§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee)
§ (2.35.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
Will it lie in order to move the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for the Stretford Division of Lancashire in his absence?
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)
said he would do so. The Amendment proposed that the local education authority might supply or aid education, other than elementary, with the funds placed at their disposal—Provided that no amount shall he charged on the rate, unless a sum has been contributed by the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury,and that the amount raised out of the rates should not exceed a rate of 2d, in the pound. What he wanted to secure was that there should be some arrangement by which secondary education obtained definite assistance from the Imperial Exchequer at the same time that that was aided from the rates. When last the point was under discussion he ventured to propose that Imperial aid should come after the 2d. rate had been levied by the local authorities. When they had expended their own funds to that extent, then it might be regarded that they had discharged their duty to the children of the locality, and they might fairly call upon the Imperial Exchequer to give some assistance towards education other than elementary. The Amendment, as the Committee would see, loft the question open; it did not suggest what sum was to be contributed by the Treasury, but it laid it down clearly that there should be sumo Imperial contribution. That was probably the most convenient way of raising the question, and he was told it was the only possible way of doing so.
318 Amendment proposed—In page 1, line 23, after the word 'that,' to insert the words 'no amount shall be charged on the rates unless a sum has been contributed by the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury, and that.'"—(Mr. Carrie Grant.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL on EDUCATION (Sir JOHN GORST,) Cambridge University
said that the Amendment was a very ingenious one. It was intended to pledge the Government to give an aid grant in respect of secondary education. That was contrary to the manner in which the assistance given by the Imperial Exchequer to education was usually dispensed. In the case of elementary schools no grant was given in aid of rates except under the Act of 1897 for the relief of poor School Board districts. If that Act was repealed no grant would be given from the Imperial Exchequer in aid of elementary education; and no grant had been given in respect of secondary education. He was aware that the case of Wales was different, but it should be remembered that very large assistance was given to secondary education on the same principle and in the same manner as assistance was given to elementary and technical education—namely, by grants to schools out of the Exchequer in proportion to the scholars they teach and the subjects taught. Complaint was made in some quarters that the grants already made for education were too large. Speaking op behalf of the Board of Education he must say that the aid granted already for secondary education did not err on the side of illiberality; they were very liberal, but then a good deal of useful education was promoted. Still, if anything, the administration of the fund was too lax rather than too severe. On the grounds that the Amendment established an entirely new principle in the case of England, and that the aid already-given to secondary education was sufficient, the Government asked the Committee to reject the Amendment.
(2.45.) MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea, District)
said he did not like the exact form of the Amendment, because it simply provided that some 319 sum might be contributed by the Imperial Exchequer for the purposes of elementary education. If the words were left thus, it was obvious that the grant of a small and insignificant amount—say of £100—might be said to satisfy the conditions laid down by the Amendment. Again there was no limit as to the amount which the Treasury might insist on being expended out of local funds before making a grant from Imperial sources. He thought it would be better, therefore, to amend the Amendment by leaving out the word "a" after "unless," and substituting for it the words "an equal." It would then read "no amount shall be charged on the rates unless an equal sum has been contributed, etc." He thought that would be a fair solution of the question. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to the Welsh precedent as something entirely exceptional. So it at present, but inasmuch as the Welsh precedent had been entirely successful, and had resulted in the creation of a system of secondary or intermediate education equal to that which existed in any other part of the United Kingdom, and equal also to that which existed in France and Germany, surely it ought not to be urged as an argument against the Amendment. He did not wish to lengthen the debate by going into the general question. They all appeared to be agreed that the object should be to create a system of higher education in England such as that which existed in Wales, and to a certain extent in Scotland. That would not be attained unless the principle of his Amendment was accepted, or unless they were going to sweep all existing endowments for secondary education purposes into the net of the Education Department.
Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment,To leave out the word 'a,' and insert the words 'an equal.'"—(Mr. Brynmor Jones.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."
SIR EDWARD STEACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
said he had intended to move a somewhat similar Amendment. But he 320 rose mainly to protest against the statement of the Vice President of the Council with regard to Welsh Technical Education.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
said that before it was accepted he would like to point out that the principle of equal grant was going a great deal further than the Welsh Act. It would not only embrace the intermediate schools and similar institutions but also, the evening schools, which were, already largely subsidised by the Exchequer, to almost three-quarters of the then cost.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
added that it would also apply to higher grade schools and training colleges, and would involve an enormous drain on the Treasury. The effect of it would be to cripple the new authority, for they could not levy any rate for the purposes of secondary education until they were met by an equivalent sum which might or might not be provided by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in years to come. It was suggested that local authorities would not be anxious to levy new rates, but what greater encouragement could there be for them to abstain from doing so than the excuse that no Treasury contribution was forthcoming.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said he was sorry the right hon. Gentleman had not allowed them to amend the Amendment as proposed, because then they could have discussed the complete Amendment. Would he agree, for the mere purposes of debate, to the insertion of the words.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
do not object to that at all.
Question put, and agreed to.
321 Question proposed, "That those words, as amended, be there inserted."
SIR EDWARD STRAHEY
said he desired to protest against the suggestion involved in the Vice President's statement that the unfortunate agricultural ratepayer in England should be deprived of assistance which was given to his fellow ratepayer in Wales. He never heard a more extraordinary assertion made by any Minister of the Crown than that the Government were willing to place the unfortunate agricultural ratepayer at a disadvantage in regard to technical education as compared with his fellow ratepayer in Wales. It was suggested that it would be a serious matter to call upon the Exchequer to give the English ratepayer a grant equivalent to that received by the Welsh, but was it not also a serious matter for the ratepayers themselves. He believed that if the point were conceded, it would be an inducement to local authorities to rate themselves for secondary education, for they would appreciate the fact that for every penny of their own money they spent they would get an equal sum from the Exchequer.
MR. BAETLEY (Islington, N.)
sad the Amendment raised a serious question—namely, the competition of the private adventure schools. By the scheme of the Amendment, schools would be started, many of which would be in competition with existing efficient secondary schools. That meant that sooner or later those schools would be done away with, and it also meant an enormously increased expense, which was not wanted in anyway, for secondary education. There would be every inducement for local authorities to rate themselves in order to get the Imperial Grant, and the ultimate result would be that a great number of highly efficient, well-conducted secondary schools now carried on by private enterprise, would practically be killed, and the whole cost of education would be thrown on the public purse. To that he strongly objected.
§ *(3.30.) SIR WILLIAM MATHER (Lancashire, Rossendale)
said he did not think the right lion. Gentleman had been well advised, in the interests of 322 education, in resisting this Amendment. There were many places in England where schools would be required for secondary education, which would exhaust the whole of the 2d. rate permitted by the Bill as it now stood, and those places might have many other educational projects for which they might desire to rate themselves. Naturally they would enter into those projects with greater heartiness if they were assured of a contribution from the Treasury. The right hon. Gentleman should remember that in England at the present time secondary education had actually been starved, and if he threw upon the ratepayers the levying of the rate allowed by this Bill up to the hilt, they would give pause before they embarked upon such a project. This Amendment would encourage them, for if the Government would contribute a sum equal to a rate levied locally they would then be found willing to throw into the development of education an amount of zeal which would have a great effect upon the country.
MR. MIDPLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)
said he felt that this was an important Amendment, and he was bound to say that he warmly supported it. The broad principle of the Amendment was embodied in the recommendations of the Royal Commission. He quite understood that the First Lord of the Treasury, on the Second Reading of the Bill, agreed to the principle, but said that the occasion had not arisen, because the whole question of local taxation had to be reviewed. The end of the South African war was the proper time to do this. Our industries, and the manhood and womanhood of this country, were suffering from this lack of education, and this country was becoming more or less a by-word, not only among the great nations of the world, but also in our Colonies. As a rule we dealt with matters when they became urgent. In a matter of this kind England could not afford to continue living on her reputation. Our industries had been supported by cheap labour, and by taking women into industries they had been robbing the nursery of the services of these women. Efficiency could not be established without ', secondary education, and therefore he 323 felt that this was a question of national importance, and worthy of national recognition by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Surely the Chancellor of the Exchequer could spare a sum equal to one week's cost of the war in South Africa, which would be an excellent investment, for there would be no scandals connected with it.
§ MAJOR RASCH (Essex, Chelmsford)
, as the representative of a rural district, said that what agricultural Members wanted to do to-day was to save the Government from themselves. The Government posed as friends of the agricultural interest because the Chancellor of the Exchequer had reduced the duty on offals. He wished to know what was the use of putting half-a-crown in a man's pocket with one hand and taking five shillings out with the other. Upon this question the drum ecclesiastic had already been beaten somewhat vigorously in the division he represented, and if t-he Bill fell through ho anticipated that ho should have a bad half-hour with his clerical friends. They wished the Government to treat them with fairness and justice, and not put upon them heavier burdens.
§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)
said that this concession financially did not amount to much. This proposal would give to secondary education a really large increase of money for the national exchequer. The changes hitherto made by this Clause had practically resulted in no serious increase to the resources of the local authorities. At first sight it looked as if the proposal would result in a limitation of the rate, but they were compelled to look at it from a different point of view and consider that almost any Government would be forced to accept the local standard of the necessity for secondary education. Therefore this was a compulsory equivalent grant, and it would so work out in a very short time. This was one of the biggest questions they could discuss, and ho could not help feeling that, to some extent, the House had lost sight of the bigness of the question which it was discussing at take present time. He represented a great northern industrial district. Some time ago the Duke of Devonshire was speaking about this Bill in the autumn, and he said 324 that what he wanted was to got the popular wind into the sails of the Government in order to drive the education ship forward. The Government had not tried to get the education wind into their sails. The real feeling was not on the question of elementary education, but the crying need all over the great commercial districts was for secondary and commercial education. If the Government would really appeal, not to the ultra-economists, as they were now appealing, but to that part of the population which felt intensely the necessity for secondary and commercial education, he was sure they would get that wind into their sails which the Duke of Devonshire had asked for. He thought some of them were justified in going back to the fundamental reasons as to why we wanted more money spent upon secondary education, and as to why this Bill was brought in at all. It had been brought in because of the danger which was threatening the industrial supremacy of this country. It did not matter what part of education was looked at, the extent of the backwardness of this country could be shown in various directions. He would like to read some statistics just to remind the Committee of the position we were in as compared with other countries.
* THE CHAIRMAN
The hon. Member will be rather trespassing on the indulgence of the Committee if he enters upon that comparison. This Amendment raises a very limited subject, and the hon. Member cannot raise the whole question of secondary education upon it.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
said it seemed to him that the Committee had rather lost sight of the larger side of the question. They were not satisfied with simply getting an extra £10,000 or £20,000 out of the Government by the compulsory application of the whisky money to secondary education, for they were looking forward to something enormously bigger than that. He thought he was right in saying that in nearly all the States of America, or at any rate in thirty of them, they had got their resources for all kinds of education provided, and about one sixteenth of the revenue of the land of the different States was set apart for 325 educational purposes. They know the extent to which Germany was ready to give, from, national and also local resources, to secondary as well as primary education. What he wished to enforce was that they wanted a big way of dealing with this question, and the only big way of dealing with it was to give to localities practically unlimited powers of enterprise, and to back up that enterprise by encouraging them from national resources.
§ * MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)
said he agreed with the Chairman that the question they were discussing was an extremely limited one, but still it involved the very important principle whether an object which was admittedly a national object ought to be paid for entirely out of the rates or whether the State should contribute a portion of the expenditure. Ho was greatly surprised at the opposition of the Government to this demand. It appeared to him reasonable and proper in itself, and he had not yet heard from the Government a reason for the distinction they drew between secondary schools on the one hand, and elementary schools on the other. Why was that distinction made in the Bill? Secondary education was admittedly for a national object, and therefore primâ facie it ought to be met, partially at all events, out of national funds. He had never yet heard the reason why the Government with held in the case of secondary schools the concession which they had made in the case of elementary schools, viz:—assistance from national funds. Under the Bill secondary schools were to be paid for entirely out of the rates. It might have been said that originally Clause 2 was entirely voluntary with regard to the provision of secondary education, but that could not be maintained any longer. He defied anybody to argue, and still loss to prove, that the provisions for secondary education in the Bill at the present moment were not practically compulsory, but whether any hon. Member might differ from him on that point or not, it was absolutely certain that the whisky money under that Clause could not be used for anything else. He wished to hear what was the ground upon which the Government 326 refused to accept the extremely reasonable Amendment now before the Committee, and what were the grounds on which they made, what appeared to him, the most arbitrary distinction between the two kinds of education. He had not the least desire to sec the Bill wrecked. There was nothing ho should regret more than that. If his right hon. friend would listen to the appeals made from both sides of the House, and provide in this Bill, in the case of secondary education, as, it had done already in the case of elementary education, a fair contribution from national funds, he believed as far as this House was concerned at all events, all, or the greater part, of the difficulties would disappear. His right hon. friend would enormously facilitate the passing of the Bill if ho would make the just concession now asked.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
This has been a very interesting debate, and a good many noteworthy points have been developed in the course of it. My right hon. friend who has just sat down, and my hon. and gallant friend the Member for the Chelmsford Division implored the Government to accept the Amendment be—cause it would relieve the local ratepayer. The hon. Member for the Elland Division implored the Government to accept the Amendment because it would greatly increase the amount spent on secondary education. Well, both of these arguments cannot be true would venture to point out to the House that we really arc not arguing the Amendment on the Paper at all, but some ideal Amendment which hon. Members would like to see substituted for it. The hon. Member for the Elland Division, and my right hon. friend the Member f or the Sleaford Division, regard the Amendment as a means of exacting money from the Treasury, and if it is so, the Amendment would be out of order, as it would be little bettor than a device to evade one of the best known and best understood of the Standing Orders of the House, and in the upholding of that Order should say that all economists would be glad to support the Government, It has been argued that this Amendment makes it mandatory on the Treasury to spend money on secondary education, and a comparison is drawn between this Amendment and a provision in the Welsh Education Act. They are entirely 327 different, and not only different, but entirely opposed. The provision of the Welsh Education Act says to the locality: "You spend money up to a halfpenny, and the Government will also spend money up to a halfpenny." That is no doubt a very good way of promoting local expenditure on education—local enterprise for the promotion of secondary schools. But what is this Amendment? It says that the localities shall not spend anything out of the rates until the Government have contributed something. This is actually brought before the House by a gentleman who speaks in the name of education as if it were a great educational Amendment. It does everything that an Amendment ought not to do. It puts it absolutely in the power of the Government of the day to stop everything being done by any locality in education, and it centralises the whole system of education. If you put the whole responsibility, on the central Government of starting their contributions, they, of course, will take care that education is controlled in all respects, according to their views and wishes. That is precisely a situation I do not wish to see adopted; and as an educationist, I say, with all the conviction of which I am master, that nothing can be worse, in the present indeterminate condition of the problem of secondary education, than to throw the whole determination of that problem into the hands of the central authority. I do earnestly trust that the House will not accept the Amendment, which, if accepted in this form, would be ruinous to education. May I remind the House that when I am pressed to ask my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer for a still further contribution in regard to this Bill, he has already made very large and liberal contributions to these various authorities for educational purposes, andlet me add simply, in conclusion, that to say that nothing is given from central State sources to secondary education is a complete and thorough illusion. The whole of the whisky money is a contribution from central sources, and in addition there are science and art grants to secondary schools at the present moment to the amount, I think, of half-a-million of money a year.
§ SIR JOSEPH LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington)
said he looked upon this Amendment with a certain amount of suspicion. It paid that—No amount shall be charged on the rates unless a sum has been contributed by the Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury.That he understood to mean that the counties and county boroughs would be deprived of their rating powers if the Government decided to give them a grant. Under these circumstances he hoped his hon. friend would withdraw the Amendment.
§ (3.27.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said this was rather an awkward Amendment. Undoubtedly the effect of it, if carried, would be exactly what they wanted it to be. It would force the Government to face the question of the equivalent grant. The First Lord of the Treasury could cure the situation now if he would do what he had been asked to do, and that was, take a money resolution with respect to which hon. Members could move readjustments without transgressing the rules of order. Non - official Members wanted to raise the question of the equivalent grant, and the only way they could do it was by forcing the Government to face it. It was really not such a serious matter as the Vice-President of the Council seemed to assume. The right hon. Gentleman said they must remember that all the schools affected by the Cockcrton judgment had been thrown on the rates under this Clause, and then he proceeded to answer his own argument by saying that three - fourths of that expenditure fell now on the Treasury. As a matter of fact it was more than three-fourths, and so far from the present proposal imposing an additional burden on the Imperial Exchequer it would give it relief. The Cockerton judgment was all in favour of the equivalent grant, and not against it. The question was, were they really going to get a good system of secondary education built up in this country unless the Treasury was prepared to do its duty by those schools? The question of rating was at the root of the whole matter. The rates in towns were running up to 7s., 8s. and 10s. per £1. They could not expect a place that was rated 7s. in the £1 to raise a rate for 329 secondary education. The only way to induce them to do it was by getting this contribution from the Treasury. When a church or a chapel wanted to raise money, invariably one man came forward and said he would give £5000, or whatever the sum might be, if the rest of the members would raise an equal sum. It was the theological precedent they wanted; the Treasury ought to say "if you give a penny, we will give a penny," and then education would prosper. They ought to appeal to all the weaknesses of human nature, and enlist them in favour of education. The secondary schools which would be organised under this Clause would appeal to a totally different class from that to which they ought to appeal. It was the class now educated in the venture schools. What was wanted was a system of schools in which they should get pupils whose parents could not afford to send their children to venture schools. What was happening in Wales? They had eighty secondary schools, which was proportionally better, according to population, than in Germany. Take Baden, which had about the same population as Wales There were only sixty-eight secondary schools. This was largely done with the equivalent grant and the whisky money, and in those schools five out of every seven pupils came from the primary schools. There was nothing of that kind in England. If the same success obtained in England in regard to secondary education as in Wales there would be 120,000 pupils in the public schools, nearly 100,000 of whom would have come from the primary schools. How much would that do for a country like this, which was in the throes of a great commercial crisis? He fully admitted that they were taking the only course open to them to force the Government to give an equivalent grant for secondary education. The rating system was at the root of the whole difficulty. If a part of the burden were transferred to the Imperial Exchequer something might be done for secondary education in England. An hon. Member had advocated the principle of a per capita grant, but that was not the system in Wales. What was wanted was a system which would not merely stimulate secondary education in the 330 towns, which could take care of themselves, but which would stimulate it in the rural districts; and if this Bill passed in its present form that would not be secured. The farmers in England were struggling very hard to make both ends meet, and they would not put 2d. or 3d. on to the rates to educate—not their sons, but the sons of artisans and their labourers. If we only stimulated secondary education in the rural districts we should beat Germany, because higher education was very backward in the rural districts of Prussia. Secondary education in the rural districts would do more to solve the problem of agricultural distress than anything else. A per capita grant was not sufficient for the rural districts. The way to help the rural districts was not to make a grant in respect of every child who attended the classes, but to make a grant in proportion to the sacrifice the parents were prepared to make. There were young ladies' schools which went to the County Council and asked for a grant of £40 or £50, but the instruction they gave to their pupils was not secondary education. In Merionethshire there was a greater proportion of children receiving secondary education, according to population, than in Prussia, and, with the exception of one mining district they were all in the rural districts. He besought the Government to transform this Bill, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make an equivalent grant, so as to induce the people of England to build up a fine system of secondary education.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W. R., Pudsey)
said he entirely agreed with the last speaker. This was not so much an educational as a rating question. In his judgment the effect of this Bill in creating the County Councils, and the County Borough Councils, the educational authority would be to starve elementary education; and he was also convinced that if this Clause was carried in its present form it would inevitably starve secondary education. He had been a Member for fifteen years of an educational committee of a County Council, and he was quite convinced that a twopenny rate was quite inadequate, He had 331 heard Members of the County Council ask, time after time, when precepts were presented, whether they had not the power to refuse to pay them. Rates in his district had gone up from 4s. 4d. to 7s. in the £1, and a similar increase had taken place under all local authorities, and how could they expect Borough Councils and County Councils to superimpose an their ordinary burdens, which were already heavy enough, more than 2d. for secondary education? He quite agreed with what had fallen from the Leader of the House, that if this Amendment were carried it would, in some measure, arrest the progress of secondary education. At the same time, would it not be possible for the Government to give a contribution from the Imperial Treasury towards secondary education, which was an absolute necessity in face of what was being done in this direction in other countries?
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said that it was admitted that this Amendment raised the question under the consideration of the Committee in a somewhat inconvenient form. Of course his hon. friend was bound to take an early opportunity of urging the duty of the National Treasury to make a contribution towards secondary education. A large contribution had already been promised, which was to be devoted exclusively to elementary education. The case of Wales, so ably put by the hon. Member for Carnarvon, emphasised what was true, that if they wished to induce the local authorities to assist secondary education there was no better way of doing it than by giving them a grant from the Imperial Treasury. Although the State already made a considerable contribution towards technical instruction in the form of the liquor money, yet, considering the amount of funds available for elementary schools, the Government could not deny that very strong arguments had been put forward in behalf of a larger contribution from the Central Treasury for secondary education. He doubted, however, whether his hon. friend would gain anything by pressing his Amendment to a division.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)
said that he would support the Amendment. He thought the Government would expedite the debate if they would accept the course recommended by educationists on both sides of the House. He had been strongly impressed by the argument of the hon. Member for North Islington as to the difficulty about the competition between State and private schools. He, however, believed that the County Councils would recognise the service which had been done by the better class of private secondary schools. For these reasons he hoped the Government would assent to the Amendment.
§ MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)
said the position was that under the Bill as it stood every farthing as regarded the additional expenditure rendered necessary for secondary or technical education must come from the rates, and the same applied also to the branches transferred from the primary to the secondary bodies under the Bill. The proposition in this Clause was one which could not be justified in principle. He would not go back to the fact that it was contrary to the report of the Royal Commission. What he wished to point out was that there was that neutrality to the disadvantage of the ratepayers as matters stood, and this Clause would increase that inequality. Of course he was assuming that this Clause would not be a dead letter. Take as an illustration the case of the undenominational teachers' college. How could that be said to be a local service of which the local ratepayers ought to bear the burden? If they wanted undenominational colleges they must provide the funds from some other source, and they could not expect the rates to bear the whole of the burden. The result of all this would be that they would not get these teachers' colleges at all. His object as regarded this Amendment was not to discourage education, either secondary or technical, but to encourage it. Under the Bill, as it stood, without some provision that the Imperial Exchequer would provide such a national service, this proposition would be a dead letter as regarded this Clause, for they would not have improved technical or enforced secondary education, and they would not 333 have these teachers' colleges, He supported this Amendment, not on the ground that he objected to the rates being used at all, but he objected to there not being a proper contribution from the Imperial funds, and to secure that he thought the rates ought to be used to a limited extent. That was the view of the Royal Commission. When they were dealing with a national service, a proper account for the national expenditure should be provided by the National Exchequer, and that was a proper principle to adopt. He would not refer to the Welsh Intermediate Act, but that was a precedent. Everybody admitted that the Welsh system worked admirably and economically, both financially and educationally. By this Amendment they offered an inducement for aiming at a higher level of educational efficiency, for they gave a grant just in proportion to the local effort made. It was a perfectly proper principle to adopt in order to bring about an educational reform, which they all desired, because they could not expect people to pay for a national service out of local funds.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)
said that this was the greatest question which could be raised in connection with this Clause, because it was a matter of ensuring the organisation of secondary education in England upon a proper basis. If the Committee missed this opportunity of dealing with the question, a grave national mistake would be made. Why did the Welsh Committees one by one adopt the Welsh Intermediate Education Act? Simply because of the stimulus of a Treasury grant. Without this stimulus, in some of the poorer counties of Wales they would not have had a system of intermediate education today. Welsh Members
§ had no particular interest in this Amendment, and in supporting it they were really penalising themselves, but the Welsh people would have to pay their share while they would not receive an equivalent grant. Therefore the attitude of Welsh Members on this question was something more than disinterested. Owing to the success of the system in Wales they felt that they did not wish to withhold for a moment longer the advantages of a good system of secondary education for the masses and the middle-classes in England, and they wanted other portions of the country to have the same advantage which Wales enjoyed. He asked the First Lord of the Treasury to give this question his serious consideration and to reflect that unless such an inducement be given to the English counties a great many of them would not adopt a system of secondary education at all. Consequently this Bill, which was intended to be a great Education Act, would fail in one of its most important aims and objects. He believed hon. Gentlemen opposite wished to make this Measure an Education Bill in the real sense of the word, but the Bill would fail in one of its most important objects unless the Government insisted upon having a system of secondary education properly organised in England as in Wales.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
said that if he thought the Amendment would effectively carry out what they desired he would divide the Committee upon it, but it was obvious that the Amendment would not effectively do this and with the permission of the Committee he would withdraw it. [Cries of "No, no."]
§ (3.58.) Question put.
§ The Committee divided. Ayes, 137; Noes, 203. (Division List No.251.)337
|Abraham, William(Cork, N. E.)||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Duncan, J. Hastings|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Cawley, Frederick||Dunn, Sir William|
|Austin, Sir John||Channing, Francis Allston||Edwards, Frank|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Elibank, Master of|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Craig, Robert Hunter||Emmott, Alfred|
|Black, Alexander William||Crombie, John William||Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)|
|Boland, John||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Farquharson, Dr. Robert|
|Brand, Hon. Arthur G.||Delany, William||Finch, George H.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Denny, Colonel||Flavin, Michael Joseph|
|Burt, Thomas||Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Flynn, James Christopher|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Foster, Sir Michael(Lond. Univ.|
|Caldwell, James||Donelan, Captain A.||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)|
|Cameron, Robert||Doogan, P. C.||Fuller, J. M. F.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Crae, George||Scott, Chas. Prestwich(Leigh)|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Shaw, Chas. Edw. (Stafford)|
|Grant, Corrie||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Hardie, J. Keir(MerthyrTydvil||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Harwood, George||Mappin, Sir Frederick. Thorpe||Stevenson. Francis S.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Markham, Arthur Basil||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Middlemore, Jno. Thr gmorton||Thomas, Abel(Carmarthen, E.)|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Thomas, Alfred(Glamorgan, E.)|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Murphy, John||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Thomas, JA (Glamorgan, Gower|
|Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Tomkinson, James|
|Howard, Jno.(Kent, Faversham||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Toulmin, George|
|Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)||Tully, Jasper|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Connor, James(Wicklow, W.||Ure, Alexander|
|Jones, David Brynm's(Swansea||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire||O'Dowd, John||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N||Wason, JohnCathcart(Orkney)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Labouchere, Henry||Palmer, SirCharlesM.(Durham||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Lambert, George||Paulton, James Mellor||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Layland-Barratt, Francis||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)||Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Leamy, Edmund||Pease, J. A. (Sadffron Walden)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Leng, Sir John||Percy, Earl||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Lloyd-George, David||Rea, Russell||Wood, James|
|Lough, Thomas||Reckitt Harold James||Woodhouse, SirJ. T(Huddersf'd|
|Lundon, W.||Reddy, M.|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Rickett, J. Compton||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Robson, William Snowdon||Mr. Cripps and Sir|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Russell, T. W.||Edward Strachey.|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. SirAlox. F.||Coghill, Donglas Harry||Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin & Nairn|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Gore, HnG. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Colourb, SirJohn Charles Ready||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cranborne, Viscount||Greene, SirE. W(B'ryS'Edm'nds|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Gunter, Sir Robert|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hain, Edward|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Dickson-Poyndor, Sir John P.||Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashf'rd|
|Balfour, RtHnGeraldW.(Leeds||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.)||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Dorington, Sir John Edward||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Heath, James(Staffords. N. W.|
|Beach, RtHn. SirMichacl Hicks||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Helder, Augustus|
|Bill, Charles||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside|
|Bond, Edward||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Hornby, Sir William Henry|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Houldsworth, Sir Win. Henry|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Hoult, Joseph|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F.(Middlesex)||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ. (Manc'r||Hozier, Hon. James HenryCecil|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Fisher, William Hayes||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A(Glasgow||Fison, Frederick William||Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton|
|Carew, James Laurence||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. II.||Fitzroy, Hon. Ed ward Algernon||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Kennaway, Rt Hon. SirJohnH.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire||Flower, Ernest||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Foster, PhilipS(Warwick, S. W.||Kimber, Henry|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r||Galloway, William Johnson||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Chapman, Edward||Gardner, Ernest||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)|
|Coddington, Sir William||Godson, Sir AugustusFrederick||Lecky, Rt. Hn. WilliamEdw. H|
|Lee, ArthurH(Hants., Fareham||Penn, John||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Stroyan, John|
|Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Long Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S)||Purvis, Robert||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Pym, C. Guy||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Randles, John S.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G(Oxf'dUniv.|
|Macartney, RtHn. W. G. Ellison||Rankin, Sir James||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Thornton, Percy M.|
|M'Iver, SirLewi-(Edinburgh W||Reid, James (Greenock)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Renshaw, Charles Blue||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Richards, Henry Charles||Valentia, Viscount|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Ritchie, Rt. HR. Chas. Thomson||Vincent, Col Sir C. E. H(Shefli'ld|
|Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Ropner, Colonel Robert||Whiteley, H(Ashton-und-Lyne|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacv||Round, James||Williams, RtHnJPow'll-(Birm.|
|More, Robt. Jasper(Shropshire)||Reyds, Clement Molyneux||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Morley, Rt. Hn. John(Montrose||Rutherford, John||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)|
|Mount, William Arthur||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath|
|Muntz, Philip A.||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Murray, RtHn A. Graham(Bute||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Seely, Maj. J. E. B(Isle of Wight||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Myers, William Henry||Seton-Karr, Henry||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Simeon, Sir Barrington||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Pease, Herbt, Pike(Darlington)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)||Mr. Anstruther.|
§ *(4.12.) MR. JAMES HOPE (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
said the Amendment which he proposed to move was to leave out the word "authority" in order to insert "council of a county." The object of the Amendment was to remove the limit of rating for secondary education in County Boroughs, but would not enlarge upon this Amendment, for the reason that the hon. Baronet the Member for North-West Manchester, a master of the subject, would set forth all the reasons for it.
Amendment proposed—In page I, line 23, to leave out the word 'authority,' and insert the words council of a county."—(Mr. James Hope.)Question proposed, "That the word authority stand part of the Clause."
§ SIR WILLIAM HOULDSWORTH (Manchester, N. W.)
said it would be noticed that this was not an Amendment like the last, which asked for contributions from the Imperial Exchequer; it simply asked that county boroughs should have the right to rate themselves for the purposes of secondary education. Whatever arguments he could advance in justification of a limit being placed on other authorities, he Could not think that those arguments 338 would apply to such localities as county boroughs. The work of secondary education in county boroughs must necessarily assume very much larger proportions than it did in other localities, which would have large areas and large populations to deal with, and which he would hope in some way or another would have sufficient funds for their work. It was I evident that the county boroughs had a duty placed upon them by this Bill which they would have a great difficulty in fulfilling if they were kept within anything like the limits of the Bill. The county boroughs had unlimited power to rate for several purposes, and he did not know that that power had ever been abused. Whatever view might be taken of the action of the School Boards, he did not think there was any danger whatever of the county boroughs running riot on the question of education. He thought perfect freedom should be given to the county boroughs in this matter of secondary education; they had shown very great enthusiasm, and many of them had expended large sums of money on technical schools, and in everything that was practically secondary education. The consequence was they were in the position that they had already gone to the utmost extent in their power of rating at the present moment, and therefore any 339 additional duties that would be placed upon them by the transfer of the higher grade schools and evening continuation schools, would place them in the difficult position that they could not carry out those duties without greater rating powers than they would have under the Bill. This Amendment proposed to give them perfect freedom in the matter. The Committee would be able to distinguish between the authorities of large county boroughs and some of the others referred to in the Bill. The figures with regard to Manchester were very startling. If he interpreted the Bill aright, the proper discharge of the additional duties under the Bill would mean, even with the 2d. rate, a deficiency of £17,000 or £20,000 a year. Assuming that the 1d. rate for technical education was to be merged in the 2d. rate, the Council of Manchester, to carry out their work efficiently, would certainly require a 4d. or 5d., or even a 6d. rate. They had been much to the front in regard to technical education, and it would be a thousand pities if anything was done which deterred them in the work. They had the ratepayers behind them, and there was no danger of their doing anything foolish or imprudent. The object of the Amendment was to leave the county boroughs perfectly free to levy any rate that might be necessary for the proper discharge of their duties, the County Councils remaining under any limit the Committee might think proper to impose. It might be said that the Amendment should go further. That, however, was a matter for subsequent consideration, but certainly a distinction could be drawn in the case of county boroughs.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. WALTER LONG,) Bristol, S.
