§ Considered in Committee :—
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 :—
§ (2.40.) MR. EDWARDS (Radnorshire)
said he wished to move the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Anglesey. Its object was to secure the simplification of authority and the efficiency of the management as regarded the schools. He knew it was professed that the Bill was drafted with the same intent, but in his opinion it was very far from effecting it. Some time ago they were told that the Government had an open mind on certain questions, and he hoped they would show that to be the case in this instance. They were all agreed that simplification was very desirable, but he maintained that the Bill would not give them what they wanted. There were now two authorities dealing with education—the School Board and voluntary managers. But the Bill would give them in addition the education Committee appointed by the County Council, while local managers were to be appointed by the Education Committee, in addition to the ex officio members such as the local clergy. Thus the actual management of the schools was three removes away from the education authority, and he consequently failed to see where the simplicity came in. In fact the authority would have practically no control over the local management of the schools, and that he submitted was a very great defect. The position was very complicated in another way. There were three authorities, one to raise the rate, another to receive it, and the third to spend it. Could that be called simplicity of administration? The Amendment, however, would secure 1287 simplicity. It would make the local education authority and the local managers one and the same body, and it would secure the necessary local knowledge. County councillors were drawn from a very wide area and if parish councillors were substituted for them as the authority, the hon. Gentleman would get on the school management men living on the spot and interested in the success of the schools. They would be the best possible persons to place in control.
§ Amendment proposed, in page 1, line 7, after the second word "the," to insert the word "parish. "—(Mr. Edwards.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'parish' be there inserted"
§ THE VICE - PRESIDENT OF the BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir JOHN GORST, Cambridge University)
said he scarcely thought the Amendment was proposed in earnest. Could it really be intended to be suggested that the Parish Councils should be the authority for both primary and secondary education? He would point out that Parish Councils did not exist in every district, and that the Amendment would consequently leave some districts without any education authority. He thought that, in these circumstances, it was hardly worth while to discuss the Amendment further. No one would suggest that a Parish Council would be a proper authority to deal with secondary education.
Mr. HERBERT ROBERTS (Denbighshire, W)
suggested that the right hon. Gentleman was under a misapprehension. The power of the Parish Councils would be confined to elementary education, and there was no idea of setting them up as authorities to deal with secondary education. In his opinion, it would be impossible to establish a thoroughly efficient system of education unless they secured in some way the co-operation and sympathy of all the people in a locality, not that of mere sections. He could not believe that with the present divergence of authority the Bill would secure that end, unless they brought the Parish Councils into a position of being able to share in the management 1288 of the schools of a locality. Speaking as a Welsh Member, he would like to make it clear that they had no lack of confidence in their County Councils, but, at the same time, there was a great deal to be said in favour of setting up the proposed machinery in the Bill. They believed that the Amendment would, have the effect of bringing into play on behalf of elementary education the interests most concerned and the people best fitted by local knowledge to deal with it.
(2.50.) SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
thought the right hon. Gentleman had hardly given the arguments of the mover of the Amendment the consideration they deserved. It was quite true that in many portions of the country there were no Parish Councils, but there were Parish Meetings which could arrange to undertake the work. He would like to point out that the Amendment moved in the direction of popular representation, and he would be very glad to see some Amendment accepted whereby people in every locality could, through their duly elected representative, have some control over the schools. That was the object of the Amendment, and it raised a question of the most vital importance in connection with educational work. It was desirable to bring it into harmony with the local organisations of the people in every district, and he hoped that in the transformation which the Bill would undergo, the Parish Councils would be given some share in the management of parish schools, and that the elected representatives of the people would have some control over the education of the children. He could conceive no object more worthy of the sympathy and support of the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)
quite agreed as to the importance of bringing the parish into our educational system, but that was not the, proposition embodied in the Amendment. That proposed to make the parish the sole educational authority for all purposes. He did not think they could rely on small local authorities to provide all that they wanted. They desired to improve the education in their villages, and to do that they required more than 1289 the mere local interest which that proposal would bring into co - operation. First, money was needed and that was best obtained by means of a county rate. Next they wanted to receive the services of men of ability, and the wider the area of the choice the better chance of getting them, and the last thing necessary was local interest which the Amendment would alone provide. There should be some central authority over and above the parish, and he hoped that later on it would be possible to give under the Bill the Parish Councils a share in the local management. This proposal went a great deal further, and, under the circumstances, he could not support it. Some of his friends on that side of the House were rather uneasy about making the County Councils the authority for controlling education. They seemed to fear that the Councils would be too reactionary. It was, however, necessary to adopt progressive instincts in the matter of education, and they could not rely upon so small a local authority as the Parish Council providing that progressive, or on having that breadth of view, that largeness of mind, and that bigness of opportunity which was essential to a progressive policy. He, therefore, hoped that the Amendment would be rejected.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
said he perfectly; understood the object of the Amendment, and he had considerable sympathy with the views which had been expressed by the mover, but he did not think it was a very practical proposal taken in connection with other parts of the Bill. It was supported by many of his hon. friends on the ground that they ought to use almost any means of introducing popular control over elementary education, a view with which he heartily sympathised. He hoped that when they came to the question of the schools themselves and their managers they would be able to induce the Government to allow the Parish Council, or, at all events, the ratepayers, the parents, to have a much larger voice in the matter than was given under the Bill. There were several considerations which made this Amendment inadvisable, and among others there was this—that there was a 1290 large number of parishes throughout England, parishes restricted in area, in which the Parish Councils would not approach the ideal authority to which the power proposed by this Amendment should be entrusted. He hoped, therefore, having obtained the satisfaction of a considerable amount of sympathy for his Amendment, the hon. Member would not trouble the House to go to a division.
§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
said he did not quite agree with his right hon. friend who had just spoken that the Parish Council would be a good authority for educational purposes.
§ MR. LAMBERT
said it would be an infinitely better authority than that proposed in the Bill. It had been suggested that the Parish Council lacked breadth of view and bigness of opportunity. He, as a parish councillor, entirely repudiated those charges, and he did think that the right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President of the Board of Education, instead of dealing with the Amendment in so perfunctory a manner, should have told them what the Government intended to do in regard to bringing in the Parish Councils, which certainly had some local interest in the matter. How did the right hon. Gentleman expect the schools to be managed if the Bill were carried in its present form? There were something like 560 schools in Devonshire. How could a county educational authority possibly manage them all? Did the Government intend to give the parish any sort of direct responsibility in a matter in which they ought to have some voice? The Parish Councils after all were a directly elected authority. In many parishes, no doubt, they had very little to do; but the proposal in the Amendment would enable them to usefully utilise their energies, and the Government might very well give them power of supervision over the local managers.
* THE CHAIRMAN
Order, order! The hon. Member is rather anticipating 1291 a discussion which is to come on at a later stage, as to what is to be the authority.
§ MR. LAMBERT
said he would only add that, in his opinion, they ought to know what were the intentions of the Government with regard to giving the Parish Councils a direct popular interest in education.
§ (2.58.) MR HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
said he too thought that the Government would have taken this opportunity of bringing the Parish Councils into more direct connection with educational work. They were the representatives of the people in the parish, and, therefore, ought to have a controlling voice in the management of the schools. There was no intention of making them the authority for secondary education, but if the representatives of the people in the locality were given a direct interest in the schools of the parish, many injustices which were now constantly heard of would soon be got rid of. The had received a letter from a teacher stating that he had played the church organ for twelve years, and had never been a single Sunday out of the parish during that period, and that if he wrote a history of the grievances of teachers it would fill a volume. Supposing the Parish Council had a direct official connection with the school, such grievances would be entirely impossible; the moral sense of the community would be brought to bear on the schools, and their management; and if the parents or the teachers had grievances they would be brought to the knowledge of the Parish Council. Moreover, it would bring the public in the locality into direct living interest with the schools. What was the secret of the success of the American school system? Was it not that in every district the people were associated, either directly or through their representatives, with the management of the schools, and they were willing to subscribe to objects in connection with the schools. At present a large number of people in England and Wales entirely withheld their subscriptions, simply and solely because neither as ratepayers nor through their representatives had they any say in the management of the schools. So far as 1292 secondary education was concerned, such a proposal would, he admitted, be entirely impracticable. In order to carry out the supervision of technical education, a certain number of parishes should be associated together, and the county was the best unit. But so far as elementary education was concerned the representatives of the locality ought to have some voice in its management. The Parish Council ought to be able to obtain some measure of control, and thereby promote the higher interests of education.
§ MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)
said he wished to point out to his hon. friends how thoroughly impracticable the Amendment was. He himself represented a constituency which contained eighty-five parishes, many of them only containing from fifty to seventy electors. Many parishes had Parish Councils, but a large number had not; and further there was not a school in every parish. Therefore, if the Amendment were to be practical there should be some proposal to group parishes. Feeling on that side of the House was in favour of some kind of parish representation on the management on the lines suggested by the hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick in his speech on the Second Reading. He thought it would facilitate the progress of the Bill if the First Lord of the Treasury would indicate that he was prepared to make some concession in the matter at a later stage of the Bill.
