§ Postponed proceeding on Amendment to Question [7th May], "That the Bill be now read a second time," resumed.
§ Question again proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question."1565
§ * MR. MASSIE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)
I am sorry that the noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone has left the House, as I am desirous of offering some answer to his remarks. I do not doubt that the noble Lord wished to be fair-minded; but I hope he will forgive me for saying that his training has not been conducive to that end. To have belonged from birth to a privileged Church makes it hard to be fair to what are deemed the inferior sects. Most of our Church of England friends wish, of course, to be just; but privilege is a bad training for understanding what justice and equality mean. The noble Lord was quite right in saying that the Bill is not primarily an Education Bill. But it is a preparation for education. Certain obstacles in the way have to be removed before education can go forward. The dual system and the religious difficulty are two of these obstacles; and a political reform has to be carried out before an educational one. We wish the sphere of education to be a field and no longer an arena. The noble Lord has cast reflections upon religion in the United States of America. I know something of the United States. Of course, there is no Established Church there, but I hardly suppose the noble Lord would argue that it is on that ground that there is less religion; if he did so, it must be due to Anglican self-complacency. I cannot as an Englishman claim for England this superiority. What right have we to boast that we as a nation are more religious than America or the Colonies? The noble Lord quoted the diminished number of scholars in American Sunday schools, but he gave us no statistics. Even if he did so, we should then have to ask what are the real causes of this decrease. It is not fair to conclude at once that it is due to secular education in the primary schools—;a secular education, let me add, that is supplemented, in most schools, by the reading of the Bible and prayer at the opening of the school. There is no comparison between the strength and organisation of the American Sunday schools and of Sunday schools in England. In America such schools are highly organised, are carefully superintended by the clergy and the denominations, and are attended by all classes, not merely 1566 by the children of the poor as in England. And I believe that, if Sunday schools in England were better organised, and if the churches, to use Milton's phrase, were to resume their "deputed duty," religion would be deeper and more enduring. The noble Lord has asserted that undenominational teaching is the teaching of Nonconformity. I remember that on a former occasion the noble Lord admitted that this undenominationalism is not professed by any church. How does he reconcile these two statements? But the very basis of Nonconformity is the objection to the connection of Church and State. That is taught in no syllabus in any school. One of the chief features in the Congregational system is the autonomy of each local church. That is taught in no syllabus in any school. The Baptists believe that the baptism of unintelligent infants is a ritualisic superstition, and that baptism is for adults when they made their personal confession of faith. That is taught in no syllabus in any school. These instances will suffice to show that undenominational teaching is not the teaching of Nonconformity. There is a certain unity, a unity of spirit, among various Nonconformist denominations, a unity exemplified in the Free Church Catechism in which the special differences are omitted. And I feel sure there is a similar unity of spirit among the various sections of the Anglican Church, in spite of the gulf that separates such men as Lord Halifax and Mr. Webb Peploe, and such organisations as the English Church Union and the Church Association, the Protestant Alliance, and the Society of the Holy Cross. But, looking at this gulf, we are entitled, when there is talk about definite Church teaching, to ask what this definite teaching is. There is another speech to which I wish to draw attention, the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, the Member for West Birmingham yesterday. The course of this debate may well give colour to the view of those despairing people who believe there is no solution of the education difficulty, and who even think it would have been better for the State not to touch education at all. There has been the reappearance of the same old difficulties still unsolved. The same old 1567 clouds have flitted across the sky. The monotony has not been varied except by an occasional shooting star. Yesterday, however, we had a comet. Its appearance has been refreshing, even though its tail has been considerably curtailed. But it has been born out of due time. Its proper astronomical year should have been 1902. Why has it come so late? It was in 1902 that it ought to have portended secular education and the abolition of tests. However, better late than never; we have been glad to welcome the comet. Some of its features are, if I may coin a word, quite cometic. It has been instructive and suggestive to hear the right hon. Gentleman's apology for clericalism. He appears to defend it on the ground that it is not French, that is, not Catholic in a Catholic country. Now, when we attack clericalism, let it be understood we do not attack a Church. Clericalism is a spirit and, though differing in degree, it is always the same. It is not merely opposed to law, as the right hon. Gentleman has said it is in France; it is, as Gambetta has said, opposed to independence, to enlightenment, to stability; This spirit becomes incarnate in opportunity. In France it has tried to seize education. Its first step is opscurantism, its next, subjugation or persecution. We have bean rebuked for saying that clericalism in England seeks only public money. I am not satisfied to make that charge; it seeks power, superiority, the maintenance of its own prestige. The right hon. Gentleman's illustration of clericalism is the political dissenter. He is as well aware as I am that the Church of England is essentially political. It is a State Church and cannot help being political, and its political position is represented by the bishops in the House of Lords. The right hon. Gentleman has thanked God for the House of Lords. Surely that House is the last refuge of the destitute democrat. It must be a democrat's experience that, if the House of Lords rejects a measure, it is likely to be a good one. And the right hon. Gentleman is, of course, aware that the Upper House would be opposed to his secular solution, being accustomed to stand up for the Established Church and to keep in their place the hostile sects, including that body to which I 1568 suppose the right hon. Gentleman still belongs. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham has maintained the right of the parent. Well, this is a free country, and every parent has a right to teach his child the religion he prefers, or to provide for such teaching, or to withdraw his child from any teaching he dislikes. But he has no right to coerce the State into arranging, providing, or paying for his particular religion. The parent is only a part of the State; he cannot make the State his slave; it is for the whole State to decide how far it can go to meet the parent, and what is in this respect best for the nation as a whole. Any class whispering the word conscience may, according to the new doctrine, impose itself upon the nation. Is there to be no judge of such claims on the part of conscience? Are they final, whether the conscience is enlightened or not? The right hon. Gentleman the late Prime Minister now goes the same length, perhaps further, in maintaining the right of the parent. But how much did he do for the parent in 1902 in the 8,000 districts in which only one school is available, and that usually an Anglican school, to which Nonconformist parents are under compulsion to send their children, who are there subject to Anglican teaching or condemned to no religious instruction at all? That he has not removed this grievance has been one of the late Prime Minister's omissions, omissions in spite of his docile majority in the House of Commons and his facile majority in the House of Lords. If the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham could be called a missionary, the right hon. Gentleman the late Prime Minister, though he can lay no claim to Irish extraction, may be called "The O'Missionary." The right hon. Gentleman has found fault with the prohibition of teachers giving denominational instruction. This has been described by another hon. Member as "meanness." But at the meeting of the National Union of Teachers at Scarborough the executive brought before the general body a resolution to the effect that all denominational teaching should be given by other than the teaching staff. Teachers themselves, therefore, are in favour of this prohibition, this meanness. The reason 1569 is that they look below the surface and see the working of the opposite policy, how it practically reimposes tests, how it affects the teacher's independence, since pressure can be put upon him to undertake such teaching; and how it will affect his reputation for impartiality among parents of different religious views if he seems to take sides. It may not make much difference in towns, but in rural districts the danger is acute. For similar reasons of independence and impartiality the permanent staff in the various Government departments are not allowed to take sides in public political controversy. There is no suggestion that there is meanness in this. The right hon. Gentleman approves of the abolition of tests for teachers. But in his plan he is providing a reason for prying into the teacher's belief even at the time of his appointment. When the right hon. Gentleman expressed his approval of the abolition of tests, there was no cheer from the Party behind him. This silence suggested the query, "Who are the 'we'?" And even now the House is not sure whether the "we" is editorial or monarchical. Does the dual system obtain in the Unionist Party? Or is it a case of "I and my King"? But the right hon. Gentleman's own proposal is for the secular solution, the State keeping itself entirely outside the teaching of religion. This is logical enough, if the logic is not pushed to absurdity. The right hon. Gentleman's objection to the Bill is that it is illogical. So is his own proposal. He himself admits that there is a serious difficulty in its way: that it cannot be carried in the country, and that if the religious teaching is not compulsory it may be given to empty benches. So he proposes to get over the difficulties by compelling attendance, that is, by using the attendance officer as a recruiting sergeant; and also by bringing in the secular teachers as police to keep the children in order. But I would ask—;are the children to be brought before the magistrates if they neglect to attend the religious teaching? And what is to be done with the teachers if they also decline to be police? And if the children are not to be summoned, how long will the system last? This is, after all, using the State in connection with the religious teaching 1570 it is not therefore to the point to twit those of us who are Liberationists with the names of Dale and Richard. But it is clear that the right hon. Gentleman is in favour of the two main points of the Bill—;public control and the abolition of tests. The rest of the Bill is subsidiary to these. I can therefore claim that the right hon. Gentleman should vote for the Second Reading, and try to amend the Bill in Committee.
§ * MR. BURDETT - COUTTS (Westminster)
I should like to send a ray of hope to one or more of the eighty-seven hon. Gentlemen who I understand are still anxious to address the House in this debate, by saying that I shall only stand for a very short time between them and their desire. That promise will only enable me to take one or two points in this great subject, which interests me, like many other hon. Members who have been directly and practically concerned with it for many years. I must repudiate the suggestion of the hon. Member for Northampton, which has already been rejected by the noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone, that a member of the Church of England who opposes this Bill must necessarily be permeated with sacerdotal or clerical prejudice or with that kind of disloyalty to his own faith which is indicated by leanings towards Roman Catholicism. I have no such prejudice, still less any such leanings; yet I strongly oppose the Bill. I oppose it in the first place, because it does not effect its primary object, in support of which little has been said in the course of this debate, the settlement of the religious difficulty. The Bill is not an Education Bill, in the ordinary sense. It is a Bill to settle the religious difficulty. The right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education, in the most striking passage of his opening speech, in terms excluded, one by one, all those objects one would expect to find in an Elementary Education Bill, as making for the improvement of elementary education, and then described its real purpose. He was—;a reed shaken by the wind amongst the icy blasts of sectarian differences.andUntil we build and maintain a national shelter against these devastating blasts we shall make small progress and have no peace.1571 That is fine language, instinct with the true literary spirit. But fine language and literary merit apart, where is the national shelter against the icy blasts of sectarian differences that is to he constructed out of this Bill? What is the use talking about keeping the icy blasts out, when within you make your whole system a hot-bed of sectarian differences? The Bill does that by setting up four different ways of treating the religious difficulty: No religion; syllabus religion; mixed syllabus and denominational religion; four-fifths schools with complete denominational religion—;at the will of the local authority. You reduce the schools throughout the country to a common level, and place them under the same set of authorities, abolishing the foundation managers, and thereby wiping out from 14,000 of them all the old traditions and influences and sincere and often tender attachments which gather round a familiar and trusted management, and which I believe—;and have known—;are an inspiration to childhood, and a pride in after life, replacing them by the dull monotonous, impersonal routine of county council or borough council managers. And in these schools thus levelled down you set up these four different methods of dealing with the religious difficulty, each one of which is bound to inflict injustice upon at least some of the children, or the parents of some of the children attending very school that come under it. And that is called settling the religious difficulty! Not one of these four different methods is the only just and adequate one; that, with no obligation to anyone to accept religious instruction at all, with full freedom of conscience and full power of withdrawal, parents should have the right to have their children instructed in the faith to which they belong. In spite of the derision of the right hon. Gentleman the Chancellor of the Exchequer with regard to that right, we claim it because it is consistent with liberty, justice, equality, and freedom from strife both to the individual and to the State, because it is the only logical solution for a country in which denominational religious teaching has always formed a part of elementary education, and because it is the only barrier against 1572 the inevitable outcome of this Bill, which the Government dare not face—;purely secular education.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, in speaking of the "right of entry," of which he drew an appalling picture, used some singular terms. He talked about "branding the children with the letter of their denomination" as if it were something to be ashamed of to belong to a denomination. [MINISTERIAL cries of "No, no."] Yes, the very word "brand" implies shame. I do not believe the denominations with which the right hon. Gentleman is politically connected regard their religions in that light. And then the right hon. Gentleman went on to talk about teaching children the difference between denominations instead of the points on which they agreed. But that is simply begging the question whether denominations are a good thing or not. There is no such question before us. Denominations do exist; and we have to deal with the facts of the case. Once we adopt the principle of right of entry, applied within reasonable and practicable limits, difficulties present themselves, but they are only mechanical and structural. An extra room or two added here and there, even an omnibus or two where necessary to convoy children—;as they do on the Continent—;to special denominational schools, is all that is wanted in most cases. As to the cost of the teacher of the religion, if he is not to be found in the school, there is hardly a place in the country where you could not find some earnest qualified denominationalist who, for a few pounds a year, would be glad to come in and give all the denominational teaching that is wanted. I believe the extra £1,000,000 a year now promised would cover the whole thing; but in any case the difficulties, such as they are, are not to be weighed for a moment in the balance with the great principles of the maintenance of religious education, equality of treatment to all denominations, and respect for the rights of conscience. The point, whether the cost should be borne by the State and the rates or by the denominations, is a matter to be decided by the light of two considerations. If borne by the State it would be a State recognition, stronger and more acceptable to many people than the establishment, of the value 1573 and power of religion—;not this or that religion but all real religions—;in the history, the life, and the destinies of the British Empire. But there is a second reason that appeals to me strongly. If cast on the denominations it would not matter to the Church of England; but it would matter to the poorer denominations, and it would not secure to all that real equality of treatment which I, for one, desire to see. The eloquent and pathetic history given by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool, of the building of the Catholic schools in this country, still echoes in our ears, and I know it has its counterpart amongst hundreds of thousands of poor Dissenters who have made equal sacrifices for the preservation of their forms of faith, which are just as dear to them as in the case of the Catholics. As to teachers I subscribe to everything that was said by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham about the prohibition of teachers from teaching religion. It is not only illiberal and illogical, but I think it has not yet been pointed out in this debate that it is the strongest encouragement you could give to the clerical elements becoming predominant in our schools. I subscribe, too, to what the right hon. Gentleman said about "tests" on teachers joining the great public service of the teaching profession. But I think that in schools built by and mainly devoted to any particular denomination, their traditions, character, and purpose should not be violated by a head teacher of any other denomination being forced upon them.
