§ MR. SPEAKER
There are two instructions standing in the names of the hon. Members for Camberwell, N., and Islington, W. The one proposes to vary the constitution of the education authority provided in the Bill, and the other to make the School Board for London the local education authority. The object in each case is one to be obtained by amending the Bill, and consequently both the instructions are out of order.
§ Considered in Committee.
§ (In the Committee.)
§ [Mr. J. W. LOWTHER (Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
Before the first Amendment on the Paper is taken, I beg to move that you report Progress and ask leave to sit again.
Order, order The House has decided that the Committee stage shall be proceeded with to-day. I therefore cannot accept the Motion.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
The First Lord of the Treasury gave a definite assurance that before the Committee stage was proceeded with the London County Council and the London School Board would have an opportunity of considering the details of the measure.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
moved that Clause 1 be postponed. He did so, he said, in consequence of the extraordinary position in which they found themselves that day. On the debate 943 on the Second Reading the First Lord told them that the Bill would not be taken until the County Council and the School Board had had an opportunity of considering it. Did the right hon. Gentleman deny that?
§ THE PRIME MINISTER AND FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) Manchester, E.
That was not agreed upon. What I believe I said was that we could not postpone the Second Reading because these two bodies had not considered the Bill, but that I hoped they would have an opportunity of doing so before the Committee stage. I do not see why they should not have done so.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said the right hon. Gentleman must surely be aware that these bodies met only at certain times, and that a complicated measure such as this must be considered by a Committee before being submitted to the central body. The House was in a most extraordinary position. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education, who was evidently much impressed by the arguments advanced during the Second Reading against some of the provisions of the Bill, and especially those dealing with the inclusion of the Borough Councils, put down an Amendment on Thursday night, and subsequently finding that it would not work, he put down another on Friday night. This most important Amendment, altering the whole constitution of the Bill, had been put down in such a way as entirely to preclude the putting down of Amendments by the Opposition, and they could only move them verbally if the matter was reached that day. He did not think that was treating the Committee fairly. He hoped the hon. Baronet would give some explanation of the Government's proposals, and in order to make him do so he proposed to move the postponement of the clause.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
We can only discuss the clause as a whole when it is amended, and what we want to know is how it is to be amended It appears to me that this is one of the evils which has sprung up from legislation by reference. Here is a clause which introduces an Act of nearly thirty clauses, and I want to ask how far we shall be able to amend the principal Act. Take, for instance, Clause 8.
That does not arise on a Motion to postpone the clause. The hon. Member must show good reason for postponing this clause and beginning on Clause 2.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
The Committee is in such an extraordinarily difficult position that it may be necessary to move to postpone each successive clause as it arises. That was a fair position for them to take up if the Chairman ruled that the Government themselves were unable to state the latest views which they held, for they had held all sorts of views. He would reserve further discussion on the point till the clause was put.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Clause 1 be postponed."—(Mr. Sydney Buxton.)
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said he supported the postponement of Clause 1, which was to apply the Act of last year to London, subject to certain modifications. As a London Member, he protested in the strongest possible way against this attempt to rush this clause, which was of the essence of the Bill. He was sorry the Prime Minister had left the House, because he maintained that the right hon. Gentleman had been guilty of what he called a grievous breach of faith in connection with this matter. The Bill was introduced and read a first time on 7th April; the text of the Bill was issued on 8th April. At that date both the London School Board and the London County Council were in recess for Easter. The Second Reading was taken on 28th April, when 945 the London School Board and the London County Council were still in recess, and had had no opportunity whatever of discussing a Bill which touched their interests in a most acute manner. The Second Reading was taken on the fourth Parliamentary day after the Easter holidays. He hoped when the Government came to deal with Scotland in regard to their Education Bill they would act very differently, or else the Scotch people would send their Bill back to them shorn. On 23rd April, a few days before the Second Reading, he asked the First Lord of the Treasury whether he would defer the Second Reading of the London Education Bill until after the London County Council and the London School Board had had an opportunity of considering the proposed measure, bearing in mind the fact that both these bodies had risen for the Easter recess before the Bill was issued, and had not yet had an opportunity of discussing it. And the Prime Minister answered that he did not think it would be convenient or possible to alter the arrangements they had come to. But, of course, the important bodies to which the hon. Member had referred would have ample opportunity of expressing their views before they came to the Committee stage. Now, the Prime Minister that day said that they had had ample opportunity. He asked any fair-minded man whether they had had ample opportunity to consider the measure? What opportunity had the School Board, which was to be destroyed by the Bill, of discussing before the Committee stage the details of the measure, as promised by the Prime Minister? The School Board met on 30th April, and immediately appointed a Special Committee. [Interruption.] This was rather important for the people of London, he could assure hon. Members opposite; and he warned them in time that they might find it important before they had done with the matter. On 5th May the Committee met and worked very hard, as he could personally testify, and on the 8th and the 12th they also met and worked hard, and then all of a sudden the Prime Minister told the House that he proposed to take the Committee 946 stage on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The School Board Committee met again on Friday, and the Board had to pass a special resolution that its Committee should send in their recommendations to the Government before submitting them to the Board, although on Friday last the Committee was not half-way through with their labours. They had, therefore, to scamper through the questions which involved the constitution of the local authority. Was that what hon. Members opposite considered giving plenty of time to discuss the important problems involved in this Bill?
As a London Member he protested in the most vehement manner at the way in which this Bill was being rushed. He believed the Prime Minister wanted to get a good authority for London education, but the least thing he could have done was to have given time to the bodies most concerned to consider the details as to how they were to get a good authority for London. Up to last Thursday night, the Education Committee was to consist of thirty-six members appointed by the local authority, thirty-one members by the Borough Councils, and twenty-five outsiders; but at the eleventh hour, on the eve of going into the Committee stage on the Bill, they were told that the Education Committee was to consist of forty-two members appointed by the London County Council, twelve appointed by the Borough Councils, and thirty outsiders—an entirely new scheme altogether. Now, he had spent the whole of the previous day in endeavouring to see how that would work out. [Cries of "Oh."] Yes, he did, and he thought it was very admirable work—he had got to be in a hurry in those days—but he was still at a loss as to how this grouping scheme was going to work out. With every desire to secure a good working scheme, he was still in the greatest difficulty. It was unfair, unjust, and inexpedient to rush things in the way that was being done. Rash haste was worse than delay. He did not want to make two bites of a cherry, but to do the thing in the best possible way. He desired in the most vehement manner to support the postponement of the first clause, first of all, because there was an open breach of 947 faith in respect to the promise made by the Prime Minister, and second, because at the eleventh hour a brand new scheme was put on the Paper which they had not had an opportunity of considering in its details and how these would work.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
said he was very much surprised that no answer had been made to the mover and seconder of the Amendment, which he supported. It was not in accordance with Parliamentary usage or courtesy that when a Motion was made by an hon. Member on the Front Opposition Bench, and supported by a distinguished educational authority, that no answer at all was made to their arguments. The President of the Local Government Board seemed to think that they were beneath contempt.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. WALTER LONG,) Bristol, S.
said the hon Member had no right to speak in that fashion. His hon. friend near him was ready to reply, and was only desirous to hear a case made out for the postponement of the clause.
§ THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY TO THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Sir WILLIAM ANSON,) Oxford University
said that his right hon. friend had exactly expressed his point of view. He was waiting for a clear case for the postponement of the clause to be made out. What had been urged up till now was not argument for the postponement of the first clause but for reporting progress, and that the Committee should delay the whole question until the London County Council and the London School Board had had an opportunity of giving their views on the Bill. Now, the matter before the Committee was the postponement of the first clause, and he would point out that that would make it perfectly idle and nugatory to discuss any other clause. The first clause was to bring in the Act of last year, subject to certain modifications, but if they did not take the first clause first, but proceeded to the discussion, which he presumed hon. Members 948 opposite wanted to hurry on, of the composition of the Committee of the local authority, they would be discussing the composition of the Committee before having constituted the body of which it was to be a Committee, and then they would proceed to discuss management before constituting the body which was to control the managers. It appeared to him that this proposal to postpone the first clause was so absurd that it could not be treated as a business-like proposal, and could only be regarded as of the nature of a dilatory Motion.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE
said that the hon. Gentleman the Parliamentary Secretary of the Education Board had asserted that the idea of postponing the question of the voluntary schools in London, as affected by the Act of last year, until after they had set up the machinery, was a perfectly absurd suggestion. But the hon. Member had forgotten that that was exactly what he himself did last year. Then the hon. Gentleman said, "Put up your machinery first and see afterwards what it is going to do." Was there no ground for postponing Clause 1? He agreed that the clause was the most serious part, the very essence of the Bill. The Government, without giving any opportunity at all to London to consider the matter, had decided to apply the whole of last year's Bill to the Metropolis. Now, in the first place, they ought not to do so until they knew their ground thoroughly, until they were certain that London was behind them in the matter. The London County Council had absolutely repudiated the very suggestion made in this particular clause. There had been a by-election in the last six months, when the opinion of London was expressed very clearly against the principle of this Bill. In spite of all those manifestations of opinion, the Government had decided to proceed with the Bill without giving London an opportunity of considering it. He would point out how differently the Board schools and the voluntary schools were treated in this respect. The voluntary schools were taken into consultation beforehand, and the Bill was actually altered to suit them. The voluntary school said that they would 949 have nothing to do with the Borough Councils, and that they must have the London County Council, and the Bill was altered accordingly. But the London School Board were not taken into counsel with the Government; they were not asked what their opinion was. The primary thing was to consider what the voluntary schools thought. The London County Council came to the same conclusion as the voluntary schools, but they were not consulted. The Government were now rushing the Bill through without giving any opportunity to either the London School Board or the London County Council to consider it. That was entirely in accord with the action of the Government. The Colonial Secretary said that the great question now was how much New Zealand mutton they should buy; the question before the Committee wag insignificant, and should be rushed through. He entirely supported the Motion of his hon. friend.
