HC Deb 11 November 1902 vol 114 cc676-740

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [this day], "That the Proceedings in Committee and on Report of the Education (England and Wales) Bill (including Proceedings on the Financial Resolution relating thereto), shall, unless previously disposed of, be brought to a conclusion at the times and in the manner hereinafter mentioned: (a) The Proceedings in Committee on the remaining part of Clause 12, and on Clause 13, on Wednesday, 12th November; (b) The Proceedings on Clauses 14, 15, 16, and 17, on Thursday, 13th November; (c) The Proceedings on Clauses 18, 19, and 20, and on the Committee Stage of the Financial Resolution, on Friday, 14th November; (d) The Proceedings on Report of the Financial Resolution, and on the New Clause relating to the aid grant, on Monday. 17th November; (e) The Proceedings on the New Clauses relating to endowments, local authority's managers, and grouping, on Tuesday, 18th November; (f) The Proceedings on the New Clause relating to managers, and any other Government New Clauses, Schedules, Schedules, and any new Government Schedules, and any other Proceedings necessary to bring the Committee Stage to a conclusion, on Thursday, 20th November; (g)The Consideration of the Report shall be appointed for Tuesday, 25th November; and the Proceedings on Report on any New Clauses and on Amendments to Parts I. and II. of the Bill shall be brought to a conclusion on that day; (h) The Proceedings on Report on Amendments to Part III. of the Bill shall be brought to a conclusion on Thursday, 27th November; (i) The Proceedings on the Report of the Bill shall be concluded on Friday. 28th November.

"At 11 P.M. on the said days, or, if the day is a Friday, at 4.30 P.M., the Chairman or Speaker shall put forthwith the Question or Questions on any Amendment or Motion already proposed from the Chair, and shall next proceed successively to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice has been given, but no other Amendments, and on every Question necessary to dispose of the allotted Business.

"In the case of new Clauses and Schedules, he shall put only the Question that such Clause or Schedule be added to the Bill.

"Proceedings under this Order shall not be interrupted (except at an Afternoon Sitting at 7.30 P.M.) under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to Sittings of the House.

"After the passing of this Order, on any day on winch any proceedings on the Education (England and Wales) Bill stand as the first Order of the Day, no dilatory Motion on the Bill, nor under Standing Order 17, nor Motion to postpone a Clause, shall be received unless moved by the Minister in charge of tin, Bill, and the Question on any such. Motion shall be put forthwith.

"If Progress he repented the Chairman shall put this Order in force in any subsequent Sitting of the Committee."—(Mr. A. J. Balfour.)

Which Amendment was— To leave out from the word 'That,' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'this House declines to entertain a proposal to restrict debate upon a measure which, since it vitally affects the whole working of local government and administration, and, while assuming to establish a permanent system of national education, endows denominational teaching out of the rates without securing full popular control, demands the most searching examination in every particular.'"—(Sir. Henry Campbell-Bannerman.)

Question again proposed, "That the words to the end of line 6, stand part of the Question."


At the interruption of the sitting I was addressing my remarks to an aspect of this question which I regard as of great importance. The debates so far as they have gone, the right hon. Gentleman will admit, have had a beneficial effect upon this Bill. Many of the Amendments have come from his own supporters and many from hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House, and it is universally admitted that those Amendments in the main have improved the character of the Bill. Realising the vast importance of this Bill for twenty-five or thirty years to come, the effect it will have on generations; the enormous results it will have, beneficially or the reverse, is it unreasonable to have expected that the debate upon the system, for the purpose of benefiting the Bill, should have continued. I will ask in all fairness, supposing for the sake of argument the period required for thoroughly and efficiently discussing this measure was another six months. Why should we not spend that amount of time on it? Is it not our duty here to give our ability, energy, and time to the most thorough and capable discussion of this measure? Even if six months further time were required, we should, I think, have persevered until we had passed and placed upon the Statute-book the best edition of the measure the First Lord of the Treasury has introduced. Another reason I would advance for further discussion on this Bill, if the House would see its way to reject the Resolution and reject the Closure by compartments, is that this Bill is couched in extremely vague phraseology. It requires an expert to make common sense out of some parts of the Bill, and in the interests of the Bill itself, more time ought to be given to its discussion. I, like many other Members, ant personally interested in a part of this Bill, which interest will be seriously affected by those proposals if they are allowed to influence our discussions. I had the honour to introduce an Amendment last session relating to a branch of education which many of us regard as of great importance; an Amendment for the purpose of introducing into our national education the system of physical culture. The First Lord sympathised with my views on that question. I think his words were that he followed, with interest and with feelings of entire agreement, the views I expressed, and it is naturally rather irritating to find that there is no opportunity of introducing this matter into this Bill by way of a new Clause which has been put down, and which now there will be no opportunity of bringing forward. That is one subject which the First Lord admitted was possibly at least as important as any other branch of education. I only use that as an illustration of the result of this unstatesmanlike manner of cutting short the discussion of a measure which will become law and affect the interest of education in this country for a considerable period. It is not, I trust, too late to hope that when this Bill has passed this House it may be dealt with in another place, and if that other place justifies its existence there is not the slightest doubt that it will consider the manner in which this Bill has been dealt with in this House is unconstitutional, and its authority and its power will be used for the purpose of rejecting it, and thus compel the Government to go to the country upon this question.

MR. BOUSFILLD (Hackney, N.)

Many who have listened to the course of this debate will admit that the reasons urged against this Motion by the Opposition are extremely thin. One reason given, however, is worthy of consideration. They say a Motion of this sort would put a great amount of power into the hands of the executive Government to curtail freedom of debate. But, Sir, hon. Gentlemen opposite are, to a large extent, disqualified from arguing that reason, owing to the occasions similar to this on which they found it necessary to take just such another step. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down referred to an Amendment in which he was interested, and which will be cut out from discussion owing to the operation of this Resolution. But such a point as that might be met on the present occasion by arrangement, and it could be met on a future occasion by a very slight alteration in our procedure. That is to say, when you are allotting time, one day for this Clause and another day for that, so as to make the best of the time, and distribute discussion so far as possible over the different parts of the it would be possible to distribute the time on those days among various Amendments, giving preference to those which were of most importance. That could be done by a very slight alteration in the powers under the Standing Order. But with regard to those who complain that their Amendments will be cut out, after all, the Opposition have the matter very much in their own hands, because the Government Amendments will take up very little time, and if the Opposition choose to consult among themselves and settle which Amendments they think are of primary importance, and see that those Amendments are brought forward in due course, there will be no difficulty in discussing them within the allotted time. The reasons upon which this Motion is resisted are very shortly put in the Notice Paper, and I see there are no less than seven Amendments which put in the forefront of their wording, "That the proposal of the Government is calculated to disgrace the House to the, level of a voting machine." I venture to think this House must either be a voting machine, a talking machine, or a working machine. It has to be something of a talking machine and something of a voting machine; but it is most important that it should be a working machine, and that is why Motions of this kind become at times necessary. We should stultify ourselves if we allowed ourselves to be overcome with our own verbosity. When we look at what is left of this Bill we see that it does not involve any questions of policy, but questions which might be discussed by a Standing Committee of this House in far less time than has been allotted by this Resolution. The Leader of the Opposition put forth as a reason for his Amendment the fact that this Bill endows denominational teaching. If one followed that up it would lead to a Second Reading debate. But I may point out to the House that the part that endows denominational teaching has already been passed, and everything that could be urged with regard to that has been urged in this House. What is left of the Bill? Clause 12 we have nearly got through, Clause 13 is simply a question of expenditure, Clause 14 relates to borrowing, Clause 15 to arrangements between the local authorities and councils, Clause 16 to Provisional Orders, and Clause 17 to overlapping, Clause 18 to the definition. So I say that if we had not the religious element in this, these are matters which would be dealt with in far less time by a Standing Committee than that allotted. We ought to look at this Motion from the point of view of getting through our business. We ought, of course, to look jealously upon any suggestion of the Executive Government to curtail the freedom of discussion; but when we find ample time allotted under the Resolution—time in excess of what would be required by a Standing Committee—I think the Government is doing the right thing, and that the country will think the same.

(9.15.) SIR WILLIAM HOLLAND (Yorkshire Rotherham)

I have not hitherto taken any great part in the debate on this Bill, yet if I had followed the evident wishes of my constituents, I should have been speaking every day and several times a day, so strong is the interest they take in the measure. Nor can we be surprised when we consider that the subject is one of paramount importance. I cordially support the Amendment moved this afternoon by my right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition. I think it is quite evident from the speeches already delivered, that this subject is of paramount importance. The proposals before the House are revolutionary in their character, and are fraught with momentous consequences to the welfare of our race. A false step taken now can only lie retraced later on slowly mid perhaps painfully, and therefore it follows that exactly in proportion as the Bill is important, and that a wise decision should be arrived at, so exactly in the same proportion is there need at the present time for the most careful and critical discussion of its provisions. We must all feel that it is a very unfortunate circumstance that the religious question should have had so much prominence given to it, but the fault of that does not rest with this side of the House, but rather at the door of the Government. I hold that no greater disservice could be done to the Church of England than to persist with the Bill in its present form; and I know that many members of that Church fully recognise that some of the proposals of the Bill are very unjust in their nature. I have received unsolicited communications to that effect from clergymen of the Church of England, who see that so long as this injustice is allowed to remain, so long will there be hostile influence at work in their respective localities. Rightly or wrongly, the people have got it into their heads that the clergy are somehow pulling the wires of this Bill, that they have exerted their influence on the Government, and have taken an unfair advantage of the great majority which the Government obtained for a very different purpose. It has fallen to my lot to address a large number of meetings in different parts of the country, and, so far as I have been able to feel [...]e pulse of those meetings, the people resent the idea of any Church putting their hands into the public purse without first obtaining the consent of the public at large who own that purse. There is no precedent for the action of the Government in attempting to force, by means of the Closure, through the House of Commons such a stupendous proposal as that we are now considering, not only without any pretence of a mandate from the country, but even in direct opposition to the wishes of the people in so far as we can interpret those wishes by recent by-elections. The volume of opposition to the Bill is very much greater than would appear from some of the newspapers. There was, for instance, that memorable Conference which took place in Birmingham, and which is destined to become historical. On that occasion there was a great speech by the Colonial Secretary which was of coin se fully reported; but there were a great many other speeches delivered on the same occasion not one of which was reported, so that we do not know the full extent of the hostility then manifested to the Bill. It would be bad enough on the part of the Government to persist with this Bill when they know that the country is against them; but if the Bill be a good Bill there is nothing to be lost by letting the light of day into its provisions, and by having the fullest and most complete debate in tins House. When the country sees the Closure applied in so ruthless a manner by the Prime Minister, and that coercion instead of argument is used to drive the Bill through the House, the opposition of the country will become greatly embittered. The use of the Closure will disincline the public from receiving this Bill with that measure of approval which we are anxious to see given to all Bills which pass this House. Our laws are only strong if they have the respect of those who are to obey them, and if they are felt to be fair in their incidence, and administered in an impartial manner. But all these qualities will be lacking in the present Bill should it become an Act of Parliament. I know the Government take their stand on the Church on the one hand, and the Constitution on the other; but I venture to submit that they are not displaying a very constitutional spirit when they muzzle Parliament and defy the express wishes of the electors. It is true that the Government have made many changes in the measure, but these have been made under the stress of the debate, and are, for the most part, pro tanto, improvements; and it is not unreasonable to suppose that further improvements would have been made on the Bill if the Closure had not ruthlessly stopped debate. How often has it happened that discussion on one question has been burked on the ground that it could more properly take place on a later Clause; but when that Clause was reached nothing but the Closure awaited the House. In that way various questions which ought to have been dealt, with by the House have not received any consideration at all. I hold it is even more necessary that there should be a. Careful debate of the Education Bill than of the Home Rule Bill in 1893. I say this because on that occasion the then Opposition were able to rely on the House of Lords when the Bill was sent to them. In regard to this paticular measure the Liberals cannot rely on the House of Lords, because we know that when the Tories are in power there is practically only one legislative Assembly. We know that on the other side of the House hon. Members constantly claim that they have an unusual share of patriotism; and yet in this matter of education they have not patriotism enough to put before the country a truly national system of education, such as we on this side have continually advocated, both in this House and on the platform outside. I heartily support the Amendment, which I trust will meet with a large measure of acceptance.

MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)

I should not on this occasion have risen to address the House were it not that I consider the issues upon which the House is called upon now to pronounce have scarcely been touched by the various speakers opposite. We are not now debating the merits or demerits of the Education Bill. What the House of Commons has to decide this evening is whether the majority of this House is to prevail over the minority. [Opposition Cries of "Oh, oh."] Hon. Gentlemen opposite seem to me rather to ridicule, or to dissent from that doctrine; but I would venture to lay it down as a universal rule wholly without application to any particular measure, whether Home Rule, Education, the Ballot, Manhood Suffrage, or One-man-one-vote. If the opinion of the House of Commons—as it has unquestionably been in this instance—has been pronounced overwhelmingly by constant, almost growing majorities, then I say if that opinion is not to prevail in Parliamentary Government, there is an end to the House of Commons. I am aware that hon. Members opposite seem to think that they have a monopoly of purity of motive. [OPPOSTION cries of "No, no."] I am justified in saying that, because speaker after speaker has got up to declare that my friends on this side of the House are not obeying their conscientious convictions; that they are obeying the Party Whip, to carry out the illustration of the hon. Member who has just sat down. During the ten years I have been here I have never thought to impute motives of any kind. There is an end to what is called freedom of debate if we do not, on each side of the House, take for granted that the view which every Member for the time being expresses is that which he conscientiously believes; and therefore, when a majority of this House has over and over again expressed itself in favour of a particular issue that has to be decided, .I say it does not lie in the mouths of any right hon. or hon. Member to resist unduly and illegitimately the distinctly pronounced opinion of the overwhelming majority of the House of Commons. When the hon. Member for Rotherham said that this Bill had been closured by what he called brute force, let me say that there is no argument in that. I followed attentively these debates during both the Summer and the Autumn Sessions, and without impunging in the slightest degree the purity of the motives of hon. Gentlemen opposite, I say that most of the speeches were repetitions of the argument which several Members had already advanced in behalf of the view placed before the House at the time. With all possible respect I venture to lay it down as a matter of incontrovertible fact that it does not lie in the mouth of any Member to say that issues which have been debated almost ad nauseam are stopped by brute force when we closure a particular issue, and ask the House to apply itself to the next Amendment. I have the honour to represent a constituency where a few friends who gave me their support at the last election have told me that in consequence of this Education Bill they will not be able to do so next time. Nevertheless, from not one of these do I apprehend the smallest dissent when I say that when, rightly or wrongly, the large majority of the House of Commons have decided it ought after reasonable debate to be allowed to pass, that this Bill is a right, a proper, and a beneficent Bill. We have to consider and decide whether the House of Commons is to act up to the traditions which have always resulted in free debate. If we come to a wrong conclusion, the nation has its remedy at the next election. Speaking for myself, I have not the least apprehension that the opinion of the nation, when it comes to know more about this Bill, when it has had its experience of it as an Act, will differ from that of the majority of the representatives.

(9.35.) MR. T. M. HEALY

The First Lord in his adroit speech appealed to hon. Gentlemen on the left hand of the Speaker to remember that the time might come when they might be on the right of the Speaker, and to hon. Gentlemen on the right of the Speaker that the time might come when they would be on the left. That appeal cannot touch any man on the Irish Benches, for we are here permanently anchored on your left, Mr. Speaker, and, therefore, no such argument could have any force or weight with us. I am inclined to think that there is not much to be said for the precedents which have been employed by the Prime Minister for closuring the debate by compartments. They are all bad precedents, for they are all Irish precedents. This, therefore, is an epoch making occasion, because it is the first time that an English Bill, in the discussion of which English Members have mainly taken part, has been treated by the method of summary closure. Accordingly, in these circumstances, I experience between the two contending parties what the ancient theologians used to describe as a "morose delectation." When I entered the House and heard the First Lord make his speech I really thought that instead of advancing the Education Bill he was arguing in favour of a Home Rule Bill for the nature of his speech—and a most conciliatory and statesmanlike speech it was,—was an argument to prove that this House is absolutely incapable in its present condition of dealing with any first-class measure according to the ordinary Rules of Debate. And I coupled the right hon. Gentleman's arguments with a passage from his speech at the Lord Mayor's banquet last night, in which he said: I anticipate no insuperable difficulties in introducing into the whole British Empire that happy spirit of liberty and of patriotism which now so eminently distinguishes Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and our other great dependencies.' I thought to myself if that spirit of liberty and patriotism which prevailed in these portions of the British Empire is, in his view, to be extended all over the Empire, that really Ireland is, as I understand, a portion of the British Empire; and I began to wonder whether, out of the effects of the Mansion House banquet, and the promise of the extension of the liberty and patriotism which Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Cape enjoy, the right hon. Gentleman was bent on conferring the benefits of Home Rule for Ireland.

However, I have not come across the Channel for the purpose of making any ad captandem argument. I simply rise to state why I am here, for the purpose of taking part in the division tonight in support of the Government, and I am sorry that there are only a few Irish Members, Catholic or Protestant, present with me. I am neither a clerical nor an anti-clerical; I am a Catholic, and in this Bill, almost for the first time, I see some chance of applying the conditions of liberality and toleration to the schools which have been erected by the poorest of the poor amongst my exiled countrymen, drive uneducated out of their own land. But with that love for education which distinguishes their race, they have, unaided by State grants, erected, mostly in your slums, these poor, wretched institutions which they call schools, but which to them represent primary, intermediate and university education. I deplore, when the cause of these schools has been put in jeopardy, the absence of so many of my colleagues on an occasion such as this. Let it not be suggested for one moment that we are not alive to the case which has been put by the Nonconformists, and by the Liberal Party, in regard to Church schools. I believe that so far as the Nonconformists of England are concerned, it is a misnomer to call them secularists. I believe they are as anxious as we are for religious education, but they are afraid lest, under the conditions which exist, as they are in a minority, proselytism should prevail if they send their children to State schools or Church schools, where religion is taught. The Catholics have, in order to preserve the religion of their children, erected separate schools, and the Nonconformists, with the same object of keeping intact the creed of their youth, want to drive out of the State schools any religion at all. Our modes are different, but our object is the same, viz., to preserve the religion of our forefathers; and let it not for a moment be supposed that we believe that the Nonconformists of England are in any degree slack or sluggish on such an issue. No, we believe that if they were in a majority they would act exactly as the Churchmen are doing to-day. [OPPOSITION cries of " No!"] But because they are in a minority they have had to invent a great principle—viz., the principle of secular education. For my part I do not pretend to understand the tenets of the Protestant denominations. [Ironical OPPOSITION cheers]. Well it really would be hard to expect that in addition to the other plagues which Martin Luther inflicted on the world, that we should be compelled to study Protestantism. All I maintain is this, that the Church people, having a majority, are anxious to have religion taught in the schools, and the Nonconformists, being in a minority, and believing that the Church religion would be taught in the schools, are anxious only on that ground to exclude religion from the schools. I do not believe that that is a secularist attitude, although it is so represented in Ireland; and from my experience of this House my opinion is that with the extension of the franchise the tone of the House in its treatment of religious questions instead of becoming lighter has become graver, and, I believe there is a deeper and more growing sense of religion extending throughout England than that which existed when I first knew this Parliament. Well, it is said that the Government do not venture to take up boldly, according to some of their organs, the necessity for religious education. I feel under no such disability whatever. I believe that the whole reason for these anarchist movements which have disturbed Europe and which have led to the assassination of the Presidents of the United States and the French Republic, have been due to the expulsion of God from the schools. I believe that the Government are doing a wise and a politic thing in insisting upon the right of the parent to have his children brought up in the religion of his fathers. When I was a boy I used to be taught that the reason for the prosperity of England was due entirely to the way in which the people of England honoured the Lord's Day. That was the teaching amongst us Catholics; and we were taught that although the English people were Protestants they had a blessing of that kind. Well, Sir, in Ireland at this moment we are watching this movement in favour of religions education in this country with deep emotion and pondering hearts. Some people allege that there is some bargain between us and the Government because a handful of Irishmen are going to vote with them tonight. If there were any bargain to be made I venture to say these Benches would not be so empty as they are. The Government do not want the handful of votes that we can give them; and my vote is given simply to testify to my own opinion and judgment that the Government are engaged upon a holy and righteous cause.

Sir, it is said that the present Government are a Coercion Government, and that, as such, no Irish Member should be found in the Lobby associated with them. They will be just as much a Coercion Government next year when they bring in the Irish Land Bill, and if it he no disgrace for us to support them next year in regard to land purchase it is certainly no disgrace to us this year to support them on the question of religions education. We are told, of course, that thereby we are alienating the Liberal Party. I wish for myself to thank all the Liberals to whom I am personally known for the kind and courteous attitude which they have always shown to myself; but I wish to say that, if by voting against religious education I could purchase Home Rule, I would not be prepared, even for the liberties of my country, to sacrifice the chances of salvation of the humblest Irish exile child. Sir, the Liberal Party are in a position of great difficulty. They have Lord Rosebery on their flank. We have had experience of him; and he is a nice man to go tiger hunting with. I would go tiger hunting with him as far as the Zoo, but, as the lawyers say, "not further or otherwise." He praised this Bill at one time, and when he thought he saw the constituencies of England going against him he ate his own words, as he ate them on Home Rule, and determined that this Bill should be fought to the death.[Cries of "Question, question."]


I must say the hon. Member is getting very wide of the question. I allowed him considerable latitude; because I understood he was explaining his reasons for giving the vote which he proposes to give, but he is now going too far.


I appreciate the narrowness of the discussion, and I will endeavour, Sir, to keep within your ruling. However, I do not desire to detain the House. [Cries of "Go on."] We may be told, of course, that in supporting the Closure, the Irish Members are setting an evil precedent for themselves. But the closure has ceased to have any terrors for us. You have closured everything we care about. An hon. Member referred earlier in the debate to the fact that formerly there was a very effective method of Closure—which he called, I think, "vocal closure"—before the compartmental method had been invented. What is the result of the change? We have gained nearly everything for winch you tried to shout us down, and you have practically lost the freedom of your Parliament. All the measures which from 1874 to 1884 we used to be shouted down for advocating in this House—franchise, rent questions, local government questions, abolition of grand jury questions—in spite of all the shouting down they have now found places on the Statute Book. Practically the only matter which now interests us besides education—because the land question is going to be settled—and which remains to be settled, is the question of Home Rule itself. Therefore, so far as closure of debate is concerned, I say it has ceased to have any terrors for us, because, whenever you want to Closure us, you have no hesitation whatever in doing so. I am rather surprised that amongst the list of precedents given by the Prime Minister today he did not mention the action of Mr. Stansfield on July 2nd, 1888. The Government had a little Bill affecting Ireland called the Ulster Canal Bill. It transferred the Treasury charges of protecting the Ulster Canal to a Belfast company, and a few of us in this House opposed it. It was referred to a Select Committee, and when it came down on Report we put down some Amendments to it. Instead of allowing us to discuss the Report stage of that measure, which had never been debated in the House at all, after a long discussion on other private Bilk Mr. Stansfield got up and moved— That inasmuch as this Bill has been fully considered by a Select Committee, this House declines to entertain the Amendments, which ought to have been brought before the Select Committee, and that the Bill be ordered to be read a third time. So that with regard to a local, petty Irish Bill affecting a canal, this House at the instance of a leading Liberal, did not hesitate to deprive us of a humble opportunity during Private Business to discuss the details and Clauses of that measure.

Now, Sir, is it to be said that we are so much concerned in liberty of debate that when the Government propose to give us an opportunity, for the first time, of giving a really effectual vote on a subject on which we have seriously set our hearts and souls, we are, owing to this bugbear of Closure, to withhold our support from them? I tried to inquire, before I made up my mind on the Closure question, how long, according to the ordinary methods of procedure, it would occupy if this Bill were allowed to continue its normal course, and I was informed by a very expert Liberal that it would take until March next. Is it to be said, looking at it even from a sublunary point of view, that with the promise to us of an Irish Land Bill as the capital measure of next session, as this Bill could not be finished until March next, and as there would then be necessary a recess between the two sessions, so that we could not possibly begin the next session before May or June—that our situation is so independent that we can afford to withhold support from the Government that is going to bring forward this Land Bill? I am very sorry myself to have to separate myself from those—especially my Welsh friends—with whom I usually act in this House; but it is perhaps not unworthy of consideration that it is really by their ingenuity, to a very great extent, that the present embarrassing position of affairs in regard to this Bill has been brought about. I gather that though the religion of the Welsh people, owing to the position of strength which the Nonconformists occupy on the County Councils of Wales, is not in the least danger; yet so strong is the feeling of affiliation between Welsh Nonconformists and their English brethren, that they have felt bound to give to their Nonconformist brethren in England the support which they have manifested throughout the months that have passed since the introduction of this Bill. If that has been their action, if Welshmen, out of their consideration for their co-religionists in England, have felt bound to take so strong a line, they will pardon me if, not merely for my own religion, but for men of my own race and my own blood who have been hunted out of their country, I have ventured to take up as strong a position on the other side; and, therefore, will give my support to this Motion when it is put from the Chair.