With regard to syllabus teaching, an extraordinary attack has been made that because we desire to teach a faith that is founded on the Bible therefore we are opposed to Bible teaching. That is a monstrous suggestion. What is really the position of denominationalists in this matter? It is that Bible teaching is and always must be a matter of how the Bible is taught; and that we prefer the form of teaching, the lessons and doctrines drawn, which compose both the foundations and the superstructure of the religion to which we belong, to which our fathers and forefathers belonged, and in which we wish our children to be brought up. We believe, each of us, of whatever denomination we may be, that a greater authority belongs to this form 1574 of Bible teaching than to any that a county council—;even the county council of Hampshire—;can invent or sanction. But because we believe that, to say that we are opposed to Bible teaching, is surely the last resort of prejudice, or Party tactics. I must leave the question of education if I keep my promise. But not the Bill; for I want to say a word or two about two great and grave public evils, outside education, that are certain to flow from it. The confusion this Bill sets up in the matter of religious instruction carries the spirit of sectarian animosity beyond the sphere of education. It forces that spirit in its most poisonous form into every representative local authority in the country, and the "wrangling," the "insincere issues," the "miserable squabbles"—;to borrow from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for India—;will be planted upon the borough councils for ever, and enter into every election to them. You will have men elected to those bodies, not because of their personal fitness to take part in local government; or their tried service in that sphere; or because they will raise the rates or lower them; or because they are for or against municipal enterprise; but simply because of their religious opinions. That will be the crucial test of every man's fitness for a position which ought to be concerned with purely civil functions. I venture to think that no measure could have been more ingeniously devised to deal a fatal blow to the real interests of local government in this country, or to impair and confuse the full and free expression of the representative principle on which it was based. That is Part I. of the Bill. I will point briefly to another grave injury connected with Part II. The Government's intentions with regard to endowments are shrouded in mystery. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has made an attempt to explain, but he had in no way cleared up this question. The Bill gives the right to deal with endowments wantonly and violently. But all we know is that the Government is going to tamper with them; and that for this purpose they have set up a tribunal never known to English law and never dreamt of by justice-loving Englishmen, and one from which there is no appeal. What effect do you think this sort of legislation will have upon that great system of testamentary generosity to public objects, 1575 from which the less fortunate classes in this country have derived such incalculable relief and benefit? Do you think the system will be maintained? Do you think people will continue to leave their money to legitimate specific objects, for the public good, when they see that at any moment, at the fleeting fancy of a Party majority, the lawful conditions on which the money was left can be violated, and the bequest seized for some other object? A great change in testamentary benevolence is certain to date from the passing of this Bill.
* MR. LLEWELLYN WILLIAMS (Carmarthen District)
I have one qualification for intervening in this debate which fortunately has been denied to every other Member of this House, and that is that I have listened to every speech which has been delivered upon this Bill. I do not claim that as an exercise of exceptional virtue on my part or that it is due to an overmastering desire to hear the view of every hon. Member on this Bill, but hon. Members who desire to speak, Mr. Speaker, have to go through the gymnastic feat of trying to catch your eye. I think after that experience I am able to congratulate the Minister for Education and the Government upon the reception of their Bill, in this House and in all quarters, for what has struck me is the undercurrent of acceptance of the two main principles of the Bill which has run through every speech that has been made. The majority of the speakers both above and below the gangway on both sides of the House have accepted popular control and no religious tests. If I might be allowed to make an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman who represents the Government in this matter, I would ask that after the Second Heading has been carried, considerable liberty of action and of speech should be allowed to hon. Members on this side of the House, when we come to discuss the details of the measure in Committee. I venture to think that if the right hon. Gentleman and his Government will see their way to do that, they will not only add to the value of the debate but improve the chances of the Bill, and they will evolve a measure which will be a settlement of this question for many long years to come. I do not pretend for a moment that this is a Bill which in all its features is wholly satisfactory. It is 1576 a Bill prepared by a Government, composed of Anglican Roman Catholics, Scotch Presbyterians and English and Welsh Nonconfomists, and, as the Secretary of State for India said the other night, of more than one Agnostic. It is impossible to think that a Bill of that sort would receive the unmixed approval of every Member of the House, and I, as a secularist, do not view with unmixed approval all the provisions laid down in this Bill. As a public man, however, I have to look at the question not merely from the theoretical, but also from the practical standpoint of facts as they are to-day. What is it that has made this Bill necessary? In a word, it is the Act of 1902. That Act not only devastated the whole realm of education, but it impaired and hampered the whole work of local government in the country. It is not too much to say that in many large districts it has brought about almost a state of civil war. There are over 60,000 passive resistors, respectable citizens who allowed their goods to be distrained upon rather than pay rates under the Act of 1902. Moreover 600 law-abiding citizens preferred to go to prison rather than pay those rates, and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Dover has reminded the House of what has happened in the county councils in Wales. There was such a feeling in Wales with regard to the 1902 Act that, but for the intervention of the President of the Board of Trade, Wales would have been practically in a state of civil war. I remember, and a good many other hon. Members remember, what happened in Wales during the Tithe War. That was confined to three or four counties, but in order to keep peace 600 police had to be brought down on one occasion and on another the military had to be called upon. Now if the President of the Board of Trade had not induced the Welsh County Councils to act as they did, what would have happened under the Education Act would have been that the police and the military would have been called in, and if that had happened the state of Wales would, as I have said, have resembled a state of civil war. That was the state of things which confronted the Government, and it was to remedy that state of things that this Bill was introduced. If we were 1577 dealing with this matter for the first time, I may say, that I should be entirely in favour of secular education. But we do not come to it fresh. We have to deal with an urgent situation. Public opinion in this country I believe has not advanced enough to enable us to deal with education on purely secular lines. But there is such an emergency now that we must have a Bill passed dealing with the situation, and in my opinion, at this juncture, this is the best possible Bill that can be brought forward. Not only that, I would welcome any Bill which might be introduced, even if it did not go to the full length of secularism, which contained proposals which did not make against secularism. From that point of view, I think this Bill does take a step in advance in the right direction when it provides that no teacher shall be forced to teach religion, and that simple Bible teaching shall be henceforth given out of school hours. I welcome this Bill from another point of view, and that is that for the first time it gives to Wales autonomy in regard to elementary education. We have had in Wales autonomy in regard to university and secondary education, and as my right hon. friend said on Tuesday, four-fifths of the children in the secondary schools are drafted from the elementary schools, and it is a matter of urgent necessity that the same body who have authority over secondary education should also have authority over elementary education. There can be no doubt and no controversy in this matter, because not only have throe out of the four Welsh Bishops and two Roman Catholic Bishops, as well as Nonconformists and members of the Welsh county councils met at Cardiff and passed a resolution in favour of this autonomy, but last year the late Government offered to Wales the same sort of council with much the same sort of powers which this Bill confers.
§ * SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
I must call the hon. Member's attention to the fact that what was really proposed was a joint committee of the Welsh local authorities under Section 17 of the Act of 1872. It was an absolutely different thing from the proposed council for which no one is going to be responsible to this House.
* MR. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS
I cannot say who is going to be responsible to this House, but there must be some one.
* MR. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS
You will see it when the Order in Council is made. It is not suggested that the whole constitution of the Council is provided for in this Bill. The right hon. Gentleman trusted the Welsh County Councils and allowed them to enter into Committees and gave them powers.
* MR. LLEWELYN WILLIAMS
I do not wish to labour this point now; suffice it to say that it is a point to which we attach much importance. It is said that, this Bill provides for Nonconformist teaching in the schools. I repudiate that statement with all the strength and earnestness in my power. What the Bill does is to perpetuate the system of "Bible teaching" which was first established by the Cowper-Temple Clause. Who was Mr. Cowper-Temple? He was not a Nonconformist. He was a Churchman, and that clause was assailed by Edward Miall and Henry Richard, and outside this House by the greatest leader of political dissenters that this country has seen, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham told us yesterday that lie stands in exactly the same position upon this question as he stood thirty years ago when he entered this House. I am delighted to hear it. I have been out of sympathy with the right hon. Gentleman for some years past. He has wandered very far from the views which won my boyish admiration in the early eighties. The defender of the surrender of Majuba has become its avenger. The protagonist of free trade has become its antagonist. But on questions of religious liberty he has kept his record clean. In 1895 he voted for the Second Reading of the Welsh Disestablishment Bill. I suppose that we shall not find him to-night in the same 1579 lobby with us, but when we see him disappearing into the "No" lobby between the stalwart forms of the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool, who, on a historic occasion, compressed into a single word his opinion of the right hon. Gentleman, and the hon. Member for East Mayo, who was once described by the right hon. Gentleman as a very good judge of traitors, we his old followers and admirers will have the proud satisfaction of knowing that though he is absent in the body he is with us in the spirit.
