|Scientific Investigation, etc.||24,000|
|Board of Education||7,000,000|
|Royal Parks and Pleasure Gardens||50,000|
|Houses of Parliament Buildings||20,000|
|Miscellaneous Legal Buildings, Great Britain||30,000|
|Art and Science Buildings, Great Britain||25,000|
|Diplomatic and Consular Buildings||50,000|
|Public Buildings, Great Britain||200,000|
|Surveys of the United Kingdom||90,000|
|Harbours under the Board of Trade||15,000|
|Rates on Government Property||290,000|
|Public Works and Buildings, Ireland||95,000|
|United Kingdom and England: —|
|House of Lords Offices||10,000|
|House of Commons Offices||20,000|
|Treasury and Subordinate Departments||40,000|
|Privy Council Office||5,000|
|Board of Trade||90,000|
|Mercantile Marine Services||32,000|
|Bankruptcy Department of the Board of Trade||500|
|Board of Agriculture and Fisheries||60,000|
|Civil Service Commission||17,000|
|Exchequer and Audit Department||25,000|
|Friendly Societies Registry||3,000|
|Local Government Board||85,000|
|Mint (including Coinage)||5|
|National Debt Office||6,000|
|Public Record Office||10,000|
|Public Works Loan Commission||500|
|Registrar General's Office||15,000|
|Stationery and Printing||330,000|
|Woods, Forests, &c, Office of||8,000|
|Works and Public Buildings, Office of||34,000|
|Secretary for Scotland, Office of||25,000|
|Registrar General's Office||l,500|
|Local Government Board||5,000|
|Chief Secretary's Offices and Subordinate Departments||10,000|
|Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction||90,000|
|Charitable Donations and Bequests Office||1,000|
|Local Government Board||30,000|
|Public Record Office||2,000|
|Public Works Office||16,000|
|Registrar General's Office||5,000|
|Valuation and Boundary Survey||7,000|
|United Kingdom and England: —|
|Miscellaneous Legal Expenses||28,000|
|Supreme Court of Judicature||140,000|
|Police, England and Wales||15,000|
|Prisons, England and the Colonies||320,000|
|Reformatory and Industrial Schools, Great Britain||130,000|
|Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum||12,000|
|Law Charges and Courts of Law||30,000|
|Register House, Edinburgh||15,000|
|Law Charges and Criminal Prosecutions||25,000|
|Supreme Court of Judicature, and other Legal Departments||43,000|
|County Court Officers, &c.||45,000|
|Dublin Metropolitan Police||60,000|
|Royal Irish Constabulary||600,000|
|Reformatory and Industrial Schools||55,000|
|Dundrum Criminal Lunatic Asylum||4,000|
|United Kingdom and England: —|
|National Portrait Gallery||3,000|
|Universities and Colleges, Great Britain, and Intermediate Education, Wales||60,000|
|Endowed Schools Commissioners||400|
|Diplomatic and Consular Services||250,000|
|Telegraph Subsidies and Pacific Cable||25,000|
|Cyprus (Grant in Aid)||49,000|
|Superannuation and Retired Allowances||300,000|
|Miscellaneous Charitable and other Allowances||1,150|
|Hospitals and Charities, Ireland||17,000|
|Savings Banks and Friendly Societies Deficiencies||—|
|Repayment to the Local Loans Fund||—|
|Ireland Development Grant||100,000|
|Total for Civil Services||£13,980,000|
§ Resolution read a second time.
§ *MR. BOLAND (Kerry, S.)
said that about two years ago a Motion was moved in the House of Commons calling attention to the position of the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin. That Motion was agreed to, and he was glad to say it was supported at the time by not only the Irish representatives, but the representatives from Scotland. A Committee of Inquiry was constituted immediately after the Motion had been accepted by the Government, and the importance of an early discussion of the Report was all the greater, because unfortunately the Committee was not unanimous in its report. He himself was a member of the Committee, and finally three Members decided one way, and he and Mr. Justice Madden, a former hon. Member of that House, decided another way. It was contended that the Academy should be given a proper site and a proper building by the Government, and upon that point Sir James Guthrie, President of the Scottish Academy, was very clear in his evidence before the Committee. He showed that the Government had given a site for the Royal Academy in London. The case of Scotland was also shown in Sir James Guthrie's evidence, and a Bill was brought in in deference to the unanimous wish of the Scottish representatives with a view to having the question of the Scottish Academy satisfactorily settled. The important consideration which was before the House two years 71 ago, and which was just as important at the present time, was that the Royal Hibernian Academy received only £300 a year from State funds. The Academy was established in 1823, and received a Charter of Incorporation the same as the Royal Academy in London. With the exception of that £300 and a small sum of £403 that was given in 1872 to roof one of the galleries, not a single penny of State funds had gone to the Royal Hibernian Academy. The result had been that the Academy had not been able to obtain the position which the primary art institution of any country was entitled to hold. It would be hardly necessary to draw the attention of the House to the evidence given before the Committee by the fourteen witnesses who were asked to what the present unfortunate position of the Royal Hibernian Academy was due. Twelve said it was due to the bad position in which it was situated and to the impossibility of the Hibernian Academy really being a successful institution owing to the small amount of State funds coming to it. It was impossible to call attention to the whole of the evidence on that point, and he would therefore only refer to the evidence of those who were not Irishmen, and of those who were officials. Sir James Guthrie, the president of the Royal Scottish Academy, was asked about the accommodation and position and he said—The matter lies at the root of a whole side of the national existence, and if its art life is not to be stifled by undue centralisation that makes all depend upon London, Ireland should have a fitting centre for its art workers and art lovers to rally round. I do not think the question can be tested in their [the Academy buildings] present position. I think the most important feature of all is that they should come to such a neighbourhood as this [the neighbourhood of Leinster House] that they may have a chance of becoming an element in the life of the capital.Sir William Abney was an English official sent over six or seven years ago to inquire into the position of the Academy and on his view the Committee based a good deal of their Report. Sir William Abney said—It is situated now in the worst part of Dublin for an exhibition, and people will not go there; whereas, if they had it in an important part of the city, somewhere near the museum for instance, they would have a very 72 great many more visitors, and I think there would be many more purchasers. It is simply out of the way, and to be successful it must be in the way.Even at that time Lord Plymouth, the chairman of the Committee, seemed very much impressed with the evidence before him, and he asked Sir William—Seeing that the amalgamation which you then proposed has not taken place—and I do not think it is likely to take place—do you think that it would be, not a waste of money, but an advisable step to re-house the Academy first of all.And his answer was—I have not the slightest doubt about that; it ought to be re-housed.Those gentlemen unconnected with Ireland, who had had a chance of seeing the position of the buildings and the state they were in, gave it as their deliberate opinion that the Royal Hibernian Academy had not been given a chance of success because of the position of the buildings and the smallness of the grant from the State. The Report of the majority of the Committee was to the effect that the Royal Hibernian Academy as a teaching centre should be done away with. The reference to the Committee was to report whether any, and, if so, what, means should be taken in order to enable the institution of the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Metropolitian School of Art to serve more effectively the purposes for which they were maintained. The majority Report recommended that the Royal Hibernian Academy as an educational institution should cease to exist. It was essential that that matter should be discussed, because if it had been put to the Committee that it might be well for the Academy to be destroyed altogether different questions would have been put to the witnesses with a very different result. He therefore submitted that the teaching faculty should not be taken away from the Royal Hibernian Academy. In other countries the idea of an academy was inseparably bound up with teaching, and up to now it had been so with the Royal Hibernian Academy. Point was given to this view by the evidence of an English artist who kindly gave evidence before the Committee. Mr. George Clausen, A.R.A., said—If you take away the school from it, it only becomes then the same as any other body of 73 exhibiting artists, and it has no raison ďetre as an Academy.Another important consideration arose on that, viz., whether the State would be justified in acting on the majority Report and thereby depriving the Academy of its teaching functions. That would go to the root of the present State grant which it had received ever since it had existed. Since 1832 out of the grant from the State the Academy had devoted £250 to the life school, reserving only £50 for the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings. It was true that the grant was not given conditionally on the teaching being upheld, but it seemed to him that if the teaching function was abolished the Treasury might come down and say, the teaching having been given up, there was no reason for a grant to keep up an institution which served only as an exhibition for artists. It was for that reason as well as many others that he took this strong point. The Art Union of Ireland, the Institute of Architects and the Royal Hibernian Academy itself had passed resolutions strongly protesting against the majority Report, and a petition had been presented against it. In that petition were the names of four governors of the National Gallery of Ireland, who were men experienced, in the art life of the country, and, so far as he knew, there had been no public expression of opinion in favour of the majority Report. If anyone read the majority and minority Reports they must come to the conclusion that the minority were absolutely justified in their Report which would give the Royal Hibernian Academy a new building and a new site in order to carry on its work successfully. Of all the recommendations of the majority Report the most serious was that, when the teaching was taken away from the Academy one art school, the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art, alone should remain. During the last two years that school had been deprived of its headmaster, as the vacancy had not been filled up, and the Treasury had gained in consequence. When the majority Report advised that only one such school should be maintained they suggested an arrangement which was absolutely unworkable. In the constitution of the outside committee three members were to be 74 nominated by the Department, three by the Royal Hibernian Academy, two by the Lord-Lieutenant, and one director of the National Gallery—nine in all. Those in Ireland who were acquainted with advisory committees were of opinion that such a committee would break down in a very short time, and the whole management would be thrown into the hands of the Department. It was because he saw the impossibility of the scheme of the majority of the Committee being worked that he strongly opposed, as he believed did the public opinion of Ireland, the Report's being adopted. It had struck him very much indeed, in reading the majority Report, to see that a certain amount of reliance for their opinion was placed upon the evidence given before the Committee by one or two artists. They relied on the evidence of Mr. William Orpen, an artist well-known, not only in Ireland, but in England, who was very insistent upon the point that it was impossible to expect that a body of artists should be controlled by a Government Department. He said it was absurd to have artists controlled by a Department of Agriculture; let the artists control themselves. Sir James Guthrie pointed out that the Scottish system was absolutely unworkable, and that the Scottish artists, under the Board of Manufactures, were absolutely controlled and unable to free themselves and work for themselves. The evidence given before the Committee was that if they wished to encourage fine art they must not tie down artists by putting them under a Government Department. If it happened in London that the Royal Academy could be thwarted and held in bondage by a Government Department, he was perfectly certain that its success would not be such as it was. Mr. Justice Madden and he, in presenting their Report, pointed out clearly that, with the exception of the official witnesses brought before the Committee, practically no support was given to the recommendations now put forward in the majority Report. But Mr. Fletcher, one of the officials, was asked by the chairman the following question—Is there room in Dublin for some other school of teaching for professional artists, such, for instance, I will put it, as a strong Royal 75 Hibernian Academy School, side by side with the Metropolitan School of Art.Mr. Fletcher answered—I think there is. The difficulty I see at the moment with regard to that is the paucity of properly prepared students, but I think there is ample room for that or for other effort of that character, strengthened as far as it is possible to strengthen it.So even one of the official witnesses, on whom the majority relied, when asked whether it was advisable to have a second school in Dublin, said undoubtedly it was, and that