Mr. Speaker, in the course of this discussion one of the sneakers said that it was understood that I was to reply upon the debate. I certainly cannot accept that statement of my attitude. I do desire to take a small part in this discussion, but I shall not dignify the remarks I have to make with the name of a reply on the debate—all the more because, after all, the issue is, as the last speech has illustrated, so narrow that there is very little to reply to. It must be remembered that in this matter both the two great Parties have a past. We are both tarred with the same brush. We have both supported Closure of the most drastic kind, and we have both opposed Closure, and, accordingly, the real principle which is at stake is a principle which is generally accepted. It is true that my right hon. friend the Member for the Sleaford Division and the hon. Member for Rushcliffe are still among the faithful found. They are still prepared to argue that any restriction of debate in this House is likely to destroy its usefulness and efficiency, but they will not deny that they stand alone, and that, whatever any of us on either side of the House may have said on previous occasions, we have all been brought by the necessities of the case to a similar conclusion—namely,—that, granted a sufficient emergency, closure, and drastic closure, may properly be applied; and accordingly, when we do bring forward a proposal which is undoubtedly a drastic closure, although I think myself it might be alleged against us that it is a little belated and ought to have been introduced some time ago—I admit it is a drastic form of closure—how is it met by the Leader of the Opposition? It is met by an Amendment which practically is an attempt in terms to anticipate the Third Reading of the Education Bill, and I am not in the least surprised that the hon. Gentleman who last spoke, in a speech which was undoubtedly very interesting and very weighty, and as to the sincerity of which I can assure him there is not the slightest doubt on the part of any Member of the House, who listened to him without discussing, in the abstract or as a matter of theory, whether closure is good or bad, argued at great length that the Bill from his point of view was a good Bill, and that, therefore, he was anxious to do all in his power to further its passage. We quite understand, too, that right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite who think the Bill a bad Bill should do everything in their power to obstruct it.


It is admitted that there has been no obstruction.


I am not using the word, for the moment at any rate, in any sense that can by any possibility offend the susceptibilities of the hon. Member for Rusheliffe. I say it is perfectly natural for hon. Gentlemen opposite to do everything in their power to prevent the Bill from passing into law. The case, therefore, which we have to consider is not, in existing circumstances, whether or not closure in itself is a thing anathema maranatha, which is to be on all grounds opposed, but it is rather whether it is properly applicable in the present circumstances to the present Bill, and no doubt our conclusions on that point will largely depend upon the opinion we have of the merits of the Bill. But if right hon. or hon. Gentlemen opposite had confined themselves to that. I think we might have come to a conclusion many hours ago. We might have said: "We quite appreciate your position. We should no doubt take up the same position in your place. But in the House of Commons, according to all constitutional principles, the majority must rule, and the sooner we come to a division to see on which side the majority is the better." But right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite have not been content with that. They have sought to distinguish and differentiate. They have sought to show that, while it was perfectly reasonsable and proper, and in accordance with the liberties of debate and all the other principles which we all at times attempt to enforce, that the Home Rule Bill should be rudely closured when it was only partly discussed, that that is no reason at all why this Bill should be closured after a very much longer period has been given to its discussion than was given to the discussion of the Home Rule Bill. I propose, therefore, to meet them as briefly as I can upon their own ground. It is said that the character of the opposition to the two Bills must be taken into account, and that it was very different. In this case the Leader of the Opposition said the Leader of the House insisted that there had not been any obstruction. My right hon. friend did not say so. What my right hon. friend said was that he put this upon the merits of a different issue altogether, and that it was quite unnecessary for him, in the circumstances, even to consider the question whether there had been obstruction or not. As far as my experience goes, whichever Party is in power always asserts that its Bills are obstructed—and probably they are. For my part, I do not sympathise with the sensitiveness of hon. Gentlemen opposite on this point. I will make them a present of the admission that I have myself obstructed Bills which I thought to be dangerous or obnoxious in one form or another. As long as the Rules of this House permit of obstruction, so long, in my opinion, both Parties alike will be justified in employing it. Whether We, in the interests of Parliamentary discussion, in the interests of Parliamentary discussion, in the interests of the honour and dignity of the House, should allow these opportunities, should extend and develop them, is another question altogether. But, so long as they exist, I am quite certain they will be employed. Obstruction is a word which, perhaps it is difficult to define and certainly in what I am going to say I am not going to use the word with any offensive intention or in any sense in which I would not be perfectly ready to have it applied to myself. I will take a point. I saw in The Times newspaper the other day a letter from the hon. Gentleman the Member for South Somerset who sits on the opposite side of this House. In that letter he says— Liberal Members have been called to account by their Whips for not being inattendance to oppose the Bill word by word and line by line. I should like to know what is his definition of a policy which involves opposing a Bill which must have some good qualities, which has, as in this case, good qualities that have been universally admitted, word by word and line by line. Whether the opposition to this Bill is due to the instructions of the Liberal Whips, of course—


These words were never used.


They are used.


By an individual Member. That is his interpretation.


Of course, it is open to the Leader of the Opposition to repudiate any of his followers. Surely it is open to me to quote these words quantum valeat as evidence of what has been developed in the sight of the whole country. I began by saying, when the Leader of the Opposition interrupted me, that whether these instructions were given by the Whips or not I, of course, could have no knowledge other than this which appears in this letter, but, whether they gave those instructions or not, it is certain that that policy has been followed. This Bill has been disputed by a very small minority of the House of Commons, line by line and word by word. I have never known, in the whole of my experience, so many Amendments put down upon any single Bill. The number of Amendments to this Bill is, I am certain, very much more numerous than the total number of Amendments upon the Home Rule Bill—I believe probably double that number. Legislation is impossible if you smother it by too many Amendments. You say that is not obstruction. Again I ask, will you give me a definition which will exclude the particular form of opposition to which we have been subjected? In the debates upon the closure of the Home Rule Bill, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire spoke several times, and, I am bound to say, I think I agree with almost every word he uttered upon that occasion, so far, at any rate, as it was general and did not apply to the particular Bill. As I have already explained, that Bill was at least as obnoxious to me as this Bill can be to hon. Members opposite. He made this statement, which has nothing to do with any particular Bill. He said: "In the course of my observation "—and the right hon. Gentleman is now one of the oldest Members of this House, and has almost unparalleled experience—"I have found that everything that can be said on a Clause can be well said in a day." In the case of this Bill, how many days did you occupy on Clause 7, how many days did you occupy on Clause 8, how many days have you occupied on Clause 12, how many days would you occupy on all the remaining Clauses of the Bill if you had the chance? What do you say after the statement of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire, that everything that can be said can be well said in a day, what do you say of the proceedings of all the subsequent days? Were those proceedings obstructive? and if they were not obstructive, do, for goodness sake, tell us what description you would give of them. I make the comparison with the Home Rule Bill. You say that you have not been guilty of obstruction. I do not know. I should not, however, use the word guilty. The charge was not made against us by any responsible person that we obstructed the Home Rule Bill. Mr. Gladstone never made that charge in moving the Closure, and I am bound to say myself, I do not think it could have been justified. I do not remember, in the whole of my experience in the House, any lengthened debate in which there was so little repetition, not because —I am not going to take credit for any virtue I do not possess—we were not capable of repeating ourselves, if we had thought that would have advanced our purpose, but because the Bill gave us so many distinct opportunities that it really was not necessary to carry our opposition to that extent.

The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition went on to say that in his recollection never had an Opposition more single-mindedly endeavoured to improve a Bill, and then—I think very unnecessarily—he heard me smile. I admit that I am of a cheerful disposition; I daresay I do smile when something amuses me. But that should not be made a charge across the Table. I will tell the right hon. Gentleman that what caused me to smile was his use of the word "single-minded." I should have said that in my experience there never was a less single-minded Opposition. I am not referring to anything outside this Bill, but upon this Bill what has happened? I do not, of course, count the Irish Members among the Opposition. The British Opposition consists, I think, of 187 Members. I believe that in a very large proportion of the divisions, less than 100 Members have voted with the Opposition. That we know as a matter of common knowledge, but beyond that we are aware of the fact that some very important and influential members of the Opposition—probably a good many of the rank and file—do not share the views of the Leader of the Opposition with reference to this measure. [An HON. MEMBER: How many?] With regard to that I cannot say. In order that I may tell you that, the Leader of the Opposition must be good enough to produce those secret records of the Whips to which reference has been made at an earlier period of the evening. It does not matter. You cannot get over the facts. Out of a. total number on your side of, I think, 187, you can only bring up 100 to vote on ordinary divisions. [An HON. MEMBER: What is your majority?]


What proportion of the Government supporters have voted?


I will be happy to give the right hen. Gentleman full information, and I need not even expose the secrets of our Whips in doing so. I will simply say that the Government have brought into the Lobby on all occasions, or almost on all occasions, enough of their followers to give them a majority of almost two to one. [Cries of "More, more."] I ant told that I have understated my case. I ought to have said on an average three to one. But I will not go on with that. I wish to refer to something, that is more important; this parenthesis is entirely due to the intervention of the Leader of the Opposition. The interruption had for its object to show that the Party that he leads had a single mind to endeavour to improve the Bill. Does he really expect us to believe that statement? Of course he does—I am sure he does. But I think he is too credulous. I do not think that those who have been most strenuous in opposition to the Bill will say that. I will not venture to challenge the Member for the Carnarvon Boroughs, who has taken a very prominent part in these debates, whether his object has not been to destroy the Bill. I do not blame him a bit, but I say that the general object of the Amendments which have been advocated with so much iteration has been to destroy the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman says that in the Home Rule debates it was our object to destroy that Bill, whilst their object is not to destroy this Bill, but to improve it. I admit that our object was to destroy that Bill, and not to improve it, and I am not ashamed of it. It is the object of those who have taken a leading part in this business to destroy the Bill, and it is the object of the Leader of the Opposition to destroy the Government. Remember, I do not blame him, but why should he be ashamed of it? Again and again the issue which fie and his friends have raised upon this Bill and upon which I, for one, would only lie too happy, if other avocations permitted it, to go to the country, was this: whether or not, when the Government undertook the duty of introducing the Education Bill—with the object, as they stated, to improve education, to develop secondary education and coordinating edncation—they were bound, at the same time, to destroy the compromise of 1870, and secure advantages for the denominational schools. On that point we take one view and our opponents take another. We are closuring the debate because we take our view, and they are opposing us because they hold a different view. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that the Closure on this occasion apparently was out of place because the Government had accepted many Amendments, and the hon. Member for the Rushcliffe Division said that the acceptance of these Amendments justified the continuance of this discussion. Just let us look impartially at what this very dangerous doctrine means. We are told that if we give way to Amendments we justify further discussion, even to the utmost limits. If, on the contrary, we say "We shall have the Bill as it stands," then we shall be accused of still more serious crimes. I confess, as a member of the Government—and I should say the same if I were in opposition—that I would prefer to be hanged for the first offence than be executed for the second. I do not think it is a wise course for an opponent to taunt the Government with having accepted Amendments. But, Sir, what are those Amendments? Are they important in the eyes of the Members opposite or are they not important? If they are important, as I think they are, why does not their opposition relax? Why do they continue to be as hostile now as they were before these important Amendments were accepted?


We want to improve the remaining Clauses.


They want to improve the remaining Clauses! I am glad to have that ingenuous confession. As regards the Clauses that are passed there is nothing to say. I understand that as far as those Clauses are concerned, the hon. Gentleman is entirely satisfied. Still he recognises the great concessions that he has wrung from the reluctant Prime Minister. It is only these other Clauses, which we think contain nothing of importance compared with those which have been the subject of discussion, which he thinks it will be impossible to sufficiently discuss in the short time at our disposal.

But now, Sir, again I go back to my parallel. You say that the fact that we have altered the Bill under the pressure of discussion justifies you in opposing the Closure now. What happened about the Home Rule Bill? Did we alter that Bill? Why, Sir, we absolutely reversed the principle on winch it was based: in the course of our discussion we absolutely changed the whole foundation of the Bill with regard to the representation of Ireland at Westminster. We altered the whole character of the Bill, and yet we were Closured after only a few Clauses had been discussed. I ant not complaining of our being closured then, but I put it to the right hon. Gentleman opposite —How, after that example, cant he, who supported the closure then, have the face to say that he justifies his opposition to closure now because, forsooth. we have given him certain Amendments, most of which were proposed on this side of the House, and which were most readily accepted by the Government, not to alter the principle of the Bill, but to make the principle and intention of the Bill more clear?

