§ As amended, further considered
§ THE SECRETARY OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (SIR WILLIAM ANSON,) Oxford University
moved, as a drafting Amendment, to omit from Clause 7, page 4, lines 15 and 16, the words, "without reference to religious creed or denomination."
§ The Amendment was agreed to.
* (2.45. MR. FREDERICK WILSONmoved as an Amendment to Clause 7 (Norfolk, Mid)
"To leave out of sub-Section (d) the words, 'except for the teacher's dwelling-house.' "He pointed out that the ratepayers had been promised the valuable asset that the managers would supply the school fabrics free of cost, and it was only an afterthought on the part of the Government to charge rent for the teacher's dwelling-house, and thus cast this additional burden on the public. The managers had secured a preponderance o two to one on the management committee, and how it was proposed to let them escape the payment which the people had been promised. This arrangement would work very unfairly in practice, as he would show by citing the cases of two schools well known to him in adjoining parishes. One school had a handsome endowment, a substantial grant, and a good school building, and by this Bill it would be able to charge the ratepayers for its teacher's house, and thus not only relieve its parish rate but accumulate a reserve fund. The other school had no teacher's house, no tithe, and shared a clergyman with another parish, and would therefore have to provide a house for its own teacher, but in addition to these misfortunes it would have to contribute in rates towards paying for the use of the teacher's house of the other school. Then take the case of an adjoining town, where long ago men with real zeal for education built British and National schools. The British school was long ago absorbed in the School Board. The building founded by voluntary gifts became public property. No rent was paid for any part of those buildings; 635 but the more prudent managers of the National school had had the wisdom to keep the fabric in their hands. He thought the scholars might have before them in letters of gold the legend "Never give anything away." Wait long enough and you might get rent. The managers of the voluntary schools would now be able to charge the public rent. The foundation managers were to have a two to one majority in the control of the schools, and they could under the Bill teach their doctrines at the public cost. Would they give up nothing for the privilege they had gained in teaching boys and girls the bitter differences of sectarian doctrine, differences almost unknown in the House, but confined in the country to parsons and old maids who would practically rule the parish committees? The difficulty of the Church was that it did not call for enough self-sacrifice on the part of its members. The Nonconformist, on the other hand, thrived on self-help. He loved the village chapel because he had paid for so much of it himself. Everything about it reminded him of some little self-sacrifice. Perhaps it might be the spirit of the times, but the Church could now declare that its religion was cheaper than ever. If people wanted cheap religion let them go to the Church of England. He thought, however, the Church of England made a great mistake in bargaining for rent for these schoolhouses. The ratepayers would resent the extra cost they were called upon to pay for the teacher's houses, and the only thing he could hope for was that Churchmen themselves would be more generous than the Government and would grant the buildings for education free and without charge for any part.
Amendment proposed to the Bill.—
In page 4, line 18, to leave out the words 'except for the teacher's dwelling-house.' "—(Mr. Frederick Wilson.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Bill."
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said that the hon. Member had dwelt on the time-worn subject of the alleged bargain which had been made at some unknown time with 636 some unknown persons, whom he described generally as the British nation and the supporters of voluntary schools. He entirely denied the existence of any such bargain, though he assumed that the hon. Member referred to the general scheme of the Bill as presented to the House last may. That general scheme dealt with various things which were to be done by the managers, and with other things to be done by the local education authority. The managers were to provide the buildings, and the local education authority was to provide, among other things, the salaries of the teachers. There could be no doubt that the teacher's dwelling was part of the salary of the teacher; and if, therefore, the managers supplied part of the salary of the teacher they were entitled to call upon the local education authority—admitting a bargain, which he did not—in the strictest terms of that bargain, to demand that the rent should be paid and that the local education authority should do what it had always undertaken to do —namely, to provide the cost of the teaching in the school. If, therefore, there was a bargain, the words in the Bill would now carry it out. The objection to rent being paid was that the managers would thereby be assisted in maintaining the fabric in repair. Again and again hon. Members had dwelt on the iniquity of the managers receiving any assistance towards the maintenance of the fabric from any sources of revenue except that of private subscriptions. Surely every one would admit that an educational purpose was served by the maintenance of the schoolhouse in a good condition of repair. When they started a school in any locality the first thing to be done was to build a schoolhouse. But hon. Members said that they did not wish the managers to have any assistance; they were more anxious evidently to put them to their last resources in the way of voluntary contributions, so that the school might fall on the rates. He doubted whether it would be the view either of the County Council or the minor local authorities, who would find a serious pecuniary charge thrown on them if the non-provided schools should rapidly become provided schools with the cost of maintaining the fabric thrown on the local education authority. It was to the educational advantage of the whole area that the legitimate sources of income 637 that came to the managers, other than contributions, should be allowed to come freely into their hands to maintain the buildings for the reception of the children and the educational purposes of the area. Therefore, if there had been a bargain, that was a part of the fair terms of the bargain, inasmuch as the local authority had to provide what was a part of the teacher's salary. It was an equitable construction of the arrangement between the local education authority and the managers. The hon. Member said that this was a hard bargain to drive, and used a number of harsh words which he would not recapitulate, but would merely describe as dyslogistic. He should be disposed to carry the war into the enemy's camp. The local education authority was charged with the duty of providing for the education of the whole area;it was bound to find buildings as well as to provide education for the children. Fortunately for the local authority the buildings were found ready to its hand. Surely there was an element of parsimony, or perhaps he should rather say of extreme economy, on the part of the local education authority if it grudged to the managers the sum which was fairly due from it as part of the salary of the teacher and for the maintenance and efficiency of the school. He did not believe that the County Councils and the other local education authorities would be so parsimonious or so grudging as hon. Members opposite were on their behalf.
§ (3.0.) SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT) (Monmouthshire, W.
said that from the beginning of this Bill until the question of teachers' houses was raised, it was thoroughly understood in the country that the Government gave all these extraordinary powers to voluntary school managers on the condition that the buildings of the schools were to be kept up by them, and also everything that was necessary to carry on the schools. Surely teachers' houses were necessary to carry on the schools, and everybody understood that the declaration of the Government on this subject was that the maintenance of the schools other than the buildings was to be borne by the ratepayers, but that the expenses of the buildings should be borne by the managers and subscribers. He would not use the classical word employed by the Secretary to the Board 638 of Education, but he thought the word "shabby" was the plain English, in the vulgar tongue, to describe this miserable attempt on the part of a great richly endowed Church to throw off its contribution in respect of which it received this inordinate gift of a monopoly, and cast it upon the ratepayers. That was the whole transaction. The teacher's house was part of the school building, and to advertise these buildings in the county newspapers to be let to the highest bidder, was one of the most degrading transactions he ever heard. Was it possible that these houses would be let to anybody but the school teachers? The teacher's house was as much a part of the school building as any one of the class-rooms, and he could not understand how any man in his senses could suppose that in a country parish where the squire and the parson were in charge of these buildings, they should be able to say to anyone, "Give us £20 a year and you shall have the schoolmaster's house." He could not understand how such a transaction could commend itself to the mind of anyone. The Secretary to the Board of Education had just stated that he would carry the war into the enemy's camp. Therefore the process they had been going through in the last few weeks was the most humiliating one of endeavouring to cut off 1s. here and 6d. there from the subscribers in order to cast upon the ratepayers burdens which the supporters of voluntary schools should bear. He did not know what view hon. Gentlemen opposite would take of the light this would throw upon the Church of England. He did not think it would be an elevated position for the Church of England to take up in this matter to say that if they could get £5 here and £15 there then they would do so and make the ratepayers pay it. If all they gained by this was to shift on to the ratepayers what might amount to a half-penny rate, the Church of England would have sold its birthright for a very wretched mess of pottage. He should support the Amendment of his hon. friend. Even now he hoped the House would not support a transaction of this character, which he must say did not show itself to the advantage of the parties by whom it was demanded.
§ * SIR JAMES FERGUSSON) (Manchester, N. E.
said the extraordinary 639 thing was that hon. Gentlemen opposite always talked about the Church of England and these voluntary schools as if the managers of those schools wished to get rid of their liabilities at the expense of the public. Those who represented large town constituencies knew that there was a very different phase to this subject. A large number of these schools were situated amongst poor populations with no large funds to draw upon and few rich people to contribute, and it was only with great difficulty, and because they were dear to the people who sent their children to them, that they were able to keep going, for there was often a free board school next door. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman opposite was taking a very comprehensive view when he spoke as if voluntary schools were only where there were rich people to maintain them. The right hon. Gentleman had spoken of an understanding. He had heard before of understandings which were assumed by one side of which the other side had no knowledge. It was quite true that the Government had made largely increased provision out of the Exchequer for necessitous schools of all kinds, as well as charging the rates with the maintenance of voluntary schools, but the funds hitherto paid to the managers of voluntary schools would be paid to the local authority, and could only be paid out for specific purposes, and voluntary schools which had kept themselves going by the goodness of their education and charging fees, would now be thrown back upon private resources to meet the expenses which were thrown upon them by this Bill. It was only through the excellence of their teaching that they had been able to carry on. In Lancashire more money per head was earned by these schools than by the board schools, taking them all round, but now they would have to find other sources. The voluntary schools had to consider every £5 note, and if the schoolmaster had been paid at a lower salary, with a house, than that paid in the board schools, clearly that was part of his income, because it saved him a rent. Under these circumstances, why was that rent not to be reckoned along with the cost of maintenance of voluntary 640 schools? He was not in the least afraid that his constituents would call this a shabby claim.
§ (3.10.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said the right hon. Baronet had intimated that he had no knowledge of the understanding which had been referred to by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire. He would remind the House that the Bill as originally drafted drew no distinction at all between the teachers' houses and the school buildings, and the understanding was that it included all those buildings. Therefore the change made must have been the result of pressure brought to bear since the Bill was introduced, for this was a clear departure from anything that was arrived at when the Bill was first drafted. The right hon. Baronet said that the voluntary schools must consider every £5 note. He thought they were doing this, and they were managing to extract at the same time many £5 notes out of the pockets of the taxpayers of this country. He was glad that this practice was going to come to an end, because, with a few more days of Closure, heaven knew how many more £5 notes might be extracted. The right hon. Baronet said these school-houses were in very poor districts, and he gave that as a reason why the rent should be charged. He appeared to forget that it was those very districts which would have to pay the rent. This was a most extraordinary argument. If these school-houses were in very poor districts, that was the very reason why they should not charge a rent for them. Under this Bill the rent would fall upon that particular area, and if these houses were built for educational purposes why should they charge the ratepayers with this rent? The right hon. Baronet knew that the difficulty in those poor districts was because of their poverty, and the rates ran up to a very high amount. Those were things they could not avoid. Those poor districts were the places where the voluntary schools were going to "look after every £5 note," and they were going to take it from the ratepayers. Might he make one comment on the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Education? The effect of the Closure on the Bill was 641 bad enough, but it was nothing compared to the bad influence it had seemed to have on the hon. Member. Entrenched behind the guillotine, with the protection of that potent instrument, he hurled defiance at them and made most aggressive challenges. His speeches formerly were conciliatory—he would not say apologetic, but he used to be purely on the defensive. Now he carried the war into the enemy's camp, and he had done it very effectually. He had captured altogether £200,000, and given it to the voluntary school managers. He had captured half the endowments;and—really he ought to deplore this guillotine business, for it had not improved his Ministerial manner—he attacked the Opposition as if they were the people who were getting the £200,000, and not his friends. What about the grant of £250,000, out of public funds to build the school-houses? The term "shabby" was not strong enough to apply to this matter. The managers were going to charge the very people who gave that £250,000, interest at the rate of 5 percent. for the money. That was a most impudent proposal; he thought that "impudent" was the epithet which was most applicable, with every desire to be moderate. The Bill was getting worse and worse. He trembled for the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment. It had cost them £400,000 a year already. Nay, it had cost them more; the Parliamentary grant-in-aid went up to £500,000 as a result. The endowments were given; school fees were given; and they had to pay rent for the teachers' houses. Mr. Kenyon-Slaney had no idea of the burden he had thrown upon his country. It was a most valuable Amendment, but he did not think its capital value was worth £20,000,000. Luckily, the House of Lords had no power to impose changes in taxation otherwise the prophecy of the Chancellor of the Exchequer that he might take something off the income-tax would be a very futile one. If this went on there would be 2d. put on the income-tax.
§ * MR. GROVES) (Salford, S.
said he failed to see that the provisions of the Bill warranted the expressions that had been used towards them by the hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs, 642 and even after the brilliant speech just delivered he failed to see that this Clause dealing with the rents of teachers' houses should have applied to it the epithets which were employed. In coming to a conclusion; on a matter of this kind, every one on his side of the House was disposed to give fair consideration to even the minutest proposals of the Bill. There were places where teachers' houses were provided, and others where houses were not provided. He knew of a school in the parish of St. Bartholemew's, Salford, in his own constituency, where there was no teacher's house, and another school in the same parish where there was an adequate house. In one case the education authority obtained the use of the school, and had to provide a house for the teacher at their own cost. Why should they object to pay for the house already attached to the other school in the same parish? The hon. Member had referred in terms of contempt to the poor districts.
