HC Deb 26 June 1906 vol 159 cc805-91

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

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

Clause 4:—

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 39, to leave out the word 'may' and insert the word 'shall.'"—(Mr. Evelyn Cecil.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'may' stand part of the Clause."


said that the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, in the course of his speech before the adjournment on the previous day, had commented upon what he considered the slender degree of support that the Government Amendments had received. The right hon. Gentleman a little under-rated and underestimated the value of the support that they did receive and ignored the0 amount they could have received had their supporters thought fit to prolong the discussion by expressing one after the other their general agreement. He was, however, perfectly willing to acknowledge that the Parliamentary history of Clause 4, whether in its original form or as amended, and also its history in the country, afforded slender encouragement to a Minister to labour to secure concessions and to establish exceptions from the general principle of a Bill which received the united and enthusiastic support of a great Parliamentary majority, in that respect at all events compact, eager, and united. Everybody had been telling him almost every day during the last three months:—"Why do you not stick to Clause 1—plain, intelligible, in accordance with the views of the country on your side, what the country expects?" "What," they said, "do you expect to get from those for whose benefit this clause is designed? You are quenching, to some extent, our enthusiasm; you will get nothing but cold words; indeed, you will be luckly if you escape a certain amount of abuse from the people whose interests you have laboured to the best of your ability to serve." That had been said to him again and again, and he always recognised its entire truth, and it was not necessary for him to wait for the debate of yesterday or to anticipate the discussion of to-day to know the reception which this clause was almost bound to receive. He was very glad, notwithstanding the coldness of the reception of this clause, that the Government, with one accord and without any difference of opinion whatsoever, adhered to it, stuck to it, and treated it as a just though highly exceptional clause. He did not complain of hon. Gentlemen opposite because they did not receive this clause with gratitude or enthusiasm. Why should they? They took the denominational line; they said they would like all the schools to be denominational; they would put not only Rome but Lambeth on the rates, Lord Halifax on the rates, and Lady Wimborne and Dr. Clifford on the rates. Baptists, Wesleyans, Quakers, everybody should be upon the rates, and therefore it was not unnatural that they looked askance upon a clause which he agreed did not by any means secure them the complete enjoyment of rate-aid for all their schools. How many it would secure nobody could toll, because that depended upon the four-fifths calculation which still remained to be taken. It did undoubtedly secure the Roman Catholics and the Jews—the Jews, he thought, of all their schools and the Roman Catholics of a very considerable number; while to the Anglicans there could be no doubt whatsoever that this clause, as it stood originally and as now amended, would give a considerable amount of denominational support and secure them rate-aid for denominational schools. About that there could be no doubt whatsoever. On the question of "may" or "shall," those who were in charge of the Bill had to consider how it would work supposing the Amendment were carried. "Shall" by itself would, in the first instance, put a statutory obligation on the local authority to adopt a particular course of action, and non-fulfilment would bring them before the Court of King's Bench. Now, what would the Court of King's Bench have to do in order to consider the question, aye or no, whether it should issue its mandamus or not? The Court would require to have presented to it a clear-cut issue of a refusal by a local authority to dis-charge a plain and simple statutory duty. The Court would have to consider, in the first place, whether the conditions of Clause 4 had been scrupulously and properly fulfilled. It would have to ascertain whether the wishes of four-fifths of the parents had been ascertained by ballot. It would have to consider, also, what was the state of school accommodation in the area in order to satisfy itself whether or not there was sufficient and suitable accommodation for the children whose parents did not desire those facilities. These were not legal questions, they were not questions which the Court had the means of ascertaining, nor had it in any way the machinery to enable it to determine such questions. Ami before it could issue its mandamus it would have to settle or see settled the arrangement between the local authority and the owners of the school of which the extended facilities were one of the terms and conditions. It could not take it upon itself. It would have to say to the local authority, "You must come to some agreement with these people to give them extended facilities." No mandamus would issue in the first instance at all, because the Court had not the means of making the authority and the school come to their agreement relating to the circumstances of the facilities, how they were to be granted, on what terms and conditions, and how the school was to be taken over, subject to those conditions. In other words, the Court could not grant specific performance of an agreement containing a great number of arrangements and conditions unless that agreement had been come to. So far from the Amendment facilitating the end in view, it would render the grant of a mandamus practically impossible, because they never would be able to present before the Court a clear-cut issue as to the particular statutory duty which the local authority had failed to perform. On the other hand, under the proposals of the Government—and they had carefully thought them out—they had arrived at the conclusion that in order to make the clause workable in as many cases as possible the appeal to the Board of Education was by far the better and more suitable way in the interests of all parties concerned. The Board of Education was an administrative educational body, and it already knew the circumstances of the case, so far, at all events, as the school accommodation of the area was concerned. It was in close and constant weekly touch with those authorities. It knew the men, their temper and character, the dangers that had to be avoided, and the difficulties in the way. It also had its army of inspectors, well acquainted with the personnel of the localities. The Government by the Amendment enabled the Board of Education, in the event of no agreement being come to, in the first instance to determine what that agreement should be in all its details, and among them the condition for extended facilities. They therefore had created—what the Amendment did not do—a machinery which enabled an arrangement to be made between the authority and the school, which arrangement could be in all its terms and details forced on the local education authority, if need be, by mandamus. Nothing would be more likely to make this clause a sham than if they were to substitute the language of the Amendment for that of the Government. He therefore asked the Committee most carefully to consider whether the interposition of the Board of Education as the great administrative body already connected by very close ties with the local authorities of the country was not far more likely to effect a peaceful settlement of disputes, and bring about a binding, complete and clear-cut arrangement. He contended that the Government plan was afair and reasonable and practical plan, and would give effect to the clause in the best possible way, whereas the Amendment before the Committee would entirely fail to carry out the wishes and desires of hon. Gentlemen on both sides of the Committee, who, he thought, had given it somewhat hasty support. It had been said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for St. George's, Hanover Square, that the mere fact that the Board of Education would have an alternative, that it did not allow itself in special circumstances, if so minded, to substitute for the mandamus this standing out of a school, took the whole sting out of the mandamus altogether. The right hon. Gentleman trotted out the saying about the line of least resistance which seemed now to be the Alpha and the Omega of modern statesmanship. He understood that that was applicable to all Parties and to all purposes. The right hon. Gentleman said that the statesman or the politician, if he could pursue the line of least resistance, if he had to find a way out of a difficulty, if he could go round any dark corner, would do it rather than exercise the powers the law had conferred upon him. All he could say was that the bias of the Board of Education—whoever was in the position of its President or permanent Secretary—would always be against resorting to allowing a school to stand out in any form or shape if they could by any possibility avoid it. The Board of Education would always regard with intense dislike and ill-concealed hatred anything which would remove from the national system—from the national obligation of support, both in the form of Parliamentary grants and rates, any school in the country where children received their education. Therefore, if the idea was that the Board of Education would be astute or eager to avoid its statutory power to resort to a mandamus, and instead of that to seek to force a school to go out and suffer all the evil consequences that flowed from standing out, it was, he was sure, an abuse of imagination. It would be the exact opposite. The Board of Education would strive its utmost and see to it that no local authority, even if it was so disposed—a thing which he did not like even to contemplate—should disobey or defy the law as defined by Parliament. The one desire of the Board of Education would be to force it to obey the law, and it would be only in special circumstances that they would resort, and that with extreme reluctance and unwillingness, to this other alternative, which was inserted only out of abundant caution, in the passionate hope and desire that, whatever happened, even in the remotest parts of the country, as little damage as possible should be done to these particular schools under this clause. The Amendment he would propose said that— "if under any special circumstances of the case the Board think it expedient they may instead of making such an arrangement make an order allowing the school to continue as a State-aided school. In those special circumstances would, of course, be included the pecuniary circumstances of the school, its income, its endowments, its capacity for obtaining subscriptions enabling it to fill the disagreeable gap between the money which it received from Parliament and the money which was necessary in order to keep it on a good and sufficient scale. These would be among the special circumstances which were contemplated, which the clause intended should be contemplated, by this particular language. Therefore, in the case of a school where it was obvious that if it was driven to stand out it would be in a parlous case owing to its poverty, to its locality, or to other circumstances, then, indeed, that would be additional reason which would urge, almost compel, the Board of Education to rely on its statutory powers. He did really put it to the Committee quite frankly and seriously that they were under a mistake if they believed that the simple deletion of the word "may" and the substitution for it of the word "shall," would get them out of the difficulties which they imagined were before these schools. The machinery of the Government, elaborate as it was, had been devised and carefully thought out for no other purpose whatever than that of making these facilities as real as they possibly could be and of securing to the Board of Education the power of giving effect to them. He, therefore, did think from that point of view, that the Committee ought soon to be in a position to make up its mind, and he besought hon. Members who sat behind the Government to give this matter their careful consideration and to come to the conclusion that the scheme of the Government was more likely to make the clause what it was intended to be than the alternative of substituting one word for another.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

said the right hon. Gentleman at the commencement of his speech spoke more than once of the cold reception which Clause 4 had received from those in whose interest it was proposed, and he spoke not only of cold words being addressed to him but of abuse.


Not in this House.


thought he could only say on behalf of those for whom he spoke that the right hon. Gentleman had received no abuse from them. They had no complaint to make to the right hon. Gentleman except that they believed that he was not able to carry out in practice the views which they believed he held. The right hon. Gentleman had more than once declared himself as a friend of denominational teaching in the schools, and their sole complaint was that he had not been able in the clause before them to give what they believed to be adequate effect to the views he held. The course the discussion had taken and the development of the new Government proposals had caused him and his colleagues most acute pain and misgiving. They had arrived at what was for them the kernel of the whole situation. Clause 4 was to be their charter. It depended on Clause 4 whether this Bill was to be tolerable for the Catholic schools, and whether the religious convictions of the parents who sent their children to these schools would be safeguarded, or whether, on the other hand that clause was to be regarded by them as an instrument of injustice and of religious tyranny in the hands of a dominant majority. Personally he had from the first been filled with the belief and hope that Clause 4 would be so altered as to fulfil the object for which it had been introduced. Notwithstanding all that had happened he did not yet abandon the hope which he had entertained, because of the necessities of the case. The right hon. Gentleman said this was an undenominational Bill. In one sense that might be true. But let it never be forgotten that the House, by an overwhelming majority, had declared against secular education and had decided in favour of giving religious education in the schools. If religious education was to be given, then manifestly and necessarily if the Bill was not to become an instrument of religious tyranny they must take care that the religious education which was given was not such as to be abhorrent to the religious convictions of the children and their parents. The House had decided that the religious teaching in normal schools was to be what was known as Cowper-Templeism, and he desired again to emphasise the position he took up on the Second Reading of the Bill, that Cowper-Temple teaching presented itself to Catholics in an entirely different way from the way it presented itself to Protestants of any section. He would not repeat the mistake of saying that it was satisfactory to all Protestants, I but he would say that that system, if I it was not agreeable and satisfactory to all sections of Protestants, was not offensive to the religious convictions of any section of Protestants. Catholics stood in an entirely different position. They regarded that kind of religious teaching as the teaching of Protestantism. They might be quite wrong, but it was not a question of whether they were right or wrong. It was a question of whether they believed it or not, and if they believed that this system of teaching was in reality Protestantism, and therefore hostile to their religion, then they said, and he said, that the House having decided that they would not have secular education, that they would have religious education, and that the normal religious education should be Cowper-Templeism, which was offensive to Catholics, they were bound, if they did not wish to turn the Bill into an engine of religious tyranny to Catholics, to provide that in the Catholic schools the religion taught should be such as would be consonant with the religious convictions and opinions of Catholics. He recognised most fully that this clause was intended to meet their case. He did not impugn the motive of the right hon. Gentleman In the least. He believed this clause was honestly intended to meet their case, and he confessed that he could not believe under these circumstances that either the Government or the House would attempt to palm off upon Catholics a clause which manifestly was insufficient for the purpose for which it was intended. For this belief they had good authority. He did not think the debate on this clause ought to be allowed to conclude without again having quoted to the House the words of the Minister for Education when addressing the Jews. These words had been quoted again and again, but now was the time to quote them, for this was the clause to which they were specially applicable and upon which they were entitled to call them in evidence. The right hon. Gentleman pledged himself in that famous speech that he would not allow Clause 4 to be illusory or a fraud, and that, he was sure, was the intention of the majority behind him. His business was to impress upon the Government and their supporters, if he could, the belief which he entertained, and which he was sure they would admit he honestly entertained, that the clause, if it was not changed in certain particulars, would be illusory and a fraud. The right hon. Gentleman had deprecated leaving any foothold for pig-headed obstinacy on the part of any local authority. He said it was the intention of the framers of the Bill that it should be obligatory on the local authority to provide facilities if four-fifths of the parents desired them. He then went on to say that the teachers should remain the same as they were—those who alone were qualified to give the particular religious instruction which hitherto had been given in the schools. The Nationalist Party all the more readily believed in the honest intention of the right hon. Gentleman and the Government to give effect in the Bill to these public pledges, because they were anxious if they could to support the Bill. They recognised fully that grave injustice was done, in one particular at any rate, to the Nonconformists of England by the Act of 1902, and they were anxious, without the destruction of the in erests of their own religion and of their schools, to join the Nonconformists in lifting the injustice off their shoulders. They did not desire to separate their schools from the general system of national education in the country. They desired their schools to be sanitary, efficient, and well-equipped schools, with efficient and well-paid teachers, and they believed that in the interests of the efficiency of their schools it would be a mistake to separate themselves from the general system of education. All that was necessary to make the fourth clause acceptable to them was that it should be made obligatory on the local authorities, so that there should be no loophole for evasion by any pig-headed bodies. They asked in addition that the voice of the parents should be heard in the selection of the teachers, and they asked for a qualification in the limits of 5,000 and four-fifths which would enable the bulk of the Roman Catholic schools to come in under the provisions of the Act. It had been said that the bulk of the Roman Catholic schools would come in Under Clause 4. There were 1,040 such schools, and 501 would be excluded from all benefit under that clause by the double operation of the 5,000 limit and the four-fifths. With regard to the question of making the clause mandatory, he said they did not distrust the elected public bodies. For his part he believed there would be as much broadmindedness and toleration to be found amongst those bodies in this country as in any country in Europe. But of course there might possibly be a few who would refuse to put the clause into operation if it were left to local option. It would be a ridiculous result of all the labours and sacrifices of this Parliament in passing this great measure if any obscure and unimportant body here and there throughout the country should have the power resting in its hands to defy the decision of the House and refuse to carry out the intentions of the Act. Parliament had decided that there should be religious teachers in the schools. It had decided that in certain schools where the children were nearly all of one creed that creed should be taught. It had laid down these great provisions with fairness and justice; but would it be wise to allow the local authorities to trample on these provisions?

MR. BYLES (Salford, N.)

said he did not want unduly to interrupt the hon. and learned gentleman's argument, but he asked, for his own information, if this clause was made mandatory, how did he know that the local authorities would not be recalcitrant?


said he did not know whether they would be recalcitrant or not, but the same difficulty would arise when the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education came to issue his mandamus. If the Bill passed in its present shape it would enable the local authorities to trample upon the great principle which had been laid down by the House. It would fan into life the fires of religious strife in every part of the country at every election, and at every local election in Great Britain. The question of the granting or the withholding of these facilities would be debated and agitated on every platform. And if the Bill was intended to be a settlement of the religious difficulty—as he believed the Government intended it to be—nothing could be more unfortunately enacted by Parliament than to make this a test question at every little election throughout the country. He took the strongest view on this question. He thought the settlement of the educational problem by the present proposals of the Government was mad and wicked, and from the point of view of this great Parliament cowardly—in this sense, that instead of the Government deciding for themselves and for the House whom they represented what was just and then enacting it and carrying it out, they were leaving it to be carried out by the decision of the local authorities, more or less irresponsible—at any rate to local authorities who were elected from time to time for other purposes. He came now to the right hon. Gentleman's alternative. The right hon. Gentleman had pointed out that if "shall" was left in the Bill there would be very great difficulty in enforcing the law. His hon. friend who interrupted him wanted to know how the law was to be enforced. The right hon. Gentleman proposed as an alternative an appeal to the Board of Education, and that the Board of Education should step in and do what would be done without its intervention if "shall" was put in the Bill. What he wanted to say was this, that if the limits of 5,000 and four-fifths were made satisfactory, if there was some-provision for giving effect to the voices of the parents in the selection of the teachers, he, for one, would be quite content to accept the Bill, and that "may" should remain in the Bill instead of "shall." With regard to schools contracting themselves out of the Act, he entirely disapproved of it. The talk about contracting out was a mockery in this connection. What was the meaning of contracting out? It meant that parties voluntarily contracted themselves out of the Act. That was not what was proposed in the Bill. It meant that the Education Board might, whether the school owners liked it or not, kick them out of the Act. Contracting out, as the Government proposed it, meant the semi-starvation of these schools. He did not agree with the Minister for Education in his view that these would be rare cases. He thought himself that the temptation, to save money on the rates would be so great to the local authorities—and in this he agreed with the hon. Member for North Camberwell, who would be accepted as an authority, if he himself was not, in those matters—that many local authorities who, if this proposal were not in the Bill, might perhaps grant facilities, would refuse the facilities and precipitate an appeal to the Board of Education in the hope that the appeal would result in the contracting out of the school. He believed it would after a while become the usual course with the Board of Education. It would save them infinite trouble and unknown risks, and he believed in almost every case of appeal the result would be that the school would be put outside the operation of the Act. That would be a fatal thing for the schools in whose name he spoke. It was true that there might be in some parts of England a few rich Catholic schools, bodies sufficiently endowed to be able to carry on their work if they were cut off with nothing but the Imperial grant; but taking the Catholic schools generally, he asserted that contracting out of this character—that was, taking away the rates and leaving them only the Imperial grant—would mean inefficient schools, badly paid teachers, and half starved schools, and he asked hon. Members as educationists if they were prepared to advocate such a scheme as that. It was the interest of every man In the House to take steps for the efficient education of all the children of England. It was their interest to see that the Catholic children were as highly educated as the children of any other class. It would be a fatal thing if the House adopted as a settlement of this question a scheme whereby these schools would be condemned to that state of semi-starvation in which unfortunately a good many of them were before 1902.