the institution should be strengthened as far as it possibly could be. The majority of the Committee further relied on the evidence brought forward about the regrettable position of the Academy, and the fact that it was not in a flourishing condition, and that its teaching had not been up to the standard which should have been looked for. But, as two of the witnesses pointed out, it was not merely in excellence of teaching that they got success or skill; it was in the influence which clever and capable students exercised on one another that they had the real foundation of success and skill. If the remarks which the majority of the Committee quoted in support of their findings were carefully examined, and especially the evidence of Mr. James Brenan, for many years a director of the Metropolitan School of Art, it would be seen that the highest teaching was not in itself so absolutely essential to the success of the school, because the influence which students had upon one another was of the greatest value in creating a good school of art. Mr. Brenan, for example, said—One of the most important factors in the education of the students of an academy is the effect on them of the students with whom they are working. There is more to be learned from working with other clever students than people imagine—it is amazing what influence a clever student has in a school.And Mr. Yeats, the well-known writer and an art student in his early days, said—A student learns more from his fellow-students than he does from his teacher. If there is a good teacher, so much the better; but the only teacher a student can learn from is a good creative artist, because there is no teaching worth anything except the infection from a creative mind.76 These two witnesses were strongly for the necessity of a teaching academy. But there were other reasons why they in Ireland had reason to object to the Report of the majority of the Committee, and to express their hope that the Government would not act upon the majority Report, but, after examining the evidence, put aside any prepossessions they might have for what he might call official views, and see if they could not possibly do something to put the Royal Hibernian Academy in a proper position. Their reasons were that if they centralised everything in London, if they made Irish artists in pursuit of their profession go to London or abroad for their teaching, they did away absolutely with the hope of a future Irish school of art; therefore steps should be taken to make the Royal Hiberian Academy in Dublin an academy as efficient and properly supported as it could possibly be. They were not concerned now merely with the existing conditions of Dublin, which from various causes was no longer like London, the capital of a country. Dublin had become merely the principal town of a province. But he had not the least doubt that in the future, when she had a University settlement, and in a self-governed country, Dublin would again become the centre of national life, and the Irish people would look to the city as the focus of the nation. There would be better conditions for a school of art, and the Royal Hibernian Academy would be able to flourish and to carry on its useful work. At present there were intellectual efforts being made which fifteen or twenty years ago were non-existent. The great work of the Gaelic League in reviving the Irish tongue had also a great effect in quickening interest in art. It was shown already in very many ways, and notably at national and local feiseanna where, among the features, was a display of the works of Irish artists. These efforts had been going on for years. If in a moment of aberration the Government, as he hoped they would not, were to crush out of existence the only academy of fine art in Ireland, they would give a terrible set back to those intellectual influences now at work in creating a regular school of Irish art. He begged them, therefore, to consider, not only what Ireland was entitled to, if England 77 and Scotland were taken into comparison, but to bear in mind also that Ireland was making a claim, not merely for the present, but for the future of Irish art. He sincerely hoped that when the Secretary to the Treasury came to reply he would say that a grant and a site would be provided in Dublin for a new building for the Royal Hibernian Academy and to enable that institution to fulfil the objects for which it was established three-quarters of a century ago. He formally moved to reduce the vote by £100.
To leave out '£21,410,000,' and to insert '£21,409,900.' "—(Mr. Boland.)
§ Question proposed, "That '£21,410,000' stand part of the Resolution."
§ MR. GWYNN (Galway)
said it was important to consider the suitability or the unsuitability of the present site upon which the Royal Hibernian Academy was housed. The movement of the population of Dublin had left the present building stranded, and it was now on the wrong side of the river. In London, he thought the site of the Tate Gallery had been against the fulfilment of the original purpose for which it was founded. The essential point at issue was not whether they should have a new site for the Academy or spend a great deal of money improving the present building, but whether they should preserve in Ireland a free institution for the teaching of art. The Report of the Committee which inquired into the question advocated the abolition of the Royal Hibernian Academy as a teaching body, and the Metropolitan School of Art was to take up the teaching functions which at present were discharged by the Hibernian Academy. It was interesting to consider how the Metropolitan School of Art was administered. It was under the charge of the Department of Argiculture and Technical Instruction, which at the present moment had so wide a range of duties that its attention could not be advantageously distributed over all the various departments of life which came within its scope. Provision had been made for a headmistress of art at the Metropolitan School of Art. Four years 78 ago that post became vacant, and it had not been filled from that day to this. The salary had, of course, gone into the coffers of the Treasury and had been lost to Ireland. Two years ago the head teacher at the same institution died, and that post had not been filled up. There was no reason why temporary appointments should not have been made in those cases, because there were people in Dublin admirably suited for the positions. The school would then have been properly staffed and the money would not have been lost to Ireland. There was only about £5,000 or £6,000 a year being spent on the teaching of art in Dublin, and out of that sum £700 or £800, so far as he could ascertain, had been lost annually to Ireland through those vacant appointments not being filled up. The Hibernian Academy was not all that they wished it to be, but he thought it would be more watchful over interests of art in Ireland than the Department of Agriculture. He had read the evidence given before the Committee by men of letters and artists of note who evidently were not so conversant with business methods and did not tender their evidence so well as those who came forward with cut and dried schemes. They were, however, all agreed that the Academy should be preserved and managed by artists and not be given up to officials. Mr. Orpen, the well-known artist, spoke with contempt of handing over the teaching of art to the Department of Agriculture. There was an alternative proposal to delegate the functions of the Academy to a committee consisting of a few artists, but the bulk of the committee would be amateurs and red tape officials. They were advocating the continuance of the life of the Royal Hibernian Academy, which he agreed was now in low water in point of talent, but there was always the chance of some man of ability coming forward who would again make the teaching of art in Dublin a reality and a living thing. They all knew the late Mr. Walter Osborne, who was connected with the Academy three years ago. His death was most untimely, and he had left a great blank in art in Dublin, but there was always a chance of another man arising. He would therefore appeal to the Government not to leave the 79 teaching of art to the Department of Agriculture, but allow it to be carried on by an association of artists not bound by red tape.
§ THE FINANCIAL SECRETARY TO THE TREASURY (Mr. RUNCIMAN,) Dewsbury
said he had gone carefully into the question of the Royal Hibernian Academy. It was founded about the year 1823, and since the year 1832 it had received an annual grant of £300. He agreed that £300 a year was not a very large sum, but the Academy depended more upon the amount of money received from exhibitions held in its building. A special grant had been made upon one occasion, and he understood that there had been two or three small endowments. He thought they might take it that the amount of money at the disposal of the Academy had never been sufficient for them to do anything like establish an art school. The attendance at the annual exhibition had gone down from 28,000 people in 1885 to about 9,700 in 1905. Under such conditions no art school could possibly flourish. The Committee appointed to inquire into the present state of the Royal Hibernian Academy inquired into the question with the sole idea of benefiting Irish art. It was certainly the wish of the Chief Secretary and himself to do all they could to develop Irish art in the best possible way. He did not know that the hon. Member for Kerry could draw a direct parallel either from England or Scotland in regard to the matter. The English Royal Academy was more of a private institution and had maintained its independence and was altogether free from interference by the State. He thought it was a very happy circumstance that it was not controlled by officials or politicians. The Glasgow school, which was a better parallel, was altogether free from State interference, but there was no Academy in Glasgow, where the life school was conducted by the school authorities. It had been under the control of the municipality with such assistance as the students and artists themselves by their voluntary services chose to give. The Board spent far more money for dairy farms and fisheries than it was ever likely to spend for painting and sculpture. 80 He wished to know whether it was thought that it would not be possible to provide a sufficiently good life school. He only put that as a purely hypothetical question. The question they had to decide was whether it was possible in Dublin for two life schools to flourish side by side. Dublin was not very large, nor indeed was all Ireland very large, and the number of art students that could be trained in a life school must of necessity be small. A life school was an expensive institution, and he was inclined to doubt whether two life schools could prosper in the city of Dublin. The question was whether the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries should have the whole of its work in this direction handed over to the Royal Irish Academy or whether the reverse should take place. At the present time the life school of the Royal Hibernian Academy was by no means prosperous. He thought the numbers in the institution in the last term were fifteen women and one man. With such a number of students they were not likely to have prosperity. His hon. friends might consider the possibility of either amalgamating or giving up this part of the work. For his own part he would be very glad to see the Royal Hibernian Academy in a more prosperous condition. They had to consider ways and means. It was clear that they could not afford to keep up the life school of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries and that of the Royal Hibernian Academy as well. His hon. friend made no reference to one of the recommendations, namely, to have a gallery of modern art. That was outside the Motion now before the House, and therefore he would not further refer to it. The recommendations of the majority had been carefully considered. The points were that grants should be made out of the Votes to render the galleries suitable for exhibition; that there should be a reconstitution of the Academy in the way of amalgamating the life schools; that a professorship should be established at the school, and that there should be an outside committee to direct the work of the life school of painting and sculpture, and to select teachers. All he could say at the present time was that he looked sympathetically 81 at the position of those behind the Royal Hibernian Academy. But the recommendations were not such as he could accept. He felt that there was something more required than the majority seemed at realise. He hoped his hon. friends would rest satisfied with the assurance that he would do all that he could in the matter, and if they would be so good as to forward to him and the Irish Government details of such real business-like schemes as they wished to put forward, they would receive sympathetic consideration. He would like to point out in passing that his hon. friends must not assume that it was altogether an easy matter to get a suitable site in Dublin. He understood that Sir James Guthrie thought that it would cost something between £15,000 and £20,000. Might he point out that Sir James Guthrie was a Scotsman who, so far as he knew, did not know about land values in Ireland. He doubted whether that estimate would cover anything like what was required for both site and building. If his hon. friend wished to follow the Scottish precedent, he must remember that the Government had not provided a building in Scotland. All that they had done was to provide a site. He would be glad if his hon. friend submitted a scheme which he thought would be approved by the Royal Hibernian Academicians and the large number of people in Ireland outside of the Academy who were interested in Irish painting and sculpture.