§ * MR. GROVES
said that the poorer the district the stronger the argument in favour of this proposal. He was not convinced by any argument which had been advanced from the other side of the House that there would be any injustice in charging rent for the teachers' houses already existing, seeing that the education authority would have to provide houses where there were none at present, or pay a proportionately higher salary.
§ * MR. TREVELYAN) (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland
asked on what basis the rent was going to be charged. Most of the teachers' houses existed or, at any rate. a very large part of them, in the small country villages, where there was very often no other house within a mile or two which was good enough for a teacher's house. He instanced the case of the village in Northumberland with which his family was connected. There was a British school in that village, and the teacher's house formed part of the school building. If there were two doors to these village schools, one led to the 643 teacher's house. The teachers' houses were indistinguishable from the school buildings, which were now to be handed over to the local authorities. Practically all the houses in the village were unfitted to be a teacher's house or were occupied. What was to prevent his father, if he chose, from exacting a monopoly rent far above the value of that house? It had a monopoly value in that district. It was not business to put it into the hands of the private owners and Church owners of these houses to charge what rent they pleased for, perhaps, the only house for miles round in which the teacher could probably get decent lodgings. This was far worse because of what the hon. Member for Carnarvon had pointed out, for these dwellings had been largely built out of public grants. For the last three-quarters of a century the nation had been helping to build these houses. During the period when the voluntary schools were being built wit greatest rapidity—between 1861 and 1881–1,680 houses were built with the considerable assistance of £65 for the house in each case. That was to say, they were putting into the hands of the Church the power in many cases of charging rent probably above the real value of a building, although the building had been built very largely out of public funds. He thought that was a serious consideration. It proved to the full what was the system the Government had chosen to adopt. If they were going to adopt it he should like to know what they were going to do where houses had practically a monopoly value. Were they going to put something into the Bill which would give some control over, possibly, the exorbitant demands of some of the owners?
§ * MR. PURVIS) (Peterborough
said he would not deal with the epithets hurled from the other side, such as "shabby," "extortionate," and so forth, because it would generally be found that those who wished to drive an extortionate and shabby bargain were those who used extravagant language to the other side. If the teacher had a house provided at the expense of the school managers, then where there was no house, according to the same reasoning they ought to make up their minds that the managers should 644 pay for the teacher's lodgings. Surely that was going beyond the original concordat. He believed it was beyond the general scheme of the Bill. The scheme of the Bill was that the managers should not be expected to pay for the lodgings of the teacher. If they were going to pay for his lodgings they would have to pay for his books, school pencils, and other things. If they allowed that the teacher should have a house provided for him by them where there was no house, they would have to make up their minds to provide far more than that.
§ MR. BRYCE) (Aberdeen, S.
observed that the hon. Gentleman had said with great truth and force that this proposal that rent should be charged for the teacher's house was contrary to the scheme of the Bill.
§ MR. BRYCE
said he heard words to that effect, and he took the words as expressing the truth. The scheme of the Bill was that the managers were to provide the dwellings for the teachers. That was to say, the school building included the school house where there was a school house, because by the Act of 1870, which was incorporated with this Bill, the school house building included the premises of the teacher. The Bill was brought in on that footing, and it was understood that the teachers residences, as well as the school houses, were provided by the managers. The proposal that the managers should be enabled to charge rent for the teacher's residence was entirely contrary to that scheme, because, by the way in which this Bill had been frequently expounded, the teacher was to be appointed and dismissed by the managers and not by the local authority. He went a little further than the hon. Gentleman, because he held that not only the school premises but the school teacher's house were held upon trust. What was the object of that trust? It was that the house should be enjoyed and occupied by the teacher of the school, as teacher. That was a trust which they were not entitled to break. While that trust stood the managers could not let the schoolmaster's house. They had no 645 power to do so. The house could not be used for any other purpose except for a residence for the teacher, and therefore it was not in the market for the purpose of charging a rent. Looking at it from a strictly legal point of view—as, no doubt, hon. Members opposite would wish to look at it—it was perfectly clear that this proposal to charge rent was not in the original scheme of the Bill, but only introduced when the Government were laid under pressure. And yet the answer of the Secretary to the Board of Education was that it would be an advantage that this charge for rent should be given to the managers and the cost thrown upon the ratepayers! It was to be to the benefit of the ratepayers that they were to pay the rent which otherwise the managers would have paid! He entirely failed to follow that argument.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said that the local authority would have to provide the school and the teacher's house if the managers did not provide them.
§ MR. BRYCE
said that the managers kept the monopoly. They could not use the house for any other purpose because it was affected by the trust, or they would commit a breach of trust. They talked about bargains; but it must occur to most hon. Members who had watched the changes made in the Bill that a very good bargain had been made for the Church. The Church had got a large share of the endowments, a large share of the fees, and a rent for the schoolmaster's house. That was the result of the hard bargain which the Church Party had driven with the Government. Whether it was a good bargain in a political sense time would show.
§ (3.38.) THE ATTORNEY GENERAL (Sir ROBERT FINLAY, Inverness Burghs)
said he was not disposed to enter at any length into this controversy, beyond saying that the arrangement for charging rent for the teacher's house seemed to him to be perfectly fair and equitable. One could not stroll into the House without being struck with the fact that there was a chorus constantly going on on the Opposition Benches thanking 646 heaven that they were not as those other men—extortioners and unjust. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire professed to translate the adjective used by his hon. friend the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Education; but he must admit that the right hon. Gentleman's own Anglo-Saxon was sufficiently expressive. The argument by which the right hon. Gentleman endeavoured to support that adjective was the most extraordinary he had ever heard. Was it not perfectly clear to every one that if a teacher did not have a dwelling-house supplied to him he would get more salary? The right hon. Gentleman actually said: "Whoever heard that the amount of salary depended on whether a house was supplied for the teacher or not?" The right hon. Gentleman laid down the proposition that the salary given to the teacher depended on his qualifications, and would not be affected in the slightest degree if he got a house or had to provide a house for himself out of his salary. That argument required no comment whatever. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen said that there was a legal difficulty. He confessed that he did not follow the legal difficulty. It was perfectly true that the buildings were held in trust for the purposes of education; but suppose that there was a part of the buildings which was not wanted for the moment for educational purposes. What was to prevent the trustees letting it and applying the proceeds to the purposes of the trust?
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that the buildings were applied generally for the purposes of education, and the local authority was the body which was bound to provide a salary to the teacher. He contended that a rent might be charged for the schoolmaster's house, but that the managers were bound to apply the proceeds within the terms of the trust.
§ MR. WHITLEY) (Halifax
said that according to a Return given to the House no less a sum than £250000 had been 647 paid out of the Exchequer for building grants for teachers' houses. Would the power to charge rent include those houses which were built, in whole or in part, out of public money?
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he did not see how that affected the question. The money was granted for the purposes of providing buildings for educational purposes; and as long as the proceeds of the rent were applied to public purposes within the terms of the trust, he failed to see how the hon. Member's question affected the matter.
§ MR. WHITLEY
asked if he was correct in assuming that the Attorney General meant that the rent was to be applied to public purposes and not to the purposes of the denomination? It was a revelation that the public were to be required to pay a rent for a building built out of money provided by the public themselves. There was not even a deduction to be made from the rent corresponding to the amount of money contributed out of the Exchequer. It was quite clear from the Return to which he had referred that there were 3,200 teachers' houses, which had been partly provided out of public money, or at the rate of £65 a piece. Hon. Members who were acquainted with the rural districts knew that that represented one-half the cost; and yet they were told that the public were to pay for ever rent on the money which they themselves had provided.
§ MR. LUKE WHITE) (Yorkshire, E. R., Buckrose
said he thought there was another point which ought to be taken into consideration. This Clause, if passed in its present form, would create difficulties and injustice in many rural districts in the country, if the whole of the rents of the non-provided schoolmasters' residences were to come out of the county rates. In the county which he repre-
§ sented there were fifteen School Board districts, and in each of those parishes the School Board had already provided a house for the schoolmaster: but under this Bill each of these parishes would have to pay, through the county rate, the cost of the rent of the voluntary school-masters' residences, while at the same time they had in their own parishes paid the principal and interest of the cost of their schoolmasters' houses. He believed that, in fairness and justice, if this Clause was passed, the Government should provide that the county rate should get the benefit of the rent in those parishes which had already provided schoolmasters' residences. He trusted this matter would be taken into consideration, and that some alleviation would be made so far as the rural School Board districts were concerned.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said that he really had hardly anything to add to what had been said by the Attorney-General. The money was given for the purposes of the trust, and would be applied to the purposes of the trust, namely, the educational advancement of the school. He did not see any injustice in applying the money to the purposes for which it was intended.
§ (3.46.) Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 179; Noes, 88. (Division List No. 588.)651
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Bain, Colonel James Robert||Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Balcarres, Lord||Brassey, Albert|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J (Manch'r||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Balfour, RtHnGeraldW.(Leeds||Brookfield, Colonel Montagu|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Campbell, RtHn .J. A.(Glasgow)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Carew, James Laurence|
|Austin, Sir John||Bignold, Arthur||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bond, Edward||Cavendish, V. C. W(Derbyshire)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Purvis, Robert|
|Chamberlain, RtHnJ. A(Worc.)||Hobhouse, RtHnH(Somers't,E.)||Rankin, Sir James|
|Chapman, Edward||Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Clive, Captain Percy A.||Horner, Frederick William||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Howard, John (Kent, Faversh'm)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Howard, J. (Midd.,Tottenham)||Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Renwick, George|
|Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow)||Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Ridley, HonM. W.(Stalybridge)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Kemp, George||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Kennedy, Patrick James||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop.)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Kimber, Henry||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Denny, Colonel||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir JohnE.||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Saunderson, RtHn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Lawson, John Grant||Seely, Maj. J. E. B.(IsleofWight)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lecky, RtHon WilliamEdw. H.||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Lee, ArthurH.(Hants.,Fareh'm)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart||Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Smith, HC(North'mb, Tyneside)|
|Egerton, Hon. A de Tatton||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)|
|Elliott, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Stanley. Lord (Lancs.)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Fergusson, RtHn. SirJ.(Manc'r)||Loder, Col. CharlesW.(Evesham)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Long, Rt. Hn Walter(Bristol, S.)||Talbot, RtHn. J. G.(Oxf'dUniv.)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lonsdale, Jolm Brownelee||Thompson, DrEC(Monagh'n, N)|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Macartney, RtHn W. G. Ellison||Tufnell, Lieut-Col. Edward|
|Flower, Ernest||Macdona, John Cumming||Tully, Jasper|
|Forster, Henry William||M'Cann, James||Valentia Viscount|
|Galloway, William Johnson||M'Iver, Sir Lewis(Edinburgh W||Walrond,RtHn. Sir William H.|
|Garfit, William||Majendie, James A. H.||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Gibbs, Hon. Vicary(St. Albans)||Malcolm, Ian||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Godson, Sir AugustusFrederick||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Welby, Lt.-Col A. C. E.(Taunt'n)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Milvain, Thomas||Welby, Sir CharlesG. E.(Notts.)|
|Graham, Henry Robert||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||More, Robt. Jasper(Shropshire)||Whiteley, H(Ashton-und. Lyne)|
|Groves, James Grimble||Morrison, James Archibald||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Hain, Edward||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham(Bute)||Wilson, A. Stanley(York, E. R.)|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hn LordG(Midd'x)||Nicholson, William Graham||Wodehouse, Rt Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson|
|Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashf'rd||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway, N.)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Hare, Thomas Leigh||O'Doherty, William||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Younger, William|
|Healy, Timothy Michael||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Helder, Augustus||Pilkington, Lieut.-Col. Richard||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Higginbottom, S. W.||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Hood and Mr. Anstruther|
|Allan, Sir William(Gateshead)||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Kitson, Sir James|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud)||Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Lambert, George|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Duncan, J. Hastings||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Asquith, RtHonHerbertHenry||Ellis, John Edward||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bell, Richard||Emmott, Alfred||Lloyd-George, David|
|Black, Alexander William||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Lough, Thomas|
|Brigg, John||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Fuller, J. M. F.||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Middlemore, John Throgmort'n|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Harcourt, Rt. Hn. Sir William||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Hardie, J Keir(Merthyr Tydvil)||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)|
|Caldwell, James||Harwood, George||Morley, Rt. Hn John(Montrose)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Palmer, SirCharlesM.(Durham)|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Horniman, Frederick John||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Cremer, William Randal||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Crombie, John William||Jacoby, James Alfred||Philipps, John Wynford|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea||Priestley, Arthur|
|Rea, Russell||Spencer, RtHn C. R.(Northants)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Rigg, Richard||Taylor, TheodoreC.(Radcliffe)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Thomas, Sir A.(Glamorgan, E.)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Thomas, DavidAlferd(Merthyr)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings)||Williams, Osmond(Merioneth)|
|Shackleton, David James||Tomkinson, James||Wilson, Fred. W.(Norfolk,Mid.)|
|Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Toulmin, George||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Warner, ThomasCourtenayT.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Wason, Eugene||Mr. Herbert Gladstone|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Weir, James Galloway||and Mr. Causton.|
In Clause 7, page 4, line 20, leave out from 'school' to 'and,' in line 23" "In Clause 7, page 4, line 27, at end, insert as a fresh paragraph—(e) The managers of the school shall, if the local educational authority have no suitable accommodation in schools provided by them, allow that authority to use any room in the schoolhouse out of school hours free of charge for any educational purpose, but this obligation shall not extend to more than three days in the week.'" "In Clause 7, Page 4, line 28, after 'school' insert 'maintained but.' "In Clause 7, page 4, line 28, make lines 28 to 37, being paragraph (e) of sub-Section (1), a new sub-Section (2)." "In Clause 7, page 4, line 39, after 'school' insert 'not provided by the authority.'"—(Sir William Anson.)
