HC Deb 04 May 1905 vol 145 cc984-1018
MR. ERNEST GRAY (West Ham, N.)

said the importance of the question which he had to bring before the notice of the House would not be doubted. For the first time in the course of municipal government in modern times a large local authority was found unanimously and emphatically declaring that it would no longer continue to discharge its statutory obligations, not from any dislike of them, but because of its inability to meet the consequent financial charges. The result of the action of the local authority of East Ham was that thousands of children were to be turned into the streets and hundreds of teachers and other officials were to be dismissed. The whole work of popular education was to be brought to a standstill. That incident in itself would make this question important; but it did not stand alone; and the fact that it was typical of a disposition prevailing throughout a large area, made it assume position of considerable magnitude. Nor would the undoubted urgency of the question be contested. Unless some modus vivendi could be found within the next few weeks, there would be 23,000 children at the close of this month without school accommodation in East Ham. Seven hundred officials had received notice to quit their employment and they must find their livelihood elsewhere. This must not be taken to be the view of one set of councillors alone, either, because it was no exaggeration to say that several local authorities representing probably a population of 2,000,000 at least were watching anxiously for the comment of the Prime Minister in order themselves to decide what action they would take in the near future.

On April 18th last the council of the municipal borough of East Ham had before it the materially increased demand of 9d. in the rate for educational purposes. Three new schools were wanted, and in that district such was the value of rateable property and such the population, that from 2d. to 3d. in the £ would be required to build a single school. Confronted with this burden, which they could not support, they at once resolved not to continue to administer the Act of 1902 and instructed the education committee to bring their work under the Act to a conclusion. Admitting the temptation and the irritation under which they acted, and sympathising very fully indeed with the object they had in view, he could not t express approval of a method so uncon- stitutional as that which they had adopted. Although not connected with the borough of East Ham, but representing the neighbouring one of West Ham, he felt himself bound to take the action he now took, because for nine years past he had been very closely associated with this question. In 1896, when the heavily-rated districts applied to Parliament for relief, he, with the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean, forced the matter on the attention of Parliament and did something to secure the bringing about of the Necessitous School Boards Act. Both the right hon. Baronet and himself recognised at the time that that Act could not fulfil the legitimate desires of the ratepayers of those districts, and they did not allow the question to be pushed aside, but did their best to keep it before the House. With the Education Act of 1902 the burdens of those districts became greater, and since then, particularly during the last five months, he had been engaged in attempting to bring this subject before the House. Therefore, although, as he had said, he could not approve of the action East Ham had taken, yet having been so long associated with the question he had thought it his duty to bring this subject to the notice of the House at the earliest opportunity.

The two once tiny villages of West Ham and East Ham had become within the last thirty years densely-populated areas, dormitories and nurseries of London. The population of the borough he had the honour to represent had grewn in that time from 30,000 to nearly 300,000, and if that one fact were kept in recollection four-fifths of the present position was explained. In the same period East Ham had attained a population of 117,000. During the life time of Colonel Makin, who used to represent that part of Essex in the House, the electorate had risen from 8,000 to 148,000. Land which thirty years ago was a marsh was now inhabited by 500,000 people;. It had been said that it would have well repaid the West Ham Borough Council to purchase every plot of waste land within its area and make it waste land for ever to prevent any tenement being built upon it, as it was impossible to erect on land within that area tenements of sufficient value to pay for their upkeep municipally. Another fact to remember was that all the necessities of civilisation had had to be met in thirty years. With the exception of a few ten years loans, every single loan contracted during the last thirty years was still outstanding, and their capital charges were consequently heavy. Until all these debts were paid off these districts would be in the particular difficulty which he was endeavouring to explain to the House. Protests had been made against the time allowed by the Local Government Board for the repayment of these loans as being far too short, and that was one of the things which affected East Ham at this moment, because whereas the Board of Education gave fifty years as the period in which loans for school buildings should be repaid, the Local Government Board restricted the term to twenty-eight years. With a population of 117,000 East Ham had a rateable value of only £468,000, and the net produce of a penny rate on the Poor Law a assessment was only £1,754. They had to provide accommodation for 25,000 scholars. While throughout England and Wales the general rule was to provide for one-sixth of the population, in towns like East and West Ham it was necessary to provide for a much larger proportion. So far as the provision of secondary education was concerned they had been able to do very little, although every penny of the so-called whisky money had teen spent on building and maintaining in West Ham and East Ham respectively two of the finest technical institutes that were to be found in the country. They had therefore never failed in their duty. The difficulty was that they had this large percentage of children to accommodate.

The elementary education rate, under these conditions, during the last half-year reached an amount equal to 2s. 9d. in the £ for the year. He did not think anybody in the district believed 1hat this position would have been avoided had the Education Act of 1902 not been passed, but it was possible that it had come earlier than it would have done had that Act not been passed. Trouble would have arisen under the old conditions with absolute certainty, for the burden entailed by taking over the voluntary schools in the district was but slight, the average attendance in voluntary schools at that moment being less than 700. He understood that in the borough of East Ham a rate of 10d. in the £ was absorbed in meeting capital charges, and in the adjoining borough no less than Is. Id. in the £ had to be taken before a single penny of the rate went to educational maintenance. One might take it that the general position of West Ham was very similar. In, had a large child population, small capital value, and the whole of its capital charges still outstanding, hence much of the present evil. Those who in-habited better-favoured districts could not comprehend the sense of injustice which was deep-rooted throughout these areas. People looked round the country and saw that of administrative counties as local authorities under the Act of 1902 there were only five where the rate for educational purposes reached Is. and not one where it touched 2s. Of the county I boroughs forty-seven had a rate exceeding Is., and one, West Ham, a rate exceeding 2s. In that borough the rate for last year was 2s. 8 ½d. and they had just decided to levy a rate for the half-year which, if spread over twelve months, equalled a rate for educational purposes; alone of 2s. Hid. There were forty-five non-county boroughs which had reached a rate of Is., and one, East Ham, had; reached nearly 3s. In thirty-four urban districts the rate had reached Is. and in four of these it had reached 2s. Of county boroughs they had Bournemouth with a rate of 5½d., and West Ham, 2s. 5d.; of non-county boroughs, Grantham with 4d., and East Ham, 3s.; of urban districts, Wimbledon with 5d., and Walthamstow with 2s. 5d. Was it reasonable to suppose that the inhabitants of these districts, their representatives and their local councillors, would not protest against an inequality of this character? There was much to be said for those who under such a sense of injustice took a step which perhaps was not fully justifiable.

He would probably be-told that the extravagance of the local authority was the cause. To was easy for those who represented districts of largo rateable values, where a great proportion of the schools were provided by charitable people without any contribution from the ratepayers, to say that this was the result of extravagance. But if they had been extravagant that extravagance had been condoned by the Board of Education. Who set the standard of efficiency? Whitehall! Had they been extravagant in teachers' salaries or in the purchase of sites? Let them he compared with London, Manchester, or Birmingham. Was the extravagance in other matters? The general district rate last half-year in East Ham was only 1s. 11d. in the pound. If the local authority were extravagant, it must by with the money of the artisan and tradesman—that was, at their own expense—and who, indeed, with a total rate of 10s. or? 11s. in the pound, would embark on any expenditure that could possibly be avoided? He could understand extravagant expenditure when the rates were low, but for the last thirteen years there had not been a municipal contest in the borough of West Ham where the question of the reduction of the rates was not prominent. It could not be said that the local authority had been extravagant in building schools, unless it was extravagant To provide buildings which were comfortable, sanitary, and suitable.