Would the hon. Member object to the contracting out clause if the grants given were sufficient for the purpose of carrying on the schools?


said that was an entirely different proposition from any that had been made, and he certainly would be very slow indeed to say he would reject any such settlement. All that he and his friends wanted was this. They wanted on the one hand that there should be sufficient provision for these schools to enable them to be efficient and on the other hand they wanted provision which would enable them to have religious teaching in their schools as satisfactory to them as the Protestant religious teaching was to the children in the Protestant schools. If a proposal such as the hon. and learned Gentleman had mentioned were put forward he admitted it would not be open to many of the objections he had been urging to the present proposal. They were not afraid in the schools of their people being induced to ask for facilities when they did not want them. On the question of rent he would not dwell, because he believed when the question came to be carefully thought out it would be borne in on the mind of hon. Gentlemen opposite that it was a shabby and mean proposal, and that its effect would be to hit that very class of school to whom the money was of most importance—that was, the schools of the very poorest of the poor. With regard to contracting out, one of the great cries of the Nonconformists in this controversy, in the country at any rate, had been the objection, the natural objection, which they entertained to pay money for the teaching of a religion with which they did not agree. He was informed by those who were in authority and knew the facts that if the rates and taxes paid for educational purposes by the Catholics of Great Britain were pooled to-morrow they would provide a fund sufficient to maintain all the Catholic schools in the country. For how many years did the Catholics go on paying for the schools of England in which they had no share, while providing their own schools—paying school taxes for the maintenance of the Board schools? And they raised no objection. Now the Government were proposing to revive that system and to say to these poor Catholic schools, "You must maintain your own schools, you must pay for your own Catholic teaching, and in addition to that you must pay rates for the teaching of Protestantism in Protestant schools." He submitted to the Committee that that was not a fair proposal, that it was not one which would commend itself to the judgment of hon. Members. To speak of such a result as that being in the nature of a, settlement of the religious question seemed to him to be an absurdity. He did not believe that such a scheme would ever pass into law, and if it did pass into law it would be the opening of a new chapter of sectarian hatred and differences in England. If this proposal was carried the inevitable result would be that before long they would find religion of all kinds driven out of all the schools. That solution commended itself to many men in the House, but he did not believe it commended itself to the majority in the, House or in the country. There were only two possible solutions. One was the secular solution; the other was allowing the creeds to have their own religion to themselves in the schools. If by this Bill they destroyed the second alternative he was convinced they would have religion of all kinds driven from the schools. Surely there must be some way out of the difficulty. There was no inherent cause of hostility between English Nonconformists and Irish Catholics, and surely it was not beyond the possibility of statesmanship to devise some plan whereby the Catholics might be able, without interference with the great national system of education, a system suitable to the wants and conformable to the interests and wishes and convictions of a great Protestant country, to continue (and that was all they asked) to teach their own religion to their own children in their own schools built by the hard-earned money of their people.


said that although he could not claim the indulgence of the Committee as a new Member, he could do so upon this question, as this was the first time that he had ventured to enter upon this great theological controversy. Personally lie agreed with what had fallen from the front Opposition Bench and from the last speaker. He believed that secular education, or alternatively non-denominationalism, were the only true solutions of the difficulty. He regarded the measure, and he was sure his hon. friends on that side of the House would agree with him, as an honest attempt at compromise upon a most difficult subject. What had amazed him, therefore, throughout these prolonged debates had been the tone of the criticism, not only on the Opposition but on the Ministerial side of the House with regard to it. That criticism entirely ignored the fundamental principle of the Bill, viz., that it was brought forward to satisfy the three great faiths existing in this country, viz., the Nonconformist, the Anglican, and the Catholic. He was sure that the Leader of the Nationalist Party must recognise that this Bill was as liberal a concession to the interests of the Catholic schools in this country as could be expected from a Protestant nation. It said that Roman Catholics should have separate teaching of their doctrines by separate teachers. [Cries of "May."] Well, he entirely agreed with the argument which had been advanced that "may" in this case was better than "shall." For all practical purposes they were conceding to the Catholics of England as large and as liberal measure of religious teaching as could possibly be expected at the hands of a Protestant Government. If his hon. friend would cast his eye over to the United States, that great country of religious freedom, he would find no concession was given.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said there was no religious teaching there.


said that: was hardly correct; there was Bible teaching, sometimes combined with definite religious teaching. It was true that the 5,000 and the four-fifths were both arbitrary figures, but at the same time common sense told them that that was the only way to deal with the situation. He would like to see distinct and definite treatment meted out to the Roman Catholics, because he recognised that with the Roman Catholics it was a question not only of the teaching to be given, but of the teacher who was to give it, and that being so he regretted the want of courage of the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education in not conceding to the Roman Catholics, distinct and definite treatment. So far as his own faith was concerned, he ventured to say that apart from ecclesiastical laymen of the Anglican Church, and apart from an eclectic body of ecclesiastics,. the great body of the Anglican laity were and would be content with a simple system of Bible teaching. He had spoken to hundreds of laymen on the subject, and the almost universal reply to his question was that the great body of the Church of England would be content with simple Bible teaching in the schools. But naturally the Church of England had a grievance. It was objectionable in many ways that the rural schools should be left out, that 100 per cent, of the children in the rural schools should not be able to obtain definite religious instruction, whilst 80 per cent, of the children in the urban schools could obtain it. But the Bill was a compromise, and if these facilities were given to the rural schools the Nonconformists would immediately have a grievance. He admitted the grievance of the Nonconformists, and he submitted to the Minister for Education that the system which obtained in France might very well be adopted in this country. In France one day a week was given to definite religious instruction, and that system had, so far as he had been able to ascertain, worked most satisfactorily and harmoniously. But he ventured to suggest to his brethren in the Church that in this matter there was no other way of dealing with the question. He regretted that 100 per cent, of the children in rural schools could not get any definite religion, but everyone would admit that there must be a modus vivendi. The Nonconformists had given way in this matter; they also were parties to the compromise, and he was not sure that they had not given just as much as the Roman Catholics. It was with them a matter of conscience that they should not pay anything towards a State religion in education or in any other way. But they were now willing to waive that, and all they asked for in return was that in those areas where there was no alternative school they might have education unfettered by any religious teaching with which they were not in accord, and which was contrary to the fundamental principles of their faith.

MR. STANLEY WILSON (Yorkshire, E.R., Holderness)

Does Dr. Clifford accept Clause 4?


said whether Dr. Clifford accepted Clause 4 or not had, in his view, very little to do with the matter. But those Nonconformists who sat in this House were, he believed, quite content to accept it. [Laughter.] Hon. Members laughed, but surely no one would suggest that Clause 4 would be a permanent or final solution of this great religious controversy. No one would suggest that this controversy could be settled by one Act. The clause was but a step in that direction, but he regarded it as a very great step. He thought there was a great deal of false dialectical force imported into the discussion of whether "may" or "shall" should be incorporated in the clause. If they put in the word "shall" they exposed the local authorities to the risk of being shot at by the Anglicans upon the ground that there was sufficient school accommodation for the Nonconformists, and they exposed them to the same risk at the hands of Nonconformists on the ground that there was not sufficient accommodation. Whereas if they put in the word "may" they did not expose them to that risk. He could not imagine anything worse for the discharge of their duty by the local authorities than that they should be exposed to litigation which might not be very effective, but which, if it were not, would harass and hamper local authorities. But with the word "may" that could not be. If the word "may" was inserted, it would go a long way to discourage attempts upon the part of small bodies of Anglicans to disturb the arrangement which had worked very well hitherto. He did not know whether he had made it quite clear, but what he wished to convey was that if when four-fifths of the parents demanded it, the local authority was compelled to give special facilities, obviously the Anglican section would strive their utmost to whip up sufficient numbers to compel the local authority to give the facilities; but if the words were "may grant" and they were doubtful whether the local authorities would grant the facilities, they would not be so anxious to whip up the parents. The proposal of the Government was an honest attempt to meet the difficulty, and if it was worked in the spirit in which local authorities usually endeavoured to carry out the public duties which devolved upon them, he did not think those who were so anxious to maintain voluntary schools would have any reason to complain of this measure.

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

said he had listened to every speech on this Amendment from the Ministerial Benches, and from the beginning of the discussion to the present moment not a single argument had been brought forward against it, except the allegation of the Minister for Education that there was some technical difficulty in applying for a mandamus. In the course of his professional career he had had considerable experience in regard to the process of mandamus against local authorities and others, and he would like the Minister for Education or the Under-Secretary to be good enough to explain a little more clearly to those whose professional duty it was to try to understand the rules which regulated the granting of a mandamus, how it was that the Government could not adopt this Amendment and which particular difficulty was alleged to be so formidable. He had taken the trouble to cut out the eulogy which the right hon. Gentleman passed last night upon mandamus as a means of coercing local authorities. He said— Assuming that the Board supported the appellants and thought it was reasonable that the school should be taken over on the terms of extended facilities being given, it was more unlikely that any local authority would refuse to be guided by the Board of Education. If, however, they still held out, there was a mandamus. He confessed he would not allow himself to contemplate the possibility of a local education authority anywhere refusing to obey an order of the King's Beach. Was there any county in England or Wales where the King's writs did not run? Certainly not. Therefore the mandamus was a most powerful engine whereby to effect the purpose they had in view. He challenged any lawyer to explain one single respect in which the principles that would regulate the granting or witholding of a mandamus differed in the circumstances contemplated by the Minister for Education from those involved in the Amendment of his hon. friend.

MR. HERBERT (Buckinghamshire, Wycombe)

The late Colonial Secretary said mandamus would be perfectly useless because there were many Nonconformists and others who were still ready to go to prison.


said he was not thinking of the infinite discussion as to whether there were in this country Nonconformists who would not obey a mandamus, and Heaven forbid that he should embark upon that discussion. The point was a purely technical one as to whether the right hon. Gentleman was right when he came down to the House and said he could not accept this Amendment, not because it was not just, or because it would not meet a grievance which was admitted by the hon. Member for North West Durham to be genuine, but because of some supposed technical difficulty in granting this mandamus or in making it effective when granted.


His right hon. friend desires mandamus to be the last resort.


said the Parliamentary Secretary's admirers, of whom he was one regretted that he did not do himself more justice in these interventions. Did the hon. Member imagine he desired it as a first resort? If the local education authority would do what the Government meant it to do, there would be no necessity for mandamus. If on the other hand the local authority would not exercise those powers which had been placed in their hands either to exercise or refuse, then they would take the mandamus as the last remedy. Surely the time had come when these pitiful evasions and contradictions should be abandoned? On Clause 4 they could not expect to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. The right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education on this point had received nothing but insults from those outside the House and from those hon. Members of his own Party who sat below the gangway. He did not know whether hon. Gentlemen on the Ministerial side had read some of the statements made at a very striking meeting of Radicals which met to consider Clause 4. This was what was said by the right hon. Gentleman's own friends. Dr. Clifford said that Clause 4 was fatal to a final settlement. Such was the effect produced by the Bill upon those who had most assiduously laboured upon the platform in the interests of the Government. Dr. Leach said the Amendments made the clause worse. The Rev. Hurst Hollowell said that— "The Amendments touched the depth of folly, and the clause staggered under the accumulations of its own absurdity. He went on to say— "Reconsider the whole position. Produce a better Bill. The clause is an outrage. That would appeal to the Parliamentary Secretary. Lord Stanley of Alderley was certainly not a biassed or hostile critic; but he said that— the Government Amendments had been Hung at the Paper without any consideration at all, and justice could not be done in the limited time to this immense new problem that was presented. They sympathised with the Minister for Education in being exposed to these very injurious observations, because it involved the pathetic inference that there was no reward even for drinking the cup of humiliation to its; dregs. Surely the time had come when the right hon. Gentleman should cast aside for a moment the rÔle of Issachar so far as this Bill was concerned. They were all agreed as to the objects they wanted to secure. They wanted to see that the schools should continue in the future as to-day. The Minister for Education had told them that it was his desire that these schools should go on in the future as they had done in the past. He supposed they were all agreed about that. [Cries of "No."] He thought that was the one point upon which they agreed with the Minister for Education, who told the Jewish deputation that he desired to see their schools go on in the future as in the past. Therefore, it was immaterial what hon. Members below the gangway wanted because they were not the Government. They did not intend to vote against the Government and they were therefore negligible. Apparently they could not speak for themselves, so that the Minister must be assumed to speak for them. The right hon. Gentleman desired equally with themselves to see denominational teaching preserved in the schools. If he was honest, he desired equally with themselves to see a denominational atmosphere preserved by the agency of tests for teachers. The right hon. Gentleman desired to see all these things; therefore it was for the Committee to consider whether they would be best secured by the plain simple Amendment of his hon. friend, or by the illogical labyrinth of Amendments which they did not understand, and which had been put forward as an alternative proposal. He wished to make one more observation. He knew as far as religious subjects were concerned some of them who represented Liverpool seats were considered to hold remarkable views. He expressed no opinion on any side of the religion question which had convulsed Liverpool opinion so long and bitterly, but he would say that any proposal which would make it necessary for candidates to state at municipal elections whether they would vote for special facilities to Roman Catholics or Protestants was calamitous and reactionary. He entreated the Government to accept the Amendment. It was one which would improve the Bill; but on the other hand, if they refused it, while it might not only shatter the Bill, but have the more serious effect of shattering the Government, still they might say of the right hon. Gentleman Impavidum ferient ruinœ.

