HC Deb 12 June 1906 vol 158 cc828-93

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

[Mr. EMMOTT (Oldham) in the Chair.]

Clause 2:—

MAJOR SEELY (Liverpool, Abercromby)

said he desired to move the Amendment which stood in his name, and in doing so to make it clearer than it was by adding some extra words. The intention of the Amendment was sufficiently plain. It was to give a right of appeal to owners or trustees of voluntary schools in the event of the local education authority behaving in a tyrannical and unjustifiable manner. The Amendment he desired to move was as follows —

Where any existing voluntary school is not taken over by the local education authority the owners or trustees of such school may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board shall then hold a local inquiry to decide the matter.

The words he wished to add were— And if in the opinion of the Board the local education authority had, under good and sufficient, reason, failed to make any proposal and arrangement for the carrying on of such school as a provided school, the Hoard may require the local education authority to take over such school on such terms as the Board may determine.

This was simply an amplification of the suggestion he ventured to make to the right hon. Gentleman on the previous day. It had been pointed out that there was some anomaly in laying down the principle that the Bill desired, viz., that schools in which there was a sufficient preponderance of children should be continued as voluntary schools, while at the same time power was given under the clause to the local education authority to set at naught the expressed will of Government and Parliament. There was no question as to this anomalous position. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education, in dealing with the matter on the previous day, said this was unlikely to occur except in rare cases where the local education authority might be pig-headed and unjust, but he did not anticipate that it would arise frequently. He, however, would suggest that that was a position which the House of Commons had never taken up and never ought to take up. The machinery proposed by his Motion was that of local inquiry. In cases of water and drainage no one would stand up and say that they should interfere with local authorities, but matters of great principle, such as the liberty of conscience and the passionate desire of the people that their children should be educated in the faith to which they themselves belonged, were of such importance that they should not be delegated to subordinate authorities. The matter only required stating to show the absurdity of it. The right hon. Gentleman had stated the previous day that the proposal was a cowardly one. He could not reply to that because it would conflict with his respect for those who occupied the front benches, and, secondly, because the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill had undoubtedly been i distinguished for saying what he meant and meaning what he said. But for all that, he was bound to say he could not admit that it was a brave and courageous proposal to make it possible for education authorities to commit acts of oppression and wrong under Act of Parliament, nor did he think it was brave or courageous of Parliament to shelter itself behind those authorities. In matters of great moment, such as the one before them, Parliament must be supreme. It was impossible to delegate such questions to local education authorities, and he would urge upon the right hon. Gentleman that if he could not accept the Amendment in the exact form in which it was drawn up he would at least set out in substance a similar Amendment and embody it in the Bill. If they attempted to pass the Bill into law in its present form it would give local authorities the power of exercising bigotry and intolerance which would light a flame in the country which it would be hard to extinguish.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 18, after the word 'manner,' to insert the words 'where any existing voluntary school is not taken over by the local education authority, owing to the authority having made no proposal or come to no arrangement under this section, the owners or trustees of such school may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board shall then hold a local inquiry, and if, in the opinion of the Board, the local education authority has without good and sufficient reason failed to make any proposal or arrangement for carrying on such school as a provided school, the Board may require the local education authority to take over such school on such terms as the Board may determine."—(Major Seely.)

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

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

wished to say a few words in support of the Amendment before the Government explained its position. He wished earnestly to appeal to Ministerialists not to close their minds upon the question without giving it full and fair consideration. Hon. Members who were present during the course of the interesting debate the previous day upon the Amendment of the hon. Member for Oxford University would remember the ground upon which exception was taken to that Amendment. All the speakers against the Amendment, with one exception, opposed it because it was an unreasonable and unqualified requirement to the local authority to take over all kinds of schools whether they were desirable or not. Illustrations were given of insanitary schools, of schools which had become useless, and of buildings which were unfit for the purposes of schools. It was asked whether the House of Commons were going to make a law whereby the local authority would be forced to take over such schools. Their intention was to insert some security in the Bill whereby the declared instructions of the Minister should be carried out. He contended there was never before in the history of the House a case where, a Bill of a highly contentious character, dealing with the conscience of the people, having been brought forward, Parliament had deliberately declined to put into the measure words which would indicate the intention of the House. In the present instance they were going to throw all the onus upon the local authorities. The thing was absolutely without precedent. The Amendment which had just been proposed by the hon. Member for the Abercromby Division of Liverpool removed every single objection brought forward in the debate the previous day upon the Amendment of the hon. Member for Oxford University, because if the present Amendment were inserted in the Bill the local authority could not be called upon to take over any school which in the opinion of the Board of Education was not a proper school to be taken over. The only effect the Amendment could possibly have would he to make local authorities carry out the Bill in accordance with the intentions of Parliament. The Amendment would come into force in those cases where the local authority was determined to have nothing to do with the voluntary schools. He would quote a ease which he believed was a genuine one—he had the best authority for saying so, although he had not the actual speech with him—where the President of one of the greatest local authorities had declared it to be his intention, and the intention of the authority he represented, to use the option afforded by the Bill for the purpose of wiping out the voluntary schools. He hoped before the end of the debate to establish the veracity of the statement, but until then he did not think it was fair to give the name. It was, however, his deliberate conviction, based upon speeches he had read, that it was genuine. He believed the gentlemen who had made those speeches were absolutely honest in their convictions they had declared that Clause 4 was an outrage upon the Nonconformists of the country, and that in accordance with the declared spirit of their pledges they would be justified in resorting to any measures allowed them within the scope of the Bill to defeat that clause. He made no charges against such gentlemen, but he would ask hon. Gentlemen opposite whether men like himself could fail to feel uneasy in the face of speeches of that character? It might be contended by the local authorities that under the Bill in districts where there was insufficient accommodation for the children in provided schools new-schools must be built. That was an aspect of the question which had raised considerable alarm. Whatever the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education might say, there was a large body of opinion upon the Government Benches that the proper course under the Bill would be to build new schools all over the country, and the right hon. Gentleman must not blame him if such a course aroused anxiety in his mind. If that was the intention of the Government it was not the programme upon which the Liberal Members went to the great industrial community and secured the votes of the people. He could quote dozens of Liberals who pledged themselves to undo the injustice of the Act of 1902 and to protect the rights of voluntary, and especially Catholic schools. [Cries of "No, no."] Yes, it was quite true; he did not say that that was the intention of the majority of the Liberal Party, but a large section of them and many hon. Members in London gave most specific pledges to that effect, He appealed to the Committee to be honest in the matter. If it was their intention to pass a Bill which would destroy the voluntary schools of the country and force the children into the provided schools, let them say so, and not come forward, as the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education had done, and say it was their intention to let the voluntary schools go on as before and then insert into Clause 2 an option which would make it perfectly easy for any local authority so minded, without departing for one instant from the letter of the law, to obliterate all voluntary schools from the neighbourhood. That was the question they had to deal with, and no greater question could come before them. The Minister for Education had objected to the Amendment because, he said, it shifted the responsibility from the House of Commons on to his shoulders; but, after all, the Minister for Education was always responsible, and by shifting the responsibility on to the right hon. Gentleman's shoulders it must not be thought that they threw it off the House of Commons. On the contrary, they kept it in the House of Commons. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the idea of the clause was to leave perfect liberty to local authorities. He (Mr. Dillon) had already answered that, but he felt bound to enlarge upon it again. The right hon. Member's idea was against the whole principle of the constitution of the country. If they accepted his proposal they might as well do away with the Local Government Board whose purpose was to fetter and Control and cheek the power of local authorities. That was the very principle of the whole political system under which they worked, and he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he would push his idea to a logical issue. he had lived for two or three years in Western America, where the local bodies were masters of the situation. As a result they did just i as they liked, and they could have taught the Hindoo religion had they pleased. They did exactly as they thought fit, without being responsible to either Parliament or a central authority, and they conducted their education upon their own lines. That was one system, but it was not the system we required in this country. If we adopted such a system, and allowed every local authority to have what educational system it pleased, we should find over the greater part of England a full-fledged denominational system, but we should also have various systems, which was undesirable. It was absurd, however, for local authorities to set up a claim of immunity from the central authority when the greater part of their expenses were paid by Government grants. The whole question was one of degree and how far they were going to push the clause. He would remind the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education that under the present system, and over since the Act of 1870, the Board of Education had exercised control over education authorities, but supposing the education authorities had torn up Clause 14 of the Act of 1870 and had said, "We will teach the Church Catechism as we like," and had set the Board of Education at defiance, would Parliament have sat down under that? He contended that the present instance was exactly the same. What right had they to say to the authorities that they should not teach the Church Catechism if those authorities wished to do so? Again, supposing an authority were to say that they thought that education was rather a bad thing than a good one, that they had got too much of it and they therefore declined to put the ratepayers to any further expense for teaching that which took the people from the land and gave them too high a tone, who would be the authority to say, "But you must provide a place for the children even if it throws a fresh burden on the rates"? The whole thing was without principle, and the very same machinery which was used at the present time to compel local authorities to preserve Clause 14 of the Bill of 1870 could be used under the new Act to make them obey the letter of the law equally well. By having the clause in its present form a direct invitation was offered to local authorities to defy the intention of the Government and the House, and to obliterate, where public opinion required it, all voluntary schools. He was quite aware that it might be said that any proposal to put coercion upon local bodies would be unpopular, and some Liberals might look back to the days when they voted against the Act of 1902; but there was a difference in the selfish coercion Act of 1902 and the proposal now before the Committee. The proposal of the Act of 1902 was to coerce local authorities to act unjustly towards a large section of the people, but the proposal before them at the present time was one simply to put a check upon local bodies who would he inclined to oppress minorities. In view of these facts he most respectfully appealed to the Government to give the matter full consideration and, if they could, to introduce some such proposal, if not the exact words of the Amendment, into the Bill. As it was, they had words in Clause 2 which would make the proposals in Clauses 3 and 4 a mockery and a delusion.

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

wished to point out the curious position they had arrived at. The moment the Bill was read a first time everyone from the Bishops of Durham and Manchester downwards said that the Government were guilty of an act of confiscation and robbery.


I did not say that.


explained that he was quoting the words of the Bishop of Manchester, and now, because they were afraid that their schools would not be taken over, they came there and complained. He had no objection to the denominational school as such. He got what education he possessed from a denominational school, and therefore he would be ungrateful if he said anything against that system of education; but he did strongly object to Parliament compelling any local authority to take over a dilapidated, insanitary, and unsound building. That was his whole case. He had previously quoted the report of the Sanitary Committee of the London County Council about the condition of some of these schools. The facts which they stated were true, not only in regard to London, but in regard to all great cities. That committee condemned a number of schools as bad in regard to drainage, lighting, and ventilation. The noble Lord opposite had said that the London County Council dealt with this matter, and that the committee reported, with prejudice and for partisan reasons. He thought that such a statement was a very wrong one in point of fact. He held no brief for the London County Council. God forbid! He thought that body should never have been compelled to take over education, but he was quite sure that the report of their committee was a very moderate one and made in the interest of the children attending the schools. If the law compelled a man to send his child to school, the law ought to see that that school was healthy, and he should resist to the bitter end any attempt to take over schools which were thoroughly unsound and unhealthy. If the Party opposite went the length of saying that they would have dogma even if it was associated with bad drains, in his judgment they were making a great mistake. His position was perfectly clear. Hon Members might have as much dogma as they could get into the limit of the capacity of a child, but first of all they ought to put their drains in order. If he had to choose between the Church Catechism with badly drained, badly lighted, and badly ventilated schools and a good building with Cowper-Templeism, his choice would be very simple: he would adopt the latter. An hon. Member had taunted him with the fact that if these schools were not taken over a good many teachers in voluntary schools would be thrown out of employment. He was well aware of that fact, but he did not desire, and he was sure elementary school teachers did not desire, that their interests should be considered to the detriment of the children. The Government had done something to meet this contingency in Clause 7, and he would ask them not only to carry that clause but to strengthen it in the interest of the teachers He had the highest authority in that House, viz., that of the Minister for Education, for saying that there might be local authorities who would be pig-headed about this matter, but his position was, that if there was a thoroughly sound voluntary school which was needed for the school accommodation of the locality, and. the buildings of which were in good condition, he did not think that school ought to be prejudiced under Clause 2, which dealt with the terms of transfer, simply because it was a voluntary school. But he thought the local authorities had no occasion to take over insanitary and ill found schools because they were voluntary. There should, however, be no prejudice against those voluntary schools which were well found, well built, well drained, and well lighted. They all wanted to prevent a local authority saying that they would not treat with a voluntary school because it was a voluntary school, and perhaps the President of the Board of Education. could by some means secure that. It was, he recognised, a somewhat difficult matter, but if the President of the Board, of Education could consider it between now and the Report Stage, which he hoped would come soon, he for one would give him all the support he could if he brought forward a proposal on the subject.