He had dealt pretty largely with the causes which had led up to the present position in West Ham and East Ham—but in boroughs like Walthamstow Tottenham, towns in the West Biding of Yorkshire and in South Wales—places which were not the overflow of large cities, but which stood quite alone and had grown up round large mines or other manufacturing industries, where there was a large population and a low rateable value, similar trouble existed. In his judgment, the Act of 1902 did not bring about this evil. How far did it affect the position? In 1897 the Government passed the Act popularly known as the Necessitous School Boards Act. The amount of the aid grant given under that Act depended on three factors—the rateable property in the districts; the child population; and the amount of the rate that had to be levied in order to meet capital charges. That Act was re-healed by Section 10 of the Act of 1902. He was the only man in the House who moved that that Act should be retained, and he protested against the change. But Parliament was too busy over sec- tarian squabbles to take into serious consideration the financial^ question. And what was the consequence? There were some districts which with a rate of 2s. in 1897 were declared necessitous and received a considerable subvention. Those districts now, with a rate of 3s., actually received less money under Section 10 than they would have received had the Act-of 1897 remained in force. The Act of 1902 only expedited the position.


It expedited many positions.


said that the trouble would have arisen under the old Act, bit arose somewhat earlier owing to the change which had since been made. The old Act took account of three factors in fixing the amount of aid granted, but Section 10 of the later Act omitted one of those factors—the amount of rate which ha I to b3 levied in order to meet capital charges. He remembered the First Lord of the Treasury saying— We are about to give 4s. in respect to every child, and the remainder of the sum will be distributed in proportion to the poverty of the district. The greater the poverty the greater the grant. He was perfectly convinced that that was the belief and full intention of the right hon. Gentleman. He might be allowed to say that he had had many conversations with the First Lord of the Treasury on the subject during the past nine years, and had found nothing but the utmost sympathy on the part of the right hon. Gentleman with the heavily rated districts. It would be churlish on his part were he not to acknowledge that, even though it might not be credited in some quarters. In West Ham, according to the borough treasurer, the amount received under Section 10 on an average attendance of 51,000 for the year ended March, 1905, was £25,504 10s., as against £27,577 accruing on the same average attendance under the Act of 1897. At East Ham there was a loss of between £200 and £300 this year. In West Ham and in East Ham they had always loyally accepted the Education Act of 1902 and had carried it out smoothly. The only obstacle in both boroughs to its successful working was the disinclination on the part of the ratepayers to find the funds—not because they had a dislike to education in itself, but they felt that that which was an Imperial necessity should be made an Imperial charge, and that the localratepayers oughtnot to be railed upon to bear the whole of the burden. He hoped the Government would not have recourse to a mandamus against the council. The proper remedy was to restore the Act of 1897 with a more liberal scale, without disturbing Section 10 of the Act of 1902. There should be a sliding scale of grants which should expand as local necessity increased and contract again as that necessity expired. On behalf of East Ham and of his own county borough, he appealed to the Government, not for charity, but for justice. -He would close with the words used by the Prime Minister in connection with the Aliens Bill, that that which was a national benefit ought to be a national burden. That was the case with education. In his opinion it would only be a fair thing to provide that a larger share of the cost of education in this country should be thrown on the National Treasury.

MR. CRIPPS (Lancashire, Stretford)

said that, in seconding the Resolution move by the hon. Member for West Ham, he wished to point out that there was nothing of greater importance than the question of the administration of the Education Act of 1902 in the poorer districts of the country. He thought it must be clear to every one who had listened to the speech of the hon. Member that whatever good will these might be in such a district as East Ham, the financial conditions at present were so onerous that, unless some relief was given by the Government, it was hardly to be expected that the local education authority could fulfil its educational duties. He would say at the outset that he realised the extreme difficulty of the position. He thought that everyone on both sides of the House was anxious to put education on the best possible footing, so far as administration was concerned. There was no question here of sectarian animosity on which the two sides of the House should be divided. It was undoubtedly true that in poor dis- tricts like East Ham the burden of education was felt in a very special manner. He did not say that East Ham was the worst instance; he thought that the ratepayers in all districts had at present great reason to complain of the enormously heavy burden which education was throwing on them. That was a very bad policy from the point of view of education. One of the first steps to be taken should be to make such a reapportionment of the burden of education in this country thatthepeople in various localities who were doing their best to provide the most efficient system of education might feel that they were fairly treated with regard to expenditure, and that as far as possible the burden was put on a fair and equitable basis. He did not rise as an apologist for the local authority in East Ham. It was a mistake to allow a dislike to an Act of Parliament or a sense of injustice to be brought forward as an excuse for the local authority not carrying out the duty imposed upon it by the House. The Education Act in its main provisions undoubtedly had been a great educational reform, and it was lamentable, whatever the cause, that certain local authorities, owing to their dislike of the law, should refuse to obey it.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

What you think of the Coercion Act?


said all Acts of Parliament which were effective, and which had to be administered, of course imposed certain obligations on the administering bodies. That was a truism. It was a serious question, however, if the local authorities, on whom they had always relied for carrying out the law, instead of taking such measures to get the law which they disliked altered or repealed, refused to administer it, which as loyal subjects they ought to do.


Why do you encourage them by seconding this Motion?


said that if a private individual had a conscientious objection to certain provisions of the law and wished to emphasise that objection by enduring the penalties for breach of the law, by all means let him do so. But a local authority was in a very different position from an individual, for it was part of the governing machinery of the country. Whatever the difficulty might be in carrying out an Act of this kind, he hoped the East Ham local authority, having made their protest, and as he hoped having got some promise from the Government with regard to the burden of which they legitimately complained, would in future administer this Act.

As to the cause of the discontent in East Ham, he was in thorough sympathy with it. Nothing could be more harmful than placing an undue burden on the ratepayers in a particular locality. If a reform was to be carried out fairly and efficiently, the first step was to see, if possible, that the burden should be so equitably distributed that no individual person should have a sense of unfairness being dealt out to him. What was the condition as regarded East Ham? The ratepayer there found that the burden was five or six times as much as it was in some other localities which were carrying out the same duties. He believed that the Act of 1902 was passed with the intention of not taking away from necessitous districts the grants which they got under the Act of 1897. The Prime Minister stated more than once that the Act would not distribute the burden in the future to the disadvantage of the necessitous districts. But no one could foretell exactly how a scheme of this kind would operate, and now they knew that it was to the distinct disadvantage of these poorer districts, he thought they were entitled to ask that those districts should be put in as fair a position as they were in before the Act was passed. They were dealing here, too, not with a local burden in the ordinal y sense, but with a national service—that of education; and, if in a particular locality, such as East Ham, the burden was so extreme, ought not the national character of education to be further recognised, and ought not further S rate assistance to be given? Nothing could be more extravagant for the ratepayers than our present system with regard to the incidence of the burden of national education. He should entirely agree that where the ratepayer contributed he ought to have control. As long as the level of education was determined by one body, which, he thought, ought to be the Board of Education, and the funds had to be found by another body which had no control over it, and, he thought, ought not to have, they would have a wasteful system, and one not in accord with fair and equitable principle.

