§ (In the Committee.)
§ Debate resumed.
*(9.0.) MR CORRIEGRANT,
resuming his speech, said he had always been in favour of a single franchise for Parliamentary, educational, and other purposes. What he also wanted was one authority entrusted with the control of education, but instead of that, they had under the Bill something like eight authorities introduced. The other day he came across a petition from Atherton, with a population of 16,211—a place which according to the Bill as it stood, would not be entitled to be the local education authority. The petitioners pointed out that under the Technical Instruction Act they, in the year 1892, erected certain 1345 buildings at a cost of £3,000 for technical education purposes, and had since carried on the instruction there at considerable expense. They objected to transferring their schools to another authority, and appealed to be allowed to retain at any rate the control of higher education. But surely a small place which had done so much for higher education ought to be entrusted with the management of elementary education. He had some knowledge of the friction which arose in connection with the transfer of children from elementary into secondary schools, and that was another reason wiry he favoured the single authority principle. Differences of opinion occasionally arose as to when a child should pass from the elementary into the secondary schools, and the tendency was to keep promising children so long in the elementary schools, that when transfer absolutely became necessary the parent thought the time had arrived for the child to go to work, and he too often lost his chances of higher education. In the Rugby Division they bad a secondary school, and if the Bill passed as it stood the Rugby Urban District Council, which had a population under it of less than 20,000, would have no power of control, which would pass into the hands of the Warwickshire County Council, whose headquarters were thirteen miles off. The Bill as it stood afforded opportunity for never-ending disputes and friction, and that was one of its greatest blots. If they were to have an Education Bill at all, it should tend in the direction of unity of government, and should attract the best possible men to take part in the management.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said the object of the Amendment was to strike out from Clause 1 the proviso which enabled boroughs of 10,000 population and urban districts of £0,000 to remain the local authority for educational work—the authority for elementary education only. Reference had been made to what took place in 1896. The Bill of that year dealt with both primary and secondary education, but the discussion to which previous speakers had referred took place in respect of secondary education, the question of primary education being treated sub silentio. With regard to secondary schools, the 1346 decision then come to was accepted by the boroughs. So far as he remembered, these boroughs were, without exception, School Board areas; many of them had rated themselves for educational work, and had expended whisky money in the cause of education. Their educational efforts had been most successful, and he asked the Committee not to destroy the work they had done under the Bill of 1896. At Dewsbury the grammar school had been subsidised, and a technical school established, the whole educational needs of the borough having been adequately provided for.
§ SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
About 45,000 In the borough of Accrington there was a science and technical school, with a central class for pupil teachers, and in Cambridge and other boroughs equally good educational work had been carried on. These boroughs had had a long existence, there was in them a great continuity of experience and tradition, and there was a distinctive character in borough urban life which differentiated it from the surrounding county. As the Vice-President had well said, in education it was necessary to consider variety of circumstance and condition. Let them take the case of Luton. That small borough lost the whole of its trade in competition with Italy and Switzerland, but it rose to the occasion. It engaged teachers and established schools, and it in time recovered the whole of its trade and brought about an increase of wages to the extent of 100 per cent. That was an instance of distinctive borough life and industry which ought not to be disregarded in educational matters, and he therefore appealed strongly for the maintenance of this provision in the Bill. How could the County Council, which in some cases would be fifty or sixty miles away, properly superintend the infinite detail of primary education? That was a matter dependent on local judgment, experience, needs, and opportunity; and the retention of this proviso would enable the good work already done to be developed and extended. Its omission would raise a feeling of resentment which might go far to endanger the Bill. By transferring the existing elementary education system from the present areas 1347 and establishing it in a central place they would, in his opinion, be departing from the cardinal principles of the Bill.
§ (9.25.) MR DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said the hon. Member had pointed out the impossibility of a central county authority managing education throughout its area, and had declared that to take away powers now possessed by boroughs in whose autonomy he was interested would be a departure from the principle of the Bill. But was not his argument itself a condemnation of the whole principle of the Bill? He had noticed the extraordinary fact that every case quoted by the hon. Member against the Amendment dealt not with elementary education but with secondary education. He alluded to one or two boroughs which had rated themselves. But for what? For technical and secondary education, which was not the point involved in the Amendment.
§ MR. DILLON
said that was not what the hon. Member had alluded to. He pointed to a secondary education rate, and did not allude to the School Board rate at all. As he understood the Bill, it proposed to limit local authorities as regarded secondary education, and to invest them with fresh powers as regarded primary education. Therefore, the cases quoted by the hon. Member were not applicable. Take the case of Liverpool. That was a very striking case, but what had it to do with elementary education?
SIR ALBERT ROLLLT
said he had pointed out that the places he had mentioned had given evidence of educational effort. The funds for primary education were provided differently.
