HC Deb 27 October 1902 vol 113 cc831-90

Considered in Committee:—

(In the Committee.)

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

Clause 8:—

*(2.50.) MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (Essex, Saffron Walden) moved the omission of the words "consent of the" from sub-Section (c), with the intention of subsequently moving the omission of "be required to the appointment of" and the insertion of "appoint and dismiss." He explained that the effect of the combined Amendments would be to provide that the local education authority shall appoint and dismiss teachers. His first proposition was that the municipal; corporations of this country and the County Councils as well, had proved themselves worthy of the confidence of the House, and ought therefore to have entrusted to them the appointment of teachers in connection with the elementary education of the country. Very few hon. Members would venture to assert that the County Councils were not capable of carrying out this particular duty. Already there were more undenominational elementary schools than there were denominational, owing to the fact that a large number of voluntary schools were carried on on undenominational lines, and he believed that after the passing of this Bill more and more schools would be handed over to the local authority. They might therefore assume that the House was prepared to give the local authority the power of appointing teachers in the large majority of the schools. He would like to point out how absurd it was that in one parish; the ratepayers should have the appointment of the teacher while in the adjoining parish they should be precluded from having a voice in the matter, simply because in the one case the school was publicly provided while in the other the fabric belonged to a particular denomination. The only logical and sensible plan, in his humble judgment, was that the body which provided the resources for carrying on the work of the schools should also be allowed to appoint, as well as dismiss, the teachers. It should also have the staffing of the school and the decision as to the salaries to be paid. Under Clause 7 the Committee had already decided that the local education authority should be responsible for, and have control of, secular education, and in Clause 8 it was provided that it should keep efficient all public elementary schools and have the control of all expenditure. If they were now to decide that the managers should have the appointment of the teachers, surely they would be acting in violation of the provision which was to secure absolute control to the County Councils. Schoolmasters would naturally look for direction to the individuals who made the appointments, and it seemed to him nothing but a farce to pretend that the County Council would be able to have the control—the supreme control—of the education if it had not the power of, at any rate, exercising the initiative in regard to the appointment of teachers. It would mean that they were going to deprive the County Council of the power of appointing some 75,000 teachers, who were to be paid out of public funds, and not out of funds provided by the owners of the fabric of denominational schools. As a matter of practice, he believed, in many counties, if the Amendment were passed the County Council would delegate to the local managers the power of appointing the teachers. Bodies which were subject to public opinion were not likely to act in an intolerant manner either to Roman Catholic or High Anglican bodies which possessed schools of their own. All they need do was to see that, owing to the narrow views entertained by some exceptional individuals among the clergy, the managers did not abuse the power they would have if the provisions of the BILL were passed as they appeared on the Paper. He knew that most clergymen were prepared to act in conformity with the prevailing views of the people in their respective parishes, but still there were some who took an intolerant view of the opinions held by Nonconformists, and it was in order to safeguard the interests of those Nonconformists that he thought it was essential the public should, if necessary, have the power of initiating the appointment of school teachers. The burden of work on Parliament had grown very much in late years, and it was desirable to devolve more of it on the County Councils. Surely this was a duty which might well be transferred to them. He could not see why the owners of the fabric who desired to teach a particular creed or dogma should be entitled to the appointment of teachers who were to be paid out of the rates. He would point out that after the passing of the Bill no great demand was likely to be made on the pockets of the owners of the fabric, and instead of them paying voluntary contributions to the amount of £750,000 a year, the money would henceforth come out of the rates. As to the maintenance of the fabric, there were in existence large endowment funds—especially in connection with Church of England schools—which would suffice to pay the cost of repairs. Again, many of these voluntary schools had been built to a large extent with public money. Up to 1882 Parliament had contributed £1,767,000 towards the cost of erecting these schools as against the £4,866,000 provided by voluntary effort. Since then many voluntary schools had been erected, because those who contributed to them desired not so much to see a particular creed or dogma taught, but to avoid the expense of a School Board. In 1870 the public contribution represented 34 per cent, only of the cost of maintaining education in voluntary schools; today it amounted to no less than 78¼ per cent., and it was only fair and right that the public who paid that 78¼ per cent, should have the appointment of the schoolmasters, whose salaries represented the main portion of the expenditure. What he and others resented was that there should be a clerical effort to control the civic and political action of the people on the assumption that any denomination had a divine call to appoint public secular teachers exclusively from their own sect. He and those with whom he acted denied the right of a church to deal with this matter without any regard to the free and independent choice of the people or the parents of the children in the schools. It might be said that the public had some little control, inasmuch as they could appoint two out of the six managers. But they would be in a permanent minority, and, in the event of there being a recalcitrant majority, friction was sure to exist between the managers and the local authority; proselytising would be possible, and a denominational atmosphere might be maintained throughout the whole period of secular instruction. The Government seemed to have one tune in the country, and a different practice in the House. The Prime Minister at Manchester said the Government heartily desired that the public control should be a reality. It was because that desire was shared by the supporters of the Amendment that they asked that the public authority should have the initiative in the appointment of teachers. The right hon. Gentleman went on to appeal to the friends of the Bill to turn their attention to increasing the authority of the Borough or County Councils. He (the hon. Member) desired to support that appeal, and to ask that properly elected representatives of the people should be trusted in this matter. Since the re-assembling of Parliament, no concession had been made indicative of a disposition on the part of the Government to give increased powers to the local authority. He believed that the authority could exercise the powers far better than the managers. The work might be delegated from time to time, but in order to avoid friction the supreme control should be in the hands of the authority. Already under the existing law Nonconformity was, to a large extent, penalised. The number of opportunities for the Nonconformist to become a teacher in an elementary school was very small as compared with that possessed by members of the Church of England. Over and over again cases had occurred of Nonconformists being compelled to become communicants of the Church of England in order to secure a livelihood. The Opposition did not want such a system perpetuated. They resented preferential treatment of members of the Church of England, as against Nonconformists, and simply, asked for a fair field and no favour. The County Council could be relied upon to treat with tolerance any particular view in a particular locality. They did not seek to deprive the children of religious education, but they asked that it should not be provided by the State out of public money. The Government, by accepting the Amendment, would do a great deal to placate the Opposition and still the agitation in the country. Ninety-nine per cent, of the parents would be satisfied with the character of the religious instruction given under the supervision of the local authority. No doubt a certain number of clergymen, and probably all the Bishops, would resist the concession, but there were always some individuals not satisfied when any large measure of reform was passed. If the concession were refused, the Government would be handed down to obloquy, as having abused the confidence placed in them at the last election, when they were returned on a very different issue. The State would gain by the concession, the people would be more contented, the great stumbling-block in the Bill would be removed, the children would grow up better citizens, and if the Government sowed their seed well a rich and abundant harvest would be secured for the Empire.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.),

on a point of order, submitted that the question of the appointment and the dismissal of teachers were quite distinct matters, one of which had already been partly dealt with. He therefore suggested that the Amendment should be put in such a form as to confine it to the appointment of teachers, and leave the question of dismissal free to be dealt with on its own merits.


said the Amendment, which had to be taken in conjunction with a subsequent proposal, raised the question of appointment and dismissal.

* MR. JOSEPH A. PEASE (intervening)

said that, if it was the desire of the Committee, he would limit the Amendment to the appointment of teachers.


said that in that case the present discussion would be limited to the appointment of teachers.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 14, to leave out the words 'consent of the' "—(Mr. Joseph A. Pease.)

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

(3.8.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

The Committee, having listened so often to my observations on this Bill, will hardly require to be told what attitude the Government felt inclined to take up in regard to this Amendment. I have listened with satisfaction to the statement of the hon. Member that the County Councils are extremely competent to deal with the question of primary education, and that not only are they well fitted both by their constitution and by the time at their disposal to deal with all the provided schools in their respective areas, but he would, without misgiving, be glad to see the area of their responsibilities enlarged, anticipating nothing but advantage from the change. The hon. Gentleman is well acquainted with the West Riding of Yorkshire, the County Council of which has expressed great diffidence as to its power to deal with primary education, and I am glad to know that in his judgment, at any rate, those fears are unfounded. The real essence of the Amendment lies in the fact that it takes away from the managers the right to select teachers in a denominational school. The Government are of the opinion that the change in the Bill cannot be effected without destroying the character of the measure. It is true that in the counties in which, as the hon. Member said, the right to select the teachers is delegated to the managers, the actual working of the measure would be on the lines that we propose to lay down by statutory provision; but the hon. Member must be well aware that, though that might frequently happen, it would not always happen, and there is no security that it would ever happen. The trustees and managers of the voluntary schools would, I think, have every right to consider themselves deeply aggrieved by the proposal of the Government, if we were to insert a provision making it completely dependent on the action of the County Council whether or not the denominational schools were to retain their denominational character. It is a fundamental principle of the Bill that the denominational character of the denominational schools should be preserved, and I do not think it necessary at this stage of our proceedings to repeat the arguments which have been adduced on that subject. Those of us who support the Bill hold that, while giving up the control of secular education, subject to this limitation, to the popularly elected bodies, it is absolutely necessary in order to retain the denominational character of the schools that the appointment of the teachers should be left to the managers. Those who differ from that view will, of course, vote for the Amendment; those who agree with it will support the Government. This is a question, not of detail, but of principle; it affects the very root of the measure, and therefore the Amendment cannot be accepted.


was surprised that the right hon. Gentleman, having admitted that the Amendment raised a question of principle, should have disposed of it in so brief and summary a fashion. The Opposition also looked upon it as a question of principle, and they had expected a much fuller and more serious statement of the objections entertained by the right hon. Gentleman to a proposal which prime facie had every argument in its favour. The First Lord of the Treasury jumped at the conclusion that this Amendment would destroy the denominational character of the schools completely, but the Opposition looked upon the maintenance of the character of denominational schools as almost the only feature of the Bill. As far as elementary education was concerned it was the one feature of the Bill. He felt that he must comment upon the extraordinary jump made in saying that the denominational character could only be preserved by retaining the appointment of the teachers for the denominational managers. Why was that so? They had suggested other methods before the recess. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to be under the impression that the first thing the local authority would do would be to endeavour to mortify or vex the local managers by appointing teachers who would not carry out their wishes.


