HC Deb 02 July 1906 vol 159 cc1426-7
MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education if, in consequence of his new Clause 3 to the Education Bill, he proposes to omit Clauses 8 and any clause consequential to it.


The Government's action in regard to Clause 8 depends entirely upon the view taken by the Opposition of the new clause as to bilateral compulsion referred to by the hon. Member. If it is accepted by them, no doubt most of the provisions of Clause 8, and the clause as it now stands, will become inapplicable to the new position thus created, and would therefore have to be materially modified, if not omitted. I can thus give no answer as to the course to be taken when Clause 8 comes before the Committee for consideration, until the Leader of the Opposition has intimated the line that will be adopted in respect to the new clause. It must clearly be understood that the new clause has been put upon the Paper only to carry out the offer made by me on June 12th† to the Opposition, and must not be taken as representing the Government's intentions in regard to the matter in the event of that offer not being accepted.


What opportunity is going to be given to us to indicate our attitude towards the new clause before we reach Clause 8?


If no intimation has been given to us, we must proceed with Clause 8 as it now stands in the Bill.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

Are we to understand that it is at the discretion of the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition whether or not the new clause is to supersede Clause 8?


The Government have no desire whatever to thrust the † See (4) Debates clviii., 839. new clause upon the House. It was given in answer to a proposal put from the other side, and it was an offer on my part in answer to theirs. If therefore, it is not accepted, we shall proceed with Clause 8 as it stands in the Bill.


With a view to enabling us to discuss these later clauses, would the right hon. Gentleman make a few of us peers?


Nothing would give me greater gratification than to see the hon. and learned Member in another place.