§ MR. FLOWER (Bradford, W.)
said he did not quite understand why hon. Members opposite should desire to postpone Clause 1. If that desire arose from the belief that the London School Board had not had a sufficient opportunity to consider the proposals of the Government, he thought hon. Members were somewhat unreasonable in their demand. The London School Board had for months past been considering the constitution of the new authority for London. It was perfectly true that the Board did not see the Bill; but did the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Camberwell suggest that it would be in accordance with Parliamentary practice that a Bill to be introduced by the Government should have been previously submitted to the London School Board? [Dr. MACNAMARA: No.] The hon. Member suggested nothing of the kind. The hon. Member and every member of the London School Board knew the lines on which the Government intended to proceed in legislating for London. The hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs seemed to think that the voluntary schools had received earlier information as to the Bill than either the London County Council or the London School Board. Not being in the secrets of the Education 950 Board, he could not say whether that was the case or not; but it must be evident that the very substantial changes foreshadowed by the Amendment of the Secretary to the Board of Education must have been as fresh to the representatives of the denominational schools as they were to either the London School Board or the London County Council. The main object of the Motion was to enable the Committee to debate at great length the question which was practically determined on the Second Reading, viz., whether there should or should not be an ad hoc authority for London; and it was to preserve, he would not say a licence, but a liberty of discussion upon that question that the matter had been raised in its present form. He believed that the Bill, as now drafted, was one which the people of London as a whole were fairly well acquainted, with. They had had an immense deal of discussion, and they bad had the views of the respective parties on the London School Board. Each hon. Member bad received from the vice-chairman of the Board a letter setting forth in lengthy detail his views on the Bill. What would it profit if this Motion were carried? The Committee would gain no knowledge they did not now possess; and they would have to proceed with the discussion in Committee hampered by the absence of the kernel of the Bill, the centre around which every discussion would really range. Therefore he hoped that the Committee would pass to the serious consideration of details of great importance and great interest, which could not be effectively dealt with if the clause were postponed.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
said that the hon. Member who had just spoken stated that the people of London were fairly well acquainted with the provisions of this Bill. If the people of London were acquainted with the Bill they must possess the gift of prophecy, because the Government themselves were not acquainted with the most important provision of this Bill until Thursday night, and it was not until Friday morning, and, to some extent, not until Saturday morning that hon. Members as well as the people of London knew what the ideas of the Government were on a vital and 951 material point of the Bill. [Mr. FLOWER: That is Clause 2.] Yes, but Clause 2 made all the difference. Clause 1 was the alternative to Clause 2. The object of Clause 1 was to extinguish the London School Board, and it was not until Friday morning that they knew what the Government proposed to substitute. Until Friday morning the people of London were entitled to believe that the London County Council would not have a majority on the new body. It was not until Friday morning they saw the Amendment giving the London County Council a majority. [Mr. Flower: The First Lord of the Treasury said that on the Second Reading.] The First Lord of the Treasury said nothing of the kind. He had the best reason to know that, because he had made tremendous efforts to extract some information from the right hon. Gentleman but had failed. Neither the right hon. Gentleman, nor the Secretary to the Board of Education, nor the President of the Local Government Board stated what shape the Bill would assume except that it could not remain in the shape it then was. The real object of the Motion was that as the real purpose of the clause was to extinguish the School Board, the Board ought to have the chance that every prisoner had of being heard. How could the Committee decide whether the London School Board should be extinguished or not until they knew what authority was to be set up in Clause 2? Therefore, until they had that information, they were not in a position to take the vital and irrevocable step of destroying the School Board. For that reason his hon. friend's Motion seemed to be founded in reason; and he thought it would be a great pity if the Committee were deprived of an opportunity of knowing what the new authority was to be before they passed Clause 1.
§ MR. WALTER LONG
said he thought the right hon. Gentleman was straining the case rather far. He appealed to the Committee as to whether in the debates last year hon. Gentlemen opposite did not repeatedly declare that the object of the legislation of the Government was to destroy the School Board system; and they were repeatedly told that the only 952 privilege London enjoyed was that it would be reserved for the last. That was not an incorrect description of the debates last year; and was it not, therefore, rather exaggerating the case to suggest now that they should not proceed until the London School Board had considered the Bill, the main policy of which, viz., the abolition of the ad hoc authority and the substitution of a municipal authority, was the same in this Bill as in the Bill of last year? The right hon. Gentleman said that the Prime Minister was not clear in his statement on the Second Reading. That was not his recollection, nor the recollection of many of his hon. friends. His right hon. friend's statement was explicit—that the local education authority was to be the London County Council, that the Government intended to make the local education authority supreme, and that they intended to give the metropolitan boroughs a share in municipal education, but what precise form that would take would be a matter for consideration in Committee. He submitted that the description which had been given of the action of the Government was not well founded, and he further submitted with confidence that there was no justification for the Motion to postpone the clause. The Committee ought to adopt the advice of his hon. friend and proceed to the consideration of the Amendments, which alone could enable the question to be discussed.
§ MR. MCKENNA (Monmouthshire, N.)
said he agreed with the Secretary to the Board of Education that Clause 1 was a most important clause, and that in the final form of the measure it ought to be first. The question under discussion, however, was not whether the clause should stand as it was, but whether the discussion should be postponed. The clause stated that the Education Act of 1902 should, so far as it was applicable, and subject to modifications, apply to London. The logical sequence, therefore, was that they should first discover what the modifications were to be. He admitted that that method might be inconvenient to the Government, as it would make them expose their hand too soon, and 953 defeat their scheme to divert public opinion from the religious question to the conflict between the London County Council and the Borough Councils. He did not, however, think that the Government could go on amending their arrangements indefinitely. The Government, in the interests of debate, should not ask the House to apply the Act of 1902 to London, when they did not know in what respects it was to be modified. That appeared to him to be an overwhelming ground for postponing the discussion of the clause. The right hon. Gentleman would get the clause later; there was no doubt about that as long as he had the support of his friends. But the Committee ought to have the details of the modifications of the Act of 1902 before they blindly said that the Act as modified should apply to London. The President of the Local Government Board accused hon. Members on that side of the House of having said last year that the object of the Bill was to destroy the School Boards, and of being inconsistent now in asking for further time because the London School Board was to be destroyed. It was quite true that they did say last year that the Bill was intended to destroy School Boards, but the right hon. Gentleman denied it, and they believed him. However that might be, he did not think that the President of the Local Government Board had touched the arguments in favour of the Motion at all. If they were to treat the Bill in a business-like way they ought to consider it step by step. They should not be asked to swallow the Act of 1902 in a mouthful, and then chew the cud slowly hour after hour and week after week. When they had passed Clauses 2 and 3 and the schedules, they could then proceed in a logical manner with the consideration of Clause 1.
§ SIR GEORGE BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
said he thought the Government ought not to comply with the Motion to postpone Clause 1. In the past few days the Bill had been changed to such an extent that the municipal boroughs had almost disappeared. Islington now was represented by half a man, which was a most 954 extraordinary condition of things, and he feared if the clause was any fur her postponed, that half man would disappear altogether. He thought the boroughs should take a more prominent part than they did with regard to education.
§ MR. WHITLEY (Halifax)
said the one point of the Motion which appeared to have been overlooked by the Committee, was the fact that the first clause of the Bill dealt, and was the only part of the Bill that did, with the management of the voluntary denominational schools. The whole management of the voluntary schools depended upon Clause 1, and the management of the provided schools depended on the subsequent provisions of the Bill The reason he supported the postponement, was that they should first of all see what they were going to do with the public schools, and then treat the voluntary schools in exactly the same way as the provided schools. That was the practice adopted by the Government in the previous year when passing the Education Act. They first made up their minds as to how they would treat the public schools and then they placed the private schools under parallel conditions. If they passed Clause 1, they had the power taken out of their hands of dealing justly between the provided and non-provided schools. What really happened was that in January last a meeting of the voluntary school, managers took place in London, and the position they then took up was that they would not be placed under the Borough Councils at all; that if they were put under anybody it must be the County Council. The Committee was now asked to accept a clause of this description without knowing what the Government intended to do with the non provided schools. They ought, in the first instance, to decide under what authority they were going to place the provided schools, which were the vast majority of the schools in the county, and it was only after they had done that that they should decide in what manner they would deal with the voluntary schools. It seemed to him that they were putting the cart before the horse in dealing with the non-provided schools before they knew in 955 what way the Government intended to deal with the provided schools. In justice to the great majority of the schools in London, they should deal with the provided schools first and the non-provided schools after.
§ MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
said this was said to be a pendant and complement to the Act of last year. The Act of last year made one local authority for education throughout England and Wales, and therefore the Secretary to the Board of Education suggested there should be one authority for London. But many of the objections made to the Act of last year stood with regard to Clause 1 of this Bill, unless they knew beforehand what modifications were going to be made in the Act of last year as applied to London, and therefore he urged that discussion on Clause 1 ought to be postponed until they knew what the authority for London was going to be. The Act of last year began by setting up the local education authority, and the remaining clauses gave the local education authority certain powers of
§ administration. The Bill of this year reversed the proceedings of last year. Here it was proposed to lay down the powers which were to be vested in the authority before they had decided what the authority was to be. Such a change could not be defended on logical grounds, and it had only been adopted to hurry the Bill through and prevent discussion. The object of the parliamentary draftsmanship of the present day was to prevent discussion and to obviate criticism, to cause hasty and slipshod work, and make work for the lawyers after measures left the House, and this was the most flagrant instance of it he had ever seen. He thought the Committee would do well to follow the practice adopted in the case of the Education Act and determine what the authority was to be before they proceeded to say what powers it should exercise. He heartily supported the Motion.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 87; Noes, 194. (Division List No. 85.)957
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Asher, Alexander||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Rose, Charles Day|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-||Russell, T. W.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Black, Alexander William||Hutton, Alfred K. (Morley)||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Jacoby, James Alfred||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Caldwell, James||Labouchere, Henry||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cameron, Robert||Lambert, George||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall||Tennant, Harold John|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Cremer, William Randal||Leng, Sir John||Tomkinson, James|
|Crombie, John William||Lewis, John Herbert||Toulmin, George|
|Crooks, William||Lough, Thomas||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wallace, Robert|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Markham, Arthur Basil||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Edwards, Frank||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Williams, O. (Merioneth)|
|Evans, Saml. T. (Glamorgan)||Paulton, James Mellor||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Price, Robert John|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Rea, Russell||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Foster, Sir Michl. (Lond. Univ||Reckitt, Harold James||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Rigg, Richard|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Newdegate, Francis A. N.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose-||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Flower, Ernest||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Forster, Henry William||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fyler, John Arthur||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Galloway, William Johnson||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Garfit, William||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Austin, Sir John||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans||O'Dowd, John|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Etgin and N'rn||Peel, Hn. Wm. R. Wellesley|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Percy, Earl|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. G. W. (Leeds||Graham, Henry Robert||Plummer, Walter R.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp|
|Barry, Sir Fras. T. (Windsor)||Gunter, Sir Robert||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd||Ratcliff, R. F.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Harris, Frederick Leverton||Rattigan, Sir William Henry|
|Bill, Charles||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Boland, John||Hayden, John Patrick||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bond, Edward||Heath, James (Staffords. N. W.)||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Helder, Augustus||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Bowles, T. G. (King's Lynn)||Hoare, Sir Samuel||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Brassey, Albert||Hobhouse, Rt. Hn. H. (Somers't, E.||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse|
|Brvmer, William Ernest||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Bull, William James||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)|
|Butcher, John George||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ.||Johnstone, Heywood||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Joyce, Michael||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Kerr, John||Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Kimber, Henry||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Knowles, Lees||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. N. R.||Stroyan John|
|Charrington, Spencer||Leamy, Edmund||Sturt, Hon. Humphrey Napier|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Sullivan, Donal|
|Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox'fd Univ.|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton||Lowther, Rt. Hon. Jas. (Kent)||Valentia, Viscount|
|Crossley, Sir Savile||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lundon, W.||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Webb, Col. William George|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Maconochie, A. W.||Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W.||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Malcolm, Ian||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Duffy, William J.||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|Dvke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Morrison, James Archibald||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Mount, William Arthur||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Mowbray, Sir Robt. Gray C.||Younger, William|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Murphy, John|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Ffrench, Peter||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Myers, William Henry||Hoodand Mr. Anstruther.|
§ Clause 1:—
The following Amendments stood in the name of the hon. Member for North Camberwell—
In Clause 1, page 1, line 5, at beginning, to insert, 'Except as respects the constitution of the local education authority for the administrative county of London, which shall be constituted as hereinafter provided.'
