HC Deb 06 November 1902 vol 114 cc277-338

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland Penrith) in the Chair.]

Clause 12:—


, in moving the Amendment standing in Ins name, said ha did not desire to add much to the statement he made on the previous day as to the purport of this Amendment, but he would remind the Committee that the object was to make it perfectly clear that the Municipal or County Council was the local education authority; that the Education Committee wits a consultative committee; that the local education authority was bound to consult the committee, but was not bound to take its advice, or even to wait for that advice, it the advice were delayed or not forthcoming; and that to meet the convenience of the educational work in an area the County Council had nearly unlimited power of delegating its duties to that committee, except in one very important respect, viz., the raising a rate or borrowing money. His hon. friend the Member for East Somerset proposed to strike out the words which would require the local education authority, before exercising its powers, to consider the report, if any, of its education committee. He thought it would, for general reasons, be undesirable to omit Secretary to the these words. He took it that his hon. friend was principally moved by fear last there should by any unnecessary delay in carrying out the educational work of the area. For his own part he thought the words "if any" guarded the local education authority against that contingency; and when matters were urgent the local education authority might proceed without the report of its committee. The powers of delegation which the Government proposed to give were very considerable, and, although at the outset of the scheme there might be difficulties and delays, yet the local education authority and its committee would soon learn what amount of delegation was necessary for the proper administration of an area. But there were two more important considerations than these. The Education Committee was simply a consultative committee. Every matter was to stand referred to it, but the local education authority was not bound to take its advice, It was important that the local education authority should have placed at its disposal the service of the persons best fitted to advise it in the area with which it dealt. Was it desirable then to strike out words which brought home to the Council that it should, except in urgent cases, consider the report of the Education Committee? He had no doubt in his own mind that the County and Borough Councils would be very desirous of getting the best advice and of consulting their committees on all the points on which they were bound to consult them, and would, as a rule, be desirous of taking that advice, even at the cost of some delay in waiting for it. He had no doubt, also, that there would be found throughout the area persons capable of giving advice, who would, although they were employed in a merely consultative capacity, be willing to give their services in that respect. He could not help fearing that if it were distinctly set down in the Bill that the local education authority was under no obligation even to consider the report of its committee it would be a distinct discouragement to the sort of people we wanted on these Education Committees. One other consideration he would press upon the Committee. The omission which his hon. friend proposed carried with it the suggestion that the Education Committee had executive powers, that everything was to stand referred to them; and nothing was said about the Council exercising its power with or without the report of the committee. The Amendment, he thought, would be subject to the charge of ambiguity on a point which he had been particular to clear up the day before—namely, that the executive in educational matters was the local education authority and not the Education Committee. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— After the words last inserted, to insert the words (2) All matters relating to the exercise by the Council of their powers under this Act shall stand referred to the Education Committee, and the Council, before exercising such powers, shall consider the report (if any) of the Education Committee with respect to the matter in question. The Council may also delegate to the Education Committee, with or without any restrictions or conditions, as they think fit, any of their powers under this Act, except the power of raising a rate or borrowing money."—(Sir William Anson.)

Question proposed be there inserted."

LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)

did not hesitate to say that the Amendment, which almost amounted to a new Clause, would be welcomed on that side of the House. He had placed on the Paper Amendments identical in form almost, and certainly identical in substance, When the Bill was first considered, hon. Members on that side were alarmed at what appeared to them to be the too large measure of independence given to the Education Committees, and there was a general wish on that side of the House to modify that provision. There were three models which might have been followed in regard to the relations of a body like a County Council, or the Council of a large borough, with regard to a committee. There was the ordinary committee of a County or Borough Council, which had no executive authority, but was simply advisory—a body which could not act on its own initiative but had to refer everything it did to the parent body for confirmation and action; next, there were statutory committees such as the Watch Committees, which were practically independent in regard to police, and the Asylum Committees, which represented various Councils and Boroughs, and enjoyed an exceedingly large independence. There were also Joint Committees controlling the county police. The last of these examples seemed to have inspired the promoters of the Bill. In addition, however, there was another class of committees, and hon. Members on that side of the House wondered why the Government had not taken them as models, since they existed chiefly in regard to educational matters. Accordingly, the Amendment which he placed on the Paper was practically a revival of the words of the Technical Instruction Act, and he was glad to say that on that principle there seemed now to be something like agreement. They had now had ten or eleven years' experience of the working of that Act, and the most satisfactory result had accrued. They were indebted to the Government for having met the views of the House, and of a large body of the public opinion outside, which desired, while giving full latitude to committees to deal with small matters, that in regard to greater questions, such as the fixing of rates, the borrowing of money and capital expenditure on the schools, they should follow the precedent of the Technical Instruction Act.

MR. CHAPLIN (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

asked the Government if there was any objection to the insertion of the words "except the power of raising a rate or borrowing money" after the word "Act." If the committee was not to have the power of raising money it should be clearly stated in the Clause. Personally, he had always been greatly in favour of the County Council being made the local authority, because he hoped it would tend to economy, but he was not quite sure about the committees to be appointed under this Bill.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment as amended— After the word 'Act' to insert the words 'except power of raising a rate or borrowing money.'"—(Mr. Chaplin.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."


said he had no objection to the Amendment. It was quite clear that the education authority ought to be consulted as to the amount of money that was required to carry out the schemes to which the education authority was asked to agree. No doubt the question of raising a rate or borrowing money was a matter which did not concern the committee at all.

MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)

asked for a legal definition of the words "stand referred" in the Amendment of the Secretary to the Board of Education. It appeared to him the obvious meaning was that the local education authority would have no power to act in any matter at all until that matter had been referred to and dealt with by the Education Committee. If that were so, then he thought the additional Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford was necessary.


said the intention was that before action was taken on any matter, opportunity must be given to the local committee to, report on it.

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Morimouthshire, W.)

That means that under no circumstances can the local education authority take independent action.


That is just what it does not mean.


I certainly understood the Attorney General to say that their action was to be dependent on having a report from the committee. They are not to act without first sending the matter to the committee.


said they were bound to send the matter to the Education Committee, which could report if it chose, but the local education authority's action in the absence of a report would be quite untrammelled.


Is it a condition precedent to the action of the education authority that they should send it to the committee? Can they act without sending it to the committee?


The effect of the word is that ipso facto the matter shall be referred to the Education Committee in practice, with or without their report the local education authority can take such action as it many think fit.

SIR JOSEPH- LEESE (Lancashire, Accrington)

said that under the Clause there were two functions—one of reference, the other of delegation. As he understood it, the local education authority would be able to delegate certain powers and duties inherited under Clause 6 from School Boards and school attendance Committees to the committee, a delegation which would, have, he presumed, to be approved by the Board of Education. Then there would be left certain other powers and duties w Inch came under the head of "reference." The committee would be asked to report on these referred matters before the local education authority could take action. The Bill put the Reference before the Delegation. He thought it should be the other way about.


They need not necessarily report.


took it that the first part of the Amendment gave the committee a "right of audience," such as had been granted in schemes to the headmasters of great schools, enabling them to attend and place their veiws before the governing bodies. Assuming that that was the correct interpretation of the Amendment, the local education authority would have the entire power of delegation, and if it did so delegate its duties the committee would be able to act immediately, possessing as it did, full authority from the superior body. Although the word "consultation" had been used in the debate, he thought the powers possessed by the committee would be more analogous to those enjoyed by Corporation committees which dealt with building, sanitary, and kindred matter. The Council or Corporation reserved to itself the power of conforming the action of the Council, and that, he took it, would be the case with the committee set up under this Clause.


said he was in favour of the principle of the Government Amendment.


Order, order, The Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford is now before the Committee.


We are quite willing to accept that. We had Letter do so, and thus clear the way for the discussing of the Amendment of my hon. friend the Secretary to the Board of Education.


thought the words of the Amendment moved by his right hon. friend the Member for Sleaford were totally unnecessary. He desired to make two or three observations on the Amendment which was proposed by the Secretary to the Board of Education.


Order, order! I think we had better dispose of the Amendment to the Amendment first.

MH. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

contended that the words of the right hon. Gentleman did not improve the proposal of the Government at all, because they were acts which could only be clone by the Council and would not come under the reference as a matter of course.


said that although the change was not a very great one it was in the right direction.

MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea, District)

said his right hon. friend was hardly correct in saying that the powers reserved to the County Council were broader than those contained in the Amendment. He understood that the object of the Government was to give a free hand to the local education authority in the raising of the rates and the borrowing of the money.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

said if this committee was not to consider the raising of the rate and how much money was to be borrowed, what could it do? The result of putting in these words would be that this committee could not consider the rate to be levied to carry out its own policy, and its own recommendations would have to be referred to the Finance Committee. What harm could there be in a committee of this sort considering their own expenditure? Why should they not be allowed to consider it?


contended that in the event of the committee not reporting, the local education authority would not be able to raise a rate to carry out the liability imposed upon them under Clause G. He heartily agreed with the Amendment.

Question put and agreed to.


said that as the matter stood, except as to the raising of the rates and the borrowing of money, all the powers conferred upon the local education authority must be referred automatically to the Education Committee before any executive action could be taken by the County Council. He did not see why this should be made obligatory. That the County Council, whether in the case of provided or non-provided schools, would take the opportunity of inquiring from the Education Committe what its advice would be was practically certain, but he could conceive cases in which the local authority would have to act with speed. Surely it would be better for the smooth working of the Act that it should not be compelled in all cases, except in financial matters, to refer to the Council but should exercise its own discretion. He begged to move.

Amendment-proposed to the proposed Amendment— In line 2, to leave out the words 'shall stand.' in order to insert the words 'may be.'" —Mr. Brynmor Jones.

Question proposed, "That the words 'shall stand' stand part of the proposed amendment."


said this Amendment struck very deep at the object of the Bill. They desired to obtain for the local authority the best assistance the district could afford. If people who could give such assistance were willing to serve it was important that the advice of the Education Committee would come form a body which had the whole educational policy of the area before it. Everything ought to be referred to the Education Committee, and then they would be able to give such advice as the local education authority might very well follow.


said that this question depended upon the constitution they were going to make of these advisory bodies. If, as a great many hon. Members desired, a large proportion of the Education Committee consisted id members of the council, then they would have the advantage of the knowledge mid experience of those members. If they were going to give, as they ought to give on these advisory bodies, a majority which would consist of members of the Council, then they would have a voice in any decision which the Council might take. If they were really going to give to the Council power which the education authority might to have, they ought not to exclude them from any independent action in the first instance which they thought fit to take. It was an unnecessary derogation from their authority to say they should never act without referring this matter to the authority. Therefore, why exclude them altogether except under circumstances in which the supreme education authority might think fit to take the matter into its own hands. One could conceive local circumstances which would make it highly desirable that the education authority, in some instances, should keep its power to deal with these matters on its own initiation.

MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)

said his objection was not so much to the word "shall" but to "stand." Suppose, for instance, that there was a complaint of the violation of the Conscience Clause in a certain school. That complaint would have to be forwarded to the Education Committee, and they might smother it if they desired and not report it to the Council at all. The Council, having no report, would have no knowledge of the question which had been raised, and it would take away from the Council the power of hearing an appeal on some question that had been raised. He did not wish action to be taken without reference to the committee unless it had failed to deal with some matter. His objection was not to the word "shall," but to the word "stand." He suggested that it might be altered to "shall be referral," for that would enable the. Council to send the appeal with an instruction to deal with it. In this House they sometimes gave an instruction to a Committee, but by the wording put forward by the Government he took it that action of that kind would be impossible if the word "Stand" remained in the Clause. It would then be within the official knowledge of the Council, before being referred to the Committee, so that if the committee failed to do their duty in reporting on the matter, the Council would be able to take action to remedy the neglect of the committee.

MR. STEVENSON (Suffolk, Eye)

said there was no doubt that in the vast majority of cases the Comity Council would consult the Education Committee, but there might be cases where the County Council would desire to act at once without a reference of that kind. Other- wise a matter which must be disposed of in a few minutes would have to come before the County Council at one of its quarterly meetings. By the Amendment as it now stood it would be referred to the Education Committee, and probably, owing to the technicalities, it would not come before the County Council until a meeting three months after that. As a matter of fact there might be instances in which it would be highly desirable that the County Council should act at once. He hoped the Government would accept the Amendment that "shall stand" should be altered to "may be."

SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)

asked the Attorney General whether the words as they stood might have the effect of excluding from the knowledge of the council any matter referred to the Education Committee.


It must come before the County Council.


said he understood that nothing could come before the Council except upon a report from the committee. The ordinary course in the conduct of the proceedings of public bodies was that a matter should in the first instance come before the council. What would be the effect in the first instance of these words?


said the matter would be communicated to the clerk of the council and he would be bound to send it to the Education Committee. The committee might report, and if they reported, of course, that report would be considered, but if they did not report at all the local education authority might act entirely for themselves. [An HON. MEMBER "No."] The words were "and the council, before exercising any such prayers, shall consider the report (if any) of the Education Committee with respect to the matter in question." [An HON. MEMBER "They are not bound to report."] The committee might not report, but he apprehended that they always would report. The Government had provided for the possibility of the Education Committee delaying action. If after a reasonable time there was no report, the County Council would take the matter into their own hands and deal with it.


said the explanation given on behalf of the Government was better than the statement in the Bill. There was nothing in the Amendment that would indicate that the lapse of time made any difference at all. All it said was that the Council "shall consider the report (if any)." What was a reasonable time? If the council had absolute power why should not that be stated here? One thing was clear from the statement of the Attorney General, and that was that the Council had no initiative in the matter, Suppose a letter came with regard to the Conscience Clause, or it might be with regard to the affairs of a voluntary school, it would be sent by the clerk of the council to the committee. It would stand referred to the committee without any action on the part of the Council. He did not think that should be the case at all. He asked the Prime Minister or the Parliamentary Secretary to state whether the council would have the power of giving an instruction to this committee with regard to the carrying out of their functions. According to the Amendment the report of the committee was a condition precedent on any action on the part of the council, and according to the Attorney General they could only act either after a report had been received, or after a reasonable time had elapsed without the committee reporting. How could they give an instruction if that was the case?


They delegate.


said they could only act in the two contingencies stated by the Attorney General, and if that was the case they could not give an instruction to the committee at all.


said the matter might be referred to the Education Committee with an instruction accompanying the delegating power to act for the Council.


said it did not come before the council at all. That was exactly the difference between his hon. friend's Amendment and that of the hon. Baronet. The hon. Baronet's Amendment said— All mat lets relating to the exercise by the Council of their powers under this Act shall stand referred to the Education Committee, and the Council, before exercising any such powers, shall consider the report (if any)of the Education Committee with respect to the matter in question. If a letter were addressed to the Clerk of the County Council with regard to an infringement of the Conscience Clause it would "stand referred" to the Education Committee, and thereafter it could only come before the Council in the two ways indicated by the Attorney General, assuming the hon. and learned Gentleman's interpretation to be correct, but that was a matter on which he respectfully differed from him. If the intention of the Government was that it should come before the Council they ought to alter these words, because by the Amendment as it stood they were simply courting delay. By referring a matter first to the Education Committee, then to the County Council, and afterwards on appeal to the Board of Education, a period of twelve months Wright elapse before a final decision could be obtained.

SIR JOHN DORINGTON (Gloucester, Tewkesbury)

said the hon. Member's Amendment would do exactly the opposite of what he desired to have done, namely, to expedite matters.


said that what he proposed was "shall he" instead of "shall stand."


said the Amendment before the Committee was to insert the words "may be." By adopting these words they would get into the very difficulty with regard to delay which they wished to avoid. He supported the view that the words of the Clause should be "shall stand" and not "may be."


asked whether the Government would be prepared to accept the word "be" instead of "stand."


It is making two bites at the cherry.


said he wished leave to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment to the proposed Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment, as amended—

"to leave out the word 'stand,' and insert the word be.'"— (Mr. Whitley.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'stand' stand part of the proposed Amendment."


said that if the words "shall be" were in the Bill he understood that all matters would be referred by the Council to the committee, who would then proceed to take action. If the Attorney General were to say that the alteration of "stand" to "be" would have that effect, he would be satisfied.


said that if "stand" was used, the reference was dogmatic, but if "be" was used it only imposed another step.


said it was quite a common thing for a local authority to instruct their clerk to refer a matter sent to him to a committee.


said that the difficulty of his hon. friend the Member for the Northwich Division evidently was that the County Council might not know the matter that was referred to—that the machinery of the Amendment would be much too automatic. Was there anything in the words of the Amendment which would prevent a general instruction being given to the clerk?


thought it was clear that the Council might order their clerk to inform them at their next meeting of all that had been done.


Would they discuss it?




said that for the first time in the history of local government and legislation upon it by this House, it was proposed to say that the local authority should not deal with any question of which it was the ultimate arbiter and judge, until a subordinate portion of the authority had first considered it. In no other branch of local Government dealt with by any of the great municipal corporations or County Councils of the country, or by any poor-law authorities of the country could they find laid down in any legislation that the major authority should not deal with any business until a subordinate portion of that authority had first dealt with it. That was the principle of the proposal made by the Government.


The Amendment now is that the word "stand" shall be left out in order to insert "be."


said that the question was whether the word "stand" should be allowed to form part of the original Amendment. The effect, of allowing the word "stand" to remain would be that all matters before being considered by the local authority should be first considered by the Committee.


said he did not wish to interrupt the hon. Gentleman, but it seemed to him that the hon. Gentleman's argument, whatever its value might be, would be equally applicable to the original Clause and the Clause as amended.


said he was afraid the right hon. Gentleman did not see the effect of the original or substituted words. The substituted words would make this difference, that it would cause the matter to come before the local authority, and the local authority could express its opinion upon it by way of instruction to the committee. He asked all those hon. Members in the House—and he saw a good many on both sides—who had great experience in local government, either in municipal corporations or County Councils, what they would think if on any other question of local Government, their County Councils or municipal corporations were debarred from considering a subject at their meetings until it had first been considered and reported on by a subordinate authority or a committee. He did not believe that it was worth the while of the right hon. Gentleman to insist on these words, because they all knew that the practice of the local authorities was to refer all matters to the particular committees which dealt with them. There was a provision in the Municipal Corporations Act that all questions to be considered by committees should first come before the Corporation. Surely they could trust such great local authorities as the Corporations of Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, to say whether or not a committee should consider a particular matter first. But by this Clause the Government said "No, the corporation must not consider it until the committee has first done so."


said he hoped the Government would consider the appeal made by the hon. Member for Huddersfield, who was such a high authority on the subject of local government. He was sure that the object of the Government must be to conciliate those great local authorities. Why in the world should they not have the power of reference to these committees? It should be remembered what these committees Would be. They would be largely aliens to the primary authority, because they were to consist, to a great degree, of outsiders, and ashy give a greater prerogative to a part than to the while? Was that a wise thing to do? Did the Government think dot that would induce those local bodies to look with more favour on the administration of this Bill? What the word "stanch" excluded was the power of the local authority to direct the committee. Take the case of a complaint under the Conscience Clause. The local authority might think that that was a matter which should be speedily decided, but, as the Clause of the Government stood, the local authority could not send the matter to the committee with instruction to look immediately into the matter and report at once, and as the local authority only met once in three months the delay would be very serious. This question went to the root principle of the power of the local authorities in this country.


said he wished to point out the difference between the effect of the word "shall" and the word "be." The Attorney General would not deny the proposition that the word "stand" prevented the access of the ratepayers direct to the Council which they had elected. The representation of the ratepayers would automatically be referred to the committee and it would only come within the knowledge of the Connell which it was reported on by the committee. What he wished to protect was the right of the rate payers to have access to the men they had elected.


said he thought the object of the hon. Member would he better carried out by the word "stand." The hon. Member aimed at two things—in the first place, that the education authority should he seized of what was going on; and, in the second place, that there should be no undue delay. Under the word "stand," the Education Authority would be seized of what was on, and could of course, discuss what Was going on. If the word "be" were substituted for "stand," that would be introducing another link in the general administrative chain, which could only lead to delay. Take the case of a matter, regarding which authority had been delegated to the committee. Under the word "stand," it would go before the Council and before the committee; the Council might not meet for two in, three months, but meantime the committee would consider it. If the case were of a different character, and dealt in a matter not delegated, then it would go at mice before the committee, and before the County Council as soon as it met. The Council would await the report of the committee before taking action, and, if that report were too long delayed, it would take action oil its own account. What could he more simple, or more expeditious, or what could more amply secure both the administrative autonomy stud power of the education authority, and, at the same time, the advisory position and dignity of the Education Committee? He hoped the hon. Member would not press the matter to a division.

MR. JOSEPH PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden)

said that there was one point

which the First Lord of the Treasury had lost sight of. He agreed that it was most important that the Education Committee should have power delegated to it, between meetings of the County Council; but the right hon. Gentleman did not realize the importance of reserving power to the County Council to raise any question it liked.


The County Council will have that power.


said that, if the word "stand" were retained, no Member of the County Council would be allowed to move a resolution in reference to a matter delegated to the Committee.


said he did not agree with the hon. Member.


said that that was the practice in County Councils. The Chairman would declare any such resolution out of order; whereas, if the word "be" were inserted; it would reserve to members of the County Council, the same power that they had over all other matters of local government. Therefore, it was very important that the word "be" should be substituted.

MR. HUMPHREYS-OWEN (Montgomeryshire)

said he would not have intervened were it not for the interruption of the First Lord of the Treasury during his hon. friend's remarks. His hon. friend had stated the practice correctly. If a resolution were brought forward on a subject which load been referred to the committee, then the general sense of the Council would refuse to entertain it on the ground that it was before the committee, and that it would be only waste of time to consider it.