§ SIR THOMAS ESMONDE (Wexford, N.)
said he was very glad that they had now an authorised statement that there was no intention on the part of the Government to support the majority Report of the Committee. He never for a moment imagined that they would assent to it. Speaking for himself, he would prefer that all artistic matters should be in the hands of the Royal Hibernian Academy, his view being that the Board of Agriculture had more than enough to do in other directions. The idea that a number of well-meaning gentlemen should be entrusted with the extremely difficult and altogether peculiar work in connection with sculpture and painting was quite beyond his comprehension. What was really wanted was the establishment of a national school of art, and he 82 thought that the discussion that day might lead towards that end. If the Irish had a Government of their own, one of the first things they would do would be to establish an Irish school of art, and endow it well and richly. Probably one of the first things they would do would be to break up the cumbersome administration of the Department of Agriculture and divide the work among separate departments. At all events, art would be entitled to a separate Department for itself. The Irish had produced good painters, and at the present moment there were several sculptors of merit in their midst. Those who took an interest in the intellectual development of Ireland were anxious that the question should receive immediate and proper attention. They could not suppose that the miserable pittance of £300 a year was sufficient for the encouragement of art in Ireland. What they would like, pending the arrival of the time when they would be allowed to do things for themselves, would be to have a fairly generous endowment of art from the Imperial Parliament. Everybody knew how much had been done for the promotion of art in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, and Liverpool. It was not wise to drive all art teaching into one centre. The proper thing to do, even in one country, was to have various artistic centres. Dublin, as the capital of Ireland, should have a school of art of its own. Ireland was a poor country as compared with England, and it had not the wealthy and leisured class who were to be found on this side of the Channel—people who were either disposed or able in a large degree to do anything for artistic matters. Therefore, the State had special and particular responsibilities in regard to Ireland. He thought that was a good opportunity for urging the claims of Ireland for the establishment of a national art gallery. Nothing would tend more to the encouragement of Irish art in future. If there was an English school, and a Scottish school, why should there not be an Irish school also? He hoped that any proposals which might be laid before the Government would receive careful and favourable consideration.
§ MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)
said he supported the views expressed by the hon. Members who had just spoken in support of the reduction. The aspect of the case 83 that appealed most strongly to him was the absurdity that the school of art in Ireland should be under the control of the Department of Agriculture. There never was in the history of the muddle which had characterised English Government in Ireland a greater absurdity than that the Department of Agriculture should have control of art matters. Its functions were so multifarious that one was reminded of a character in Gilbert and Sullivan's "Mikado." The Department had under its control for some years the only art school in Ireland, and amongst its other duties were those of attending to swine fever, the supplying of potatoes, the teaching of science, the superintendence of the National Library and Museum, and an infinite variety of other matters. In fact no human being, no matter how great his acquirements might be, could possibly attend to one quarter of the matters under the jurisdiction of that extraordinary Department. What qualification they could be supposed to have for the conduct of art schools surpassed his comprehension, unless it was that megalomania had taken possession of the Department in its desire to obtain control over all activities of Irish life. What qualification had its officials for the selection of masters in art? As the hon. Member for Galway had stated, for the last two years the school of art in Dublin had been left without a head master, a most outrageous condition of things, entailing a return to the Treasury of a portion of the infinitesimally small amount devoted to the teaching of art. No proper excuse had ever been offered for the action of the Department in not appointing a teacher. Perhaps he could suggest the excuse that there was not a single man who had an atom of qualification for selecting a teacher of art. The real truth was that the Department was utterly over-burdened with work, and it was not managed in a way to qualify it to do one fourth or one fifth of the work imposed on it. Perhaps the failure to appoint a head master might turn out in the long run to be a blessing in disguise; because it was possible they might ultimately get a teacher appointed by people qualified to select a proper teacher. The hon. Member for Galway was exceedingly sanguine in the matter, but he was not. The 84 fate of Dublin was exceedingly sad. A century ago it was one of the art capitals of Europe, and could hold its own with many cities in Europe in its artistic achievements. If the art life of Dublin had been allowed to develop on national lines there would have been no city in Europe with which it would have feared to compete. Dublin had been dragged down from its position as the capital of a nation possessed of considerable artistic gifts, and reduced to the position of a decaying town. The old houses in Dublin were a wonder and admiration to those who wandered amongst them; and hundreds of the best artists of Italy were attracted to Dublin a hundred years ago by its wealthy citizens to decorate their great palaces. Those houses were still a source of wonder, although they had fallen into decay, and many beautiful works of art had been pillaged and brought over to England. The Government had gradually withdrawn all encouragement for artistic effort; and yet so persistent was the art tradition in Dublin that even in spite of the discouragement. Irish artists, like Mr. Foley, had decorated the city with statues which were infinitely superior as works of art to those which were to be found in London. As years rolled by, instead of making progress in artistic work, Dublin, under the blight of this extraordinary kind of government, had gradually decayed. The hon. Member for Kerry had said one of the greatest merits of the Gaelic League had been that in the last stage of decay of Irish art a movement had arisen among the people, which, although in its infancy, carried with it the promise of great artistic development among the Irish people. It would be a most unfortunate and cruel thing if that promise were blighted by the teaching of art in Dublin being placed completely under the control of a Department which had not the confidence of the Irish people. He entirely supported the appeal of his hon. friends, though he did not profess to have so much knowledge of these matters as they had. He urgently appealed for sympathy for the new movement which was stirring so widely and so deeply among the people in their pathetic desires to recover their lost traditions, of which they were justifiably proud; and he 85 asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, in settling the matter, to see that the whole control of art, whatever scheme might be adopted, was taken out of the hands of the Department of Agriculture and put under the control of men who knew something about it, who would be free from the trammels of the Treasury, and who would have a fair chance of contributing towards the recovery of that glorious element in the spiritual life of the nation.
§ MR. T. L. CORBETT (Down, N.)
said he felt it to be a privilege to be in entire agreement with hon. Members below the gangway in trying to do something on behalf of art in Ireland. He had pleasure in the last Parliament in supporting the hon. Member who moved the reduction, and he thought every Irishman owed him a great debt for the earnest and eloquent and wholehearted perseverance he had devoted to this cause. He and his colleagues entirely agreed in supporting the hon. Member in what was a reasonable and practical proposal. Irishmen were by temperament a poetic and artistic people, and it was not owing to any fault or want of natural aptitude, but owing to want of opportunity and want of training, that they had not produced the large number of artists that one would naturally expect them to have. He was not sure that he was in order in repeating the appeal he made unsuccessfully in the last Parliament for the circulation on loan of the great pictures which belonged to the nation as a whole, and which ought not to be hoarded up as they were. There were accumulations of pictures in all parts of Ireland, which, if exhibited, would do a great deal towards stimulating the growth of the artistic spirit. He only wished the Chief Secretary had been present to listen to the appeals that had been made, because, although he could not trust the Chief Secretary in everything, he would trust the artistic side of his nature; and he felt sure that however hard of heart the Treasury might be, the Chief Secretary, with his artistic and literary temperament, would have been stirred by the appeals which had been made.