§ MR. DILLON
said all the cases quoted by the hon. Members were evidence of educational zeal for secondary education, but they were now dealing with primary education. If the mere fact of having given evidence of educational zeal were to be accepted as a sufficient argument for the preservation of existing bodies, what about the School Boards? Therefore, he maintained that the cases quoted by the hon. Member did not apply at all. 1348 He confessed he found very great difficulty in dealing with the Amendment, and he admitted that when he saw it on the Amendment Paper he was astonished that it should have been put down by no less than four Radical Members. It rather commended itself to him when he first saw it. Looking at the matter from the point of view of denominational schools, especially Catholic schools, he should be more afraid of harsh and unfair treatment in small urban districts than in other parts of the country. What were they asked to consent to by the proviso? Under the law at present, if the small urban districts adopted a School Board, Catholics would have a look in, and so would every other Church party under the cumulative vote. They had a chance of getting one or two of their friends on the Board whenever they had a sufficient body of electors. He did not say that if there were only ten or twelve children Catholics were entitled to the denominational school. They should be a moderately numerous body, and when they were, they were almost sure of getting a seat on the School Board. Under the Bill, however, in all human probability, they would not have the least chance of getting a voice at all, and they were asked by the proviso to make a large number of urban districts and boroughs the autonomous authority in regard to elementary education, and to part with the cumulative Vote. He was amazed to find himself supporting an Amendment put down by four Radical Members, and he was really somewhat bewildered at the position in which he found himself. It was perfectly plain to him that their chance of getting fair treatment would be far greater from the County Councils than from the bodies to be exempted under this proviso. On what principle was the proviso recommended to the Committee? He; voted with some reluctance against the previous Amendment, with the idea that the essential principle of the Bill was that there should be one authority, and that if that authority were broken up, the very life of the Bill would be struck at. On what principle, therefore, was the proviso which broke up the whole principle of one authority recommended? From an educational point of view, he was not an enthusiast for one authority, 1349 and he was not convinced that it was such a valuable thing as the hon. Member for North Camberwell supposed it to be; but the Government recommended the Bill to the House on the principle of one authority, whereas the proviso introduced two separate authorities for the same area—one for primary, and the other for secondary education. He confessed he failed to understand exactly where they were, because, not only were they to have in the urban districts and boroughs two separate and distinct authorities, which was a principle condemned by the Government, but they would further have the authority dealing with primary education, with power to nibble at secondary education in conjunction with the County Council. But there was no explanation as to how far that authority might go. If they adopted the great principle of one authority in each district, then they ought to stick to it. He believed that the voluntary schools would have a bettor chance of fair play in urban districts and non-county borough, if they were placed under the central authority of the County Council, and, therefore, he was a strong supporter of the Amendment, and awaited with considerable curiosity to hear the grounds on which the Government would attempt to justify such an extraordinary departure from the principle of the Bill. There was no reason in argument or logic for the proviso. He could conceive only one reason, and that was that the Government were afraid of the urban districts, but he did not think that was a good position to take up.
§ *(9.38.) SIR MICHAEL FOSTER (London University)
said he desired to express the hope that the First Lord of the Treasury would see his way to accept the Amendment. The essential principle of the Bill was the one authority, and it went to the very root of the whole business. The Vice-President, on the Second Reading, said that a philosopher sitting in his chair might make a distinction between primary and secondary education. He ventured with deference to differ from the Vice-President, for the man who attempted that would cease to be a philosopher. There was no difierence between primary and secondary education. The apparent difference was the outcome of the political exigencies of 1870, and the sooner it 1350 was done away with the better for England. He was convinced that they were suffering, not so much from the want of secondary education on the part of those who could afford to pay for it, as from the want of a broader primary education, not only as regarded those who were taught, but even more those who taught. He had been looking for some time past at the disastrous influence upon the teachers of the absolutely fictitious distinction between primary and secondary education, and it was because he could not but see that the proviso contravened the first principle of the Bill that he trusted the Amendment of the hon. Member for North Camberwell would be accepted. He could conceive that there was a difficulty in the way of the retention of large populous districts with many active centres, and he ventured to suggest that that difficulty might be overcome by some arrangement under Clause 12, continuing the principle of the one authority, rather than by—if he might venture to say so—the imperfect suggestion contained in the proviso, which would only partially secure its object, and secure it by contravening what he regarded as the very essence of the Bill. It was that which chiefly stirred him to support the Amendment as far as he could, because he was not looking at next year or the year after. He was looking at many years hence. If the one authority were established, it could never be taken away, whereas the minor difficulty which confronted them at present might be removed by legislation, even at no very distant date.
§ * SIR JOSEPH LEESE (Lancashire, Acerington)
said he regretted he could not support the Amendment. As the Bill stood, this proviso was one of the very best parts of it. He was bound, like every other hon. Member, to draw upon his own experience, and his own experience had been gathered in his own constituency. The hon. Member for South Islington specially referred to Acerington. It was a town of 45,000 inhabitants, and they themselves had raised and spent no less than £13,000 on technical schools, and they bad been so successful that they had, he thought, established their right to autonomy with regard to education. The proviso would give them, at any rate, a large step in advance as regarded that autonomy. A great deal of strong and bitter feeling 1351 had been aroused with reference to the "whiskey money" they had received, and that bitterness would be increased tenfold if they were placed under the County Council with regard to elementary education. What the hon. Member had just said with reference to Clause 12 might be true, but he was content with the proviso as it stood, and, therefore, could not support the Amendment.
* CAPTAIN BALFOUR (Middlesex, Hornsey)
said that for him, a simple man, to join issue with great educational authorities was a very hard task. But his constituency felt strongly in regard to the proviso, and he congratulated the right hon. Gentleman on the stand he was making in retaining it. He represented an urban district with a population of 75,000, and the reason they wanted the proviso retained was that they had been the most forward of any part of Middlesex in the work of education. The School Board of Hornsey occupied a very strong position, and it would not go down "unwept, unhonoured, and unsung." It would be very much regretted. The reason why the urban district of Hornsey wished to retain the power in their own hands was that, as regarded primary education, they considered they knew the requirements of the district very much better than the County Council. The hon. Member for East Mayo said that there was no reason why a County Council should not know the condition of the area it administered. He ventured to differ from that. Where there was a very crowded population, there was great cohesion and sentiment, and the district knew its own wants. Where there was a large, scattered population, it was quite possible for the County Council to understand the condition of the district, but that was not so easy in a crowded population; and, therefore, his constituents were very anxious that the work of education should be retained in the hands of the Urban Council, rather than it should be handed over to the County Council. He, therefore, hoped that the right hon. Gentleman would not give way, but would stick to the proviso.