Now one word with regard to the religious test. That is a question with regard to which Nonconformists and Liberals can have no compromise with any section of the House. It is one of the main principles of this Bill. The record of the Nonconformists in this matter is very creditable. They not only fought against the disabilities to which they were subjected, but they also fought unremittingly for Catholic emancipation in this country. In spite of the fact that no section of this country was more averse to the doctrines of the Church of Rome than the Protestant Nonconformists of England and Wales, they never allowed any sectional animosity to interfere with their desire to do justice and right to their Catholic fellow-countrymen. And when any occasion has arisen in the country or in this House to remove disabilities—;to open the portals of this House to the Jew, the Catholic, or the Agnostic—;the Nonconformists of England and Wales have always been true to their principles that religious conviction should be no bar to citizenship. I listened with great pleasure but with some discouragement to the excellent speech delivered on this question some days ago by the hon. Member for the Salford Division, and I was startled at the way in which the position of the Catholics was put. He said they are a people apart, a peculiar people, they are like the Jews—;immune from obligations and entitled to privileges which other citizens cannot claim. He lumped all the Protestants of this country together. He saw no difference between the Welsh Nonconformists worshipping in a foreign tongue, and the Anglicans of England, but he did see a great difference between the high Anglican and the Roman Catholic. I 1580 repudiate that entirely. Any claim of that sort made on those lines is a claim which must end in peril to the State. I could put forward such claims for Welsh Nonconformity if I cared to do so. There are between 70,000 and 80,000 Welshmen living in London to-day, and it is computed that 50,000 of them are people who use Welsh as their familiar speech. What have they done in London in the last thirty years? I venture to say that to the Welshman his Nonconformist Church is as dear as is the Catholic Church to the Irishman, and the thing which is next dearest to his heart is the language—;the language of his home and of his worship, his differentia among the nations of the world. When he comes to London and other large towns to settle, he is as anxious as any that his children shall be brought up not only to worship in his own religion but to worship in his own tongue. But he does not come to this House and ask the State to regard him as being in a different position from others. In the last thirty years the Welshmen in London have erected twenty churches where their children are taught to worship not only in their own religion, but in their own tongue. I do not put forward any special claim for exceptional treatment on behalf of my co-religionists and compatriots. With regard to Clause 5 of this Bill it is a clause that has strained almost to breaking point the loyalty of a great many Members sitting on these benches. I am myself prepared, if that clause is accepted as a settlement of the claims put forward, to vote for it. But if that clause is to be extended so as to make mandatory what is now only permissive, it will get rid absolutely of one of the great principles of this Bill. I do not think hon. Members from Ireland would thank me for not dealing with this point frankly and candidly. If we are to arrive at anything like a solution, and a settlement for some years to come, of this educational question it is only by a frank interchange of opinions across the floor of this House that it will be done. With regard to the first part of Clause 4 which it has been suggested should be made mandatory, I admit that when once you extend the principle of facilities at all it will be difficult to insist on its permissive character. With regard to the other half of that clause where permission 1581 is given to teachers in the "extended facilities" schools to give definite religious instructions, I not only say that it ought not to be made mandatory but that it ought not to be permitted at all. When once you permit teachers in these "four-fifths" schools, as they are called, to impart definite religions instruction it will be impossible for you, and every Member from Ireland says so too, and the hon. Member for Salford said so once or twice in the course of his speech, to leave out of consideration the religious convictions of your teachers, and in that roundabout way you will be imposing these religious tests on thousands of civil servants. If that is to be done I should prefer it to be done frankly and openly and not in a roundabout way. If the first part of Clause 4 is made mandatory no teacher will be safeguarded in regard to what is one of the main principles of the Bill, namely, that there shall be no religious tests at all. Though I have spoken as a secularist, I am a secularist because I believe in religious education. Cromwell was once reproached for not employing gentlemen as officers in his army. He replied that he preferred russet-coated captains who knew what they fought for and loved what they knew, Religion can only be taught by those who know what they teach and love what they know. There are two ways of getting to know whether a man who teaches religion really believes in the religion he teaches. One way is to impose a test—;a very imperfect way, because, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer said this afternoon, for the honest man it is not wanted and the dishonest man will evade it; the only other way is to place religious teaching on a voluntary basis. The statement was made by the hon. Member for North Camberwell that if you withdraw religion from the schools there will be thousands of poor little children in this country who will grow up in an absolute ignorance of God. If that be true it is a terrible indictment of our boasted Christianity, but I do not believe it for a moment. A few months ago I had the privilege of attending some Welsh revival meetings, and what struck me most of all was the ease and range of the Biblical knowledge that was displayed by the working-men and working-women who took part in that revival. All the Biblical quotations were in Welsh, and I asked myself, how did 1582 lose men got their knowledge of the Bible? It was not in the day schools, for even if the Bible is taught in the day schools it is the English Bible. No, it was at their homes or Sunday schools that they learnt their Bible, and I venture to say that if the blighting hand of the State is taken away from religion, if Christian denominations and Christian men and women of this country are allowed to feel that they alone are responsible for religious teaching in this land, the cause of religion will not suffer, but religion will be strengthened and purified, the sectarian animosities will tend to become obliterated, and Christians will at last begin to remember that their Founder came to bring peace on earth and good will among men.
Mr. MIDDLEMOEE (Birmingham, N.)
The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down began his speech by affirming that this Bill had met with the unanimous assent of this House. Hardly wore those words out of his mouth when ho proceeded to appeal to the Minister for Education for much liberty of action in Committee, and he seemed to hint that he himself had some Amendment he wished to propose. I do not think the Bill has met with any general assent even on the Ministerial side of the House. The hon. Member for North Camberwell wished to amend it, the hon. Member who sat immediately in front of him and spoke for the Roman Catholics wished to amend it; the Irishmen wished to amend it; and certainly it has caused universal dissatisfaction on this side of the House. I do not believe it is accepted in the country. The Bill seems to be simply intolerable. It proposes to establish or to give a paramount position to what is called undenominationalism—;a religion of the local authority. It forces that religion on those who do not wish it. It denies freedom to worship God to the section of Christianity in England to which I belong. It denies this freedom in the very schools that we own, and it forces on those schools another form to which they are unaccustomed. It does not ask what the parent wants; it asks simply what the local authority wants. It does not even give the local authority freedom. It denies them the free use of creed or formulary. Most undoubtedly this Bill is specially-directed against the Church of England. 1583 Why does not the Government, with its enormous majority, disestablish the Church, and thus settle the education question, and leave the sacred things within the Establishment alone? Why does it strike at the Church rather than the Establishment? Why does it stab the body rather than the clothes? It seems to me that you who attack the Establishment are about to erect another Establishment. In one or two particulars this is most certainly a Dissenting form of Establishment. The Church of England can hardly teach without formularies; a Dissenter can hardly teach with them. And, again, it is certainly a form of teaching which most of us who belong to the Church of England repudiate, and which most of the Gentlemen opposite accept. It is a step towards secularism, which the country certainly does not want. If the children need not attend school for religious instruction you practically delegate the authority and the control to the boys and girls at school to settle. I remember somewhere that Plato says that if a philosopher and a confectioner were to enter a Grecian schoolroom, and were to appeal to the suffrages of the boys, the confectioner would most undoubtedly be selected. And if religious education or any form of instruction comes into competition with the playground you may be sure that it is the instruction, religious or otherwise, that will suffer. Children need not attend instruction, and to teachers who do not believe in that instruction you will entrust the future greatness of England. I can only say that hon. Gentlemen opposite do not teach their own children in that way. They send them to receive instruction from those who believe what they are teaching. With reference to tests, you may have a test which is unjust. If you said that no teacher should enter the teaching profession who did not belong to the Anglican form of religion it would be a gross injustice. But the teachers having once entered the profession, where is the injustice to assign those who believe in Anglicanism to Anglican schools, those who believe in Romanism to Roman Catholic schools, and so on? For myself, I venture again to assert that this question can only be settled by conferring the full rights of citizenship on every religious denomination. I would frankly surrender those schools in towns like East- 1584 bourne and elsewhere, when they are redundant; I would give the right of country in the country. The Minister for Education said that was frankly impossible, and the President of the Board of Trade also made a remark to that effect. Why is it frankly impossible? Take the speech of the President of the Board of Trade yesterday. It seems to me that the first part entirely eviscerated the last. He said, on the one hand, that you cannot lump Dissenting forms of Christianity. He said, on the other hand, that divisions are breaking down. You do not value religion like the old-fashioned Dissenters who suffered for it. Do you value religion for its own sake as your spiritual ancestors did? If not, can you value religious equality as they did? How did the right hon. Gentleman the Minister for Education commend religion to us? He said he recommended it to us because it idealised life, and the hon. Member for North Camberwell recommended it because he said it added to the beauty of life. All I say is, Well done religion! if it idealises and beautifies life. But it will not beautify and idealise life unless you have it for its own sake, and believe it for its own sake. Unless it is believed in for its own sake it will be founded on insincerity and will degenerate into a puling sentimentality. See the abyss that separates the right hon. Gentleman from us. We know that in religion we are standing on the very rock of life, and that we are in direct and personal touch with its one overwhelming reality. No wonder then you are willing to confiscate our form of religion. If the promoters of the Bill regarded religion not as a mere alternative to art or beauty, but as the one absolute sacred thing of life, as a solitary relation between God and man, they would then treat every form of religion with reverence, and they would not lay their blighting hand on the Anglican form of religion, because the representatives of the Church once in their inequity laid their forbidding hands on Nonconformity.
§ * MR. VILLIERS (Brighton)
I should naturally be diffident of entering into this debate, were it not that having had some experience of educational matters, and having myself been a manager of several schools in different parts of the country, I think I may claim to know 1585 something of the subject now before the House. The few criticisms of the Bill which I propose to make I make in no unfriendly spirit or in a spirit which fails to appreciate the difficulties which the framers have had to encounter. I believe it has been said that when Jove carved the Geniuses, he made critics of the shavings. And on this occasion I consider myself only as filling the humble role of a shaving. The Government has made an honest attempt to deal with a complicated problem, a problem easy to understand, but difficult to solve. They have inherited a Tory tangle so impossible to untie that many knots may have to be cut. I take it that this Bill establishes the fact that the State is the grandparent of all, and, having taken up that position, the State should most assuredly treat all its children fairly and without favour. [OPPOSITION cheers.] I am glad to hear those cheers, because before it can do this it must redress any injustices which it finds existing between them. The first clause of this Bill, which places all schools under popular control, does this most efficiently. No longer will one denomination be denied a fair share in the management of the schools to which it subscribes. And the Church must recognise this as the result of its own action. The Church gave up its independence when it accepted assistance; it lost its head when it asked for alms. And when it insisted on an unfair representation on the board of management it caused that popular outcry which has resulted in this Bill. I am not concerned at the heroics emanating from the prelates. Their cry seems to be more for the Church than for religion. One of them actually said that their Church schools were built to avoid simple Bible teaching. If simple Bible teaching is considered by him and others like him to be a kind of poison, why in the name of conscience have they not removed Church children from board school teaching, as they might have done under the Conscience Clause? I can understand the Ritualists, who are Romanists in almost everything but name, objecting to simple Bible teaching without the priestly interpretation of it, but I have never been able to understand why the Cowper-Temple instruction should not be acceptable to the Low Church party. I cannot help thinking that had the Royal Commission on the illegalities in the Church, which is now 1586 sitting, issued their Report, we should not have witnessed the Dean of Canterbury and Lord Halifax on the same platform in opposition to this Bill. That the Commission has not reported up till now, I may mention in passing, I consider nothing less than a scandal. Be that as it may it is only my opinion; I will return to the Bill. I am not concerned, in spite of the eloquence of the right hon. Member for Dover, at the outcry against desecration of ancient trusts—;an objection which reaches the high water mark of antiquated Toryism. I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that his own leader not only committed but confessed to this crime in his Bill of 1902. In any case I hold that nations must alter their condition as they grow. The dead hand must give way to the living body. I would also point out to the right lion. Member for Dover the absurdity of championing at one and the same time the ancient unalterable power of the trust and the inalienable right of the parent. Did the trust over consider the parent? Certainly not. It never considered the parent at the time and it could not possibly do so in the future. The two principles are diametrically opposed and incompatible. The one is typically Tory and the other is distinctively democratic. This Bill very properly disregards the doctrine of the infallibility of the trust and it unifies education.
But when I come to the solution of the religious question, I do not consider that the Bill is quite so satisfactory. I rejoiced to hoar in the speech of the Minister, for Education when presenting the Bill that he had decided in favour of a religious and not a secular settlement. I am of opinion that education is no education that does not include religion. Secular education by itself is knowledge without principle. Of what use is it to inform the mind of a child if you do not form his character? You may get a statue without breath—;you may have a perfect penny-in-the-slot machine, but does that come up to a living salesman? You must have religion in the schools, and the teaching must be given in the school during school hours. "Leave the religious instruction to the parents," say the secularists, but that would be to remove thousands of children from any religious instruction whatever. How fan n woman who has 1587 to wash and cook, or who works in a factory, teach her child daily religion or ethics? The secular solution is what the Minister for Education wishes to avoid, but this Bill, in my opinion, will lead to that result while appearing to preserve the people from secularism it is really driving them into it. It allows the withdrawal of the child from the school while religious instruction is going on, and it enacts that no teacher in any elementary school shall be required to give religious instruction. With teachers who need not teach, and children who need not attend, what chances are there of much religious instruction being either given or received? Then, indeed, hushed will be the familiar hymn, and banished the opening prayer. Coals to the parents and sweets to the children, a small additional fee to the teacher to compensate for a longer lie in bed in the morning, would be but poor substitutes for compulsory attendance during the hour of religious instruction. They would hardly prevent the parent from working the child, or the child from preferring the playground. And as to the permission of entry before school hours granted to some denominations in Clause 4, without compulsory attendance, it is not worth the paper it is written on. They already have that right both before and after school by the terms of their lease, if they can only persuade the children. The facilities conceded by Clause 4 are also illusory in other ways. Firstly, they are negatived at the will or the whim of the local authorities; secondly, they are not allowed in the rural districts, no matter how strong the denomination may muster; and thirdly, they are not to apply if the numbers fall short, even by one, of the required four-fifths. All these things operate very harshly. I also object to hustling the poor one-fifth out of the school, either to walk half a mile further, or cross, perhaps, three more dangerous crossings with the alternative of being brought up either as little Anglicans or Roman Catholics.