(3.48) Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 200; Noes 100. (Division List, No.479.)

Agg-Gardner. James Tynte Arkwright, John Stanhope Balcarres, Lord
Agnew, Sir Ardrew Noel Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r
Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Balfour, RtHn Gerald W.(Leeds
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bain, Colonel James Robert Balbury, Frederick George
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Baird, John George Alexander Bartley, George C. T.
Beckett, Ernest William Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs. Nicol, Donald Ninian
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Gretton, John Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.)
Beresford, Lord Charles William Groves, James Grimble O'Doherty, William
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Bignold, Arthur Hain, Edward Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Bill, Charles Halsey, Et. Hon. Thomas F. Parker, Sir Gilbert
Blundell, Colonel Henry Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Parkes, Ebenezer
Bond, Edward Hare, Thomas Leigh Pemberton, John S. G.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Harris, Frederick Leverton Plummer, Walter R.
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Haslett, Sir James Horner Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Pretyman, Ernest George
Brotherton, Edward Allen Heaton, John Henniker Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Brown, Alexander H.(Shropsh. Helder, Augustus Purvis, Robert
Brymer, William Ernest Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Rankin, Sir James
Bullard, Sir Harry Hickman, Sir Alfred Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
[...]ampbell, Rt Hn. J.A.(Glasgow Higginbottont, S. W. Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Carew, James Lawrence Hoare, Sir Samuel Reid, James (Greenock)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset,E. Renwick, George
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Hogg, Lindsay Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Hope, J. E.(Shefileld, Brightside Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Horner, Frederick William Ropner, Colonel Robert
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon.J.(Birm. Hoult, Joseph Round, Rt. Hon. James
Chamberlain, Rt HnJA(Worc'r Howard, John (Kent, Fav'rsh'm Royds, Clement Molyneux
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Chapman, Edward Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Clive, Captain Percy A. Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.
Coghill, Douglas Harry Johnstone, Heywood Sharpe, William Edward T.
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Kemp, George Sinclair, Louis (Rumford)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Kenyon, Hon. Geo.T.(Denbigh) Smith, HC(North'mb. Tyneside
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Crossley, Sir Savile Kimber, Henry Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Spear, John Ward
Denny, Colonel Lawson, John Grant Stanley, Edward Jas.(Somerset
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H. Stewart, Sir Mark J.M'Taggart
Dorington, Rt. Hon. SirJohnE. Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham Stone, Sir Benjamin
Duke, Henry Edward Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Darning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Llewellyn, Evan Henry Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Loder, Gerald Waller Erskine Talbot, RtHn JG(Oxf'd univ
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Thornton, Perey M.
Faber, George Denison (York) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Bristol,S. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Fardell, Sir T. George Lonsdale, John Brownlee Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Loyd, Archie Kirkman Tuke, Sir John Batty
Fergusson, Rt. Hn SirJ.(Manc'r. Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Valentia, Viscount
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Macdona, John Cumming Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Finch, George H. MacIver, David (Liverpool) Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E(Taunton
Einlay,Sir Robert Bannatyne M`Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh, W Welby, Sir Charles G. E.(Notts.)
Fisher, William Hayes M`Killop, James (Stirlingshire Whiteley, H.(Asht'n-und-Lyne
Fison, Frederick William Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire) Williams, RtHnJ Powell (Birm
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Willox, Sir John Archibald
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Middlemore, John Throgmorton Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.)
Flower, Ernest Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wodehouse, RtHn. E. R. (Bath)
Forster, Henry William Milner, Rt.Hn. Sir Frederick G. Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Foster, Philips.(Warwick,S.W Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Wortley, Rt Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Gardner, Ernest More, Robt. Jasper(Shropshire) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Garth, William Morgan, DavidJ (Walthamstow Wylie, Alexander
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans) Morrell, George Herbert Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc. Mount, William Arthur
Goulding, Edward Alfred Murray, RtHn. A.Graham (Bute TELLERS FOR. THE AYES—
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Sir Alexander Acland-
Greene, SirE.W(B'ryS.Edm'nds Myers, William Henry Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Cawley, Frederick
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Charming, Francis Allston
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc.,Stroud Bryce, Ht. Hon. James Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Burt, Thomas Davies, M.Vaughan-(Cardigan
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Caine, William Sproston Dlike, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Caldwell, James Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)
Brigg, John Cameron, Robert Duncan, J. Hastings
Broadhurst, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Edwards, Frank
Elibank, Master of Lloyd-George, David Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Ellis, John Edward Logan, John William Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) M`Kenna, Reginald Shipman, Dr. John G.
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Mansfield, Horace Rendall Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Fenwick, Charles Markham, Arthur Basil Sloan, Thomas Henry
Gladstone, Rt. HnHerbertJohn Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Goddard, Daniel Ford Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Soares, Ernest J.
Griffith, Ellis J. Moss, Samuel Spencer, Rt Hn C.R.(Northants
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stevenson, Francis S.
Harcourt, Rt. Hon, Sir William Nussey, Thomas Willans Srachey, Sir Edward
Harwood, George Palmer, Sir CharlesM.(Durham Thomas, Sir A. Glamorgan,E.)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale Partington, Oswald Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Paulton, James Mellor Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Helme, Norval Watson Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden.) Thomas, JA(Glamorg'n, Gower
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Philipps, John Wynford Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Holland, Sir William Henry Price, Robert John Wason, Eugene
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Priestley, Arthur White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Horniman, Frederick John Rea, Russell Whiteley, George (York, W. R)
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries) Williams, Osmond(Merioneth)
Jacoby, James Alfred Rickett, J. Compton Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea Rigg, Richard Woodhouse, Sir J T. (Huddersf'd
Kearley, Hudson E. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Yoxall, James Henry
Lambert, George Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Layland-Barratt Francis Roe, Sir Thomas
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Runciman, Walter TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Leng, Sir John Schwann, Charles E. Mr. Whitley and Mr.
Levy, Maurice Shackleton, David James Humphreys-Owen.
(4.5.) MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)

said the Amendment which he now proposed to move was necessary, if not almost consequential. He moved to insert after the word "committee" the words "who shall consider the same forthwith and report thereon with despatch to the Council." It was unnecessary to make any long observations with regard to this Amendment, because the necessity for it had been duly pointed out in the speeches made upon the previous Amendments. The object was to prevent delay: and the principle that there should not be much delay having been laid down, there was no reason why the principle should not be put into the Bill by the insertion of these words. He hoped the Government would see their way to accept the Amendment he now begged to move.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— in line 2, after the word 'committee' to insert the words 'who shall consider the same forthwith and report thereon with dispatch to the council.'"—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted in the proposed Amendment."

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.),

in supporting the Amendment, said there was one very important question which he would be glad if the Government could enlighten the House upon. How often would the County Committees be prepared to sit? Those who were acquainted with the procedure of the School Boards would know that, as a rule, a School Board met fortnightly and that in the alternate weeks the various committees of the Board met to deal with current matters. If this matter was to be left vague and uncertain there was great force in the Amendment. If, on the other hand, they were to understand that the committee would be called together at not too great intervals of time, then they would know that these matters would be automatically considered and reported on within a reasonable time. He hoped the Government would throw some light upon this matter.


said he understood that if there was any delay the County Council could act on its own initiative; but he did not think that appeared on the face of this Amendment of the Secretary to the Board of Education. Would the hon. Gentleman make that clear by the insertion of words?


said the difficulty under which they had laboured with these committees in the last three Amendments had been the same, and that was that these committees would be given a quite independent position. If it was to be a committee of the County Council in the ordinary sense, and one that could be told when to report, a committee with regard to which the County Council could dismiss some of the members if they chose, these difficulties could not arise. The Government in this case would see that some uncertainty existed in the minds of the education authorities in the country, and he desired to know whether the local education authorities would be able to give general powers to these committees. He thought many of these difficulties would not arise in practice, because in most cases the matter would be settled by the delegation given in another portion of the Clause. But as this was a power of reference he thought it was desirable that the Attorney General should express the views of the Government clearly.


said the hon. Member for East Northamptonshire had asked how often it was contemplated the Education Committee were going to meet. That, of course, must depend upon the amount of business they had to do. He rather deprecated laying down a hard and fast line for all parts of the country, but he should say they would meet as often as the School Board did now. With regard to the question of the hon. Member for Carnarvon as to the initiative of the County Council under given circumstances, and to the question of the right hon. Member for South Aberdeen, what was contemplated was this; if the report did not come up in proper time the local education authority itself should act, and he would suggest to the consideration of hon. Members whether some such words as these would not remove all doubt in the matter. The Clause would then read thus:— All matters relating to the exercise by the Council of their powers under this Act shall stand referred to the Education Committee, and the Council, before exercising any such powers, shall, unless in their opinion the Matter is urgent, receive and consider the report (if any) of the Education Committee with respect to the matter in question.


thought those words were a great improvement, and they went to show that the discussion on the last few Amendments had not been wasted.


pointed out that, except by implication, these words did not tell the committees that they were to report. His Amendment said they were to "report with despatch" to the authority. He regretted the Government would not accept the Amendment.

Question put and negatived.

MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)

said that owing to the very recent time in which the Clause had been remodelled by the Government, it had been impossible for those representing County Councils to consider it in its new shape. The hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Board of Education had said the County Councils would be their own executive. He submitted that in large counties it would be practically impossible for them to be their own executive in educational matters, Owing to the size of the Councils, and the working of this Bill, it would be impossible to carry it out, unless there was a large amount of delegation. There were many details which no County Councils would require to have brought before them, and if these committees were to have to report all the details, the agenda would become most voluminous. The words of the Amendment as they stood would make many eases play into the hands of obstructionists on the Councils, and reports might be delayed in matters with which immediate action was necessary. The question of consent to the appointment of a teacher, for instance, was a matter which could not be delayed for months until the Council could deal with it; it required to he dealt with at once by the committee. If every matter of that kind, which in. ninety-nine cases out of a hundred would not raise any question of fierce controversy or political difference, had to be delayed until it could be brought before the whole,. Council, administration would be greatly embarrassed and serious complaints would arise. The Secretary to the Board of Education had used the expression "except in urgent cases," but there was no such exception made in the Clause. The words as they stood were far too wide, and he suggested it would be better that the Clause should read "to the Education Committee, and the Council may delegate," and so on, "and subject to such delegation the committee shall report to the Council." His only object was to have words inserted which would smooth the working of the Act in large counties, and he hoped the Government would accept his remarks-in the spirit in which they had been made.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— In line 2, to leave out from the word 'and' down to the word 'the' in line 4."—(Mr. Henry Hobhouse.)

Question proposed "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment.

SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

said it was clear from his explanation of the Amendment that the hon. Member for East Somersetshire feared that the Councils would interfere unduly with the Education Committees. The evident intention of the Government was that these committees, like all other committees of the County Council, should be subject in all things to, and liable to be corrected, if necessary, by the Council. The hon. Member had spoken of "swollen agendas" and the difficulty of getting through the work. The reports might be very bulky, but they would not appear on the agenda. One of the reasons which had prompted the hon. Member's action was probably his experience on the County Council of Somerset, where his reports on technical education had had sometimes to be strongly opposed by the Patronage Secretary to the Treasury and himself (the hon. Baronet). As to the provision "playing into the hands of the obstructionists," it was occasionally necessary for councillors to obstruct when they had gentlemen as chairmen of the Technical Education Committees who endeavoured recklessly to spend the money of the ratepayers, and the object of the Amendment apparently was to lessen the control of the ratepayers' representatives committees. The practical result of the Amendment would be that the County Council would have to pay the bill, while the Education Committee called whatever tune they chose and spent the ratepayers' money without restriction. It was very necessary that these committees should report, and that these report should be confirmed by the Council before money was spent. He, therefore, should strongly oppose the Amendment.


said the hon. Member for East Somerset had to a certain extent answered his own objections. He had pointed out that if delay was l[...]kely to take place in matters of urgency, extensive powers of delegation would have to be given, and that was exactly what the Clause provided for two lines lower down. The Government proposed to give the local authority extensive powers of delegation for the very purpose of meeting cases of urgency, preventing unnecessary delay, and there by obviating the inconvenience feared by his hon. Friend. Nevertheless the Government, while they did not wish there to be any doubt of difficulty as to the capacity of these two bodies to transact with the utmost possible celerity the business in which they both were interested, would be prepared to accept an Amendment in the following form if agreeable to the hon Member, viz., after "powers shall" to insert "unless in their opinion the matter is urgent, receive and consider the report," etc. The words "if any" would then become unnecessary.


thought the words just suggested made the matter worse than before. He feared that those who had to administer the Act would consider that in all cases they had to report tot the Council before any powers could be exercised, and that would constantly doom the whole machinery to inaction. The words "unless the matter in urgent" would only emphasise the point still more. Take the appointment of a schoolmaster to a post actually vacant. Was that a matter of urgency or not? Under the powers of delegation given in the latter part of the Clause the Education Committee might do a great deal without reference, if that part of the Clause stood alone, but if in the first part it was distinctly stated that the Council, except in cases of urgency, were to consider the report of the committee, a great many County Councils would consider that all decisions upon matters which went before the Education Committee were to be brought up for confirmation before being carried into execution. That, he thought, would place a great stumbling-block in the way of the management of these committees.


was glad the Government had declined to accept the Amendment. If they had done so, they would simply have whittled away the concession made earlier in the debate, viz., that this committee should be a committee of the Council, dependent on the Council, and that the Council should be the supreme authority. Under the Amendment, the committee would become a sort of statutory body like a watch committee, or a joint police committee, or one of the county governing bodies in Wales, having power to act independently, without the sanction of the authority. The fears of hon. Members as to delay were groundless, because the powers of delegation in this matter would be the same as in others. In small matters the committee would have complete power, but matters of substance would have to be reported upon to the Council. Questions of principle would be settled by the superior authority, but matters of routine would be left to the committee. As to the Amendment of the Attorney General, he thought it would not in any way interfere with the expeditious working of the scheme. It would simply give power to the Council in matters which they decreed to be urgent, and they, after all, were the judges of urgency. So far from interfering with the expedition, he thought it would tend to smooth matters and help the scheme to work well


thought the words suggested should not be accepted, because, if they were inserted, the County Council would be controlled by its own committee.


asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— In line 3, to leave out the words 'if any.'"—(Sir Robert Finlay.)

Amendment agreed to.

Words [of Sir William Anson's original Amendment, as amended] inserted.


said he desired to move the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for Anglesey. The danger of having an irresponsible body was that they were not disposed to take into account the opinion of the majority of the people in whose interests they were supposed to act. If they had to give an account of their stewardship to a body of electors they would probably act differently to what they would otherwise do. It was quite possible under this Bill that a majority of those acting on these Committees which would be primarily responsible for education within that area would be men who had not been elected by a vote of the ratepayers and had perhaps never come into contact with them. They might have too much expert representation. The Welsh system was getting too much under the influence of experts, and there was a general complaint that against the highly scientific and technical experts the ordinary laymen had no chance. If they overloaded these Boards with experts who took a high scientific line they would not get an efficient educational system. These experts were always running fads of their own. What they wanted was a majority of the representatives of the people to act like jurymen on the jury system. It was a very good thing to have such men on the Board as assessors, but the majority should consist of the ordinary typical representative of the electors. This would give them a much more healthy system than a policy run by experts. He thought it was important that they should have on these boards men who had got a direct sense of responsibility to the rates they were spending to whom they were responsible. That was one of the reasons for which he urged this Amendment.

Amendment proposed— In page 4, line 33, to leave out sub-Section (a), and insert, (a) That a majority of the committee shall he members of the Council."'—(Mr. Lloyd-George.)

Question proposed, "That sub-Section (a) stand part of the Clause."


said that the Government were agreed in desiring that a majority of the Education Committee should be members of the local authority, and the form of words which they were prepared to accept was as follows— For the appointment by the Council of at least a majority of the Committee who shell be members of the Council unless the Council shall otherwise determine. The Government left it optional to this extent that if the local Education Committee deliberately, by express resolution, decided that it would not have a majority of its own body on the Committee, it should be competent for them to take that course.


said he was afraid that the words suggested by the Government only showed the weakness of their proposal. Hon. Members knew perfectly well that this business, especially in the rural districts, would be heavy and irksome. When they considered that this committee would he expected to meet frequently, and that the meetings would probably be held in the county town, it might be very convenient for the members of the County Council, whose residences were some distance away, to say that it would be very much better to leave men behind them as substitutes in order to avoid the necessity of attending themselves on those occasions. He could perfectly see that this provision might be very generally adopted. He did not think that ought to be allowed it they wanted to maintain the principle that a majority were to be men responsible to the ratepayers, and that was the vital question. They knew perfectly well what this delegation would be. The people who would really do the administrative work of this measure were the people who lived in the immediate neighbourhood of the place where the meetings were to be held, because people who lived in the districts would not attend unless they were under obligation to do so. By the proposal of the Government the committee, instead of being representative of the ratepayers of the whole county, would be representative really only of those who lived in the locality of the county town. The business would fall into the hands of a very narrow circle of people living around the place where the business was done. That was a practical disadvantage which would arise in the working of the Bill, and they ought to maintain on a sound principle that a majority should be elected by the ratepayers.

MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)

said he was bound to say, as far as the large communities were concerned, that the Government proposal was very much better than the Amendment proposed from the opposite Benches. The work of the Councils, especially in the large communities, had most enormously increased since their establishment, and indeed since the last quarter of a century. They worked, as the House was aware, through committees. Recently they had established free libraries, art galleries, industrial schools, art schools, technical schools, and gas and water committees, the last named involving immense work, and rearing men of first-class business capability. The Councils were now establishing workmen's dwellings, which also involved, like many of the committees, enormous work. Now Parliament was proposing to impose on the Councils the control of education. All these things had made the Finance Committee one of great importance, the expenditure having increased and the debts accumulated. It was no exaggeration to say that since the Municipal Corporations Acts were passed the work of these bodies had increased twenty-five or thirty fold. Their personnel, however, was not greatly improving; elections were chiefly fought on political grounds, and first-class men were often rejected—thus their failure to pronounce the shibboleth of a particular party. In fact many large municipalities were practically run and controlled by five or six men. These bodies were incapable of taking on greatly increased work. It was extremely likely that the imposition of these fresh duties would be the occasion and cause of the reconsideration of their constitution.

SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

said the hon. Member for North Birmingham was not a friend of the Bill and preferred the School Boards to the local authorities. Had he been a friend of the Bill his proposals would have been strange ones. His argument was that the work which those great bodies had to perform was already sufficient to engage all their energies. The ground on which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire supported the Amendment made it necessary to move a further Amendment. He spoke of elected Members who were in direct touch with the constituencies, but in many counties the aldermen were those who had been defeated candidates at the election. Therefore they were not in direct touch with the electorate. In some cases they did not represent the opinions of the electorate on certain subjects, but in other cases they were the very men whom hon. Members would wish to have on the committee. An Amendment should be made providing that the half or majority who were to be in touch with the electorate should be really elected members of the Council. He proposed to move to insert the word "elective" before "members."


said there was a difficulty in allowing that Amendment to be moved now. The proposal before the Committee was that certain words be left out. He suggested that the best plan would be for the right hon. Baronet to move his Amendment as an Amendment to a proposal which the Government would bring forward later on.


said he would do that. The First Lord of the Treasury, in recommending the Bill, had told them that it was based on popular election, and that the controlling body would he a popularly elected body in touch with the people and representative of their opinions. How very far were they from that principle at present! Even with the adoption of the Government Amendment they would be far from it. The County Council divisions were based on a threefold consideration—area, rateable value, and population. There was no real representation of the opinions of the people on account of the fact that area and rateable value were factors taken into consideration. They were very far from popular representation in the constitution of the County Councils, but even with County Councils so elected upon such a franchise and upon such areas—taking into consideration rateable value and acreage—they did not trust them with the administration of this Bill. They were only going to allow them as an option to have a majority of the committee members of the Council. The duties to be discharged by the Committee were very considerable, and on that committee there should be a majority representing the voting power of the district.


said that it the hon. Member for Anglesey would be prepared to withdraw his Amendment, an Amendment on the same point would be moved by his hon. friend behind him which embodied the general views of the Government.

MR. ELLIS GRTH (Anglesey)

said he was not anxious to have two discussions on practically the same subject, and he was quite willing to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment proposed— In page 4, line 34, after the wool Committee,' to insert the words 'who shall also be members of the Council unless the Conned shall otherwise determine.(Sir William Anson)

Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."


said he was extremely glad that the Government had proposed the Amendment in the form which they had now done. This was just one of those cases in which they must trust the people, and trust the County Councils as to what was best for their own counties. The circumstances of even two adjacent counties might be materially different. One county might have one view as to how the educational work should be carried on, and another county might look at it in another way. Some of them were in direct touch with the schools which they had to manage, and in that case the committee might be a very large one, because their interest would be great and it would be impossible for all its members to be members of the County Council. On the other hand, there were cases where the County Council might well conduct their educational work with a small committee, the majority of which would be members of the Council and to whom the powers of the Council would be delegated. He thought the Government were quite right to leave it to the County Councils themselves to manage this question, and it seemed to him that would be unduly fettering the powers of the County Councils to adopt any other words than those proposed.


said that the only point at issue was as to whether or not they should give a direction to the County Council as to the constitution of the committee. Tins Bill was full of distrust of the local authorities and hedged them round with restrictions and limitations of their power from beginning to end. It they were agreed that the majority of the committee should be members of the Council there was no reason why that should not be inserted in the Bill. It seemed to him that they were far away from the direct control of the ratepayers if they were going to appoint a committee consisting of three-fourths or seven-eighths of outsiders. He trusted the First Lord would leave the House itself to decide this question, which was not controversial.

MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

said he thought it was generally acknowledged in this country that one of the great wants in regard to education was lack of popular enthusiasm. But they could not cultivate enthusiasm unless they insisted on the representatives of the people being closely bound up with the administration of educational affairs. Without that there was great loss to the country. The Government had given no indication as to why they thought there should not be a majority of members of the Council on the committee. He could not see how the disadvantage of the committee having close touch with the people was to be balanced by haying experts on it.


said that this was not a matter in which they should indicate the proportion of the members of the committee which should be members of the Council and which should he chosen from the outside. After all, that would have to be settled by the scheme. It was a matter which should be governed by the individual circumstances of a particular Council or a particular locality. It must be a very pleasing thing in a town where the borough councillors were always ready to attend to matters of this sort. But he was certain that if they had to deal with a large agricultural county a committee that majority of which was selected from the County Council would be so large as to be absolutely unwieldy, or they would have to leave off the committee a very considerable number of people scattered over different parts of the county.

(5.10) MR. BRYCE

said that besides the two alternatives already suggested, there was another method. The scheme itself might provide that there should be always a majority of the committee members of the Council unless the Council should determine from time to time. He thought that would be more in conformity with the views to which the Government had given expression. On the general question he could only say the had been much impressed by the views of the hon. Member for North Birmingham, who had pointed out with great force the enormously increased functions which had devolved on the Town Councils. In the main, he thought, that was a desirable result, but the consequence was the heaping of duties on duties upon the members, and if a majority of the committee were to be members of the Town Council the superintendence of all matters relation to elementary and secondary education would throw on them an enormous addition to their already heavy tasks. He admitted the difficulty, but, after all, the vital principle here was that these bodies must be responsible to the people, and unless they had majority of members of the County Council on the committee there could not be that responsibility. The hon. Member for North Birmingham ought to have thought of the difficulties which he had pointed out, before supporting the Government on this Bill. In the Borough Councils the difficulty was one of time and in the Urban Councils one of space, but this Committee could not, even for the sake of avoiding those difficulties, forego the vital principle of direct responsibility. For these reasons he supported the Amendment.

MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)

said with regard to this matter the right hon. Gentleman opposite seemed to be carried away by sentiment. The responsibility to the people might not be direct, but there was an indirect responsibility which was very real, and really amounted to the same thing. Some things which were indirect were far more real and binding than if they were direct. Here they had the County Councils who were the direct representatives of the people; and if these bodies which represented the electors chose to select persons not upon their body, they had decided a difficult and delicate matter as seemed to them best. The objection of the right hon. Gentleman was a sentimental objection which ought to be set aside by those who desired to arrive at the best educational result. The Committee had heard a good deal as to the harm that was going to be done by the extinction of the School Boards, but the members of the School Boards in the large towns might still remain charged with the duties of education, by becoming members of the new Education Committees. But if these committees were to be crowded with members of Borough Councils, there would be no room for the members of these School Boards. When we trust a body we ought to trust it entirely. Having set up the County Council as the authority they ought not to say to it, "You shall select as we like and not as you like."


said he would agree that it was right to trust a body entirely if that body was to be responsible to the public. What they were asking for was real public control and not delegated public control. He complained that under this Clause a County Council could form a scheme under which there could be no real public control by another County Council which came after them. What they asked was that no County Council should be able to pledge another County Council by its scheme. His real object, however, in rising, was to ask the First Lord of the Treasury to consider the appeal made by his hon. friend that this matter should be left to the unfettered will of the House to deal with.

MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)

thought that much that had been said with regard to direct control was beside the mark. No committee which had to report to its principal body—which might have its decisions and recommendations reviewed and upset by that body—could be said to have direct responsibility. He was in favour of directing the County Council under the scheme to put on its Education Committee a majority of its own members, for the reason that it was not at all unlikely that as time went on, it the committee was composed of members who were not on the County Council, a certain jealousy would establish itself between the Education Committee and the Council, a thing not at all to be desired. He had noticed that in London the County Council at times almost regretted the power they had given to the Education Committee, and he felt sure that the feeling would have been intensified if the majority of that committee had consisted of members who were not members of the County Council. In the interests of education generally, it was desirable that it should be laid down that a majority of the committee should be composed of members of the Council. He hoped that that would be the line on which the decision of this Committee would go, and that when this matter came to be decided, the Government would listen to the appeal that had been made, and leave it to the unfettered judgment of the Committee.


said the right hon. Member for Oxford University had spoken of this as a sentimental grievance. That might be so if they were dealing with a University. But they were dealing now with the control of elementary education. He recognised the value of the concession the Government had made so far as it went, but he hoped they would give a free hand to their followers in the lobby, and that some weight should be given to the argument in favour of giving unqualified discretion to secure that most members of these committees should be members of the County Council. The greatest merit of the School Boards was due to the fact that they sprang directly from the people and were directly responsible to the people. This Amendment was supported because if they were in any way to preserve the state of things in which the grand results of the School Board system had been attained, they must aim at some system which would supply the same direct incentives to the people to take a direct interest in education. The people would naturally throw themselves enthusiastically into the work of education if they were left free to choose for themselves the persons who would best conduct the education of their children. One of the gravest objections to the scheme of the Bill was the inevitable exclusion of Labour representatives. Frequently on the School Boards in industrial towns labour representatives had done most efficient work. He could bear personal witness to the enormous service which Labour representatives had rendered on the School Boards.


Then why do you not leave room for them?


said it was far better to leave it to the electors of these towns to appoint the men whom they had found by experience to be best fitted for the work, and who had acted locally in the furtherance of education among the working classes. One of the startling results of the School Boards was the widened interest the labouring classes took in education. This was demonstrated in the action taken by the trades unions and the great co-operative societies of this country to insist on the maintenance of the School Boards, the expansion of higher education under the School Board, and the general development of education. This was an aspect of the question which the committee should weigh well before coming to a decision. So far as education was concerned, there was no more cogent lever than to rouse the active interest of the working classes themselves. The proposals of this Clause seemed to be a very bad substitute for what at present existed. Even if the Amendment was accepted, what would happen in the rural counties? Certainly, even in a progressive county like Northamptonshire, they would find a disposition on the part of the members of the County Council placed on these committees to absent themselves from the committee, and leave the work to be clone by the experts mid permanent officials. That would be a serious evil, which would be enormously aggravated if the option were introduced into this Clause.


reinforced the appeal made to the First Lord of the Treasury to allow this to be an open question. He pointed out that the borough local authorities had met and unanimously passed a resolution in favour of this Amendment.


moved to, amend the Amendment, by substituting the word "councillors" for the expression "members of the Council." He explained that he had already made his speech upon this Amendment when he moved it previously, and he was ruled out of order, and, therefore, it was not necessary to, speak again. He might just, however, say that the effect would be to confine, the proposal to the elected members of the Council, and to leave aldermen out. They could, however, still be co-opted members of the Education Committee. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— To leave out the words 'members of the Council,' and insert the word councillors.'" (Sir Charles Dilke.)

Question proposed, "That the words members of the Council' stand part of the proposed Amendment."


said he was not aware that there was any analogy in our legislation affecting Borough and County Councils for any such invidious distinction between councillors and aldermen as that proposed by the right hon. Baronet. He was sure that it would he a profound mistake to introduce it into this Bill. He would not argue whether the existing system was improved or injured by the fact that there were certain members of the Borough and County Councils who had not the same immediate election by the electorate as the councillors; but, if that fact did constitute an injury to the system, let them wait for a general reconsideration of the whole scheme. For his own part, he suspected that those who were practically acquainted with the work of the Borough and County Councils, whatever their theoretical views, did not think the quality of those bodies was injured by the fact that aldermen served upon them.


pointed out that some of the enlightened County Councils of Wales, such as he was acquainted with, declined to make any one an alderman at all unless he had first been elected a councillor, and the practical effect of his right hon. friend's proposal would be to exclude from the Education Committee some of the best members of

the Council. As he was not satisfied as to what would be the practical result of this Clause, he should vote in favour of this Amendment.

