Gentleman said on Saturday† that his Amendment would make the position of the Dissenters better.
said the right hon. Gentleman referred to the Bill, and his case was that it did not make the position of the Nonconformists one whit better than it was before. In one sense he made it perpetual and made the grievance worse than it was before, because he removed the check they had Under the†Speech of Mr. Balfour at Fulham.863 old system, in that the subscribers were obliged to support the school, whereas its support was now placed on the rates: He did not think the minority of two-sixths of the representation and management of the schools worth having. One of these two managers would be appointed by the County Council, which was distant, and probably the person appointed by it would be a person of, same class and in sympathy with, the four managers who constituted the majority. The parent representative would be no guarantee that the minority would represent the people. If the right hon. Gentleman had given direct representation of the parents, it would be a different thing. The parent was always represented by the First Lord as a man exceedingly anxious that his children should receive dogmatic instruction. If that was the case, why not trust the parents and leave the nomination of the majority of the managers to them? He could not see why they should not secure the denominational teaching in some other manner than by having a majority of denominational managers. He should have thought that might have been done, and it would have been quite compatible with the denominational character of the school.
The one argument upon which the First Lord appeared to rely, was that the schools must be denominational, and that the only securities for the preservation of denominational teaching was to have a majority of denominational managers. With the best possible wish to understand the right hon. Gentleman's logic, he confessed that he could not understand the two positions. He could not see why they should not secure denominational teaching by some other method. Surely they could put provisions in this Act to require the managers to maintain denominational teaching, and put those provisions under the protection of the County Council, and also give the County Council under the protection of the Board of Education to grant power to a minority of the managers or to any number of the parents or the ratepayers to appeal to the Board of Education or the County Council. Surely that could be done, and at the same time the denominational teaching might be safeguarded. He had sufficient faith in the goodwill 864 and fairness of the people of this country to believe that no body of managers would venture to disregard such provisions as he had suggested. Surely it might be arranged that where there was a sufficient number of children desiring a certain denominational teaching it might be adopted, and, on the other hand, where undenominational teaching was desired, that also might be adopted. Would it not be easy by having a body which would see fair play, thus disarming suspicion and jealousy, to arrange for the denominational teaching of the Church of England or any other school, and provide this by statute, placing it under the protection of the local authority and the Board of Education? That would maintain the connection of the school with the denomination, and would give all that the managers were entitled to require. That would be just as good a safeguard as they were now proposing, and it would be far more likely to conduce to harmonious working. He regretted that some scheme of this kind had not been introduced. With regard to the appointment of teachers, it was not for him to say what would be accepted. Suppose they thought there should be a teacher of the denomination to which the school belonged to give denominational teaching; suppose they put in a provision that where the denomination had a school it should have power to say that one of the teachers should belong to that denomination. He admitted that they would get all they desired in that way, but at the same time they would not violate what appeared to him to be a fundamental principle.
He regretted that the Government should maintain their object by a provision which would not only produce controversy in Parliament, but the greatest possible irritation and controversy in the country. The County Council would not have the power of allaying it, for it would not have much to do with the schools; it would not be supreme; it would be subject to the control of the Board of Education, and they all knew what it could do when under the control of one political party. [Ministerial cries of "Oh!"] The Board of Education did vary its policy from 865 time to time. He could give instances, he believed, of the Board of Education being accused of being at least deficient in the virtue of impartiality. [Sir, J. GORST dissented] The right hon. Gentleman would be hard put to it to show that this was not the case, but would have opportunity of doing so. The proposal of the Government would, in his opinion at any rate, do injury not only to a large section of the community, but to education. It would destroy the best hope of working the schools. It would do another injury by depriving the schools of that popular interest which ought to be their greatest support. One of the evils of the present system was to have the parish clergyman talking of "my school." ["Oh!"] It was best to teach the people to talk of their school. This was a question of civic right. He put it to the Committee as a question of teaching the people to care for their schools, and of giving the people that best interest in them which they would have by taking a proper share in their management.
§ (11.5.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that, with the long vista of further Amendments before them, he hoped the Committee would now finish that stage of his Amendment. The right hon. Gentleman made two constructive contributions to the new scheme of education. One was that the denominational character of the schools should be placed under the control, first of the County Councils, and then of the Board of Education. He could not imagine a more disastrous, and had it not been suggested by the right hon. Gentleman, he would have said a more ludicrous course.