*SIR W. EVANS GORDON (Tower Hamlets, Stepney)

did not think the argument with which his hon. friend who had just sat down commenced his speech was worthy of him. He started by accusing hon. Members on the Opposition side with inconsistency because they stated when the Bill was first sprung upon the public that it was a measure of confiscation and of robbery, and they now keenly scrutinised the terms under which the schools were to be taken over. For his part he thought at the time that the Bill was one of confiscation and robbery, and he thought so still, but the hon. Gentleman seemed entirely to lose sight of the fact that since they said these things Clause 1 had been passed. That entirely altered the situation, and although he thought the Bill was confiscatory and robbed the voluntary schools, still, that clause having been adopted, they were entitled to attempt to get as large a modicum of justice from Ministerialists and the Government as they could obtain. He did not therefore see why, if they supported his hon. friend's Amendment, they were in the least degree inconsistent because they were trying to get a remnant of justice out of the measure. As to the Amendment, the speech of the hon. Member for East Mayo seemed to him to be conclusive and unanswerable, and little more remained to be said. They had heard a good deal about the confidence they ought to repose in the local authorities, and he shared that confidence with the right hon. and hon. Gentlemen who had spoken. But they must remember that they were placing upon local authorities a wholly new sort of responsibility. Right hon. and hon. Gentlemen opposite, whether they meant it or not, were throwing the whole country into a great and burning religious controversy, and they were going to ask the local authority —to compel them, indeed—to take an active part in that controversy. It was all very well to say that they were to have confidence in the local authorities, but which hon. Gentlemen could say what would be the action of the local authorities when they came to decide these burning questions of difference between religious denominations? Surely they had seen enough of religious bitterness and of religious intolerance lately to cause them grave doubts as to what that action would be. Hon. Members would remember the burning religious controversy which took place two years ago in Scotland. They all knew that if it had been possible the parties to that controversy would have been at each others' throats and would have marched against one another in open warfare if they had dared to do so. Were they justified in the belief that the sense of justice and of common sense which characterised our local authorities at ordinary times would be maintained under extraordinary circumstances such as these? Unless there was a right of appeal it was possible that grave injustice would be done. Let them take the case of a village in which there might be a Roman Catholic denominational school which the local authority refused to take over on the ground that it was not in a sanitary condition—had not wooden block floors or something of that sort— any excuse would suffice. If that school were not taken over all the children belonging to it would be compelled to go to the schools of other denominations against the most sacred desires of their parents. In the same district there might be a Protestant school which was very little, if any, better than the Roman Catholic school which the local authority had refused to take over. The Protestant school might be taken over and the children allowed to remain in it. This arbitrary differentiation could not be justified under any principle of justice or fair play. He hoped the reply of the Minister for Education in regard to this appeal would, be favourable.


said he could assure the Committee that the desire of the Government was and always had been that as many as possible of the properly equipped voluntary schools of the country should be transferred to the local authorities, and it had never entered into their heads as part of their scheme that the local authorities should. decline to take over such schools as were properly equipped and fitted to form part of the national system of education. He agreed, and he felt it yesterday, that perhaps on paper, and even in substance, there was a difficult kind of gap between Clauses 1 and 2 and Clauses 3 and 4, which contained, as the Government thought, valuable conditions, but which were made dependent by Clauses 1 and 2 upon the local authority determining to take over those schools. Therefore some difficulty might arise, and there might be a kind of gap between the facility clauses and the other clauses of the Bill. He was not opposed, therefore, to any well considered plan which might be suggested whereby this difficulty might be got over. He assured the Committee that the obstacle did not arise from any want of will on the part of the Government. But the Committee were bound to take into consideration the fact that this Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member put a kind of compulsion on a local education authority to acquire any particular school where the Board of Education were of opinion that a bargain should be struck. He thought it followed, therefore, from this, that if the local education authority was to be obliged to acquire such a voluntary school if the Board of Education thought that the terms upon which it was offered wore reasonable and the school was well equipped, there should also be imposed the corresponding obligation on the owners of existing voluntary schools to transfer their schools to the local authority if the Board of Education correspondingly were of opinion that it was desirable that they should, and if the terms offered wore reasonable and proper. Without wishing to confine himself to any particular words, he read this simply as indicating what, in his opinion, would be a fair settlement of the question on these lines— If either the local education authority refuses to take a schoolhouse which is offered I to them, or the owners refuse to accept the offer of the local education authority to take their schoolhouse under thin section, the owners of the schoolhouse or the local education authority may appeal to the Board of Education, and the Board may, if they think fit, after holding a local public inquiry, there being no reasonable ground for refusal, by order require a transfer to be made on such terms as are contained in the order, which shall take effect as if an arrangement were male under this section. An arrangement of that kind would put both parties in a fair position. It would enable the local education authority to acquire such schools as were desirable, and, on the other hand, it would secure that the owners of voluntary schools should be entitled, if the Board thought that the proposals were reasonable, to require that they should be taken over. Although he did not pledge himself to the words he had read, he was prepared to accept a proposal of that kind; and he thought that it would be a reasonable guarantee that the rights of the voluntary schools would be properly considered. The House of Commons ought to indicate to the Minister for Education the kind of lines on which he ought to act in this matter. He could assure his hon. friend that in the course of his administrative capacity there had been occasions when he had to consider the rights of voluntary schools under the Act of 1902; and there was no appeal in the clear form of hideous bigotry or inflamed passion or animated desire to get rid of the voluntary schools. The things presented themselves for consideration enmeshed in circumstances; and where a local education authority desired to suppress a Roman Catholic school, for example, they did not come to the Board of Education and say, "We do not want to keep a Roman Catholic school." They said, "We have already got in the area national schools of our own where there is plenty of accommodation for these children, whore they will get equally good, even better secular education: and therefore, in the interests of the ratepayers, you ought to get rid of a redundant school." That was the way in which the matter had been presented to him over and over again; and the only reason for the denominational school was that the parents of the children desired that the children should continue to receive in a Roman Catholic school, which perhaps they had largely helped to build, a continuance of instruction under the denominational system. In deciding in favour of the continued existence of a denominational school in the area, where there was sufficient accommodation in the national schools, he had decided more than once in favour of the denominational school, and he had done so boldly because he was in favour of the denominational school. But it ought to be made clear by the House on what principles the Board of Education were to act in matters of this kind, and it ought not to lie left to the predilections or predisposition of individual and successive Ministers of Education. He had never shown any intention to share his duties in this matter; but in coming to his decisions he did not get any assistance whatever from the Act of 1902, because that measure required him to take into consideration circumstances which obviously must be inconsistent—namely, the wishes of the parents and the pecuniary interests of the ratepayer. Then he had to consider the secular efficiency of education, and this was pretty evenly balanced between the two. He confessed that he was largely affected always by personal sympathy and consideration for the class of children whose interests were served by the school, and he did not think that this was a satisfactory plan. Parliament ought to lay down that it was of opinion that a denominational school should be maintained, if it was a properly equipped school, even although it was numerically redundant in the sense that accommodation could easily be found within the same school area for the children resident in it; if they chose to give up their religious beliefs and to go to an ordinary council school, the House of Commons ought to say so, the law ought to say so; and it ought not to be left, as now, to the personal predilection of an individual to settle one way or the other. With regard to the Amendment of the hon. and gallant Member, he had no objection whatever to the Board of Education assuming this very responsible and difficult task, though it would require much consideration as to the terms in which it should be embodied. But the clause which might be hereafter brought up on the Report stage should be framed on the principle of reciprocal obligations, that the local authority should be bound to acquire in the same way as the owners of the voluntary schools should be bound to transfer.

MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)

said that the Committee would recognises the extreme importance of the question it was now considering, and not less the importance of the speech just delivered by the right hon. Gentleman. he understood that speech to be conciliatory in intention, and it certainly admitted a great deal of what the Opposition had been urging. The Bill was a most complicated measure, and it was extremely difficult at a moment's notice to discover exactly what would be the effect of the change proposed; but he recognised what he believed to be the intention of the Minister for Education, and he thought that the right hon. Gentleman had considerably cleared the ground for further discussion. He thought that the speech of the right hon. Gentleman had helped the Opposition and the Government materially to understand one another There were important circumstances on which they all agreed. He was inclined to agree in substance with the hon. Member for North Camber-well, who said that they did not wish to take over insanitary schools. Did anyone wish to do so? Had anyone ever suggested this? [Cries of "Yes" and "No."] Most certainly not, as far as his experience of the debate was concerned. The leader of the Opposition himself proposed an Amendment to make it absolutely clear that nothing of the kind was intended, and he proposed also to make it clear that the option of the local authority extended to the rejection of a school against which there was a sanitary objection. So far he believed that the House were unanimous. The second statement of the hon. Member was that in respect of a school against which there was nothing to be said as to its efficiency, the character of the buildings, and so on, no local authority should be allowed on its more motion to refuse to take over the school on other and less reasonable grounds. He was inclined to think that for the first time the Government, as represented by the Minister for Education, had agreed to that. They also intended to make it clear in the Bill that in every case where a voluntary school wished to transfer itself, and was a fit, efficient, adequate school, it should be able to go to some impartial authority, and that the power of rejection should not rest with the local authority. The right hon. Gentleman put forward his proposal in a conciliatory tone and as a concession. It was no concession at all, he thought. It was a very important question whether it was a concession or not, because if it were a concession then perhaps they were called upon to make some concession on their side. They met a concession by a concession. They met a conciliatory spirit by a conciliatory spirit. If the latest proposal of the right hon. Gentleman gave some great concession which was not in the original intention of the Government they must try to meet the Government. If, on the other hand, the right hon. Gentleman had given thorn nothing, they should consider the matter in a very different spirit. By his present proposal the right hon. Gentleman said he was going to give the power of compelling the local authority, and in return he was to have the power of compelling the voluntary schools, whether under trust or not, and private owners who had retained the property in their own hands, to come in on terms which the Education Department might prescribe. Was that a concession? Now, in his judgment there might be an extremely important point of order to be settled here, as to which it might be wise to have the opinion of Mr. Speaker. There was no rule more clear in the proceedings of the House than that a Bill must be on Second Reading and in Committee and subsequent stages the Bill as brought in, subject, of course, to Amendments openly made in Committee of the House. He had known a Bill carried as far as Second Reading, and in Committee an appeal made to Mr. Speaker, pointing out a divergence between the Bill as expounded by the Minister introducing it on the First Reading and the Bill as produced, and thereupon Mr. Speaker had held that the Bill must be dropped and a new Bill brought in.

*SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

Can the right hon. Gentleman give the reference to such a case?


said he remembered such a case, and, if necessary, he would find the reference. And it stood to reason. After all, if there was not a precedent they ought to make one, always supposing a proper case arose. He might be mistaken in thinking this came within that well understood rule and practice of Parliament, and, if so, his observation, of course, fell to the ground. Now, the way the Government intended to deal with this matter was shown in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman in introducing the Bill. He would read from Hansard, in which the speech had been corrected by the right hon. Gentle man, and, therefore, must be taken as verbally correct. In the old proposal the appeal against the local authority was taken to the Commission, and the right hon. Gentleman said— If they (that is, the Commission) are of opinion that the best mode of giving effect to the trust is to allow the local education authority to use the schoolhouse for the purpose of a public elementary school they "— the Commission—" may by the scheme require the local education authority to apply such conditions as to payment or otherwise, not being inconsistent with this Act, as they think just. That was what the right hon. Gentleman quoted as being in the Bill. Now, it was not in the Bill. Since the right hon. Gentleman introduced it this had been taken out of the Bill, and that raised a very serious point of order. Section 2 (b) of Clause 8 read as follows— If they"—that is, the Commission—"are of opinion that the use of the schoolhouse for the purpose of a public elementary school by the local education authority in accordance with this Act, is the best mode of giving effect to the trusts, they may by the scheme make provision for the purpose, subject to such conditions, if any, as to payment or other matters "— Not, as might be required by the order or by the Commission, as appeared to have been the original intention, but— As may be agreed to by the local education authority, and as the Commission think just. That was to say, in the Bill the whole option was still left to the local education authority. The Commission had no power, as was intended to be given to them according to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, to make orders as against the local education authority. The Opposition said "Give us your original Bill. Give us those powers to the Commission to revise the decision of the local authority and to require them to take over a school where the requirement is reasonable." Personally, on the whole, he preferred the judicial authority of an impartial tribunal to any decision—which might vary with different Governments—of a Government Department. At the same time the proposal was the same as far as the power over the local authority was concerned. But the Government were, only putting back the Bill where it way at first. There was no concession in that. It was an afterthought to claim, as a return for a so-called concession, these extra powers over the owners of voluntary schools. The Government had been proved by their own showing to have been inconsistent with their intentions. They had been inconsistent with their declarations at an earlier stage of the Bill, and they wore certainly inconsistent with their intentions. The Government made themselves consistent; they did what they promised to do, and then they asked for a reward! They on the Opposition side accepted their decision that they would be in this matter consistent, but they denied altogether their right to have something entirely new, which was never mentioned in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman in introducing the Bill, and which was clearly open to a great number of serious objections. It certainly involved an interference with private property which might be justified, but at all events some justification was necessary. The Government had to show that those who built those schools had placed themselves in a position in which it was necessary to interfere with them in this arbitrary way, and to prevent them dealing as they would otherwise wish to do with property which was undoubtedly theirs. While they might be grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for conceding a right of appeal to the Education Department, he had shown no reason, as he thought, why he should couple that with a new demand. The right hon. Gentleman seemed to suggest that the Committee should accept his statement as sufficient for the present, upon the promise that at a later stage he would do something in the nature of the paragraph which he read out. The Committee agreed that something ought to be done, and they would be very unwise if they accepted that offer. They ought not to leave the Committee stage without getting something inserted in the Bill. It would, of course, be open to reconsideration. He quite agreed with the Minister for Education that if an Amendment such as that of the hon. and gallant Gentleman were hastily introduced, it might, on further consideration, have to be again amended and improved. That was true, but let them establish the principle on the Committee stage, leaving the Report stage for the amending and improving. He hoped that some means would be found of obtaining, during the Committee stage, a full acceptance of the principle for which they had been contending.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

said he was anxious to address the Committee upon the matter under discussion, but the spirit of his remarks would be entirely different from that of the speech just delivered. So far as the Irish Party were concerned—and they were vitally concerned in the consideration of this matter—they appreciated fully the spirit in which the Minister for Education had addressed himself to the point at issue, and they certainly accepted his speech as a concession. The right hon. Gentlemen the Member for West Birmingham had contended that in granting a right of appeal to both sides—for that was the promise—the Minister for Education had made no concession. But Clause 8 provided a right of appeal to only one side, the initiative being confined entirely to the local education authority. Further, the right hon. Gentleman seemed to be of opinion that an appeal in all cases to the proposed judicial body would be better than to the Board of Education. He (Mr. Redmond) differed entirely from that view. In such matters as were under discussion, it would be far better to have a right of appeal to the Board of Education represented in Parliament by a Minister responsible to Parliament, and whose action would be open to criticism in this House. Yesterday he and his colleagues found themselves it a position of very great difficulty and embarrassment; they felt bound to vote in favour of an Amendment moved by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University, although that Amendment did not accurately represent their view. It went far beyond their view. They had never held that the local education authority should be subject to compulsion to accept the insanitary and dilapidated schools described by the hon. Member for North Camberwell.

SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)

the hon. Member is misrepresenting the character of my Amendment, I said again and again that the Board of Education had ample power to secure that local authorities should not be required to accept insanitary schools, and that I trusted they would exercise that power to the full.


said he was not attempting to quote the hon. Baronet's words; he readily admitted that his words were inconsistent with his Amendment. But although the Amendment was wider than they desired, it was the only opportunity he and his friends had of making a protest. Their position in the matter was well known. They had been told that under Clauses 3 and 4 —especially Clause 4—there would be provisions which would really safeguard the interests of the schools with which they were particularly concerned. They had been anxiously waiting for the discussion of Clause 4 and for some indication as to how that clause would be altered and extended so as really to meet the case. Yesterday they had to face a new situation. They found themselves confronted with a provision in the Bill which, if carried as it stood, would make Clause 4 a sham and a delusion, and would prevent the carrying out of the promise of the Minister for Education that Clause 4 would not be illusory or a fraud. If Clause 2 were passed as it stood, Clause 4 would, in theory at any rate, be delusive and fraudulent, because it would be possible under the operation of Clause 2 for the local authority by simply wiping out the schools to prevent Clause 4 over coming into operation. A case was made out for some alteration in the clause, so that there should be at any rate a right of appeal from an unreasonable and pig-headed local authority, which desired to wipe out of existence an efficient, well-equipped, sanitary school, simply because it was a denominational school. Yesterday, unfortunately, they did not succeed in making an impression upon the Government. To-day, however, they had succeeded, and he desired to dissociate himself altogether from the statement made by the right hon. Member for West Birmingham that there had been no concession. He desired to acknowledge not only the spirit of conciliation of the Minister for Education, but the substance of the concession which he had made. the right hon. Gentleman had coupled a condition with that concession. He had said that the compulsion must not be one sided, that if there was to be compulsion as against the local authority there must be compulsion against the owners. He (Mr. Redmond) confessed he did not consider that much of a concession to ask from them, because there was undoubtedly compulsion on the owners at present under Clause 8 so far as trust schools were concerned, and with regard to privately owned schools there was the compulsion of the liability to be starved out. He did not therefore consider the condition a very hard one, and he did not make any objection. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham had advised the Committee there and then to settle the words and put them into the Bill, but he differed altogether from that advice. He trusted the Minister for Education in the matter and had confidence in the pledge he had given. He was perfectly certain that nothing which happened in the discussion would induce him to modify or evade the pledge he had given. Farther than that, it was very risky for them to put there and then into the Bill an entirely new form of words which no one had seen in print. It would be far more reasonable for the Minister to bring up well considered words on the Report stage when they had had an opportunity of considering them. He confessed that until he saw exactly the form in which Clauses 3 and 4 would emerge from discussion in Committee he was not able to offer an opinion of any value whatever as to the proposal which had now been tentatively put before the Committee. It would be far better for them to get to the discussion of Clauses 3 and 4, and to see whether they could come to an arrangement which would enable those who represented Roman Catholic day schools to do what they were most anxious to do, which was not only to withdraw their opposition—and he thought everyone would admit that up to the present their opposition had been moderate and reasonable—but to support the Bill. That was all he had to say. His advice was exactly opposite to that of the right hon. Member for West Birmingham. He advised the hon. and gallant Gentlemen to withdraw his Amendment and to rest satisfied with having obtained a considerable concession. He hoped that what had occurred that afternoon might be an omen of what would come in the future, and that this controversy which threatened them with such lamentable consequences, not only to the interests of education and religion but also to the future of politics and of political parties in the country, might be brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and that they might be found able, as they were anxious, to join with the great body of Nonconformists in passing a measure which, while safeguarding the real interests and religious rights of the minority they represented, would at the same time remove the injustice which had been inflicted upon Nonconformists.

MR. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)

desired to put one or two questions in reference to the important and interesting statement of the Minister for Education. He did not know whether to interpret the speech of the Leader of the Irish Party as indicating that there was any understanding—[" No "] then it was merely the expression of a pious hope that in Clauses 3 and 4 the Government would make important concessions which would not only satisfy one section, at all events, of those interested in denominational education, but convert those opponents of the Bill into warm friends and supporters. For his part he could not but believe that any concession which really satisfied the desires of those interested in denominational education would be received with satisfaction by all who were anxious to keep alive the possibility, at all events, of something more than Cowper-temple teaching being given in the schools. As regarded the proposal of the Minister for Education, he understood that the intention was to bring forward a now clause. ["No."] That was what the right hon. Gentleman had stated—that, though naturally he did not pledge himself to the words, he did intend to bring forward a new clause roughly on the lines of the words he read out. But would that be consistent with the clause the Committee were now asked to pass as it stood? Not having the words before him, and being unable, therefore, to compare them with the wording of Clause 2, he was unable to give an opinion of any value on the point Would that be consistent with the clause he now asked the Committee to pass in its present shape? He had not seen the words, but certainly his impression was that, if the present clause were passed without modifications, it would hardly be in the power of the right hon. Gentleman to bring in a separate clause of such a nature.


said it would be an Amendment on Report, not in Committee.


The right hon. Gentleman used another phrase; he said on Report or "elsewhere."


I did not mean anything by that.


said it would not have been a criminal action on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. He now understood that the Government pledged themselves to bring in their proposal in this House on the Report stage, and probably in the form of a new clause.


As an Amendment to this clause.


asked whether the right hon. Gentleman had considered the relations between the promised Amendment and Clause 8 (power to obtain schemes with respect to voluntary school buildings hold under trust). He could not see where Clause 8 came in if the proposal held good.


said that had been in his mind when he said he could not pledge himself in any way to the language. he had felt that Clause 8 was very much mixed up in it, and that the new proposal might have some effect on that clause. Clause 8 ought to be considered very carefully in connexion with this matter.


said no doubt the right hon. Gentleman was right, but he himself thought that Clause 8 would be profoundly modified—he should have said entirely dropped.




hoped the Government would put them in full possession of their view before they came to discuss Clause 8.




said the grievance of which the hon. and gallant Member the mover of the Amendment complained was that it was left to the local authority to decide whether a school should be taken over, and that therefore there was no security that facilities for denominational education would be retained in every district as promised. But what had that got to do with the other half of the proposal of the Government, that there should be a compulsory appropriation of all the voluntary schools, whether privately owned or under trust? The hon. and learned Member for Waterford had told them that perhaps the great majority of these schools were already under compulsion, and would be obliged to go to the local authority whether they liked it or not. But there were other schools which were not in that category; and he was unable to see why the Government should go further than the absolute substance of the Amendment now before them, whose object was to bring the Bill into conformity with the Government's promises. He failed to see why the carrying out of that admirable purpose should carry with it so controversial an addendum. It seemed to him a wholly illogical and impossible proposal, and he did not think it was one his friends would assent to without strenuous resistance. It had no connection, sentimental, logical, practical, or administrative, with the broad issue now before the Committee, which was that they should not, by leaving an undue latitude to the local authorities, enable them if they so willed to destroy all opportunities of denominational education in their area. That was an obvious grievance, and that he understood the Government desired to meet. Why then should they associate it with a wholly different and alien proposal which added a fresh element of controversy to the Bill?


said the Minister for Education had twice referred to a new clause. Had he made up his mind that the proposal of the Government would be in the form of a new clause? A great deal depended on that. Was the new clause to be introduced on the Committee stage?


It will be a new clause in the Bill.


asked whether they were to discuss the other portions of the Bill while still in the dark in regard to the terms of the new clause.


It will be on the Paper.


You will put down the new clause in anticipation of the Report stage.


was understood to assent.


said he regarded the proposal of the right hon. Gentleman as a real concession. He believed it was necessary in order to carry out the pledge which had been given, but it was nevertheless a concession. He entirely disagreed with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London who said this was an alien proposal. He entirely agreed that there should be a reciprocal obligation, and if his right hon. friend would tell the Committee that he would bring up on the Report stage words similar to those used, with the addition of words providing for a reciprocal obligation, he would be most happy to withdraw the Amendment.


Does the hon. Gentleman withdraw the Amendment?


said he wished to give his right hon. friend an opportunity of stating what he had not yet done. He asked leave to withdraw the Amendment.


Is it the pleasure of the Committee that the Amendment be withdrawn? [Cries of "No."]

