HC Deb 22 May 1906 vol 157 cc1149-243

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

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

Clause 1:—

MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool) moved an Amendment to Clause 1 to add to the words fixing the date of the coming into operation of the Bill, the following: "or such other later date as the local education authority may determine." He said his Amendment embodied the principle of local option, a principle which ran through a great many clauses of the Bill, and he thought the Government should look upon it with favour because it endeavoured to carry that principle further. The local education authority had under the Bill grave and heavy responsibilities thrown upon it, and it seemed to him that the least the Government could do would be to give it some say in the question as to when the Act should come into operation. The Act required ample time for consideration both on the part of the education authorities and electors, and a year and three months was a hopelessly short period in which to consider the matter. The question as to when the Act should come into force was obviously one for local option and not for the Committee to decide. Let them consider what the procedure under this Bill would be. In the first place there would be the election to decide what the mandate was for the local education authority to carry out. Then after they had received their mandate, they would have to decide upon their line of policy. Having decided that, they would have to carry out intricate negotiations with the trustees of voluntary schools for the taking over of those schools. They would have to decide what the rent was to be and the conditions under which they would proceed. Then they would have to consider petitions under Clause 4 and hold a public inquiry in the case of nearly every voluntary school in the authority's area, which in a county like Lancashire would involve something like 600 or 700 inquiries. It was impossible for the Education Authorities to know how long such inquiries would take. Then, again, in the case of Roman Catholic schools it might be that the teachers would refuse to continue to serve in the schools after the education authority had taken them over, and that would mean the appointment, of a now staff of teachers and further delay.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 8, after the word 'eight,' to insert, the words' or such other later date as the local education authority may determine.'" —(Mr. Ashley.)

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

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)

objected that the Amendment was out of order, because a similar proposition had been decided the previous day on an Amendment.


replied that he had considered that point and had come to the decision that the Amendment at present before the Committee was in order, as it sought to give the decision to the local authority alone instead of to the Board of Education on the instigation of the local authority.


said he wished to offer a word of congratulation to the Member who had moved the Amendment, upon having found a fresh argument on the point. It was not very often so much was said on the Opposition side of the House in praise of local option. They, however, on the Ministerial side of the House were all of opinion that to introduce local option in this matter would be a great mistake. Nothing could be worse than uncertainty about the date on which the Act would come into operation, and he hoped the hon. Member would not press the point unduly. There was a provision in Clause 10 of the Bill which would meet cases of difficulty.

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

thought the hon. Gentleman who had just addressed the Committee must have listened with imperfect attention the previous evening to the speeches of the President of the Board of Education, because the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill admitted that there was a difficulty in regard to these dates, and that it might be necessary to fix a later date. He hoped that when the Amendment of the hon. Member for Basingstoke came on, leaving it to His Majesty in Council to determine such later date, a more favourable answer would be given than any one had yet succeeded in extracting from the Government. He did not know that it would be any good pressing the present Amendment, but if his hon. friend went to a division he should vote with him.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

said an Amendment such as the one before them gave some chance of making provision where real hardships existed. The Bill dealt with the question as though a grievance existed everywhere all over England. It treated England and Wales as if they were chess boards, all white or all black as the case might be, without any chance whatever of elasticity. There were, however, a great many parishes all over the country in which no grievance whatever existed. In such cases, he asked, why intervene? Were they going to scatter their million of largesse all over the country whether it were wanted or not? How was the million of money to be distributed? Had that not an important bearing upon the Amendment? There were provisions in the case of England where, if Nonconformists had a grievance, the local authority should intervene and give them some of the money. That was all right, but in cases where the parties were provided for why should his money, for it was Irish money as well as English and Scottish, be given away without any necessity? For this reason he regarded the Amendment favourably. He might be wrong, but he did say that the Government did not appreciate the effect of their own Bill. The Bill was imposed upon the Government and the House of Commons by a small fanatical section of the country, and admittedly a grievance existed in a small geographical area only. Yet they were passing the Bill as if the grievance was a general thing ! Why should they not have the right to say, whether they were Wesleyan, Nonconformist, or Protestant, that they were getting on fairly well and were fairly provided for, and therefore they would prefer to control themselves? That was all the Amendment proposed; it was an Amendment which provided that the Bill should not come into operation until the local authority asked for it, and surely the local authority was the best judge of the medicine which the patient needed. He hoped the Government would give the Amendment much more consideration than they had seemed disposed to do.

MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN (Birmingham, W.)

said he understood that the hon. and learned Member who had just spoken was averse from imposing on every parish in the kingdom a scheme which might be suitable for some places and unsuitable for others, and would allow a much larger local option than apparently the Government had been inclined to allow. If he had rightly understood the hon. and learned Member, he most thoroughly agreed with him. He hoped that even if now the discussion on that point was not carried much further, the Committee would have an opportunity later on, by some Amendment directly raising the issue, of discussing and deciding upon the point. Assuming that the Bill was right as it stood, he asked whether the Government had allowed themselves enough time to carry it through. He had never seen a measure so complicated and as to which it was so difficult to come to a conclusion as to what would exactly happen under it. In this point of practical operation it seemed clear that the Government themselves did not understand the Bill. Their answers to the inquiries which had been made had been totally irrelevant and had not met practical difficulties. They had been very short answers, and he really thought it would be advisable to spend a little more time upon this stage. It was evident to all the Committee what was the position of the majority on the other side. They came to the House— new men, most of them—and said, "Here we are, 350; cannot we have our way? Are we not all-powerful? There is a miserable minority which actually asks questions, requires explanations, and demands discussion. Was anything so intolerable ever heard of? The rights of minorities we have for many years consistently promoted and supported; but we never intended for a moment to admit that that included the right of free discussion." He quite understood that position. Hon. Gentlemen opposite were, many of them, new to the procedure of the House, and they were very much mistaken—very young, indeed, in Parliamentary life—if they thought any action of that kind would be to the advantage of the Bill. [An HON MEMBER: You cannot bully us.] That was true. He could not bully hon. Members and they could not bully him. He would set forth his view of the action which would be taken under this Bill. He would assume that the Bill was passed as it stood, say, on September 30th in the present year. Then there would be three months to January 1st, 1907, during which Parliamentary agreements might be made be between the owners and trustees of voluntary schools and the local education authority. He understood that there were 14,000 of these schools, in which case there would be 14,000 agreements to be made. Those agreements might be infinitely varied— there might be the ordinary agreement contemplated, perhaps desired, by the promoters of the measure; there was an agreement possible under Clause 3, relating to what were called ordinary facilities; and there was a separate series of agreements which might be made under Clause 4, relating to extended facilities. With the best will there must be difficulty in making voluntary agreements in three months for 14,000 schools. He took it for granted that the hope of the Government had been that their proposals would be taken as conciliatory proposals, and would be satisfactory to a great number of those who were concerned in denominational education. Surely there could no longer be a shadow of belief in the minds of the Government or any of their supporters that they had succeeded. It was perfectly clear—he was not saying whether it was right or wrong—that the vast majority of those interested in denominational teaching, whether Jews, Catholics, Wesleyans, Anglicans, or members of other bodies— were opposed to the Bill in its present shape. [Cries of "No."] Surely it was absurd to deny that. It was absolutely certain that the vast majority were opposed to this Bill as it stood. That being so, let them see how it increased the difficulty of these voluntary agreements. These schools—the Catholic.and the Anglican schools for instance—were, after all, very fairly organised. To his mind it was not conceivable that 14,000 schools, or any appreciable fraction of them, could take advantage in the three months between the passing of the Bill and January 1st, 1907, to make any agreement. What was to happen between January 1st, 1907, and January 1st, 1908, which was the second period? He took it that the local education authorities, finding that they might appeal to a Commission, but were not hound to do so, would endeavour still to come to an agreement before they appealed to the Commission, and a certain period of 1907 would be occupied in that way. How much time would they give for that? He thought that in three months the local education authority ought to have become aware whether an agreement such as they would accept was possible or not. Then they had nine months left in 1907, during which period the local authorities might present applications to the Commissioners to make schemes for all that remained of the 14,000 schools. Was ever anything more absurd presented to a business House of Commons? He appealed to anyone who had had any experience of the framing of schemes by any Government authority or by any judicial tribunal. He appealed to those who had been acquainted with the formation of schemes under the Endowed Schools Act whether they thought that three men were to go up and down the country holding public inquiries in the case of 14,000 schools more or less, and that they could accomplish that work in nine months. He could not think that the Government had considered the absolute necessity of great elasticity. The whole thing would be a ridiculous fiasco if they confined themselves to these dates, from a desire to meet the impatience of some of their supporters, who apparently were anxious that there should be no discussion of an Amendment and no alteration of any line of the Bill. This brought them to January 1st, 1908, when, according to Clause 1, all voluntary schools must come under the public school system or must cease to have any kind of assistance, either from rates or taxes. the hon. Member for North Camberwell last night said, "Oh! you have Subsection 2 of Clause 10."

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

I first of all referred to Subsection 6 of Clause 9.


Last night the hon. Member rested himself on Subsection 2 of Clause 10.


I think not. I first of all referred to Sub-section 6 of Clause 9.


Oh! Yes; the hon. Member now brings to his assistance—


And then.


The hon. Member brings to his assistance now—


And then.


Does the right hon. Gentleman mean to imply that my hon. friend is stating that which is not true? My hon. friend has repeated what he said last night, and then the right hon. Gentleman by the way he emphasised the word "now" seems to imply that my hon. friend did not bring the clause referred to to his assistance last night.


I make no imputation whatever upon the veracity of the hon. Member for North Camberwell. He says, and I did not think it necessary to refer to it, that last night he mentioned this sub-section, and I said he brought it to his assistance now. I suppose he does bring it to his assistance now.


And then.


The hon. Gentleman does bring it to his assistance now.


It is a small matter, but I think the right hon. Gentleman who does not wish to make seriously any imputation, should modify his language. He does make an imputation, his emphasis on the word "now" excluding the idea of its having been done then.


I said in language which cannot be mistaken— [MINISTERIAL cries of "Withdraw."] Who wishes me to withdraw the language I have just used? I have not the slightest intention, and never had, of imputing any lack of veracity to the hon. Member for North Camberwell. I am not going to be lessoned by the right hon. Gentleman who has come most unnecessarily to the assistance of an hon. Gentleman well able to defend himself, and whose interference I regard as entirely impertinent.

MR. MYER (Lambeth, N.)

I rise to order. I wish to know whether it is Parliamentary language to say that the right hon. Gentleman the Prime Minister is impertinent.


I should have called the right hon. Gentleman to order if I considered that he had transgressed the bounds of Parliamentary order.


asked the Committee to allow him to dismiss from his mind and to dismiss from theirs the incident that had taken place, and to go back to the plain, simple argument which he was addressing to them. He had completed his review of what was possible up to January 1st, 1908. Then there came Clause 10, Sub-section 2.


Clause 9, Subsection 6.


said he was not talking of the hon. Member. Clause 10, Sub-section 2, said practically if no arrangement had been come to with the voluntary schools by the end of 1908 the local education authority had a right to use the school without payment, subject to the same religious instruction being given as before, and also to the employment of the same teachers to give that instruction. In other words the school was to be continued as a denominational school, but under the control of the local authority for a limited period from 1908 to 1909. That, of course, did allow of a transition period, but twelvemonths was entirely insufficient. They could not count on being able during that period to make arrangements with all these 14,000 schools. The prolongation of the Commission by another Bill did not touch the question of the number of schools which in 1908 must cease to be voluntary schools. If they were to agree that, so long as the Commission was prolonged, the whole matter should be held up, then the answer to the hon. Member for North Camberwell would appear to be sufficient, but to have the Commission going on, while the schools were to cease to be voluntary schools, was no settlement whatever of the practical difficulty. There was one other point. Clause 8 provided that the Commission might make a scheme in accordance with certain conditions with regard to the trusts of the school house in future. Sub-section (b) provided that if the Commission were of opinion that the use of the school house for the purposes of a public elementary school by the local authority was the best mode of giving effect to the trusts, they might by their scheme make provision for the purpose, subject to such conditions as to payment or other matters as might be agreed to by the local authority. What was to happen if the local authority did not agree? Here was a Commission which had held a public inquiry and had examined into the wishes of the parents and other matters and had given its decision that a school was to be taken over on the payment of a fixed sum and on certain other conditions. Suppose the local authority had to pay £1,000 and refused to do it, the scheme would fall to the ground. There was no provision to meet that case. The proposition in the Bill was most one-sided, because the trustees had no option whatever. They must accept what the Commission arranged for them, while the education authority might refuse, and so long as they were animated by the spirit which appeared to animate so largely this Committee they would refuse, to pay any sum whatever for any of these schools. Here was a new difficulty, and yet in Clause 1 the Government made a statutory provison that in no case should these schools remain voluntary schools. Surely it would be wise to allow much greater elasticity and to consider the possibility of a much longer period before the final transfer took place. He hoped he had said nothing which in any way was calculated to offend any susceptibilities, and he trusted that under the circumstances the right hon. Gentleman would give him a full reply.


said that, as he understood the Bill, the whole of the three months between September, 30, 1906, and January, 1907, and also the whole period of time down to January 1, 1908, was open to all authorities to come to terms as speedily as they could with the voluntary schools. They were all well acquainted with the voluntary schools—some of them too well. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh."] He was speaking of their sanitary arrangements, and not making any reflection on their teaching. The local authorities were, at all events, well acquainted with the schools within their areas, and he had no doubt that even by this time they had formed a pretty good idea as to which schools they would require for the purposes of public elementary education. It was of extreme importance that they should know as soon as possible what schools they could obtain. Therefore it was necessary to arrange a reasonably short space of time, and the Bill provided that the Commission should open its inquiry some time in 1907. That did not limit free negotiation between the local authority and the owners of these schools. It simply enabled the Commission to get to work as soon as possible. As to Clause 10, that clause really did nothing more than the Act of 1902 did, under which the local authority had control over secular education, but not over the appointment of teachers. This clause provided that where a bargain was not struck the school should pass to the local authority, but the religious teaching should go on as before, so that if the parties wont before the Commissioners and no bargain was struck there would be no breach in the religious teaching, which would not be in any way affected. Therefore, for the purpose of bargaining, between the parties, the period of fifteen months allowed was ample; and as to the extension of time to January 1, 1909, the time would be ample also to deal with such cases as came before the Commission Court. He believed the times fixed were ample for the purposes of the Bill.

MR. SAMUEL ROBERTS (Sheffield, Ecclesall)

said he supported the Amendment of the hon. Member for Blackpool because it would give local authorities who were satisfied with the present condition of things the power to go on as they were now. He supported the Amendment in that for genuine reasons and he could give the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Board of Education a case in point. He had the honour to represent a city in which the Act of 1902 had been administered with very great success. It had been a success because both political Parties, as soon as the Act became law, made up their minds that they would sink all religious and political differences and work the Act for the benefit of the children. They had done that not only in the elementary schools, but in a very great extension that had been made on the lines of secondary education. A large grammar school and a training college had been founded and altogether the Act was proceeding smoothly, and they wished to be let alone. This was a reason why local authorities should have some discretion in the matter. The last report of the education committee in his town said that cordial relations had been maintained between the committee and the managers of non-provided schools, and the result of their hearty co-operation had been distinct'y beneficial to the general interests of education. Why could not that condition of things be allowed to continue. If the local authority "were of opinion that the Act was working smoothly, and that there were no religious difficulties, because the relations between the local authority and the managers of the non-provided schools were most cordial, he earnestly commended that to the right hon. Gentleman as a reason for accepting the Amendment, and for letting things go on as they were.


who rose amid cries of "Divide," said he only wished to say one word on the larger question raised by the Amendment. Under that proposal the local authority would have not only a suspensory power but also a great squeezing power, because they might come to the owners of the non-provided schools and say, "unless you remove all these grievances down comes this Act of Parliament upon you." He recommended that point of view to hon. Members opposite who had talked so much of popular control.

