§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ Clause 1 :—
§ (2.45.) DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N)
moved an Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Swansea Districts making it necessary that boroughs as well as urban districts should have a population of over 20,000, in order to be qualified to act as the local education authority for the purpose of Part III. of the Act (Elementary Education). The Government Bill of 1898 provided that only county boroughs should have paramount local authority, but after considerable pressure autonomy was given to municipal boroughs with 20,000 population. In the original scheme of the Bill of 1896 there were 128 different local authorities, and the Vice president in the course of the debates expressed an opinion that that was too many. He strongly opposed the conclusion of anything short of county or county boroughs, but under pressure municipal boroughs with a population of 20,000 were included. That let in sixty-nine new autonomous bodies. The right hon. Gentleman very strongly expressed his objection to that increase to 197. But what was the position in the present Bill. They had 128 county and county borough authorities, 130 municipal boroughs with a population of 10,000, and sixty-three urban districts with a population of 20,000; in all 329 authorities. If in 1896, 128 were too many, and 197 meant the ruin of the Pill what did the Vice-President think of a scheme which provided 329. The right hon. Gentleman was their educational guide, philosopher and friend, and by reason of the position he held they were entitled to look to him for advice. How-did he reconcile his attitude in 1896 with his support of the present proposal. They had now given up the farce of endeavouring to secure one authority for all grades of education. At one time he did think the Government were sincere in endeavouring to obtain that, 1406 but they had apparently given the idea up altogether. He commended this Amendment to the consideration of the First Lord. It embodied the scheme he accepted very reluctantly no doubt in 1896, on the suggestion of the hon. Member for South Islington, and if it were adopted it would reduce the total number of authorities to 276. The great bulk of the Members who sat on the Opposition Benches were against him yesterday in his endeavour to strike out the proviso altogether. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen made an appeal for popular control of education, and he was bound to sympathise with him in that, but he would point out that the Bill did not provide popular control in any way whatever. It was vitiated in that matter from its very fountainhead. The right hon. Gentleman objected to striking out the proviso because he wanted to get as near popular control as possible. But the Bill as he had said did not secure that. For instance, Municipal Councils would not control education : they would have to appoint an Education Committee, the members of which would not necessarily be members of the Municipal Council. Then he came to the question of finance. Under that proviso they would have the county levying a 2d. rate for secondary education, and even more if it could get the authority of the Municipal Council; then they would get the excluded districts levying a Id. rate for technical instruction; thirdly, there would be the county or residue of the county levying a, county rate for elementary education; and fourthly, the autonomous districts would be levying their own rate for their own education. Thus there would be four systems of rating, which would only tend to make confusion worse confounded. He sympathised with those who desired to secure popular control, but under this Bill the narrower the area the less popular control they had. The people for whom he was pleading did not want exactly what they wanted. They did not want autonomy in the matter of rating, they did not want the right to rate themselves, but they did want the definity of an independent local authority. At a meeting at the Westminster Palace Hotel on 1407 the previous day of representatives of the authorities proposed to be constituted under the Bill a Resolution was passed which indicated that while they wished to control their our affairs in their own areas they were not prepared to pay for the privilege. They, in fact, passed a Resolution protesting against legislation which did not provide for a grant for education purposes from the Imperial Exchequer. The Government would probably have to find the money for this Bill from Imperial sources, and unless they agreed to do that these people would doubtless decline to rate themselves. He again appealed to the Vice President to state the grounds on which he supported this part of the Bill.
In page I, line 10, to leave out the word 'Ten,' and insert the word 'Twenty.'"—(Dr. Macnamara.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'Ten' stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
strongly supported the Amendment. On the previous day he expressed his views on this matter, and he now noted that his opinions were those also of the teachers of voluntary schools. While he adhered to the view that there should be one local education authority, he thought the Government might make a concession on this particular point by raising the population limit of the boroughs to that of the urban districts. What was the logical ground upon which a distinction was made between an urban district and a borough? Upon historical grounds he could understand the distinction, but not where education was concerned. What was the difference between an urban population, which happened to be called an urban district, of 20,000, and an urban population which happened to be called a borough, of 20,000? He thought if there was any argument at all for this distinction it would be in the opposite direction, because the urban district would be more likely to be progressive than the boroughs, which, from the fact of their being boroughs, were often moribund (they must be so or else their population would not remain so low), whilst urban districts on the other hand were virile bodies, set up in the 1408 midst of large growing centres of industrial life. In the course of the debate on the previous night it had been said by an hon. Member in support of the Government proposal that they were not going to force upon these borough councils the duty of becoming the educational authority; they had the opportunity of adopting the Bill or not. But he thought the time had come when in order to discuss the question of "the authority "with full knowledge, the Committee ought to know what was the policy of the Government and what were really to be the future districts of the country for this educational scheme, and whether this was to be an optional or a compulsory Bill. There was a very strong argument in support of postponing Clause 1 until they knew what was the meaning of Clause 5. He asked for some indication on the part of the Government as to what was their policy with regard to Clause 5, because the decision of the Government if stated to the Committee now with regard to that clause might entirely change the views of the Committee with regard to Clause 1.
(3.6.) MR. BRYNMOK JONES (Swansea, District)
said an Amendment on the same lines as that which now occupied the attention of the Committee stood in his name, and it was put on the Paper mainly but not entirely for the reasons which his hon. friend behind had stated when moving this Amendment. He did not think the Government recognised the meaning of the Amendment as it now stood, neither had he gathered from the debate what the object of this preference was. The First Lord of the Treasury when introducing the Bill had said its first principle was the creation of one educational authority, but that there would be certain exemptions made with regard to boroughs of a certain size. But no explanation had been given for the limit of 10,000. If it was the intention to maintain the existing privileges of the boroughs, then the limit of 10,000 was too high. On the other hand, if the object was simply educational efficiency, then the limit of 10,000 was too low, and the proviso would, in his opinion, produce results which would be detrimental in education. Take the 1409 case of Swansea He sat for about half of Swansea and for two contributory boroughs, Neath and Aberavon. Neath had a population of nearly 20,000; it had a School Board of its own, and, under the Intermediate Education Act of 1889, a separate board for the management of secondary education. If this Bill passed, the result would be that the Neath Borough Council would become the authority for elementary education, but not for the intermediate education. But in the case of Aberavon, the population of which was only 5,000, and which also had its own School Board and its own intermediate school under the Act of 1889, the proviso did not apply; the County Council became the authority and the rights and privileges of the Borough Council were lost. What sound argument could be adduced for such a principle as that? He submitted that if educational efficiency was the aim of the Government, this proposal could only have a detrimental effect upon the education of the country.
§ MR. WALTER PALMER (Salisbury)
said he represented a constituency of 19,000 people, and in his opinion, if the Amendment of the hon. Member was carried, it would very prejudicially affect that constituency. He thought there was considerable difference between a borough of 10,000 and an urban district of 20,000 population. In the borough there was a close community of local feeling, which did not exist in a larger and more scattered community. It was for that reason that he ventured to raise a protest against the Amendment, and he hoped the First Lord of the Treasury would resist it.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
expressed regret that he could not agree with the hon. Member for North Camber-well with regard to boroughs of 10,000 inhabitants. It was quite true that under the Bill they would not have direct local control, but at the same time in the appointment of the educational authority they would appoint those whom they knew would be efficient for the purpose, and certainly those within their own area, and they would be more intimately acquainted with the capabilities of those they appointed than the 1410 County Councils. If he had thought for a moment that this provision would militate against the educational efficiency of the district he should have supported the hon. Member for North Camberwell, but he was certain that it would not have that effect. It was quite true that there would be four systems of rating under this Bill, but there were four systems of rating under the present scheme. There was no increase at all. Many boroughs had admirable School Boards and admirable schools under those Boards : schools which were far more efficient than schools in larger areas. He therefore asked the First Lord of the Treasury to resist the Amendment, being in his own mind convinced that the smaller area would manage its educational interest better than a large area.
§ (3.15.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that from the speech or the hon. Member for North Camberwell one would imagine the Government had wholly changed the character of the Bill, and that the Committee were dealing with a measure entirely different from that introduced two or three months ago, and which received its Second Reading just before Whitsuntide. The Government had never attempted to minimise or to conceal the character of the Bill or the particular object it sought to achieve. It was stated in the most explicit terms in his own introductory speech, and it must have been present in the mind of everybody who voted for the Second Reading. There had never been the slightest suggestion on the part of any Member of the Government that they were prepared to make the Bill the thing of symmetrical beauty desired by the hon. Member. The Bill was introduced as one to co-ordinate the various forms of education in the different districts, and the Government had always said that that object would be carried out by the measure as presented. He did not deny that the Bill would be more logical and symmetrical if no exceptions were made in favour of non county boroughs. But, after all, the Committee must not approach the subject as if the history of England began last year. They had to deal with authorities and facts as they found them, and there had never been a Government fit to carry on 1411 the affairs of the country which had not taken into account in the measures they presented to the House the actual and historic forces at work. The question before the Committee was simply whether the 10,000 should be raised to 20,000. One hon. Member had thought to advance the cause of the 20,000 by pointing-out that in his own constituency there was a borough with a population of just under 10,000 quite as fit to exercise the powers under the Bill as a neighbouring borough of over 10,000. No doubt that was absolutely true, but it would be equally true whether the limit was fixed at 15,000, 20,000, or 25,000. If the Amendment were accepted, and the limit fixed at 20,000, he had not the slightest doubt there were plenty of Gentlemen in the House sufficiently ingenious to find cases of boroughs of 19,999 inhabitants just as qualified to carry out the work under this Bill a other boroughs with 20,000. That course of argument could be followed whatever line of demarcation was adopted. The subject might very well lie left there, but there was one point it was worth while to bring to the recollection of the Committee. Parliament had already by its legislation emphasised the distinction between boroughs of 10,000 and those with smaller populations. A great many duties were exercisable and exercised by boroughs of over 10,000; and as the Government found that line had already been drawn, and apparently worked satisfactorily, they embodied it in the present Bill. He trusted the Committee would decide that this limitation, which he did not deny was more or less of a compromise, should be adhered to.