(9.48.) MR. KcKENNA
said there could not be a better illustration than was afforded by the Amendment, of the essential contradictions of the Bill. He 1352 wondered whether the hon. Member who had just spoken had voted for the killing of the School Boards. If he had, the principle on which the hon. Member voted was good enough for killing the School Boards, which, on his own testimony, had done admirable work; although now, in flat contradiction of that very principle, it was proposed to set up another education authority, different from the central authority. He would quote what the First Lord said on the 2nd of June, 1902, and he would show, out of the right hon. Gentleman's own mouth, how he was frustrating the principle he himself had laid down. The right hon. Gentleman said—It is impossible for any authority properly to weigh and to decide upon the course it ought to pursue with regard to primary education without having secondary education in view; and, conversely, it is impossible for any authority to consider what it ought to do with regard to secondary education without considering the needs of primary education. These are, I think, indivisible halves of one great whole. I do not believe that any secondary education authority could carry out its work to the fullest advantage unless it not only had under its control or supervision the secondary education, which is the crown of the work of primary education short of the Universities, but unless it had also under its control the whole apparatus by which citizens are to be fitted to take advantage of the money spent on secondary education. If that were not so, the money spent on secondary education was thrown into the sea.Now, the right hon. Gentleman proposed to throw into the sea all the money spent on secondary education in boroughs of over 10,000 inhabitants, and in urban districts of over 20,000 inhabitants. Out of his own mouth the right hon. Gentleman was convicted. Either the principle which was good enough for killing the School Boards was a sham, or else it was sound; and if it were sound, the right hon. Gentleman was bound to accept the Amendment of his hon. friend. They could not, after their experience of that evening, shut their eyes to the fact that the Bill was not founded on principle, but on those electoral considerations which the Committee had heard from the hon. Member who had just sat down. His hon. friend who moved the Amendment observed, with great truth, that if it were not accepted every fat urban district would be taken out of the county. It was optional for 1353 the boroughs and urban districts to adopt Part III. They would adopt it when they could effect a saving in the rates and when they would secure financial relief, but they would not adopt it otherwise. The language used by his hon. friend was absolutely true in substance and detail. Under the clause as it stood, every fat urban district would be shut out of the county, and the county would be left not only with the poor rural districts, but with the poor urban districts as well. If the Amendment were not accepted, on the principle of the First Lord of the Treasury himself, the Bill was a failure, and, moreover, injustice would be done, to the ratepayers. He thought that the Committee was entitled to some explanation from the right hon. Gentleman as to why he had abandoned his principle.
§ MR. W. D. GREEN (Wednesbury)
said the hon. Member who had just spoken talked about killing the School Boards, but the Amendment proposed to kill the Town Councils in boroughs. He could not conceive how the Party opposite could possibly support the Amendment, because one of their principal points on the Second Reading was that the authority of the County Councils was so remote that it practically did not exist at all. The Amendment proposed to destroy the much nearer and closer control of the Town Councils in non county boroughs. If they were to have local control over all elementary schools which should be really practical and active he thought it was wiser that they should trust the Town Councils than leave the control wholly in the hands of what had been called the remote County Councils. The hon. Member for the Loudon University, in his most interesting speech, said that what he was anxious about was that elementary education should be put on a broader basis. He would ask the hon. Member, as a practical man, whether he would not be likely to get more efficiency in elementary education from a Town Council than from a County Council. It would be a great slight on the smaller towns if they were not permitted to continue the control of their own primary 1354 education, and he certainly hoped that the Government would not accept the Amendment.
§ (9.58.) SIR WALTER FOSTER
said that the hon. Member for South Islington had given examples of the admirable work of many of the smaller boroughs in connection with secondary education. He himself believed that it would be one of the most fatal things possible for the education of the country if they were to check and discourage the interest which the smaller boroughs now took in the education of children; and nothing would discourage educational work in such places more than that it should be placed under the control of the County Councils. He maintained that in all cases where good educational work had been done, and where the local authorities deserved consideration for that work, they should not be subjected to the authority of the County Council. The principle of one authority was a very good one, but the best principle might sometimes be ridden too hard, and he thought in that case his hon. friend was riding it too hard when he suggested interference with these smaller boroughs, which had done so much good work. The proviso was one of the most popular portions of the Bill. He believed it was regarded throughout the country, especially in active educational centres, as the only redeeming feature of the Bill, and he hoped the Government would not be led by any pedantic desire to maintain the one authority principle to sacrifice these boroughs.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
said it would be in the recollection of the House that that was the rock on which the Bill of 1896 was shipwrecked. The matter was a complicated one and was still more complicated because they did not know what course the Government proposed to take on the question of option. If they knew definitely that every authority which would be charged with the duty of higher education would also be charged with the duty of primary education the consideration of the question would be simplified. But it was in this proviso that the question of 1355 option appeared in its most objectionable form. He wished to ask for some enlightenment as to the real meaning of the proviso. It was laid down that these smaller areas should be the authority under Part III. These authorities were, under the proviso, to be the authorities for elementary education, but in the first clause of Part III. it was stated that it should only apply where it had been formally adopted, so that he took it that although these smaller areas were to have the right to become, authorities for elementary education they need not exercise that right. A peculiar position would then arise. A non-county borough which had the right to become an authority for elementary education might allow that right to remain in abeyance, but it would not forfeit it, and could keep it in its hands, and it could be the concurrent authority for secondary education, without teaching elementary education at all. He wished to ask who would then be responsible for the education in the voluntary schools of these non-county boroughs where the right remained in abeyance. Obviously, a County Council could not take over a duty which a non-county borough might wish to discharge itself. Did it mean that until the right was exercised by the urban district or by the council of the non-county borough the School Board would continue in these areas. On the face of it, that was the position; and if that were the position, then he would draw attention to the fact that the voluntary schools in these districts would be left out in the cold altogether. In such eases the School Boards would not be abolished, because they were only to disappear when the new authorities became responsible for elementary education. Therefore, there might be an extraordinary complication. There might be a School Board, with the voluntary schools left out entirely, and a local authority possessing, but not exercising, the right of elementary education, while being the concurrent authority for secondary education. He had always felt that there was no logical argument to be adduced for drawing the line sharply at the county borough. There were districts in the country quite as much entitled to local autonomy as the 1356 county boroughs through population, strong local sentiment, and special history. Their geographical distribution might demand that they should be specially dealt with, but that was not the way to deal with them. To treat non-county boroughs and urban districts in the manner proposed destroyed, to his mind, the whole principle of the Bill. He thought that the compromise which should be adopted was to make the area sufficiently large in order that it might satisfactorily discharge its obligations. If these large towns were to be entirely autonomous, if they were to levy their own rate, and to be their own authority