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

said that this Amendment raised one of the most important points in the Bill, and he thought the Committee were quite entitled to know whether the Government agreed with the policy advocated by the hon. Member. No reply had yet been made to the contention that it was desirable to give some liberty to the local authorities to contract themselves out of the Act. The question was of very considerable magnitude, and of much interest. One hon. Member had said that he was surprised to hear anyone on the Opposition Benches advocating local option. It was very easy to use the phrase "local option" as indicating a principle; but no one was entitled to use it as applying to only one particular form of local option. The real truth was that there was a good deal to be said for the principle of local option. This Bill was full of local option the whole of the religious welfare of the country was to be determined by the particular syllabuses which the local authorities made each school adopt. Then the question whether extended facilities were to be given to particular schools was to be left to the local authorities; and it was only carrying the matter one step further to say in this Bill that these facilities should come into operation or not in their districts. The hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield had said that the present system was in full operation in the city he represented; but in vast tracks of the country the operation of the present system of religious teaching was satisfactory. There was no opposition to it; no religious difficulty. The people were perfectly happy under the existing system. [MINISTERIAL ironical laughter.] He could quite believe that some hon. Members opposite might regard that as a surprising observation, but if they went about the country with an unprejudiced mind they would see for themselves the fairness of the observation. This Bill would inevitably stir up religious strife in every local election. He therefore ventured to hope that the Government would give the Committee some answer to the question put by the hon. and learned Member for Louth.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

said that as he understood the Amendment it would have the effect of giving local option to any authority in the country to postpone indefinitely the operation of the Bill, and a local education authority could fix a date fifty or 100 years hence before it came into operation. Therefore the effect of the Amendment was to introduce the principle of local option into the Bill. In the shape in which that principle was introduced here it might possibly come to the rescue of some of the Anglican schools in the country, but the Catholic schools would be left outside its scope, because could anybody suppose that all the urban districts of the country would not proceed to put the Act in force in country towns? Therefore, as far as the Catholic schools were concerned, it would afford them no protection at all. More than that, when they came to Clause 4, which dealt with extended facilities and was based upon local option, they intended in order to protect their schools to argue against it. Many of the speakers in the debate seemed inclined to use the provisions of the Bill as a political weapon without any regard to Catholic schools, and in discussing public control they seemed to look upon denominational schools merely as objects of political warfare across the floor of this House. Were they to be dragged into supporting an Amendment which set up the principle of local option as a guiding principle of the Bill and which if adopted would not protect a single Roman Catholic school in this country? This debate had consumed much valuable time which should have been devoted to considering some of the great principles of the Bill which there was some chance of passing. He thought the time spent upon this Amendment had been largely wasted. There was no chance of passing it, but it had furnished some extremists on the other side with a weapon which they would use against them on Clause 4. He could not see a single argument in favour of the Amendment, but he believed in the view put forward by the Leader of the Opposition that there was a strong case for more I time to consider and carry out this arrangement. That point, however, was down for consideration in an Amendment by the hon. Member for Basing stoke, and that was one which when they came to it he should strongly I urge the Government to accept. That Amendment provided that the; Bill should come into operation on the day named or at such later date as His Majesty in Council might determine. He would only say that in his judgment the Government made a great mistake in not accepting the Amendment which they disposed of the previous night, under which the postponement had to be a reasonable one, because it could only take place with the consent of the Education Department itself. He was utterly unable to support this Amendment.

SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)

said he would not support this Amendment for a moment if he thought it would put the Roman Catholic schools in a worse position than they were now. If it were carried every local authority which desired to maintain the status quounder the Act of 1902 would be enabled to do so, and he thought it would be admitted that the Act of 1902 was more favourable to Roman Catholics than the Bill in its present form. Under the Amendment the Roman Catholic schools throughout the country where local option was used would be in the favourable position in which they were left under the Act of 1902, and when they came to Clause 4 of the Bill he should endeavour to amend it so as to make it mandatory in order that the present conditions might be: preserved as far as possible. He thought the Minister for Education would admit that any Bill of this character meant disturbance to our educational institutions throughout the country. It was not merely the religious question and the fear that religious teaching would be endangered in the schools in which it had been maintained, but there was a practical disturbance which resulted in hesitation in regard to the reconstruction or enlargement of schools in consequence of the uncertainty prevailing as to what might follow the undertaking of that work, and that would mean, as they knew from the experience of the Act of 1902, the dislocation of such efforts and of the work of local authorities throughout the country. He should like to know whether the Secretary of the Board of Education had given himself time or opportunity to ascertain how the Bill of 1902 was working throughout the country. The hon. Gentleman had not been very long in office, and he ventured to think that he had hardly allowed himself the opportunity of ascertaining in how many districts of the country there was any difficulty whatever occasioned by the working of the Act of 1902. They knew perfectly well on the high authority of the teachers themselves that in the schools there was no religious difficulty. They knew very well that the local education authorities in our great towns and in many of our great counties had addressed themselves to the work of education seriously, vigorously, and with admirable effect, and all this was to be disturbed by the introduction of religious difficulties again under the operation of this Bill. Had the President of the Board of Education asked himself what part of the United Kingdom was injuriously affected by the Act of 1902? [" Oh."] Hon. Members opposite appeared to him to be vocal merely for the purposes of interruption.

MR. LEIF JONES (Westmoreland, Appleby)

inquired, as a matter of order, whether it was open to the hon. Baronet to discuss the working of the Education Act of 1902 throughout the country on the question of when the present Bill should come into force.


said he was listening to the hon. Member, and suggested that it might be better if he had not so much advice.


said the interruption of the hon. Member was itself singularly irrelevant. If hon. Members disputed that the Act of 1902 was working smoothly throughout the country perhaps they would rise in their places and say so.


said the hon. Baronet was travelling rather far afield in challenging hon, Members to discuss the working of the 1902 Act in detail.


said the point he was putting which he thought had been ruled, to be in order was whether the local education authority should allow the Act of 1902 to remain in operation. He submitted that from that point of view the discussion of the operation of the Act of 1902 was in order upon the question of the postponement of the operation of this Bill if it became law. No doubt there were disturbed areas in which the Act of 1902 had not worked smoothly, but that arose not from religious but from political differences introduced by hon. Members in order to disturb the working of that great measure. He contended that they should not dissipate the energies of the local authorities by exciting religious difficulties, and thus dislocate educational effort. If local authorities were satisfied with things as they were they should be allowed to say so, and to exercise the option offered by the Amendment.


disputed the assertion that the Amendment would not benefit a single Roman Catholic school. In Lancashire the Roman Catholics, the Church of England, and other religious bodies had worked together and were working together under the Act of 1902. He wished the right hon. Gentleman in charge of the Bill would give them some idea of the working of the local option proposed.


said he had not intended to address the Committee again, and should not have done so except for the speech of the hon. Member for East Mayo, which was a side attack on himself. He wished to assure the hon. Member that he did not pay the smallest attention to anything he said either in the House or out of it, that no appeal could be made to him that would affect his action in the matter, and that any such appeal would be thrown away. He had formed the opinion that this Amendment was one of the most valuable that had been proposed from the Catholic point of view, and he observed that no member of the Government had been able to answer the points that had been made in its favour. He knew there were hon. members of the Irish Party who were more Ministerialist than Ministers, and strange to say those who were so anxious to save the time of the Committee were those who were supposed to be extremely anxious in the interests of religious education and not the avowed secularists on the opposite side of the House. He therefore thanked the Government and the members of the Ministerialist Party for the patience with which they had listened to the arguments addressed to them, which he thought had been in strong contrast to the attitude of hon. Gentlemen beside him.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 114; Noes, 406. (Division List No. 89).

Acland-Hood, Rt.Hn. SirAlex. F. Fardell, Sir T. George Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield
Anson, Sir William Reynell Fell, Arthur Nield, Herbert
Anstruther-Gray, Major Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey O'Brien, William (Cork)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Parker Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Fletcher, J. S. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Forster, Henry William Percy, Earl
Balcarres, Lord Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J. (City Lond.) Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Balfour, Capt, C. B. (Hornsey) Haddock, George R. Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Banner, John S. Harmood- Hamilton, Marquess of Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashford) Remnant, James Farquharson
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Harrison, Broadley, Col. H. B. Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Healy, Timothy Michael Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hervey, F. W. F. (BuryS. Edm'ds Salter, Arthur Clavell
Bignold, Sir Arthur Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Bowles, G. Stewart Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh.) Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hills, J. W. Starkey, John R.
Burdett-Coutts, W. Houston, Robert Paterson Stone, Sir Benjamin
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hunt, Rowland Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'dUniv)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Carlile, E. Hildred Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W. Thornton, Percy M.
Castlereagh, Viscount Keswick, William Tuke, Sir John Batty
Cavendish, Rt. Hon. Victor C.W. Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Valentia, Viscount
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Lane-Fox, G. R. Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey. Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Chamberlain, Rt Hn. J.(Birm.) Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Clarke, Sir Edward (CityLond.) Liddell, Henry Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Lowe, Sir Francis William Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Courthope, G. Loyd MacIver, David (Liverpool) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) M'Calmont, Colonel James Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Craik, Sir Henry M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W.) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Dalrymple, Viscount Magnus, Sir Philip Younger, George
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Doughty, Sir George Mason, James F. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Ashley and Mr. Samuel Roberts,
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Du Cros, Harvey Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Duncan, Robert(Lanark, Govan Morpeth, Viscount
Faber, George Denison (York) Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Barnard, E. B. Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Barnes, G. N. Brace, William
Acland, Francis Dyke Barran, Rowland Hirst Bramsdon, T. A.
Adkins, W. Ryland Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Bright, J. A.
Agnew, George William Beale, W. P. Brocklehurst, W. D.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Beauchamp, E. Brodie, H. C.
Alden, Percy Beaumont, Hubert (Eastbourne Brooke, Stopford
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes. Leigh)
Armitage, R. Bell, Richard Brunner, Sir John T. (Cheshire)
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Bellairs, Carlyon Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Benn, Jn. Williams (Devonport Bryce, J.A.(Inverness Burghs)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Benn, W. (T'wrHamlets, S. Geo. Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn
Astbury, John Meir Bertram, Julius Buckmaster, Stanley O.
Atherley-Jones, L. Bethell, J. H. (Essex, Romford) Burke, E. Haviland-
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Burns, Rt. Hon. John
Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.) Billson, Alfred Burnyeat, J. D. W.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Black, Alexander Wm. (Banff) Byles, William Pollard
Barker, John Black, ArthurW. (Bedfordshire) Cairns, Thomas
Barlow, JohnEmmott(Somerset Blake, Edward Cameron, Robert
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Boland, John Carr-Gomm, H. W.
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Ginnell, L. Lewis, John Herbert
Cawley, Frederick Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Channing, Francis Allston Glendinning, R. G. Lough, Thomas
Cheetham, John Frederick Glover, Thomas Lundon, W.
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Goddard, Daniel Ford Luttrell, Hugh Fownes
Clough, W. Grant, Corrie Lyell, Charles Henry
Clynes, J. R. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Greenwood, Hamar (York) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Mackarness, Frederic C.
Cogan, Denis J. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Maclean, Donald
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hall, Frederick Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Collins, Sir Wm J.(S. Pancras, W.) Halpin, J. MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Condon, Thomas Joseph Hammond, John MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.)
Cooper, G. J. Harcourt, Right Hon. Lewis MacVeigh, Chas. (Donegal, E.)
Corbett, CH (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wrorc'r) M'Crae, George
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Harrington, Timothy M'Hugh Patrick A.
Cory, Clifford John Hart-Davies, T. M'Kenna, Reginald
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) M'Killop, W.
Cowan, W. H. Harwood, George M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester)
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Haslam, James (Derbyshire) M'Micking, Major G.
Crean, Eugene Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Maddison, Frederick
Cremer, William Randal Haworth, Arthur A. Mallet, Charles E.
Crombie, John William Hayden, John Patrick Manfield, Harry (Northants)
Crosfield, A. H. Hazel, Dr. A. E. Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)
Cross, Alexander Hedges, A. Paget Marks, C. Croydon (Launceston)
Crossley, William J. Helme, Norval Watson Marnham, F. J.
Dalziel, James Henry Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Davies, David (Montgomery Co. Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen W.) Massie, J.
Davies, M. (Vaughan-(Cardigan Henry, Charles S. Masterman, C. F. G.
Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon., S.) Meagher, Michael
Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Meehan, Patrick A.
Delany, William Higham, John Sharp Menzies, Walter
Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galway Hobart, Sir Robert Micklem, Nathaniel
Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Molteno, Percy Alport
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hodge, John Mond, A.
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hogan, Michael Money, L. G. Chiozza
Dillon, John Holland, Sir William Henry Montagu, E. S.
Dobson, Thomas W. Hooper, A. G. Montgomery. H. H.
Dodd, W. H. Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N. Mooney, J. J.
Dolan, Charles Joseph Horniman, Emslie John Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall)
Donelan, Captain A. Horridge, Thomas Gardner Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Duckworth, James Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Morley, Rt. Hon. John
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Hudson, Walter Morrell, Philip
Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Hutton, Alfred Eddison Morse, L. L.
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Hyde, Clarndon Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Illingworth, Percy H. Murnaghan, George
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Jacoby, James Alfred Murphy, John
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Johnson, John (Gateshead) Murray, James
Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Myer, Horatio
Elibank, Master of Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea) Napier, T. B.
Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Jones, Leif (Appleby) Newnes, Sir George (Swansea)
Erskine, David C. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire) Nicholls, George
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Joyce, Michael Nicholson, Chas. N. (Doncast'r)
Essex, R. W. Kearley, Hudson E. Nolan, Joseph
Evans, Samuel T. Kekewich, Sir George Norman, Henry
Everett, R. Lacey Kelley, George D. Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Faber, G. H. (Boston) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Nussey, Thomas Willans
Farrell, James Patrick Kilbride, Denis Nuttall, Harry
Ferens, T. R. Kincaid-Smith, Captain O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary, Mid
Ffrench, Peter King, Alfred John (Knutsford) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Field, William Laidlaw, Robert O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.)
Flavin, Michael Joseph Lamb, Edmund G.(Leominster) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Flynn, James Christopher Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) O'Doherty, Philip
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lambert, George O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Fuller, John Michael F. Lawson, Sir Wilfrid O'Dowd, John
Fullerton, Hugh Layland-Barratt, Francis O'Hare, Patrick
Furness, Sir Christopher Lea, Hugh Cecil(St. Pancras, E.) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N)
Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.) Lehmann, R. C. O'Mara, James
Gibb, James (Harrow) LeverA Levy (Essex, Harwich) O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Gilhooly, James Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Parker, James (Halifax)
Gill, A. H. Levy, Maurice Paul, Herbert
Paulton, James Mellor Schwann, Chas. E.(Manchester) Wallace, Robert
Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek) Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne Walsh, Stephen
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Seaverns, J. H. Walters, John Tudor
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Shackleton, David James Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Perks, Robert William Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B. Ward, John (Stoke upon Trent)
Philipps, Owen, C. (Pembroke) Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Shipman, Dr. John G. Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Pollard, Dr. Silcock, Thomas Ball Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Power, Patrick Joseph Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Sloan, Thomas Henry Watt, H. Anderson
Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E.) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Weir, James Galloway
Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Snowdon, P. Whitbread, Howard
Rainy, A. Holland Soames, Arthur Wellesley White, George (Norfolk)
Raphael, Herbert H. Soares, Ernest J. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Spirer, Albert White, Luke, (York, E. R.)
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Stanger, H. Y. White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) Whitehead, Rowland
Redmond, William (Clare) Steadman, W. C. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Rees, J. D. Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Rendall, Athelstan Strachey, Sir Edward Wilkie, Alexander
Renton, Major Leslie Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Richardson, A. Stuart, James (Sunderland) Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)
Rickett, J. Compton Sullivan, Donal Williamson, A. (Elgin & Nairn)
Risdale, E. A. Summerbell, T. Wills, Arthur Walters
Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Sutherland, J. E. Wilson, Hn. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Taylor, Austin, (East Toxeth) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Roberts, John H. (Denbighs) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Robertson, Rt. Hn.E. (Dundee) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N)
Robinson, S. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Thomas, Sir A (Glamorgan, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Roe, Sir Thomas Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr Winfrey, R.
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomasson, Franklin Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid)
Rose, Charles Day Thorne, William Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersfi'd
Rowlands, J. Tomkinson, James Young, Samuel
Runciman, Walter Toulmin, George Yoxall, James Henry
Russell, T. W. Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Villiers, Ernest Amherst TELLERS FOR THE NOES— Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wadsworth, J.
Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
MR. CLAVELL SALTER (Hants, Basingstoke)

said he understood that if he moved his Amendment in a temperate manner and did not place any undue emphasis upon any particular word, he might achieve the distinction of moving the first Amendment which the Government would accept. He had placed this Amendment on the Paper in consequence of the unsatisfactory and inconclusive result of the debate yesterday on the Motion moved by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University. The difficulty which they had to face was that Clause 7 would come into operation before the Commission had concluded their labours. It was quite true, as was pointed out by the hon. Member for North Camberwell, that this Bill made some sort of provision for that contingency in Clause 9, but it should not be forgotten that these schools might be swept away before their future had been settled, Then again, Clause 10 only made a temporary provision, and did not meet any large number of cases. If during the transition period a new teacher was to be appointed it would have to be done by the local authority, and they could not ask any questions with regard to the religion to be taught. That I showed them that Clause 10 was not intended to meet this case. It would not be right for this clause to come into operation until the Commission had settled the future of these schools. He assumed that the Commission would be a judicial body and would carry out its functions in accordance with the principles of the High Courts of Justice. If so, it would have to give patient, impartial, and separate consideration to each case. The Commission would have to take into account local feelings and desires, and consider the terms of the trust deeds. The Bill appeared to contemplate a kind of triangular friendly arrangement between the managers of the schools, the Commission, and the local authorities. He thought it would be agreed that it would be a fair estimate to say that the Commission would not be able to deal with more than one case in a day. There were roughly 8,000 schools under trusts belonging to the Church of England, and if the Commission dealt with one each day and worked five days a week for ten months in the year it would take them forty years to complete their labours; and if they worked six days a week and took no holidays it would take about thirty-six years. He suggested to the Committee that there really was no practical sensible objection to this proposal, and he hoped the Government would be able to accept it.

Amendment proposed—

In page 1, line 8, after the word 'eight' to inert the words 'or such other later date as His Majesty in Council may determine.'"— Mr. Clavell Salter.