In Clause 1, page 1, line 7, at end, to add 'The London County Council shall be the education authority for London provided that—(1) The Local Government Act, 1888 (fifty-first and fifty-second years of Victoria) be so amended as to provide that the representation upon the London County Council of each metropolitan parliamentary division be increased by one half; (2) that at its first meeting after the election next after the passing of this Act the London County Council do appoint fifty-nine of its members together with fifteen other persons, selected for their knowledge of the educational needs of the Metropolis, to form the Education Committee. All matters relating to the exercise by the London County Council of their powers under this Act, except the power of raising a rate, or borrowing money, shall stand referred to such Committee as provided under Section 17 of the principal Act. The London County Council may also delegate to such Education Committee any of their powers under this Act in manner provided by Section 17 of the principal Act.
In Clause 1, page 1, line 7, at end, to add, 'The authority for controlling all grades of publicly aided education within the administrative county of London shall be constituted as follows—(1) By the direct election, triennially, by the parochial electors of one person for each parliamentary division, provided that women as well as men shall be eligible for election; (2) By the co-optation by the members so elected of not more than fifteen persons chosen for their knowledge of the educational needs of the Metropolis.'
The first Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for North Camberwell must, I presume, be read along with the second. That would be beyond the scope of the Bill, because it would involve an alteration of the Local Government Act, 1888, with regard to the constitution of the London County Council. The other would be in order as it stands; it does not require the first Amendment.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
submitted that as a preliminary it would be necessary to except the question of the constitution of the local authority from this clause, on the lines of a ruling of the Chair last year in connection with Clause 7 of the 1902 Act. The hon. Member for East Mayo then proposed to deal specially with single school districts, and it was held to be necessary that certain preliminary words should be moved. He suggested that the present was a parallel case.
said it did not strike him in that way. The last Amendment, when reached, would be perfectly in order as it stood. It seemed to raise the question of an ad hoc authority quite properly as there placed, the words "so far as applicable" being sufficient exception.
§ MR. MCKENNA
moved to insert at the beginning of line 5 the words "Parts I., II., and IV. of." He reminded the Committee that in the Bill of last year, as originally introduced, the adoption of Part III. by the local authority was optional, and the object of the present Amendment was to exempt the work of elementary education from the Bill, in other words, the London School Board would be kept alive. No sufficient reason had ever been given for the abandonment of Clause 5 last year. When introducing that measure, the Prime Minister said—We cannot hope to succeed in our object unless we carry with us the local authorities on whom the burden and responsibility of the Bill will fall. We think it would be most undesirable to drive or force them, with but brief consideration, and possibly against their will, into accepting our plans. We therefore propose to leave it to the Councils of the various districts to adopt the portion of this Act dealing with elementary education if and when they please. My conviction is that very few years will elapse before they do so. I feel tolerably confident that as it is stated and brought home to them that only by adopting its proposals in their entirety can they really hope to deal with the education problem as a whole they will all adopt it. How much better to attain that result through their free and untrammelled action than to force it upon them, it may be, prematurely.Those words when applied to the present Bill were conclusive against the inclusion of Part III. Both the London County Council and the London School Board had declared against he measure, and, in the language of the Prime Minister, it was far better not to force on the local authorities work which they did not want when, if they were allowed time, they might be willing to accept it hereafter. There were exceptional reasons in the case of London why Part III. should be excluded. First of all, there was the magnitude of the task. Most admirable work had been done by the School Board, and he put it to the Committee whether it was not most undesirable 961 to destroy an organisation which, after thirty years experience, was doing some of the best educational work in the country. Was it reasonable to sacrifice that great organisation when it might be worked in with the general scheme of the Bill? They had in London a great complication arising from the existence of the Borough Councils, which were not an advantage in any educational scheme. In so far as the Government were compelled to recognise the Borough Councils in this form, they were injuring this educational scheme. If they included elementary education they would have three statutory authorities with co-ordinated powers, namely, the Board of Education, the County Councils, and the Borough Councils. It was said that the Borough Councils would only exercise the duties devolved upon them by the County Council, but the Borough Councils were statutory independent authorities for certain purposes. What would be the result under this Bill? The County Council would be liable to provide the accommodation, but the Borough Councils would determine the site on which the necessary school was to be built. The County Council would build, but the Board of Education would decide what was necessary in that building. After the children came into the school the Borough Councils had the independent management of the schools. The County Council determined the qualifications of the teacher, but the Borough Councils appointed and dismissed them. Those three co-ordinated authorities ran through the whole system, and so far from getting one single authority they would get confusion worse confounded than at the present time. What possibility would there be of obtaining that unity of control which was the vital principle of the Act of last year. Under the Amendment he proposed both classes of education, higher and technical on the one side, and elementary on the other, would be fully represented on the Education Committee, and they would thus secure a real unity of control and a guarantee of efficiency, neither of which they would set under this Bill. It would be far wiser if the Committee recognised that 962 the situation in London was different to any other borough in England; for London needed a special body. They ought to retain what was best in the Bill of last year, and combine in their authority all that was best in the School Board and the London County Council.
In Clause 1, page 1, line 5, at beginning insert, Parts I., II., and IV. of.'"—(Mr. McKenna.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said it would be remembered that in the Bill of last year the option clause was thrown out by a very large majority, and consequently it might be taken that the House had pronounced very decidedly against it. He did not find any suggestion that there should be any option as to the inclusion or introduction of Bart III. There being no such suggestion the Amendment really struck at the root of the principle on which the legislation of last year was carried into effect and on which this Bill was founded, namely, the co-ordination of all forms of education under one authority. The hon. Member spoke of the confusion that would arise, but surely the confusion he proposed to continue between the voluntary schools and the Board schools, under his new authority for secondary education and the authority for elementary education, would be infinitely more disastrous than anything that could possibly happen under the clauses of the Bill now before them. This Amendment would probably cause a conflict of jurisdiction between the various authorities set up. He did not wish to labour the point, but this Amendment could not be contemplated by the Government as a possible one to introduce into the Bill. It ran counter to everything they wished to see established all over England and Wales, and it was contrary to that which they hoped to establish in London before very long. This Amendment could not be introduced into the Bill without violating the principle upon which the Bill was founded.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
said although the Government had declared themselves against the ad hoc principle they had not declared themselves against the principle of this proposal, which was in the original Bill of the Government last year. The object of this proposal was that in certain towns where the School Boards had done good work and where the local authority did not desire to take over that work the existence of the School Board should be continued. Surely the Secretary to the Board of Education was not entitled to say now that this proposal was contrary to the principle of the Bill of last year. The essence of last year's Bill was in the first place that there should be a supreme authority; and in the second place that education should be municipalised. This Amendment, whilst municipalising education as far as possible, would allow the existence of large School Boards if such School Boards and the municipality concerned agreed to this course. He did not think the Government had met the point of the enormous amount of work this Bill would throw upon the London County Council, and that fact differentiated London from other great towns where the Government thought the work was being carried on so excellently that there was no necessity to absorb those School Boards into the local education authority. As the London County Council did not desire to undertake this work, and as the London School Board did not desire to give up the work in which it was engaged, he thought the Committee ought to accept this Amendment. His hon. friend had shown that confusion would result under the Bill, but the Secretary to the Education Department did not attempt to meet the argument that while the principle of the Bill was that there should be one authority, this Bill created three authorities. There was much to be said for the proposal of his hon. friend, and he should support it because he thought it was a better one than that contained in the Bill. When they got an opportunity of discussing the question of an ad hoc authority he thought they would be able to show some reasons why such an authority ought to be established for London.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W.R, Morley)
said he quite agreed that the principle which animated the Government with regard to this Bill was, upon their own confession, first of all, the destruction of the London School Board—the institution the supporters of this Amendment supremely desired to preserve. Its whole work had been of the utmost importance for elementary education in London, and but for the existence of the Board there never would have been the extraordinary development of education that had taken place in the Metropolis Because the hon. Baronet could say that occasionally, here and there, the School Board might have shown a desire to be the secondary as well as the elementary education authority, that was not a condemnation of the work rendered by that splendid authority.
§ MR. ALFRED HUTTON
said there were many ratepayers in London who thought that the School Board imposed too great sacrifices on them in connection with the education of their children. What had been the justification that had enabled parents to put up with the demands made on them and their children? It was the fact that they had a School Board which they could control, and to which they sent direct representatives. Could the Committee believe that under an authority constructed as proposed by this Bill the ratepayers would have the same control as they had had in the past? In regard to elementary schools in this country, fortunately or otherwise—and they might deplore it—there had existed, and there would continue to exist under the Bill, a good deal of religious controversy. With regard to that, injustice was felt by the people of different communions, and the only way to secure the common concord and assent of the education authority was to allow all parties to come together by popular election. That system had been the security of our schools in the past, but that was being destroyed by the Bill. While they were quarrelling as to the 965 constitution of the authority, and the claims of the County Council and the Borough Councils, the clergy were simply taking the money for the voluntary schools. It was true, as the hon. Baronet had said, that if the Amendment were passed it would leave the voluntary schools as they now stood. He wondered that the Government, in view of the position created by last year's Act, had the courage to bring forward a proposal to put the voluntary schools on the rates. They might think a little of the methods of opposition which were appearing in every part of the country. It was not a matter of congratulation to the Government that they should have passed a measure which was producing such a tremendous feeling of opposition on the part of people who were prepared to go to almost any length in order to show their disapproval of putting the denominational schools upon the rates. He believed that in every part of the municipality of London, whether the people were represented by the Borough Councils or the School Board, resolutions had been passed disapproving of this measure, which proposed to destroy the School Board. He thought the Government might well pause before they took this step of establishing for the control of elementary education an authority which was not amenable to the great majority of the people of the Metropolis.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said this clause struck at the root of the scheme proposed, namely, the co-ordination of elementary, secondary, and higher education. There were two words he was getting tired of. One was "ad ho" and the other "co-ordination." Co-ordination was a word which fascinated him formerly, and he was one of the tellers in favour of striking out Clause 5 in last year's Act because he believed it would not give co-ordination. Let them look at the co-ordination which this Bill gave. Under the Bill the County Council would be the authority for higher education. The County Council, nominally, would be generally and in a vague sort of way the authority for elementary education. But when they examined the Bill a little closer what did they find? In regard to the voluntary schools, which 966 were two-fifths of the elementary schools, the County Council was to be the controlling body as to local management; and in regard to the Board schools the Borough Councils were to have the control of the management. All he could say, was that he did not understand this mysterious Bill, although he had spent some little pains over it. If co-ordination between elementary and secondary education was desirable, how much more desirable was harmony between the various classes of elementary education. In the matter of teacherships the voluntary teacher was appointed by the managers subject to the veto of the County Council. The Borough Council did not touch the voluntary teacher under this Bill as it stood at present. What the Bill might be in a few days he could not say. But the Borough Council was to have complete control over the appointment and dismissal of the Board teachers subject to certain conditions as to qualifications. The Board teachers were to be shut up in twenty-nine watertight compartments, but the voluntary teachers were to be treated as one whole by the County Council. If he understood the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education on the Second Reading of the Bill in regard to the voluntary schools, the County Council would, subject to the education code for the time being, determine nice points of the curriculum, but in regard to the Board schools the hon. Gentleman definitely stated the Borough Councils were to have some sort of jurisdiction over the curricula of the schools. The hon. Gentleman said that in the poorer parts of London the system had been rather rigid when carried out by one authority for all London, and that part of the object of the Bill would be to give the Borough Councils power to adapt the curricula of the Board schools to the needs of their areas.