§ * MR. CORBIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
said the Leader of the House had been asked to explain why the limitation of 10,000 was now adopted, when in 1896 the limitation of 20,000 was taken.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he had not been asked, and if he had been he would have said that the 1896 measure was quite a different Bill.
§ * MR. CORRIE GRANT
said that, in that case, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman now, and through him the Education Department—as apparently 1412 the Vice-President had disappeared from the debate, although a point was being discussed on which it was most important they should have the view of the Education Department—why the policy of 1896 was not the policy of 1902. Whatever limitation was fixed, isolated cases could be found in which it would apply somewhat harshly; but they asked the Government to say upon what general evidence they had determined in favour of 10,000. That was information which the Government ought to have, which was not at the general disposal of the Committee, and for which Members were entitled to ask. The right hon. Gentleman accused the hon. Member for North Camberwell of having charged the Government with concealment. It was putting the matter rather strongly. But there was such a thing as masquerading, and if he was describing what had been done he should say that the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters had masqueraded in the country under the guise of one authority, while the Bill they were putting forward was not a "one authority" measure at all. The Government had gone on the same principle as that on which people went ostrich shooting in South Africa. If a man approached an ostrich undisguised the ostrich ran away, but if the man covered himself with the feathers of a dead ostrich he was enabled to approach sufficiently near to the living ostrich to shoot it. The Government had apprdached the electors wearing the garb of a single authority, and the ordinary electors, having neither the time nor opportunity to work through the elaborate details of the Bill, were content to accept the assertions made by the supporters of the measure. That was the position the Opposition had had to meet. They were told the Bill gave direct control and direct authority, and what more could they want? They were accused of being false to all their pledges and principles, simply because the Bill was brought forward by a Tory Government. If that was not masquerading, he did not know what was. The Bill did not establish a direct authority, and when the Government had the opportunity of amending the measure to secure that object they refused to take it. The horn Member for Salisbury had said 1413 there was a closer unity between the population of boroughs than between the population of urban districts. What authority had he for that statement Taking the test of enterprise in local affairs, better administration would be found in the District Councils than in the Borough Councils. What distinction could be drawn to justify a limit of 10,000 in boroughs and 20,000 in urban districts? So far as he knew, very few distinctions could be drawn, and those that did appear made in favour of the urban districts rather than of the boroughs. He was not arguing as to the particular figure to be adopted; that was a matter upon which information would have subsequently to be asked from the Government. No reason had been put forward for making a distinction between the boroughs and District Councils, and the population ought to be the same in both. This Amendment was to make the number 20,000 instead of 10,000, and he supported this proposal because they would get better administration and better work for education when the areas were large rather than small. This would make a larger area, and therefore a wider area to draw educational experts from. There was another reason which ought to appeal to all hon. Members, and it was that this proposal would give a wider field for promotion amongst teachers, and that was a matter which was well worthy of consideration. In a small borough of 10,000 they would probably not have a scale of salaries for teachers, and they would be got as cheaply as possible. If they established large areas the education authorities would have to fix a scale upon definite progressive lines, and they would have a better chance of promotion to offer to the teachers. All those were arguments in favour of having the county as the unit of administration, and he admitted that they were not so strong when applied to a district of 20,000. There was no real distinction to be drawn in these matters between boroughs and urban district authorities. This proposal would give a better area for administration and for the promotion of teachers, and for those reasons he should support the Amendment.
§ *(3.35.) MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
said he supported this Amendment for two reasons. In the first place 1414 he did not think that a population of 10,000 was satisfactory, even for elementary education. Take as an example his own county. Amongst the small authorities was the town of Harwich, with a population of 10,019. They usually estimated that one-sixth of the population would be in public elementary schools, so that in the town of Harwich they had less, upon that calculation, than 2,000 children in the elementary schools, and only some three or four schools could make provision for that number. Was that a satisfactory area? What opportunity was there in Harwich for the teaching profession, or for establishing a higher elementary school? For elementary purposes alone, the population of 10,000 was far too small. Another reason why he supported this Amendment to keep up the level to 20,000 was because he wished to see the principle of the Bill carried through so that they would also become the authorities for secondary education, and 20,000 was quite small enough. As far as he could understand the question, the only argument brought forward in favour of the 10,000 limit was that it was a compromise. A compromise with whom? With whom had the arrangement been made? Had the Government pledged itself upon this point to the Non-County Boroughs Association?
§ * MR. ERNEST GRAY
If not, why were the Government now insisting upon a particular figure of 10,000 for boroughs and yet taking 20,000 as the area for urban districts? He agreed that there were a few cases where sentimental objections had very great force. Their ancient history and the fact that they had in the past done their work well was worthy of consideration, although from his own personal knowledge he knew the right hon. Gentleman would not find upon investigation that elementary education is at all satisfactory in some of the areas which he now proposed as the authorities in the future. What was to be the position of the administrative counties with the best areas taken out? He would put this question to the hon. and gallant Member for the Chelmsford Division, who usually supported the agricultural interest in the House. What would be 1415 the position of the agricultural county of Essex with all those districts cut out? What money would that county have at its disposal for elementary education? There would be nothing but the agricultural districts left, and on them the whole rate would press for educational purposes. If the Bill was retained in its present form, it would have only one advantage, and that was an irresistible claim for the whole cost of education being placed upon the national exchequer, because, such counties as Essex could never satisfactorily discharge their duty with every available piece of wealthy rateable value taken out, and only the agricultural land to depend upon. For all those reasons he had no alternative, but to support the Amendment. He quite agreed that the account the right hon. Gentleman gave of the attitude of the Government upon this Bill was perfectly correct and fair, and nobody accused him of having pretended that this provision was anything but what it really was. But certainly be took it on the Second Reading that this was a detail for amendment. He looked upon this proposal as an attempt to secure the support of the representatives of those non-county boroughs. Had he regarded this point as vital on the Second Reading, he would have attacked it, but he looked upon it then as a detail which might be left to the judgment of the House without any guidance from the Treasury Bench. They protested against those small areas in 1896, and he believed their introduction killed the Bill of that year. He greatly feared that the Government were committing now, not as great an error, but something approaching it, as they did in 1896 by introducing these small areas and marking them out as fit authorities to exercise the powers under this Bill. If the right hon. Gentleman would give them his own private opinion, he felt sure he would favour county boroughs if he could get them, and if not as near county boroughs as the necessities of the case would compel him to adopt.
§ (3.42.) SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
said he desired to say a word against the Amendment on the ground that he thought all boroughs 1416 might be entrusted with at least primary education. He knew of one borough with a small population, which, from the first, had used the whisky money with excellent educational results, where that work would under this Bill be more or less destroyed. His hon. friend who had just sat down said he thought 20,000 should be the limit with the view of giving secondary as well as primary education. The Report of the Royal Commission distinctly had down that the areas for secondary instruction should be larger than for primary and elementary instruction, was distinctly a local matter. It had not been sufficiently realised that borough and urban life was distinctive in its character. A borough was generally more or less a manufacturing place, while the surrounding country was generally agricultural. His hon. friend the Member for North Camber-well had stated that the proposal in the Bill would have the effect of taking the rating plum away from the country districts, but the truth was that the educational work done in the boroughs was inevitably participated in by the surrounding district, and no differential charge was made in the boroughs for the education of children who came from the country districts. In dealing with these matters their object should be never to destroy but to build upon the existing work. He appreciated the work of the School Boards, and far be it from him to say a word against that work, but when a change was to be made in pursuance of a policy which some of them approved, that work should not be dissipated by the adoption of methods which would have that effect.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN (Stirling Burghs)
The speech of my hon. friend who has just sat down has come to me, I confess, like a refreshing breeze. Probably the reason of its refreshing quality is that he expressed the views which I have myself formed on the subject, and that is always a first necessary qualification of a pleasant speech. The hon. Gentleman has said, and I agree with him, that we should preserve as far as possible the existing educational machinery.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
For primary education that exists in those localities, however small they may be; and, therefore, because that was my strong feeling, I voted for the Amendment yesterday which proposed to except all those small communities. Having been disappointed in obtaining that, we have before us on the Paper an Amendment that the limit should be 5,000 instead of 10,000. I was prepared to support that Amendment as the next best thing; but now another hon. Member has stepped in and moved to omit the word "ten "in order to insert "twenty." I should be sorry to omit the word "ten" with the view of inserting "twenty," and, on the whole, I think I had better look upon "ten" as my sheet anchor. As the Government are prepared to give us ten, out of fear of twenty, and lest a worse thing should happen to us, I think I may support the Government in this matter.