I never said so.


said that idea seemed to be in the right hon. Gentleman's mind, and was influencing him in giving this summary refusal to the proposal of his hon. friend. He believed that the local education authority would look out for, the best men and for nothing else. The men who were best for secular education would necessarily be the best for religious instruction. They had had a large experience of this matter in the case of the School Boards, who now choose the masters with regard to their all-round fitness and capacity for teaching, their general character and moral tone, and the record of their lives; and the men so chosen, by the unanimous agreement of those who knew a great deal about religious teaching in our board schools, had been found most efficient in giving religious teaching. Why should that not be the case under this Amendment? He could not see that the right hon. Gentleman was justified in his assumption that the local education authority would override the managers. The First Lord of the Treasury had admitted that the choice of the master was the most vital appointment of a school, and all the professed anxiety of the Government to give the widest control to the local education authority came to nothing if the most essential part of choosing the teachers was withheld. If this duty was not vested in the local education authority, what became of their control over any kind of education? If the managers appointed the master, they would be his master, and the local education authority would be in the distance and rarely accessible, represented by only one person. The managers would be on the spot, possessing official power and social influence, and it was to them that the teachers would have to look as being practically their masters. No man could serve two masters, and the master, if he had to choose, would see his master, in the local managers, and not in the local education authority. For this reason ho looked upon the withholding of the power of choice from the local authority as a negation of their effective control over the school. There were other objections to givng the appointment of teachers to the local managers. There was the very serious objection that they lowered the status of the teacher himself. Teachers in elementary schools preferred to find a place in board schools, rather than in voluntary schools. Why? Not necessarily because the incomes were larger or more desirable, but because they were the servants of a public authority, and felt that they were more secure; they felt that they were not at the beck and call of a particular manager. In board schools, teachers were not required to discharge other functions in addition to teaching. They felt that they had a recognised position as servants of the State, which raised them as members of their profession. Then there was the argument that in enlarging the field of choice they enlarged the excellence of the teachers. By giving a wider choice, the local education authority would be enabled to look for the best men from every quarter, free from denominational restrictions or tests, thus improving the chance which all the schools possessed of drawing the best teachers in the country into their service. Surely at this time of day the arguments which thirty years ago induced this House to abolish tests in the universities, and pretty nearly everywhere else, and which only a few months ago led the authorities at King's College to abolish tests, ought to be weighty and important with regard to nearly half the schools of this country. Surely none would defend a system under which the managers might say to a candidate applying for a position in an elementary school "You are equally able, religious and conscientious with the candidate who is a member of our denomination, and even better, but because you will not declare yourself a member of our denomination the school cannot admit you as a teacher." He sometimes asked himself at what period were we living when we saw an anachronism like this surviving in the era in which we lived to obstruct the progress of education and the development of our schools? He had tried to indicate the objections they had to the plan of the Government, and he would content himself with saying that in addition to the injury to the individual and to the schools, and the trouble and friction which would be produced by this divided allegiance, he felt that the supreme argument to justify this Amendment was that until they gave to the local education authority the appointment of the masters they would not give it that absolute control which the Government professed to give.

(3.25.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

I will not detain the Committee, but as I was reproached for the brevity of my speech, may I, in order to understand the right hon. Gentleman's position, put to him two questions? Firstly, in his view would he desire that the education authority should consider the religious qualifications of the teacher to teach in a denominational school? In other words, would it be the duty of the education authority to see that the teacher of a Roman Catholic school was a good Roman Catholic? If not, I think ho will admit that the idea of saying that this Amendment would safeguard the denominational schools is absurd. Secondly, if, on the other hand, they are to consider the fitness of particular teachers to teach the Roman Catholic religion in Roman Catholic schools, is that not applying what he describes as a religious test?

* MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

said he was going to argue this from the point of view of those who supported denominational schools. The great fact lying before those interested in denominational schools seemed to be that, unless this Bill was a sound one, denominational schools would go. If the people were trusted in regard to this matter sufficient teachers would be appointed able to give denominational teaching in denominational schools, and the Bill would work more smoothly than by this attempt to get all the teachers appointed by the managers, in order to safeguard the interests of those who desired to retain the denominational schools. On those grounds he appealed to the Government to consider the wisdom of the course they seemed inclined to adopt. In regard to his argument, he admitted at once that they must put the Roman Catholics on one side. This Bill was not promoted for the sake of the Roman Catholics, because five-sixths of the denominational schools in England were Church of England schools, and but for those schools this Bill would not have been introduced. He had always maintained that the Roman Catholic case was a separate one, for they attached more importance to a denominational atmosphere; they had made untold sacrifices for their schools, which generally existed in large centres of population where there were considerable numbers of Catholics, and consequently they were entitled to separate treatment. Neither side of the House would listen to separate treatment, however, and some other must be found. He thought if they left this question to the localities to deal with, it would be dealt with by them in a spirit of fairness. They had done it, and were doing it, in the evening schools, held in denominational schools. Every wise School Board had treated these evening schools on the basis, of appointing teachers satisfactory to the denomination, and no complaint or difficulty arose. He believed in that way, if a locality were trusted, Roman Catholics would not suffer the hardships they were afraid they would suffer under a more complete system of popular control than this Bill gave. He appealed to the Government in this way. Was this Bill fair to the country at large, and, above all, to Nonconformists? Had the country at large the chance of getting the best men for teachers or not under this system? Again, he appealed on the question whether it was necessary to have teachers all of one denomination for the denominational schools. Finally, he appealed to the Government on the question of whether, under the Bill which had caused so much irritation and annoyance, the system could last which the Government were now attempting to inaugurate. He need not worry about the question of fairness. Out of 20,000 schools in this country, some 12,000 were Church of England schools. Practically, what the Government said by the managers appointing teachers was this, that in all these 12,000 schools all the teachers must be members of the Church of England. That was, in three-fifths of the schools of the country they must have members of the Church of England, and only members of that denomination. In regard to the other two-fifths, the members of the Church of England had an equal chance. In the past they had a better chance because of their excellent training colleges. Supposing the population was divided almost equally between Churchmen and Nonconformists, they would take four-fifths of Churchmen as teachers, and one-fifth from the rest of the country. That was not fair, and no; man could say so. Were they going to get the best men? They could not get the best men if they restricted the choice in this way. On the question of whether teachers should be all of the denomination, he would remind the House that the real difference between the teaching given in most of the Church schools and the batter system of the Cowpor-Temple teaching under our better board schools, was infinitesimal. If they could get at the average doctrinal teaching the parent would like given to the average child, ho believed that the difference between the teaching in the Church schools and that given in the schools of the London, Manchester, and Oldham School Boards—which he happened to know something about—would be found merely infinitesimal. From the point of view of those who were Christians—other than Roman Catholics—in this country, they were, to a large extent, fighting about a mere shadow. In Protestant England they did not need this special denominational atmosphere. It was not fair, in the first place, in a single school district. In such a district, with a Nonconformist majority, what became of the inalienable right of the parent to have doctrinal teaching according to his view? What was wanted was not so much denominational teachers, but the best teachers they could get—true, honest men and women, with, impossible, the fear and love of God in their hearts. They wanted to make the children as good as possible, and for that purpose they ought to have religious teachers, but it was of infinitesimal importance that they should all be Church of England teachers even in denominational schools. This was a national scheme, and ought to be treated from a national point of view. They had no right, as a nation, to settle a scheme which must to a large extent be a scheme of proselytisation, although he admitted it was not meant to be anything of the kind. There were something like 365 sects in this country, and to carry out the claims for a denominational atmosphere in the school to its logical result each sect would require its own school. No such scheme as that could be national, it was not under any such scheme that the best men the country had produced had grown up. He asked whether there was any possibility that the system which the Government was going to inaugurate could last. He had no right to expect that his voice should have any effect, but he begged the Government to consider more carefully the wisdom of the course they were taking. He was perfectly certain that even in the interests of those schools which they desired to support this Bill was bound to break down, and with it would go the system they were trying so laboriously to set up.

(3.43.) MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)

said he deeply regretted to hear from, the First Lord that the question at issue in the proposal before the Committee was vital. He did not believe it was vital to the majority of his supporters on the Ministerial side, and he certainly did not believe it was vital to the very large majority of good sound laymen of the Church of England. From the business point of view he thought the arrangement was bad, and probably in many eases it would be unworkable. For what was it? The headmaster was the principal civil servant, the principal agent of the local authority; after he had been appointed by some one else, they fixed his salary and paid him. They would define his duties, the duties of his subordinates, his relations with his subordinates. They would have power to dismiss him if, on an appeal, they were sustained by the Board of Education—and only in that case—and then another authority stepped in and made the appointment. If they were to apply this method to any other practical business of life they would be laughed at. It remained for the Education Department to out-Herod Herod himself. The procedure laid down in the Bill resembled weather indicators. In foul weather out would come the local authority and dismiss the teacher if, on appeal, it was permitted in London to do so.


There is no appeal, only on secular grounds.


thought, with great respect to the right hon. Gentleman, there must be an appeal as to what were secular grounds. Proceeding with his analogy of the weather indicator, out, he said, in fair weather would come the managers and appoint the teacher. That was unbusiness like. But that was not his greatest objection. What civic right, what moral right had the Government to deprive the elected authority of the power of appointment? In England they valued that right so much that he believed if they had it in a written constitution this sub-Section would not have been possible without a prior alteration in the constitution. However that might be, he believed that this fundamental law was indelibly written in the beliefs of the people—that absolute control should be derived from the payment of the money which enabled the institution to exist. Then what moral right had they to inflict this great disability on half the teachers of the country? What had they done against the State that the State should turn and rend them in this way? Why should they be stricken with this disability? The same disability might in future be inflicted on the teachers of the voluntary schools. How had this situation arisen? It seemed to him that a section of the Church—and only a section—wanted public money and distrusted those who would supply it. [Cries of "No‡" from the GOVERNMENT Benches.] They seemed to think that their fellow-countrymen were meditating some injustice against them. He did not believe that at all; and at any rate it was gross injustice to forestall an injustice by making an act of injustice on a very large body of most deserving men who were essential to the welfare of the Commonwealth. He did not believe that Church teaching would be preserved in that way. Church teaching would be threatened far more by the usurpations and exactions of extreme members of the Church than by any direct attack of Dissenters or otherwise. What did they fear from this Amendment to confer on the local authority the right to appoint teachers? In a speech published by his own great leader, the Colonial Secretary— [Cries of "Oh, Oh !" from the OPPOSITION Benches]—the right hon. Gentleman was his own great leader. [An HON. MEMBER on the Opposition Benches: "Where is he?"] In that speech the Colonial Secretary drew attention to the condition of things in large communities in Scotland where the School Boards, consisting of grave and stern old Presbyterians, invariably allowed the Roman Catholics to appoint Roman Catholic school masters in their schools, who were thoroughly satisfactory to the Roman Catholic managers of the schools. What should they fear in England? If a difficulty occurred, the managers would communicate with the clerk to the School Board, who would communicate with some member of the sub-committee, and then an arrangement would be made agreeable to all parties. On the other hand, what would happen if the local education authority were deprived of this essential right? First of all, the teachers would be given a grievance with which nine-tenth of the community would sympathise, and that would only be balanced by attaching an equivalent disability to the Church teachers. And in a dispute between the managers and the local authority, it would not be the local authority which would eventually go to the wall. He did not believe that much was to be feared for the Church schools from the hostility of the local education authorities. The guarantees would be of far less service to the Church schools than to the local authorities. He wished that the Church party had been largely generous in regard to this matter, that they had really trusted the people, and that they could have gone in for a great clause safe-guarding religious teaching in the various schools belonging to the different denominations. Having secured that, they might have left the future of the Church schools, both as regarded denominational teaching and general control, to depend only on the loyalty and affection of the community.