§ Amendments agreed to.
§ * (4.5.)MR. CRIPPS) (Lancashire, Stretford
said he desired to move to omit the Clause inserted by the hon. and gallant Member for the Newton Division in Committee and thought he would be held guiltless of any discourtesy to the hon. and gallant Member if he referred to this Clause as the Kenyon-Slaney Clause. He was anxious at the outset to make his position clear to many of those opposed to this Clause, and therefore he might say it was an entire mistake to suppose, as had been taught on many occasions in this House in matters where the Church of England was interested, that the only party in the Church interested was the High Church party. He did not wish to argue his own views in matters of this sort, but he belonged to the same school as his hon. and gallant friend who moved the insertion of this Clause, that moderate school which disliked extremes and which thought that within the portals of the Church there was room for everyone of a wise and moderate spirit. It seemed to him in this Church question that everyone in the Church was entitled to express his own views so long as he kept within the legal limitations of the National Church, and he deprecated the in tolerant spirit which led one extreme party to persecute 652 and ostracise the other. A spirit of that kind would lead to the destruction of the Church, and he disassociated himself entirely from it. In order to show that he did not represent any narrow view within the Church, he might mention he received, two days after the Clause had been passed, a document, signed by no less than 500 clergymen of the Manchester diocese, protesting against it, and anyone who knew the diocese knew perfectly well that the document was signed without any regard to High or Low Church; there were an equal number of clergymen representing both views protesting against what they considered to be an interference with their views and the views of the National Church.
There were three points of view from which he regarded the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment. It had been said that this Clause was in the nature of an insult to the Church of England. He did not believe it was either introduced or accepted from any such point of view. He was sure the hon. and gallant Member had no such idea, and that those who supported him had nothing farther from their thoughts. Everyone who loved the Church, and felt that the clergy did their duty, must acknowledge that their position had been recognised again and again in the many speeches made by the First Lord of the Treasury. But although nothing in the nature of an insult was intended, they had to consider, as regarded the practical bearing of this Amendment, what had been the position of the clergy in regard to denominational education in this country. Without hesitation, he laid it down that if it had not been for the self-sacrifice of the clergy a vast number of these denominational schools would not be in existence at the present moment. It was not very much sometimes for the rich man of whom they had heard so much to give out of his abundance for the purposes of education, but he was 653 familiar with many instances where the clergyman, in his desire to maintain what he considered was the true form of denominational teaching, had denied himself and family the necessaries of life, and for this form of self-sacrifice they ought, he submitted, have the respect of every member of the House. (A VOICE: What about the rich archbishops?) There were one or two special directions in which he might emphasise that. He would not go into the poorer districts where the school had been managed and maintained by the country clergyman; he would not go into the slums of the big towns where, so far as the clergy were concerned, the schools had been maintained so ably: he would say a word with regard to his own constituency. It lay between Manchester and Stockport. A few years ago it was a country district—it was covered with buildings, many of them of the poorer class, at the present moment; it was one of the districts where the greatest self-sacrifice was required from the clergymen in order to keep themselves on a level with the population as regarded the schools and the church, and in the spirit of self-sacrifice he knew that the clergy of that district had gone without the necessaries of life in order to carry out what they conscientiously considered to be their duty. Upon the Church question pure and simple, whatever might be the views on one side or the other, the House would be unanimous on this, that it should be the mission of the Church to teach the young children the doctrine on which they believed the great issues of futurity depended. He did not believe the clergy would adopt so unfortunate an attitude as to close these schools on account of the Kenyon-Slaney Clause, although anyone could understand the great momentary irritation in a matter of this kind. He had no fear of that, but he feared the slackening of the energy of the clergy. He had the strongest conviction that if there was any slackening of devout energy on the part of the clergy to maintain the denominational character of schools, they would in a number of cases be condemned.
One great objection he had to the Kenyon-Slaney Clause, Which was not intended as an insult to the Church, was, if they considered human nature, that the 654 interest in education under the working of this Clause in the future was likely to be slackened. If it was, there could not be a greater misfortune happen to the denominational schools. A further objection to the Clause was that its effect upon the managers would be as bad as its effect on the clergy. One of the reasons why the denominational schools had worked so well and with so little friction was, that in the choice of the managers of those schools the extreme denominational element had been to a great extent excluded. That could not be so in the future if they were to have the Kenyon-Slaney Clause. With regard to present conditions, although he did not care to go into illustrations of a personal nature, in the parish with which he was associated, in a parish in which the Church element had been not only predominant, but almost exclusive, for a long series of years the school had been managed without the slightest friction by a governing body of four Church of England men, two Dissenters, and one Roman Catholic; and until this Bill was brought in, and he inquired as to what the religious convictions of the managers were, he did not know which faith they professed. It was said that the denominational character of these schools would be protected, because there was to be a majority of denominational managers. What did that mean? They introduced into their daily life questions of doctrine and religion. Would it not be absolutely essential in the future, if questions of doctrine and religion were to be determined, to appoint as foundation managers members of the denomination? Under this Clause they could not complain if the people appointed members who were not only members of the denomination, but bigoted members, which would be a most unfortunate result, because it would introduce an intolerant spirit exactly where it ought not to be introduced. He had heard this question argued as though the purport of this Clause was to introduce a larger local and popular element. There could not be a greater mistake or misapprehension. The managers, whether trustees or not of these private schools, outside the two appointed by the local education authority, represented a private interest, and a private interest 655 only. What reason was there to suppose that an individual manager or a particular body of trustees should not be at least as eccentric and extravagant as an individual member of the clergy of the Established Church? It was not a question of popular management on the one side and the clergy on the other, it was a question of whether in some of the parishes questions of doctrine and Church discipline should, instead of being in the hands of the clergyman and bishop, be in the hands of the squire or private owner, who in matters of this kind had no right to be heard at all. [A VOICE: Why not?] His view of denominational education was that it meant denominational education carried on under the superintendence of the ministers of the Church. The point he put was that there was no reason for it on the religious side, and on the practical side there was every reason against giving an individual or his nominees in a particular parish power over the religious teaching which happened to be taught in that parish. The Kenyon-Slaney Clause had nothing to do with the question of popular control. That was dealt with by other Clauses of the Bill. Take a clergyman, no matter what his tenets were, and assume that all his parishioners were in favour of the form of religious education which he taught, and take the owner of the school who at the time was antagonistic to all the parishioners, a man who might be an extreme Church-man. There they had a private owner of a school deciding against the wish of the parish and the religious teacher of the parish—what should be taught in the school.
§ * MR. CRIPPS
said it was not one out of six because he appointed the other three practically. He hoped the House would appreciate the fact that they were dealing with a question in which if there was antagonism between the clergyman and the school-owner this is what would occur. Could such a thing be maintained as a fair solution of this difficult problem? What could be worse in its influence, as regarded religious teaching than to have a popular clergyman, with 656 whom all his parishioners agreed, and an unpopular school-owner who was antagonistic and had unpopular views, whose views were to be forced on that parish? There could be no other result if the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment were applied. He did not wish to deal with the religious question, he wished to make it a practical question. It was a monstrous thing to supersede the clergyman in such circumstances, and to substitute for him some private person who had no responsibility to any one.
Another strong objection which he had to the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment was, and he was now going on to more technical grounds, that it had been suggested that this Clause either did not affect the trusts at all, or only affected them in very unimportant details. If the Kenyon-Slaney Clause was to be given, any meaning at all, it would and must affect those trusts in future. He made that statement because if hon. Members looked at the Clause, they would see that religious instruction was to be given in the school not in accordance "with the provisions of the trust deed relating thereto." but "in accordance with the tenour of the provisions of the trust deed." Why were those words introduced, and what could they mean? They meant nothing more than this—if it was an Anglican school in the past it would be so in the future, and if it was a Roman Catholic school, or a Wesleyan school, in the past, so it would remain. That would be so without the Kenyon-Slaney Clause. But he thought the real meaning of those words went much further. He put it to the learned Attorney General in order that he might get an answer. He would take a case where the terms of the trust deed at the present time were that the religious education should be carried out according to the tenets of the Church of England. Suppose in that case there was a difference of opinion between the owner of the school, or his nominee, and the clergyman of the parish. Which was to have the government as regarded the religious education? Was it to be in accordance with the tenets of religion in the hands of the rector, or was it to be taken out of the hands of the rector and placed in the hands of others? If it was taken out of 657 the hands of the rector, then they were interfering in the most direct and improper way with the trust deed. If they had a trust deed leaving the religious education to the clergyman of the church, and by the operation of this Clause it was withdrawn from his hands and put into the hands of a body of managers or private individuals, were they not on a most crucial point interfering with the trust. That was a very clear issue. Under these conditions would the teaching be in accordance with the terms of the trust in the hands of the clergyman, or would it be transferred into the hands of the new managing body? He knew there had been some difference of opinion as regarded the construction of the Kenyon-Slaney Clause but the words were "and shall be under the control of the managers." In his opinion that was introducing a new term into every trust deed. Was it intended to be subject to all the provisions which existed in the trust deed at the present time? From his own point of view, if it could be made perfectly clear that no trust deed would be interfered with, and there were facilities for providing trust deeds in the future, he admitted that a very large amount of his objection to this Clause would be done away with. They would then always have trust deeds under which it was inoperative, and in those circumstances they would take the proper course of being governed by the conditions of the deed, outside of any special provisions in the Bill itself.
The effect of the Kenyon-Slaney Clause would be to weaken the interests of the clergy in education and to demoralize the managers. They were now a composite body as regarded denominations, but they would henceforth necessarily be chosen from one denomination, because a member of another denomination could, of course, not be introduced without running the risk of the Church getting into a minority on the question of religious education. Lastly, as a Conservative of a pronounced type in this matter, he protested most strongly against any interference with these trust deeds which was not shown to be absolutely and essentially necessary. The hon. and gallant Member had urged that this Clause would be a means of security against the action of what he called eccentric or extravagant clergymen. But whereas a clergyman was now subject to control, both under the law of the Church and the action of his Bishop, the 658 effect of this Clause might be to put the religious instruction of the children into the hands of quite as eccentric laymen, who in their position as owners of school buildings had no special claim to interfere in this matter of religious doctrine. Surely it was a slur on the clergy in one sense if they assumed that the eccentricity and extravagance must be on their side only. That was not his experience. He had no doubt that they would be able to find exceptions to this rule, but the laity could not claim infallibility on this point any more than the clergy. That seemed to him to be the only argument.
It was an argument of despair to introduce questions of Church discipline into the education of young children. A lay High Churchman might bring a crucifix into a school, and thus oust the clergyman who is a Low Churchman. That was an extraordinary proposition. Suppose there was a clergyman with whom he disagreed. Suppose a Low Churchman found himself face to face with a High Church manager—was it right that he should be excluded from that school and from the religious teaching if such teaching was given within the limitation of what was legal in the Church? What a bathos for the Church of England to have its doctrines put in the hands of four managers selected by individual owners of the school and two who came from the local authority. He was strongly opposed to any ostracising policy either by his hon. and gallant friend or by anyone else of the Church of England, and he bitterly regretted that in a Bill which, in his opinion, was tempered by religious equality all round, and which had gone further than any proposal made before to remedy the disabilities of which Nonconformists complain, and far beyond what was done by the Party in power in 1870, not only in the Bill itself but in the expressions with which it was introduced—he regretted, as a member of the Church of England, that the one instance of intolerance, the one case of a new disability, should have been introduced to the detriment of that class who, by their devoted self-sacrifice, had maintained denominational education up to this day, and without whose devoted self-sacrifice no Act of Parliament could maintain it in future.
Amendment proposed to the Bill—
In page 5, line 6, to leave out sub-Section (4) of Clause 7."—(Mr. Cripps.)
§ Question proposed, "That the words 'religious instruction' stand part of the Bill."