§ MR. BRYCE
said he thought the right hon. Gentleman did not quite under-stand what he said, which was that the Act might declare the denominational character of the schools, and direct that this denominational character might be observed, and he only mentioned the County Council and the Board of Education as the authorities who, if anything were done inconsistent with the lines which the statute laid down, should see that the managers respected the statute.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he did not see any difference between this version 866 of the proposition and the brief abstract he gave of it. The proposal was that the County Councils and the Board of Education should become the guardians of denominationalism in this country. He could imagine nothing more de structive of denominationalism and nothing more absolutely ruinous both to the County Councils and the Board of Education. If that were the kind of proposal the right hon. Gentleman would propose if he were in the position of the Government—
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said if the right hon. Gentleman had a still better plan locked up in his despatch-box, the Government would like to know what it was. The Government always liked to have the best plan, and the right hon. Gentleman had only given them a second best. The right hon. Gentleman s second constructive suggestion was that the various denominations of Protestants required different treatment from the Roman Catholics.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had done his best to interpret the position of the right hon. Gentleman. The right hon. Gentleman proceeded to describe the position of Roman Catholics, and the position of Protestants, and he understood him as saying that the two categories required different treatment. He did not believe that the country would stand that; he hoped it was also only a second best plan; and that if the right hon. Gentleman ever had to deal with the education problem, he would have a still better one. So much for the two constructive suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman. As to the right hon. Gentleman's two criticisms, the first was 867 that he did not think that the one-third minority would be worth having. His right hon. friend near him had made a hasty calculation—he was sure no one would dispute his right hon. friend's arithmetic—and assured him that the Members of the House who were opposed to the Government on this Bill, were much less than one-third. No one could say that that minority was ineffective, or that it had not had great effect and influence upon the course of events. If the right hon. Gentleman and his friends, with that relatively small phalanx, could do so much, and do it so long, upon this Question, he need not despair of the effect upon these Boards of management which the one-third minority provided by the Bill would be able to produce.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he was sorry the right hon. Gentleman said that. He had received such laudations from the other side for the Amendments he had already introduced, that it would be bitter to think that there was any tinge of insincerity in the very kind remarks that had been made. The right hon. Gentleman said the Bill did nothing to popularise control, and to bring a wider element into the management of these denominational schools. According to the right hon. Gentleman, the present state of things was that in about 8,000 schools there was "one man" management, the one man being the parson of the parish, who controlled both secular and religious education. Under the Bill, the whole of the secular education would be transferred to a popularly elected body. The right hon. Gentleman said he did not like that body. He said it would consist of squires and other unhappy people of that kind. But, at all events, it would be popularly elected. That body would have absolute and complete control of secular education in these schools. After all, secular education had something to do with national education. It was, he might remark, the main subject of the Bill, and it should not be left absolutely out of account, as being wholly alien. Religious education would be under the control, not of one man, and that man the parson of the parish, but of a Board of six. Of these, the parson would probably be the only 868 minister of religion, and three would be managers representing the denomination. Then there would be the minority of two, who would be connected neither directly nor indirectly with the denomination — at any rate, they would be nominated by the popularly elected body. That might be a good scheme or a bad scheme, but it was ludicrous to suggest that it left untouched the one man clerical management of these 8,000 schools; and it was ridiculous to go on discussing the Clause as if nothing had been done to meet the views of hon. Gentlemen and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. He was afraid he would have to address the Committee many more times before the Clause was disposed of; and, therefore, in mercy to them he would bring his present observations to a close. He did not think that the views of the Government had been treated quite fairly by hon. Gentlemen opposite, though he was sure they did not mean to misrepresent them in any way. His strong impression was that when the Bill was brought into working order, it would be found to give general satisfaction. However that might be, he ventured to suggest that the initial stage of the Amendment might now fittingly be brought to a conclusion.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)
said he wished to correct a statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen. The right hon. Gentleman said that the Essex County Council had passed a certain resolution germane to the subject under discussion. The right hon. Gentleman was perfectly right; but when the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to state that the Essex County Council was a Conservative body he was speaking in the language of exaggerated hyperbole. The majority of the Essex County Council were of the same political opinion as the right hon. Gentleman himself, and if he were a Member of it he would find himself in the unusual position of being in a majority.
§ *MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)
said that to give control to denominational managers as distinguished from publicly-appointed representatives on the local boards of managers for elementary schools would operate most unfairly to Nonconformist parents and be prejudicial to the true interests of education. He would give an example so that 869 the Committee, by the illustration, would realise the situation. In a parish in Bedfordshire he knew of a case where a clergyman managed a school at the present time under a deed of trust; not only was he himself one of he managers, but he was allowed to place on the Board as many curates as he liked. The only other individuals on the Board must he communicants in the Church of England for three years; and they were to be elected only by those who attended the church and contributed to the schools. It would be perfectly absurd, after the passing of this Bill, to allow a body to be composed entirely of denominationalists of that kind. It did not make the slightest difference whether the squire's gardener would be elected on such a body, as its policy would be dictated by the parson, his curates, and the other members of the Church of England. He wished to pay a tribute of praise to the energy and ability with which many clergymen of the Church of England had carried on education in the schools under their control. Had these clergymen shown, any intolerance towards Nonconformist children, undoubtedly many contributions from members of their
§ own Church would be withdrawn, as a protest against an arbitrary exercise of power. Then, again, at the present time, the parents had the power of establishing a School Board, and the parsons know that they had that power. Under the provisions of the Bill, however, it would not be necessary for the parson to ask for contributions for the denominational schools, and Nonconformist parents would not be enabled to establish a School Board. Therefore, the two very powers which caused tolerant action to be exercised towards Nonconformists would be withdrawn. The First Lord of the Treasury alluded to the supreme power which would be vested in the County Councils; but the Vice President of the Council stated in reply to a question on 18th June that if a County Council appointed an Education Committee, that Committee need not ask for confirmation of any of its acts. Therefore, the representatives of the people would have no absolute control.