for higher as well as for elementary education, he foresaw the perpetuation of the muddle they now had, and the perpetuation of friction in these areas between the two authorities for higher education; and before the Committee stage of the Bill was over there would be a demand from the representatives of non-county boroughs that they should have their part of the grant for higher education placed in their own hands and cut clean away from the control of the County Councils. As an illustration of the practical difficulty, he would cite the case of North Staffordshire, to which the proviso would apply. He understood that the feeling in the Pottery districts was that the towns should be amalgamated, that they should not act independently for elementary or secondary education, but that they should act as one county borough having a population of about 300,000. But if the great Pottery towns were cut out as non-county boroughs, or urban districts, then he would ask the Government to picture to themselves the position which would prevail in the narrow straggling area of rural districts. Were there no village schools, were there no small towns, below the level of population, which ought to have some provision made for them in respect of secondary education? Where did the children in these rural districts go? The railway lines naturally carried them into the large towns, but the large towns would be simply the concurrent authority with the penny rate, and would have no control over the county rate, which would be in the hands of the County Council. During the recess it was his fortune to be wandering about the Pottery district, and he 1357 found that the overwhelming feeling was that the North Staffordshire district should he treated, not by giving it control over elementary education with the power to merely tinker at secondary education, but that it should have the entire control of secondary education. He would urge on the First Lord of the Treasury as strongly as he could that the village school was one of their great difficulties. Under the Bill it would be left entirely stranded. The natural drift of the children was into the large towns, and these large towns should not be cut off, but should be made to serve the necessities of the surrounding rural districts. He thought the Committee ought to have some enlightenment as to the position of the voluntary schools in these urban districts where the option was not exercised, and, unless there was a prospect of a very considerable change in the proviso, and that definitely stated now, it would be his duty, on purely educational grounds, to vote for the Amendment.
§ *(10.16.) MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)
said it was somewhat refreshing to find an hon. Member opposite appealing to the Government for some enlightenment. As far as he was concerned, he did not for a moment intend to attempt to explain the logical sequence of the Bill, nor was it worth while to discuss whether the First Lord of the Treasury had always expressed exactly the same view. The hon. Member for East Mayo had pointed out that some of the religious I denominations, notably the one to which he belonged, were not likely to get the same friendly recognition from local authorities as they would receive from the County Councils. He could not help feeling that if the control of the sectarian schools were relegated to the proposed nominated committees, appointed by the central county authority, they would be in worse hands than if controlled by the small borough and urban district authorities, who were popularly chosen. Speaking simply from the denominational point of view, he would far more readily expect fair treatment from the local authority than from the county authority, particularly in a county such as he had the honour to represent, where the county authority would have 1358 upon it probably a very small proportion of Nonconformists, while the local authorities would have a very large proportion. Whether he looked at the matter from the point of view of denominational schools connected with Nonconformity, or from the more important point of view of the enormous number of children of Nonconformists, who received their education in Anglican schools, he would infinitely rather entrust the education of children to the authority proposed in this proviso, than to the tender mercies of inchoate committees, which would be sot up under the Bill. Moreover the parents of the children, who ought to be encouraged to take a greater interest in the education of their children, and local people who had hitherto taken an interest in School Board government, would have a greater opportunity of showing that interest and exercising the necessary control in connection with the small local authorities, than if the education of the children was entrusted to Committees nominated by some distant authority with which they had very little concern. He should, therefore, feel obliged to vote against the Amendment.
§ (10.25.) MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE
said the County Councils did not object to the proposal made in the Bill, but regarded it more in the nature of a compromise. They recognised the desire of the Government for economy, and so far as that desire was satisfied without breaking up the present county system of higher education they would be most happy to assist in the work. But there was really a great distinction from the local Government point of view between secondary and elementary education. There was already a system of secondary education in the counties, and it was much more highly developed now than six years ago when this controversy last arose. He sincerely hoped that nothing would be done under this clause which would damage the existing system of secondary education. He thought that when they came to elementary education, although the supervision of all education by one authority was desirable from an abstract 1359 educational point of view, there was a great deal to be said for retaining the status quo in large towns.
§ * MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
said the objections raised as to the remoteness of the local authority could be got over by Amendments which must be introduced at a later stage in the Bill giving a certain amount of independent lower to smaller bodies than County Councils. By that means the advantages both of local authorities and of central guidance would be retained. In Wales they had a complete organised system of secondary education working in comparatively small areas. In Montgomeryshire, for instance, in areas with populations of about 8,000 to 1,200 in each there were bodies which dealt with secondary education under the guidance of the central county authority. The schools in Wales were largely recruited from the elementary schools, so that there was already the nucleus of an organisation which would deal with both secondary and elementary education in the county itself. If this proviso were allowed to stand, the apple of discord would certainly be thrown into the Welsh system between the municipal authorities and the present education, authorities, and on that ground, in addition to the general reasons which had been advanced, he hoped the Committee would pass the Amendment.
§ MR. LAWSON WALTON (Leeds, S.)
found it hard to follow the argument which had been used to show the inconsistency of this proviso with the principle of the Bill. Whether that principle was wise or unwise, the proviso was an essential element in its application. The principle of the Bill was to take existing areas for municipal purposes, and make them areas for educational purposes, and to make existing municipal authorities the educational authorities. If that principle were true in its application to counties and county boroughs it seemed consistent that it should be applicable as well to large boroughs within the area of the county, 1360 and large urban districts where there were elected authorities for the discharge, of municipal duties. The hon. Member for Montgomeryshire seemed to confuse the idea of educational areas with that of educational authorities. The proviso did not propose to establish any new educational authority; it simply took as the educational authority the Council elected in the area within which the Act was to apply. He failed to see anything inconsistent, confusing, or conflicting in that provision, and from the point of view from which he approached the question it was an exceedingly salutary provision, inasmuch as it was proposed to extend to what were distinctively urban populations, although they had not reached either in number or in dignity the position of county boroughs, exactly the same power of adopting the; later provisions of the Bill as was given to county boroughs. As a borough representative he was anxious to give the corporations and councils of boroughs of 10,000 and urban districts of over 20,000 the power of adopting or re ecting the sections grouped under Part III. of the Bill. If the proviso remained, the Council of an urban district with a population of over 20,000, would have the power under Part III. of deciding to leave the School Boards untouched, and that was an enormous advantage. His constituency, being a County Borough, would probably leave the School Board in control of education, and, as a believer in School Boards, he desired to see that power extended to the large urban districts. He should, therefore, vote against the Amendment.