MR. LLOYD-GFORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said he thought there was some misapprehension in reference to the object of the Amendment. He did not understand that its object was to make the Parish Council the supreme educational authority. His hon. friend had an Amendment later providing that the County Council should be the supreme authority as far as education was concerned, and, therefore, his object was not to make the Parish Council supreme, but to carry out the suggestion of the hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick which had found support among educational experts, and which was that the Parish Council should be utilised in the management of the schools. That was an object which would commend 1293 itself to every hon. Member on that side of the House. He thought his hon. friend had served his purpose by having a discussion on the Amendment, though it would not be possible to have a fair and square division on it at that particular stage. He would there fore suggest to his hon. friend to withdraw the Amendment and move it later, when the question of the management of the schools arose.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
I entirely agree with what has been said by my hon. friend the Member for the Carnarvon Boroughs, and I entirely sympathise with the view expressed by my right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition that the Parish Councils should be introduced into the management of the schools. That is a perfectly sound principle, and I hope it will be carried out when we come to the question as to how the authorities should be constituted. That being so, I hope my hon. friend will withdraw his Amendment, until we come to deal with the management of the schools.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The next Amendment, in the name of the hon. Member for North Camberwell, is, in page 1, line 8, to leave out "and of every county borough." That was disposed of last night.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
said that the Amendment disposed of last night dealt with a number of authorities besides county boroughs, and he then ventured to express the hope that he would have an opportunity of raising in a definite form the question that county boroughs, and the county boroughs only, should be taken out of the scheme.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member evidently thought from his speech last night that the Amendment he then supported covered the Amendment on the Paper. That was the point on which he 1294 addressed the Committee. If the hon. Member will look at his Amendment in page 16, he will see that the first words are, "In every county borough." Yesterday the Committee decided that in every county borough the School Board was not to be the authority, and the greater includes the less. That seems to me to dispose of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said that he used the words "School Board," but he did not imagine that School Boards would be elected in the future on the basis they were elected at present, and in speaking on the general proposition he said he hoped he would have an opportunity of dealing with the exclusion of the county boroughs from the scheme.
* THE CHAIRMAN
I must attach to the words "School Board" the meaning ordinarily attaching to them. In the future the words may mean something else, but at present I consider the Committee have disposed of the hon. Gentleman's Amendment.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
said he desired to move the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Loughborough Division. Its effect would be to postpone until the County Councils had been reelected the consideration of the matters entrusted to them under the Act. He submitted that that was a very important and perfectly fair proposition, The present County Councils were elected to discharge duties imposed on them under the present statutes. When they were elected no one imagined that they would have to deal with schemes for education, and that they would be called on to undertake the very important duties to be committed to them under the Bill before the Committee. If the county electors knew that large questions affecting elementary and secondary education would have to be dealt with, they might have re-considered their decision. He admitted that the Amendment would require a great deal of consequential alteration, but he submitted that the Committee should have regard for the principle of the Amendment, which was that the electors 1295 should have the right to choose men who would have, for a considerable period, the management of both elementary and secondary education. If the Bill passed as it stood, the present County Councils would be called upon to frame schemes which would afterwards have the affect of an Act of Parliament, and which could only be altered by a Provisional Order. It was, therefore, only right that the county electors should have the opportunity of choosing men for that particular purpose. He begged to move.
§ Amendment proposed—
"In page 1, line 8, after the word 'borough,' to insert the words 'elected after the passing of this Act.'"—(Mr. Corrie Grant.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ (3.15.) MR A. J. BALFOUR
hoped the hon. Gentleman would not press this Amendment, because it would be seen on consideration that it was in applicable to many of our local authorities, and was quite unexampled in our legislative methods. The hon. Gentleman proposed that the County Councils should be re-elected before having thrown on them the duties under this Act. That was clear and definite as regards counties, but not as regards boroughs. Under the Amendment, three years must elapse before the Bill became operative in boroughs. But he had no wish to rest his case on the Amendment alone; he rested it on a broader ground. He thought it was inconvenient in itself to delay the question for three years; he saw no object in differentiating between the counties and the boroughs. He went further; this was an entire innovation in dealing with great assemblies of this character. The House must necessarily, in the course of time, throw entirely new duties on these bodies, such as were never contemplated when they were elected, and it was an entire innovation to suggest that when new duties were thrown upon them they should require re-election before they undertook the duties. No precedent existed for such a suggestion. Were the duties given to local authorities under the Bill so absolutely novel that a change in the constitution of 1296 those authorities was absolutely necessary? After all, it must be remembered that these bodies carried out this great educational work, of not indeed primary education, but what was believed to be-primary education, before the Cockerton judgment was delivered. Those duties were thrown upon these bodies without requiring the re-election of the whole body, and he trusted the House would not think it necessary, for so elementary a provision of the Bill, to adopt the unprecedented course suggested by the right hon. Gentleman.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
urged that there was much to be said in favour of giving the ratepayers time to consider whether their elected representatives were to undertake these duties. What educational work the local authorities now discharged was a mere trifle compared with the work they were to be asked to undertake with regard to secondary and technical education, and the instruction of the teachers, and, above all, primary education all over the country. He thought the right of the ratepayers to an opportunity for considering so great a subject as this should be safeguarded.
§ MR. McKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
pointed out that if the First Lord of the Treasury looked at Clause 20 of the Bill he would see that it gave the Board of Education liberty to do things which, up to now, the right hon. Gentleman had said was an innovation of the law. The right hon. Gentleman could not have understood the purport of Clause 20. Why was the Board of Education to have power to defer the operation of the Bill until twelve months after March 26th, 1903? Was it not intended by that that there should be an election? This was a matter that would have to be explained. He had no doubt in his mind that the intention of not allowing the Act to come into force until then was that there should be an election. The right hon. Gentleman had said this was an innovation, but he thought it was essentially a matter upon which the ratepayers should express an opinion as to whether these bodies should take over the duties of elementary education or not.
§ MR HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
said that the delay provided for in Cause 20 was simply to enable the scheme to be prepared. It would be impossible to administer this Bill until the central authority was formed, and that must take some time. The date chosen was probably that which marked the close of the financial year. The result of the Amendment would be to put off the operation of the Bill for two years.
§ * MR.MAURICE LEVY (Leicestershire, Loughborough)
said he felt compelled to take a division on this Amendment, unless the First Lord of the Treasury would accept it. The persons who would form the new educational authority had never been elected for the particular purpose prescribed by this Bill. The First Lord of the Treasury said that these authorities had heretofore had some educational work to carry out. That was so in certain districts, but the County Councils had certainly had no educational work to perform so far as primary education was concerned, and it was only fair that the ratepayers should decide who should be their representatives on the Educational Board. If they took the Borough Councils as at present constituted, they would probably eliminate from the Education Committee some of the most expert educationists in the country. Of course, the Opposition were not at all pleased with the principle of the Bill, believing that as drafted it would not conduce to a good, moral and intellectual education, but this Amendment did not affect the principle. It was simply an Amendment dealing with a detail of the Bill, viz., giving to rate-payers the right they demanded, and the opportunity of saying who should be their representatives in arranging for the education of their children in the near future. He, therefore, appealed to the First Lord of the Treasury to accept the Amendment.
§ (3.30.) COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY (Shropshire, Newport)
said as he understood it was intended by the Bill to have new County Councils elected. With the experience which they had already had, the existing County Councils were quite competent to deal with this matter. The Shropshire County Council had spent £10,000 on 1298 the purposes of education, and he failed to see any reason for postponing the operation of the Bill until the new Council had been formed to carry out another portion of the educational scheme. He saw no reason whatever for postponing the bringing into force of the scheme of the Government on the ground which had been suggested.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
said the hon. and gallant Gentleman had omitted to notice that the £10,000 administered by the County Council of Shropshire to the satisfaction of the ratepayers was not raised out of the rates of the county, but came out of the "whisky money." When the ratepayers of a County Council district were asked to rate themselves to the extent of 8d. or 10d. in the £—which many believed would be the result of the Bill—it was only right and fair that they should have an opportunity of saying whether or not they desired the Bill to be adopted. If the Government changed their mind with regard to optional principle, it might be a different matter, but, so long as the original intention of the Government was adhered to, it was obvious that such an opportunity as the Amendment suggested should be given to the people of the district concerned.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
pointed out that while the County Council would have to frame a scheme by which the education authority would be selected, he could discover no provision in the Bill by which that authority could be removed. Possibly it would go out of office with the County Council, but at any rate, the nominated portion would apparently be a permanent body. From that point of view, it was desirable that the ratepayers should have some voice in the election of the body. It had also to be borne in mind that the duties were of an altogether different character from those connected with, technical education. It was impossible to make any such comparison as that suggested by the First Lord of the Treasury and the hon. Member for Newport, between the work of the Technical Education Committee and the management of both primary and secondary education. The argument 1299 that there was no precedent for waiting for an election before fresh duties were devolved on these local authorities was not a good one, because there was no case in which duties of so opposite a nature to those ordinarily discharged by the County Council had been so devolved. As the Bill provided an option, the electorate surely had a right to instruct the representatives as to whether or not they desired them to take over the duties in question. This being only a detail, though an important one, the Government would do well to yield to the strong reeling which had been expressed in regard to the matter.
§ * MR. H. J. WILSON (Yorkshire, W. U., Holmfirth)
agreed that the electors ought to be consulted before a Council saddled itself and its successors with duties and responsibilities which there was no idea of their having to undertake at the time they were elected. If the Government really believed the Bill would be acceptable to the ratepayers, why should they be afraid of allowing them an opportunity to make up their minds on this point?
§ MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said that, if the option was to be preserved, the manner in which that option should be exercised would be a matter for the serious consideration of the Government. It might be desirable for the Government to consider whether there should not be some opportunity for the people definitely to express their opinion on the point before the Council exercised the option. But the proper time to discuss that matter would be when Schedule I. was before the Committee. In that schedule it provided for a calendar month's notice being given of the meeting, and so on, and it might also be provided that the meeting should not be held until after such and such an election had taken place. The present, however, was not the proper time for discussing such a proposal.
§ (3.37.) MR BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
thought the hon. Member had candidly admitted that there was a great deal to be said for the Amendment on the basis of the retention of the option. Having regard to the statement of the First Lord in introducing the Bill, there was 1300 no reason to suppose that option was to be dropped; on the contrary, he believed the Government would retain it. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to the practice of Parliament when devolving new duties upon local authorities, but he had given no instance of duties being devolved in which the authorities had an option as was now proposed. When local authorities had to undertake new duties nolens volens, the case was entirely different from that in which they had an option. That fact gave strength to the contention that the electors should have an opportunity of saying whether or not their local authority should undertake these duties, and such an opportunity was all the more necessary in view of the great difference of opinion which existed on the part of the local authorities themselves. The electors had a right to choose the persons who should start this machinery. The first two or three years would be the vital and determining period, and it was most important that the electors should have the opportunity of putting on the Councils men whom they knew to be competent to deal with educational questions. Moreover, if the School Boards were to go, the men who had served on those bodies ought to have a chance of getting on the Borough Councils.