(5.43.) Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 232; Noes, 122. (Division List, No. 480.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dix'n Johnstone, Heywood
Aird, Sir John Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Kemp, George
Allhusen, Augustus H'nry Eden Doughty, George Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Faber, George Denison (York) Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fardell, Sir T. George Knowles, Lees
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J.(Manc'r Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow
Bagot, Capt. Josecline FitzRoy Fielder', Edward Brocklehurst Lawrence, Won F. (Liverpool)
Bailey, James (Walworth) Finch, George H. Lawson, John Grant
Bain, Colonel James Robert Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham
Baird, John George Alexander Fisher, William Hayes Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Balcarres, Lord Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r Flower, Ernest Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Forster, Henry William Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Balfour, RtHn Gerald W(Leeds Fester, PhilipS. (Warwick,S. W Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Banbury, Frederick George Gardner, Ernest Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham
Bartley, George C. T. Garfit, William Long, Rt.Hn. Walter (Bristol,S)
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Beresford, Lord Chas. William Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Bignold, Arthur Gore, Hon. S. E.Ormsby-(Linc.) Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth
Bigwood, James Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Bill, Charles Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Macdona, John Cumming
Blundell, Colonel Henry Goulding, Edward Alfred MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Bond, Edward Graham, Henry Robert Maconochie, A. W.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Gray, Ernest (West Ham) M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Bousfield, William Robert Greene, Sir E W(B'rySEdm'nds M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W
Bowle, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Greene, Henry D (Shrewsbury) M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs. Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire
Brotherton, Edward Allen Gretton, John Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Greville. Hon. Ronald Middlemore John Tirogmorton
Brymer, William Ernest Groves, James Grimble Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Bull, William James Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Butcher, John George Hain, Edward Milvain, Thomas
Campbell, RtHn. J. A. (Glasgow Hall, Edward Marshall More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire
Carew, James Laurence Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Morgan, DavidJ (Walthamst'w
Carson, Et. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hamilton, RtHn Lord G(Midd'x Morrell, George Herbert
Cautley, Henry Strother Hanbuty Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire Hare, Thomas Leigh Mount, William Arthur
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Harris, Frederick Leverton Murray, RtHn A.Graham(Bute
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Haslett, Sir James Horner Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hay, Hon. Claude George Myers, William Henry
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley Nicol, Donald Ninian
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A(Wore Helder, Augustus Nolan, Col. John.P.(Galway,N.
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Henderson, Sir Alexander O'Doherty, William
Chapman, Edward Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hickman, Sir Alfred Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Higginbottom, S. W. Parkes, Ebenezer
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hoare, Sir Samuel Pemberton, John S. G.
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Pierpoint, Robert
Colston, Chas. Edw. H Athole Hogg, Lindsay Plummer, Walter R.
Compton, Lord Alwyne Hope,J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Horner, Frederick William Pretyrnan, Ernest George
Cranborne, Viscount Hoult, Joseph. Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Cripps, Charles Alfred Howard, John(Kent, Faversh'm Purvis, Robert
Crossley, Sir Savile Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Pym, C. Guy
Cust, Henry John C. Hutton, John (Yorks. N.R.) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Rankin, Sir James
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Rattigan, Sir William Henry Smith, James Parker(Lanarks. Welby, Sir Chariest. G E (Notts.
Reid, James (Greenock) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Whiteley, H (Ashton-und, Lyne
Renwick, George Spear, John Ward Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Rickett, J. Compton Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bornwich) William, RtHnJ Powell (Birm
Ridley, Hon. M.W(Stalybridge Stanley. Edward Jas. (Somerset Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Ritchie, Rt Hon. Chas. Thomson Stewart, Sir Mark J.M'Taggart Willox, Sir John Archibald
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Stone, Sir Benjamin Wilson, A. Stanley (York. E. R.
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E.R (Bath
Ropner, Colonel Robert Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Round, Rt. Hon. James Talbot, RtHn.J.G. (Oxf'd Univ. Wortley, Rt. Hon C. B. Stuart-
Royds, Clement Molyneux Thornton, Percy M. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. Wylie, Alexander
Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Tritton, Charles Ernest Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Tufnell, Lieut.-Col Edward Wyndham-Quin, Major W. FL
Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Sharpe, William Edward T. Valentia, Viscount
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheflield TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Smith, Abel H (Hertford, East) Walrond, RtHon Sir William H. Sir Alexander Acland-
Smith,HC(North'mb, Tyneside Welby, Lt-Col.A.C.E(Taunton Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham William (Rhondda) Harwood, George Rea, Russell
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Reckitt, Harold James
Allen, Charles p (Glouc.,Strotud Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Rigg, Richard
Ashton, Thomas Gair Helme Norval Watson Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Atherley-Jones, L. Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Holland, Sir William Henry Robson, William Snowdon
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Hope, John Deans (Fite, West) Roe, Sir Thomas
Brigg, John Horniman, Frederick John Runciman, Walter
Broadhurst, Henry Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Schwann, Charles E.
Brown, George M. (EdinBurgh Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Shackleton, David James
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Jacaby, James Alfred Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Jones, David Brynmor(Sw'nsea Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Burt, Thomas Kearley, Hudson E. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Caine, William Sproston Labouchere, Henry Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Caldwell, James Lambert, George Sloan, Thomas Henry
Cameron, Robert Layland-Barratt, Francis Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Leese, Sir Joseph F.(Accrington Soares, Ernest J.
Causton, Richard Knight Leng, Sir John Spenecer, Rt. Hn.C.R(Northants
Cawley, Frederick Levy Maurice Stevenson, Francis S.
Channing, Francis Allston Lewis, John Herbert Strachey, Sir Edward
Cremer, William Randal Lloyd-George, David Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Logan, John William Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan. E.
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Macnamara, Dc. Thomas J. Thomas, Daved Alfred (Merthyr
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Duncan, J. Hastings M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, J A (Glamorgan, Gower
Dunn, Sir William M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Edwards, Frank Mansfield, Horace Rendall Walton, John Lawson (Lees,S.
Elibank, Master of Markham, Arthur Basil Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Ellis, John Edward Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Wason, Eugene
Emmott, Alfred Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen White, Luke (York. E. R.)
Evans, Sir Francis H(Maidstone Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Whiteley, George, (York W.R.)
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Moss, Samuel Whiteley, J. H. (Halifax)
Fenwick, Charles Newnes, Sir George Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Norman, Henry Williams, Osmond (Merioneth
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund Norton, Capt. Cecil William Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk, Mid
Fuller, J. M. F. Nussey, Thomas Willans Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Furness, Sir Christopher Palmer, Sir Charles M.(Durham Woodhouse, Sir J.T(Huddersf'd
Gladston, Rt. Hn Herbert John Partington, Oswald Yoxall, James Henry
Goddard, Daniel Ford Paulton, James Mellor
Griffith, Ellis J. Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Philipps, John wynford Sir Charles Dilke and
Harmsworth, Rt. Leicester Pickatil, Benjamin Sir Brampton Gurdon.

in moving the omission of the words "unless the Council shall otherwise determine," said he did not desire to repeat the arguments he had already laid before the Committee. The object he and his friends had in view was to make the Education Committee, as far as the Majority of its members were concerned, directly responsible to the ratepayers. This was a matter which did not trench on the question of religious education, it was simply a matter of government; it was therefore a question on which the members of the Committee might very well be left to exercise their own judgment without taking Party ties into consideration, and he appealed to the First Lord of the Treasury not to appoint the Party Whips to tell in the division.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— To leave out the words unless the Council shall otherwise determine.'"—(Mr. Ellis Griffith.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the proposed Amendment."


I have been appealed to two or three times in the course of this debate to make the present question what is called an open question, and not to employ the ordinary means by which Party controversy is carried on in this House. I do not think that is a judicious course to pursue, and perhaps the Committee will bear with me if, in a word I explain the attitude of the Government in this matter. I stated on the Second Reading of the Bill the perfect readiness of the Government to consider whether the framing of the Bill should be modified in the direction of placing a larger number of the members of Borough and County Councils on the Education Committees. Since then I have on many occasions declared in this House and in the country that the Government do favour any change in the Bill which would tend in the direction of making a majority on these Education Committees a majority of the Council itself. So much for our declaration in the past. Now, as to the actual merits of the case. We are all agreed that the true ideal we ought to aim at is that there should he a majority of the Council on the committee. The only difference between us is as to whether we should lay down an absolutely rigid rule upon that subject or not. I am quite clear that it would be the height of folly on the part of this House, not having before it, and incapable of having before it, all the varying circumstances of the local authorities of this country, to make any such rigid declaration as that which the hon. Gentleman desires. I am informed that there are County Councils who think it would be quite impossible to carry on the work thrown upon them by this Bill if they are required to have a majority of their own members on the committee.


Hear, hear.


The right ham Gentleman opposite gives to that an ironical cheer, and he seems to think that there is no such difficulty. I should rather hope that this was not the opinion of hon. Gentlemen opposite in their less controversial moments. I thought it was one of the main factors in the case for Home Rule—whatever may be the merits or demerits of that policy—that before we get to Home Rule there is to be some method of training in regard to the duties now being thrown upon existing local authorities. If that is one of the things upon which the various sections of the Liberal Party are agreed, it is hard to attack us because we are taking a step in that direction by asking these great authorities to deal with the work of education. I had no intention of dragging these high Party politics into what I consider a purely business subject. It is from a business point of view that I appeal to, the Committee. What would he our position if we passed this Bill with the rigid declaration which hon. Gentlemen opposite desire, and then found that this or that County or Borough Council could not carry out the work entrusted to it because we laid upon it this condition? We should look exceedingly foolish, and the work of education in that area would be greatly hampered. I cannot think that the dignity and efficiency of this House would gain by placing itself in a position of that kind. Surely this arrangement—I will not call it a compromise—is the right arrangement. We laid down in unmistakeable characters on the face of this Bill that what we desired to see was a majority of the Council on the Education Committee, but as we contemplate the possibility that there may be eases where that is an impracticable course, like sensible men we say that after all the education authority—Borough or County Council, as the case may be—is the best judge, and must be allowed a loophole of escape if the rigid system puts them into an impossible situation. I hope, Sir, that will commend itself to the Committee as a common-sense plan, but it seems to me that the danger of allowing ourselves to be hurried away by any over-mastering affection for a purely theoretical ideal is so great that confusion and difficulty would arise if County Councils or Borough Councils could not carry out the burden of work we are putting upon them. I must ask the House to consider this as a question vitally bound up with the practical character of the Bill.


Will the Attorney General give us an answer to the question put to him about the scheme by the hon. Gentleman opposite?


With regard to the question put to me by the hon. Member for North Birmingham, the scheme should contain a provision that the majority appointed by the Council should he members of the Council unless the Council should otherwise determine.


The right hon. Gentleman opposite first laid down what he considers a valuable principle, and then he provides what he has described in a very accurate phrase as "a loophole of escape" from that principle. The loophole of escape is one which very many of us will feel is the one which will most likely be generally adopted, especially in the rural counties, and what I fear is that in these counties the loophole of escape will become the rule and not the exception.

MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)

said this was one of the Amendments put before the Birmingham Unionist Conference, and the verdict was that they were almost unanimously in favour of it, for the "Noes" were only one. They knew that the Government did not pay much attention to the opinion of Birmingham in this matter, for a much more important resolution passed at the Unionist Conference was in regard to assistant teachers, and that recommendation was summarily rejected by the right hon. Gentleman the Premier. The reason why they proposed to omit those words was that they considered them as a very small improvement on the original proposal of the Bill. Of course there was no real danger in those counties interested in education that they would not appoint a majority of actual members of the Council upon the committees. They were really arguing from those counties that were indifferent in regard to the working of the educational system. It was only too likely that a county would say, "We won't take any trouble, but put the matter into the hands of those who understand it, such as clergymen and school teachers, and we will let them run our business for us." It was just those counties that would escape their duty by making use of this exemption. The result of this would be that people would be as indifferent in regard to education as they were before, and the whole matter would be left in the hands of the small ring who now run the County Councils. He did not believe in unelected persons. There was a great deal to be said for the learned men who were not elected, but it a man really cared about education he would not, mind putting up for the County Council election. He did not think that any very large number of people would be excluded by leaving the committee to be entirely composed of county councillors. That was not however, the proposal of the Bill. There was still half of the Education Committee under the present proposal who would not be county councillors. All they were asking for now was that the majority should consist of county councillors, and all the rest could still be chosen from the outside.

CAPTAIN BALFOUR (Middlesex. Hornsey)

said the Government had made great concessions in regard to the managers, and it was now clear that the managers would have very little power at all left in their hands. [OPPOSITION laughter.] Hon. Gentlemen opposite laughed, but that was quite true, although it was a question which they need not go into again. Now they had come to the constitution of the Education Committees, and he supported very strongly the proposal that it would be desirable that a majority of the members of the committee should be county councillors. The hon. Gentleman opposite had alluded to the Birmingham resolution, but he wished to point out that that resolution was passed before the discussions on this particular point in the Bill had taken place. It was perfectly clear now that the Education Committees would be just as much under the control of the County Councils as the managers. This was not so when the resolution was passed at the Birmingham Conference. Many hon. Members had doubts as to how much power the committee was to have, but now it was clear that every report would have to be passed by the local education authority. He failed to understand the criticism of the right hon. Gentleman opposite that the local education authority was not a popularly elected body. He thought they were agreed that it was desirable that the majority of the Education Committee should be county councillors. But in large counties there might be two or three Education Committees, and there might be an insufficient number of councillors to provide the majorities. Therefore, it was a question of convenience and of the practical working of the Bill, and he thought the Committee would do well to carry out the proposal of the Government.