§ *MR. BOLAND
said he was perfectly satisfied with the answer given by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, and he hoped that the attention which the hon. Gentleman would give to the claims of Ireland in this respect would meet the case. He had not referred to the urgent claims for a modern art gallery, as he thought it might not have been in order on this Vote, but he trusted that the Secretary to the Treasury would not lose sight of those claims. He asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)
said there were some points to which he wished to draw attention before the Resolution was agreed to. The first was as to the character of the teaching which was apparently allowed to be given on Sundays by the London County Council in some schools belonging to them. The principle which he had always supposed to reign in regard to the use of elementary schools had been that those schools which were built and maintained by public money should not be used, except under the strictest limitations, for public political purposes; and certainly should not be used for a definite political propaganda. He had also understood that in according the use of those schools, as a local authority might well do on days when they were not required for secular teaching, equal treatment should be meted out to all forms of religious belief. There were, if he was correctly informed, certain schools in London in which teaching of a distinctly Socialistic and secular character was given on Sundays. He had before him a list of five such schools, and he thought that the attention of the President of the Board of Education should be directed to what had occurred in them. He had read a description of such a school meeting, and what took place was this. The children were ranged in classes. The teacher called them comrades and said he met them as comrades. Then what was called the "roll of builders" was called over, and the children were asked to answer to that as builders, because they were builders of a new world. He himself hoped they would 87 be builders of a new world, but not of such a world as was contemplated by that instruction. In one of the cases of which he read a description, the instruction was mainly given by a young working man, who was introduced as a convert. He confessed himself to have been a Liberal and to have entertained certain religious convictions, but he said he was no longer a Liberal but was a Socialist, and he informed the class also that he had dismissed all religious teaching as the rags of a useless superstition. That meant that on the religious side the teaching of these schools was distinctly secular. The hymns that were recited or chanted by the children called upon them to look for no help from any other source, except such as was to be found in this world, and entirely through themselves. In fact the whole tenour of the teaching appeared to be what a French Minister described as the object of the Secularist Party in France, to "tear the light out of Heaven and faith out of the heart." Of course those who entertained those opinions and desired that teaching, were welcome to it, but not, he should imagine, in the public elementary schools of the country. And where the use of the schools on Sunday was granted by the local authority he ventured to say that not merely should equality be observed between all forms of religion, but preference should not be shown to a class of teaching which enjoined the advantages of having no religious belief. He had been informed of a case in which the vicar of a parish inquired of the Local Education Authority for London whether he could have the use of a school for Sunday School purposes, and he was informed that he could not have it on the Sunday he asked for as the managers did not meet for a fortnight; but on that very Sunday the use of the school had been granted to this Socialistic Society. [An Hon. Member: Probably leave was granted previously.] But he was told that the managers did not meet for a fortnight, and he naturally presumed the school was vacant. On the political side the teaching was particularly, definitely, and aggressively of a Socialistic character. He took two subjects which he had seen set forth in the catechism which the children went 88 through on these occasions. One related to the feeding of children, and the children were asked why the rich objected to the feeding of children by the nation; and one of the answers was that the rich objected because they said it would tend to pauperise the parents. Then they were asked what was a pauper; and the answer was that a pauper was a man who could work, but was unwilling to work, leading the children to believe that the rich were the real paupers because they, being able to work, did not work, but lived on the labour of others. Then the children were asked whether there was any other reason in the minds of the rich for refusing to support the feeding of the children by the nation other than the pauperising of the parents; and the answer the children were taught to give was: —"The rich think that if the children of the working class are better fed and become better educated they would become more independent and demand a higher wage." That seemed to be an attempt to inculcate in the minds of the children the idea that those who were better off than themselves deliberately rejoiced in the starvation of the poor, because if they were better fed and brought up they would be able to demand a higher wage. The children were taught that everybody who was better off, better educated, and seemed more comfortably circumstanced than themselves was an enemy,. He held that teaching of that sort was most pernicious. There was one other little bit in one of these catechisms which he would like to commend to the notice of the President of the Board of Education: it turned upon wages. The question and answer ran: —"If the masters had their way, to what level do you think they would reduce your father's wages?" "To the level of the Chinaman's." "Has this been attempted?" "Yes; in South Africa, where they employ Chinamen instead of white men." The comment which he had seen made upon that portion of the catechism was that this well-known piece of mendacity had never been more concisely put. He thought that teaching of that kind should not be given in these schools on a Sunday afternoon to the children of the poor. He would like to ask with what authority was that teaching given to children, and 89 did their parents desire it? Of course, if they did, they were welcome to it elsewhere than in the school; but he really doubted whether the parents knew of the character of the teaching given. All the parents knew probably was that on a Sunday afternoon their children were in a clean and comfortable place. He would like also to ask if the ratepayers knew of the teaching, and did they approve of the use of the schools, built with their money, for the purpose of putting such ideas into the minds of the children of London.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION (Mr. MCKENNA,N.) Monmouthshire,
May I ask how the hon. Baronet makes his remarks germane to the Vote?
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said he was asking the President of the Board of Education to pay some attention to some matters within his Department, and he wished to know by what authority the schools were lent for this purpose. He thought the right hon. Gentleman could inquire on what terms the use of the schools was granted on a Sunday afternoon without the sanction of the ratepayers. They were public schools, and a public authority ought not to allow such things to go on if they were not satisfactory to the ratepayer. They ought not to allow to be taught in public schools propaganda of that kind of which he was sure the ratepayer would not approve. If a school was improperly used for that purpose he thought it was the duty of the Board of Education to ascertain by whose authority it was done, and if they found that it was sanctioned by the local authority or the managers, the President might state that if the policy was continued it might lead to the withdrawal of the grant.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
replied that the President of the Board of Education had great power in regard to reducing or withdrawing a grant.
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
urged that surely the Board of Education, as it first of all allowed the building to be erected at the public expense, had some control over it; and if a local authority or the managers turned their schools during the time they were not being used as public elementary schools into places used for political or other purposes unsatisfactory to the ratepayers, he thought the Board of Education might very properly intervene and ascertain whether it was the managers or the local authority themselves who were at fault in the matter, and intimate that the continuance of such conduct might lead to the withdrawal of the grant.
§ MR. McKENNA
I am only asking for information from the hon. Baronet. Can he tell me of any powers which the Board have to do what he speaks of?
§ *SIR WILLIAM ANSON
said his strong impression was that the President would find that he had such powers; but what he was doing was to invite his attention to what he conceived to be the public scandal of public elementary schools being used for the purpose he had described, and he was asking the right hon. Gentleman to inquire into the matter to see if these things took place, under whose authority they were done, and to use such powers as the Board of Education possessed to bring such a scandal to an end. He had not heard of the scandals occurring elsewhere than in London, and he hoped the education authority, as now constituted, would take care that such things did not take place elsewhere. The matter was one which was properly brought before the House, and he hoped the President would use such powers as he had to bring the scandal to an end. Another matter on which the House ought to have further information had reference to the newly-constituted Welsh Department. He wished to know why the Chief Inspector in Wales was to receive £1,200 a year, while the English chief inspectors got only £1,000. In addition he also desired to know what were the relations between the Chief Secretary of the Welsh Department and the Permanent Secretary at Whitehall. The practical interpretation of the Code, he pointed out, rested with those who 91 carried on the current business of the Department, and it was only in the cases when more difficult questions arose that they came before the President. He was anxious to be assured by the President of the Board of Education that there would be even and consistent administration of the law in England and in Wales. They were aware, he thought, that the Welsh Secretary, newly appointed, was not a special friend of the voluntary schools; and they also knew that some of the Welsh local authorities imposed a different standard of building and equipment on voluntary schools and on council schools. They insisted peremptorily on sanitary improvements and the like being carried out in voluntary schools, while they were somewhat lax in carrying out, even at the instance of the Board of Education, similar improvements in their own schools. That was the case in Carnarvonshire. He was told that now the local authority for Anglesey was expressing a consciousness that their council schools were far from what they should be, and were suggesting that the necessary improvements should be extended over a series of years. He did not quarrel with that. So long as the schools were not unfit for the habitation of children, he did not wish that local authorities should have thrown upon them excessive burdens by insistence on improvements not urgent; but he asked that, as in England so in Wales, the requirements in the case of voluntary schools should march pari passu with the requirements in council schools. It was not right that in voluntary schools sanitary improvements and the like should be insisted upon without delay while in the council schools so much latitude was given. He wished, in conclusion, to refer to the compulsion imposed on some local authorities as to the teaching of the Welsh language. That might produce considerable hardship in cases where the parents were not Welsh, and where, as the children did not hear Welsh spoken at home, they were practically taking an additional subject in the form of a foreign language. He asked that the complaints of parents on that point should receive attention, and that freedom should be allowed in respect of that instruction.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL (Bethnal Green, S.W.)
said he wished to criticise the action of the secondary schools branch 92 of the Board of Education, which had for many years been marked by an undemocratic spirit and by a want of sympathy with the desire to place higher education within the reach of all children who were qualified or anxious to receive it. That unsympathetic spirit of the secondary school management had culminated in the publication under peculiar circumstances of a Report of the Consultative Committee. The Board of Education had referred to that Committee certain specific questions relating to higher elementary schools; but the Committee had gone far beyond the terms of reference, and had seemed to lay down in their Report what they thought should be the educational future of the children of the poor. They seemed to suggest that secondary schools should be kept exclusive and select, and that very few, if any, of the children of the poor should be admitted to them. It appeared to be suggested to parents of those children and to sympathetic local authorities who desired to erect secondary schools that their ambition should be limited to the higher elementary school. The Board of Education had adopted the extraordinary course of suppressing the names of witnesses and the text of the evidence they gave. The Board of Education took that action entirely on its own initiative; nobody suggested it should be done. There were many statements in the Report which ought not to have been launched under the cover of anonymity, such as one attributed to "a witness of long experience whose opinion was entitled to weight," that certain moral qualities were to-day far less commonly found among the working classes than they used to be thirty years ago. Equally weighty evidence could be adduced to the opposite effect. The constitution or reconstitution of that Committee, which was almost exclusively academic, and, although it had three women upon it, had no representative of working women, should receive immediate attention.
§ MR. PICKERSGILL
was extremely glad to hear that, and hoped care would be taken that extra representation was given to labour, co-operative and friendly societies, and organisations of that kind. He urged that 93 the policy of the Education Department should be to encourage as far as possible the common education of all classes in elementary schools, and to secure that the secondary schools were in direct relation with the elementary schools. In that respect Wales was far ahead of England. The number of scholars in recognised schools in receipt of grants from the Board of Education in 1904–5 was 94,000, of whom more than 32,000 were in forms below those taking the approved course. That meant that more than one-third of the children educated in those subsidised schools were really in preparatory classes; in other words, receiving elementary education under socially exclusive conditions. He might further point out that the policy of the Education Department in that regard was imitated by local education authorities throughout the country. In many cases grants intended to be devoted to secondary education were really applied to preparatory or elementary education, and had been so, as he knew, in the case of the London County Council itself. They made a grant of £10,000 to a secondary school, and that school immediately proceeded with the money to set up a kindergarten department. That sufficiently established his point, that the money given for secondary education was really applied to a very different purpose, namely, preparatory and elementary education. The effect of the Report, and also the policy of the Secondary Schools Branch of the Education Department, had been to discourage the creation of public secondary schools. When the local education authorities proposed to provide free secondary schools the Education Department insisted that at least £3 a year per scholar should be charged, and that only one school place in four should be free. It was said that it was not necessary that secondary schools should be free, because the scholarship system placed higher education within the reach of all who could profit by it. He thought the Education Department had not been well advised in discouraging the municipal authorities from erecting secondary schools. He pointed out that the present scholarships scheme was of a very meagre character. A few months ago they had a Parliamentary Return showing 94 the extent of the provision which the scholarship schemes made throughout the country, and he found that in many places, at all events, the provision was utterly inadequate. For instance, Aston Manor had one scholarship for 12,858 children; East Ham none for 19,191; Walthamstow none for 20,141; and Portsmouth none for 26,871. Moreover, in many places, the scholarships were subject to the condition that the holder should pledge himself to become a teacher. The imposition of such a condition seriously detracted from the value of a scholarship. Further, the children of the poor did not, to any appreciable extent, obtain scholarships in those secondary schools. Therefore the scholarship system, under the conditions which at present attached to it, at all events did not effect what was sometimes contended for it, that it provided an opportunity for the higher education of all children of the poor who had real ability to make good use of it. Another question to which he desired to call the right hon. Gentleman's attention was the fact that some students, at all events, had been refused admission to the schools and colleges on the ground of their social status. They had had a case only the other day of a pupil teacher who on the ground of social status was refused admission to the Training College at Cheltenham, which was subsidised from public funds. He did not think that would be denied. It seemed to him a monstrous thing that an institution, subsidised with public money, should presume to exclude a student on such a ground. The right hon. Gentleman had said that under the existing rules there was no power to interfere, but he would very shortly be preparing a new code of rules for secondary schools and he hoped he would take good care to secure that it should not be possible in any future case for such a gross scandal as that at Cheltenham to be repeated. He hoped his right hon. friend's passing to his new office would have the effect of introducing a more democratic spirit into the Secondary Schools Branch of the Board of Education, and that they would see in future more sympathy exhibited by that branch to secondary schools. He thought it was 95 the desire both of the House and of the country that there should be ample provision made for the higher and the highest education of the children of the poor who were prepared to make good use of it.
§ LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)
said that, sometimes, when he listened to debates in the House he thought what a great opening there might be for a Party who adopted as their watchword "England for the English." They were perpetually being told that none but Scotsmen were to be employed in Scotland; none but Welshmen in Wales, and none but Irishmen in Ireland. But he had never yet heard, and he was surprised that they should not hear it—he made no reference to the Treasury Bench—a similar declaration with regard to English appointments. Referring to the question of secondary education in Wales, whether this was an accurate statement, he understood that under the Intermediate Education Act Wales got for secondary education a special grant, and in addition a share of the general grant given for education in Great Britain. English secondary education had been content as was usual with only a share of the second of these grants, and had had nothing analogous to the first grant. Yet he was told that the purposes for which Wales got a double set of grants were substantially, if not altogether, similar to those for which the English authorities received only a single set of grants. If that were so, it was an injustice to England, which was at least equal to the injustices to other parts of the Kingdom of which they sometimes heard so much. For the first time they had to consider the creation of a special Welsh Department. The subject required careful attention from the House. It was certainly not going to be a cheap proceeding. There would be a Chief Inspector at £1,200 a year, though no other inspector had more than £1,000. It was true that the Welsh Chief Inspector had under his control a certain amount of secondary education.
§ LORD R. CECIL
said that, on the other hand, he had an infinitely smaller number 96 of elementary schools—something like a tenth of the public elementary schools which a similar officer had to deal with in England. And the new Chief of the Welsh Department, not to be outdone by his colleague and compatriot, had also £1,200 a year, and was put over a separate district—for it was nothing more—of the education of Wales. An assistant secretary got only £900 a year for dealing with a similar district in England, whereas he would have £1,200 for dealing with similar districts in Wales. He understood that these gentleman had been imported into the office, and the only excuse offered for their importation was that they were Welshmen. He was quite sure that the right hon. Gentleman would not say that there were not perfectly qualified persons in the Education Department at that moment to discharge the duties of the Welsh Department. On the contrary, these Welsh gentlemen, whatever their qualifications might be, had had no experience whatever of the administration of the Education Department, and he heard that one of them had some difficulty in expressing himself in the Welsh language. He wished to know if a third official who was to be imported into the Education Department was also a Welshman, and if so, who he was, and what his duties and his salary would be. That was the financial side of the question; he wished to draw attention to a different aspect. The new Department would exercise in regard to Wales the duties which the present Education Department exercised in regard to England. It would act quite independently of the Permanent Secretary of the Education Department. It was to have all the ordinary jurisdiction of the Department and was responsible alone to the right hon. Gentleman. What were the duties of the Education Department material to the present discussion? They were multifarious. One of the duties was to act in a quasi-judicial capacity whenever matters of complaint were brought forward by managers or others interested in public elementary education. More particularly they had to decide between the managers and the local education authorities. That was a 97 power specifically given to the education authority by Section 7 of the Act of 1902. It was a power which was often invoked, and it was of the utmost importance that it should be discharged and administered impartially, and without any suspicion of bias. It was not enough that the decision should be given impartially; it must be given by men who commanded universal confidence. It was of the first importance in regard to this Welsh Department that they should select gentlemen who were known to be absolutely impartial, and who would enjoy the confidence of the managers of the non-provided schools, and those interested in that particular department of public elementary education. He wished to ask whether those conditions had been fulfilled or not. The Chief Inspector would not have those duties so much thrust upon him, because he would be more of an executive officer, but he was an ex-Radical candidate.
§ [Ministerial cries of "Oh, oh!"]
§ LORD ROBERT CECIL
Yes, he was a Radical Member, but no doubt he possessed other qualifications. The other gentleman who had been appointed was without doubt a man of great ability, but as a matter of fact he was a Radical representative and the Chairman of the Denbighshire County Council. He would remind the House that that was one of the county councils which joined with the right hon. Gentleman who now presided over the Education Department and the President of the Board of Trade in what was known as the Welsh Revolt. He was, therefore, not surprised to read in the Manchester Guardian, which was regarded in the district as the organ of the Liberal Government, these words—The appointment of Mr. A. T. Davies as Permanent Secretary is a guarantee that a policy of resolute administration will be pursued with respect to the elementary schools, and that the county councils may rely upon staunch support from Whitehall in their efforts to establish effective public control over every type of school with which they have to deal. Mr. Davies' record as an active member of the Denbighshire Education Committee is such as to inspire the confidence of all progressive Welsh educationists.[MINISTERIAL, cheers.] Those cheers were not at all unexpected by him, 98 but he would like to remind the House what the situation really was. In the great majority of the county councils of Wales there was a strong majority elected because they were hostile to the Church of England schools in the Principality. The function of the Education Department would be to hold the balance even between the voluntary schools and the local education authorities, when the latter attempted to oppress the former. The House was probably familiar with what had been happening in Swansea, where the local authority had over and over again avowedly attempted to treat the Church of England and the Roman Catholic schools there with gross injustice, but had been restrained by the interference of the Education Department. What confidence could the managers of such schools have in a gentleman whoso record was such as he had indicated to the House? He did not know whether hon. Members were aware of what the Welsh Revolt amounted to. It was a conspiracy to evade the law. It had three principal objects, but its avowed object was, if possible to squeeze the voluntary schools out of existence, and it proposed to accomplish that by three different methods. In the first place, it resolved that no rate should be levied in favour of voluntary schools. It would be remembered that that course was considered by an English county council, who went to the extent of obtaining legal opinion on the subject. Of course they were told that it was illegal and the matter was dropped. There was a modification of the policy of that plan known as the Cardiff policy, which was adopted at a great meeting presided over by the President of the Board of Trade, and the President of the Board of Education was on the platform. It was proposed at that meeting that they should cease to maintain all schools if the Default Act was put into operation. The third method was to impose upon voluntary schools such heavy building requirements as they would not be able to fulfil and in consequence of which they would cease to exist. That was the policy with which the present President of the Board of Edution and another Cabinet Minister were identified, and now they had appointed as 99 Secretary of the Welsh Department a third gentleman identified with the same policy. That was a great misuse of political power. [Ministerial laughter.] He did not think hon. Members opposite would laugh if such a thing were done by a Conservative Government, and they might search the records of Conservative Governments in vain for a similar state of affairs. [Ministerial cries of "Oh, oh!"] He was sure it would be difficult to find two Cabinet Ministers connected with a conspiracy to evade the law forming part of a Government which appointed a permanent official who had also been connected with the same policy. It was impossible for voluntary schools to have any degree of confidence in the impartiality of such an official. He strongly protested against the creation of this Department at a very considerable expense, and under the circumstances it would certainly be regarded by the country and by Wales as a mere means of rewarding the political associates of the Government.
*DR. RUTHERFORD (Middlesex, Brentford)
called attention to the importance of including hygiene and temperance in the Education Code. Its necessity had been fully realised by the medical profession, and the heavy death-rate among children conclusively proved that something ought to be done in that direction. They felt that a large number of deaths occurred which could be prevented and that a much larger number of children ought to be raised to health and maturity in this country. They had had a report from a Departmental Committee upon physical deterioration, from which they learned that there were three great factors causing degeneration and affecting large sections of the community, viz. housing, the food of the people, and alcohol. From every point of view he thought it was high time that the Board of Education should take steps to do what it could to remedy this unhappy and unsatisfactory state of affairs. Only yesterday they had had a Conference upstairs at which they received a deputation consisting of some of the leading men in the medical profession upon this interesting subject, and they asked the House to 100 deal with the question on behalf of their profession. No less than 15,000 doctors had signed petitions asking Parliament to make the teaching of hygiene and temperance compulsory.
§ *MR. SPEAKER
I am afraid the matter to which the hon. Member is now referring is more a matter for legislation.
explained that what he desired was that the teaching of hygiene and temperance should be included in the Code under discussion. They wanted a medical bureau established to guide and help the Board of Education not only in regard to this matter but in regard to other important subjects. There was a medical bureau attached to the Local Government Board, and he thought it was high time they should have one attached to the Board of Education. The teaching of hygiene and temperance was being done voluntarily in a portion of the country, but it was very meagre for want of funds, and it was so small that they felt the subject ought to be tackled by the Board of Education in a more thorough and efficient manner. If hon. Members considered what other countries were doing they would find that this country was a long way behind, and in fact was in the position of a third-rate Power in this respect. France and the United States, as well as the majority of our Colonies, already had compulsory teaching on these great subjects. If such a policy was adopted in this country it would be to the advantage of the teachers as well as the scholars. The children would be interested in the demonstrations and experiments which were calculated to enlighten and stimulate their mental activities. The teachers had welcomed the subjects in every school in which they had been taught up to the present. They had been told that the Code was too big already, and that no further subjects could be added to it, but surely some of the subjects of less value to the children, to the parents and to the nation might be struck out in favour of hygiene and temperance. He hoped the President of the Board of Education would avail himself of this golden opportunity of making some 101 changes in the important direction which he had indicated.