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


said he understood from the speech they had just heard that it was quite a friendly Amendment to help the Government out of a difficulty. He had already expressed his opinion upon this proposal. He did not think that the Government had taken too sanguine a view. The hon. and learned Member for Basingstoke contemplated forty years as a not extravagant estimate of the length of time it would take this Commission to get through its labours. If the Government had taken any such view as that they would not have put forward this proposal in the form they had done. They believed business would be transacted much more rapidly. Lord-West bury and Lord Cairns, he remembered, presided over a court in which they disposed of cases in connection with insurance companies, where it was necessary to proceed by classification and determine them in classes, and they certainly got through a great deal of work in a comparatively short time. He did not think this clause was the proper place for the consideration of any Amendment of the, sort proposed, and when they came to Clause 8 the Government would have no objection to proper consideration being given to the possibilities which had been suggested.


said there was considerable inconvenience in having a clause at the beginning of a measure which was not in full harmony with a clause which it was proposed to amend later on. The right hon. Gentleman almost made his mouth water when he described the rapidity with which judges could get through their business. That would rather imply that the complaints they used to hear from the law courts were without foundation. The right hon. Gentleman did not deny that the calculations of the Government might be mistaken and that it might be necessary to make some alteration, but he suggested that the proper place to make the alteration was in Clause 8 or Clause 10. If they passed Clause 1 as it stood and confined their amending zeal to Clauses 8 and 10 they would leave a discrepancy between the earlier and the later parts of the Bill. Unless the President of the Board of Education thought that the actual substance of the Amendment was wrong and that the machinery of the Bill was right surely this and this only was the only place in which they could demand that elasticity which ought to govern the whole Bill. At least he thought the right hon. Gentleman ought to tell them why a later clause was the best place to introduce this change.


remarked that what the President of the Board of Education proposed was to extend the time in which the Commissioners might act on a later clause of the Bill. That might extend their time and they might go on making schemes, but before these schemes were made the schools would have become provided schools. That was the very thing that those on his side of the House objected to, that these schools should become provided schools before the terms were settled by the Commission. He thought that the right hon. Gentleman would not deny that, no matter what extension of time was given to the Commissioners in the later clauses of the Bill, if Clause 1 were passed in its present state, on a particular date mentioned in the clause all schools not then dealt with would cease to be recognised as public elementary schools. That meant that the Board of Education would wash their hands of a school, though at some future date the Commissioners by a further extension of time might settle the terms under which it might come back to something like its original position after the mutilation of the religious teaching. He could not understand why the right hon. Gentleman persisted in refusing this class of Amendment. They could forgive him for refusing last night to have any confidence in the Education Department, but why did he object to this power of the King in Council? What did it mean? It only meant that the Government—his own Government in Council—should advise His Majesty if they thought proper—the united wisdom of the greatest Cabinet with the greatest majority that ever existed. What really was at the root of the matter? There must be something more than mere objection to the Amendment that had been put forward, for if the whole thing was left to the discretion of the Government, what was the reason that this power should not be given? The truth of the matter was that the Government wanted to use compulsion towards the Commission and towards the voluntary schools. They did not want to leave time; they wanted to hurry on the matter in such a way that they might say, "if you do not come to terms at once and quickly—not one, or two, or ten cases a day, but a hundred cases a day—if you do not come to terms then you are left out altogether, and we will build other schools at the public expense." What was the next thing? The President of the Board of Education had asked the Committee to consider how Lord Cairns and others had done special work expeditiously by classification. Hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House objected to trusts for denominational purposes being classified and put on general terms. Each school had a perfect right to have its own case investigated and its own value determined. If the Government were really in earnest in trying to make progress with this Bill and to come to a fair agreement then this was exactly the kind of Amendment they could not object to. The Amendment did not take anything from them; it left the whole power with them; and it was for the ulterior reasons which he had ventured to suggest that he believed the Government refused to accept the Amendment.


remarked that the right hon. Gentleman had said truly that here was a case in which the Opposition were pressing on the Government an addition to their powers, and he had expressed astonishment that the Government did not jump at the opportunity of increasing their control. It was perfectly obvious that if the Government thought the power was necessary they would not refuse it. But let them consider whether it was necessary or not. The difficulty suggested was that the Commission might be blocked by the great number of cases—cases which the right hon. Gentleman had just told them might be incapable even of classification. He thought the right hon. Gentleman had scarcely considered the business aspect of the Commissioners' work. Of course the cases that would come before the Commission would be amply capable of classification. As a rule these trusts fell into several well-defined forms, and a few decisions would facilitate the settlement of hundreds if not thousands of cases. Then there would be a number of details left over which would have to be considered apart from the general character of the trusts. But these very details would fall under well-defined principles. The notion that this Commission would have to sit for forty or thirty-six years was a fantastic ide Even if it were supposed that the Commission might find itself blocked, what was the best part of the Bill to deal with the difficulty? Surely that part which related to the powers, constitution, and duties of the Commission. They could then adopt some proper form of words dealing with the case of schools, the schemes of which were not settled before the period appointed by Clause 1. There was nothing inconsistent or illogical in making in Clause 8 or Clause 10 some exception or provision with regard to Clause 1. The Opposition appeared to think that there must be some rigid iron logic which after having once passed Clause 1 made it impossible to make provisions with regard to this clause. In some senses the whole of the succeeding Bill might be regarded as a provision or modification of Clause 1. There was nothing at all impracticable or impossible in saying that when they came to deal with the work of the Commission they might make such provision as would meet difficulties which arose.


asked whether the Amendment which the right hon. Gentleman said might be moved on Clause 8 or Clause 10 affected the operation of the date mentioned in Clause 1. That was the point. In Clause 1 the maximum penalty was mentioned, but if through no fault of the owners of the schools no arrangement was come to with the local authority before January 1st 1908, what was to be done if that penalty was not to be inflicted.

LORD MORPETH (Birmingham, S.)

appealed to the right hon. Gentleman on behalf of the local authorities who would have to work the Act. The right hon. Gentleman had said that although he hoped they would have time to do the work he did not himself expect it. He thought that was the meaning of the words used by the right hon. Gentleman the other night. The President of the Board of Education had been long enough in office to know that whatever might be the merits of local authorities quickness was not one of them. The local authorities had to consult committees which could not meet from day to day as this House did, and they had to meet the owners of voluntary schools, who were, generally speaking, boards of trustees, and even if they had the best will in the world to hand over the schools there must be delay and difficulty. When they were not anxious to deliver over the schools they, instead of making haste, might be able to cause delay. They had heard a great deal about the length of time the Commission would take to deal with the cases, and whether they could get through their work expeditiously or not. It seemed to him that the President of the Board of Education ought to be anxious that the bulk of the agreements should be come to directly with the local authorities and without the aid of the Commission, and yet the right hon. Gentleman proposed that the local authorities should only have three months in the present year and the whole of next year in which to complete these agreements. The time was totally inadequate. The right hon. Gentleman must know how long it took under the present law to turn a voluntary school into a provided school. Under the Act of 1902 fresh arrangements had to be made with regard to endowments. The right hon. Gentleman's office was not expeditious, and under the Act of 1902 there were countless schemes proposed by the local authorities which had not been carried out. If it took so long to alter endowments which were sometimes small and unimportant, how much longer it would take to alter the whole foundation on which these schools had been based. The right hon. Gentleman had given the local authorities a task which he knew they could not accomplish in the time allotted to them, and if he persisted in refusing to accept the Amendment it must be because he wished to force these agreements out of the hands of the local authorities into the hands of the Commissioners. The right hon. Gentleman had ended most of his speeches by threatening that if the voluntary schools did not make agreements the local authorities would provide schools. If the right hon. Gentleman knew more of the bodies who administered education he would know-that they were not quite so regardless of expense as to build a second school when there was already a school in the parish. If the Government were willing to give £1,000,000 of the ratepayers' money to build schools, he thought those who administered education had enough regard for economy to say that it would be absurd and extravagant to build another school where there was one already. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would afford time not to the Commission but to the local authorities to enable them to come to amicable arrangements with the owners of voluntary schools in as many cases as possible.


submitted to the. Solicitor-General that a great many laymen like himself had asked a plain question to which they

had not yet received an answer. The question was how far the Government were going to amend Clause 8 and give it a retrospective effect on Clause 1. Would the Amendment to be made in Clause 8 have practically the effect of repealing Clause 1?

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 190; Noes, 361. (Division List No. 90.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lowe, Sir Francis William
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex. F. Du Cros, Harvey Lundon, W.
Alison, Sir William Reynell Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan MacIver, David (Liverpool)
Anstruther-Gray, Major Esmonde, Sir Thomas MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Arkwright, John Stanhope Faber, George Denison (York) MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.
Arnold-Forster, Rt Hn Hugh O. Fardell, Sir T. George MacVeigh, Chas, (Donegal, E.)
Ashley, W. W. Farrell, James Patrick M'Calmont, Colonel James
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Fell, Arthur M'Hugh, Patrick A.
Balcares, Lord Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'gh W.
Baldwin, Alfred Ffrench, Peter M'Killop, W.
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J (City Lond. Field, William Magnus, Sir Philip
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Marks, H. H. (Kent)
Banner, John S. Harmood- Flavin, Michael Joseph Mason, James F. (Windsor)
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester) Fletcher, J. S. Meagher, Michael
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N. Flynn, James Christopher Meehan, Patrick A.
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Forster, Henry William Meysey-Thompson, E. C.
Beach, Hn. Michael HughHicks Gardner, Ernest (Berks, East) Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Mooney, J. J.
Bignold, Sir Arthur Gilhooly, James Morpeth, Viscount
Blake, Edward Ginnell, L. Muntz, Sir Philip A.
Boland, John Gordon, J. (Londonderry, South Murnaghan, George
Bowles, G. Stewart Haddock, George R. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Bridgeman, W. Clive Halpin, J. Nield, Herbert
Bull, Sir William James Hambro, Charles Eric Nolan, Joseph
Burdett-Coutts, W. Hamilton, Marquess of O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid
Burke, E. Haviland Hammond, John O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Butcher, Samuel Henry Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd O'Brien, William (Cork)
Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Harrington, Timothy O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Carlile, E. Hildred Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Castlereagh, Viscount Hazleton, Richard O'Doherty, Philip
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Healy, Timothy Michael O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey. Heaton, John Henniker O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Hervey, F. W. F. (BuryS. Edmds O'Dowd, John
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Hill, Sir Clement (Shrewsbury) O'Hare, Patrick
Clarke, Sir Edw. (City London) Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh'e. O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Hogan, Michael O'Kelly, James(Roscommon, N
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Houston, Robert Patterson O'Malley, William
Cogan, Denis J. Hunt, Rowland O'Mara, James
Condon, Thomas Joseph Joyce, Michael O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Kennaway, Rt Hn. Sir John H. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Courthope, G. Loyd Kenyon-Slaney, Rt. Hn. Col. W Parkes, Ebenezer
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Kilbride, Denis Pease, Herbert Pike(Darlingt'n
Craik, Sir Henry King, Sir Henry Seymour(Hull) Percy, Earl
Crean, Eugene Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Dalrymple, Viscount Lane-Fox, G. R. Power, Patrick Joseph
Delany, William Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Dillon, John Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham) Rawlinson, Frederick Peel
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Dolan, Charles Joseph Liddell, Henry Redmond, William (Clare)
Donelan, Captain A. Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham) Remnant, James Farquharson
Doughty, Sir George Lonsdale, John Brownlee Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert Thornton, Percy M. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool) Tuke, Sir John Batty Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Sheehan, Daniel Daniel Valentia, Viscount Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton) Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Waldron, Laurence Ambrose Young, Samuel
Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.) Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire) Younger, George
Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Starkey, John R. Warde, Col C. E. (Kent, Mid) TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—Mr. Salter and Mr. Evelyn Ceci
Stone, Sir Benjamin White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Talbot, Rt, Hn. J. G. (Oxf dUniv. Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Thomson, W. Mitchel-(Lanark) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Cairns, Thomas Fullerton, Hugh
Acland, Francis Dyke Cameron, Robert Furness, Sir Christopher
Adkins, W. Ryland Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gardner, Col. Alan (Hereford, S.
Agnew, George William Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Gibb, James (Harrow)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Cawley, Frederick Gill, A. H.
Alden, Percy Channing, Francis Allston Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert Jn.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Cheetham, John Fredericck Glendinning, R. G.
Armitage, R. Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Glover, Thomas
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Goddard, Daniel Ford
Ashton, Thomas Gair Clough, W. Grant, Corrie
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Clynes, J. R. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough)
Astbury, John Meir Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Greenwood, Hamar (York)
Atherley-Jones, L. Cobbold, Felix Thornley Griffith, Ellis J.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Collins, Sir W. J. (S. Pancras, W Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill
Baker, Joseph A.(Finsbury, E.) Cooper, G. J. Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B.
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Hall, Frederick
Barker, John Cory, Clifford John Harcourt, Right Hon. Lewis
Barlow, J. Emmott (Somerset) Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Cowan, W. H. Hart-Davies, T.
Barnard, E. B. Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Barnes, G. N. Cremer, William Randal Harwood, George
Barran, Rowland Hirst Crombie John William Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Beale, W. P. Crosfield, A. H. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Beauchamp, E. Cross, Alexander Haworth, Arthur A.
Beaumont, Hubert (Eastbourne Crossley, William J. Hazel, Dr. A. E.
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Dalziel, James Henry Hedges, A. Paget
Bell, Richard Davies, David (MontgomeryCo. Helme, Norval Watson
Bellairs, Carlyon Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Benn, J. Williams (Devonport) Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Henry, Charles S.
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S. Herbert, Colonel Ivor (Mon. S.)
Berridge, T. H. D. Dickinson, H. W. (S. Pancras, N.) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Bertram, Julius Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Higham, John Sharp
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hobart, Sir Robert
Bilson, Alfred Dobson, Thomas W. Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Dodd, W. H. Hodge, John
Black, Alexander Win. (Banff) Duckworth, James Holden, E. Hopkinson
Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordshire) Duncan, C. (Batrow-in-Furness Holland, Sir William Henry
Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E.) Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Hooper, A. G.
Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Hove, W. Bateman (Somerset, N.
Brace, William Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Horniman, Emslie John
Brigg, John Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Bright, J. A. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Brocklehurst. W. D. Edwards, Frank (Radnor) Hudson, Walter
Brodie, H. C. Elibank, Master of Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Brooke, Stopford Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Hyde, Clarendon
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Erskine, David C. Illingworth, Percy H.
Brunner, Sir J. T. (Cheshire) Essex, R. W. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberdeen Evans, Samuel T. Jackson, R. S.
Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs) Eve, Harry Trelawney Jacoby, James Alfred
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Everett, R. Lacey Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Faber, G. H. (Boston) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Fenwick, Charles Jones, D Brynmor (Swansea)
Burnyeat, J. D. W. Ferens, T. R. Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Syndey Chas. Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Kearley,. Hudson, E.
Byles, William Pollard Fuller, John Michael F. Kekewich Sir George.
Kelley, George D. Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek) Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Kincaid-Smith, Captain Pearce, William (Limehouse) Stuart, James (Sunderland)
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester) Sullivan, Donal
Laidlaw, Robert Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Summerbell, T.
Lamb, Edmund, G. (Leominster Perks, Robert William Sutherland, J. E.
Lamb, Ernest, H. (Rochester Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Lambert, George Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Pollard, Dr. Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury)
Layland-Baratt, Francis Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Lea, Hugh Cecil (S. Pancras, E.) Price, Robert Jn. (Norfolk, E.) Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Lehmann, R. C. Priestley, Arthur (Grantham) Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)
Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral) Rainy, A. Holland Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
Levy, Maurice Raphael, Herbert H. Thorne, William
Lewis, John Herbert Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Tillett, Louis John
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Tomkinson, James
Lough, Thomas Rees, J. D. Torrance, A. M.
Lupton, Arnold Rendall, Athelstan Toulmin, George
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Renton, Major Leslie Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Lyell, Charles Henry Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n Verney, F. W.
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Richardson, A. Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Rickett, J. Compton Vivian, Henry
Mackarness, Frederic C. Ridsdale, E. A. Wadsworth, J.
Maclean, Donald Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wallace, Robert
M'Crae, George Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Walsh, Stephen
M'Kenna, Reginald Robertson, Rt. Hn. E. (Dundee Walters, John Tudor
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.}
M'Micking, Major G. Robinson, S. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Maddison, Frederick Robson, Sir William Snowdon Ward, W Dudley Southamp'n
Mallet, Charles E. Roe, Sir Thomas Wardle, George J.
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Rogers, F. E. Newman Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)
Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln Rose, Charles Day Wason, J. Cathcart (Orkney)
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Rowlands, J. Waterlow, D. S.
Marnham, F. J. Runciman, Walter Watt, H. Anderson
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Russell, T. W. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Massie, J. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Whitbread, Howard
Masterman, C. F. G. Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) White, George (Norfolk)
Menzies, Walter Scarisbrick, T. T. L. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Micklem, Nathaniel Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Molteno, Percy Alport Schwann, Chas, E.(Manchester) Whitehead, Rowland
Mond, A. Scott, A. H. (Ashton under-Lyne Whitley, J. H. (Halifax
Money, L. G. Chiozza Seaverns, J. H. Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Montagu, E. S. Seddon, J. Wilkie, Alexander
Montgomery, H. H. Seely, Major J. B. Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Shackleton, David James Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen)
Morley, Rt. Hon. John Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.) Williamson, A. (Elgin & Nairn)
Morrell, Philip Shipman, Dr. John G. Wilson, Hon. C. H. W. (Hull, W.)
Morse, L. L. Silcock, Thomas Ball Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Simon, John Allsebrook Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Murray, James Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Myer, Horatio Sloan, Thomas Henry Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Napier, T. B. Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Nicholls, George Soames, Arthur Wellesley Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Nicholson, Chas. H. (Doncaster Soares, Ernest J. Winfrey, R.
Norman, Henry Spicer, Albert Wodehouse, Lord (Norfolk, Mid
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanger, H. Y. Woodhouse, Sir J.T. (Huddrsfld
Nussey, Thomas Willans Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh. Yoxall James Henry
Nuttall, Harry Steadman, W C.
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Stewart, Halley (Greenock) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease
Parker, James (Halifax) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Paul, Herbert Strachey, Sir Edward
Paulton, James Mellor Straus, B. S. (Mile End)
LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

rose to move— In line 8, after the word 'school' to insert the words 'other than any marine school or any school which is part of or held in the premises of any institution in which children are boarded.'


said the Amendment was out of order, because if the hon. Member would look at Clause 38 he would find that marine schools, etc., were expressly dealt with.


submitted that the Amendment was in order. It was true that Clause 38 would reserve to the Board of Education the power to give a Parliamentary grant to marine schools, but he wished to except them from the operation of Clause 1. When they came to Clause 38 he would be unable to except them and these schools would ipso facto become provided schools.


said that the question would properly arise under Clause 38, which dealt with the exception of these very schools.


asked for a further ruling as to whether an Amendment to Clause 38 excluding such schools would be in order.


said that any rulings with regard to Clause 38 would have to be considered by whoever was in the Chair when that clause was reached.


thought it right to ask the Deputy Chairman whether this question could be raised hereafter, and whether it should not now be dealt with.


said he could express no opinion as regards the future. All he could do was to rule as regards the present, and, in his opinion, the proposed Amendment was not in order in this place, for the reason which he had stated.