* SIR WILLIAM MATHER (Lancashire, Rossendale)

said he wished to appeal to the Prime Minister to reconsider the position he had laid down. After the speech of the hon. Member for North Birmingham, the right hon. Gentleman should reconsider the expression he had made use of that he could not allow any deviation from the provisions in the Bill in regard to the appointment of the managers and the teachers in the non-provided schools. The right hon. Gentleman had said that it would not be fair to the denominational schools unless those provisions were maintained in the Bill, because these would be handed over, free of rent, for public use, and that a considerable amount of money would have to be spent in altering and repairing the premises. The quid pro quo for this boon was the two Clauses to which reference had been made. Personally, he protested most earnestly, for that was the bane of the whole business. The Government had tried to erect a national system of education under one authority which involved complete responsibility on one side in regard to one half of the children of the country, and only a diluted responsibility for the other children of the country. This Bill was full of checks and counter-checks. It was the most ingenious piece of construction that one could conceive of. It reminded him of the ingenious inventor who tried to make perpetual motion machines which, of course, never worked. He believed that the Bill, in its present shape, was unworkable, and he ventured to say that, while preserving the denominational rights which the right hon. Gentleman was so anxious to preserve, the Prime Minister might easily make an alteration in the Bill so as to make it a practical business measure for the purpose of giving to the children equal instruction in secular subjects throughout the length and breadth of the land, by vesting the appointment of teachers in the local education authority alike for the provided and the non-provided schools. He quite understood the difficulty of the right hon. Gentleman and of hon. Gentlemen opposite. They would not surrender the right of denominational teaching in the non-provided schools. He was not in the slightest degree moved in his opposition by any fear of clerical influence interfering with education in the schools. He did not think that that would make any difference whatever. He spoke only on educational grounds in favour of a simple, direct, self-acting plan for securing the education of the country under one authority; and he felt that the right hon. Gentleman might most reasonably concede the nomination of the teachers to the local education authority. There were other means by which the denominational character of the schools might be retained. After all, the denominational character of the schools could not be expressed in any other way or sense than through specific religious instruction. Teachers would be selected by the local authority for their moral and personal qualities as high class teachers; and, of course, every denominational school manager would desire teachers possessing such qualities, just as much as the local authority. If, in addition, facilities for religious teaching were desired, it seemed to him that it would be the simplest thing in the world for any reasonable Churchman to secure, under the Bill, religious teaching at certain hours of the day by teachers selected for the purpose. If they could not secure a national system of education under the Bill by some modifications of the measure, they would be compelled to resist the proposals of the Government that the voluntary schools should be taken over free of rent. They would be prepared to pay rent for the schools, and to put the schools under local control from top to bottom. Let the schools lie taken over at what they were worth, and let them be maintained at the cost of the local authority. Further, they would be prepared to secure that the denominational teaching now given in the schools should be provided for by the local authority at such times as would be convenient, He would ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider whether that was not a better plan than that now proposed. The right hon. Gentleman was erecting an edifice on sand, whereas they desired to build it on a bedrock foundation.

(4.3.) SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

said that the hon. Member who had just spoken had denounced the plan for appointing teachers in the Bill of the Government as tortuous and unworkable. In his opinion no other plan was likely to work more smoothly than the method provided in the Bill. He was not speaking on behalf of those who thought that the appointment of teachers should be exclusively in the hands of the local authority. He was speaking in the interest of the majority of the House, and he thought the majority of the country who recognised that, in, taking over the voluntary schools, the teachers appointed should be agreeable to the managers and to the local authority; and that on the appointment of teachers there must be a kind of dual responsibility—the religious qualifications of the teachers to be satisfactory to the denominational managers of the school, and the other qualifications of the teachers to be satisfactory to the local authority, by whom their salaries would be paid, and who would be responsible for the efficiency of the teaching. In speaking about teachers, he should like it to be distinctly understood that he was not referring to pupil teachers. He did not think that they were teachers at all; or that in any school, however denominational in character it might be, there should be any test imposed on pupil teachers, or that there should be any obstacle to their entering the teaching profession. With regard to real teachers, he would ask the Committee to consider how the scheme with the Bill would work. The management, by whom the appointment would be primarily made, would consist of a certain number of denominational members and a certain number of undenominational or publicly elected members. Roman Catholic or Church of England or Wesleyan managers, who had hitherto conducted the schools in accordance with their own religious denomination, would naturally pick out teachers of that denomination who, in their opinion, were intellectually qualified to conduct religious instruction in the schools, and would propose such teachers to the general body of the managers. Were they likely to propose anyone who was not intellectually efficient, or not fit to conduct the schools? It would be only in one case in a hundred where any such proposition would be made. The managers would look into the testimonials and antecedents of the teacher proposed, and it would be the duty of the undenominational managers to make a strong remonstrance if an improper person were proposed. That strong remonstrance would, in most cases, be attended to, because of the probable sequel that would follow if it were not attended to. If a candidate of obvious unfitness were proposed, and if the majority of the managers insisted on appointing him, then the minority would at once make representations to the local authority, giving the reasons why they objected to the appointment of that particular teacher. In nine cases out of ten, the local authority would take the representation of the minority as a sufficient warrant on which to act; but in case of doubt they would make inquiries into the antecedents of the teacher, and if his antecedents were such as not to warrant his selection then they would exercise their veto. Therefore, in the first place, it was extremely unlikely that any improper person would be proposed; secondly, if an improper candidate was proposed it was extremely likely that, if the minority objected, he would be withdrawn; and, finally, it was quite certain that the veto of the local authority would prevent the employment of an improper teacher.


said that the right hon. Gentleman appeared to think that he had entirely disposed of the Amendment when he showed how unlikely it was that the managers would propose a notoriously unfit person, and how easy it would be to get over such an appointment if it were made. No one ever suggested that the board of management would go out of their way to appoint an unfit person. What was contended was that the restriction in the Bill limited the choice of the managers, He assumed that they would appoint the best men they could find who came up to the qualifications that would be required of them. What were those qualifications? Participation in Church services or employment in a garden. That was the view that had hitherto been taken. But when the right hon. Gentleman said that the head of management would not be likely to appoint an unfit person to occupy the position of teacher, did not the argument apply with still greater force to the local authority? Would they be likely to select any person who, on religious grounds otherwise, would be distasteful not only to the managers but to the parents. The thought that pervaded that proposal of the Government, as it pervaded many other proposals in the Bill, was a want of faith in the commonsense and good feeling of the people. The Government had made great concessions as to increasing the control of the local authority over secular education. Let them trust the local authority in the matter, and believe that they would not do anything outrageous or against the wishes of the managers and the parents. The hon. Member for North Birmingham seemed to him to hit the nail on the head. The hon. Member asked the Committee to put out of sight the denominational difficulty and to ask themselves, was this a businesslike; proposal? The teachers were to be the agents and officers of the local authority, who would be responsible for secular education: were they to be chosen by another body altogether? That, in itself, condemned the proposal in the Bill. They should choose either one course or the other. They could not have the two authorities mixed up in the way proposed: they should trust either one or the other. He would trust the managers, and would make them the representatives of the locality. That was the straightforward, old-fashioned, honest way to which they were accustomed. The Government declined to do that. Instead, they proposed a round-about election of a local authority through means of the County Councils, with a some responsibility, more or less direct, to the public. Let them trust that body and not go running about from one to the other, using each as a sort of watch dog on the other. Surely they could believe that their country men were not likely deliberately to take any administrative step which would have such a ruinous effect on the interests of education as the appointment of unfitted teachers.

(4.15.) MR. LLOYD MORGAN (Carmarthenshire, W.)

said he hoped it was not even now too late to express a hope that the Government might vary their decision with regard to this important question. The speech of the hon. Member for North Birmingham, he thought, was one which must commend itself to both sides of the House as the speech of a fair-minded man who had approached the question with an unbiased mind. He was satisfied in his own mind that the sentiment expressed by the hon. Gentleman was the view held by a large majority of fair-minded Churchmen. If the Government hoped to get this Bill through without intense bitterness and protracted controversy, he thought they would do well even now to reconsider their decision. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University expressed the opinion that the committee of management was the proper body to select the teachers of the non-provided schools, and had said that if any difficulty arose the public representatives on the board of managers would be able to bring the matter under the consideration of the local authority. Such a statement presupposed that the two public representatives would be men who were not in sympathy with the trust representatives, but in the majority of cases the public representatives were men whose views we were in harmony with the trust managers, and therefore in nine cases out of ten they were not likely to turn round on their friends unless some very grave scandal occurred. It seemed to him that this Amendment dealt with the most serious question which this Bill raised; the question of whether religious tests were to be in vogue in the public elementary schools in future. Under the system at present in force there might be some defence set up for the system; it might be said the voluntary subscribers contributed considerable sums towards the support of the schools, and that therefore it was only right that they should have a right to the election of the teachers. He did not assent to that view, but, even so, it seemed to him that when this Bill passed it swept away every vestige of the defence that existed at the present time. Up to the present the voluntary schools had failed by reason of their religious tests; they had not been able to afford the best teachers, because it was not likely that the best teachers with all the testimonials they possessed were going to apply to be instated as teachers in voluntary schools when the first thing to which they would have to submit would be the humiliation of being cross-examined as to their church opinion. In most cases the question put to these men would not be as to what their religious beliefs were, but what their church opinions were. The Government had taken up a most illogical position in reference to this matter. It was admitted that nearly the whole of the time of the persons occupying the position of teachers in the schools would be taken up in secular instruction, yet, notwithstanding that fact, their appointment was to be given to men who had least to do with secular education. It had been said by the Government that the supreme object that they had in view in introducing this Bill was to establish the education of this country on a thoroughly national foundation. He could not for the life of him see how that was going to be done, if they were going to shut out from half the elementary schools of the country men who held certain religious opinions, and, therefore, he was forced to believe that the real object of the Bill was not to establish the education of the country on a thoroughly national foundation, but upon denominational lines. Every penny the master of the voluntary schools would receive would come from the pockets of the taxpayers or the ratepayers; he would; become to all intents and purposes a State servant, and the Government were not doing what was fair to the taxpayers or the ratepayers unless they gave the widest possible basis for his appointment. The bargain was not fair and reasonable. The Church party only gave the use of the building, which they had also to maintain in a proper state in future, but in return they had first of all power, through the clergyman or his nominees, to teach the children a particular form of religion; they had power to appoint all the teachers whose salaries were paid by the taxpayers or ratepayers; they had power to exclude teachers who did not profess certain religious principles; and, by their majority on the committee of management, power to overrule the public managers. He put it to any fair-minded man that that bargain was not a fair and reasonable one. It had been said that the religious atmosphere of the schools must be maintained. If that were so, let it be maintained but not in the manner proposed by the Government. The most serious grievance which the Nonconformists had, and the most serious difficulty they had to meet, arose in parishes where there was only one school, the Church school. Why should the schoolmaster in these schools be called upon to do this work? What did the clergyman of the parish and his curate do? It was not a question of their being over-worked, as many were in large London districts; this difficulty presented itself in the small rural parishes. The work might well be done by the clergyman himself. Those were his views on the Amendment before the House, which he considered was founded on justice and reason. He hoped the Government would see their way to accept the Amendment.