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said he never stated that the Borough Councils were to control the curriculum. What he said was that the Borough Councils would be in a better position to present such matters to the County Council as local authority than the existing managers could do in their relations with the School Board.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said the Borough Councils would be minor authorities and they would be quite oblivious of County Council control. At any rate, according to the statement now made, they were to submit to the County Council suggestions to meet every variety of curricula for the Board schools in the twenty-nine different districts, but no such suggestion could come from any authority with regard to the voluntary schools. The curricula of the Board school would be settled to a large extent by the representatives of the twenty-nine; Borough Councils. What sort of co-ordination was that? This Bill set up chaos, and the hon. Gentleman was pleased to call it co-ordination. The argument that the adoption of this Amendment would strike a fatal blow at co-ordination was perfectly futile, because there was no co-ordination in it. It was said that this Amendment would set up a conflict of jurisdiction, but obviously the County Council and the Borough Councils were going to be in conflict on certain matters. It was proposed to give Battersea and Wandsworth one representative Battersea was progressive, but Wandsworth was not. How were these Boroughs going to settle who was to be the representative? Hammersmith, Fulham, and Chelsea were to have one representative, Fulham, long before the Bill was introduced, declared in favour of an ad hoc authority. Hammersmith and Chelsea had passed resolutions in favour of the Bill. He did not like this Bill very much. If accepted, the County Council would control higher education, but the voluntary schools would remain as they were; the School Board would remain as it was with its work truncated by the Cockerton Judgment. He thought that that might be got in a different way from that proposed in the Bill. The School Board and the London County Council would come into closer harmony for the moment. He would go still further. The voluntary schools were in a helpless condition; the buildings were wretched, and the teachers starved. He would for a year give them a grant from the Imperial Exchequer pro rata for what they would lose financially by their non-participation in this scheme, and during that year they could appoint a Committee which would sit down quietly and cogitate or hammer out on the anvil of deliberate discussion, a scheme for London which would give an authority 968 with the control of all education, and real co-ordination and harmony. The issue was so grave and the problem was so stupendous that it would be worth while to do as he suggested, instead of passing this undigested scheme at a speed which would be illegal for a motor car.
§ MR. CLAUDE LOWTHER (Cumberland, Eskdale)
said that if the hon. Member for Camberwell proposed to discuss every Amendment on this very interesting and intricate measure at the same length as he had indulged in his last speech, there would be very little motor car speed in the progress of the Bill. He did not suppose he would be in order in discussing the provision in the schedule which the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education had put on the Paper, or to endeavour to reconcile the rival claims of Battersea and Wandsworth; but he wished to point out that the effect of the Amendment, if carried, would be practically to destroy the whole object of the Bill. So far as London was concerned no one would deny either the excellence of the work done for higher education by the Technical Education Committee of the London County Council or the excellence of the work of the London School Board. Nobody who had had the honour of a seat on the London School Board would wish to speak in any but respectful terms of admiration of the work done by that great and important body. He did not like to hear the phrase continually used that the object of this Bill was to destroy the London School Board. He did not think that it was in any hostile spirit to the London School Board that the Government had endeavoured to provide a scheme which would enlist in one army all the great forces for educational progress in the Metropolis. If the Amendment were carried the Bill might just as well be dropped, because this was a Bill for co-ordination, and the Amendment was directly hostile to that principle. The point raised by the hon. Member for Camberwell could be raised again on his Amendment at the end of line seven and that would be the fitting opportunity on which to offer such objections as might be made to the principle of the clause. 969 The sooner they came to the really important matters they had to discuss—the constitution of the Education Committee and the powers and the devolution of the powers of the local authority to that Committee—the better would be the progress of the Bill. They need not waste time on discussions of questions which had been thoroughly threshed out in the debates last year.
§ MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)
said that the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down was the only Member who affected to see that the Government did not desire to put an end to the School Board, of London. Had he still remained a member of the London School Board, as he once was, the hon. Member would not have so complacently taken that view. For himself, he regarded the Amendment as of the greatest importance, as had been admirably shown by the hon. Member for Camberwell. He was glad to find that at last his hon. friend had had his disillusionment in regard to the question of co-ordination. His hon. friend said he was getting tired of that word. Several of them were tired of it at the beginning of the debates on the Education Act of last year, because they knew that co-ordination was only a catch-word and a shibboleth to cover aid to the voluntary schools at all costs He was not going to prophesy that there would be a rate-war in the country over the voluntary schools, but, if there was, would it not be better to limit it to the country and not introduce it into London? Nobody at the present moment could predict how the Education Act was going to work in many parts of the country, and what would be the effect of the threat of many people not to pay the education rate at all. If the Amendment were adopted the London County Council would remain the rating authority for elementary education. The hon. Baronet said that they would be introducing great confusion; but no confusion brought in would be half as bad as that which already existed. The hon. Member for Camberwell had pointed out that the Borough Councils were to have no control over the voluntary schools, but to have control over the number qualifications, the appointment and 970 dismissal, of the teachers of the provided or Board schools. The effect of the Amendment would be to shut out the voluntary schools in London for the moment, and that, he contended, would not be a bad thing to do. It would re move the rate-war outside London, while the London voluntary schools would share the improved grant given to the voluntary schools throughout the country. Their position would not be worse than at present, but would be improved, while the Board schools, administered by the body which, it was admitted in all quarters, had done their work hitherto most excellently, would not be disturbed. It was perfectly true that if elementary education was to be limited to the three R's, by reason of the Cockerton judgment, the jurisdiction of the Board would be very much limited also. But elementary education could be defined by a clause which would give to the School Board legislative authority to carry out the excellent work which they did before the Cockerton judgment. If the Amendment were carried it would facilitate very much the passing of the Bill, and would have the advantage of enabling them to see what the country was going to do in regard to the Act of last year and to limit the probable great conflict over the payment of rates for the voluntary schools to the country—leaving London undisturbed.
§ MR. TREVELYAN (Yorkshire, W. R., Elland)
said that the Amendment raised two very important points. He did not propose to discuss one of them at present—that relating to the voluntary schools in London. The most important point they had to discuss was whether the School Board should be the elementary authority for education in London in future. He had been a member of the London School Board, and his experience compelled him to support the Amendment. In theory he was in favour of municipalisation as against direct election, but the Government were running that theory a great deal too far. Owing to the manner in which Amendments had to be submitted, they never in the Bill of last year obtained a proper discussion as to whether towns having large School Boards should be exempt from the operation of the Act. Many of them thought that there was 971 really no case why, in the smaller towns, education should not be handed over to the municipal authorities; but that, for merely practical reasons, where there was a great School Board its work should not be thrown on the municipal authority. To give the Committee an idea of what the London County Council was being asked to undertake under this Bill, he might mention that, apart from teachers, the London School Board had a staff at the offices on the Embankment of 559. In addition, the superintending and visiting staff numbered 445, the correspondence staff 35, and the works staff 154; or a total of about 1,200 people. That would give some idea of the immense amount of detailed labour that would be imposed on the new Education Committee. Already the London County Council had as much work as it could get through; and it seemed to him that what would happen would be either that the work would be scamped—and he was afraid that would be what would happen—or else the Education Committee would have to do almost all the work that the London School Board now did. Any one who saw the heavy agenda, paper which the London School Board had at present, would at once agree that the work of the Board was more than hard-worked County Councillors could undertake. It might be said that the Bill provided for delegation. That was perfectly true. There was a system of delegation proposed to which they intended to object; but, as a matter of fact, the duties to be delegated to the Borough Councils would not be very much more than the duties which were now delegated to boards of managers.
§ MR. TREVELYAN
said what he wished to point out was that the Bill would not lead to any very great amount of delegation; and that, therefore, the authority proposed to be set up would have a great deal too much work to do. There was one other alternative; but he did not believe that there was any chance of its being adopted until a new idea was introduced, as it would eventually have to be introduced, into the municipal government 972 of the great towns of the country. That was the payment of a certain number of councillors in order to act, so to speak, as ministers of education, and works, and, other things. If a larger amount of specialised work by the very best councillors could be obtained in that way, they could dispense with the committee system. That would not, however, be done, at any rate for the present. They would continue the existing system of working through Committees; and to put the work of the London School Board upon men who were already worked as members of the London County Council were, would be to put more on them than they could undertake. He would support the Amendment.
§ MR. WALLACE (Perth)
said he was very glad the Bill would not apply to Scotland; but as it now seemed as if they were to have an Education Bill every year, he was beginning to be afraid that the principle might be extended to that country also. That was why he ventured to intervene. The Amendment raised what appeared to him to be a most important principle in connection with the Bill. Having watched the great work of the London School Board for the last fifteen or twenty years, and having realised how excellently that work had been done by the present Board, it seemed to him that the justification for this Bill should come from those who proposed to destroy such an excellent institution. Everyone praised the work of the London School Board; but it was said it was necessary that it should be destroyed in order that they might have what had been described as co-ordination. The word found favour last year, and was played upon, but now there was no word more detested when put before a popular audience. If it were proposed to increase the powers of the existing Board, and to give it power over higher education, he could have understood it; but he could not understand the extraordinary method now proposed. It was not co-ordination at all; it was mere playing with the word. They were creating a variety of new authorities which would come into conflict with each other; and produce strife in the future. They were proposing to have a County Council authority, and a Borough 973 Council authority, and an increased authority to the Board of Education, This Bill was put forward on the ground that it was decentralising the authority. Its real effect was to centralise all authority in the Board of Education. It would destroy entirely the education authority of London, and centralise it in the hands of persons whom some people, at all events, did not trust. If these two authorities disagreed, they were to call in the Board of Education to arbitrate. That would be a night for the gods indeed. They would be like the Kilkenny cats, and when all was finished very little would be left of the Education Department, and if that happened there would be few wet eyes at the funeral of the Department. What they felt was that the authority which had to deal with the problem of education for London must be an authority which was occupied with nothing else. Those members of the London School Board who gave any attention to the problem of education devoted their whole time to it, from Monday morning to Saturday night, and then found it impossible to overtake it, yet now the Government were proposing to destroy that excellent authority, and substitute that artificial authority the Board of Education, an authority no one praised or understood, and which would only make frightful confusion in the future. He would not discuss the Amendment further. He rose now to enter his protest against the destruction of this great authority, which had done more to civilise and humanise London than any other authority.
§ MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)
said the Committee ought to have regard to the weighty matter with which they were dealing in this small clause of three and a half lines. What the Amendment said was that elementary education ought to be left out. If that were done there would be a great deal left for the education authority to undertake. The secondary with elementary education problem of elementary education was sufficiently vast to merit the Government giving it some consideration. He thought some explanation should be given as to why, when they felt last year that the principles of the Education Act could not be applied to London, 974 which must be dealt with separately, the whole of the principles of the Act should be suddenly cast upon London by this clause. Those who represented London on the opposite side of the House were quite as much interested as those with whom he sat, and he thought they should give this matter more attention. If the clause was to be passed would it not be better for the Committee to put their heads together and see if something could not be done to meet the views expressed in the Amendment. He and those who sat with him who had followed these proposals, certainly thought that they were most unsatisfactory. This was such a terribly revolutionary clause that every one would be justified in opposing it.