said the proposal in the Bill might be taken, as a whole, to meet the case of the larger boroughs. By it the Government recognised a difference on the part of some of the larger and more self-contained authorities, which were better able to realise their own requirements, and more frequently to bring them before their own constituents, than was the case in the country districts. At the same time the Government recognised that a very general claim had been made by the representatives of the larger boroughs for greater freedom, and also that those 340 boroughs had done very excellent work, and, on the whole, could be thoroughly trusted to exercise a wise discretion as to the amount of rate they should levy for secondary education. The Government, in accepting the Amendment, however, did so with the clear understanding that there was a definite distinction between the position of county boroughs and other urban districts in the scheme of the Bill. The county boroughs were created the authorities for education—they stood by themselves, and the Government offered no objection to this extension of their powers, but to carry the Amendment further would enormously complicate the whole scheme. There was another reason for dealing with the county boroughs somewhat differently. By the present Bill the Technical Instruction Acts would be repealed, and the power to levy the 1d. rate for technical instruction would disappear. The rate which the local authorities were able to raise under those Acts would be raised to the 2d. rate under this Bill, and that would create a discrepancy as between the respective positions of the comity and the non-county boroughs. The Government were therefore prepared to accept the Amendment.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
while grateful that the Government had gone so far, was sorry it had been thought necessary to impose any limit whatever. The ratepayers, and not the House of Commons, were responsible for the expenditure of rates. That was the position taken up by the Government in 1897.
* THE CHAIRMAN
pointed out that the question of limitation of the rate had been discussed and decided in a previous Amendment; it could not, therefore, be raised on the present occasion.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said the decision of the Government rendered it unnecessary for him to state the results of inquiries he had made as to how the county boroughs would have fared under the 2d. rate, but he might say that places like Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham, would all have had deficiencies of from £5000 to £10,000 a year.
§ SIR. JOSEPH LEESE
said that some Members could not be held as agreeing to the terms of the concession if it definitely excluded non-county boroughs.
Amendment agreed to.
§ (4.25.) MR. FULLER (Wiltshire, Westbury)
in moving to omit all words after "exceed" in line 25 to the end of line 26, and to insert "such rate," expressed the hope that the Amendment would be read in conjunction with that of the hon. Member for Rossendale to substitute the Board of Education for the Local Government Board as the authority to fix the amount of the rate. There were two schools of opinion with regard to this Bill, one of which held the view that the County Councils would go in for boundless extravagance, while the other, to which he belonged, believed the danger to be not in the extravagance, but in the apathy of the County Councils. The main danger was not that they would spend too much, but that they would spend too little. The effect of the Amendment would be in strict consonance with the intention of the proviso—viz., in the direction of economy. Both of the schools of opinion to which he had referred, ought to support the Amendment, because it would bring the local education authority into close touch with the central authority. The Leader of the House had expressed himself as opposed to any proposal which would hamper the independence and liberty of the County Councils. His own belief was that if the Government would not give the County Councils the money to proceed with a proper policy of secondary education they would have to bring some form of pressure to bear, or the country would get no secondary education at all. The Return showed that in the counties of England £470,000 was spent upon technical education. All that came out of the whisky money, with the exception of a paltry £433, which was drawn from the rates. His point was that the new education authorities would have a long way to travel before they could work up to a policy of a 2d. rate in aid of the higher education. This Amendment would establish a policy by which the central authority would be able to say to the County Council 342 "We have had no application from you to levy a rate for secondary education, and the Board of Education wish to know what your County Council is doing in the matter." He was perfectly certain that unless some Government pressure was brought to bear, there were many counties where Part II. of the Bill would be practically inoperative in the future. They had today a system which would establish a permanent inequality of opportunity in different parts of the country. He had taken at random three wealthy counties, Lancashire, Durham, and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The existing county rate over those three counties was 4⅓d. Take the next three poor agricultural counties, Buckinghamshire, Wiltshire, and Hertfordshire, where the rate was 1s. 0¼d. as compared with 4⅓d. in the larger counties. Unless the Government took powers under this part of the Act to bring pressure to bear on these backward counties, they would have no secondary education at all in a great many of them. For these reasons he begged to move the Amendment standing in his name.
Amendment proposed—In page 1, line 25, after the word 'exceed,' to leave out to end of line 26, and insert the words 'such rate.'"—(Mr. Fuller.)Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. WALTER LONG
thought the arguments which had been used by the hon. Member appeared to be more in favour of the principle contained in the previous Amendment, rather than the Amendment now under consideration. The hon. Member suggested that the Board of Education should be substituted for the Local Government Board, but the Board of Education had not the means, or the staff, to hold the inquiries which were necessary to see whether the proposed expenditure was reasonable or not. Then there was the proposal that the county authorities should be given unlimited discretion, subject to the control of the Local Government Board, which was to be called upon to hold inquiries and to 343 decide whether there should be an increase of expenditure or not. This would throw an amount of work upon the Local Government Board which he did not think the hon. Member could realise, and on behalf of the Government he was obliged to ask the Committee to reject the proposal, which he did not think was in the interests of the localities and would not be the result which was desired, of having some central Department to push the local authorities forward along the path of secondary education. He thought some distinction ought to be made, and he held that inquiries by a Government Department were altogether impracticable.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
said he was perfectly willing to grant that with regard to inquiries about rates there was a very strong case for trusting to the Local Government Board rather than to the Education Board. He was inclined to think that some hon. Members would ask why they were to bring in a Government Department at all to perform what he understood was to be the duty of the new Education Authority, and which was to be trusted as to the amount it was going to raise for educational purposes. This was quite a different matter to those questions in connection with which Government inquiries were now held. The real question was whether they were to trust the local authorities or not. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman in charge of this Bill, or the President of the Local Government Board, could complain of the representatives of large County Councils if they rather protested against being treated in a different manner. If anything, there was the danger which his hon. friend had described, that some counties might be rather backward. Some counties might desire to be too forward, but he supported this Amendment upon one broad ground, and that was that if they called large bodies of this kind into existence they ought to have confidence in them. Night after night from hon. Members opposite they had repeatedly heard this argument. Whether any particular county had acted wisely or not was not so very germane now, because, up to the present time, the County Councils had not had any clearly defined duty or power conferred upon them of 344 supplying secondary education. Where the County Councils did act, they did so with the fear of Mr. Cockerton before their eyes, and, therefore, nobody could find fault with the Councils for having acted with extreme prudence in the matter. They had been asking for years that English counties should be placed in the same position as Wales with regard to secondary education, and if the Bill did this, he believed it would be found that the County Councils would do their duty.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)
said he did not think that his noble friend quite appreciated the effect of this Amendment, because, far from giving them more independence of action, it would tie their hands. Now surely no friend of local government ought to make such a proposal.
§ LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE
said an Amendment would subsequently be moved striking out the reference to any Government Department.
§ MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE
said that even if any reference to a Government Department were struck out, what would be the position then? The County Council would be unable to levy any rate for the purpose of secondary education without a Provisional Order. That was not a position in which the County Councils ought to be put. He had too much knowledge of the feelings of the country ratepayers to fear what had been said with regard to the amount they would spend, but at the outset it was necessary not to unduly alarm the country ratepayers. He believed that a, two-penny rate, or even a penny rate, would meet all immediate demands. It was obvious, if there was to be a division at all, there must be some moans of giving elasticity to the limit. It would enable a County Council in an exceptional position, such as the West Riding of Yorkshire, to apply to get a higher limit than that laid down in the Act. He would suggest that when that was the case, they need not resort to the cumbrous machinery of a Provisional Order. Surely the consent of a responsible Government Department, given after proper inquiry, ought to be a sufficient safeguard where a higher rate was demanded. He believed 345 it was, an unprecedented thing that a local authority should only be able to raise a. higher rate, when it had gone through all the formalities required by the passing of a Provisional Order through Parliament. There was a provision, no doubt, in respect of borrowing powers, which was somewhat analogous to this. When a County Council had raised loans equal to one-tenth of the assessable value of the whole county, there was a provision in the Local Government Act of 1888 that the amount could only be increased by Provisional Order. He conceived that that was the precedent which the Government had followed in this case. There was a remarkable difference in the two cases. The raising of large loans affected posterity, but the rates levied only affected the present ratepayers, and surely they might be trusted to a great extent to look alter themselves. By referring to Clause 14 of the present Bill hon. Members would find that the amount to be raised by the Bill was not altogether within limits. But anyhow it was contrary to all the principles of local government to say that the County Council should not raise the rate to any extent whatever without going to a Government Department.
§ (4.50.) MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)
said tie proposal prevented any County Council from raising the rate without first of all coming to some Government Department. What his hon. friend desired was that the Education Department should be put in the Clause instead of the Local Government Board. The precedent underlying the proposal of his hon. friend behind him was rather an unfortunate one. The application to the Local Government Board under the Local Government Act was a protection against our expenditure, whereas what his hon. friend wanted was that there should be no restrictions placed on the County Council. If anything could be devised to "jog along" the County Council he would be entirely in favour of it. There was a precedent for such a course in the Public Health Act of 1875 which gave the Local Government Board power to compel local authorities to do certain things which wore in their jurisdiction. He was 346 afraid that he would not be able to support the Amendment. He gathered from what was said by the noble Lord that he objected to the putting of any fetters on the County Councils at all, but the proposal made involved the putting of fetters on them.
LORD EDMUND FITTZMAURICE
A great part of my observations were devoted to answering the argument of the President of the Local Government Board in regard to the substitution of the Education Department for the Local Government Board.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said it was important to bear in mind that the rate, whether it be 2d. or 4d. was some indication of what Parliament intended the County Councils to do. The inquiry which the Local Government Board would have to hold when application was made in the way proposed would cause delay. He believed the Amendment would defeat the object which his hon. friend had in view.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
said he did not see any necessity for putting in this restriction before the Committee came to deal with the question of safeguarding the pockets of the ratepayers. He thought this Amendment was the beginning of a series of Amendments that might free the hands of the County Councils. It would only remove the first part of the restrictions and leave it open to the House, or the Government, to put something in the Bill later on which would restrict the County Councils from over expenditure.