So much for criticism. I have Bovrilised my remarks as far as possible so as not to take up the time of the House. Now for a few suggestions from one, who though prepared to vote for the Second Reading, is determined to press Amendments in Committee, No doubt State secular 1588 teaching, with right of entry to all denominations in school hours as put forward by the Member for West Birmingham, is in principle perhaps the most logical solution. But it is not a practical one. The Nonconformists could not supply the daily religious teaching, not possessing either the endowments of the Church or the sisterhoods of the Catholics. I see no better present arrangement therefore than for the State to supply Cowper-Temple teaching—;a teaching agreeable to the Noncomformists and not antagonistic to other Christian Creeds—;as supplementary to denominational teaching which may be given and paid for by religious bodies in school hours. Having established the principle of popular control in the management of the schools, I would consider the wishes of the parents in the religious instruction of the children. I would give the right of entry to denominations in every school in the country, rural and urban, provided and transferred. Cowper-Temple instruction being given also in every school would obviate the necessity of removing the minority where a minority existed, and a coercive denominational canvas would be avoided, as there would always be an alternative for the parents. Of course, where you have a school of five-fifths of one denomination, as there would be in many Jewish and Roman Catholic Schools, that denomination would teach its own creed five days a week, and there would be no necessity for Cowper-Temple instruction in that case. The Chancellor of the Exchequer this afternoon brushed this idea of right of entry on one side, but he will have his separate pens on the two days a week, under the facilities contained in Clause 3, and I cannot help thinking that his difficulties to a general right will prove to be more in imagination than in fact. I do not claim for these suggestions that they are entirely logical, but Englishmen, it is said, love the Bible and hate logic. At this moment they are seriously concerned that each child shall be brought up with some knowledge of the relations of the creature to the Creator, and of time to eternity, with its consequent influence over conduct and character. They are also concerned that all sectarian, tests and unfair disabilities should be removed from public servants, when engaged by the local authority. And 1589 they are concerned that no avoidable hardship or injustice should be suffered by any individual or denomination in the State. Perfection is impossible. My suggestions are a compromise. But I sincerly hope that in Committee this Bill will be so amended, on these lines, that while it may not be a final settlement of the question it shall not be a "penal settlement" for anyone concerned.
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR (City of London)
The hon. Member who has just sat down in the earlier part of his speech expressed profound surprise that the Low Church Party of the Church of England should oppose this Bill. He admits, I gather, as, indeed, any one acquainted with the facts cannot but admit, that the opposition to this Bill is as strong with the Low Church Party as with any other section of the English Church, and that no man has used more vigorous language about its demerits than the leader of the Low Church Party in England, the Bishop of Liverpool. But surely the latter part of the hon. Member's speech supplied the answer to the first part? If I understood his criticisms of the Bill correctly, there would not be one line of it left after his Amendments were carried out. There is not a single leading provision which he does not wish to see altered. He desires to see religious teaching made compulsory, that it should take place in school hours, and he took one after another of the clauses to show how little they came up to his idea of what religious education should be. I hope that will convince him that the Low Church Party, as well as other Parties, are not without justification when they see in this Bill a great threat, not merely to the Church to which they belong, but to the whole interests of religious education, from whatever point of view considered. Before I come to narrower criticisms of the Bill, it is only courteous that I should reply to two Gentlemen sitting on the front Opposition Bench—;I mean that I should reply to two Gentlemen hitting on the Government Benches who have made some utterances of mine outside the House the special subject of hostile criticism. I have been read a moral lecture by that fairest of all controversialists, the President of the Board of Trade, upon the misrepresentation which he alleges I have committed with regard to that clause in the Bill for which ho publicly claims paternity. I never heard 1590 before of one Member of a Government saying, "That is the clause for which I am responsible"; but the right hon. Gentleman has made that particular claim and has alleged that I have done injustice to the child of his affections. I said that that clause, so far as education is concerned, was Home Rule for Wales in educational matters, and no human being reading that clause without comment or assistance from extraneous utterances could attach to it any other interpretation whatever. For the clause, if it does anything, declares that while the administration of the education law in Ireland, England, and Scotland is committed to a department representing which there is a responsible Minister in this House—;[NATIONALIST cries of "No, not in Ireland."] I have had to answer in too many Irish education debates to accept that interruption; but, at any rate, even those hon. Gentlemen who criticise my statement as regards Ireland, will not deny that my statement is accurate in regard to Scotland and England. And this clause—;I forget its number, but, at any rate, it is the right hon. Gentleman's clause—;is one which does establish administrative autonomy for Wales while leaving every Welsh Member at liberty in this House to criticise the administration of education in England, Ireland, and Scotland. How the fleshless skeleton of the clause is to be clothed we cannot tell, but, as we find it, I stated its purport perfectly accurately, and I do not feel disposed to withdraw a single word that I said about it.
So much for the first of the moral lectures that I have received. The second was couched in impassioned tones by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who was indignant that. I should have suggested that this Bill was directed against the Church of England. If it were worth while, I could quote utterances of Members of this House very much in that direction. But I do not wish to drag in independent Members of the House. I root my case upon the terms of the Bill itself. Of course I do not attend Cabinet Councils, and I do not know what fervent protests in favour of the Church of England were made by the right hon. Gentleman. I judge by the terms of the Bill, and can anyone, looking at them, doubt that the Church of England was intended to receive worse treatment than 1591 either the Jews or the Roman Catholics? The Chancellor of the Exchequer told us this afternoon that the reason why there had been special arrangements made under Clause 4 was partly because the Government wished to give special privileges to the Roman Catholics and the Jews, and because having given them to those denominations it could not well withdraw them under the same conditions from the Church of England. That was in itself a suspicious admission. But he further told us that the justification for giving these special privileges under Clause 4 was that in towns of over 5,000 inhabitants there were alternative schools almost always to be found, and there were schools in which a very large proportion of the children belonged to one denomination. If the Bill had intended to be fair as between denomination and denomination, if the privileges given under Clause 4 were not given grudgingly to the Church of England, because they could not be refused, having been granted to the Jews and the Roman Catholics, why was this limitation of 5,000 inhabitants placed upon the measure? The two principles laid down by the Chancellor of the Exchequer were that there should be an alternative school, and that a large proportion of the scholars should belong to one denomination. Are those attributes to be found in no schools outside the 5,000 limit? They are to be found in Church of England schools in large numbers, but not in Jewish or Roman Catholic schools. And had this Bill been really impartial between these branches of the great Christian Church, I cannot understand why Clause 4 should not have been framed openly so as to give the same privileges as you give in towns of over 5,000 inhabitants wherever the conditions exist which you thus specially favour. I do not attribute to the right hon. Gentleman motives which he has repudiated; but he will admit, after my statement of my reasons for making my assertion, that, not having access to his innermost soul, and not being the confidant of his affection for the Church of England, I was not unjustified in putting an interpretation on it which I am now ready to withdraw in his favour.
Now, Sir, the President of the Board of Trade, in a speech of eloquence and violence, made an elaborate attack upon the Act of 1902. I do not quarrel with his dealing', with the Act of 1902, 1592 because I believe this question can only be understood if it is dealt with historically. I do not agree with his criticism, as I shall show in a moment, but I think he was justified in dealing with that Act. But I suppose it was the force of long habit, the memory of innumerable speeches made in the same congenial field, which prevented him from going beyond the Bill of 1902 and coming to the Bill of 1906. Indeed, in all his eloquent oration, I was unable to discover a single attempted answer to the criticisms that we have passed upon the measure for one part of which he is in his individual capacity responsible, and for all the parts of which he has collective responsibility. I have said you ought to approach this question historically, and so you ought. The Member for the Louth Division of Lincolnshire, if he will forgive me for saying it, had the amazing courage to describe the Bill now before us as a moderate and reasonable measure very unlike the Bill of 1902. Well, Sir, let hon. Gentlemen reflect upon the position we were in in 1902. In 1902 the education system of this country was a by-word to every educationally advanced nation of the world. It was a matter of derisive laughter. ["Oh."] The hon. Member who interrupts me will be surprised to hear that I mean secular education. There is such a thing as secular education, and our system of secular education was a by-word amongst every advanced country in the world. It had to be dealt with in a broad and comprehensive spirit. Secular education was dealt with in a broad and comprehensive spirit, and on the foundation then laid you, the majority, are going to build up anything you can do, if you can do anything, to improve the existing educational system of the country. You have not attempted, you do not mean to attempt, to alter it; you are wise not to attempt to alter it. It remains the broad basis upon which secular education for our children and, I believe, for our grandchildren is going to be framed. Now, Sir, we could not deal with the great secular needs of this country without touching the question of the voluntary schools, which educated more than half the children of this country, and we could not touch the question of the voluntary schools without touching the question of religion. Are hon. Gentlemen 1593 so ignorant of what that Bill contained as really to suppose that we dealt with the problem which we could not put on one side in otherwise than a liberal spirit?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I ask the hon. Gentleman. We found an Act in operation dealing with the voluntary schools and the board schools, an Act proposed by a great Liberal Administration. It would have been folly to have attempted some great reform such as that adumbrated by my right hon. friend the Member for West Birmingham yesterday. We could not possibly have dealt with the great problem of secular education which was before us, and at the same time abolish the Cowper-Temple clause and abolish the voluntary schools in their present shape. Both the Cowper-Temple clause and the voluntary schools had to be left. To abolish the voluntary schools and leave the Cowper-Temple clause would have been the grossest injustice to one great body of opinion in the State; to abolish the Cowper-Temple clause and leave the voluntary schools would have been an outrage on another great body of opinion in the State. Illogical though they are admitted to be, both had to be left. That being the case, could we have dealt with the question better than we did? We found under Mr. Gladstone's Act a system under which the pupil teachers in voluntary schools, unless they belonged to the Church of England, could do nothing; we cured that. Under Mr. Gladstone's Act we found innumerable cases in which schools were under the control of one clerical manager; we cured that. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh."] Until one equals six it cannot be denied. We substituted six managers for one manager. We found that, so far as local control was concerned, there was no representative element in the voluntary schools as regards secular education; we made the control of secular education complete from top to bottom in every school throughout the country. We found there was no machinery in existence for adequately training for the teaching profession men who did not belong to the Church of England; we provided machinery by which this teaching for men not belonging to the Church of England could be provided. We found 1594 a large number of parishes in whim might seem to the local authority that the education ought not to be left to the voluntary schools; we gave thorn power under certain, not harsh or stringent, limitations to build another school side by side. In every one of these great particulars—;not details, but vital elements of our education system—;we found a method established by a Liberal Government and we corrected it. [MINISTERIAL laughter.] Can any of the numerous Gentlemen who are not averse from interrupting me, show in any particular how we made it worse for the Nonconformists? [MINISTERIAL cries of "The board schools," and "Putting Church schools on the rates."]