Then I come to another question upon which hon. Gentlemen opposite have dwelt with great satisfaction. It appears that we have no mandate to deal with education. I was glad to find that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, and even, I think, the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, guarded themselves a little as to this. I cannot conceive any more unconstitutional doctrine than to say that Members of this House, elected for the statutory period of its existence, or such lesser period as circumstances may render necessary.—[OPPOSITION laughter]—yes, as circumstances may render necessary—an adverse vote tonight, for instance. I say I cannot understand that any constitutionalist should say gentlemen elected under these conditions should be debarred during the term of their representation from dealing with any subject that was brought before them. That, at all events, is the principle upon which I have supposed that the House of Commons should always act, and to deny it in any way—I do not say the right hon. Gentleman, but some hon. Members in this debate have denied it—would be to turn every representative in this House into a mere delegate, and to destroy altogether the honourable character of our representation. Sir, the right hon. Gentleman went further. He quoted me. I really cannot say how grateful I am to the right hon. Gentleman and to others, and how much I appreciate the honour they do me in always raking up my speeches and in finding paragraphs to suit their immediate purpose. He took a part in that election, I believe, and had an opportunity of putting his case as against mine; and if he thought I restricted the main issue too much he had every opportunity of widening it, and, I believe, endeavoured to do so. But I made, in the course of that election, some twenty speeches within two or three weeks, and in different speeches I devoted myself to different branches of my subject. And, as a matter of common fairness, I might ask him to take the whole as representing my views, and not a single paragraph. The point he makes is that in talking to the miners, who, I am sorry to say, were not influenced by my oratory, because they returned a Member who is a follower of t he right hon. Gentleman—but in speaking to them I pointed out that many of their fellows in other districts had evidently changed their minds, and had done so because in their minds the main issue at the time was the settlement alter the War. I am not certain that that is not the main issue now. But in other speeches I spoke of a great number of social reforms with which I expected and hoped the Government would have to deal, and with many of them the Government have since dealt. In any case it is perfectly absurd, as I will show, for the right hon. Gentleman—he did not do it at the time—as an afterthought, now to complain that we have no right to deal with education, because I, who was not the Prime Minister, but, speaking in my individual capacity, in a single speech out of twenty, said that the principal issue was the War. I say the right hon. Gentleman is the very last man to talk about mandates, and pretend that we have not a right to deal with the education question. Sir, we had this election, and we know what the result was. We came back here, and we presented to the House a King's Speech. And the first speech which the right hon. Gentleman made after the election was upon this king's Speech. And what did he say in the course of his remarks? He said:— Then we are told that there is to be a measure for dealing with the law of education, and again there is the same charming vagueness. For myself, I am one who holds that we shall not fulfil the destiny of the nation, nor, indeed, shall we be able to maintain our position among the nations until a new spirit is breathed, not only into our system of education—primary education, secondary education. University education, technical, general, literary, and scientific education, but, what is more important, until a new spirit is breathed into the public sentiment regarding education. That being my feeling, I hope that this will be a large and sweeping measure, and the more drastic and progressive the changes it makes the more hearty support I shall give it. Now, Sir, is it not going almost beyond the common limits of Parliamentary debate for the right hon. Gentleman, who spoke in that way immediately after the election, now, years afterwards, to say that we have no mandate?


That is just what I did not say. The right hon. Gentleman has said I did not say it. I have never said that you have no mandate, or no right to introduce an Education Bill. What I said was that the fact that at the election the majority was obtained exclusively upon the War was an important factor to bear in mind when we considered what the opinion of the country was on the subject.


I do not think that was exactly what the right hon. Gentleman said, but I will not contest his statement. But again I make a comparison. They say we fought in the last election upon the War, and that since then we have introduced other subjects. What did they fight upon in 1892? One hon. Gentleman—I forget who it was—quoted a passage from my right hon. friend the Prime Minister to the effect that that Parliament was essentially a Home Rule Parliament; and he seemed to think that the election of 1892 was fought in the country upon Home Rule. Nothing of the kind. The election of 1892 was fought, as we all know, upon the Newcastle programme, and the beauty of the Newcastle programme was that you could take any part you liked, and leave any part you liked. And accordingly every candidate chose that part of the Newcastle programme on which to fight which he thought was most suitable to his constituency. Consequently, in one part of the country you had a man fighting the election upon Local Option, another, in another part of the country, upon Welsh Disestablishment, and another on an Employers' Liability Bill. And there was no one, except the Irish Members, or Members who, like my right hon. friend the Member for the Montrose Burghs, took a very strong and special interest in Ireland, who made Home Rule any point in their speeches. Mr. Gladstone himself did not do so. I must explain what I mean by that. I do not mean that Mr. Gladstone did not refer to the great necessity of a delegation of power, the necessity for what he called Home Rule, but we challenged him again and again at that election in the most definite terms to say what he meant by Home Rule. We went much beyond that. We put before him at meeting after meeting two or three questions, especially as to what he intended to do with regard to the representation of the Irish in Parliament, and with regard to the financial relations between the two countries, and he refused to give us any information on either of those two important points. So that when we came into Parliament, I do not know whether any of his friends knew, but certainly as far as the Opposition were concerned, we had not the remotest idea what kind of a Bill he was going to introduce, how far it would approach what has sometimes been called the policy of national councils, or how far it would be a drastic measure such as he ultimately did introduce. Therefore, I say, there is less reason for supposing that the country gave any mandate in that case than there is in the case to which the right hon. Gentleman referred. But, says the right hon. Gentleman, "The country gave you no mandate." We do not know that until the country is appealed to. But in the case of Mr. Gladstone and the Home Rule Bill we did know. We maintained throughout those discussions what the Opposition are maintaining now. We maintained that if you had a majority, a very small one, in this House, you had no majority in the country. There was no doubt about the accuracy of our prophecy. The accuracy of your prophecy is still to be fulfilled, and when I remember what hon. Gentlemen on those Benches said before the last general election—an election which somebody said tonight was sprung upon them, when, as a matter of fact, there was hardly a speaker upon any question who did not challenge us to go to the country—that if our majority was not entirely destroyed, at all events it would be reduced to the lowest limits, I confess I am not in the slightest degree alarmed at any predictions they make now.

Then we are told that we have to consider the nature of the Bill. Yes, Sir. In the speeches which I made, and from which only a few quotations have been taken—I appeal to any one who is interested in the subject of obstruction in Parliament to read the whole of them—my contention was that when you were dealing with a great constitutional question you must proceed with greater caution than in any other case. Do hon. Members opposite pretend that this Bill compares in importance with a Bill which would have entirely altered the Constitution of the United Kingdom? Of course they may hold that opinion, but I cannot understand it. And I will say another thing. Suppose Home Rule had been carried, you would then have taken an irrevocable decision. No one can deny that if Home Rule were a sort of thing that you could try as an experiment, it would have a great many more supporters than it has at present. The one thing which weighed deeply on my mind, and, I believe, on the minds of the most consistent supporters of Home Rule, was that it was a step which was full of danger, and which, if once taken, could never be withdrawn. As to this Bill, what have you been saying? You have been saying that when you come into power, which you will do, I suppose, some time or another in this or the next generation, you will revoke all we have done. And no doubt if you are in a majority you will have the power to do so, and, therefore, a mistake now, if it is a mistake that we are making, is nothing like so serious as a mistake in the case of the Home Rule Bill. I contend, therefore, that the whole weight of argument is in favour of giving a fuller discussion to a Homo Rule bill than you would give to any Bill affecting domestic legislation.

I have already referred to what has been said about the feeling of the country. In connection with this, the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs has introduced an entirely new idea which, to my mind, is extremely interesting. He says the reason for this Closure, which he describes as sudden and unexpected, is that we are afraid of a split in our Party, and he gave as evidence of this approaching convulsion a certain meeting in Birmingham and certain language which lie quoted. I do not wish to say much about the meeting at Birmingham except this—that, if it was satisfactory to hon. Gentlemen opposite, I do assure them from the bottom of my heart that it was equally gratifying and satisfactory to me. And I am told—I do not know it as a fact—that in Birmingham, where this great revolution, rebellion, mutiny, revolt, as it has been described by some of the Opposition papers, has taken place, I am shortly to receive from my friends and fellow-citizens a very exceptional welcome. [OPPOSITION cries Of "Oh."] Do you object to that? [OPPOSITION cries of "Non-political," and An HON. MEMBER: "That is not generous."] I do not want to be ungenerous. In what way is what I say ungenerous?

MR. TOULMIN (Lancashire, Bury)

I said it was ungenerous, and I thought it was ungenerous, when the Liberals of Birmingham who are joining in this banquet have been given to understand that it is to be non-political, that you should introduce it here.


I do not include the Liberals of Birmingham in what I am going to say, but what I have to say is that, as regards the Liberal Unionists and the Conservatives, who are the only people in regard to whom you profess to believe that there is revolt and dissatisfaction, I speak with confidence, and I know that I have not lost their support. That is my point. The idea that because in a great Party, on a complicated Bill, certain differences of opinion have arisen, and that we have, as we always do, in accordance with our usual practice, discussed them in a friendly manner—the idea that that is the commencement of a revolt or mutiny, or that even those who take a different view from me about that Bill are any more likely to join the Radical Party than they were before, is utterly absurd to anyone who knows the political life of Birmingham.

But the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs also finds a reason for our fear in the language which he quoted—language, as far as I followed him, of personal abuse against the Government, and against, I think, he said, the Bishop of Truro.


I quoted the Church Times.


I under stand the point of the hon. Gentleman is that, because the Church Times—I do not know whether the Church Times is ordinarily a supporter of the Government—[OPPOSITION cries of "Yes," and some MINISTERIAL cries of "No"]—uses strong language, I think too strong language, with regard to our imbecility and other faults, we have been frightened into fits, and have therefore proposed the closuring of this debate. The hon. Member introduced there a most striking and interesting theory. He said that these personalities were connected, he thought, with dogmatic instruction. That leads up to a very interesting problem. What I am led to believe is, that if any man muses scurrilous language towards me, if he attacks my character when he should only attack my political opinions, he must have been brought up in a denominational school. I have a conclusive argument against the theory of the hon. Member. The hon. Member, according to "Dod's Parliamentary Companion," was brought up in a Church school. How, in these circumstances, can he explain the moderation and the courtesy of his language and the entire absence of any personality? The theory is ingenious, but I cannot think it will be generally accepted.

After all, the Leader of the Opposition did make one statement which was not a comparison, but a positive statement. He said—although I think it was a little inconsistent both with his own action on a similar occasion, and with the rest of his speech—that this Motion takes away power from the House of Commons. If I thought that, I should certainly oppose it, but, in my opinion, it adds to the power of the House of Commons, and without some such Motion the House of Commons is reduced to a position of impotence. I again refer to the right hon. Gentleman opposite. On a previous occasion the right hon. Member for West Monmouth said— The only question in this matter is, has there been a reasonable time given, in the opinion of reasonable men, for the discussion of this Bill? In my opinion everything else in this debate is beside the question. The right hon. Gentleman thought that twenty-eight days in Committee was a reasonable time for the Home Rule Bill. Surely, thirty-eight days in Committee is a reasonable time, in the opinion of reasonable men, for the discussion of an Education Bill. Then the right hon. Gentleman went on— Is the House of Commons to be reduced to such impotence that a minority can so conduct their Opposition that no first-rate measure, if they choose to refuse it, be allowed to pass through the House Commons in a single session? That is practically the question. Yes, Sir, my right hon. friend, in his opening speech, pointed our—what cannot be denied—that the time taken, and to be taken, on this Bill will fill up every hour of a whole ordinary session of Parliament. If the Government of the day, with a Bill of this kind in hand, were to give up every moment of its time and not introduce any other measure of any kind, the whole time of an ordinary session would be taken up, even with the Closure; but with the time which we are about to give to this Bill it would be utterly in adequate—it would extend over more than an ordinary session. I speak to both Parties, and although I do not expect Members opposite to support the closuring of this particular Bill, I ask them on the general question, do they think that that state of things can go on? I remember years ago I wrote an article in a newspaper, in which I said: Suppose on a given Bill there are 500 Amendments. Suppose the Opposition which I assumed to he 300 in number, spoke each only five minutes on each Amendment; in that case not only would they take up the ordinary time of a whole session, including the tune for Supply, but a great deal more. ["Oh!"] This, of course, is given as an extreme illustration, but do not be too hasty to catch me up. Take another illustration. Suppose instead of 300 Members speaking each for five minutes you would have fifty Members speaking each for half an hour, and in this debate there are many Members who have spoken on comparatively unimportant Amendments for a great deal more titan half an hour. ["No, no."] What I have to insist upon is that, if either Party chooses, in existillg circumstances, they can, without the Closure, carry on any single Bill throughout the whole session. It is entirely a question of taste whether at a given time the Opposition will exercise its power or not. Is that a right position for the House of Commons to be placed in?