* MR. A. H. BROWN (Shropshire, Wellington)
said the Committee would do well to take "ten," which was now in the Bill, and rely on the provision in the clause whereby, if local circumstances made any change desirable, it could be negotiated between the County Council and the Borough Council.
§ MR. LAMBERT (Devonshire, South Molton)
asked whether he was to understand that, in the event of the proposal of the Government being carried, as against the Amendment now before the Committee, they would not be able to move further Amendments on the proposal.
* THE CHAIRMAN
If the Committee decide in favour of ten, that will be the decision of the Committee.
* THE CHAIRMAN
I do not see how that is possible. The question is that 1418 the word "ten" stand part of the Bill. When the hon. Member has got rid of "ten" it will be open to him to move to insert another figure.
§ MR. LAMBERT
said they should not have much opportunity of getting rid of "ten" if the Government were still in favour of it. There was one point on which he would support the Government. He wanted to keep the boroughs in the matter of education as vigorous as possible. The hon. Member opposite had said that in boroughs of 10,000 inhabitants they did not have good education. He begged to differ from him. In his" own constituency there were excellent educational institutions, and the inspector's reports which he had in his possession testified to the satisfactory condition of education in the boroughs. He would follow the leader of the Opposition, and support the Government in this matter.
§ MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)
said he represented a constituency which would be closely affected by the Amendment. He should like to congratulate the Leader of the House on his opposition to it. He was glad the Vice-President had resisted the eloquent appeal which had been made to him to take part in this debate. They always enjoyed listening to him, but on this occasion, well—knowing how consistent he always was, and remembering the line he took in 1896, he was afraid that if he had spoken he would have accepted the Amendment. Boroughs, including small ones, had a complete and separate entity, and as such they were entitled to manage their own affairs. They elected their own local men to do so, and it was wished they had more power to have truer representative Government in this particular matter. County bodies having too large an area, did not know the wants of every local borough.
§ (3.53.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided :—Ayes, 277; Noes, 81. (Division List No. 197.)1421
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)|
|Acland Hood, Capt.SirAlex.F.||Ellis, John Edward||Lawson, John Grant|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Emmott, Alfred||Layland Barratt, Francis|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidst' ne||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud||Fardell, Sir T. George||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington|
|Allhusen, August's Henry Eden||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fenwick, Charles||Leng, Sir John|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Finch, George H.||Levy, Maurice|
|Arrol, Sir William||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Asher, Alexander||Fisher, William Hayes||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lockwood, Lt. Col. A. R.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Flower, Ernest||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Forster, Henry William||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Foster, Philip S (Warwick, S. W.||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Balcarres, Lord||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Lowe, Francis William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r.||Galloway, William Johnson||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Garfit, William||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Goddard, Daniel Ford||MacIver, David, Liverpool|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Micha Hicks||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn)||M'Crae, George|
|Black, Alexander William||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby-(Line.)||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'gh, W.|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Bond, Edward||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Green, Walford D. (W'dnesbury||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Bowles, T. Gibson,(King's Lynn)||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S. Edm'nds||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambs.)||Mather, William|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh.||Groves, James Grimble||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Gunter, Sir Robert||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Caldwell, James||Hamilton, Rt Hn Ld. G. (Midd'x||Milvain, Thomas|
|Cameron, Robert||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Mitchell, William|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Gl'sgow||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Campbell Bannerman, Sir H.||Harris, Frederick, Leverton||Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh.|
|Carlile, William Walter||Harwood, George||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H.||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Hayter, Rt. Hn. Sir Arthur D.||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Heaton, John Henniker||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Helme, Norval Watson||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Higginbottom, S. W.||Myers, William Henry|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Chapman, Edward||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Hogg, Lindsay||Nicol Donald Ninian|
|Coddington, Sir William||Holland, William Henry||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Norman, Henry|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hoult, Joseph||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n|
|Cranborne, Viseount||Hutton, John, Yorks. N. R.)||Perks, Robert William|
|Crombie, John William||Jacoby, James Alfred||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Jebb, Sir Richard Claver house||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Davenport, William Bromley||Johnston, William, (Belfast)||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Joicey, Sir James||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Kenyon, Hn. George T. (D'nbigh||Purvis, Robert|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Pym, C. Guy|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Randles, John S.|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Kitson, Sir James||Rankin, Sir James|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Knowles, Lees||Ratcliff R. F.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Labouchere, Henry||Rea, Russell|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lambert, George||Reed, Sir Edwd. James (Cardiff|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Langley, Batty||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Durning,-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Renshaw Charles Bine|
|Renwick, George||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Soares, Ernest J.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green||Spear, John Ward||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Ritchie, Rt. tin. Chas. Thomson||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich||Welby, Lt.-Col. A C E (Taunton|
|Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk||Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd|
|Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)||Whiteley, H. (Asht'nund. Lyne|
|Ropner, Colonel Robert||Stevenson, Francis S.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Stone, Sir Benjamin||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Strachey, Sir Edward||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Schwann, Charles E.||Stroyan, John||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Seton-Karr, Henry||Talbot, Rt Hn J. G. (Oxfrd Univ||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Sharpe, William Edward T.||Tennant, Harold John||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew||Thomas, J. A. (Grm'rg'n, Gower||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Thorburn, Sir Walter||Younger, William|
|Simeon, Sir Harrington||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Smith, Abel H. (Hertford. East||Tritton, Charles Ernest||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Smith, HC (N'rth'mb. Tyne side||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward||Sir William Walrond and|
|Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Valentia, Viscount||Mr. Anstruther|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E)||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||O'Kelly, James (R'scomm'n, N.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Mara, James|
|Austin, Sir John||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S)||Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Blake, Edward||Joyce, Michael||Percy, Earl|
|Roland, John||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Leamy, Edmund||Reddy, M.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Lough, Thomas||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Lundon, W.||Redmond William (Clare)|
|Burns, John||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Shaw Charles Edwd. (Stafford)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Crean, Eugene||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Delany, William||M'Govern, T.||Taylor, Theodore, Cooke|
|Denny, Colonel||M'Hugh, patrick A.||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Dillon, John||M'Kean, John||Tomkinson, James|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Walton, Joseph, Barnsley|
|Dunn, Sir William||Mooney, John J.||Whitley, J. H. Halifax|
|Edwards, Frank||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Newnes, Sir George||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.|
|Ffrench, Peter||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Young, Samuel|
|Elynn, James Christopher||O' Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'r'ry Mid.|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O' Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Gray, Ernest, (West Ham)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Dr. Macnamara and Mr.|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Corrie Grant.|
|Hammond, John||O'Dounell T. (Kerry, W.)|
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said that the point he wished to raise by the Amendment he now proposed to move was whether there was any sound reason to draw a distinction between education in urban and rural districts. Many of the urban districts were, in substance, suburbs of large towns. The district represented by his hon. friend near him was not a borough, but had all the characteristics of a great town, and except that it had no mayor, aldermen, or councillors, it was in effect a borough. There were some urban districts that had been constituted boroughs by local Acts of Parliament. While it 1422 was easy to distinguish, as a matter of law, between an urban and a rural district, it was quite clear that if one went from one part of the country to the other it would be impossible to tell where the urban districts ceased and the rural districts began. Why should a hard and fast line be drawn between the rural and the urban districts? He asked himself very often what could be the reason. He knew, of course, in regard to a largo part of England a rural district would hardly have a population of 20,000. But if a rural district in England or Wales had such a population, why were they to 1423 be treated in a different way to that in which they would be treated if they came under the technical term of "urban district?" The Government had deserted the principle which he thought underlay the Bill, and it was for them to justify this arbitary distinction.
In page 1, line 10, after the word 'urban,' to insert the words 'or rural.' "—(Mr. Brynmor Jones.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'or rural' be there inserted."
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD.;(Mr. WALTER LONG,) Bristol, S.
was unable to accede to the suggestion that rural districts with a population of 20,000 should be given the same powers as were given to urban districts. He said it was perfectly true that in the endeavour to make a distinction between the urban and rural districts, they were confronted with many difficulties. They were told the rural districts should have the same facilities, rights, and privileges, as urban districts. But though the population of urban districts varied in many ways in its character, those districts were centres of urban life. Rural districts were more often than not composed of scattered villages which had not the community of interest in local life and government that the urban districts had. He did not think the Amendment would be found practicable if adopted. Another objection was that it would destroy the work of the County Councils.
§ SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
thought there were many cases in which there was no difference between an urban and a rural district. In the case of Croydon, for instance, which was a rural district, that was a larger and more important district than many urban districts. And no doubt there were many other rural districts in the same position which would be damnified by this Bill. The population of the Croydon rural district was 40,000. As the Committee well knew, there were an enormous number of Urban District Councils for districts of under 20,000 population who were doing good work, who would now have their powers and 1424 privileges taken from them. But the argument used by the Government on this occasion was precisely the same as that used by them on other occasions in exactly opposite directions. It was one of the difficulties of the Committee that they did not know how to meet the Government. Another difficulty was that the Government would not tell the Committee whether the Act was to be adoptive or not. If it were to be adoptive, that would take away a great many of the objections now urged against the Amendment. If it was to be permissive, there could be no objection to giving rural districts of over 20,000 population power to become their own education authority, and he thought such an opportunity should be given to rural districts like Croydon and others. It had been said by the right hon. Gentleman that this would take the work away from the County Councils, but it was quite exceptional to find persons like the hon. Gentleman opposite, who was willing to become the Educational Minister for Somersetshire, to take over this work. Why should this work be forced on the County Councils when there was another body willing to undertake it? The Rural District Councils Association approved the Amendment. It would in some cases be very hard that a body should be obliged to become an Urban District Council in order to be entitled to act as an authority under this Bill. He believed that the majority of County Councils did not desire the enormous amount of work it was proposed to force upon them.