§ MR. CHARLES ALLEN (Gloucestershire, Stroud)
contended that, as the Bill would effect a complete revolution in our educational system, they ought certainly to have an opportunity of consulting the electorate in order that the ratepayers might say who should be the men to form the first authority. That was a matter of principle, but there was a practical matter also which had not yet been referred to very much, and which was important. Hitherto the County Council election had been exceedingly slack. In his own constituency at the election before last there was only one contest, whereas at the last election there was no contest at all. If they had known that an Education Bill such as this was going to be brought forward there would have been a contest in every district. They had a right before this Rill was put into force to have a contest in order to settle certain questions.
§ *(3.45.) DR. MACNAMARA
said he deplored the backward condition of this country in regard to education as much as any one, but the Committee must remember that rash haste was half-sister to delay, and if there was delay here, it was upon the stubborn head of the Government, because they had not allowed the county boroughs to have any voice in this matter. There was only one precedent for this proposal, and that was the Metropolitan Board of Works, which very rapidly went to pieces because of the powers thrust upon it. It was physically impossible in the county boroughs for this work to be taken on by the councils, and it would all end in muddle. The Members of the Government belonged to an aristocratic class. [Ministerial cries of "Oh, oh!"] That was not his view, but the opinion of the Vice President of the Council, who, on the 23rd of December, 1897, said at Bristol that the members of the Government belonged to an aristocratic class who believed that certain functions in modern civilised life were best performed by ignorant people.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
I wish the hon. Member, when he does me the honour of quoting my words, would quote them correctly.
§ * DR. MACNAMARA
said it was about time he did. He did not believe that the Government desired to put back the education of the country to the extent that was adumbrated in the quotation he had just made. The First Lord of the Treasury talked about the small amount of work which the councils did now, and it had been said that the Shropshire County Council were now spending £10,000 a year upon education. Take Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool. Each of these cities had 100,000 elementary school children to attend to, and 2,000 or 3,000 school teachers in their service. Each of these cities annually expended not £10,000, but £250,000, upon education without 1302 the voluntary schools, and the work, both financially and administratively, was much more detailed than the municipal work, and in all its bearings it was equal to the work which the councils now carried out. Was it conceivable that those cities could have all this extra educational work transferred to them, and not have a breakdown? This educational leap in the dark was the most portentous this country had ever taken without consulting the localities concerned. He wished the Government to go back to the position which they took up on this question in 1896. What he asked for was that the great county boroughs should be consulted. Already a member of these boroughs had said that they did not want this Bill. Naturally the School Boards would say that they did not want the measure because they did not wish to be deprived of their present functions. The Cardiff City Council, by thirteen votes to six, passed a resolution to the effect that any new legislation should create a single authority popularly elected, solely for educational purposes, to control the work of elementary, technical, and secondary education. The Gloucester City Council, by nineteen votes to twelve, passed a resolution welcoming the principle contained in the Bill, that all elementary education should be maintained out of the public funds lent, declared the measure unsatisfactory, because amongst other things it did not vest the control for education both primary, secondary, and technical, in a local authority, directly representing the ratepayers. Cardiff and Gloucester were dead against the Bill, and Manchester modified the Government scheme to such an extent, that they could hardly recognise it. If this scheme were thrust upon these great municipalities, it would have to be repealed, and so far from promoting education the Government would have materially put back the cause of education. Because he wished county boroughs to have the option of deciding this matter he was driven to support this Amendment.
§ MR. ABEL THOMAS (Carmarthenshire, E.)
pointed out that if this Bill became law, borough councils would 1303 have double as much work to do, and much of the work would be of an entirely different character to that which they were elected to carry out. During the debate on the Second Reading of this Bill, it was stated more than once that if only County Councils were given the power to deal with education, they would get much better and more able men to join them, and they would be able to do better work than the School Boards did now. What was the use of passing this Bill without this Amendment? By the proposals of this Bill the Councils would start their work in a false position. Men would start this educational work who were not elected for the purpose, and who would never have been elected for that purpose, if the ratepayers bad had the opportunity of deciding. Under this Amendment the work would not be delayed for more than a year, and they would start fairly, instead of extremely unfairly, without giving the ratepayers the opportunity of electing the men they would prefer to start the new machinery under this Act.
§ (4.0.) SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said he had no word to say against School Boards, whose work, so far from undervaluing, he held in the highest estimation. They had done admirable work; and though in some cases they might have acted illegally, he was glad they did so. He was possibly the only Member on the Ministerial side of the House who had spoken in favour of the optional or adoptive Clause. He did so on the Second Reading; and when they came to deal with it in Committee, he thought there was a good deal to be said in favour of the principle embodied in the Bill. Before any attempt to withdraw this Clause was made, he thought that at least there ought to be an expression of the general opinion of the House, in order to hear what might be said on both sides of the question. The hon. Member for North Camberwell had stated that the great county boroughs were unequal to the work, but he did not think that there would be any overloading of the corporations, because the work would devolve upon committees. The hon. Member opposite said that the boroughs objected to this work being thrust upon 1304 them, and he quoted three instances. He had in his hand figures which were wider than the Member for North Camber-well had quoted, and which would speak for the borough councils themselves. He thought the matter of the capabilities of county and borough councils for this work should receive some consideration from the House. With regard to the proposals in the Bill for secondary or higher education, they were unanimously in favour of assuming the duties. They had done their work in connection both with technical education and secondary education, not in the very narrow way which had been suggested, but in a manner which was extremely surprising, considering the way in which those duties were thrust upon them. Moneys were thrown at them which could not be used for other purposes, and without any preliminary training or experience they were called upon to perform duties in connection with education which they; had done extremely well. The development of technical and secondary education under the Technical Education Act had been of vast advantage to the country and most creditable to the authorities both of the counties and towns which had undertaken them. Judging by that experience and the value of that work, the Committee might feel assured that the Councils were able to undertake the duties now proposed to be placed upon them. He thought all the large county boroughs had rated themselves. [Opposition cries of "No."] He thought they had all rated themselves for this purpose with the exception of Preston. [Cries of "No."] In regard to primary education, two years ago a representative body of the municipalities voted unanimously that they desired to undertake the control of preliminary instruction in all those cases in which there were no School Boards. The various boroughs had been consulted within the last month by their association, and the replies which he held in his hand showed that they supported the general principle of the Bill without any reservation whatever.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said he was assuming that, but his hon. friend would permit him to say that the boroughs were almost unanimously against it. He, however, held a strong opinion on that clause, and he would take his own course when the time came.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
May I ask whether the Councils have been consulted and whether this is the result of a vote?
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said the association had discussed the matter and they referred it to the Councils. The Councils were consulted, and they deliberated on the matter. These were the replies from the Councils which had sent replies. [Cries of "Ah!"] He would give the figures. The county boroughs in favour of the Bill generally were twelve.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
There were against the Bill, three; against taking over elementary education, one; in favour of Part III being made compulsory, fifteen; four offered no opinion; while the opinion of sixteen Councils had not yet been obtained.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
May I ask whether that represents thirty-five opinions? I did not quite gather whether the replies were from thirty-five different County Borough Councils.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
Certainly. The Committee had heard of one case where the Council was opposed to the proposal in the Bill, and he thought he was justified in making a much larger deduction, so that the Committee might not be misled by expressions, quite bona fide, of course, but which were calculated to mislead. The feeling of the boroughs was that the best plan for local government—the best means, as they believed, of promoting education and other subjects, and even of dealing with the poor law, was to concentrate upon the Councils all the work which was possible, and thus attract into them the best men, and the men of the widest experience in matters of local government. He firmly believed that 1306 if the proposed educational duties were added to those the Councils already had, they would be performed well.
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
said the hon. Gentleman had referred to the desirability of attracting into the Councils the best men to perform the duties which Were now to be placed upon them. In order to obtain the best men, the Councils ought to have the opportunity of selecting in particular areas those citizens who had specially devoted their attention to educational work. He and his hon. friends, therefore, wanted those disbanded experts in education who had been connected with the School Boards to have an opportunity of going into the Town Councils in order to carry on the educational work efficiently. All in this House believed that a body elected, ad hoc, for a purpose like education was better than one which was not elected specially for that purpose. They wanted in the County Councils and the Borough Councils members elected specially for the purpose of looking after education. The First Lord had raised the objection that only one-third of the members were elected annually, but any one who had any acquaintance with Borough Council elections knew that the election of one-third was always taken as an indication of the opinion of the ratepayers. It was not necessary to delay for the full three years in order to obtain the opinion of the ratepayers as to the type of men they wanted to administer education. In this Hill, as it stood, they had still the optional clause; and, in view, of that it was just and fair that the ratepayers should have an opportunity of deciding what line of action the Borough Council should take with reference to the adoption of educational duties, and also what line of action they should take with reference to the election of suitable persons for carrying on the educational work.
§ (4.13.) MR JOSEPH A. PEASE
said it was very well known that Town Councils had a very good idea of their own importance, and he was sure many Councils would be prepared to undertake elementary as well as secondary education, even although there might be no educational experts on those bodies. It was right 1307 that the ratepayers should have some voice as to who should represent them in conducting a matter of such importance as elementary and secondary education. In 1888 a large number of County Councils were formed, and their duties consisted of little else than attending to roads and bridges. The personnel of the County Councils had remained almost identical since that time, but now that they were to be entrusted with additional work in connection with education, which would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds, the people should have some voice in saying who were to represent them. The position would be very much aggravated if the Committee which was to be appointed by the County Council was to be a permanent Committee. What he specially wished to ask the Vice-President was this: In the event of the present County Council electing an Education Committee to manage their school system in the rural districts of the county, would that Committee be a permanent standing Committee of the County Council, or would it be re-elected year after year in the same way as the ordinary Committees of the County Council were elected? He also asked for information as to the tenure of office of the co-opted Members.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said it had been decided to discuss this matter when Clause 12 came before the Committee for consideration, and he should prefer to deal with the hon. Member's questions when it would be in order to do so.