MR. ADKINS (Lancashire, Middleton)

said that they had just heard a speech decorated with many irrelevant epithets, and he did not intend to follow the hon. Member in so grave a controversy by such methods—methods which were more proper to a debating society than to the House of Commons. He would only suggest that during his next evening of leisure the hon. Gentleman should devote himself to a still wider research into ecclesiastical rhetoric, and he would find gems among the utterances of members of his own Party equal to any of those he had given to the country. There were not a few Members who desired to approach this great political question in a somewhat humbler spirit, and with some regard for practical difficulties. He wished to take that opportunity of thanking the Government for the alterations they had made with regard to Clause 4. He believed most thoroughly that they were improvements, and that taken altogether they did advance a very considerable step towards that solution which he trusted all Members desired, although, of course, it was difficult in such a question to approach the matter from all points of view. There was a certain reason for retaining "may" as against "shall," entirely independent of those considerations which had taken up most of the time of the Committee, The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover had arranged with great skill the methods of restriction which were provided in the clause, and made the rhetorical point, of why should there not be one final restriction which should turn "may" into "shall." It was obvious that all those restrictions already placed in the clause—restrictions with regard to the number of parents asking, with regard to the ballot—which in passing he might say was absolutely essential if this was to be a true exponent of real local feeling—all those restrictions were of a general kind which might properly apply to all parts of the country. But besides those matters there were in many districts, and there might in every district arise, considerations in which the discretion of the local authority might be perfectly well exercised, without any of those evil designs which had been attributed to local authorities with such extraordinary freedom during the debate. He would give an illustration. They might very well have in a town of some size—he could very well imagine it happening in many parts of Lancashire—four or five voluntary; schools, which applied for the "special facilities" under Clause 4. If it were made mandatory every one of those schools would be obliged to have them, irrespective of what was educationally best for the district. It might very well happen that it was better to give them to three schools—those which were susceptible of enlargement—than to give them to all five schools, and so incidentally perpetuate some small and inconvenient schools. And they who were supporting the Government in retaining the word "may," were really thinking much more of those practical; definite difficulties than of designs against the consciences of their fellow citizens, with which they appeared to be credited. He desired also to say a word on another point. It was proposed in the Government's Amendments not as; a first resort, nor as a second resort, but ultimately to give to the Board of Education a certain power which had been caricatured under the name of "contracting out." He would like to point out to the Committee that the phrase "contracting out" with all its associations was a most improper phrase to apply to this particular suggestion. He said this with diffidence, remembering what the hon. Member for North Camberwell said yesterday. He was one of those Members who on nearly every educational occasion followed his hon. friend with affectionate docility, but in this particular he seemed to have passed from his usual keen criticism of the Bill from an educational point of view and had launched his transpontine thunders against the Government, because forsooth they had put something in the Bill which recalled to him a previous fight on different issues. What was the objection to contracting out? The objection to contracting out, when that phrase was used accurately, was an objection to allowing considerable parts of the country to get outside a national system. But the defence for the proposal of the Government was shortly this, that it could not conceivably occur in or be applied to large parts of the country. It could not come about owing to the wanton wishes, of misguided people in a particular district. It could only come about by the deliberate action of the Board of Education in a most difficult crisis, and if there was any institution in this country opposed to contracting out and to the evils of contracting out by its traditions and everything regarding it, it was the Board of Education. The Board of Education, with the natural desire of a great department to have proper control over national education, was the very last body of persons who would be drawn towards the evils of contracting out. But might he point this out. They had heard that day with the greatest candour and force from the hon. and learned Member or Waterford the statement—he would not say of the extreme, but of the full position of his co-religionists. Where they had a demand made—not for facilities, for that could be granted under the erms of the Bill, but for something far more than facilities, for what was practically the choice of the teacher, that, whether it was right or wrong, was per se inconsistent with a uniform national system. And supposing hey had—Heaven grant that it might not happen often—a particular locality and a particular denominational school, each taking the most vigorous and extreme view of what they considered their rights, then when all other resources were exhausted, he believed and he thought the Government believed, also, that the best and only ultimate safety valve was the suggestion which had been made by the Amendment to the clause. It was no more fair to label that with the name of "contracting out" and to attribute to it all the disasters and all the evils which contracting out had led to in the past, than it was to describe a safety valve as something which destroyed the motive power of an engine. The analogy was entirely forced and wrong. Therefore, in supporting most heartily as he did these Amendments of the Government, he included not only one but all of them. He would vote for "may" rather than "shall," because with the appeal to the Board of Education he was convinced that denominationalists were secured against wanton spite, whilst at the same the proper discretion was left to the localities which they must have if they were to do their duty. He would vote for it all the more readily, because of the care and skill in detail which the Government had devoted to dealing with the method of appeal and the action of the Board of Education, and he would also vote unhesitatingly—in spite of showers of telegrams and irrelevant phrase-making in all directions—for the further clause giving power to the Board of Education in the rarest cases to arrange for a State-aided school, because he believed that that safety valve was the only means by which they could extend as far as possible the national system to which, for the sake of education, far more than for anything else, they were whole-heartedly pledged.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said that Clause 4, and in a minor degree, Clauses 5 and 6, were really the only clauses with which he and his friends were seriously concerned. He knew some misunderstanding existed on the subject, but he wished hon. Members opposite would dismiss from their minds the idea that Catholic schools which did not get relief under Clause 4 could have recourse to Clause 3. He did not believe that any Catholic schools would avail themselves of Clause 3, or that Clause 3 really covered their case, and therefore unless they were relieved from the provisions of Clause 1 under this clause they would be completely shut out from all benefit under the educational system. All their hope of biting able to accept this Bill as a tolerable settlement for the Catholic people had been all along based on the expectation that Clause 4 would be so amended as to bring it into harmony with the conscientious convictions and difficulties of their people—and also into harmony with the declarations, of the Minister for Education himself and other members of the Government. What were those Amendments to which they had looked forward? They looked to obtain by those Amendments (1) some security that their schools would really be admitted under the clause, (2) for some modification of the restrictions, which as the clause now stood, cut out nearly exactly half of their schools from all benefit under the clause, and (3) for some security that teachers would not be forced upon their schools with the deliberate object of turning this clause into a mockery. A most remarkable speech was delivered in the course of yesterday's debate by the hon. Member for the Morley Division of Yorkshire, who was, he thought, recognised by Nonconformists opposite as one of the leaders of the extreme Nonconformist Party. The hon. Gentleman said— He had always been in favour of leaving religious education in the hands of the churches, and taking it out of the hands of the State. But if it were brought home to Nonconformists that Cowper-Temple teaching was opposed to the religion of Catholics and Anglicans he believed that the bulk of Nonconformists would agree with him that the only possible solution of the question was secular education. He admitted that some means would have to be taken to secure where denominational teaching was given that the teachers were friends of the denomination. That was a very generous and remarkable statement from the hon. Gentleman. The hon. Member who had just spoken said that the hon. and learned Member for Waterford claimed that Catholics should have the appointment of all teachers in Catholic schools which obtained special facilities. That was not what the hon. Member for Waterford said. What his hon. friend asked for was that the parents of the children attending a denominational school, which ex hypothesi under these restrictions must be a homogeneous school composed of children of one religion only, should have some assurance of the bona-fides of the Government and of the House that they were not going to force conditions upon the Catholic schools with the deliberate object of turning the whole of the clause into a mockery. He welcomed the fact that the hon. Member for the Morley Division agreed with that, for he said that some means should be taken to secure that where denominational teaching was given the teachers should belong to the denomination. That was all they asked for in regard to that provision. That was absolutely essential, because if it were open to anybody to object to the operation of Clause 4 and to avail themselves under this provision of the right to appoint the teacher it would have the effect of turning the whole thing into a mockery, as a teacher might be appointed who would be unable to give denominational teaching. If the right hon. Gentleman was sincere in wishing to carry out the clause, he ought to make this small concession, not to give the appointment of the teachers, but something which would carry with it an indication that the House meant that the local authority should loyally carry out the intentions of the section. As to the second Amendment with regard to facilities, it was beyond all question that under the 5,000 limit 240 of the Catholic schools would go, and that under subsection (b) with respect to the four-fifths, 275 more would go, making over 500 schools in all. But there was another restriction which came into operation even on the remnant, and that was the necessity for the provision of accommodation in other schools for the minority of the children. That provision might act exceedingly cruelly and unjustly. He thought that in many cases it was entirely unnecessary. He was amazed when he discovered the extent to which Protestant children had availed themselves of Catholic schools. He was under the impression until about two months ago that there was no considerable proportion of Protestant children in the Catholic schools. It was a. revelation to him that a minority of one-fifth would go out of the 247 Catholic schools. How did it come about that Protestant children came into these schools while in nineteen-twentieths of the cases there was ample accommodation for them in other schools? In many of these cases where children were sent to Catholic schools they deliberately passed the doors of board schools. In other cases they were sent to Catholic schools because the distance was a little less. One of the reasons was that the parents preferred the smaller classes in the Catholic schools. In many instances the parents of froward children sent them to the Catholic schools because the nuns produced better results in making them more obedient. These children came into the Catholic schools of their own free choice, and they enjoyed the hospitality of the schools, built with Catholics' own money, and Catholics had never endeavoured to make these schools the means of proselytising. Was it now to be put in the power of the parents of those children to take away the schools from Catholics and turn them into public elementary schools? That was he thought a very cruel injustice, and he hoped the Government would reconsider the question later on. In his opinion, after careful inquiry, Clause 4 in its present shape would not even give Catholics the choice of admission to half their schools. What was to become of the other half? The Minister for Education had spoken without any bitterness and in no unfair way, but it was one thing to deal with the speeches made on behalf of the Government, and another thing to deal with the clause. How could Catholics receive otherwise than coldly a clause which gave them the very inefficient protection he had endeavoured to describe? The hon. and learned Member for South Longford had dealt with this question. What did the Government propose to do with these Catholic schools? Did they really seriously propose to take 500 of the Catholic schools and offer no manner of relief whatever? Even with the contracting-out proposal, or as they described it, "the kicking-out proposal," they were to be left on the roadside to starve without the aid of rates or taxes, or the children were to be ordered to sacrifice their consciences and to go into the common schools of the country and to submit to the Protestant teaching which was to be the normal teaching in the schools. People talked about resistance! He did not want to indulge in any language of provocation, but could Nonconformists, while seeking to maintain and be faithful to the name and traditions of Liberalism, ask Catholics to submit to treatment of this kind, when they had set them f an example of resisting the law when endeavouring to get a grievance remedied? He had received a letter only to-day from Halifax, where the Catholics had a very fine school on which there had been spent an enormous sum of money which A had all come out of the pockets of the poor people. They had 625 children on the t roll. For cheapness this school was built outside the borough boundaries of Halifax, and it was a sad thing that many of the children had to walk two miles to it, passing on the way the doors of the palatial council schools, in the building of which Catholic rates had been used. Under the proposed restrictions the Catholic school in question would be cut: off from all relief under this Act because it: was just outside the borough boundaries, What were they going to do with these 620 children? Would the Liberal Party of England enter into a struggle with the parents after all the sacrifices they had made, in order to drive their children into the council schools of Halifax? He said they could not, and unless they made some of the modifications asked of them the Government would find they had undertaken something which would necessitate an Amending Bill later on. Catholics had been asked to trust the local authorities, but there could be no question of trusting the local authority here. He thought the local authority of Halifax would treat the Catholic school decently if they could, but they could not do it because it was outside the scope of the clause altogether. Let them consider for a moment this question of trusting the local authorities. Had hon. Members read the speeches delivered yesterday at the meeting of Nonconformists? He dared say that most hon. Members had read the speech of Mr. Hirst Hollowell. He did not say a word against Nonconformists for believing what they did, but in the face of that speech, and the declarations of other Nonconformist leaders—declarations of war against Clause 4, declarations of men representing large bodies of opinion in the country who had shown that for their convictions they were prepared to defy the law—were Catholics to be told that they were perfectly safe in the hands of the local authorities? They trusted the local authorities to follow their own convictions. This question would be made a primary and dominant issue in every local election, and Mr. Hirst Hollowell and Dr. Clifford would be on the stump from end to end of England denouncing Clause 4 and inviting the local communities to rise in rebellion against it. If that was so, why appeal to Catholics to trust the local authorities? A Welsh Member had appealed to them by stating that the Welsh Members wished to trust Ireland with local control. He himself did not vote for the Welsh Coercion Act. The Nationalist Members were prepared to support the-proposal to set up a Council for Wales. If the Welsh Members wanted a Parliament the Nationalist Members would support them. But this was a very different matter. He would ask hon. Members opposite whether, when the Nationalist Members made a demand for Catholic education in Ireland, they would give them their support. He believed they were willing to give them the control of their own affairs, but if they would not support the claim for Catholic education in Ireland why should they expect the Catholic Members in this House to vote for measures which in his judgment would subject to disability the poor people of this country? The right hon. Gentleman had said quite truly, that what religious education meant to Catholics was not a half-hour's teaching of the catechism, but the whole tone and spirit in which the teaching in the school was conducted. That was their difficulty; and there was no concession unless the tone and spirit of the school were to be in conformity with the faith of the parents of the children. As to the-alternatives presented in the Government Amendment, it was idle for him to say that the occasions would be rare when the local authorities would refuse to give these facilities, especially when they deliberately offered to the public bodies in the country a substantial money bribe to throw the Catholic schools out of the National school system. Let them imagine an election vote, on the issue of some one, say, Dr. Clifford saying that the voters could not only salve their consciences by the way they voted, but that they would he able to keep the rates in their pockets. That would be an admirable inducement to the electors. That, he thought, was a complete answer to the case for the alternative proposed by the right hon. Gentleman. So far as the speeches of the Nonconformist Members were concerned, he had very little to find fault with them, but it was their votes and their action that he found fault with. The hon. Member for North West Norfolk, who was a leading Nonconformist, said, and he agreed with him, that it would be unjust to put any penal consequences on Catholics who would send their children to Catholic schools. That was their whole case. But what were they going to do with the children of Catholics who were cut off from all benefit under the Clause? Supposing they refused to go to Protestant schools! Were they going to leave them in the streets? Supposing that the system of contracting out were to be adopted, on what principles would they calculate the grant to the Catholic schools which were thrust out of the national system. When they decided, on Clause 1, to have a form of religious teaching unacceptable and objectionable to Catholics, they put themselves under an obligation from which they could not escape to give them the opportunity of retaining in their schools the religious teaching that was acceptable to them. What Catholics said was that the religious teaching might be of a variable character. It might be Bible reading; it might be teaching with a good deal of dogma; but in their opinion it was Protestant teaching. Dr. Clifford said at a meeting in the Caxton Hall the previous day— Cowper-Temple teaching was not Protestant in any theological or ecclesiastical sense, or he would oppose its being given at the State's expense. It was only civic Protestantism, which repudiated the Roman Catholic idea that the education of children should be under the control of the Church Accepting Dr. Clifford's definition for the sake of argument, that was just what Catholics objected to. They objected to the teaching probably more as civic Protestantism than as mere Protestantism. Were their rights as Catholics to be taken from them to teach civic Protestantism to other people's children, while the poor children of the Catholics were to be left without any assistance from the rates? Was that their idea of the fair play of Liberalism? Let Liberals be honest on this matter. If they proposed to retain Clause 4 in spite of the opposition of the Rev. Dr. Clifford and of the leaders of the extreme Nonconformist Party, let them retain it and accept all the logical consequences of its retention. Let them give to the Catholics and to the Anglicans who could not accept their simple religious Protestantism, equal fair play with themselves; and if the Catholics could not consent to pay rates in order that Cowper-Temple teaching should be taught in the schools, then the fair thing to do would be to authorise the Government to give to their poor schools, not a mere grant from the Exchequer, but a sum which they might calculate to be equal to the rates which the Catholics paid for teaching Protestantism in other schools. Religious liberty was a great thing; and he sympathised with those who fought for religious liberty in 1902. But those hon. Gentlemen were now on top, and were they going to commit the fatal mistake, because they now had the power, of not being satisfied with freeing their own shoulders from the burden of injustice? Would they not be satisfied until they had shifted that injustice on to those who were now in the minority? If they persisted in that course, they might drive this Bill through the House of Commons, but they would not settle the question and they would inflict on the Liberal Party a blow from which it would take them many long years to recover.