(4.23.) MR. CHANGING (Northamptonshire, E.)
supported the Amendment, although he was not in full sympathy with all its objects. He supported it because it asserted once more the principle of something like local control over elementary schools, and a retention of the local interest in the management and the administration of the schools in their particular areas. He objected strongly to the whole administrative and constructive part of this Bill, and submitted that the scheme would be unworkable unless there was some form of local control. He was strongly of opinion that the local authorities should, so far as possible, not be isolated, but ought to 1425 be fused in a stronger co-ordination. In the rural districts there should be directly elected local authorities everywhere, but there should be correlated with the central authority dealing with education as a whole in the county. He thought the progress of education would be little or nothing unless something of this kind was done. He supported the Amendment.
§ * MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
said he also wished to support the Amendment, not because he was in favour of breaking up the country into small areas, but because he thought it was grossly unfair that under the scheme the rural districts should not have the same facilities given to them as the urban districts. There was much mistrust of education in the rural districts, because the people thought their children were not taught anything likely to be of use to them. He was apprehensive that if the urban district authority were made the only authority for education, that authority would do nothing to mend the matter; but if the rural district authorities retained control, they would so direct and mould the school as to create an atmosphere of usefulnesss. They would find out what the people required, and what was a help to them, and make the time spent by the children on education a great help to them rather than the useless waste of time they now considered it was. The rural districts were quite as eager for education as the urban districts. The complaint of the rural districts was not against education, but against the kind of education they got, and if the Amendment was accepted, it would remove this evil to some extent. He emphatically denied the suggestion that there was no corporate local life in the rural districts. He believed it was just as vigorous as in the urban districts.
§ SIR W. HART DYKE (Kent, Dartford)
said that surely the hon. Gentleman opposite would not be sanguine enough to believe that those who supported the Second Reading of this Bill would accept any such Amendment as this. The acceptance of the Amendment would simply rend the Bill to pieces and make it an absurdity. The whole drift 1426 of the Amendment was in the direction of School Boards, and he was glad the Government had refused to accept it.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said the process of absurdity had already been completed. He felt it would serve the Government very well right if the Amendment were carried. It would make the Bill an absurdity, of course, but not much more absurd than it was at present in giving autonomy to municipal boroughs of 10,000 and refusing it to villages of 20,000. These villages had not been put in, not for educational reasons, but because there was no large organised backing behind their claim for autonomy. If there had been, the Committee would have found the same treatment meted out to them as was being meted out by this Bill to the urban districts. At the same time, he was bound to point out to his hon. friend that his Amendment was financially impossible. They could not have a rural area of 20,000 population which would have such a rateable value as would enable it, with a reasonable rate, to meet its elementary school needs. He must therefore oppose the Amendment.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said what they had to consider was whether the authorities which this Amendment proposed were useful authorities. He was bound to say he had not been convinced, even by the arguments of ids hon. friend the Member for South Somersetshire that they were bodies or areas which were suitable for this work.
§ (4.45.) MR. J. ACRON THOMAS (Glamorganshire, Gower)
pointed out that if the Bill was carried as it stood the western portion of Glamorganshire would be practically disfranchised so far as having any effective representation was concerned. Cardiff, where all the Committees were held, was forty or fifty miles away from his constituency, there were 50,000 or 60,000 inhabitants in the district, and the train accommodation was such that it was a day's journey to Cardiff. Under these circumstances there would not be any representation in the sense of of taking an active interest in the administration of education. Nearly a I these districts had School Boards. They 1427 had not Urban District Councils, because they had not applied for the powers, but I they were go ahead progressive places, and carried on a great deal of useful work. The School Board areas were too small, but the Government were now going to the other extreme, and education would practically be thrown into the hands of the officials of the County Council, inasmuch, as in consequence of the district being so large, it would be impossible to get representatives from the small scattered parts to attend at the central place.
MR. ABELTHOMAS (Carmarthenshire, E.)
said he should vote for the Amendment because he had always believed in School Boards, and the nearest approach to them they would now be able to get would be the Rural District Council when it became the education authority. He agreed that gentlemen at present elected to those bodies had not much to do. But if they were given the power of managing the schools in their districts they would have much more to do, and the elections from that time forth would take place very much in the same way and on the same principle as at present prevailed in regard to School Board elections. He did not believe that any authority under the Bill would ever be nearly as useful as even a country School Board, but in the hope of getting something as nearly useful as possible as the old School Boards he should support the Amendment.
§ * MR. CORRIE GRANT
thought the fact that rural School Board areas were usually restricted to a single parish had tremendously hampered the work of the rural School Boards. He did not say that the work of the rural School Boards had been universally satisfactory. He was prepared to admit that there was no worse education authority than a rural School Board composed entirely of small farmers, who hated only one thing more than education and that was a rate. He knew of a rural School Board, which, when threatened with the withdrawal of the grant unless their schools were made more efficient, said privately amongst themselves, after the Inspector's visit "Let us wait until the grant is actually withdrawn, and then we will 1428 be able to see how little we need do to improve the education and get the grant." But while there could be no general argument in favour of rural School Boards, there, were many such Boards which, especially when elected in comparatively large parishes and by labourers who took an interest in education, had done work every whit as good as that done in the big towns. Was it wise of the Government to kill the educational efficiency they already had in these rural districts? Ought they not rather to encourage it? When these localities passed under the control of the County Councils the difficulty would be that in the great agricultural districts there would not be that local control which was so essential to the success of education. A much more effective control would be exercised if the Government gave the rural District Councils a direct interest in the work. At present these councils had very little work to do; what they had was largely of a routine character and it would be an advantage to give them something which would stir them up. The Amendment as it stood was doubtless a difficult one to accept, because it needed much more to make it really effective. But the Government ought to have taken these poor rural districts into consideration when framing the Bill. One of the problems in rural districts was to find education for the higher standards. In an ordinary village with 100 children, there would not be more than three or four in the sixth and seventh standards, and there was no possible chance of those children getting the sort of competitive examination to be obtained in a big school. If parishes could be combined, and the children carried from the village to the school, as was done in America, really effective education in the higher standards might be given. The Government had not attempted to make any arrangement of educational machinery which would give a really effective area for rural districts, and enable them to get managers or I committees who would have a real interest in the education of their respective districts.
SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)
was sorry the Bill did not make 1429 it possible to group together small villages for the purposes of forming a good educational authority. The rural District Councils, as a rule, were not the kind of body to which one would like to entrust the education of rural districts, their strongest feeling being that they must keep down the rates. He hoped that, in the course of the discussion on that Bill, there might be an opportunity afforded for bringing into the authority for educational purposes local representatives such as members of Parish Councils. The rural districts consisted of areas separated from one another, and in themselves were not very well suited to the work. They were areas in which local government had received a very small impetus in a progressive sense. He should be sorry to leave to those bodies a question of such vital interest as education. While he could not support this Amendment, he hoped they would have the rural district areas placed on a better footing.