§ MR. McKENNA
I am sorry to intervene between some of my hon. friends and the House, but as a great number of topics have been raised it is more convenient that I should reply to some of them at once. The hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University opened the discussion by referring to the socialistic and secularist teaching in certain council schools. If he had said council school buildings his statement would have been more exact, because the buildings are the property not of the Board of Education, but of the local education authority. I interrupted the hon. Baronet and asked him if he could inform me what powers I possessed to prevent the state of things of which he complained. I simply wanted to know from him with his long experience at the Board of Education any way of putting a stop to the evils of this teaching. These socialistic and secularist Sunday schools were opened during the time the hon. Baronet was himself at the Board. He holds very strong opinions on the subject. He believes that the best way of suppressing these doctrines is by forbidding them to be taught. I am not sure that he is right. I am not sure that free speech even in these matters—
§ SIR WILLIAM ANSON
The right hon. Gentleman is misrepresenting me. I only complained that these doctrines were being taught in schools built by the ratepayers, without the approval of the ratepayers. I had no desire to suppress the expression of opinion on the subject.
§ MR. McKENNA
Then we are entirely at one on that point, and the only question is what are the powers of the Board for dealing with the matter. The application, according to the minutes of the London County Council, was laid before them on 14th June, 1904, while the hon. Baronet was at the Board of Education; the application was acceded to by the London County Council, and the school building was let on Sundays for the purpose which he has described. There were eighteen months during which he might have enlightened himself whether the Board had any 102 power of dealing with the matter. I have been there one month, and during my researches I have found no power to enable me to deal with the matter. I appeal to him to give me the benefit of his great experience, and to tell me what power I have to do what he asks. It is a question for the ratepayers of London as represented by the London County Council, and if he wishes to interfere, all that he has got to do is to apply to the Moderate majority of the County Council and get them to act. It is not a matter for the Education Department to consider at all. The hon. Baronet went on to refer to the Welsh Department, and was followed—I must say, with a certain amount of more bitterness—by the noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone. The noble Lord seemed to regard Welsh education as nothing but a subject of controversy. He considers that the appointments made to the chief Welsh Offices were made solely from that point of view. He is entirely mistaken. He gravely said that one of the qualifications of Mr. Owen Edwards was that he had once been a Radical candidate.
§ LORD R. CECIL
I never said so. What I said was that Mr. Edwards was in fact a Radical candidate, but that no doubt he possessed other qualifications.
§ MR. McKENNA
As an Oxford man himself, the noble Lord must know as well as possible of the services of Mr. Edwards. He knows that Mr. Edwards's whole career has been apart from controversial topics, and that he has been devoted to Welsh education because of his earnest desire to improve the educational system of his country. It was for that reason he was appointed and for no other. As to Mr. Davies, he has been known to Members of the Government and to a large circle of people throughout Wales as a most capable administrator and lawyer. He appeared to me the most suitable man the Board could appoint for the important duties he has to perform. It is not easy to find any man outside and take him into the Civil Service and expect him to get an immediate grasp of the whole of the business of that service. We believe that Mr. Davies 103 is a man of such great capacity, industry, and integrity, that he will be a first-rate capable public servant. We do not think or anticipate that this unhappy controversial period in Wales is going to continue for very long. We believe, hope, and expect that the controversial stage of the educational question will be settled in a very few years. The Welsh Department has been devised for the purpose of organising Welsh education, not merely now, but for the future, in order to establish Welsh education upon a basis better fitted for the needs of the Welsh people. Those are the only grounds upon which the appointments have been made, and I assure the noble Lord that the appointments have not been made for the reasons he thinks. We have sought and, I believe, we have obtained the best and most suitable men for the posts.
§ MR. McKENNA
Does the hon. Gentleman by that mean to imply that the reason I appointed Mr. Davies was that his London agents are the firm with which the President of the Board of Trade was connected?
§ MR. RAWLINSON
The right hon. Gentleman has referred all the way through to the fact that Mr. Davies was known to members of the Government. Why not tell us at once who he was?
§ MR. McKENNA
The hon. and learned Gentleman does not answer my question. I leave it to the House who heard the insinuation. I can only say that when I appointed Mr. Davies I did not know he had ever been associated with any member of the Government in any firm of solicitors. I did not know who his Lon- 104 don agents were. The hon. Member may accept that from me or not, but those are the facts.
§ MR. RAWLINSON
I accept that at once from the right hon. Gentleman; I thought he would have been aware of it.
§ MR. McKENNA
I was not aware of it, but if I had been aware of it, it would have made not the least difference. I have been asked why the chief inspector in Wales is going to receive so large a salary as £1,200 per annum. Mr. Owen Edwards is the chief inspector in Wales, and will have duties quite different from those of the chief inspectors in England. The duties of the chief inspectors in England are confined respectively to the elementary, secondary, and technical grades. In Wales it will not be so. There will be one chief inspector of all the three grades together. Mr. Edwards will have duties which do not ordinarily fall to chief inspectors. He will be responsible for duties, by reason of the constitution of the new department, which will entail upon him a knowledge and sacrifice of time which are not entailed upon ordinary inspectors. I think we ought to be very well satisfied with having secured Mr. Edwards' services for the sum named. It is not an excessive salary. The noble Lord said that the only "excuse" he had heard for the appointment of these gentlemen was that they were Welshmen. That is not an "excuse," it is a qualification. When I went to the Board I found that my predecessor had promised to establish a Welsh Department. Naturally my first question was, "What Welshmen have we got in the service of the Board now?"
§ MR. McKENNA
Because I conceived that when we were establishing a Welsh Department, we should put one or two Welshmen in it. That appears to me to be most reasonable.
§ LORD R. CECIL
Does the right hon. Gentleman think that anybody has been appointed to a post in the Education Department because he is an Englishman?
§ MR. McKENNA
Will the noble Lord allow me to finish? I asked what Welshmen were already in the service of the 105 Board, and I was told that there were none. So little had Wales absorbed the services of the English Department covering the services of both England and Wales that there was no Welshman there at all. They were all Englishmen. The noble Lord asks: Why should Welshmen be appointed? The sole ground of instituting a separate Welsh Department is to have in control of Welsh education persons who have some knowledge of Wales. After all, if it were true that Wales was merely a collection of English counties, there would be no reason for appointing a separate Welsh Department at all. If the noble Lord had heard the interesting speech of my hon. friend the Member for Bethnal Green, he would have heard figures quoted which go to the root of the differences between England and Wales. In England there is a very large and, comparatively speaking, wealthy middle class, and very large educational endowments, and the English system of education has been more or less adapted, be it good or bad, to the existing social grades. But in Wales the conditions are quite different; there the middle class is comparatively very small, and on the whole not rich, and there have been very few endowments. But the mass of the Welsh people have an ardour for education which is not shared by their fellow-countrymen in England; although poor and although they have not the same large leaven of the middle classes as in England, the artisans are willing to make sacrifices for education, with the result that a much larger proportion of the people in Wales are willing to maintain their children at school till they are fifteen or sixteen than is the case in England. Consequently we have to provide secondary schools for the Welsh people of a type which is not required, and cannot be filled, in England. As these fundamental differences exist, the types of school in the two countries have to be fundamentally different, and it is because of this that my predecessor, whose policy in that respect I venture heartily to commend, proposed to set up a different Education Department for Wales. As to the expenditure on this Department, it amounts to very little. We have appointed three new officers, two at a salary of £1,200 a 106 year and a junior examiner at £200 or £250. But on the expiration of the term of office the post of one of the chief inspectors will lapse, and we hope to effect the reduction of another inspector. So that, on balance, the whole of this fuss is made about one new appointment. We hope when the scheme is in full working order it will be found on balance to impose no additional cost, but in any circumstances the cost will not be more than a few hundreds a year. Mr. Davies has a knowledge of Welsh, but, as he will be retained in London, Welsh is not required there. It is of course necessary that the inspectors in Wales should speak Welsh. We have nothing to conceal in this matter. Mr. T. G. Roberts has been on the Board of Education list for appointment for a number of years, and I hope that hereafter when a vacancy occurs we shall appoint a new English examiner. The Board has declined to sanction the proposal of Cardiff to make Welsh a compulsory subject, and as at present advised we do not propose to alter that decision. Turning to the Consultative Committee, that body is an advisory committee, whose reports are not necessarily adopted by the Board although they are published by the Board. Taking advantage of the incidental occurrence of several vacancies on that committee, and looking to its present constitution, I wish to seek power to enlarge its numbers. I hope to add two more elementary teachers, one being a woman, and two representatives of the parents of children who attend elementary schools. I am quite sure that when the names are given to the House they will prove satisfactory to hon. Members and to the country. We regret extremely that the Chairman of the Committee, Sir W. Hart Dyke, who has rendered most admirable service, has been compelled, partly owing to age, as he stated, and partly to outside work, to withdraw from the Committee. As to the policy of the Board in encouraging children to go from primary to secondary schools, I admit at once that our system has not been as satisfactory as most of us could wish. I do not suppose that there is a single hon. Gentleman in the House who at one time or another in public meetings has not referred with eulogy to the educational ladder, by means of which children of the humblest parentage 107 may be enabled to attain the highest positions in the educational world. We have all said that at one time or another. [Opposition cries of "No."] Well, most of us, and I am sure that any effort genuinely to carry out that policy will have the support of the majority of hon. Members of the House. But it must be a genuine ladder. If you are to enable the children of working men to reach a University education you must have good schools for such children as show ability to go to. But the question of good schools immediately impinges on the subject of fees, because you cannot get good schools without paying for them, and neither endowments nor Government grants are sufficient to maintain good secondary schools. I hope to see good secondary schools maintained, whether by the assistance of fees or not. In the allocation to such schools of any new grants which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has enabled me this year to promise, I hope to make it a condition that a sufficient number of places shall be reserved for children from the public elementary schools who show sufficient capacity to avail themselves of the advantage of a good secondary education. We do not necessarily want to abolish fees qua fees, because if we did, since in most cases neither the endowments nor the grants suffice for maintenance, we should only be establishing inferior secondary schools. By the provision of a sufficient number of free places for public elementary scholars we hope to place within the grasp of poor children of ability as good an education as is open to the children of the richest.
