HC Deb 21 February 1907 vol 169 cc1131-9

7. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not exceeding £11,000, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1907, for Grants towards the Expenditure of certain School Boards in Scotland."


said the total grant for primary education in Scotland was £1,972,000. They in Ireland had been pressing the Government all through last year for some addition to the Irish Education grant. The population of Ireland was practically the same as that of Scotland, and the total grant for primary education to Ireland was £1,393,000, compared with £1,972,000 to Scotland, or nearly £600,000 more to Scotland than to Ireland which was the poorer country. And yet Scotland was about to get a supplementary grant of £11,000, whereas the Treasury turned a deaf ear for years to the claim of Ireland for further assistance to relieve the present wretched state of primary education in that country.


said he would explain how it was that this sum of £11,000 came to be on the Supplementary Estimates. Last year in response to representations from West Ham and other districts, the Treasury agreed to place a sum on the Estimates to assist local authorities who were obliged to levy an education rate higher than 1s. 6d. When that grant was made the Scottish Office approached the Treasury to obtain a similar grant; and they succeeded in getting it, but it was then too late for it to be placed on the regular Estimates for this year, and therefore they were obliged to have it on the Supplementary Estimates.


said that the right hon. Gentleman had explained the genesis of this Vote, but he wished to ask him one or two questions. The right hon. Gentleman must be aware that the Treasury, previous to making the grant in England to the local education authorities, appointed a Committee to inquire into the circumstances of such districts as West Ham, and to ascertain whether the high education rate was due to the extravagance of the local authorities or to local circumstances beyond their control, and a very interesting Report had been made in regard to those districts which had made a claim on the generosity of the Treasury. Had there been any such inquiry in the case of Scotland; and if so, was it concluded so that the results might be laid before the Committee? He did not wish to criticise the right hon. Gentleman as to what amount of money had been spent in anticipation of such inquiry; but if no such inquiry had been made he thought that the Scottish Office had been remiss in this matter or the Treasury had overlooked the fact. His second question was whether this grant was on the face of it a temporary grant. Before the Committee assented to the grant they ought to know what the policy of the right hon. Gentleman was to be in regard to future years.


said he did not think that the policy to be pursued in future years arose on this Vote.


said he bowed to the Chairman's ruling, but he submitted that it was germane to this Vote to ask whether the grant was merely a sop thrown away with no permanent result in view, or only to remove a difficulty of a temporary character which had arisen.


said that he was not sure that the Committee to which the right hon. Gentleman had alluded had even begun its labours. It was not the fact that extravagance had been at work in all the districts, and it was only right that Scottish school authorities with the same heavy burdens as those in England should receive an equal amount of relief. In reply to the second point raised by the right hon. Gentleman, the Scottish Education Department were specifically informed by the Treasury that this grant was to be a grant for one year only, and they were to receive the money as such.


said he understood that the Scottish Office had not made an inquiry. The question of his right hon. friend was whether the Scottish Office had made an inquiry as the English Department had done, but the Secretary for Scotland had carefully avoided making any reply on that point. What he said was that the grant was not always given where there had been extravagance, and that the same thing might take place in England. The right hon. Gentleman justified his position by the case of West Ham and by saying that West Ham was not extravagant. Nobody said that West Ham was extravagant, but the grant was given to them because they were necessitous. The grant was meant to be given not where districts were extravagant, but where they were necessitous. The Treasury therefore tried to find out whether they had been extravagant, and of course if they had been both necessitous and extravagant the matter would have to be considered. There were not many parts of Scotland which were like West Ham, but the moment that West Ham or any part of this country got anything, Scottish and Irish Members pricked up their ears and said "cannot we get some of this money for Scotland and Ireland." He thought that this assistance should be given to places where it was required. This expenditure had nothing to do with Scotland or Ireland, and the fact that West Ham had had a necessitous grant was no reason why grants should be given to Scotland in places where no necessity could be shown. The first question he asked was whether there had been an inquiry, and the second was whether there were any parts of Scotland which could be considered to be in the same condition as West Ham.


replied that even thriftiness did not prevent poverty in some parts of Scotland. This Vote was spread over twenty-one counties, and there were parishes in these twenty-one counties amongst whom this Vote was divided, and the justification for the assistance given to those parishes was exactly the same ground upon which the money was given in England, namely that there was a school rate of 1s. 6d. or over. He could assure the hon. Member that careful and thorough inquiry was made in every case.