MR. RAWLINSON (Cambridge University)

rose to move an Amendment the effect of which was, he said, that instead of fixing a date at which the Act should come into force, they should insert words to say that the school should continue to be a public elementary school until a date when either an arrangement had been come to with the trustees or the Commission had sat and completed the scheme. Such an Amendment would meet the objection which had been entertained on both sides of the Committee as to the fixed date, and it would meet the justice of the case.

MR. SAMUEL EVANS (Glamorganshire, Mid.)

rose to a point of order. This Amendment had not been put upon the Paper and it was difficult to follow, but he gathered that it sought to make certain exceptions for certain schools. He submitted that the proper place to do that was at the end of this clause. They had in the clause the word "unless," and as he understood it, if the words proposed were inserted, the section would not read. It would be absolutely bad drafting and would make the clause rubbish.


asked as a point of order whether a question of good or bad drafting was a question of order.


submitted that that was not a point of order.


(who had resumed his place) said he had looked very carefully at this Amendment when it was handed in, and it struck him as being an Amendment which raised the question of delay in another form from that recently decided. Therefore he concluded that it was in order and that the hon. Member should be allowed to move it. He would, however, look at the other matter of whether it read or not.


submitted that the point of order was a substantial one. If the Amendment was inserted, the clause would not read.


submitted that his Amendment was in order and that with it the clause would read perfectly.


thought the objection raised by the hon. and learned Member was correct. If these words were put in he thought the words at the end of the clause would not read properly.

*SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities) moved to insert after "not" in line 8 of the clause the words "except with the sanction of the Board of Education." His object, he explained, was to raise the very serious and important question whether they were to confine schools entirely to one uniform cast-iron system or to continue on educational grounds that variety which had hitherto been found so beneficial. The Act of 1870 laid down the principle that the Department should not give any preference or advantage to any school on the ground that it was or was not provided by a school board. The Amendment was proposed with the intention of allowing schools to relieve themselves of the control of the local authority by ceasing to participate in the rates. He thought that such an arrangement would be fair and legitimate and it certainly was not an alarming one. It was quite possible that there might be schools where the managers might prefer to have freedom from interference by the local elected body, in consideration of giving up the assistance they received from the rates. Was it anything but fair that such an arrangement should be allowed to prevail in cases where the option was chosen by the local managers wild confirmed by the Board of Education? In that case they had the security of inspection by a Board responsible to the House of Commons, and who found that the school was thoroughly efficient and was producing an article which the State wanted and for which it had paid hitherto. The opportunity of earning; grants without receiving rate aid and at the same time preserving independence had hitherto been open to these schools and it was still open to schools in Scotland and Ireland. The State took a very different attitude from the local authority towards a school. The grant by the State was a fixed one, and was given for work actually done, but the local authority made good any deficiency there might be in the revenues of the school. What they were desirous of preserving was the complete independence of the managers of the control of the local body; and if the Board of Education considered that a school might be sanctioned, that its efficiency was such and its work was such that it was really worth what the State offered in return, he thought it should be allowed to continue as heretofore to earn the grant. The local authority assumed a very different position. It entered into the management of a school, and had to supply all deficiencies. The Parliamentary grant was strictly limited in amount, and did not affect to supply all deficiencies. It was only paid, as it was earned, in return for work actually done. The local authority might assume some return for its payments, and with some justice, because it paid not only a limited amount for work done, but it paid any deficiency there might be in the revenue of the school. It might be said that, even with the sanction of the Board of Education, to continue to recognise those schools as State-aided schools was a contravention of one of those mandates so frequently referred to—the mandate in favour of public control. But he did not recognise the mandate except in the strictly limited sense. Public control was perfectly fair, and no doubt was approved by the constituencies, but at ground for public control was given in the public grants. In return for the Parliamentary grant they had the only control which Parliament ever had, namely, a right to have inspection as to efficiency. What he asked for by his Amendment was that with the sanction of the Board of Education, where the efficiency of the school had been thoroughly ascertained, where the managers were prepared to carry on their school as an independent institution they should be allowed to do so. He asked for this on the further ground, and all educational experience would prove it, that it would be a real educational benefit. It would be an injury to the education of this country, and contrary to the tendency of our national genius, if we forced upon the country a single type of school under the public authority. No one who had dealt with these schools and had seen how well they met the requirements of the particular districts in which they were, would be ready to see them entirely replaced by one single mould of school. He was not sure that it would not be well for the country to have a type of school in which economy was to a certain extent studied. Over and over again they had had to remonstrate with local bodies who spent freely, and as they thought extravagantly, in the building of schools. It would not be a bad thing that they should have a type of school which should show that thorough efficiency could be attained with strict economy. Economy was found combined with efficiency in many of the voluntary schools of Scotland. There were many Roman Catholic schools in Scotland which, although they could not indulge in the lavish architectural structures which sometimes evoked their protests, did the utmost good. He wished to plead for the amount of freedom which had worked well in a country where they were not troubled with the religious difficulty, which did not seek to cheek free elasticity, and which did not force the schools to adopt a cast-iron form of school.

Amendment proposed—

In page 1, line 8, after the word 'not' to insert 'except with the sanction of the Board of Education.' "—(Sir Henry Craik.)

Question proposed, "That those words be inserted."

DR. MACNAMARA (Camberwell, N.)

said that this was the most vicious and reactionary proposition that they were likely to hear during the course of these debates. He was amazed that such a proposition should come from an hon. Member so long engaged in the education of the best educated country in the world. It was no good to quote the voluntary schools of Scotland, because the system as understood in England did not exist in Scotland. In this case they were dealing with a system under which more than half the schools of the country were voluntary schools, and this was a proposal to allow them to contract themselves out and to go back to the days prior to the Act of 1902. If the hon. Gentleman knew anything about the inside of the voluntary schools of this country, whatever they might be north of the Tweed, he would not have made this proposal. He had never denied that whatever the faults of the Act of 1902, it accomplished a great reform when it put the voluntary schools upon the same level as the other public elementary schools of the country. Did the hon. Gentleman who moved this Amendment know the conditions of the voluntary schools in this country before they were to some extent put under public control? Did he know that in the fabric of the schools, in the size of the classes, in the ill-qualified condition of the teachers and their pay, most of these school were practically starved? They knew voluntary schools that were in such a condition that people had said; they would not keep their horses and dogs in them. The Act of 1902 did this good. It dragged them out of the obscurity of private management and brought them into the arena of public concern. It made their teachers in a measure public servants and their children the care of the public authority. Now the Committee was asked to go-back to the vicious principle of Parliamentary grants and voluntary subscriptions which had been in force before 1902. It was retrograde and pusillanimous to the last degree. There were grave difficulties in trying to render popular control compatible with denominational teaching; but they had to face those difficulties, and it would be the greatest weakness on their part to dodge those difficulties and say they would throw off their responsibility and let these schools go back to the condition of things under which they starved prior to 1902. It would put these schools back entirely into the hands of the clergy and destroy the small measure of public control given by the Leader of the Opposition in the Bill of 1902 and the full control provided for by this Bill. Did the hon. Gentleman seriously think they could keep those schools up to their present level of efficiency? It was part of the theory that there should be the same inspection. That was part of the theory before the Act of 1902; that the same inspectors examined the Board schools and the voluntary schools and that they would see that the value of the income from voluntary subscriptions was made up in some way and that the schools were brought up to the same level as the Board schools. But in the old days the Board of Education inspectors had a double standard of efficiency, and the presumption was that a double standard would be set up again by the Board of Education. It was a reactionary proposal which he hoped the Committee would deal with now once and for all in the most unmistakable manner by saying that they could not go back, but must go forward in the direction of a public and national system of education. They must not go back to the starved and parsimonious system formerly carried on under the name of piety. The voluntary system, to a large extent simply enabled parsimony to masquerade under the guise of piety. In the great bulk of the cases where people said they preferred denominational teaching they meant they preferred to dodge the School Board Rate. He appealed to the Committee to meet the difficulties as best they could and not to go back to the bad old days before the Act of 1902, when half the children of the country were educationally starved.


on a point of order, said he was not quite sure what Amendment the Committee were discussing. The actual words moved from the Chair were "except with the sanction of the Board of Education." The effect of accepting those words would be to allow the Board of Education to permit certain schools to go on as they were now going on under the Act of 1902, with popular control in all matters secular; but the speech of the hon. Member contained another proposition. The Committee ought to know which proposition it was discussing. Both were very important and very arguable.


said the hon. Member had one Amendment down upon the Paper, and he had handed in another which differed from that on the Paper, which he proposed to move later, and which he (the Chairman) presumed, from the hon. Member's speech, was consequential to the one just moved. The Amendment handed in was as follows—

Clause 1, page 1, line 9, after the word 'is' to insert 'either supported by aid from the rates or is.'

Ordinarily both Amendments in such a case were arguable.


said it was exceedingly desirable that the Committee should know what they were discussing. He entirely agreed with the latter proposition, but he was under the impression that they were discussing the first Amendment of the hon. Member, the effect of which would be to give to the Board of Education the power to allow any voluntary school to stand outside the provisions of this Bill.


said he could only take the matter put before him. The hon. Member for the Aberdeen University moved this Amendment, and then made a speech in which he dealt with the Amendment which had been read to the Committee and which he proposed to move later. Therefore he presumed that the Amendment moved by the hon. Member could be debated in its stricter sense, and also the other question raised by the later Amendment.


asked what was; the Question upon which they were going to divide. Would those Members of the Committee in favour of exempting certain schools so that they could remain under the Act he allowed to express that opinion in the Division Lobby.


said that this matter must be settled before they proceeded any further. Were they now discussing an Amendment which gave the Board of Education authority to allow any school to remain under the Act of 1902, or were they bound to some subsequent Amendment.


Have, you not put from the Chair the words— "Except with the sanction of the Board of Education?"


I have put an Amendment about which the Committee can judge for themselves. The hon. Member who moved that Amendment coupled with it another Amendment which introduces the option of going back to the Act of 1902. Hon. Members may go into whichever Lobby they prefer.

MR. JOHN REDMOND (Waterford)

Are we taking a Division upon the additional Amendment as well.


The Question put from the Chair was whether the Board of Education would or would not have a veto.


said that many hon. Members would be inclined to vote for the first Amendment but not for the second, and it was most desirable that they should be separated.


With the consent of the Committee perhaps I can relieve them from this difficulty. I think we had better take the discussion on the narrower ground of the Amendment moved, as that appears to be what the Committee desires.


asked whether, if the Committee decided not to introduce the words put from the Chair, that would carry an adverse decision in regard to an Amendment which was not before the Committee, and would the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen University be able to raise the other question dealt with in his Amendment.


I have not paid very careful attention to this later Amendment, but if the subsequent Amendment makes the Clause read properly I shall allow a discussion upon it.


Then we had better first get rid of the Amendment "except with the sanction of the Board of Education." The Government must oppose this proposal.

MR. LANE-FOX (Yorkshire, W. R., Barkston Ash)

said he should support this Amendment because it afforded a safeguard that denominational schools would receive fair treatment. The West Riding County Council had proved hard task-masters to denominational schools, and he had no hesitation in saying that they in the West Riding would be most grateful if the Committee would provide some alternative by which they would not be put entirely under the power of that council. There had already been serious conflict between the school trustees and the Education Authority, and these difficulties would be certain to recur. He hoped the Committee would pause before leaving these denominational schools to be swallowed up in the manner in which the West Riding County Council lad attempted to swallow them up before. There were large bodies in the county who had very serious grievances against the county council, and if the Bill passed in the present form they would be left without appeal. He asked the Committee by passing this Amendment to give them a chance of being heard.


said it was curious that the Minister for Education should so soon have forgotten his speech to the Jewish deputation. Of the present Amendment he had disposed in one sentence by saying he could not accept it. In his speech to the Jewish deputation he denounced these pig-headed authorities.


I said an authority might be pig-headed.


Then why did he contemplate with horror the power of checking it and making it reasonable? Was the position of the Government this, that having created The extraordinary new monster which was to provide religion and education all over the I country, yet if the monster behaved pig-headedly and unreasonably to the scattered units which still had some regard for religion and some consideration for their children, they refused an appeal such as the Japanese or Chinese had in South Australia or Africa if ill-treated by the Colonial Authority? This was the Amendment to which the Catholics, he thought, looked with the most confidence. It might be thought that the authorities throughout the length and breadth of the country would act reasonably. He was confident that by nine-tenths of these authorities fair play would be extended, but was nothing to be done for the submerged tenth, the pigheaded ones? Leaving the Romans, as they were called, out of consideration, let them take the case of the Jews. Jews had been ill-treated in this country; on the Continent a fashionable system of Jewish persecution prevailed, and there had been some attempt at providing it in this country. Let them suppose that a Jewish school was unfairly treated. Was there to be no appeal to the central authority? That was an absolute abrogation of the power of the central authority. At present there was an appeal to the central authority in every other matter, and was there to be no appeal under the Bill, and that too at a time when the local authority was to be given a million sterling out of public moneys? Let them take the case of the West Riding of Yorkshire, would the right hon. Gentleman stand up and defend what had been done in Yorkshire? He could not do it. And let it be remembered there might be areas in which there would be Church bodies who would act as unreasonably from an Anglican point of view as the West Riding authority had acted from a secularist or Nonconformist point of view. Were the Government so satisfied with these bodies, which were elected on gusts of popular opinion on questions unconnected with religion, that from their sovereign view there was to be no appeal? Was there to be no appeal to gentlemen who would see fair play? Why did the right hon. Gentleman say that he would contemplate this with horror? He was new to office, but did he suppose that he was speaking for all time? This Bill was legislating for all time. Some day or other in the next century they might expect to see a Conservative Administration in office. The right hon. Gentleman was not legislating for the Liberal Party, but for England; he was legislating for the Catholics and the Jews as well as for Nonconformists. Therefore he respectfully appealed to the Government not to allow this occasion to pass by without showing some consideration for the aggrieved feelings existing on that side of the House. Was it supposed that they were alarmists without reason? Were all their fears invented? Was this all a political dodge? Were they more concerned in politics than in these other matters? Upon a thousand questions he voted with the Government, but upon this he should vote with the Opposition. This was the opportunity for the Minister of Education to do something to allay their fears. He therefore said that this was the time for the right hon. Gentleman to come forward, and with regard to the well-founded fears which they entertained—fears created by the action of these Yorkshire authorities—to in- troduce into the Bill a provision which would enable them to accept it.

SIR HENRY FOWLER (Wolverhampton, E.)

while sympathising with a great deal the hon. and learned Member had just said, pointed out that the question before the Committee was whether the Board of Education was to have a veto upon the application of the Act in every locality in England. The Government were legislating for the whole of England, and trying, whether skilfully or unskilfully, to put in the forefront of the Bill one principle, and one principle only—namely, that the dual system of schools in this country should cease, and that all public elementary schools—no matter with what denomination they might be connected, or what their history—so far as they received public moneys, should be subject to the provisions of this Act. There were already in the Bill provisions for protecting some of the interests that the hon. Gentleman referred to, and it was time the Committee got to the consideration of those clauses. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham had said there were 16,000 or 17,000 schools to be dealt with. Talk about four years being occupied in settling the questions which would arise ! If this Amendment were accepted it would take ten years. It was an absolutely impracticable Amendment. It could not be carried out.

MR. EVELYN CECIL (Aston Manor)

remarked that the discussion might have been avoided if the Government had consented to postpone the first clause. In certain circumstances it was not impossible that many members of the Opposition might be in favour of one system of public control; but if they could not be sure that denominational schools would be safeguarded and protected in an adequate manner, he did not see how they could do otherwise than vote for the Amendment. He would rather have done as the Chancellor of the Duchy suggested, namely, have settled this question on Clauses 3 and 4 before having this discussion at all. It might then have been unnecessary to move the Amendment. But for that reason he thought it most desirable that the discussion should be conducted by the Government with more forethought and that a full opportunity should be given of postponing or not postponing clauses which, after all, were much more material when the discussion on other clauses had taken place.

MR. CARLILE (Hertfordshire, St. Albans)

said the Chancellor of the Ducky of Lancaster had informed the Committee quite correctly that this Amendment did raise the question of the dual system. He and some hon. Members on the Opposition side of the House would appeal to the President of the Board of Education once more to admit this principle or rather to retain it as they had it at present. The hon. Member for North Camberwell had spoken in very disparaging terms of the voluntary schools; he had been an assistant master in a very large and palatial board school. It was a great mistake to suppose that the best education was always given in the largest schools. There was no commoner fallacy in this country than that the best education must be given in the £15 per place board schools and county council schools of the country. The best education was given in those schools where the personality of the teacher could be impressed on the children.