§ (10.33.) MR. BRYCE
No one can have listened to this debate without feeling that the mover of the Amendment is upon absolutely secure logical ground, and that the logical ground on which the right hon. Gentleman took his stand has completely crumbled under his feet. We have admired more fervently than ever the ingenuity with which the First Lord has tried to say today exactly the opposite to what he said yesterday. The "one authority" principle seems, in fact, to be a weapon which he unsheathes for 1361 the purpose of killing the School Boards, but which, as soon as that act has been performed he throws away. But when one is considering how to vote on this question, it is necessary to ask two questions. The first is, what is the value of this principle of one authority? If I were able to agree with the hon. Member for the University of London, in the interesting and almost pathetic appeal he made to the First Lord, I should have to vote for the Amendment, but, as I have more than once said, I think this principle is not in the least fit to bear the weight which has been laid upon it. It has become, to a great extent, a mere catch-word, and it will not produce those great advantages which my hon. friend expects from it. The second question is this, even supposing the principle to be a sound one, are there not disadvantages attending the Amendment—in other words, advantages attending this proviso—which make it desirable to retain the proviso? There I fall back on what has been common ground for all of us on this side of the House, viz., that the principle of local control is vital for elementary education. I have always felt that for secondary education you must have a large authority, but for elementary education a small authority is likely to be more effective. For reasons which have been given over and over again, we think the County Council would be a bad authority for elementary education. Feeling that, I cannot doubt that the balance of argument is in favour of retaining the proviso. Of course, an ad hoc authority would be far better, and all the arguments in favour of one authority lead to an ad hoc authority, but we have no chance of such an authority. These localities at present have the advantage of being managed by such Boards; the Bill proposes to give them not such Boards, but at any rate a local authority of their own, one which knows local needs, and which will be able to give an efficient supervision to the local schools. It has been suggested that the object proposed to be attained by the present proviso might be secured in some other way. It is conceivable that that, might be done at a later stage in the Bill, but that, after all, is a bird in the bush, and I prefer to stick to the 1362 bird in the hand which I have in this proviso. The hon. Member for North-West Ham pointed out quite conclusively the extreme inconveniences which would follow from the present scheme, and the moral I drew from his argument was that we want a far greater adaptation of the Bill to different circumstances and classes. That also was the moral to be drawn from the remarks of the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire. There ought to be some provision for dealing with these different cases, and the hard and fast system which the Government has laid down is likely to nullify even the good effects which might be expected from their Bill. But for the reasons I have stated I am in the agreeable position of being able to give the right hon. Gentleman a cordial support.
§ (10.40.) MR SAMUEL EVANS
said he had had great difficulty in deciding how to vote on this Amendment. He wished to know the opinion of the Vice-President as to whether the proviso in the Bill was dictated by political or educational reasons. If it was dictated by political reasons, as he was forced to believe from the silence of the right hon. Gentleman and of the First Lord of the Treasury, he would be against it; but if he could be per suaded that it was in the Bill because they were convinced that it would work more towards educational efficiency he would be in favour of it. The hon. Member for East Somerset had urged, on the present occasion, entirely different considerations from those he put forward on the previous day. He now threw over the one authority in order to have a compromise. If one thing was certain in connection with educational Acts of Parliament, it was that compromises should be avoided, as far as possible. The compromise of 1870 was mainly responsible for the tangle they were now in. As he read that Bill, the education authority, whether in the small boroughs or the larger urban districts, would act through a Committee. If that was so, he was not sure whether they were not better off with the education authority, limited as it was 1363 in the proviso, than with the County Council. Inasmuch as autonomy in matters appertaining to elementary education, and concurrent authority in matters appertaining to secondary education were being given to these smaller centres, the probability was that they would not act through an outside Committee, as the larger body, the County Council, would but would act through a Committee of their own body. There was nothing in the Bill to prevent them appointing this Education Committee entirely from their own body. That was an argument in favour of this proviso. What they wanted was to get the interest of the people excited at once in favour of educational reform and efficiency. He remembered the difficulties in which the Government were placed in 1896 by the hon. Member for South Islington when they were all in favour of one authority. It was then proposed that municipal boroughs with 20,000 inhabitants should have autonomy, and that was conceded. Then the Government were asked to grant the same concession to urban districts, and, at that time, he himself pointed out that the only difference between the two cases was that in one they might have a mace and a town crier, and in the other they could not. There was no distinction at all to be made between the two cases. When that proposal was before the House in 1896. how was it met by the Government? At that time the proposal was to extend, this power to municipal boroughs of over 20,000, and what was the argument of the Vice-President of the Council then? The right hon. Gentleman was a man who understood this matter. In the discussion which took place in 1896 the Member for South Aberdeen made a remark on this point which was received with a good deal of irreverent laughter on the opposite side. What they desired at the present moment was to have the views of the Minister for Education stated in the House, and, if his views would show that the retention of this proviso would mean greater efficiency, he was ready to support him. In 1896 the right hon. Gentleman argued that already there was a