Now, was it wonderful that, under I these circumstances, friction had arisen in the poorer districts like East Ham? Speaking from the point of view of an educationist, who wanted education in this country to be raised to the highest possible level, it was the greatest mistake to impose an unfair burden on the ratepayers. A large amount of property escaped contribution to the rates, and it was only fair that all wealth should bear a share of the national burden in providing a system of national education. Although no one could justify local authorities in refusing to carry out their duties, yet in asking the Government to enforce those duties he would first ask what were the causes of discontent, and if they were well founded he thought it was part of the duty of the Government to do what they I could to introduce necessary reforms. Those were the two grounds on which he seconded the Resolution. He hoped that the Government would say on the one hand that education must be carried out in East Ham as in any other part of the country, and he thought there was be special necessity in East Ham for that to be done, because in the poorer districts it was especially necessary that the system of primary education should be carried out. He also hoped that in enforcing that duty the Government would bear in mind there were real causes upon which discontent was founded, and would do what they could to distribute the burdens of education so that no ratepayers could plead that an unfair share of the burden was laid upon them.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That this House do now adjourn."—(Mr. Ernes Gray.)

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

said the House had listened to two remarkable speeches, the moral of which was a clear hint to local authorities, that if they only rebelled loudly and violently enough they could get the Government to do all they wanted. Might he suggest the hint to Merioneth? What would have happened if East Ham had been in Ireland? The hon. and learned Member had said that he had always laid it down that if these local people paid, they must have the control. He did not lay that down in 1902. As a matter of fact he not only did not lay it down, but he voted it down. The position in which they found themselves was the result of the slap-dash way in which a number of vital questions were dealt with in the Bill of 1902. Without any warning the Prime Minister came down with a long and intricate scheme for a special aid grant partly in order to commend the maintenance of voluntary schools to people who had not complete control over them, and it was pointed out at the time that the scheme would not do what the Prime Minister said it would do. They had to apply a system of finance to education in very seriously varying conditions. East and West Ham were not the extreme cases. The two extreme cases were Bournemouth with a rateable value of £90 per child and Gateshead with a rateable value of £21 per child. The Prime Minister decided by the Act of 1902 to abolish the special aid grant under the Act of 1870 and the further attempt to meet the matter made under the Act of 1897, thanks to the efforts mainly of the Members for the Forest of Dean and North West Ham. In lieu he gave them a weird sliding scale. Under the Act of 1897 West Ham got £18,000, but under the Prime Minister's scheme they only got £5,000 a year, and they had to provide £11,000 more than ever before for the voluntary school children. Of course, they did not like it. East Ham, as a matter of fact, did better under the Act of 1902 than before. The whole of the special aid grant, which amounted to £2,200,000, was spent by the allocation of 4s. per head all round, but there was no need to do that in all cases. The Prime Minister wanted to commend the Act of 1902 to localities by a lavish allocation of money. Then under Subsection b of Section 10 of the Act the Government gave 1½d for every 2d. when the proceeds of a penny rate divided among the whole children in the area fell below 10s. The right hon. Gentleman was in reality throwing £1,000,000 away if, as he stated, in 1902, his purpose was to assist poor neighbourhoods. If he meant business he should have given the whole of the £2,200,000 to the necessitous schools, and then he would not have had East and West Ham coming to the House and inciting other authorities to rebellion. This was the result of the Government's bungling. East Ham naturally did not like it, but he objected to their coming down to the House and asking it to break the law. There was a remedy provided in the scheme of the Act of 1902, Section 10, Subsection b. That scheme should be widened and extended in its application, as he had urged in November, 1902, whilst the Government ought to find another £1,000,000 for the necessitous areas. He dissented entirely from the views of the mover and seconder of the Resolution as to the nationalisation of the education charge. That was a dangerous proposition to put to the people. It was true that education was largely a national service, but there ought always to be a local charge in order to secure economy and proper administration, local control, and local initiative. The margin ought to be narrow and should not be more than one-fourth, but it would be diastrous to say that the whole expenses ought to be a national charge.

MR. DAVID MORGAN (Essex, Walthamstow)

drew attention to the claims of Walthamstow and Leyton, which he said had populations of 125,000 and 104,000 respectively. Some 60 per cent, of the population consisted of the working classes who went to London in the early morning and returned in the evening. A large number of the children of these people had to be educated by the people of Walthamstow out of the Walthamstow rates. The education rate there was 2s. 8d., and in Leyton it was Is. 10fd., while now there would be added a 2d. rate for higher education. The House would agree that this was a case for assistance to be given from Imperial taxation. He agreed that it would be a very bad thing indeed if the whole amount were to be defrayed from Imperial sources, because it would do away with local control, which was absolutely necessary and without which they could not secure economy or properly carry out the dictates of the Education Board. There were great difficulties to contend with in dealing with two bodies such as the Education Board and the Local Government Board, both of which had to be satisfied. The case of Walthamstow and Leyton ought to commend itself to the House because they had carried out the Act to the best of their power and without a murmur. He confidently appealed for assistance and believed the House would say that some relief should be given to those necessitous districts which had faithfully and truly endeavoured to carry out the Act.

SIR JAMES JOICEY (Durham, Chester-le-Street)

thought they were in a very serious position with regard to the educational question. Gateshead was in his constituency, and if there was a district that deserved to be assisted it was Gateshead, which had a population of 120,000, of which 90 per cent, was of the artisan class. They ought not to be called upon to bear a larger share in the expense of education than other districts. He hoped some scheme would be evolved to give the needed relief, and, personally, would do his utmost to assist in working one out. They ought to do everything possible to make education popular, and do nothing to encourage difficulties in those districts where the rates were heavy. In the interests of education itself this should not be made a Party.question but one for the nation.

MR. LOUIS SINCLAIR (Essex, Romford)

deplored the fact that the mover of the Resolution found it necessary to dissociate himself from the actions of the East Ham authorities. He endorsed every word that had been said in answer to the allegation of extravagance that had been brought against East Ham, -and he had obtained information which would prove that that borough had recognised its obligations and had endeavoured to educate its children as cheaply as possible. Instead of spending the whole amount authorised on their schools, they had kept consider- ably below it. East Ham had further been unjustly accused of providing unnecessary secondary education and of extravagance in providing education for infants. They had been compelled to provide the additional accommodation, and in doing so had only obeyed the law. If hon. Members would refer to his Amendments tabled to the Act of 1902, they would see that East Ham and other necessitous districts anticipated that they would suffer under it. In 1902 when the Bill was under discussion it was said that it would lead to an immediate increase of the education rate without any corresponding increase of efficiency, and it had done so. It was further said that it would encourage the formation of unnecessary and costly sectarian schools, involving a further increase in the rate, and that also had been borne out by the facts. How did East Ham suffer now? The Prime Minister at the time expressed the opinion that they would be better off under the Act, but as a matter of fact East Ham, which under the Act of 1870, as amended by the Act of 1897, would last year have received £11,000, only received under the present system £10,700 or £10,800; so that the Prime Minister's view had not been borne out, and East Ham, while it had had a heavier burden imposed upon- it, had received a smaller amount to enable it to discharge its duties. A penny rate produced very little; the £15 houses of which the district mainly consisted had been taxed to the utmost limit, and the council felt that they were not justified in imposing any further burden upon them. It was not a Party or a sectarian question; it was simply that the poverty of the district would not allow of the imposition of further burdens.