Now that is the system, with its admitted imperfections of the Cowper-Temple clause on the one side, and the single-school area on the other, with which you have got to deal. How have you set about it? I understand from the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other speakers that you have been driven to put before us this strange legislative effort by what you call "the mandate of the general election." It is not often that I have the fortune to agree with the hon. Gentleman the Member for Northampton, but with one ob servation ho made this evening I do heartily agree. He said that this talk of mandates had now reached a point which was really unconstitutional. It would have made Edmund Burke turn in his grave. The logical argument of some of the utterances we have heard to-night on this subject is, as the hon. Member truly observed, that this House might resign its function of discussion altogether and the clerks at the Table would sit simply to record the mandates—;the various and numerous, in fact the almost innumerable mandates, by which we appear to be governed. But in this particular case I do not think we need trouble about the mandate, because it will be admitted that no mandate will be binding which those who give it do not themselves understand; and I have some reason for thinking that the Sovereign people do not understand these two particular mandates to which the Chancellor of the Exchequer made reference, because I observe that their representatives do not understand them. Where the same so-called mandate is understood in quite different ways 1595 by different people sitting in different parts of the House, I think we may rest assured that there was some confusion in the original source from which these mandates are supposed to have derived their authority.
What are those two mandates? They are that you are to establish popular control, and to abolish tests for teachers. Is cither of these understood in the same sense, or in any sense, by the authority? Take popular control. There is popular control now, under the Act of 1902, so far as secular education is concerned. Therefore the mandate must have referred only to religious education. Does this Bill establish complete popular control as regards religious education? The Education Minister has told us that, in his opinion, it is an obligation—;a moral though not a statutory obligation—;upon the local authority to select for particular schools teachers of a particular creed. Does that mean there is complete local control over these schools in religious matters? I should have thought when you were giving mandatory instructions to the local authority that it was to select teachers of a particular religious complexion, you must abandon the claim that you have established complete popular control in religious matters, and if you have ever received the mandate you claim to have received, you stand convicted of disobeying it at this moment.
Then how about the tests for teachers? I think it has been pointed out before, and I think by my noble friend this afternoon, that the only clause dealing with tests for teachers is this—;A teacher employed in a public elementary school shall not be required as a condition of his appointment to subscribe to any religious creed.Does anybody in the House quote an authentic case of any teacher, at any time, being required to subscribe to a religious creed? ["Oh, oh," and "Yes."] I do not at all deny that there may be such cases, and, if so, I do not in the least object to their being prohibited. I think it is a very foolish way of dealing with the situation. But if anybody pretends that it has been a practice of the Church of England or of the Wosleyans—;I am not sure about Roman Catholics; I have been able only to make inquires as to the Church of England—;if anybody supposes it is the practice in Church of England schools to ask a teacher 1596 to subscribe to a religious creed, he is profoundly mistaken. That is the only thing forbidden by the Bill; but perhaps hon. Gentlemen desire that the Bill may be altered, strengthened, and so modified as to include a case which ordinarily does happen, no doubt, in a denominational school—;namely, that the managers of the school, those responsible for the selection of the teacher, do ask if he is prepared to teach the religion of the denomination to which the school belongs, and whether he is fit to teach it.
§ Mr. A. J. BALFOUR
That goes with the question of fitness; no doubt that is ordinary practice. And it is not forbidden in the Bill. Do you want it to be forbidden? Do you? ["Yes."] One Gentleman says "Yes." One faint, solitary voice comes from the whole of that great Party opposite. I abstain from commenting upon murmurs that come from hon. Members upon my observations, but may I not comment on the silence? I should like to know what the general opinion is as to what is admitted to be the ordinary procedure in the selection of a teacher. Whatever hon. Gentlemen opposite may think, the Government, at all events, have made it perfectly clear that they think the habitual practice by which teachers are selected for voluntary schools is justifiable, is not an interference with the conscience of teachers, is not a test within the meaning of the mandate. Then how are we to understand this mandate? Was I not right in saying the House itself did not understand it? If the mandate merely was that the teacher was not to be allowed, in words of the Bill, to subscribe to a religious creed, I, for my part, should regard the clause as perfectly illusory, but perfectly inoffensive. I should approve of it. I cannot conceive why teachers should be obliged to subscribe to these formal creeds, and I do not believe it is practicable to ask them to do so. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh!"] There is one Gentleman who really knows more about it than I have an opportunity of knowing, the hon. Member for North Camberwell, and if he contradicts me and says it is habitual I should say this clause is necessary and desirable.
§ DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)
As the right hon. Gentleman appeals to me, may I say it is quite a common practice in denominational schools for an advertisement to be issued that the teacher must be a member of the Church of England and very often that he must be a communicant?
Mr. A. J. BALFOUE
That is not provided for in the clause, and I do not believe the Government mean to provide for it. I think they are conscious of the extraordinary absurdity of getting teachers, whether to teach Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism or Wesleyanism in these schools under Clause 4, without making adequate inquiries as to whether they really heartily accept the teaching of the denomination whose children are to be committed to their charge. Then, am I not right in saying that these mandates on which you are bringing in this Bill are not understood oven by the House itself and form no adequate foundation for legislation like the present? I am told that we must not be too logical in these matters; and if that moans that it is very hard to frame a Bill dealing with the various passions, interests, and traditions of the sects of this country, which would be on a symmetrical plan, I agree. Unless we come to some such plan as that of my right hon. friend, logic is clearly impossible, but where we might have logic with advantage is in some of the speeches which are delivered on this question. For five years I have been denounced as a violator of the fundamental principles of civil and religious liberty; I have been regarded as, I suppose, the slave of clericalism, the man ready to sacrifice everything for a particular denomination, and in making that sacrifice to violate immutable principles. I think, therefore, we may complain of the want of logic when we find that the very men who on every platform of the country have been hurling these denunciations at my head and at the heads of others who agree with me, are themselves guilty of the very crimes they attribute to me. They themselves are sanctioning what they have described as tests to teachers. They themselves are depriving the local authority of that absolute control over religious teaching which is the only control not given them in full measure by the Act of 1902. This Bill is to cost £1,000,000 a year at a 1598 time when, I understand, we are under the happy rule of a Government pledged to economy, and when we have a nightly Resolution half of which, at any rate, is in favour of economy, however much the other half may be in favour of additional taxation. What are you going to get for this £1,000,0001 We gave in the Act of 1902 more than £1,000,000—;I think it was £1,400,000 a year. That at all events went to education. It went either to lighten the burden or to improve the education of the children of the country. Your million—;what is that going to? ["To the Church."] It is not going to secular education, any way—;not one shilling of it. It is not going to help you to fulfil the mandate, because, as I have explained, you do not propose to fulfil the mandate as defined by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and others. Is it going to help the ratepayer? It is going to prevent the ratepayer from suffering as much as he other wise would by deliberately cutting himself off from the assistance of those ready to assist him; it is not going to make the burden of education, heavily as it presses on many districts of this country, one shilling the better. Is it going to help religious education? Will anybody pretend that after this Bill is passed there will be either in the provided schools or in the denominational schools under Clause 3, or the specially privileged schools under Clause 4, either better education, a better system of religious education, or the prospect of a better system of religious education? Is there any man who has the courage to get up and suggest that that will be the case? I see no respect in which this million of money is going to improve religious education; I see many respects in which it is going to impair it. It is going, for example, to take religion out of the compulsory school hours. Would you encourage arithmetic by taking it out of compulsory school hours? Or geography? Or any subject of secular learning? Do you think you are going to aid religious teaching, which the last speaker and most speakers on that side of the House have told us, in varying but harmonious terms, is the very foundation of religious education, by taking it out of the compulsory hours? No man has ventured to suggest that as a possibility. Do you think you are going to improve it by preventing the experienced teachers in voluntary schools, anxious and ready 1599 to take their place on the two days a week you are going to allow in voluntary schools, to teach the form of religion for which subscribers gave their money? Do you think you improve the teaching of religion by saying to teachers not willing to give it, to some outsider, "You shall give it"? The hon. Member for North Camberwell has only one answer to give to that, and that answer is in the, negative. And are you going to improve religious education by publicly advertising the fact that it is not the House of Commons, or Parliament, that it is not the religious bodies, that it is not the local bodies who are finally to determine whether religious education should be given at all, but the teacher? You have, by the provisions of this Bill, put it in the power of the teacher to teach when he wishes, but you have restricted the absolute power not to teach when he does not wish it. And in doing so you have practically handed over that religious teaching which you all agree should be the foundation of the training of our youth—;you have taken it out of the control of the authorities created by the Act of 1902 and you have given it to a body upon whom I do not wish to make any comment, but in whom, after all, it should not rest to determine whether any and what teaching should be given in the schools. There are gentlemen who tell us that by putting checks on denominational teaching they have greatly improved Bible teaching, as they call it, as a whole. Well, Bible teaching is a most ambiguous term, it may be nothing more than reading to young children extracts from the Bible, without explanation and without comment, treating the greatest and not the easiest book in the world as you would treat Milton or Shakespeare or any other author or body of authors. It may mean, on the other hand, that full dogmatic teaching on which all Nonconformists are agreed. [Cries of "No."] Well, this is out of the explanatory note to the Free Church Catechism—;It is the substantial agreement of the evangelical Free Churches in relation to the fundamental and essential truths of Christianity.It may either be the Bible teaching I have just described or it may be the Hill dogmatic teaching which is allowed in our board schools, because many denominations agree to it, 1600 but which would not be allowed if this very collection of questions and answers had been compiled by the Wesleyans alone, or the Baptists alone, or the Congregationalists alone. They have agreed, and, therefore, under our strange procedure it ceases to be denominational, and it becomes fundamental to Christianity. At all events, it is a full body of dogmatic teaching, and the whole scale is open to provided schools whether they set up teaching which hardly amounts, under certain conditions, to the teaching of religion at all, or teaching with explanation, with comment, and with a view to the great truths which Christian societies have always extracted from the sacred book. Are you going to leave it entirely to the teacher to determine which of these teachings it shall be? You are, under this Bill, leaving it to him absolutely; he has only to say to the local authority, "I am ready to read the Scriptures without comment, but I am not able to give the catechism of the Free Churches," and the local authority has to give in. Is that an advantage for the teaching of religion? I assume, as surely I am justified in assuming, that for your million of money you are not going to get better religious teaching. There is only one thing you could get, and that is I religious peace. Are you going to buy religious peace with this million of money? Do you think you are setting the right way to work to deal with a problem the difficulties of which I am the last to undervalue, because I had to face them—;do you think you are setting the best way to work to complete the labours which the Parliament of 1902 attempted to deal with? I think it is folly. There are gentlemen who seem to think that, while the Jews have a case against school board teaching, while Roman Catholics have a case against it, the Church of England are to allow the Cowper-Temple clause to remain untouched in their schools, and to see with equanimity this diversion of the funds which they have given to the cause of religious as well as of secular education. Nothing astonished me more in the speeches, otherwise very different, of the Minister for Education and the President of the Board of Trade than that neither of those two eminent Gentlemen referred to the fact that the Church of England had spent millions in the cause of secular and of religious education. There were many 1601 compliments, deserved compliments, paid to Gentlemen below the gangway. Does the Church, which boasts the Member for Northampton as one of its members and many Gentlemen on this of the House, deserve no credit for all that it has done? I make an exception, by the way, of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who did full justice to the Church of England. But does that Church not deserve credit, and do you suppose that a Church that has amongst its members more than half the population ["No"] of this country is going to see placed upon it what is a manifest and obvious injustice? If right hon. and hon. Gentlemen came forward and said, "We allow the system is anomalous and difficult, we allow the Cowper-Temple clause on one side is indefensible, that the single-school areas may on the other side inflict injustice on the Nonconformists, we sweep both away," I should understand it; and if they superadded to that broad policy real compulsion for religious education in school hours by those teachers who had the confidence of the parents of the children, then they would come to the scheme of my right hon. friend. And I should say again that is right or wrong, possible or impossible, but at all events Doth a logical and a practical course. But what they are doing satisfies no requirements of the country, it carries out no policy which anybody desires, it does not help the ratepayer, does not help the educationist, does not help the man who desires this undenominational teaching, and it profoundly injures the man who desires denominational teaching. It leaves this question more insoluble, with a future before it even more obscure, more full of doubt and difficulty, than it was before the right hon. Gentleman took this great task in hand. The Government have promised us that they will have an open mind for Amendments; but as was sufficiently clear from the speech which immediately preceded my own, there are no Amendments which will meet the general views of the House which will not tear their Bill to tatters and leave not one fragment or wrack behind as expressing the collective views of a united Cabinet. I doubt whether it is worth while for the Government to go into Committee with the view of modifying their Bill to an extent which alone would make possible a satisfactory solution of this question. It would be a 1602 happier and wiser course if they were to withdraw it altogether and recast it, to adopt new principles. If they think that inconsistent either with sound policy or with their dignity, I can only say that, either in this House or in the country, they are predestined to find arrayed against them forces, both within their own ranks and outside their own ranks, which will compel them to make this measure dealing with religious education something distantly approaching an impartial settlement of the question.