* MR. KEMP (Lancashire, Heywood)

differed from those hon. Members who argued that this was not a businesslike proposal. In every bargain the consent of both parties had to be secured, and if the present holders of the voluntary schools were to give up those schools the Government had to make some arrangement to which they would agree. The fears expressed by the Opposition as to the great bitterness that would be aroused in the country were, he thought, grossly exaggerated. A strong argument in favour of the Government case was that in the public schools sectarian teaching of an extreme kind was given, and yet Nonconformist parents had no hesitation in sending their sons to those schools. He hoped, therefore, that the Government would stand to their proposals.

SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

thought the First Lord of the Treasury was right when he said that the Committee had a clear issue presented by this Amendment. The issue raised was between the principles of the Party opposite and those of the Opposition. The proposal was, practically speaking, to give the control of one-half of the schools in the country into the hands of private persons. If the scheme under the Bill was to be a national scheme, the control of the schools—which really depended on the appointment of the masters—ought to be in the hands of the national authority, whatever it was, to which the education of the country was entrusted. Complaints had been made of misrepresentation. There were complicated details in the Bill which might have been misrepresented, but upon this question there had not been, and could not be, misrepresentation—the issue as much too clear. Hitherto, we had a fragmentary and unsatisfactory system of education. It was admitted that the condition of the voluntary schools had not been satisfactory. By the plan of the Government it was proposed to set that matter right: there was to be co-ordination. But in all other departments of educational work tests had been abolished. In the Universities tests had been abolished; they had been done away with in denominational establishments; and the Secretary of the Board of Education himself belonged to a denominational institution in which all tests had been abolished. Denominational tests were not permitted to interfere with higher education; and yet the foundation of all—elementary education—was to be poisoned by their imposition. The Government were building their educational system upon an unsound foundation which would not, and could not, stand. They might pass the Bill by their Party majority, but a system which had its very basis poisoned by this question of sectarian tests would never he accepted by the country. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University had said that if a man was notoriously unfit he would not be accepted. But that was not the question. A good educational system should secure not only the exclusion of the improper candidate, but the acceptance of the best candidate. That, however, was just what the proposed system prevented. Two categories of schools were to be established—the provided schools, the masters for which could be chosen from the whole nation, and the best men selected for the particular posts, and those in the second category for which the masters would be selected from only a section of the nation, and which consequently would be distinguished as second grade schools. Voluntary schools had hitherto stood in the second grade as compared with board schools, and their inferiority had been due not merely to want of funds, but also to the lack of a reasonable choice of teachers. That position the Government wore proposing to perpetuate. What would happen was obvious. If a school wanted a master and two men presented themselves— neither of them improper, but one better than the other—it would frequently happen that the better man could not be selected because he failed to satisfy the test of the clergyman. It was a question whether the candidates would even come forward, because they would feel it was useless unless they qualified by becoming members of the Church of England. That was an educational disability which made the measure a bad educational Bill; it was a fatal fault at the very root of the proposal. It could not be denied that the success of a school depended on the character of the master. If, therefore, the entire system was founded on a basis upon which the best master could not be chosen, it would be one which was not national, and which in the long run the nation would not accept. In fact, a question of profoundest principle was raised, and, having the defects he had mentioned, the Bill, as an educational plan, was an imposture, and could never pass as a current scheme in the country. The matter had also its political aspect. There were said to be 75,000 teachers in these schools—75,000 officers in one of the most honourable professions it could be the ambition of men to follow, but from which they were to be excluded on account of their religious belief. What other civil profession was subject to such a disability? That was the political aspect of the question, and it was created by giving this power of appointment to men who would conscientiously exercise it in favour of their own denomination. They had done so in the past, and the object of the Bill was to secure them in the right to exercise that power. The educational system of the country was being founded upon denominational tests in order to secure to a greater degree than even at present existed, by additional grants of public money, supremacy of the Established Church. That was a policy which in his opinion would not, and could not, be accepted, and it was difficult to believe it possible at this time of day for such a plan to be proposed. This was a reactionary measure of the most vicious type reversing the policy of this nation practically for a century which had established civil and religious liberty by doing away with these tests first of all in the case of Dissenters, then by Catholic emancipation, in the case of the Jews, and in the case of all religious tests. That was the history of the accepted policy of this country for a century, and this Bill was founded upon a reversal of that policy. The Government were laying the foundation stone and corner stone of this Bill upon the principle of religious exclusion, and that was the question at issue today. That was the question which would be at issue as long as it contained this principle. He had no hesitation in saying that in his opinion any public body or any private individual was entitled by all legitimate means to resist any scheme founded upon such a principle as that. He could understand a public body saying "You offer us this Bill, and you impose upon us the obligation to carry on the education of the people, but you attach to your measure such conditions as we cannot and will not accept. We will not make ourselves responsible for the education of the people unless you give us the free means of choosing the best masters of the school; we will not accept the responsibility of educating the people if you exclude one half of the nation from the persons who shall be occupied as our agents to carry out education in the schools." The Government had raised, and they were raising, resistance to their scheme by adopting as the foundation of their plan a principle which this country had condemned in every other department of the public service, and a principle which had been condemned in the most valuable and essential of all the parts of our civil life in the education of the people. It was for that reason they condemned this scheme by moving this Amendment.

(4.50.) MR. A. J. BALFOUR

I have listened attentively to the speech of the right hon, Gentleman, and I do not for the life of me know whether the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of retaining the denominational character of the voluntary schools or whether he is opposed to it. Is the right hon. Gentleman prepared frankly to say to the Committee: "I want to abolish the denominational schools root and branch, and substitute for them a pure and unadulterated system of provided schools of the Cowper-Temple class"? Is that what the right hon. Gentleman wants? The right hon. Gentleman does not reply. The right hon. Gentleman either cannot, or will not, answer that simple and elementary question, But a great many of the right hon. Gentleman's friends have answered it; and said that for their part they wish to preserve the denominational character of the schools. I think my hon. friend behind me, the Member for North Birmingham, took that view, and I am sure the hon. Member for the Rossendale Division took that view, and I think the same view is also taken by the hon. Member for Oldham and other speakers. They want to preserve the denominational character of the schools; therefore, whatever the right hon. Gentleman or those who sit near him on the Front Opposition Bench may desire, those followers of theirs have said that for their part they desire to preserve the denominational character of the voluntary schools, but they do not like the particular method for so doing proposed in the Bill. But let the Committee consider the alternatives. The very fact that we preserve the denominational character of the voluntary schools, and that religious teaching is to be carried on in these schools, surely means—if it means anything—that somebody or other must determine whether or not the teacher is qualified to teach denominational religion. You may evade this question, but that is what it all comes to. If you mean to abolish denominational schools, then do so, but if you mean to keep them then admit it. The teachers must be selected with some regard to their capability of teaching denominational religion. If that be admitted, then you have given up this question that there is a so-called test, about which the right hon. Gentleman was so eloquent. The question is whether you shall, or shall not, take this into consideration. By an irresistible train of reasoning you are driven into that dilemma. The question therefore is who is to see after what I may call the teacher's religious qualifications. It seems to me absolutely clear that there are only two bodies, one of which should have the duty thrown upon it. One of these bodies is the managers of the schools to whom the duty is entrusted by the Bill. The only other alternative is the local authority.

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

And they find they find the money.


The Government prefer the managers because they have already got them under Clause 7 a denominational complexion.


Who gave it to them?


At any rate, the majority of the managers are denominationalists. Therefore the managers are clearly qualified to form some judgment as to the capacity of the teachers to teach denominational religion. As to the local authority, do hon. Gentlemen opposite propose to throw upon it by statute the obligation of considering the denominational qualifications of teachers? If right hon. Gentlemen opposite do not propose to throw upon it that obligation by statute, then they leave it absolutely open to the local authority at its will or pleasure to say whether or not religious qualifications shall be taken into account in the selection of teachers for the voluntary schools. I presume that those hon. Members opposite who desire to preserve the denominational character of the voluntary schools will not object to making it obligatory by statute on the local education authority to consider whether a teacher is, from the point of view of religion, suitable to the school to which he is to be appointed. But is that a duty we can place on the local education authority? Surely the objections to such a course are numerous and obvious. One is, that it will arouse a profound and, I think, a just apprehension in the breasts of a large number of people who are interested in the denominational schools. The hon. Member for Oldham has suggested that we should differentiate between Church of England schools, in which I think the local education authority is competent to appoint the teachers, and the Roman Catholic schools, in which, in my view, it is not competent to appoint the teachers. All I can say is that I wish good luck to any Government or any Administration which is going to try to distinguish in this matter of elementary education between the Church of England schools and the Roman Catholic schools to the advantage of the Roman Catholics. I promise them a bad quarter of an hour in the country. Let the Committee remember that the local authority is debarred by the Cowper-Temple Clause from introducing the religious question into the schools. But if it were left to the local education authority to decide the religious qualifications of the teachers, it would be compelled to take into account that element of discord. I cannot conceive that such a scheme is a tolerable scheme. As for all the talk about the hardship to the teaching profession involved in the proposal of the Bill, I will not deal with it, for that is but a side issue, simply remarking that that injustice—if it is an injustice at all—is not removed by any plan which preserved the denominational character of the schools. Therefore, if we are to have Roman Catholic teachers in Roman Catholic schools, Wesleyan teachers in Wesleyan schools, and Anglican teachers in Anglican schools, it is an essential part of any plan to preserve the denominational character of the schools. Therefore, I say in the interest of common logic, let right hon. Gentlemen opposite give up these arguments about tests, about the injury to the teaching profession, and come forward frankly and say they were unalterably opposed to the continuance of the voluntary schools and fight the battle out on that issue. This inability to face the real problem at stake reflects very little credit on the logic of our debates, and certainly is not calculated to bring to the settlement of the question that clear-cut decision which I should be glad to see brought to bear upon it.

*(5.0.) MR. ASQUITH (Fife, E.)

said the right hon. Gentleman had endeavoured by a dialectical artifice to turn the attention of the Committee from the only question before it. The question whether or not the denominational character of the schools should be continued was not the matter now at issue. [MINISTERIAL cries of "It is."] That question was not in the least involved in the Amendment before the Committee. The right hon. Gentleman might have quoted him among those who were willing to retain the denominational character of the voluntary schools. They were at any rate prepared to acquiesce in the maintenance of those schools for the purpose of dealing with the Bill and the settlement proposed by the Government. The fallacy underlying the right hon. Gentleman's argument was this—that you cannot preserve in its integrity honest denominational teaching in these schools unless you subject all the teachers to be employed in them to a denominational test. He entirely traversed that argument; there was not the slightest foundation for it. What was the issue which this Amendment raised? It was the issue whether the selection of the teachers who were to be employed in these denominational schools should be in the hands of the local authority or in the hands of the managers. This was now, and the right hon. Gentleman did not dispute it, to all intents and purposes a great State service. Teachers, when this Bill came into law, would be as much employees. of the State as the Army, Navy, and the Civil Service. Every penny which went to their remuneration for the performance of their duties would come out of the pockets of the ratepayers or the taxpayers, and there would not be five minutes of their time given to the instruction of the pupils, whether secular or religious, for which they would not be paid out of public funds. That could not be disputed.