§ MR. BRYCE
said he desired to submit a really practical reason in favour of this Amendment which had not received the attention it deserved. When the Bill of year last was under discussion many Members supported the fifth Clause on the special ground that the addition of the work of elementary education to secondary education would lay so heavy a burden, on the local authority that it would be impossible for them to accept it. It was argued then that as secondary education was more needed it should be taken first. It was a matter of common knowledge that we were more behind in regard to secondary education in London than elementary education. In London there was no authority for secondary education, although there was a good authority for technical education. The problem of the secondary education of the 4,500,000 people in the area of the County Council was a gigantic problem. The practical way of dealing with this matter would be to proceed by steps; first of all, establish the authority for secondary education, and when it had grappled with that problem and had provided the secondary schools that were needed and co-ordinated secondary with elementary education, it was time enough then to give it the control of elementary education. If his recollection served him, one of the chief objections to Clause 5 when the Education Act was under discussion, was that it gave an option to the local authorities, and his hon. friend, bearing in mind the 975 objections taken to Clause 5 in the Education Act, had so drawn his Amendment that secondary education only should be given to the local authority. When that had been done and the schools brought up to date, elementary education could be brought in by a short Bill. It was on this ground, and on the ground that London furnished so peculiar a case, that they must not press the general principles applied last year in the Education Act, to the case of London, and in the belief that London was best served by the handling of secondary education first and then adding elementary education after, that he should support the Amendment.
§ MR. YOXALL
said that co-ordination embodied and represented all the great principles of education, and all the defects of education in the past had been due to the lack of co-ordination. The chief hope of education in the future was the establishment of a proper system of co-ordination. The Secretary to the Board of Education had appealed to the Committee to pass on to the essential clause of the Bill, that being the clause which constituted the education authority to perform this work of co-ordination of the schools of London. He (Mr. Yoxall) made an appeal earlier to postpone the discussion on Clause 1 in order to do so. Therefore he regarded the Amendment before the Committee as an adjourning Amendment. It was another attempt to postpone Clause 1 until they knew what the Education Committee was to be. He was no particular friend of the School Board for London. In his opinion it had at various times, fallen into the hands of faddists and extremists who had regarded their position on the London School Board as a platform for the exposition, on the one hand, of theological ideas, and on the other as a means of enabling them to regard education as a mechanical thing rather than as a spirit and a principle, but he would much rather that the School Board schools should remain in the hands of the School Board for London until he saw what were to be the powers of management in the hands of the new educational authority. In Clauses 2 and 3 976 there were most important and vita considerations as to what shoulld be the managing powers of the Borough Councils and the proper constitution of the Education Committee, and that was one of the reasons for his desire to postpone the discussion.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE (Norfolk, N.W.)
said the clause now under discussion made the machinery for the education of London the same as that for the whole country by the Bill of last year. He was surprised that the Prime Minister desired to use the provisions of the Act of last year for London. When that Act was under discussion he was not satisfied that it would be right to apply its provisions to London, and now by the very first clause of this Bill he had adopted it. He ventured to say no similar clause had ever been drawn in so few words which accomplished so great a revolution. It was acknowledged that the work of the School Board had been most efficiently done, and that its members had shown great devotion to their duties; therefore good reasons ought to be shown before it was abolished. He could well believe that the Government had had much difficulty in drafting the Bill, because, while they hated the School Board, they did not regard the County Council with much greater favour. The County Council could not devote to the work the same amount of time that the School Board had done. The chief idea of the Government was to get rid of the directly representative system in education. This proposal marked a most important step in regard to education, which, consequently, was one of the most important a Government could take, and one which he believed would be disastrous to the work of elementary education. The people of London had never asked to have that work taken out of the hands of the School Board. The task involved in Parts I., II., and IV., would have been sufficiently gigantic to tax the powers of the new authority, but the inclusion of, Part III. would make the task one which, from his experience of School Board work, he was convinced could not be efficiently discharged by such a body. So far from assisting co-ordination, the Bill would work in the opposite direction. 977 A large amount of co-ordination could be secured between an ad hoc authority and the authorities for technical and secondary education. All that was necessary could be done by mutual Arrangement and co-operation without an Act of Parliament, and certainly more than was likely to be done under this Bill. The fact of the matter was that this great revolution was being effected by the Government at the wish and request of those who did not appear in the foreground, and, by the question being so dealt with, there would be brought into London the strife and opposition which were manifesting themselves throughout the country. The Prime Minister must have failed to read the newspapers if he was unaware that friction of all sorts was arising, and that the opposition to the working of the Act of last year was likely to be most acute. The opposition to the payment of rates for the support of denominational schools would be extended to London, and elementary education, instead of uniting the people, would be an occasion of endless strife and opposition. All this could have been avoided by omitting Part III, for the present. He objected also to the large amount of power which would be placed in the hands of the Central Board of Education. The way in which the Act of 1902 was being administered would increase the opposition to this Bill. So far from certain sections of the community getting fair representation on the boards of management, there was plenty of evidence that they were being most unfairly treated. Therefore, in the interests both of education and of good feeling in the work, he cordially supported the Amendment.
§ MR. COURTENAY WARNER (Staffordshire, Lichfield)
deprecated any great revolutionary step being taken unless some great improvement was certain to be thereby secured. The Amendment proposed to modify the Bill to some extent, but supporters of the Government ought really to be grateful for anything that would limit to the country districts the war which this matter was causing. One could not read the newspapers without realising that the present was not an opportune moment to stir up fresh controversy. 978 The Amendment would avoid the creation of twenty-nine new boards in the place of one which had been tried and found efficient, while the Bill as it stood would entirely sever the ordinary Londoner from the idea of having anything to do with the education of his children. The Amendment was a very reasonable one; it would not injure the principle of the Bill, and it would leave it open to the Government in future years, if the system was found to work well in the country, to extend it to London.
§ MR. TRITTON (Lambeth, Norwood)
said that hitherto he had always advocated the London County Council being the paramount authority on this question, but his views had been somewhat changed of late by the action of that body with reference to the Bill. By a large majority the County Council had condemned the measure, and declared in favour of an ad hoc authority. Taking the deepest possible interest in the education of the children of London, he protested against handing over this most sacred and important task to a body which did not want it. He would like to see the work placed in the hands of a body that would love to have the care of the education of the children, and consider it one of their greatest privileges to have such a task committed to their charge. As he looked round he saw some of the wonderful work which the London School Board had been doing for the last thirty years in this great Metropolis, and he did not think they could speak too highly of the education which that body had been giving, both from a secular and a religious point of view, to the children of this great city. He had only risen to say that he intended to vote in support of the Amendment proposed by the hon. Member for North Mon mouth shire because he believed it to be a very fair compromise. He did not wish to see the work of the London School Board belittled or done away with, and he thought it would be better to leave this work in the hands of that body, which had done it so well for so many years.
§ Question put.979
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 100;
|Allan, Sir William (Gateshead)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Hose, Charles Day|
|Asher, Alexander||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale||Russell, T. W.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbt. Hy.||Hutchinson, Dr. Chas. Fredk.||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Jacoby, James Alfred||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Labouchere, Henry||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Black, Alexander William||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Lough, Thomas||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings|
|Caldwell, James||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Cameron, Robert||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall||Tomkinson, James|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe||Toulmin, George|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Markham, Arthur Basil||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Cremer, William Randal||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Wallace, Robert|
|Crombie, John William||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Crooks, William||Newnes, Sir George||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardig'n||Nussey, Thomas Willans||Weir, James Galloway|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Palmer, G. Wm. (Reading)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Partington, Oswald||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Paulton, James Mellor||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Edwards, Frank||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Emmott, Alfred||Perks, Robert William||Williams, O. (Merioneth)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Price, Robert John||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||Priestley, Arthur||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Rea, Russell|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Rigg, Richard||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Roberta, John H. (Denbighs.)||Mr. M'Kenna and Mr.|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Alfred Hutton.|
|Grant, Corrie||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.)||Campbell, J. H. M. (Dublin Univ.||Duffy, William J.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Campbell, John (Armagh S.)||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire.||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm||Faber, E. B. (Hants, W.)|
|Austin, Sir John||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Charrington, Spencer||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Olive, Captain Percy A.||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Ffrench, Peter|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r.||Cuddington, Sir William||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Finsh, Rt. Hon. George H.|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Colomb, Sir. John Charles Ready||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Marry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole-||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Fison, Frederick William|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Bignold, Arthur||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Flower, Ernest|
|Bigwood, James||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Forster, Henry William|
|Bill, Charles||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton.)||Fyler, John Arthur|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Crossley, Sir Savile||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Boland, John||Dalkeith, Earl of||Garfit, William|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond|
|Bowles, Lt,.-Col. H. F. (Middlesex||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans|
|Bowles, T. G. (Lynn Regis)||Dickson, Charles Scott||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Gordon, Maj Evans-(Tr. Hmlts|
|Brown, Sir Alx. H. (Shropsh.)||Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C.||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Donelan, Captain A.||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim|
|Bull, William James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Butcher, John George||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Graham, Henry Robert|
§ Noes, 239. (Division List No. 86.)981
|Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury)||Manners, Lord Cecil||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Maple, Sir John Blundell||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Gunter, Sir Robert||Maxwell Rt. Hn. Sir H. E. (Wigt'n)||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone W.)|
|Hain, Edward||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G. (Medd'x||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd||More, Robt Jasper (Shropshire)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Harris, Frederick Leverton||Morrison, James Archibald||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Hatch, Ernest Frederick G.||Mount, William Arthur||Smith, H. C. (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Hay, Hon. Claude George||Mowbray, Sir Robt. Gray C.||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Murphy, John||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Heath, James (Staffs., N. W.)||Murrray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Spear, John Ward|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Henderson, Sir Alexander||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Myers, William Henry||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Stroyan, John|
|Hobhouse, Rt. Hn. H. (Somerset, E.||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary. Mid)||Sturt, Hn. Humphry Napier|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sullivan, Donal|
|Hozier, Hon. Jas. Henry Cecil||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||O'Dowd, John||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. E. M.|
|Johnstone, Heywood||Peel, Hn. Wm Robert Wellesley||Valentia, Viscount|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Pemberton, John S. G.||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H. (Sheffield|
|Kerr, John||Penn, John||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Kimber, Henry||Percy, Earl||Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Pierpoint, Robert||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Knowles, Lees||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Welby, Lt-Col A. C. E. (Taunton)|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Plummer, Walter R.||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool||Power, Patrick Joseph||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Lawson, J. Grant, (Yorks. N. R.)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Leamy, Edmund||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Pym, C. Guy||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Wilson John (Glasgow)|
|Lockie, John||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Wodehonse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Lowe, Francis William||Ridley, S. Forde, (Bethnal Green||Wylie, Alexander|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Lundon, W.||Robertson, H. (Hackney)||Younger, William|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Round, Rt. Hon. James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Ed'nb'rgh W.||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Sir Alexander Acland-|
|M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Hood and Mr. Anstruther.|
§ MR. LOUGH
moved to insert after "The" in line 5, Clause 1, the following words: "School Board and County Council for London may pass resolutions asking that the." He said the object of the Amendment was that the clause should not come into effect until these two great bodies had requested that it should be applied to London. He thought this was a most reasonable Amendment. The great complaint of the Members for London was that the Government, in regard to the Bill, had not given the people an opportunity of considering this educational problem before it had been settled for them by the 982 Government. It could not be said these bodies took a party view on the great question of education, or any view hostile to the wishes of the Government. The School Board had shown a disposition to reform itself and to put itself in order in every way so as to be able to discharge its important duties. Months ago it passed a resolution by a large majority that a body elected on the ad hoc principle should be chosen to deal with the question of education. The case of London was peculiar. The School Board for London was by far the greatest that existed in the country, and there were precedents 983 to show that London ought to receive exceptional treatment. When the Municipal Corporations Act was passed and applied to every town in the country, London was exempted, and when the Local Government Act was passed in 1889 a special Act was passed for London. This was obviously an occasion on which the old constitutional course with regard to London should be followed. The Government should take some opportunity of allowing the people to pronounce on the sort of authority they wanted. This was all the more desirable because of the fact that in all these local matters of administration the view taken by Londoners was quite different from that held by the representatives of the Metropolis in this House. London seemed to elect one class of men to speak its mind on Imperial affairs, and another class to manage its local affairs. Why not consult the School Board and the County Council in regard to this proposal? Why not leave them some option to express their view on the whole situation that had arisen and to state what in their opinion might be the right course to pursue? The Government would not be bound to adopt their recommendations in every case, but it was desirable that their opinions should be expressed before the Government proceeded to a solution of this question. He asked that something should be inserted in the clause to provide for this being done, and that the proposal should not be pushed down their throats in the way it was on the Paper. It appeared a short clause, but it contained a great deal. This Amendment gave the Government the opportunity of consulting local feeling and, he believed, making a better Bill than would be produced if they went blindly on without consulting the people of London.