§ (11 23.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 93; Noes, 237. (Division List No. 309.)871
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Allen, Charles P (Glouc., Stroud||Haroie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Rigg, Richard|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)|
|Brigg, John||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Helme, Norval Watson||Russell, T. W.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Hemphill. Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Holland, Sir William Henry||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford|
|Caine, William Sproston||Horniman, Frederick John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Caldwell, James||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Jones, Willam (Carnarv'ushire||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Kearley, Hudson E.||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Langley, Batty||Tennant, Harold John|
|Cremer William Randal||Layland -Barratt, Francis||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Levy, Maurice||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Lloyd-George, David||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Dilke. Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Kenna, Reginald||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark||Middlemore, Jno. Throgmorton||Tomkinson, James|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Mildmay. Francis Bingham||Trevelyan, Charles Phillips|
|Dunn, Sir William||Morley, Charles (Breconshire||Ure, Alexander|
|Edwards, Frank||Moulton, John Fletcher||Warner, Thomas CourtenayT.|
|Emmott, Alfred||Newnes, Sir George||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst'ne||Nussey, Thomas Willans||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Partington, Oswald||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Paulton, James Mellor||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Pirie, Duncan V.||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk, Mid.|
|Furness. Sir Christopher||Price, Robert John||Wilson. Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Priestley, Arthur||TELLERS FoR the ayes—|
|Grant. Corrie||Rea, Russell||Mr. Herbert Gladstone|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick||Reckitt, Harold James||and Mr. William M'Arthur|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Ambrose, Robert||Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitzroy|
|Acland-Hood. Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bailey, James (Walworth)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bain, Colonel James Robert|
|Allhusen, August's H'nry Eden||Atkinson, Rt. Hon, John||Balcarres, Lord|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Gunter, Sir Robert||O'Brien Patrick (Kilkinny)|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Hall, Edward Marshall||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperrary, N.)|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Hambro. Charles Eric||O'Conner, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christen.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Hamilton, Marq. Of (L'nd'nd'r'y||O'Malley, William|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Hammond, John||O'Mara, James|
|Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Bill, Charles||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Parker, Sir Gilbert|
|Blundell, (Colonel Henry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n|
|Boland, John||Henderson, Sir Alexander||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesiey|
|Bond, Edward||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Pemberton, John S. G|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Percy, Earl|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Brown. Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Howard, John (Kent, Faversh'm||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Bull, William James||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Button, John (Yorkst, N. K.)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Butcher, John George||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Carlffe, William Walter||Jordan, Jeremiah||Purvis, Robert|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward H.||Joyce, Michael||Pym, C Guy|
|Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Kennaway, Rt Hon. Sir John H.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Keswick, William||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Chapman, Edward||Kimber, Henry||Reddy, M.|
|Charrington, Spencer||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Cochrane, Hon Thos H.A.E.||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Coghill, Donglas Harry||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Conen, Benjamin Louis||Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Cellings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Lawson, John Grant||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham||Robinson, Brooke|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down North)||Lees, Sir Elliot (Birkenhead)||Round, Rt. Hon. James|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Legge, Ceil. Hon. Heneage||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.|
|Crossley, Sir Saville||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Lock wood, Lt.-Col A. R.||Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East.|
|Delany, William||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Smith, HC (North'mb, Tyneside|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Dillon, John||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lundon, W.||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Doughty, George||Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Macdona, John Cumming||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Faber, George Denison (York||Maconochie, A. W.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Uuiv|
|Fellowes, Hon Ailwyn Edward||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||M'Cann, James||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Finch, George H.||M'Kean, John||Valentia, Viscount|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Manneis, Lord Cecil||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Welby, Lt. -Col A.C. E (Taunton|
|Fither, William Hayes||Milvain, Thomas||Welby, Sir Charles G. E (Notts.|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ.||Mooney, John J.||Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Gardner, Ernest||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Garfit, William||Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin&Nairn||Morrell, George Herbert||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Gordon, Maj Evans. (T'rH'mlets||Morrison, James Archibald||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
|Gore, Hon. S.E. Ormsby-(Linc.||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Mount, William Arthur||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Murphy, John||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C.B. Stuart-|
|Gray, Ernest. (West Ham)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wylie, Alexander|
|Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdmunds||Newdigate. Francis Alexander||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Nicholson, William Graham||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Gretton, John||Nicol, Donald Ninian||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Sir William Walrond and|
|Guest Hon Ivor Churchill||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Mr. Anstruther.|
Lords Amendments considered, and agreed to.