Yes, I dispute it.


asked from what other sources one halfpenny of their remuneration would come. They were constantly told that the pecuniary burdens which would fall on the managers and supporters of these schools would be the consideration for their preponderating share in the management. The pecuniary burdens of the managers were to be measured by the cost of keeping the fabric in good repair, and the interest on the cost of the fabric itself. He would take the value of the schools at £15,000,000 or £20,000,000. What part of that sum went to the remuneration of the teachers, and how could they found on the fact that these schools had been built by the denominations and that the managers were to keep them in repair a claim to the appointment of the teachers? The whole cost of the maintenance of the school, including the salary of the teacher, came out of public funds, and to state the proposition in the form of a question was to make it answer itself. Primâ facie the choice and appointment of the teacher ought to be vested in the body which had to contribute the whole cost of keeping the school efficient. The whole dispute arose out of the suspicion—of which the right hon. Gentleman and his supporters could not divest themselves that these bodies publicly chosen could not be entrusted with the duty of appointing the teachers. It was the right hon. Gentleman's rooted distrust, which appeared over and over again in the Clauses of the Bill, not only competence, but of the honesty, of the bodies he was going to call into existence, and to which he was giving nominal control of the education of the country, which formed the sole ground for his opposition to this most reasonable proposal that the local education authority should have the right of appointment. The House of Commons could not start on the creation of a vast new system of public education with a measure steeped in suspicion and distrust of those who were to administer it. When once they credited these bodies with honesty and capacity to discharge their functions, the argument in favour of their having this elementary right to appoint the teacher from the educational, financial and administrative point of view was over-whelming He would not go over the ground so well traversed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouthshire. Let him summarise what lay at the root of the question. In the first place, if the Committee left this power of appointment in the hands of the managers, they were practically confining the area of selection to the members of a particular religious denomination, it was useless and idle to say that the power they were giving to the local education authority to veto the appointment on educational grounds formed a remedy, it was nothing of the kind. It was not an adequate safeguard at all. Therefore they were going to starve these schools. [Cries of "No."] It was starving the schools if they gave them a less efficient instead of a more efficient staff for the instruction of the children. They were going to starve the schools by placing practically uncontrolled power in the hands of denominational and non-representative bodies, so that from the educational point of view that was objectionable. From the political point of view it was even more objectionable, because, no matter under what veiled language they might disguise it, it meant that on the entrance to a large public service they were going to impose a particular denominational test. Then there was the administrative objection. Could they possibly imagine a more fruitful source of administrative friction in the conduct of these schools than to have on the one hand a body of managers who did not pay the salaries of the teachers, and on the other hand the local education authority who paid the salaries and were responsible to the ratepayers and yet with no voice in their appointment? Taking human nature as it was, and taking English public life as it was, they could not possibly bring into existence a system more calculated to wear out by constant friction and attrition two independent and practically autonomous authorities, one of which managed and did not control, while the other controlled and did not manage.

LORD ALWYNE COMPTON (Bedfordshire, Biggleswade)

controverted the statement that the teachers would receive their salaries entirely from taxation and rates. To his mind that was a financial fallacy. What was the asset at present of the denominational school? They possessed a definite asset in the buildings and endowments. The value of that asset had been estimated in various ways. Supposing it was £700,000 a year, which was something near the mark, that must be taken into consideration, because that sum of money naturally would go into the total income out of which would come the salaries of the teachers. He had often heard it stated in the course of the debate that the bargain was one-sided, and that the Government in producing this Bill had had to make a bargain with people with whom a bargain had to be made. (Laughter and cheers.) Let him explain what he meant. The asset which he had spoken of was in existence, and nothing could take it away. He did not suppose there was an hon. Member on the Opposition side of the House who would have the hardihood to stand up and say that he wished to take away this asset by spoliation. In the case of the Nonconformists, what was the asset which they had brought into the bargain? They might say that their asset was their conscience. He had a great deal of respect for the conscience of those who differed from him in religious matters, but he would ask—where had been their conscience for the last thirty years? He had had a great deal to do with voluntary schools in the country, and he asserted boldly that in 99 per cent. of the voluntary schools of this country Nonconformists' children had been for the last twenty-five or thirty years going to the denominational schools, and although, under the law, the parents had been in a position to withdraw their children at the time of religious education, in the case of 99 per cent, of the children in the rural districts that right had never been taken advantage of. The children, for one reason or another, had attended the religious instruction in the denominational schools. Under statute the teacher was required to publish the days and the times when religious instruction would take place, and there was no disability imposed by the statute on any child who was withdrawn from the school at these times. It was a very curious thing that the conscience of the Nonconformist had been so dormant that he had allowed his child, of his own free will, to go into the denominational school, and to receive the instruction which was there given. Let them hear no more of this question of a one-sided bargain. If it was one-sided he challenged hon. Members to show how it was so. He had shown that there was an asset; he did not know by what means the Government had entered into an agreement that that asset was to be handed over.

MR. M'KENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)

replying to the noble Lord's argument that the denominational assets amounted to £700,000 per annum (he did not say that that was or was not an accurate estimate) maintained that the patronage of the appointment of 70,000 teachers was worth it and far more. The First Lord of the Treasury had stated that the supporters of the Amendment were in favour of the out and out abolition of the denominational schools. Whether that was so or not, it had nothing to do with this particular Amendment. Supposing the Amendment was carried, and that the teachers were appointed by the local education authority, the managers would have the right to prevent these teachers giving religious instruction against their views. The managers could bring in other persons, or call in a clergyman to give denominational teaching. Denominational teaching would therefore be secured. The only thing that would result would be that the teachers would not be submitted to a religious test. They had had a very interesting speech from the hon. Member for North Birmingham, but he had waited in vain for one or more of the signatories to the memorial to the First Lord of the Treasury on the question of the appointment of teachers. He was anxious to know what the First Lord had said to satisfy these hon. Gentlemen to induce them to withdraw from the position they had taken, and to commit themselves to support the Bill as it stood. They ought to have some reason from these hon. Gentlemen for their change of view, for it was conceivable that the supporters of the Amendment might also change theirs. He would ask the Attorney General why the Government haggled at this Amendment. They must interpret the Bill by what it said, and not by what they were told were the intentions of the Government. The local authority could give directions as to any matter relating to secular instruction. Now, surely a matter relating to the appointment of a teacher who was to give secular-instruction must be a matter relating to secular instruction, and that therefore the local authority had power in regard to the appointment of a particular master. He was well aware that it was argued that that power was destroyed by reference to sub-Section (c). But under that sub-Section the consent of the local education authority was required to the appointment of the teachers. That merely meant that if the local education authority gave no directions, the managers could appoint subject to the consent of the local education authority when their appointment was made. The inference drawn from that sub-Clause was not a real inference. Was it not time that the Government should consider the children? Which was the better method of appointment in the interests of the children? The local education authority would have a far larger choice to draw upon than the managers. He quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman opposite that the; managers would appoint teachers intellectually efficient, but they could only do the best they could with the material at their hand; they could not have the same chance of making a good selection as a large local authority. If the local authority had the power of appointing the teachers, and not the managers, the former would be the supervisor of the whole school area, both as regarded provided and the unprovided schools. Why not adopt the system of the London School Board which selected a certain number of candidates and asked the managers to choose one, and not to submit the candidates to a religious test? From that point of view he thought the Government ought to give far greater consideration than they had done to the great evil they were likely to create by refusing to grant the appointment of the teachers to the local authority.

(5.26.) MR. EDWARDS (Radnor)

said that the noble Lord who spoke last from the Benches opposite referred to the Church schools as an asset which the denominations had given to the public. Well, if all the Church schools had been built entirely by means of Churchmen's money, then he thought there might be something in the argument. But he believed the noble Lord would admit that the numerous grants of public money which had been made to the Church had enabled it to build far more schools than it would have been able to do with only denominational subscriptions. There was this further point. There was a school not very far from where he lived. It is now a Church school, and the noble Lord would claim it as a Church asset. But if he went into the history of that school, he would find that it was built by a "voluntary" rate imposed upon the people of the parish, although a great majority of the people were Nonconformists. He admitted that the land was given by the landlord, who was a Churchman, but it was intended that the school should be a parochial school and not a Church school. After the rate was imposed and paid, and the school built, the school was transferred to the National Society, and its control was vested in the clergyman and the churchwardens. No Nonconformists had a right to be pupil teachers in that school, although the Nonconformists were, in that parish, in the proportion of twenty to one of Churchmen. The Prime Minister had said that, in order to maintain the denominational character of the schools they must have a Churchman as head teacher. He did not think that was necessary at all. For instance, in the Church schools in his parish the great majority of the pupils were Nonconformists. Now it was an understood thing that on four days in the week what was called undenominational religious instruction was given, and only on one day in the week was the Church Catechism taught by the Church clergyman. It was a very simple thing for a Nonconformist to be headmaster in that school. He felt rather strongly on this point, because in his county they had fifty-two schools, of which thirty-six were Church schools, and sixteen board or British schools. What was the result? In two-thirds of the schools in the county Nonconformists could apply to be headmasters or pupil-teachers. If the Bill passed in its present shape, in a county where the vast majority of the people were Nonconformists, the teaching profession would be shut in the face of the vast majority of the people. That would be a loss to the county, and a national loss as well. They were all agreed that the religious controversy was a great danger, and it was a scandal that it should stand in the way of the education of the people. Some said it was the extreme Church party which was in fault, and others the extreme sectarians, but however it might be, this Bill would not relieve the grievances of the Nonconformists, and therefore he supported the Amendment.


appealed to the Committee to bring this debate now to a close.


said he had not troubled the House on this Amendment before, and he should not have done so now but he desired to put forward an entirely new view. He desired the Committee to look at the matter from the point of view of the managers themselves. The House did not know probably the very great difficulty managers had in the selection of teachers, being themselves such a small body. These vacancies very often occurred suddenly. The managers of a small school could have no knowledge of other teachers, and very probably advertised and never got an answer to their advertisement. At last someone heard of the vacancy. He or she came over on a bicycle, and arrived grimy and perspiring and wanted an interview. One could not find out everything at an interview. He or she brought testimonials. The House knew what was the use of testimonials; if you were thoroughly incompetent you could not be got rid of except with a testimonial. They could not get rid of an incompetent Under Secretary of State without giving him a testimonial as a Colonial Governor; and it was the same with schoolmasters. Then there was the question of salary. Of course the managers of the school said the salary was above the average, and the candidate said it was below. He had no hesitation in saying that 99 out of every 100 managers in the country parishes would be only too grateful if the House would take over this disagreeable responsibility and put it on the local authority. A strong local Committee could keep a register of teachers and candidates, and would know the good and bad teachers. They could also give promotion where it was deserved, and stop it where it was not deserved. He thoroughly agreed with what the hon. Member for Oldham said about religious teaching. The Prime Minister said in a previous debate that most of the voluntary schools were originally Church of England schools. Yes, but what Church of England? The Church of England, when these schools were founded, fifty or sixty years ago, practised and taught what were now called Nonconformist doctrines. If they could now have in all schools the teaching given by the Church of England in the '40's or '50's, he believed it would be found not to differ fundamentally from the School Board teaching at the present day. He hoped the Government would not think this was a denominational question, because there was no reason why the local education authority should not be able to make denominational appointments as well as the managers. This was not a question of denomination, and he wished the Government would look at it, not from a sentimental point of view, but from a business point of view, and accept the Amendment of his hon. friend.

MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)

said he approached the consideration of this Bill without the slightest sectarian bias or animus. Every man had a right to his own religious belief. Mr. Disraeli had once said, when questioned as to his religion, that his religion was that of every man of common sense, and, when further pressed upon the subject, said men of common sense never told what their religion was. That was his own view. For his part, he was opposed to even one farthing being given to the voluntary schools out of the money of the taxpayers of the State, and he was opposed to any species of religion being taught in any school in the country at the expense of the State, but that was not the question here. They found here that the voluntary schools were bankrupt, and while the Churchmen had strong opinions as to what should be taught in these schools they objected to pay for them. The Government objected to such a state of things as that, and this Bill was brought in in order to make the people pay what the Church of England would not pay for its own Church schools. Then they were told that the Church did contribute something; that it lent its schools for a certain number of hours to the State, and the Committee was asked, in consideration of that, to allow the Church to appoint all the masters in the schools. Every one knew what occurred in rural parishes; they knew the influence of the parson, the squire, and the chief farmers, and they knew the parson was absolute master of the schools, and would remain so if he had the selection of the teachers. That was the position he would really be in, because the right hon. Gentleman had said that only two teachers were to be appointed by the community, and four by the parson and his friends. Naturally the parson would appoint a member of the Church of England. Was that a religious test or not? These schoolmasters were practically civil servants. It was as bad, atrocious and dishonest to impose a religious test on anyone who wished to follow the teaching profession, as it would be to impose it on anyone who desired to take a seat on the Treasury Bench. It had been said that the parents were satisfied; that they did not insist on their children being withdrawn when religious education took place. No doubt that was so. They would be marked men if they did. They did not dare to do so. But to say that the Nonconformists approved of their children being taught Church religion was ridiculous. He would be glad to seethe whole matter settled in regard to these schools by the Government saying that they would pay a fair rent for the school to be used during the hours of secular education, in consideration of the public authority appointing the schoolmasters, but this bargain was an unfair one, and handed over the religious instruction of the entire rural population to the Church of England He considered the proposition of this Bill was monstrous, and if he had his way, the Opposition would withdraw from the House in a body, and leave the Prime Minister to do what he pleased with the Bill. He did not see any use in any of these little tinkering Amendments; they would not do away with the voluntary schools or with any religious teaching in the board schools. But it should be remembered that at the last General Election it was distinctly stated that the sole issue before the country was the war, and it was not fair to use a majority so obtained to hand over the schools of the country to clericalism. He was sorry that hon. Members on his own side of the House were so fond of hearing themselves talk, and that they would not take the advice he gave them of washing their hands of the whole concern by saying, "We have nothing to do with what you pass in the House of Commons beyond the question of the war; we will appeal from the House of Commons to the people outside and make that the issue of the next general election, and we hope that the Government will give us a general election as soon as possible in order that the question between us and you may be decided."

(5.50.) MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

deprecated the course suggested by his hon. friend as one which was ill-adapted to amend the Bill. He agreed that they had to face the question of the voluntary schools, and his own point of view was that they should either buy up the voluntary schools or pay a rent for them. The Prime Minister had provided the means. There was to be a financial provision in the Bill, which would, no doubt, be reached some time, allocating a sum of£900,000, half of which would pay a substantial rent for all the voluntary schools in the country. The amount of money needed for this purpose had been grossly exaggerated. He knew many voluntary schools, and knew they were built not only by subscriptions from Churchmen, but also Nonconformists as well—[A VOICE: And by railway companies]—and by contributions of labour as well as money. It had been said that the Bill proposed a not unfair bargain, but no bargain was fair or just, which meant the selling of the civic rights of the community for any sum of money. It was the duty of the community to provide an efficient system of education for the children, and they bad no right for any sum of money to bargain that away to any denomination. Nonconformists were taunted that they were not prepared to make such sacrifices for their consciences as Churchmen, but Churchmen were first in the field, simply because they happened to possess a monopoly in the land. In his opinion Nonconformists who paid for a School Board made greater contribution to education than a Churchman who subscribed to a voluntary school.


We do both.


said he would take the case of Lord Penrhyn. His Lordship subscribed £400 a year to the voluntary schools in his district, where the teachers were all Churchmen and the scholars Nonconformists, but if his Lordship were rated for a School Board, as other quarry proprietors were in the adjoining parish, he would pay not £400 a year but £2,200. The schools were vastly inferior, by every educational test, and yet his Lordship, who pocketed £1,600 a year under this arrangement, passed himself off as a very religious man before the whole country because he gave £400 a year. The noble Lord the Member for the Biggleswade Division had said that the fact that Nonconformists sent their children to denominational schools showed that they did not object to their teaching, and the noble Lord the Member for Greenwich had also said something on the same point which he did not quite understand.


It is rather late for me now to discuss my religious convictions.


The noble Lord appears to have approved of the religion taught in the board schools and then to have disapproved of it.


If the hon. Member would read the pamphlet by Canon Moberley he would understand my position better.


I shall be very glad to read it if the noble Lord will send it me. If the noble Lord will read Dr. Clifford's pamphlet I think it would not be an unfair exchange. The noble Lord had said that the religion taught in board schools was not religion at all. How many persons had withdrawn their children from the board schools on the ground of undenominational religious education? The noble Lord had no right to taunt the Nonconformists with the first until he could give the figures of the second. The noble Lord had already pointed out that the danger of limiting the area of selection was that they were bound to get more incompetent men. The right hon. Member for Cambridge University had said that if a teacher was unfit they had the remedy of going to the county authority, but there was a vast chasm between absolute unfitness and great capacity, so that the schools would suffer. There were men of whom it could not be said that they were absolutely unfit, yet they were not men of great capacity. Then they had to face the fact that a man was selected for a different reason. He would quote an advertisement for a teacher from the Church TimesWanted, as soon as possible, a schoolmaster, Church of England, lay reader combined; Catholic teaching. They might obtain a lay reader who was a good teacher, but he would not be so necessarily; and if Churchmen insisted on the three qualifications here mentioned, the chances were three to one upon getting the services of a good man. This question of the teachers was of first class importance. He knew a Non-conformist School Board, and they had a number of applicants for a position; the best man was a Churchman, and he was selected. If it had been a denominational school, he would not say the teacher selected would not have passed muster, but he would not have been the best man to have been appointed, and the locality would have suffered. Every one who knew the difference that an efficient schoolmaster made would know this. He knew a district where the schoolmaster, in fifteen years, had changed the whole character and complexion of the place and civilised it. It was unfair to the children of the country that they should hamper, embarrass and confine the selection of teachers by any sectarian, test. It was surely not necessary for the purpose of preserving religion. If that was so, why could they not agree on a religious teaching which, in the main, was acceptable to all parties? An hon. friend said the other aide would not agree. But did not that suggest that the real desire was not to preserve definite religious teaching, but some other object? The mass of the children of the land passed through Sunday schools. There were 800,000 more children in Sunday schools than in day schools. There was the opportunity to give definite religious teaching. There was a residue who did not pass through Sunday schools, but neither did they pass through day schools. Probably not more than 90 per cent, of the children passed through day schools. The balance could not be got at, and the proposed system would not touch them. They were chiefly in the poorer districts, where voluntary schools, as a rule, did not exist, for the simple reason that the resources for their maintenance were not forthcoming. He, therefore, put this point to the Committee for the sake of a population that did not go near either Sunday or day school. For the sake of preserving the rights of the clergy to promotion which they ought never to obtain, education suffered, the children suffered, and our system of education for a whole generation to come would be crippled. It was absolutely unfair.


said that at present there were 20,000 elementary schools in the country, in 14,000 of which a denominational test existed. The statement of the Leader of the Opposition, made earlier in the debate, that, in addition to that denominational test, demands in regard to extraneous matter were frequently made, which precluded the best men from applying for posts, had been hotly contested by hon. Members opposite. In order to show that where a denominational test existed there was a tendency to look for consideration of other than a purely educational character, he would read a letter from a vicar in answer to an application for a post as head master. [The hon. Member then quoted from a letter, in the course of which the following particulars were asked for— What is your manner in school? Are you a thoroughly good disciplinarian? Do you throw the greatest zest into your religious instruction? What experience have you had in organ playing? I want a really good organist. When have you accompanied Gregorian? What Psalter was it you used? Have you ever accompanied a choral celebration? What voice do you sing? "…" What are your church views?"…"Are yon and your wife regular and devout early communicants? What does your family consist of? Has your wife been accustomed to teach sewing? What does she do with this when she is laid up?"] That was all very well, but where did the children come in? The whole purpose of that correspondence was to get a person who would perform these excellent and desirable Church services efficiently, although at that time the great bulk of the money which would have been spent on the teacher came from public sources. But it was argued that there was now a bargain. What was the "definite asset" which had been put forward?' First of all, there was the upkeep of the fabric. The most generous estimate would not put the Church contribution for that purpose at more than 2s. per child per year. Then there was the building. From 1839 to 1882, places were provided in Church elementary schools for 1,200,000 children, at a total cost of £5,750,000, of which £1,250,000 was provided by the State. From 1882 to the present day, 1,700,000 places had been provided in Church schools. No official figures as to cost were available, but going on the basis that 1,200,000 places cost £5,750,000, and allowing for the greater demands of the Board of Education, the increased cost of materials, and the properly enhanced value of labour, the cost might be estimated at £10,500,000. That made a total of £15,000,000 for the building of Church voluntary schools. At 3 per cent, that represented £450,000. The noble Lord the Member for Greenwich had put it at £700,000. Even at that figure, what did it mean? The buildings were wanted by the local authority for only six days of five hours out of seven days of twelve hours—considerably less than one-half. Let the local authorities portion of the Church assets for the time they were in the building be taken at £300,000 a year—again a generous estimate. There were 3,000,000 voluntary school children, and the Church was giving value to the extent of £300,000 a year, or 2s. a child. Again, being generous, let it be called 3s., and what had they? First of all the State found the entire maintenance, 55s. per child per year, if the voluntary schools came up to the level of the board schools. The 2s. for repairs and the 3s. for the use of the rooms made a total of 60s., of which 5s. was provided privately. The State, therefore, found eleven-twelfths, and the Church one-twelfth, and yet the latter were to have the whole appointment of the teachers‡ The demand was unfair and absolutely preposterous. The First Lord of the Treasury said, "We must have these schools, because we intend to perpetuate denominational teaching" The scheme was impossible. He proposed to put the whole cost of that denomination practically upon the public funds, and that could not be done. They had either got to provide public money for all denominations or for none at all. This was practically a provision for one denomination. There were other alternatives which would not in any way militate against the continuance of the denominational system. He had endeavoured to mention this in a scheme in which schools which had hitherto been voluntary schools and board schools would be under public control, while the public authority wanted the buildings. Both schools under the scheme he suggested would begin with a common form of religious worship, which 99 per cent of the people of this country wanted. They might then easily devise full facilities for the giving of specific denominational teaching to those who wanted it. That would perpetuate denominational teaching without all this fuss about the appointment of teachers. The managers would appoint a head teacher and send in his name to the local education authority. They would say that they had no control over the religious qualifications but they had over the secular, and they might say that the teacher recommended was not the best for the secular instruction, and that they could get plenty better teachers. Consequently they would have many deadlocks. The scheme was bound to break down in practice. Take the case of the School Board for London. They had a perfectly workable system which carried on denominational teaching as hon. Gentlemen opposite desired. They received all applications for teachers, and they went through them and reduced them down to seven for a head teachership. Then they took these seven and selected the three best out of the seven. Then they sent the three names down to the managers, who were permitted to make the final appointment. Why did not the Government try that system? Did they think that the local authority were not people of common sense? Did they think that without going into the plan of testing a person—which was always putting a premium upon hypocrisy—the local authority would not take care to see that the persons they sent down to the man-