§ *(5.0.) MR. PERKS (Lincolnshire, Louth)
said he represented a large agricultural Division, and he disagreed with some of the remarks made on the Opposition side of the House in reference to the administrative work of rural School Boards. In his Division there were some eight or ten School Boards managed by farmers who were excellent men of great administrative ability, and he could assure the. Committee that it was often an intellectual treat to address and be present at meetings in the little progressive villages. He disagreed also with what had been said by some preceding speakers, as to the inefficiency of education in small villages. The public spirit of the villages in parts of Lincolnshire to which he alluded, where the education had for the last thirty years been in the hands of the School Board, was clearly distinct from villages where the education during that long period had been under the control of one or two voluntary school managers. While he regretted that there was no power for grouping the villages together he should vote for the Amendment, on the ground that a rural District Council was in its constitution the nearest approach that they could get under the Bill to the body 1430 which had hitherto, particularly in his own division, managed the educational interests in some of the villages so admirably, viz., the rural School Boards.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
, drew attention to his own county, which contained a population of 500,000 with two county boroughs, and one borough above 10,000, which would be taken out of the population. Therefore the County Council had to administer over an area extending perhaps seventy miles, and containing 150 School Boards and 350 voluntary schools. His contention was that it would be utterly impossible to administer with anything like efficiency the educational wants of so large an area. They were not told in the Bill whether there were to be more than one education authority for the whole county. Of course, if the educational authorities were to be multiplied in the form of district authorities the difficulty would be partially removed, although even then the County Council itself would have to deal with the confirmation of the acts of the educational authority. But he felt that the work in the hands of the County Council, unless it were centred in much smaller bodies, would be quite impossible for them to deal with. It was said that the district councillors were not well suited for the work of education. With that he largely agreed, but he submitted that they were very much the same individuals who composed the County Councils in many instances; and, therefore, if one was un-suited for carrying on educational work it was also a charge brought against the other. But if the District Councils were made education authorities, they might perhaps have different persons on them—people more interested in education, and he saw in this a means of getting representatives from different classes from those who at present composed the County Councils. The direct representatives of the working classes, whose children mainly attended these schools, were not likely to get upon the education authorities which would be formed under the Bill, whereas in the District Council they might possibly get some representatives on those bodies. While there were many difficulties from the education point of view, there was very much to be said for a change in the Bill such as was now proposed, and even if it "ere inconsistent with some further 1431 parts of the Bill, if it were felt to be a I desirable change, then the Bill could be made consistent with the Amendment.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire Mid)
, in supporting the Amendment, said he had never been able to see why one district had been put down as an urban district and another as a rural district. There was simply a hard and fast line. The Local Government Board, under the public Health Act of 1875, had a right to give the powers of urban districts to rural districts where desired; they were constantly giving that right and it was very seldom that the Local Government Board refused to grant urban districts that right when they asked for it. That was a sufficient reason for voting for the Amendment. They had urged that the proper plan would be to take their country districts generally and say what should be the educational districts without reference to what the boundaries were now. He desired to give some instances from the county of Glamorgan to show that he was entirely sound in his argument in support of the Amendment. There was the urban district of Neath with a considerable population and the rural district of Neath with a population of 27,000. Everybody who knew that district knew that there was no proper distinction that could be made between the Neath rural district and Neath urban
§ district so far as size and rateable value were concerned. How could the Government expect them to assent to the proposition when they were going on the one hand, merely because they happen to be called an urban district, to make them the educational authority, whereas on the other hand, in the case of the rural district, they deprived them of this local autonomy with regard to education. There was another point to which he wished to call attention. There was an urban district in Pontardawe, which had an acreage of 57,000, a population of 26,000 and a rateable value of £92,000. They had also the rural district of Pontardawe, with an acreage of 34,000, a population of 20,000, and a rateable value of £73,000. There were also various other instances of the same kind and he defied anybody to urge any definite or even a plausible reason why, in the one case they were giving autonomy to the urban council, and refusing it to the rural council. The Government bad taken haphazard these areas and drawn a hard-and-fast line, and therefore he should be happy to go into the lobby in favour of the Amendment of his hon. friend.
§ (5.13.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 86; Noes, 306. (Division List No. 198.)1435
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Fenwick, Charles||Mather, William|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Fuller, J. M. F.||Mellor, Ft. Hon. J. William|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc, Stroud)||Furness, Sir Christopher||Morley, Charles (Breconahire)|
|Asher, Alexander||Gladstone, Rt. Hn. H'rb't John||Newnes, Sir George|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Athedey-Jones, L.||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Perks, Robert William|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Price, Robert John|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Helme, Norval Watson||Rea, Russell|
|Black, Alexander William||Horniman, Frederick John||Reckitt, Harold James|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Burns, John||Button, Alfred E. (Morley)||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jacoby, James Alfred||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Caldwell, James||Joicey, Sir. James||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Cameron, Robert||Kinloch, Sir John G. Smyth||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Kitson, Sir James||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Lambert, George||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Crombie, John William||Layland Barratt, Francis||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Davies, M. Vaughan -(Cardig'n||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Leng, Sir John||Tennant, Harold John|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Levy, Maurice||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Lewis, John Herbert||Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lough, Thomas||Thomas, J. A. (Gl'morgn. G'w'r|
|Edwards, Frank||M'Arthur, Wm. (Cornwall)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||M'Crae, George||Tomkinson, James|
|Evans, Sir Frs. H. (Maidstone)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Wallace, Robert|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||Wilson, Chas. H. (Hull, W.)||Mr. Brynmor Jones and|
|White, George (Norfolk)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)||Sir Edward Strachey.|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Delany, William||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.)|
|Acland, Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Denny, Colonel||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Allhusen, Angustus H'nry Eden||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Hoult, Joseph|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Dillon, John||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fr'd Dixon||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Arnold Forster, Hugh O.||Donelan, Captain A.||Hutton, John, (Yorks, N. R.|
|Arrol, Sir William||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Jebb, Sir Richard Claver house|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Doughty, George||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Austin, Sir John||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Bagot, Capt. J. FitzRoy||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Duke, Henry Edward||Joyce, Michael|
|Balcarles, Lord||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Kimber, Henry|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Faber, George Denison (York)||Knowles, Lees|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Fardell, Sir T. George||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal W|
|Beach, Rt. Hn Sir Michael Hicks||Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)|
|Bigwood, James||Ffrench, Peter||Lawson, John Grant|
|Bill, Charles||Finch, George H.||Loamy, Edmund|
|Blake, Edward||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lecky, Rt. Hon. William Ed. H|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Fisher, William Hayes||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham|
|Boland, John||Fison, Frederick William||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bond, Edward||Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Llewellyn, Evan Henry|
|Bowles, Capt. H. P. Middlesex||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Bowles T. Gibson (King's Lynn||Flynn, James Christopher||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Forster, Henry William||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Foster, Philip S (Warwick, S. W||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Galloway, William Johnson||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Bull, William James||Garfit, William||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Bullare, Sir Harry||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Lundon, W.|
|Butcher, John George||Gilhooly, James||Macdona, John Gumming|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Gl'sg'w||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn)||MacIver, David (Liverpool)|
|Garble, William Walter||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Gorst, Rt Hon. Sir John Eldon||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Maeonochie, A. W.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Goulding, Edward Alfred||MacVeagh Jeremiah|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||M'Govern, T.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Green, Walford D (Wednesbury||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Greene, Sir E. W (B'ry S Edm'nds||M' Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)||M'Kean, John|
|Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Gretton, John||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Chapman, Edward||Groves, James Grimble||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Gunter, Sir Robert||Maxwell, W. J. H. (D'mfrssh're|
|Clive, Capt. Perev A.||Guthrie, Walter Murray||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Middlemore, Jno. Throgmorton|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nd'rry||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hammond, John||Milvain, Thomas|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Han bury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Mitchell, William|
|Colomb, Sir. John Charles Ready||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Mooney, John J.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron,(Glasgow||Harwood, George||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh|
|Crean, Eugene||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Gripps, Charles Alfred||Hayden, John Patrick||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Heaton, John Henniker||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Henderson, Alexander||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)|
|Davenport, William Bromley-||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Myers, William Henry||Ratcliff, R. F.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxfd Univ|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Reddy, M.||Thornburn, Sir Walter|
|Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Redmond, John E. (Waterford||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Redmond, William (Clare)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Reed, Sir Edw. James (Cardiff)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Renwick, George||Valentia, Viscount|
|Nussey, Thomas Willans||Ritchie, Ht. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|O'Brien, James F. A. (Cork)||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|O'Brien, Kendal, (T'pp'rary Md||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunt'n|
|O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Ropner, Col. Robert||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Round, James||Whiteley H (Asht'n-und.-Lyne|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|O'Kelly, James (Roscomm'n, N.||Samuel, Harry S. (Lime house)||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|O'Mara, James||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|O'Neill, hon. Robert Torrens||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Ed. J.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Seton-Karr, Henry||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N)|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Penn, John||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Worsley-Taylor Herny Wilson|
|Percy, Earl||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. R. Stuart-|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard||Smith, H. C (North'mb Tyn'side||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Plummer, Walter R.||Spear, John Ward||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich||Young, Samuel|
|Power, Patrick Joseph||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)||Younger, William|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stanley, Lord (Lanes)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Purvis, Robert||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Pym, C. Guy||Stroyan, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Sir William Walrond and|
|Randles, John S.||Sullivan, Donal||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Rankin, Sir James||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
*(5.30.) MR. CHAINING
said that the Amendment he had on the Paper was to leave out "twenty" and insert "ten." There might be, he said, certain technical and administrative points in which boroughs required more consideration than urban districts; but for the purposes of education it seemed to him that the urban districts stood on precisely the same footing as the boroughs. The Bill as it stood gave to every municipal borough containing 10,000 inhabitants the right to decide its own educational future. If that was just he failed to see why similar considerations ought not to be accorded to urban districts with numerically the same population. In his own constituency there was the urban district of Wellingborough with a population of 19,000, and another urban district with a population of 13,000. rapidly growing. Why should these places not have local autonomy in regard to education as well as municipal boroughs? In these towns there were highly efficient School Boards, there was a strongly progressive educational spirit, and splendid schools had been built at great cost to the rates, 1436 and the Progressive School Boards had again and again been re-elected to carry out this policy. He had himself been called on to fill the place of the Vice-President on opening, in Wellingborough, one of the most admirably designed and splendidly equipped Board Schools in the Midlands. Yet such towns were called upon to surrender their local independence. At Wellingborough there was a technical institute, a grammar school, and a third grade modern school. He entirely agreed that the town and the county should be co-ordinated in regard to education, and especially as regards secondary education; but he maintained that if such towns were refused local educational autonomy, the highest interests of education would not be served. In the county of Kent, represented so worthily by his right hon. friend the Member for Dartford, there were urban districts like Dartford itself, with nearly 19,000 inhabitants, Bexley, North fleet, with nearly the same population, and Sheerness, with nearly 19,000, an important seaport town, all of which had highly efficient School Boards and had always shown a disposition to equip 1437 themselves for the development of education; and yet the Bill as it stood would exclude them from having local educational autonomy, while the little borough of Faversham, which had never formed a School Board or shown the slightest wish to make sacrifices for education would be a separate authority. The same argument applied to many urban districts in the West Riding of Yorkshire, in the counties of Durham, Warwick, Stafford, and Derby, in many of which there; were at present School Boards, and where the population took a very active interest in education. In many of these the population was just under 20,000, but they were excluded, while small boroughs like Durham would be left autonomous. There was one point of supreme interest to which he wished to allude and which it was most important to clear up. The Urban District Councils which had powers as to Part III under this Bill would change their rating basis from the poor law rating basis, the basis on which their present School Board rates were levied to the rating basis under the Public Health Act under which there were heavy exemptions. He would ask the First Lord of the Treasury whether he could deal with this question and make the basis of rating uniform.