§ (4.38.) SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he was in entire disagreement with the main point of his hon. and learned friend's speech, but every one must agree with the spirit of the remarks with which he prefaced the more controversial part of that speech. He was not wrong in believing that the Government, in accepting the Amendment moved by his hon. and gallant friend, were acting not in the interests of any party, political or religious, but solely in the interests of the smooth working of the machinery of the new system under the altered conditions which the Bill had introduced. His hon. and learned friend had paid an eloquent and deserved tribute to the work which the clergy had done with reference to education in England. He said, and said truly, that it was to the self-sacrificing exertions of the clergy that in very many cases these schools had owed their continued existence. He might have gone a great deal further and said that at a time in the history of education in England, when there were none to help, the clergy of the Church of England stepped in. He might have further said that for many years, so far as the work of national education was discharged it was discharged by the clergy of the Church of England, and no one in dealing with the educational problem could for one moment leave out that great fact, which lay at the foundation of that which they had now to deal.
When his hon. and learned friend apperhended that the effect of this Amendment would be to lead to some slackening of zeal on the part of the clergy in the Church with regard to education, he did not share that apprehension. He had a far higher opinion of the clergy of the Church of England than that into the expression of which for the moment his hon. friend was betrayed. He did not believe that the clergy of the Church of England were out of sympathy with the laity, 660 or that they would have any difficulty in co-operating with them. He was reluctant to enter into any controversial matters with his hon. and learned friend, but he must demur to one portion of his hon. friend's speech in which he seemed very unduly to minimise the place of the laity in the Church. He did not think that his hon. and learned friend really meant all that his words seemed to convey, but he must protest against the expressions which he used being taken in the full import which the words at the time he used them seemed to bear.
§ MR. CRIPPS
said he thought his words must have been misunderstood. He was not talking about the laity, but he was speaking of the position of the owners of private schools.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said that the expression to which the hon. Member referred occurred in another portion of his hon. friend's speech. His hon. friend seemed to think also that this Clause would make the managers bigoted. He would have thought that it would have exactly the opposite effect, and that the tendency would rather be to have moderate men on the Board, who fairly represented the laity of the denomination with which the school was connected. His hon. and learned friend gave a very interesting instance from his own experience, where there was a Board of Managers consisting of four members of the Church of England, two Nonconformists and one Catholic. Taking the four members of the Church of England and the two Nonconformists, he apprehended that there could not be any more difficulty under the operation of this Clause in the working of that Board than there would be before this Clause existed.
§ MR. CRIPPS
The clergyman in this case comes under the trust deed and has control of teh religious teaching.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he really could not see why, if a voice was given to the laity with regard to the administration of religious instruction, it should introduce on all Boards the bigotry which his hon. and learned friend had predicted. He hoped and believed that the effect would be exactly the opposite, and that these 661 schools would be worked in a spirit of mutual forbearance with the result of preventing instead of causing bitterness. There was one other observation which he must make with regard to the constitution of the board of management. His hon. and learned friend has compared the case of a school connected with a particular denomination under a trust deed and the case of a school the absolute property of a private owner. Of course, a private owner might shut up his school altogether, but in the case of a school founded under a trust deed in connection with a particular denomination, the state of things was altogether different. There they expected to have a Board of managers of whom the clergyman would generally be one, and the choice of four out of six places would be in the hands of the denomination with which the school was particularly associated. In those circumstances he really could not see how the danger could arise which his hon. and learned friend depicted of a tyrannical squire setting himself up as an ecclesiastical authority and imposing his views on theology on the management, and rejecting those of the clergyman.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL) (Greenwich
asked whether his hon. and learned friend contemplated that a Roman Catholic could be among the foundation managers.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he did not contemplate that. Where foundation managers were chosen to represent a denomination, one would expect that he would be a member of that denomination. He did not say there might not be occasional cases in which a gentleman of different views, who was thoroughly well known, whose judgment was implicitly relied on, and who was absolutely worthy of the confidence of the denomination, might be put on the board among the foundation managers. He apprehended that such cases would be extremely rare. Then they were told that there ought to be no interference with the trust deeds. With that sentiment in general he cordially agreed, but regard must be had to the total change of conditions and circumstances, and he was sure his hon. and learned friend would not contend that, if all the conditions were changed, the conditions prescribed in the trust deed should be adhered to inflexibly for all time.
662 A gloomy picture had been drawn of the doctrines of the Church of England being at the mercy of the managers. He hoped to be able to satisfy the House that that was entirely a fancy picture, and that there was no danger of that kind under the Bill. The Clause had been a good deal discussed, but in order to see clearly what the effect was, one had to look at the Clause as a whole. It consisted of two parts. The first part dealt with—he put it shortly— the nature of the religious teaching to be given; and the second part dealt with the control of the administration with regard to the giving of that teaching. The first part was in these words—Religious instruction shall be given in a public elementary school not provided by the local education authority, in accordance with the tenour of the provisions (if any) of the trust deed relating thereto.And the second part was—And shall be under the control of the managers.The first part dealt with doctrine, and the second part with machinery, and he thought that any misconception which had arisen as to the meaning of the Clause had been caused in this way, that those who had endeavoured to construe it had fastened their attention too exclusively either on the first or on the second part. In order to get the true meaning of either part they must read the Clause as a whole, and read each in the light of the other portion, which, by all the rules of common-sense, was the way it must be construed. With regard to the first portion of the Clause, he apprehended that no one could suggest that giving the control of religious teaching to a body of managers empowered them to go outside the terms of the trust deed. If the terms of the trust deed provided for religious teaching according to the doctrines of the Church of England, he apprehended that it was perfectly clear the managers, however much they had control of the teaching, could not by any possibility introduce the teaching of any other religion in the school. They could not in that case introduce Wesleyan or Roman Catholic teaching; they were bound by the terms of the trust as to the nature of the religious instruction to be given in the school. If the trust deed made no provision for determining any questions of difference as to what the doctrine of the Church of England might be, the 663 question in the last resort would have to be determined by the Court of Chancery. As in the case of all other trusts for the application of endowments of any kind, if questions arose as to whether the trust was being carried out according to law, the Court would have to decide. He was glad it did not often come to that, for it was a delicate, anxious, and difficult question for a court of law to have to deal with. The courts would also have to determine any question of that kind when there was no trust deed at all, or if there were any circumstances in which a trust could be implied in favour of the tenets of one denomination or another. But the greatest admirers of the courts of law must confess that there were some questions they were better qualified to deal with than others, and the framers of some trust deeds seemed to have adopted that view because they had provided that cases of difference in relation to ecclesiastical teaching should be determined by some superior ecclesiastical authority. A provision of that kind, if put merely on the low ground of convenience, would be recognised as extremely expedient and as one that ought not to be interfered with. He read the clause as not interfering in the slightest degree with the functions of any such ecclesiastical authority to determine what the doctrine was of the Church with which the school was associated; and if a question arose as to whether a particular doctrine was a doctrine of the Church of England, than if the trust deed provided for the decision of that point by the bishop his decision would be obtained, and it would be the duty of the managers loyally to carry out the decision of the authority provided by the trust deed of which they were the administrators. That was the way he read the first portion of the Clause on the consideration of which the House was engaged.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL
Do I understand the Attorney General to mean that the bishop can determine both whether a doctrine is untrue and whether a doctrine should be taught? There are errors of omission as well as errors of commission.
§ Sir ROBERT FINLAY
replied that, speaking generally, the bishop would have jurisdiction over errors of omission as well as over errors of commission, because they might have a 664 doctrine so vital to the tenets of a particular denomination that to leave it out would be as bad as to put in another.
§ MR. CRIPPS
In a case where at the present time it would be under the rector of the diocese, would that be continued under the Bill, or would it be given to the law courts?
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
said he would deal with that presently. The second part of the Clause dealt with the control of the teaching. That was given to the managers. He was asked what would happen if the trust deed provided that the teaching should be under the superintendence of the rector of the parish. In future that superintendence would be subject to the control of the managers. In this was no disrespect, or even suspicion of disrespect, to the clergy of the Church of England. He did not believe that the collision, which his hon. and learned friend apprehended as possible, between the clergyman and the other managers would occur in one case out of a thousand. He had perfect confidence in the ability of the clergy to co-operate with the laity of the Church and with the other managers. But if in the thousandth case there was, unhappily, division as to the manner in which the doctrines of the Church were to be carried out, the last word must rest with some one, and he thought his hon. and learned friend would agree that, in view of the vast changes this Bill involved and the manner in which the schools were to be maintained, the system of one-man management, well as it had, on the whole, worked in the past, was not one the House would desire to continue. His hon. and gallant friend who moved this Amendment had brought forward words which would have the effect of giving the laity a fair voice in saying how the machinery of religious instruction was to work. He had endeavoured to put clearly his views on the Clause. He would only add that he did not think he had said a single thing that had not already been said quite as clearly by the First Lord of the Treasury partly in this House in the debate on the Clause, partly in this House in answer to Questions put the other day, and partly in answer to those innumerable letters with which his right 665 hon. friend had been flooded by those who were anxious as to the working of this Clause. His belief with regard to the Clause, as with regard to any other parts of the Bill, was that all the difficulties which had been conjured up would in practice not be found to exist. He believed the clergyman would retain his legitimate influence, and that he would be well able to co-operate with the laity in the discharge of his great function of seeing that the doctrines of his Church were taught to the children in the schools.
§ * (5.0.) MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)
I have placed on the Paper an Amendment which would have the effect of omitting the very words which my hon. and learned friend opposite has proposed to omit in his Motion to reject the Clause as a whole. But our objects are diametrically opposite. My hon. and learned friend wishes to get rid of the Clause. I, although I do not attach as much value and importance to it as so many people are supposed to, wish to retain the Clause, and the object of my Amendment is not only to retain the Clause, but to express what I believe is the unanimous intention of the House—both of those who opposed and those who advocated it three weeks ago—in clear and unequivocal language. I am, however, precluded by the technicalities of our procedure from moving the Amendment, and I will take the issue as upon the Clause in its present form. Now, I listened with great attention and much respect to the speech of the Attorney General, who gave a lucid exposition of the problem he was endeavouring to explain to the House. But I confess that that speech filled me with amazement. I propose to ask the attention of the House to two questions— first of all, What does the Clause mean? and secondly, What was the Clause intended to mean? Now, what does the Clause mean? The Attorney General has told us that it consists of two parts—one of which deals with doctrine and the other with what he somewhat vaguely called control or administration. But it appears that wherever a school is not managed by a trust deed which gives the power of appeal to the Bishop the question of 666 doctrine would fall under the category of administration, and the managers would be supreme.
§ SIR ROBERT FINLAY
It would be for a court of law to determine what was the doctrine of the Church in that case.
§ * MR. ASQUITH
In the first instance, the managers are to determine, and if any one likes to go to law and complain of a breach of trust he may do so. But subject to that contingency the managers in all these schools are to be the persons who are to determine the doctrine which is to be taught to the children, and it is only in the schools where the trust deed contains this power of appeal to the Bishop that the managers will be deprived, practically, of any effective voice in the selection of the doctrines to be taught or the manner in which they are to be taught and their powers of administration will be confined to I do not know what—apparently to nothing at all. I confess I should have interpreted the Clause in a totally different sense, althought I express the opinion with the utmost diffidence after listening to the speech of the Attorney General. I should have said that the words, "in accordance with the tenour of the provisions of the deed" are purposely chosen. Tenour is not a term of art. It is a totally different thing, and must be intended to have a different significance from "terms," "conditions," "provisions," and, still more, "detailed machinery." I interpret the word "tenour," as I believe it was universally interpreted in the debate of three weeks ago, as meaning that so long as the teaching given is within the general scope and effect of the trust deed—that is to say, that, so long as, as the Attorney General said, in a Anglican school the teaching is Anglican, in a Wesleyan school Wesleyan, and in a Roman Catholic school Roman Catholic—subject to that limitation, the control, the undisputed and undivided control, is with the managers.
We have to consider the Clause as a whole, and we must look to the governing intention of the whole. That is a well-known rule of legal construction, as well as a rule of common sense. What is the governing 667 intention here? I venture to say it is that, provided the teaching given is within the general scope, in other words, in accordance with the tenour of the trust deed, the power, the control, of the managers is supreme. Let me quote the actual language of the ordinary trust deed of the National Society. It is that "the superintendence of the religious instruct on to be given in the schools shall be vested in the managers for the time being, and in case of any dispute or difference arising on any matter"—not merely on questions of doctrine— "affecting the religious instruction in the said school, an appeal may be made to the bishop of the diocese, whose decision shall be final, conclusive, and binding on all parties." How a court of law is to say, in one and the same breath, that Parliament gives the control with one hand as regards religious instruction and yet keeps alive a provision which enables the bishop to waive the managers aside, is more than I can comprehend. I confess that, if the matter did come before a court of law, I should have a very confident expectation myself that it would be held that the governing intention of the Clause in such a case was managerial control, and that the provision of the trust deed which appeared to be of the contrary effect must be deemed to be swept aside. Whether this is the actual construction of the Clause or not, I have no hesitation in saying that it was clearly the intention of the Committee when the Clause was discussed and carried by an overwhelming majority. According to the Attorney General, the Committee during the whole of that debate was in a dream, and while it thought, as it undoubtedly did think, that throughout these non-provided schools it was establishing, as regards religious instruction, lay control, it was really, without suspecting it, as regarded a very large number of them, as regarded apparently all of them with trust deeds of the National Society, enthroning by stature the final and undisputed jurisdiction of a remote ecclesiastical authority. What was the intention of those who advocated the Clause? I turn now to the speech of my hon. and gallant friend who is the sponsor of this Clause —a sponsorship which has achieved 668 for him a universal and a universally appreciated celebrity. Was it the object of my hon. and gallant friend, when he moved this Clause, when he talked about the importance of bringing local lay opinion to bear upon, and in restraint of, the eccentricities of the clergyman, that laymen should have no determining voice in the matter, but only the power to say, "We do not approve of your practices, the thing must go to the Bishop." I doubt whether that was his intention. What was the avowed and pronounced object of my hon. and gallant friend?He desired to make it impossible for the future," he said, "that any individual, whether cleric or layman, should be able to impose of his own will, any form of religious teaching, or any practice or observance in connection with religious teaching, which might not have the consent and approval of the majority of the management of the school.Surely the word "cleric" included not only the local parson, who might be supposed to know the needs of the parish, but also the bishops, far removed from the scene of dispute, and who, as a body, had not shown themselves in the past over zealous to check the exuberance of eccentric and refractory priests.