In twenty-five years the population had grown from 8,000 to 120,000; in five years the number of children that had to be educated had increased from 12,600 to 23,000, new schools had had to be erected, and they had been forced to ask for special conditions to lessen the expense. The average education rate throughout England was at the outside 1s. 3d.; in East Ham it was 2s. 9d., and would soon be 4s., while the poor rate was 3s. 2d. for the half-year. He did not admit that the East Ham Council had acted in so unconstitutional a manner as they were accused of doing. They had no alternative, and the position had been forced upon them. Conference after conference had been held without any good result. They had relied in great measure upon the promises of the Prime Minister in connection with the Act of 1902, but instead of being recognised as a necessitous district they found themselves on absolutely the same level as the rich districts which had no need of assistance whatever. They felt that they had a legitimate grievance; they fully recognised the irresponsibilities, and simply asked that their grievance should be considered. If any hope in that direction were held out he believed they would continue to administer the Act. East Ham educated the children, not for East Ham only, but for the nation generally. The duty had been thrust upon them, and the burden should be made bearable. That was all they asked.

While not altogether agreeing with all that had been said with regard to the nationalisation of the education rate, he thought the rich districts should bear the same proportion as the poorer districts, and that a rate trust should be inaugurated throughout the country, under which the poorer areas should be so treated that the burden would rest more easily than at present. The population of East Ham was rapidly increasing, with the result that there would be a continuance of this grievance. He admitted that the question would have been forced to the front even if the Act of 1897 had remained in force, but he submitted that the Local Government Board had failed to meet the requirements imposed upon the local authorities, and he blamed them for not having foreseen the difficulties which had arisen. He appealed to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to see whether he could not find some means to mitigate the great grievance which existed, and to the Prime Minister to do what he could to carry out what he foreshadowed in 1902. If those necessitous districts had been placed in the position then promised the present action would not have been necessary.


said the last speaker was much more bold and uncompromising when speaking in the East Ham Town-hall. To-night he had contented himself with appealing to all possible Departments and Ministers, from the Prime Minister down to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—a considerable step indeed—but at East Ham he was reported in The Times as having said— It was the anomalies of East Ham and similar districts that made the working of the-Education Act impossible. The Opposition had always said the Act was impossible, and any convert to their view, even the hon. Member, was a source of great pleasure. He hoped the meeting would fortify the town council— That was a somewhat military metaphor for a champion of law and order— And that there would be no climbing down. They had taken up a position and must stand by it. If they had to go to prison they would go— And here came in the self-sacrifice of the hon. Member— If they had to go to prison they would go, and he would suggest that he should go with them on condition that his constituents brought them enough tobacco and other luxuries to make the condition bearable. There really seemed to be a very grave state of disorder on the other side of the House. The hon. Member for West Ham must have departed from his views on this question, because when the Defaulting Authorities. Act was passed with reference to Wales the hon. Gentleman took a very serious view of law and order. They then could hardly have imagined he would ever appear there as the champion of anarchy in East Ham. The hon. Member declared on July 15th, 1904, when Wales was concerned, that it was the duty of the Government to see that the law was carried out. How different must be the hon. Member's position to that of the hon. Gentleman who would go to prison. He could think of no worse punishment for either that that they should go together. The hon. Member then stated— It was their duty to carry out the will of Parliament. That was a very fine proposition in the abstract so long as it was applied to Wales or to Ireland, but when it came to East Ham it was a very different matter. It was then the duty of the Government not to carry out, but to alter the law.

The great point of the mover and seconder of the Motion was equality of treatment. That raised a very large question. Were hon. Members opposite in favour of equalisation of rates all round? The cost of education was not the only national matter. What about the poor rate? If equality of treatment was the principle underlying this Motion, he hoped the Board of Education would go in for equality of treatment. If East Ham was to succeed, he hoped Wales also would have some measure of success in the steps she had taken. It was true that Saxon and Celtic methods were a little different. In one case it was a question of cash, in the other conscience. Of course the Government would have more sympathy "with the cash view. The Prime Minister had taken the intolerable strain from the Churchmen and put it upon the ratepayers generally; but if the violent methods of East Ham were going to succeed in making the Government climb down, then the peaceful methods of "Wales should be entitled to similar treatment. He asked the Prime Minister to treat all parts of the country in the same way. They were in some little difficulty in one part of Wales with respect to the Education Act; and three schools in the county of Merioneth had been dealt with, at least to some extent, under the Defaulting Authorities Act. If East Ham, by this step, a distinct breach of the law and of the Constitution, was going to succeed in making the Government climb down, he trusted that they in Wales, who had administered the law within the letter of it up to now would be entitled to the same treatment.and the same measure of sympathy from His Majesty's Government.


The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, in a speech which contributed perhaps more to the amusement than to the enlightenment of the House—[OPPOSITION cries of "Oh"]—I am sure the hon. Gentleman will regard that as the highest possible praise—expressed some doubt as to whether the member of the Government who would deal with this Motion would be my hon. friend who is responsible for educational matters here or some other member of the Government. Had the Motion dealt with an educational matter it would have been my hon. friend who would have replied, but it must be obvious to everybody who has studied the case, even in the most cursory fashion, that this Motion has no more to do with education than it has with the Poor Law, and no more to do with the Poor Law than it has with education or with any other obligation the House may put on local authorities to carry out. Indeed, in the view of the local authority principally concerned, the borough council of East Ham, it is evident that the educational aspect of this question has nothing whatever to do with their action, but that they bass the illegal policy which, in a rash and unhappy moment, as I think, they have announced they are going to adopt, not the least on any educational question, but on certain broad issues which go to the very root of our whole system of both national and local government. This is their letter— In view of the heavy rates for national purposes raised locally, amounting to £113,234, being equal to a rate of 5s. 5d. in the £, made up as under:—Elementary education, 2s. 10d.; higher education, 2d.; relief of the poor, 2s. 5d.; this council, representing the burgesses, is of opinion that the rate is unjust, as the burgesses of East Ham are under present conditions paying more than double their share towards national purposes, more particularly in respect of education. What is the claim made by the council of East Ham? It is that when the rates reach a point which they consider—and, I am far from denying, consider rightly—to be extremely burdensome, and when the duty is what they describe as a national duty, they have a right to strike against the rate, and to leave unperformed a duty which this House has put upon them. I do not believe the House will agree with that view. I am sure the Government do not agree with that view, and it is not one which we can for one instant accept.