sufficient number of authorities under the Bill. Did the Vice-President of the Council 1364 still think that the municipal boroughs and the urban councils, of which he spoke in high praise in 1896, were the natural leaders in education in the county? If they were, it was doing a wrong to some counties to take away their natural leaders in education. The right hon. Gentleman had recently stated that he had learned a great deal since 1896. That was one faculty among many others which enabled the right hon. Gentleman to fill with such ability the distinguished position he now occupied; he was willing to learn. The one complaint which he had to make was that the right hon. Gentleman was not so willing to teach. He desired to learn also, and there was no one he would like better to teach him than the right hon. Gentleman; and if be would extend to them a little more of his learning, they would feel more grateful. He wished to remind the Committee of what the right hon. Gentleman said in the course of a later discussion in the debate of 1896 upon the question of the application of the principle of this proviso to urban districts of 20,000 inhabitants. An Amendment to this effect was proposed on the 15th of June, 1896. The right hon. Gentleman had fought against the extension of educational autonomy to the boroughs, and, by reason of the concession made by the First Lord of the Treasury, against the advice of the Minister for Education, the Vice-President of the Council had something to say upon this point, and he declared himself against this proposal entirely. He thought the Committee had a right to know what had changed the mind of the Minister for Education, for the same Minister had held office from 1896 to the present time. At that time the right hon. Gentleman argued strenuously against the proposal which was now part of this Bill, and he said—I laid all those 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 committees of this country made it necessary that sixty-nine fresh 1365 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 circumstances, 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 sub sequent 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.That was the position in 1896, and if it was true that the right hon. Gentleman had learned a great deal since that time, he desired to know who had taught him the lesson, and was he now guided by political considerations, or had he come to the opinion that greater educational efficiency would be achieved by inserting this proviso in the Bill? Appeals had been made from the other side of the House that hon. Members should be allowed to give an open vote upon this matter. The hon. Member for North-West Ham had said that there were two opinions on the Opposition side of the House upon this matter. He would remind the right hon. Member that there were two opinions, and perhaps more, amongst hon. Gentlemen opposite, and unless, they had clean open voting, so that everybody would be able to express their own convictions, they had a right to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether he thought now that education would be made more efficient by the inclusion of this proviso. What was it that had since led him to change his mind? The hon. Member for North Camber-well had pointed out that "the plums" were being taken out of the counties. The First Lord of the Treasury had asserted that that was not true. In 1896, however, the right hon. Gentleman expressed a different opinion as to the effect of taking out those boroughs, for he was then of opinion that if they took out those boroughs they would be taking out a good deal of the ratable 1366 portion of the county, and to that extent they would be impoverishing the rest of the county. Under those circumstances, how were they to vote? He had listened attentively to the speech or the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen upon this matter, and he had also listened equally carefully to the speech, of the hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick. He had a great many leaders, but upon this matter he was inclined to follow the lead of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Aberdeen in these educational matters, believing that the hon. Member for Berwick was less practical and more easily caught by the shibboleth of "one authority." But the one county authority for Rutland was a very different thing to the Councils of the larger counties. What they ought to do in this matter was to look to the best centre they could get for the efficient working of the educational machine. If he held the opinion that, by giving to a County Council the entire control in the matter of elementary and secondary education, they would secure a more efficient authority, he should certainly support that view. It had been said that these authorities only had a penny rate to draw upon, but if they made it compulsory to levy a twopenny rate they might expect greater efficiency. In this Bill they made it entirely optional on the part of the counties as to whether they should levy this twopenny rate, whereas in the municipalities they were much more ready to levy a penny rate than the counties would be to levy any rate at all. He had a great desire to hear the Vice-President of the Council upon this matter. [Ministerial cries of "No, no!"] It was all very well for hon. Members opposite to cry out "No, no!" but what was the Minister for Education in the House for? They had a right to expect him to speak upon this matter, more especially as they had shown in the debate that the right hon. Gentleman was now going in the teeth of every word he said in the year 1896. That being so, he thought the Committee was entitled to the educational light and leading which no one could give better than the Vice-President of the Council.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
I am covinced that those who support the Amendment attach more importance to it from an educational point of view than the Government do, and I do not know whether it is understood why so much importance is attached to it. Before a vote is taken, I would like to have a clear understanding whether, supposing the Amendment is rejected and the words remain, it will be possible that the operation of the proviso would be attended in each case by the consent of the County Council. I ask for a ruling from the Chairman on this point. The words I propose to add to some part of the proviso are: "with the consent of the County Council."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I would venture to appeal to the House to come to a conclusion. The hon. Gentleman opposite said we ought to ask ourselves two questions before we divide. I dare say we ought to ask ourselves two questions, and perhaps even more; but let us, in heaven's name, ask ourselves the questions in silence.