I always listen to my hon. friend who has just sat down, not only with interest and admiration, but also with a certain amount of sympathy, even when he is enunciating opinions the very reverse of my own. He has in him something of a Jeremiah and something of a Cassandra, but to-day I think he has even out-Jeremiah'd and out-Cassandra'd himself in the prospect that he has disclosed of the future fate of the Catholic schools. I do not believe myself that one-tenth part of the mischief he has anticipated would ever take place under this Act. If I thought so I should not be so ardent a supporter of the clause as I am. But the hon. Member was not quite fair. He reiterated the fears that have been expressed of the tyrannical bigotry of local authorities in England, but he was full of compliments to my hon. friends behind me who are the representatives and the chosen men of those very localities where he anticipates such totally different treatment. I would venture to offer a word of advice to my hon. friend. Let him take care that he does not go further and fare worse. My hon. friend has pointed out what is very true, and what we all know, that, in his communion, what is wanted in the schools is something more than the teaching. It is the tone and spirit, the atmosphere, pervading the whole of the school from one end of the day to the other. Where will his atmosphere be when the only alternative offered from the other side of the House comes into force—the alternative of the State providing secular instruction and the indiscriminate liberty to all the sects to teach any religion they like? Where is his atmosphere, his spirit, his tone, in those circumstances? That solution is in very powerful hands; and let him make sure that, if this controversy comes to an end unfavourable to the present Bill, that will not be the fate of the schools in which he takes so keen and sincere an interest. I may be allowed personally to say that I feel almost the necessity of an apology for intervening in this discussion at all, because I have been enforcedly absent from the debates from first to last. I have nothing to apologise for in regard to that absence except that it added, to the other bitter feelings that it involved, the knowledge all the time that I was neglecting my duty as Leader of this House. But that bitterness, such as it was, was removed by the kind sympathy and consideration which I have received from the whole House. I do not intend to enter upon these detailed controversies, because it seems to me that they have been sufficiently discussed and that the Committee might very well come to a conclusion on this matter of "may" or "shall" without more delay. But I do think it right to state what appears to me to be the true position as viewed from the distance to which I have been relegated during the past two or three weeks. My right hon. friend the President of the Board of Education said to-day a very true and obvious thing, but a thing that is sometimes forgotten, when he declared that this is an undenominational Bill and therefore every advocate of denominational education cannot find it to his mind. It would be a false Bill if it were to his mind. This Bill is an undenominational Bill, setting up an undenominational system, and we must regard it in that light. And what is the genesis of this Clause 4? In this country you cannot pursue any system, undenominational or other, in so complicated and controversial a matter as education, to the extreme length. The mistake which I think some of my hon. friends have been making lately is that they have got hold of some small idea, or some comparatively small point, and they wish to shape everything to the carrying out to its ultimate conclusion, to its extreme completion, that idea or that line of action. You cannot do that in this country. Therefore it was necessary in our undenominational Bill to recognise exceptions. Our idea was that in the ordinary schools there should be taught religion in the form of the common elements of Christianity. In the simplicity of my heart I thought that at least in the Church of England that would not have been obnoxious. The common elements of Christianity with, no doubt, a flavour of Protestantism in them—is that really distasteful to the Church of England as by law established? To my amazement a prelate of that Church says that Bible teaching is dangerous unless it is accompanied by his standards. His standards! Why, his standards are based on the Bible, and not the Bible on his standards. Still, we provided in our Bill for two days' teaching of special doctrines in order to meet the special desires and requirements of the Church. But the Catholics are in a different position. They have never failed to put forward as their ideal the full control of the school from the religious point of view. Therefore, it seemed to us that an exception must be attempted which might include the Catholics and also any members or ministers or authorities of the Established Church who are more Catholic than anything else, for, if that is the conception of a school, our general scheme does not meet it. Accordingly we introduced Clause 4, and what the Committee have been discussing for the last two days is not the principle of the clause, but the mere machinery by which that principle is to be carried out. On the part of the Government I have to say that the principle and the intention of the clause is as I have described it; and to that we are firmly wedded, and do not intend to depart in any degree from it. And when I turn to the machinery of the clause, I can only say that it has been the subject of the closest and most careful consideration, and that as it stands we believe it avoids more difficulties and accomplishes more advantages than any other machinery which could be invented for the purpose. We have the appeal, the mandamus as the ultimate authority, the non-payment of rent. We have what is called contracting-out, and the ballot in order to secure that the opinion expressed by the parents of the children is genuine. And here let me refer to the difficulty which has been harassing the soul of my hon. friend the Member for East Mayo o. He referred to the dreadful fate of the minority of Protestant children who have been in the habit, with the wish and will of their parents, of attending Catholic schools. I am very glad to hear of that practice, because it shows a spirit of liberality and a desire to live and act in common. But my hon. friend is afraid that when this clause comes into operation these children will be left out in the cold.


No; but that these children might take our schools from us.


These children will continue to come in as they are coming-in now; and there can be no hardship on the Catholic schools, for their parents will not want special facilities. But to return to the question of the machinery, I say that we regard it as perfectly sufficient, under the control, as it will be, of the Board of Education, for carrying out the main purposes of the clause, which is essential to the main purpose of the Bill itself. Our object is, and has been throughout, to make the Bill fair and equitable, and to do away with the grievances that we complain of. The hon. Member for Waterford expressed great sympathy with the Nonconformists on account of their grievances under the Act of 1902. But he did not mention any other way of removing those grievances than the way we propose; and it is clear that, unless this Bill is passed, they will remain unremedied. I therefore appeal to those who have strong prejudices and high ideals not to run after their ideals and prejudices too far, but to give their support to a scheme-which we think will benefit education and remove grievances, and, while giving preferences and exceptions which cannot be avoided, will do justice to the desires and interests of the people at large.

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

I hope the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, in the first place, to express on behalf of my friends our full appreciation of the reasons which have prevented him from being present during these debates, and from taking that part which we would otherwise desire him to take in the discussion of a measure which has excited so much public feeling. The right hon. Gentleman began his speech by threatening the hon. Member for East Mayo with a worse fate than that which it is proposed to inflict upon him should other hands than those of the Government be engaged in further dealing with the question of education. If the right hon. Gentleman had been able to be present at our debates he would have known that the feeling which this Bill has excited in the minds of members of the Church of England is not less deep and earnest than that to which the hon. Member for East Mayo has given expression. No one has suggested that this question could be settled without something in the nature of Clause 4. No settlement of the question could be complete which ignored the particular problem which Clause 4 is intended but fails to solve. You cannot deal with the education question without meeting the wishes-of the denominations. I do not mean simply meeting the wishes of the Jews and the Roman Catholics. In speaking of meeting the wishes of those who approve of denominational teaching, I deliberately include the Church of England, and I say that any party who fails to recognise the depth of feeling of the Church of England upon this subject does not read aright the signs of the times. The right hon. Gentleman told us that the Cowper-Temple Clause was the common basis of all Christianity with a Protestant flavour. In other words, his view is that this House, or rather the local elected bodies in the country, are the people who are qualified to determine that which theologians and philosophers have been searching for in vain throughout the centuries, and yet which every town council is supposed to be able to understand by the mere light of natural reason. The extreme Nonconformists or those who speak for them, have repudiated the idea that Cowper-Temple teaching is their religion. They think themselves qualified to determine not only for themselves, but for all mankind; or they think the local authorities qualified, which is worse. I would rather have Dr. Clifford's opinion upon a purely theological subject than the opinion of persons who have had no instruction whatever in such matters. I thought I was paying a compliment, and I think a deserved one, to the efficiency with which eminent Nonconformist divines have pursued their theological studies. But the right hon. Gentleman's description of the very varied teaching which goes by the name of Cowper-Temple teaching, as containing all the common elements of Christianity with a Protestant flavour, is really absurd. Cowper-Temple teaching, I am told, is sometimes given in a manner which draws no distinction between Unitarianism and orthodox Christianity. The truth is that any attempt on the part of this House either to settle for the country or to delegate it to local authorities to settle what are the common elements of Christianity is altogether vain and absurd, and is wholly inconsistent with Liberal traditions, and views of the relations which ought to subsist between the secular and the theological. They themselves are always talking of the propriety of leaving these questions to the denominations; yet in a spirit of airy confidence they are going to determine not merely what is to satisfy the Nonconformists, but what is to satisfy everybody else. That is a pretension as arrogant as was ever made by any church at any time in the world's history. The right hon. Gentleman bids us remember that this is a Bill framed not on denominational but on undenominational lines. In that effort it is not denied that the Government have produced a deep feeling of irritation among those who took seriously the agitation directed against the 1902 Bill, and who, if they were not passive resistors themselves, thought that the passive resisters were perfectly right. Clause 4 in any shape will unquestionably leave the grievance of persons of that class of the community wholly unrelieved. That is asserted by those who have a right to speak for the passive resisters. You therefore have with deliberate intent violated the feelings of those who were your most ardent supporters at the last election; and yet, having lost their support over Clause 4, you do not take the most ordinary precautions to make the clause satisfy those in whose interests you say, and truly say, you have endeavoured to frame it. A concession which was genuinely intended is so fenced round with precautions and conditions, you have left so many loopholes by which the Board of Education and the local authority may escape their obligation by the structure of your clause, and by the provisions which you have piled up one on top of the other, like Pelion upon Ossa and Olympus upon both, that nobody knows what is the principle crushed under this load of superfluous matter. You have so contrived it that those in whose interests you have framed it say with unanswerable force that their grievance, the burden you are putting on their conscience by the rest of your Bill, the injustice you are making them suffer by paying rates for other people's religion—all that remains unrelieved, and the only conceivable result of your Bill in its present shape is that you will leave the Church of England, the Church of Rome, the Jews—perhaps the Jews less than others—with a grievance they most bitterly feel, wholly unredressed, and you will leave those who are ranked among your best supporters with their consciences still offended. It seems to me the Government have blundered into a position which is open to almost every objection that can be urged, because their clause satisfies no conscience and pleases no party. This, at all events, is certain—and I say it with a full sense of responsibility—that if the Bill passes in its present shape, with Clause 4, even with the Government Amendments, it is inevitable that the Government measure will find ranged against it not merely the Roman Catholic feeling in the country, but an amount of feeling on the part of those belonging to the Established Church which no Government ought with a light heart to endeavour to arouse. I was amazed at one phrase of the right hon. Gentleman's. He used words which, I think, were intended to indicate that the only opponents in the Anglican Church whom he had to fear or who were really anxious to see Clause 4 made effective were those whom he described as more Catholic than anything else. If that is the delusion under which the Government is blundering, surely no Government ever was blinder. I believe the feeling among the leaders of the Low Church Party of the Church of England, men like the Bishop of Liverpool and the Dean of Canterbury, men who are the protagonists of the Low Church section—these men are vehement in their opposition.


It is worth while correcting the right hon. Gentleman in his recollection of what I said. I used the phrase with regard to opposition and disfavour as expressed to what I call elementary Christian doctrine.


I do not dispute the right hon. Gentleman's version of what he said; but I would respectfully point out that it does not substantially differ from the expression I attributed to him, because what those

leaders of Protestant thought dislike among other things is this substitution of universal Cowper-Temple teaching for the present teaching given in denominational schools. Let the Government and every man who takes part in the approaching division understand that they are not merely dealing with Roman Catholics and Jews and a small section of the clergy and laity of the Established Church, but that they have against them, broadly speaking, the whole feeling of that Church, Low Church and High Church, and that the idea of proposing to the House and country a settlement which pleases neither the denominationalists nor the undenominationalists, and asking us to accept that as a final settlement of this tremendous problem is. really to play with a great cause, idly to meddle with subjects which you cannot settle, to leave unredressed ancient wrongs, and to create a large body of new wrongs which must in their turn breed fresh difficulties for this House and the country.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 340; Noes 237. (Division List No. 152).

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Bethell, J. H.(Essex, Romford) Cheetham, John Frederick
Acland, Francis Dyke Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.
Adkins, W. Ryland Billson, Alfred Churchill, Winston Spencer
Agnew, George William Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Clarke, C. Goddard
Ainsworth, John Stirling Black, Arthur W.(Bedfordshire Clough, W.
Alden, Percy Bolton, T. D.(Derbyshire,N.E.) Coats, Sir T. Glen(Renfrew,W.)
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Cobbold, Felix Thornley
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Brace, William Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)
Armitage, R. Bramsdon, T. A. Collins, SirWmJ.(S.Pancras,W.
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Branch, James Cooper, G. J.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Brigg, John Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. HerbertHenry Bright, J. A. Corbett, CH (Sussex,E. Grinst'd)
Astbury, John Meir Brocklehurst, W. D. Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Atherley-Jones, L. Brodie, H. C. Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Brooke, Stopford Cory, Clifford John
Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.) Brunner, J. F. L.(Lancs., Leigh) Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Brunner, Sir John T. (Cheshire) Cowan, W. H.
Baring, Godfrey(Isle of Wight) Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen) Cremer, William Randal
Barlow, John Emmott(Somerset Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Crombie, John William
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Crossley, William J.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Buckmaster, Stanley O. Davies, David (Montgomery Co.
Beauchamp, E. Burns, Rt. Hon. John Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)
Beaumont, Hubert(Eastbourne Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Beck, A. Cecil Cairns, Thomas Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Bell, Richard Cameron, Robert Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)
Bellairs, Carlyon Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.
Benn, John WilIiams(Devonp't Carr-Gomm, H. W. Dickinson, W.H.(St.Pancras, N
Bennett, E. N. Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Berridge, T. H. D. Cawley, Frederick Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Bertram, Julius Charming, Francis Allston Dobson, Thomas W.
Duckworth, James Kekewich, Sir George Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Kitson, Sir James Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Laidlaw, Robert Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)
Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Lamb, Edmund G.(Leominster) Priestley, W.E.B.(Bradford, E.
Erskine, David C. Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Radford, G. H.
Essex, R. W. Lambert, George Rainy, A. Rolland
Evans, Samuel T. Lamont, Norman Raphael, Herbert H.
Eve, Harry Trelawney Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Everett, R. Lacey Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington) Rees, J. D.
Faber, G. H. (Boston) Lehmann, R. C. Rendall, Athelstan
Fenwick, Charles Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich) Renton, Major Leslie
Ferens, T. R. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Richards, Thomas(W. Monm'th
Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Levy, Maurice Richardson, A.
Findlay, Alexander Lewis, John Herbert Rickett, J. Compton
Foster, Rt, Hon. Sir Walter Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Ridsdale, E. A.
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lough, Thomas Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)
Fuller, John Michael F. Lupton, Arnold Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)
Furness, Sir Christopher Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee)
Gibb, James (Harrow) Lyell, Charles Henry Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lynch, H. B. Robinson, S.
Glendinning, R. G. Macdonald, J.M. (Falkirk B'ghs Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Goddard, Daniel Ford Mackarness, Frederic C. Roe, Sir Thomas
Grant, Corrie Maclean, Donald Rogers, F. E. Newman
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) M'Arthur, William Rose, Charles Day
Greenwood, Hamar (York) M'Callum, John M. Rowlands, J.
Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward M'Crae, George Runciman, Walter
Griffith, Ellis J. M'Kenna, Reginald Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Grove, Archibald M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Maddison, Frederick Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Mallet, Charles E. Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester)
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Manfield, Harry (Northants) Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne)
Hall, Frederick Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Sears, J. E.
Harcourt, Rt, Hon. Lewis Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Seaverns, J. H.
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Marnham, F. J. Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.).
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Hart-Davies, T. Massle, J. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Harvey, A. G, C. (Rochdale) Menzies, Walter Sloan, Thomas Henry
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Micklem, Nathaniel Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Molteno, Percy Alport Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Haworth, Arthur A. Mond, A. Soares, Ernest J.
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Money, L. G. Chiozza Spicer, Albert
Hedges, A. Paget Montagu, E. S. Stanger, H. Y.
Helme, Norval Watson Montgomery, H. H. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Henderson, J.M. (Aberdeen, W.) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Steadman, W. C.
Henry, Charles S. Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen) Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.) Morley, Rt. Hon. John Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morrell, Philip Strachey, Sir Edward
Higham, John Sharp Morse, L. L. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Hobart, Sir Robert Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Stuart, James (Sutherland)
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Murray, James Sutherland, J. E.
Hodge, John Myer, Horatio Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Holden, E. Hopkinson Napier, T. B. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Holland. Sir William Henry Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Hooper, A. G. Newnes, Sir George (Swansea) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N. Nicholls, George Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Horniman, Emslie John Nicholson CharlesN. (Doncast'r Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Norman, Henry Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Norton, Capt. Cecil William Thomasson, Franklin
Hutton, Alfred Eddison Nussey, Thomas Willans Thompson, JW.H. (Somerset, E.
Hyde, Clarendon Nuttall, Harry Tomkinson, James
Illingworth, Percy H. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Torrance, A. M.
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Palmer, Sir Charles Mark Toulmin, George
Jackson, R. S. Parker, James (Halifax) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jacoby, James Alfred Paulton, James Mellor Ure, Alexander
Jardine, Sir J. Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek) Verney, F. W.
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Pearson, W. H.M.(Suffolk, Eye) Vivian, Henry
Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea Perks, Robert William Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Wallace, Robert
Jones, William(Carnarvonshire) Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Kearley, Hudson E. Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Ward, W. Dudley (Southampton Whitehead, Rowland Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Warner, Thomas Courtenay T. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan). Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Winfrey, R.
Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney) Wiles Thomas Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid
Waterlow, D. S. Wilkie, Alexander Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Watt, H. Anderson Williams, J. (Glamorgan) Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd)
Wedgwood, Josiah C. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n Yoxall, James Henry.
Weir, James Galloway Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Whitbread, Howard Williamson, A. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
White, George (Norfolk) Wills, Arthur Walters Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire) Wilson, Hn. C. H. W. (Hull, W.) Pease.
White, Luke (York, E. R.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Dillon, John Joyce, Michael
Ambrose, Robert Dixon, Sir Daniel Kelley, George D.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Anstruther-Gray, Major Dolan, Charles Joseph Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Arkwright, John Stanhope Donelan, Captain A. Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col. W.
Ashley, W. W. Doughty, Sir George Keswick, William
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir H. Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Kilbride, Denis
Balcarres, Lord Du Cros, Harvey Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Baldwin, Alfred Duffy, William J. King, Sir Henry Seymour(Hull)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan Lane-Fox, G. R.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.)
Baring, Hn. Guy (Winchester) Esmonde, Sir Thomas Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham
Barnard, E. B. Faber, George Denison(York) Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt. -Col. A.R.
Barnes, G. N; Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Fardell, Sir T. George Long, Rt. Hn. Walter(Dublin,S
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Farrell, James Patrick Lowe, Sir Francis William
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Fell, Arthur Lundon, W.
Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Ffrench, Peter Lyttelton, Rt. Hn. Alfred
Benn, W. (T'w'rHamletsS. Geo. Field, William Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Bignold, Sir Arthur Finch, Rt. Hn. George H. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Blake, Edward Flavin, Michael Joseph MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Boland, John Fletcher, J. S. Macpherson, J. T.
Bowles, G. Stewart Flynn, James Christopher MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down. S
Bridgeman, W. Clive Forster, Henry William MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.)
Bull, Sir William James Fullerton, Hugh M'Calmont, Colonel James
Burdett-Coutts, W. Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) M'Hugh, Patrick A.
Burke, E. Haviland- Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W
Butcher, Samuel Henry Gill, A. H. M'Kean, John
Byles, William Pollard Ginnell, L. M'Killop, W.
Carlile, E. Hildred Glover, Thomas M'Micking, Major G.
Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H. Gordon, Sir WEvans (T'rH'ml'ts Magnus, Sir Philip
Castlereagh, Viscount Gulland, John W. Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Cave, George Haddock, George R. Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Halpin, J. Masterman, C. F. G.
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Hambro, Charles Eric Meagher, Michael
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Hammond, John Meehan, Patrick A.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J.(Birm. Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A(Worc. Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Chance, Frederick William Harwood, George Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Clancy, John Joseph Hay, Hon. Claude George Mooney, J. J.
Cleland, J. W. Hayden, John Patrick Morpeth, Viscount
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham Hazleton, Richard Murnaghan, George
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Helmsley, Viscount Murphy, John
Cogan, Denis J. Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Nicholson, Wm. G.(Petersfield)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hervey, F. WF (BuryS. Edm'ds.) Nolan, Joseph
Courthope, G. Loyd Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)
Cox, Harold Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh.) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Craik, Sir Henry Hills, J. W. O'Brien, William (Cork)
Crean, Eugene Hogan, Michael O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Crooks, William Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Crosfield, A. H. Hornby, Sir William Henry O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Cross, Alexander Houston, Robert Paterson O'Doherty, Philip
Dalrymple, Viscount] Hudson, Walter O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Dclany, William Jenkins, J. O'Dowd, John
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay(Galway) Jowett, F. W. O'Grady, J.
O'Hare, Patrick Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N. Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter Thorne, William
O'Malley, William Russell, T. W. Thornton, Percy M.
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Rutherford, John (Lancashire) Turnour, Viscount
O'Shee, James John Salter, Arthur Clavell Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Parkes, Ebenezer Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert Walsh, Stephen
Partington, Oswald Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Paul, Herbert Seddon, J. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Seely, Major J. B. Wardle, George J.
Pease, Herbert P. (Darlington) Shackleton, David James White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Percy, Earl Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Pollard, Dr. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton) Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Power, Patrick Joseph Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Ratcliff, Major R. F. Smyth, Thos. F. (Leitrim, S.) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Reddy, M. Snowden, P. Young, Samuel
Redmond, John E. (Waterford Starkey, John R. Younger, George
Redmond, William (Clare) Stone, Sir Benjamin
Remnant, James Farquharson Sullivan, Donal TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Summerbell, T. Alexander Acland-Hood and
Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Viscount Valentia.
Roche, Augustine (Cork) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Roche, John (Galway, East) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
DR. MACNAMAEA (Camberwell, N.)