I must just say one word upon two or three points which have been mentioned incidentally either as palliations of the conduct of this corporation or as throwing some portion of the blame upon the Government. My hon. friend who, in a speech of great ability and moderation, introduced the debate, and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Camberwell, both charged the financial clause, Clause 10 of the Act of 1902, with having substituted a far worse system than the one which was established by the Act of 1897, and thereby of having deprived the ratepayers of East Ham of money which, had the 1897 Act been allowed to remain in force, they would have received from the public Exchequer.


I said that East Ham was £2,000 to the good.


The hon. Gentleman is quite right. He did not make that allegation with regard to East Ham. The allegation has, however, been made, and I think the hon. Gentleman even went the length of correcting it.


Yes, I did.


The hon. Gentleman is perfectly right. The clause in the Act of 1897 and the clause in the Act of 1902 depend upon different principles. They also deal with different sums, and I may assure the House that under the Act of 1902 I believe all the corporations that were mentioned to-night—East Ham, West Ham, and other districts in the same neighbourhood suffering under the same adverse conditions—have gained rather than lost money by the change. It is quite true that we are approaching, perhaps we have touched, the point at which the balance will be the other way. But since the Act of 1902 was passed, and at the time it was passed, the financial balance was in favour of those localities, and not against them- They have gained, therefore, in the interval from the passing of the Act of 1902, and when my hon. friend talks of an additional burden thrown upon them by that Act, he is looking forward and not back—he is giving his view of what the effect will be in the future; he is not complaining of what the effect has been in the past. Let it be observed—and this is a very important point, I think, if we are to go to main principles, as I propose to do for the most part this evening—that the Act of 1897 made the assistance given by the public Exchequer to the local authorities depend not upon the poverty of that authority so much as upon its expenditure. As the rate rose, so the assistance from this House increased. That is a bad system; it must surely be a bad system. I cannot doubt that it is a bad system; and it really is a direct encouragement of expenditure which, if not extravagant—I mean to use no harsh language—is, at all events, on a very large scale. The Act of 1902, of which the hon. Gentleman opposite has attacked the financial provisions, at all events went on a better plan, as, indeed,, did the Act of 1870; for the assistance given by the House under those two Acts depends upon the poverty of the districts, and not upon their extravagance. That, I think, is the proper plan, and when the subject of public assistance to local authorities is dealt with at a later date by this House I hope that of the two systems that will be the one adopted, and, if need be, developed,, and not the rather dangerous plan which was adopted by the Government in the Act of 1897, and for which, of course, I take my full share of responsibility, as I was myself a member of it.

I pass from that point to one or two other subsidiary points which have been raised in the course of the debate. It has been pointed out, I think with perfect truth, that one of the difficulties of these districts arises from conditions which are hardly to be found in any other part of the island. I do not say that absolutely. Possibly, for instance, Gateshead, in its economic conditions and position, rather resembles East Ham and West Ham; but it is rare. As a rule the rating in any district touches all the classes concerned in the economic and social life of the district. In Manchester, for example, or in Liverpool, or in Leeds, or in any other great industrial centre, the rate falls not merely upon a particular district of the city from which the working population is drawn, but upon the mills, the warehouses, and to a certain extent upon residential property. It does not fall exclusively, as it does in East Ham and West Ham, upon the houses of the working classes. There is, indeed, an unnatural divorce between East and West Ham and the great London district to which they economically and socially belong, but from which for local purposes they are divided. I believe that the division is entirely in accordance with the wishes of East and West Ham. I think they strongly resisted been absorbed in the metropolitan area, and I daresay the metropolitan area might not, in existing circumstances, be very anxious to absorb them. However that may be as regards the past and the present, nobody can deny that part of the difficulties which these districts feel arises from the fact that they are wholly different in their conditions from other industrial populations, whose rates are raised from many classes—not merely from the workers, but from the places in which they work, from the greatcapitalists and companies by whom the industries of the district are carried on. Nothing of the kind happens in these regions; hence one of the difficulties from which they suffer.

But that is only a part, I have to admit, of the difficulty which it seems to me is going more and more to come upon us in the future with regard to local rating for public purposes. The facilities of locomotion are increasing every day. The tube, the tram, and the railway—the machinery for conveying working men and employers, and clerks engaged in our great industrial system, from their places of business to their places of residence—are becoming so perfected that you will more and more find what you are finding now to a great extent, namely, that the areas of your local government do not in any sense correspond, as they used to correspond, with the natural economic areas of a great industrial district it does not affect the working class alone. It affects the wealthy manufacturer and the wealthy man of business who goes in every day to his business from a region far removed from that place of business. His local interest, therefore, is only an indirect interest, and, so far as his residence is concerned, he does not contribute a single halfpenny. As regards all classes this process is going on, and it will undoubtedly produce greater and greater difficulties when we try to adjust our rating system to the actual divisions of our local authorities. This: is so as regards this and many other subjects, and that the difficulty will increase I do not doubt.

Observe, the discussion we are engaged upon has no relation to the educational merits of the Act of 1902, because it so happens, and fortunately perhaps,that the district of East Ham is not touched by any of the controversial divisions of 1902, which arose upon the question of the management of voluntary schools and in relation to religious teaching closely bound up with voluntary schools. Heaven forbid that I should raise those questions on the present occasion. An hon. Gentleman opposite called the discussion slap-dash treatment of the education question in 1902, but the discussion went on for nine months.


said he applied the remark to Clause 10 of the Act which was rushed through in a slap-dash manner.


It could hardly be applied to the discussion. Fortunately for the important issue now raised none of the controversial questions of 1902 come in. In East Ham there are only two Roman Catholic schools, and the great bulk of the teaching is given in provided schools, and the rate the borough council has declared an intention to repudiate is not for the sup port of voluntary, but for provided schools. Therefore, the only question for the House to consider is that of the obligation of local authorities to carry out the duties this House has imposed upon them.

Now I have listened with interest during this discussion to see if any light was to be thrown on this point by the various speakers, but I confess that I have not received much illumination from it myself—perhaps it is my fault. I should like to know is the House prepared to accept the view advanced with great confidence by at least one speaker that we ought not only to contribute to local rates, but ought to do so in proportion to the poverty of the district? I believe that it is a fair method if we do contribute, but you cannot stop with the education rate, nor do I think it is the main one for which the claim could be made. We do contribute to education now very largely from the Exchequer. I believe the contribution, taking the whole country, is between 60 and 70 per cent., roughly speaking. Now, my hon. and learned friend who seconded and my hon. friend who moved this Motion, are both in favour of what is called nationalising these public services, but they admitted that if you are going to leave localities with responsibility of management it is absolutely necessary to throw upon the locality an appreciable portion of the cost. This is plain common sense. I do not think this House would ever consent in any moment of insanity to hand over to a locality absolute control of public funds, putting on the locality no charge or penalty whatever for mismanagement or extravagance. I do not say that with a contribution of 60 or 70 per cent, we have reached the limit of contribution that can be safely given by the State. I do not lay down any absolute proportion, but I say the limit cannot be very far off. I do not know what my hon. friend thinks the proportion should be.