But equally important is the meaning attributed to the Clause by those who opposed it. I turn to the speech of the hon. Member for Tonbridge. Do not let it be supposed that this question of the trust deed was passed over sun silentio. It was pointedly brought to the attention of the House by him. He said, after quoting the terms of the National Society's deed—He did not want to argue that point, because there was an appeal already to a recognised constituted authority; but if this Amendment were carried there was no appeal at all. They might give their decision in accordance with the tenour of the trust deed with no bishop or education authority to see that they did their work properly.That was the sense in which the opponents of the Clause understood it. It is still more important to see what was the opinion of the Government, for it they had not assented to this Clause its fortunes might have been very different from what they actually were. I take the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury himself. The right hon. Gentleman quoted a passage from a 669 previous speech of his own, in which he used this expression—Religious education will be under the control not of one man, and that man the parson of the parish, but of a board of six. Of these the parson would probably be the only minister of religion, and three would be managers representing the denomination.The right hon. Gentleman proceeded—It was never contemplated that the teaching in a Roman Catholic school should be other than Roman Catholic, or that the teaching in a Wesleyan school should be other than Wesleyan, or that the teaching in an Anglican school should be other than Anglican; but I must traverse the contention of my noble friend that it was ever contemplated that the teaching should not be under the Board of Management.He developed the argument to show that the real object for thus associating the Board of Management with the clergyman was that you might bring to bear— no doubt in a rough and approximate and indirect way, but still effectively—on the character and quality and nature of the religious teaching given in the school, the opinion of the parents of the children. He said—I do not pretend to maintain that, in an absolutely theoretic sense, these managers necessarily represent the parents. They are not elected by them, and, therefore, they do not represent them in that sense. But they will represent, broadly speaking, the general opinion of the particular denomination in a parish, and I think that if this Amendment is carried there really will be no danger that Anglican children will be taught a form of religion to which their parents heartily object.So that the opinion of the First Lord of the Treasury was that they would have the voice, indirect, it was true, of the parent to restrain, if necessary, the eccentricities of the clergyman. What is to become of all that as regards a vast number of schools—they must be numbered by the thousand—in the vital matter which is the object of the Amendment—namely, the clergyman giving religious teaching which might very possibly be within the elastic range of the formularies of the Church of England, as interpreted by the bishops or the courts of law, but which was offensive, and known to be offensive, to the consciences and sentiments of a large number of the parents? How is the object to be attained as regards these thousands of schools where the voice of the managers is, in case of dispute, 670 to be set aside altogether, and the final and unappealable decision is to be given by the bishop and nobody else What have the managers got to control? What is there left for them to do? It is quite true that they would appoint and dismiss the teachers; but in the sub-Section now before the House they are given express definite authority to control religious teaching. But while that authority is given to them, it is now said they are only to exercise it subject to the veto of the bishops, which is practically taking away with one hand what is given by the other. I will not multiply quotations, but speaker after speaker in this debate, and no one more clearly than the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich, agreed as to the effect of the Clause; and when the noble Lord proposed what the Attorney General now says is in the Clause, that the control of the managers should be subject to the provisions of the trust deeds, it was opposed by the First Lord of the Treasury and negatived without a division. The right hon. Gentleman said—He did not think the words proposed by his noble friend would do, but the general principle he had laid down would be safeguarded if they put in the following provision: 'Provided that any power as to religious instruction conferred by the deed on any clergyman or minister of religion shall, Subject to such control, remain vested in him.'The noble Lord, with that penetration which might be expected of him, said that that would be worse than the hon. and gallant Gentleman's Amendment, as it would expressly provide that the clergyman should be absolutely subject to the control of the managers.
The truth is that the supporters of the Clause, the opponents of the Clause, the Government which accepted the Clauses, and the Committee which adopted the Clause—all understood it in the sense which I have described. Why, then, have we got this suggested construction, never put upon it at the time, never dreamt of at the time by a single human being? There had been a storm brewing in ecclesiastical circles, and a bishop of the Church, one on the most distinguished and universally respected of them, the Bishop of Worcester, as soon as this Clause was passed, sounded the noted of alarm. The Bishop laid it down as one 671 of the fundamental principles of the Anglican Church, if not of any Episcopal Church, that, as far as the religious teaching was concerned, the clergyman of the parish was to exercise complete and undivided control, subject only to appeal to the bishop of the diocese. It was a doctrine of the Schoolmen that entities ought not to be unnecessarily multiplied, and I venture to think there is nothing more dangerous to a great institution, whether in the Church or State, than unnecessarily to multiply its fundamental principles. And where is this fundamental principle to be found? Where is it? By what authority and to whom has it ever been defined or propounded? I do not know, and I never yet knew anybody who did; but this I know, that if this is going to be regarded for the future as in any sense a fundamental principle of the Church of England, that a clergyman of that Church, whatever his opinion may be, however little he may be in harmony with the average religious sentiment of the parish in which he lives, is to have a complete autocracy as regards the form of religious teaching to be given in his parish—an autocracy which is to be complete, subject only to appeal to the bishop—a complete autocracy as regards the form of religious teaching to be given in the State school— in a school every penny of the remuneration of the teacher in which comes from public funds—if that is going to be recognised as one of the fundamental principles of the Church of England, so much the worse for the future of that church.
I say then, first of all, and with great deference, that the Clause has not the effect which was now sought to be attributed to it, and it was never intended to have that effect. They very object with which it was brought forward and supported and opposed would be completely frustrated, as regards the great mass of these schools, if the so-called lay control was nothing better than a shadow and a figment, and the practical determination of the religious teaching was to rest with the clergyman, subject to appeal which was difficult to prosecute, and, as past experience shews, not likely in many cases to meet with a favourable reception from the bishop who knew nothing of the 672 local circumstances. Lastly, I maintain that there is involved here, quite apart from the language and intention of this particular Clause, a principle which this House when it adopted the Clause appeared almost without distinction of Party to enunciate and to adopt, a principle which it ought not to abandon, and that principle is this, that in these schools, supported as they will be—so far as the teaching is concerned— entirely by the State, the laity are entitled to a predominant voice in the religious teaching which is given.
§ (5.23.) COLONEL KENYON-SLANEY) (Shropshire, Newport
said he was sure he would have the sympathy of the House in being the first layman to take part in the debate that afternoon. He was in the extremely unfortunate position of having to take part in a wrangle between great legal giants holding opposite views. Though he had the great honour of having a Lord Chief Justice of England as a great grand father, he failed to find that any of his ancestor's legal knowledge had descended to him; and, therefore, he hoped the House would forgive him if he did not plunge into the legal aspects of the case. Inasmuch, however, as the Clause now before the House resulted from the adoption of an Amendment which stood in his name, and which now seemed to be generally known by his name, he hoped he might be excused for trying to come to the rescue of his innocent offspring from the terrible doom his hon. and learned friend pronounced on it.
He should like to make one or two general remarks on questions which arose out of the controversy which ranged round the Clause. He understood and appreciated most thoroughly the attitude taken towards the Amendment by his Roman Catholic fellow countrymen. Their position seemed to him to be perfectly fair and perfectly clear. Both the clergy and laity alike saw no objection whatever to the system of absolute priestly domination against which the Amendment was directed. He did not complain of the attitude of Roman Catholics in the matter; and he thought that, from their point of view, they should not accept it.
673 At the same time, he found some satisfaction in the undoubted fact that they would not suffer practically in the working of the Amendment, as they would be secured by the composition of the board of management; and, although he acknowledged their theoretical objection, no practical injury would accrue to them. It would, however, be absolutely impossible to allow any differential treatment for any particular section or religion; and therefore, he could not accept the suggestion that they should differentiate between Roman Catholics and other denominations. Apart from the great Roman Catholic body, he had heard from no side any disposition to disagree with the Clause on the part of the great Non conformist bodies; and, therefore, he was afraid he should have to treat the question as a controversy within the limits of the Anglican Church, of which he was a member. He could not say how painful to him had been some of the expressions of opinion which he had received. Old friends announced that, in consequence of his action, old friendships were at an end; and supporters of his had announced that their support would be withdrawn; but he was rather hopeful that those expressions of opinion had been some what premature and hurried, and that a little more consideration would show that he should not be condemned to suffer such severe penalties for taking the action he felt bound to take.
Since his Amendment was adopted, several matters had occurred to which he should like to allude. There was the great meeting at the Albert Hall, at which the Bishop of London was the chief speaker. The Bishop at that meeting announced on authority—he did not know from what source it was derived—the interpretation which had now been authoritatively given by the Attorney General. He did not, therefore, propose to quote the speech of the Bishop of London as he had intended. He was bound to accept the interpretation of the Clause given by the Attorney General, but he frankly avowed that when he moved the Amendment he did not think it contained the appeal it was now held to contain. He was, however, perfectly willing to accept that reading of the Amendment, and 674 he believed that, as it stood, the Clause contained ample power to effect that which was its main object and purpose, viz., the complete restraint of the one man element of control. Henceforth that element would be missing from the school, and their object would have been achieved. The Bishop of London, in a very unfortunate allusion, spoke at the Albert Hall in terms now only too well known of "Squire Western and his head farmer and gardener" having to control the religious education. He knew his "Tom Jones" as thoroughly as the Bishop of London, and he might remind his lordship that there was also a "Parson Thwackum." If he had originally referred to the clergy as so many "Parsons Thwackum" he would rightly have been held to have spoken disrespectfully, and he protested against such a high dignitary using language equally as offensive of the squirearchy. He did not desire, however, to score a mere debating point out of that slip of the Bishop; nobody would acknowledge more readily than he the magnificent work his Lordship had down and the glorious example he was setting, but at the same time the remarks were unfortunate, not so much in themselves, as because they seemed to represent to the country a feeling of distrust in the laity. Until the mind of every Archbishop and Bishop was cleared of all distrust in the laity, the Church would not be as safe as she ought to be.
Passing from that point, he desired to suggest one or two points in support of the Clause. In Scotland there was a system of religious education under which the minister was, so to speak, the agent of a lay committee. That system worked well, and no one would contend that the average Scotch child was less well grounded than the average English child in all that pertained to the realities of religion. Most hon. Members would agree that of the religious teaching under which they were brought up only a very small element was directly derived from any minister of religion. The bulk of their religion had been taught them by their parents, notably and most impressively by their mother: it had been carried out by nurse, governess or tutor, then by the master of the private school, who was not necessarily a clergyman, 675 and finally at the public school, so that through the whole of their career it was perfectly possible for them not to have been under the tuition of a single clergyman. Therefore, except when going through a course of preparation for confirmation, he doubted whether many Members had ever derived much religious instruction directly from any Clergyman. He made that statement simply to show that too much importance should not be attached in one case when it was not thought necessary to safeguard the instruction in another.