I will now read my last quotation, and it is a quotation from the greatest Parliamentarian that this age, or, I believe, any age, has known. This is Mr. Gladstone, who in the course of the same debate said: There is besides this great question another and still greater quest ion which lies at the very base, the root of our whole Parliamentarian system—the question whether the majority shall prevail. If the majority is not to prevail, our institutions instead of being the glory of the land will become a, mockery and imposture. Surely we all echo that statement of Mr. Gladstone's. We are a great democracy. Democracy means, of course, the power of the people; that, again, has to be interpreted as the power of the majority of the people for the time being. In an uncivilised condition of things the majority make a speedy end of the minority, and there is no move heard of them. In a civilised system we introduce representative institutions in order that the majority may be represented in Parliament, and that there they may have the power by their vote to decide that which they might have decided by brute force. We substitute the vote for brute force. That is the whole object and intention of Parliamentary institutions, and I say that we are frustrating that intention and that object of our Parliamentary institutions, and we are bringing them to naught if we do not allow the majority to prevail. I will make the admission with some regret as to the Closure in 1892, because we are obliged to deal with a particular instance instead of dealing with the subject as a whole. We believe that we shall never really restore the efficiency of Parliament until we hare found some way by a general statute not applicable to a particular Party or a particular Bill, by which discussion may he brought to an end within a period which will he thought to be reasonable by reasonable men. For that purpose I have recommended a Parliamentary Committee—I should not object to see the Opposition in a majority on it—to which all Bills might, if necessary, be referred, in order that some period for reasonable discussion should be fixed. I regret that tins measure does not go far enough in the urgency of the case; but, not entertaining in regard to this Bill the objections which no doubt are honestly entertained by hon. Members opposite, I certainly give my vote without the slightest hesitation in favour of the Closure after this lengthened discussion, and I say that, if we were to have permitted it to go on any longer, we should, in Mr. Gladstone's words, have made the House of Commons and our Parliamentary institutions, which, after all, whatever our political opinion may be, we all unite in venerating, a mockery and an imposture.

(11.3.) MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

I think, Sir, that the House cannot help contrasting the tone of the speech in which the Prime Minister introduced this Motion, with some parts, at any rate, of that to which we have just listened. I earnestly hope—and I think it is a hope which will be shared by the great majority of the House without distinction of Party—that the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down will at any rate regret it calmer moments that he should have referred to a farewell demonstration ["Oh"] which is about to be given [Cries of "Withdraw," and some interruption] by men of all shades and sections of political opinion—[Rene wed interruption.]


Order, order! The right hon. Gentleman has said nothing out of order.

MR. ASQUITH (continuing)

A demonstration which, I venture to say, is a tribute, and a splendid tribute, to the catholic and generous spirit in which public life in this country is conducted—as though it had any relevancy whatsoever to the question before us.


I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would not wish to do me an injustice, and I really think his observation, although it might have been made before my explanation, is not fair after it. I did not complain of the interruption, which indicated to me that my remark might be interpreted as implying an assumption on my part that those Liberals who propose to attend the projected demonstration were in accord with my policy. That certainly was not my intention, and I immediately withdrew it. Perhaps I need not have referred to the demonstration at all, but it was very much in my mind as the latest exhibition of the friendliness of my fellow-citizens; and what I meant to say was that the friendliness which has so continually been accorded to me by my own people in Birmingham is a proof that at all events what is called the revolt has not got gone very far.


My point is that the demonstration ought not to have been made use of in the present connection, and that attendance at it ought not to be treated as having any political significance whatsoever. However, I pass to the general policy of the Motion before the House. I quite admit that all of us who sit upon these From Benches are tarred with the same brush in this matter; we have all been parties in our time to proposing and opposing Motions of this kind. But the right hon. Gentleman has enunciated what appeared to the to be a very crude Parliamentary principle in regard to this matter. That principle, as I understand it, is this: If you think a Bill is bad you may obstruct it; if good, you may closure it; and therefore the question whether or not the closure should in any given state of circumstances be applied depends, not upon the history of the Bill, not on the character of the opposition given to it, but upon whether or not the majority of the House think it to be a good Bill or a bad Bill. Mr. Gladstone said, and very justly, that the majority must prevail. So it must, but still an equally important thing is the manner and the spirit in which the majority should prevail. I venture to say—and this is the proposition I shall endeavour to demonstrate to the House—that, whether you look at this Motion from the point of view of Parliamentary precedent or of the special circumstances of this particular matter, the case for it is too slender to be eked out, even, as we have just now seen, by the great rhetorical ingenuity of the right hon. Gentleman.

Let me for one moment refer to the precedents upon which both the Prime Minister and the Colonial Secretary relied. They are four in number. In 1887 there was the Crimes Act. There are many of us who opposed that Bill at the time with all the resistance in our power, and we opposed the Closure upon it. That Closure was proposed and was granted by Parliament upon one simple ground—salus populi suprema lex. The condition of Ireland was supposed to be such at the time that unless Parliament promptly placed in the hand of the Executive the exceptional powers proposed by the Bill, the maintenance of law and order and social peace could not be secured. No such case is attempted to be made for the present Bill. Then there is the precedent of 1888. In that year the closure was applied in the most drastic and summary fashion on the Bill for establishing what is called the Parnell Commission. Many of us on this side thought that a very high-handed and impolitic measure; but there, again, a specific and temporary emergency was being dealt with. The object of the Bill was to call into existence a temporary tribunal, with limited powers, for the particular purpose of inquiring into the truth or falsehood of certain accusations brought against Members of this House in a publication that was then notorious. But whether the closure of that Bill was wise or unwise, it forms no precedent whatever for the closure of the Education Bill.

Then we come to the cases which have been much more elaborated—those of the Home Rule Bill of 1893, and the Evicted Tenants Bill of 1894. Both were proceedings to which I, in common with many of my right hon. friends, was a party. The right hon. Gentleman just now relied very much upon the precedent of the Home Rule Bill. But is it a precedent at all? In the first place, the Parliament of 1892, whatever the right hon. Gentleman may say about the Newcastle programme, was elected specifically and expressly to deal with the question of Home Rule; and whether or not the Members of the majority swore allegiance to one or other of the items in that programme, I venture to say there was not a single Member on the Government side of the House at the time who had not pledged himself, not only to vote for Home Rule, but to make the support of Home Rule the very first of his Parliamentary duties. But that is not all. The right hon. Gentleman told us that many of the details of the Home Rule Bill actually presented to Parliament had not been before the constituencies. That is perfectly true. But I venture to say, and everyone who took part in those debates will bear me out, that there was not a single one of the great leading problems connected with Home Rule which had not been ventilated, controverted, debated, and examined over and over again, upon every platform and in every newspaper of the country during a period of at least seven years. Then, as to the Amendments to the Home Rule Bill—a large number of which were undoubtedly excluded by the application of the Closure—their object for the most part was, not to increase the efficiency of the measure, but avowedly and ostensibly to make it absurd, unworkable, and self-destructive.

The remaining precedent is the closuring of the Evicted Tenants Bill of 1894. What have we to say to that? That was a purely temporary measure to deal with a particular emergency. My right hon. friend who was then Chief Secretary for Ireland will bear me out, I think, when I say that it dealt with a sum of £100,000 or £200,000 of public money. In the opinion of the Irish Executive of the time it was a measure, the passing of which was absolutely essential to the maintenance of order in Ireland. It is ridiculous to say that that is any precedent for the present proposal. And here let me point out that in both of the cases in which closure by compartments was resorted to by a Liberal Government the House of Lords made very short shrift of the Bills. Have we any such prospect in this case? Why, Sir, I venture to say that when this Motion is carried, when this Bill is passed, if it is to be passed, the country will begin to realise that the most revolutionary thing it can do is to entrust a Conservative Government with a Parliamentary majority. For what happens? This Bill, which, as I shall show in a moment, was never presented to the country or considered by the country, or even dreamt of by serious politicians at the time of the General Election, is introduced into this House, and is then closured by compartments with the certainty that it will slide quietly and rapidly on well-oiled self-acting castors along the floor of the Second Chamber.

But there is more than that to be said. If this Motion is adopted—and I construe the latter portion of the right hon. Gentleman's remarks in that sense—it will be a precedent for the permanent incorporation of this procedure of closure by compartments in our Parliamentary practice. If that procedure can be applied to this Bill, I do not hesitate to say that it can be applied to any Bill of which the imagination of man can conceive. What have you got here? You have got what is admitted by the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues to be a large and sweeping change not only in our educational but in our administrative system. Is it a change—and here I come to close quarters with the right hon. Gentleman—for which the country was prepared? I do not rely upon a single phrase in a single speech of the Colonial Secretary, but let me remind the House of what was said by a great and perfectly impartial authority not mixed up with the tumult and dust of our Parliamentary conflicts. What was said by the head of the English Church, the Archbishop of Canterbury, only five years ago? The Archbishop of Canterbury at that time warned the Church not to place themselves on what he called the slippery incline of rate aid. He has now told us, in a recent authorized commentary upon that text, that he never dreamed at that moment, or, I suppose, for a considerable time afterwards, that any responsible Government in this country would propose to support denominational schools out of the rates while retaining their control in the hands of the Church. I will venture to refer to another authority—the Prime Minister himself. I am not going to refer to an election address or to election speeches, but to what I think is still more relevant to the pnrpose—a speech made by him after the election was over on November 10th, 1900, in Christ Church schoolroom, Manchester. The election was now over. The country knew perfectly well whom they had been voting for and what they had been voting for, and this is the advice which the Prime Mister then gave to the managers of voluntary schools in his own constituency. He said— They had two great church schools in a high State of efficiency, but, as everybody knew who had followed educational controversy in England, there was no greater difficulty in the way of these schools which were not supported out Of the rates than the difficulty involved in keeping pace with the ever-glowing require-merits of modern education. They believed, as he believed, in the great, national necessity of maintaining the voluntary schools. They held that this necessity involved a corresponding effort on the part of those who supported the schools. What has become of the corresponding effort? They had, of course, large support from Government sources, but they had not the advantage which the neighbouring Board Schools had Of being able to put their bands into the generous pockets of the ratepayer to carry out their duty. That was perfectly true; but is that the language of a statesman who had in his pocket, or in his pigeon-hole, or at the back of his mind, a scheme for giving rate aid to denominational schools? What would the right hon. Gentleman have said if he had had any such scheme, or had thought that the electors when they supported him had contemplated any such scheme as possible? He would have used very different language. He would have said, "Endure for a little time the intolerable strain. The streaks of dawn are in the horizon. There is a good time coming. There is a Government installed in power to which you have given a Parliamentary majority for five or, it may he, seven years to come, and you may rely upon that Government to open for you the fertilising sluices of the rate-fed reservoir." No, Sir, it was because the right hon. Gentleman, in common with his supporters, and, I venture to say the great mass of electors in this country, had at that time no conception that any such scheme as this could possibly obtain Parliamentary sanction and support, that, he used the language to which I have referred.

But the right hon. Gentleman has referred, as further justification for this Motion, to the Amendments which have been moved. I must confess that upon this matter I prefer the testimony of the Prime Minister, who has been present throughout the debate, and who has acquitted the Opposition throughout an these long discussions of anything in the nature of obstruction, to that of the right hon. Gentleman whom other ditties—I do not Halite him for it—have with, drawn from personal participation in these debates. But not only have the Amendments not been obstructive, but, as the Bill in its present form shows, they have been in the highest degree fruitful and remunerative. My hon. friend the Member for Elland at an earlier stage of the evening pointed out, that by Amendments to the 12 Clauses which had been discussed no less than 120 lines have been added. I will take two Clauses by way of illustration; and here let me remark first in reference to what the right hon. Gentleman has just said, that it is not a question of the number of days that you take over a Clause which determines the question whether or not it has been properly debated; the criterion is the extent, character, and value of the Amendments and additions made. If we are to go by the windier of days, I might remind the right hon. Gentleman, and some of those who sit behind him, of what took place in the autumn of 1893, when we were discussing what was described by all Parties as a purely non-controversial measure—the Parish Councils Bill. In that Bill, over Clause 13, the Opposition occupied six days, and over Clause 19 no less than seven days, and no one has ever suggested that either of those Clauses contained anything, either expressly or by inference one-tenth part as controversial as heaps of the points which bristle in almost every one of the Clauses of this Bill. But, leaving that aside, let me remind the House simply of what has overtaken two of the Clauses of the present Bill. First of all, the second Clause, a very important one, which deals with higher education, when the Bill was introduced was purely permissive both as regards the adoption of the powers and as regards the expenditure of the whisky money supplied by the State as the Parliamentary contribution for higher education. That Clause occupied nearly a week in discussion, but it has emerged in a shape, both as regards powers and expenditure, which is practically mandatory. I say that the House of Commons occupied that week in a thoroughly businesslike manner. Let me take one other illustration, the eighth Clause, which I suppose has taken a larger amount of discussion in point of time and of the number of speeches and Amendments than any other Clause of the Bill. Am I exaggerating when I say that in the course of the ten days it occupied it has been completely transformed? This Clause, which in the shape in which we now see it is hardly recognisable by its own parents, embraces the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment, which has given so much trouble outside, and. which I think my hon. friend the Member for Carnarvon was not unduly uncharitable in suggesting was possibly the inducement to this wholesale closure. If you look at the Bill and the work which has actually been done upon it, I venture to say not only that the Amendments proposed have been consistent for the most part with the scope and objects of the Bill, but that the Amendments which the Government and the majority of the House have adopted are to the infinite improvement of the measure itself. Notwithstanding the sneer of the Colonial Secretary, I wish to ask the House of Commons, as a deliberative Assembly, why should not the same process be applied to the remaining Clauses of the Bill? Is there any more reason to think that they in their original form embody infallible wisdom than to think so in the case of those Clauses which have been so largely transformed by their authors? There is no case whatsoever made out for the Closure of the discussion of those Clauses and I will add this—which, from the point of view both of the efficiency and dignity of the House, is not an unimportant consideration—that if you wish to make this Bill, as you profess, a workable scheme, if it is to be the basis of a permanent solution of the problem of national education, you cannot do a greater disservice to it, you cannot at the outset more effectually over cloud the prospect, than by forcing it through this House, in which alone the representatives of popular opinion can be heard, by arbitrary and drastic measures such as those which are now proposed.