§ (11.8.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided :—Ayes, 307; Noes, 88. (Division List No. 195.)1371
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex F.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst'ne|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden||Channing, Francis Allston||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Chapman, Edward||Fenwick, Charles|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Charrington, Spencer||Finch, George H.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Clive, Captain, Percy A.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Fison, Frederick William|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-|
|Balcarres, Lord||Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Filzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Flower, Ernest|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Forster, Henry William|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainhridge||Foster, Philip S (Warwick, S W.|
|Beach Rt Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Craig, Robert Hunter||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Bell, Richard||Cranborne, Viscount||Furness, Sir Christopher|
|Bignold, Arthur||Cremer, William Randal||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Bigwood, James||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Garfit, William|
|Bill, Charles||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gladstone, Rt Hn Herbert John|
|Bond, Edward||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Goddard, Daniel Ford|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.|
|Brassey, Albert||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Gordon, Hn J. E (Elgin & Nairn)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Denny, Colonel||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'H'mlets|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Gosehen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Green, Walford D, (Wedn'sbury|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Doughty, George||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Bull, William James||Doughts, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Gretton, John|
|Butcher, John George||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Cameron, Robert||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hain, Edward|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Duke, Henry Edward||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Duncan, J. Hastings||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Dyke, Ht. Hn. Sir William Hart||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Cawley, Frederick||Ellis, John Edward||Harwood, George|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Emmott, Alfred||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Helder, Augustus||Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Fredk. G.||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Mitchell, William||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Sharp, William Edward T.|
|Henderson, Alexander||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Morgan, David J (Walth'mstow||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Morgan, Hn Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Morrell, George Herbert||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.)||Morrison, James Archibald||Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Holland, William Henry||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Muntz, Philip A.||Spear, John Ward|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute||Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants|
|Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Hoult, Joseph||Myers, William Henry||Stanley, Lord (Lancas.)|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M' Taggart|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Newnes, Sir George||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Hutton, John (Yorks. N. B.)||Nicholson, William Graham||Stock, James Henry|
|Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Jebb, Sir Richard, Claverhouse||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Strachey, Sir Edward|
|Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Jessell, Capt. Herbert Merton||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Johnston, William (Belfast)||Parker, Gilbert||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Parkes, Ebenezer||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Kitson, Sir James||Peel Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Knowles, Lees||Pemberton, John S. G.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Lambert, George||Penn, John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick Win.||Percy, Earl||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Perks, Robert William||Toulmin, George|
|Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||Pierpoint, Robert||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Lawson, John Grant||Pilkington, Lt.-Col. Richard||Tufnell, Lt-Colonel Edward|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Plummer, Walter R.||Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield|
|Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Legge, Colonel Hon. Heneage||Pretyman, Ernest George||Wallace, Robert|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Price, Robert John||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.|
|Leng, Sir John||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Purvis, Robert||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Levy, Maurice||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Randles, John S.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Rankin, Sir James||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Went worth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd.|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Rattigan, Sir William Henry||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Long, Rt Hn Walter (Bristol, S.)||Rea, Russell||Whitely, H. (Ashton und. Lyne|
|Lough, Thomas||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E R.)|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Renwick, George||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Richards, Henry Charles||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Macdona, John Gumming||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Maclver, David (Liverpool)||Rigg, Richard||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomas||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|M'Arthur, (Charles Liverpool)||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|M'Crae, George||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'rgh W.||Robson, William Snowdon||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wyndham-Quinn, Major W. H.|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Runciman, Walter||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Rutherford, John||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Mather, William||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Ashton, Thomas Gair||Black, Alexander William|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Blake, Edward|
|Boland, John||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O'Malley, William|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Humphreys-Owens, Arthur C.||O'Mara, James|
|Caine, William Sproston||Joicey, Sir James||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Caldwell, James||Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Joyce, Michael||Priestly, Arthur|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Labouchere, Henry||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Crean, Eugene||Langley, Batty||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Leamy, Edmund||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Delany, William||Lundon, W.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Dillon, John||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Edwards, Frank||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sullivan, Donal|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Ffrench, Peter||M'Govern, T.||Thomas, J A (Glamorg'n, Gower|
|Flynn, James Christopher||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Tomkinson, James|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lon. Univ.||Markham, Arthur Basil||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Ure, Alexander|
|Gilhooly, James||Mooney, John J.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Moulton, John Fletcher||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Young, Samuel|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Hammond, John||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Dr. Macnamara and Mr Corrie Grant.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
§ (11.25.) MR. SAMUEL EVANS
moved an Amendment with the view of omitting the population limit by which Councils of boroughs under 10,000 are prevented from becoming the local education authority. This Amendment raised a question which was raised by the hon. Member for Islington in 1896. He asked why the Government had drawn the line at 10,000 in the case of municipal boroughs. As illustrating how absolutely illogical the arrangement would be, he stated what would happen in the case of a number of towns in Wales. In the county of Denbigh, under the decision which the House had just come to, the capital town would not have autonomy, because it had under 10,000 inhabitants; while Wrexham, which had over 12,000 inhabitants, would have autonomy. Again, in Carnarvonshire there were two important towns, Carnarvon and Bangor, with just under 10,000 inhabitants. One of those towns had been chosen as one of the centres for the three University colleges of Wales, and yet it would not have autonomy for elementary education. What would happen when, as was probable in a year or two, they passed the limit of population? It was proposed at present to give to the County Council the whole control in the matter of education 1372 in these towns, but when the population reached 10,000 they would at once come within the limit which would qualify them to be the authority for elementary education. Pontypridd, which had a population of about 19,000, had never been a municipal borough, but it was one of the most active and enlightened towns in South Wales.
In page 1, line 9, to leave out the word 'the' and insert the word 'any.'"—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'the' stand part of the clause.
§ (11.33.) THE PRESIDENT OF the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. WALTER LONG,) Bristol, S.
said the Amendment proposed by the hon. and learned Gentleman asked the Committee to proceed in an opposite direction to the Amendment which they discussed previous to the last division.
§ MR WALTER LONG
said he was glad the hon. Gentleman voted with the Government in that particular case. It showed that the hon. Member held strong and decided opinions on both sides. There were over 200 boroughs and between 800 and 900 urban districts. Some of them had a population which was very small indeed—from 800 to 1,00. There was one borough with a population of only 1,000. The hon. Gentleman's suggestion was that they could not logically define and draw a line for 10,000 for boroughs, and 20,000 for urban districts. How were they to draw any line at all? In all kinds of legislation previously passed there had been concessions made in favour of old boroughs with a population of 10,000. The boroughs had autonomy now, and had a part in local government which was not occupied by urban districts, and the Government, in the Bill, were strictly following precedent in taking boroughs of 10,000 population, and in fixing a higher limit in regard to urban districts. The Amendment could not be accepted by the Government, as it would have the effect of destroying the principle of the Bill as applied to the County Councils.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY
said that the Amendment moved by his hon. friend was exactly the same as one which he himself had intended to submit to the Committee. The First Lord of the Treasury had pointed out that those boroughs which had control over secondary education ought to have co-ordinate power over elementary education as well, and the Amendment would, he insisted, accomplish that object. Surely, it did not make any great difference whether a borough had a population of 10,000 or 1374 5,000. It seemed to him very hard indeed that, simply for the sake of enforcing a 10,000 limit, they should destroy separate entities which had enjoyed a corporate muncipal life for centuries. He very strongly supported the Amendment.