In order to prove that the need of this clause had been made clearer since its adoption, he would quote another member of the Episcopal Bench. The Bishop of Liverpool had recently, in addressing his clergy, used these remarkable words—There has risen out of the heart of the High Church revival a body of extreme men who have left their original leaders far behind, and who, while holding almost every Roman doctrine, contrive to satisfy their consciences that they can honestly remain in the Church of England. Of the devotion of some of these men there is no question. If self-sacrifice were the measure of truth, their orthodoxy would be unimpeachable. But the Church of England has her accredited standards of faith and practice, and has laid down well-defined limit, beyond which her members may not go; and the attitude and conduct of these extreme men are becoming an increasing source of irritation and of danger.The Bishop, after alluding to the various findings of Archbishop Benson, continued—With these authoritative utterances before him it becomes a question how a diocesan bishop is to treat the clergy who decline to obey him.After mentioning two or three courses, his Lordship said finally—There is that policy of episcopal excommunication. He may treat the offenders as self-made Nonconformists; as having placed themselves by their own act and deed outside his jurisdiction. He may decline to be present at their services, to preach in their pulpits, to confirm in their churches, to license any assistant clergy. That is the policy I have most reluctantly adopted in this diocese, and which I intend to pursue. If deprivation were substituted for imprisonment, it would be manifestly my duty to take a severer course, for the existence of this evil in our midst is a standing menace, a source of continual danger and weakness; it is alienating the laity, enraging the masses of our people; and it is inflicting untold injury on morality and on religion.676 These remarks from such a source tended, he thought, to prove the necessity of the Clause, and for some restriction on the clergy whom he had called eccentric and extravagant. The Clause would go far to render impossible in the schools the practices which had apparently been going on in the diocese of Liverpool. It was sometimes thought that this was a matter in which the laity were on one side and the clergy on the other. He was thankful to say that that was not in the least the case. It was true that he had had a startling correspondence, some of it in terms of extreme violence, if not indecency, but it would be most unfair that he should allow it to be supposed that all the clergy were opposed to the Clause. He had received from the clergy nearly as many letters supporting the Clause as opposing it, and he might read one as a type of many that he had received which exactly expressed his feeling—After carefully considering Colonel Kenyon-Slaney's Amendment, I have come to the conclusion that many of my clerical brethren are unduly irritated and alarmed.I do not feel at all as if I had received a slap in the face, nor do I feel at all afraid of the effect of the Amendment.We are still protected by our trust deeds. We are protected by having four denominational managers against two outsiders, while they many very easily all be denominational, and we are safeguarded also by the fact that we do not, as a rule, draw up our own syllabus or religious instruction, but all work to a diocesan syllabus, on the lines of which our diocesan examination in religious knowledge is conducted. There is no doubt whatever that where plain simple Church instruction in the Bible, Prayer-book, and the Church Catechism is given no difficulty will arise, and no change will be made or suggested by the managers. More than this ought not to be given in public schools where Nonconformist children attend. Anyone who attempts to proselytise the children of Nonconformists attending Church schools forgets himself, both as a Christian and as a gentleman.He quoted that letter as showing that many clergymen welcomed the Clause, and recognising that it made for good and would assist them in their work.
The hon. and learned Member for the Stretford Division was, he thought, a little unwise in talking as thought laymen were to have no voice or right to be heard in the matter of religious teaching. Church laymen as a body would not be disposed to accept that view. They were 677 determined that their rights in the matter should be acknowledged, and he hoped no more suggestions would be heard in the direction of dispossessing the laity of their rights—their equal rights, as he thought, with the clearge—in the matter.
His noble friend the Member for Greenwich, who often had attributed to him views more extreme than those he really held, was the accredited leader of the section of the Church of England most strongly opposed to the Clause. He therefore appealed to his noble friend to recognise the situation, to recognise how much underlay the expressions of opinion evidenced by the recent division on the Clause. Those who supported the Clause were animated by convictions as sincere, by a determination as strong, and by a loyalty to the Church as unimpeachable as those which animated the noble Lord himself. He desired him to recognise the strength of that opinion and, as a leader of thought, to realise that which he would have to oppose if he continued to resist the strong feeling to which he had referred. He did not wish his last words to be in any sense words of menace, or words on which it would be possible to place a hostile construction. On the contrary, he would rather appeal to the noble Lord to use his influence in trying to persuade some of his supporters of the unwisdom of the attitude they had assumed. No insult to the clergy was ever intended or conveyed; but it was absolutely vital, in the best interests of the clergy themselves, that there should be some opportunity of restraining the extravagance and exuberance of those few among them who abused their position, and by that abuse had shaken the confidence of the people in the Church. He asked the noble Lord to remember that that action had somewhat impaired the otherwise splendid record to which the clergy could point of services well rendered to the country; but, above all, he asked him to undertake that it should be made perfectly clear to those with whom he acted that unless the laity were not only admitted, but welcomed, to their full share in the administration of the Church to which they were entitled, it needed no prophet to say that the years of the Church as an established institution were 678 numbered. As to the Government, he would ask them also to realise the strength of the feeling at the back of this clause. He trusted there would be neither in the House of Commons nor in another place any dilution of the Clause, and that the Government would evidence a strong instinct of resistance to any further movement that might in any way imperil the essence of the Clause, which he believed to be absolutely vital to the good working of the Bill.
§ * MR. LYTTELTON) (Warwick and Leamington
desired to join in the appeal to his hon. friend the Member for the Stretford Division to reconsider the position he had taken up. He held the opinion very strongly that to cut the Clause out of the Bill would be dangerous to the true interests of the Church. The agitation which had arisen in the country against the Clause was, he believed, largely due to two letters written by the Bishop of Worcester, who was naturally and rightly venerated by everyone who knew him. But it was possible to assume the entire truth of everything the Bishop had said without being in the least disturbed in one's opinion as to the desirability of this Clause. Let it be assumed, that it was a principle of an Episcopal Church that the clergy should be entitled in the pulpit to state the doctrine of that Church, and should be responsible only to their Bishop for such statement. He drew a broad distinction between the parson in the pulpit and the parson in the schools as created by this Bill. What was the present position? There were hundreds, probably thousands, of cases in which there were no trust deeds. Apart from the trust deed the parson had absolutely no greater rights in connection with a school than any parishioner, beyond that which the voluntary respect of others to his sacred office, his character, and his influence might secure him. How, then, could it be said that it was a principle of an Episcopal Church that the clergyman should have a dominant right—exclusive of all the laity in the parish—to control the religious teaching in the school? That was a proposition which could not, either historically or in good sense, be maintained. It was contrary to what all knew to be the fact, and to the established condition of things in a great number of 679 parishes in which schools existed. Let Members test this proposition by an application to their own children. He belonged to what the Prime Minister called "the faction of parents." Would they, if they had sons seven or eight years of age, consider they were bound, out of loyalty to the Church, to submit their religious education entirely to the opinion of the clergyman of the parish? Such a proposition was absolutely unheard of, and, if put forward would be resented in the highest degree. The position of those who opposed this Clause was actually that the fathers and mothers of the Children—and he attached more stress to the opinion of the mother than that of the father in this matter—through their lay representative were to have no effective voice in the control of the religious education in denominational schools. That he contended, was not merely a novel, but an unsustainable, proposition. He would respectfully ask the clergy to consider what effect the mere assertion of such a claim was likely to produce. Such a feeling would be awakened as nobody had ever dreamt of arousing before. In thousands of parishes the clergyman would, of course, have the best knowledge of these things, and as one of the best qualities of the English people was that they were docile to those whom they believed to be better acquainted than they were with the subject in hand, a reasonable clergyman would practically never be opposed in these matters.
An objection to the prolongation of the discussion was that it was purely academic. The burdens placed on the supporters of denominational schools, after the passing of this Bill, would be very heavy, and would demand substantial sacrifices on the part of many people. How could it be believed that people would make those sacrifices for the support of a denomination, as to the principles of which the members of that denomination could not themselves agree? The position supposed an impossibility.
In conclusion, he believed that the fears entertained of opposition between the parson and the parishioners in this matter were in 999 cases out of 1,000 absolutely unfounded. He believed the local authority would be reasonable, wise, and conciliatory in the appointment 680 of their two representatives on the board of managers, and that in the vast majority of cases they would not attempt to thrust on to the board people of militant views, opposed to those entertained by the greater number of the parishioners. He did not in the least object to a Nonconformist being made a member of the board of management of a voluntary school if he were selected with care. [Laughter.] By that he meant a man of common-sense and a conciliatory disposition, who wished to make the school as a whole work well. Many clergymen at present voluntarily associated such men with themselves in the work, and why should it be supposed that the local authority would select untractable and unreasonable men as their representatives? The Scottish Church had been referred to. In Scotland the schools worked smoothly, largely due to the lay character of the Scottish Church. The minister was associated with elders; they sat in the kirk session, the presbyteries and in the Church Assembly, and laymen had a very solid voice in the government and administration of the Scottish Church. There were many in this country—and the Bishop of Worcester was among them,—who had endeavoured to draw a lesson from the Scotch Church as to Church reform in England. The proposal now made was not an audacious step; it merely associated six men together, four of whom were to be chosen by the denomination. But no sooner was the suggestion made than an outcry had been raised. The supporters of the Clause assured the clergy that there was not the slightest idea of conveying an insult or of casting opprobrium upon them. There was only the natural and fundamental desire that the parents should have some effective voice in the teaching of their own children. He trusted that the clergy would believe that they as well as the Church of England would be fortified by the Amendment, that they would gain strength, influence, and power in the management of the Schools through lay association, and he hoped that they would be induced to cordially work with laymen in an undertaking which would be beneficial to the children, honourable to the Church, and expedient in the interests of education.
§ (6.3.) MR. GRIFFITH BOSCAWEN) (Kent Tonbridge
said he would not say anything about the merits of this Clause, but he appealed to the Government to state most emphatically to the House precisely what the Clause meant. The difficulty they stood in was that his hon. and gallant friend told them that it had certain definite meanings. Some of them opposed the Clause on the same ground. He wished to know exactly what position they stood in. One of their principal objections to the Clause was that the appeal to the bishop was taken away, and that, so far as religious instruction went, the managers were entirely independent. As regarded secular instruction there was an appeal to the local authority and a further appeal to the Board of Education, but when they came to religious instruction the appeal to the bishop was taken away. They had been told by the Attorney General that the particular part of the trust deed which gave an appeal to the bishop on matters of doctrine was preserved. The question was, What were the doctrines taught in the schools by the clergy? On the other hand, the Committee had been told by the right hon. Member for East Fife that this particular provision was not preserved. What were laymen to conclude when two such legal authorities differed? The least that the Government could do in these circumstances was to put words in telling the committee clearly what the Clause meant. If the appeal to the Bishop was preserved, his objection to a large extent disappeared, the sting of it was removed. He also asked about the provisions as to the right of the clergyman to go into the school and teach religion. Did he understand that this provision remained in force in the case of the trust deed?
§ MR. GRIFFITH BOSCAWEN
Without the right of appeal; therefore, he could be excluded by the whim of the managers. He failed to see any reason for such a course. Practically it was an insult to the clergy, and it would lead to much friction in many parishes. Again, was there a provision in the Bill permitting 682 diocesan inspection? He urged that these obscurities should be cleared up, and he thought that the Government would have been well advised if they had not accepted the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment. That Amendment did not fall in with the general scheme of the Bill. So long as secular education was made thoroughly efficient and in all schools alike brought up to the standard of the local authority, and maintained by it, he thought the schools should have absolute freedom to teach what religion they chose. He did not think that the trust deeds should be torn up in this way by a side wind. He hoped the Government would put the matter paerfectly clear, and if any part of the provisions of the trust deed was to be maintained they should know without doubt what it was. They ought to know whether the trust deeds were to be wholly or partly torn up, and if they were going to be only partly torn up they should know exactly what part would remain.
§ * MR. T. M. HEALY) (Louth, N.
said the Government when they introduced this Bill were so fair-minded that it was with great reluctance that he rose to offer a strong objection to this Clause. But he could not help feeling that this Clause raised a question of greater importance as regards the Church of England than any that had been raised for a couple of centuries, and he felt that, as regarded the Catholic Church, if they were to accept this Clause without a protest they would be really engaged in an abnegation of the faith to which they belonged. He had listened to the very temperate and calm speeched which had been delivered from the Church of England point of view, and he must say that he did not see how this Clause could be described as an insult to the Church of England or as an insult ot any Church. It was not a question of an insult, it was a question of a denial of jurisdiction, and as he understood the position of the Government it was this, that they said: "Here is a Church, by law established, entitled to teach only as the law allows; and therefore, from that point of view, we have the right to decide in what manner and under what circumstances its doctrine can be taught." It was very unfortunate for Catholics that, 683 owing to the divisions in the Church of England, there should be imposed upon them conditions not only repugnant but absolutely and diametrically inconsistent with the position which they occupied.
It was very painful to have to introduce matters of religion into debate. It was painful to have to introduce questions which men preferred to keep veiled in the recesses and tabernacle of their hearts. Yet it was necessary now to state their position on a vital issue. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for FIfe, as he understood by his references to the Bishop of Worcester's speech, had put his finger upon the sore spot in the heartsof the English Protestant clergy, because this Clause, for the first time in hundreds of years, dug up again all the questions that were raised at the time of the Reformation really. It raised the question whether the Protestant Church of England was teaching Church or whether it was not. Taking into account the innumerable difficulties with which he was surrounded, and the temper with which he was treated, he could well understand the First Lord of the Treasury finding refuge in a Clause of this kind. But how had it been received by the Opposition? Why, he thought that if the right hon. Gentleman had proposed no other Amendment, this Clause should have enabled the Opposition to accept this Bill, because, from a Protestant point of view, it reduced the position of the Church of England to the position of the Presbyterian Church or the Nonconformist Churches in England, because the Anglican clergy, as he understood it, claimed to be a portion of the teaching Church, and this Amendment associated with them for the purposes of controlling religious teaching, to use a common expression, "the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick-maker." Were he disposed to find a subject for merriment, as a Catholic, in the position to which this reduced the Church of England, he should certainly find it in this lay control. However, he refrained from taking any line of that kind, because this was a matter which was painful to him and searched the heart. Therefore, instead of using taunts against Protestantism he would confine himself 684 simply to the position which they took up as Catholics.
