HC Deb 26 May 1903 vol 122 cc1813-73

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

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

Clause 3.


The object of the first Amendment standing in the name of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University is already provided for in the Bill. If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the first paragraph of Schedule 2, sub-paragraph a, he will see that there the Metropolitan Borough Councils are defined as the minor local authority, and, therefore, if this clause were cut out, the Metropolitan Borough Councils would have the power of adding two members to the board of managers for provided schools, and one to the board for non-provided schools.

MR. HENRY HOBHOUSE (Somersetshire, E.)

moved to leave out Sub-section 1 in order to insert "All public elementary schools provided by the local education authority shall have a body of managers consisting of a number of managers not exceeding eight appointed by the local education authority, together with a number not exceeding four appointed by the Council of the Metropolitan Borough within which the schools are situate. In the appointment of managers regard shall be had to the desirability of including a due proportion of women." He explained that his object in moving this was a purely educational one, his desire being to avoid any unnecessary disturbance of the present system of school management in London, and also any unnecessary risk of friction between two large local authorities. By general consent, he thought, the present work of school management was done exceedingly well. It might have been rather too centralised, but that could easily be rectified in the future. It was done by a very capable and devoted body of educated men and women coming from all parts of London, and working out of their own districts in order to assist the poorer districts, where there was not the same material. These educated men and women took a personal interest in the schools and exercised a great, an invaluable, influence both on the teachers and the pupils. Such a body of workers, numbering not less than 1,700, deserved some consideration at the hands of the Government when they were recasting the whole educational system of London. It was almost impossible to conceive that under the Bill as it now stood any largo proportion of these local managers were likely to retain their places. Under the scheme of last year which, broadly speaking, he desired to introduce into this Bill, there was every reason to believe that a substantial body of these managers would retain their places in the management of the schools, and he would like to know what educational reasons there were for departing from that scheme. The Government need not be surprised that some of their warmest supporters were among the severest critics of this particular provision. The Government proposal was to take the Borough Councils and to make them school managers. He did not wish to say a word to detract from the merit of the Borough Councils in respect of the duties they so ably performed; but some of their best friends had expressed grave doubts as to whether they would be good educational authorities and whether they could find the time to manage the number of schools in their districts. In the poorer districts, where there were a large number of schools—they were very unequally distributed—in Stepney, for example, there were no fewer than thirty-six schools with about 600 teachers. He could not believe that the borough councillors of Stepney would have time to attend to the duties involved in the management of these schools. They had to be visited during the day time, during the hours in which the councillors were occupied with their own business. Then, again, the fact that there were no women on the Borough Councils rendered them to a large extent unsuitable bodies for the management of these elementary schools. Women, there was no doubt, were practically indispensable in this respect, and some provision must be made for securing the services of a considerable number of them.

The Committee had had some hint that the Government were thinking of a change in their proposals—that they were thinking of adopting a plan of school management, not by the Borough Councils, but by committees appointed by those Councils. That, he thought, would be a change in the right direction. At the same time it was necessary to point out that, if the schools were to be managed by committees appointed by the Borough Councils, then the Borough Councils would become, in this regard, practically superfluous. They would be the fifth wheel of the coach, an unnecessary part of an already somewhat elaborate machine; and if they were to have local committees with borough councillors on them, it was far better to go back to the plan of last year, and to allow the Borough Councils to appoint a certain proportion of the members, and the local education authority the others. There would be a great advantage in that, as it would enable the schools to be properly visited. If they were to have a working scheme with these two bodies, the Borough Councils must be subordinate. They must be subject to the directions of the County Council, and those directions must be obeyed. If they were to have constant disputes between the two bodies, and if they were to be referred to the Secretary to the Board of Education, the work of the hon. Baronet would be more than he could undertake. He did not think it would be a very comfortable position. As a friend of the Borough Councils, he thought it would be far better that these directions should go, not to the Borough Council, but to the Committee of Management who might be expected to carry them out without friction and without claiming any rival authority.

Then of course there would be divided responsibility. If the appointment of the teacher was left to the Borough Council, as was proposed by the Amendment of the hon. Member for Chelsea, the local education authority would always be able to say that the education was so bad because the teacher was appointed not by them but by the local managing body. On the other hand, the Borough Council would escape all responsibility for the efficiency of education, because they would say they were bound to carry out the directions of the local education authority, and so the poor ratepayer would not know where the real fault lay. There were one or two educational objections also, which he must mention. What was proposed would, in regard to the teaching staff, be extremely injurious certainly to the education of the poor. If they split up the educational staff into thirty sections the poorer districts would undoubtedly suffer. There would be great difficulty in connection with a special visiting staff free to circulate over the entire area. It was desirable that there should be members of the teaching staff who could assist wherever in London an emergency arose. There would also be considerable difficulty with regard to the organisation of the teaching of certain subjects—domestic subjects for example. It did not by any means follow that the group of schools desiring these subjects would lie within the area of any particular borough. The same thing might be said with regard to higher elementary education. He conceived that under the plan of the hon. Member for Chelsea there would be a special agreement come to between the local education authority and each Borough Council as to the exact powers to be delegated. That might lead to extraordinary differences, and almost to administrative chaos. The truth was that the more they considered this question, the more it was evident that the interests of education in London ought to be treated as a whole. A great deal might be said as to the necessity of cutting up London for this purpose if London had been cut up before, but there had been for thirty-three years a centralised system, and although it had some disadvantages the advantages were overwhelming, and in introducing this great change they did not wish to make the educational work worse than it was. If the Borough Councils were adopted as managers of the schools there would be, to a large extent, chaos, friction, and divided responsibility. He strongly urged the Government to go back to the lines of the Bill of last year and give the Borough Councils the right to appoint a reasonable proportion of managers, but not to insist on their being managers themselves—a task for which he did not believe they would be found fit, and which would undoubtedly bring them into very difficult and unsuitable connections with the central education authority. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 11, to leave out Sub-section (1) and insert the words 'All public elementary schools provided by the local education authority shall have a body of managers consisting of a number of managers, not exceeding eight, appointed by the local education authority, together with a number not exceeding four appointed by the Council of the Metropolitan Borough within which the schools are situate. In the appointment of managers regard shall be had to the desirability of including a due proportion of women.'"—(Mr. Henry Hobhouse)

Question proposed, "That Sub-section (1) stand part of the clause."


said the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somerset went back entirely on the proposal made by the Government, and he went back on the Act of last year. The Government had stated throughout that their desire was to effect some measure of decentralisation to relieve the central authority of such work as it could conveniently hand over to subordinate authorities, and to excite local interest more keenly than it had been excited hitherto in the management of the schools. The right hon. Gentleman's proposal would really create bodies of managers rather more numerous, but not different in character from the managers under the Act of 1902, or, the managers of the existing School Board. Those managers were the mere creatures of the local authority. The local authority could give or withhold any power from them.

DR. MACNAMARA(Camberwell, N.)

Hear, hear!


And as they knew in the case of the School Board managers their powers were reduced to something like those of a visiting committee of one of His Majesty's prisons.


No. no!


The Government wished the managers of the schools to have some higher interest in the schools. They wished them, as he thought everyone must wish, to feel that they had some power, some authority, and some means of carrying out the objects which, he hoped they would have in view—the advancement of the children, not only during their school time but immediately after leaving school. He thought there had been a good deal of exaggeration as to the nature of this proposal of the Government. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somerset spoke of the work of secondary education, but he had forgotten how very large a proportion of the work of the London County Council, when it took over the duty which this Bill proposed to throw upon it, would be the formulation of a great educational policy of secondary and higher elementary education and the co-ordination of the different forms and lines of education. The local education authority would have quite enough to do in formulating its policy in these large matters, and they would be glad to be relieved of such details of administration as repairs of schools and school furniture, the choice of books and the choice and promotion of teachers. They were dealing now with one department of the work of the local authority—the department of elementary education—and they were dealing with that part of elementary education which concerned the provided schools; and, therefore, they were touching but a small fragment of the work of the local authority, and yet they were touching a fragment of that work which was concerned with a variety of details, which had occupied too much of the time of the present members of the London School Board. What did the Government propose to do? They proposed that the powers of management should be delegated to the Borough Councils, and the amount of delegation was to be settled by scheme. His right hon. friend the President of the Local Government Board had stated that the Government were prepared to accept the Amendments of the hon. Member for Chelsea on this subject. The scheme would be settled, he hoped, by amicable agreement between the two Councils, and where there was any difference the Board of Education would be called in to decide between the parties what would be most convenient in the interest of the education of London. Therefore, there would be no doubt or question as to what was delegated and what not.

How were the Borough Councils to carry out the functions delegated to them? The Government were prepared to make it compulsory that the Borough Councils should work through Committees appointed by schemes which should provide for the presence on the Committees not only of members of the Borough Councils but of those of whom the right hon. Gentleman spoke so warmly—but not too warmly—persons of experience in education and in the management of the schools. The Government were prepared to provide that there should also be women present in proper proportion—he meant due proportion having regard to the number of girls' schools and boys' schools in the district—and lastly, that the local education authority should be represented if it so desired. He thought, therefore, that they took every precaution that there should be no confusion or doubt as to what was delegated or not, and the Borough Councils should have every assistance provided for them in carrying out the duties proposed to be laid upon them. On the other hand the London County Council would have all the powers of the School Board under the Act of last year. It would have complete financial control, and it would be able to say what should be taught and what should be spent. An hon. Member had taxed him with saying that the curriculum might be relaxed at the instance of the Borough Councils. In his speech on that matter he thought he made his meaning clear. There were parts of London, where the children attending the schools were underfed and overworked out of school hours, and who, consequently, were not able to get over so much ground or so fast as the better fed children in the neighbouring schools where the same curriculum was imposed. What he said was that the boards of managers would be in a better position to suggest a relaxation of the curriculum in such cases, which would not interfere with the general educational system of London. It had never been suggested that the Borough Councils should be entitled to make an educational system for themselves. What powers did the education authority delegate to the Borough Councils? They would, perhaps, be small at first, but he hoped that in time the County Council, immersed in great educational problems, would be willing to delegate larger and larger powers to these great municipalities, and that in that way mutual confidence between them would increase, and we might eventually find in our midst an authority solving or attempting to solve the educational questions which were now pressing upon us; while the Borough Councils would then have grown into a capacity for higher work than purely elementary education. He ventured to say that these were not dangerous proposals.

The hon. Member for Islington opposite had doubted the fitness of the Borough Councils to discharge this work. But he would have thought that such a borough as Islington, with a population of more than 300,000 and a rateable value of nearly £2,000,000, was capable of looking after the managerial part of elementary education, and hardly deserved the scorn which the hon. Member had poured upon him and upon it. In the course of his remarks the hon. Member said that he talked nonsense. He was very sorry, and he would apologise to the House—first for talking nonsense, and secondly for setting an example which unhappily had proved so contagious. To underrate these great boroughs and to say that they were incapable of performing the small duty which, in the first instance, the Government proposed to entrust to them was really to offer something like an impertinence to them. He was prepared to risk the friction which it was asserted would arise. His hon. and learned friend the Member for Stretford had said that he thought this policy was non-educational. Well, in a modest way, he set up to be an educationist himself, and he could assure his hon. friend that he had really thought out this matter carefully and thoroughly. He was fully aware that there were certain administrative risks, but he believed that great practical benefits were likely to result. Did his hon. friend suppose that he was careless in the matter, and that he would not welcome any short cut through this weary process of legislation which would enable him to approach the real business of the office upon which he had entered—business from which he had hitherto been deterred by this constant maze of legislative discussion—so that he might really approach some of the great problems of education and try to do something, at any rate, to settle them? He believed that the only royal road to the education of the people was through our local institutions; and he would not throw away the chance offered in this Bill of enlisting these great municipalities in the cause of the children of London and reminding them that it was the business of every Londoner to care for the future of the people about him.