In page 1, line 5, after the word 'The,' to insert the words 'School Board and County Council for London may pass resolutions asking that the.'"—(Mr. Lough.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said the object of this Amendment was that they should 984 wait before bringing this Bill into operation until the London School Board and the County Council passed a resolution asking that this should be done. He had been taken to task in the earlier stages of the Bill for having stated that one of its objects was the abolition of the School Board. He might have expressed himself somewhat brusquely, but, as a matter of fact, the Bill was to constitute a new education authority for London, and one of the results of that would be the passing away of the School Board. He hoped that he had expressed himself with proper admiration and regard for the School Board and its work. The hon. Member who had just moved this Amendment, in his previous speech this afternoon called upon him to do more than that—to express his sympathy with the School Board. He thought that would be a somewhat peculiar thing to do while in the act of abolishing the School Board. He preferred to express his admiration for the work it had done. He thought sympathy was an empty thing at the best, and that it would be somewhat out of place on the present occasion. Whatever regard, or sympathy, or admiration, he might feel for the London School Board the Amendment was an impossible one to accept. The principle of the Bill involved the displacement of the School Board for another education authority Were they under these circumstances to wait until the School Board so far lost the natural instinct of self-preservation as to pass a resolution in favour of its own extinction? The hon. Gentleman spoke of the Government consulting the opinion of the people, but what he asked was that the School Board should decide upon its own extinction. The Amendment was hardly to be taken quite seriously, and he apologised to the hon. Member if he had not approached it in the solemn spirit which he seemed to think the occasion required. But when proposing to constitute a new authority, they could not wait the pleasure of the old authority to express its willingness to be abolished.
§ MR. MCKENNA
did not think the hon. Gentleman had treated the Amendment| in the way it should be treated. If this 985 Amendment were accepted, the ratepayers of London would have an opportunity when they elected the next School Board to decide what form of education authority they wanted. Surely the representative system was not to be treated with ridicule as it was in this matter. What they asked was that the people concerned, the ratepayers of London, who had to pay for the schools and whose children were to be educated in the schools, should be allowed some voice in deciding what should be the form of education authority for London. On the last Amendment he read an extract from the speech of the First Lord of the Treasury in introducing last year's Bill. In a latter part of the same speech the right hon. Gentleman dealt with this exact point, and showed how useful it was in wise legislation to act with caution. He used these words—We have, I think, in the sphere of education itself, a good example of how valuable this cautious procedure may prove. It may be in the recollection of the older Members of the House that it was not until 1876 that the non-School Board areas were given the right to pass by-laws for making attendance at schools compulsory. They were not obliged to exercise the right, but they were given it. Had they been obliged to make attendance at school compulsory, they would undoubtedly in many cases have bitterly resisted the obligation. Fortunately it was made a voluntary act. Four years elapsed, and, without a word, without the smallest objection from any quarter of the House or from any part of the country, universal and obligatory school attendance was made by statute the universal rule. I augur well from this precedent, and I believe that while the voluntary element which we introduce into our Bill will relieve a great many fears, smooth over many difficulties, and prevent many prejudices being harshly interfered with, it will not delay for any long or important period the universal adoption of this Act in every part of England and Wales.He appealed to the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education to adopt the wise and statesmanlike procedure so heartily recommended by the First Lord of the Treasury last year. Call their objections to this Bill prejudices if they liked, but let them remove these prejudices. If the proposal, of the Government was a wise proposal the electors would recognise its wisdom, but do not let them complicate the already complicated condition of education in this country by forcing upon them a system of which they might disapprove. If the Bill was a good one it would not 986 suffer any permanent injury, and if it was a bad one they would at any rate have spared London the loss of its School Board. By adopting the Amendment they would, to use the words of the First Lord of the Treasury—Relieve a great many fears, smooth over many difficulties, and prevent many prejudices being harshly interfered with.On these grounds he asked the hon. Member to accept the Amendment which would allow them time to watch the operation of the Act in the country. In the meantime London itself would be able to say to what extent the operations of the Act should be adopted in the Metropolis. In this way all those difficulties which were called prejudices, but which they were satisfied were based on sound reason, would be overcome.
§ CAPTAIN JESSEL (St. Pancras, S.)
said that it had been stated that the Amendment only meant that the ratepayers of London should be consulted at a future election. That was not really the purpose of the Amendment, and he would say to his hon. friend that if he had been as well acquainted with London school matters as other hon. Members, he would have been aware that only 18 per cent. of the ratepayers of London voted at the last School Board election. It was incredible that on a question of whether the School Board was to be continued or not any higher percentage of votes would be obtained. By the London Government Act of 1899, all the existing vestries were extinguished, but could anybody contend that these bodies were consulted beforehand? No public body liked to be suicided out of existence, and he could quite understand that members of the School Board would never vote for their own extinction. He suggested that the Amendment had been put on the Paper for the purposes of delay. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!" and "Withdraw."] He did not say anything wrong; they were only delaying the question until some future period. As to the other portion of the Amendment, the Committee was well aware that the London County Council had already come to a conclusion in regard to the Bill, and had passed a resolution against it. The Amendment was, therefore, not very useful.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITE
said that to force upon a great body like the London County Council the work of the School Board without a clear understanding that they desired the additional labour, and were prepared to undertake it con amore seemed to him to be a very vicious kind of legislation. There was no work which required more sympathetic treatment than educational work. The School Board of London had given a large amount of time to it, and the only éclat attaching to it was the consciousness that they had been doing good work. It might be that the Loudon County Council, feeling itself utterly unable to do the work in a desirable and efficient manner, might decline to undertake it. If that were so, and if the Government were determined to force it upon them, they were sure to do the work in a very inefficient way. The London County Council was in a very different position from the County Councils in the country when the Act of last year was passed. No doubt many of the country County Councils wished to undertake the work if the House desired to place it on their shoulders; but there was no indication of that in the case of the London County Council. The charge that the Amendment had only been proposed for the purposes of delay ought not to have been made. So far from that, it had been put forward for the most excellent possible reasons. The hon. Member for St. Pancras had compared the extinction of London vestries with that of the London School Board; but the hon. Gentleman's ideas must be very vague indeed if he did not see the very different character of the two bodies. He was not intimately acquainted with the cause of the very small poll at the last School Board Election, but he knew that that argument had been answered over and over again to good purpose. At any rate, the sole advantage of these education discussions had been to awaken and very largely to increase, interest throughout the community in educational matters, and, therefore, there was likely to be a very much larger poll on the question whether the School Board should be kept in existence; and in that way the real opinion of the ratepayers 988 of London would be obtained. He warmly supported the Amendment.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES (Swansea District)
said that the hon. Member for St. Pancras had obviously misconstrued the Amendment. He had endeavoured to suggest to the Committee that the Amendment was to be read as though it applied to the present School Board and the present London County Council. He overlooked the fact that the School Board and the London County Council were corporate bodies, and the effect of the Amendment was to make it a condition to the operation of the Act, that the School Board and the London County Council should pass Resolutions in its favour. The practical effect of this would be that when the next School Board Election took place in London, the question voted upon would be whether this was the kind of educational scheme that was best suited to the requirements of the Metropolis. And that would take place as early as next November. Another practical effect would be that at the next County Council Election, in March 1904, the question voted upon would be whether that body, having regard to the large amount of work already thrust upon it, could undertake that work, and at the same time discharge all the duties of the School Board. Was it an unreasonable thing for him, as a London ratepayer, to ask the Committee to pause before making this enormous change, until the ratepayers, not simply as persons electing Members to this House, but as ratepayers, had expressed their opinion finally in regard to this matter? He submitted that the demand made by the Amendment was entirely reasonable. He would advance another point. They had now had in Wales some experience of the attitude of the County Councils towards this alteration in their educational system. It would be in the recollection of many Members of the Committee that when the Education Act of last year was passing through the House, many of the Welsh County Councils objected to administer the Act, not on the ground of any religious scruples, but on the ground that, having regard to their other work, they should not have imposed upon them another inconsistent set of duties. It would have 989 been better, he thought, if, before the Government attempted to make this change in London they had waited to see how the County Councils of England and Wales had managed to administer the Act of last year.
said that the hon. Gentleman's argument did not really apply to the Amendment before the Committee.
MR. BRYNMOR JONES
said that, with great deference, he thought it did. He was not referring to what the County Councils were doing, although at first they were not inclined to administer the Act at all. He was only arguing that it would be better to delay any changes in the practical educational system of London until they knew what was the true construction of the Act of 1902 in actual working, and that could only be ascertained by watching what the County Councils were doing, and how the Courts construed the different sections of the Act. The Amendment, instead of being dismissed in a few perfunctory sentences by the Secretary to the Board of Education, was a suggestion well worthy of the consideration of the Committee.