* MR. CHAINING (Northamptonshire, E.)
said he represented a county which took a great interest in this Bill, and wanted to make it a real local government measure. It seemed to him that the remarks of the right hon. Gentleman had only strengthened the case for the Amendment. It was obvious that the County Borough Councils had not been elected with a view to the administration of education, and their opinion would be only in point in regard to technical and secondary education. It would be of no practical value as regards elementary education. The great majority of the county boroughs had had School Boards which had carried out most effective and progressive educational work. These Boards had imposed enormous and increasing rates, with the entire approval of their constituents, and they had been 1308 elected over and over again with the intention of carrying out their educational system. To get a real, broad, and comprehensive opinion of the county boroughs on the education question, they must look to the sentiments of those gentlemen who had been elected on the School Boards—quite a different class, chosen, by an intelligent electorate, from those who would be elected to a County Council.
§ MR. BROADHURST (Leicester)
said that, as a member of the County Council of his own county, he could say that the last thing thought of was having a measure of this kind thrust upon them to deal with the administration of elementary education. They never had, hitherto, any Party questions in his County Council; and there were seldom any contested elections. In fact, there were only two or three contests in the whole county at the last election. But if they had to administer a Bill like the present, there would be a contest in nearly every division in the county. It was only just that the operation of the Bill should be postponed until the people had an opportunity of putting forward their views on the educational question. He was sure that the Bill, as it stood, would create divergencies, which would have been better left out of them.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that this was an Amendment which a Government with an open mind would have readily accepted. It was not destructive to the principle of the Bill. Surely, from the Government's own point of view, it was desirable that they should get the best possible men elected to the County Councils. The First Lord of the Treasury said that there was no precedent for postponing the operation of the Bill; but could he find a precedent for entrusting large and important powers such as these to a body elected for quite a different purpose? Of course, there were precedents in which new powers were given to local authorities, in regard to licensing pawnbrokers and hawkers, or to the registration of common lodging houses; but could the First Lord of the Treasury produce a single case in which enormous powers of this kind were entrusted to 1309 even a representative body, without a new election? The First Lord of the Treasury said that even now the administration of technical education was entrusted to the County Councils. But what sort of administration was that? By this Bill the revenue which the County Council would have to administer would be trebled, and the staff which they would have to look after would have to be doubled or trebled. In fact, it was proposed by this Bill to transform the whole future of the County Councils, and make them the great educational authorities throughout the country. Suppose that it had been proposed to hand over to the County Council all powers in regard to licensing in the district without a previous re-election—it might have been found that the men to administer the Act were the local publicans The Bill proposed that new powers should be given to men who had been elected for a totally different purpose. The best men could not sit on School Boards and County Councils as well. As a matter of fact, the best men for educational purposes could not afford to join the County Councils. There were rural counties, like Radnorshire, where, in order to attend a meeting of the County Council in the county town, it took a man practically three days away from his business. But if education were to be made the real question at issue in an election to the County Council, a totally different type of men than now would compete for a seat, and be elected. They would be elected purely and solely for their educational experience. He, therefore, thought the Government should accept the Amendment.
§ (4.30.) MR GODDARD (Ipswich)
said if this Amendment was carried it would entirely alter the personnel of the Councils. The figures of the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Islington had left a rather misleading impression on the House. The hon. Member had quoted some figures to show that the County Boroughs were in favour of these new powers, but, as a matter of fact, he had only given the replies of twelve out of fifty-seven County Boroughs. Some County Boroughs had not had the question put to them at all. He had been a member of a County 1310 Borough Council for fifteen years, and he had seen how the work of that Council accrued, necessitating the appointment of fresh Committees year by year. At the present time it was difficult to get men to serve on the Councils because of the extremely hard work it entailed. If the County Borough Councils were compelled to take over the work of primary education, it would be impossible for them to administer it themselves, and they would be compelled to delegate the work to outside Committees which would not be responsible to the ratepayers. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice-President had told the Committee that many members of the School Boards were also members of the County Councils, but so far as his information went that was not the case. The School Boards and Borough Councils in Ipswich found it was quite impossible for men to be members of both bodies at the same time. He was perfectly sure that if the work of primary education was to be put upon the Borough Councils they would have to delegate that duty to others. This was an Amendment which the Government might reasonably accept. He thought the ratepayers should have an opportunity of considering this matter. To talk of the work done by the Committees of the County and Borough Councils as comparable with that done by the School Boards was nonsense.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said the hon. Member who had just spoken had addressed himself to the question from the point of view of the Borough Councils. The question, however, concerned the County Council far more than the Borough Council. In the case of rural districts, many gentlemen were returned unopposed by the electorate to the County Council, but the electorate had no idea that these new duties would be thrown upon the County Councillors. If the case was strong for the Borough Councils it was stronger in the case of the County Councils. When the elections took place it never entered into the minds of the electors or the elected that these educational powers would be given to them. To pretend that there was popular representation when they handed the 1311 matter over to a Committee of gentlemen elected for a wholly different purpose was one of the greatest delusions as to popular representation which could be conceived.
§ (4.38.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided :—Ayes, 119; Noes, 272. (Division List No. 193.)1313
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Grant, Corrie||Price, Robert John|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Rea, Russell|
|Asher, Alexander||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Rigg, Richard|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Roberts, John H. (Denbigh.)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Helme, Norval Watson||Russell, T. W.|
|Black, Alexander William||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Hobhouse, C.E.H. (Bristol, E.)||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Holland, William Henry||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Horniman, Frederick. John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Jacoby, James Alfred||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Joicey, Sir James||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Caine, William Sproston||Jones, Dav. Brynmor (Swansea||Spencer, Rt.Hn. C.R (Northants|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cameron, Robert||Kitson, Sir James||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Labouchere, Henry||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lambert, George||Tennant, Harold John|
|Cawley, Frederick||Langley, Batty||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan,E.)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Crombie, John William||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, J. A (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Levy, Maurice||Toulmin, George|
|Davies M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Lewis, John Herbert||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Lloyd-George, David||Wallace, Robert|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lough, Thomas||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Crae, George||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Edwards, Frank||M'Kenna, Reginald||Whittaker Thomas Palmer|
|Elibank, Master of||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst'ne||Markham, Arthur Basil||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Mather, William||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Newnes, Sir George|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Partington, Oswald||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Carew, James Laurence|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Bartley, George C. T.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)|
|Allhusen, Augustus Hry. Eden||Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Bignold, Arthur||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Boland, John||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bond, Edward||Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r|
|Austin, Sir John||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Boulnois, Edmund||Chapman, Edward|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert.||Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Clive, Captain Percy A.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Bowles T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Brassey, Albert||Coddington, Sir William|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Cohen, Benjamin Louis|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Bullard, Sir Harry||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Campbell, Rt Hn. J. A. (Glasgow||Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kennedy, Patrick James||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Crean, Eugene||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Purvis, Robert|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Randles, John S.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Kimber, Henry||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Knowles, Lees||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Delany, William||Lawson, John Grant||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Denny, Colonel||Leamy, Edmund||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham||Renwick, George|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Leveson-Cower, Frederick N. S.||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Long, Rt Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Round, James|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lowe, Francis William||Rutherford, John|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Mane'r||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Finch, George H.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lundon, W.||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Macdona, John Cumming||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Ed ward Algernon||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Flower, Ernest||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Galloway, William Johnson||M Govern, T.||Spear, John Ward|
|Gardner, Ernest||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Garfit, William||M'Kean, John||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans)||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Gilhooly, James||Manners, Lord Cecil||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||Max well, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n||Stock, James Henry|
|Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts||Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Gore, Hn G. R C. Ormsby-(Salop||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Stroyan, John|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Middlemore, Jn Throgmorton||Sullivan, Donal|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mitchell, William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Greene, Sir E. W (B'ry S Edm'nds||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Talbot, Ht. Hn J. G (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Mooney, John J.||Tomlinson, Win. Edw. Murray|
|Guthrie, Walter Murray||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Hain, Edward||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Hall, Edward Marshall||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Hamillon, Rt Hn L'rd G (Midd'x||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Valentia, Viscount|
|Hammond, John||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Hardy, Laurence (K'nt, Ashford||Murray, Rt Hn. A. Grah'm (Bute||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Welby, Lt.-Cl. A. C. E, (Taunton|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Welb'y, Sir Charles G E (Notts.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Myers, William Henry||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Helder, Augustus||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Williams, Rt Hn. J. Powell-(Bir.|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Hoult, Joseph||O'Malley, William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Parker, Gilbert|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Pemberton, John S. G.||Young, Samuel|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Penn, John|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Percy, Earl|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Johnstone, Hey wood (Sussex)||Plummer, Walter R.||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Joyce, Michael||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
§ (4.54.) MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE
said the Amendment which he now proposed to move he had put down upon the Paper for the purpose of drawing attention to the fact that the powers given to the County Councils were almost exclusively those of rating. As he read the provisions of the Bill, the Councils would not have the control of education, and therefore it was a misnomer for them to be termed the education authority. The main powers granted by this Bill were conferred by Clause 12 upon a Committee, the character of which they did not yet fully understand. They ought to be informed whether this Committee would be obliged to submit a report of its proceedings to the Council for confirmation, or whether it was a; permanent statutory Committee independent of the Council. If the Committee was a permanent statutory authority, independent of the Council, then the Council should be called, not the local education authority, but the rating authority; but if the Committee was to be responsible to the Council he would withdraw his Amendment.