§ MR. GEORGE LAMBERT
said he had always maintained that the county authority was the best for secondary educaiton, but the best authority for elementary education was the boroughs. The Vice-President of the Council, who was one of the greatest authorities on education, had himself admitted that he was not a devotee at the shrine of one authority. Why should boroughs of 5,000 inhabitants not be given the same privileges as were granted to boroughs of 10,000 inhabitants? If some of these small boroughs lost the control of their education, the high state of efficiency to which they had brought education in the towns would probably disappear. There was a borough in his own constituency which had endowments sufficient, with the Government grant, to maintain all the elementary schools; and he asked how that borough would stand if this clause were passed. Would the borough lose its educational endowments, and at the same time he rated with the county? He strongly pressed on the Government to make the authority for elementary education smaller, especially in the case of those municipalities which had been for generations used to govern themselves. If education were to be made more efficient they must get closer to the parents, and that could better he done in the boroughs than in the counties.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said that the Amendment was one which deserved the 1375 serious consideration of the Government. He had in his mind two boroughs—one would have an educational authority, and the other, only a few miles apart, would not, although the educational work done in the latter was at present probably better than that done in the former. He ventured to think that these smaller boroughs and urban district councils were as capable of supervising the work of elementary education as any larger authority could be, and, that if the work were entrusted to them, they could be safely relied upon to do it with a proper regard to the particular needs of the district. Why should an arbitrary line be drawn at a population of 10,000? There was no reason why a borough with 9,000 inhabitants should not have the same educational advantages as a borough with 10,000.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said he wanted to know what would happen when a borough with a population of 9,800 became a borough with 10,000 inhabitants. Was it a fact that upon such a borough gaining a population of 10,000, it would immediately become invested with autonomy.
§ SIR JOHN BRUNNER
said he wished to ask whether a borough just under 10,000, or an urban district just under 20,000, increased its population not only by natural growth, but also by taking in any neighbouring districts, it would then obtain the privileges which were now to be given to the larger boroughs and urban districts.
§ MR A. J. BALFOUR
said that the Government had followed in this case the exact analogy of previous Acts, which prescribed a limit of population for certain things. They had not made it an in-and-out and varying arrangement, but had based themselves upon the census of 1901.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said the question would come up distinctly on a later clause, which laid down the very principle he had just explained to the Committee. That would be the proper time and place to raise the question as to whether the arrangement should be a permanent one, or should vary with a varying of the population.
§ (11.52.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided :—Ayes, 244; Noes, 91. (Division List No. 196).1379
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Allhusen, Augustus Hy. Eden|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Anson, Sir William Reynell|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans||Milner, Rt. Hn, Sir Frederick G.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Gilhooly, James||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Arrol, Sir William||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||Morgan, David J (Walthamstow|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gordon, Maj Evans-(Tr H'mlets||Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gore, Hon G R C Ormsby-(Salop||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Gosehen, Hon. George Joachim||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford)|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds)||Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Beach, Rt. Hon. Sir M. Hicks||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Gretton, John||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Bill, Charles||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Bluadell, Colonel Henry||Hain, Edward||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Roland, John||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Bond, Edward||Hambro, Charles Eric||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Hamilton, Rt Hon Lord G (Mid'x||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hammond, John||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||O'Connor, James (Wicklow. W.|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Hay, Hon. Claude George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Bull, William James||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Butcher, John George||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.)||O'Malley, William|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Helder, Augustus||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Henderson, Alexander||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Higginbottom, S. W.||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.)||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Penn, John|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hoult, Joseph||Percy, Earl|
|Chamberlain, Rt Hon. J. (Birm.||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Chapman, Edward||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Charrington, Spencer||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Joyce, Michael||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Pryce-Jones, Lt. Col. Edward|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Knowles, Lees||Purvis, Robert|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down North)||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lawson, John Grant||Randles, John S.|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Leamy, Edmund||Rankin, Sir James|
|Crean, Eugene||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Renwick, George|
|Delany, William||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Ridley, Hn. M. W (Stalybridge|
|Digby, John K. D., Wingfield-||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Dillon, John||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Round, James|
|Douglas, Right Hon. A. Akers-||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Rutherford, John|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lundon, W.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Macdona, John Cumming||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Ffrench, Peter||Maconochie, A. W.||Smith, Abel H. (Hentford, East)|
|Finch, George H.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||M'Govern, T.||Smith, Hon. W.F.D. (Strand)|
|Fison, Frederick William||M'Hugh, Patrick A.||Spear, John Ward|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Flynn, James Christopher||M'Kean, John||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Forster, Henry William||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M Taggart|
|Foster, PhilipS. (Warwick, S. W||Majendie, James A. H.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Manners, Lord Cecil||Stock, James Henry|
|Gradner, Ernest||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Garfit, William||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Middlemore, John Throgmortn'||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'd Univ.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Thornton, Percy M.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Whiteley, H. Ashton-und-Lyne||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Valentia, Viscount||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield||Wilson, A. Slanley (York, E. R.)|
|Walker, Col. William Hall||Wilson, John (Falkirk)||TELLERS COR THE AYES—|
|Webb, Colonel William George||Wilson, John (Glasgow)||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther. S|
|Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C E (Taunton||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Asher, Alexander||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Helme, Norval Watson||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Holland, William Henry||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Bell, Richard||Horniman, Frederick John||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Black, Alexander William||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Joicey, Sir James||Soames Arthur Wellesley|
|Broadhurst, Henry.||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R (Northants|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Labouchere, Henry||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Lambert, George||Tennant, Harold John|
|Caldwell, James||Langley, Batty||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Cameron, Robert||Lay land-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, David Arthur (Merth'r|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gow'r|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Leng, Sir John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Levy, Maurice||Tomkinson, James|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lewis, John Herbert||Toulmin, George|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lough, Thomas||Ure, Alexander|
|Cremer, William Randal||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||M'Crae, George||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||M'Kenna, Reginald||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mansfield, Horace Kendall||White, Luke (York. E. R.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Markham, Arthur Basil||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Edwards, Frank||Norman, Henry||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Ellis, John Edward||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Price, Robert John|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Priestly, Arthur|
|Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Rea, Russell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Rickett, J. Compton||Mr. Samuel Evans and Sir Edward Strachey.|
|Grant, Corrie||Rigg, Richard|
Resolution agreed to.
§ It being after Midnight, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report progress; to sit again tomorrow (afternoon sitting).