This Bill had gradually, from their point of view, placed Catholics at a disadvantage. It placed religious teaching and the school books under the control of the local authority; it placed the repairs of the buildings upon the voluntary schools, and finally this present proposal seemed to him to go very far indeed to make this Bill a sort of Greek gift to the voluntary schools. He could not complain if the action of the Government did not affect Catholic schools, because, from a Protestant point of view, this being a State Church, Parliament was entitled to define the tenets of the State religion. But take the Catholic position. Either their Church was a pestilential superstition, or else it was a divinely-appointed Church, and their answer to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, when he taunted them with the remarks of the Bishop of Worcester as to the individual cleric not being the repository of dogma was this: it was an answer given of old. It was—He that will not hear the Church let him be to thee as the heathen and a publican.That was the Catholic answer, and he was sorry to have to utter it in this assembly. You say to the Protestant minister, "You are not to have the right, because you are not the Church, to say what Protestantism is." Take the military position. The man the soldier had first to obey was the corporal, the corporal had to obey the sergeant, and so on up to the general. And that was the point of view from which Catholics had to look at this matter. He regretted to have to raise dogmatic matters in this Assembly, and he did it in order to explain their position, and he had to do so. With them the individual clergyman, however humble, was the repository of their faith, and he was entitled to teach it. If they disliked his doctrine they appealed from him to the Bishop, and if they disliked the Bishop's doctrine then we say "Go to Rome." But what was their plight under this Clause? It was that the control of religious education was put under a board of managers most of whom must be laymen and some of whom must be Protestants. And remember this—he hardly thought the 685 First Lord of the Treasury could have remembered it, or else he was sure that with his liberal and tolerant mind he would have made some provision against it—remember that, in the case of Catholics and the Catholic schools, they were nearly all in towns. The Church of England schools were very largely in country districts, consequently the county authority was far away: it was a loose body; but the Town Council which had to preside over Catholic schools was on the spot; it might be a Kensitised town council, and it might be, as in Lancashire, where many Catholics had found a home, that that special form of militant Protestantism was to be found there. Therefore these Catholic schools would be carrying on their operations under the town councils which were almost within immediate view of these schools, and to some of whom the idea of Catholicism was that of a gross and repugnant superstition.
Was it, therefore, to be wondered at that even in this tolerant country the Catholic clergy should have taken alarm and should have objected so strongly as they did to this Clause? He did hope that as time passed by the town councils of England would be imbued with that religious toleration of which they had had so many excellent examples in this great Assembly. They must remember, however, that in essence they were Protestants, and that many of them entertained the very strongest and most militant Protestant views. They must remember the fact that many of these institutions were conventual institutions conducted by nuns. Therefore he could well understand the alarm and anxiety which was generated in the minds of the managers of voluntary schools from the fear—he trusted it might be an illusion—that the power which this Bill undoubtedly gave such town councils as those to which he had referred in those neighbourhood might be used to interfere with the managers of these voluntary schools. He understood fully the enormous difficulties which the Government had in passing a measure of this kind, which was intended to give satisfaction to those who were conducting the voluntary education of this country.
He did not intend to say more beyond this. The construction of this Clause as a legal matter had been debated tonight by the right hon. Gentleman the Member 686 for East Fife and the right hon. Gentleman the Attorney General for England. He must say that he was rather disposed to agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, because he thought "tenour" was a less coercive word, and it was a word of less magnitude than the word "control," which made the managerial power something absolute. He was wondering whether the Government would accept, as a slight solatium, after the word "shall" the words "subject as aforesaid." That was what he should suggest might be inserted in line 9. The right hon. Gentleman opposite had contended tonight that the words "tenour of the provisions (if any) of the trust deed" were really the governing words, but as they were followed by the words "shall be under the control of the managers," he suggested that after the word "shall" some slight alteration should be made by the insertion of the words "and shall subject as aforesaid,"—that was, subject to the tenour aforesaid—be under the control of the managers. He did not say that the acceptance of that Amendment would carry them a very long way, but at any rate it would be some slight protection to the interests of the managers in those voluntary schools, whether Protestant or Catholic. The hon. and gallant Gentleman who moved this Amendment, and whose name was associated with it, had admitted, had felt compelled to admit to the full the fact that this Clause was unjust to the Catholics. He thought they were entitled, from the attitude the Government had assumed throughout the progress of this Bill, to ask that either here or elsewhere they would introduce some provision which would have some mollifying effect upon the apprehensions which, undoubtedly, at the present time had been raised, and strongly raised, in the minds of Catholics.
§ (6.25.) MR. CHARLES M'ARTHUR) (Liverpool, Exchange
said he did not think that there was any fear that this Clause would in any respect whatever interfere with the religious teaching given in Roman Catholic schools. They did not wish to interfere in any degree with the religious teaching given by the Catholics. He thought it was most satisfactory that the Government had announced their determination of not 687 receding from the position they had taken up of maintaining the Kenyon-Slaney Clause in its entirety. The hon. and learned Member had pronounced a glowing eulogy upon the clergy, but that appeared to him to be unnecessary, because in all parts of the House they were prepared to acknowledge their confidence and veneration for the work which the clergy of all denominations had performed. The hon. and learned Member who proposed this Amendment appeared to glide very gently over the fact that there was at the present time a hostile movement in the Church of England. He did not want to refer to that movement, for he was anxious not to wound the susceptibilities of any hon. Member of the House, but they all knew what were the doctrines taught by many of the clergymen. He did not think that this Clause would interfere in the slightest degree with the High Church, the Low Church, or the Broad Church parties, or with Nonconformist ministers or Roman Catholic priests, so long as they kept within the laws of their Church.
They had had two views put before them as to the meaning of the Clause from high legal authorities on both sides of the House, and it would ill become him to express any opinion on the subject. Certainly he might say, as an uninstructed layman, he thought that the word "tenour" meant "general purpose or tendency" and his impression—it might be entirely wrong—was that so long as the general religious teaching of the school was adhered to, the manner in which that teaching was given could be left to the discretion of the managers. But they had it on high authority that the word "tenor" included matters of doctrine, and that there was provision in the trust deeds for appeal to the bishop, and that that appeal was not interfered with by the Bill. He could only say that if that was so he was sorry to hear it, because he thought they ought to place reliance upon the mangers, of whom the clergyman would be one, probably the chairman, to deal with these matters as they arose. He believed difficulties which might arise would be settled much better by an appeal to the law courts than by a reference to the bishops. They all respected the bishops, but they know they had failed altogether 688 to deal with the lawlessness in the Church, and if they had failed to do that how could they expect them to deal with lawlessness in the schools? The bishops ought to be relieved of that onus, and from inquiry into those small domestic quarrels. He did not believe these quarrels would arise. Whenever the clergyman was a law-a biding clergyman, whether of the Church of England or a minister of any other denomination, he would find no difficulty whatever in working with his managers. They had been told again and again that the object of the Clause was to put an end to one-man management, and to make the managers as a body supreme for all purposes. If that was not to be so, if the religious teaching was to be taken from the managers and left in the hands of clergymen subject to an appeal to the bishop, the clergyman would snap his fingers at the managers; if any question arose as to religious teaching in the schools he could say: "This is beyond your province, this is a matter entirely within my province, and you have nothing to do with it." He therefore ventured very humbly and earnestly to express the hope that no proposal would be entertained to modify the Clause. Let them keep the Clause as it stood. He was sure the fact that that Clause had been accepted by the Government was reassuring to great numbers of people in the country, people who were beginning to doubt as to whether the Government and the House were really faithful to the Protestant cause of the National Church of this country. By inserting this Clause in the Bill they had reassured them that something had been done at last to check extreme men and protect the young people of our schools, and he ventured to hope the House would in an unmistakable manner adhere to the position at which it had already arrived.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL
said he greatly regretted it had been thought necessary to raise this controversy at all, and that is was not found possible to leave the matter as it stood originally in the Bill. In that event a great deal of bitterness would have been avoided; the disappointment which now prevailed among supporters of the Bill would not have 689 been aroused; the Bill would have passed through the House more easily, and when it came into operation would have been found to work more smoothly. But—with excellent intentions, as he believed—the Government and the hon. Member for the Newton Division had started upon a very difficult task, and, the blind leading the blind, both had fallen into one of the deepest theological ditches. They had raised a controversy which went to the very root of the existence of the Church, which introduced all kinds of side issues in connection with education, which it was impossible or undesirable to discuss in all their bearings in that House, but the full meaning of which was disclosed in the striking passage at the end of the speech of the hon. Member for the Newton Division when he appealed to him to use his influence to prevent any sharp difference between the clergy and the laity which might end in disestablishment. He could not congratulate the hon. Member on having taken a course which, in his own opinion, had brought disestablishment within the vista of practical politics. It was, indeed, a most unfortunate controversy, which, however it might be settled, could not but do a great deal of harm.
Perhaps one of the most embarrassing points of the controversy was that the position of those who objected to the Kenyon-Slaney Clause was, even by some of the best friends of the Church, like the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington, profoundly misunderstood. It was not a question of giving the laity of the Church a proper voice in the management of the Church. It was not a question, in his view, of what might be called Church reform. If it were surely they should not have seen the Bishop of Worcester, a prominent advocate of the increase of the power of the laity in the Church, among the most pronounced opponents of the Clause. But the confusion of mind which those who objected to the Clause had to deal with best illustrated in the speech of the Attorney General, who made a curious distinction, quite unparalleled in theological controversy, between doctrine and machinery. According to the hon. and learned Gentleman, the difference between Anglicans and Presbyterians, between the Roman Catholic Church and the Society of Friends, was 690 only an affair of machinery; that all the great questions about which Christians had been divided for 300 years were mere matters of machinery. Of all the hazy views to which theological discussion gave rise that was the haziest. What the opponents of the Clause complained of was, not that the Clause gave the laity certain rights of appeal to the bishop to bring the clergy to book when they transgressed the laws of the Church, but that it superseded the clergyman altogether in questions relating to religious instruction to be given in the schools, and substituted in his place a small committee of laymen. Of course, a clergyman would be on the committee, but the majority of laymen would prevail. In some of the Synods in the Colonies the clergy and the laity sat together, but no proposal could be carried unless both orders assented. If they put clergy and laity on the committee and allowed most votes to carry the day, they were not having co operation between the clergy and laity, but they were superseding the clergy altogether. That went very deeply to the foundation of the position of the Church of England. The Church of England maintained, and had always maintained, that the ordained ministers were the only persons entitled to teach its doctrines and to speak in behalf of the Church. Of course, the laity were perfectly free to give their opinions to make speeches as free citizens, and discuss religious questions with the greatest freedom. But the laity were not entitled to teach doctrines on behalf of the Church of England, or of the universal Church. That was a proposition which seemed to be understood.
The hon. Member for the Newton Division had found fault with the Ritualists. But the hon. Gentleman was in the same boat with them. If he might apply to the hon. Gentleman without offence the kind of language which was sometimes used in reference to the Ritualists, he would say that his hon. friend was a violator of, and disloyal to the settlement of the Church of England, for that settlement was not less identified with the proposition that the doctrines of the Church could only be taught be its ordained ministers than it was with the Protestant constitution of the Church, to which his hon. friend had referred. He had also noticed, in the speeches of his hon. friend the Member for Warwick and 691 Leamington and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Fife, a reference to these schools as State schools. They were State schools for secular purposes, supported by the State, but was it to be understood that for the purposes of religious instruction these schools were to be regarded as the State schools? If that were so, it was heard of now for the first time. The understanding was that they were to be the State schools—schools supported by the State and under the control of the State—for the purposes of secular education, but that their religious character was to remain undisturded, that they were to continue to be denominational schools, and that, being denominational schools, those which were attached to the Church of England should continue to teach Courch of England doctrines. If these schools were to be Church schools, and were to give teaching acceptable to the Church, then the Kenyon-Slaney Amedment was utterly indefensible. They might as well propose to allow a committee of laymen to dictate to the clergyman what his sermons were to be no Sundays. It was exactly the same thing. If his hon. and gallant friend would read the canons of the Church of England of 1604, which were legally binding on every clergyman in the country, he would find that school-masters were to be licensed by the Ordinary, and that no schoolmaster was to teach unless so licensed. That was the old idea, and although they had departed from it, they had done so in order to substitute for that idea such machinery as was set up in the trust deeds. The rights of the ecclesiastics were not put into those deeds inadvertently, but deliberately, for the very purpose of maintaining that Church system of teaching which his hon. and gallant friend sought to destroy. It seemed to him very strange that when they were professing to keep up Church schools carried on on Church principles, they should violate the trust deeds and at the same time violate one of the fundamental principles of the Church which all were brought up to accept.