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)

said he desired to say a few words not in any spirit hostile to the Government, and certainly not in any spirit hostile to the hon. Members representing Ireland. He desired to enter his caveat at the present moment against the assumption made on the other side that there had been some concession unconditionally given by the Minister for Education. He understood the right hon. Gentleman to suggest a sort of compromise as to the point raised by the hon. and gallant Member for the Abercromby Division. The right hon. Gentleman had employed a form of words which contained two sets of proposals. The so-called concession already seized upon by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London was conditional on the second part of the proposal of the Minister for Education, namely, that there should be an agreement to put compulsion on the owners of voluntary schools just as compulsion was being put on the other side. And that, as he understood, was not the view taken by him. He said, "We take your concessions, but we won't give anything in return for them." Upon the merits of that matter, he reserved his own opinion; but he asked the Government to say that they would not concede what had been demanded of them without any concession being made by the other party. He entirely agreed with the very moderate, clear, and statesmanlike speech of the hon. and learned Member for Waterford. They had been discussing Clauses 3 and 4 over and over again. These clauses contained what the Government proposed to be the provisions for the voluntary schools which were to be continued as denominational schools. When they came to Clause 4, he was quite willing that that clause should be made real. He did not mean by that that the clause should be made mandatory. He would not discuss that clause until the proper time came. But he desired before this Amendment was withdrawn to point out what the position actually was. The proposal in the Amendment really was, to put it in plain words, that the local educational authorities should be compelled to take over all sanitary and structurally efficient denominational schools and support them for ever. But, if not, what was the test to be? Was his right hon. friend the Minister for Education to ask himself whether there ought to be a strictly denominational school in that neighbourhood, or not? There were two classes of schools with which this Amendment dealt. Of course, they were all denominational schools. First of all, there were the schools in the single school areas. And secondly, there were the schools in localities where two kinds of schools existed and where those two kinds of schools might not be necessary. Did his right hon. friend propose that in a single school area, where a school was structurally fit, the local authority must maintain that school, although it was unnecessary, simply because it was of a denominational character? [OPPOSITION cries of "Yes."] That, of course, was What would please hon. Gentlemen opposite. But then they would revert to the state of things which now existed. what he said was, that it ought to be the intention of the Government that in single school areas no local education authority should be obliged to take over a school on the terms of this Bill at all. Did his right hon. friend the President of the Board of Trade, as a Member of the Government, propose that where there was only one school, and that a Church of England School, the local education authority should be bound to take over that school on five days of the week, but allowing the full control of the school for all other times to be in the hands of the denomination? As regarded the second class of schools, did the Government propose to say that where they had a small denominational school and where the locality was amply provided with schools otherwise, nevertheless because that denominational school was structurally fit, the local education authority should be bound to take over that denominational school and make arrangements to keep it in good repair for ever? If the Government had really made the concession which was stated by the Member for the City of London, then the Amendment of his hon. and gallant friend had placed the Government in a position of great difficulty, because they would never get a majority of the Committee behind them.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

said he thought that the speech to which they had just listened was very illuminating. It showed what was the spirit of a certain number of Members in regard to this Bill. The hon. and learned Member asked, "Did the Government really mean that an efficient and properly constructed school in a single area was to be taken over compulsorily, and conducted under Clause 3?" The hon. and learned Member regarded that as a monstrous proposal. He confessed that it was really monstrous from the other point of view—that an hon. and learned Member should get up and tell the Committee that to compel the local authority to take over a school on Clause 3 conditions was a great outrage on those who were not members of the denomination by which the school was constructed. That was a revelation to some of them as to the position taken up by certain hon. Members. From what the Minister for Education had told the Committee he understood that Clause 3 was to be a compulsory clause; but it was quite true that some Members on that side of the House were filled with misgiving that the local education authorities would not take over the denominational schools, and would even build other schools. He was still more amazed at the hon. and learned Gentleman's attitude towards Clause 4.


said he wanted to make it quite clear that he had stated that he would be quite out of order in discussing Clause 4.


said that the hon. and learned Member had stated that the Government would not have a majority in the Committee at their back if they proposed that the local education authorities should be compelled to take over those schools which were on the Clause 4 scale.




said he was glad to hear that from the hon. and learned Member. Perhaps his hearing was defective. He desired to say a word or two about the attitude of the Government and the concession which they proposed to offer. It had been said that the concession which the Government offered must be met by a concession from the other side; and there seemed to be an idea that the two dealt with the same class of points. But if looked at closely they were quite distinct—the one had nothing to do with the other. The object of compelling the local authorities to take over the schools was to give some security that the denominational teaching under the Bill would be effective. The object or compelling private owners to hand over their school had nothing to do with denominational teaching. He did not know why the Government desired to have nothing to do with denominational education. He knew that there were many private owners of denominational schools who would regard it as a very serious grievance if they were compelled to hand over their schools to the local education authority, and if the general frame of the Bill was to be maintained. He could well see that the proposal in the Bill would be regarded as a very serious breach of the fairness with which this House had always regarded the rights of property. He could only say that he associated himself with the right hon. the Leader of the Opposition in that he could not hold out the slightest hope to the Minister for Education that this clause would be accepted without the strongest opposition.

MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

hoped the Amendment would be re- jected. He was one of the moderate Members of the House who had done nothing but the humble and necessary work of voting for the Government Bill. Between 300 and 400 Members had with poor, dumb mouths voted for the Bill exactly as it stood. Now, what was the reward they got? It was that the right hon. Gentleman, instead of thanking these Members for keeping silence, was going to give their case away to those who made a row. It seemed to him, under the circumstances, that it was high time that those who supported the Government should make a row, and if they were to be thrown over he did not think the Government Bill would get through. His supporters in Lincolnshire would be glad the Bill did not get through if it was to be modified in the sense proposed. The proposal was that there should be compulsion, and that if the local authority, for good reasons or bad reasons, decided that it would not take over a particular school there should be a reference to the Board of Education. There might be 14,000 such references, and did the President of the Board of Education contemplate with joy and delight the prospect of 14,000 references being made to him. Some of his constituents had heard with delight that they would not be compelled to take over these old schools. They wanted to erect schools of their own. The effect of the Amendment was far reaching and would entirely prevent that. These schools would be forced upon them. The hon. Gentlemen who represented the Opposition were exceedingly desirous to have their schools confiscated. The Bill was a local option Bill, but it ceased to be that if the local education authority was to have its wishes over-ridden by a Department. The men on these local authorities were greatly respected and were of substance and experience, and the whole point of the Bill was that the decision should rest with these men. If the President of the Board of Education gave way on Clause 2, he would also have to give way on Clauses 3 and 4, and the Bill would be transformed. If, by the aid of hon. Members opposite the Bill, was run through the House like the Bill of 1870, it would destroy the Liberal Party, as that Bill did. He dared say hon. Gentlemen opposite viewed that contingency with great complacency. But he hoped the Committee would reject this Amendment and all other Amendments of the same character. If they did that they would secure a consistent Bill.

*MR. F. E. SMITH (Liverpool, Walton)

said one observation made by the last speaker which evoked loud cheers from the Ministerialists, was that Members of the Opposition were anxious to have their schools confiscated. He could assure the hon. Member that they would much rather have them left in their present position, but if they were to be taken over, they would not assent to the closing of the only avenue which gave them facilities for denominational education. If the Government were determined to take the schools it was idle to taunt the owners because they insisted on such facilities being afforded. The speeches made by the hon. Member for Mid. Glamorgan and the Member for Sleaford indicated that there was great discontent with the concession made by the Government on the part of Ministerialists, because it deprived local authorities of the power of excluding those facilities under Clauses 3 and 4 which were the only means of preserving the denominational character of the schools. These speeches threw upon the intention of the framers and supporters of the Bill a light which was both lurid and novel. If the spirit underlying such observations were representative of the intentions of the Government in introducing the Bill, then the Bill might be entitled not "A Bill to make better provision for education," but a Bill to deprive voluntary schools not merely of the support from the rates they had received since 1902, but also of the support they had enjoyed from the grants since 1870. He doubted whether a single member of the Government told his constituents that they intended to do such a thing. As

to the proposal put forward by the Minister for Education, so far as the second was put forward as the necessary corollary of the first, he and a number of his friends would have nothing to do with it. They would accept the first with gratitude but would strongly oppose the second.

*MR. CAVE (Surrey, Kingston)

wished to raise a point as to procedure. The suggestion was made that upon Report a proposal should be made which would give effect to the concession of the Minister for Education If that were so, they would be kept for a long time in ignorance of the exact nature of the concession made, and they would be unable to discuss Clauses 3, 4 and 8 properly. The question of this proposal would always be cropping up. Could not the right hon. Gentleman undertake to bring forward his proposal, when next they considered the Bill, as an addendum to Clause 2? That would be quite easy. He would also be glad if the right hon. Gentleman would consider an Amendment which he had on the Paper on the same subject.


said he would bring forward his proposal as quickly as he could. He could not say that he would do so before Clauses 3 and 4 were considered, but he would certainly produce it before Clause 8 was dealt with.

Question put.


said he had expressed a desire to withdraw the Amendment.


I put the question of withdrawal, and it was not accepted.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 104; Noes, 330. (Division List No. 115.)

Acland-Hood.Rt.Hn.Sir AlexF Bowles, G. Stewart Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-
Anson, Sir William Reynell Boyle. Sir Edward Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Bridgeman, W. Clive Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Bull, Sir William James Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.
Balcarres, Lord Burdett-Coutts, W. Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow
Balfour,Rt.Hn.A.J.(City Lond. Butcher, Samuel Henry Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim.S,
Banner, John S. Harmood- Carlile, E. Hildred Craig,Captain James (Down.E.
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Craik, Sir Henry
Beach,Hn.Michael Hugh Hicks Castlereagh, Viscount Dalrymple. Viscount
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Cave, George Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon
Bignold, Sir Arthur Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C.W. Doughty, Sir George
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lane-Fox, G. R. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Du Cros, Harvey Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Duncan, Robert (Lanark,Govan Lee,ArthurH. (Hants.,Fareham Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Faber, George Denison (York) Liddell, Henry Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W. Lockwood, Rt. Hn.Lt.-Col. A. R. Smith, Abel H.(Hertford,East)
Fardell, Sir T. George Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Smith,F.E. (Liverpool,Walton)
Fell, Arthur Long, Rt. hn. W. (Dublin, S.) Smith, Hn. W. F. D. (Strand)
Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. M'Calmont, Colonel James Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Fletcher, J. S. M'lver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'gh. W Starkey, John R.
Forster, Henry William Magnus, Sir Philip Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Marks, H. H. (Kent) Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Manson, James F. (Windsor) Thornton, Percy M.
Gordon,Sir W. Evans-(T'rHam. Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Turnour, Viscount
Haddock, George R. Middlemore, John Throgmorton Valentia, Viscount
Hardy, Laurence (Kent,Ashford Mildmay, Francis Bingham Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Morpeth, Viscount Walrond, Non. Lionel
Hay, Hon. Claude George Muntz, Sir Philip A. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Heaton, John Henniker Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Ed'ds) Nield, Herbert Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh. Percy, Earl Younger, George
Hills, J. W. Powell, Sir Fra cis Sharp
Hornby, Sir William Henry Rawlinson, John Frederick P. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Evelyn Cecil and Mr. Ashley.
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H. Roberts.S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col.W. Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Brooke, Stopford Dobson, Thomas W.
Acland, Francis Dyke Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Duckworth. James
Adkins, W. Ryland Brunner, Sir John T. (Chesh.) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness
Agnew, George William Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall)
Alden, Percy Buckmaster, Stanley O. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Elibank, Master of
Armitage, R. Burnyeat, J. D. W. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Erskine, David C.
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Essex, R. W.
Astbury, John Meir Byles, William Pollard Evans, Samuel T.
Atherley-Jones, L. Cairns, Thomas Everett, R. Lacey
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Cameron, Robert Faber, H. (Boston)
Baker,Joseph A. (Finsbury, E. Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Fenwick, Charles
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Carr-Gomm, H. W. Ferens, T. R.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Ferguson, R. C. Munro
Barker, John Cawley, Frederick Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter
Barlow, John Emmott (Som'rs't Channing, Francis Allston Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cheetham, John Frederick Tuller, John Michael F.
Barnard, E. B. Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Fullerton, Hugh
Barran, Rowland Hirst Churchill, Winston Spencer Furness, Sir Christopher
Beale, W. P. Clarke, C. Goddard Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Cleland, J. W. Gibb, James (Harrow)
Beck, A. Cecil Clough, W. Gill, A. H.
Bell, Richard Cobbold, Felix Thornley Gladstone, Rt. Hon. Herbert J.
Bellairs, Carlyon Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Glover, Thomas
Belloo, Hilaire Joseph PeterR. Collins, Sir W; J. (S. Pancras.W Goddard, Daniel Ford
Benn, John Williams (Devonp'rt Cooper, G. J. Gooch, George Peabody
Bennett, E. N. Corbett, C. H. (Sussex,EGrins'td Grant, Corrie
Berridge, T. H. D. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Bertram, Julius Cowan, W. H. Greenwood, Hamar (York)
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford Crombie, John William Griffith, Ellis J.
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Crooks, William Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Billson, Alfred Crosfield, A. H. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Dalziel, James Henry Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis
Black, Alexander Wm. (Banff.) Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Hardie, J. Keir (MerthyrTydvil
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordsh. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N.E. Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Hart-Davies. T.
Brace, William Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Bramsdon, T. A. Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Branch, James Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Helme, Norval Watson
Brigg, John Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Bright, J. A. Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.
Brodie, H. C. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Henry, Charles S.
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morse, L. L. Snowden, P.
Higham, John Sharp Murray, James Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Hobart, Sir Robert Myer. Horatio Soares, Ernest J.
Hodge, John Napier, T. B. Spicer, Albert
Holland, Sir William Henry Nicholls, George Stanger, H. Y.
Hooper, A. G. Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncst'r Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Norton, Capt. Cecil William Steadman, W. C.
Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N Nussey, Thomas Willans Strachey, Sir Edward
Horniman, Emslie John Nuttall, Harry Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Horridge. Thomas Gardner O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Snmmerbell, T.
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Parker, James (Halifax) Sutherland, J. E.
Hudson, Walter Paul, Herbert Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Hutton, Alfred Eddison Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hyde, Clarendon Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Jacoby, James Alfred Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk. Eye Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Jardine, Sir J. Philipps. Col. Ivor (S'th'mpton) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Jenkins, J. Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Pickersgill, Edward Hare Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Jones, DavidBrynmor (Swansea Pirie, Duncan V. Thompson, J. W. H. (Soraerset,E
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pollard, Dr. Thorne, William
Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Tillett, Louis John
Kearley, Hudson E. Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E. Tomkinson, James
Kekewich, Sir George Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Torrance, A. M.
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Priestley, W.E.B. (Bradford. E. Toulmin, George
Kitson, Sir James Radford, G. H. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Laidlaw, Robert Rainy, A. Rolland Ure, Alexander
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Raphael, Herbert H. Verney, F. W.
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Lambert, George Rees, J. D. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Lamont, Norman Rendall, Athelstan Wallace, Robert
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Renton, Major Leslie Walsh, Stephen
Layland-Barratt, Francis Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'h Walters, John Tudor
Lea,Hugh Cecil (St.Pancras, E. Richards, T. F. (Wolverhampt'n Walton, Sir John L.(Leeds, S.
Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington Richardson, A. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Lehmann, R. C. Rickett, J. Compton Ward, W. Dudley (S'th'mpton
Lever,A.Levy (Essex, Harwich Ridsdale, E. A. Wardle, George J.
Lever, W. H (Cheshire, Wirral Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Levy, Maurice Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Lewis, John Herbert Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee Waterlow, D. S.
Lough, Thomas Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Lupton, Arnold Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Whitbread, Howard
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Robinson, S. White, George (Norfolk)
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Robson, Sir Willia D Snowdon White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Roe, Sir Thomas White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Mackarness, Frederic C. Rogers, F. E. Newman Whitehead, Rowland
Maclean, Donald Rose, Charles Day Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rowlands, J. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
M'Arthur, William Runciman, Walter Wiles, Thomas
M'Callum, John M. Russell, T. W. Wilkie, Alexander
M'Crae, George Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
M'Kenna, Reginald Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wills, Arthur Walters
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Scarisbank, T. T. L. Wilson, Hn. C. H. W. (Hull, W.
M'Micking, Major G. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Maddison, Frederick Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Mallet, Charles E. Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Sears, J. E. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln Seaverns, J. H. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Marks. G. Croydon (Launceston Seddon, J. Wood house, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Shackleton, David James Yoxall, James Henry
Massie, J. Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Micklem, Nathaniel Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Mond, A. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Money, L. G. Chiozza Silcock, Thomas Ball
Montgomery, H. H. Simon, John Allsebrook
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
MR. RAWLINSON (Cambridge University)