A shilling in the pound.


The proportionate the total amount is what I meant. What proportion of the amount spent by the locality ought to be contributed by the taxpayers of the country. I do not say it should not be more than 60 or 70 per cent., but we approach a point where it would be dangerous to go much further and leave sufficient inducement for that rigid economy which is not always practised in regard to education even now. In regard to Poor Law relief we give nothing whatever. I know there are certain small contributions, but I do not think I need go into them. Broadly speaking, the whole burden of the Poor Law falls on the locality, and falls more heavily on the poor locality than on the rich one. Are we going to lay down the proposition—I am not arguing that we ought not to do it—that the State should contribute, and should contribute in proportion to the poverty of the district, to the local charge incurred for a national object? I do not know how that is to be decided. But one point has not been referred to to-night which is absolutely inseparable from the subject, and which I think must be considered if we are to get local government into a healthy condition. It. appears to be the view of all the hon. Gentlemen who have spoken that the localities charged with education have nothing to think of but the excellence of the education they give; that they have not to consider the means at their disposal to provide education, but merely to consider whether the education comes up to some ideal standard which is provided for them. It is said they cannot be blamed for spending this or that amount because the standard is laid down by the Education Department. I think, with deference, that is not accurate. That the Education Department is bound, when the country contributes so largely to education, to see that a standard is maintained is not to be denied; but will anybody say that had the Corporation of East Ham spent less on its schools there would have been any interference on the part of the Board of Education? ["Yes."] One hon. friend behind me said the borough of East Ham had been building two or three schools, and another said the fact that they had to build two or three schools more was the last straw which produced the present crisis, and they both suggested that the Education Board at Whitehall was responsible for the cost of those buildings. That was quite inaccurate. As far as I am able to judge, it was not the business of this corporation to build these schools at the cost at which they have built them. It is not a subject on which I speak with any authority. But I am told that the last school built in East Ham was built at a cost of £18 per child, and I am told that the average cost of the schools recently built in Leeds was between £12 and £13 per child.


There is the cost of the ground.


These estimates are made irrespective of the cost of the site. There may have been some local circumstance unknown to me which justified the expenditure in East Ham of £18. What were they?


Cost of labour and materials.


I am aware that the schools in London have been very costly, but I should require strong evidence to convince me that it was right for East Ham, on the verge of what it considered bankruptcy itself, to spend £18 6s. 10d. per head, when, as I say, in other regions it is found possible to build for a much smaller figure. Who is responsible for that? My hon. friend says the Education Board.


said it was important to defend East Ham from a charge of extravagance. In boroughs contiguous to London the London rate of wages and charges for material applied to them, and the schools had to be built in compliance with a whole volume of rules by the Board of Education.


I do not think the Education Department would hamper my hon. friend or the Corporation of East Ham with rules which they could not relax in case of need. It may be—I am not qualified to say—that the whole difference between—12 and—13 and—18 is due to the difference of the rate of wages between Leeds and London. To me it is a startling proposition. I would like to have some evidence before I accept it. But I do not want to make a charge against any corporation without clear evidence that the charge is deserved. I should like to ask the House whether they think that an education authority should cut its educational effort according to its financial cloth, or do they think that an education policy should be pursued absolutely in the abstract, that a certain standard should be reached no matter what it costs to the ratepayers, and the ratepayers should come to the Exchequer and say, "You have put upon us too heavy a burden, new you must find some way out"? I do not think we can accept that. It does not seem to me to be in accordance with common sense.

I recognise that the burden of the rates in the eastern part of London and some other parts of the country is increased in consequence of the requirements which this House has put upon them—not in consequence of the Education Act of 1902, or any other particular Education Act, but in consequence of the burden of education which we have thrown upon them—in consequence of the standard of education required by the community. But if the cost has risen and is rising by excess in that and other municipal directions, how are you going to deal with it? It is very simple to say it shall be thrown on the Exchequer. In the first place, the burdens of the Exchequer to a large extent, though not wholly, fall also on the ratepayer, and, in the second place, the cost if thrown on the Exchequer will inevitably modify your whole system of taxation. Unless the external circumstances of this country change more than I think they are likely to change, hon. Gentlemen opposite will not be likely to make those huge reductions in expenditure which they hope to make. The House will not be able to do it. If, then, you are going further to throw on this House all that the local authorities feel that they are unable to sustain, how are you going to get money to carry out the new obligations? Hon. Gentlemen do not bring together different parts of their own political creed. For instance, a great many Gentlemen desire to see the duty of feeding school children thrown upon the rates. I am not going to argue now whether that is a good or a bad system; but that the additional burden will be enormous is obvious on the face of it. The burden is far greater than can be borne. How are you going to meet it? Why, of course, the Exchequer. And then I suppose we shall have some further claim. The very people who, in their philanthropic moments, are urging this kind of expenditure are in their economic moments denouncing the growth of the national expenditure and blaming my right hon. friend for being unable to bring forward Estimates smaller in amount.

I hope I have said enough to show that the illegal policy which the council of East Ham suggested touches on issues which go to the very root of our whole system of public and local taxation. It cannot be considered in isolation. I think this House would be very much to blame, and the Government would be very much to blame, if, in obedience to any threat from any local authority, they were to give a promise for dealing with it except as part of a well-considered scheme. I hope my hon. friend who moved the Motion, and who represents the district, does not think I am unsympathetic with the difficulties of the ratepayers. Even if these ratepayers and their representatives have been more lavish than they ought to have been, I agree in thinking that the inseparable circumstances of these districts, so long as they remain isolated, put them in circumstances of exceptional difficulty, and, it may be, of exceptional hardship. But I think that is no justification for the authorities of East Ham, in the first place, to lay down the proposition that they have to carry out a great deal of work that ought to be carried out by the State, and then to say what part of the work they will not carry out and what part of it they will condescend to carry out. All local government will break down unless a standard of public duty is set up which would make such a course quite impossible. It is the duty of this House—it is our duty, to whichever side we belong, to do our best to make the heavy weight of public and local taxation bear as evenly as we can upon the shoulders that have to bear them. It is our duty to be as economical as we can, both in the use of public funds and in the use of local funds, and I entirely separate myself from those, of whom there appear to be many on the other side of the House, who think economy is a virtue that ought to be practised by the public Exchequer,, but a virtue which ought not to be practised by local corporations. I do not hold that a corporation has only to consider the object and not the means, and that merely to say that the object is education is an adequate justification of any expenditure which can be shown, even in the smallest degree, to subserve the end of education. In public and private life the exigence of an object is not by itself a justification for paying for it if you have not the means. It is all a question of degree and of the adjustment of means to ends. But one thing we cannot do; one thing this House ought never to do; it ought never to tolerate on the part of any public authority the abandonment of the duties which this House has entrusted to it, because if we relax our principles in such a matter, we shall not only be doing a very poor service to the particular community which commits the crime, but we shall be committing a crime against the whole system of local self-government.