§ MR. BIRRELL
Once more, Sir, at the request of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister, I rise to attempt to do the impossible; for I think even the practised debaters whom I see in front of me will readily admit that to me, at all events, even to attempt to mete out what is called Parliamentary justice—;and at the best it is but a small modicum—;to all the arguments, aspirations, recantations, beliefs and unbeliefs, emotions and sentiments which have found adequate, and sometimes eloquent, expression in this long debate, would be a sheer impossibility without trespassing far longer than I intend to do upon the vast tracts of time which the suspension of the eleven o'clock rule has placed unreservedly at my I disposal. And let mo add that the difficulty of my task, which I cannot pretend not to feel, is all the greater in that I have to follow the late Prime Minister, who is not only, as all admit, a master of dialectics as practised in this House, handling with light grace a weapon which constant use for twenty years has kept bright and keen, but who is also, as all will admit, an expert in the gentle art of how to get an Education Bill through this House, whilst he is a living example of some of the ill-consequences that follow from an ill-considered measure. The right hon. Gentleman has learned in suffering what to-night he has taught, not indeed in song, but in impassioned prose; and I should, indeed, be a very headstrong, very obstinate, and very conceited man, if I did not take to heart some, at all events, of the things that ho has said. The Act of 1902 has cost the right hon. Gentleman and his Party dear. The spectacle to-night of the right hon. Gentleman stranded, as it were, upon one of the rocks on which he ran the ship aground, surrounded by a sturdy band of the survivors of the crew 1603 —;storm-tossed and weather-beaten mariners—;and taking as the text of his wide discourse the very cause of that disaster, may very well afford to all of us food for reflection and very grave deliberation. Even though we are possessed of a great majority, flushed with victory at the polls—;that, I believe, is the right expression—;I can assure the right hon. Gentleman that I am the last man in the world to need to be reminded of the vicissitudes of things, or the mutability of human fortunes. Parlimentary majorities come and go. They vanish like the morning vapour. They shrivel up and disappear like leaves before the wind. I know all that perfectly. But, believing as I do that the main and essential and dominant principles of this Bill—;and it is, after all, these, and these only, we ought to have been discussing during the last three days and a half—;believing that these principles line the path, the in evitable and predestined path, of our political progress in this country, I am well persuaded that this Bill—;faulty as it may be in detail, capable of amendment as no doubt it is—;will promote the cause of peace and education; and I say that because I believe it to be in full accord with the wishes of the nation. I must say that I hardly recognise the now familiar lineaments of this Bill in the speech of the right hon. Gentleman. For myself, I hardly find it possible to believe that the right hon. Gentleman was really referring to it. He asked for a copy in the course of his speech. With some difficulty it was provided for him; but he paid to it but scant attention. I am afraid there is nothing unusual in Party politics with this way of dealing with our rival measures. I was reading only to-day a speech made by the right hon. Gentleman to his constitutents in Manchester in October, 1902, when his own Bill was in straits. Referring to his opponents, the right hon. Gentleman asked whether it was the Bill they objected to, or their own extraordinary travesty, parody, and caricature of the measure. That is the way of Party politicians when they deal with rival measures. I can only describe the right hon. Gentleman's version of this Bill in the right hon. Gentleman's own language as a travesty and caricature.
It has been well said by various speakers that Clause 1 of Part I. is in substance 1604 and effect the whole of that pan of the Bill. But I cannot agree with those who say there is nothing in the Bill except Part I., or that the Bill does not contain many educational provisions of great value and importance also, if our educational system is to advance along proper lines. But, nevertheless, Part I. is the portion which has received the almost exclusive attention of those who have taken part in this debate. Now, nobody denies that Clause 1 of Part I. does secure, will secure if passed into law, complete popular control over all the public elementary schools of the country. We all know perfectly well what it is our constituents sent us here expecting us to do. There never was such a terribly long general election as the one we have just gone through. Those of us who were not in the late Parliament wore before our constituents for something like two and even three years—;a purgatorial process, a tiresome, wearisome operation. All of us had an unusual number of occasions of meeting those who became our constituents in some cases, and discussing these matters with them; and I say unhesitatingly that this Clause 1 was the inevitable outcome of the result of that election.
Now, what follows from Clause 1? I quite know that in addressing the right hon. Gentleman the late Prime Minister I am addressing a man who has pondered and thought over a very difficult problem, who has put forth more effort and devoted more time to it than probably anybody else in this House, namely, to give complete popular control over denominational schools without destroying their denominational character, and remodelling their trust deeds. I have had occasion, and it has been my duty during the last few months, to read the whole of the debates on the Bill of 1902. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for the City of London does not believe it. I can assure him that, with some few exceptions, this statement is practically true. I have lived his life over again during these weary months, and found myself thinking his thoughts. He found the task an impossible one. He did as much as he could. He put the voluntary schools on the rates. He gave secular control, but not including full control over the appointment of the teachers; and he gave the control of the 1605 religious instruction in those schools to a body of managers, of whom, as lie has reminded us, two were the representatives of outside authority. When he did this the right hon. Gentleman tore the trust deeds of the voluntary schools in two. This is the model trust deed.
[The right hon. Gentleman here read the model trust deed; and continued:]
When this question came before the Committee on November 27th, 1902, the aspect of the case did not escape the attention of the hon. and learned Member for North Louth and Lord Hugh Cecil. Lord Hugh Cecil at once pounced upon this strange, new doctrine of appointing a body of managers, some of whom were outsiders and intruders, giving to that body the control of the religious instruction in those schools contrary to the language of the trust. The noble Lord said that they were State schools for State purposes supported by the State—;But was it to lie understood that for the purposes of religious instruction these schools were to he regarded as State schools? … It seemed to him very strange that when they were professing to keep up Church schools they should violate the trust deeds at the tame time in one of the fundamental principles of the Church.The best answer given to that by the late Prime Minister was that—;Trust deeds are things which the House ought to be reluctant to interfere with. But when we are remodelling the system of elementary education in the country I say such a process is absolutely impossible unless you remodel the trust deeds …. The only choice was to leave the voluntary schools outside your educational system, with the voluntary schools untouched, uncontaminated by any interference on the part of the House, and without any part in the education of the youth of the country.We are to-day seeking to complete the happy work of the right hon. Gentleman. We are attempting to make the control complete by giving the appointment of the teacher to the local authority, but we do not destroy—;at least I hope that we do not destroy—;the denominational teaching in the transferred Church schools. We anticipate the continuation of that teaching on two days of the week. It may be asked—;Why two days? Because, after the most careful inquiry, we find that it is only on two days of the week it has been the custom or practice of the managers of those Church schools to give definite Church Catechism teaching. You cannot always be teaching 1606 the Church Catechism. The Prayer Book requires graver treatment and is a better manual even than the Catechism; but any one who has had any acquaintance with the practical details of education must recognise that it would be quite enough on two days of the week to give this definite dogmatic instruction. Clause 3, until it was explained by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his lucid and admirable speech, seems not to have been understood by Gentlemen opposite. I think they must now, at all events, understand its meaning to be plain—;that if the trustees of any school make this particular stipulation, before transfer, that there should be these facilities given on two days of the week, the obligation to permit that teaching becomes statutory. The right hon. Gentleman shakes his head, but I think he will find it is true. Supposing we had stopped at Clause 1. What then would have been the position of the owners of these voluntary schools? They would have had either to transfer their schools, as they can do under Section 23 of the Act of 1870, or to remain outside the scheme of national education altogether. Provision is made in Section 23 of the Act of 1870 for arrangements being come to voluntarily, as in Clause 2 of this Bill, between the owners of the voluntary schools and the local authorities for the transfer of the schools to the local authorities for the purpose of carrying on the work of a public elementary school. It has always been assumed—;I do not know why—;that that bargain must be unaccompanied by any pecuniary consideration, and that the rent must be a peppercorn rent. Therefore, if our Bill had stopped at Clause 1, the owners would have had to transfer their schools for nothing to the local authority, or they would have been obliged to remain outside the scheme of national education altogether. What would have been said if this Bill had stopped at Clause 1? the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Dublin made a speech in the country in which he said that the thing he hated most was the incredible meanness of offering a pecuniary consideration in order to tempt, as ho seemed to suppose, the owners of these schools to violate their trust and to part with their property. But we shall want to know during the course of these debates in Committee who is there competent to represent all these owners. There are 1607 no Members in this House who are able to represent or who say they are able to represent the Church of England; it is a pretty big thing to do. But here we have to deal with a large number of these owners, and we shall want to know their views upon this portion of the Bill, and whether they agree with the right hon. Gentleman whom I have quoted, in thinking that the extraordinarily full and ample provisions which were explained by my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer deserve to be described as incredibly moan. The National Society, which is a kind of trade union for these schools, and represents their interests very ably and astutely, I think, have been accustomed far too long to flourish in the face of the nation somewhat dangerous arguments. I think they have relied a little too long upon the supposed cash value of their bricks and mortar. They have said—;"Here we are; no politician, no Chancellor of the Exchequer, no House of Commons will ever venture to interfere with us. You must not steal us, you cannot do without us, and you are too poor to replace us." I doubt the wisdom of employing arguments of that sort. The credit of this country is still sufficiently good to float a loan and to provide the Chancellor of the Exchequer with a Sinking Fund quite sufficient to enable the country, if it chooses, to acquire and to build buildings of the country's own, and to spend money on our own buildings, and not on other people's. Every parish would then be in possession of a building which would indeed be its own building, and could be put to every kind of important use and play a great part in our village life. I doubt the wisdom of heaping such scorn and ignominy upon Clauses 2 and 3. They were meant to mitigate a certain amount of harshness which I am afraid is inherent in Clause 1. But unless you are prepared to say that the bargain between the voluntary schools and the State made in 1870, upon terms which have been altogether departed from, was an eternal bargain and cannot be altered, that it rivets the existing system upon the State for ever whether it likes it or not—;unless you say that, you will be, I am afraid, obliged to put up with that measure of harshness which usually accompanies the dissolution or abandonment of something which has been allowed to go on for a long time. These 1608 clauses, I repeat, were honestly intended to mitigate that harshness.