said the object of the Amend- ment he now proposed to move was very simple. This clause dealt with the agreements to be entered into between the local education authority and the owners of the voluntary schools, and the Amendment simply stated the intention of those in charge of the Bill, namely, that the local education authority should not enter into an agreement solely on the ground that the school owners would not insist upon the facilities under Clauses 3 and 4. It was a perfectly simple Amendment, and one which he thought, after the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education, and the speeches of other speakers on that side, the Government would have no difficulty in accepting. If those in charge of this Bill did not accept this Amendment, then Clauses 3 and 4 became a farce, because it would be seen that the Government did not propose to carry out the avowed intention of the Bill.


Would the hon. Member read the Amendment?


In page 1, line 18, after the word 'manner' to insert the words, 'provided that the local education authority shall not refuse to enter into an agreement because the owners make it a condition that facilities for giving religious instruction of some special character shall be afforded in accordance with the provisions of this Act.'


, on a point of order, contended that the Amendment was not in order because the Committee had already decided to retain the word "may" in place of "shall" and this Amendment provided that the local education authority "shall not refuse."


said the Chairman of Committees had already ruled that the Amendment was in order, and therefore he should submit it.


said the Amendment was no doubt in order, because, although the earlier portion of the clause was optional, the second portion was mandatory.


said that having regard to the speeches of the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill there could be no objection to this Amendment, because his expressed intention had been that, assuming a school to be in a good state of repair, and one which in every way it was proper should be taken over, the local education authority should take it over. All the Amendment amounted to was that the local education authority should not refuse to take it over simply on the ground that the owner was insisting on denominational teaching being taught. If Clauses 3 and 4 were a reality and not a sham he felt convinced that the Government upon consideration would accept the Amendment, but he would admit at once that the hon. and learned Member for Mid. Glamorganshire in his very able speech had given the Committee an insight which they had not before Certainly the hon. and learned Gentleman said, or gave one the impression that ho possibly meant Clauses 3 and 4 not to be a reality. Very possibly he gave a wrong impression. If so, the hon. and learned Gentleman would support this Amendment. If, on the other hand, the conclusion they came to was correct, then it was only right that this Amendment should be before the Committee, and they should learn definitely whether, in the case of a school being tit to be taken over, it was the intention of the Committee that the local education authority should then say, "Though in every way your school is desirable, and we shall take it over provided you do not insist upon the facilities under Clauses 3 and 4, if you do insist upon those facilities we will not take it at any price." As the hon. Member for Perth said yesterday, if they meant to stamp out denominational schools let them say so at once, but if, on the other hand, they really meant what had been said time after time in this debate, to give a fair and proper chance to utilise the facilities under Clauses 3 and 4, surely the Government would accept this Amendment, which would amount to a direction to the local education authority that they should not refuse to take over the schools which were otherwise fit simply because the owner wished to avail himself of the facilities mentioned. It was a very small concession to owners of schools, if a concession at all. Such owners had considerable difficulties under this clause, as it was, in coming to an agreement.. Even if the Amendment were carried, it was conceivable that excuses might be made for not taking over schools. The hon. and learned Member for Mid. Glamorganshire had said it would be a monstrous thing if a local education authority in a single school area were to take over a voluntary school and be tied with the facilities under Clauses 3 and 4. If so skilful and distinguished a lawyer allowed the feline animal out of the bag to that extent, surely they might take it that members of local education authorities would treat the matter in a very curt way, and openly refuse to take the school-house because it would give denominational teaching to which the objected. The least they could do in this Committee was to show that where other things were satisfactory the local education authority ought not to decline to take over a school simply because the owner insisted on facilities being given which this Bill provided.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 18, after the word 'manner' to insert the words 'Provided that the local education authority shall not refuse to enter into any agreement because the owners make it a condition that facilities for giving religious instruction of some special character shall be afforded in accordance with the provisions of this Act.'"—(Mr. Rawlinson.)

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


hoped the hon. and learned Gentleman would not press this Amendment. He thought that after the concession which the Government had made such an Amendment would not have been brought before the Committee. The Government had gone a long way to meet the objections of the hon. Gentleman. He could only think that the Amendment was recommended to the Committee on the ground that it would improve the drafting of the Bill, but the Government could not allow the Bill to be drafted on the other side of the House. The material point which he believed the hon. and learned Member desired was fully covered. If the hon. and learned Gentleman would look at the opening line of Clause 3 he would see that it provided for these special facilities being granted. Clauses 3 and 4 would be meaningless if it were not intended that the granting of facilities might be one of the conditions of taking over schools. If this particular proviso were inserted, others would be required, and it was a little difficult to consider fully the effects of an Amendment of this kind which did not appear on the Paper. The Bill was better drafted in its present shape than would be the case if they carried an Amendment which was suddenly moved without even being put on the Paper.


said he thought the answer of the hon. Gentleman was an entirely inadequate one. He would be able to show the Committee that the Bill, at all events, so far as the drafting was concerned, was faulty in the matter of allowing arrangements to be made for obtaining facilities, such as they were, as provided by Clause 3 of the Bill, and he believed, before he had done, the hopes of those who thought that denominational teaching was going to be preserved would be even further removed. He would like to ask the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether any power was given in the Bill to the local authorities to make arrangements with the owners for the giving of religious education in the school. He could find it nowhere. Arrangements might be made between the local education authority and the owners, but this arrangement must not be inconsistent with the fact that the school was a provided school. They were therefore driven back to this, that the only arrangement that could be made was an arrangement that the old Cowper-Temple Clause was to be applicable to the new schools. That was the only religious arrangement that could be made in any provided school by law so far as he knew. The hon. and learned Member for Mid. Glamorganshire had referred to Clause 3, and said that the arrangement was certain to happen, but if they could not under the previous clause make the providing of facilities a condition of arrangement, how could it ever happen? He knew his hon. friend would say that they ought to imply things. They wanted it, however, to be expressed.


Clause 3 says they shall have facilities.


said his point was that there was nothing in the Bill allowing it to be made a condition. The hon. Member was, he thought, under the impression that the words "any arrangements they think fit by agreement with the owners" covered religious arrangements, but he had pointed out that that could not be so because they would be inconsistent with the school's being a provided school. If the words "any arrangements" included any arrangements with regard to religious instruction, then they would be allowed to make any arrangements they thought fit. He defied anyone to find out what it was that was intended, or any provision whatever for giving power to the local authority and the owners to make arrangements regarding religious instruction. He now came more directly to this particular Amendment. The hon. and learned Member for Mid-Glamorganshire was, at all events, candid; he contemplated that in the case of a single school area it would be a monstrous thing for a local education authority to allow any denominational education in it at all.


said he did not say that. What he said was that it would be a monstrous thing to compel the local education authority to take over the school.


said the hon. and learned Gentleman therefore contemplated that the local education authority of the one school area would not take over any school in which denominational education was to exist. But the hon. and learned Gentleman went on to the area where there might be two or three schools. What did he contemplate there? That the local education authority might be bound to ask what was the good of keeping up one denominational school when they had two undenominational schools, and therefore they would put an end to the denominational school. That meant that the hon. and learned Gentleman contemplated that they were going to put an end to denominational education altogether.


Except so far as it applies to Clause 4.


said the hon. and learned Gentleman seemed to forget that Clause 4 did not come into play until the education authority had elected to take over the school. The hon. and learned Gentleman had mentioned Clause 4 with a view of showing, he presumed, his great fairness towards the Irish Party and the Catholic population. The hon. and learned Gentleman no doubt, like many others, saw that it might be prudent to give a preference to Catholics which they denied to Protestants of a different denomination from themselves. Having regard to that speech the importance of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Cambridge University became apparent. The Amendment was simply that if the local education authority took over a denominational school pressure ought not to be allowed to be put upon the owner by saying that they would not permit the provision that religion of a particular denomination was to be taught in the school. Was that fair in the case of a school that was a fit school in every respect to be taken over? They were dealing herewith trusts, and this section was putting an end to those trusts. He should have thought, at least, that care would have been taken to see that the terms of the trust were inserted, and he did not doubt that an Amendment would be brought forward to enable the owners of the school to insist that those educational trusts should be carried out. But the Government went to the other extreme, and compelled the trustee absolutely to abandon the trust imposed upon him, failing which an end would be put altogether to the school as a rational school. His hon. friend's Amendment was absolutely necessary, and without such an amendment the local education authority would be enabled to hold such a lever as would put upon a man absolutely unfair terms in his endeavour to carry out a trust. The Committee were entitled to some further answer than they had so far received. No concession whatever had been made, and even if there had been it was no reason why they should not compel the local authority to give the facilities which were laid down by the Government themselves in Clauses 3 and 4.

*MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

said the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education had refused to accept the Amendment partly on the ground that a concession had been made already, partly on the ground that it merely concerned drafting, and partly on the ground that the matter was covered by Clause 3. As to the concession having been made, they very much doubted it; but whether it was a concession or not it was no ground for refusing to accept an Amendment which was in itself wise and just. As regarded drafting, it was a most astonishing argument to bring forward that because an Amendment was a more; drafting Amendment it could not be accepted. It was the commonest thing that if an Amendment were a more drafting Amendment it should be accepted without further discussion. Perhaps they came to the substance of the hon. Gentleman's opposition when he told them that the whole object of the Amendment: was really contained in Clause 3. He might remind the Committee what this Amendment really did. It proposed that, assuming the schools were sanitary, the local education authority should not refuse to enter into an agreement with owners who wished to make it a condition that special religious facilities should be given. The whole thing turned upon whether the local education authority was willing to make arrangements for the affording of facilities of this character. Supposing it refused to make a condition of this sort, where would the owners of the school-house be? This Amendment wanted to make it perfectly clear that the local education authority was not to be allowed to refuse to make an arrangement with the owners merely on the ground that the local education authority objected to special facilities. Clause 3 allowed these special facilities to be given if the local education authority chose to grant them. The Amendment desired to prevent there being any choice in the matter, and to compel the local authority to make arrangements if the only ground for their refusal was that they did not like these special facilities. The hon. Member opposite, who seemed to have some doubt as to the need of putting this provision in the Bill, showed a very child-like faith in local education authorities. He seemed to suppose that if it were said in debate in this House that it was their intention that such facilities were not to be unreasonably withheld, then under no circumstances would the local education authority unreasonably withhold them. He was afraid he had no such child-like faith in local authorities. He thought in many cases they would withhold facilities. Some members of local authorities had already made it perfectly clear in frank statements that they were disposed to take advantage of the position in order to withhold special facilities and to refuse to make any arrangements with the owners of the school-house. If the object of what was called the concession by the Government was to prevent local education authorities from exercising any unjust: option of that kind then the Government should all the more readily accept this. Amendment, so as to make it perfectly plain what the position and intention of the clause really was.

MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)

said the answer of the Parliamentary Secretary was hopelessly inadequate. The Government seemed to labour under a fundamental misconception of the position. They always argued as if Clause 3 created rights. Such rights as were contemplated by Clause 3 were not created by this statute. The Parliamentary Secretary had made two answers to the Amendment. One was that it was adequately dealt with by the concession the Government had made, and the other that it was adequately dealt with by Clause 3. The hon. Gentleman forgot that they could not all take the same view of the concession as he did. That concession had been made a ground for demanding a kind of compensation which had no relation to the matter at all. It was no use saying that the local authority could be trusted to negotiate such contracts in a reasonable manner. Laws were not made for reasonable persons. They were made to restrain and coerce unreasonable persons; if there were no unreasonable persons laws would probably not be required at all. The Amendment asked? that the question whether there should or should not be facilities granted by the local authority should be open and should, remain open from the beginning of the negotiations, and that it should not be open to a local authority to nullify the intention of Parliament.


asked whether the Committee might accept the answer of the Parliamentary Secretary as meaning that the concession which had been promised by the Minister for Education would cover the case contemplated in this Amendment. The promise was given in respect of a hypothetical position, namely, that a local authority could give the go-by to the owners of a voluntary school and proceed to build a school of its own. Would the owners of a voluntary school in such a case have the right of appeal?

*MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)

said he had not heard a reply to the arguments advanced in support of the Amendment. He thought the Parliamentary Secretary had not contemplated what might occur if the Government did not accept the Amendment. After the speech of the hon. Member for Mid - Glamorganshire they were bound to face what was a very disagreeable prospect for the future. The hon. Member had said he thought it would be a monstrous thing if local authorities wore not allowed to discontinue certain voluntary schools in a one school area. He also said that the only concession he would give would be under Clause 4, which would entirely cut out all voluntary schools in the rural districts. They had to consider the case of a school which was perfectly efficient, and about which the local authority refused to come to an agreement. What was to be done in a case like that if the Government were not going to put in this Amendment? It meant that the children in those schools would be cut out from the facilities which the Government had announced they intended them to receive. If the Government refused the Amendment, was it or was it not their intention that the children now being educated in the voluntary schools should have a certainty of the facilities for religious teaching in the future under the Bill? If they refused the Amendment there was no certainty of that; in fact there was a great probability that a great many would not have the facilities.

*MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)

thought the hon. Member for Cambridge University would find that there was a good deal more sympathy with the substance of his Amendment among hon. Members on the Ministerial side of the House than he seemed to imagine. It seemed to him, however, that the Amendment was entirely unnecessary, because the point would be covered by the words which the President of the Board of Education proposed to introduce. What he understood was that when a local education authority was found to be, using the right hon. Gentleman's word, "pigheaded," there should be an appeal to the Board of Education, and that there should be a local inquiry in such cases. Where an existing denominational school was in every respect efficient, and was required by the educational circumstances of the district, he was not prepared to allow a local authority to refuse to take it over merely because it was a denominational school. Hon. Gentlemen on the other side should understand also that there would be reciprocity in this matter. There should be no obligation on a local authority to take over a school unless it was really required in the interests of educational efficiency and economy. He did not understand the hon. and learned Gentleman the Member for Mid-Glamorganshire to say that he thought it was a monstrous thing that where there was an efficient provided school and a small non-provided school it should be obligatory on the local authority to take over the small school if it was required in the interests of economy and educational efficiency. What he did understand him to mean was that it would be monstrous if the local authority was bound to take over a school whore they could make a better bargain for the public by not taking it over. He understood that the Commissioner appointed to hold the local inquiry would ascertain the facts, and that the Board of Education would finally determine whether the school was required to be taken over, having regard to economy and educational efficiency in the district. He thought the Committee should give the Minister for Education the guidance for which he had asked to determine his action in the matter, and that he should be directed that his decision should be given without reference to denominational considerations, but solely on grounds of educational efficiency. He hoped a local authority would not be forced to take over a denominational school, simply because it was denominational, when it was really not required in the interest of the community. They ought to look upon this question not as members of this or that denomination but as citizens who had in view as their primary object the efficiency of the educational system, not neglecting, of course, the question of fairness or unfairness between the different, denominations. He would support the Amendment if he was not clearly of opinion that what was desired would he covered by the words to be introduced by the Minister for Education.


said he certainly hoped the Committee might have some further guidance on this matter from the Minister for Education. The right hon. Gentleman was not in his place when the Parliamentary Secretary spoke. The hon. Gentleman made an amiable and pleasing contribution to the debate, but he did not make clear the very things they desired to have made clear; he criticised the proposal as a drafting Amendment, and asked with indignation in his voice whether it was customary for Governments to accept drafting Amendments of the kind proposed. He himself had accepted many drafting Amendments, although he did not say that they always improved the Bills in which they were made. Probably the Parliamentary Secretary himself when in Opposition had proposed drafting Amendments which he had had the honour to accept. But this was not a drafting Amendment. If it were a drafting Amendment the amount of interest in it would be small, and the amount of time spent upon it might be still smaller, but the hon. Member for the Wycombe Division in his contribution to the debate had shown that it was really a most important point. The intentions of the Government, as he understood them, were in direct opposition to the views of the hon. Member for Mid Glamorgan, who said that the Bill would be wholly unacceptable if it deprived the local authorities of an option in regard to providing facilities for denominational education. That was the view the hon. Member had laid down clearly, and he had received a large measure of adhesion from the hon. Members who sat behind him. But it was not the Government view, as he understood it, and it certainly was not the view of the hon. Member who had just spoken, for he had clearly said that he did not want to allow local option in the matter of concessions connected with denominational religion. The Government took the same view. The Government, partly by the concession made that afternoon, and partly by speeches made before, had laid it down clearly that the subject was not to be left entirely to the locality. Did the concession of the Government that afternoon render the Amendment of his hon. friend unnecessary? If the concession rendered the Amendment unnecessary he would deprecate any further continuation of the debate, because the Committee had already discussed the subject, and he was not anxious to go over the same ground twice. But he did not think that the concession of the Government covered the Amendment of his hon. friend. The questions dealt with by the Bill were far more important since the concession was made by the Government He thought the right hon. Gentleman had used rather excessive language in regard to this subject, although he agreed with him that the responsibility thrown upon himself and his successor might be of a very onerous character. As he listened to the right hon. Gentleman he thought that there was nothing in the Minister's words, and that there would be nothing in the Bill if it became law, even with the additions promised by the Government, to make clear to both the local authority and the Board of Education to whom appeals were to come, that it was not to be a case of hindering an arrangement between the two parties as to what denominational education was to be given in the schools to be handed over. His hon. friend's Amendment would make it perfectly clear that that was not to be a bar to a bargain. If these words were inserted it would be a complete defeat of the party of local option; if they were refused he wanted to know why they were refused by a Government which professed to be opposed to the party of local option. The Government said in the first place, that they desired that these religious facilities should be given; and, in the second place, that the Minister of Education ought to be safeguarded and guided by Parliament. Both these conditions were carried out by the Amendment of his hon. friend, and he was unable to see what were the objections to the admission of the words. Clause 3 had no reference to this question direct or indirect, immediate or remote. It was a question antecedent to Clause 3.


said that his objection to the Amendment was that it was practically worthless. His acquaintance with local authorities was not great—he wished it had been less— but it was much greater than that of hon. Gentlemen opposite. Hon. Members imagined that a, local authority which had a mind to refuse to take over a voluntary school would put in the forefront what their real reason was. That was not the way people went to work in these matters. They would give other reasons than those which had been mentioned in support of their objection to take over the school. They would never boldly assert that the reason why they did not take over the schools was that if they did they would allow the Catechism to be taught and the Prayer-book expounded twice a week. They would find some reason in the drainage or in the accommodation for cloaks, or in the inadequacy of the class rooms. Some of the reasons perhaps would be very difficult to dispose of if the Board of Education were to send one of its architects or inspectors to survey the premises to ascertain whether they were such buildings as the local authority required and should be taken over. The words proposed to "be introduced by his hon. friend were of no value whatever.


said he felt very deeply on the subject, and would like to say a word or two in reply to the President of the Board of Education, who had told the Committee that there were certain people about the country who would not do these things.


said that what he had stated was that if they were so minded to do such unjust acts they would not be so foolish as not to conceal their object.


said that there was a different class of persons altogether left out of account in the calculations of the right hon. Gentleman. He was not dealing with political antagonists, who might or might not put forward some dishonest reason for doing a certain act. He was dealing with many religious people whom he knew, not only Nonconformists, who felt very deeply on this matter. If they were called upon to take over Roman Catholic schools, for instance, they would view the obligation as a great and intolerable burden on their conscience to apply the money of the ratepayers for the support of such chools. Since the Bill had been before the House he had had communication with really religious Nonconformists who had told him that Clause 4 was an intolerable burden on their conscience. Such people, when the matter came before the education authority, he assumed would act honestly, and not say that they were disinclined to take over the Roman Catholic schools because the drains were wrong and the cloak rooms insufficient. People of this sort would say that they ought not to take part in taking over a school for teaching Roman Catholicism in this country. He had the greatest respect for that type of man, but when people of that sort found that it was within their power to refuse to take over a school, he thought that they might be influenced in that way. Therefore, although the greater number of educational authorities would, no doubt, act straightforwardly and honestly, there remained this danger in certain eases. That being so, it would be of advantage to have in the Bill a provision laying it down that local authorities were bound to take over a school if they found that it was fit to be taken over, and must not allow religious differences to enter into the matter. He thought the Act of Parliament should say that they would be acting contrary to their duty and rights if they were to carry it out in that particular way. Besides that, he submitted that this Amendment would not be covered by the proposed Amendment which the President of the Board of Education was to bring forward. If this Amendment were accepted, the Bill would contain an instruction to the local authority that they should not refuse to enter into any agreement because the owners made it a condition of an agreement that facilities for giving religious instruction should be accorded, in accordance with the facility clauses. Not only that, it would be also an instruction to the Board of Education in case of an appeal. The right hon. Gentleman himself had told them that, in his duties as President of the Board of Education, it would be of the greatest possible assistance to him to have a direction from Parliament. He therefore asked the Committee to give that direction, especially as the Minister in charge of the Bill had admitted that the Amendment only carried out the intention of the Government. Although no doubt there were a large number of people who were opposed to that intention, he asked the Committee to accept the Amendment so that there should be an instruction to the local education authority and the Board of Education, acting upon which they would carry out the intentions of members of the Government.