* THE CHAIRMAN
said that the question of rating was not then under discussion, and the hon. Gentleman was therefore not in order.
§ * MR. CHANNING
said he hoped to have another opportunity of expressing an opinion on that point. He would merely ask the right hon. Gentleman, in view of the absolute impossibility of drawing a distinction between the urban districts and the municipal boroughs, whether he would give favourable consideration to the Amendment. He begged to move.
In page 1, line 11, to leave out the word 'twenty,' and insert the word 'ten.'"—(Mr. Channing.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'twenty' stand part of the clause."
§ (5.45.) MR. WALTER LONG
said there was no doubt it was largely 1438 true, as had been said by the hon. Gentleman, that it was difficult in the case of this Amendment to distinguish between many of these boroughs and urban districts, and if it had been possible to deal with the matter by way of selection in these particular cases, it would have been a more just method. But that was impossible. All that the Government could do was to follow precedents, and deal with this matter on the general lines of the policy proposed in the Bill. The object of the Government had been to avoid, as far as possible, the multiplication of separate areas, and leave the question in the hands of the County Councils, except in the case of specific boroughs. He did not agree that Urban District Councils were more progressive in this matter than Borough Councils. He did not hesitate to say that in the majority of the boroughs there was a keener and more active interest in local life and a more general feeling of responsibility than would be found in an urban district governed by an Urban District Council. But the Committee must remember that there was a very great difference between a borough and an urban district. The corporation of a borough represented the whole of the local life of the borough, an Urban. District Council only dealt with the sanitary requirements of the district. There was all the difference in the world, between the local position and the responsibility of a chairman of an Urban District Council, and that of the mayor of a borough and the corporation over which he presided. If the Government were going to put an entirely new law on the country with regard to this matter, such a suggestion as that made by the hon. Gentlemen in his Amendment would perhaps be practicable; but in this case they had to take the boroughs as they found them. In the Act of 1888 certain exceptions were made in favour of boroughs which were not made in the case of other councils. He did not suggest that the distinction was one which could be defended on general logical grounds, but, on general policy, it was very desirable that this distinction should be made.
* SIR WALTER FOSTER
said he was sorry to hear the announcement just made by the President of the Local Government Board. He regretted the 1439 right hon. Gentleman had not had the courage in this case to create a precedent. He did not agree with the view the right hon. Gentleman had taken as to the progressiveness of the boroughs; he believed the Urban District Councils were infinitely more progressive, and it was only natural that they should be. The boroughs were, as a rule, communities which had not increased with the times, but the Urban District Councils were young and vigorous communities which had been created in growing industrial and other localities. He knew instances where the Urban District Councils were so interested in the question of education and had such efficient secondary schools that the people of the neighbouring boroughs sent their children there for the purposes of higher education. These urban districts of over 10,000 population were in many instances not only good administrators of primary education and paid high school rates, but paid for and administered secondary and technical education, which showed they were excellent administrators of public work. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman should suggest that they did nothing else except look after the sanitary condition of the district.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
said he did not suggest anything of the sort. What he said was that they were the sanitary authority and had no general powers. They did their work admirably. He only disputed the fact of their being better local bodies than the Borough Councils. They could not do this work, because they had not the power, unless it was given to them by fresh legislation.
SIR WALTER FOSTER
pointed out that in many cases Urban District Councils had come to the House for special powers, and having obtained them had used them well. Many lighted their districts better than the great city of London was lighted, for instance. Surely these local bodies for which he was now pleading as educational bodies deserved sympathy. Many of the School Boards in the small urban districts were as efficient as any in the country, and when there was educational enthusiasm of that kind 1440 among those who administered education, and were anxious to promote the educational efficiency of the country, this power should not be taken from them. He thought it was retrograde to take away from them the authority to promote education in their locality.
§ (5.58.) MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE Somersetshire, E.)
said it was easy to pick out cases of progressive Urban District Councils, and argue from those that the number controlling the education of the district should be smaller than that mentioned in the Bill. But it was equally easy to pick out backward boroughs, and argue that they should make the number not lower, but considerably higher. It was not surprising that the hon. Gentleman, who had opposed everything that was done by the County Councils, should now contend that Urban District Councils would make far better local authorities than the County Councils. But he would be surprised if the Government further whittled away the principle of their Bill by assenting to this Amendment. He thought that they had gone far enough already. After all, the local authorities must delegate the management and control of their schools. To his knowledge, wherever County Councils saw local enthusiasm in education, they were, only too happy to encourage it, and to put as much power as they possibly could into the hands of the local authorities. Where these bodies had rated themselves highly for local education, there the wise County Councils had met them with an equal grant out of the whisky money to show their appreciation of the excellent work they had done. The whole position of education would be far better surveyed by the larger authority in the interests both of the urban and the country districts.
§ * MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)
, as one who agreed with the general principle of the Government's scheme, municipalising education, urged that as the Bill stood it would destroy the present keenness for education which existed under the School Boards in many urban districts. There was only one urban district in the 1441 West Riding of over 20,000 population, but there were twenty-six with less than 20,000, and many of those twenty-six urban districts were extremely important places. With regard to these important authorities, he desired to ask what the effect would be. The managers would be exclusively chosen in future by the grace of the County Council, and consequently all local interest would fade. There were many on the Liberal side of the House who were in favour of the general control by the municipalities as against an ad hoc authority, but they were not satisfied with the provisions of this Bill as it stood. If, however, the Government were to say that, while keeping the County Council as the controlling authority, they would allow the local authority to select the greater part of the managers of the schools, and so maintain local keenness, then many Members on his side would refuse to support the Amendment, and would be ready to bring even the whole of the non-county boroughs and the whole of the urban districts under the county authority.
§ MR. ASHTON (Bedfordshire, Luton)
said the President of the Local Government Board had informed the Committee that there was greater local life in boroughs than in urban districts. The right hon. Gentleman did not state the reason for it, but the reason was not far to seek. Greater responsibility was placed on the shoulders of the boroughs, and people took greater interest in local affairs because of the greater responsibility placed upon them. He supported the Amendment on that ground, and because he thought that in the matter of elementary education they wanted the support of the people. Nobody would take any interest in. elementary education until they had some interest in the control of it, and this Amendment was to take the responsibility off the County Councils and place it in the hands of these small borough and District Councils. As a County Councillor, he felt that a great burden was going to be placed on the County Councils. Every County Councillor was not such a whale for work as the hon. Member for East Somerset seemed to be, and he thought this burden should not be cast upon them against their will. 1442 At the present moment the most important thing for the country was secondary education, which had rightly been placed on the County Councils, and if this burden of elementary education was cast upon them he felt the secondary education would go to the wall.
* THE CHAIRMAN
said the hon. Member was taking a general view; he must confine his remarks strictly to the Amendment.
§ MR. ASHTON
said he was only anxious to shew the reason why in his opinion these local authorities should be reduced to a size consistent with efficient work. There was another reason why the authorities should be smaller than those proposed by the Bill. He believed if they were to have local interest in education they must give the people of the locality control over education. Instead of that, they were giving the control to the County Councils, which would delegate the elementary education in districts to a Committee which had no knowledge whatever of the needs of the various districts. The result would be either that they would nominate some of their own body, men not elected for educational purposes, or they would be selected on sectarian grounds. It was more especially on the ground of the necessity of local interest that he pressed his case for the smaller local authorities. People could not be driven into taking an interest in education; they must be led; and the great need of the country was that they should be led to take that interest. Under the voluntary school system the interest in education had been very small. He could quote two boroughs; in one there was nothing but voluntary schools, and the interest taken in elementary education was practically nil. The inhabitants had been accustomed to a few people keeping up the schools, and they had never taken that active interest which an appeal to the pocket always aroused. The other was the borough of Luton, where, with a most excellent School Board, the interest of the people in education was quite phenomenal, simply because they had the control of their own educational system. For the 1443 reason that he desired to see the local areas reduced he should support the Amendment.
§ (6.18.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said the question here was not whether or not they were in favour of one authority. That principle had been thrown over by the Government, and they ought now to proceed on some logical, reasonable, and practical system. Why should not a man be considered just as fit to manage his own school whether he lived in one district or in another with half the population? The President of the Local Government Board had said that the Town Councils had had greater experience, that they had more important functions to discharge, and were therefore better equipped for the purpose. It was not necessary to point to individual or exceptional cases; the question for the Committee was whether as a rule the urban districts of 15,000 were not more progressive and enterprising and prepared to spend more money on the developement of local institutions than the sleepy old boroughs of 10,000 inhabitants. Reference had been made to four districts in Kent—one of which was Faversham. Who ever heard of anything Faversham had done for technical or even primary education which had been quoted as an example for other boroughs to follow I In the same county there were progressive little towns of 15,000 which were not incorporated, doing their best for education, and yet Faversham, which did nothing, was to be an autonomous district, while these others were not.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that might be, but it was a defective system. Then there was the case of Penarth, a very intelligent and progressive suburb of Cardiff. It had a population of about 15,000, but it would not be autonomous, whereas, other boroughs in the same county, which could not be compared with it in the sacrifices they made for municipal institutions, would be allowed to control their own schools under this Bill. The provision also made a difference in rating between the man in a 1444 town of 10,000 and the man in an urban district of 15,000. In the town he would be rated on the basis of the public health, and in the urban district on the basis of the county rate. He objected altogether to that distinction, and would be glad to know on what ground it was defended by the Government.