Question put and agreed to.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
rose to move an Amendment with the object of giving local authorities greater freedom in determining how far they would rate their districts for the purposes of secondary or technical education.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
asked why the Government had drawn the line for 347 the rate for secondary education at 2d. He would not suggest an unlimited rate, but thought that 4d. would be a reasonable rate, and accordingly he moved to leave out 2d. and insert 4d.
Amendment proposed—In page 1, line 26, to leave out the word 'twopence,' and insert the word 'fourpence.'"—(Mr. Brynmore Jones.)Question proposed, "That the word 'twopence' stand part of the Clause."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that the hon. Gentleman began his speech by asking whether it was necessary to put any limit to the rate, because it was always easy to raise it up or down without detriment to the interests of the people. The Government had fixed 2d. for the reasons he had given in the previous discussions. The existing powers of the County Councils were limited to 1d., and the Government proposed to double those powers. Recognising the new duties imposed on them the Government did not wish to increase their powers, because they quite realised that in a large number of rural districts there was a considerable suspicion of the burdens about to be laid upon them by this Bill; and in the interests of education itself, it was not desirable to aggravate that suspicion. These were practical reasons which would recommend themselves to practical Members of the Committee. In view of the concession that had been made he hoped the Committee would be willing to leave the Bill in its present shape.
§ MR. BRYCE
said he could not understand why the Government felt this extraordinary distrust of the County Councils, or why they should attribute to the ratepayers this distrust of the County Councils. He gladly admitted that the right hon. Gentleman the First Lord of the Treasury knew probably more about the sentiments of rural England than he did, but it seemed difficult to believe that the ratepayers of rural England had so little confidence in their chosen representatives, and so little sense of what was needed in this case, as to believe that merely because a limit of 3d. or 4d. was allowed, their County Councils would rate up to that limit unless at the next election they thought that the educations needs of the country required it. The existing rate was 1d., but it was for 348 technical instruction, and now that they were going in for secondary education there was greater reason to raise the limit. Every year the need for doing something for secondary education was becoming more recognised, and there seemed some reason to believe that it would penetrate down even to Gloucestershire. Why should the County Councils have to go to the Local Government Board, which was not an educational authority at all, for permission to exceed the limit? Would it not be better to trust the County Councils and the ratepayers themselves? He would be very glad to have any concession from the Government, and he would suggest to his hon. friend, if the Government would meet him, to fix the limit at 3d. instead of 4d.
§ * MR. CHAPLIN
said that the whole argument of the right hon. Gentleman only confirmed the rooted suspicion which he held that the additional charges for education imposed by this Bill on the rates would, in the long run, be greater than many persons at present seemed to expect. He gathered this from experience in the past. Mr. Forster, when he introduced his Education Bill, stated that the charge on the rates would never exceed 3d. in the £, whereas at the present day ten times 3d. in some cases would not equal the charge.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N. W.)
said there was a very earnest desire amongst all sections of the community to get some money for secondary education from the Imperial Treasury.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE
said he thought that it bore on the matter now under discussion. It was very difficult to get a Vote from the House in behalf of secondary education, and that was really at the back of this Amendment. He had been present with a deputation which waited on the First Lord of the Treasury, when the right hon. Gentleman pointed out that one of the features of the Bill was that they would get a very large advantage from it for the building of undenominational training colleges and pupil teachers' centres; but he would like the right hon. Gentleman to show how all that could be 349 done on the 2d. rate. Moreover, higher grade schools and evening continuation schools were necessary, and these could not he provided along the training colleges and the pupil teachers' centres on the 2d. rate. Knowing the great anxiety there was in the country to do something more than at present for secondary education, ho was sorry the First Lord did not seem inclined to meet the wishes of the people in this matter.
* (5.15.) MR. CIIANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
supported the Amendment, mainly on the ground of the difference between some administrative counties and others. Some were districts absolutely rural in their character; at present their wants were somewhat limited, although he hoped that under the new state of things their wants would greatly expand, arid that further opportunities would be afforded for providing in agricultural districts the teaching which had done be much to give the population in Denmark and France a more thorough training than our own people's, lie wished, however, to put the case of a large number of administrative counties which included urban districts under the 20,000 limit. It was obvious that in those districts the educational authority would now have to meet all the expenditure of the schools affected by the Cockerton judgment, which would now be thrown on the 2d. rate. As he understood, under this Bill those urban districts would riot be entitled to impose the penny rate concurrently with the County Councils, so that the whole of the expenditure of these Cockerton schools and evening continuation classes would be thrown upon the county education authority. In several divisions with which he was acquainted the limit of 2d. would be extremely narrow for providing for these schools withdrawn from the School Boards and thrown on the educational authority in addition to the other secondary and technical schools which would have to be supplied or aided. In his opinion, the Amendment was a reasonable one; he thought full responsibility should be thrown on the educational authority in every district. He knew that in some counties there might be a tendency to withhold the rates 350 and deny to the people that education which was given them in continental countries, with such advantage to the nation. The wants of districts such as he represented could not be fully met at the present time, and they certainly could not be developed in the future out of this limited rate. He thought the Amendment was a very moderate one and hoped the Government would see their way to meet the Committee in this matter.
§ * MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)
expressed the opinion that the Government ought to have regard to the facts. In some districts a very much larger sum was needed than in others, and for those the rate now proposed was utterly inadequate. The Government had given away their own case by accepting the Amendment which rightly gave the county boroughs freedom in this matter. In some counties a very large expenditure was now necessary for the building of secondary school premises in many country districts. That was an entirely new work which would come in with the new duties imposed upon them. Hitherto the cost of erecting technical schools had in some places almost absorbed the penny rate given to technical education, and he thought the Government ought to yield at once on this point and allow a greater sum than the 2d. mentioned in the Bill. It was undesirable that where a County Council was charged with the important work of education, and they saw it must exceed the 2d. rate they should have to come to the Local Government Board. The position of these County Councils was intolerable when compared with that now conceded to the County Boroughs, and he urged the Government to consent to this 2d, being struck out and the larger sum of 4d. being inserted.
MR. COKRIE GKANT
said the Government had already built up a distinctive line between the County Boroughs and the County Councils. The County Boroughs were free to spend what they liked, whilst the County Councils were limited to a fixed sum. When educationists came to argue this matter with the County Councils, the answer would lie that they were limited to 2d., and that 351 they ought to keep their expenditure.1 good deal below that limit. That would always. be the argument of the non-educationists, and, though the same argument would no doubt be used if the limit were raised to 4d., it would have a very different effect. He thought the County Councils ought to be thoroughly free. He was unable to understand the distinction drawn between the County Borough and the County Council, and he indignantly repudiated the suggestion that the County Council was not as efficient for this purpose as the County Borough. But, as there was to be a limit fixed, at all events it ought to be a generous one. Those who knew County Councils well, know there was an earnest desire to carry out the provisions of such a Bill as this, but it was perfectly impossible that they could do it within the limits proposed.
§ MR. DUNCAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Otley)
said it was perfectly true that in the West Hiding of Yorkshire they had not in early years spent all the money placed at their disposal under the Technical Education Act. At that time it was well known there was a possibility that Parliament might withdraw some of this money and devote it to other purposes. But in the year ending July next the total expenditure of the Technical Education Committee amounted to a sum of £46,000, of which £14,000 was the accumulated fund, which £14,000 would have to have come out of the rates had they not accumulated it. Nearly a halfpenny in the pound was devoted to technical instruction, and for these new duties which were to be put upon the new educational authorities they would have that amount less. There were on all sides appeals from the Technical Instruction Committees for increased grants. The West Riding of Yorkshire had an enormous variety of interests which demanded treatment—agricultural work, which was making continual new demands upon the public purse, textile work, mechanical engineering, coal mining, leather tanning; arid, in the last few years, there had been a demand for instruction in foreign languages and all classes of commerce. So that, even if these new duties had not been put upon them, the County Councils 352 would have had to meet great demands for those subjects which they already taught. Another point to which he drew attention was that in the West Hiding there were If urban districts which would lose the right to levy the Id. rate for technical education purposes, and of those, thirty-nine had devoted sonic part of the loan fund to that purpose. One particular urban district was placed in a peculiarly difficult position by this Bill. It possessed the finest school of science in the North of England, and, having been deprived of the Id. rate, and the School Board having no power to assist in the future, the 2d. rate mentioned in the Bill would not in itself be sufficient to keep up the school. He urged that this limit of the power of rating should be taken off the County Councils.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said he hoped the Government would give a little more elasticity in this respect, and would not insist upon treating all the Councils upon the same monotonous dead level, just as if the West Riding of Yorkshire were the same as Wiltshire arid Gloucestershire. Let agricultural counties, if they desired to do so, curtail their expenditure on secondary and technical education, but let the non-agricultural counties develop their own secondary and technical education in their own way, and to the extent they deemed to be necessary for all the growing needs in respect of which repeatedly increased calls were being made on education in this country. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford had given some rather pessimistic prophecies as to what the future of these rates would be, but he could assure the right hon. Gentleman that what had happened in elementary education in some isolated instances need not necessarily happen in connection with secondary education, and if the power of rating themselves up to a point beyond 2d. was granted to the counties of England, he thought the power would not be exercised in an extravagant way.
(5.33.) Question put.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 233; Noes, 161. (Division List No. 252.)