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Banbury, Frederick George Brookfield, Colonel Montagu
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Bartley, George C. T. Brown, Alexander H, (Shropsh.
Aird, Sir John Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Brymer, William Ernest
Anson, Sir William Reynell Beckett, Ernest William Bull, William James
Archdale, Edward Mervyn Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Bullard, Sir Harry
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Butcher, John George
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bignold, Arthur Campbell, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Glasgow
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bigwood, James Carew, James Laurence
Bailey, James (Walworth) Bill, Charles Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.
Bain, Colonel James Robert Bond, Edward Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton
Balcarres, Lord Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
Baldwin, Alfred Boulnois, Edmund Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire
Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Bousfield, William Robert Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich
Balfour, Capt. C. B.(Hornsey) Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.
Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W.(Leeds Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J. A. (Worc.

agers would be agreeable to them? He knew of School Boards in Scotland who had sent down Roman Catholic teachers to meet the particular needs of a particular case. If they would apply to Father Brennan in London he would tell them, that under a public school system they had been able to select teachers quite agreeable to him, and he had said that the system had worked most admirably. He did not know whether a compromise was possible now. They ought to see that the best person was selected from an educational point of view, and they ought not to put a premium on hypocrisy by retaining a denominational test. Why not adopt some such plan as that of the School Board for London, which he thought; would be the more practical plan. The plan proposed would lead to great difficulties and would result in an entire breakdown of the denominational system itself.

* MR. LUCAS (Portsmouth)

thought it was necessary that somebody should get up to repudiate the statement which had been put forward by the hon. Member for Northampton, that the Government was returned at the general election for the sole purpose of finishing the war in South Africa. He did not propose to further detain the Committee.


rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 25O; Noes, 119. (Division list No. 424.)

Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Helder, Augustus Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley
Chapman, Edward Henderson, Sir Alexander Percy, Earl
Charrington, Spencer Higginbottom, S. W. Pierpoint, Robert
Clive, Captain Percy A. Hoare, Sir Samuel Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Plummer, Walter R.
Coddington, Sir William Hogg, Lindsay Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hope, J. F.(Sheffield, Brightside Pretyman, Ernest George
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Horner, Frederick William Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Colston, Charles Edw. H. Athole Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Purvis, Robert
Compton, Lord Alwyne Howard, John (Kent, F'versh'm Pym, (C. Guy
Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Quilter, Sir Cuthbert
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Hudson, George Bickersteth Randles, John S.
Cranborne, Viscount Hutton John(Yorks. N.R.) Rankin, Sir James
Cripps, Charles Alfred Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Cross, Herb, Shepherd (Bolton) Johnstone, Heywood Ratcliff, R. F.
Crossley, Sir Savile Kemp, George Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Kennedy, Patrick James Remnant, James Farquharson
Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Keswick, William Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Kimber, Henry Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon King, Sir Henry Seymour Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Doughty, George Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lawson, John Grant Round, Rt. Hon. James
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H. Royds, Clement MoJyneux
Duke, Henry Edward Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W. Llewellyn, Evan Henry Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Faber, George Denison (York) Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight
Fardell, Sir T. George Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Sharpe, William Edward T.
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S Smith, James Parker (Lanarks
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lowe, Francis William Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Finch, George H. Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Spear, John Ward
Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk
Fisher, William Hayes Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Fison, Frederick William Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Flannery, Sir Fortescue Macartney, Rt Hn W. G. Ellison Stone, Sir Benjamin
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Macdona, John Cumming Stroyan, John
Flower, Ernest M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Forster, Henry William M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Foster, Philip S. (WarwickS. W M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Galloway, William Johnson Majendie, James A. H. Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Gardner, Ernest Malcolm, Ian Thorburn, Sir Walter
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Manners, Lord Cecil Thornton, Percy M.
Gordon, Maj. Evans-(T'rH'mlets Maxwell. Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n Tollemache, Henry James
Gore, Hn G. R. C. Ormsby-(Salop Middlemore, John Throgmorton Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Milner, Rt. Hon Sir Frederick G. Tritton, Charles Ernest
Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim Milvain, Thomas Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Goulding, Edward Alfred Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Valentia, Viscount
Graham, Henry Robert Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Vincent, Col Sir C. E H (Sheffield
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Greene, Sir E. W (BrySEdm'nds Morrell, George Herbert Walrond Rt Hn Sir William H.
Grenfell, William Henry Morrison, James Archibald Wanklyn, James Leslie
Gretton, John Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Warde, Colonel C. E.
Greville, Hon. Ronald Mount, William Arthur Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E(Taunton
Gunter, Sir Robert Mowbray, Sir Robert. Gray C. Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Hall, Edward Marshall Muntz, Sir Philip A. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute Williams, Rt Hn J Powell-(Birm.
Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G(Midd'x Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Wylie, Alexander
Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford Myers, William Henry Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Hare, Thomas Leigh Newdegate, Francis A. N. Younger, William
Harris, Frederick Leverton Nicholson, William Graham
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. Nicol, Donald Ninian
Hay, Hon. Claude George Nolan, Col. John. P. (Galway, N. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Anstruther.
Heaton, John Henniker Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlingt'n
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Ashton, Thomas Gair Barlow, Jonn Emmott
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire
Black, Alexander William Horniman, Frederick John Reckett, Harold James
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Broadhurst, Henry Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Rigg, Richard
Brown, George M.(Edinburgh Jacoby, James Alfred Roberts, John H. (Denbighs)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kearley, Hudson E. Roe, Sir Thomas
Burns, John Kinloch, Sir JohnGeorge Smyth Runciman, Walter
Burt, Thomas Labouchere, Henry Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Caine, William Sproston Lambert, George Shipman, Dr. John G.
Caldwell, James Layland-Barratt, Francis Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Cameron, Robert Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Sloan, Thomas Henry
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Leigh, Sir Joseph Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Causton, Richard Knight Leng, Sir John Soares, Ernest J.
Crombie, John William Levy, Maurice Spencer, Rt Hn. C. R. (Northants
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Lewis, John Herbert Stevenson, Francis S.
Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Lloyd-George, David Strachey, Sir Edward
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lough, Thomas Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Duncan, J. Hastings Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen E.)
Edwards, Frank M'Kenna, Reginald Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Ellis, John Edward Mansfield, Horace Rendall Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Emmott, Alfred Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Markham, Arthur Basil Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Fenwick, Charles Mather, Sir William Tomkinson, James
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William Toulmin, George
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Wallace, Robert
Fuller, J. M. F. Moss, Samuel Walton, John Lawson(Leeds, S.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Moulton, John Fletcher Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) Newnes, Sir George Weir, James Galloway
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Norton, Captain Cecil William White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir William Nussey, Thomas Willans Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Harwood, George Partington, Oswald Williams, Osmond (Merioneth
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Philipps, John Wynford Yoxall, James Henry
Helme, Norval Watson Pickard, Benjamin
Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Pirie, Duncan V. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E. Priestley, Arthur Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur
Holland, Sir William Henry Rea, Russell

(6.33) Question put accordingly, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause"

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 245; Noes 123. (Division List No. 425.)

Flannery, Sir Fosteseue Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham Rankin, Sir James
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Flower, Ernest Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Ratcliff, R. F.
Forster, Henry William Llewellyn, Evan Henry Rattigan, Sir William Henry
Foster, PhilipS. (Warwick, S. W Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R. Remnant, James Farquharson
Galloway, William Johnson Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green
Gardner, Ernest Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans) Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts Lowe, Francis William Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Gore, Hn G. R C. Ormsby-(Salop Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye
Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Round, Rt. Hon. James
Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Goschen, Hon. George Joachim Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Goulding, Edward Alfred Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Graham, Henry Robert Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. Ellison Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Macdona, John Cumming Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isleof Wight
Grenfell, William Henry M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W Sharpe, William Edward T.
Greville, Hon. Ronald M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Gunter, Sir Robert Majendie, James A. H. Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Hall, Edward Marshall Malcolm, Ian Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Manners, Lord Cecil Spear, John Ward
Hamilton, Rt. Hn Lord G (Midd'x Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir H. E (Wigt'n Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Milvain, Thomas Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hare, Thomas Leigh Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Stewart, Sir Mark J. M 'Taggart
Harris, Frederick Leverton Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Stone, Sir Benjamin
Haslam, Sir Alfred S. More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Stroyan, John
Hay, Hon. Claude George Morrell, George Herbert Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Morrison, James Archibald Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Heaton, John Henniker Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Helder, Augustus Mount, William Arthur Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Henderson, Sir Alexander Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Thorburn, Sir Walter
Higginbottom, S. W. Muntz, Sir Philip A. Thornton, Percy M.
Hoare, Sir Samuel Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute Tollemache, Henry James
Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E. Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Hogg, Lindsay Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Tritton, Charles Ernest
Hope, J. F. (Sheffield. Brightside Myers, William Henry Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Horner, Frederick William Newdegate, Francis A. N. Valentia, Viscount
Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Nicholson, William Graham Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield
Howard, John (Kent, Fav'ish'm Nicol, Donald Ninian Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Hudson, George Bickersteth Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.) Pease, Herbt. Pike (Darlington) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunt'n
Johnstone, Heywood Percy, Earl Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Kemp, George Pierpoint, Robert Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Kennedy, Patrick James Platt-Higgins, Frederick Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. Plummer, Walter R. Wylie, Alexander
Keswick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Wyndhham, Rt. Hon. George
Kimber, Henry Pretyman, Ernest George Younger, William
King, Sir Henry Seymour Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow Purvis, Robert
Lawrence, Sir Joseph (Monm'th Pym, C. Guy TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Lawson, John Grant Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Sir Alexander AclandHood and Mr. Anstruther
Lecky, Rt. Hn. William Edw. H. Randles, John S.
Allan, Sir William (Gateshead) Caine, William Sproston Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan)
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc., Stroud Caldwell, James Fenwick, Charles
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cameron, Robert Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Campbell Bannerman, Sir H. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)
Barlow, John Emmott Causton, Richard Knight Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Fuller, J. M. F.
Beckett, Ernest William Cremer, William Randal Goddard, Daniel Ford
Black, Alexander William Crombie, John William Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen) Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Broadhurst, Henry Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Harcourt. Rt. Hon. Sir William
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Harmsworth, R. Leicester
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Duncan, J. Hastings Harwood, George
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Edwards, Frank Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-
Burns, John Ellis, John Edward Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.
Burt, Thomas Emmott, Alfred Helme, Norval Watson
Hemphill. Rt. Hon, Charles H. Morley, Charles (Breconshire) Spencer, Rt. Hn C. R. (Northants
Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.) Moss, Samuel Stevenson, Francis S.
Holland, Sir William Henry Moulton, John Fletcher Strachey, Sir Edward
Horniman, Frederick John Newnes, Sir George Taylor, Theodore Cooke
Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Norton, Captain Cecil William Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Nussey, Thomas Willans Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Jacoby, James Alfred Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Jones, William (Carn'rvonshire Partington, Oswald Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings
Kearley, Hudson E. Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Thomson, F.W. (York, W. R.)
Kinloch, Sir John GeorgeSmyth Philipps, John Wynford Tomkinson, James
Labouchere, Henry Pickard, Benjamin Toulmin, George
Lambert, George Pirie, Duncan V. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Layland-Barratt, Francis Priestley, Arthur Wallace, Robert
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Rea, Russell Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.
Leigh, Sir Joseph Reckitt, Harold James Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Leng, Sir John Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries Weir, James Galloway
Levy, Maurice Rigg, Richard White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Lloyd-George, David Robertson, Edmund (Dundee) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Lough, Thomas Roe, Sir Thomas Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
M'Kenna, Reginald Runciman, Walter Yoxall, James Henry
Mansfield, Horace Rendall Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe Shipman, Dr. John G.
Markham, Arthur Basil Sinclair, John (Forfarshire) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Mather, Sir William Sloan, Thomas Henry Mr. Herbert Gladstone and
Middlemore, John Throgmort'n Soames, Arthur Wellesley Mr. William M'Arthur.
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen Soares, Ernest J.

said that the Amendment on the Paper standing in the name of the hon. and learned Member for Dundee— Page 3, line 14, after 'shall,' to insert 'notwithstanding the provisions of any trust deed.' was unnecessary and mere surplusage.