SIR JOHN GORST (Cambridge University)

assured the hon. Baronet that there was no Member of the House who was so capable as he of sympathising strongly with the aspirations he had expressed in his last sentences; and he quite agreed that, however preposterous were the conditions Parliament thought fit to insert in legislative measures, the good sense of the people of the country was so great that they somehow or other managed to make them work. He could assure the hon. Baronet that when their contention over this Bill was over, and when it had taken shape as an Act of Parliament, he would be able to address himself to the task which he set before him of doing something substantial for the benefit of the children of the poor in London, a task in which he would find both the County Council and the Borough Councils rising superior to the jealousies which might be excited by this Act, and ready to co-operate with him in the noble task he would endeavour to accomplish. But the House would not be doing its duty if it did not endeavour to create a scheme which would give the least possible occasion for friction, and would leave the hon. Baronet as much as possible of that leisure he desired for greater work. His object in rising was to do his best to help the Committee to elicit from the Government what was the precise scheme of administration which they intended to adopt. For he was obliged to say that having followed with the utmost attention and the utmost of his capacity the speeches of the hon. Baronet yesterday and to-day, he was wholly unable to understand at the present moment what was the precise administration which the Government contemplated establishing. The schools in London were now administered by a great bureau situated on the Thames Embankment, with a body of trained officials carefully organised. If the Bill became law, would the London County Council be supreme in that office or not?


Yes, certainly.


said that in that case—if they were to remain supreme, if they were to have all the clerks and all the officials, and to exercise all the functions which the School Board was now exercising—the management of the elementary schools by the Borough Councils became wholly unreal and visionaryl The School Board had the whole control of the teachers, issued orders to them, and paid them—the teachers looked to them and them only for their promotion and their prospects—they also had surveyors who visited the schools to see what repairs and additions were needed; and they had an enormous number of stores out of which the school apparatus was issued; and, finally, they had inspectors who went round the schools to see that the orders of the Board were carried out. Which of these functions were to be taken over by the Borough Councils, and how were they to be taken over? If, for instance, the Borough of Islington wanted to take into its own hands the management of its school stores, how was it to do so? If the Borough Councils were to take upon themselves the real management of the Board Schools in the way in which it was now transacted by the London School Board, they must have separate establishments. Let the Committee consider what was meant by that. In the borough of Westminster, with only seven schools, and in the City of London, with only four schools, it might easily be done; but the Committee should remember that some of the London boroughs were bigger than Birmingham, or Manchester, or Liverpool, and had as many schools. There would have to be an establishment something like that of the Liverpool or Manchester School Board, with paid officials and an organisation like that of any great School Board in the country. Had the Government contemplated that; had they allowed for it? Who was going to pay for it? There was no provision in the Bill which would enable the Borough of Islington to pay the cost of the organisation it would have to set up if it was to manage the Board schools in the borough. There was no getting out of one of two dilemmas. Either the Borough Council of Islington would have to go to the offices on the Thames Embankment and give orders independent of the County Council, or it must have a separate establishment of its own, for which expense would have to be incurred, but for which no provision was made in the Bill, or even thought of. Had the Government also considered that if the Borough Councils were really to be the managers, they would not only have to be provided with clerks, surveyors, and storekeepers, but also with inspectors of some kind or another. They might not be called inspectors, but people would have to be sent into the schools to see that the orders of the Borough Council were carried out. Had it ever occurred to the Government that those unfortunate Metropolitan Board schools must inevitably be subjected to inspection by three different sets of inspectors? First of all, there would be the inspector of the Board of Education, who would see that the schools were conducted in such a way as to warrant the payment of the Parliamentary grant; secondly, there would be the inspector of the local education authority, which paid all the money, and would wish to see whether that money was properly expended; and, thirdly, there would be the inspector of the Borough Council, who would have to see that the orders of the Borough Council were carried out. He could not understand how it could be possible that an elementary school subject to three sets of inspectors and three different kinds of orders could be successfully carried on. He hoped he had put the case to the Government in a temperate and fair manner. He only sought to know how this thing was going to be carried out. He did not for a moment say that the scheme of the Government was a dangerous one. What he would be inclined to say was that it was a wholly impracticable one. All he was anxious for was that the Committee should ascertain what the scheme of the Government precisely was, and how it was to be carried out.

There was one matter which perhaps was not so much before the hon. Baronet now as it was before himself when he was at the Education Office, and that was the extremely important question as to what was going to be done with the higher grade schools. The hon. Baronet seemed to contemplate that all the higher grade schools would be transferred to the local education authority, and that the elementary schools would become elementary schools and nothing more. He wished to assure the hon. Baronet that any idea of that kind was purely visionary. The higher grade schools, which pervaded the whole country, and which had grown of their own accord into most creditable educational institutions in the course of a generation, could not be abolished. They were in accordance with the wants of the public, and the parents who sent their children to them liked them. Do what they would, no Government could put an end to the higher grade schools. But how were they going to be managed? Were they to be managed by the Borough Councils, or by the local education authority. If the local education authority was to manage them, a very large number of elementary schools would turn themselves into higher grade schools for the purpose of coming under the management of the local education authority. How could that be prevented? He had often explained that a higher grade school was a school in which the lower classes were elementary, and the higher classes secondary or scientific, the same teacher teaching the higher classes and the lower classes. He supposed that according to the scheme of the Government the teacher quâ teacher of the higher classes would obey the London County Council, and quâ teacher of the lower classes would obey the Borough Council. That would create confusion in such a school, which would render it practically impossible to manage it. There was a time when those schools were partly under the Education Department and partly under the Science and Art Department. The Science and Art Inspectors used to inspect the schools and shut their eyes to the existence of the elementary classes. The inspectors of the Board of Education used to inspect the schools, and shut their eyes to the existence of the higher classes, although they were all officers of the same President of the Council. The confusion caused by this system of inspection was extremely mischievous and inconvenient, but under the system proposed in the clause they would not only have two officers of the same President of the Council, but they would also have two officers of two rival education authorities inspecting the same school—the inspector of the London County Council responsible for the higher part of the school, and the inspector of the Borough Council responsible for the lower part. He confessed he did not understand how it would be possible to organise a scheme of that kind so that the work of the school might be properly carried on. The Committee should remember that there would be the same impulsion on the part of the Borough Councils—as there was on the part of the London School Board to convert the elementary schools as much as they could into higher grade schools—to keep the elementary schools in their own hands. They had been talking for years of the co-ordination of education, and of one local authority which was to have every kind of education under its cognisance. He confessed that the wilful creation of a new anomaly of that kind, which was sure, judging by past experience, to produce most unfortunate educational results, proved to him how sadly the educational interests of the Metropolis were in danger of being overlooked in favour of political considerations.


said the late Vice-President's acknowledgment of the value of the higher grade schools was very refreshing indeed. It almost braced him up for an all night sitting. It was, however, a very tardy acknowledgment. [Sir JOHN GORST dissented.] If it were not, the right hon. Gentleman's action belied his words, though he himself rejoiced gratefully over his acknowledgment. He would gratefully concede the claim of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education to be a keen educationist. He had given him personally and the House generally, plenty of evidence of his desire to do the very best for education in this country; but the longer they were discussing the details of the London education problem the more he deplored the hon. Gentleman's lack of knowledge of the bearing of the question. All the hon. Gentleman's difficulties sprang from that. The hon. Gentleman said he would risk friction; but that risk was born of ignorance which was bliss. The hon. Gentleman said that there were many parts of London where the poor children were seriously handicapped. That was true enough. Then the hon. Gentleman went on to say that the School Board imposed on the poorer parts of London the same rigid curriculum that they imposed on the richer parts. Nothing could be farther from the facts. No school authority dealt with more elasticity with the poorer parts of London than did the London School Board. He wondered if the hon. Gentleman ever heard of "special difficulty schools." The London School Board had a special system under which it adjusted as nicely as it could the curriculum suited to schools in the poorer districts. Therefore he complained of the statement of the hon. Gentleman that the School Board was rigid in the application of its curriculum. Certainly no amount of devolution to the Borough Councils would make the curriculum better adapted to the children in the poorer parts than it was at present. The hon. Gentleman stated that the School Board had managers whose functions were confined to the functions of a visiting committee to one of His Majesty's prisons.


said that he stated that the functions were practically similar.


said he wished to ask the hon. Gentleman whether he had ever taken the trouble to look through the powers, duties, and functions of the managers of the London School Board. He held in his hand a volume setting forth the powers and duties of the managers; and although they might devolve to the Borough Councils until they were tired, they could not safely devolve more than the London School Board devolved to its managers. According to the hon. Baronet the managers had nothing to do with the appointment of head teachers, but he found as a fact that the School Board saw the applicants and reduced them down to seven, and finally to three, and sent down those three to the managers to select from. The managers having made the final selection from the three sent the one back to the School Board, and so far as he was aware there had not been a single case where the School Board had not ratified that appointment. That was what the hon. Member for Somerset was entitled to ask for in his Amendment. In the case of assistant teachers they appointed the assistant teachers and sent them up to the School Board to have their appointments ratified, and the School Board always ratified their nomination. They appointed the pupil teachers and also the school keepers. More than that it would not be safe to devolve on the school managers Therefore it was not correct to say, as had been said, that the School Board centralised these matters. The Amendment asked that authority should be given to the central authority to devolve what it liked to its local education committees. Anything less than that would result in friction, and such a suggestion was in harmony with the Act. The Central Education Committee should have full control over provided schools. The central authority could not be supreme if the managers appointed the teachers. The proposal to give the local authorities the management was based on a fallacy. The area for which representation should be given was not the municipal area but the area of child population, which was a very different thing. The municipality of Camberwell, for instance, would have 104 schools to look after, whilst on the other hand the municipality of Hampstead would have only twelve. If the municipal area was taken it was an area quite foreign to the educational areas of London. If this Amendment were accepted the County Council would be able to arrange its managers in accordance with the child population of a particular locality.

Another reason why the Amendment should be accepted was that the County Council would then be able to avail itself of the thirty-four years experience of the existing managers, which was very valuable experience indeed. A quarter of those managers were the clergy and ministers of the various denominations, one quarter of them were women and a half were tradespeople, working people, and professional people generally. If the management of the schools was given to the local authorities all that experience would be lost. As a partisan he would like to see the Government continue in their course, because the County Council would then probably say—"You made us supreme on the Committee, but you set up twenty-nine rival and conflicting authorities against us, therefore we will not go on with the Bill. We will not take it up." They would have plenty of reason for saying so, and a great deal of pressure would be brought to bear on them to take that course, and that would mean the breakdown of the Act. But as he was anxious to get something done for education, although it was something like a self-denying ordinance so far as he was concerned, he appealed to the Government to accept the Amendment of the hon. Member for Somerset.

MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

said the sentences which had fallen from the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Board of Education must have gone straight to the heart of every hon. Member of the House. The hon. Baronet certainly desired to do his best for the education of the children of London, but after listening to the speeches that he had made, he (Mr. Gray) had been unable to get away from the conclusion that the hon. Baronet was speaking as a theorist and a visionary, and not as a man who was familiar with the working of the schools. He was certain that no man closely in touch with the schools would put forward such an absurd scheme. During the whole of the debate they had heard nothing but the ideal of securing the co-operation of the Borough Councils, without any evidence that the co-operation, if secured, would benefit the children. He knew something of popular education, he had worked in the schools for thirty-two years. He had never heard a single Borough Council claim that they should be constituted the authority for education, or that they should be set up as the managers of schools under the central authority for London. They were to be brought into this scheme, and they looked upon it as work being thrust upon them which they did not wish to undertake. They had quite enough to attend to as it was. Many of them held their meetings at night because they could not manage it during the day, and yet under the Government scheme they were to have managerial responsibility thrust upon them which they would not be able to exercise. What chance had the women under the scheme of the Government? He could not help thinking the girl and infant part of the schools were being persistently forgotten. They never thought of the girls; whenever they spoke of a higher school it was for boys. Who would have the control of the pupil teachers' centre under this fantastic scheme? Who would be responsible for its conduct, and make the payments by which to keep it going? The pupil teachers would be selected and appointed by the Borough Councils, but paid by the central authority. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday they would be engaged in the elementary schools; on Tuesday and Thursday in the pupil teachers' centre, or three days a week under the control of the Borough Councils and two days under the control of the central authority. They would be taught the theory of their craft under the control of the central authority, but they would practise it under the direction of an entirely different staff, under totally different control, and in another set of schools. To carry on an establishment under such dual control was absolutely impossible. To all these practical difficulties the Government gave no reply except that it would be for the good of the children of London to secure the co-operation of the borough authorities. With that answer he was not content. He had spent his life doing the best he could for the education of the children of London, in the furtherance of which he would sacrifice party loyalty and everything else, and it was without the slightest hesitation he should vote for this Amendment and oppose to the end the scheme the Government were bringing forward. The borough, area was not the proper area for school management purposes, even if the child population were evenly distributed. The schools which presented the greatest difficulty amidst the poor population were schools which to-day were dependent under the School Board system on the sympathy and help, and frequently the voluntary contributions of money and goods, of managers brought from the wealthier portions of the Metropolis. How was that to be continued?


They will be co-opted.


asked whether it was really thought that the Borough Councils would wander over London seeking people of whom they had never heard to co-opt. The excellence of the existing system was the result of thirty-two years careful study and steady growth, but it was to be wantonly thrown aside in favour of this vision of Borough Council co-operation. He would welcome the form of co operation provided for in the Amendment, which had been secured in the rest of the country, and under which the Borough Councils would be entitled to appoint a certain number of representatives on each of these managerial committees. In that way interest might be gradually excited, but to suppose the Borough Councils would go searching all over London to find managers was absurd. The visionary and theoretical character of the hon. Baronet's statement could not have been more clearly exemplified than in his remark that some of the Borough Councils would desire to purchase their own furniture. Who would pay for this multiplication of offices, officials, and stores? The London ratepayer. He was not prepared to throw money away in organisation; he wanted all they had to reach the children. The London School Board, after many experiments, had come to the conclusion that it was cheapest and best to supply the whole of the apparatus for the schools from one central store and by one organisation, and for reasons of economy and efficiency most of the new authorities in the country were adopting a similar policy. The whole scheme was thoroughly impracticable; it would break down in practice; it was visionary and needlessly expensive; and it failed to meet the fundamental principles laid down by the Prime Minister on more than one occasion, viz., that all grades of educacation should be co-ordinated under one authority, and that the control of the municipal authority should be effective even to the smallest detail. It was true the County Council was now to have control over its own Committee, but the moment the work passed from the Committee to the managerial bodies that control ceased, and there was no means of bringing a recalcitrant Borough Council to order except by the cumbrous method of obtaining from the Hoard of Education an order by which the central authority could resume its power. The words "decentralisation" and "delegation" were not interchangeable. "Delegation" implied a power on the part of the authority delegating to resume the power delegated whenever it thought fit, while "decentralisation" conveyed the idea of a devolution of duties which could not at any time be taken back. He was in favour of a wide delegation, but he was not in favour of decentralisation in that sense. It seemed to him that the Government were breaking down the principle of municipal control, and certainly they were destroying the prospect of co-ordination of education in London. The great trouble hitherto had been that when a child reached the age of thirteen or fourteen the responsibility of the School Board ceased, and before that of the Technical Committee began there was a hiatus of two or three years, during which hundreds of children, who, if carefully looked after, might serve the State to useful purpose, drifted away, and were to be found lounging at street corners; so that the schools, instead of being the feeders of the technical institutes were the feeders of the public-houses. That possibility was to be perpetuated by this scheme. Although he was convinced that the Government desired to do the best possible for education, he was afraid the machinery they were putting forward would fail in its object, and he begged them, before it was too late, to reconsider the whole scheme, and adopt, either in its present or some modified form, the Amendment before the Committee.

MR. W. F. D. SMITH (Strand, Westminster)

who was indistinctly heard, said he wished to say something from the point of the clause as it would exist when a mended. If the Amendments on the Paper were accepted by the Government the Borough Councils would not act as managers, but a Committee or Committees would be appointed, and they would be formed under a scheme. They ought to remember that these Committees were not appointed purely from the point of view of education, but they would have to act in other ways. There were many points upon which they would be well qualified to act, such as sanitation and repairs to the buildings. Even now the Borough Councils had certain powers in regard to the building of schools. If his hon. friend's Amendment was accepted these matters would be devolved upon the Borough Councils by a scheme which would have to receive the approval of the education authority. He could hardly imagine that the County Council would run its head into the difficulty mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University. He did not think it would be necessary for the Borough Councils to have any inspectors at all, for that would be done by the central authority. Under those circumstances it seemed to him that the danger of giving these managerial powers to Committees appointed in the way he had suggested had been to a very large extent exaggerated. Therefore he could not support the Amendment of the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for Somerset.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)

said the hon. Member who had just sat down was the only speaker who, so far, had said a word in favour of this clause. Even the hon. Member was not very sure about it, for he had stated that the clause would not do unless it was improved by very substantial Amendments. The clause was so absurd that it was incapable of Amendment, and it could only be amended in one way, and that was the way Clause 2 had been amended. The hon. Baronet who represented the Board of Education made an eloquent appeal to be let out of this legislative maze. He had got the remedy in his own hands. It was a maze of his own construction, and let him get out of it. The thing was working all right before he set up this maze. What was the proposal? He challenged the hon. Member to point out any precedent in the history of local government for anything of this character. It was not a question of confidence in the Borough Councils. He had never criticised the Borough Councils at all, for he thought many borough councillors were very capable men, and he knew some of them. He thought they were quite capable of administrating education, or anything else, but that was not the point. This was a question of dual control. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University had completely damaged the whole position in his two speeches, and those speeches must have made the Prime Minister regret that he changed his caddy on this educational course. They were giving directions to officials appointed by another authority who were perfectly independent. It was perfectly true that the Borough Councils might, by arrangement, select the teachers, but the real authority ought to be vested in the County Councils. He remembered the Attorney-General saying that the crux of control was the appointment of the teachers. Of course it was, for that was the crux of control in any concern. The complaint last year was that they had no real control over the denominational schools, because the appointment of the teachers was in the hands of the managers. In that case they gave the right of dismissal to the central authority, but in this case neither the appointment nor the dismissal of the teachers was in the hands of the central body. He should like to know from the President of the Local Government Board, who understood something about horses, how he would like to select horses on the same principle which this Bill wanted the County Council to select their teachers. Under this scheme, he would be able to pay for them, and dictate the price, but he would have to leave the selection of them to the President of the Board of Education. In case of any dispute, the matter would be referred to the Remount Department of the War Office. Really this was a perfectly preposterous clause, and ought to be left out. At present the selection of teachers was nobody's job, and it would not be well done. He knew that the Government were capable of being convinced, not altogether by argument, but they would find some strong arguments in the speeches that supporters of their own had addressed to them. Was it not possible that the Government should reconsider their position upon this matter.

This proposal was extending the very worst principle of last year's Bill. He knew that London on these matters was difficult to move, but he believed that it was moving. The Prime Minister slated yesterday that he had not heard of the demonstration in Hyde Park, but by the suspension of the Twelve o'clock Rule that day he showed that he had heard of another demonstration at Epsom tomorrow. Those demonstrations were what dictated the policy of the Prime Minister. It was all very well for the Secretary to the Board of Education to say that he had carefully thought this thing out. He did the same in regard to Clause 2, in fact he thought it out three times over in the presence of the House. Let him apply his mind again in the same way to Clause 3, It would prove an instruction in itself and a perfect educational process how to legislate for the benefit of the country. They should not let this be a worse Bill than that of last year, and they should let London have the chance of having a Bill just as bad as that of last year and not worse.


appealed to the Prime Minister to accept the Amendment which had been moved by the Member for Somerset. He had been considering how it would be possible to work this clause, and he could not see any sensible solution for the management of the schools of London under this clause. They were not considering the clause itself, because it was admitted that it was going to be altered, and it was difficult to see what the effect of the alteration would be. It appeared to him that the hon. Baronet desired that the Borough Councils should have no authority except that which was given them by the scheme. He did not in the least mind the County Council devolving some of its duties on the Borough Councils in any way it thought fit. He thought that the Borough Councils were perfectly competent to do the whole work of education if it was thought advisable to place that work in their hands. He did not object to the Borough Councils having these powers because he thought them incompetent, but because he could not conceive any place they could possibly occupy with advantage in the scheme of education which they were now laying down for London. With reference to what his hon. friend the Member for North Camberwell had said, namely, that the School Board had delegated as much work as possible to the managers, in substance he was right. If they were not going to dismiss the whole 1,700 or 2,000 teachers he could not see where they were going to bring in the Borough Councils. The proposal of the Government must of necessity very largely increase the cost. The majority of the Borough Councils had never expressed any opinion to the effect that they wished to have these powers, and the only representations he had received from the Borough of Hackney were distinctly against these powers being conferred on the Borough Councils. He would explain why these particular gentlemen came to him representing that the Borough Councils should not have these powers. It was because they were teachers then selves, and they would be turned off the Borough Council. In that way they would be damaging the Borough Councils, and in some of the poor districts of London it was not an easy thing to get good representatives. By this provision in the Bill they were going to declare that they must never select as a candidate for the Borough Council any person who was a teacher in a Board school. The whole body of teachers in London objected to the Borough Councils being brought in at all He most earnestly hoped that the Government would reconsider the whole of this clause, and consent to place London, not for the sake of symmetry, but because it was the only possible course that could be adopted, on the same footing as the County Councils of other counties. The hon. Member for the Strand had made the best case for the Bill, and he asked the Secretary to the Board of Education to consider what the strength of the present case was. The hon. Member was unable to suggest any educational advantage whatsoever by bringing in the Borough Councils. His sole object being to provide a really good system of education for London he hoped the Government would see their way to accept this Amendment.