§ MR. McKENNA
It will certainly be a free education, whether the name scholarship is used or not, and the children will qualify by examination. The question of any maintenance allowance will be one for the local education authority. In answer to a question on the subject of children being refused admission to subsidised schools on social grounds, I have stated our views on that matter. It came upon the Board entirely as a surprise, and I shall certainly see that in the regulations in future such acts of oppression as that are pro- 108 vided against. In conclusion I have only to reply to the observations of my hon. friend the Member for the Brentford Division of Middlesex on the subject of the compulsory teaching of hygiene and temperance in every school in the country. If you are going to teach hygiene and temperance you must have teachers who are properly fitted to teach them. At present these subjects are optional, but I can assure the hon. Member that I am giving my most earnest attention to the matter, and that everything is being done to qualify teachers who will be able to give instruction in these branches of knowledge. Beyond that it is impossible for me at present to say anything. I thank the House for the attention with which they have listened to me.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY (Sheffield, Hallam)
said the President of the Board of Education had ignored an extremely important and notable part of the speech of the noble Lord the Member for East Marylebone, and he could not believe that the right hon. Gentleman had ignored it because he was not conscious of its gravity. The House ought to watch with great jealousy the creation of all new appointments, especially when it was intended to make them permanent. What the noble Lord said was that one of the gentlemen appointed had taken a prominent part in a conspiracy to evade the law. The right hon. Gentleman had not controverted that. They, therefore, had as a permanent addition to the Civil Service, not a gentleman brought up and trained in that Service, but a gentleman who could not be expected to administer with an impartial hand the controversial matters with which he would have to deal.
§ MR. McKENNA,
interposing, said he had omitted to mention the fact that the noble Lord was mistaken in supposing that Mr. Davies was chairman of the Denbighshire County Council.
§ MR. STUART WORTLEY
said it was not denied that Mr. Davies was a prominent member in the Welsh agitation, and 109 the technical point of whether he was or was not the chairman of the County Council was hardly worthy of an interruption. This was a new appointment for which were required qualities which might be fairly described as almost judicial in their character, for the new secretary would have to hold the scales evenly between the two contending parties. If the Government had taken the gentleman in question and placed him on the Treasury Bench it would have been a different thing, for then he could have been tackled and removed if the House were dissatisfied with him. But if they wished the Civil Service to be what it had always been—removed altogether from Party—such an appointment ought not to have, been made. The right hon. Gentleman wished the new department to command public confidence, and to be permanent in its character. Did he suppose, however, if he made appointments of this kind that he would not lay himself open to reprisals? Did he suppose the manner in which the powers of the new office were exercised would not be very closely watched with a view to the termination of the appointment when the time and opportunity came? He regretted that the right hon. Gentleman had ignored that part of the attack upon his policy.
§ SIR G. KEKEWICH (Exeter)
said he had some knowledge of the formation of the Board of Education in Scotland, and the question which had been raised in regard to the establishment of the Welsh Department carried his mind back to that period. It was many years ago, but a precisely similar objection was raised in that case to that now urged in regard to the Welsh Board. So far as he remembered, no Englishman was appointed on the Board in the case of Scotland—they were all Scotsmen—and he asked why the heads of the Welsh Department should not be all Welshmen? The head of that Scottish Department was now the hon. Member for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, and the result of the establishment of the department in Scotland had undoubtedly been good. He thought the result of there being only one department dealing with educational 110 matters in England, Scotland and Wales had been to sterilise the work. There was nothing so vigorous, in his opinion, as a small new department, and he therefore rejoiced from the educational point of view that the new Welsh Department had been established. The agitation had been going on for over twenty years, and personally he was glad to see the Welsh work separated from that of the English Department. With regard to scholarships for children coming from elementary schools, they would be of very little use if they merely extended to the remission of fees. What was really wanted was that they should enable the clever child to climb to that position in education for which he was most fitted and which would enable him to arrive at that position in society in which he might be of the greatest benefit to the State.
§ SIR ALFRED THOMAS (Glamorganshire, E.)
expressed his delight at the important statement which the right hon. Gentleman had made, and said the Welsh Members were all very pleased that a Welsh Education Department should be set up. They were far from believing that the two gentlemen appointed were not exactly the gentlemen to fill their positions. The step was one of the results of the great agitation which had been going on in Wales for many years past, and although he himself had taken part in that agitation and in the revolt against the Education Bill of the last Government, he never heard of Mr. Davies taking any part whatever in the movement as an advocate. He looked forward with great expectations to the formation of the Welsh Department and what it would mean for education in Wales.
§ MR. SUMMERBELL (Sunderland)
said that though the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University had described as a public scandal the use of elementary school houses on Sundays for the teaching of Socialist ideas, the grant of the schools for that particular purpose was made while the Unionist Government was in power. It was well known that Church schools were used for Primrose League meetings.
§ MR. SUMMERBELL
said it was immaterial to the point whether they were so used on a Sunday or on any other day of the week. He repeated that the voluntary schools had been used and were being used for political purposes, and he did not see any distinction between using them on Sundays and on any other day. The schools were not in use at the particular time they were wanted; they were paid for by the people and were the property of the ratepayers. He hoped therefore the right hon. Gentleman would not interfere with any education authority in the country in regard to the use of a school for any purpose, political or otherwise, so long as it did not interfere with the use of the school in school hours. He was afraid that when the speech of the hon. Member for Oxford University was summed up it would be found that it was not altogether a question of whether it was right to use a school for teaching any particular code. The hon. Baronet had described it as a perfect scandal. Did he know that a committee of experts had drawn up the code to be taught at those schools and that a better moral code could not be found? He defied the hon. Baronet to find a better moral code than that taught in the City of London by the Socialist body. He looked forward to the time when the education authorities throughout the country would grant the use of the schools, when they were not being used for school purposes, not only to political parties, but to trade, friendly, and other societies. There were to-day a number of trade and friendly societies which were compelled to hold their meetings on licensed property though the schools were empty. He hoped the President of the Board of Education would not accept the advice that had been given to him to interfere with the liberty of any local education authority in regard to granting the use of schools so long as what was taught was of a high moral character.
§ *MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)
said he was glad to hear the character which had been given to Mr. 112 Davies by the hon. Member for East Glamorganshire and he only hoped it was justified by the right hon. Gentleman's knowledge and acquaintance with him. He did not, however, feel satisfied with all that had been said by the right hon. Gentleman as to the selection of Mr. Davies. The right hon. Gentleman had said that he was the most suitable man he could find for the appointment. What steps had been taken to ascertain that fact? The present action had no parallel with what was done upon the separation of the Scottish Department, because that was done by statute in 1885, and the head of that Department was appointed from the Education Department, taken from inside and not from outside at all. He did not know Mr. Davies, and that gentleman might have better qualifications than the right hon. Gentleman was able to attribute to him, but one of the right hon. Gentleman's points was that he had a knowledge of the administration of education from the Welsh point of view. He did not know that it could be said that he represented the Welsh point of view, because the seat he occupied on the county council was captured at the last election by a person of opposite opinions. The right hon. Gentleman then said there was no Welshman in the Education Department, but he did not say there was no man in that Department, not Welsh, who was good enough for the position. After all, the Education Department was practically open to all, and Welshmen had an equal chance to compete with Englishmen for places in it. One would have thought that the one qualification for a Welshman filling the post in question would have been that he could speak Welsh. That Mr. Davies did not seem to be able to do. The right hon. Gentleman had given very little proof of sufficient trouble having been taken to ascertain how many men were capable of filling the post, and he (Mr. Bridgeman) thought it had been filled up in a hurry and without proper consideration. He was not quite satisfied either with the answers of the right hon. Gentleman in regard to scholarships. The right hon. Gentleman had said he was making a lot of 113 free places in the higher and secondary schools. That was not quite enough, because it would not give a fair chance to those children who were really poor. Children of poor parents had something else to consider besides free education. What would help them would be something that represented part if not all that the students would be earning if they were not at school. He did not believe so much in multiplying the number of free scholarships as in making the scholarships really worth having. Furthermore it was ridiculous to expect the rural child to compete with the town child in that matter, and it was important to have teachers in rural schools who knew something about rural life and who had come from the rural schools themselves. Some scholarships should be allotted for such children. He also thought the right hon. Gentleman had made a poor defence with regard to the grants for secondary education in Wales when he said it was right to encourage the Welsh because they were very keen about education. Was it wrong to encourage anybody else? If it was wrong there was no excuse for spending money on education in any place where the right hon. Gentleman thought people were not keen. To encourage education equal opportunities ought to be given in those places where it might be supposed that the aspirations of the people were not so high. If it was the fact that very little inducement was required in Wales to make children go to secondary schools, then it was right to give equal opportunity in England. The Board of Education had never given the same opportunities to the English children as had been given in Wales. He did not think the right hon. Gentleman had in the least answered the questions put to him, and it seemed to him that the educational ladder that the right hon. Gentleman proposed to make so effective was only to be made effective in Wales.