MR. J. W. WILSON (Worcestershire, N.)

said that those who had listened to the speech of the Prime Minister must feel that this was not so much a question of education as of the incidence of rating generally. They must cast their minds back to 1896, when the Government brought in an important rating reform, with a promise that it was only to be temporary, and that the recommendations of the Royal Commission on ratiny should be carried out. That temporarg Act had been renewed, and yet during the period it had been in operation the Government had made no effort to put the question of rating on a more satisfactory basis. This was not a question which affected merely East Ham. There were many other sufferers up and down the country who were equally bearing their burdens, and bearing them with greater patience and fortitude. What the Education Act had done was to bring into prominence the position which our system of local rating had really reached in the country, and to show that its inequalities, not alone in regard to London but throughout the country generally, were such that localities could not stand the great additional burden which the Education Act had cast upon the rates. He thought this debate had clearly emphasised the necessity for the Government taking in hand the whole question of rating instead of being satisfied with temporary measures which might give slight amelioration.

MR. EMMOTT (Oldham)

expressed, his profound dissatisfaction with the speech of the Prime Minister. He was, he thought, a little mistaken in supposing East and West Ham peculiar. There were other places which were in the position of East and West Ham. His own constituency—although the rates were about 2s. in the £ and not 3s.—was a case in point. There was no question there of a population which worked in one district and lived in another. The population there lived and worked in the town where the rates were so high' and he was quite sure there were many other places besides East and West Ham where the circumstances were similar. One thing in which he did agree with the Prime Minister was that the discussion that night did bear on the wider question of our local taxation, and it was because our Imperial subventions were divided so unfairly, because the poor places got so little compared with many agricultural counties and many other towns, that the difficulty arose. That was the real reason why places like East and West Ham and another "Ham "—Oldham—felt the pressure in this matter. He did not think that it arose iron: extravagance. The so-called extravagance arose in East Ham probably iron higher wages and increased cost of material. But, taking the Prime Minister's own figures, supposing that East Ham spent £6 too much, that would only be £150,000, and the interest on that at i per cent, would only be £6,000, or a rate of 3½d;. They were not complaining of a rate of 3½d, but of about 2s. 6d Therefore he did not think it was extravagance in building that had caused this For himself, as representing a constituency in very much the same position, he must say he had listened with great dissatisfaction to the speech of the Prime Minister, for he had promised nothing and he had held out no hope of dealing with a matter that ought to have beer dealt with long ago.

The House divided:—Ayes 116; Noes,159. (Division List No. 150.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Hardie, J. Keir (MerthyrTydvil) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Hay, Hon. Claude George O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Allen, Charles P. Hayter, Et. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Parrott, William
Ambrose, Robert Helme, Norval Watson Partington, Oswald
Ashton, Thomas Gair Hemphill, Et. Hon. Charles H. Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Austen, Sir John Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Pirie, Duncan V.
Barlow, John Emmott Higham, John Sharp Priestley, Arthur
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th
Benn, John Williams Horniman, Frederick John Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Black, Alexander William Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. Robertson. Edmund (Dundee)
Blake, Edward Jacoby, James Alfred Roe, Sir Thomas
Brigg, John Johnson, John Russell, T. W.
Bright, Allan Heywood Joicey, Sir James Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'nsea Shackleton, David James
Burt, Thomas Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Caldwell, James Kitson, Sir James Shipman, Dr. John G.
Causton, Richard Knight Lambert, George Slack, John Bamford
Cawley, Frederick Langley, Batty Spencer, Et. Hn.C. E (Northants
Cheetham, John Frederick Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall) Strachey, Sir Edward
Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark) Layland-Barratt, Francis Sullivan, Donald
Dalziel, James Henry Levy, Maurice Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan Lloyd-George, David Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr)
Delany, William Lundon, W. Tomkinson, James
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Lyell, Charles Henry Toulmin, George
Dillon, John Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Wallace, Robert
Donelan, Captain A. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Doogan, P. C. M'Crae, George Warner, Thomas Gourtenay T.
Duncan, J. Hastings M'Kcan, John Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Edwards, Frank M'Kenna, Eeginald Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Elibank, Master of M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Ellice, Capt EC (SAndrw'sBghs Mansfield, Horace Rendall Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Emmott, Alfred Markham, Arthur Basil Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Evans, Sir Francis H. (Maidstone Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Wills, Arthur Walters (N. Dorset
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Mass, Samuel Wilson, John (Falkiik)
Findlay, Alexander (Lanark N E Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Fuller, J. M. F. Norton, Capt. Cecil William TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Harwood and Mr. Mooney.
Grey, Et. Hon Sir E. (Berwick) O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork) Griffith, Ellis J.
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, Kendal (TipperaryMid
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Hareourt, Lewis O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Balcarres, Lord Boulnois, Edmund
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Baldwin, Alfred Bowles, Lt.-Col H F (Middlesex)
Alhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Maneh'r Bowles. T. Gibson (King'sLynn)
Allsopp, Hon. George Banbury, Sir Frederick George Brassey, Albert
Anson, Sir William Reynell Banner, John S. Harmood- Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Arkwright, John Stanhope Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor Bryuaer, William Ernest
Arnold-Forster, Et. Hn. Hugh O Bartley, Sir George C. T. Butcher, John George
Arrol, Sir William Bathurst, Hn. A. Benjamin Campbell, Rt Hn. J. A. (Glasgow)
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.
Bagot, Capt. Josceline Fitz Roy Bignold, Sir Arthur Cautley, Henry Strother
Bailey, James (Walworth) Bigwood, James Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbyshire
Bain, Colonel James Robert Bingham, Lord Cayzer, Sir Charles William
Baird, John George Alexander Blundell, Colonel Henry Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Chamberlain, Rt Hn J. A. (Worc. Henderson, Sir A. (Stafford. W.) Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Chamberlayne, T. (S'thampton) Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Pretyman, Ernest George
Channing, Francis Allston Hickman, Sir Alfred Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Chapman, Edward Hornby, Sir William Henry Purvis, Robert
Clive, Captain Percy A. Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Randles, John S.
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Hoult, Joseph Ratcliff, R. F.
Coddington, Sir William Howard, J. (Midd., Tottenham Reid, James (Greenock)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Colomb, Rt. Hn. Sir John C.R. Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Renwick, George
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Jessel, Captain Herbert Merton Ridley, S. Forde
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge Kerr, John Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Craig, Chas. Curtis (Antrim, S.) Kimber, Sir Henry Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Knowles, Sir Lees Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lawrence, Wm. F (Liverpool) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Davenport, William Bromley Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Denny, Colonel Lawson, John Grant (Yorks, N R Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford
Dewar, Sir T. R. (Tower Hamlets Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Dickson, Charles Scott Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Samuel, Sir Harry S. (Limehouse
Dimsdale, Rt Hn. Sir Joseph C. Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Sharpe, William Edward T.
Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Sinclair, Louis (Romford)
Doughty, Sir George Lockwood, Lieut.- Col. A. R. Sloan, Thomas Henry
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S,) Spear, John Ward
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lonsdale, John Brownlee Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Loyd, Archie Kirkman Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft Stone, Sir Benjamin
Faber, George Denison (York) Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Fellowes, Rt Hn. Ailwyn Edward Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Fergusson. Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r Macdona, John cumming Tuff, Charles
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Maconochie, A. W. Tuffnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Vincent. Col Sir C. E. H. (Sheffield
Finlay, Sir R. B. (Inv'rn'ss B'ghs M'lver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W. Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)
Fisher, William Hayes Malcolm, Ian Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Flower, Sir Ernest Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H. E (Wigt'n) Wanklyn, James Leslie
Forster, Henry William Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh're Warde, Colonel C. E.
Gardner, Ernest Melville, Beresford Valentine Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. Taunton
Garfit, William Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H. Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Whiteley, H. (Ashton und. Lyne
Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin & Nairn Milvain, Thomas Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Gordon, Maj. Evans (T'r H'mlets Morpeth, Viscount Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby- Morrell, George Herbert Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon Morrison, James Archibald Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R)
Goulding, Edward Alfred Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Graham, Henry Robert Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C. Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R. (Bath)
Grey, Ernest (West Ham) Muntz, Sir Philip A. Wolff. Gustav Wilhelm
Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath) Worsley-Taylor, Henry Wilson
Hambro, Charles Eric Nicholson, William Graham Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'ry O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Wylie, Alexander
Hardy, Lawrence (Kent, Ashford Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Hare, Thomas Leigh Parker, Sir Gilbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Heath, Sir James (Staffords. N W Pemberton, John S. G.
Helder, Augustus Percy, Earl