CAPTAIN JESSEL (St. Pancras, S.)

said that the Borough of St. Pancras, containing 250,000 inhabitants, had petitioned strongly in favour of this Bill. The City of Westminster was also strongly in favour of the measure. The City of London, the Borough of Kensington, and the Borough of Islington had also supported the measure. They had been asked what reason could be given in support of the proposals of the Government, or rather in support of the proposals of the Government together with the Amendments put down on the Paper. It had been universally admitted that in the past too much time was spent upon details, and upon small matters which might perfectly well have been left to the managers. This new Committee of the County Council would be engaged in thinking out the great problem of education, and it would not be necessary for that Committee to deal with all the small management details, and it would be able to devote itself more to matters of principle. They would work out what should be the relations between elementary, secondary, and technical education. They would draw up the code and settle the principles upon which education should be conducted. Somebody must carry out this work, and he did not think they could get a better body than the Borough Councils. If anything went wrong they would be held responsible. Their budget would show the amount of money required for repairs and so forth, and in that way they would be able to relieve the central body of matters of detail. He took it that under this proposal there would be greater economy. At present the sanitary inspection of the schools was done by the sanitary officers of the School Board, but under the proposed management clauses this work could be done by the Borough Councils. The repairs to the buildings could be done by the boroughs in the same way as the other numerous buildings under their control. They had been told that this was false policy from an educational point of view. He imagined that the Borough Councils would be only too pleased to employ again the existing managers. He could not conceive why the present managers should not be just as willing to serve under the Borough Councils as under the School Board. He quite agreed that there should be some connecting link between the Borough Councils and the central authority. He did not believe that if the Borough Councillors were made managers they would neglect the work. His hon. friend had down an Amendment which proposed to place upon the Management Committee some representatives of the central authority. In that way the Committees would be placed in touch with the central authority. One would think from remarks sometimes made that the County Council and the Borough Councils were always at daggers drawn. He did not suppose that a week passed when correspondence did not take place between the County Council and the Borough Councils, and in the main they worked together admirably. Both the County Council and the Borough Councils did their best in carrying out their administrative duties for the benefit of the ratepayers. In the matter of education he believed the Borough Councils would do their best to prevent anything in the nature of extravagance. So far from being extravagant, it seemed to him that by utilising the existing municipal machinery a great gain would be made. He hoped the Government would not give way on this point but would, in spite of the many speeches directed against them, stick to the clause together with the Amendments of his hon. friend the Member for Chelsea. It seemed to him that in this matter they were led away by what had happened before. They had been told that there was a School Board in London, and they could not get away from the idea that there must be a central body doing everything. It was not the Government who were wrong, but hon. Members who were so enamoured with the old idea. The Government had been true Progressives in this matter, and they were making a real development in local government in London. He hoped the House would not suppose, because many London Members had not spoken on the subject, that they were against the proposal of the Government. He thought the majority of London Members were thoroughly in favour of the proposal.

MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)

said they seemed to be repeating the very process they went through last Tuesday. He would confine himself in what he had to say to the speeches made from the other side of the House. There had been five speeches from hon. Members who were usually supporters of the Government. The first three of these speeches—those by his right hon. friend the Member for East Somerset, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University, and the hon. Member for West Ham—were, he thought, among the most valuable speeches they had heard in the course of these education debates. They were eminently practical, and, coming from men who thoroughly understood the working of educational machinery, they put forward a large number of practical difficulties which the Government had to meet. They were followed by the hon. Member for South Hackney and the hon. Member for the Strand. The hon. Member for the Strand said he did not approve of the clause as it stood now, and he gave only the feeblest kind of support to the proposals and methods of the Government. The defence of the clause had been gallantly undertaken by the hon. Member for St. Pancras, but he did not meet the arguments put forward by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Cambridge University and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Somerset. He said that a majority of the London Members were in favour of the Bill, but that they did not think it necessary to say so. The Committee wanted them to give reasons and arguments which would convince them that the three hon. Members who had criticised the Bill were wrong, and that this was a practical scheme, and not, as they thought, an unpractical one. The gist and importance of the debate consisted in this, that all the arguments from practical men who understood the difficulties of the case had been directed against the clause, and in reply the Committee had had vague phrases and what he would call visionary aspirations. But nothing more than that. His hon. friend the Secretary to the Board of Education would pardon him for saying that he did not grapple with the case. The hon. Gentleman said it would be a good thing to interest the Borough Councils, but he did not show that the proposal of the Government would have that result, and least of all did he show that this was machinery which would work. What was the position? There had been a system at work in London for thirty years which, by common consent, had worked well. Let them take that as the point of departure in this discussion. That system had been most effective and nobody complained of it. The only censure that had been bestowed upon the working of the School Board system had been that it had tended to draw a little too much into its own hands, and had not sufficiently delegated functions to people on the spot. He was willing to admit that that might be well founded, but it could easily be cured by a little delegation on the part of the new authority, and those who expressed so much confidence in the County Council would, he thought, believe that the County Council would show good sense, especially as it would be overburdened with work, in delegating to people on the spot.

Let them take another point. There was no complaint by the Borough Councils. They had not asked for this education management. The hon. Member for South Hackney, who made such an impressive speech a few minutes ago, told them that he did not think the Borough Councils wanted it, and only half of them had expressed approval of the Bill. Surely that was a very material fact when they remembered that the tendency in a local authority was to seize and gladly welcome any addition to its powers. The answer of the Secretary to the Board of Education was an incomplete answer. He had failed to show that the present system was working badly, or that there was any complaint against it. What vitiated the hon. Gentleman's own argument? There were two fallacies running through his argument. One was that delegation from an authority which had itself delegated power which it could resume when it pleased, was the same thing as statutory delegation. The delegation proposed by the Bill was not by the County Council or the County Council Committee. It was a gift of independent authority by Parliament to the subordinate bodies. They called them subordinate, but they were not really subordinate. They were made independent. The title to their powers was not derived from the so-called delegating authority. If the Bill said that the County Council or the County Council Committee should delegate from time to time certain powers to the Borough Councils which they could resume, there would be a great deal to be said for that, but the Borough Councils received a gift of power with which the County Council could not interfere, and any questions of difficulty that arose could only be dealt with by the interposition of the Board of Education. He submitted, therefore, that in calling this delegation there was a fundamental fallacy in supposing that power granted by a principal to an agent, and which the principal could properly supervise, would work well when granted independently to a person not responsible to the principal at all. The second fallacy was that they could draw a sharp line between legislative and executive power. The Government proposed by this Bill to give to the County Council power to issue general directions under which the Borough Councils were to act, but they denied the County Council the power to supervise that action. In other words, they wanted to make the County Council a legislative power, and to make the Borough Council an executive power. The Secretary to the Board of Education proposed that general rules should be laid down by the one, and that administrative action should be done by the other. They could not be sure that the regulations were duly and properly carried out unless they gave the superior authority the power of supervising and seeing that they were carried out. That was what the Bill did not do. If a Government Department did not carry out the intentions of Parliament they could arraign it here by Question or debate, and, therefore, they could supervise all the powers they granted to the administrative Departments and call the parties to account. If the County Council were given power to step in and supervise the action of the Borough Councils he could understand that the scheme might work, but they were not to have that power. The Borough Councils were to go their own way, and if the County Council complained that they had transgressed they were to have recourse to the Board of Education. That was the reason why the opponents of the proposal expected so much friction. Suppose that the County Council gave an order as to how certain furniture was to be provided, the Borough Council might have its own views and act contrary to that order, and the only remedy was to go to the Board of Education. The Borough Council would appoint the masters and mistresses. The County Council might give directions to masters and mistresses, but suppose the Borough Council told them to take another view of the instruction given. Why! the master or mistress of course would obey the authority which had appointed and could dismiss, and would not obey the County Council, and the only remedy the County Council had was again to resort to the Board of Education. These were practical difficulties, and they were not got over by the use of the general phrases in which the Board of Education took refuge.

Let him enumerate some of the points on which the Government were bound to give a reply. There was the very practical and grave difficulty in regard to higher-grade schools. The same teacher would be at different times of the day an elementary teacher and a secondary teacher. Then there was a similar difficulty regarding the triple inspector-ship. The London County Council, the Borough Councils, and the Board of Education would all have their inspectors, and Heaven have mercy on the unhappy masters and mistresses who had to deal with three separate inspectors! Moreover, the Borough Councils would have no staff, and no power to pay a staff. They would have no motive for economy because the expenses were to be paid by a rate over the whole of London and not levied only on their own area. Again the teachers were to be appointed by the Borough Councils, but were to be responsible to the London County Council. Then, take the case of the pupil teachers; they were to be trained by the County Council in their own colleges, but places were to be found for them by the Borough Councils, who would know nothing of their record. Next, they would lose the invaluable services which the present managers had hitherto rendered. He wondered if any Member on the Front Treasury Bench—the Secretary to the Board of Education or the President of the Local Government Board—had ever been a school manager. He had not himself been one, but he had had the good fortune to be intimately connected with many school managers; and he wished to convey to the members of the Government how inestimable was the value to the poorer parts of London of the services of these school managers—especially the public-spirited ladies who took such a deep interest in the public schools. They got to know all the teachers, many of the children, entered into the feelings and needs of the teachers, and were the means of com munication between them and the School Board. All that was to be sacrificed, because it was quite clear that the Borough Councils would not have the same motives in appointing their managers as the School Board had. Lastly, in the third Sub-section of this clause, there was a provision which took a very peculiar form. It set forth that— The Council of a Metropolitan Borough may, if they think fit, exercise any of their powers under this section, and also any powers which may be delegated to them by the local education authority under that Act, or which they have as minor local authority under that Act, through a Committee or Committees appointed by them consisting either wholly or partly of members of the Council. Notice the result of that plan. The County Council would not be in direct touch with these managing Committees and there would be a triple hierarchy—the County Council at the top, the Borough Council in the middle, and the Borough Councils' Committee at the bottom, and if the Education Committee had reason to complain of any action of the Borough Council Managing Committee, it could not address that Committee direct but only the Borough Council. Therefore there would be the maximum of inconvenience. He could not conceive of a scheme more fraught not only with inconvenience but delay, than that of keeping the managers out of direct touch with the County Council Education Committee. These were points and practical difficulties on every one of which a reply was needed from the Government.