I venture to say that until tins debate, whether you look back to the precedents of the past or to the reason of the thing, both the theory and the practice of the House of Commons have been that this procedure, which we all regret, which none of us like, which we admit to be inconsistent with the elementary rights and privileges of a debating assembly—this procedure has never been and ought not to be resorted to except in one or two cases, in a case of extreme emergency in the interests of public order, or in the case where a Bill, having been carefully considered, both by the country and by Parliamentary discussion, is ripe for a final decision. What are you doing here? You are violating those traditions; you are flying in the face of experience; you are establishing a precedent which, I venture to say, once established will be repeated and applied in cases which will be extremely unwelcome to the large majority of those who are going to vote for this Motion. You are going to apply this procedure, which has hitherto been confined within limited and rational bounds, to a Measure which is at once complex and revolutionary, which is neither urgent in its occasion nor temporary in its operation, as to which the country has never been consulted, against the hasty and ill-considered passage of which our Second Chamber affords us no effectual safeguard, and by so doing you are taking a step which is unwarranted by precedent, which is of the most dangerous example, and which ought not lightly to be adapted by the House of Commons.

(11.28.) Question put.

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Denny, Colonel Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets Hogg, Lindsay
Anson, Sir William Reynell Dickinson, Robert Edmond Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside
Arkwright, John Stanhope Diekson-Poynder, Sir John P. Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Dixon- Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Hoult, Joseph
Arrol, Sir William Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Howard John (Kent, Faversham
Atkinson, Rt. Hun. John Doughty, George Howard,J. (Midd., Tottenham)
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hozier, Hon James Henry Cecil
Bailey, James (Walworth) Doxford, Sir William Theodore Hudson, George Bickersteth
Bain, Colonel James Robert Duke, Henry Edward Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)
Baird, John George Alexander Darning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Balwin, Alfred Dyke, Rt.Hon. Sir William Hart Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Johnstone, Heywood
Balfour, Kenneth R.(Christch. Faber, George Denison (York) Kemp, George
Barry,Sir Francis T. (Windsor) Fardell, Sir T. George Kennaway, Rt. Hn.Sir John H.
Bartley, George C. T. Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Kennedy Patrick James
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir. J. (Manc'r Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)
Beckett, Ernest William Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Keswick, William
Beresford, Lord Charles Wm. Finch, George H. Kimber, Henry
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne King, Sir Henry Seymour
Bignold, Arthur Firbank. Sir Joseph Thomas Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Bigwood. James Fisher, William Hayes Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Fison, Frederick William Lawrence, Sir. Joseph (Monm'th
Bond, Edward Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Flannery, Sir Fortescue Lawson, John Grant
Bonsfield, William Robert Fletcher. Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H.
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Flower, Ernest Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareh'm
Brassey, Albert Forster, Henry William Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Brodriek, Rt. Hon. St. John Gardner, Ernest Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Gartit, William Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Gibbs, Hn A. G. H. (City of Loud. Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Brymer, William Ernest Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
Bull, William James Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Bullard, Sir Harry Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts Long, Col. Charles W (Evesham)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol,S
Butcher, John George Gosehen, Hon. George Joachim Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Carew, James Laurence Goulding, Edward Alfred Lucas, Col. Francis (Lawestoft
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Graham, Henry Robert Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Greene, Sir E W (Bury S Edm'nds Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Cavendish, R. E. (N. Lanes.) Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury) Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison
Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbyshire Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Macdona, John Cumming
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Gretton, John MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Greville, Hon. Ronald M'Arthur. Charles (Liverpool)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Groves, James Grimble M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J.A. (Worc. Guest, Hon. Iver Churchill Majendie, James A. H.
Chapman, Edward Hall, Edward Marshall Massey Mainwaring, Hn. W.F.
Charrington, Spencer Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Maxwell, WJ H. (Dumfriesshire
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hambro, Charles Eric Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.
Clare, Octavius Leigh Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Middlemore, John Throgmort'n
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hanbury, Rt Hon. Robert Wm. Milvain, Thomas
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hare, Thomas Leigh Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Harris, Frederick Leverton More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Hay, Hon. Claude George Morrell, George Herbert
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Healy, Timothy Michael Morrison, James Archibald
Cranborne, Viscount Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Morton, Arthur H Aylmer
Cripps, Charles Alfred Helder, Augustus Mount, William Arthur
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Henderson, Sir Alexander Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.
Cust, Henry John C. Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Murray, Rt Hn. A Grahann (Bute
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hickman, Sir Alfred Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Davenport. William Bromley- Higginbottom, S. W. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chatham Hoare, Sir Samuel Myers, William Henry

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 284; Noes, 152. (Division List No. 496.)

Newdegate, Francis A. N. Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Tomlinson, Sir Wn. Edw. M.
Nicholson, William Graham Rolleston, Sir John F. H. Tuke, Sir john Batty
Nicol, Donald Ninian Round, Rt. Hon. James Tully, Jasper
Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.) Royds, Clement Molyneux Valencia, Viscount
O'Doherty, William Rutherford, John Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Walker, Col. William Hall
Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Walrond RtHn. Sir William H.
Parker, Sir Gilbert Sassoon. Sir Edward Albert Wanklyn , James Leslie
Parkes, Ebenezer Seely, Maj.J. E. B. (Isle of Wight Warde Colonel C. E.
Pemberton, John S. G. Seton-Karr, Henry Webb, Colonel William George
Percy, Earl Sharpe, William Edward T. Welby, Lt-Col A. C. E. (Taunton
Pierpoint, Robert Skewes-Cox, Thomas Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Pilkington, Lieut-Col. Richard Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Smith, HC (North'mb. Tyneside Whiteley, H (Ashton-und-Lyne
Plummer, Walter R. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, Hon. F. W. D. (Strand) Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm
Pretyman, Ernest George Spear, John Ward Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Purvis, Robert Stanley,Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Pym, C. Guy Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Randles, John S. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wodehouse, Rt.Hn.E. R. (Bath)
Rankin, Sir James Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Stroyan, John Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Rateliff, R. F. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wylie, Alexander
Reid, James (Greenock) Stunt, Hon. Humphry Napier Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Remnant, James Farquharson Talbot, Lord E (Chichester) Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Renshaw, Charles Bine Talbot, RtHnJ.G. (Oxf'd Univ. Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Renwick, George Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge Thompson, Dr EC (Monagh'n, N TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Ritchie,Rt.Hn.Chas. Thomson Thornton, Percy M. Sir Alexander Acland
Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Tollemache, Henry James Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Elibank, Master of Lewis, John Herbert
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Ellis, John Edward Lloyd-George, David
Allen ,CharlesP.(Glouc. Stroud Emmott, Alfred Lough, Thomas
Ashton, Thomas Gair Evans, Sir Fraticis H (Maidstone Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Asquith,Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) M'Crae, George
Atherley-Jones, L. Fenwiek, Charles M'Kenna, Reginald
Barran, Rowland Hirst Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Bell, Richard Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Markham, Arthur Basil
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Mather, Sir William
Brigg, John Goddard, Daniel Ford Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Broadhurst, Henry Grant, Corrie Morley, Rt.Hon. John (Montrose
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh) Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) Moss, Samuel
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Griffith, Ellis J. Moulton, John Fletcher
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Gurdon, Sir AV. Brampton Newnes, Sir George
Burns, John Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Norman, Henry
Burt, Thomas Harmsworth. R. Leicester Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Buxton, Sydney Charles Harwood, George Nussey, Thomas Willans
Caldwell, James Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)
Cameron, Robert Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Partington, Oswald
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Helme, Norval Watson Paulton, James Mellor
Causton, Richard Knight Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Cawley, Frederick Holland, Sir William Henry Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Clumping, Francis Allston Horniman, Frederick John Perks, Robert William
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Philipps, John Wynford
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Price, Robert John
Craig, Robert Hunter Jacoby, James Alfred Priestley Arthur
Cremer, William Randal Jones,David Brymnor (Sw'nsea Reckitt, Harold James
Dalziel, James Henry Kearley, Hudson E. Rickett, J. Compton
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Kitson, Sir James Rigg Richard
Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Lambert, George Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Langley, Batty Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Layland-Barratt, Francis Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Robson, William Snowdon
Duncan, J. (Hastings) Leigh, Sir Joseph Roe, Sir Thomas
Dunn, Sir William Leng, Sir John Runcitnan, Walter
Edwards, Frank Levy, Maurice Samuel, Herbert L. (Cevela
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E. White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr Whiteley, George(York, W.R.)
Schwann, Charles E. Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Shackleton, David James Thomas, JA (Glamorgan, Gower Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Thomson, F. W. (York, W.R.) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.) Tomkinson, James Wilson, Frea. W. (Norfolk, Mid.
Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) Toulmin, George Wilson, Henry J. (York. W. R.)
Sloan, Thomas Henry Trevelyan, Charles Philips Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wallace, Robert Wilson, J.W. (Worcestersh. N.
Soares, Ernest J. Waltou, John Lawson (Leeds, S.) Woodhouse, Sir J T. (Huddersf'd
Speneer, Rt Hn. C. R. (Northants Walton, Joseph (Barnsley) Yoxall, James Henry
Strachey, Sir Edward. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe Wason, Eugene TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Tennant, Harold John Weir, James Galloway Mr. Herbert Gladstone
Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E. White, George (Norfolk) and Mr. William M'Arthur.
(11.45) SIR EDWARD STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)

moved an Amendment will the object of reserving a day for the discussion of Clause 13. If the Amendment was not accepted by the Prime Minister, the effect would be that there would not be adequate time left for the discussion of Clause 13, which contained the financial provisions of the Bill. He appealed to county Members, the great majority of whom sat on the Government Benches to support the Amendment. They had, in season and out of season, reiterated the statement that they were the protectors of the ratepayers in their districts. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Sleaford had on the Paper an Amendment to Clause 13 proposing to leave out "expenses of a Council under this Act," and to insert "expenditure out of rates under this Act shall in no case exceed one-fourth of the whole expenditure on education by the Education Authority, and the expenses of that authority." It was very doubtful whether that Amendment would be discussed at all if the First Lord's proposal remained as it now stood. The right hon. Gentleman's Amendment had the unanimous support of the Central Chamber of Agriculture. All that hon. Members representing agricultural districts asked at present was that ample time should be allowed for the discussion of the Clause on Thursday next instead of its being guillotined on Wednesday. He ventured to think that the Education Rate would press heavily indeed on the occupiers of houses and land, and especially those occupying small farms, who at present often paid no Education Rate at all. Under Clause 2 of the Bill as it now stood it was obligatory that the County Council should provide higher education, and also that they should provide training colleges for teachers. The duty of providing training colleges was one which the Government should not place on small farmers and the occupiers of small houses in the rural districts. He appealed to the Government to consider whether the rating proposal in the Bill was really a fair one to the agricultural population. He hoped they would at least give a day to country Members to bring their case before the House, and to ask for fair treatment for occupiers of houses in town or country as well as occupiers of land. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed to thequestion— To leave out the words in line 7, and insert the words 'on Wednesday the 12th November, and on Clause 13 on Thursday the 13th November.'"—(Sir Edward Strachey.)

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


supported the Amendment of his hon. friend. Clause 13, he said, dealt with the whole question of the expenses of the Bill, and surely it was not unreasonable to ask that a day should be given for the discussion of its provisions. He reminded the House in the first instance that the question of expenses had not yet been discussed at all in the House in the whole of these proceedings, and secondly, that unless they were able to obtain the opportunity tomorrow, there would never be any opportunity, so far as he could see, for discussing that branch of the question. It was certain that, under the closure proposal of his right hon. friend, the Clause could never be reached on the Report stage, and as far as he could form an opinion of the constitutional aspect of this question, the matter could never be discussed in the other House of Parliament. There were seventy-six Amendments on the Paper to Clause 13, and some of them were very important indeed. He might tell the House that such was the interest in the question to winch his own Amendment referred that, during the present day he had received fifty letters and telegrams from all parts of the country asking him to proceed with it. There was immense interest felt on the subject, because the people were afraid that the charge on the rates in the course of a year or two would be infinitely larger than many Members had ever thought of. The agricultural Members wished to have an opportunity of taking the sense of Parliament on the question as to how far it was right that the expenses of a great national object should be borne by the local rates at all.

SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)

asked the Prime Minister whether having regard to sub-Clauses (a), (c), and (d) in Clause 13, the House even yet knew the full financial proposals of the Government. Had not the Government still revelations to make with regard to their finance which would affect the consideration of sub-Clauses (a), (c), and (d)?

SIR FORTESCUE FLANNERY (Yorkshire, W. R., Shipley)

said that the First Lord indicated that Clauses 12 and 13 would be closured on the morrow. He wished to ask his right hon. friend whether the discussion on Clause 12 could not be terminated at the afternoon sitting, leaving the whole of the evening sitting for Clause 13.

MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire E.)

said that before the right hon. Gentleman answered the Member for Shipley, he wished to support the Amendment, most strongly on a ground not yet brought before the House. There were very important Amendments down on the Paper standing in the name of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education which affected the most vital interests of urban districts. They would alter the whole basis of rating, and had been put down on the Paper at the request of Members on both sides of the House. There was no doubt that that the question which would be raised by the Amendment of the right hon. Member for Sleaford was likely to be debated at some length—the question, he meant, of the relative share of the expenses to be borne from the local rates and by the Imperial Treasury. That was a matter which could not be debated in a few minutes, but would take several hours; and he asked the hon. Gentleman whether he could not give more time to the discussion of Clause 13, the more especially as his own proposal would operate as a guillotine to the Amendments of the Secretary to the Education Department.


I will relieve the fears of the hon. Gentleman at once in regard to the Amendments put down in the name of the Government by the hon. Member for Oxford University with which he agrees. These Amendments, the Closure notwithstanding, will be put to the House, and I trust, will be carried by the House, so that the hon. Gentleman's fears have no foundation. As to the remarks of the right hon. the Member for Forest of Dean, the Government have made no change whatever in their financial proposals, but I doubt whether in their proper aspect they can be discussed under Clause 13. They will come up under a new Clause which gives the Government grant, and under a Resolution which we have placed on the Paper. My hon. friend the Member for Shipley asks that Clause 12 should be thrashed out at the morning's sitting, but as I understand the matter, there is nothing controversial in it, and I do not think the difference with the Welsh Members will be difficult to settle. It would be a great disappointment to me if any unexpected discussion took place on Clause 12 which prevented us from passing it at the morning's sitting. I hope that my right hon. friend the Member for Sleaford will have ample scope to discuss Clause 13 to-morrow. Questions affecting the ratepayers are not numerous in the Clause, though they may be important. But, if the House thinks it desirable, I have no objection to running (a) and (b) into one paragraph. That would have the effect of leaving two days for discussing the dregs of Clause 12 and for considering Clauses 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17. I quite agree that no question of great importance is raised on Clauses 14, 15, 16, and 17, and if my proposal meets the general view, it can be carried out without affecting the general scheme of business.


said that so far as he was concerned, lie would readily and gladly accept the right hon. Gentleman's offer.


said that after what had been said by the right hon. the Member for Sleaford, and the offer of the First Lord having given him all he asked for, he would withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

An Amendment made— By leaving out from the word 'on,' in line 7, to the word 'Clauses,' in line 8, and by inserting, after the word 'Clauses,' the word '13.'"—(Sir Edward Strachey.)

MR. RUNCIMAN (Dewsbury)

said he wished ed to move in paragraph (f), line 19, to omit the words "on Thursday, November 20th," in order to insert " Monday, 24th November." His object was to extend the time for the consideration of the new Clauses introduced by the Government, as well as the new Clauses proposed by private Members. The first of the new Government Clauses dealt with the Aid Grant of £900,000 on an entirely new principle; the next dealt with the managers; the next with endowments; and the next with grouping of schools; to say nothing of the large number of Amendments which had been put down in regard to the Schedules. There were no less than sixteen new points to be discussed in two days.

Amendment proposed— In line 19, to leave out the words 'Thursday, 20th,' and insert the words 'Monday, 24th.'"—(Mr. Runciman.)

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


I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not persist in this Amendment. He will see that we have given the whole of Monday the 17th, Tuesday the 18th, Wednesday the 19th, and Thursday the 20th, to the new Clauses. I think that is adequate time. Of course, she House might desire more time, but I do not think that anyone can say that the compartment is too limited or restricted in its scope. I would remind the House that I have framed this Resolution on the most extended scale compatible with bringing the proceedings on this Bill to an end before the Christmas holidays. If we extend that scale further the House will have to meet after the Christmas holidays to deal with the Bill. That, I think, would not be agreeable to the House generally, nor would it be desirable. Therefore, I hope that the hon. Gentleman will not press for any extension of the period which we have given to the new Clauses, knowing that it would carry with it the protraction of the debates on this Bill until after Christmas.


said that sub-Section (f) provided that the proceedings on the new Clause relating to managers, and any other Government new Clauses, and any new Government schedules, and any other proceedings necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion, should terminate on Thursday, 20th November. Did that mean that there was to be no time between the Government new Clauses and the schedules for any possible discussion of private Members' Clauses?


said he would suggest to the right hon. Gentleman to substitute Friday the 21st, for Thursday, the 20th. Friday was not allocated to any purpose, and he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had forgotten about it.


I do not think that the suggestion of the hon. Gentleman who has just spoken is one which it would be desirable for the House to accept. It is usual and desirable to leave a longer interval between the Committee stage and the Report stage than would he possible if the Committee stage were finished on Friday. As regards the question of the hon. Member for the Elland Division, there is nothing in this closure by compartment which would prevent private Members' Clauses coining on. All the Resolution says is that whether private Members' Clauses come on or not, the Government Clauses and schedules must be disposed of by a certain fixed date. If the Government Clauses are rapidly disposed of, there will then be an opportunity for discussing private Members' Clauses.


said that if the Government Clauses were got through, and if private Members' Clauses occupied the whole day, then there would be no discussion on the schedules.

MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR (Liverpool, Exchange)

asked if all the new Clauses which were to he introduced by the Government had yet been tabled.


No, Sir, they have not all yet been tabled. I have left a certain margin, but there is nothing of any fundamental importance to be dealt with in the Clauses which have yet to be tabled. There will be nothing in them that need alarm my hon. friend.

MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Morley)

asked if the Clause as to the method of the appointment of managers had yet been tabled.


Yes, Sir, I think that is down.


asked if all the Government new Clauses would be taken during the Committee stage.


My hope is that all the new Clauses of the Government will be dealt with in the Committee stage, but I do not like to give a pledge on the matter, as one cannot tell what the situation may be.

MR. HELME (Lancashire, Lancaster)

asked when the right hon. Gentleman would put on the Paper his proposal as to the relations of the Borough Councils in regard to the work they would have to do in the matter of secondary education as promised when Clause 3 was before the Committee.


I am not quite sure that I know what the hon. Gentleman refers to.


asked if the right hon. Gentleman would not consider the advisability of allocating Friday, the 21st, to the schedules. They had not yet seen the new Clauses, and did not know how far they might be controversial, and several private Members' Clauses were of such importance as to require discussion. That would leave a fairly large amount of time between the Committee stage and the Report stage.


That would, I am afraid, be resented by the House.

(12.21.) Question put.

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Fermisson, Rt Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Fierden, Edward Brocklehurst Lawson, John Grant
Anson, Sir William Reynell Finch, George H. Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham
Arkwright, John Stanhope Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Firbank. Sir Joseph Thomas Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Arrol, Sir William Fisher, William Hayes Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fison, Frederick William Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Banos, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Fitzroy, Hon. Edward. Algernon Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
Bailey, James (Walworth) Flannery, Sir Fortescue Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Bain, Colonel James Robert Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham
Baird, John George Alexander Forster, Henry William Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r Galloway, William Johnson Loyd., Archie Kirkman
Balfour, Capt. C. B.(Hornsey) Gardner. Ernest Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds Garid, William Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H (City of Lond. Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Godson, Sir Angustus Frederick Macartney, Rt. Hn W G. Ellison
Bignold, Arthur Gordon, Maj Evants-(T'rH'ml'ts Macdona, John Cumming
Bigwooll, James Goschen, Hon. George Joachum M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Goulding, Edward Alfred M'Killop, James (Strilingshire
Bond, Edward Graham, Henry Robert Majendie, James A. H.
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Greene, Sir EW (B'ry S Edm'nds Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F.
Boustield, William Robert Greene, Henry D (Shrewsbury Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex) Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.) Milvain, Thomas
Brassey, Albert Gretton, John Montagu, G (Huntingdon)
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Greville, Hon. Ronald Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Brown, Alexander H (Shropshire Groves, James Grimble More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire
Brymer, William Ernest Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Morgan, David J (Walthamst'w
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hambro, Charles Erie Morrell, George Herbert
Carew, James Laurence Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Morrison, James Archibald
Carvill. Patrick Geo. Hamilton Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Hardy, Laurence (Kent , Ashford Mount., William Arthur
Cavendish, V.C. W (Derbyshire Hare, Thomas Leigh Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham (Bute
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Harris, Frederick Leverton Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J (Birm. Hay, Hon. Claude George Newdegate, Francis A. N.
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J.A. (Worc. Healy, Timothy Michael Nicholson, William Graham
Chapman, Edward Health, Arthur Howard (Hanley Nicol, Donald Ninian
Clare, Octavins Leigh Heaton, John Henniker Nolan,Co1.John P. (Galway, N.)
Clive, Captain Percy A. Henderson, Sir Alexander O'Doherty, William
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Hickman, Sir Alfred Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Higginbottom, S. W. Parkes, Ebenezer
Corbett, A. Canieron (Glasgow) Hoare, Sir Samuel Pemberton, John S. G.
Cox. Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hobhouse, Hemry (Somerset, E. Percy, Earl
Cranborne, Viscount Hogg, Lindsay Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hope, J.F. (Sheffield, Brightside Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Cust, Henry John C. Houldsworth. Sir WM. Henry Plummer, Walter R.
Davenport. William Bromley- Hoult, Joseph Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham Howard, John (Kent Faversh'm Pretyman, Ernest George
Dickinson. Robert Edmond Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Pryce-Jones, Lieut-Col. Edward
Dixon-Hartland. Sir Ered Dixon Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Purvis, Robert
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Jameson, Major J. Eustace Pym C. Guy
Doughty, George Jebb. Sir Richard Claverhouse Randles, John S.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Johntstone, Heywood Rankin, Sir James
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Kemp, George Ratcliff, R. F.
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Reid, James(Greenock)
Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Kennedy, Patrick James Remnant, James Farquharson
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh) Renshaw. Charles Bine
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Keswick, William Renwick. George
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Kimber, Henry Ridley, Hon. M.W. (Stalybridge
Faber, George Denison (York) King, Sir Henry Seymour Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Fardell, Sir T. George Law, Andrew Bonar(Glasgow) Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)

The House divided:—Ayes, 235; Noes, 103. (Division List No. 497.)

Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Webb, Colonel William George
Round, Rt. Hon. James Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Welby, Sir Charles G.E. (Notts.
Royds, Clement Molyneux Stroyan, .John Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Rutherford, John Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Whiteley, H (Ashton-und. Lyne
Sadler. Col. Samuel Alexander Start, Hon. Humphry Napier Williams, Colonel R.(Dorset)
Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Talbot, Rt Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.
Seely. Maj. J.E B. (Isle of Wight Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Seton-Karr. Henry Thompson, Dr EC (Monagh'n,N Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Thornton, Percy M. Wylie, Alexander
Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Smith, HC (North'mb. Tyneside Tully, Jasper Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Smith, James Parker (Lanarks Valentia, Viscount
Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H (Sheffi'ld
Spear. John Ward Walker, Col. William Hall TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk Walrond. Rt. Hn. Sir William H. Sir Alexander Acland
Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset Warde, Colonel E. C. Hood and Mr. Anstruther
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Lambert, George Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
A1len, Charles P (Glouce., Stroud Langley, Batty Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Layland-Barratt, Francis Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Leese, Sin Joseph F.(Accrington Sloan, Thomas Henry
Bell, Richard Leigh, Sir Joseph Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Brigg, John Leng, Sir John Soares, Ernest J.
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Levy, Maurice Spencer, Rt Hn C. R. (Northants
Caldwell, James Lewis, John Herbert Strachey, Sir Edward
Causton, Richard Knight Lough, Thomas Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Cawley, Frederick M'Arthur, William (Cornwall) Tennant, Harold John
Channing, Francis Allston M'Crae, George Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Craig, Robert M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Cremer, William Randall M 'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin Thomas, David Alfred (M'rthyr
Dalziel, James Henry Mansfield, Horace Rendall Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, J A (Glamorgan Gower
Duncan, J. Hastings Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Edwards, Frank Moss, Samuel Tomkinson, James
Elibank, Master of Newnes, Sir George Toulmin, George
Emmott, Alfred Nussey, Thomas Wilans Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Partiugton, Oswald Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Fenwick, Charles Paulton, James Mellor Wason, Eugene
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co. Pease, J. A.(Saffron Walden) Weir, James Galloway
Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John Philipps, John Wynford White, George (Norfolk)
Griffith, Ellis J. Pirie, Duncan V. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Gordon, Sir W. Brampton Price, Robert John Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Priestley, Arthur Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Reckitt, Harold James Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Rickett, J. Compton Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Helme, Norval Watson Rigg, Richard Wilson , Fred W. (Norfolk, Mid.
Holland, Sir William Henry Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Horniman, Frederick John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Roe, Sir Thomas
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea Samuel. S. M. (Whitechapel) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
kearley. Hudson E. Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) Mr. Runciman and Mr.
Kitson, Sir James Shackleton, David James Trevelyan.

said the right hon. Gentleman would see that the 25th, 27th, and 28th were accounted for, but that no provision had been made for the 26th. He did not know if he might assume that four days were to be allocated to the Report stage.