moved an Amendment providing that the local education authority might, "subject to an appeal to the Board of Education in the event of refusal," afford extended facilities for religious instruction of a special character. He said the Government had placed an Amendment on the Paper which anticipated his proposal. The Government Amendment would allow an appeal to the Board of Education, and would also permit contracting out. He asked the President of the Board of Education whether he could not divide that Amendment into two part?, one dealing with the appeal to the Board of Education which they could all support, and the other relating to contracting out.

Amendment proposed. In page 2, line 39, after the word 'may,' to insert the words 'subject to an appeal to the Board of Education in event of lefusal.'"—(Dr. Macnamara.)

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


did not think it possible to divide the Amendment of the Government in the form suggested. He was afraid it would have to remain as it stood.


asked whether the Government would consider the propriety of introducing into their Amendment words which would give a direction to the Board of Education to take care that such an arrangement was made between owners of schools and the local authority as would cause religious education to be carried out on the lines to which each particular school had been accustomed. That was the policy of the Government. He was sure that it was a matter worth considering. If they were fortunate enough to reach the clause the subject would be raised, but if not, perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would consider the propriety of doing what he had suggested.


said he would consider the suggestion.


said that under the Bill the appeal would lie with tie parents if the local authority declined to act. Under the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman, however, the appeal would lie with the owner. It appeared to him that it ought to be left to the parents to appeal and not to the owners of the school.


thought it would be very undesirable to take away the appeal from the owners, who were a responsible set of persons who might be trusted to look after the interests of the school, whilst the parents might not be able to act with promptness. Whilst he could not alter the provision that the owners should be the appellants, this was the parents' clause, and he would consider whether words could be inserted to secure that parents should have power to appeal.


hoped the right hon. Gentleman would consider the suggestion he had made.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


moved an Amendment to leave out the words "in an urban area" in line 1 on page 3. He did not think that anyone would suggest that the religious instruction of the children or the wishes of the parents were of less importance in a rural than in an urban area. He knew many rural parishes which had a population quite as large as 5,000, which was put down as the minimum for an urban area under Clause 4. In many cases the school in a rural parish was placed close to the boundary of the area, and served for the children of another rural area or even for some of the children in an adjoining urban area. He saw no reason why such a school should be treated in a different way from an urban school. Just outside Halifax there was a Roman Catholic school which served the children in the urban as well as in the rural area, and yet that school was to be entirely shut out from the advantages of Clause 4. He did not see any logical basis upon which such an exemption could be based. All the arguments they had heard with regard to urban districts were equally applicable to rural areas. Perhaps the limitation would be defended on the ground that it was impossible in many rural areas to find sufficient schools to deal with all denominations. If so, the answer was that such a case was fully covered by condition (b) of this clause. No doubt that condition, if it remained as it stood in the Bill, might have the effect of excluding from the clause (if extended to rural areas) many single-school areas; but that difficulty would be met by a subsequent Amendment, by which it was proposed that it should be made a condition of giving special facilities that the owners should provide for giving to the children of dissenting denominations religious instruction of the kind the parents desired either in the school itself or in some neighbouring school. He felt sure the Committee would recognise the importance of this Amendment, and he hoped the Government would accept it.

Amendment proposed— In page 3, line 1, to leave out the words "in an urban area."—(Mr. Cave.)

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


agreed that there was something to be said in favour of the Amendment. He would remind the Committee, however, that the Government had made a very great concession in the clause as it now stood. The object of this Bill was to found a system of State education and here a broad exception was made. The two exceptions laid down in Sub-sections (a) and (b) were not sufficient, and they required the words of the clause as well. The ballot would be an inconvenient procedure to work in country villages, where there might be great objections to canvassing and pressure that might be brought to bear on one side or the other. There would be considerable difficulty in putting Sub-section (b) into operation in the rural areas. There might be a school two or three miles off'. Would that be conceived to be accommodation? In some country areas there were wide notions as to the distance a child ought to walk. This clause had been described as one which made provision for Jews and Roman Catholics, but it should be remembered that a great number belonging to other religious sects would be able to take advantage of it. The Church of England would be able to take advantage of this clause to a larger extent than the Eoman Catholics or the Jews. The Eeturns showed that in the urban areas as defined by the clause there were 4,371 denominational schools with an average attendance of 1,500,000 scholars, or three-fifths of all the scholars attending denominational schools in England and Wales. Many of these schools would be able to take advantage of this provision. There were in the country districts 9,700 other denominational schools, but they contained only 1,000,000 scholars. It would be admitted that a ca.se had to be made out for the distinction drawn between urban and rural schools, and the truth was that this was part of the protection which Nonconformists received under the Bill. This was an attempt to deal with the difficulties of which the Nonconformists complained. The Government had been protecting Church of England interests in Clause 3 and Roman Catholic interests under Clause 4, but surely those of Nonconformists ought not to be entirely lost sight of. It was amongst those 9,700 rural schools that the Non-conformists had felt the intolerable strain and surely they ought to have a look in somewhere. It would be impossible to provide the same facilities in the rural as in the urban schools, but his whole sympathy was on the side of dealing with them in the most liberal spirit with the various claims which would be made for facilities under the Bill. He believed that in the small schools in the country areas, if a fair view was taken of the construction of the Bill, they would be able to lead with their religious requirements in a satisfactory way. It should be remembered that the schools would be taken over for a small number of hours for the purposes of public elementary education. They would be taken by the public authority only for five days a week, and if it was desired to give the children additional religious instruction it could be done after school hours, and also on Saturday and Sunday when the schools would remain available for that purpose. Most fair-minded men would agree that in the one-school areas by a reasonable use of the facilities that would remain out of school hours it would be possible to make any provision necessary to meet religious requirements so far as Protestant children were concerned. As to the position of the Roman Catholics, 77 per cent, of all the Roman Catholic schools were in the urban areas with a population of over 5,000, while 91 per cent, of the Roman Catholic children were in those urban schools. The clause was conceived in a large and liberal sense, and it granted great facilities. He admitted that from the extreme denominational point of view the clause might not be altogether satisfactory, but in making that admission the Committee should bear in mind the extreme difficulty surrounding the whole question, and when they did so he was sure that they would feel it to be hard to make any improvement in the scheme which the Government had laid down. He could not see his way to accept the Amendment.

MR. ABEL SMITH (Hertfordshire, Hertford)

said the question the Committee had to consider now was whether any distinction could really be drawn in regard to this matter between the urban districts and the districts which were not technically urban. He maintained that there was no logical distinction whatever between the two. The only reason which the hon. Gentleman had given as to why similar arrangements should not be provided for the rural districts as were provided by this clause for the urban districts of 5,000 inhabitants was the rustic stupidity of the children. Perhaps he had by accident, both politically and in other capacities, had a closer acquaintance with the parents of children in the rural districts than had the hon. Gentleman, and he held that they were as qualified to take a deep interest in the religious education of the children as the parents of the children to whom this clause would apply, and to form an opinion as to what that religious instruction should be. He did not altogether agree with the hon. Member for Kingston in regard to the distinction between the single-school districts and other districts, but as that question did not arise on the present Amendment he would not pursue the subject. In the division which he had the honour to represent there were very few Roman Catholics. They were a very Protestant people; bat there was one small Roman Catholic community in the division which maintained a school in a rural district, and he had no doubt that that school was as efficient as the other schools in that part of the country. What logical reason was there for making a distinction between that elementary school and an elementary school in an urban district with 5,000 population, and why should not both receive the same treatment? He submitted that the Amendment ought to receive more serious consideration from the Government.

MR. STARKEY (Nottinghamshire, Newark)

said that as the representative of an agricultural constituency he wished to point out how very hard the rural districts of England would be hit by this particular clause. The only hope of the rural schools being able to continue to give religious education as at present was by having the assistance of the rates. If the four-fifths provision would satisfy the people and appease all dissensions in regard to the religious difficulty in urban districts, why should not the same principle be extended to rural districts? If the country schools did not come within the four-fifths provision how were they to provide teachers for the children? It was quite true that on two days of the week the children were to be given religious instruction, but who was to give it? Their own teachers were forbidden to give it. The Government had given the country to understand that they were anxious to get the people back to the land, but was it likely that they would get the people back to the land if they were made to suffer the disadvantages to which he had referred? Anyone who had had the benefit of having his children brought up in the faith he believed in would remain in the urban areas, and refuse to go back to the rural districts. The Report of the Secretary to the Education Committee of the Nottingham County Council said that the number of children in average attendance in the council schools in the rural districts was 24,963, and in the urban areas 16,888. The not cost per child in the urban areas was 12s. 9d., and in the rural 10s. 7d. The total cost in the urban area was £16,865, and the rural area £13,527. The general rate raised per child in the urban school area was 10s. 10d., and in the rural £1. There was this great difference in the rate between the council school area chiefly urban, and the voluntary school district chiefly rural. If this were perpetuated and it were only permissible to give religious instruction in the voluntary schools upon two days of the week at their own expense, it would not lessen the feeling of injustice that now existed or be in any way beneficial. In the rural areas their only hope of being able to give religious instruction to their children lay in their being included in the four-fifths division.


said that this clause raised a matter of very great importance. Catholics did not press so strongly the case of their schools in single school areas, because they recognised that in those areas a very considerable Nonconformist grievance existed; but the number of their schools which would be injuriously affected by the clause as at present drawn was very large indeed. The hon. Member for West Islington asked them to believe that the Catholic schools had been very well treated inasmuch as a comparatively small percentage of Catholic children would be excluded by the clause as it now stood.

MR. LOUGH said

that what he had stated was that it would not exceed 9 per cent.


said that at the present moment in the rural districts the Catholic community would under the Bill lose the grants for 188 Catholic schools. In addition to the 188 Catholic schools in rural districts which would be lost to the Catholics by this Bill in urban districts, under the 5,000 limit there were fifty-five which also would be lost to them. Then came the schools which would be affected by the four-fifths limit—a very serious thing for them—and their loss then would number 254. In all, therefore, they would lose 497 schools, to say nothing of the case of the remaining Catholic schools which would not continue to have the requisite four-fifths and would also be ruled out. It might be said that nearly half of the Catholic schools in the country would be lost to the Catholics by this Bill. The schools might only contain a small number of pupils, but still, from the Catholic point of view, it was a very serious matter. They could not consent to have fifty per cent, of their schools swept away. If the Government would agree to eliminate those schools in the urban area their grievance would be very largely reduced, although it would not be taken away altogether. In view of the concession which they had made in not claiming relief in regard to their schools in single school areas, he thought the Committee might favourably consider any proposal which would lessen their loss.


wished to know how many schools the Roman Catholics had in single school areas.


said he could not give the figures exactly, but it was a small number. It was perhaps ten or twelve schools, but although the concession they made might not be a large one, still it was as far as they could go to meet the Nonconformist case. If the Government persisted in carrying out their proposals they would certainly create in the minds of Catholics a feeling of irritation, and they would not submit to this grievance. They did not grudge the Church of England anything which she could gain under the Bill, nor did they grudge any other denomination anything which they could obtain, but their concern was with their own schools, and he hoped the Government would reconsider the undoubted grievance which they had.

MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)

said the hon. Member for North Wexford must be under some misapprehension as to the meaning of the hon. Member for West Islington when he spoke of the Church of England being a gainer by this Bill. Even the Parliamentary-Secretary with his fervid imagination could not have been, he was sure, led into saying that. It was because of the deep feeling of the great majority of the people whom he represented, a large body of the clergy and laymen of the Church of England, that he thought it right to rise and express his view in regard to the proposals of the Government. Because the Government had dealt with the difficulties which had arisen in regard to small minorities they claimed to have dealt with the whole question of religious education, but surely there was a large majority whose claims ought no less to be dealt with. What religious body was most affected by this Bill, and who were the people who would be most affected? Surely it was the Church of England—that is, the clergy and laity of that Church. It was not only the clergy who objected to the Bill; it was not even "the ecclesiastically-minded laymen" who were concerned, and who felt this grievance, but the laity generally were aroused upon the subject. That was shown by the public meetings which had been held to protest against the Bill. Anybody who had attended those meetings or had heard of them, was bound to be struck by the fact that they were largely composed of laymen, and nobody who knew the signs of the times could deny that the minds of the clergy and the laity had been stirred to a depth to which he had never seen it stirred before. He had attended a large number of religious and political meetings, and he had never seen such depth of feeling evinced as had been aroused by this Bill. Did the Government think it wise to outrage the conscience of what everybody must admit to be a great religious community, which had done and was still doing great service to the country? Was it right that the interests of the Church of England, who were principally concerned, should be neglected? If the Government minimised these facilities, and confined them to the urban areas, they were excluding from the benefits of the Bill a vast number of the schools in the rural districts which had done, and were still doing, great educational service to the country. The hon. Baronet had spoken of the great sacrifices which members of his communion had made for the purpose of maintaining their schools. They had made no greater sacrifices than the members of the Church of England had made assisted by their clergy, who out of slender pittances had founded and maintained Church schools. He respected the views of Roman Catholics to whom this clause was in the main a concession. Why should it stop short of recognising the sacrifices made by the clergy and laity of the Church of England? The answer which would be made was, he knew, the grievances of Nonconformists in rural parishes, but what was the good of substituting one grievance for another, and why to remedy the grievance of the Nonconformist should the Government inflict an injury upon the Church? The grievance of the Nonconformists was that they had no schools of their own. in rural districts, and that they had to contribute to the maintenance of Church schools. As to the first grievance, it had always struck him as curious that in the Principality of Wales, which was a typical instance, while Nonconformists could build places of worship they never, or seldom at all events, built schools, but contentedly sent their children to Church of England schools. Now, at the beginning of the twentieth century, they had raised the grievance of the Nonconformist conscience. Was it not time that Church of England people should say that they too had a conscience? He had, like the passive resisters, a grievance in that he had to contribute to a school board rate although he did not agree with the undenominational character of the teaching afforded under it. What would be the grievance upon his conscience hereafter when besides the London County Council Education Rate he had to contribute to the maintenance of the schools that he had supported for so many years, in which a form of religious instruction was hereafter to be given of which he did not approve? It might be said that that was a mean and paltry way of looking at it, but his conscience disapproved (if it and rebelled against it, and was not his conscience as well worthy to be considered as the conscience of any Nonconformist? It was that of which he complained—that there was no remedying of a grievance, but the substitution of a new grievance for an old, and putting a new grievance on the consciences of what he ventured to believe was the majority of this country. He could not say they were the majority, because whenever they asked for a religious census they were refused, and it might be that the Nonconformists were the majority as they stated. He hoped he had said enough on this subject to show that he felt very strongly upon it. He had tried to express himself in a moderate manner, but he warned the right hon. Gentleman that unless the Government made some concession and did not restcontent with only remedying the wrong of one religious minority, so far from settling this great educational question they would raise, in the most peaceable and least agitative parts of the country, the ordinary quiet country clergy and laity of the Church of England, and leave in the breasts of such people a feeling of irritation and resentment that it would take years to allay.