The most damaging part of the criticism which the clause had received showed that it completely destroyed any prospect of co-ordination. Last year's Bill was advocated on the ground of co-ordination. It did not carry out that promise; but this Bill was far worse in that respect. Here they had secondary education separated from elementary education by giving the control of the one to the County Council and of the other to the Borough Councils. The elementary teacher was to be responsible to the Borough Councils, and the secondary teacher to the County Council, and therefore if anything was to be done to make elementary lead up to secondary education, and bringing the two into relation with each other, that would be sacrificed by the Bill as it stood. Then the provided and the non-provided schools were put further from each other by this Bill than by the Bill of last year, which gave the County Council some control over both the provided and non-provided schools. By that Bill the same authority, the Borough Council or the county authority, had the full control over the secular instruction in both classes of schools; but by this Bill the control was divided. The county authority was to have control over the non-provided schools, but not the control over the provided schools, and therefore there was less co-ordination and less unity of management than under the scheme of last year. He put it to the Government that, looking to all these points they had a heavy case to answer, and they must give the Committee if this clause, was to be passed a much more complete reply to the criticisms bestowed upon it than they had vouchsafed. He believed if the First Lord of the Treasury and the Government would weigh the real practical difficulties brought before the Committee that afternoon by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University and the hon. Member for West Ham, they would see how strong a case was made out against the present shape of the clause and against the shape of the Amendment on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Chelsea. They had had a parallel debate on the second clause; let them carry the parallel to this clause, and revert to the scheme of last year. That was very far from perfect, but it was very much better than the scheme of this clause. He submitted that the Government were bound to do one of two things: either to leave the Committee free to go back to the scheme of last year, or to give a carefully considered reply to every one of these practical objections to the clause as it stood—a clause which he believed was entirely incapable of being worked for the benefit of the education of the children of London.

MR. PEEL (Manchester, S.)

said he had an Amendment on the Paper which he understood would be cut out if the present Amendment were accepted. His Amendment was framed on somewhat the same lines, but in framing it he was anxious to go as far as he could in the direction of assisting the Government to give as large a share as possible of the management of education in the boroughs, if not to the Borough Councils as Borough Councils, yet to the members of the Councils. His Amendment provided that three-fourths of such body or bodies should be appointed by the Borough Councils and one-fourth by the local education authority. His idea was that provided these bodies of management were entirely under the authority of the central authority it really did not very much matter, from the point of view of control, whether the proportion that was appointed was a larger one by the Borough Council, and whether the smaller one should be by the central authority. He was anxious, first of all, to give as much to the Borough Councils as he could in the work of education, and he wanted to establish a link between the central authority and the boards of managers. He had thought that one-fourth would be enough to secure that communication, but he understood that the view of a number of hon. Members on the Government side was that half and half would be a better arrangement. If the Government showed any readiness to meet them on the point, he would not stick obstinately to his own Amendment. He did not think he need say anything at that stage as to the general principle of the Amendment. It had been fully dealt with; and he himself was fully satisfied with the effect of the criticisms. Had he spoken earlier he would have insisted on the advantage which would follow from the acceptance of an Amendment of this kind.

MR. COHEN (Islington, E.)

said he was not at all out of sympathy with the idea which his hon. friend who had just spoken, had in his mind; but his regard towards it was diminished by the prospect of its being still further diluted when it came to be considered. It appeared to him that the fallacy which underlay the speeches of his hon. friend for North West Ham and the hon. Member for North Camber well was that, while they spoke of their experience of London schools, they had no practical experience of either the London County Council or the Borough Councils. They were trying to create a bogey as to friction between the London County Council and the Borough Councils. He had never had the honour of being a member of a Borough Council; but after twelve years experience in the London County Council—and he could not be accused of being invariably favourable to all the proposals of that august body—he believed that there was no body which could more easily adapt itself to machinery and administrative work than the London County Council. The hon. Member for Carnarvon Boroughs said some time ago that no business man would for a moment conceive such an arrangement as that proposed between the London County Council and the Borough Councils, in consequence of what he called dual authority. He would not pit his business experience against that of the hon. Member; but in his opinion one of the first rudiments of successful business administration was a central body responsible for and busying itself with the control of the work for which it was responsible, but yet anxious to confide as much as it could to bodies in whom it had confidence. He hoped and believed that the opinion of the London County Council and the Borough Council of Islington would be very different to that expressed by the hon. Member for West Islington. [Mr. LOUGH: Not at all.] He would not contradict the statement of his hon. friend that he had great respect for the Borough Council of Islington—his hon. friend was the best authority as to the bodies for whom he had respect or not—but if he himself had respect for a body he would have expressed the very opposite opinion to that expressed by his hon. friend; and if he had contempt for a body he would endeavour to emulate the eloquence of his hon. friend. That, however, was only a detail. His hon. friend said that the Borough Councils had no machinery, and that they would be incapable of managing education. His hon. friend said that because of his experience of the Borough Council of Islington. He agreed that the Borough Councils had no machinery; but he differed from his hon. friend that they were not qualified to manage education. On the contrary, he believed that the Borough Councils would be extremely capable and interested in the management of education within their own districts. With reference to machinery, they would have recourse for that to the vacated premises on the Thames Embankment.

The reason he was in favour of the proposal of the Government, as distinguished from the Amendment of his right hon. friend the Member for East Somerset, was because he thought his right hon. friend had not had sufficient regard to the difference between London and the country. His right hon. friend wanted to adapt the machinery of last year's Act to London; but that would mean comparing two things which differed in their most material characteristics. The Prime Minister had said that London was a unique problem, and required unique machinery. Therefore, there was no inconsistency in being anxious to decentralise now where last year they sought to centralise. From what he knew of the aptitude of the London County Council and its desire to get through its business in an expeditious and efficient manner, it would be anxious and glad to frame the general lines on which elementary education within its area should be conducted; and he believed that the Borough Councils would have quite as much work as they could effectively discharge; and that with due regard to economy they would try and carry out in their own way, the education of their own area within the limits prescribed by the central authority. The hon. Member for North West Ham referred to the willingness of members of his own community to assist schools in the East End and other parts of London. So far as he was empowered to speak on their behalf, he believed the existing managers, whether members of the Jewish faith or not, would be as anxious to offer their assistance in the future as in the past; and that the Borough Councils would be most anxious to enlist it.

MR. LOUGH (Islington, W.)

said his hon. friend who had just spoken had not done justice to the opinion he had expressed on the previous night with regard to the Borough Council of Islington. He described the borough councillors as very patriotic men, and surely that ought to be sufficient. The criticisms he brought against the scheme of the Government were admitted to be true by his hon. friend. He stated that the Borough Councils had no machinery; and his hon. friend admitted that. He admitted that the Borough Councils could construct machinery; but that would mean setting up twenty-nine School Boards all over London. He did not wish to see dissension between the London County Council and the Borough Councils; and he rejoiced in the agreement between those bodies just as much as his hon. friend. But there was a danger that the proposal of the Government would destroy the present good feeling. The hon. Member for St. Pancras stated that the Borough Councils of St. Pancras and Westminster had passed resolutions in favour of this scheme; but in both districts there was an appeal to the Mayor to call a town meeting to protest against the scheme being thrust on London. But ten boroughs, including Bethnal Green, Battersea, Camberwell, Poplar, Shore-ditch, Fulham, Woolwich, and Hackney, had all protested against the scheme of the Government. That was a notable expression of opinion against the scheme. The London County Council and the. London School Board had also expressed a hostile opinion; the London Liberals, a small band, were unanimously united against it; and, finally, London gathered together at Hyde Park on Saturday and denounced it root and branch. The Secretary to the Board of Education said he had not read all the words of his speech on 28th April. Those explanations of the hon. Gentleman were of the greatest interest because they showed the source of this proposal. The words he omitted were— Another advantage of decentralisation would be that greater elasticity would be imparted to the curriculum of elementary schools; the School Board system had been too rigorous; it impressed on all teachers a certain uniformity; while it bore hardly on the poorer parts of London. The hon. Member for North Camberwell had since shown that there had been no rigorous system which pressed hardly on the poorer districts. He deprecated any such distinction being drawn with regard to the education of the poorest parts of London.


said he had no wish to disparage the education of these children, but it should be conducted in such a way that they should derive full benefit, and they should not be asked to learn more subjects than they could carry in their heads at the time.


said he could not see why there should be more elasticity and different curricula and a different system for the poor districts. According to the hon. Baronet the object of the Government was to transfer the burden of administration of small matters to the Borough Councils, but this was not a small matter. The Government here were establishing a principle between legislation and administration. The idea of the Government was that the central authority should legislate and that the Borough Councils should carry out the commands of the County Council. That was an impossible system which could not be carried out. The House which made the rules was the best source from which those rules could be enforced. If the Borough Councils had to carry out the regulations which the County Council made there would be greater power in the County Council to modify or alter those regulations than in the Borough Councils to see them enforced. It had been suggested also that the repairs should be paid by the local authorities. The repairs last year amounted to a considerable sum, and it was suggested that the expenditure should be undertaken by twenty-nine authorities instead of one. The appointment of teachers, which had been found to be a very difficult matter to deal with by the School Board, was also to be handed over to the local authorities. Out of 1000 teachers appointed by the London School Board 700 had to be obtained from training colleges. How on earth would the Borough Councils be able to undertake duties which the central authority, the School Board, found so difficult to perform. These changes would not be for the benefit of London. If separate boards of management were set up in each locality they would have the separate districts communicating with the Board of Education. It would be most unreasonable to set up such a system. At present all communications passed through the School Board, and any change to be made should be an improvement on the present system. He thought the Government ought to allow the House to make some progress. Had not the debate now come to a point at which the hon. Baronet could give a definite answer. The hon. Member for South Manchester had made a suggestion. It must be remembered the Committee was supporting an Amendment moved by a most loyal supporter of the Government. He noticed the hon. Member for Chelsea was in consultation with the hon Baronet. The hon. Member for Chelsea was the handy man of the Government on London matters, and whenever he held out a signal of distress they ought to stop. He told the Government they would have to give way on Clause 2, twenty-four hours before they gave way, and he was making suggestions to the Government now. How long were they going to sit if the Government did not make a little progress. They did not object to the Borough Councils or a little local help being obtained by the central authority, but they did say the control of the central body should not be impaired, and that was why they supported the Amendment.


said the hon. Member had reproached him for not addressing the House sooner. He had been very much impressed with the difficulties likely to arise from the adoption of a proposal to define the powers of delegation as between the Borough Councils and the County Council. He was not prepared to admit that all the suggested difficulties were genuine. There had been a good deal of exaggeration and assumption that everybody would make things as difficult as possible, and that neither Borough Councils nor County Council would act fairly and pleasantly by one another, and there had been an almost inconceivable misinterpretation of the proposals underlying the Government scheme. But what impressed his mind was that in the event of difference of opinion between a borough and the County Council upon the delegation of powers, and in the event of a Borough Council having prepared a scheme asking for larger powers than the County Council was inclined to grant, the matter would come before the Board of Education, and the latter would be bound to decide in favour of the County Council as the paramount authority, and in that way a Borough Council would be less willing to join in the work. He was therefore disposed to look favourably upon the Amendment standing in the name of the hon. Member for South Manchester, which provided that the Borough Council should propose boards of management, the numbers of which the Board of Education should approve, three-fourths to be nominated by the Borough Council.