Yes, Sir.


said that he would appeal to the right hon. Gentleman that, from the circumstances of the case, that time should be extended. The right hon. Gentleman had said that if any extension were made it would involve the Bill going over until after Christmas. But he would like the right hon. Gentleman to explain more closely how that calculation had been arrived at. A great deal had been said about precedents, and he would quote a precedent which ought to have some effect on the right hon. Gentleman, if he still had an open mind on the question. On the Home Rule Bill, after ten days discussion on Report, a Motion for the Closure was introduced, and four subsequent days were allocated to that stage. If the proceedings on the Home Rule Bill were to beau authority in one direction they ought also to be an authority in another direction; and inasmuch as fourteen days were allocated to the Report stage on that Bill, some reasonable concession ought now to be made with reference to the corresponding stage of the Education Bill. This Bill had, up to the present, been remodelled to a considerable extent. He believed that, as a matter of fact, about half of the Bill as it stood was new. He therefore submitted that there ought to be art opportunity of reconsidering the various alterations which had been introduced; and to contend that four days were sufficient for that purpose was absurd. He therefore moved in line 23, to leave out "on that day" in order to insert "Friday, 28th November."

Amendment proposed— In line 23, to leave out the words 'that day,' and insert the words, 'Friday, 28th November.'"—(Mr. Eillis Griffith.)

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


I understand that the hon. Gentleman desires that the period given under this Resolution to the Report stage should be extended, and that he bases his application on the proceedings on the Home Rule Bill. But the hon. Gentleman will remember that there are two very important differences between this Bill and the Home Rule Bill, which are relevant to the point he has raised. One of them is that, by common admission, the most important Clauses of this Bill, at any rate the most controversial Clauses, have been already dealt with at great length in Committee. That was not the case with the Home Rule Bill. For one reason or another, for which the Government or Opposition of the day might be to blame, many important questions were not discussed until the Report stage. That alone would be a reason for giving a smaller amount of time to the Report stage on this Bill than was given to the Report stage on the Home Rule Bill. I would also remind he hon. Gentleman that, in addition to many other differences, the Home Rule Bill consisted of twice the number of Clauses contained in the present Bill, which was a ground for granting a longer time to the Report stage. As far as I uderstood the hon. Gentleman, he did not dissent from the settled policy of the Government, that tins Bill is, if possible, to be brought to a conclusion before the Christmas holidays, but I really think that that cannot be done if his Amendment is accepted. I admit it is not easy to make a calcuation as much will depend on the action that will be taken in another place; but, making the best caculation I can as to the time likely to be occupied in another place in the discussion of all the stages of this Bill, and leaving some time for the discussion in this House of any changes that may be made, I really cannot see that there is the smallest chance of our finishing all the stages of this Bill before December 19th; and I really think we should not make it later.


said he hoped that the new proposals of the Government would be put down in good time.


I will do my very best, but the House will realise that we have been working under pressure.

Question put and agreed to.

(12.43.) Question put, "That the Proceedings in Committee and on Report of the Education (England and Wales) Bill (including Proceedings on the Financial Resolution relating thereto) shall, unless previously disposed of, be brought to a conclusion at the times and in the manner hereinafter mentioned:—

"(a) The proceedings in Committee on the remaining part of Clause 12, and on Clauses 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17, on Thursday, 13th November; (b) The proceedings on Clauses 18, 19, and 20, and on the Committee stage of the Financial Resolution, on Friday 14th November; (c) The proceedings on Report of the Financial Resolution, and on the new Clause relating to the aid grant, on Monday 17th November; (d) The proceedings on the New Clauses relating to endowments, local authority's managers, and grouping, on Tuesday 18th November; (e) The proceedings on the new Clause relating to managers, and any other Government new Clauses, on Schedules, and any new Government Schedules, and any other proceedings necessary to bring the Committee stage to a conclusion, on Thursday 20th November; (f) The consideration of the Report shall be appointed for Tuesday 25th November; and the proceedings on Report on any new Clauses and on Amendments to Parts I. and II. of the Bill shall be brought to a conclusion on that day; (g) The proceedings on Report on Amendments to Part III. of the Bill shall be brought to a conclusion on Thursday 27th November; (h) The proceedings on the Report of the Bill shall be concluded on Friday 28th November. At 11 P.M. on the said days, or, if the day is a Friday, at 4.30 P.M. the Chairman or Speaker shall put forthwith a Question or Questions on any Amendment or Motion already proposed from the Chair, and shall next proceed successively to put forthwith the Question on any Amendments moved by the Government of which notice has been given, but no other Amendments, and on every Question necessary to dispose of the allotted business. In the case of new Clauses and Schedules, he shall put only the Question that such Clause or Schedule be added to the Bill. Proceedings under this Order shall not be interrupted (except at an Afternoon Sitting at 7.30 P.M.) under the provisions of any Standing Order relating to Sittings of the House. After the passing of this Order, on any day on which any proceedings on the Education (England and Wales) Bill stand as the first Order of the Day, no dilatory Motion on the Bill, nor under Standing Order 17, nor Motion to postpone a Clause, shall be received unless moved by the Minister in charge of the Bill, and the Question on any such Motion

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Dyke. Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart Hutton, John (Yorks N. R.)
Agnew, Sir;Andrew Noel Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Jameson, Major J. Eustace
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fahey. Edmund. B. (Hants, W.) Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Arkwright, John Stanhope Faber, George Denison (York) Jeffreys, Rt Hon. Arthur Fred.
Arnold-Forster. Hugh O. Fardell, Sir T. George Johnstone, Heywood
Arrol, Sir William, Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Kemp, George
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Fergosson. Rt Hn (Manc'r Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Kennedy, Patrick James
Bailey, James (Walworth) Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh
Bain, Colonel James Robert Firbank, Sir. Joseph Thomas Keswick, William
Baird, John George Alexander Fisher, William Hayes King, Sir Henry Seymour
Balfour. Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Fison, Frederick William Law, Andrew Boner (Glasgow)
Balfour. Capt. C.B. (Hornsey) Fitzroy Hon. Edward Algernon Lawience, Sir Joseph (Monm'th
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W. (Leeds Flannery. Sir Forlescue Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)
Bignold, Arthur Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lawson, John Grant
Bigwood, James Forster, Henry William Lee, Arthurl H (Hants, Fareham
Blundell. Colonel Henry Gambier, Ernest Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Bond, Edward Garfit, William Leigh-Bennett, Heresy Currie
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Gibbs. Hn. AGH (City of London Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.
Bowles, Capt. H. F.(Middlesex Godson, Sir. Augustus Frederick Llewellyn, Evan Henry
Brassey, Albent Gordon, Maj. Evans-(T'rH' ml'ts Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Goschen, Hon George Joachim Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)
Brookfirld, Colonel Montagu Goulding, Edward Alfred Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.
Brown, Alexander H. (Shropsh. Graham, Henry Robert Loyd, Archie Kirkman
Brymer, William Ernest Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Burdett-Coutts, W. Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Lucas, Reginald. J.(Portsmouth
Carew. James Laurence Gretton, John Macartney, Rt Hn. W.G Ellison
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Greville, Hon. Ronald Macdona, John Cumming
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.) Groves, Jomes Grimble M'Arthur, Cherries (Liverpool)
Clavendlsh. V.C.W. (Derbyshire Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Hambro, Charles Eric Majendie, James A. H.
Cecil. Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Midd'x Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J.A. (Worc. Hardy. Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Milvain, Thomas
Chapman, Edward Hare, Thomas Leigh Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Crare, Octavins Leigh Harris, Frederick Leverton Moon, Edward Robert Percy
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hatch, Ernest Frederick George More, Robt. Jasper (Shrepshire)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hay, Hon. Claude George Morgan, David J (Walth'mstow
Collings, Bt. Hon. Jesse Healy, Timothy Michael Morrell, George Herbert
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Morrison, James Archibald
Corbett, A. Canieron (Glasgow) Heaton. John Henniker Mount, William Arthur
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Henderson, Sir Alexander Murray, Rt Hn A, Graham (Bute
Cranborne. Viscount Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hickman, Sir Alfred Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Cust, Henry John C. Higginbottom, S. W. Newdgeate, Francis A. N.
Davenport, William Bromley- Hoare, Sir Samuel Nicholson, William Graham
Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham Hobhouse, Hentry (Somerset, E.) Nicol, Donald Ninian
Dickinson, Robert, Edmond Hogg, Lindsay Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.
Dorington, Rt.Hon. Sir John E. Hope, J.F. (Sheffield, Brightside O'Doherty, William
Doughty, George Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay
Douglas, Rt, Hon. A. Akers- Hoult, Joseph Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Howard, John (Kent, Faversh'm Parkes, Ebenezer
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Pemberton, John S. G.

shall be put forthwith. If Progress be reported, the Chairman shall put this Order in force in any subsequent sitting of the Committee."—(Mr. Balfour.)

The House divided:—Ayes, 222; Noes, 103. (Division List No. 498.)

Percy, Earl Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander Tully, Jasper
Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse) Valentia, Viscount
Platt-Higgins, Frederick Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield
Plummer, Walter R. Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight Walker, Col. William Hall
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Seton-Karr, Henry walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Pretyman, Ernest George Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Smith, Abel H.(Hertford,East) Webb, Colonel William George
Purvis, Robert Smith, HC (North'mb, Tyneside Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Pym, C. Guy Smith, James Parker (Lanarks) Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Randles, John S. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne
Rankin, Sir James Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Reid, James (Greenock) Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset) Willox, Sir John Archibald
Remnant, James Farquharson Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Renshaw, Charles Bine Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jan M. Wortley, Rt. Hn.C. B. Stuart-
Renwick, George Stroyan, John Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Ridlev, Hon. M.W. (Stalybridge Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Strurt, Hon. Humphry Napier Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Talbot, Rt Hn J.G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Round, Rt. Hon. James Thompson, Dr EC (Monagh'n,N Sir Alexander Acland-
Royds, Clement Molyneux Thornton,-Percy M. Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Rutherford, John Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) kearley, Hudson E. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Allen, Charles P. (Gloue. Stroud kitson, Sir James Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Barran. Rowland Hirst Lambert, George Sloan, Thomas Henry
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Langley, Batty Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Bell, Richard Layland-Barratt, Francis Soares, Ernest J.
Brigg, John. Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Spencer, Rt. Hn C.R (Northants
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Leigh, Sir Joseph Strachey, Sir Edward
Caldwell, James Leng, Sir John Taylor, Theodore C.(Radcliffe)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Levy, Maurice Tennant, Harold John
Causton, Richard Knight Lewis, John Herbert Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Cawley, Frederick M'Crae, George Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Channing, Francis Allston M'Laren, Sir Chas. Benjamin Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Craig, Robert Hunter Mansfield, Horace Rendall Thomas, J A (Glamorgan Gower
Cremer, William Randal Markham, Arthur Basil Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Dalziel, James Henry Mather, Sir William Tomkinson, James
Davies. Alfred (Carmarthen) Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Tonlmin, George
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Moss, Samuel Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Duncan, J. Hastings Nussey, Thomas Willans Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Edwards, Frank Paulton, James Mellor Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Elibank, Master of Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Wason, Eugene
Emmott, Alfred Philipps, John Wynford Weir, James Galloway
Evans, Samuel T.(Glamorgan) Pirie, Duncan V. White, George (Norfolk)
Fenwick, Charles Price, Robert John White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Priestley, Arthur Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) Reckitt, Harold James Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Griffith, Ellis J. Rickett, J. Compton Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Rigg, Richard Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion) Wilson, Fred W. (Norfolk, Mid.
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Roe, Sir Thomas Wilson, John (Durham. Mid.)
Helme, Norval Watson Runciman, Walter Woodhouse, Sir JT (Huddersf'd
Holland, Sir William Henry Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Horniman, Frederick John Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Shackleton, David James Herbert Gladstone and
Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Mr. William M'Arthar.

In pursuance of the Order of the House of the 16th October last, adjourned the House without Question put.

Adjourned at two minutes before One o'clock.