thought it was to be regretted that this important matter was being discussed in so thin a House. Clause 4 was put into the Bill to meet the Catholic case, but the figures they had went to show that under its provisions—with regard to the 5,000 population area and the four-fifths—one half of the Catholic schools would be excluded altogether. He did not know whether those figures had been brought forcibly before the right hon. Gentleman as yet. He had not heard him refer to or deal with them, and he asked him to make some statement with reference to them now. It was not possible that the right hon. Gentleman could be satisfied with the state of things in which the clause now stood, in so far as it only applied to one half of the Roman Catholic schools. If the 5,000 population area was taken alone, 246 Roman Catholic schools out of 1,012 were excluded. There were not many of these single school areas, and so far as he was concerned he was very anxious that the Nonconformist grievance with regard to the single school areas should be completely met, and reduced in regard to those schools which lay between the single school areas and the 5,000 suburban areas. He wanted to know what was to become of those schools which were excluded. He did not want to repeat the arguments, but he desired to represent to the right hon. Gentleman that they were in an entirely different position from the Church schools. The Church schools could take advantage of Clause 3, but these schools would not. What, then, was to become of them? The right hon. Gentleman must surely have come to some conclusion as to what the treatment was to be with regard to disposition of these schools. The figures read to the Committee were fallacious, because they were told that 77 per cent, of these schools would be admitted, and that 91 per cent, of the Catholic children attending school in England would be admitted.


So far as this Amendment is concerned.


said that that was the point: it did not put the whole case before the Committee, because under the operation of the clause, taking all the limitations together, far more than nine per cent, would be excluded. He wanted to know what was to become of these schools, and he rose simply to point out the vital importance of this matter and to say that notwithstanding the way in which their hopes had been dashed by the decisions of the Committee and of the Government, he was convinced that the right hon. Gentleman had something to say with reference to these schools. He hoped he would say it now.

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

said he hoped the Government would not be in too conceding a frame of mind. After all, for what purpose did the schools exist? They existed for five days a week and for five hours a day for the purpose of fitting the children in them for this life and enabling them to make a living. It had been assumed too often I in these debates that if the children in these schools did not, from the age of five to the age of twelve or thirteen, get denominational instruction, they never did get it. That was not true, but the converse of that was practically true. If they did not get during that period a satisfactory elementary education in general knowledge to fit them for this life and enable them to get a living, they never did get it. The other purpose of these schools, was that of denominational instruction, and that could be and was given out of school hours in churches and chapels, and could be and was continued after the child's school life. He pleaded that nothing should be done that would lessen the efficiency of the schools in these areas, and lessen the efficiency and the teaching in them for five hours a day on the five days of the week. The proposal before the Committee would tend to multiply the number of small schools in the country, and where they got small schools the tendency was to decrease the efficiency, and therefore anything that tended to multiply the number of small schools and keep down the number of the larger schools tended to defeat the specific purpose of those schools for five hours a day on five days of the week. He asked the right hon. Gentleman not to be in too conceding a mood in his great desire to conciliate opposition on an important, but not the most important, part of the Bill, which was to fit the children for this life. Another reason why the Amendment should not he accepted was that it would extend the area of the possible application of that very vicious and retrograde principle of allowing schools to contract themselves out of the Bill and out of the advantage of local control and supervision. He did not think the contracting-out proposal pleased anybody, and it was bad educationally. He opposed the Amendment, and supported the clause as it stood.

MR. MIDDLEMORE (Birmingham, N.)

said he had an Amendment on the Paper to the same effect as the one under discussion. The hon. Member for West Nottingham, had defined the real abyss -which separated him from some of them. The hon. Gentleman thought that getting on in life was the thing for which schools were established. Churchmen did not believe it, and they rejected it. It was therefore impossible for the hon. Gentleman and them to get into touch on this question. The clause denied the rights of conscience to country areas. Yet the right and duty of worshipping God was the same in the country as in the town. The duties of parents to children were the same in Stoke Poges as in London or Birmingham. It would be just as reasonable to have a local limitation to the study of Shakespeare or Milton. A certain measure of freedom was given to some districts because they were big; in other districts freedom was curtailed because they were little. There was no principle whatever in this strange, almost insane, distinction. Again and again it had been said, chiefly by hon. Gentlemen opposite, that the education question could not be properly discussed unless as a preliminary to discussion logic was thrown to the dogs. Here were thrown to the dogs not only logic but principle also, and there seemed to be nothing left but the paper on which the Bill was written, the bias, and, in some cases, the downright hatred of the Church against which the Bill was directed. The clause was an instance of the intolerance of the whole Bill, and an illustration of the words "New Presbyter is old Priest large writ."

MR. NUSSEY (Pontefract)

expressed the opinion that the question asked by the hon. and learned Member for Waterford as to what was to become of the 246 rural Catholic schools which would be excluded from the operation of Clause 4 ought to receive an answer. The Government had admitted that those schools had a right to exceptional treatment, and yet by the adoption of an arbitrary limit which could not be defended they would be excluded from the consideration extended to more fortunate schools in urban districts, and there would be a perpetuation of the condition of passive resistance on the part of a different section of the community. The real grievance which the Bill ought to remedy was the case of the single school area. The Nonconformists had a distinct grievance under the Act of 1902, and as long as they got clear of that he did not see why Catholic schools which complied with the conditions and safeguards embodied in the clause should not receive the benefit of these extended facilities whether they were situated in urban or in rural areas.

COLONEL WILLIAMS (Dorsetshire, W.)

said the speech to which the Committee had just listened appeared to assume that the Roman Catholic religion was the one which wanted protection in this country. He should like to ask what was the special reason why the Roman Catholic religion should be protected above other forms of Christianity, and why the same treatment should not be meted out to all sects. The hon. Member for West Nottingham had spoken as if education were purely secular, and that nothing was education unless it were secular. He would appeal to hon. Gentlemen opposite who differed from him as to the form of religious education, whether education was complete without religion. Unless education included religion it would prove a mere snowman, which would melt away under the heat of the turmoil of daily life and the pressure of competition. He was challenged the other day as to whether Cowper-Temple teaching was not a very good foundation for the teaching of religion. It was a foundation of a sort, but it was the loose bricks without the mortar to hold them together. He would much rather a child of his was brought up in a Roman Catholic school than in an undenominational school. The child would at least have a better chance of becoming a good citizen. No doubt some hon. Members would claim that secularism was religion, but where did morality come from.


Order, order. The hon. Member is making a Second Reading speech.


asked why the children in the country should be debarred from having what the children in the towns might have. He knew an urban area with a population of 5,500, and the schools in that area could exercise this option, but in a school 200 yards outside that area they could not have the same teaching: why should they not have it? If these facilities were granted in urban areas why should they not be granted in rural areas? If it was right for one area, surely it was right for the other. If hon. Members thought they were giving freedom or justice, or showing tolerance by refusing to the children in the country what they had given to the children in the towns, they were very much mistaken, and the people in the country would show very forcibly when they got the opportunity that they were in favour of real freedom and not a sham tolerance.

MR. STUART (Sunderland)

found a difficulty in reconciling the statements, on the one hand, that 267 Roman Catholic schools would be excluded under the Bill as it stood, and, on the other hand, that 9 per cent, of the children would be excluded. He would himself have been content to have seen different treatment shown to Roman Catholic schools, and would have liked to have seen the line drawn to include a larger number of them. He did not see any reason for stopping at urban areas more than any other.


said the figures were correct, and the explanation was that the schools were small. With regard to what the hon. Member for Sunderland had suggested he was quite sure that the Committee would not agree to give more facilities to Roman Catholics than to other denominations, and he did not think the House would have looked at the Bill had it been drawn on those lines. He appealed to the Committee to come to a. decision upon this Amendment.

MR. CLAVELL SALTER (Hampshire, Basingstoke)

agreed that, this was an Amendment second only in importance to that with which the Committee recently dealt. They had been engaged for the greater part of two days in a debate upon the merits of denominational teaching, and this was an Amendment to decide whether or not those rights and privileges were to be extended to all the country areas. He deplored the manner in which the debate was being conducted, and could not believe that the Government would leave the question with no better defence than the Committee had heard. There was a strong suspicion that this matter was being "gerrymandered" by the Government and Nonconformists to give as large a bribe as they could to Roman Catholics and as little-relief as possible to Church of England schools. If the Government did not desire that impression to get abroad they would have to make some better defence of this exclusion than had yet been attempted. This was an Amendment which threw the onus of proof upon the Government. It was not for the Opposition to show cause why a right or privilege should be extended to the whole country; it was for the Government to show cause why it should be restricted to urban areas. He submitted that any man who had resolved to support Clause 4 ought to support this Amendment. What was the principle upon which the Government had acted in introducing Clause 4? It was the principle that where they could get it without loss of educational efficiency or risk of religious difficulty, denominational education was a right and a good thing. If that was not the principle, the Government had no Tight to introduce Clause 4. The onus was upon the Government to show why the right to denominational teaching should not be extended to all. The first reason given by the Secretary to the Board of Education for restricting this right to the towns was that the people in the country were so illiterate and so stupid that they could not grapple with the intricacies of the ballot. If that was so, why had they the Parliamentary and the municipal franchise? If he had not heard those words spoken, he would not have believed that any Minister of the Crown would stand up and address such an argument to the House of Commons. The next ground upon which the Committee were asked to agree to this restriction was that there might not be available accommodation elsewhere. That begged the whole question, for unless there was available accommodation elsewhere Clause 4 did not apply at all. In asking the Committee to adopt this proposal the Government practically said, "Where you get the necessary majority, where you have available school accommodation for the minority, and where all the conditions are complied with, then if you live in a town you shall have certain privileges, but if you live in the country you shall not." It was for the Government to defend such a position as that. The third ground given by the hon. Gentleman in support of the restriction was that country schools were smaller than urban schools. He did not see anything in that argument. If four-fifths of the people in a town were to have a right, he did not see why the same proportion of their brethren in the country should not have the same right. Another reason stated was that the privileges under Clause 3 would do very nicely for the Church of England. It was true that if they could not get Clause 4 amended they would have to be content with Clause 3. But in the urban districts, both Clauses 3 and 4 were to apply, and he wished to know upon what ground a distinction was to be made in regard to Clause 4 in the country districts. If Clause 3 would do, why did the Government introduce Clause 4 for the towns? The view of Church people was that this was an illogical and indefensible distinction which no man could justify to his conscience, and that it had been introduced because it was desired to buy off the formidable opposition of the Roman Catholic Church. It was common knowledge that the Roman Catholic schools were situated to a large extent in urban areas. The intention of this distinction could be gathered by the effect which it would produce. By Clause 4 about 75 per cent, of the Roman Catholic schools would be saved, while only about 25 per cent, of the Church schools would be saved. This was striking people in the country as a flagrant injustice. It would be a piece of cynicism if the Government allowed this matter to go to a division without a more adequate attempt to find some real defence for a distinction so palpably unfair, so grossly unjust, and so prima facie indefensible. The distinction which was drawn between the urban and the rural districts would be one of the most powerful factors in bringing about the inevitable destruction of the Bill.

MR. R. PEARCE (Staffordshire, Leek)

said he desired to call attention to two Catholic schools in his constituency. They were in the villages of Tean and Dilhorne which were Catholic villages from before the Reformation in England. Seeing that they were in rural areas he was anxious to know what was going to become of them. He was aware that in establishing a great system it was inevitable that here and there hardships should be created. He would not in the least think of opposing the Government, but if something could be done in reference to such schools as these he would be glad.

MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)

said that Clause 4 would absolutely wreck the Church schools in the rural districts. Some hon. Members had said that Clause 3 gave the Church schools more than they could have expected to receive. He maintained that Clause 3 gave nothing to these schools. It said that if the local authority condescended to make an agreement with them the owners of a school could arrange on two days of the week for denominational teaching out of school hours by teachers other than those of the school. That they could have without the clause at all, and there was absolutely nothing done for rural Church schools under Clause 3. Therefore he said that under this clause the Government were doing a monstrous and gross injustice. Some hon. Members had raised doubts upon the question as to whether the Church was strongly opposed to the Bill. All he could say was that in the division which he had the honour represent, they were violently opposed to it. It was not because they did not recognise that there was still a Nonconformist grievance in country districts that they were not prepared to welcome this Bill.


said the hon. Member must not discuss the Bill, but must confine his observations to the Amendment.


said that with all respect he thought he was discussing the effect of this Bill upon rural schools.


said that when he interrupted, the hon. Gentleman was pointing out the objection of the Church of England to the Bill itself, whereas he should confine his observations to the Amendment which had been proposed to this particular clause.


said he was supporting the Amendment on behalf of the Church of England, and he supported it because although members of that Church felt there was a grievance on the part of Nonconformists which might be redressed, it was not being redressed by this or any other clause of the Bill. Moreover, there was being imposed upon Churchmen by this clause a grievance which was much greater than was generally supposed. Several speakers had referred to this matter as if the only question of importance was that which had reference to Roman Catholic schools. A Ministerialist had suggested that the line should be drawn in some other way so as to include more Roman Catholic schools, and it was said that the Roman Catholics had a right to say that they objected to Cowper-Temple teaching, but that members of the Church of England had not. The hon. Member for Waterford had said that he looked upon Cowper-Temple teaching as the religion of Protestantism, but speaking from the Church of England point of view he might say that he regarded it as the religion of Nonconformity. He objected to it as insufficient religious education for his children. Moreover, there were different kinds of Cowper-Temple teaching, and he did not gather that under this Bill the best kind would be insisted upon. In some cases it meant no religion at all. It meant the simple reading of the Bible, without note or comment. He did not call that sufficient, and the only good that could be obtained from Cowper-Templeism must be obtained when the teacher believed the instruction he was affording and taught it with conviction. But such a system would not satisfy Dr. Clifford, who said that the teaching should consist merely of the ethical, historical, and literary study of the Bible as a book of history. As a member of the Church of England he said that members of that Church had just as much right to say that they objected to a religion which was forced down their throats, as the Roman Catholics had. If anyone doubted that this religion which was going to be forced upon rural schools was the religion of Nonconformity he should like to allude to the words which were used by the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education earlier in the debate. The right hon. Gentleman said that those who knew the struggle the Nonconformists had had to go through for the maintenance of Nonconformity would not wonder that they rejoiced at the opportunity which was being offered to them to acquire in their village the freedom which they sought, and at the joy and pride which they felt in the fact that it might be their own. If the religion which was to be taught was to be their own, he thought he was justified in saying that the religion which was to be taught would satisfy Nonconformists. He did not in the least complain that they should have that religion or that they should have anything else, but what he did complain of was that they should dictate to him as to the religion which he should impart to his children. He thought he had as much right to lay down what religion should be given to his children as the Nonconformist had to say what kind of instruction should be imparted to his. He quite believed that the grievance in the rural districts had been a real one, and that in some parishes the Nonconformist felt that owing to the idiosyncrasies of some of the clergy the children were being taught that of which they did not approve. The parents did not want in those cases to withdraw their children from religious teaching altogether, but they considered that the clergyman taught them religion in a way which was objectionable. No reasonable person could object to the children having, instead of objectionable religious teaching, Cowper-Templeism, but this Bill did not propose that. It proposed to sweep away the Church curriculum and to force upon children religious instruction of which the parents might in ninety-nine cases out of 100 disapprove. He hoped the Government would show them some logical reason why it was right and just that the Roman Catholics should have their consciences considered, and they of the Church of England should not. Why should the parents in urban schools moreover be given the right to have their consciences considered, while the same right was denied to the parents in rural districts. This question could be very easily solved in rural districts by giving fair play all round. That would meet the wishes of Church people as well as Nonconformists. There were very few schools in which there was only one teacher. As a matter of fact he believed there were only 2,000 departments—not schools—in which there was only one teacher and so, perhaps, in one-fifteenth of the cases there might be some difficulty in arranging the classes in regard to denominational or undenominational education, but in fourteen-fifteenths there would be no difficulty at all. Therefore, they were entitled to some explanation from the Government. If the right hon. Gentleman had said that this principle was to be applied to single-school areas there would be some argument in it, but the Government had not said that. In each of two parishes in which he was interested there were two schools and it would be possible to make arrangements which would suit everybody, and he could not understand why this arbitrary distinction should be made and why people in rural districts should not have the same chance of doing that which they did in urban districts. The whole proposal was absurdly illogical and impossible, and he asked the Government to extract themselves from the entangled position in which they now stood and put themselves in a position which they could defend as one of principle and in which they could not be assailed from every side as they were at present.