Are you going to withdraw this clause, too, then?


said he was stating what his proposal was. It was not a pleasant thing to withdraw a proposal which he had placed before the Committee and supported in good faith and with some confidence that it would work well. But he knew the difficulties that might arise, he knew the divided feeling on his side of the House, he knew the almost unanimous feeling on the other side of the House; though it would probably be as undivided in respect to any scheme the Government might introduce. But he was not deterred by natural disinclination to withdraw what he had placed before the Committee with some confidence, from the endeavour to induce the Committee to accept an Amendment which he thought would make the educational work of London more smooth in the future by delegation of powers to the Borough Councils. If the hon. Member for Somerset would withdraw his Amendment, and his hon. friend the Member for South Manchester would move the Amendment of which he had given notice, he would be prepared to accept it on the part of the Government.


said the Committee were in a remarkable position. Either this Bill had been brought in without any consideration at all, or the Government were in a most extraordinary frame of mind. After a short discussion they had been induced again completely to change their proposals, to throw over the municipal bodies they had themselves created, and to do away with the clause which, when Clause 2 was under discussion, was said by them to safeguard the interests of the Borough Councils. He strongly protested against the decision. His only desire was to promote the interests of education, and he had been too long engaged in educational work for anyone to say he held retrograde views on the subject. One of the main features of the Act of last year was the promotion of municipal interest in education, but the corresponding feature of the present Bill was to be dropped in consequence of the speeches of hon. Members who were not concerned with London at all, but who were interfering in the question of London's education in a manner they would not tolerate in their own districts. What would the Colonial Secretary say if it was proposed to hand over the education of Birmingham to the Council of the county and not to allow the municipality to have any voice in the management of affairs? The Borough Councils were not perfect, but they had the local knowledge which was essential for the management of the schools, and unless their interest was enlisted the scheme could not be efficiently administered. Islington was as large as many great cities, and yet she was not to be allowed to have any part in the management of the education of the district. It was a monstrous proposition. As one who had been engaged in the work of education for forty years he declared it to be a retrograde step to concentrate the whole of the work in one body. To talk of London as a whole was absurd. It was an enormous aggregation of different parts, and education could be made efficient only by recognising that fact, and allowing the various boroughs to take an important part in its management. The Bill had been so changed that its own parents would not recognise it. Londoners would resent the step the Government were now taking, and, what was more important, the efficiency of London education would be seriously impaired.

MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)

agreed with the hon. Member for North Islington that the Committee were in an extraordinary position. The whole proceedings had been ludicrous, almost grotesque, and under the circumstances the Government would have done well to report Progress in order to consider the matter in the light of the debate which had taken place. This was the third change the clause had undergone. Nothing short of a clear majority of the central authority on the Management Committee would make the Bill workable, or give satisfaction to those who were to have charge of education in London. By their latest alteration the Government admitted that there must be a connecting link between the central authority and the local body, and in that connection he would like to refer to a speech made by the Prime Minister last year. A proposal was made to put the major authority in a minority on the board of managers, and the right hon. Gentleman then said that— The County Council was to be the supreme authority in all matters of education, and that being so it was only reasonable to give them a, majority on the board of managers.… It would be extremely foolish, after the Committee had decided that the County Council was to be the supreme authority in all matters of education, to hand over to the inferior body the appointment of a majority of the managers. After that expression of opinion, he thought it ought not to be proposed to give the London County Council less than a majority on the local Committee. There was no objection to the Borough Councils being represented on the managing bodies provided the central authority was the only statutory body and had supreme control from top to bottom, and only under such conditions could the necessary decentralisation be properly carried out. The Opposition were not enamoured of the Act of last year. Why they urged it should be followed now was that the present Bill was much worse, and consequently they would prefer the Act of 1902 to the Bill of 1903. The Government had not attempted to meet the damaging criticisms of their own supporters. Instead of one authority there would be several authorities, and friction was certain to arise between the central and the local bodies. The Government proposed to place the two bodies in such a position that friction was absolutely inevitable. Instead of giving complete control to those who had to find the money, they were, under the proposals of the Government, only going to have certain powers. The hon. Baronet had himself said in the course of a previous debate that it was almost impossible to define what was management and what was control. On all those questions of teachers, sites, control of the buildings, higher grade schools, and so on, there would inevitably be friction between the two bodies, and that the Government had admitted by giving the ultimate arbitration to the Board of Education. Why not at once place them in the supreme authority of the County Council instead of raising friction and difficulties between these two bodies? They were in a difficult position with regard to this matter. He hoped it would be repudiated by the hon. Member for South Manchester, and that it would not be accepted by the hon. Member for Somersetshire. So far as they were concerned on that side of the House, they should give it the most strenuous opposition.


was not surprised at the hon. Member declaring war against the proposals of the Government, because he was ready to do that against any proposals of the Government. The Secretary to the Board of Education had showed a very reasonable disposition, and considering that the Amendment embodied the principle of putting the schools under managing bodies rather than under Borough Councils, he was quite willing to accept this proposal. He would have preferred his own clause, but they could not have everything, and he was glad the Government had kept an open mind in the discussion.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

expressed his extreme satisfaction with the Government for accepting the Amendment, and thus putting the Borough Councils in a thoroughly subordinate position to the County Council, and depriving the Borough Councils of that power of interference with the management of schools which had been so deprecated. He understood the hon. Member for South Manchester to say that he was quite willing to change the proportions of the management, and to make this body of managers consist of half and half instead of three-fourths to one-fourth. That he regarded as a great improvement, and he urged the Government to accept the amended Amendment. It would be desirable to allow the Amendment to be withdrawn, and they could then proceed with an open mind.


would not embark on a general discussion, but he wished to deprecate the observation which had been made with regard to the danger of friction arising in case the proposals of the Government had been accepted. He did not believe that friction would have arisen. On the contrary, he had found, from a long experience in public affairs of various kinds, that when gentlemen met together for a common purpose, any friction which might have arisen during the election contest entirely disappeared. He did not think there would be any danger of friction of such a character as to endanger the good working of the schools. The question of uniform jurisdiction could not then be discussed, but he believed it was quite necessary to the good working of the educational system that there should be a different curriculum to suit different wants and different localities. He regarded as sound the arguments that had been advanced upon the questions of breaking up the staffs, the difficulty of the transfer of teachers and of domestic instruction. His sole purpose in rising was to express his great satisfaction with the Government for keeping an open mind upon the views which had been put forward. He certainly felt that the Bill had been greatly improved by this concession, and he was quite sure that the action of the Government would be heartily accepted by the country as a whole, because it embodied, in the strongest and most powerful manner, the principle of one central authority for each locality, and that the central authority should act through the whole area by delegation as the circumstances might demand.


was of opinion that bit by bit Clause 3 would be withdrawn. There were two matters they had to consider in regard to the question of management. One was its constitution and the other was its function. With regard to its constitution, he understood that the Government were prepared to accept and even go farther than the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Manchester. They would, however, resist the proposals for the proportions to be three-fourths borough councillors and one-fourth county councillors. He hoped the Amendment would be set up early so that it could be discussed. The function of the management was all important. Under the Bill the Borough Councils were to be set up as managers by statute. They objected to that in the beginning and they objected to it now. This Amendment set up the County Council entirely as the general controlling body for London. The function it proposed was absolutely and perfectly sound, for the Amendment carried them a long way along the line they wanted to go. He was entirely satisfied with the total revolution which had taken place in the functions of managers as compared with the function of the general authority for London.

LORD EDMUND FITZMAURICE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)

quite agreed with what had been suggested, and he thought his hon. friend on that side of the House would also agree with it. They would allow the Amendment to be withdrawn and set up the other Amendment.

Amendment by leave, withdrawn.


thought there was no need to say anything on the Amendment he desired to move, but something had been said as to the proportions. The reason he gave a very large proportion to the Borough Councils was that he was anxious to meet the desire of the Government to associate if not the Borough Councils themselves, yet the personnel of the Borough Councils with the work of education. He considered that the one-fourth to be appointed by the central authority would be sufficient to secure the link between the central authority and the board of managers. Considering that these boards of managers would be entirely under the orders of the central authority the question of proportion was not to his view a matter of the greatest importance, and certainly so far as he was concerned if the Government were going to stand by three-fourths he should give them his support. He had said he would agree to half and half because he understood that a great number of hon. Members on that side of the House laid great stress on the proportions, and for the sake of agreement he was ready to go to that length. But he was so grateful to the Government for the line they had taken that he was ready to support them, and did not wish to do anything to embarrass them in this beneficial change. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 11, to leave out Sub-section (1), and insert the words, 'All public elementary provided schools within the area of each Metropolitan Borough shall have a body or bodies of managers whose number shall be determined by the Council of each borough subject to the approval of the Board of Education. Provided that three-fourths of such body or bodies shall be appointed by the Borough Council, and one-fourth by the local education authority. Provided also that due regard shall be had to the inclusion of women on the said bodies of managers.'" (Mr. Peel.)

Question put, "That Sub-section (1) stand part of the clause."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 11; Noes, 349. (Division List No. 103.)