§ * MR. H. J. WILSON (Yorkshire, W. R., Holmfirth)
desired to support the position taken by the hon. Member for the Elland Division with regard to the schools in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He knew some of the districts extremely-well, and fully agreed as to the zeal for education shown by the School Boards, and the excellent work they were doing in those places. There was no reason why they should be put at a disadvantage, as compared with such boroughs as those to which the hon. Member for Carnarvon had referred. In the West Riding, at all events, a cruel wrong and injustice would be done if these thriving, vigorous districts were not given a fair chance to carry on the excellent work they had been doing so well in the past.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)
asked what was the real distinction drawn by the Government between the capacity and incapacity of a community because it happened to be incorporated? A sort of theological element was being introduced in the matter. The sacred principle of the one authority had been abandoned, so that what might be called the moral character of the Bill was entirely changed. Every day some new authority was being discovered, and each one tended to crib, cabin, and confine the single authority. But why among this multitude of authorities should these inviduous distinctions be introduced? The right hon. Gentleman seemed to think that his ingenious statements were answers.
§ SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT
said there was a difference between an answer and a statement which evaded the point. Why should a community, simply because it was incorporated, be more 1445 capable of discharging the duties under this Bill than one which was not incorporated? If the right hon. Gentleman would give them an answer, and also give the grounds for arriving at that conclusion, he would be throwing more light upon the subject than it had yet received.
§ *(6.30.) MR. CORRIE GRANT
thought the question before the Committee at the present moment seemed to be a very narrow one. It was not now a question as to what was the best area for educational administration, but simply a question between boroughs and district councils. Why where district councils to be treated 100 per cent. worse than boroughs? The President of the Local Government Board said that in his wide experience he found that boroughs were better for the work of administration than Urban District Councils. He also stated that boroughs had wider powers than Urban District Councils. He wished to know what were the powers which ordinary boroughs possessed which were not possessed by Urban District Councils? The main distinctions were that the boroughs had a mayor and aldermen, and that women could not be elected on a Town Council, while they were eligible for election to an Urban District Council. The only power that some boroughs had was the control of their police, but the small boroughs almost invariably had their police controlled by the counties.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
There is no limitation practically to the expenditure by a Corporation, but an Urban District Council is limited by statute, and every penny it spends is subjected to the audit of the Local Government Board. Boroughs above 10,000 inhabitants have the right, and in many cases exercise that right, to employ their own police, and make their own police arrangements, while Urban District Councils have not that right.
§ * MR. CORRIE GRANT
thought the right hon. Gentleman had strengthened his argument. Those boroughs, according to him, were competent to do their own work, and ought to be distinguished from the Urban District Councils. The 1446 general proposition made by the right hon. Gentleman was not supported by the cases he had given. The point of the audit was distinctly against the right hon. Gentleman. Surely he did not maintain that the audit of the boroughs was better than the audit of the Local Government Board?
§ MR. WALTER LONG
The audit of the boroughs is a totally different thing altogether. In the urban districts the audit is held to ascertain whether the expenditure has been according to law.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said the right hon. Gentleman's contention again supported his argument. The audit in a borough was made by auditors appointed by the Town Council of the borough, and he would appeal to any hon. Member who had had any experience of the administration of public bodies, to confirm his statement that an audit in an urban district council was a better audit than in the boroughs. He challenged the right hon. Gentleman for an illustration of powers. What the right hon. Gentleman said was that these small boroughs had wider powers than the Urban District Councils. In cases where Urban District Councils had been asking for a Charter of Incorporation, the answer given to them was, as a rule, that they could do everything as an Urban District Council which they would be able to do as a borough, the difference being merely that in the case of a borough they would have a mayor, aldermen, and councillors, but they would not have any additional effective instruments of administration. The right hon. Gentleman's experience in matters of this kind was far wider than that of any other person in the House. The Local Government Board was constantly having experience of authorities who would not act up to their powers, and they had to be forced on by the Local Government Board, more especially in sanitary matters. He should like to ask the President of the Local Government Board if he found the boroughs more ready and progressive in sanitary administration than urban districts? Then there was the further argument that Urban District Councils were, not entirely, but very largely, the natural extensions of the big towns. Often they fringed round the big cities, 1447 and got a great deal of effective work from men whose business was in the city, but who lived in the surrounding district. In this ease, surely there could be no argument for putting a higher limit to population in urban districts than in boroughs. The hon. Member for South Somerset did not justify the distinction made between the two. Now that the Committee had accepted 10,000 for boroughs, he thought they ought to accept the same number for Urban District Councils.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
I do not propose to elaborate the points which have been already put to the Committee, with considerable force, on behalf of this Amendment, but one cannot have listened to the debate for the last few hours without drawing one or two morals. I should think that the Government must be rather disheartened now about the provisions of their own clause. If this proviso is to work the same mischief in practice as it has done in debate, the worst apprehensions of those who dislike it will be more than realised. The hon. Member for East Somerset spoke of this as a compromise made in the interests of peace. All I can say is that it has not brought peace hitherto. It is quite true, as my hon. friend behind me has said, that this is a narrow point. But it is really the fault of the Government for taking such a narrow view in resisting this Amendment. It is the resistance which they are offering to this Amendment that has introduced this narrowness into the debate. The right hon. Gentleman says that the Government have not abandoned their principle of one authority. They may not have abandoned it, but they have made a breach in it, and have opened it to attack. Personally, I do not like the proviso, and the Amendment, I think, will make it worse. But the real authors of the Amendment are the Government themselves, for they are responsible for having got themselves into this narrow position. Unless the Government are prepared to reconsider their position with regard to the whole of the proviso, they cannot be surprised that attempts will be made to force upon their attention the logical conclusion of their own action.
§ (6.45.) COLONEL PRYCE-JONES (Montgomery Boroughs)
said he did not 1448 see why urban districts should not be equally protected with municipal boroughs. He thought it could not be denied by any Member of the House that it was perfectly absurd that an Urban District Council representing 19,000 should not have the powers in the matter of education which were possessed by a borough of 10,000 because it happened to have a Charter dating back to the time of Charles I. Hon. Members were aware that it was very difficult for urban districts to get a Charter. As representing urban rural districts, he was bound to support an Amendment which would place Urban Districts Councils upon the same footing as Municipal Councils.
§ MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
said the President of the Local Government Board had brought procedent into the question in supporting the proposal in the Bill. He challenged the right hon. Gentleman to name a single precedent in any Act of Parliament for what was proposed in regard to urban districts of 20,000 inhabitants. So far as he knew there was not a jot or tittle of foundation for the statement that there was precedent for the proposal. The Gentleman at the head of the Local Government Board ought to be more qualified than others to distinguish between the duties of Borough Councils and Urban District Councils. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the Urban District Councils had only sanitary duties. He was entirely mistaken. If he would take the trouble to look up the Public Health Act, he would find that they had powers far beyond mere sanitary matters. He would find that in all essential particulars the modern Urban District Council had identically the same powers and duties as a Municipal Corporation. There was no reason for making this distinction between boroughs and urban districts.
§ MR. KEARLEY (Devonport)
said the proposal in the Bill would have a peculiar effect in his own constituency. The township of Stonehouse, which was an urban district, with a population of 15,000, had educational facilities in the way of board schools. The inhabitants took great interest in the school board elections, but what would happen under this Bill? The 1449 educational interests of this urban district would be turned over to the management of gentlemen at some distance from the place, and he did not think that would be for the advantage of the schools. He gave this particular illustration to show what would be the effect in his own constituency, but it should be borne in mind that this case was not singular, and that there were anomalies of a similar character in other places. He would support the Amendment.
§ divided. Under the Technical Instruction Act, 1889, an urban authority was in the same position as a Borough Council. What reason could be suggested for departing from the policy of Parliament in 1889, and drawing this distinction between a borough with a population of 10,000 and an urban district with a population of 10,000? The argument appeared to him to have gone in favour of abolishing that distinction, and he should vote for the Amendment.