The hon. Member does not seem to be applying himself to the Amendment. The question of the kind of schools would come much better on the next Amendment.


said he thought it was extremely vicious that they should adopt a system in this country which would saddle them with one particular kind of school. Under the system proposed by the Amendment they would be able to continue to have efficient instruction in the small schools as well as the large schools. They wanted to have the right of appeal to the right hon. Gentleman so long as he was at the Board of Education to protect them in country places from unreasonable educational authorities. Unless this Amendment was inserted the owners of voluntary schools would have no power to protect themselves from such authorities.

MR. SOARES (Devonshire, Barnstaple)

I rise to ask whether the hon. Member has not brought himself within Rule 19, which applies to an hon. Gentleman who persists in irrelevancy.


That is a matter which should essentially be left to the Chairman. It is usual for the Chairman to warn an hon. Member before proceeding to put that rule in operation.


said that under this Act the voluntary schools would pass into the hands of the local education authority. In that way the power of giving religious instruction according to their faith would be entirely destroyed unless they had an appeal to the right hon. Gentleman to protect them from that outrage.

EARL PERCY (Kensington, S.)

said the position of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Wolverhampton was that the Government could not accept the Amendment because it would strike at the root principle of the Bill, which was the principle of public control. It had been the contention of his hon. friends throughout that the principle of public control, to which they did not object in the least, was fully recognised in the Bill of 1902.


That was not my contention. My point was that the only question before the Committee at this moment is whether there should or should not be an appeal to the Board of Education to settle whether A, B, or C in a certain place should or should not be subject to the definition in the clause.


said he could not understand any reason why there should not be an appeal. The position of the Opposition was that so far as secular education was concerned there was full provision for public control under the Bill of 1902, because the local authority held the purse and no school could get public money unless the managers satisfied the Board of Education that the secular education given in the school was sufficient. This Bill did not give the local authority control over religious education. It made it impossible for the local authority to grant a single penny of public money for doctrinal teaching, although all the ratepayers in a district belonged to the same denomination. What they were discussing now was whether consistently with the safeguard of public control, about which hon. Gentlemen opposite were so anxious, they could not give the right to some schools to stand outside the particular system contemplated by this Bill. There was nothing to prevent the Education Department from saying: "We will allow you to continue under the conditions of the Act of 1902; but we will attach to this permission or exemption some such condition as that all the managers, or a majority of the managers, shall be popularly elected." He hoped the Government would see their way to accept the Amendment.


said he hoped hon. Gentlemen opposite would remember that this was a measure which created a very strong feeling in different portions of the Committee; and it was putting something of a strain upon the Gentlemen sitting on the Opposition and Irish Benches when speeches were delivered such as that by the hon. Member sitting on the back Ministerial bench in which the voluntary schools were referred to in a very slighting manner. If there was one thing more necessary than another at the commencement of a long discussion on a Bill of this kind, it was that good temper should be displayed on all sides; but he did not see how that was to be maintained for any length of time when observations of that kind were made against hon. Gentlemen who supported voluntary schools at a time when nothing was done for education by the State. He asked the Minister for Education whether he could not reconsider the position he had taken up. He did not think that the Amendment meant that there should be an appeal in every single case from the local educational authority, but only that the local authority should give their sanction to certain schools. There was nothing strange in that demand, and nothing against the principle of the Bill. They were all anxious to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion on this question, and he thought that the President of the Board of Education would be well advised if he met hon. Members with as much conciliation as possible. The right hon. Gentleman had said that this clause, was the backbone of the Bill, but it would be necessary to hear the views of those who were opposed to it.


said that the words proposed to be inserted by the Amendment would throw on the Board of Education the duty of considering every school in the country unless without that sanction the school fell under Clause 4. He could only repeat what his right hon. friend had said in regard to an appeal to the Board of Education, that that would receive careful consideration on a later clause. But to insert the words of the Amendment into this clause would upset the whole Bill.


made the suggestion that the Amendment should be withdrawn. Surely the right hon. Gentleman, the Minister for Education, was speaking with sincerity. Let them clinch the bargain.


said that Parliamentary understandings were apt to lead to misunderstandings. When he said that when this question of an appeal to the Board of Education was discussed under Clause 4, in cases where the local authority might be considered to act unreasonably, it would be carefully considered; but the word bargain must not be allowed to be used.


said he did not think that the point at issue was quite clear even now. The right hon. Gentleman said that at some later period the Government would consider the question of an appeal from the local authority in all cases. Some of the speakers had dealt with the Amendment as if it involved that. It did nothing of the kind. What was wanted was to give the right hon. Gentleman and his Department the right to take those schools out of the Bill. The Amendment provided in a very convenient way for meeting the wishes of those people for whom the extended facilities clause had been provided; and if the right hon. Gentleman accepted this Amendment it might prevent discussions on Clause 4 which otherwise would be very prolonged. There was the special case of the Jews and Roman Catholics, which all were agreed were exceptional. By the Amendment it would be perfectly possible for the managers of Catholic and Jewish schools to appeal to the Board of Education to relieve them from the operation of the Bill. Was not that really the object of the right hon. Gentleman himself? Was not that the simplest way of accomplishing what he designed by Clause 4? By Clause 4 the right hon. Gentleman said that if certain conditions were satisfied, including the fact that four-fifths of the parents of the children in a particular school were, agreed, they were to have a religious atmosphere in the school, secured by the appointment of their own teachers, and those teachers were to give the religious education. Why then should the right hon. Gentleman object to certain schools being exempt from the operation of the Bill? He himself was in favour of all those exemptions to Jews and Catholics and Anglicans; and when the proper time came he was going to protest in the Committee, and elsewhere, as loudly and strenuously as he could, against making a distinction between people I who occupied precisely the same position I as regarded their conscientious convictions. He did not believe in treating the conscientious objection of one man as if it were of a different character from

the conscientious objection of another man. Therefore, he should vote for this Amendment, because it would allow the Education Department to make exemptions.


said that though the Amendment was somewhat obscurely drawn, it was absurd to say that it would have the effect of bringing in 15,000 or 16,000 schools to appeal against the operation of the Bill when passed. It was perfectly well known that the decisions in forty or fifty cases would rule the whole country. The effect of the Amendment would be that the Board of Education would have the power to take into consideration the cases of schools where there was no difference of opinion—schools which were homogeneous, and immediate exemption would be given from the operation of the Act if desired. And whether they desired it would largely depend on the effect of the later Amendments which would be proposed on this Bill. If they did desire to be exempted, all that the Amendment would do would be to give to the Board of Education the power to lay down a rule for their exemption.

Question put.

The Committee divided: Ayes, 171; Noes, 336. (Division List No. 91.)

Abraham, William (Cork, N. E. Burke, E. Haviland- Doughty, Sir George
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir A. F. Butcher, Samuel Henry Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Ambrose, Robert Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M. Du Cros, Harvey
Anson, Sir William Reynell Carlile, E. Hildred Duncan, Robert (Lan'k,Govan
Anstruther-Gray, Major Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Esmonde, Sir Thomas
Arkwright, John Stanhope Castlereagh, Viscount Faber, George Denison (York)
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. HughO Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Fardell, Sir T. George
Ashley, W. W. Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Farrell, James Patrick
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Fell, Arthur
Balcarres, Lord Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey
Baldwin, Alfred Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm. Ffrench, Peter
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (City Lond. Clarke, Sir Edward (City Lond. Field, William
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.
Baring, Hon. Guy (Winchester Cogan, Denis J. Flavin, Michael Joseph
Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Condon, Thomas Joseph Flynn, James Christopher
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Courthope, G. Loyd Forster, Henry William
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Craig, Captain James (Down, E. Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Crean, Eugene Gilhooly, James
Bignold, Sir Arthur Dalrymple, Viscount Ginnell, L.
Blake, Edward Delany, William Haddock, George R.
Boland, John Devlin, Charles Ramsay (Galw. Halpin, J.
Bridgeman, W. Clive Dillon, John Hamilton, Marquess of
Bull, Sir William James Dolan, Charles Joseph Hammond, John
Burdett-Coutts, W. Donelan, Captain A. Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd
Harrington, Timothy Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Remnant, James Farquharson
Harrison-Broadley, Col. H. B. Middlemore, J. Throgmorton Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall
Hayden, John Patrick Mooney, J. J. Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Hazleton, Richard Morpeth, Viscount Rutherford W. W. (Liverpool)
Healy, Timothy Michael Muntz, Sir Philip A. Salter, Arthur Clavell
Heaton, John Henniker Murnaghan, George Seely, Major J. B.
Hervey, F. W. F. (BuryS. Edm'ds Murphy, John Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Hill, Henry Staveley (Staff'sh).) Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield Smith, F. E. (Liverp'l, Walton
Hogan, Michael Nield, Herbert Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Houston, Robert Paterson Nolan, Joseph Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.
Joyce, Michael O'Brien, Kendal (Tip'ary Mid. Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Starkey, John R.
Kennedy, Vincent Paul O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Stone, Sir Benjamin
Kilbride, Denis O'Connor, John (Kildare, N. Sullivan, Donal
King, Sir H. Seymour (Hull) O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Unv
Line-Fox, G. R. O'Doherty, Philip Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark
Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.) Tuke, Sir John Batty
Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Valentia, Viscount
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants., F're'm O'Dowd, John Waldron, Laurence Ambrose
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage O'Hare, Patrick Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancash.)
Liddell, Henry O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Lonsdale, John Brownlee O'Malley, William Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Lundon, W. O'Mara, James White, Patrick (Meath, North)
MacIver, David (Liverpool) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
MacNeill, John Gordon Swift O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S. Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend) Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E. Parkes, Ebenezer Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
M'Calmont, Colonel James Pease, H. Pike (Darlington) Young, Samuel
M'Hugh, Patrick A. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Younger, George
M'Kean, John Power, Patrick Joseph
M'Killop, W. Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Henry Craik and Sir Francis Lowe.
Magnus, Sir Philip Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Mason, James F. (Windsor) Rawlinson, J. Frederick Peel
Meagher, Michael Redmond, John E. (Waterford
Mechan, Patrick A. Redmond, William (Clare)
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Black, Arthur W. (Bedfordsh.) Collins, Sir W. J. (S. Pancras, W
Acland, Francis Dyke Bolton, T. D. (Derbyshire, N. E. Corbett, C.H. (S's'x, E. Grinst)
Adkins, W. Ryland Boulton, A. C. F. (Ramsey) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A.
Agnew, George William Brace, William Cory, Clifford John
Ainsworth, John Stirling Bramsdon, T. A. Cotton, Sir H. J. S.
Alden, Percy Branch, James Cowan, W. H.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Brigg, John Cremer, William Randal
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Bright, J. A. Crombie, John William
Astbury, John Meir Brocklehurst, W. D. Cross, Alexander
Atherley-Jones, L. Brodie, H. C. Crosaley, William J.
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Brooke, Stopford Dalziel, James Henry
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E. Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Davies, David (Montgomery Co.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Bryce, Rt. Hn. James (Aberd'n Davies M. Vaughan-(Cardigan
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight Bryce, J. A. (Inverness Burghs Davies, Timothy (Fulham)
Barker, John Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.)
Barlow, J. Emmott (Somerset) Buckmaster, Stanley O. Dickison, W. H. (St. Pancras, N
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Burns, Rt. Hon. John Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.
Barnard, E. B. Burnyeat, J. D. W. Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles
Barnes, G. N. Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Dobson, Thomas W.
Barran, Rowland Hirst Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Duckworth, James
Beale, W. P. Byles, William Pollard Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness
Beauchamp, E. Cairns, Thomas Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley)
Beaumont, W. C. B. (Hexham) Carr-Gomm, H. W. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne)
Bell, Richard Cawley, Frederick Edwards, Clement (Denbigh)
Bellairs, Carlyon Channing, Francis Allston Edwards, Enoch (Hanley)
Bonn J. Williams (Devonport) Cheetham, John Frederick Edwards, Frank (Radnor)
Benn, W. T'w'r H'ml'ts, S. Geo. Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Elibank Master of
Bennett, E. N. Clarke, C. Goddard (Peckham) Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward
Berridge, T. H. D. Cleland, J. W. Erskine, David C.
Bertram, Julius Clough, W. Essex, R. W.
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Clynes, J. R. Evans, Samuel T.
Billson, Alfred Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W) Eve, Harry Trelawney
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Cobbold, Felix Thornley Everett, R. Lacey
Black, Alexander Win. (Banff. Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Faber, G. H. (Boston)
Fenwick, Charles Levy, Maurice Robinson, S.
Ferens, T. R. Lewis, John Herbert Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lough, Thomas Roe, Sir Thomas
Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Lupton, Arnold Rogers, F. E. Newman
Fuller, John Michael F. Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Rose, Charles Day
Fullerton, Hugh Lyell, Charles Henry Rowlands, J.
Furness, Sir Christopher Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Russell, T. W.
Gill, A. H. Macdonald, J. M. (Fal'k, B'ghs Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert J. Maclean, Donald Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)
Glendinning, R. G. Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Glover, Thomas McCrea, George Scarisbrick, T. T. L.
Goddard, Daniel Ford McKenna, Reginald Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Gooch, George Peabody McLaren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Schwann, Chas. E. (Manch'st'r
Grant, Corrie McLaren, H. D. (Stafford, W.) Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) McMicking, Major G. Sears, J. E.
Gray, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward Maddison, Frederick Seaverns, J. H.
Griffith, Ellis J. Mallet, Charles E. Shackleton, David James
Grove, Archibald Manfield, Harry (Northants) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)
Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick, B.)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston Shipman, Dr. John G.
Hall, Frederick Marnham, F. J. Silcock, Thomas Ball
Harcourt, Right Hon. Lewis Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Simon, John Allsebrook
Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Wore'r) Massie, J. Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John
Hart-Davies, T. Menzies, Walter Sloan, Thomas Henry
Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Micklem, Nathaniel Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie
Harwood, George Mond, A. Soares, Ernest J.
Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Money, L. G. Chiozza Spicer, Albert
Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Montagu, E. S. Stanger, H. Y.
Haworth, Arthur A. Montgomery, H. H. Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Hazel, Dr. A. E. Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Steadman, W. C.
Hedges, A. Paget Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmartl en Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Helme, Norval Watson Morley, Rt. Hon. John Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Henderson, Arthur (Durham) Morse, L. L. Strachey, Sir Edward
Henderson, J. M. (Aberd'n, W.) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Henry, Charles S. Murray, James Stuart, James (Sunderland)
Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Myer, Horatio Summerbell, T.
Higham, John Sharp Napier, T. B. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Hobart, Sir Robert Newnes, Sir George (Swansea) Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Nicholls, George Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Hodge, John Nicholson, Charles N. (Doner.) Tennant, E. P. (Salisbury)
Holden, E. Hopkinson Norman, Henry Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Holland, Sir William Henry Norton, Capt, Cecil William Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Hooper, A. G. Nuttall, Harry Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Thomas, David Alfred (M'th'r)
Horniman, Emslie John Parkers James (Halifax) Thompson, J. W. H. (Som'r't, E
Horridge, Thomas Gardner Paul, Herbert Tillett, Louis John
Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Paulton, James Mellor Tomkinson, James
Hudson, Walter Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Torrance, A. M.
Hyde, Clarendon Pearce, William (Limehouse) Toulmin, George
Illingworth, Percy H. Pearson, Sir W. D. Colchester) Trevelvan, Charles Phillips
Isaacs, Rufus Daniel Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Verney, F. W.
Jackson, R. S. Philipps, J. Wynford (Pemb'ke Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Jacoby, James Alfred Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Wadsworth, J.
Jardine, Sir J. Pickersgill, Edward Hare Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Johnson, John (Gateshead) Pollard, Dr. Wallace, Robert
Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Price, C. E. (Edinburgh, Central) Walsh, Stephen
Jones, Leif (Appleby) Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E. Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Jones, William (Carnarvonsh. Radford, G. H. Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)
Kearley, Hudson E. Rainy, A. Holland Ward, W. Dudley (Southam'n
Kekewich, Sir George Raphael, Herbert H. Wardle, George J.
Kincaid-Smith, Captain Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan
Laidlaw, Robert Rees, J. D. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Lamb, Edmund G. (Leom'ster Rendall, Athelstan Waterlow, D. S.
Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester) Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mp'n Watt, H. Anderson
Lambert, George Richardson, A. Wedgwood, Josiah C.
Lawson, Sir Wilfrid Rickett, J. Compton Weir, James Galloway
Layland-Barratt, Francis Ridsdale, E. A. White, George (Norfolk)
Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire
Lehmann, R. C. Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Whitehead, Rowland
Lever, W. H. (Cheshie, Wirral) Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Whittaker, Thomas Palmer Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Wiles, Thomas Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough) Woodhouse, Sir J.T. (Hud'rsf'd
Wilkie, Alexander Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.) Yoxall, James Henry
Williams, J. (Glamorgan) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Williams, Osmond (Merioneth) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Williams, W. L. (Carmarthen) Winfrey, E.
Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.) Wodehouse, Lord (Norf'k, Mid.

Motion made, and Question, "That the Chairman do report progress; and ask leave to sit again"—(Mr. J. Ramsay Macdonald)—put, and agreed to.


said he had understood when moving his last Amendment that it would be more convenient to explain the object then of the further Amendment which he now proposed to move. He therefore did not think it necessary now to do more than to read the Amendment which he had handed in. It was— In Clause 1, line 9, after 'is' to insert 'either supported by aid from the rates or is.' The object of that was to make it certain that a school might be considered elegible for the Parliamentary grant which was either supported without aid from the rates or was a school provided by the local education authority. The object of the Amendment was that a school, although it might withdraw itself from the control of the local education authority, dispensing at the same time with the benefit of the rate aid it might receive from the local authority, might preserve its independence and be eligible for Parliamentary grants, so long as it was approved by the Board of Education, and after the inspectors of the Board had shown it to be doing thoroughly efficient work and in all its conditions complying with the requirements necessary to obtain a Parliamentary grant. Those conditions could not be complied with by inefficient schools, insanitary schools, or such schools as were described by the hon. Member for North Camberwell. He was quite convinced that there were many schools doing good work, and not open to the obloquy cast upon them by the hon. Member, and if those schools were able to prove that they satisfied the conditions laid down by the Board of Education he saw no reason why they should be deprived of the recompense for their work, which was their right as taxpayers, and which the Act of 1870 secured for them. He begged to move—

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 9, after 'is' to insert 'either supported by aid from the rates or is,'"—(Sir Henry Craik.)