Now, we have not heard very much in the course of this debate about Clause 1. It seems to mo that I many of you have allowed it almost to go by default. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, I think, was quite willing to treat it as a necessary and perhaps, after all, no such very bad clause. All the fury of the destructive criticism that has been levelled against this Bill has been levelled against clauses which, as I have already said too often, were intended to do good and not harm. I am glad that we may now consider the so-called "new religion" argument, with all its vulgar jokes, to be at an end. It could not stand against the admirable and convincing language of the present Archbishop of Canterbury. Nobody could get up before a Protestant audience with these syllabuses in his hand—;and I know scores of them every bit as good as the Hampshire syllabus—;and ask people to believe that the teaching therein sanctioned could possibly be described as a "new religion." Those syllabuses are instinct with the Christian religion. They are also, I admit, instinct with the spirit of Protestantism. In the opinion of most of us it would be quite impossible to approach a settlement—;even a partial or a temporary settlement—;of this question unless we recognised the fact that this country of ours is a great Protestant community, bent upon retaining in the education of our children the Bible as the basis of faith and conduct. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech seemed to think there is nothing in this Bill except Clause 4. The general rule of this Bill, as the right hon. Gentleman will see when he comes to read it, proceeds upon quite different lines and does secure in a very real sense both popular control and the abolition of tests for teachers. We are always being told that there are other solutions of this question. For months past I have received twenty letters a day, all beginning by promising, if I will read to the end, I shall find a solution of this problem. Although I have been disappointed hundreds of times, so tempting are those opening words I honestly believe I have read every letter that began by holding out that alluring prospect. The right hon. Gentleman the 1609 Member for West Birmingham intervened in this debate and held out the promise that he knew a method which was likely to produce peace. I listened with all my ears. He shadowed out two proposals. One he did not pursue. It was what is somewhat pedantically called, though not by him, the pan-denominational. There is a sort of notion that it is possible to provide denominational teaching out of the rates for all different sects, and it has been conveniently imagined that were some such proposal the law of the land a great number of sects would retain their total indifference to an atmosphere of a school of their own. I do not think that would be the case. I think that many dissenting bodies, if they thought there was a chance of having their children taught religion at the expense of the rates in buildings erected by the rates, and a teacher of their own paid for out of the rates, who would be a kind of church officer to them in the management of their denominational interest, I am afraid they would prick up their ears and think they were just as much entitled to an atmosphere and a teaching of their own as anybody else. If a Roman Catholic child is not to be offended by hearing an English Sovereign described by a somewhat coarse name, I do not know why a Puritan child should be exposed to the danger of hearing Charles I. referred to as the blessed martyr. There fore I repeat the statement made by the right hon. Gentleman, and so powerfully reinforced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that the pan denominational system in this country is utterly impossible; the people do not really want it, they would not pay for it, and great evil would result from it if it were possible; therefore I am not surprised that the right hon. Gentleman did not press it upon the attention of the House. His other proposal was a tempting one; it was that the State should boldly say, "We will have no concern with religion;" that they should maintain a position of supreme impartiality, making no distinction between the Gospel of St. John and the gospel of Joe Smith, but that they should keep the pit for all comers. Is that not so? That the State should take a position of complete impartiality and have no concern with religion in any shape or form or way, confining itself to secular teaching, keeping open the school for school purposes, but allowing 1610 the creeds of all sects, all denominations, religious or irreligious, whether they commended themselves to the mind of hon. Gentlemen opposite or not, if parents wished for it, to be taught on the school premises out of school hours. ["No,"] In school hours, if you like; but surely the right hon. Gentleman does not propose to compel a Baptist father to send his Baptist child to school not to receive secular instruction, but to be instructed in Baptist doctrine. Therefore it could not be described as compulsory in school hours.
§ Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I cannot go at length into it, but what I said was that, in my opinion, religious instruction should be given in compulsory hours, but that it should be open to parents who did not desire that their children should have religious instruction to ask to have secular instruction given to their children during that time.
§ Mr. BIRRELL
From a selfish point of view, as Minister of Education, I want to know how that would lighten my task. Would Roman Catholics lie content to send their children to what would to all intents and purposes be a Protestant school with Protestant teachers to receive secular instruction from the beginning to the end of their school days, subject only to this, that a priest of their religion might come into that public building for half an hour or three-quarters of an hour—;between nine o'clock and a quarter to ten—;to impart to these children the Roman Catholic religion? They would have nothing to do with it. Their demand, right or wrong, is perfectly plain and intelligible. They require that they should be permitted to have their own Catholic schools for their children, with Catholic teachers, and they probably rely much on the general effect of being taught even secular subjects by a Catholic teacher and being associated with children brought up on the same lines, venerating and respecting the same things. Therefore, so far as they are concerned, they would not acquiesce in the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman.
I do not know what authority the right hon. Gentleman may now have in Church circles. I quite ague that Church-people have made great sacrifices for these voluntary schools, and 1611 I am very sorry—;it shows how second thoughts are sometimes the worst—;I have laid myself open to the charge that I never recognised the great sacrifices they have made or what the country owes to the exertions of the clergy of the Church of England in this matter of education. I thought of doing so, and then I confess the idea occurred to me that I should be accused of using fine language when I was introducing a measure which Church-people would not receive with any very great favour. It was purely from a feeling of that kind that I abstained from paying that tribute. After all, there is something to my mind offensive in a Minister of the Crown paying a tribute to a great Church like the Church of England. I do not suppose any words of mine could by any possibility really affect the question. At the same time I can honestly say that I recognise to the full, knowing of my own knowledge how devoted many clergymen have been, the sacrifice they have made for the maintenance of their schools. I want to know, Would these clergymen, would the owners of these schools, be satisfied to allow a Unitarian to come to teach his particular doctrine in their schools; would they wish to see it done; would they like to see a Baptist come in and teach that infant baptism is almost idolatrous? What sort of reception should I have mot with from them if I had put forward that proposal? Look at the proposal of this Bill compared with that. Look at Clauses 2 and 3. Apart from the question of the employment of the teacher, which I admit is a very serious matter, under Clause 3 a great many of these schools will go on just as they have gone on before. People talk as if the Church of England had no hold in this country, no power; as if it had not got great control, as if the teachers were not by a largo majority members of the Church of England, and as if the local authorities were all bands of Nonconformists, and the county council thought of nothing but how to benefit Little Bethel and Ebenezer. That is not my experience of county councils at all. They are apt to be conservative bodies. They are, at all events, divided in political opinion the county councils I know certainly are of a very conservative character. But, however that may be, I am perfectly satisfied of this, that there is no more peace in the proposals of the right hon. Gentleman than I was able to discover 1612 in the thousand and one suggestions made to me in this matter.
I have no desire to argue this question about the inalienable right of the parent. I was, I admit, covered with humiliation and shame when my right hon. friend the Member for Dover, whose acquaintance with the bypaths of literature oven in its humblest manifestations is so extensive, read out to the House a note of mine, which I was foolish enough to inscribe on a page of Boswell. He read it out to the joy and triumph of my opponents and the mute confusion of my friends. But mo it covered with shame, for that note was meant to be a piece of withering sarcasm, I fear at the expense of the prelates of the Church of Rome and the Church of England. I thought when I composed it that I had really done rather well, until it was my fate to hear it read out solemnly to the House of Commons with all the magnificent elocution of the right hon. Gentleman as being the sober, solemn expression of my own deliberate opinion. Henceforth I must leave irony to Dean Swift. From all the deputations and petitions I have received the conclusion was forced upon mo that the Protestant parents of this country desire their children to receive a Protestant education based on the Bible, and that those Protestants—;and there are countless thousands of them - who are deeply attached to the Church of England desire their children to be taught the Catechism and the Prayer-book, and the Roman Catholics and Jews desire their children to be taught, as far as possible, when circumstances allow, in their own schools by their own teachers. In this Bill we have done our best to meet the desires of all those classes; and I believe when the proposals of the Bill come to be considered it will be found that we have gone a, long way towards doing it.
With regard to Clause 4, many remarks have been made upon the observations I addressed to a deputation from the Jews. I did not know reporters were present. Sometimes at these deputations they are present, sometimes not. I do not see them. They are concealed about the premises. Had I seen them very likely my language, although in substance and effect it would have been the same, 1613 might have been pared of some of the expressions used and which the hon. Member for Cork, who is a great judge of language, described as picturesque However that may be, I said what I meant and I meant what I said to that deputation. The Government intended, when they caused that clause to be drafted, that it should be a real, and in no sense an illusory, clause. If the clause assumes the shape it does, it is because we believed that on the whole it was more likely to be effective in the form in which we drafted it than if we had, as has been suggested, made it mandatory. All I can say is that the intention was that in these four-fifths schools, after their character has been determined and ascertained in a public inquiry, which is compulsory, although the machinery may come out different from that which it now is—;the result is intended to be the same with regard to the religious teaching which goes on and the teachers who give it. With regard to the figure of 5,000 there is no magic in figures, but there is a very great difference, as all Nonconformists know well, between the atmosphere of a town or a populous district and the atmosphere of a village. The clause is intended to be a charter of educational freedom to the villages. I entirely agree with what fell from the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham when ho said how idle it is for people who feel a grievance to try to explain it to a person who has never felt it; and perhaps there is not much use in doing so. It is idle to deny that in villages Nonconformists have for many a long year had a very hard struggle for their existence. The ivy-mantled tower of the church, the pleasant rectory, and the eaves and gables of the schoolhouse, instead of being to the Nonconformists symbols of a common Christianity, have been symbols of strife and contention. It may sometimes be that strife and contention is not a suitable atmosphere for the production of all the Christian virtues. I am not going to say that Nonconformists may not have erred at times and been bitter in spirit. Those who know the circumstances of their lives and the hard struggles they have had for the maintenance of their Nonconformity cannot wonder that they rejoice at the opportunity now being offered to them 1614 to acquire in their village life freedom in the educational system and at the joy and pride they feel in the sense that it may be their own.
Now, Sir, I have spoken longer than I had any right to, and I hope I may be permitted before I sit down to make one appeal to this House in my character as Minister for Education. The one great thing we have acquired during the last six-and-thirty years of our educational system—;the asset of the greatest value of all is the undoubted fact that we have at last established within the minds of the children of the parents of this country the habit of school going. It is an awfully difficult thing to intro-duce a new habit into the lives of our stubborn race, and it has taken years and years to do it, but we have done it at last. The records of average attendance have steadily improved year by year. Even in London, where there are all sorts of temptations to keep children away from school and to employ them in profitable jobs, the average attendance is 88 per cent., and in some parts of the country it is over 90 per cent. I do think we are able to say that, at last, we have introduced into this country what will prove to be a great boon and an enormous benefit to future generations—;the habit of school going. I do not believe it is compulsion, I do not believe it is compulsory hours, I believe it is because the children have grown to be fond of going to school, grown to be fond of their teachers, and they go willingly. ["Oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen are sceptical, they believe that these figures at which I rejoice are all the result of police, and that if the children were left alone, and the parents, none of them would go at all because they are indifferent to education. I repudiate it. It is entirely false. We heard from a Labour Member this afternoon, the Member for Blackburn, the statement that he rejoiced to notice that the working-classes of this country were more and more conscious of the enormous benefit of education, more and more determined that their children should have it. That is the cause of this enormous increase, this steady, constant increase in the average attendance in our State-aided schools. What I want to point out is that it would be a terrible disaster were there to be any gap in that system, even 1615 for the shortest time—;were any alterations made in our system which made it difficult for any portion of the community, I care not who or what it is, to continue to send their children to school. As the Minister for Education, I cannot honestly or conscientiously make myself responsible for any such hideous gap, because I should feel that the habit once broken would probably be with great difficulty restored, and all the good we have been doing during the last thirty years might be hastily and unnecessarily undone. I therefore do hope that this Bill, when it comes to be discussed, will be discussed in a spirit of peace, and with the fixed and determined desire that so far as possible all the children in the country should still continue to enjoy the blessings of education. Knowledge and learning nobody need be afraid of. After all, all creeds, all Churches, all claims to authority which Churches possess, must ultimately be tried by the test of reason. A man does not submit to the Roman Catholic Church by the abrogation of his reason; ho practices his reason on the question, and his reception into the Church and his acknowledgment of the authority of
the Church flows from and is the natural consequence of an act of reason which he has asserted. Knowledge and learning nobody need be ashamed of. The wisest man that ever sat in this House, I think I am right in saying, certainly the wisest man who ever sat in this House as Member for Liverpool—;I mean Francis Bacon—;employed words with which I will conclude—;
There is no power on earth that setteth up a throne in the spirits and souls of men, and then in their cogitation, imagination, opinions, and beliefs, but knowledge and learning.