*MR WEIR (Ross and Cromarty)

said that when he heard the suggestion of the hon. Baronet and of the late Chancellor of the Exchequer about extravagance in Scotland he could hardly sit still in his seat. If the late Chancellor of the Exchequer had kept his eyes open he would have realised long ago that there was great poverty in the schools in Scotland, not only in Lewis but in other parts of the country. He wanted to know where it was alleged that there was any extravagance, because the history of these schools was a long story of poverty. He might tell the Committee that in some schools in the Island of Lewis the amount paid for lighting, cleaning, brooms, brushes, soap, etc., was not more than 30s. a year. He should like to know if the hon. Baronet or the late Chancellor of the Exchequer would like to do the work and find the soap for that sum. The late Chancellor of the Exchequer had occupied the time of the House by talking absolute nonsense.


asked if an hon. Gentleman was entitled in accordance with Parliamentary usage to charge another Member with talking absolute nonsense.


I did not hear what the hon. Member said. In fact I do not understand what he was alluding to, but I am afraid that during the last week I have heard the phrase used on more than one occasion.


said that if hon. Members would go with him to the Highlands of Scotland they would see how the schools were conducted there and would not talk of extravagance in Scottish schools. The Scottish schools were starved. They ought to have at least £25,000 instead of £11,000 for a matter of this kind.


said the only difference that he could see between Scotland and West Ham was that in Scotland inquiry was not necessary. The hon. Gentleman said inquiry was not necessary because it was common knowledge in the parishes in which it occurred. It occurred in twenty-one parishes in Scotland and necessitous cases were common knowledge. He would like to know, if that information was not obtained by means of Commissioners, from whom it was received. He certainly thought the question of whether necessity existed did arise and he knew of no place where it arose more than in Ireland. After the claims that had been made that something should be done for the schools of Ireland and as a protest against this enormous grant to Scotland he moved the reduction of the Vote by £1,000.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £10,000, be granted for the said Service."—(Captain Craig.)


said it was very rarely that he was able to support an appeal of the hon. Member for East Mayo, but on this occasion the thanks of all Irishmen of whatever Party were due to the hon. Member for the protest he had made on behalf of Ireland. The hon. Member had pointed out with great force that Ireland had, without counting this supplementary grant of £11,000 to Scotland, £600,000 a year loss granted to her than was granted to Scotland, while the population was the same. Having regard to the needs of Ireland in respect to education he heartily supported the Amendment. Only recently a sum was asked for the lighting and warming of the schools in Ireland and it was denied. So long as no definite promise was given that anything more would be done for Ireland—


said the hon. Member was not entitled to enter into a discussion upon Ireland. He must confine himself to the Vote.

Question put,

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 33; Noes, 229. (Division List No. 13.)

Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex, F. Courthope, G. Loyd Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Finch, Rt. Hon. George H. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Ashley, W. W. Forster, Henry William Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Beach, Hn. MichaelHugh Hicks Hamilton, Marquess of Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk)
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashford Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Boyle, Sir Edward Hay, Hon. Claude George Walrond, Hon, Lionel
Carlile, E. Hildred Hervey, F.W.F.(Bury S. Edm'ds
Castlereagh, Viscount Hunt, Rowland TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Cave, George Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Captain Craig and Mr. T. L.
Cavendish, Rt. Hn. Victor C. W. Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Corbett.
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Morpeth, Viscount
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend
Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Cullinan, J. Henry, Charles S.
Acland, Francis Dyke Dalmeny, Lord Higham, John Sharp
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hobart, Sir Robert
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Hodge, John
Astbury, John Meir Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Hogan, Michael
Atherley-Jones, L. Delany, William Holden, E. Hopkinson
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Dillon, John Hudson, Walter
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dolan, Charles Joseph Idris, T. H. W.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Duffy, William J. Jenkins, J.
Barnard, E. B. Duncan, C.(Barrow-in-Furness) Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Jordon, Jeremiah
Beale, W. P. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Wals'll Jowett, F. W.
Beauchamp, E. Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Joyce, Michael
Beck, A. Cecil Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Kearley, Hudson E.
Bellairs, Carlyon Elibank, Master of Kekewich, Sir George
Bennett, E. N. Erskine, David C. Kennedy, Vincent Paul
Bertram, Julius Eve, Harry Trelawney Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Billson, Alfred Everett, R. Lacey King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Brace, William Farrell, James Patrick Laidlaw, Robert
Bridgeman, W. Clive Fenwick, Charles Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Brigg, John Ferens, T. R. Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)
Brocklehurst, W. B. Ffrench, Peter Lehmann, R. C.
Brooke, Stopford Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Lever, A. Levy(Essex, Harwich)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Flynn, James Christopher Levy, Maurice
Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T.(Chesh.) Fuller, John Michael F. Lewis, John Herbert
Bryce, J. Annan Fullerton, Hugh Lough, Thomas
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Gibb, James (Harrow) Lundon, W.
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Gill, A. H. Lyell, Charles Henry
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lynch, H. B.
Cawley, Sir Frederick Glendinning, R. G. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Chance, Frederick William Goddard, Daniel Ford Macdonald, J. M.(Falkirk B'ghs)
Cheetham, John Frederick Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Mackarness, Frederic C.
Cherry, Rt. Hon.R. R. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward MacNeill, John Gordon Swift
Churchill, Winston Spencer Gulland, John W. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.
Cleland, J. W. Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.)
Clough, William Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. McCallum, John M.
Coats, Sir T. Glen (Renfrew, W.) Hall, Frederick McCrae, George
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Lewis McKenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) McKillop, W.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W. Harmsworth, R. L.(Caithn'ss-sh. McMicking, Major G.
Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Hart-Davies, T. Maddison, Frederick
Corbett, C. H.(Sussex, E. Grinst'd Harvey, W. E.(Derbyshire, N. E. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Cory, Clifford John Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Massie, J.
Cotton, Sir H, J. S. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth) Meagher, Michael
Cremer, William Randal Haworth, Arthur A. Meehan, Patrick A.
Crombie, John William Hayden, John Patrick Menzies, Walter
Crossley, William J. Hazel, Dr. A. E. Micklem, Nathaniel
Mond, A. Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Mooney, J. J. Rickett, J. Compton Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Thomasson, Franklin
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Thomson, W. Mitchell (Lanark)
Morrell, Philip Robertson, Sir G. Scott(Bradf'rd Tomkinson, James
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Toulmin, George
Murphy, John Robinson, S. Verney, F. W.
Murray, James Robson, Sir William Snowdon Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Myer, Horatio Roe, Sir Thomas Walton, Sir John L. (Leeds, S.)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Rose, Charles Day Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Nuttall, Harry Rowlands, J. Waring, Walter
O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Runciman, Walter Watt, H. Anderson
O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wedgwood, Josiah C.
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Scott, A. H. (Ashton-und.-Lyne) Weir, James Galloway
O'Dowd, John Seaverns, J. H. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
O'Malley, William Seely, Major J. B. White, Luke (York, E.R.)
O'Shaughnessy, P. J. Shackleton, David James White, Patrick (Meath, North)
Parker, James (Halifax) Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick, B.) Whitehead, Rowland
Partington, Oswald Shipman, Dr. John G. Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Paul, Herbert Silcock, Thomas Ball Wilkie, Alexander
Pearce, Robert (Staffs. Leek) Simon, John Allsebrook Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Williamson, A.
Power, Patrick Joseph Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wills, Arthur Walters
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Smyth, Thomas F. Leitrim, S.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Radford, G. H. Soares, Ernest J. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Rainy, A. Rolland Spicer, Sir Albert
Raphael, Herbert H. Strachey, Sir Edward TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr.
Reddy, M. Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon) Whiteley and Mr. J. A.
Redmond, John E. (Waterford) Summerbell, T. Pease.
Rees, J. D. Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)

Original Question put, and agreed to.

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

Resolutions to be reported upon Monday next; Committee to sit again upon Monday next.