appealed to the Committee to pass on to other subjects connected with the clause, and pointed out that in view of the fact that the debate would be compulsorily determined at a given moment it was not desirable that Members should take up too much time in discussing one question. Nor was it desirable that members of the Government should occupy too much of the time which primarily belonged to the Opposition, and after all he could only say what had been, said before in reply to the contentions of hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House. But he did want to make some observations in reply to the speech to which they had just listened, and two or three previous speeches. The hon. Member for the Oswestry Division had said that this clause absolutely wrecked Church of England schools in rural districts, and the hon. Member who preceded him spoke of the Bill as saving only 25 per cent, of the Church schools as against 75 per cent, of the Roman Catholic schools. Now he did ask hon. Members, not with any expectation that it would have any effect, whether in saying this they were just to the Bill or even just to their own case. Was it right to talk of Church of England schools as being wrecked or lost in view of the special facilities for religious education provided by Clause 3? Members of the Church of England were not entitled to speak of these special facilities in the same way as members of the Roman Catholic Church. [OPPOSITION cries of "Why not?"] Because, in the Church of Rome, the Church was the supreme authority in interpreting the Bible, a view which was directly contrary to the doctrine of the Church of England. There was therefore that distinction between members of the Church of England and members of the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church had laid it down for all time that their authority was supreme in interpreting the Bible, whereas the Church of England had also laid it down for all time that the Bible was to be the sole and supreme test in deciding matters of doctrine. If he discussed these matters it was only in answer to the challenge of hon. Members opposite, and his contention was that they were not entitled as Churchmen to say that their schools would be lost and wreaked, because the religious education in the schools would continue to be given as amply and sufficiently as it had been given in the past. Such religious education as had been given would be continued and maintained, even more fully than ever, at the public cost. The Church of England would continue their schools at the public cost, and would continue to give precisely the same education as had been given before, and yet hon. Members used such extravagant language about their schools being wrecked.

SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)

said they had reached a most interesting development of the argument in support of the Bill. They had always regarded Clause 4 as giving a modicum of religious freedom to all denominations equally considered, but the discussion had thrown light upon the subject and had shown that advantages were to be secured by particular denominations while others were not so favoured. They had a different explanation given of Clause 4 now from that which was given on the Second Reading. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had said that the clause was put in with a special view of meeting the Roman Catholics. That meant that the clause was put in not with the idea of preserving religious liberty but in order to secure the Irish vote. The Minister for Education, however, in winding up the debate, said the clause was intended to be a charter of educational freedom to the village. Therefore, according to the President of the Board of Education, the clause was intended not so much to let the Roman Catholics in as to keep the Church of England out. Now they were informed by the Solicitor-General that the proposals of the Bill were based in some way not explained on the decrees of the Council of Trent.


denied that the right hon. Gentleman correctly interpreted his words. He had simply asked why Protestants should object to Bible teaching.


was glad to ascertain that the learned Solicitor-General did not see any close connection between the Council of Trent and the 5,000 limit of population, but he had gathered that from his words. What was the distinction to be drawn in this matter? Was it population? If so he ventured to say it was a defective basis if the statistics of the various parishes or urban districts were examined. He knew of one single rural parish with a population of 11,000, and in this parish there were three council schools and one voluntary school. There could be no reason why that voluntary school should be excluded from the privileges of Clause 4 was the distinction based on provision of council school accommodation. If so, it was equally fallacious, for there were large towns in which all the schools were voluntary schools, and these would be excluded from the clause. The distinction which it was sought to draw was absolutely meaningless and could only be based upon some political consideration, which had nothing to do with religious education, or with anything to which one could attach, any reasonable motive unless it was a political motive such as appeared to be suggested by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the President of the Board of Education. Many rural parishes had two schools, and there was no difficulty in providing accommodation for the denominations; and he submitted that where facilities were wanted, and could be granted without injustice or inconvenience, they should be granted. He knew a case of a school in a rural parish established for the instruction of the poor in the principles of the Church, of England, and for no other purpose. There was not, he understood, in the parish, one dissenter from the Church of England; the fathers and mothers of the children in the school, it was reported, earnestly desired that their children should continue to be taught the religion they themselves professed by the master and mistress of the school, to whom they were attached, and the ratepayers, it was stated, were of the same opinion. Nevertheless, as his correspondent, a gentleman who held a very high official position and who was incapable of expressing anything but a sound opinion upon the education question, who drew his attention to these facts pointed out, the schoolmaster must resign his office or give the children no more of that instruction which they had been accustomed to receive. He thought many other cases might be found of a similar character. His correspondent informed him that he and others had satisfied themselves as to the facts of this case.


What is the number of the inhabitants?


said he really could not give them, but he did not see what numerical considerations had to do with the matter.


Will the hon. Baronet give the name?


said he was perfectly prepared to hand the letter he had received to the Parliamentary Secretary.


wished to know whether these parishioners were tenants of the hon. Baronet's correspondent.


said he thought he might answer that with a most decided negative. What were those interested to do in such a case? Were they to take refuge in the cold comfort of Clause 3? What did Clause 3 give them? They lost the teacher; they might have their religious teaching out of school hours. Religious teaching out of school hours was really no concession at all, because the children might be summoned by anybody at any time out of school hours to receive any form of religious teaching which they were willing to receive. What was desired, however, was religious instruction by the teacher to whom they were accustomed. In a town no doubt it might be possible to replace the teacher, but it was not so easy in the country. He would like to ask what would be the effect of this change in the rural areas. Hon. Members opposite were anxious to bring the people back to the land. What were they doing to encourage that idea? What were they doing with regard to the intellectual life of the village? Was not that to be found in the parson and the teacher? They were turning the parson out of the school up to the moment that they turned the teacher out of the school in order that someone else should give religious instruction. He ventured to think they would find henceforth greater trouble in getting good teachers for the schools than they did at present. The tendency of the good teachers to go to the towns would be more markedly developed when the clergyman of the parish was turned out of the schools and the common interest which both parson and teacher had taken in the welfare of the school was destroyed: he feared that the teaching would suffer in consequence, not only the religious teaching, but the teaching all-round. These facilities, if they meant anything, meant a great deal, and the people who asked for them regarded them as an important factor in education, in the religious as well as the intellectual life of their children. The interest of the parent in the religious life of his child did not depend on the fact that he lived in a rural or an urban area or on the fact that he was one of a population of 5,000 or that he was one of the four-fifths majority. There was no religious difficulty in the schools. The only religious difficulty that he had heard of recently was the case of a Nonconformist child, the only one in the school, whose father complained that he was not taken to church with the rest of the children on Ascension Day. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were not in the least aware of the feeling they were creating in the rural areas by this Bill. He had had frequent communications, not from large urban centres, but from small rural areas all over the country which forced upon him the conviction that there was a deep-seated indignation at the wanton change the right hon. Gentleman's Bill would bring about in the educational condition of the parishes. He thought before long the Government would realise that their policy was not merely resented by Churchmen in great urban centres; that it was not merely a question for great political meetings, but that it had caused a widespread and deep-seated animosity in every quarter throughout the land.

MR. JOSEPH WALTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Barnsley)

said the Amendment before the Committee was intended to secure that in the voluntarily transferred schools there should be the same right to religious instruction as was to be given under the four-fifths provision. But the hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University had made no reference in his speech to the great grievance of the Nonconformists, namely, that in 8,000 parishes throughout the country there was only one elementary day school, and that a church school; that into that school the children of the Nonconformists were compelled by law to go for their education, and that they had had hitherto only the safeguard of the conscience clause which was practically no safeguard at all. That was a very great grievance to the Nonconformists, and they were determined that in these 8,000 schools, carried on entirely at the public expense, there should not be longer continued instruction in the religious doctrines of one Church only. That involved a gross violation of the principles of religious liberty and equality of the Nonconformists of this country. The question of religious equality was thus forced upon them by this Amendment. There could be no question that in the areas to which these schools belonged, the giving to the children definite Church of England religious training only on two days a week meant that the Nonconformists suffered an injustice if they did not under this clause claim in these schools to be put on an equality with the Church, and to give their children also definite religious teaching. It was true that in some of the populous rural districts some Members of the House might desire a change. There was a great deal to be said in favour of the four-fifths provision in populous rural districts where there was a good choice of schools. He had such an area in the division he represented, and it was only right that he should claim for that district the same facilities as were given to the urban districts. But in that district there were five schools, two county, two church, and one Roman Catholic school. Personally he would desire that these schools should be treated in the same way as similar schools in urban districts. But there was a very great gulf between such school districts and the 8,000 single school areas.

MR. LAURENCE HARDY (Kent, Ashford)

thought the hon. Member for Barnsley had gone a little wide of the argument. It was desirable that they should have figures, and the hon. Gentleman had mentioned 8,000, but he did not think he would find that number in any Parliamentary Return. He must also remind the hon. Gentleman that with reference to Clause 3, when the noble Lord beside him endeavoured to give to every Nonconformist denomination the privilege of having their doctrines taught in the single school districts, the Liberal Party voted down the Amendment to prevent the very facilities for which the hon. Gentleman was pleading so arduously just now. No argument had yet been adduced to show why an urban area with a population of 5,000 should be adopted as a standard of conscience with reference to the religious tenets of the children. No feature in this Bill was more resented than this one. The hon. Member for Barnsley had repeated that this was a question of a great grievance in connection with single school districts. It was nothing of the sort. It did not apply to single school districts at all. The argument of those on the Opposition side was that the test should not be that of population, but that it should depend on a reasonable demand for facilities. The arbitrary distinction of population could not possibly be allowed to stand. He hoped that when the question was put they might at all events have the last word reserved so that they would be able to insert "urban or rural," for if they were not allowed to go below 5,000 it should include the rural areas with a population of 5,000 and over. He was sure the wit of man, and he was quite sure the wit of the Government, could not devise any reason why a population of 5,000 in a rural area should be in any sense different from a population of the same size in an urban area. He hoped, therefore, the Government would reconsider this point.

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

said the hon. Member for Barnsley had laid stress upon the fact that Nonconformists felt it to be a strong grievance that in 8,000 parishes there was only a single school for the district. So far as the Roman Catholics were concerned they had not a word to say in favour of one school with one religious atmosphere for the children of different denominations, and they were willing to support any proposal which would safeguard the right of the Nonconformist child in a single school district. But that was not the point of the Amendment. It was an essential condition of getting additional facilities for the four-fifths school that there should be more than one school. Roman Catholics would not raise any objection whatever to its being made as clear as words could make it that, where there was a single school district, there could not and there should not be, any privilege enabling one denomination to have complete religious control of the school. They had been waiting for the answer of the Government to their case. The Catholics stated on the authority of the Government returns that under this provision 240 of their schools would be excluded. They also contended that under the four-fifths limitation another 200 would be excluded, and this meant that about 50 per cent, of the Catholic schools would be excluded from the national system of the country.




said the calculation he had made was based upon the right hon. Gentleman's own figures. The official Return put the number of schools which would be above the 5,000 limit at 77 per cent., therefore about 23 per cent. would be excluded. The answer given by the Secretary to the Board of Education was that although it was true that only 77 per cent. of the schools were included, the percentage of scholars included was 91 per cent. Now what was the reason for that disparity? The reason was that the schools in the small communities excluded by the 5,000 limit were small with a small number of scholars, whereas the schools in the urban districts were large. It was no answer to say that because the children were protected in the urban districts they should not be protected in the rural districts. They had just heard a remarkable speech from the hon. Member for the Leek Division of Staffordshire, who had pointed out that in his constituency there were two Catholic schools which had belonged to the Catholics since the Reformation. Up and down Lancashire there were little spots where they had maintained the Catholic Creed all through the Reformation down to the present day. Was it not too cruel that a little Catholic community having a Catholic school attended by Catholic children, in which the attendance was not four Catholics to one Protestant, should be deprived of facilities which the Minister for Education had declared openly that he desired to give, and this in a Catholic school which dated from pre-Reformation times? The Minister for Education had said that he wanted Clause 4 to be a reality and not a fraud or delusion, and that the reason he opposed the mandatory Amendment was because he believed that the procedure he proposed would better carry out the objects desired. When they found that 25 per cent, of the Catholic schools were excluded by this limitation, what became of the right hon. Gentleman's desire to make the clause a reality? His information from the heads of the Catholic Church was that the four-fifths limitation would exclude 25 per cent, of their schools. If 25 per cent, of the Catholic schools were excluded by on 3 provision and 50 per cent, by another from the benefits of Clause 4, what was the good of the passionate hopes and desires of the right hon. Gentleman? So far as they were concerned, any Amendment which would save the single school district they were ready to welcome and support.


There are already twenty-nine Amendments down to Sub-section (b).


said that he was in favour of any Amendment which would secure protection for the children in the rural districts. This was a real grievance of the Catholics, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman, would see that the benefits which he meant to give them under Clause 4 were not destroyed.


said he had listened to the speech of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division and of the hon. and learned Member for Water-ford with perfect sympathy. It was to him a matter of great personal regret that any school of the character described should be excluded from the four-fifths clause. Speaking generally, he could wish that all the Roman Catholic schools were in a position to come within the limit of the clause. It was to him some satisfaction, at all events, to find that Clause 4, which had not been procured without difficulty, did not stand where it did without representing a good deal of difficulty, and he might even say of obstinacy and endurance. He was glad to think that this clause of theirs did secure very remarkable, though, he agreed, not entirely satisfactory, results. It had been already mentioned by his hon. friend the Parliamentary Secretary that 819 Roman Catholic schools were in urban areas with a population of 5,000 and over, representing 77.1 per cent, of the total number of Catholic schools and 91 per cent, of the children in attendance in Catholic schools. That could not be said to be nothing.