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


said the effect of the Amendment, if acceded to, would be to set up two kinds of schools, one of which would receive both State aid and rate aid, and the other of which would receive simply the Parliamentary grant and no assistance from what had been described as the bottomless purse of the ratepayer. Although he thought there was a bottom even to that, he quite agreed with all that had been said in favour of diversity in our schools. He did not advocate any hard and fast and rigid curriculum or anything like the system adopted in France, where the Minister for Education could look at his watch and thank Heaven that he could tell which subject every teacher in every class in every single part of France was teaching at that time. That was not the uniformity that appealed to him. But there was a type of uniformity which every educationist must aim at, and that was that there must not be any marked difference between one public school or another with regard to the qualification of the teachers, either through the training they had received or through the size of the class room, sanitation, or the like. They must all strive after a system which would secure for all the public schools of this country uniformity of excellence of provision, whatever diversity they allowed themselves in the curriculum. He had no objection to diversity in education as long as there was uniformity in the provisions made for education. With regard to the statement of the hon. Gentleman that there need be no difference between the two kinds of schools supposing the inspection established by the Board of Education was sufficiently satisfactory in both cases, and that the same kind of pressure was put forward in both classes of schools, he was afraid it was impossible to hope for any such kind of inspection. The inspectors, without showing any partiality, would have to strike a distinction between a school which had two great sources of revenue to supply it and the school which had not any or, at most, only one. They had found in the past that inspectors—although it was wrong to charge them with partiality—had been making a distinction as to what they considered necessary at the old board school and in the old voluntary school. He was not speaking of all schools. In the large towns there had always been voluntary schools, some of which were excellent, but let them look at some of the schools in the country. Nobody could go into the country with his eyes open without seeing that there was a different standard of excellence required from one school from that which was required from another. He had been reminded that he was new to his office. That was true, but he would be very much surprised if there was any gentleman in the Committee who had had active acquaintance with Whitehall who would not support him in saying that from an educational point of view it was eminently undesirable to have two systems of schools, two sorts of standards, and two kinds of ideas. That was the very dual system which he thought they were all agreed in condemning. Obviously it would be a desirable thing, if it could be managed, that we should have in this country what they had in others, public elementary schools forming, not a hard and fast curriculum, but one standard of excellence, so that the children in one part of the country should not be deprived of that which they would have enjoyed had they lived in another part of the country. They did want to see the public grants, which were now assuming such gigantic proportions, wisely spent. All educationists were thoroughly satisfied that if the dual system could be got rid of it would not only be a great saving in time, temper, and expense in the administration of the education laws, but would also secure to the children of this country the equal benefit of a good education in good schools at the hands of well-trained teachers. The question of training teachers was a most important one. The better they were trained the more they would be in demand at the schools to which they carried their talents, and therefore it was most important that they should be well trained. With regard to the voluntary schools, he could not look forward with anything but grief to the continuation of the dual system in any way. He still hoped that the provisions of this Bill, much abused as they had been, nevertheless contained the means of securing an unbroken excellence in our educational work, and that the children of the country, irrespective of the religious faith of their parents, would be able to be educated in public elementary schools of that degree of excellence which could only be obtained by means of assistance derived from both State and rate aid; and that there would be no necessity for a return to the condition of things as it was before 1902. He could only say that the Government were bound to oppose the Amendment, thinking that in so doing they were doing the best for the children of the country.


said that nothing gave him greater pleasure than to hear the eulogies on the Act of 1902 of the Minister for Education and the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Camber-well. He thought the hon. Gentleman had said more of the great educational reform of that Act than any of his friends around him, possibly because he knew more of the actual working of the school system of the country than those who approached the question not from an educational point of view, but solely, so far as he could understand, from a partisan or denominational point of view. While they might therefore for the moment agree that the Act of 1902 was a great educational reform, one question was whether the Amendment of his hon. friend really required them to go back to the pre 1902 days, and whether the schools he desired to see preserved were open to the criticisms justly passed on the system before the late Government took the question of elementary education seriously in hand. The right hon. Gentleman and the hon. Gentleman the Member for North Camberwell appeared to assume that the schools which his hon. friend desired to spare from the operation of the Bill were going to be schools ill-equipped, ill-built, inadequate in point of accommodation, and insufficiently provided with funds to give the teachers proper salaries. He gathered, however, that his hon. friend did not desire that the schools he wished to spare should be in any sense less well-equipped, less well-provided than those which the public authorities provided. His object was not a denominational one; it was an educational object. He sympathised with that object, and he still hoped that, under the Act of 1902, they would see produced a greater measure of that variety which his hon. friend rightly desired should form an essential part of our educational system. He had not been in a position to follow closely the work of the educational authorities throughout the country, and he did not know whether they had taken advantage of the liberty given by the Act of 1902. He sometimes doubted whether that was the case, and whether the education authorities set up by that Act really had endeavoured to make the schools under their charge vary according to the particular districts or parishes in which the schools were situated, and whether they had not been too much bound by a cast-iron system which every authority, local or Imperial, had the strongest tendency to fall into. But on that point the right hon. Gentleman had greater knowledge than he had, and he could only express the hope that the influence of the Board of Education would be used as much as possible to induce the local authorities to exercise the power of decentralisation which had been given them. Then came the question how under the Amendment would that variety be obtained, and would it be obtained at the cost of educational efficiency? Both the Minister for Education and the hon. Member for North Camberwell had assumed that his hon. friend desired to see the pre-1902 system revived. He did not gather that that was his view. As far as he understood his policy, it was that, where there existed a school which, either by the magnitude of its endowments or the liberality of the population in which it was situated, possessed funds beyond those provided by the State, and was in a position to carry on, in competition with schools with rate-aid behind them, the education of the population on terms not less generous, not less excellent to the children, not less worthy in every way of their admiration, that school should be spared and that the ratepayers should not be asked to bear an expense that somebody else was ready to take on his shoulders. He saw no abstract objection to that proposal, but he felt that, as the Amendment stood, his hon. friend provided no machinery by which schools carried on on a scale as liberal as those that were rate-aided were to be selected from those schools which were not so carried on. He did not think it would have been impossible for the Board of Education to find a plan for differentiating the schools if it had been understood that only one standard of efficiency was to be allowed, and that that standard was not to fall below that provided by the rate-aided schools in the district. The hon. Member for North Camberwell appeared to think that that was an impossibility, and that they would never get the inspectors to be as severe in the judgment they passed upon voluntary schools as upon rate-aided schools. That was so under the old system. It was so before 1902, because the inspectors, and the Board of Education whom they served, recognised that if they were to screw up the standard of the equipment of voluntary schools to that which was provided, and which could be provided by the rate-aided schools they would have destroyed part of the educational machinery in the country, and naturally and properly they shrank from a policy which would have had such disastrous results to education. Whether it would be impossible now to make a selection he did not like to pronounce, because they must have machinery before them by which that selection could be carried out. As his hon. friend did not propose that machinery, they were not in a position to judge whether a machinery could be provided or not, and he should not feel justified in supporting the Amendment until he saw whether or not there was a method suggested by which the onerous responsibility of determining between the fully efficient voluntary schools and those that were something short of fully efficient could be discharged. Though he entirely sympathised with the object of his hon. friend, and though he did not go to the length of saying that the object was unattainable, he had not yet found the machinery for attaining it, and he would therefore suggest that, at the present stage of their discussions, he should not press the Amendment to a division.

MR. BUTCHER (Cambridge University)

said that one of the chief needs of our educational system was greater flexibility, diversity, and variety. Before the Act of 1902 there was variety, but it was chaotic. The Act of 1902, however, had this great merit, that it retained variety subject to a controlling unity. The authors of that Act must have been pleased at hearing the eulogy passed upon it by the hon. Member for North Camber-well for merits which were entirely deserved, but which had been greatly lost sight of in most of the debates in this House. Shortly after the Act of 1902 was passed a gentleman of his acquaintance, the secretary to an education committee, was asked, "Are you one of those who believe in education?" His friend replied, "Yes, I am one of those who do venture to believe in education." "Well, I am a believer in ignorance and common sense," was the retort. The Act of 1902 brought the reign of ignorance and common sense to a close. But if there was variety without unity before 1902, and if after 1902 there had been a unified system combined with variety, one of the marked defects of this Bill was that the variety was done away; at least the aim of the Bill was to produce a rigid uniformity of type, although it did not entirely carry out that aim. From that point of view the Bill seemed to him to deserve sharp criticism. It was not as if we had arrived at any kind of an ideal system, or at any type of education which represented perfection. We were just at that stage when it was necessary to strike out and make new experiments in all directions, and adapt ourselves as far as possible to the varieties of local needs and the varieties of human minds and human beliefs.


Order, order! The hon. Member must not make a Second Reading speech.


said he would proceed to address himself very closely to the Amendment. His point was that the power of contracting out of the Bill had this in its favour, that it might bring back some of the variety which we were now in danger of losing. He himself had a Resolution very similar to this on the Paper, but he had taken it off. The effect of it was that there should be a power enabling voluntary schools to get back to the position they were in before 1902. In; that case they would still retain their own managers; they would be bound to maintain their own buildings; they would be entitled to the same State grant as a provided school under this present Bill, but they would receive no aid from the rates; and so there would be no need for passive resistance. Under such a power, certain schools, especially in the more wealthy localities, might be maintained by the denominations at a high state, of efficiency; and a good deal could be said in favour of such a proposal. The danger was that if the system were to become normal and regular instead of exceptional, it would, educationally, be a retrograde movement. He did not, however, think that it would necessarily, or in all cases, lead to the results anticipated by the hon. Member for North Camberwell. Still he felt the risk of many of the Church schools falling back into the position from which they were just emerging, and dying by a slow process of inanition. An amendment of this kind, although it might be a useful supplement to Clause 4, could not be a substitute for it. He hoped his hon. friend the Member for Glasgow would not press the Amendment to a division, in spite of the sympathy which he felt for the views he had expressed in support of it.


Does the hon. Member withdraw his Amendment?


No, Sir.


said he felt great difficulty in accepting the Amendment on account of its impracticability. His right hon. friend the member for the City of London had spoken of the intolerable strain. He was one of those who suffered under the intolerable strain, and he did not wish to place himself in a position which would produce a renewal of that evil. He had no doubt that if a clause of this kind was placed on the Statute book great pressure would be employed by zealous friends of religious education on those who were willing and able to give, support, and the result would not be advantageous to education. Each of these schools would be conducted under circumstances of great difficulty. Their condition would be at best uncertain, because they would depend on contributions which would always be doubtful and always collected under circumstances of great difficulty, and they would by no means be secure of that permanence which the endowment of every educational institution essentially required. He did not believe that if they had schools of this class they could staff them efficiently. Teachers would not be willing to link their future or their prosperity with schools of such precarious character. With reference to the argument in favour of variety, he admitted that the schools now existing had not that variety which he for one would desire. It was impossible that they could have that change in a few years. They must have new arrangements, with managers and teachers with new ideas, and it was only by a process of evolution they could secure this variety. In going through different schools he had been gratified at finding a beginning of this improvement, and he believed that there was much less of the stereotyped system than in 1902. He was not by any means certain if they had schools of the character which would be established under this clause that they would secure greater variety. He very much doubted it. The difficulty would be greater in the case of non-provided schools under the proposed plan, because there would be less inducement to embark on a new and perhaps a costly system. Therefore he could not view this proposal as one that would give them those great advantages which they were eager to pursue, and under these circumstances he could not support the Amendment, although he was glad the discussion had been raised. He joined in the appeal that the Amendment should be withdrawn.

LORD WILLOUGHBY DE ERESBY (Lincolnshire, Horncastle)

said he had no doubt that many Members were of the opinion that it would be a great mistake to go back to anything like the state of affairs that existed before the Act of 1902, but he was extremely doubtful whether that opinion was shared all over the country, or at any rate in the rural districts of England. He was one of those who, even at the risk of being called reactionary by the hon. Member for North Camberwell, infinitely preferred the system as it existed before 1902, and he could safely say that of all the votes he had given in the House— as far as the question of gaining or losing the votes of his constituents was concerned—the votes he gave on the Education Bill of 1902 were those he regretted most. He voted for that Bill, and it cost him a lot of votes. Personally he considered that Bill was a fair Bill, and he voted for it, but the present Bill he considered unfair, and he had no hesitation in saying that those Members who supported it would find that it would cost them a lot of votes. If there was one thing the people of the country desired it was to get rid of the control of the councils. The thing that went down so much with the electors at the general election in many villages was that local control was taken away under the Bill of 1902, and handed over to the county council.


Order, order ! We cannot go into such matters upon this Amendment.


said that the Amendment, if accepted, would restore the right of control to certain parishes where the people were prepared to pay for their own schools out of their own pockets aided by any endowments they had. He believed that an Amendment of this kind would be exceedingly popular, especially in the rural districts, because it would have the effect of enabling the parishes to retain their schools in their own hands, provided they were able to find the money without appealing to the rates. The Amendment practically restored the old conditions that existed before 1902. One of the causes of the unpopularity of the Act of 1902 was that the late Government took away the control by the different parishes, and in the present Bill they should have some method by which the people in the parish —if they were prepared to put up the money—would be allowed to retain their schools, and get rid of the county councils, which, alike to landlords, farmers, and labourers in the counties of England in regard to education matters, were exceedingly unpopular.


said he was amazed that the Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities had brought forward this reactionary and pusillanimous proposal, but he was still more amazed to find it supported by the hon. Member for Cambridge University.


said he did not support it. He asked his hon. friend to withdraw the Amendment.


said the hon. Member stated that he saw a great deal that was attractive in a proposal which would enable some voluntary schools to contract themselves out of the Bill. Would the hon. Member say that large classes and dilapidated buildings were attractive?


said the reason he gave for not being in favour of the Amendment was that he was afraid there might be these, results in the poorer districts.


said the hon. Member was not in favour of the Amendment because of the contingency of its working evil. He hoped the Committee would not allow the Amendment to be withdrawn. It was a vicious proposal, and he hoped it would be negatived. The hon. member for East Clare had accused him of saying that piety had been masquerading in the guise of parsimony. What he did say was that under the voluntary system in a great many cases parsimony had masqueraded as piety. That he believed to be the fact, but it was quite different from the statement attributed to him by the hon. Member.