As to the extreme clergy of whom complaint was made, he was as much in favour as was his hon. and gallant friend of setting up a system of discipline which would restore order in the Church of England, but he was quite sure it could 692 not be done on the lines his hon. and gallant friend advocated. There was only one hope for discipline in the Church of England, and that was in the authority of the Bishops. He was quite certain that the present anarchy and difficulty in the Church of England would go on, and would be found irremediable, unless they were prepared to put much greater powers in the hands of the Bishops than they possessed at present. He believed the proper way of dealing with the difficulty would be to give the Bishop the power of excluding clergymen where he thought they were in the wrong, as he had suggested in a Clause which, however, he had had no chance of proposing. The visitatorial Clause set out the machinery which would have stopped extreme practices against the principles of the Church of England; but his hon. and gallant friend's machinery would not put an end to these practices at all. There were already several strong ritualist squires, and probably in the future there would be more; and was it to be supposed that the ritualist squire, together with the ritualist parson, would not prevail on the board of management, and have matters entirely their own way? If they were to deal with these extreme practices they would have to create some visitatorial authority.
He would now pass to the other point he desired to make—the principle of the trust deeds. The foundation of the Bill, they had understood, was that the rights in the trust deeds were to be respected. The rights to the buildings were to be respected because they were rights of property, and those who erected the building and kept it up were to be allowed special rights with regard to the building. But among the rights of he trust deeds were the rights of the clergyman; what title had they to set aside one out of a bundle of rights, so to speak? He understood much better the point of view of the Opposition, who wished to put these schools under popular control. He appealed strongly to his hon. and gallant friend not to suppose that the violation of trust deeds was a light matter. A precedent was being set which would be used against them in future. A great many persons and institutions owned property under trust; he was not at all clear that all the endowments of 693 the Church of England might not be treated as property under trust. If they were to violate trust deeds in this instance, why not in other instances? Hon Members opposite were only too apt pupils in the art of predatory legislation; they had sat at the feet of his hon. and gallant friend, learning with quick attention the lesson he had taught them, and presently, no doubt, they would begin to lecture on their own account, and to set out new proposals, in which the value of trust deeds might be destroyed altogether. From these two points of view the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment was most ill-omened. That the reference to the Bishop destroyed the lay control altogether seemed to him a very extravagant proposition. The reference to the Bishop was a reference to an authorised expert in theology, who was to tell the teachers what was and what was not the teaching of the Church, which they were bound to give under the trust deed, as it were. He believed that in cases where the Bishop decided against the clergyman that would restrain him, because the other managers could turn the clergyman out without more ado, and that would be the proper method to adopt. But it was an extremely clumsy and ineffective method.
His feeling of alarm at the Amendment of his hon. and gallant friend was partly on account of its practical effects. In many cases there would be Nonconformist represertatives, who, as was said the other day by an hon. Member opposite, were only too likely, in some districts at any rate, to use this power as a weapon to break up the dual system to which hon. Members opposite objected. The representative put upon the board of managers by Nonconformists would keep it and open sore. There would be nothing more easy than for an intelligent Nonconformist who wished to do so to make the life of the clergyman or of the Church manager a burden by constantly raising questions as to what was or was not Church teaching, and under that pressure the teaching might be modified to suit the ideas of the Nonconformist minority, and be so worn-down, that in the end what was in truth a Church school would become just as undenominational as a board school. He did not think his hon. and gallant friend desired that there should be no distinction between church and undenominational 694 schools, but with a Nonconformist minority constantly objecting and criticising in this way it was only too likely to resuit. He felt another objection still more deeply; apart altogether from the practical effect, he did not believe that the settlement which his hon. and gallant friend was so painstakingly trying to make would be at all a lasting one. Therefore, so far as the schools went, whatever mischief would be done would probably be done only for a few years; but he did deprecate in the strongest way the tendency, which he had feared, and which had shown itself that night, to import this principle out of the management of a school into Church matters. It was no exaggeration to say that if the principle of the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment were applied to the Church of England itself, that Church would be broken in twain instantly, and the more vital and living part of the Church would secede if Parliament insisted on such a principle. This matter went to the very root of the principles of the Church, and, doubtless his hon. and gallant friend would be found a truer prophet than he thought when he said that the disturbance arising out of such a struggle would lead all too quickly to disestablishment itself.
§ (6.56.) COLONEL SAUNDERSON) (Armagh, N.
said he would only occupy the attention of the House for a few minutes, but he thought he need make no excuse for saying a word or two on a matter which deeply interested his co-religionists in Ireland. The House had listened with great attention, as it always did, to the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for North Louth, who had voiced his case and the case of his co-religionists so temperately, and, if he would allow him to add, so eloquently before the House. Of course he understood, and they all understood, that the idea of laymen entering into matters connected with the Church at all was quite contrary to the religion of the hon. and learned Gentleman, and that no Roman Catholic layman would attempt to interfere with the religious teaching in his schools. This Clause would only interfere with the Roman Catholics in this country. He was not a member of the Church of 695 England, he was a member of a Church which was at one time connected with the Church of England—he meant the Church of Ireland—in which laymen and clergy collaborated together without any ill effects. He spoke also in the name of Irish Protestants on this matter, and "Protestant" was a word which he had not heard often enough in this debate to please him. If an intelligent pagan had been sitting up in the gallery and had listened to the course of the debate, he would have been led to believe that there were a vast number of different religions represented in the House. He should say, at the outside, there were only three different religions represented there. There were first of all, in overwhelming majority, Protestants, then Roman Catholics, and then there were Jews. There were certainly, he believed, some Unitarians, but he did not know what religion they belonged to. But the intelligent pagan in the gallery would make a great mistake if he imagined that the gentlemen who spoke as Presbyterians, as Methodists, as Churchmen, or as Quakers, belonged to different religions. One word covered them all, and that was the word "Protestant." Therefore, whatever affected, in their estimation, the welfare of the Protestant religion was of deep interest to the protestant Irishmen.
He had approved very much of the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment, until he heard it explained by the Attorney General. After having sat in the House for many years he could say he had always been thrown into a state of mental confusion on hearing two distinguished lawyers speaking on the same subject against each other. They had heard two such men of great legal ability speaking tonight, the one holding views diametrically opposed to those of the other. Which was right? Possible neither. He should hope that before the debate closed the Prime Minister would state clearly to the House what the view of the Government was with regard to the meaning of the Clause. According to the Attorney General it did not mean anything at all. As far as he could make out, in a great number of schools the managers would be a body without any power at all. Now, what the Protestants wanted (he did not know about the noble Lord the Member of Greenwich) was 696 to give the managing bodies of the schools direct power over the religious instruction in those schools. Why? It was no use mincing matters. Anyone who had considered the present position of the Church of England must come to the conclusion that the teaching of some of the clergy was diametrically opposed to Protestantism and to the principles of the Reformation. He believed that his Roman Catholic fellow-subjects had just as much right to have their religion respected as he had himself, but he had no respect at all for the man who took Protestant pay and taught Roman Catholic doctrine, and he believed the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich made a great mistake if he thought that Protestant feeling had died away in the country. He had believed (until the Attorney General spoke) that the object of this Amendment was to effect what Protestants believed ought to be carried out, viz., to give the laity of the Church the power to prevent the inculcation of doctrines which, as Protestants of all ranks, they could not accept. It was because they thought and believed that the Amendment gave that power and authority that they cordially supported it. A question arose in his mind (after the Attorney General's speech) whether it did so. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Fife appeared to think that it did, but the Attorney General thought it did not. He hoped the Prime Minister would get up and tell them what the Clause really did do. What the great majority of the House meant it to do was to give the managing bodies of the schools power over the religious instruction in those schools. To hear the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich speak, one would think that these schools were entirely full of Church children. He ought not to forget that there were included children of all denominations. It had been argued that it was was only the priest of the Church who had any right whatever to teach with authority the Christian truth. That was the doctrine of the hon. Member for Fife and the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich. That might be the doctrine of Anglicans—a word he hated—it used to be Church of England—Anglican was a new word brought in of late years; but it was that Anglican movement which to his mind had rendered this Clause an absolute necessity, unless, 697 they wanted the Protestantism (a word he was not ashamed of) of their children and those who came after to be upset by dishonest priests who wished to destroy the Protestantism which had been, to his mind, and to the minds, he believed, of the vast majority of the British people, the foundation of all their greatness and their freedom.
§ MR. WANKLYN) (Bradford, Central
said he desired to explain why he was opposed to the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment and meant to vote against it. It seemed to him to be quite that unless the bishops would exercise their authority no body of managers could check extravagances, while if the bishops did exercise their authority the Kenyon-Slaney Amendment was unnecessary. But, while that Amendment was practically useless, it seemed to him to be positively mischievous, for it operated against a good understanding between men of different denominations. In his own constituency sectarian strife had largely died out. Every day a better understanding was being arrived at. The clergymen of the Church of England and the priests of the Roman Catholic of Bradford to appoint Nonconformists to sit on their boards of managers after this Bill became law. That was a very remarkable fact. It showed a good feeling between men of all denominations—a feeling which all men on both sides must hope to arrive at and do their best to approach. A formal invitation to this effect was sent to the Bradford City Council by Father Gosse, of St. Patrick's School, Bradford, and in the course of his letter the rev. gentleman said—I do not anitcipate that there will be the slightest friction or want of harmony in the relations of the managers with the city representatives, but that all will work as one man for the benefit of our schools. In fact, I think I can say we would much prefer that the public representatives associated with us should not be our co-religionists. Such an arrangement might easily give ground for suspicion on a matter that ought to be conducted openly and above board. It is our wish that the affairs of our schools should be so conducted above board and without suspicion.That letter seemed to him to contain a most satisfactory statement that must rejoice the hearts of all who desired to see sectarian strife ended. But under the 698 Kenyon-Slaney Clause was it conceivable that Father Gosse would invite the City Council of Bradford to send two Nonconformists who would control the religious educatrion of his school? He held no brief for Father Gosse—he had not the honour of knowing him—but it seemed impossible if this Clause became law that Father Gosse could invite men of another denomination to assist him in the control of his schools. He hoped a modus vivendi might yet be arrived at which would enable the bringing together of members of different denominations in the management of these schools—which would permit a Wesleyan sitting on the board of a Church of England school, a member of the Church of England on the board of a Roman Catholic school, and of a Roman Catholic on the board of either. So far as the Roman Catholic schools were concerned, the Kenyon-Slaney Clause was distinctly unfair. The use of these schools for three nights a week as well as in the daytime was given to the State for the purpose of secular education, and the consideration was that those at the head of the denomination should be free to control the religious instruction to be given in the school. How could it be said that the priest was free and unfettered if he had associated with him five or six lay managers who under the Bill would have equal control over the instruction? It was, to his mind, clear that the Kenyon-Slaney Clause was a distinct departure from the understanding arrived at with regard to the voluntary schools was to be given in return for the unfettered right to teach the faith of the denomination. On that ground, but primarily because he felt that the Clause would in its working prevent the association on boards of management of men of different denominations, but would on the other hand lead to strife, he would vote for its deletion from the Bill.
§ SIR RICHARD JEBB) (Cambridge University
suggested that in line 9, after the word "shall," the words "subject as aforesaid" should be inserted; that would mean subject to the tenour and conditions of the trust deed. Or a better from of the same suggestion would be to insert after "and" in line 9 the words "subject thereto."
§ MR. T. M. HEALY
pointed out that the word "thereto" already occurred in the same line with an entirely different meaning, so that if the hon. Member's suggestion were acted upon there would be two "thereto's" in the same line meaning two entirely different things.
§ SIR RICHARD JEBB
saw the purport of the objection. The point of his suggestion was to get rid of the words "the tenour of." He had never yet been able to learn what the word "tenour" in this Clause meant. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife had suggested that it meant the general scope, so that if the teaching were in accordance with the general scope of the provisions of the trust deed it might be permitted to be out of accord with the details. In that case the objections of many of his friends to the Clause would be increased. If, however, the word "tenor" were omitted, and some such words as had been suggested by the hon. and learned Member for North Louth inserted, many who did not like the sub-Section as it stood would be more inclined to support it.
§ MAJOR JAMESON) (Clare, W.
desired to express his great hostility to the Clause. The subject had been treated from many points of view, but there had been no speech which he regretted more than that of the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh, who had practically declared that the universal religion was that of Protestantism. Was he afraid of the meaning of "universal?" Was he afraid of the word "catholic?" "Catholic" meant the universal religion of the Church of England. Why should they object to the ministers appointed by the Church teaching the doctrines of that Church to the children? He deeply resented the idea that a committee of irresponsible laymen should have the control of this matter. It was a question not of distrust of the laity, but of distrust of the clergy, and of the doctrines they taught. It was true the church of Ireland had been disestablished, but if it produced the rancour between Roman Catholics and Protestants which he had seen in Ireland he was sufficiently imbued with the rights of the Church to say he was very glad that that Church had gone. The clergy, and the clergy alone, whether Roman 700 Catholics or Church of England, had the right to teach the dogmas of their Church to the young. The command to "go forth and preach" had never been taken back, and the day the Church refused to have her theology taught to the children, that day would her fate be sealed, and disestablishment would quickly follow. He should certainly endeavour by every means in his power to destroy the Clause.
§ It being half-past Seven of the clock, the debate stood adjourned until this evening.