Bousfield, William Robert Graham, Henry Robert Thornton, Percy M.
Cautley, Henry Strother Kimber, Henry
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C. Martin, Richard Biddulph TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Gordon, HnJE(Elginand Nairn Remnant, Jas. Farquharson Sir George Bartley and
Goulding, Edward Alfred Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Mr. Burdett-Coutts.
Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.) Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund
Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F. Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Flower, Ernest
Allen, Chas. P. (Glos., Stroud) Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Forster, Henry William
Allhusen, Aug. Henry Eden Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J. (Birm Foster, Sir Michl. (Lond. Univ
Allsopp, Hon. George Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc. Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Channing, Francis Allston Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Anstruther, H. T. Chapman, Edward Fuller, J. M. F.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Charrington, Spencer Fyler, John Arthur
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Churchill, Winston Spencer Galloway, William Johnson
Arrol, Sir William Clive, Captain Percy A. Gardner, Ernest
Asher, Alexander Cochrane, Hon. Thomas H. A. E. Garfit, William
Ashton, Thomas Gair Coghill, Douglas Harry Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbt Hy. Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J.
Atherley-Jones, L. Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Goddard, Daniel Ford
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'rH'ml'ts
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc
Austin, Sir John Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon
Bailey, James (Walworth) Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Goschen, Hon. Geo. Joachim
Bain, Colonel James Robert Cranborne, Viscount Grant, Corrie
Baird, John George Alexander Cremer, William Randal Gray, Ernest ( West Ham)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r. Cripps, Charles Alfred Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Crossley, Sir Savile Greville, Hon. Ronald
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch Cubitt, Hon. Henry Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cust, Henry John C. Groves, James Grimble
Barry, Sir Fras, T. (Windsor) Dalkeith, Earl of Gunter, Sir Robert
Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin Dalrymple, Sir Charles Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Dalziel, James Henry Hain, Edward
Beckett, Ernest William Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardign Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Bell, Richard Denny, Colonel Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.) Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Mid'x
Bignold, Arthur Dickinson, Robert Edmond Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford
Bill, Charles Dickson, Charles Scott Hare, Thomas Leigh
Black, Alexander William Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Harmsworth, R. Leicester
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dilke, Rt. Hn. Sir Charles Harris, Frederick Leverton
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir John E. Harwood, George
Bond, Edward Doughty, George Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Hay, Hon. Claude George
Brassey, Albert Doxford, Sir William Theodore Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-
Brigg, John Duncan, J. Hastings Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Healy, Timothy Michael
Bryce, Right Hon. James Edwards, Frank Heath James (Staffords. N. W.
Brymer, William Ernest Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Heaton, John Henniker
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Ellis, John Edward Helder, Augustus
Bull, William James Evans, Saml. T. (Glamorgan) Helme, Norval Watson
Burt, Thomas Faber, E. B. (Hants, W.) Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.
Butcher, John George Faber, George Denison (York) Henderson, Sir Alexander
Buxton, Sydney Charles Fardell, Sir T. George Hickman, Sir Alfred
Caldwell, James Farquharson, Dr. Robert Hoare, Sir Samuel
Cameron, Robert Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristl, E.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J. (Manc'r Holland, Sir William Henry
Carew, James Laurence Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Horner, Frederick William
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton Fisher, William Hayes Hudson, George Bickersteth
Causton, Richard Knight FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.
Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Moulton, John Fletcher Sharpe, William Edward T.
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Mount, William Arthur Shaw, Charles E. (Stafford)
Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Jacoby, James Alfred Muntz, Sir Philip A. Simeon, Sir Barrington
Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry) Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Johnstone, Heywood Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Jones, Dav. Brynmor (Swansea) Myers, William Henry Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Jones, W. (Carnarvonshire) Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Kearley, Hudson E. Norton, Capt. Cecil William Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H. Nussey, Thomas Willans Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)
Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop. O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Kerr, John O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Stevenson, Francis S.
Kitson, Sir James O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.
Knowles, Lees O'Malley, William Stock, James Henry
Labouchere, Henry Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lambert, George Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Stroyan, John
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Parker, Sir Gilbert Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks. N. R. Partington, Oswald Sullivan, Donal
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Paulton, James Mellor Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Layland-Barratt, Francis Pearson, Sir Weetman D. Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Unit
Leamy, Edmund Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden) Tennant, Harold John
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Pemberton, John S. G. Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Perks, Robert William Thomas, Sir A. (Glam., E.)
Leng, Sir John Pickard, Benjamin Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)
Levy, Maurice Pierpoint, Robert Thorburn, Sir Walter
Lewis, John Herbert Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Tomlinson, Sir. Wm. Edw. M.
Llewellyn, Evan Henry Pretyman, Ernest George Toulmin, George
Lloyd-George, David Price, Robert John Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R. Priestley, Arthur Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Valentia, Viscount
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Purvis, Robert Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S. Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Lough, Thomas Rankin, Sir James Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Lowe, Francis William Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Lowther, C. (Cumb. Eskdale) Rea, Russell Weir, James Galloway
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Redmond, William (Clare) Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Macdona, John Cumming Reid, Sir. R. Threshie (Dumfries White, George (Norfolk)
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine White, Luke (York, E. R.)
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green Whiteley, S. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)
Maconochie, A. W. Rigg, Richard Whitmore, Charles Algernon
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
M'Arthur William (Cornwall) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney) Williams, O. (Merioneth)
M'Crae, George Robinson, Brooke Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
M'Kenna, Reginald Robson, William Snowdon Wilson, A. S. (York, E. R.)
M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Roe, Sir Thomas Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid)
M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.)
Manners, Lord Cecil Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Wilson John (Glasgow)
Mansfield, Horace Rendall Rose, Charles Day Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.
Mappin, Sir Fredk. Thorpe Round, Rt. Hon. James Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir H. E. (Wigt'n) Royds, Clement Molyneux Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd
Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Runciman, Walter Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Russell, T. W. Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Middlemore, John Throgmorton Rutherford, John (Lancashire Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Milvain, Thomas Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford Yoxall, James Henry
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Mr. Henry Hobhouse and
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Schwann, Charles E. Mr. Peel.
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Seton-Karr, Sir Henry

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


moved to leave out the words "or bodies" in line 2 of the Sub-section. He statedt hat his object in moving the Amendment was to get an explanation of the words "or bodies." He rather thought that the mover intended that in each Metropolitan borough there should be a body or bodies of managers, but the reading of the Sub-section suggested that in all public elementary provided schools there might be two bodies of managers for one school. He wished to get the point cleared up, and therefore he formally moved.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— To leave out the words 'or bodies.'"—(Mr. Ernest Gray.)

Question proposed, "That the words or bodies' stand part of the proposed Amendment."


said he could not help feeling that the words "a body or bodies" might be open to misconstruction. He thought, however, the words should remain.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid)

said the Amendment of the hon. Member for West Ham followed fairly closely the words of Section 6, Subsection 1 of the Act of last year, where the words were "a body of managers." He did not think the words "or bodies" were necessary, and he agreed with the hon. Member that it would be better to omit them.


said the reason why he putin the words "a body or bodies of managers" was to allow for the fact that the number of schools in each borough varied. In Stepney, for example, there were thirty schools, and he wished to provide that they would have not one body of managers but several bodies of managers for the schools in that particular borough. He thought the words were necessary.


said that he hoped the words would be retained. His hon. friend had read Section 6 of the Act of last year, but did not read Section 12, which provided for the grouping of schools. If the words were dropped out, infinitely greater difficulties would be created.


said he thought the Committee was in a somewhat peculiar position.


What has become of Coghill?


said that the Committee had no idea whether "body" or "bodies" were to be in this Bill. They had come to an extraordinary pass. Clause 2, on which they built, had been given away, and now on this clause the hon. Gentleman the Secretary to the Board of Education did not seem to understand whether the words ought or ought not to be in the clause. As time was going on, he thought it would be well if there was an hour and a half's adjournment, in order to enable the Minister in charge of the Bill to understand the Amendment. Many of them on that side of the House had supported the Bill. It was a Government Bill. They were loyal supporters of the Government. The Government had still got eleven strong supporters; and he really thought that the hon. Gentleman should reconsider his position till after the dinner hour and know where he actually was.


said he believed the words were altogether unnecessary.

MR. CALDWELL (Lanarkshire, Mid)

said that the matter really admitted of no dispute. The "Interpretation of Terms Act" said that the singular should include the plural. If it was said that all public elementary schools should have a body or bodies of managers it did not mean that all the schools were to have one body of managers: it meant that each school was to have one body of managers. He was surprised that in a matter of this kind the Government had lost its head.


said he realised that if there was any vagueness in the wording of the clause it could be cleared up on the Report stage. His intervention was merely to make the clause clear and not to waste time. He asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. CORRIE GRANT (Warwickshire, Rugby)

said he had handed in an Amendment to the Chairman.


The hon. Gentleman's Amendment is to the same effect as that handed in by the hon. and learned Member for Mid Glamorgan, only it was in the wrong place.


said that in drafting his Amendment, which he was bound to in a hurry, he might have put it in the wrong place. What he wanted to propose was to leave out the words "elementary provided schools" in order to insert the words "non-provided schools."


submitted that his Amendment, which was a drafting one, was necessary, viz., to add after the words "body or bodies," "as the local educational authority may determine."


said that the Amendment of the hon. Gentleman would have the same effect as that of the hon. and learned Member for Mid Glamorganshire.


said that the hon. Member for Manchester might tell the Committee what he intended to mean by the words "whose number." The natural meaning of "whoso number" would be the number of managers.


said that what he meant by the words was to give as much power as he possibly could to the Borough Councils. He therefore proposed to leave it to them to decide not only the number of the committees of managers in any borough, but also the number that should be in each particular group of managers.


asked what meaning the Government attached to the Amendment.


said although he thought that the Government had now adopted the right principle, they should endeavour to extend it in order to make the Bill consistent throughout. The principle of the Bill was that the control should be in the local education authority, and it was obvious that it should extend to the determination of the body or bodies of managers or the number of managers. He did not think it necessary to argue the point. It was quite true that the Borough Councils might know some of the local conditions better than the local education authority, but there was nothing to prevent the Borough Councils making representations to the local education authority; and if a Borough Council had any complaint, it could take it to the Board of Education. He hoped the Government would accept the Amendment seeing that it was quite consistent with the principle of the Bill.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— To leave out the words 'council of each borough,' and insert the words 'local education authority after consultation with the council of each borough.'"—(Mr. Samuel Evans.)

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


said that the Government accepted the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Manchester in preference to that of the hon. Member for Somerset, because it gave a somewhat larger authority in respect of the management of their schools than was given to the ordinary minor local authorities throughout the country. It appeared to him that the Borough Councils, from the knowledge they possessed of the needs of their schools and the numbers available for the purpose of management, might properly determine how many bodies of managers there should be. They had a right to group their schools and also to say how many persons should be on the board of managers. It did not appear to him that the rights of the local authority or its powers were in any way interfered with by the arrangement proposed in respect of the Borough Councils, and he thought it would be proper for the Borough Councils to enjoy those rights. They would conduce to good management of the schools, and he was therefore unwilling to adopt any Amendment which would in any way alter the scheme of his hon. friend.


said he had heard the statement of the hon. Baronet with regret. They did not wish to look a gift horse too much in the mouth; and they were very sensible of the great improvement the Bill had received by the last change of opinion on the part of the Government. But he could not help thinking that the local education authority, which would have a much wider experience, would be a better authority to determine the number of bodies of managers than the Borough Councils. It should be remembered that the central authority was not ignorant of London, and that its members would be drawn from the boroughs.

MR. BOND (Nottingham, E.)

said the way he looked at the matter was this—that the number of managers and their powers and duties should be determined by a scheme to be framed by the local education authority, and subject to the approval of the Board of Education. The details could be best considered between these two bodies, and he did not see any great reason for retaining any kind even of nominating power on the part of the Borough Councils. He supposed it had been thought that some shred of authority should be left to the Borough Councils as a kind of consolation for being deprived of the greater part of the powers which it was intended to devolve upon them. The present proposal would be like leaving in the stump of an aching tooth. He felt it was better to sweep the Borough Councils out altogether, not that he doubted the capacity of the Borough Councils to deal with this matter, but because to offer them these illusory functions would only lead to a certain amount of delay, and in the long run, to friction. It was always assumed that local authorities had a particular knowledge of the district they represented, but when one considered the ignorance of people living in London with regard to what was happening at practically their own door, it was not wise to use such an assumption as that as an argument. He thought the Bill would be a much better one if these powers and functions were left in the hands of the local education authority, subject to the approval of the Board of Education. The Board of Education attributed great importance to securing some delegation of functions, and if considerable functions were not delegated to the local managers, the strain would break down the educational machine altogether. But if functions were to be delegated they would take a great step in insuring effective delegation, if they said it was delegation in which the Board of Education should have a voice. Although he believed the new education authority would be extremely desirous to cast on the local managers as much work as they could delegate to them, he thought there should be some assurance that it would be done under a scheme approved by the Board of Education.


said that from a practical point of view, he did not think they could leave the Borough Councils to determine the number of managers. They would need to go back to the Act of last year. What he desired to suggest was that they should be consulted on this matter, and therefore he suggested that the words "council for each borough" should be taken out, and then that the words "after consultation with the Borough Councils" should be added. That would leave the determining with the only persons who could determine this matter, namely, the education authority of the district.


said he would adopt the words of the hon. Member, and, with permission, would move the Amendment in that form.


pointed out that one of the main reasons put forward by the Government for not accepting this Amendment had no substance in it, because it did not matter whether the Borough Council representation was eight or twelve. The Borough Council would have a three-fourths representation, and they would have just as much power whether they had eight or twelve representatives. The Government had already accepted the Amendment by which the local education authority should fix the number of its own authority, and it would be consistent with that Amendment if it was left to them to fix the number of the Management Committee. The hon. Member in charge of the Bill made one very great mistake when he said the local authorities had a knowledge of the schools in their district; they had no such knowledge at all. The School Board had that knowledge. The hon. Member's acceptance of the Amendment would not diminish the authority of the Borough Councils, and would be quite consistent with the Bill as it now stood.