LORD BALCAREES (Lancashire, Chorley)

said the right hon. Gentleman had opposed this Amendment on different grounds from those advanced by his colleague. He did not wish to refer to the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary, which that hon. Gentlemen might upon reflection regret, but in regard to the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, he was quite sure that the local education authorities, with whom he said he had himself come into conflict, when they desired to defy the law would desire to say why they did so. The Parliamentary Secretary had objected to this Amendment on the ground that it was superfluous and redundant, but the right hon. Gentleman had said that he agreed with the Amendment in substance, and that it was already in the Bill That was a point of great importance, in regard to which he wished to call the attention of the Committee to what had been said by members of the Government. The President of the Board of Education had said more than once that the facilities under Clause 3 were compulsory, and the Chancellor of the Duchy also had said so when he said that these powers were not subject to the control of the local education authority, tout that parents would be entitled to have their children given this religious teaching. The President of the Board of Education himself put the matter still more clearly when he said that it was plain that, if the trustees of a school made the stipulation in regard to transfer, that there should be these facilities given, the obligation became statutory. They were in direct issue with the Government on that point, because they on the Opposition side of the House said that under Clauses 3 and 4 the facilities were not mandatory. The whole of Clause 3 was governed by the first word" If." It was laid down there that "if" an arrangement had been come to for affording facilities, those facilities should be given. There was nothing in the clause, however, binding the local authorities to accept an arrangement in regard to facilities as a condition of transfer. The right hon. Gentleman said that owners or trustees could make this stipulation before transfer, but if they did so and the local education authority did not wish to afford the facilities it need not come to an agreement, and the managers must in that case consent to be excluded from the Bill or to come under the Bill and receive no facilities. Under Clause 8, moveover, there was no provision which gave the Commission of three power to enforce facilities. Therefore he thought that it was most necessary that they should have some Amendment of this kind. The minatory speeches which had been made on the other side seemed to indicate that in the opinion of hon. Gentleman the best thing the local education authorities could do would be to refuse to take over as many elementary schools as possible. The hon. Member for Mid Glamorganshire, who had spoken in this manner, no doubt represented a great deal of public opinion, and they had to take into account speeches of the kind which he and the hon. Member for Lincolnshire had made. He was quite convinced that unless Clause 3 was made mandatory, that was to say, unless it was made what the Government had repeatedly stated it was intended to be, there was great danger that in thousands and thousands of these schools all facilities for religious education would be refused. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education agreed that those facilities if they were not compulsory ought to be made so. He had told them that these facilities had been inserted in order to escape the harshness of Clause 1, but after the discussion they had had that afternoon he should say, not the harshness, but the inconveniences of Clause 1. That being the case, he asked the right hon. Gentleman whether he would not insert a provision to make it absolutely certain that these facilities should be compulsory. They on the Opposition side of the House attached incalculable importance to such a provision, and therefore his hon. friend had asked that, at the outset of Clause 2, they should put in a direction to the local education authorities, which was really only a drafting Amendment, because the right hon. Gentleman himself had said that he agreed with it in substance.


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

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

The Committee divided :—Ayes, 333; Noes, 142. (Division List No. 116.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Acland, Francis Dyke Churchill, Winston Spencer Harwood, George
Agnew, George William Clarke, C. Goddard Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cleland, J. W. Haslam, Lewis (Monnmouth)
Alden, Percy Clough, W. Helme, Norval Watson
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch Cobbold, Felix Thornley Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen. W.)
Armitage, R. Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras W Henry, Charles S.
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Higham, John Sharp
Astbury, John Meir Cowan, W. H. Hobart, Sir Robert
Atherley-Jones, L. Cremer, William Randal Hodge, John
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Crombie, John William Holden, E. Hopkinson
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury. E. Crooks, William Holland, Sir William Henry
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Hooper, A. G.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset,N
Barker, John Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Horniman, Emslie John
Barlow, John Emmott (S'm'rs't Davies, W. Ho well (Bristol, S.) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Barnes, G. N. Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh. Hudson, Walter
Barran, Rowland Hirst Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Beale, W. P. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hyde, Clarendon
Beauchamp, E. Dobson, Thomas W. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Duckworth, James Jacoby, James Alfred
Beck, A. Cecil Duncan, C. (Banow-in-Furness Jardine, Sir J.
Bell, Richard Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Jenkins, J.
Bellairs, Carlyon Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Benn, John Williams (Devonp't Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Benn, W. (Tow'rH'ml'ts, S. Geo. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea
Bennett, E. N. Elibank, Master of Jones. Leif (Appleby)
Berridge, T. H. D. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Bertram, Julius Erskine, David C. Jowett. F. W.
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romfoid Essex, R. W. Kearley, Hudson E.
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Evans, Samuel T. Kekewich, Sir George
Billson, Alfred Eve, Harry Trelawney Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Everett, R. Lacey King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Black, Alexander Wm. (Banff) Faber, G. H. (Boston) Kitson, Sir James
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordsh. Fenwick, Charles Laidlaw, Robert
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire. N. E. Ferens, T. R. Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Brace, William Ferguson, R. C. Munro Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Bramsdon, T. A. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lambert, George
Branch, James Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lamont, Norman
Brigg, John Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lawson, Sir Wilfrid
Bright, J. A. Fullerton, Hugh Lavland-Barratt, Francis
Brodie, H. C. Furness, Sir Christopher Lea, HughC'ecil (St. Pancras, E.
Brooke, Stopford Gardner,.Col. Alan (Hereford, S. Lehmann, R. C.
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh Gill, A. H. Lever, A. Lev v(Essex.Harwich)
Brunner, Sir John T. (Cheshire Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirra)
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs Glover, Thomas Levy, Maurice
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Goddard, Daniel Ford Lewis, John Herbert
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Grant, Corrie Lough, Thomas
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Lupton, Arnold
Burnyeat, J. D. W. Greenwood, Hamar (York) Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Lynch, H. B.
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Griffith, Ellis J. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Cairns, Thomas Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Macdonald, J. M. (FalkirkB'ghsr
Cameron, Robert Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Maclean, Donald
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Causton, Rt. HnRichard Knight Hardie, J. Keir (Merth'rTydvil Macpherson, J. T.
Cawley, Frederick Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) M'Arthur, William
Chance, Frederick William Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r M'Callum, John M.
Channing, Francis Allston Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh M'Crae, George
Cheetham, John Frederick Hart-Davies, T. M'Kenna, Reginald
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Bidsdale, E. A. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan,E.)
M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
M'Micking, Major G. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Maddison, Frederick Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Thorne, William
Mallet, Charles E. Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee) Tillett, Louis Join.
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd Tomkinson, James
Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Torrance, A. M.
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston Robinson, S. Toulmin, George
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Robson, Sir William Snowdon Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Massie, J. Roe, Sir Thomas Ure, Alexander
Masterman, C. F. G. Rogers, F. E. Newman Verney, F. W.
Micklem, Nathaniel Rowlands, J. Villiers Ernest Amherst
Mond, A. Runciman, Walter Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Montgomery, H. M. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland Wallace, Robert
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Walsh, Stephen
Morrell, Philip Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Walters, John Tudor
Murray, James Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Myer, Horatio Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Napier, T. B. Sears, J. E. Wardle, George J.
Nicholls, George Seaverns, J. H. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Nicholson, CharlesN. (Doncast'r Seddon, J. Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Norman, Henry Seely, Major J. B. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Nussey, Thomas Willans Shackleton, David James Waterlow, D. S.
Nuttall, Harry Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B. Whitbread, Howard
O'Grady, J. Shipman, Dr. John G. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Parker, James (Halifax) Silcock, Thomas Ball White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Paul, Herbert Simon, John Allsebrook Whitehead, Rowland
Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'uthampton Snowden, P. Wiles, Thomas
Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wilkie, Alexander
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Soares, Ernest J. Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Spicer, Albert Williams, W, L. (Carmarthen)
Pirie, Duncan V. Stanger, H. Y. Williamson, A. (Elgin and Nairn
Pollard, Dr. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) Wills, Arthur Walters
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Steadman, W. C. Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Strachey, Sir Edward Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Radford, G. H. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.)
Rainy, A. Holland Stuart, James (Sunderland) Wilson, P. W. (St. Panrcas, S.
Raphael, Herbert H. Summerbell, T. Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Sutherland, J. E. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Rees, J. D. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Woodhouse. SirJ. T. (Huddersf'd
Rendall, Athelstan Taylor, John W. (Durham) Yoxall, James Henry
Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Richards, T. F. (Wolverhamptn Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Richardson, A. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Rickett, J. Compton Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E. Boyle, Sir Edward Dillon, John
Ambrose, Robert Bridgeman, W. Clive Dixon - Hartland, SirFred Dixon.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Brotherton, Edward Allen Donelan, Capt. A.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Burdett-Coutts, W. Doughty, Sir George
Arkwright, John Stanhope Burke, E. Haviland- Douglas Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Arnold-Forste,Rt. Hn.HughO Butcher, Samuel Henry Du Cros, Harvey
Ashley, W. W. Carlile, E. Hildred Faber, George Denison (York)]
Balcarres, Lord Castlereagh, Viscount Fardell, Sir T. George
Balfour, Rt.Hn.A. J. (CityLond. Cave, George Fell, Arthur
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Cavendish. Rt.Hon. VictorC. W. Ffrench, Peter
Banner, John S. Harmood- Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Field, William
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E. Fletcher, J. S.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Flynn, James Christopher
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow Forster, Henry William
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Craig, Charles Curris (Antrim,S. Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Craig, Captain James (Down, E. Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Blake, Edward Craik, Sir Henry Haddock, George R.
Boland, John Dalrymple, Viscount Hammond, John
Bowles, G. Stewart Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford
Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Rawlinson, John Frederick P.
Hay, Hon. Claude George Mac Veigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Hazleton, Richard M'Calmont, Colonel James Remnant, James Farquharson
Hervey, F. W. F. (BuryS. Edm'ds M'Killop, W. Roberts, S. (Slieffield, Ecclesall)
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Magnus, Sir Philip Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury Mason, James F. (Windsor) Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh.) Meehan, Patrick A. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Hills, J.W. Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Hogan, Michael Middlemore, John Throgmorton Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Hornby, Sir William Henry Mooney, J. J. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Joyce, Michael Morpeth, Viscount Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. SirJohnH. Muntz, Sir Philip A. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Kennedy, Vincent Paul Murphy, John Starkey, John R.
Kenyon-Slaney, Rt.Hon.Col.W. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Sullivan, Donal
Keswick, William Nolan, Joseph Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.
King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) O'Brien, Kendal (TipperaryMid. Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Win. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Thornton, Percy M.
Lane-Fox, G. R. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Lee, ArthurH.(Hants., Fareham O'Hare, Patrick Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.).
Liddell, Henry O'Kelly, James (Roscommon,N Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt. -Col. A. R O'Malley. William Wortley, Rt.Hon.C. B.Stuart-
Long, Col. CharlesW. (Evesham O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Younger, George
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Pease, HerbertPike (Darlington
Lundon, W. Percy, Earl TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Power, Patrick Joseph

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

The Committee divided:— Ayes, 104; Noes, 326. (Division List No. 117.)