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

said the First Lord of the Treasury had argued that if a large Council were compelled to have a majority of their members on the Education Committee together with their present work they would have too much to do. He had himself used that argument as a reason why the School Boards should not be abolished.


said the Councils could do the work under the provisions of the Bill, but not under the provisions of the Bill as the hon. Member proposed to amend it.


said he was now using the argument as against the argument for the abolition of the great School Boards. The Prime Minister appealed to the Committee from the business point of view. He and others appealed to the right hon. Gentleman three months ago from the business point of view, but the Government determined to municipalise the local control. It had been said that that was the original idea of Mr. Gladstone's Bill. But if they were going to municipalise control they must do it thoroughly. They must not have a spurious form, as they would have under this Bill. The least they should insist upon was that the majority of the members of the Education Committee should be members of the Municipal Council. That was the plea of the famous. Liberal Unionist conference two or three weeks ago. The Birmingham Unionists had not gained then point in regard to the management of the schools, and he believed they were in a worse position now than they were before.


said the hon. Member had left out of account the fact that the Amendment passed this afternoon made the Borough Councils and the County Councils supreme in all elementary education.


said he admitted that the education authority was to be supreme, but the work was so great that they must devolve their powers, and there was no popular control unless they insisted that the Education Committee should be a representative committee. The committees could not be representative unless the majority in all cases were members of the municipal authority. The Government Bill of 1896 insisted very properly that a majority of the members of the Education Committee should be members of the municipal body. That also was the scheme of the Government Bill of 1890. In the Secondary Education Bill of last year it was quite specific that it was not to he left to the municipal people themselves to say whether they would do it or not, there was no loophole, they were placed under obligation in all cases to have a majority of the committee members of their own body. He said, with all respect, that it was not sincere for the Government to state that they were giving popular control if in the next breath they handed the whole thing over by delegation to another body, unless that body had a majority of representative people.

(6.23.) SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge, University)

said the issue was whether they would tie up the hands of the Municipal and County Councils, with whose local circumstances they were imperfectly acquainted, or whether they would leave this question to be decided by the Municipal and County Councils. The county of Middlesex, outside London, contained a number of large urban districts, and he understood it was the opinion of a great many persons on the Middlesex County Council that the only way in which this Act could be efficiently worked was by having, not one committee, but separate committees—a committee for all the great urban districts which would have the control of their own elementary instruction. It was quite impossible for the County Council of Middlesex to find a sufficient number of members to give them a majority on all these Committees. This plan, which the Middlesex County Council thought best, would have to be abandoned if the Committee insisted upon a majority of all these committees being members of the Council. The Council might evade the clause by putting in nominal members who were understood never to attend.

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

said the difficulty to which the right hon. Gentleman had alluded could be dealt with by Clause 15 of the Bill, which empowered devolution. He did not think objections put forward in the First Lord's speech were worth consideration in this matter. But he gathered that the First Lord was disposed to make this a Party question, and that he would regard the rejection of this particular Amendment to be a matter of importance. He desired to remind the right hon. Gentleman that he had already given the House a pledge on this point. The Prime Minister, in the Second Reading debate on the Bill, intimated that he would leave the decision of the subject to the House.


That quotation has been already given once or twice. [An HON. MEMBER: "It is not the same quotation."] I would remind the hon. Member that there is a Standing Order against repetition.


said the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University, was an argument against his own Bill of 1896. If it was mischievous to tie up the hands of the local authority now, he should like to know why the right hon. Gentleman introduced the proposal in 1896. Middlesex was in existence then.


I am wiser now.


hoped that before the end of this debate the right hon. Gentleman would be wiser still, and that he would be able to support the Amendment. The words "unless the Council shall otherwise direct" made absolute nonsense of the Government's own Amendment. The insertion of those words, "unless the Council shall otherwise direct," was perfectly meaningless. This was a very characteristic concession of the Government. To satisfy the Birmingham Liberal Unionists, the Government said that the majority of the members of the Education Committee should be members of the Council; and then to satisfy the opponents of public control, the Government added "unless the Council shall otherwise direct." By the text of the Bill the Council could, if they chose, appoint an Education Committee of their own members, and all that the Amendment did was, by a system of tautology, to give them the same power. The object of this was, of course, to mislead public opinion outside.


said that under the Clause, first, all matters were to be referred to the Education Committee, except rating, and second, all powers could be delegated to the Committee, also except rating. Now, unless the Amendment were accepted, no single member of the Council need be a member of the committee, and if the committee were to have all the administrative powers, financial control was divorced from administrative control. When the Bill was introduced, that was the one thing which, it was said, the Government were going to set their face against. He asked the First Lord whether the Bill carried out the intention of the Government in placing financial and administrative control in the same hands. Unless the right hon. Gentleman accepted the Amendment he would be controverting the primary principles of the Bill, and failing to carry out the pledges given on the Second Reading.


thought that the observation of his hon. friend was perfectly just, and ought to be carefully considered, especially by the late Vice-President of the Committee of Council Did the right hon. Gentleman think that in a Bill of this kind, which was creating an educational authority, it should be made possible that in appointing a committee not a single member of the authority should be on that committee? As his hon. friend the Member for the Northern Burghs had pointed out, the concession was no concession at all. They were enjoined to trust the people. The Secretary to the Board of Education said, "I tell you from the University of Oxford that the people ought to be trusted!" The position of the opponents of the Bill was perfectly sound on this matter. The Government were creating a new education authority; they had been preaching to the local authorities that it was their duty to look after the education of the people; but what was the use of now saying that these bodies might be too busy to look after the education of the people? If the sub-stratum of the Bill was sound, they ought to say to the local authorities, "We shall not delegate these educational duties to others." For his part, he was opposed to bringing in outsiders. [An hon. Member on the MINISTERIAL. Benches: What! no woman?] Certainly no woman. He was, however, not going to forestall the discussion on that matter. He had always voted against the extension of the franchise to women. His opinion was that women did anything whatever better than men in administration or government. He insisted that in creating these educational authorities they were insulting them by saying that they should attend to their duties. The result of the Clause would be that the committee might be composed of men outside the education authority. Take, for instance, the County Council of Gloucester, of which the right hon. Baronet who sat for one of the Divisions of that county was the Chairman. They knew what the right hon. Baronet's views were, and that if he had his way, not one member of the County Council would be appointed to the Education Committee. He would say to the members of the County Council. "You stay with me here and take care of the rates; we will put someone else on the Education Committee." It might be said that Was a fantastic illustration, but it was possible. Was it not fair to say to these new authorities, "You must choose out of your own number the best men you can; you must man your committee in such a way that you will be responsible to us for carrying out the functions of the Bill." Everyone who desired to see the efficient working of the Bill, and the extension of the best education of all children should, he thought, vote for the Amendment.


said he would press on the right hon. the Attorney General to say whether it should ever be possible for an Education Committee to be appointed which contained no single member of the educational authority upon it. Was that the decision of the Government?


said that the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite had declared that in some cases they might not have on the Education Committee a single member of the Council, and characterised that as fantastic. He said that the suggestion was really preposterous.


said it was preposterous that that should be possible.


said he would not waste one moment more in discussing it. The Clause indicated that in a normal and proper state of things, in the absence of special circumstances, there should be a majority of members of Council on the committee. That was indicated as an ideal state of things; but what they recognised was that there might be cases where that could not be secured. Where the members of the County Council were regular in attendance they insisted that there should be a majority of the committee members of the County Council, but if they were not regular in attendance, the controlling power would pass into the hands of experts.


said he again asked an answer to the question: Was it the decision of the Government that it shall ever he legally possible that the committee should not contain a member of the education authority? It was due to the House that the Attorney General should answer that question.


said that the question had been very courteously put to the Attorney General. There was nothing offensive in it, and the right hon. and learned Gentleman might answer it.


said the question assumed that some Council was going to do something that was obviously absurd. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh"!] The Government intimated by this Amendment that the proper thing was, in the absence of special circumstances, that the majority of the committee should be members of the Council. The question assumed that the Council were going to be so ridiculous as

to appoint the whole of a committee on which there was not even one member of the Council.


Can they do it?


As an abstract question of law the thing might be done.


That is the Government's decision.


It is perfectly ridiculous to throw out the suggestion.

(6.43.) Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 233; Noes, 125. (Division List, No. 481.)