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Firbank, Joseph Thomas||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Agg-Gardner, James, Tynte||Fisher, William Hayes||M'lver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Fison, Frederick William||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)|
|Aird, Sir John||Fitz Gerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Martin. Richard Biddulph|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.|
|Atkinson, Rt. hon, John||Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Hemy||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Flower, Ernest||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Foster, Philips(Warwick. S. W.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Galloway, William Johnson||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Gardner, Ernest||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Morton, Arthur H. A.(Deptford|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn||Mount, William Arthur|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.|
|Balfour, Rt. HuGerald W. (Leeds||Gore, Hn. G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop||Muntz, Philip A.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Line.)||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute|
|Banuley, George (C. T.||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Myers, William Henry|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Reach, Rt Hn. Sir Michael Hicks||Graham, Henry Robert||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Green, Walford D (Wednesbury||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Bill, Charles||Greene, Sir E. W (B'ry S E dm'nds||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Parker, Gilbert|
|Bond, Edward||Grenfell, William Henry||Pease, Herbt. Pike(Darlington)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Penn, John|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Gunter, Sir Robert||Percy, Earl|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Hain, Edward||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis||Hall, Edward Marshall||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Brassey, Albert||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Hambro, Charles Eric||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Bull, William James||Hamilton, Marq. Of (L'nd'nd'rry||Purvis, Robert|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A (Glasgow||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Randles, John S.|
|Carson. Kt, Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Rankin, Sir James|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Heath. James (Statfords, N. W.)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Holder, Augustus||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Henderson, Alexander||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r||Hermon-Hodge, Robert Trotter||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Chapman, Edward||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hobhouse, Henry(Somerset, E.)||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Coddington, Sir William||Hogg, Lindsay||Round, James.|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Rutherford, John|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Horner, Frederick Wm.||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Hoult, Joseph||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Howard, Jno (Kent, Faversham||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Howard, J.(Midd., Tottenham)||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Seely, Maj. J. E. B(Isle of Wight|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Smith, James. Parker (Lanarks)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Kimber, Henry||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Stroyan, John|
|Dorington, Sir John Edward||Lecky. Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G(Oxf'd Univ.|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Long. Col. Charles W.(Evesham||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Faber, Edmund B.(Hants, W.)||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Faber, George Denison (York)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macartney, Rt Hn. W. G. Ellison||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Sheffild|
|Finch, George H.||Macdona, John Cumming||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Maclver, David (Liverpool)||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Welby, Sir Charles G. F.(Notts.)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Whiteley, H(Ashton-und-Lyne||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Williams, Rt Hn. J Pow'll-(Birm.||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)|
|Williams, Colonel R. (Dorsel)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Willoughby de Eresby, Lord||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson||Sir William Walrond and|
|Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.)||Worsley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William(Cork, N. E.)||Hayden, John Patrick||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Pease, Sir Joseph W. (Durham|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley|
|Atherley-Jones L.||Helme, Norval Watson||Perks, Robert William|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Price, Robert John|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Hormman, Frederick John||Priestley, Arthur|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Houston, Robert Paterson||Rea, Russell|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Reddy, M.|
|Black, Alexander William||Hutton, Alfred F. (Morley)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Black, Alexander William||Jacoby, James Alfred||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Boland, John||Jordan, Jeremiah||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F (Middlesex)||Joyce, Michael||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Brown, George M.(Edinburgh)||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Kitson, Sir James||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Lambert. George||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Burt, Thomas||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Russell, T. W.|
|Caldwell, James||Leamy Edmund||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Cameron, Robert||Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Leng, Sir John||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lewis, John. Herbert||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lloyd-George, David||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Channing, Francis Alston||Lough, Thomas||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Cnombie, John William||Lundon, W.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Tennaut, Harold John|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan)||Macnamana, Dr. Thomas J.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Delany, William||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Thomas, Alfred((Glamorgan, E.)|
|Denny, Colonel||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Thomas, JA(Glamorgan, Gower|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Kean, John||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Tomkinson, James|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Killop W. (Sligo, North)||Toulmin, George|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Dunn, Sir William||Markham, Arthur Basil||Tully, Jasper|
|Edwards, Frank||Morley, Rt. Hn. John(Montrose||Ure, Alexander|
|Elibank, Master of||Murphy, John||Wallace, Robert|
|Ellis, John Edward||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nusssey, Thomas Willans||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Flynn, James Christopher||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Witeley, George (York, W. R.)|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ.||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'rary Mid||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Brien, P. J.(Tipperary, N||Williams, Osmand (Merioneth)|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Wilson, Chas, Henry (Hull, W.)|
|Glandstone, Rt. Hn. Herbt. John||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Dowd, John||Wood, James|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||Woodhouse, Sir J. T.(Huddersf'd|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Shaughnessy P. J.||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Gurthrie, Walter Murray||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Partington, Oswald||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Harwood, George||Paulton, James Mellor||Mr. Brynmor Jones and|
|Hay, Hon. Claude Geroge||Pease, Alfred E. (Cleveland)||Mr. Corrie Grant.|
§ *(5.48.) SIR ALBERT ROLLIT (Islington, S.)
rose to move the insertion, after "pound" in line 26, of the words "provided that the Board of Education may authorise a higher rate to be fixed."
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
pointed out that the Amendment raised two questions—first, whether the Board of Education should be substituted for the Local Government Board, and, secondly, whether the amount of the rate 357 should be fixed by Provisional Order or by the Board. He desired to debate those two points separately, and asked whether the Amendment could not be so divided.
* THE CHAIRMAN
said he had no I control over the form in which the Amendment was moved. The Amendment could not very well be divided, unless the hon. Member persuaded the hon. Member for South Islington to withdraw it in its present form.
§ MR. CORRIE GRANT
suggested that the substitution of the Board of Education for the Local Government Board should be moved first, and then the other point could be raised subsequently.
§ * SIR ALBEBT ROLLIT
said that, while he was anxious to move the Amendment in the form most acceptable to the Committee, be thought he had better adhere to the words on the Paper, and then hon. Members could move to amend them if they thought fit. The Committee having decided that the limitation of the rate should exist, it was obvious that some machinery must be provided for sanctioning an exceptional rate. For the purpose of providing technical schools or other buildings, cither there would be great delay while funds were accumulating, or there must be some means by which a larger amount of money might be raised. It seemed strange that the Local Government Board should have been selected as the body to sanction such higher rate, and he confessed that, while he had every regard for that Department, he thought its intrusion in the Bill for this purpose was exceptional and open to objection. Why should there be a singular change from the Board of Education 011 this point? The cumbersome and costly machinery of Provisional Orders and recourse to Parliament was also an objection to the proposal. Local Authorities already paid three- quarters of a million per annum for Parliamentary powers The Board of Education would be much easier of access; the local authorities would be brought into contact with the Board and its officers; there would be more sympathy with the economic aspect of education, and greater knowledge of the requirements in par- 358 ticular cases. He thought, for these reasons, that the Board of Education would be more likely to sanction the higher rate to provide the necessary funds for building and similar purposes, and he therefore moved the Amendment.
Amendment proposed—In page 1, line 26, after the word 'pound,' to insert the words 'provided that the Board of Education may authorise a higher rate to be fixed.'"—(Sir Albert Rollit.)Question proposed, "That those words be here inserted."
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that as to the first point raised by the Amendment, viz., as to the part to be played by the Local Government Board, he did not think it would be wise to alter the provision of the Bill. It was the Local Government Board, and not the Board of Education, who were accustomed to deal with questions of rating; it was the former, rather than the latter, whose business it was to consider, and who had the machinery for acquainting themselves with the facts concerning the general pecuniary obligations and needs of the country. The whole ground of the restriction which the Committee had agreed to insert in the Bill was financial, and not educational. He was aware that the educationists in the House were opposed to that, limitation, but the solitary argument upon which he relied was that, in his judgment, it would array against the Bill, against the cause of education, and particularly against the progress of secondary education, the general population in many rural districts, if they had the idea that an unlimited rate was to be thrown upon them. Had he been able, and had it been right, to approach this matter purely as an educationist, thinking only of the abstract aspect of education, and not of its concrete application to different communities, he would not have imposed any limitation at all. But this limitation was imposed in the interests of education; and because the considerations involved were financial, they ought to be dealt with by the Government Department connected particularly with local finance. He, therefore, deprecated any change in that 359 respect. If, however, the Committee would take it as a compromise that the elaborate machinery provided in the Bill should be given up, and the assent of the Local Government Board simply required, he thought on that basis they might agree, and shorten the discussion.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said he had an Amendment on the Paper raising a question very similar to that dealt with by the Amendment before the Committee, but his object would be entirely met by the preservation of the Local Government Board, and the doing away of the cumbrous machinery of Provisional Order. He suggested that the clause should read: "or such higher rate as the County Council may fix with the consent of the Local Government Board." The Local Government Board ought not to be the rating authority; the rate should come from the County Council, but with the consent of the Local Government Board.
§ MR. BRYCE
thought the words suggested by the hon. and learned Member for Stretford would certainly be an improvement. It was much better that the proposal as to the rate should come from the County Council, and that the Government Department, if it was to come in at all, should come in to give consent, to administer a caution, or even, in extreme cases, to impose a veto. It would also be a great improvement if the existing proposal as to Provisional Orders was omitted. But he still had a difficulty in recognising the Local Government Board as superior to the Board of Education. The right hon. Gentleman had put it as though it was only a question of finance. It was a question of balance between finance on the one hand and education on the other. A case could be imagined in which a county might refuse to propose the rate educationally needed because it was thought to be too high a charge on the ratepayers. On the other hand, many cases could be imagined in which people would not be willing, prima facie, to rate themselves, but in which they would consent to do so if it was clear that a strong educational necessity existed for it. Therefore, any Government Department to which might be 360 entrusted the function of coming in as an advisory or vetoing authority ought to be I one capable of appreciating educational, no less than financial, considerations. It appeared, however, that the plan of I the Government was directed only to financial considerations, which alone were to be regarded by any Government Department in the matter.
§ MR. BRYCE
said that was the gist of his argument. The right hon. Gentle man admitted that this Board did not possess any educational knowledge or judgment, and his argument went to show that it was to be regarded only as a matter of finance and educational considerations were not to enter into it. It was impossible for any Government Department to form a proper judgment upon this question unless it possessed educational knowledge. The finances must also be regarded, and the County Councils themselves would be fully alive to the financial considerations which ought to influence their minds. If they were to be in any way controlled, checked, guided, or advised by sonic Government Department, it should be one which possessed educational knowledge, and between the two he should prefer the Board of Education. If any plan could be devised by which the Board of Education and the Local Government Board could be brought together for the purpose, so much the better.
§ MR. BOUSFIELD (Hackney, N.)
said the suggestion made by the right hon. Gentleman was one which pointed in the other direction. He contended that, inasmuch as the local authority was the body which had to move in the matter, the considerations which the Government Department would have to deal with were wholly financial. The balance would be properly struck between the local education authority, who would look at the matter from the educational point of view, and the Local Government Board, who would look at it from the point of view of finance.
(6.5.) MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said the only question under the operation 361 of this clause in its present form that, could come before the Local Government Board would he the question whether, if a County Council asked for permission to levy a higher rate, the Local Government Board would or would not assent to bringing in a Provisional Order, It was not simply a question of finance. The question whether a County Council ought to be allowed to levy a higher rate than 2d. was to be decided by reference to educational circumstances, aims, and policy. Therefore, he agreed with this Amendment so far as it substituted the Board of Education for the Local Government Board. He thought, however, that there was something to be said in favour of the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Stretford. He should like the First Lord of the Treasury to tell them the exact words which he proposed to move.
§ * SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said he should be quite willing to accept the words suggested by the First Lord of the Treasury, but only as a compromise, since he preferred the Board of Education to the Local Government Board as the tribunal. The one principle he wished to maintain was that the local authority, having full local knowledge, should fix the amount, subject to the sanction of the Local Government Board or the Education Department, and the only alteration required to the Amendment would be to leave out from "higher rate" at the end of line 26, and insert "such higher rate as the County Council, with the consent of the Local Government Board, may fix."