§ (6 58.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 284; Noes, 101. (Division List No. 199.)1453
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton||Foster, Philip S. (Warwick. S. W|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Chapman, Edward||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Garfit, William|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Lond.|
|Allhusen, August's Henry Eden||Coddington, Sir William||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Coghill, Douglas Harry||Gilhooly, James|
|Ambrose, Robert||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Arkwright, Joseph Stanhope||Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Gosehen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Arnold Forster, Hugh O.||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Atkinson, Right Hon. John||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Greene, Sir E W (B'ry S Edm'nds|
|Austin, Sir John||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cranborne, Viscount||Gretton, John|
|Balcarres, Lord||Crean, Eugene||Groves, James Grimble|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Guthrie, Walter Murray|
|Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Ban bury, Frederick George||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lrd G. (Midd'x|
|Barry, E.||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hammond, John|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Davenport, William Bromley||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Delany, William||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfrd|
|Bathurst Hon. Allen Benjamin||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Dickson-Poynder, Sir J. P.||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Bigwood, James||Dillon, John||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Bill, Charles||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.|
|Blake, Edward||Donelan, Captain A.||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Henderson, Alexander|
|Roland, John||Doughty, George||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Bond, Edward||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset. E.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brights'de|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Dyke, Rt Hon. Sir William Hart||Houlds worth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Elliot, Hon A. Ralph Douglas||Hoult, Joseph|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shrops.||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham)|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Faber, George Denison (York)||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Fardell, Sir T. George||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Campbell, Rt Hn. J. A (Glasgow||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Ffrench, Peter||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies|
|Carlile, William Walter||Finch, George H.||Jebb, Sir Richard Claver house|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Fisher, William Hayes||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Fison, Frederick William||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Joyce, Michael|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Flynn, James Christopher||Keswick, William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Forster, Henry William||Kimber, Henry|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ.||Knowles, Lees|
|Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth)||Myers, William Henry||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Lawson, John Grant||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Leamy, Edmund||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Lee, Arthur H, (Hants., Fareh'm||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Smith, HC (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Lowe, Francis William||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Strait, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Lucas, Col. Eras. (Lowestoft)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Lucas, Regd. J. (Portsmouth)||O'Malley, William||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Lundon, W.||O'Mara, James||Talbot, Rt Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Thornton, Percy M.|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Parkes, Ebenezer||Valentia, Viscount|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Peel, Hon. Wm. R. Wellesley||Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Penn, John||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|M'Govern, T.||Percy, Earl||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|M'cIver, Sir Lewis (E'inburgh, W||Pierpoint, Robert||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|M'Kean, John||Plummer, Walter R.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (T'nton|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Power, Patrick Joseph||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Pretyman, Ernest George||Whiteley, H (Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Maxwell, W J. H (Dumfriesshire||Purvis, Robert||Wills, Sir Frederick|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Pym, C. Guy||Wilson, A. Stanley (York. E. R.|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Wilson, J. W. (Wo'rcestersh. N.)|
|Mitchell, William||Reddy, M.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Redmond, John E (Waterford)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B Stuart-|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Mooney, John J.||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Renwick, George||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|Morgan, David J. (Walth' stow)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Young, Samuel|
|Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Younger, William|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Morton, Ar. H. A. (Deptford)||Ropner, Colonel Robert||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Sir William Walrond and|
|Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Duncan, J. Hastings||Lambert, George|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc, Stroud||Dunn, Sir William||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Asher, Alexander||Edwards, Frank||Leng, Sir John|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Evans, Sir Francis H (Maidstone||Levy, Maurice|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn Herbert Henry||Fenwick, Charles||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Lloyd-George, David|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Furness, Sir Christopher||Lough, Thomas|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall;|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Crae, George|
|Bell, Richard||Grant, Corrie||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Black, Alexander William||Green, Walford D (Wednesbury||Markham, Arthur Basil|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Mather, William|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William||Milner, Rt. Hon. Sir Frederick G.|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Harwood, George||Newnes, Sir George|
|Caldwell, James||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||Norman, Henry|
|Cameron, Robert||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Helme, Norval Watson||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Holland, William Henry||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Cremer, William Bandai||Jacoby, James Alfred||Perks, Robert William|
|Crombie, John William||Joicey, Sir James||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Kearley, Hudson, E.||Price, Robert John|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Kitson, Sir James||Rea, Russell|
|Reid, Sir R. Thresbie (Dumfries||Soares, Ernest J.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Spear, John Ward||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Robson, William Snowdon||Strachey, Sir Edward||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Runciman, Walter||Taylor, Theodore Cooke||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Russell, T. W.||Tennant, Harold John||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford||Thomas David Alfred (Merthyr||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Thomas, JA (Glamorg'n Gower)|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Tomkinson, James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.||Mr. Charming and Mr.|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||Trevelyan.|
§ (7.15.) SIR EDWARD GREY
said he wished to move an Amendment to omit the word "shall" in order to insert "may with the consent of the council of the county," which, he admitted, would affect the operation of the entire proviso, because instead of its being absolute it would be conditional. It was decided in the first part of the clause that the authority for education should be the County Council. His hon. friend the Member for North Camberwell preferred an ad hoc authority altogether, but he did not agree with him. However, he would rather have an absolutely ad hoc authority supreme in its area than the compromise which was now proposed. What he wished to ensure was that the County Council should have a fair chance if it was to be the educational authority, and that holes should not be made in its area without its consent. The First Lord of the Treasury admitted that the proviso would operate differently in different areas, and that in some areas it would impoverish the County Council because it would detach the richer districts out; but if it were to operate like that the County Council ought to be the judge. He was quite prepared to admit that in some areas the proviso might work well, but some elasticity should be introduced. It might be argued that without the proviso the County Council would be overburdened and not fit to manage education, but, in his opinion, the County Council would be far more competent than the authority in a borough or an urban district. At any rate the County Council should have power to delegate its authority as much as it pleased. Even if this proviso were eliminated altogether, the County Council would still have ample power to delegate authority, and set up machinery wherever it pleased. The hon. Member for South Islington argued that the Committee should be most careful to preserve any authorities which 1454 were doing good work, and he defended the proviso on the ground that it would ensure the continuance of such work. The hon. Member was willing that the machinery should go, but he thought that the good work which was being done should be preserved by the proviso. Why? Because in some of the urban districts there were men who were trained in educational matters and who were efficient, active and zealous. He maintained that the County Council should not be deprived of the assistance of perhaps the most intelligent and keenest men in the country. He wished that the County Council should have a wide choice, and he appealed to the First Lord of the Treasury as to whether he would not consider the introduction of some amount of elasticity into the proviso in order to enable it to be accommodated to different districts. The County Council should be given the option as to whether the proviso should be put into operation or not. He himself dreaded its operation from the point of view of education, and he was speaking solely from that point of view and was not considering any particular area. He had heard no answer as to the mischief which the proviso would work in certain districts if it were left absolutely as it stood. It would be some relief if the Vice-President of the Council, who had not yet said a word on behalf of the proviso—he trusted the right hon. Gentleman's attitude of reserve was limited to the proviso—would, speaking from the point of view of an educationalist, say something which would lessen the apprehension which was felt regarding it.
In page 1, line 11, to leave out the word 'shall,' and insert the words 'may, with the consent of the Council of the county.'"—(Sir Edward Grey.)
§ Question proposed, "That the word 'shall' stand part of the clause."
§ EARL PERCY (Kensington, S.)
said that the Amendment of the hon. Baronet was undoubtedly of very great importance, and a great deal might be said in favour of it. If they had been regarding the Bill simply and solely from an educational standpoint and no other, personally he should have voted against the proviso, but he did not vote against it because, as practical people, they knew very well that if the proviso were cut out the chances of the measure becoming law would be very seriously endangered. He thought there was a great deal of reason in the argument that if they cut out the proviso they would lay themselves open to the charge of ignoring the valuable work which had been done in urban districts and boroughs in the past, which constituted one of the greatest guarantees for the elasticity and variation in the educational system of the country which it was so eminently desirable to maintain. On the other hand, by keeping the proviso in, everyone would admit that they very seriously diminished the authority, the power of co-ordinating education, and the financial resources of the central authority; and it seemed to him that the compromise suggested by the hon. Baronet opposite afforded a very reasonable basis on which they might agree. It laid down the assumption that, other things being equal, the smaller areas should have a certain claim to autonomy, and on the other hand it left the absolute decision of that question to the central authority. He hoped, therefore, that if the Government could not see their way off hand to accept the Amendment, they would, at all events, consent to postpone their decision until the Report stage.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he had voted against the proviso because it cut clean across the face of the one authority scheme, and gave no fewer than 327 authorities. The Amendment, however, as the noble Lord had said, provided a compromise which might enable them to agree. The longer the discussion went on the fewer appeared to be wedded to the one authority scheme, and he believed that in the end, 1456 he himself would be its sole active supporter. He thought, however, he had the Vice-President with him, though the right hon. Gentleman would not admit it. The aim of the Vice-President in 1896 and of many hon. Members at present was that the County Council should be paramount. It could consider the general educational needs of the county, and decide whether a particular borough or urban district should, or should not, have autonomy. The Amendment provided a compromise between the supporters of the one authority scheme and hon. Members who considered that political expediency required the inclusion of the proviso. They could not allow, particularly with the option in the Bill, a very wealthy small district, which might be an old municipal borough with a large number of endowments, to contract itself out of its obligations towards the whole of the county. If the County Council had a general controlling power it would be in a position to have regard for educational efficiency rather for political expediency. The acceptance of the Amendment would involve no particular sacrifice on the part of the Government. In 1896 municipal boroughs of 20,000 inhabitants were only admitted under great pressure, and the Government then flatly refused urban districts of 20,000 inhabitants. He did not know whether the Government were rather afraid to face the urban districts and non-county boroughs if the control were given to the County Council. He did not know that the urban districts or the non-county boroughs would have any reason to complain. Why should they have absolute autonomy in a matter for which they were not prepared to pay. He strongly objected to the smaller boroughs being allowed to contract themselves out of their obligations to the county, and he appealed to the Government to accept the Amendment as a compromise.
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.