I did not say so.


said it was an achievement, although he wished for a larger achievement. At all events, it was not to be spoken of as if they had not accomplished something for the object which hon. Gentlemen opposite had at heart. He could not agree that a large number of the four-fifths schools within these areas would be deprived of the benefit of this clause because of the attendance at them of Protestant children. Nothing had surprised him more during his short tenure of office than to know how many Protestant children were in the habit of attending Roman Catholic schools. He thought the hon. Member for East Mayo gave one of the real reasons when he said it was due to the anxiety of parents to secure for their children the kindly teaching they often received at the hands of nuns. The hon. Member had also suggested that these good ladies had faculties for dealing with froward and troublesome children with more care and patience than the ordinary teacher was, perhaps, able to bestow. He had made some inquiry into the reasons which prompted Protestant parents to send their children to Roman Catholic schools, and he had not discovered that any religious results in the sense of inducing the children to become members of the Roman Catholic Church followed. He was very much astonished the other day to see inscribed in Roman Catholic books of devotion, signed by a Roman Catholic Bishop as prizes for religious knowledge, the names of children whom he knew to be Wesleyans and actually attending Wesleyan churches and Sunday schools, but who nevertheless went to Roman Catholic schools and exhibited such success and skill in mastering Roman Catholic theology that the Bishop inscribed their names in books of Roman Catholic devotion. That showed him that a large number of children did go to Roman Catholic schools without any indention of becoming converts, and for the sake of the training they received there. He imagined that those parents who sent their children deliberately to Roman Catholic schools because they were satisfied with them would certainly support those schools in their applications for extended facilities under this clause. They would desire the schools to go on as they had done in order that they might secure the teachers in whom they had confidence, and he had no doubt whatever that, although in no sense Roman Catholics themselves, they would, for the purpose of securing the four-fifths facilities, vote with the orthodox Roman Catholic. That was why he could not suppose for a moment that it was true that only one-half of the Roman Catholic schools in the country would receive the benefit of the clause. That some would be excluded he had to admit would be the case, and all he could say was that the clause was an artificially constructed clause. Nobody could deny that for a moment. It sought to secure the largest amount of benefit with the smallest amount of danger. It was asked why the difference was made between an urban and a rural area. It did represent a real and broad distinction, the distinction between the country atmosphere and the town atmosphere, and the Government thought they had arrived at the best possible way of distinguishing between the two areas. If rural areas were included in the benefits of subsection (b), which made it necessary that there should be suitable public school accommodation close at hand, this would give rise to difficult questions. How far off was a country school to be? In the country districts a child was often expected to walk two or two and a half miles. The hardship of that clearly depended on the character of the country and the nature of the roads. He had a case to decide lately as to the continuance of a school in Bedfordshire, where, a village being angry at a proposal to stop their school, an appeal was made to him, and he had to take into consideration the character of the road along which the children would have to travel to another school. It was a high, exposed, bitter, bleak, clay road, which in the months of November and December was a terribly hard road for children to travel along. That was the sort of question arising all over the country when one was dealing with a rural area. Hard cases made bad law, according to the legal maxim. They had to make rules which might be called arbitrary or unreasonable, but they must draw a real distinction between the conditions of town and country life. Without defending the distinction drawn as in any sense a complete and final answer, the Government were bound to make this distinction between town and country, and they had not been able to discover any better way than by limiting these schools to urban areas and defining rural areas as areas with a population of 5,000.


said that this very important Amendment was being discussed under various disadvantages. One of the disadvantages of the discussion had been that the Minister for Education, being human, had to dine like the rest of them, and had not had the great advantage of hearing the Parliamentary Secretary and some of the speeches made from his own side in support of his own proposals. The hon. Member for Barnsley had probably by this time discovered that he was really arguing in favour of the Amendment and against something which was not the Amendment at all. He had also probably impressed upon the Government in private what he had forcibly impressed upon the Committee that there was a district in his constituency excluded from all the advantages of Clause 4. It was to be feared he was going to be disappointed; that he was going to be thrown over and that the too severe Minister for Education, faithfully followed by his cohorts on that side of the House, was going to sacrifice Barnsley. He sympathised with Barnsley; but it would be unfair not to give a similar word of condolence to Leek, for the other Gentleman who got up to speak for the Government—the hon. Member for Leek—had explained that there were two small Roman Catholic schools in his constituency which under the Bill of the Government would be entirely sacrificed; and, ardent as he was in opposing the Amendment, anxious as he was to support the Government, he earnestly pleaded for some mercy for the schools going to be sacrificed. His sympathy with Barnsley he extended in the same whole-hearted manner to Leek. Really it was peculiarly unfortunate that the only two Gentlemen who had supported the Government should have been obliged to explain how much the measure of the Government would injure their own constituencies. He did not know whether they were fair samples of the generous support which the Government at present seemed to anticipate. If he came to the independent supporters of the Government, and to the argument they had advanced against his hon. friend, and if he came to the Government themselves and their own account of the reasons which had induced them to make this exception in favour of urban areas, there were two speeches to be considered—the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary and the speech just delivered. The speech of the Parliamentary Secretary was an interesting one, and gave many statistics in a form not usually very clear; but he really gave them only two arguments for the differentiation between urban and rural districts. The first was one held in common with the Minister for Education, but the other, which for some reason that Minister did not repeat, was that the ballot was an instrument suited to the intelligence of the urban district but that the stupid rural parent could not be asked to vote by ballot as to the kind of education he desired his child to have. That was not very complimentary to the rural parent, and it seemed rather like a serious indictment of the Ballot Act, but it was wholly unfounded. He suggested that there should be no ballot at all if that was too delicate an instrument for rural districts. A more serious argument was advanced by the Minister for Education. He, throwing over the Member for Barnsley, admitted that the Amendment did not touch areas where there was no alternative school, but only where there was such a school, but he said how difficult it was to determine in the country whether there was or was not an alternative school, that the macadam in the road had to be considered, whether the pathway was wet, how many stiles had to be crossed, and all the other difficulties incident to rural locomotion. Without arguing upon these difficulties, he asked did not similar difficulties arise in regard to urban districts? Responsible educational authorities had made tremendous fuss over the fact that to get to a certain school children had to cross a big, much-frequented thoroughfare, and there were other obstacles. So that in town as in country it was not merely a question of distance, and if a distinction was to be founded on the difficulty in finding an alternative school there were similar difficulties in towns. If then there was no distinction between town and country, what arguments were left for the Government? There was no distinction, and he thought it was perfectly obvious from the speeches made and from the clause that the sole reason why the Government had introduced this arbitrary division between areas in both of which were alternative schools was that only by drawing such a distinction could they do a good deal for the Church of Rome—only by drawing such a distinction could they do great injury to the Church of England. The right hon. Gentleman had admitted that 25 per cent, of the Roman Catholic schools world be excluded by this clause, but he explained that the clause was so ingeniously drawn that only 9 per cent, of their children would be excluded Why was that an achievement? The only possible explanation of its being an achievement was that the Government had contrived to find a line which would include most of the Roman Catholic children and exclude an enormous number of Church of England children. There were many rural areas where there were alternative schools, where four-fifths of the children belonged to the Established Church, where the Church had built and had maintained the schools. On what principle were they to be excluded? The only possible answer was that the Government deliberately intended this Bill to be a blow at the Church denominational schools, and the only limitation which they had put on themselves, or which had been placed upon them, in the degree to which they meant to injure the Church schools was the fact that if they went beyond a certain point the injury to the Roman Catholic schools would be intolerable. They had an opportunity of adopting the principle, which even if adopted would inflict great hardship on Church schools in single-school areas, that wherever there was an alternative school and wherever there was a desire on the part of the majority of those attending the school to have denominational religion that desire should be satisfied. That principle was plain, intelligible, and easily acceptable. Why did not the Government accept it? If Members opposite did sincerely desire, and he knew many of them did, that there should not be in the face of the Bill any provisions clearly and obviously aimed at the Established Church, if they really did desire that there should be no bitterness inflicted on the Members of that Church, was not this the least they could give? They could not pretend that it was unjust or that any Nonconformist child or parent was injured, and yet, while they redressed no grievance of those whom they were bound, he admitted, to represent in this House, why should they gratuitously inflict upon the members of one Church an injury which they were anxious to avoid with regard to members of the other Church, and which they were only prevented from avoiding wholly by the fact that they could not give everything which the Roman Catholics asked for without giving a great deal to the Church of England? It was quite true that only 9 per cent, of the Catholic children were injured by this clause as it stood, and that, therefore, by the Amendment they would only benefit 9 per cent. of the Catholic children. But it was also true that the absolute number of Church of England children and parents who would be benefited was far greater, and was it

really to be argued that, while they agreed that there was a grievance on the part of the Roman Catholics, the Government refused to redress it for fear that in doing so they would do a similar act of justice to the Church of England? The matter would not bear argument for a moment. It was persecution, and gratuitous persecution. No principle that had ever been proclaimed on any Nonconformist platform would be violated by the granting of this concession. No mandate that any human being had ever pretended was given at the last election would be violated. There could only be one motive for refusing it, and that motive was to injure the Church of which so many of the opponents of the Government were members.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 344; Noes, 186. (Division list, No. 153.)

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E. Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Adkins, W. Ryland Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.
Agnew, George William Brace, William Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Bramsdon, T. A. Cowan, W. H.
Alden, Percy Branch, James Crombie, John William
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Brigg, John Crooks, William
Allen, Chas. P. (Stroud) Bright, J. A. Crossley, William J.
Armitage, R. Brocklehurst, W. D. Dalziel, James Henry
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Brodie, H. C. Davies, David (Montgomery Co.
Ashton, Thomas Gair Brooke, Stopford Davies, Ellis William (Eifion)
Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert H. Brunner, J. F. L.(Lancs., Leigh) Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Astbury, John Meir Brunner, Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Bryce, Rt. Hn. Jas. (Aberdeen) Dickinson, W.H. (St. PancrasN
Baker, J. A. (Finsbury, E.) Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Buckmaster, Stanley O. Dobson, Thomas W.
Barlow, John Emmott (Somers't Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Duckworth, James
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Chas. Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness
Barnard, E. B. Byles, William Pollard Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)
Barnes, G. N. Cairns, Thomas Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Cameron, Robert Dunne, Maj. E. Martin (Walsall
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Carr-Gomm, H. W. Edward, Clement (Denbigh)
Beale, W. P. Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard K. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)
Beaumont, H. (Eastbourne) Cawley, Frederick Ellis, Rt. Hn. John Edward
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham Channing, Francis Allston Essex, R. W.
Beck, A. Cecil Cheetham, John Frederick Eve, Harry Trelawney
Bell, Richard Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Everett, R. Lacey
Bellairs, Carlyon Churchill, Winston Spencer Faber, G. H. (Boston)
Benn, John W. (Devonport) Clarke, C. Goddard Fenwick, Charles
Bennett, E. N. Clough, W, Ferens, T. R.
Berridge, T. H. D. Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W. Fiennes, Hon. Eustace
Bertram, Julius Cobbold, Felix Thornley Findlay, Alexander
Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford) Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Foster, Rt. Hn. Sir Walter
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Collins, Sir W. J. (S. Pancras. W Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Billson, Alfred Cooper, G. J. Fuller, John Michael F.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Fullerton, Hugh
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordsh.) Corbett, CH (Sussex, E Grinst'd) Gibb, James (Harrow)
Gill, A. H. Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Roe, Sir Thomas
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. Lyell, Charles Henry Rose, Charles Day
Glendinning, R. G. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Rowlands, J.
Goddard, Daniel Ford Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Runciman, Walter
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Mackarness, Frederic C. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Greenwood, Hamar (York) Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Samuel, Herbt. L. (Cleveland)
Grey, Rt. Hn. Sir Edward M'Arthur, William Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Grove, Archibald M'Callum, John M. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill M'Crae, George Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester
Gulland, John W. M'Kenna, Reginald Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton M'Larne, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Sears, J. E.
Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. M'Micking, Major G. Seaverns, J. H.
Hall, Frederick Maddison, Frederick Seely, Major J. B.
Harcourt, Rt. Hn. Lewis Mallet, Charles E. Shackleton, David James
Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Manfield, Harry (Northants) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r) Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick B.)
Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston Ship, Dr. John G.
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Marnham, F. J. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Harwood, George Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Simon, John Allsebrook
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Marsie, J. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Haworth, Arthur A. Menzies, Walter Sloan, Thomas Henry
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Micklem, Nathaniel Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Helme, Norval Watson Molteno, Percy Alport Snowden, P.
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Mond, A. Soames, Arthur Wellesley
Henderson, J M (Aberdeen, W.) Money, L. G. Chiozza Soares, Ernest J.
Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.) Montague, E. S. Spicer, Albert
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Stanger, H. Y.
Higham, John Sharp Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.
Hobart, Sir Robert Morrell, Philip Steadman, W. C.
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Morse, L. L. Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Hodge, John Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Holden, E. Hopkinson Murray, James Strachey, Sir Edward
Holland, Sir William Henry Myer, Horatio Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
Hooper, A. G. Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Summerbell, T.
Hope, John Dean (Fife, West) Nicholls, George Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hope, W.Bateman (Somerset, N Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncaster Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Horniman, Emslie John Norman, Henry Tennant, Sir Edw. (Salisbury)
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Norton, Capt. Cecil William Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nuttall, Harry Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.
Hudson, Walter O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Thomas Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Hutton, Alfred Eddison Parker, James (Halifax) Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Hyde, Clarendon Partington, Oswald Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E
Illingworth, Percy H. Paul, Herbert Thorne, William
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Paulton, James Mellor Tomkinson, James
Jackson, R. S. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Torrance, A. M.
Jacoby, James Alfred Pearce, William (Limehouse) Toulmin, George
Jardine, Sir J. Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Jenkins, J. Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampt'n Ure, Alexander
Johnson, John (Gaetshead) Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Verney, F. W.
Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Pollard, Dr. Vivian, Henry
Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonshire) Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Kearley, Hudson E. Price, Robert John (Nor'olk, E.) Wallace, Robert
Kekewich, Sir George Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford Walsh, Stephen
Kelley, George D. Radford, G. H. Walters, John Tudor
Kincaid-Smith, Captain Rainy, A. Rolland Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Kitson, Sir James Raphael, Herbert H. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Laidlaw, Robert Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Rees, J. D. Ward, W. Dudley (Southomptn
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Rendall, Athelstan Wardle, George J.
Lambert, George Renton, Major Leslie Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Lamont, Norman Richards, Thos. (W. Monm'th) Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Richardson, A. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington) Rickett, J. Compton Waterlow, D. S.
Lehmann, R. C. Ridsdale, E. A. Watt, H. Anderson
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Weir, James Galloway
Levy, Maurice Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee Whitbread, Howard
Lewis, John Herbert Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'rd White, George (Norfolk)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hn. David Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) White, J. D. (Dumbartonsh.)
Lough, Thomas Robinson, S. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Lupton, Arnold Robson, Sir William Snowdon Whitehead, Rowland
Whitley, J. H. (Halifax) Williamson, A. Wodehouse, Lord(Norfolk,Mid.
Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Wills, Arthur Walters Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Wiles, Thomas Wilson, HenryJ.(York, W.R.) Woodhouse, Sir JT. (Huddersf d
Wilkie, Alexander Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Williams, J. (Glamorgan) Wilson, J.W.(Worcestersh. N.) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr.
Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton) Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
Williams, Osmond (Merioneth) Wintrey, R. Pease.
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Fardell, Sir T. George Mooney, J. J.
Ambrose, Robert Farrell, James Patrick Morpeth, Viscount
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fell, Arthur Murnaghan, George
Anstruther-Gray, Major Ffrench, Peter Murphy, John
Arkwright, John Stanhope Field, William Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield
Ashley, W. W. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Nield, Herbert
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt, Hon. Sir H Flavin, Michael Joseph Nolan, Joseph
Balcarres, Lord Fletcher, J. S. O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid.
Baldwin, Alfred Flynn, James Christopher O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (CityLond.) Forster, Henry William O'Brien, William (Cork)
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Ginnell, L. O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester Glover, Thomas O'Doherty, Philip
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Haddock, George R. O'Donnell, T. Kerry, W.)
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Halpin, J. O' Dowd, John
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hammond, John O'Hare, Patrick
Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Hardy, Laurence(KentAshford O' Kelly, James(Roscommon, N.
Benn, W.(T'w'rHamlets, S. Geo. Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. O'Malley, William
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hay, Hon. Claude George O'Mara, James
Blake, Edward Hayden, John Patrick O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Boland, John Hazelton, Richard O'Shee, James John
Boyle, Sir Edward Helmsley, Viscount Parker, Sir Gilbert(Gravesend)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hervey, F.W.F.(BuryS. Edm'ds Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlington
Bull, Sir William James Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Percy, Earl
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh.) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Burke, E. Haviland- Hogan, Michael Power, Patrick Joseph
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hornby, Sir William Henry Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Carlile, E. Hildred Houston, Robert Paterson Rawlinson, John Frederick P.
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward H Joyce, Michael Reddy, M.
Castlereagh, Viscount Kennedy, Vincent Paul Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Cave, George Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Redmond, William (Clare)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Keswick, William Remnant, James Farquharson
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Kilbride, Denis Roberts, Chas. H. (Lincoln)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J.(Birm. Lane-Fox, G. R. Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Clancy, John Joseph Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Roche, John (Galway, East)
Coates, E. Feetham(Lewisham) Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lee, Arthur H.(Hants.(Fareham Russell, T. W.
Cogan, Denis J. Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt. -Col. A. R. Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Courthope, G. Loyd Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin,S. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Craig, Capt. James (Down. E.) Lundon, W. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Craik, Sir Henry Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Crean, Eugene MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cross, Alexander Macpherson, J. T. Seddon, J.
Dalrymple, Viscount MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down,S. Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East)
Delany, William MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.) Smith, F. E.(Liverpool, Walton)
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway M'Calmont, Colonel James Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Dillon, John M'Hugh, Patrick A. Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Dixon, Sir Daniel M'Kean, John Starkey, John R.
Dolan, Charles Joseph M'Killop, W. Sullivan, Donal
Donelan, Captain A. Magnus, Sir Philip Sutherland, J. E.
Doughty, Sir George Marks, H. H. (Kent) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv.
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Mason, James F. (Windsor) Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Duffy, William J. Meagher, Michael Thornton, Percy M.
Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan Meehan, Patrick A. Turnour, Viscount
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Faber, George Denison (York) Middlemore, John Throgmorton White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Mildmay, Francis Bingham Williams, Gol. R. (Dorset, W.)
Willoughby, de Eresby, Lord Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir
Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.) Young, Samuel Alexander Acland-Hood and
Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart- Younger, George Viscount Valentia.

Question put, and agreed to.

And, it being after Eleven of the clock, the Chairman left the Chair to make his Report to the House.

Committee report Progress; to sit again To-morrow.