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
thought that the best suggestion was that the Board of Education and the Local Government Board should collaborate. There was a precedent for this course in the bodies appointed to manage piers and harbours. The Local Government Board had no right to inquire as to the efficiency of a harbour, but their inquiries had to be in regard to the financial condition of the town, which had to be inquired into by the Local Government Board before enterprises of that kind could be embarked upon. The first thing which the Department would have to be satisfied upon was 362 whether the scheme propounded by the County Council from an educational point of view was good and efficient, and would produce the best results. The Local Government Board had no machinery for undertaking such inquiries, because their inspectors were of a perfectly different training, as a rule, and consisted mainly of engineers qualified to go into such questions as drainage; and to send such men to inquire into the educational requirements of a neighbourhood would be perfectly absurd. He would suggest that the right hon. Gentleman should adopt the suggestion which fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen—that they should follow the precedent set in the case of piers and harbours, by which the Board of Education could inquire into the matter from a purely educational point of view, and the Local Government Board could enter into the financial question as to whether a locality could bear an additional 3d. or 4d. on the rates, having regard to the expenditure upon other enterprises. He thought it would be a very great mistake to hand this question over to the Local Government Board. When Parliament interfered with such schemes, it never improved them, and generally managed to mutilate and destroy them. Parliament could not go into local questions with advantage, and to introduce Provisional Orders was mischievous.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
hoped the Committee would not adopt the suggestion that had been made. It really amounted to a proposal that there should be two inquiries, one by the Education Department and one by the Local Government Board. This would only delay matters. The Local Government Board would, no doubt, communicate with the Board of Education in such applications as to the educational needs of a locality making an application, and would then decide upon its financial position. For years past the Local Government Board had been doing their best to induce local authorities to get forward with their work in other respects, and it was not likely that they would do anything to hinder the work of education. He thought the Committee would agree that there should be an inquiry by the 363 Local Government Board into the whole case, without- the intervention of any other Department.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
said that if they were to have only one Government Department he should prefer to have the Board of Education. In the Local Government Board they had no equipment to gauge the educational necessities of any district, because the Local Government Board officials wore generally ex-Army or ex-Navy men, who knew nothing about education.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
The majority of our inspectors belong to the same profession as the hon. Member opposite.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS
admitted that there were benighted persons even in the legal profession. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Sleaford Division was in the ranks of the very well educated, but they knew that he thought that a person was better qualified for agricultural employment if he had not passed the second standard than if he had been to a second grade school. If they were to have a Government Department at all interfering in this matter, ho would prefer that it should be the Education Department. That Department should go thoroughly into the matter first; and, if there must be another to go into the financial part, then they could ask the approval of the Local Government Board. There was a spirit of compromise abroad, and he hoped that an arrangement might be come to 011 this matter. He thought everybody would agree that those connected with the Education Department were best able to judge of educational necessity. If they said that in a locality educational necessity was not sufficiently provided for, it would require a strong case to warrant the Local Government Board in refusing to carry out the recommendation of the Education Department. To give effect to the suggestion made on this side of the House, he suggested the insertion in the Amendment of the words "with the approval of the Local Government Board," so that it would read: "Provided that the Board of Education, with the approval of the Local Government Board, may authorise a higher rate to be fixed."
(6.18.) LORD EDMUND FITZ-MAUBICE
said he would earnestly urge 364 upon the Committee, from the point of view of administration, that, whether the controlling body was the Board of Education or the Local Government Board, the localities should not be saddled with a double inquiry. He spoke from experience in regard to matters of local government which were inquired into first by the Local Government Board and afterwards by the Treasury. Very often between these two inquiries a great deal of precious time was lost. He could not understand why they could not get rid of both the Board of Education and Local Government Board, and treat the County Councils with the confidence they deserved.
§ MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)
said he was sorry that the hon. Member for South Islington was likely to abandon his proposal. The local authority was charged with the duty of aiding the supply of higher education. Already the whisky money was mortgaged in many cases for the next thirty or forty years, and in some instances a portion of the penny rate was already mortgaged for the buildings which had been erected for technical instruction, and debts had to be paid off He took it that when the local authorities commenced their work they would not reach the 2d. limit, but when the work reached a stage when they required, say, a 2½d. rate who was to decide whether the work was to be done or left undone? It seemed to him that the authority to do that was the authority who had encouraged the County Council to enter into this work. If, in the execution of plans adopted in accordance with recommendations in connection with secondary schools, a County Council found that the cost would involve the overstepping of the 2d. limit, the Local Government Board would come in to determine whether the Council ought to spend the money in carrying out a scheme which had the approval of the Board of Education. All this was to be subjected to a new authority which had no previous knowledge whatever of the higher education work carried on in the district. He hoped the Government would see the necessity of placing the control, if control there must be—he regretted that any should be thought necessary—in the 365 hands of the Board of Education. The financial considerations would often be microscopical, and the educational very important. One of the first duties of the new authority would be to consider whether certain private secondary schools would suffice for the educational needs of their district, or whether they would erect and conduct now secondary schools. If this involved the overstepping of a 2d. rate, the Local Government Board would be called in, and what they would really have to decide would be whether inefficient secondary schools were to be kept up. That was a question which, he maintained, the Local Government Board ought not to adjudicate upon.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he was glad the Government had knocked out the proposal with regard to the Provisional Order. That matter having been agreed to on both sides of the House, the Amendment they were now discussing involved, practically, the question whether the Local Government Board or the Education Department was the best authority to give sanction for a higher rate than 2d., which was the one suggested in the Bill itself. A fortnight ago he had gone down to the country to see the inspectors of the Board of Education conducting an inquiry into the secondary schools. That was a comparatively new branch of the Education Department in his part of the country, and he was bound to say that he was highly pleased with the way in which these inspectors had investigated not only the educational efficiency of the schools, but their financial condition, and the overlapping competition with other secondary schools. In fact, they took a wide and large view of the whole field of secondary education, and he came away with a very favourable impression of these inspectors from the Board of Education. He had had more experience than he would like to narrate in regard to Local Government Board inquiries in regard to drainage and public health; but how could these engineering inspectors of the Local Government Board conduct an inquiry as to proposed expenditure on secondary education? Who could judge so well as the 366 inspectors of the Board of Education of the necessities of secondary education in a particular district? He took it that the chief ground of their decision would be whether more money might be spent to good purpose on secondary education in the district or not. If the money already spent was being spent to good purpose, they would trust the local authorities; but if they found that it was not so, they would be quite right in refusing more money until the local authorities showed a more adequate return for the money spent. They could not help remembering that, but for the "general post" which took place a short time ago, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Sleaford Division would have been President of the Local Government Board, and that right hon. Gentleman would not think him disrespectful when he said that his whole attitude throughout the discussion of this Bill showed that he would have met every application with a negative. That was an argument for putting the decision in the hands of gentlemen who knew something about education, and could tell whether the money was properly spent or not.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said he hoped that in discussing the alternatives Board of Education and Local Government Board, hon. Members would remember that the Government had endeavoured to meet the wishes of the Committee as far as possible, and that they would compress their arguments as much as possible.
§ * MR. HELME
said he thought that it would remove difficulties if the interposition of the Local Government Board were confined to a decision as to the financial ability of the country to bear the expenditure over the limit prescribed by the Act upon the figures in the balance sheet and estimates submitted by the local authority and not on the educational policy involved.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that ho took it that the Local Government Board would regard the fact that the County Council desired to carry out an educational improvement as a ground for permitting the County Council to do as they desired. What the Board would have to do would be to see whether legitimately, 367 having regard to all other interests of the ratepayers, the educational advantages were such as the county should pay for.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN
said that the inspectors of the Board of Education had had a good deal of experience in conducting not only educational inspection, but also into the financial details of administration.
§ MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN
said he quite agreed not of the area; but the inspectors of the Board of Education would have no difficulty whatever in considering and reporting on the ability of an area to bear additional expenditure on secondary education.
§ * SIR ALBERT ROLLIT
said he would have preferred the authority of the Board of Education, but it would be unwise to reject the compromise offered by the Government as such, and he, by leave, would withdraw his Amendment, and move to insert, after the words "or such higher rate," the words "as the County Council, with the consent of."
Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment proposed—In page 1, line 26, after the words 'or such higher rate,' to insert the word 'as the County Council with the consent of.'"—(Sir Albert Rollit.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ * MR. CHAPLIN
said he regarded the consent of the Local Government Board as a very insufficient safeguard. If Parliament sanctioned this proposal, he thought it would be impossible for a President of the Local Government Board to refuse, under those circumstances, an application of the County Council. The effect of the proposal would be to facilitate the addition of further charges on the rates, and as such he must repeat his objections to it.
§ MAJOR RASCH
said ho stood aghast at the proposal contained in the Amendment, and he supported with great pleasure the protest of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford. 368 Agriculturists had had to suffer a great deal for elementary education; and if the proposal made by the Member for South Islington were adopted, they would be financially exterminated for secondary education. He thought the agricultural Members would be a great deal more foolish than they were supposed to be if they supported this Amendment.
Question put, and agreed to.
(6.45.) MR. BRYNMOR JONES
moved to omit "Local Government Board" and to insert "Education Board." He said he vas glad the First Lord of the Treasury had given in on the method of procedure by Provisional Order. The question the Committee now had to decide was one of extreme simplicity. He could not conceive how it could be argued by anyone in favour of higher education that the question of a higher rate should be determined by the Local Government Board.
Amendment proposed—In page 1, line 27, to leave out the words 'Local Government Board,' and insert the words 'Board of Education.'"—(Mr. Brynmor Jones.)Question proposed, "That the words 'Local Government Board' stand part of the Clause.'"
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
supported the Amendment, for the reason that very often the inspectors sent down by the Board of Education were able to give most valuable advice to the local education authorities as to the best methods of spending their money.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
said that would not be affected. It was not intended to affect the utility of the Board of Education in regard to the giving of advice.
§ MR. HERBERT LEWIS
said that if the Amendment were adopted the inspectors of the Board of Education would necessarily come into contact with the local education authorities more than otherwise would be the case. Surely it was one of the objects of the Act to get as much value educationally as they could for their money.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he was placed in a great difficulty by this Amendment. Theoretically, the argument was all in favour of the Board of Education, and every argument was against the Local Government Board. But the Local Government Board took a common sense view of proposals submitted to them, and did not take such a "one-eyed" view as was taken by some of the inspectors of the Board of Education, whose inspectors usually were ex-Army men, who knew nothing about education, generally speaking. He thought that the Local Government Board would only refuse under extreme provocation. He had had a painful and varied experience of the Board of Education as a member of the School Board for London. It was difficult to get the Board of Education to write a sensible letter. When they did write, it took them a long time to do so, and half-a-dozen other letters were required to interpret the first one. As far as the present Board of Education were concerned, he personally would not trust anything to them in any circumstances. He knew he ought not to base an argument upon that, because Boards of Administration passed away. But the Vice-President would not pass away; he was a permanent institution so long as the present Government existed, and if he liked to stick to his office he might possibly be the Vice-President of the Board of Education under a Liberal Government.