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

objected to the withdrawal of the Amendment. He hoped a division would be taken, by which they might settle this important question. There was something to be said for the view expressed by the hon. Member for Cambridge University; his point of view was different from that of the mover of the Amendment. He preferred the view of the representative of an English University to that of the representative of the Scottish Universities, who had gone into the domain of English education with which he was very slightly acquainted. During the eleven years he himself had been a member of the House he had never opened his mouth in a Scottish education debate.


said the mover of the Amendment had spoken with an educational experience which they must respect, and he had in view an object which the Board of Education must needs have at heart—namely, that there should be no dead uniformity in our elementary school system. But he doubted whether the Amendment would attain a variety of the sort that they all desired. The Board of Education ought to impress on the local authorities the importance of observing local conditions, but the variety which would be attained by the Amendment would be denominational variety rather than adaptation to surroundings. He took exception, however, to some of the arguments advanced against his Amendment. In particular he denied that the voluntary schools were in the inferior condition described by the hon. Member for North Camberwell. He had heard the hon. Member say that on many occasions; but he was sometimes apt, to generalise largely and liberally on very few instances. It having been his duty during the last few years to go into a great many voluntary schools in the country, he quite admitted that the condition of some of them was not all that one would wish but he entirely denied that they were as a whole unhealthy, unsuitable, and unfit for the occupation of children during school hours. Nor was he prepared to admit that the teaching was so inefficient as the hon. Member for North Camberwell said it was. The Committee had often been misled by these large generalisations, and many hon. Members were not in the habit of visiting voluntary schools. Therefore, to say that to support this Amendment would be to condemn half the schools in the country to an insanitary and ill-ventilated condition, and that the children were badly taught, was a gross exaggeration. The suggestion that "parsimony masquerading as piety "was the motive which had in the past led to the maintenance of voluntary schools at great sacrifice and expenditure of money by charitable persons was unworthy of one possessing the great educational experience of the hon. Member for North Camberwell. But as against the Amendment he felt bound to say that in following the working of the Act of 1902 he had been greatly impressed with the value of uniformity of control— he did not say uniformity of management —as regarded secular instruction. It enabled the local authorities, where they threw themselves heartily into the matter, to build from the foundation a complete educational system for the areas which they controlled; and he confessed he should be sorry to see a small group of exceptions established in these areas—fragmentary units of schools free from the control of the local education authority. He did not say that it was impossible to attain a standard of uniformity between the excepted schools and the other schools in the area, but his hon. friend had not suggested the machinery by which it might be done, and the difficulty of maintaining such a standard would throw a heavy responsibility on the Board of Education. He ventured to think that the Amendment of his hon. friend would be found to apply only to a small group of schools richly endowed or surrounded by a wealthy neighbourhood. Although he desired to see variety of character and interest in the schools, he could not think that any of these objects would be attained by the Amendment, and he advised his hon. friend to withdraw it.


said he would not have taken part in the discussion on this Amendment had it not been for the rather truculent speeches of the hon. Members for North Camberwell and Nottingham. He acknowledged that these hon. Gentlemen were educational experts, and he did not join as a rule in the vulgar outcry against experts; but experts hid a tendency to look at only one side of a problem. He therefore could not follow them in their condemnation of the Amendment now before the Committee. It was not a re-establishment, as those hon. Members seemed to think, of the system which prevailed before 1902. No doubt that system had great defects. The increasing expense of education had made the voluntary system incapable of meeting that expense without further assistance either from the rates or from the State. He was sure that his hon. friend the Member for Oxford University would forgive him if he said that he had attached too much weight to the difficulties, and too little weight to the advantages, of variety in education. He could assure the hon. Member that the present cast iron uniformity of education in public elementary schools was a very serious grievance to many people, who thought with the greatest regret of the old system where there was diversity and different schools from which they could select one to which to send their children. That was a very serious loss, which had been occasioned by the otherwise beneficent measure of 1902. He confessed that he would be very glad to see the re-establishment, as was proposed by the Amendment, of a certain amount of diversity, particularly for those, localities which were able to afford the luxury of having a public elementary school not bound down by the iron rule of bureaucracy.


said he recognised the careful consideration which had been given to the Amendment which he had moved. He did not think it necessary to occupy the time of the Committee for more than a few minutes; and he scarcely thought it worth while to defend himself from the strictures of the hon. Gentleman on the Ministerial benches. Apart altogether from his long service in the Scotch Education Department, his fifteen years experience in the English Education Department surely gave him a right to use the ordinary privileges of a member of the House to express his views on education questions without falling under the dire condemnation of the hon. Member for North Camberwell. He denied that his Amendment was intended as a means of enabling denominationalists to contract out of the Bill. He had only suggested that some schools might be so placed—whether there was a difference of religion or net did not matter—that by the means at their disposal they might be encouraged to carry on the work of education as independent institutions apart from the assistance of the rates. He was sorry to find from the words of the right hon. the President of the Board of Education that he could not trust the officers of his own department to give an independent judgment which would restrict abuses of that privilege. From his experience in both the Scotch and English Education Departments he denied that the responsible heads ever gave any encouragement to their officers to present an unfair or unduly flattering report upon denominational schools. He had never proposed that under the Amendment there should be a general dispensation of any kind, but he thought that if there were schools, however small their number, able to carry on the work of education free from local control, it was an unfair thing to refuse them the payment from the Imperial Exchequer to which they contributed and which they earned by work honestly done. Satisfied with having elicited expressions of opinion he desired to withdraw the Amendment. [Cries of "No."]

Leave to withdraw the Amendment having been refused,

Question put, and negatived.

*MR. MADDISON moved to add at the end of line 10 the words— And unless provision is made that religious instruction shall not be given therein during school hours nor at the public expense. He said that whatever might be the views of hon. Members about the merits of this Amendment, there would be no difference of opinion as to the desirability of its being discussed at the present time. There was a large volume of public opinion in its favour, and therefore it was an advantage that an expression of those views should be given in the Committee and recorded in the Division Lobby. There were other Amendments on the Paper in the name of the hon. Member for Leicester and others which he should have been delighted to support, but his Amendment happened to be first, and that was why he moved it. He said at once that he had no special qualification to move this Amendment. He was not an expert in teaching, and if he could in any sort of way find a qualification it would be that of a parent. All his children had attended board and council schools, and, after all, there was some little advantage when one approached this question from the standpoint of the parent of children who attended the board schools and were subject to the advantages or disadvantages of those institutions. To that extent only had he any qualification for this task. He wanted to say at the outset that he had no hostile intention so far as the Bill was concerned. He recognised that it was an honest attempt to solve a very difficult problem—a problem which could find in his opinion no solution which would give immediate peace; because, whichever policy was adopted there would be left behind a good deal of angry feeling. But he did submit that while the peace would not be immediate the justice would be ultimate. He claimed for this Amendment that it would give effect to the two fundamental principles of the Bill, full popular control and the abolition of tests for teachers. There was, in his opinion, no other way of carrying out that policy, and if the Committee did not adopt the Amendment Clause 4 or something similar was inevitable. The form of religious instruction attempted by the Bill was what was known as simple Bible teaching. He thought right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House were wrong when they described that instruction as being merely Nonconformist religion. That appeared to him to be unfair from their own point of view, and already the Front Opposition Bench had realised that they could not afford to follow the bishops, and they had dropped the hue and cry against simple Bible teaching. But one had to admit this, and it was a-very awkward admission, that simple Bible teaching was Protestant. It was Protestant because the Roman Catholic Church, as he understood it, would not trust simple Bible teaching unless they had a divine interpreter to say what was the interpretation to be put upon the sacred volume. Therefore he said that in moving this Amendment so far from being hostile to the principles of the Bill, he was proposing the only way in which those principles could be given effect to. In his opinion the simplest form of religious teaching did need some qualified person to impart it, and in that there was directly or indirectly some kind of test to be applied. He did not think that this argument could be carried quite so far as right hon. and hon. Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House seemed to think, but yet it had some force. It seemed to him that there were only two alternatives apart from this Bill. The first was what he would call universal sectarianism. That was impossible. He had heard hon. Members argue as though we could in this country allow every parent to have his child taught at the public expense the religion of his own Church. He denied altogether that that was possible. What would happen would be that the Roman Catholics, the Anglicans, the Wesleyans, and other great denominations would alone enjoy this right. Did the noble Lord opposite mean to say that the Unitarians and the Swedenborgians, and all those who were outside the orthodox denominations would get them? That must be dismissed altogether. It was physically impossible. Then there was the secular system, which could not be better described than it was by the present Prime Minister on November 1st, 1902, at the Alexander Palace when he said— If we had our way there would be no religious difficulty at all. We should confine ourselves, I believe nine-tenths of the Liberals would confine themselves, to secular education, and such moral precepts as would be acceptable to all and would not be obnoxious to anyone who did not come within the range of Christianity. That was acceptable to all because it embodied what they all desired when speaking of the secular system. If his Amendment was incorporated in the Bill he was quite aware that there could not be any cast-iron rule of what secular instruction was to be, it would vary in different districts. Even the Bill provided that the Local Authority might prohibit religious instruction altogether. In practice the secular system would mean that instruction would be given in the subjects that were now known as grant-earning subjects, and no grant was now given for religious education, so that already they had the distinction drawn between secular and religious instruction. Of course, on this Amendment the charge of Godless schools would be raised, and they would be asked, "What about the Bible?" That great book was justly held in high regard in this country, but the secular system would be supplemented by a code of moral instruction which some county councils had already adopted with great advantage to the scholars. And in such moral instruction, so far from there being any desire to chase the Bible out of the schools, there would be a very real place for the Bible, from which selected passages, could be read. But in no case should it be taken as a textbook for the teaching of theology or religious belief. Was moral instruction the poor paltry thing that hon. Members appeared to think; was there not the essence of religion in moral instruction? If children were taught to be kind to their playfellows and to dumb animals; to be merciful; to be courteous to strangers, reverent to old age, and to have a great and overwhelming belief in truth, were those things very far apart from the religion of Jesus of Nazareth? There could not be any religion which had not morals for its essence. There could not be a religion which was not moral, and he was not sure that there could be any morals in which there was not religion. But they could have a great deal of dogma which was not moral. When he spoke of religion he spoke not of its form but of its spirit. He said that where morality was there was also the spirit of religion. He wished to assure hon. Members, and he knew they would accept his assurance, although they might say the effect of this proposal was contrary to it, that in moving this Amendment they had no hostility to religion. In his impressive speech the other day, the hon. Member for North Louth stated in eloquent language and with that evident sincerity which always commanded respect in this House that he placed the eternal welfare of the children above all else. He shared the view of the hon. and learned Member, and though they were as wide as the Poles asunder in their religious beliefs, he also said that the deep things of the soul were paramount, and that to him the thought of God was a supreme source of abiding satisfaction. But he denied that the eternal verities depended on rates and taxes. Children were in safer hands than those of any Church; they were in the hands of the Almighty Father himself. When hon. Members told him that the secular system was irreligious he would refer them to that great champion on religion, than whom there had never been a greater in this House, Mr. Gladstone, behind whom he and those with him on this matter were content to shelter themselves. He would say to the Roman Catholics and those who supported them, that their position, their claim for a Catholic atmosphere in their schools, bewildered and dismayed many who sympathised with them and who never parted from them except on this question. He was no Orangeman, for he thought that in Orange Lodges reason and religion were equally absent. But he endorsed, as every free democracy in every part of the world endorsed, Gambetta's famous declaration that clericalism was the enemy. France, that great country of liberal ideas, that gave to the world the first modern thought of enlightened human liberty, the great progressive country of Europe when they had disestablished the Church, met with unprecedented triumph at the polls. He said to hon. Members opposite that this Amendment offered to them neutral ground in the schools, but they demanded a Roman Catholic atmosphere.


In our own schools.


said he desired to protect all religious denominations; to do what was done in the United States at the present time. There was a world movement in this direction. The Amendment he had proposed showed no preference to any church, imposed no religious belief on any parents' child, and violated no conscience. The schools were thus left to do their proper work free from the iron grip of outside authorities. And so the future of education would be with the children, the most precious of all our treasures, and not with sects, great or small, struggling for supremacy. Whatever was the future of this Amendment, the future was theirs. He moved.

Amendment proposed— In page 1, line 10, after the word 'authority' to insert the words 'And unless provision is made that religious instruction shall not be given therein during school hours nor at the public expense.'"—Mr. Maddison.

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


thought everyone would agree that his hon. friend had moved this Amendment in such an admirable tone of sincerity that the strongest advocate of religion in the Committee could not be in the least offended by what was said. He had presented a most difficult problem, and he would not in the least misunderstand him if he said that in some parts his hon. friend gave the Committee the idea that he was labouring hard to substantiate his case. He had said that the method he recommended to the Committee was really the only method of securing full popular control of the schools and the absence of religions tests. The Bill itself was the best evidence that the Government were totally unable to agree with this opinion. There was full popular control over the schools in Scotland, and yet religion was taught in all of them. They might, therefore, secure that end without abolishing the teaching of religion from the schools. Then with regard to religious tests they drew the clearest line between the new system to be established, providing that religious instruction should be given in a proper and fit manner, and the system that existed at the present time where the majority of the teachers were selected and subjected to tests by the representatives of one denomination. To supplement secular instruction by moral teaching and passages from the Bible, as his hon. friend suggested, would carry the Committee a long way in their consideration of the question. It was not so easy to select passages from the Bible. His hon. friend had said that he would leave the sacred interests of the children in the hands of the Almighty. But if so why not leave their temporal interests also? The hon. Member believed in Gambetta's phrase, that "clericalism is the enemy." which he deplored at the time it was uttered and which he deplored now How did they know that clericalism was the enemy? They could not always be sure about these things. Those who wanted to see a national system of education peacefully established, as attempted in this Bill, would do their best not to use hard words, but to approach its settlement in a spirit of conciliation. The idea of the hon. Member was that religious teaching might be safely left to the influence of home discipline and the Sunday school. It was an attractive idea, but the proposal should be considered, in these days at any rate, as it bore on the realities of life and established custom. We had raised high the standard of teaching in secular subjects, and it would be scarcely appropriate in these circumstances to neglect religion altogether. No one would admit more readily than he did that all the teachers in national schools were not skilled, but they were becoming more skilled every day, and they knew the way to a child's mind better than anyone else. What would the child have to look to if the teacher did not help it? There was the parent of the child. Many of them had to acknowledge the help they had received from their parents, but all children were not so fortunate. It was not every parent who had the facilities or the knowledge to give a child instruction in a religious or any other subject. They might as well put aside humbug and admit that in a great many of what were called the homes of the country there was no facility whatever for giving religious instruction. He went a long way with those who said the State ought to come in and supply the gap if the parents failed to do it. No child was properly equipped for the battle of life who did not get somewhere simple religious instruction. He should be the last to say anything against the Sunday schools, for he was a great admirer of the great work they carried on, especially the Nonconformist schools of this country. But looking at the matter from the standpoint of the present discussion they would have to admit that the Sunday schools did not entirely fill the gap in England at all events. In Wales the Sunday school was an historic institution. All classes went to the Sunday school. The whole family attended, and the adults who did not teach the children met in Bible classes, and discussed religious problems in a way of which English Sunday schools had no experience. He did not wish to speak harshly of the work done, but all people did not go to Sunday school, and discipline was lax as compared with the day school.

They ought to look at this subject not from the standpoint of the House of Commons, but from the standpoint of the child, who now saw great palaces built for him where he met a friend in his teacher, who loomed large in his mind. If no religion was taught there, it would occur to him some day that there was a strange laxity in this arrangement —that there was something wanting. He would become acquainted after school life with religious institutions and with literature largely modelled by the Christian religion. Why not instruct him in a simple way to understand the life he was afterwards to lead? He did not think that simple Bible teaching would do† The study of that book could no more be simple than that of any other book. He did not think that the moral lesson would do either. The religious motive in which their ideas must be embodied would be wanting, and they would have to go a little further. There † During the next day's debate on this Amendment, Mr. Lough explained that he intended to say "simple Bible reading"—not "simple Bible teaching." [Vide Mr. Lough's statement in the course of Mr. Macdonald's speech on Wednesday, May 23rd.] were those splendid council schools with the religious syllabus of which a catalogue was about to be prepared, in which it would be seen that the greatest care was taken in the selection of the passages. Then the question arose whether they could do this in an unsectarian way as was proposed in the Bill before the Committee. [Cries of "Where?" from the OPPOSITION Benches.] In the council schools. Could they give the child this teaching without dogma? It was perfectly practicable. The difficulty had also been solved in the secondary schools. Why then could it not be solved in the elementary schools? He did not think the dogmas about which they had quarrelled so much were as clear to a child's mind as to the minds of those who carried on the quarrel. A child needed simple instruction suited to its years. That could be given under the Bill. In the Case of minorities, special provision should be made. If hon. Members on that side of the House asserted their own rights in this respect, they ought to respect the rights of minorities. There were provisions in the Bill intended to do away with the difficulties presented by the cases of Jews and Roman Catholics. These provisions would enable them to receive what he considered to be justice and what he hoped they would consider justice themselves.


said he thought that all hon. Members who had heard the speech of the Parliamentary Secretary of the Board of Education would feel that he had placed the Committee under a deep debt of obligation to him. Unfortunately, the House was now much more full than during the earlier parts of the hon. Member's speech. The speech was an impressive one, and its tone must have won its way into the hearts of all who had listened to it. What was most significant about it was that it contained the first declaration of principle they had yet heard from the Government upon this Bill. Why was it not made at the beginning instead of at the end of Clause 1? How much time and temper—[An HON. MEMBER: Whose temper?]—might have been saved had the Committee known before that the rights of minorities were to be respected and were not to suffer. He would re- call what the Parliamentary Secretary had told them. He had said that if it was right for the State to look after the temporal welfare of the children it was no less their duty to see to their spiritual welfare. He had also stated that in connection with the general system of education throughout the country it was impossible to avoid the question of religious views. The Parliamentary Secretary had pointed out that religious instruction must be a part of the general system of education in this country, and that if anything was to be taught it must be taught by skilled teachers. He had admitted that some process must be gone through in order to discover, not whether a teacher held a particular set of doctrines, but whether he was a competent and fit person to give some kind of religious instruction. The hon. Gentleman had also laid it down that if that teaching was to be given the teacher was the right person to give it. That might, indeed, not always be possible—the conscience of the teacher had to be taken into account—but as a counsel of perfection it was worthy of note. In the House they could not agree on these matters of religious instruction, and if any one stated that he attached importance to a particular kind of religious teaching it was the duty of the Government to respect his rights as a member of a minority. He agreed with the Parliamentary Secretary that in the homes of many children there wore not facilities for giving religious instruction. That was quite true, and in saying that it was true he was not bringing any charge against the parents. Those who knew anything of the conditions under which parents in the great towns lived, or knew anything of life in the country, must be aware that the parents had seldom the opportunity of giving to the children that religious instruction which they desired in no less degree than any other people in the country. Particularly in England it had become a matter of practice and tradition to leave these questions very largely to teachers in schools and to the clergy. [Cries of "No" from the MINISTERIAL Benches.] That might be a bad or a good habit, but it had become almost a national habit. [Renewed cries of "No, no" from the MINISTERIAL Benches.] He knew that in many homes the greatest care was given to these matters, but surely hon. Members knew enough of English life to be aware that in all classes and in regard to great masses of the population it was quite true that the parents were indifferent, and they thought that religious instruction would somehow be provided for their children by other people. The whole system of compulsory education throughout the country could not be suddenly revolutionised without taking note of these facts. They must recognise that facilities did not exist in many cases at home, and they must recognise that the teacher was the person who could best give religious instruction to the child. When they went so far as that what next could be said? The Parliamentary Secretary had also pointed out that, excellent though the work of the Sunday Schools was, too much weight should not be given to it. Therefore, they were bound to recognise that religious instruction must be given in the schools. The logical conclusion of the speech of the hon. Gentleman was that the Government intended to meet this difficulty by amending and extending what he might call the Clause 4 policy. He and his friends hoped that was so. The Committee had had many shadowy announcements from the Government Benches, when Amendments of Clause 1 were asked for, that it would be all right when they came to Clause 4. They must believe in the spirit of what the hon. Gentleman had said, and they ought confidently to count that minorities would be respected when they came to discuss Clause 4. When the Parliamentary Secretary spoke he was replying to the hon. Member for Burnley, who had a different solution. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment felt, as he and his friends did, that if they passed Clause 1 they were confronted immediately with the religious question, and that they could not go on discussing details of arrangements which might, or might not, be arrived at, and appeals from these arrangements to the legal machinery which was to take the place of voluntary agreement. It was not possible to deal seriously with the Bill so long as they were in doubt in this matter. Under Clause 1, what was called the Cowper-Temple system was to be established as the regular and normal form of religious instruction in the schools. That system was not satisfactory to large sections of the community. Moreover, it need not be given at all, at the discretion of the local authority. The solution of the difficulty, in the opinion of the mover of the Amendment, was the abolition of all religious instruction in the schools. The hon. Gentleman was at least right to the extent that if religious instruction was to be given at all it must be made mandatory by Parliament. It should not be left for decision to the local authorities The responsibility was with Parliament, and they ought not to shirk it. Many of the local authorities were excellent bodies, but they consisted of men occupied in other pursuits who gave their time to the work at great cost to themselves. In each county they came, it might be, to the county town once a month. They had to deal with matters which were accumulating from year to year, and now they were breaking down under the local work they had to perform. [An HON. MEMBER: Who gave it to them to do?] That was not quite a fair interruption. If hon. Members opposite had passed a self-denying ordinance which prevented them from speaking, he did not think they should interrupt others who desired to speak. The increase of work thrown on the local authorities was not all due to the Education Act of 1902 but to all recent legislation. These bodies ought not to be asked to deal with and decide upon questions of religious controversy; their election ought not to turn on such. Whatever the solution at which they arrived, they ought to have the courage and determination to make the plan mandatory. He agreed on these two points with the hon. Member for Burnley—that they must face the situation and be responsible for it. He appealed to the Parliamentary Secretary to accept the Amendment because it led up logically to a mandatory clause, which was the only solution of this question; and he hoped that would be the solution at which the Committee would ultimately arrive.