Original Question put, and agreed to.

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Emmott, Alfred Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Eve, Harry Trelawney Layland-Barratt, Francis
Allen, Charles P. Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith) Lewis, John Herbert
Barlow, John Emmott Findlay, Alexander (L'n'rk, N. E Lloyd-George, David
Beaumont, Wentworth C. B. Fitzmaurice, Lord' Edmond Lough, Thomas
Benn, John Williams Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Lundon, W.
Black, Alexander William Fuller, J. M. F. Lyell, Charles Henry
Bowlef. Lt.-Col. H. F. (Middlesex Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Brigg, John Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Bright, Allan Heywood Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton M'Crae, George
Burns, John Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)
Burt, Thomas Harcourt, Lewis Morgan, David J (Walthamstow
Caldwell, James Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Causton, Richard Knight Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D. Moss, Samuel
Cawley, Frederick Helme, Norval Watson Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)
Cheetham, John Frederick Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H. O'Brien, Kendal (TipperaryMid
Cremer, William Randal Henderson, Arthur (Durham) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Crooks, William Higham, John Sharp O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan) Horniman, Frederick John O'Connor, T. P. Liverpool)
Delany, William Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk. O'Kelly, (Conor (Mayo, N.)
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) Parrott, William
Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.) Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Johnson, John Pirie, Duncan V.
Dillon, John Joicey, Sir James Reckitt, Harold James
Dobbie, Joseph Jones, Leif (Appleby) Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Doogan, P. C. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th
Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark) Kearley, Hudson, E. Rickett, J. Compton
Duncan, J. Hastings Kitson, Sir James Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Edwards, Frank Lambert, George Robson, William Snowdon
Ellice, Capt E C S (Andr'w'sB'ghs Langley, Batty Roe, Sir Thomas
Runciman, Walter Stanhope, Hon. Philip James White, Luke (York, E. E.)
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Strachey, Sir Edward Whiteley, George (York. W. R.)
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Sullivan, Donal Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Schwann, Charles E. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E. Wills, Arthur Walters (N. Dorset
Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Shackleton, David James Tomkinson, James Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Hudders'd
Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Shipman, Dr. John G. Ure, Alexander TELLERS FOR THE AYE—Mr. Ernest Gray and Mr. J. H. Whitley.
Sinclair, Louis (Romford) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Slack, John Bamford White, George (Norfolk)
Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Goschen, Hon. G. Joachim Nicholson, William Graham
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Gretton, John Palmer, Sir Walter (Salisbury)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Groves, James Grimble Pemberton, John S. G.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Hall, Edward Marshall Percy, Earl
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Hambro, Charles Eric Pilkington, Colonel Richard
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Bailey, James (Walworth) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Balcarres, Lord Hare, Thomas Leigh Pretyman, Ernest George
Balfour. Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley) Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Heath, Sir J. (Staffords, N.W.) Purvis, Robert
Banner, John S. Harmood- Helder, Augustus Randies, John S.
Bathurst, Hon. A Hen Benjamin Henderson, Sir A.(Stafford. W Reid, James (Greenock)
Beach. Rt. Hn. Sir Machael Hicks Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T. Renshaw, Sir Charles Bine
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Hoare, Sir Samuel Renwick, George
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside Ridley, S. Forde
Bigwood, James Hoult, Joseph Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas. Thomson
Bingham, Lord Hunt, Rowland Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Bond, Edward Hutton, John (Yorks. N. R.) Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Jebb, Sir R. Claverhouse Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Brymer, William Ernest Jeffreys, Rt. Hn. Arthur Fred. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Bull, William James Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Royds, Clement Molyneux
Butcher, John George Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Cautley, Henry Strother Keswick, William Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Cavendish, V C. W. (Derbyshire Laurie, Lieut.-General Sassoon, Sir Edward Albeit
Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow) Seton-Karr, Sir Henry
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc. Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Chapman, Edward Lawson, Hn. H. L. W. (Mile End) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Clive, Captain Percy A. Lawson, John Grant(Yorks. N R Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lanes)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Long, Col. C. W. (Evesham Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart
Colomb. Rt. Hon. Sir John C. R. Long. Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol. S) Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile Loyd, Archie Kirkman Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Lucas, R. J. (Portsmouth) Tuff, Charles
Davenport, William Bromley Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Walker, Col. William Hall
Dickson, Charles Scott Macdona, John Cumming Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H.
Dimsdale, Rt. Hon. Sir Joseph C. M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool) Warde, Colonel C. E.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh.W. Webb, Colonel William George
Doxford. Sir William Theodore Majendie, James A. H. Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E. (Taunton
Duke, Henry Edward Malcolm, Ian Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon
Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton Martin, Richard Biddulph Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Fellowes. Rt. Hn. Ailwyn Edward Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F. Whiteley, H (Ashton und. Lyne)
Fergusson, Rt Hn.Sir J. (Manc'r Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Melville, Beresford Valentine Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)
Finlay, Sir R. B. (Invern'ssB'ghs) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Fisher, William Hayes Milvain, Thomas Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong
Flower, Sir Ernest Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.)
Forster, Henry William Morpeth, Viscount TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia
Galloway, William Johnson Morrell, George Herbert
Gardner, Ernest Morrison, James Archibald
Godson, Sir A. Frederick Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer
Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn) Muntz, Sir Philip A.
COLONEL BOWLES (Middlesex, Enfield)

, as representing a district which had certainly suffered under the Education Act, joined with the hon. Member opposite in expressing dissatisfaction with the answer given by the Prime Minister. They ought to have widened their school districts rather than narrowed them. The district of Edmonton could not be accused of extravagance, for it had built its schools for something less than £14 per head. When the prices paid in other places were considered, it might be said that they had practised economy. The rate in Edmonton must be shortly 3s. in the £?, and that showed something must be done to relieve the difficulties which were pressing on these localities.

Question put.