§ MR. BURDETT-COUTTS (Westminster)
said the Amendment introduced a very large and quite a new principle into the constitutional practice of the House. It struck at the ordinary theory of legislation, namely, that the initiative of legislation lay with the Government, and the responsibility first with the House of Commons. It was not the first time that the supremacy of this House over these subordinate bodies had been contested. He wished to point out that the result of this Amendment would be really to ask the London County Council and London School Board to draw up an Education Bill for London. The hon. Gentleman who had just spoken said the object of the Amendment was to enable those bodies to give their opinion as to whether this was or was not the sort of Bill they wanted for London. The result of that, of course, would be, as they all knew, owing to the constitution 990 of those two bodies, to defeat the Bill. It was a Government Bill, and the two bodies were permeated by the political colour of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Therefore, the result would be certain. But was it the part of a Government elected by the majority of the suffrages of this country to submit itself to any subordinate elected body? What would be the practical result in this case? This Bill, for the reasons he had stated, would be rejected, and they would be asked to express their opinion on some other Bill than the Government Bill. Who was going to draw that Bill? Was the hon. Member for West Islington going to draw up an Education Bill for London? He did not understand the practical nature of the hon. Gentleman's proposal. The Amendment introduced a principle which was altogether against the theory and practice of their legislation, and he hoped the Committee would reject it.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said he wished to thank the hon. Gentleman for stating that if the ratepayers, acting through the London County Council and the London School Board, were allowed to express an opinion on this Bill they would not have it at any price. [Mr. BURDETT-COUTTS assented.] He was glad the hon. Gentleman assented to that. Therefore, it was necessary for the Government, by their temporary majority, to get the Bill through as quickly as they could.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said that went to show how dissatisfied the ratepayers of London would be if they had an opportunity of expressing an opinion on the Bill. That added greatly to their complaint against the Government for having taken advantage of an adventitious majority on another subject to rush last year's Bill through; and, as his hon. friend explained, they were anxious to complete the edifice by means of the same adventitious majority. But the hon. Gentleman admitted that the citizens of London, acting through the London County Council and the 991 London School Board, would not pass the Resolutions suggested in the Amendment.
§ MR. BURDETT-COUTTS
said the hon. Gentleman did not state his argument correctly. He said that if it were left to the present London County Council and the present London School Board they would not accept the Bill.
§ MR. WHITLEY
said the present London County Council and the present London School Board were in the same position as the present Parliament. They were not elected to give an opinion on this Bill; and what the Amendment proposed was that they should be put in that position through the elections which were imminent, and that the ratepayers of London should be allowed an opportunity of expressing an opinion on this question. But the Government would not have trust in the people at any price; and it was perfectly clear that their object was to use the power they possessed against a small minority in the House before there was any chance of an appeal to the people, either local or national. He was glad the hon. Gentleman had put the matter so clearly; and they certainly would vote for the Amendment which proposed that the people should be left to judge for themselves. In last year's Bill power was given to local authorities to express their opinion; and it was only by closure of a rather peculiar kind that that provision was struck out. They now asked that the great City of London should be given an opportunity of expressing its opinion, especially as the machinery for taking that opinion was at hand. Next November there would be elections for the London School Board, and in March next for the London County Council. If the policy of the Government commended itself to the people, then the Government was perfectly safe; but the rejection of the Amendment would show that the Government were afraid to ask the people of London to give their opinion on the policy of this Bill.
§ MR. CREMER (Shoreditch, Haggerston)
said that when the Bill was in its Second Reading stage, it was stated, he thought by the Secretary to the Board 992 of Education, that only eighteen per cent. of the ratepayers of London went to the poll two years ago when the London School Board was elected. The bottom was knocked out of that argument over and over again; but, notwithstanding that, the hon. Member for St. Pancras thought it right to repeat that assertion, because, he supposed, the hon. Gentleman was not in the House when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education was so effectively answered. It was evident, therefore, that they should continue to repeat the answer which had been given to that assertion.
Has this anything to do with the Amendment? I do not see the relevancy of the hon. Gentleman's argument.
§ MR. CREMER
said that, the assertion having been made, he thought he was perfectly entitled to answer it.
If the argument of the hon. Gentleman is relevant, he is entitled to follow it; but if we were to follow every observation made and contradicted in debate, I do not know that we should ever arrive at the conclusion of any debate at all.
§ MR. CREMER
said that if the assertion were accepted as evidence that there was a great deal of apathy on the part of the ratepayers of London concerning the School Board and its splendid work, then he thought he was perfectly justified, even at the risk of being accused of delay, in asking that another opportunity should be afforded to test the feeling of London with regard to the School Board and its work. As he was not permitted to explain the peculiar circumstances in which that election was fought, he would content himself with saying that they were quite abnormal, and that it was not fair and just to repeat the assertion to which he had referred. If the electors neglected their duty on that occasion, and went "mafficking" instead, he thought they ought to be afforded another opportunity of expressing their opinion. It had been said that the Amendment was proposed for purposes of delay, but, even if that were true, he claimed that he would be 993 perfectly justified in attempting to delay the passage of this Bill through the House of Commons. Let him give his reasons.
No question as to any attempt to delay the passage of this Bill through the House of Commons can possibly arise on this Amendment. The Amendment proposes that when the House passes the Bill, it shall be in the power of the London County Council and the London School Board to say they do not want it.
§ MR. CREMER
said it was stated that the object of the Amendment was to delay the passage of the Bill, and, in those circumstances, he thought he was perfectly entitled to reply, and to state that he would have no hesitation in doing everything he could to prevent the passage of the Bill.
I have already pointed out to the hon. Member that the question of delay does not arise. The hon. Member for St. Pancras, in mentioning the word delay, meant that further time should be given to the School Board to consider the position. He did not refer to delay in passing the Bill through the House. The hon. Gentleman must not deal with that question again.
said he thought they were entitled to ask for further delay. The elections would not be long deferred, and if the Government would allow the London County Council and the London School Board to consult the ratepayers with regard to the proposals in the Bill a clear issue would be raised. If it were sought to rush the Bill through without consulting the ratepayers of London, he would feel himself justified in interposing every obstacle he could to the progress of the Bill through the House of Commons.
§ was to obtain for the people of London the right to express their opinion on the legislation of the Government. The proposal of his hon. friend was not an ideal proposal, but it did raise that point. There were many ways in Parliament by which local authorities of all kinds were given an opportunity of pronouncing judgment as to whether an Act was to be brought into operation or not. The hon. Member for Westminster was entirely ignorant, apparently, of the many Local Government Acts in which local authorities were given an opportunity of bringing the Acts into operation by a Resolution. For instance, that was true of many measures dealing with the public health. Though he agreed that the School Board and the County Council should have the right to pass Resolutions to bring this Bill into force, and though he agreed that the Amendment was not an ideal way of dealing with this Bill, when it was said there was no authority for it and that it had never been done before, then he said there were numerous precedents for it under the Public Health Acts. The hon. Member for Westminster also said the initiation of legislation belonged to Ministers, but the constitutional principle of this country was that initiation of legislation belonged to the people. It was from the desire of the people themselves that initiation of legislation should come, and when there had been some definite expression of opinion from the electors of the country or locality that they desired legislation, then, and only then, was it the duty of Ministers to bring proposals before the House. He entered his protest against the suggestion that Ministers with a majority of the House could bring forth despotic proposals for which there was no demand.
§ Question put.
§ Committee divided:—Ayes, 109; Noes, 242. (Division List No. 87.)
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Jacoby, James Alfred||Rose, Charles Day|
|Bryce, Right Hon. James||Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire)||Russell, T. W.|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Kearley, Hudson E.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland|
|Burton, Sydney Charles||Labouchere, Henry||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Caldwell, James||Lambert, George||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Cameron, Robert||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Sloan, Thomas Henry|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington)||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down. North)||Leng, Sir John||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Taylor, Theo. C. (Radcliffe)|
|Cremer, William Randal||M'Arthur William (Cornwall)||Tennant, Harold John|
|Crombie, John William||M'Kenna, Reginald||Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)|
|Crooks, William||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardign||Markham, Arthur Basil||Tomkinson, James|
|Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles||Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Toulmin, George|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)||Wallace, Robert|
|Edwards, Frank||Morley, Rt. Hon. John (Montrose||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Elibank, Master of||Moulton, John Fletcher||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Emmott, Alfred||Newnes, Sir George||Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Weir, James Galloway|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith||Nussey, Thomas Willans||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||Partington, Oswald||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Paulton, James Mellor||Whiteley G. (York, W. R.)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Perks, Robert William||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Grant, Corrie||Priestley, Arthur||Williams, O. (Merioneth)|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Rea, Russell||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Reid, Sir. R. Threshie (Dumfries|
|Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||Rigg, Richard||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Robert-, John Bryn (Eifion)||Mr. Lough and Mr.|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Brynmor-Jones.|
|Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry||Flower, Ernest|
|Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden||Charrington, Spencer||Forster, Henry William|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Fyler, John Arthur|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Garfit, William|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick|
|Bain Colonel, James Robert||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nrn|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Gordon, Maj Evans-(Tr. Hmlts|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r||Cross, H. Shepherd (Boltont||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W. (Leeds||Crossley, Sir Savile||Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cullinan, J.||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Barry, Sir Fras. T. (Windsor)||Dalkeith, Earl of||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benj.||Dalryample, Sir Charles||Greene, Hy. D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Beckett, Ernest William||Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway)||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Dickson, Charles Scott||Gunter, Sir Robert|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hain, Edward|
|Bignold, Arthur||Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Jos. C.||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Lord G. (Midd'x|
|Bigwood, James||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd|
|Bill, Charles||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Harris, Frederick Leverton|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Boland, John||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Hatch, Ernest Frederick G.|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Bowles, T. G. (Lynn Regis)||Faber, E. B. (Hants, W.)||Heath James (Staffords, N. W.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Faber, George Denison (York)||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Brymer, William Ernest||Fardell, Sir T. George||Henderson, Sir Alexander|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.|
|Campbell J. H. M. (Dublin Univ||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r||Hickman, Sir Alfred|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Ffrench, Peter||Hoare, Sir Samuel|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hobhouse, Rt. Hn. H. (Somerset, E.|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||Hoult, Joseph|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fisher, William Hayes||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Fison, Frederick William||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm||FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred||Myers, William Henry||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
|Johnstone, Heywood||Nicholson, William Graham||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Joyce, Michael||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Smith, H. C. (North'mb, Tyneside|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.)||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Keswick, William||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)||Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Kimber, Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Spear, John Ward|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)|
|Knowles, Lees||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Lambton, Hon. Fredk. Wm.||O'Dowd, John||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||O'Malley, William||Stewart, Sir. Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Law, Andrew Benar (Glasgow)||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monm'th)||Pease, H. Pike (Darlington)||Stroyan, John|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool||Peel, Hn. Wm. R. Wellesley||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N. R.||Pemberton, John S. G.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Leamy, Edmund||Penn, John||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Percy, Earl||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxfd Univ.|
|Lockie, John||Pierpoint, Robert||Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Plummer, Walter R.||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Eversham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Tomlinson, Sir Wm E. W. M.|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Pretyman, Ernest George.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Pym, C. Guy||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Lundon, W.||Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Webb, Col. William George|
|MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Welby, Lt-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton)|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Ratcliff, R. F.||Welby, Sir Chas. G. E. (Notts)|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah||Rattigan, Sir William Henry||Wharton, Rt. Hon. J. Lloyd|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W.||Reid, James (Greenock)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Remnant Jas. Farquharson||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Maple, Sir John Blundell||Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir H. E. (Wigt'n||Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. C. Thomson||Wilson John (Glasgow)|
|Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wilson-Todd, W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath|
|More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Round, Rt. Hon. James||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Mount, William Arthur||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Younger, William|
|Mowbray, Sir Robt. Gray C.||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute||Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry||Sir Alexander Acland-Hood|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Sharpe, William Edward T.||and Mr. Anstruther.|
§ DR. MACNAMARA
moved the insertion, after the word "shall," in line 6, of the following words—"Except as to the constitution of the local education authority for the administrative County of London." By the insertion of these words the constitution of the local authority for London would be taken out of the clause, and he would subsequently propose to add the following—The authority for controlling all grades of publicly-aided education within the administrative County of London shall be constituted as follows—998 He objected to the assertion that this principle had been already decided by the Second Reading of the Bill. What the Second Reading decided was that the principle of the Act of 1902, after adaptation, and with certain modifications, should be applied to London. But Clause 27 of that Act stated that it should—
- "(1) By the direct election, triennially, by the parochial electors of one person for each Parliamentary division, provided that women as well as men shall be eligible for election.