Let us then adhere to schools, and to our school system, and in all our legislation, in all our quarrels and wrangles, and all our disputes and differences, keep this point steadily in view of the children of this country, who still continue, as I believe the great majority do now, to go to school joyfully, eagerly, willingly, and profitably.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—;Ayes, 410; Noes, 204. (Division List No. 71.)1621
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo.||Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.|
|Acland, Francis Dyke||Bennett, E. N.||Carr-Gomm, H. W.|
|Adkins, W. Ryland||Berridge, T. H. D.||Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight|
|Agar-Robartes, Hon. T. C.||Bertram, Julius||Cawley, Frederick|
|Agnew, George William||Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford)||Chance, Frederick William|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Bethell, T. R, (Essex, Maldon)||Channing, Francis Allston|
|Alden, Percy||Billson, Alfred||Cheetham, John Frederick|
|Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch)||Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine||Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Stroud)||Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire||Churchill, Winston Spencer|
|Armitage, R.||Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E.)||Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham)|
|Armstrong, W. C. Heaton||Bottomley, Horatio||Cleland, J. W.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)||Clough, W.|
|Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Hy.||Brace, William||Clynes, J. R.|
|Astbury, John Meir||Bramsdon, T. A.||Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Branch, James||Cobbold, Felix Thornley|
|Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)||Brigg, John||Collins, Stephen (Lambeth)|
|Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.)||Bright, J. A.||Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W|
|Balfour, Robert (Lanark)||Brocklehurst, W. D.||Cooper, G. J.|
|Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight)||Brodie, H. C.||Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd|
|Barker, John||Brooke, Stopford||Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.|
|Barlow, John Emmott (Somerst||Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh)||Cory, Clifford John|
|Barlow, Percy (Bedford)||Brunner, Sir John T.(Cheshire)||Cotton, Sir H. S. J.|
|Barnard, E. B.||Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen||Cowan, W. H.|
|Barnes, G. N.||Bryce, J.A. (Inverness Burghs)||Cox, Harold|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth)|
|Beale, W. P.||Buckmaster, Stanley O.||Cremer, William Randal|
|Beauchamp, E.||Burns, Rt. Hon. John||Crombie, John William|
|Beaumont Hubert (Eastbourne||Burnyeat, J. D. W.||Crooks, William|
|Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham)||Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas||Crosfield, A. H.|
|Beck, A. Cecil||Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles||Cross, Alexander|
|Bell, Richard||Byles, William Pollard||Crossley, William J.|
|Bellairs, Carlyon||Cairns, Thomas||Dalmeny, Lord|
|Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R.||Caldwell, James||Dalziel, James Henry|
|Benn, John Williams (Devonp't||Cameron, Robert||Davies, David (Montgomery Co|
|Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan)||Hodge, John||Montgomery, H. H.|
|Davies, Timothy (Fulham)||Holden, E. Hopkinson||Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)|
|Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)||Holland, Sir William Henry||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.)||Hooper, A. G.||Morley, Rt. Hon. John|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N||Morrell, Philip|
|Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N.||Horniman, Emslie John||Morse, L. L.|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Howard, Hon. Geoffrey||Morton, Alpheus Cleophas|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Hudson, Walter||Moss, Samuel|
|Dobson, Thomas W.||Hutton, Alfred Eddison||Murray, James|
|Dodd, W. H.||Hyde, Clarendon||Myer, Horatio|
|Duckworth, James||Ilingworth, Percy H.||Napier, T. B.|
|Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness||Isaacs, Rufus Daniel||Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)|
|Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)||Jackson, R. S.||Nicholls, George|
|Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)||Jacoby, James Alfred||Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r|
|Dunne, Major E. M. (Walsall)||Jardine, Sir J.||Norman, Henry|
|Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)||Jenkins, J.||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Edwards, Frank (Radnor)||Johnson, John (Gateshead)||Nussel Thomas Willans|
|Elibank, Master of||Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)||Nuttall, Harry|
|Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward||Jones, David Brynmor (Swansea||O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)|
|Erskine, David C.||Jones, Lief (Appleby)||Parker, James (Halifax)|
|Essex, R. W.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||Paul, Herbert|
|Evans, Samuel T.||Jowett, F. W.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Eve, Harry Trelawney||Kearley, Hudson. E.||Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek)|
|Everett, R. Lacey||Kekewich, Sir George||Pearce, William (Limehouse)|
|Faber, G. H. (Boston)||Kincaid-Smith, Captain||Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester)|
|Fenwick, Charles||King, Alfred John (Knutsford)||Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye)|
|Ferens, T. R.||Kitson, Sir James||Perks, Robert William|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro||Laidlaw, Robert||Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)|
|Fiennes, Hon. Eustace||Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster||Phillipps, J. Wynford, Pembroke|
|Findlay, Alexander||Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)||Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke)|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Lambert, George||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Fuller, John Michael F.||Lamont, Norman||Pirie, Duncan V.|
|Fullerton, Hugh||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid||Pollard, Dr.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)|
|Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.||Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.||Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.)|
|Gibb, James (Harrow)||Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington||Priestley, Arthur (Grantham)|
|Gill, A. H.||Lehmann, R. C.||Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)|
|Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John||Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich||Radford, G. H.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral||Rainy, A. Rolland|
|Gooch, George Peabody||Levy, Maurice||Raphael, Herbert H.|
|Grant, Corrie||Lewis, John Herbert||Rea, Russell (Gloucester)|
|Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)||Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David||Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro'|
|Greenwood, Hamar (York)||Lough, Thomas||Rees, J. D.|
|Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward||Lupton, Arnold||Rendall, Athelstan|
|Griffith, Ellis, J.||Lutterell, Hugh Fownes||Renton, Major Leslie|
|Grove, Archibald||Lyell, Charles Henry||Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Lynch, H. B.||Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n|
|Gulland, John W.||Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)||Richardson, A.|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.||Mackarness, Frederic C.||Ridsdale, E. A.|
|Hall, Frederick||Maclean, Donald||Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln)|
|Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil)||M'Callum, John M.||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)||M'Crae, George||Robertson, Rt. Hn. E.(Dundee)|
|Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd|
|Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh||M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)||Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside)|
|Hart-Davis, T.||M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)||Robinson, S.|
|Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochale)||M'Micking, Major G.||Robson, Sir William Snowdon|
|Harwood, George||Maddison, Frederick||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Haslam, James (Derbyshire)||Mallett, Charles E.||Rogers, F. E. Newman|
|Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)||Manfield, Harry (Northants)||Rose, Charles Day|
|Haworth, Arthur, A.||Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)||Rowlands, J.|
|Hazel, Dr. A. E.||Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston||Runciman, Walter|
|Hedges, A. Paget||Marnham, F. J.||Russell, T. W.|
|Helme, Norval Watson||Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)||Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)|
|Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||Massie, J.||Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)|
|Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.||Masterman, C. F. G.||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Henry, Charles S.||Menzies, Walter||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Herbert, Colonel Ivor M (on., S.)||Micklem, Nathaniel||Scarisbrick, T. T. L.|
|Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)||Molteno, Percy Alfred||Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)|
|Higham, John Sharp||Mond, A.||Schwann, Chas. E. (Manchester)|
|Hobart, Sir Robert||Money, L. G. Chiozza||Scott, A.H. (Ashton under Lyne|
|Hobhouse, Charles E. H.||Montagu, E. S.|
|Sears, J. E.||Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.||Whitbread, Howard|
|Seaverns, J. H.||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Shackleton, David James||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr||White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)|
|Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Thomasson, Franklin||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.)||Thompson, J.W.H. (Somerset, E||Whitehead, Rowland|
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Thorne, William||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Silcock, Thomas Ball||Tillett, Louis John||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Simon, John Allsebrook||Tomkinson, James||Wiles, Thomas|
|Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John||Torrance, A. M.||Wilkie, Alexander|
|Sloan, Thomas Henry||Toulmin, George||Williams, J. (Glamorgan)|
|Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Snowden, P.||Ure, Alexander||Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Verney, F. W.||Williamson, A. (Elgin and Nairn|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Villiers, Ernest Amherst||Wills, Arthur Walters|
|Spicer, Albert||Vivian, Henry||Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)|
|Stanger, H. Y.||Wadsworth, J.||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)|
|Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)||Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Steadman, W. C.||Wallace, Robert||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|Stewart, Halley (Greenock)||Walsh, Stephen||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)||Walters, John Tudor||Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)|
|Strachey, Sir Edward||Walton, Joseph (Barusley)||Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)|
|Straus, B. S. (Mile End)||Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)||Winfrey, R.|
|Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)||Ward, W. Dudley (Southamp'n||Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid|
|Stuart, James (Sunderland)||Wardle, George' J.||Wood, T. M'Kinnon|
|Summerbell, T.||Thomas Warner, Courtenay T.||Woohouse, Sir J. T. (Huddersf'd|
|Sutherland, J. E.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Taylor, John W. (Durham)||Waterlow, D. S.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—;Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.|
|Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Watt, H. Anderson|
|Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury)||Wedgwood, Josiah C.|
|Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham||Halpin, J.|
|Ambrose, Robert||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cogan, Denis J.||Hammond, John|
|Anstruther-Gray, Major||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Courthope, G. Loyd||Harrington, Timothy|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O.||Craik, Sir Henry||Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B.|
|Ashley, W. W.||Crean, Eugene||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H.||Cullinan, J.||Hayden, John Patrick|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dairymple, Viscount||Hazleton, Richard|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Delany, William||Healy, Timothy Michael|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond.||Devlin Charles Ramsay (Galway||Heaton, John Henniker|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Dillon, John||Helmsley, Viscount|
|Banner, John S. Harmood-||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon||Hervey, F. W. F. (Bury S. Edm'ds|
|Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester)||Dolan, Charles Joseph||Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Donelan, Captain A.||Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh.|
|Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks||Doughty, Sir George||Hills, J. W.|
|Beckett, Hon. Gervase||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hogan, Michael|
|Bignold, Sir Arthur||Du Cros, Harvey||Hornby, Sir William Henry|
|Blake, Edward||Duffy, William J.||Houston, Robert Paterson|
|Boland, John||Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan||Hunt, Rowland|
|Bowles, G. Stewart||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Jordan, Jeremiah|
|Boyle, Sir Edward||Faber, George Denison (York||Joyce, Michael|
|Bridgeman, W. Clive||Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Fardell, Sir T. George||Kennedy, Vincent Paul|
|Bull, Sir William James||Farrell, James Patrick||Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hon. Col.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Fell, Arthur||Keswick, William|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Field, William||Kilbride, Denis|
|Butcher, Samuel Henry||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.||King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull)|
|Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.||Flavin, Michael Joseph||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Win.|
|Carlile, E. Hildred||Fletcher, J. S.||Lane-Fox, G. R.|
|Castlereagh, Viscount||Flynn, James Christopher||Law, Hugh Alexander|
|Cave, George||Forster, Henry William||Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., Fareham|
|Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C.W||Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)||Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A.R.|
|Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-||Gilhooly, James||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham|
|Cecil, Lord R. (Marlyebone, E.||Ginnell, L.||Lowe, Sir Francis William|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Glover, Thomas||Lundon, W.|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Haddock, George R.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Macpherson, J. T.||O'Dowd, John||Sheehy, David|
|MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.||O'Grady, J.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.||O'Hare, Patrick||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|M'Hugh, Patrick A.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Smyth, Thomas (Leitrim, S.)|
|M'Ivor, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N||Stanley, Hon. Arthur (Ormsk'rk|
|M'Kean, John||O'Malley, William||Starkey, John R.|
|M'Killop, W.||O'Mara, James||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Magnus, Sir Philip||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Sullivan, Donal|
|Marks, H. H. (Kent)||O'Shee, James John||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Mason, James P. (Windsor)||Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ|
|Meagher, Michael||Parkes, Ebenezer||Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)|
|Meehan, Patrick A.||Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Meysey-Thomson, E. C.||Percy, Earl||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard|
|Middlemore, John Throgmorton||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Waldron, Laurence Ambrose|
|Mooney, J. J.||Power, Patrick Joseph||Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)|
|Morpeth, Viscount||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Walrond, Hon. Lionel|
|Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Ratcliff, Major R. F.||Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)|
|Murnaghan, George||Rawlinson, John Frederick P.||White, Patrick (Moath, North)|
|Murphy, John||Reddy, M.||Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)|
|Nannetti, Joseph P.||Redmond, John K. (Waterford)||Williamson, G. H. (Worcester)|
|Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)||Redmond, William (Clare)||Willoughby de Eresby, Lord|
|Nield, Herbert||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Nolan, Joseph||Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid)||Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert||Wyudham, Rt. Hon. George|
|O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter||Young, Samuel|
|O'Brien, William (Cork)||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)||Younger, George|
|O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)||Salter, Arthur Clavell||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—;Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.|
|O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|O'Doherty, Philip||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||Seddon, J.|
|O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel|
Bill read a second time, and committed for Monday next.