In page 1, line 8, to leave out the word 'education,' and insert the word 'rating.'"—(Mr. Joseph A. Pease.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'education' stand part of the clause."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he thought the hon. Gentleman had mistaken the effect of the Bill as it stood. He seemed to suppose that the County Council had no other function whatever than to take the advice given them by the Committee, and vote the money which the Committee asked for to carry out their scheme. That was not the case. No doubt the Committee would have great weight with the Council, but the ultimate control would be in the hands of the Council, and not of the Committees of the Council. The Council would decide whether the rate was to be levied; there was no subject on which they could not refuse the money; they could refer back to the Committee any element in the policy of the Committee of which they disapproved; and they would be in a true and real sense the arbiters of education in the area over which they had control.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said the right hon. Gentleman had made a most important statement as to the intention of the framers of the Bill, but that intention was not apparent in Clause 12. He was very glad to hear what the right hon. Gentleman had said, because he thought his hon. friend behind him was perfectly right in his statement. The County Councils had no power to do anything but rate, and therefore it was a misnomer to call them the educational authority. Clause 12 stated that—Any Council, in the exercise of powers under this Act, shall, except as respects the raising of a rate or borrowing money for the purposes of this Act, or the adoption by them of Part III. of this Act, act through an education committee.There was no power given to the Council to act except through a committee.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said that the clause was so drawn that there need not be a single member of the elected Council on the Education Committee. The whole of the work might be so delegated as to leave it entirely to people who represented nobody. But it was now understood—and it was a very important point—that the revision of all the work of the Education Committee was to be undertaken by the Council. Let there be no mistake about that. The County Council itself was to transact this business of looking after the 14,000 voluntary schools of the country, and to see that the Committee was doing what it ought to do in each one of those schools. He hoped the County Councils understood what they were expected to do, but it was perfectly ridiculous to suppose that they could attempt to do anything of the kind. It was absurd to suggest that County Councils, which in most cases met but once a month, could undertake the supervision of 14,000 voluntary schools. A more ridiculous proposition was never put before the country. The County Councils had had no idea that such a task was to be imposed upon them, or that 1317 they would be expected to undertake it, and it was simply impossible for it to be carried out.
§ *(5.8.) SIR JOHN DORINGTON (Gloucestershire, Tewkesbury)
thought the right hon. Gentleman had made an immense mountain out of a very small molehill. In connection with the Technical Education Committees of the County Councils—which had now been in existence for some years—the very thing proposed by the Bill was being done. The Technical Education Committee was not a statutable Committee, but it was a practical Committee, just as he hoped the Committee under the present Bill would be. There would not be much difference between the positions of the two bodies. The former body exercised its powers with immense freedom from interference by the County Council, but any serious question which arose was referred to the County Council. It was a Commiteee of the County Council, although it included members from outside the County Council. They, the County Council, settled the amount of money to be disposed of by the Committee, and generally accepted the conclusions at which the Committee arrived. He could see no greater difficulty in regard to the Education Committee created under this Bill than in regard to the Technical Education Committee. As to knowing the conditions of the schools, in the Council Chamber at Gloucester, through the working of the Aid Grant, they already had a considerable knowledge of every elementary school in the county.
§ * LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
said the hon. Baronet had apparently forgotten that the state of things he had accurately described was carried on under an Act of Parliament, which a schedule of the present Bill proposed to repeal. That made a very material difference. The state of things described by the hon. Baronet existed because under the Technical Instruction Acts there was a power of delegation to a Committee, which power, with the rest of the statute, was now to be repealed. It would be quite natural to imagine that somewhere in the Bill before the Committee there would be a similar power of delegation. That, however, was not the case, and the Bill had to be discussed as it stood. He was disposed 1318 to think that those who originally drafted the Bill intended the position of the Committee to be the same as under the Technical Instruction Acts, and it was exceedingly likely that before the Committee stage concluded it would be so provided. But that was not the case at present, and they were perfectly justified in calling attention at the earliest opportunity to the great uncertainty which would exist if Clause 12 remained unaltered. When the Bill was introduced, the Leader of the House, in reply to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen, said the Committee would be like any other Committee of the County Council; and no doubt, from the remarks he had just made, that was still his intention. But the opinion of some of the most experienced clerks of County Councils and large boroughs of England was that the words in Clause 12 were so vague and new that it was exceedingly difficult to attach any definite meaning to them. He had on the Paper an Amendment, drawn by the clerk of a most experienced County Council, with a view to placing the matter beyond all doubt. The right hon. Gentleman had now clearly stated that this Committee was intended to be like any other Committee of the County Council, and that, when it reported to the Council, all its decisions would be subject to revision. That being the intention, it was necessary either to extend to matters of this kind, the powers of delegation possessed by County Councils under the Act of 1888, or to restore the clause of the Act of 1889 which gave a similar power of delegation in regard to education.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he would not argue whether the noble Lord was right or wrong in his contention as to the ambiguity in Clause 12. It would surely be more convenient to deal with that matter when the clause was reached. The question raised by the Amendment was quite a different one. If the proposal were carried it would destroy not only the purpose of the Government, but also the plan approved, as far as any part of the scheme was approved by them, by hon. Gentlemen opposite. No one wished to reduce the County Councils to the position of mere rating authorities, but that was what the Amendment 1319 would do. As all were agreed that such an Amendment should not be accepted, and as the proper time to discuss the other point—the importance of which he fully recognised—was on Clause 12, he thought it was not too much to ask the hon. Gentleman to withdraw the Amendment.
§ MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)
I cannot agree that the discussion has been inconvenient. It has enabled the Committee to elicit, with more definiteness than has been attained before, what are the intentions of the Government, and it is impossible to postpone until Clause 12 a consideration which vitally affects the whole structure of the Bill on this particular point. The Amendment raises the definite point whether the function of the County Council is to be a rating authority or something else. Upon this point I share the surprise expressed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire. I do not conceive that the function of this Committee is to be the same as that of an ordinary Committee of the County Council chosen from the County Council alone, but when we look at Clause 12 it is stated that the County Council is to act through the Committee, though there is no provision that the Committee shall report to the County Council, and its proceedings do not require to be approved. According to the ordinary principles of drafting and interpretation I think that the provision gives the Committee a quasi-independent position, and that it is not in the position of an ordinary Committee. Now the right hon. Gentleman says that this is not the case. I quite agree that it would be out of order to discuss the merits of the two Committees, but I think it is of the highest importance, and it would be more convenient to the Committee that we should know authoritatively that this is the scheme of the Government.
§ (5.15.) SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said he agreed that this was a very important point, and he spoke of it upon the Second Reading, when he expressly asked for a more definite reply as to the status of the Committee. The discussion had produced extreme and exaggerated 1320 expressions of opinion. The mover of this Amendment said that the powers of the Council would be nothing else except rating. If this Amendment were carried that would be so, but even under the Bill as it stood the powers of the Council could not be so limited as the hon. Member had stated. The speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire indicated a desire to frighten County Councils and Borough Councils. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the Councils would have 14,000 cases to deal with every year, and he expressed the opinion that they would not be able to deal with them. But the existing system was just the same as the right hon. Gentleman had expressed, not only in regard to technical education but with reference to other matters. In the ordinary work there was an infinity of detail which no County Council was equal to discuss. Reference had been made to the way Town Councils did their work, but if that was the impression as to the mode in which Town Councils performing their duties—and he did not think that view was exaggerated with regard to the House of Commons—the wonder was that they got through their work at all. The hon. Baronet the Member for the Tewkesbury Division said the County Councils would have power to revise acts and decisions, but he was not quite so sure that under the Bill as it stood this would be the case. Under the Municipal Corporation Act every Committee was bound to report for the approval, or otherwise, of the Council, and in such a case the statement made of the position would be absolutely accurate. The noble Lord opposite said the question was whether there was any delegation, but in his opinion the question was whether there was not too much delegation or whether the power of the local authority was only to be exercised in a particular way. It might be almost a total delegation to a body which might consist absolutely of non-Members of the Council. What was the real position? In relation to Borough Councils, the position was perfectly clear under the Municipal Corporations Act. There were two classes of Committees under the Municipal 1321 Corporations Act. The ordinary Committee of a Town Council reported upon its minutes, and had to obtain the approval of the Council for its acts. Then there was the statutory Committee—the Watch Committee—which neither reported nor had its acts confirmed. There was this striking coincidence which he called to the notice of the First Lord of the Treasury. The word "act" through a Committee was the word used in the Municipal Corporations Act in relation to the Watch Committee; and he thought that a serious question might arise whether the Committee suggested would have to report at all. That was a question of status of vital importance, and he was glad to hear from the reply of the First Lord of the Treasury that this could not be what was intended, He took it that the Borough was to be the local authority, and he had an Amendment on page 50 which raised that point and which contained words taken from the Municipal Corporations Act which he proposed to insert in clause 12. The words he proposed to insert wore—The minutes and acts of which shall be reported from time to time to the Council for its approval.In the Bill as it stood there was a grave doubt as to whether there need be any confirmation of the acts of the Committee. This was a point of extreme importance, which ought to be determined, and he was glad the right hon. Gentleman had indicated the opinion which was entertained generally by the Committee with regard to it.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
asked the right hon. Gentleman to state what was the present intention of the Government upon this point, and how they interpreted their own Bill.
§ (5.25.) MR A. J. BALFOUR
I do not think there can be any doubt as to the intentions of the Government. I said in introducing the Bill—From this long preface I draw the following conclusions. Our reform, if it is to be adequate, must, in the first place, establish one authority for education—technical, secondary, primary—possessed of powers which may enable it to provide for the adequate training of teachers, and for the welding of higher technical and higher secondary education on to the university system. In the second place, I conclude that 1322 this one authority for education, being, as it is, responsible for a heavy cost to the ratepayers, should be the rating authority of the district.No words could be more absolutely clear, and the statement which I made then I now repeat. If it was said, as many speakers had now said, that Clause 12 did not carry out that object, then let the Committee modify Clause 12 so that it should be carried out; but as this was not the place in which the Committee could remedy the defect in the Bill, he thought that they might conclude this part of the discussion.
§ SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)
said it was necessary that they should perfectly understand this point. The hon. Member for South Islington had clearly pointed out that the boroughs had two classes of Committees, one which was bound to report everything to the Council and could do nothing without the Council's consent, and the other was a Committee which was actually independent of the Council. A Town Council in, one of the great cities in the North of England tried to get complete control of the police, and for this purpose they appointed every member of the Council upon the Watch Committee, but the law had laid it down that the Watch Committee could not consist of more than one-third of the members of the Corporation. Then there was the Statutory Committee in the shape of a Joint Committee. He wished to know whether the Committee was to understand that the proposed local Committee was to be an absolutely independent authority.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I have stated as distinctly as I can that it is not. There is to be one authority responsible for education and responsible for rating—responsible for both sections of the duty of raising the money and administering it.