(6.50.) MR. EDMUND ROBERTSON (Dundee)

said that in drafting the Amendment he had followed the precedent set by the right hon. the First Lord of the Treasury himself in an Amendment put down on 30th of July, although he did not know what had become of that Amendment. With all respect to the Chairman he held that his Amendment was not only relevant and usual, but necessary, in order that it should be made perfectly clear that what was in an Act of Parliament was not to be impeded by any legal instrument whatever.


said that the hon. and learned Member had a better acquaintance with the Law Courts than he had, but he could hardly believe that any Court of Law would decide that a Trust deed was of more force than an Act of Parliament.


was understood to say that he agreed with the ruling of the Chairman.


said he believed the Prime Minister had stated that the question raised by this Amendment had received his consideration, and he hoped that when the right hon. Gentleman came to express his views, he would admit that the Amendment was a reasonable one. It seemed to him that the Amendment followed logically from the earlier part of the Clause, which gave to the local authority power as to the directions to the managers of the non-provided schools. The Amendment was, he submitted, absolutely required for the protection of the teachers. If the teachers could be dismissed without the consent of the local authorities, their position would be very unpleasant and precarious. The letter read by the hon. Member for North Camberwell showed clearly the kind of pressure which could be brought to bear on teachers. A row took place, after a teacher had been appointed, on a matter which had nothing whatever to do with the academic qualifications of the teacher. It might be that, although he was an excellent teacher, and that no kind of objection could be taken to him on academic grounds, he was an independent man, who objected to and refused to discharge duties which had nothing to do with school duties. Difficulties were sure to arise. His Amendment made it necessary that before a teacher could be dismissed the managers must get the consent of the local authority. On general grounds it appeared to him that the Amendment was perfectly fair and reasonable; while it was absolutely essential that the local authority should have this power, otherwise, on a very important particular, the managers might set the local authority at defiance.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 15, after the word 'the,' to insert the words 'dismissal or.'"—(Mr. Lloyd Morgan.)

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


said he had much sympathy with what he understood to be the object of the hon. Gentleman, but his particular method of carrying out that object was not one which the Government could with propriety or advantage adopt. They must assume now that the Committee had decided, of course after debate and vote, that the denominational character of the schools was to be maintained, that it must be maintained by having teachers qualified to give the denominational teaching, and that the managers, so far as they had to deal with the denominational aspect of the teaching, must do so independently of the education authority. He thought that the hon. Gentleman would see that if his Amendment were introduced into the Bill, it would, as a matter of fact be impossible to give the denominational managers that control over denominational teaching which they had agreed to give them Take a concrete instance. Let them suppose the case of a teacher, very highly qualified to give instruction in all matters of secular education, appointed by the managers of a Roman Catholic voluntary school. Suppose that that teacher, while retaining all his qualifications for secular teaching, changed his opinions in regard to religion, and became an avowed Agnostic. He thought the Committee would not desire that the Roman Catholic school should be required to continue the services of this gentleman, but they might be required to do so if the Amendment were carried in the form proposed. The teacher whose imaginary case he was postulating, might appeal to the local education authority, and that authority might say: "We have nothing whatever to do with the denominational character of the teaching; we are instructed by the Act not to withhold our consent to the dismissal of any teacher except on educational—that is secular—grounds; but so far as we are concerned we regard this man as perfectly well qualified to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, and, therefore, we cannot consent to his dismissal. "The result of that would be that the education authority, acting within the limits laid down by this Amendment, would compel the denominational school to retain the services of a teacher whose opinions were violently in conflict with those of the denominational managers and trustees of the school. He did not think the hon. Gentleman desired that. The intention of the hon. Gentleman he understood to be, that if the managers, through caprice, or some mistaken notion of what was good for the secular education of the school, dismissed the teacher, and if the education authority were of opinion that such dismissal would lie really injurious to the education of the school, they should have the power to stop it—that up to that point there should be an appeal to the education authority. He thought that that might be very properly granted. It appeared to fall in logically with the scheme of the Bill. The desire of the Government was to increase and strengthen the grip of the education authority on secular education, and this power was evidently in conformity with the general scheme of the scope of the Clause as they had conceived it. But, of course, they must so draw the Amendment that if the dismissal was on religious grounds there should be no right of survey on the part of the education authority. The hon. Gentleman's Amendment could not be accepted in its present form, but he thought it could be accepted if it were moved in this form—after the word "grounds" in the sub-Section to insert the words "and the consent of the authority shall also be required to the dismissal of a teacher, unless the dismissal be on grounds connected with the giving of religious instruction in the school." He thought those words were precise and would carry out the general feeling on both sides of the Committee in favour of some movement in this direction, and hoped the Committee would consent to accept them without any prolonged debate.


said he had no doubt that the First Lord's Amendment and his speech would be of enormous importance in the schools themselves. He accepted the Amendment, which shut off the religious instruction from the local authority, and he believed it would be a simple act of justice to a very deserving body of public servants. He understood the effect to be that the local authority might veto the dismissal of a teacher unless the dismissal was given on the grounds of religious instruction. He would, however, like to put this point to the right hon. Gentleman. Supposing there was a dismissal nominally in connection with religious instruction, but not actually so—what would happen? Would one of the managers be at liberty to make representation to the local authority, would the local authority then make representation to the Board of Education, and would the Board of Education thereupon be in a position to examine the facts, and, if it should appear that the dismissal was actually on other grounds than those connected with religious instruction, instruct the local authority to set its veto upon that dismissal?


said he did not think the danger apprehended by the hon. Member was conceivable under the new system of management. As he understood the question, it would work out in this way. Let them stretch their imagination and try to conceive such a case—he thought it was an extreme case. What would happen would be that the member of the management body representing the local authority would say to the localauthority: "The majority of the managers are pretending to you that this dismissal is upon religious grounds. It is nothing of the kind, but is on grounds quite different." Then he thought it would be in the power of the education authority to veto the dismissal. There would be an appeal to the Board of Education, not to discuss whether the teacher had or had not done that which was antagonistic to denominational teaching in the school, but to determine the demarcation between that which was connected with religious and that which was connected with secular instruction. The Board of Education would come in as a committee of delimitation.


expressed his obligations to the right hon. Gentleman, and said he thought his Amendment, with the explanation he had just given, was an entirely satisfactory settlement of the subject.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)

said he desired to regard the matter from two points of view, the substance of the Amendment and then its form. He was not quite sure that the words of the First Lord of the Treasury were as satisfactory to Members on that side of the House as his hon. friend the Member for North Camberwell seemed to think. What they wanted to secure was that nothing outside the conduct of the school as an elementary school should justify the dismissal of a teacher, and here he would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education this question. Had the management the right to dismiss a teacher in circumstances which did not touch the education in the school, either religious or secular, during school hours? Could anything which was not done to the satisfaction of the minister of the denomination, either on Sunday or outside school hours entirely, be made the subject-matter of a dismissal? He thought they ought to have some explanation on that point. With regard to the form of the Amendment, he thought it was objectionable, because in his opinion they ought to require the consent of the local authority as a preliminary step to the dismissal of a teacher even more than to his appointment, but here they could have a dismissal first. [Cries of "No."] At least, that was his opinion.


said the dismissal could not take place without consent except on religious grounds.


contended that they could have the dismissal first without consent. What ever the intention of the Government might be, he thought that the sub-Section should read—"The consent of the local education authority shall be required for the dismissal of a teacher, but such consent shall not be with-held if the dismissal be not on grounds connected with the giving of secular instruction in the school" The other point on which he desired to have an answer was, whether it was perfectly clear that the intention of the Government was that, when once a teacher was appointed, he should not be dismissed it he performed his duty on the secular side and in the denominational teaching of the school.


said the intention of the words proposed by his right hon. friend was that dismissal should not take place on general grounds without the consent of the local authority, but if the dismissal was on grounds connected with religious instruction there would be no reference to the local authority, and no consent would be required, unless there was a representation from some of the managers that the dismissal was not bonâ fide on religions grounds. In such a case there would be a reference back to the managers, and in case of the managers not giving way the matter would go before the Board of Education.


wished to know if it was clearly understood that religious instruction was to be the instruction given within school hours and not outside the time-table.

MR. H. BROADHURST (Leicester)

pointed out that it constantly occurred in rural parishes that the school master was the best person to act as clerk to the parish council. An energetic clerk of the parish council often came into contact with the managers of the schools. Under this Clause it would be open to the managers to object to the progressive work done by the schoolmaster, and obtain his dismissal upon the ground of incapacity in regard to religious teaching. Village schoolmasters were often also invaluable in friendly society work, and he had known many cases where they would come into conflict with the local managers in that regard. He would like the Amendment drawn in such a way that the managers should not be allowed to dismiss a master unless they had the full sanction of the local authority. It would, in his opinion, be a great misfortune if the local schoolmasters should not be allowed to continue the very useful social work they carried on.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

expressed his entire concurrence with the statement of the Prime Minister, and thanked him for the concession he had made, which, in his opinion, would cover all cases.

* MR. FLETCHER MOULTON (Cornwall, Launceston)

said it seemed to him that the Prime Minister in his reply had indicated that sub-Section 2 would be kept in such a form that the dismissal of a teacher would come within its provisions. If that were so, he would be perfectly satisfied, because he quite agreed that there must be some provision of that kind. But he was a little afraid that unless the attention of the Committee was called to it, some alteration might take place in the sub-Section which would exclude the matter from its operation.


said he was prepared, with the sanction of the House, to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Committee report Progress: to sit again this evening.