Agg-Gandner, James Tynte Chaplin, Et, Hon. Henry Graham, Henry Robert
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Chapman, Edward Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Aird, Sir John Charrington, Spencer Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Clare, Octavius Leigh Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury
Anson, Sir William Reynell Clive, Captain Percy A. Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Gretton, John
Arnold-Foster, Hugh O. Cohen, Benjamin Louis Greville, Hon. Ronald
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Groves, James Grimble
Bagot, Capt. Joceline FitzRoy Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Guest Hon. Ivor Churchill
Bailey, James (Walworth) Compton, Lord Alwyne Guthrie, Walter Murray
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hain, Edward
Baird, John George Alexander Cranborne, Viscount Hall, Edward Marshall
Balcarres, Lord Crossley, Sir Savile Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J.(Manch'r Cust, Henry John C. Hamilton, RtHn Lord G(Midd'x
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Dalrymple, Sir Charles Haubury, Rt.Hon.Robert Wm
Balfour, RtHn Gerald W. (Leeds Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield Hare, Thomas Leigh
Banbury, Frederick George Dixon-Hartland, Sir FredDixon Harris, Frederick Leverton
Bartley, George C. T. Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Hatch, Ernest Frederick George
Beckett, Ernest William Doughty, George Hay, Hon. Claude George
Beresford, Lord Charles William Duke, Henry Edward Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley
Bignold, Arthur Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Helder, Augustus
Bigwood, James Faber, George Denison (York) Henderson, Sir Alexander
Bill, Charles Fardell, Sir T. George Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Hickman, Sir Alfred
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Fergusson, Rt. Hn. SirJ.(Manc'r Higginbottom, S. W.
Bousfield, William Robert Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Hoare, Sir Samuel
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Finch, George H. Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.
Brown, Alexander H (Shropsh. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Hogg, Lindsay
Brymer, William Ernest Fisher, William Hayes Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside
Bull, William James Fison, Frederick William Hoult, Joseph
Butcher, John George Fletcher, Rt. Bon. Sir Henry Howard,John(K'nt,Fayersh'm
Campbell, Rt Hn.J.A.(Glasgow Flower, Ernest Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham
Carew, James Laurence Forster, Henry William Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Foster, PhillipS.(Warwick,S.W Jebb, Sir Richard Clarverhouse
Cantley, Henry Strother Gardner, Ernest Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.
Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derhyshire Garfit, William Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Cayzer, Sir Charles William Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Johnstone, Heywood
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Kemp, George
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Gore, Hon.S.F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Kennaway.Rt, Hon. Sir John H.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon.J.(Birm. Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Kenyon, Hon George T(Denbigh
Chamberlain, RtHnJ. A. (Wore Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Kenyon-Slaney, W.(Salop.
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton Goulding, Edward Alfred Kimber, Henry
Knowles, Lees Murray, Rt Hn.A.Graham(Bute Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Smith, H.C(North'mb Tyneside
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Myres, William Henry Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Nicol, Donald Ninian Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Lawson, John Grant Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway,N.) Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)
Lecky, Rt. Hon. William Edw. H O'Doherty, William Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Pemberton, John S. G. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S. Pierpoint, Robert Talbot, RtHn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Plummer, Walter R. Thornton, Percy M.
Lockie, John Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Pretyman, Ernest George Tritton, Charles Ernest
Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Long, Rt. Hon. Walter (Bristol,S Purvis, Robert Tuke, Sir John Batty
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Pym, C. Guy Valentia, Viscount
Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sheff'ld
Loyd, Archie Kirkman Rankin, Sir James Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Rattigan, Sir William Henry Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C.E(Taunton
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Reid, James (Greenock) Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Macdona, John Cumming Remnant, James Farquharson Whiteley, H(Ashtonund. Lyne
Maconochie, A. W. Renwick, George Whitmore, Charles Algernon
M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W Ridley, Hon. M.W.(Stalybridge Willox, Sir John Archibald
M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire) Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Massey- Mainwairing, Hn. W. F Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Maxwell, WJ. H (Dumfriesshire Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Robinson, Brooke Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Middlemore, John Throgmorton Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Milvain, Thomas Ropner, Colonel Robert Wylie, Alexander
Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.) Round, Rt. Hon. James Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Royds, Clement Molyneux Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
More, Robt. Jasper(Shropshire) Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford- Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Morgan, David J. (Walth'mstow Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Morrell, George Herbert Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Mount, William Arthur Sharpe, William Edward T. Sir Alexander Acland-
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Sinclair, Louis (Rumford) Hood and Mr. Anstruther
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Allan, Sir William(Gateshead) Farquharson, Dr. Robert M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Allen, C. P. (Glout., Stroud) Fenwick, Charles M'Kenna, Reginald
Ashton, Thomas Gair Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin
Asquith, Rt. Hn. HerbertHenry Fitzmanrice, Lord Edmond Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Atherley-Jones, L. Fuller, J. M. F. Markham, Arthur Basil
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Furness, Sir Christopher Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Gladstone, Rt. Hn. HerbertJohn Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen
Bond, Edward Goddard, Daniel Ford Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Brigg, John Grant, Corrie Moss, Samuel
Broadhurst, Henry Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Newnes, Sir George
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Norman, Henry
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Harmsworth, R. Leicester Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Harwood, George Nussey, Thomas Willans
Burns, John Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seele- Palmer, Sir Charles M.(Durham)
Burt, Thomas Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Parkes, Ebenezer
Caine, William Sproston Helme, Norval Watson Partington, Oswald
Caldwell, James Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Cameron, Robert Holland, Sir William Henry Philipps, John Wynford
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Pickard, Benjamin
Causton, Richard Knight Horniman, Frederick John Reckitt, Harold James
Cawley, Frederick Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Rickett, J. Compton
Charming, Francis Allston Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Rigg, Richard
Cremer, William Randal Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Jones, David Brymnor(Swansea Robson, William Snowdon
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan Kearley, Hudson E. Roe, Sir Thomas
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lambert, George Runciman, Walter
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Layland-Barratt, Francis Schwann, Charles E.
Duncan, J. Hastings Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Shackleton, David James
Dunn, Sir William Leigh, Sir Joseph Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Edwards, Frank Leng, Sir John Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Elibank, Master of Levy, Maurice Shipman, Dr. John G.
Ellis, John Edward Lewis, John Herbert Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Emmott, Alfred Lloyd-George, David Sloan, Thomas Henry
Evans, Sir FrancisH. (Maidstone Logan, John William Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Soares, Ernest J. Walton, John Lawson(Leeds,S. Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.
Spear, John Ward Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Spencer, RtHn. CR (Northants Wason, Eugene Woodhouse, Sir J T(Hudderrsf'd
Strachey, Sir Edward White, Luke (York. E.R.) Yoxall, James Henry
Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Whiteley, George(York.,W.R.
Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Thomas, F.Freeman-(Hastings) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Mr. Ellis Griffith and Mr.
Thomas, JA (Glamorgan, Gower Williams, Osmond (Merioneth Trevelyan.

Resolution agreed to.

Words inserted.


moved to omit sub-Section (b). This omission, he urged, was desirable in the interests of the harmonious working of the system. It was important that no section of the members of a committee should be regarded as persons who were fighting the battles of extraneous bodies. The Committee must remember that when a similar scheme was made for the Welsh County Councils, the fullest concession was made to the feeling of the localities. There the appointment of denominational and outside bodies was entirely with the goodwill and assent of the members of those bodies themselves. In England it would be entirely different. County and Borough Councils had the gravest apprehensions, and even went so far as to deny the right of outside bodies to interfere in any way. It was necessary, if these Educational Committees were to be successful, that they should be harmonious in spirit, and that there should be no sectional feeling between the different classes of members on the committee. The County Council, too, would no doubt subsidise secondary schools, and it would be most anomalous if schools which migh receive subsidies were to nominate members who might afterwards have to dispense such subsidies.

Amendment proposed— In page 4, line 35, to leave out sub-Section (b)."—(Mr. Humphreys-Owen.)

Question proposed, "That the words 'for the' stand part of the Clause."


hoped the hon. Member would not press his Amendment. The majority of the members of a committee would clearly be appointed by the Council, but it was desirable that there should be a power of calling in other "persons of experience in education," and "persons acquainted with the needs of the various kinds of schools in the area" to which they were attached. The Committee would see they would have the ordinary state of things, a majority of the Council on the committee, and the duties to he discharged by the committee. If they desired, in the discharge of their duty, to have the assistance of the class of persons mentioned in the sub-Section, they were entitled to have it. The adoption of this Amendment would strike out a Clause which would enable them, in all cases, to secure such assistance if required.

MR. HERBERT LEWIS (Flint Boroughs)

said he thought the Attorney General had not stated quite accurately the effect of this Amendment. The hon. and learned Gentleman had said that it was desired to give the Councils power to call in persons to assist them. He submitted that this was a mandatory instruction to them to do so. If the Council should have the option as had been argued, why should the option not be given under paragraph (b)? He submitted that this was a mandatory instruction to the Council, whether they thought it wise or not, to add a number of extraneous persons to the governing body of the school. Why should not the Government be consistent in this matter, and act upon the principle of trust in the representatives of the people which they had themselves professed in dealing with the last Amendment?


asked what meaning the Government attached to the phrases "persons acquainted with the needs of the various kinds of schools in the area," and the nomination by "other bodies." What was in the mind of the Government? These were somewhat objection able words.


said the words first quoted by the right hon. Gentleman were perfectly clear, and surely it was desirable that a committee should have the assistance of persons who were familiar with the schools of the various denominations. With regard to the expression "other bodies," he instanced Owens College as one of the bodies from whom nomination might be desirable.


Would such a body as the association of voluntary schools of a particular denomination come within these words?


I think we had better discuss that when we get to the words.


But might it? Is it legally possible?


Will the words include the Primrose League?


said the hon. and learned Member had not dealt with the point raised by the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire as to the probability of a number of representatives on the Education Committee being appointed by the grammar schools. He personally was a governor of a grammar school, and if appointed on the Education Committee would be thoroughly acquainted with the needs of that particular grammar school. But all that that grammar school needed was money, and he might be chosen to serve on the committee in the belief that he would be able to exert influence that would result in more money being obtained from the County Council for the grammar school. Within recent years there had been an awakening of public opinion with regard to the conduct of members of public bodies suspected of using their position for their personal advantage. In the case of the grammar school, the representative would probably be a subscriber, and if he could get more money from the County Council it would relieve his own pocket. A man who had no pecuniary interest to serve might be excused if he felt in honour bound to obtain as much money as possible for the school he represented, but it was because he desired to keep our local government and local institutions pure and above suspicion that he pressed the point on the attention of the Committee.

MR. ROBSON (South Shields)

said the character of the motive of this Bill was perhaps more clearly shown in the sub-Section under discussion than in any other. The Committee had heard from the Government their intention with regard to the sectarian schools, viz., that those schools were to remain under sectarian control. But hitherto, parallel with that system in England we had had a system of school government in the hands of the people, under which it was in the power of the people if they felt so disposed to exclude from the government of the national schools all sectarian elements, or to admit those sectarian elements under safeguards as to the fair treatment of all schools. The Government now proposed to deprive the people of that power, and to set up an education authority which was not to he allowed to constitute itself on a popular basis. It was even suggested to the authorities that they need not have a majority of members of the local education authority on the Education Committee, and they were now informed that they must provide for the nominations of other bodies. They were to part with their powers and give them to other bodies, which were not named in the Bill, but which the Attorney General candidly stated were to be of a sectarian type.


I did not say-they were to be exclusively of a sectarian type.


said the last thing the Attorney General would say was that they would be exclusively of a sectarian type, but he did intimate that they would come from the Wesleyans and Catholics—he was not certain whether he mentioned the Church of England, or whether him candour carried him so far as to name the diocesan associations, which were really the other bodies contemplated in the section. The Government had done better than capture the School Boards; they had destroyed them, and the new authority was being put under an obligation, as clearly expressed as the Government dared in a statute, to allow the sectarians to select those who were to control the schools provided and maintained out of the rates. Upon what principle could the Government justify the proposal that the ratepayers, when they had founded and were maintaining a school, were not to govern that school, but that the so-called education authority were to part with their powers to denominational sect, who might be wholly out of sympathy with popular feeling? If the Government were determined to keep the sectarian schools at the public expense, they might, at any rate, let the schools founded and exclusively maintained by public funds remain under national and not sectarian control. Not only were other bodies to have a power of nominating members on the education committee, but there were to be appointed persons acquainted with the needs of the various kinds of schools in the area for which the Council acted. "The various kinds of schools" simply meant the denominational schools, so that the education authority was invited, almost commanded, to delegate part of its powers over rate-supported schools to sectarian associations. That was the meaning of the Bill in every one of its Clauses, but it was for once clearly expressed here and admitted by the Attorney General.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

said the hon. and learned Member for South Shields was usually so fair-minded that one could only conclude that he had not really carefully read the Clause The words were clear. The local authority need not consult anybody; it was not necessary that other bodies should nominate. The effect of the hon. and learned Member's speech was that the Government were setting up an authority a large portion of which would necessarily he on the nomination of sectarian bodies. But that was not the effect of the Clause at all. It was only where the local authority deemed it desirable that bodies should be invited to nominate. The only compulsion was that of appointing some other persons who were not members of the Council, and they might appoint such persons on their own selection without the whatever. They might do exactly as the Hertford County Council had already done in anticipation of the passage of the Bill. That Council had appointed, to assist and advise them as to the best methods of carrying out the Act, a committee consisting of a majority of members of the County Council, with a number of person whom they themselves selectd—experts in education, having direct knowledge of the needs of the district, and four persons nominated by a society on the invitation of the Council.


What society?


The organization of Teachers for the County of Hertford, a non-political and non-sectarian organization. No committee could have been better designed for the work, and what had been done by the Hertford County Council would, in his judgment, be done by many other County Councils when the Bill came into operation.

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.