MR. MASTERMAN (West Ham, N.)

said he had listened with much pleasure to the speech of the right hon. Member for Dover, but he would have listened with still greater pleasure had the right him. Gentleman applied himself to the Amendment before the Committee. The issue now raised was of very great importance in the country and was not a matter of verbal play between the Front Benches on either side. He would have thought that the speech of the right hon. Member for Dover would have led him to accept the position adopted by himself and his friends. The right hon. Member seemed to hanker after a solution which he was sure the majority of the Committee thought impossible, and which the country had declared to be impossible. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] He would not go back on what he had said, because he was perfectly certain in his own mind that the majority of the Committee considered that the country had decided in favour of Clause 1, that was to say, in favour of popular control. Under these circumstances, only two alternatives were open to the Committee—the alternative of the Bill in its main outlines presented by the Government with certain Amendments, or the alternative of the hon. Member for Burnley. He had suggested on the First Reading of the Bill that the latter solution was in sight, and everything which was going on in the Committee and in the country pointed to the fact that they were rapidly getting nearer to it. What were the facts? Different members of the different organised religions had each stated dogmatically and quite sincerely in this House that they preferred the secular solution to the solution offered by members of other religions. That had been stated for the Anglian Church by the hon. Member for Marylebone, by the Bishop of Birmingham, who hid some right to speak on the question, and by a large number of other ecclesiastics. His hon. friend the Member for East Mayo stated that, although he profoundly disliked the secular solution, he preferred it to simple Bible teaching. The hon. Member for Central Hackney had stated that a vast majority of members of the Free Churches would sooner prefer the secular solution than allow denominational teaching to be given at the public expense in school hours.


said he did not think the hon. Member was correct in the reference to himself. What he had said was that the main reason why he deplored the Bill was that it would lead to secular education.


said he apologised to the noble Lord. Perhaps he had identified the noble Lord too closely with other members of his family. At any rate, it was an accepted position with a very large number of representative leaders in the country that they would prefer no religious teaching to religious teaching given by the State by untested teachers as at present in the council schools. When they got agreement such as that, he thought they were not very far from the solution which he advocated, especially when they added the practically unanimous support of the labour party, and the support of a very large section of the public outside all religions. Hon. Members should realise that the plain man was sick at heart of these theological storms which were raging over the heads of the children. There could be no content so long as these theological controversies continued. The Amendment declared two fundamental principles: first, that no religious teaching should be given in school hours, and second, that no religious teaching should be given at the expense of the State. The Amendment, if carried, and supplemented with a number of Amendments which would be proposed later on, did not of necessity imply that the simple reading of the Bible was not to be allowed. That simple reading was given as secular instruction in the United States and in most of the English Colonies. He himself had an Amendment on the Paper which would define "secular education" as not excluding the simple reading of the Bible. Members who accepted the secular position but who disliked to be accused of turning the Bible out of the schools, by voting for this definition could appease both their consciences and their constituencies. The proposal did not of necessity include, though it might be made to include, that simple moral teaching which some hon. Members on the Opposition side seemed to find so repugnant, but which most of those on his side earnestly desired. That could be settled after the main principle had been settled. Meanwhile they pleaded for this main principle because they wore convinced that it was the only method by which they could obtain a just and final solution.

He wished to ask that in subsequent discussions there might not be raised against them the cry that they were against the Bible and against religion, Nothing could be further from the truth than that. It was unwise to give any personal testimony, and he did not want to drag his personal religious convictions before the Committee; perhaps they had had too much of that already, but he might say that this movement which they represented went back far into the nineteenth century. It owed its origin to Dr. Dale and Charles Spurgeon —men of intense devotion to the Bible and religion. It was accepted by Mr. Gladstone. In this House it was supported by men of all religions: Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Free Churchmen, Unitarians, Agnostics. All united on an agreement to tolerate each other's opinions and not to demand the public funds for the propagation of their particular beliefs. He thought the Minister for Education would agree that this was not an Amendment which should not have been raised. It was a vital question, and one which the Committee must settle one way or the other. It was one on which they were compelled to test the judgment of the Committee, and he hoped they would be allowed to test the unbiassed and impartial judgment. It was said that the system of what was called simple Bible teaching had worked well for thirty-six years. Was it necessary to answer such an argument as that? It had worked well because they had bought off all who were opposed to it, because they had gathered them into separate schools and subsidised them. Now they were going to cease to subsidise them, and to say that everybody in this country must either have this religion or no religion, that they could take it or leave it. That was a complete rearrangement of the old controversy, and under that rearrangement they had a right to say they would not have that religion, or they would not support a religion taught by the State and paid for by all members of the State, which was abhorrent to the consciences of a large number of the members of the State. Another argument was that simple Bible teaching—Cowper-Temple teaching—was the only religion which I could be given under present circumstances to a very large number of the children in our elementary schools, and that it was better that these children should receive this religious teaching than no religious teaching at all. What was the actual fact in this Bill? Every one of those children, in less than a few years, would be receiving no religious instruction at all. Under Clause 6 of the Bill any child could be altogether withdrawn without any explanation from the religious teaching in the school. He thought that clause was necessary, vital to the Bill, and that the Government would be reluctant to give it up, because it seemed to him part of the foundations of the whole fabric, and if it was taken away the whole fabric would fall. But what did it actually mean in a poor district? It meant that in the weeks, months, and years to come there would be a steady and continuous pressure by which first one child and then another would be withdrawn from the religious teaching; and they would never come back again. This condition of things would not be remedied by any law against child labour, because they could not make a law against children playing in the street or girls washing up after breakfast. That pressure operated directly they removed State compulsion or the ecclesiastical compulsion of the conscience clause. Under these circumstances, it was really no good to tell them that the children who were withdrawn from the schools would at the same time receive the simple Bible teaching which it was suggested should be provided for them. In a very few years, if this Bill passed, no child would be receiving religious instruction in the schools except those children whose parents were really and eagerly desirous that they should receive it. And those parents would get religious instruction for their children even if the State withdrew it. He would say one final word about what was called simple Bible teaching. He did not want to say a word against Bible teaching. He believed it was excellent teaching, excellently given. It was definite religious teaching, definite dogmatic religious teaching. It was absurd to state that you can teach children religion except in the form of dogma, taught dogmatically. It was given according to a syllabus. It was the utilisation of the Bible by the teachers, who taught as best they could, and with what guidance they could, what they thought was the simple Protestant religion which the majority of the people believed in this country. He thought that religion had changed in this country in the last ten or twenty years, and he thought it would also be profoundly changed in the next ten or twenty years. To say that the teaching of it did not leave a religious test seemed to him a misuse of words. They were really asking teachers to give a definite religious teaching. And when they asked them to do that they were depending upon their honor to believe what they taught. It was perfectly true that the teacher could withdraw from that teaching, but he would like to know what young boy or girl just out of the training colleges, eager for promotion, would brand themselves wrongly as atheistic or eccentric by refusing to give the State religious teaching. That was a very severe religious test, the more severe because it was not defined. Those who thought that there should be no religious tests had a right to say that no Bible teaching should be given in the schools paid for by the State. Bible teaching was excellent religious teaching, but while it was an excellent religious teaching, it offended the consciences of Roman Catholics, a large number of the Anglican Church, a large number of Unitarians, a large number of those who were indifferent to religion, as well as a large number of agnostics and atheists, against whom apparently all classes of denominations were willing to combine, as always was the case when it came to squeezing an unpopular minority. His hon. friend the Member for Tyneside had spoken for hundreds of thousands of people in this country who believed that the teachings of the Book of Genesis and Joshua and certain other parts of the Bible were not only untrue, but immoral. What right had Parliament to outrage the consciences of the hon. Member for Tyneside and those for whom he spoke in compelling them to support teaching which they thought was untrue and immoral. There were many persons in the Committee who had acquiesced in what was called the passive resistance movement, and he was surprised to find how many of them were now prepared to vote for this measure. The passive resistance movement was a movement which was subjected to great ridicule, which was called silly and foolish, but it was a movement which he believed had led to the great changes in this Bill. He hoped by their votes in the lobby that night hon. Members would vote for freedom of conscience—not freedom of their own consciences. If they voted merely for freedom of their own consciences, and laid on others a burden which they themselves had found intolerable, it would be a rather squalid ending to a movement which had been full of heroic elements. It had been said that the English people would not accept this solution; he did not believe that. He believed the English people were more and more prepared to receive it. If he had been in the exalted position of the Minister for Education he certainly would have been reluctant to propose at the beginning the solution of the Hon. Member for Burnley, but he would not be reluctant now to accept it: The members of the Churches had been told that this was the last effort that could be made to preserve religious teaching in the schools; and members of all the Churches had united to reject the solution. Prominent Nonconformists declared that, if one clause of the Bill wore passed, they would find it hard to give up passive resistance. Bishops of his own Church were for rejecting the compromise, and were opposing it with an almost united voice, or proposed such Amendments as would make this a different Bill. Under these circumstances might it not be possible for the Government to adopt a position which they knew a large number of those who supported them were in favour of, and obtain the only solution that would be just and equal to all, and which would be final? Anything that he had tried to say imperfectly, haltingly, as it had been said inside this House and out of it, was entirely, or almost entirely, an effort to express those fundamental principles of Liberalism which they had learned from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for India. If the right hon. Gentleman would only re-publish in a compact form his thoughts on national education, and present every member of the Committee with a copy, he would not be surprised if all would be found to accept the logic of the right hon. Gentleman's argument, and accept the solution proposed by the hon. Member for Burnley. He had been driven to his conclusions not by logic—hard dry logic was the correctJterm—but by the logic of facts; the logic which had drawn to a similar position every State in America, Upper Canada, most of the States of Australia, New Zealand, and indeed practically every English-speaking community, who had all been confronted with the same difficulty. He was pleading for this solution because he believed it would really help the religious movement in this country, and that was a thousand times more to him than any political movement. It would make them work together. There were now Churchmen, and Nonconformists, and Roman Catholics all fighting one against another; they were charging each other with indulging in a game of grab at the public expense. If this religious educational difficulty were only removed, the different religious communities would begin to come together to work for a common end. It was this festering sore of national injustice, first to one side, then the other, which more than anything else prevented them attaining that end which they all longed for at the present time. Its removal would at once produce common action amongst those who were now hopelessly divided. They might unite on a single syllabus. They might unite in providing a simple Bible teaching but single Bible teaching to be given by the united religious community at their own expense and out of school hours, which was a very different thing to simple Bible teaching organised by the State to which all were compelled to contribute. The solution would at once produce common action against those large social diseases with which, after all, it was the greatest mandate to this House to deal, and the remedy for which, by this intolerable controversy, was being so mournfully delayed.


thought he need hardly state, after what he had said already on this subject, that he was in sympathy with most of what had fallen from the hon. Member who had just sat down. He agreed they had now reached the real root question of the Bill, because this was not a Bill for education, but for settling the religious difficulty. The hon. Member for West Ham had said there were only two solutions of this question—the solution proposed by the hon. Member for Burnley and the solution proposed by the Government. The hon. Member had expressed the strongest objection, which he fully shared, to the alternative proposed by the Government. But there was an Amendment to the proposal of the hon. Member for Burnley, which might bring them even more closely together than they were now. The hon. Member for West Ham wished to achieve justice and equality—justice to minorities and to all consciences. With that object he proposed to separate religious from secular instruction. Upon secular instruction they were all agreed. But upon religious instruction they were, and must remain, at variance. Let, therefore, the professors of every religion, independently of assistance from the State, undertake this great duty. So far he entirely agreed. That was the view taken a day or two ago by the National Education League and by the late Dr. Dale, who, he continually regretted, was not still with them to give his wise counsel. He now came to the admirable speech of the Secretary to the Board of Education, who had stated in eloquent language his sense of the importance of religious and moral education for the children. He said it was impossible for them to divest themselves of this responsibility and throw it entirely upon the parent or upon the Sunday school. But this Bill, which had been propounded in order to carry out that principle, could not be accepted by those who, like the hon. Member for West Ham, desired a system which would be just and equal to all. The hon. Gentleman and the Government were trying to find a common religion. If they were dealing with this matter for the first time he should be sanguine of success in bringing together the representatives of the different denominations, and trying to find something of eminent value on which they could all be agreed. It was absolutely impossible now. The hon. Member for West Ham had pointed out that even so limited a religious teaching as the reading of the Bible with note and comment would constitute definite religious teaching, which was not acceptable at all events to a considerable minority. He did not wish to enter upon a theological disquisition, but was it possible to read certain books of the Bible, for instance Genesis and Joshua, to young children with no comment whatever? It was impossible. Without some instructive comment mere reading of the Bible would perhaps be a worse solution than reading the Bible with note and comment, which the hon. Member had shown to be impossible if they were to do justice to all consciences. The solution of the Government, then, was not one which could be accepted universally. They were dealing, not with small minorities, but with a great section of the population, with influential and important minorities, which if put together might constitute a majority of the people. It was absolutely impossible to do justice to all on the principle of the Bill. But if he accepted the alternative proposed by the hon. Member for Burnley, he did not see how they could achieve the objects desired by the hon. Gentleman the Secretary of the Board of Education. If they were going not merely to say that there should be a separation between religious and secular instruction, but practically to establish secularism, which would really be the result of the Amendment of the hon. Member for Burnley, he believed that not only would they be opposed be overpowering instinct on the part of the whole population, but in the mere attempt to produce what would then become almost aggressive State secularism they would be doing injustice to many consciences to whom they desired to, allot absolute equality.


said that if the right hon. Gentleman attributed to him a desire to endow or establish secularism as something which was antagonistic to religion he was mistaken. He did not desire to do so.


said he would not attempt to interpret the mind of the hon. Gentleman, but he would point out that if they prevented a child in school hours from receiving under any circumstances any religious instruction, even although it was not given at the expense of the State, then he should describe it as an endowment of secularism, because it was perfectly clear that there were great numbers of children who would receive no religious instruction. He need hardly dwell upon that point, because it had been fully explained by the Parliamentary Secretary. In pursuance of the opinions he had expressed in previous speeches he desired to say that he wanted to follow the hon. Member for Burnley and the hon. Member for West Ham into the division lobby upon this question. He was with him as to the absolute and entire separation of religious and secular instruction in the State schools. But when he came to consider how that might be made a practical arrangement which would secure to the children that religious and moral instruction which the hon. Member for West Ham had so eloquently advocated, then he said they could not do it under the Amendment. They must consent to allow the instruction to be given in school hours by the ordinary teachers if they were willing to give it. [Cries of "No, no," from the MINISTERIAL Benches.] He need hardly dwell upon what he had said before. He would require no test upon the appointment of a teacher, but when a teacher had been appointed he saw no reason for putting upon him an exclusion and declaring that he should not in his own time and at the expense of other people give religious instruction if he was willing to give it. He would test the matter by moving an Amendment to the Amendment moved by the hon. Member for Burnley. The hon. Member did not deal with the question of the teacher, and that might arise at a later stage of the Bill. The only thing which he took exception to in the Amendment were the words "during school hours." If those words were omitted it would then read "and unless provision is made that religious instruction shall not be given at the public expense." If those words were omitted, he should then be in agreement with hon. Members who had spoken so far as their main object was concerned, and he only differed from them upon a point of detail. He desired that this education should be given, but not at the public expense, and he did not believe that it could be given unless they allowed the facilities which the Amendment as it stood would prevent being given. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed to the proposed Amendment— In line 2, to omit the words 'during school hours nor.'"—(Mr. J. Chamberlain.)

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

Committee report progress; to sit again to-morrow.