Acland-Hood. Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F Du Cros, Harvey Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Anson, Sir William Reynell Faber, George Denison (York) Morpeth, Viscount
Anstruther-Gray, Major Fardell, Sir T. George Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Arkwright, John Stanhope Fell, Arthur Nicholson. Wm. G. (Petersfield
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. HughO. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Ashley, W. W. Fletcher, J. S. Pease. Herbert Pike (Darlington
Balcarres, Lord Forster, Henry William Percy, Earl
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Remnant, James Farquharson
Banner, John S. Harmood- Glover, Thomas Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester Haddock, George R. Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hay, Hon. Claude George Samuel. S. M. (Whitechapel)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hervey, F. W. F.(Bury S. Edm'ds Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury Smith, Abel H. (Hertford,East)
Boyle, Sir Edward Hill, Henry Staveley (Staffsh. Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hills, J. W. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand
Brotherton, Edward Allen Hornby, Sir William Henry Starkey, John R.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. SirJohnH. Talboa, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.
Butcher, Samuel Henry Kenyon-Slaney, Rt.Hon. Col.W. Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark
Carlile, E. Hildred Keswick, William Thornton, Percy M.
Castlereagh, Viscount King, Sir HenrySeymour(Hull) Valentia, Viscount
Cave, George Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Cavendish, Rt.Hon. VictorC.W. Lane-Fox, G. R. Walker, Col. W. H.(Lancashire)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Lee, ArthurH. (Hants., Fareham Walsh, Stephen
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E. Liddell, Henry Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glagsow) Long, Rt. Hn.Walter (Dublin, S.) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Lonsdale, John Brownlee Wyndham. Rt. Hon. George
Craik, Sir Henry MacIver, David (Liverpool) Younger, George
Dairymple, Viscount: M'Calmont, Colonel James
Dixon-Hartland, SirFred. Dixon Magnus, Sir Philip TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Rawlinson and Mr. Salter.
Doughty, Sir George Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Corbett, CH. (Sussex, E. Grinat'd Horniman, Emslie John
Acland, Francis Dyke Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Agnew, George William Cowan, W. H. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cremer, William Randal Hudson, Walter
Alden, Percy Crombie, John William Hyde, Clarendon
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Crooks, William Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Jacoby, James Alfred
Armitage, R. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Jardine, Sir J.
Armstrong, W. C Heaton Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Jenkins, J.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. HerbertHenry Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Astbury, John Meir Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Atherley-Jones,, L. Dewar, John A. (Invorness-sh.) Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Dobson, Thomas W. Kearley, Hudson E.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Duckworth, James Kekewich, Sir George
Barker, John Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Barlow, JohnEmmott (Somerset Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Dunne, MajorE. Martin (Walsall Kitson, Sir James
Barnes, G. N. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Laidlaw, Robert
Barran, Rowland Hirst Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster)
Beale, W. P. Elibank, Master of Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Beauchamp, E. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Lambert, George
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Erskine, David C. Lamont, Norman
Beck, A. Cecil Essex, R. W. Lawson, Sir Wilfrid
Bell, Richard Evans, Samuel T. Layland-Barratt, Francis
Bellairs, Carlyon Eve, Harry Trelawney Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.
Benn, John Williams (Devonp't Everett, R. Lacey Leese, SirJosephF. (Accrington)
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Faber, G. H. (Boston) Lehmann, R. C.
Bennett, E. N. Fenwick, Charles Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich)
Berridge, T. H. D. Ferens, T. R. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Bertram, Julius Ferguson, R. C. Munro Levy, Maurice
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lewis, John Herbert
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lough, Thomas
Billson, Alfred Fuller, John Michael F. Lupton, Arnold
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Fullerton, Hugh Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Black, Alexander Wm. (Banff) Furness, Sir Christopher Lynch, H. B.
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E. Gill, A. H. Macdonald, J. M. (FalkirkB'ghs;
Brace, William Gladstone, Rt. Hon. HerbertJoh Maclean, Donald
Bramsdon, T. A. Goddard, Daniel Ford Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Branch, James Grant, Corrie M'Arthur, William
Brigg, John Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) M'Callum, John M.
Bright, J. A. Greenwood, Hamar (York) M'Crae, George
Brodie, H. C. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward M'Kenna, Reginald
Brooke, Stopford Griffith, Ellis J. M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Brunner, Sir JohnT. (Cheshire) Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. M'Micking, Major G.
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis Maddison, Frederick
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Mallet, Charles E.
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Manfield, Harry (Northants)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln
Burnyeat, J. D. W. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithness-sh Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Hart-Davies, T. Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Harvey, A. G. O. (Rochdale) Massie, J.
Cairns, Thomas Harwood, George Masterman, C. F. G.
Cameron, Robert Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Micklem, Nathaniel
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Mond, A.
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Helme, Norval Watson Montgomery, H. H.
Cawley, Frederick Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morley, Rt. Hon. John
Chance, Frederick William Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.) Morrell, Philip
Channing, Francis Allston Henry, Charles S. Murray, James
Cheetham, John Frederick Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Myer, Horatio
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Higham, John Sharp Napier, T. B.
Churchill, Winston Spencer Hobart, Sir Robert Nicholls, George
Clarke, C. Goddard Hodge, John Nicholson, CharlesN. (Doncaster
Cleland, J. W. Holden, E. Hopkinson Norman, Henry
Clough, W. Holland, Sir William Henry Norton, Capt, Cecil William
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Hooper, A. G. Nussey, Thomas Willans
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) Nuttall, Harry
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N. O'Donnell, C. (Walworth)
Parker, James (Halifax) Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Paul, Herbert Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Ure, Alexander
Pearce, Robert (Staffs., Leek) Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester) Verney, F. W.
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Sears, J. E. Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Seaverns, J. H. Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Seely, Major J. B. Wallace, Robert
Phillips, Owen C. (Pembroke) Shackleton, David James Waters, John Tudor
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Pirie, Duncan V. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Pollard, Dr. Shipman, Dr. John G. Wardle, George J.
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Silcock, Thomas Ball Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Simon, John Allsebrook Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Radford, G. H. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Waterlow, D. S.
Rainy, A. Holland Snowdon, P. Wedgwood. Josiah C.
Raphael, Herbert H. Soames, Arthur Wellesley Whitbread, Howard
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Soares, Ernest J. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Rees, J. D. Spicer, Albert White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Rendall, Athelstan Stanger, H. Y. Whitehead, Rowland
Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Richards, F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Steadman, W. C. Wlittaker, Thomas Palmer
Richardson, A. Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wiles, Thomas
Rickett, J. Compton Strachey, Sir Edward Wilkie, Alexander
Ridsdale, E. A. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Stuart, James (Sunderland) Williams, ff. L. (Carmarthen)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Summerbell, T. Williamson, A. (Elgin & Nairn)
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Sutherland, J. E. Wills, Arthur Walters
Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee) Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth) Wilson, Hn. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Robertson, Sir G Scott(Bradford Tavlor, John W. (Durham) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Robinson, S. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Roe, Sir Thomas Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomas, David Alfred(Merthyr) Woodhouse. Sir J T (Hudd'rsf'd
Rose, Charles Day Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset. E. Yoxall, James Henry
Rowlands, J. Tillett, Louis John
Runciman, Walter Tomkinson, James TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Russell, T. W. Torrance, A. M.
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Toulmin, George

moved to leave out in lines 18 and 19 the words "but it shall," and insert "and it may." The right hon. Gentleman had said last night that the local authority would have absolute freedom in concluding an agreement. So long as paragraphs (a) and (b) were made compulsory that freedom did not really exist, and he wanted to leave it open to the local authorities to put in these clauses if they thought fit and the Board of Education approved. It might be said that the effect might be detrimental to the voluntary schools to make the first part of paragraph (a) optional and not compulsory. No doubt in form it was an advantage to the owners of the schools that the local education authority should be compelled in all cases to keep the school premises in repair, but he did not think it was a real advantage. The rent would be made less on account of that obligation, and therefore it seemed to him to be merely a nominal advantage. The other parts of (a) and (b) were fetters upon the free bargaining powers of parties, and they ought not to be made compulsory in all cases. The second object he had was to lead up to further Amendments on the Paper, one of which said "that the local education authority during the continuance of the arrangement shall pay a reasonable rent or sum for the use of the school-house." He thought that was necessary, inasmuch as they were dealing with a public authority which had control over public funds, and they should give express power to the authority to make payments out of public money.


said the hon. and learned Gentleman was discussing an Amendment which he proposed to move at a later stage, but as that Amendment contained a proposition which had been disposed of already it was not in order.


said he also moved his present Amendment for the purpose of inserting another Amendment later on which would empower the parties to an agreement to provide for the authority affording facilities for religious instruction.


said the hon. and learned Gentleman's other Amendment was also out of order.


said that being so, it simply remained for him to say that he desired to make paragraphs (a) and (b) optional.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, lines 18 and 19, to leave out the words 'but it shall,' and insert the words" 'and it may.'

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


said if it were desirable to make (a) and (b) optional it would be much better to omit them altogether than to encumber the Bill with them. But he did not think that was desirable. It was desirable that it should be made perfectly clear that it was a condition of the bargain that the school-house should be kept in good repair, and also that the educational authority should have the power to make alterations and improvements which time might reveal us being necessary. On the whole, he thought the clause as it stood was best, and secured for the local authority that control over the premises they acquired which was absolutely necessary if they were to retain the best possible places for education.

MR. BLAKE (Longford, S.)

said he thought the Amendment would, if agreed to, facilitate those agreements which those interested in the schools were anxious to come to with the local education Authorities. It was in the interest of the public and in the interest of the schools themselves that they should be kept open. He agreed that if it was to be made optional the provision had better be struck out altogether. But he thought it was better to keep it in and make it compulsory.


said he could not agree that this Amendment was useless. In the first place he could not follow the argument put forward more than once fey the Minister for Education that if a provision was not compulsory on the authority which had to deal with the matter it was no use whatever. It was at all events an indication, and sometimes a very important indication, of the policy Parliament desired the local authority to carry out. In most cases the local authority would take the course suggested by such an indication, whereas if it was made compulsory the local authority would have to take that course in every case whether it was the best course to take or not. Sub-section (b) was also governed by the words "shall." That was the section which said that the school-house was to be free from any trusts and condition? which were not consistent with the conduct or management of the school as a public elementary school provided by the local authority or in any way restricted their full control of the school. That was a very strong phrase. It might be desirable that it should be part of the arrangement in certain cases that the local education authority should enter into an arrangement which would restrict their full control, and it would be a very strong thing to say that they should not do so. In this matter he ranged himself on the side of the local optionist. He did not yet feel confident that the Government had made up their minds as to whether this was to be a local option Bill or not For some purposes it was, and for others it was not. Here, for instance, was a case in which the discretion of the local education authority was to be absolutely controlled and fettered; where they were not to be allowed to make the arrangement which might be most desirable. He could not see the least objection to the Amendment of his hon. friend, and he saw many advantages in it The Amendment, in his opinion, would conduce to the smooth working of the Bill, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accept it.

*MR. CARLILE (Herts, St. Albans)

said he believed if this Amendment was accepted a large amount of very natural suspicion would be averted. The suggestion that the local education authority should carry out the repairs of buildings owned by other people would at once suggest to the minds of the owners of those buildings that the object of undertaking the repairs and alterations was in order to get a lien on the buildings, and a very strong feeling would prevail in the minds of the trustees and the private owners that all this was merely a first step in the direction, of confiscating the property of the school on a subsequent occasion. If the section were made optional and the local education authority allowed a free hand to negotiate as it pleased in regard to this question of repairs and alterations and reconstruction, such a suspicion might be easily done away with. The local authority might prefer to pay a reasonable rent and be at the same time relieved from the necessity of carrying out the repairs. To most owners it would be particularly objectionable and must meet with the strongest suspicion on their part. Private owners did not want the local authorities to come meddling with their property. They had spent £30,000,000 on their schools since 1870. He himself had recently spent £1.400 on his own school, and would gladly spend that amount again rather than see people come meddling with his building. He entered a most vigorous protest against the charge which had been levelled against the private owners that they wanted to part with their schools now that Clause 1 was passed, whilst before that they were opposed to these schools being taken over. They merely wanted their schools to be continued, but they would not put up with the erection beside their present efficient school buildings of another school building in order that the local authority might be able to dip their hands into the pockets of the largest ratepayers of the district. That was what would occur under this miserable and iniquitous Bill. He supported the Amendment of his hon. friend, and hoped it would be made optional, so that the private owners of the schools would be able to make such arrangements as would enable them to continue to do their own repairs and alterations.


said that after the ruling of the Chairman he felt that the strongest argument in favour of this Amendment had gone, and therefore he would with the permission of the Committee, withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. ALFRED HUTTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Morley)

moved an Amendment providing that rent should not be paid for the use of any schoolhouse for the purpose of public elementary education which was held upon trust to be used exclusively or mainly for such purpose. He said it was not only a question of rent that was involved. It was also a question of repairs and extensions. The whole responsibility of the premises were to be thrown on the local education authority. There was no power of bargaining to be left, and the local education authority was obliged to take over any kind of premises offered to them unless found to be entirely useless for the purpose of an elementary school. Under the circumstances he saw no reason why the rights which the public had under the Act of 1870, and also under the Act of 1902, should not be continued. He thought it was a valuable right in the possession of the public at the present time, and he did not see why they should lose it unless they received a very substantial equivalent.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 22, to leave out from the word 'repair' to end of sub-section."—(Mr. Alfred Hutton.)

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


said he could not accept the Amendment of his hon. friend. The Government thought that the matter of rent might safely be left to the local education authority. Of course, the question as to the purposes of a school under the trust would enter into the determination of the rent to be paid. In the same way public money which had been granted for the building of a school and had not been repaid was an element which the local authority would be entitled to take into consideration. It would be inconvenient to begin by saying that in particular circumstances no rent should be given. That would entail that the matter should go to the Commission, and would very much delay the operation of the Bill. He could not imagine that there would be any desire. on the part of the local authorities to pay extravagant rents.


said he was not sure that the hon. Member for the Morley division was right in regard to the Act of 1870. In the debate last night, if he did not mistake its meaning, it was shown that the peppercorn rent was a discovery of the official mind, and not a restriction imposed by the Act itself. He thought it was desirable that this point should be raised now, and that it should be clearly understood that the imposition of a rent was not a novelty.


said he was glad to hear the President of the Board of Education say that rent was a matter not to be excluded from the consideration of the Commission.


said the President of the Board of Education had stated that the question of rent should be left to the local authority. That seemed to be in contravention of the statement of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who said that in the case of a transferred school there was to be an adequate rent paid. Where was that provided for in the Bill? Would the right hon. Gentleman put the word "adequate" in the Bill?


said the question which the noble Lord was discussing really did not arise on this Amendment.


asked leave to withdraw the. Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


moved an Amendment to provide that where repairs to, or alterations in, school buildings were required by the local authority they should be carried out by the owners at the cost of the authority.

And, it being a quarter-past Eight of the Clock, and there being private business set down, by direction of the Chairman of Ways and Means under Standing Order No. 8, further proceeding stood postponed without Question put.