§ (11.40) MR. WHITLEY
moved to insert after "authority," in line 29, the words "or for the use of which any rent is paid by them." He thought the right hon. Gentleman would have no difficulty in accepting the Amendment, as it was really necessary to carry out the pledges of the Government. The differentiation of the two classes of managers had been based on the ground that the voluntary school managers were to provide schools free of any rent, but the word "provided" did not carry that understanding with it. The right to have a majority on the management of a voluntary school was a quid pro quo for the school being provided free of rent to the local authority, and it was only right that that should be made perfectly clear.
In page2, line39, after the word 'authority,' to insert the words ' or for the use of which any rent is paid by them.' "—(Mr. Whitley.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said his belief was that every school building for which any rent was paid by the local authority was a school provided by them. He would undertake, however, if the word "provided" did not cover such a case, to have words inserted at a subsequent stage.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)
was not aware of any Act which declared that a school for which any rent whatever was paid was a school "provided" by the local authority. He understood the right hon. Gentleman to assent to the principle that whoever originally founded the school, if any rent by way of valuable consideration was paid by the local authority, that school was, under the Bill, to be a school "provided" by the local authority?
§ DR. MACNAMARA
pointed out that, a month ago, when he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether it would be possible in future to charge the local authority any rent for a school, the reply he received was, "Certainly not," whereas now the right hon. Gentleman contemplated a charge for rent.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
explained that if a rent was charged, the school would cease to belong to the managers, and become the property of the local authority. He did not at all say that the trustees could not rent their school to the local authority, but if they did so, it would cease to be a voluntary school, and become a "provided'' school.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
asked whether he was correct in supposing that if the trustees charged a rent, the school became a public authority school, the religious instruction became undenominational, and the management fell under the early part of Clause 7.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY
asked what would be the position of schools which were partially transferred, the managers retaining control during the first hour of the day, during which hour religious instruction was given. Who would be the managers of such a school?
§ MR. M'KENNA
thought the point just raised was extremely important, because if a school was partially transferred and the denominational managers retained the control, the appointment of teachers for secular as well as religious instruction would rest with the denomination. If, however, a partial transfer meant a transfer for all purposes, there might be undenominational teachers giving the religious instruction, and that would not satisfy hon. Members opposite.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
thought the word "provided" was very vague, and contended that a definition was absolutely necessary.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
thought the promise of the First Lord was satisfactory. The case referred to by the hon. Member for North West Ham was not likely to occur in future, because the reason trustees had partially transferred their schools in the past was that they had not the funds to defray the expense of the secular instruction, and that difficulty would now be removed.
§ *SIR BRAMPTON GURDON (Norfolk, N.)
said he was one of those unhappy beings called "squires," and as such was the owner of an unsectarian voluntary school. Under this Bill, would he be able not only to throw the whole expense of education on the county rate, but also get rid of the expense of maintenance, by the simple process of charging the local education authority a rent for the school?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the hon. Member could have done that at any moment through a School Board
§ *SIR BRAMPTON GURDON
pointed out that a School Board rate would then have been charged all over the parish, and he would have had to reduce his farm-rents to a greater extent than the amount of the rate.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
pointed out that in some cases the amount of the subscriptions was not nearly sufficient to cover the annual cost of repairs, and, therefore, those schools would be unable to comply with the condition of sub-section (d) of Section 1 of Clause 8. The managers of these schools, under the right hon. Gentleman's definition, would be able to get over the difficulty by taking a rent from the local authority, and so be able to keep the school for all other purposes. In some cases the payment would fairly represent the value of the buildings, but, in others, it would be merely a nominal amount, accepted by the trustees in order to transfer the school. The definition of the right hon. Gentleman appeared to cover only the first of those cases.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that while he would be unwilling to press this question unduly, after the promise of the right hon. Gentleman, he thought the present was peculiarly the point at which the matter should be dealt with. The Committee were about to discuss the quid pro quo, and it was desirable that they should clearly understand what the quo was before they proceeded to consider the quid they were to give. The words he had placed on the Paper had been carefully thought out, and would entirely meet the intention expressed by the First Lord.
§ It being Midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report progress; to sit again to-morrow.