§ SIR JOHN GORST
I am the last "Vice President of the Committee of Council." There will never be another.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said that every member of the Committee would hope that the period of occupancy of the last "Vice Presidency of the Committee of Council" might be a very long one; but he could not contemplate with equanimity the handing over of these great matters to the Board of Education or its Parliamentary head. He would rather trust the Local Government Board, and he thought they would do well to close with the Government on this matter.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
thought it was most extraordinary that education should 370 be handed over to a body to which it did not belong. If that were to be done, why not hand it over to the War Office or the Board of Admiralty? The hon. Gentleman's eulogy of the Local Government Board was irrelevant. Why should they set up the Local Government Board, which knew nothing about these matters, as a Court of Appeal over the Board of Education, which presumably did know something about them? The only question before the Committee was whether they should give an inferior Government Department the power of overruling a superior Government Department. It was a new principle, indeed. Of course, if the Board of Education was not efficient it must be reformed. At the present time its functions were handed over to the First Lord of the Treasury, but there ought to be an end to that sort of thing. If that principle were extended, in times to come there would be no public Department at all which was responsible to the House of Commons. They ought to stick to the Board of Education, and not place an inferior Department over it.
§ MR. GODDARD (Ipswich)
said, so far as he could see, there was one practical difficulty, which he would state to the Committee. These matters would involve an inquiry by the Local Government Board whenever County Councils wanted to raise a rate. Now, the County Councils all over the country strnck their rates about the same time of the year, and all these inquiries would, therefore, come all at once. The Local Government Board was a very congested Department, and there were already great delays, and there would, in all probability, be still greater delays with regard to these inquiries. Would there not, under those circumstances, be great difficulties in getting a decision with regard to this matter? It was very important that there should be no delay.
said, before the Committee could properly decide on this question it was essential that they should know what was the basis on which the Local Government Board was to act. They were told that the decisions of the County Councils were only to have effect with the consent of the Local Government Board, but on what ground? What were the inspectors to inquire about Were they to have regard to the state of education in 371 a particular county, or whether the locality was able to bear the burden proposed to be cast upon it? Unless they were told what the Local Government Board was going to do, what its functions were to be, he should vote for the Education Department. Something had been said about the right hon. Gentleman's remaining Vice-President for ever. He had some sympathy with that, because; seeing what a thorn he was in the side of the present Government, he could hardly conceive what he would be in the side of a Liberal Government. If the Local Government Board was only to inquire, into the financial ability of the local authority, they should be told so plainly.
§ * MR HELME
asked whether, assuming the Local Government Board had given its consent to an increase in the rate asked for by a County Council beyond the 2d., would that permission be continued so long as the rate remained at that figure, because it appeared to him it might, with the effluxion of time, be necessary to come again and again.
§ * SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
said he had listened all the afternoon to the debate, and had not been able to understand the form of procedure which the Government had in their mind. Did the right hon. Gentleman mean that there was to be a local inquiry at all? and, if there was to be such an inquiry, was it to be by the general inspectors of the Local Government Board, or by others? He thought the Committee really ought to know what line the Government were taking. The Provisional Order system was a
§ thoroughly understood matter, but that system had now gone, and the Committee were now in the dark as to what the Government intended.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
said he thought the procedure was perfectly simple. There was already provision made, under the Act of 1888 and other Acts of Parliament, by which County Councils, if they desired to extend the rating powers, could apply to the Local Government Board. That was what was to be done now, and practically there was no other question at all. Whether there would be a local inquiry would obviously depend upon the circumstances under which the Local Government Board was approached. The whole object of the inquiry was, not to acquire special information, but to give an opportunity for the parties to lay the facts before the inspector on the spot.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
No; if the inspector was not one of the general inspectors they would get assistance from outside.
(7.13.) Question put.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 261; Noes, 146. (Division List No. 253.)
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Penn, John|
|Colomb, SirJohnCharlesReady||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W||Percy, Earl|
|Colston, Clas. Elw. H. Athole||Helder, Augustus||Plerpoint, Robert|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Henderson, Alexander||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Hermon Hodge, RobertTrotter||Powell Sir Francis Sharp|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hickman, Sir Alfred||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cranborno, Viscount||Hobhouse, Henry(Somerset, E.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Hogg, Lindsay||Pym, C Guy|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton||Hope, J. F(Sheffield, Brightside||Randles, John S.|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Rankin, Sir James|
|Houldsworth, Sir Win. Henry||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Hoult, Joseph||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Houston, Robert Paterson||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Dewar, T. R.)T'rH'ml'ts, S. Geo.||Howard, John(Kent, Faversh'm||Renshaw, Charles Bine|
|Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Howard J. (Midd., Tottenham||Richards, Henry Charles|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Hozier, Hon. JamesHenryCecil||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hudson, (George Bickersteth||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R)||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Dorington. Sir John Edward||Jebb, SirRiechard Claverhouse||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Jessel, CaptainHerbertMerton||Ropner, Colonel Robert|
|Doxford, SirWilliamTheodore||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Round, James|
|Duke, Henry Edward||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T.(Denbigh||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Keswick, William||Russell, T. W.|
|Dyke, Rt. Hn. SirWilliamHart||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Rutherford, John|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tafton||Lambton, Hn. Frederick Wm.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Laurie, Lient General||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Eills, John Edward||Lecky, Rt. Hn. WilliamEdw. H.||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lee, ArthurH.(Hants, Faieham||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Fergusson, RtHn. SirJ.(Manc'r||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Finch, George H.||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesh'm||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol, S.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Smith, JamesParker(Lanarks.|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand|
|Fison, Frederick William||Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|FitzGerald, Sir RobertPenrose-||Lyttelton, Hun. Alfred||Stewart, SirMarkJ. M'Taggart|
|Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescne||Macartney, RtHnW. G. Ellison||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Macdoia, John Cumming||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Flower, Erne-t||Maconochie, A. W.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (OxfdUniv|
|Foster, Sir Michael (Lond. Univ||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Foster, PhilipS.(W'rwick, S. W||M'Iver, SirLewis(Edinburgh W||Thornton, Percy M.|
|M'Killop, James(Stirlingshire||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Manners, Lord Cecil||Tufnell, Licut.-Col. Edward|
|Gardner, Ernest||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Godson, Sir AugustnsFrederick||Maxwell, W. J. H(D'mfri'sshire||Valentia, Viscount|
|Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin&Nairn||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Vincent, Col. SirC. E. H(Sh'fh'ld|
|Gordon, J. (Londonderry. S,)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir II. M.||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Gore, HnG. R. C. Ormsby-)Salop||Middlemore, Jno. Throgmorton||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Line.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Milner, Kt. Hn. SirFrederickG.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Milvain, Thomas||Welby, SirCharlesG. E (Notts.|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset|
|Grant, Corrie||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Green, WalfordD.(Wednesb'ry||More, Robt. Jasper(Shropshire||Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.|
|Greene, SirEW(B'rySEdmurds||Morton, ArthurH. A.(Deptford||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury||Mount, William Arthur||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Muntz, Philip A.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Murray. RtHn A. Graham(Bute||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R.(Bath|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Wood, James|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Worsley-Taylor, HenryWilson|
|Hain, Edward||Myers, William Henry||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Hall, Edward Marshall||Wyndham, Rt. Hon George|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Hambro, Charles Eric||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Hamilton, Marq. of(L'nd'nd'r'y|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashf'rd||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Pease, HerbertPike(Darlingt'n||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Peel. HnWm. RobertWellesley||Sir William Walrond and|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Pemberton, John S. G.||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Harwood, George||O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N|
|Ambrose, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Asher, Alexander||Hayne, Rt. Hon. CharlesSeale-||Partington, Oswald|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Havter, Rt. Hon. SirArthurD.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. HerbertHenry||Helme, Norval Watson||Perks, Robert William|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. CharlesH.||Priestley, Arthur|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Horniman, Frederick John||Rea, Russell|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Reddy, M.|
|Black, Alexander William||Hutton, Alfred K. (Morley)||Redmond, John E. (Waterford|
|Boland, John||Jacoby, James Alfred||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire||Reid, Sir R. Threshie(Dumtries|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jordan, Jeremiah||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Kearley, Hudson E.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Kitson, Sir James||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Lambert, George||Runciman, Walter|
|Burt, Thomas||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Leamy, Edmund||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh|
|Caldwell, James||Leese, SirJosephF.(Accrington||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Cameron, Robert||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Leng, Sir John||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Lewis, John Herbert||Stevenson, Francis S.|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lloyd-George, David||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lough, Tnomas||Tennant, Harold John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Lundon, W.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E|
|Crombie, John William||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Thomas, JA(Glamorg'n, Gower|
|Delany, William||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||M'Crae, George||Toulmin, George|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Kean, John||Tully, Jasper|
|Donelan, Capt. A.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Ure, Alexander|
|Doogan, P. C.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Wallace, Robert|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Walton, JohnLawson(Leeds, S.|
|Dunn, Sir William||Markham, Arthur Basil||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Edwards, Frank||Morley, Charles (Breconshire||Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan|
|Elibank, Master of||Morley, Rt. Hn. John(Montrose||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan||Moulton, John Fletcher||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Murphy, John||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Flavin, Michael Joseph||Nannetti, Joseph P.||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Flynn, James Christopher||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Norman, Henry||Wilson, Chas. Henry (Hull, W|
|Fuller J. M. F.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Woodhouse, SirJ. T(Huddersf'd|
|Gladstone, RtHn. HerbertJohn||O'Brien, Kendal(TipperaryMid||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.|
|Griffith, Ellis J.||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Connor, T. P (Liverpool)||Mr. Brynmor Jones and|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Dowd, John||Mr. Trevelyan.|
§ *(7.27.) MR. HELME
, in order that the intention of the Government, as expressed by the First Lord and the President of the Local Government Board, should be so defined that there could be no mistake about it in future, moved the insertion of the words "having regard to financial considerations only." That would relieve the Local Government Board from the necessity of going into the details of the educational needs of the county. They would have the opportunity of conferring with, and having the benefit of the opinion of the Board of Education, who, being in constant touch with the county authorities, 376 would know all about the work which required to be done. If the inquiry was to be general, the practical working of the scheme would be almost hopeless. There was not the time after the Budget was framed, and in a great county like Lancashire, with so wide an area, it was undesirable that the Local Government Board should send its representatives throughout the length of the county, in order to inform itself as to the necessity of any portion of the scheme. He hoped the consent of the Board would be restricted to financial considerations only, and that the carefully ascertained wish of a great public 377 authority such as the County Council would be respected. He, therefore, hoped the Government would accept the Amendment.
Amendment proposed—In page I, line 27, after the word 'Board,' to insert the words 'having regard to financial considerations only.'"—(Mr. Helme.)Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
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.