§ SIR HENRY FOWLER
said he had one suggestion, and it was that the right hon. Gentleman should throw a little more light upon this point. He could not interfere in the administration of the police, or the amount of money spent on the police. Was that what the right hon. Gentleman meant? 1323 Was the County Council to have sole power of the purse, and was there to be an appeal on every question of local management and local administration which came before it? The right hon. Gentleman said the House was agreed upon that. It was one of the greatest questions which could be raised. It went to the very root of the question as to who should be the educational authority. If the Committee was to act through this body, what was to be the relation between the two bodies? Were they to understand that these local Committees were to be the absolute servants of the local authority without the power of deciding anything, and that there was to be the power of appeal to the Council on everything?
SIR WILLIAM HARGOURT
said there was one other point to which the right hon. Gentleman had not referred. This Committee was not a Committee which the County Council had the light to appoint upon its own responsibility.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
Certainly it was raised on the question as to what was to be the character of this Committee The Council could not appoint the Committee except with the approval of the Board of Education. Of course the very essence of what the right hon. Gentleman had stated was that it was to be the mere agent of the County Council. It was nothing of the kind. The person who really and finally appointed was the Vice-President. Under the scheme as proposed in Clause 12 of the Bill the Council might propose, but the Board of Education would appoint, the Committee. He wished the right hon. Gentleman to solve this which everybody, who had considered the question, knew was the vital point of the Bill. It was not a Committee over which the Borough Council or the County Council had any authority. That made the whole difference. If they would be at liberty to convert this Committee into an ordinary Committee of the County Council or the Borough Council then the thing might be entirely-different; 1324 but when the right hon. Gentleman said, or imputed, to hon. Members that they had not conceived what was the scheme of the Bill, he ventured to say that no one had conceived what the hon. Member for South Islington had conceived.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
said they were now discussing matters which they would have to discuss again on Clause 12. The object of the Amendment before the Committee was to ascertain what was the rating authority. The First Lord of the Treasury, in introducing the Bill, had stated most clearly that it was to be the County Council, and that had been stated again and again this evening. Under the Bill, as it stood, the Education Committee was not in the position of the Standing Joint Committee of a County Council. The Council was to be the rating and education authority, acting for education purposes through a Committee. That being so, they had to consider at a later stage what was to be the precise relation of that Committee to the Council. He submitted that, having ascertained that the County Council was to be the rating authority, this discussion should be dropped and revived again on Clause 12.
§ MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE
said he was the last Member in the House who would wish to limit the County Council or the Borough Council merely to the function of rating. He understood from the First Lord of the Treasury that they were going to have a Committee somewhat on the lines of the Technical Education Committee, who; would report their proceedings from time to time for confirmation, and that, there fore, the ratepayers would have some direct control. On that understanding he asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ (5.38) MR STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)
moved an Amendment to provide that the School Board should be the local authority "in an existing united school district or in a parish with a population of more than 500 inhabitants 1325 already possessing a School Board." His object, he said, was to emphasise the fact that in country districts, despite statements to the contrary, there were School Boards which were doing really useful work, and were specially qualified to continue to do the work which had been entrusted to them in the past. A good deal had been said in regard to the importance of the School Board work in large towns, but after all the effects of what was proposed by the Bill would be really greater in the country districts than in the boroughs in the event of the total abolition of the School Boards. The reason was that, owing to the distance of the county town from particular parishes, those interested in the localities would find it more difficult to take a lively interest in their own educational affairs. He admitted that there were cases in which the country School Boards had not worked well, and that there were some cases in which they had been failures. He ventured to assert that in every case where a country School Board had been a failure, that had been due to the fact that the area had been too limited, and that it had not been possible to find in the area a sufficient number of persons to take the intelligent interest in the affairs which they ought to take. On the other hand, in the larger parishes and also in cases where a number of parishes had been combined for educational purposes, that difficulty had not been found to exist. The hon. Member, in referring to his own experience in connection with a combination School Board which included four parishes, said the schools had worked well, and the reports had been excellent, both in regard to secular and religious instruction. There had not only been efficiency, but economy, the rate being only 3d. The effect of passing this Bill in its present form would be that this School Board would be superseded by a local Committee nominated by the County Council. No doubt at first the members of the existing School Board might possibly be nominated as members of the Committee, but that would only be for a short time, and the Committee, not being responsible to the body of the electors, there would not be the same local life and interest in the educational work of the parishes 1326 which could be exhibited at the present time. His Amendment was not inconsistent with the main lines of the scheme proposed by the Bill. He urged that it would be for the educational advantage of the districts concerned to retain the School Boards where a certain number of parishes were united, because he believed it would be impossible for the County Council or the Committee to exercise adequate supervision over the localities. Under the scheme proposed there would be less economy and efficiency, because it would be absolutely impossible for those sitting in the county town to take the same interest in the educational work of the different localities as could be taken by those who resided in them. In the eastern counties the clergy of the Church of England were remarkably well represented on the School Boards, and certainly in those cases religious instruction was very well looked after. There was no prejudice against these schools from the Church of England point of view. He was convinced that if the Government made a concession on this point and accepted the Amendment, they would expedite the progress of the Bill. The introduction into the clause of the words he proposed would not be inconsistent with the principle of the measure, and he ventured to ask the Government to accept his Amendment.
In page 1, line 8, after the word 'authority,' to insert the words 'except in an existing united school district, or in a parish with a population of more than live hundred inhabitants already possessing a School Board, in which case the School Board shall be the local authority.' "—(Mr. Stevenson.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
said he wished to raise the point as to the way in which this Amendment was to be put. If put as it appeared on the Paper, it would have the effect of cutting out a large number of Amendments which ought to be discussed separately.
* THE CHAIRMAN
said that the mover of the Amendment could frame it so as to allow discussion on subsequent Amendments.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
appealed to his hon. friend the Member for Eye to omit from his Amendment the middle, words—" Or in a parish with a population of more than 500 inhabitants already possessing a School Board."
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said that the hon. Member could not, of course, expect the Government to accept his Amendment, It had already been decided by the Committee that the County Councils and the county boroughs should be the educational authority. A very strong appeal had been made in behalf of the School Boards in the great towns and urban districts, but the hon. Member now proposed to preserve the small School Boards in the small rural districts. That would be quite contrary to the spirit of the decision of the Committee and to the principles of the Bill. If there was one thing on which almost everybody was agreed, it was on the expediency of transferring to some other authority the powers now exercised by the small rural School Boards. Their area was too small even for elementary education, but the Amendment as moved would make these small Boards the authority for secondary education as well.
§ * MR. CHANNING
supported the Amendment. In his county the School Board area was not so small as the right hon. Gentleman seemed to imagine. In his division were five School Boards, representing populations of from 1,000 to 4,000; and he ventured to think that the service rendered by all of them was most admirable. They had, indeed, created a number of educational experts, and aroused among the people a real, interest in education, and were doing good and effective work. He was not in favour of isolation of authorities, or of giving secondary education to small authorities, and he wished to see a complete co-ordination of the school authorities. He would not accept the Amendment if it handed over the higher education to small School Boards, but 1328 he thought it was a matter of vital importance to have direct control over the elementary education vested in these directly elected local bodies.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE
said he was in favour of School Boards generally, and he believed that small School Boards would be better educational authorities than rural County Councils. The case of large united districts was infinitely stronger than that of the small School Boards, as some of them had a population considerably over 20,000. The Vice-President had stated that the House was not likely to make any concession, because the Committee had already destroyed the School Boards in the great county boroughs. But the case was not the same; there was an option clause, although the Vice-President had spoken as if that option clause had already been withdrawn. There were many places where the unanimous opinion of the district was in favour of retaining the School Boards; and there had been no such work done for education in the rural counties as by the united Boards.
§ (6.0.) COLONEL BOWLES (Middlesex, Enfield)
said that if this Amendment was carried it would hand over to the School Boards greater powers than they already held. It would give to those bodies the powers now exercised by the County Councils, which, in his opinion, would not be at all desirable. He thought the House should not assent to the Amendment.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
expressed the opinion that, though the small School Boards in the country districts might not have done their work very carefully, the large School Boards had done most excellent work. Large working-class districts had grown up in places where there was no School Board to undertake the work of education, and it had been undertkan by the larger School Boards, which had been most useful in this respect. These bodies were now to be swept away, and nobody could say that the authority which was to take their place would do the work in the future as well as the School Boards had done it in the past. He certainly hoped they 1329 would not sweep away these useful bodies. It was quite true that if there, was nothing put into the Bill to restrict their authority they would have a great many more powers than they exercised in the past; but there was no reason for not restricting, and he did not see any difficulty in restricting the powers of the School Board so that they could continue to administer elementary education, and leave the secondary education in the hands of the County Council. But even if that was not done, he thought the large School Boards would do the work just as well as the County Councils. It was not reasonable that these School Boards should be swept away, having regard to the good work they had done, and that there should be substituted for them a new authority which was not likely to do this work so well. He hoped the School Boards would be allowed to continue in their good work.
§ * MR. DUNCAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Otley)
said that in the West Hiding of Yorkshire the entire destruction of the School Board system would be a very great educational loss. If the Government went to the country with "Down with the School Boards" inscribed on their banner, they would return from the North of England with a very ragged regiment indeed. The position of the West Biding was that if this Bill passed into law it would dissolve 140 School Boards, which had the entire confidence of the people of the country, and which were doing and had done admirable work. If the School Boards were abolished, it would be impossible for the local education authority to supervise the vast number of schools which would come under its control, and committees would have to be appointed to take the place of the School Boards which were to be abolished. These committees would simply be school attendance committees, and it would be impossible to get the same class of men to serve upon them as upon bodies possessing practical control and initiative. In the end the whole thing would be placed in the hands of officials. The distinctive character of English self-government was its popular representation. He, therefore, supported the Amendment.