COLONEL WILLIAMS (Dorsetshire, West)

hoped that the Government would stick to the Amendment. They had heard it said that the County Councils would know all the schools of the districts, but all the county councillors were not resident in London, and were not likely to know the schools so well as those who resided there. The one defect of the London School Board was over-centralisation, and the London School Board did not know all its own schools, so that the argument that the London School Board or the London County Council were aware of all the schools fell to the ground. It seemed to him that the people who sat on the Borough Councils were the people who would know, and ought to know, the schools.


pointed out that cases would probably arise in which it would be desirable to group a number of schools, some of which were in one borough and some in another. The boundaries of groups of schools were determined rather by main roads, along which there was much traffic, than by the provisions of Local Government Acts. In such cases, if the central authority had the right to determine how many groups of managers there should be in a given area, they could consult the Borough Councils concerned, and suggest some arrangement agreeable to both. That was possible under the amended but not under the original form of the proposal. It was not a matter of vital importance, but it was one of great practical convenience, and he commended it to the Government.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 210; Noes, 119. (Division List No. 104.)

Abraham, W. (Cork, N. E.) Clive, Captain Percy A. Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond.
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gordon Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn
Allhusen Augustus Henry Eden Coghill, Douglas Harry Gordon, Maj Evans (Tr. Hmlts
Allsopp, Hon. George Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby- (Linc
Anson, Sir William Reynell Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Goschen, Hon. George Joachim
Arkwright, John Stanhope Colston, Chas. Edw H. Athole Goulding, Edward Alfred
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Compton, Lord Alwyne Graham, Henry Robert
Arrol, Sir William Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas Greene, Sir E. W. (Bury St. Ed.
Atkinson, Right Hon. John Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge Greville, Hon. Ronald
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Cripps, Charles Alfred Groves, James Grimble
Austin, Sir John Crossley, Sir Savile Gunter, Sir Robert
Bailey, James (Walworth) Cubitt, Hon. Henry Hain, Edward
Bain, Colonel James Robert Dalkeith, Earl of Hall, Edward Marshall
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Man'r Dickinson, Robert Edmond Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch Dickson, Charles Scott Hamilton, Rt. Hn. G. (Midx
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Dorington, Rt. Hon. Sir J. E. Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd
Bartley, Sir George C. T. Doughty, George Hare, Thomas Leigh
Bignold, Arthur Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers Harris, Frederick Leverton
Bill, Charles Doxford, Sir William Theodore Haslam, Sir Alfred S.
Boland, John Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Healy, Timothy Michael
Brassey, Albert Duke, Henry Edward Heath, James (Staffs, N. W.)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Helder, Augustus
Butcher, John George Fardell, Sir T. George Henderson, Sir Alexander
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.) Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Ed. Hickman, Sir Alfred
Carew, James Laurence Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Hoare, Sir Samuel
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Finlay, Sir Robert, Bannatyne Horner, Frederick William
Cautley, Henry Strother Fisher, William Hayes Hudson, George Bickersteth
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Fison, Frederick William Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.)
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred.
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Flower, Ernest Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm Forster Henry William Johnstone, Heywood
Chaplin, Right Hon. Henry Fyler, John Arthur Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H.
Chapman, Edward Galloway, William Johnson Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh
Charrington, Spencer Gardner, Ernest Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop
Churchill, Winston Spencer Garfit, William Kerr, John
Knowles, Lees Nolan, Joseph (Louth, S.) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)
Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N. R. O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.) Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.
Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) O'Kelly, J. (Roscommon, N.) Spencer, Sir E. (W. Bromwich)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage O'Malley, William Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Stirling-Maxwell, Sir Jn. M.
Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham Parker, Sir Gilbert Stock, James Henry
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.) Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Lowe, Francis William Peel, Hn. Wm. Robt. Wellesley Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred Pemberton, John S. G. Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Macdona, John Cumming Pierpoint, Robert Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Ox'fd Univ.
MacDonnell, Dr. Mark A. Pretyman, Ernest George Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward Thorburn, Sir Walter
Maconochie, A. W. Purvis, Robert Thornton, Percy M.
M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Quilter, Sir Cuthbert Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire Rankin, Sir James Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Rasch, Major Frederic Carne Valentia, Viscount
Manners, Lord Cecil Redmond, William (Clare) Walker, Col. William Hall
Martin, Richard Biddulph Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine Walrond, Rt. Hon. Sir W. H.
Maxwell, Rt. Hn. Sir H. E. (Wigt'n Ridley, Hon. M. W. (Stalybridge) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green) Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.
Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Milvain, Thomas Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield) Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Montagu, G. (Huntingdon) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Moon, Edward Robert Pacy Rolleston, Sir John F. L. Wilson, John (Glasgow)
More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath
Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Round, Rt. Hon. James Worsley-Taylor, Hry. Wilson
Mount, William Arthur Royds, Clement Molyneux Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart
Mowbray, Sir Robert, Gray C. Rutherford, John (Lancashire Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Muntz, Sir Philip A. Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse
Murphy, John Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Murray, Rt. Hn. A. Graham (Bute Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone. W.) Sir Alexander Acland-
Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Seton-Karr, Sir Henry Hood and Mr. Austruther.
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath Sharpe, William Edward T.
Nicol, Donald Ninian Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Asher, Alexander Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Fuller, J. M. F. M'Crae, George
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbt. Hy. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. M'Kenna, Reginald
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Goddard, Daniel Ford Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Grant, Corrie Norman, Henry
Bell, Richard Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir E. (Berwick Palmer, Sir C. M. (Durham)
Black, Alexander William Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Partington, Oswald
Bolton, Thomas Dolling Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Paulton, James Mellor
Bond, Edward Harmsworth, R. Leicester Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Bowles, T. Gibson (Lynn Regis) Harwood, George Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Brigg, John Hay, Hon. Claude George Pickard, Benjamin
Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh) Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- Price, Robert John
Bryce, Right Hon. James Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Priestley, Arthur
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. Rea, Russell
Burt, Thomas Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristl, E. Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Buxton, Sydney Charles Holland, Sir William Henry Rigg, Richard
Caldwell, James Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C. Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Cameron, Robert Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Robson, William Snowdon
Causton, Richard Knight Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Roe, Sir Thomas
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Jacoby, James Alfred Rose, Charles Day
Cremer, William Randal Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Runciman, Walter
Dalziel, James Henry Jones, William (Carnarv'nshire Russell, T. W.
Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardign Kearley, Hudson E. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Denny, Colonel Kitson, Sir James Schwann, Charles E.
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Labouchere, Henry Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Lambert, George Shipman, Dr. John G.
Edwards, Frank Layland-Barratt, Francis Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Ellis, John Edward Leamy, Edmund Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Farquharson, Dr. Robert Leese, Sir Jos. F. (Accrington) Tennant, Harold John
Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith Leng, Sir John Thomas, A. (Carmarthen, E.)
Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond Lewis, John Herbert Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.
Foster, Sir Michl, (Lond. Univ Lough, Thomas Walton, J. Lawson (Leeds, S.)
Warner, Thos. Courtenay T. Whiteley, G. (York, W. R.) Woodhouse Sir J. T. Huddersfield
Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) Yoxall, James Henry
Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney) Williams, O. (Merioneth)
Weir, James Galloway Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
White, George (Norfolk) Wilson, H. J. (York, W. R.) Mr. Samuel Evans and
White, Luke (York, E. R.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcester., N.) Mr. Trevelyan.

said he wished to move an Amendment to the Amendment of the hon. Member for South Manchester as follows— In line 4, leave out the words 'Board of Education' and insert 'local education authority.' He submitted that this was a reasonable Amendment which did not affect any great question of principle.


This seems to be a similar Amendment to the one which has just been decided. It seems to raise exactly the same point as that upon which the Committee has just pronounced an opinion.


argued that what the Committee had just decided was that the number of the body should be determined by the Council of each Borough, and the last Amendment suggested that it should be determined by the local education authority after consultation with the Council of the Borough. His Amendment, he submitted, dealt with an entirely different matter, for it left the approval of the whole thing to the local education authority, instead of leaving it to the Board of Education.


I do not think the hon. Member's Amendment goes as far as he thinks. The Committee have decided that the decision shall be with the Council of each Borough.

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

said the Amendment he wished to move was in line with what had been done already. They had agreed, after much debate and argument, that the local management of the schools must be left very largely under the control of the local education authority for London. The Amendment he proposed to put before the Committee carried out the idea in the proposal submitted by the hon. Member for South Manchester, that three-fourths of the body should be appointed by the Borough Council and one- fourth by the local education authority. He (Mr. Yoxall) proposed to substitute for the words three-fourths the words one-fourth, and the Amendment would then read, "Provided that one-fourth of such body or bodies shall be appointed by the Borough Council and three-fourths by the local education authority." This Amendment was placed on the Paper only the day before, and it had now been affirmed most emphatically that the London County Council were to be supreme in the matter of education in London. It followed naturally, and ought to follow practically, that the London County Council should appoint the major number of members on the Managing Committee. So long as it was proposed that the Borough Councils were to be managerial bodies by statute, it was in keeping that they should appoint three-fourths of the Managing Committee of a school or a group of schools, but now that had gone by the board, the larger proportion should go with it. Since the debate of that afternoon and the decision to reverse the idea and to pronounce the London education authority as the governing body, it followed that the London education authority ought to appoint the majority of the Managing Committees. Although he moved one-fourth in place of three-fourths as the ideal number, he thought something was to be said for the proportion of last year, viz., two-thirds and one-third. The right hon. Member for Somerset did not commit himself to the number laid down in last year's Act, and the Amendment did not restrict the number of managers on the Committee to six. For that reason he departed from last year's proposal and suggested that three-fourths should be appointed by the local education authority and one-fourth by the Borough Council. This question came up last year in relation to provided schools within the area of administrative government. They were now dealing with provided schools in the area of the County of London. The hon. Member for Flint last year made the proposal that the proportion should be reversed, and that instead of the County Council in an administrative county, appointing two-thirds and the minor authority one-third, the latter should appoint two-thirds and the major authority the other third. The scattered nature of the district justified the Amendment in last year's case, but the argument then put forward by the Prime Minister overruled every consideration. The Prime Minister said— The County Council is to be the supreme authority in all matters of education. That was the point which had been decided that afternoon. The Committee had said that the County Council should be the supreme authority within the London County area in all matters of education. They might delegate their powers as they pleased but they ought to be the supreme authority in all matters of education. The Prime Minister further went on to say— It was only reasonable to give them the majority upon the Managing Committee of a school or group of schools. That consideration weighed with the House in the Act of 1902 and on it he begged to found his argument in the present case. Since the London County Council was to be supreme in all matters of education in this area it would be in consonance that they should appoint the majority upon the Managing Committee. If they did not do that they would have that proposal getting across the main drift and line of the Bill.

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.