- "(2) By the co-optation by the members so elected of not more than fifteen persons, chosen for their knowledge of the educational needs of the Metropolis."Not extend to Scotland or Ireland or, except as expressly provided, to London.The only express provision with regard to London was in reference to the Cockertonised schools. The Act, therefore, did not settle the question of the local authority for London, or any other of the great issues involved. The Amendment raised the question of the ad hoc authority, a question which doubtless many Members were tired of hearing him raise. He, however, was 999 the only member of the London School Board with a seat in the House, and if his authority was to go down he meant to go down with his flag flying. With the general policy of the Government with reference to the local control of education he had no quarrel whatever. In small towns the work of education might be municipalised; the work was of such a nature and extended over so comparatively small an area that a committee of the town council might very well carry it out. But in any large borough, and least of all in London, the local control of education could not be municipalised. What was the result of the endeavour to do this in the great county boroughs? All sorts of outsiders had to be called in, with no responsibility whatever to the ratepayers, and it was they and paid officials, and not the elected representatives of the ratepayers, who did the work. That would be overwhelmingly the case with regard to London. He believed that were it not for the feeling that having destroyed the ad hoc principle in the country the Government would suffer a loss of dignity if they allowed it to remain in London, the arguments in favour of a directly-elected authority would be so patent to Members on the other side of the House that, being anxious to have a really good authority, they would agree there was no way out of the difficulty except by constituting a directly-elected body.
The Bill of 1870 in its early stages was a municipal Bill. The ad hoc authority was created by an Amendment of the right hon. Baronet the Member for Forest of Dean, and before that Amendment was put to the vote everybody in the House agreed that it was necessary that London, at any rate, should have an ad hoc authority. He rested his case for a directly-elected authority for London on the magnitude of the work. If he could only explain what that work really was he believed that all would be convinced that it could not be handed over to any body subordinate to another authority. The School Board comprised fifty-five members, and held weekly meetings; there were seven standing committees and thirty-two sub-committees; the members were 1000 summoned to 706 meetings last year; the Board had charge of 500,000 children, managed 1,500 school departments, and employed 12,000 certificated teachers. In addition, there were the voluntary schools. He had always frankly admitted that they must come under the local authority and receive rate aid under reasonable terms; they could no longer be dependent on voluntary contributions. In voluntary schools there were 1,500 school departments and 220,000 children. Then there was higher education, at present managed by a Committee of thirty five members of the London County Council, who found it necessary to meet every fortnight. Altogether the work represented 2,000 separate educational institutions, 20,000 public school servants and teachers, 1,000,000 students and pupils, and an expenditure of £4,000,000 public money. That was a piece of work as great in its area as, and far more minute in its details than, the whole of the work of the London County Council. He did not think hon. Members realised that this Bill would double the work of the London County Council. Both financially, humanly, and administratively, the educational work of London was as big as the whole educational work of Scotland, and it was three times as big as that of Wales. It was originally proposed to constitute for London an authority consisting of thirty-six county councillors, thirty-one borough councillors, and thirty outsiders. Now it was proposed that there should be forty-two county councillors, twelve borough councillors, and thirty outsiders. Did any hon. Member believe that the London County Council could spare forty-two men, who would be taken exclusively away from their work as county councillors. It meant that instead of going to Spring Gardens, forty-two county councillors would have to attend at the School Board Offices, and once they put their hands to this educational work they would not be able to do anything else. He himself used to be a pretty regular attendant at the meetings of the London School Board, but since he had been a Member of the House of Commons he was ashamed of the small amount of time he had been able to devote to School Board work. 1001 They were taking away from the County Council forty-two members for education, fourteen for the Water Board, and eight under the Port of London Bill. This meant, if they added the representatives of the Council on the Thames and Lea Conservancy Boards, that they were taking away seventy-eight out of 120 elected members of the London County Council. They were simply spoiling the London County Council.
If the Government meant to municipalise, why did they not create enough county councillors for the purpose? The only thing they would do by this scheme would be to destroy the London County Council. Last year the County Council called over 1,300 meetings, and its Committees, Sub-committees and Special Committees numbered sixty-eight. What would happen under this scheme? The forty-two members taken away by this Bill would not be able to deal with educational work. The twelve borough councillors would, but they were not very capable administrators and the net result would be that the work would fall into the hands of twelve borough councillors and thirty outsiders. Who would be the outsiders? They would be doctrinaires and very likely he might be one of them, for he had been named as one of the five from the School Board who might be brought in. Could they leave this work to thirty doctrinaires? Would he himself be a good administrator? He would want to be toned down by the common sense of those persons who were not experts. Lender this scheme the forty-two men of business would not be able to be there, and the whole thing would be in the hands of thirty multiplications of himself. If the ad hoc authority would be extravagant what would happen in the hands of thirty specialists who had lost all sense of proportion and all idea of public needs. This meant the control of education in London by thirty experts. When the London County Council had none of the extra work which recent Acts of Parliament had imposed upon it, they were told by Members of the Government that the County Council had too much work. He remembered Lord Salisbury stating that the London County Council was suffering from megalomania and 1002 had too much work to do. The Duke of Devonshire also said that the County Council had too much to do, and the Colonial Secretary went so far as to say that if the county councillors were archangels from Heaven they could not do the work. His scheme was a perfectly simple one. He took the fifty nine Parliamentary areas in London, and from each he proposed that one member should be elected directly and exclusively for educational purposes. If this made too many elections they might have them on the same day, a system which worked very admirably in America. They would then get fifty-nine persons directly elected who would be responsible to the ratepayers. This proposal was quite consistent with last year's Act, which excluded Ireland and Scotland and which enabled the School Board of London to continue for one year longer. The Government had formed a Bill for Scotland, and when they brought that measure forward what would they say? Would they say "We have destroyed the ad hoc authority for England and Wales therefore we must destroy it for Scotland." Lord Balfour of Burleigh would give the Government a lot of trouble if they did that. He objected to having this question defeated by a side issue. The terms of last year's Bill did not necessitate the application of the same principle, because the unique case of London made it undesirable that that principle should be applied to the Metropolis. He believed he had the great bulk of the people of London behind him in regard to maintaining an ad hoc authority for London. (MINISTERIAL cries of "No, No.") The Borough Councils, representing half the population of London, had declared in favour of an ad hoc authority.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said that amongst metropolitan boroughs that had passed resolutions in favour of the ad hoc authority were Battersea, Bethnal Green, Camberwell, Finsbury, and Wandsworth.
§ MR. KIMBER (Wandsworth)
That resolution has been cancelled by Wandsworth, and they have passed another resolution in favour of the Bill.
§ DR. MACNAMARA
said there was also Woolwich. The population within the areas of these Borough Councils amounted to 2,100,000. He thought he was entitled to say that the Borough Councils, representing half of the population of London, were in favour of an ad hoc authority. The great bulk of the people were in favour of an ad hoc authority. He was sorry that the Government had not proposed it, but it was not too late to do so now. However apathetic Londoners might be, and they were apathetic, he was sure that the Bill could not come into operation. Next November, when the School Board election had taken place, and next March, when the County Council Election had taken place, the Government would hear definitely what London believed, and that was that there should be a directly-elected authority for education. He asked the Committee not to shut this question up, but by adopting the Amendment to allow an opportunity at a later stage for discussing the precise form of the authority. He hoped that, if left a few hours longer to consider the matter, the Government would find it expedient and wise to go back to the ad hoc authority he had always advocated. He begged to move—
In page 1, line 6, after the word 'shall,' to insert the words 'except as to the constitution of the local education authority for the administrative county of London.'"—(Dr. Macnamara.)
§ Question proposed, "That those words be there inserted."
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
expressed the hope that they were now discussing the ad hoc authority for the last time. He wanted to take exception to the statement of the hon. Member for Camber-well that they had discussed the ad hoc authority in connection with this measure as a side issue. Nothing could be more explicit than the issue as stated on the Second Reading of the Bill by the Prime Minister. He had not the right hon. Gentleman's words before him, but 1004 he was confident that he said that there were two principles in this Bill, namely, to establish the London County Council as the education authority for London, and to provide for decentralisation, to be developed by means of the Borough Councils. The right hon. Gentleman gave various reasons against an ad hoc authority, and upon that issue the Second Reading of the Bill was decided. There was no reason why a directly-elected authority for educational purposes only should be more popular than a directly-elected authority which comprised the administration of education among its functions. It was that sort of authority which this Bill proposed to constitute. The real question was why should education, of all municipal duties, be dealt with by a special authority; Why should it not take its place by the side of other municipal duties? The fact that education had hitherto been dealt with by a specially elected authority was the result of an historical accident. The Government neglected education for many years, and afterwards they began slowly to subsidise voluntary effort. As the subsidies grew the Government control grew stronger. At length it became apparent that voluntary effort assisted by Government subsidies was not enough, and the School Boards were introduced to supplement, but not to supersede, voluntary effort. When the Education Bill of 1870 was first introduced, however, no School Board for London was proposed, but a number of School Boards were contemplated scattered all over the London parishes. From these beginnings developed the notion that it was necessary to have a directly-elected authority for education. The growth of the Boards—of these separate little corporations with their own constituencies—had made it impossible to arrange a scheme of education by which all forms of education should be brought together. He thought the hon. Member for Camberwell would go so far as to admit that it was nothing but the amount of work to be thrown upon the municipality which disinclined him to entrust to the London County Council the work of the School Board. With regard to the question of popularising educational control, he wished to point 1005 out that as the Bill now stood the London County Council had a most indisputable control over its own Committee. Then he came to the argument as to the undesirability of an ad hoc authority, not as a general proposition, but in this particular case. It was undoubtedly a fault of local authorities to appoint unnecessarily large committees, and he thought that by economy in this matter the London County Council might spare as many men as were required for educational purposes. Moreover, without any interference with the general control which the central authority would exercise over elementary education throughout London, the local authority would be relieved of an immense burden of administration under this Bill. There was no difference of opinion between him and the hon. Member as to the merits of municipalisation; the question at issue was merely one of the amount of work to be thrown upon the County Council. He asked the Committee to reaffirm the decision at which it had definitely arrived on the Second Reading, and to say that it would not set up an ad hoc authority for London.
§ MR. GEORGE WHITELEY (Yorkshire, W.R., Pudsey)
said he did not for one moment pretend that he possessed expert knowledge on educational matters, but this was an Amendment which did not deal with the educational side of the question.
§ And, it being half-past Seven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.
§ Committee report Progress.
§ To sit again this evening.