MR. BAULTON (Durham, Bishop Auckland)
said he was not entirely in 1330 accord with the Amendment of his hon. friend, but, if he was in order, he would like to move an Amendment to it—To omit the words, 'or in parishes with a population of five hundred inhabitants already possessing School Boards.'The object of his moving that Amendment was to discuss the merits of the whole question. In the North of England they had large districts comprising populations considerably over 20,000, and the argument he desired to advance in favour of the School Boards as they now existed was that the scheme of the Bill, which was to diminish the number of educational authorities, would, unless this Amendment were carried, result in multiplying them, because County Councils would have to appoint committees to administer education in these large and populous districts, which were now managed by the School Board. There was a rising feeling on this matter, and it was with the object of carrying out the wishes of his constituents that he moved the Amendment.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
thought perhaps it would be more convenient to make the Amendment to the Amendment part of the Amendment itself.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
objected, because he desired to speak upon both. Both the Amendment and the Amendment to the Amendment were proposals to retain the School Boards in the rural districts.
said that if his Amendment were carried, he should propose to add the words "twenty thousand."
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)
suggested that the hon. Gentleman who moved the Amendment to the Amendment should withdraw his Amendment, and that the hon. Member for the Eye Division of Suffolk should move his Amendment down to the words "school districts," which could then be discussed. If the Amendment to the Amendment were carried, it would cut out all discussion on the Amendment.
§ MR BOUSFIELD
thought that the hon. Member who had just spoken could not be aware that there had been a discussion on both the Amendment and the Amendment to the Amendment, and that the matter was now ripe for division.
§ MR. STEVENSON
said his views coincided with those of the hon. Member for Mid Glamorganshire, and asked whether he would be allowed to move his Amendment down to the words "school districts."
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS,
on a point of order, suggested that the Question to be put now was whether leave should not be given to withdraw the Amendment.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said the question was of great importance to his county, where the new authority under this Bill would have a most prejudicial effect. If it had such an effect in so small a county, what would be the effect in a large one. The effect of the Bill was to remove by three removes the control of the people over education. In the first place, the authority was to be the County Council, which was only partly elective; in the second the management of the schools was to be delegated to a Committee, only partly nominated by the County Council, who were, in the third place, to delegate their authority to another Committee, only partly nominated by them. They were by this Bill departing from the principle which for the last thirty years had worked with great success. In his opinion, the policy of the present Bill was most reactionary, and would not conduce to educational progress in the future. Before they swept away these bodies, which had done so much good in the; past for the country, they should have; an opportunity of fully discussing the matter.
Amendment made to the proposed Amendment—
By leaving out the words 'or in a parish with a population of more than five hundred inhabitants already possessing a School Board.'"—(Mr. Paulton.)
§ MR PAULTON
said, his Amendment having been carried, he desired to fulfil the pledge given by him to the hon. Member for North Camberwell. He therefore begged to move after the word "district" to insert "with a population of over twenty thousand." He thought he ought also, at the end of the Amendment, to move to insert words confining it to Part 3.
* THE CHAIRMAN
If the hon. Member intends to limit his Amendment to Part 3 of the Bill the Amendment now before the Committee is in the wrong place.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
suggested that the last words moved by the hon. Gentleman should be omitted; they could be discussed at the proper time. The present Amendment was to insert the words—With a population of over twenty thousand.That was an intelligible Amendment, which could, be discussed.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD
said that under the Bill, as it stood, the object sought by the Amendment was already nearly if not quite obtained. All agreed on the importance of having a supreme local authority, but as regards utilising in the united districts the School Board as it existed, that was possible under Clause 12.
§ MR. CHARLES ALLEN
said it was absolutely absurd to suggest that the School Boards tinder Clause 12 might be appointed by the County Councils as local Committees. They should have direct control.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said this was an extremely simple point, which he thought had been already discussed, but, however that might be, they had got to the pond at last. He quite agreed with his hon. friend that there was sufficient elasticity in the Bill to enable the educational work of these areas to be performed by Committees of the County Councils. It was also-true that that was not what was asked for by hon. Gentlemen opposite. They were asking, after all, for their old friend an ad hoc authority in certain areas. That was against the whole principle 1333 of the Bill. That question had been discussed over and over again, and he thought the House had made up its mind on the subject, and he hoped a decision would be taken without further debate.
§ Amendment further amended, by inserting, at the end of the last Amend-1334
§ ment, the words "with a population of over twenty thousand."—[Mr. Paulton.)
§ (6.30.) Question put. "That the Amendment, as amended, be there inserted."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 121; Noes, 306. (Division List No. 194.)1337
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Reed, Sir Edw. James (Cardiff|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc, Stroud||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Asher, Alexander||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Rigg, Richard|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Roberts, John H. (Denbigbs|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Helme, Norval Watson||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Horniman, Frederick John||Russell, T. W.|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Bell, Richard||Jacoby, James Alfred||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Black, Alexander William||Joicey, Sir James||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jones, David Brynmor(Swans'a||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh'e||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Kearly, Hudson E.||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Kitson, Sir James||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R, (N'thants|
|Burns, John||Labouchere, Henry||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Buxton, Svdney Charles||Lambert, George||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Caine, William Sproston||Langley, Batty||Tennant, Harold John|
|Caldwell, James||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Cameron, Robert||Leng, Sir. John||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Levy, Maurice||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gow'r|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lewis, John Herbert||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lloyd-George, David||Tomkinson, James|
|Channing, Francis Allston||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall||Toulmin, George|
|Crombie, John William||M'Crae, George||Wallace, Robert|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Davies M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Warner, Thomas Courtney T.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Markham, Arthur Basil||Weir, James Galloway|
|Dunn, Sir William||Mather, William||White, Luke (York. E. R.)|
|Edwards, Frank||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William||Whitley, J. H. Halifax)|
|Elibank, Master of||Newnes, Sir George||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Emmott, Alfred||Norman, Henry||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mad.|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Foster Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Perks, Robert William|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Pickard, Benjamin||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Price, Robert John||Mr. Stevenson and Mr. Paulton.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Rea, Russell|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Big wood, James|
|Acland-Hood. Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Balfour, Capt. C B. (Hornsey)||Bill, Charles|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds||Blake, Edward|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Blundell, Colonel Henry|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Banbury, Frederick George||Boland, John|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Barry, E. (Cork, S,)||Bond, Edward|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Barry, Sir Francis T (Windsor||Boscawen, Arthur Griffiths-|
|Arrol, Sir William||Hartley, George G T.||Blulnois, Edmund|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bathurst, Hn Allen Benjamin||Bousfield, William Robert|
|Austin, Sir John||Beach, Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bignold, Arthur||Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn|
|Brassey, Albert||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury||Meysey-Thompson; Sir H. M.|
|Bull, William James||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton|
|Bullard, Sir Hurry||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Butcher, John George||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Mitchell, William|
|Campbell, Rt Hn J. A. (Glasgow||Gunter, Sir Robert||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Montagu, G (Huntingdon)|
|Carew, James Laurence||Hain, Edward||Moon, Edward Robert, Pacy|
|Carlile, William Walter||Hamilton, Rt Hn L'rd G (Midd'x||Mooney, John J.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hammond, John||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Morgan, David J (Waltham st'w|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derby shire||Hatch, Ernest Frederick George||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hayden, John Patrick||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||Montz, Philip A.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Henderson, Alexander||Murray, Rt Hn A. Grah'm (Bute|
|Chamberlain, J. A (Worcester||Hermon, Hodge Robert Trotter||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Higginbottom, S. AV.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath|
|Chapman, Edward||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Myers, William Henry|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Bright. side||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thes. H. A. E.||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hoult, Joseph||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O' Brien, Kendal (Tippera'y Mid|
|Colomb, Sir. John Charles Ready||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hudson, George Bickersteth||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm Lawies||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bain bridge||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||O'Malley, William|
|Crean, Eugene||Johnston, William (Belfast)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Parkes Ebenezer|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Kennedy, Patrick James||Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Percy, Earl|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Keswick, William||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Kimber, Henry||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Delany, William||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Dillon, John||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Dixon-Hartland. Sir Fr'd Dixon||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Purvis, Robert|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Lawson, John Grant||Randles, John S.|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Leamy, Edmund||Rankin, Sir James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Ed w. II.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Fellowes, Hn, Ailwyn Edward||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Renwick, George|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Mane'r||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge|
|Ffrench, Peter||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Ridley, S Forde (Bethnal Green|
|Finch, George H.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Lowe, Francis William||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Fitzroy, Hon Edward Algernon||Lowther, Rt. Hon. James (Kent)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Flower, Ernest||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Rollitt, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Forster, Henry William||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Round, James|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lon. Univ.||Lundon, W.||Runciman, Walter|
|Foster, PhilipS (Warwick, S. W.||Macdona, John Cumming||Rutherford, John|
|Galloway, William Johnson||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Gardner, Ernest||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Garfit, William||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Gilhooly, James||M'Govern, T.||Seely, charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'r H' ml'ts||M' Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinbugh, W||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Thornton, Percy M.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Smith, James Parker (Lanarks||Tritton, Charles Ernest||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)||Tufnell, Liet.-Colonel Edward||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Spear, John Ward||Tube, Sir John Batty||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich||Valentia, Viscount||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||Walker, Col. William Hall||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)||Warr, Augustus Frederick||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Stewart, Sir Mark J. M' Taggart||Welby, Lt.-Col. ACE (Taunton||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Stock, James Henry||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.||Young, Samuel|
|Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd||Younger, William|
|Stroyan, John||Whiteley, H (Ashtonund. Lyne|
|Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Sullivan, Donal||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Thorburn, Sir Walter||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.|
§ (6.45.) DR. MACNAMARA
moved an Amendment to leave out of Clause 1 lines 9 to 15. When he asked that the county boroughs should have their School Boards, he was told that he was a two-authority man, and that they must have only one authority. Here was a proposal to give a separate authority for elementary education to boroughs, with a population of 10,001 and to all urban districts, with a population of 20,000. Under such circumstances, how were they going to ensure efficiency, avoid waste, and at the same time provide that the schools should be linked together? He should like to know upon what principle the Government were giving an independent authority for elementary education to a municipal borough of 10,001 inhabitants, while they refused the same autonomy to an urban district of 20,000 people. Perhaps they would have some explanation upon that point. There was a very remarkable contrast between this proposal now put forward by the Government and the attitude which the Government took up in 1396. In that year a proposal was made by the hon. Member for South Islington, to give autonomy to the smaller municipal authorities, and he moved that municipal boroughs with over 20,000 inhabitants should have autonomy. Upon that occasion the Vice-President of the Council said—Under the Bill, as it stood, there would be 128 authorities of the kind. He thought that number already too large, and hoped that it would he reduced by the exercise of the power of combination. One hundred and twenty-eight being the maximum number of independent education authorities under the Bill, the effect of accepting the Amendment would be 1338 to add to that number 241 more authorities of the kind. But they would not he able to stop there, for populous urban districts would claim to be treated like municipal boroughs, and he calculated that at least forty-nine of these districts would have to be added to the number. The total number of separate authorities with whom the Education Department would have to deal would then be 418.The First Lord of the Treasury acceded to the proposition that municipal boroughs of 20,000 inhabitants should have autonomy. Upon the following night a proposition came forward to give the same authority to urban districts of 20,000 inhabitants, and in opposing this the Vice-President of the Council said—I laid all these reasons before the Committee on Thursday last, but I am afraid that, even when dealing with Education Bills, political considerations have often as great a force as educational, and, although no one, I think, doubted the correctness of my arguments from the educational point of view, the great desire for independence and separation which animates—perhaps properly animates the smaller municipal communities of this country made it necessary that sixty-nine fresh authorities should be let in, and sixty-nine fresh authorities were let in on Thursday last. Now the present Amendment proposes to let in forty-nine more, and there are other proposals behind to still further increase the number. This is all very well for those who are enemies of this Bill and who desire to see it brought to ruin. I can understand their motives. But I must ask those who are the friends of this Bill, and who desire to see it carried into law to support me in declining to admit any more local authorities. It is quite obvious that what was a difficulty becomes, in such circumtances, an impossibility, and hard as the task may be to carry out the Bill with the number of authorities that have already been put in, if forty-nine more are to be brought in, and another dozen or so by subsequent Amendments. I think that difficulty becomes an impossibility; therefore I must ask the Committee to support me in trying to find reasons and distinctions for rejecting this Amendment.1339 All those propositions were contained in the Bill which they were now considering, and if those solemn assurances that they would ruin the Bill in 1896 were true why were they not true now? The Bill of 1890 was "with drawn on this very issue und the Member for South Islington was afterwards spoken of as the wrecker of that measure. If 222 authorities killed the measure of 1896 he would like to know what was going to happen when they were letting in 327 boroughs and urban districts. Nevertheless there was a much more serious matter than gibing at the Government for what they did in 1896. What became of their protests that they must have only one authority. Personally he had all sorts of sacrifices in order to get one authority, but the Government were now throwing at them 327 authorities. Sometime ago the Vice-President of the Council advocated the case of the rural school and he told them that the village school was in such a condition that the managers could not get money enough even to buy a window blind.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said that at any rate the statement was that they could not get money to provide some small article of ordinary necessity. This Bill 'would take out of the rural area the "fat" rating districts for the purposes of elementary education and it would leave the residue of the counties with a large number of children and with a large number of small schools with practically no rateable value at all. How were they going to improve the rural schools. If they left those poverty-stricken rural areas with very little rateable value. Take the case of Kent as an example. First of all they proposed to take out the County Borough of Canter-bury which would be autonomous. Then they proposed to take out sixteen other areas which meant more than half the rateable value of the county of Kent, and this would leave considerably more than half the children in very small schools with a very small residue of rateable value. In the case of Staffordshire they took out fourteen of the fattest urban plums and left the other poverty- 1340 stricken areas to look after themselves. Lancashire had always been treated considerately by this Government. There the county borough would he taken out, and also thirty-one of the urban areas which were the fat rating plums as he ventured to call them. What would the rural schools in Lancashire do in that case with a small rating value? In the county of Middlesex thirteen of the fattest rating areas would be taken out, and in the West Riding of Yorkshire there would be thirteen such districts taken out. He hoped the Vice-President would tell the Committee frankly his private view upon this. He hoped also the Government would allow him to be absolutely unmuzzled on this matter. By this scheme what they practically did was to deprive the poor rural areas of their fair share of the contribution raised by the urban areas. He begged to move.
In page 1, line 9, to leave out lines 9 to 15, both inclusive."—(Dr. Macnamara.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'Provided that' stand part of the clause."
§ (7.0) MR A. J. BALFOUR
said the hon. Gentleman had attacked the Government because the proposal in this Bill was different from that in the Bill of 1896. The Bill of 1896 was an entirely different one, and in regard to that it, was sufficient to say to the House that the modification to which the hon. Member objected did not in the least lessen the value of the proposal introduced into this Bill.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that at all events it made it different. He did not think there was much to be gained by elaborating references to what took place in this House seven years ago. The next argument of the hon. Gentleman was based upon the alleged divorce between primary and secondary education that would occur if this paragraph were retained in the clause. It was said that the proposal was absolutely destructive of the one authority theory. He did 1341 not deny that the clause to a certain extent, and a not unimportant extent, militated against the development of the principle of one authority for education. But the hon. Gentleman had forgotten that the boroughs were left with the expenditure of the penny rate on secondary education which they already possessed, and they would be, if the Bill were passed, the authorities for primary education within their limits. That might not be a perfect system, but it was a better system than the present, under which there were in boroughs a School Board and an isolated voluntary school on one side, and on the other side a municipal authority with the power of expending a penny rate on secondary education. By the Bill this great reform would be secured: that the municipal authority of a borough would be in a position to co-ordinate primary education, and a, considerable portion at all events of secondary education, within their limits. It the hon. Member had the great anxiety to pass the Bill which he said he had——
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said if that was the hon. Member's way of trying to improve Bills, he differed from him as to the method by which that object was to be gained. He would be perfectly fair in this matter. He thought it was true, up to a certain point, that the full benefits of the one authority principle were diminished by the scheme of the Bill, but to nothing like the extent represented by the hon. Gentleman. He thought the system which the Government had suggested would work perfectly. There must be harmony between the administration of primary and secondary education within the boroughs; and that harmony, which was absolutely impossible under the system from which the country now suffered, would be secured by the Bill. The bon. Gentleman had also argued that one result of the exclusion of boroughs of over 10,000 inhabitants and urban districts of over 20,000 inhabitants from the third part of the Bill would be to deprive the counties of the most valuable areas within their limits for the raising of rates necessary 1342 to carry on the work of primary education. He had found, on examination of the counties, that no general law could be laid down. There were cases in which the exclusion of the urban districts would militate against the finances of the county. On the other hand, there were many cases in which the position was exactly reversed, for the rateable value of an urban district, taken in relation to the number of children it would have to educate, would throw a greater hurden on it than if it were merged in the county. In these circumstances, he thought the Committee would adopt the most practical course by accepting the scheme of the Bill. He had dealt with the general view of the case presented by the hon. Gentleman, but he did not pretend to have exhausted everything that could be said for or against the particular numbers, 10,000 and 20,000, proposed in the Bill.
(7.10.) LORD EDMUND FITZ-MAURICE
said they must all agree that the argument of the hon. Member for North Camberwell seemed logically unanswerable as a ground for the deletion of the parargaph which he proposed to omit, but at the same time a Bill of this kind could not be based on strict rules of logic, and he thought if his hon. friend would consider the general position of local government in relation to education, he would see that the County Councils must make some concession to the feeling of the boroughs with regard to independence. He did not think an Amendment of this kind should receive the support of County Councils, because it would only be regarded by the boroughs as an attempt on the part of the County Councils to-intrude upon the legitimate sphere of borough independence. One of the difficult questions in connection with this Bill was as to the amount of independence which should be left to the boroughs in the matter of county administration, but when his County Council told him that the adoption of the words proposed to be deleted completely destroyed the idea of county administration and put an end to the hope of co-ordination, he must respectfully beg to differ. He regarded this as 1343 a matter where the county authority must make some concession, and the only question was at what line the concession was to be made. Though they approved of the proposal so far as the principle was concerned, they were not in the least precluded from having any opinion they liked on the question whether the number should be 10,000, 20,000, or 30,000; or whether it should be the same or a different number in boroughs and urban districts. Therefore his belief was that if the Amendment were adopted, it would be regarded by the boroughs as an attempt by the County Council to strike a blow at their independence.
§ * MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)
said that personally he was not a fanatic for one authority; but what he 'wanted to see was an authority which would be most suited to carry on the work of education. There was great danger of the County Council being overweighted, and it was just because this clause would get rid of some of the detailed work of elementary education that he would vote against the Amendment.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
said that he quite agreed with the right hon. Member for North Camberwell, and would vote for his Amendment. The Committee had decided the previous night that the County Council was to be the educational authority, both for elementary and higher education. There was a great deal to be said for that, but at the same time Parliament must not run the risk of crippling the County Councils by cutting these great holes in their areas of administration. If the County Councils were to be the educational authority, then let them trust the County Councils. They would retain the power to delegate authority, and to make separate areas under their own supervision. The clause would impose a number of rigid exceptions which would be most disadvantageous to some Councils. He should say that if the County Councils were to be the one educational authority, let them start fair and give them a fair chance.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, North wich)
said he should certainly support the Amendment. It would, in his opinion, be inadvisable to divide the county, and take out the large urban areas, leaving a very large, and almost desert, district to be worked by itself.
§ MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)
said that it seemed to him that the hon. Member for North Camberwell was inconsistent. The hon. Gentleman first complained that they were giving the County Councils too much work to do, and then he complained that it was proposed by the Bill to set up local authorities for education in 327 boroughs and urban districts.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said that the Amendment raised a broad question of principle. All through these educational discussions he had been an ad hoc, man. To get their educational work efficiently done, they must have men and women chosen to do it who had devoted their lives to the cause.
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.