§ *MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)
said he had listened with admiration and pleasure to the President of the Board of Education in his first speech on the Education Estimates. But there was one point on which he dissented from him when he said that 114 the working classes of this country were not so likely to send their children to the secondary or higher schools as were the working classes of Wales. That was an assertion which could be not made with exactitude or fairness until a test had been applied. The complaint against the administration of the secondary schools branch of the Education Department was that since the Board had had to do with secondary education and administering the grants, they had done exactly the opposite of making it easier for working class parents to send their children to secondary schools and had done all they could to dissuade them from doing so. They had put obstacles in the way of children going from the elementary to the secondary schools. His right hon. friend had, on the whole, very ably justified his appointments to the Welsh Department of the Board of Education; he had said that he wanted to have somebody there who knew something about the schools and about the Welsh spirit of education. He would ask him to look at the Secondary Schools Branch of the Board of Education from that point of view. Nobody there had practical experience of the spirit of modern secondary education. He had well-meaning officials there, whose experience had been entirely confined to public schools and the older type of secondary education. When secondary education was mentioned to them, they thought of the Eton, Rugby, and Harrow type of education. When they were asked to give money to a secondary school they made regulations suited to some old grammar school, some little Eton, Rugby or Harrow school, and those regulations were wholly unsuited to the children of working class parents. What was wanted was two ladders—one leading from the gutter to the wall of the University, a ladder by which the child of the poorest workman, born with capacity, could ascend to the University, and afterwards enter one of the learned professions. Such a child might be a born commentator, preacher, teacher, or writer, and the ladder from the gutter to the University should be there for him. They also wanted a ladder leading from the University to some place where technicological knowledge could be obtained—a Charlottenburg or a Leipsic. The 115 Association of Education Committees had adopted regulations for their local schools that would lead in the direction he had pointed out, but they had been again and again met by the refusal of the Secondary Schools Branch of the Board of Education, the refusal being based on the old Eton and Rugby idea of secondary education, which was entirely useless and repugnant to the present needs of the country as a whole. His complaint was that the Secondary Schools Branch of the Department was out of touch, out of harmony and sympathy with the times, and he would suggest to his right hon. friend that he should revise that branch of his Department on the same principle as he had applied to the Welsh branch. It was not only a question of the maintenance of scholarships, but they had narrowed and confined pupil-teacher centres and training colleges, because they were to produce the teachers for an inferior type of school. Speaking from a complete knowledge of these matters he would guarantee to bring before the right hon. Gentleman a deputation of the highest authorities interested in pupil-teacher centres, training colleges, and secondary schools throughout the country, who would tell him that things had been mismanaged from top to bottom by an unsympathetic Secondary Schools Branch of the Board of Education, manned by the wrong kind of people, not wrong because they had not ability, but wrong because they had no experience as members of town councils or county councils or education committees, and no knowledge or experience whatever as to the administration or teaching of modern secondary schools. When they were asked to permit a certain number of free places to be made in the secondary schools, the Secondary Schools Branch of the Department said that they could not allow more than 25 per cent. of the places to be free, and when it was pointed out that freedom for more than 25 per cent. was wanted, the Department said, "You shall not do it; if you do we will withdraw our Grant." When it was said, "We want to manage the secondary schools by a Committee of ourselves," the Board replied, "No, you must appoint a board of governors; we must put a buffer 116 between you on the one hand and the masters of schools on the other." They were to appoint governors for no other reason except that these gentlemen had always been accustomed to schools with governors, and, because that had always been the way for old endowed schools, it must also be the way for modern schools, paid for out of the rates, and catering for another class of children than those who went to the endowed schools. He could assure the right hon. Gentleman that he would never get a proper condition of the secondary schools branch of the Board of Education until he had somebody there who knew England and its modern wants, exactly as the Welsh Department knew what was wanted in Wales.
§ LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)
asked whether the right hon. Gentleman could give some general indication of the policy which his Department had determined to adopt on the question of school buildings. The case of National School No. 66, at Chippenham, had excited a good deal of attention. Very properly the authorities said the school must be repaired, and the Board of Education seemed to have taken a rather severe line in the matter. When the Education Bill was being discussed last year, and it was not known whether it would be passed or not, the Board of Education found it almost impossible to bring severe pressure to bear on non-provided schools. The Bill having failed to become law, however, the Board wrote to the school at Chippenham on December 16th last year, and told them that unless the necessary repairs were promptly made, the school would be closed on December 31st. He submitted that as the Board while the Bill was before Parliament had rightly agreed to hold their hand, it was rather hard to come down upon this particular school at Chippenham on December 16th and say that the school would be closed on December 31st if they did not do the repairs. What he wanted to know from the Parliamentary Secretary was whether equality of treatment would be meted out all round; and to illustrate that he would quote a letter from the Manchester Guardian of February 12th. 117 The education authority of Anglesey had had the same difficulty as Chippenham in respect of its schools. The Board of Education had pressed the committee in Anglesey to put their schools in a state of repair, but, in contrast with the treatment of Chippenham, permission had been given to the Anglesey authorities to spread the work over seven years. It was alleged that the people in Anglesey were not perfectly sincere and genuine in their desire to put the schools right, but he thought they were as keen on education in Anglesey as in central or southern Wales. Would the right hon. Gentleman give some assurance that whilst allowing Welsh schools seven years to effecter pairs he would also allow similar treatment to non-provided schools in England? If the President of the Board of Education would treat non-provided schools in England as his Board was now treating them in Wales he would remove much controversy and allay a good deal of anxiety. He also asked what was the reason for increasing the Vote for training colleges from £15,000 to £150,000. He congratulated the right hon. Gentleman upon having been able to persuade the Chancellor of the Exchequer to increase that Vote 1,000 per cent., but he would like to have some explanation of the large increase. When the revision of the terms took place under which the local authorities managed their own training centres he remembered that hopes were expressed that further assistance would be forthcoming from the Treasury. He did not, however, see where the claim for the £150,000 came in, because it was not for buildings, but for the ordinary maintenance grant, and on the face of it the amount appeared to be excessive. The other charge was of a highly contentious character. There was a new charge of £100,000 for the special provision of new schools. In reply to a Question they had been told that that provision was made in order to contribute to a solution of the single school area difficulty, and he understood the right hon. Gentleman to say that the money would be granted where there was an effective or overwhelming demand from the parents to have the single school area difficulty removed. He did not think the right hon. Gentle- 118 man was going to assist himself or his friends by this grant. Who was to have it? How many single school areas were there in England and Wales, and what was the scheme by which the money would be allotted? He ventured to say that in any parish where there was single schools, but where there was none the less no single school grievance, it would not be difficult to get all the parents to sign a petition to the Board of Education in favour of the erection of a brand new up-to-date school in their midst. What did that £100,000 represent? At the very outside it did not mean accommodation for more than 10,000 children, and that was only allowing £10 for each child accommodated. He did not know much about the cost of school accommodation in the West of England or the Midlands, but in the North of England the cost was £13, £14, or £15 per head, and he had no doubt that there were many other districts where £10 per head would not be sufficient. Did the right hon. Gentleman seriously tell the House of Commons that with a view to solving the single school area difficulty he was going to provide alternative accommodation in the whole of England and Wales by making provision for about7,500 children? Perhaps the proposal meant that there were only 7,500 children whose parents were aggrieved in the matter, and it was thought that the proposed sum was sufficient to remove the grievance. The effect of it would be as follows: There was no county in England he supposed which had a greater grievance on paper in regard to the single school area question than Lancashire. The difficulty only existed on paper, because in actual working there was no difficulty whatever. Several hon. Members who supported the Government were members of the elementary education committee in his county, and he was sure they would be ready to bear him out when he said that it would be impossible for Conservatives, Liberals, advanced Socialists, and reactionary Tories to sit together as they now did upon that committee and administer any Act of Parliament with more harmony than was actually the case in Lancashire to-day. As far as the amount of the grant was concerned, they could comfortably spend 119 £100,000 in providing new schools in Lancashire alone. He was confident that Lancashire would get its share of the grant, but instead of removing the difficulty it would only accentuate it, and in many cases create it, in Lancashire. One parish would get a new school out of Imperial funds whilst the next parish would be told that the fund was exhausted. That would occur all over the country. It would be sure to create local jealousy and friction, and unless the £100,000 was the first instalment of a gigantic sum of £3,000,000 or £4,000,000 he could not help thinking that the right hon. Gentleman would fail to remove the difficulty. No doubt they would have further opportunities of obtaining fuller information as to the distribution of the money, but his chief anxiety at that moment was to ask the right hon. Gentleman if in the matter of repairs, maintenance, and so on, he would treat the voluntary non-provided schools of England in the same way as he treated the Welsh schools.
§ *MR. CHARLES ROBERTS (Lincoln)
said he wished to revert to the subject of the teaching of hygiene and temperance in the schools. He desired to thank the right hon. Gentleman for his sympathetic reply, because there was a feeling that in the past the Board of Education had not been wholly sympathetic in regard to the question and had not given much encouragement to that kind of teaching. He could mention instances in proof of his statement if necessary. He did not know whether, after all, the sympathetic reply of the right hon. Gentleman carried them much further. They had been told that they must wait until the teachers were qualified in those subjects, and that might be a very long time indeed. He could assure the President of the Board of Education that there was a strong feeling amongst a considerable section of hon. Members that there should be no further delay in the matter, and it was important that it should be dealt with at once. Whilst visiting the United States a short time ago he inquired into the question and asked how it was that they were able to get teachers qualified in those two special subjects. The answer he 120 received was that as soon as the subjects were placed in the curriculum the teachers qualified themselves, and that was what he believed would happen in this country. They had training centres for teachers already established in the subjects, and he had in his possession a syllabus specially prepared for the training of teachers by the committee of the medical profession of which Sir William Broadbent was the chairman, and which had the assistance of other eminent doctors, and represented the 14,000 doctors who presented the memorial to the Education Department. He thought he was right in saying that the local education authorities had power to pay without fear of surcharge for the training of their teachers in those centres. He hoped that was so. He believed that if the President of the Board of Education would put the matter into the Code there would be no difficulty, and the teachers would qualify themselves rapidly. He wished to emphasise one point. They did not wish, so far as temperance teaching was concerned, to advocate the preaching of any partisan views, or the teaching of views which were not supported by the best medical opinion. He thought the President of the Board of Education might be safe in feeling that nothing overstated would be taught, and that the instruction would be imparted without bias in a scientific spirit. The matter could be dealt with by means of legislation. He hoped that that would not be necessary, but there might be opportunities in the course of the coming session to deal with it by means of legislation in connection with other Bill snow before the House. He hoped that in view of the strong medical opinion as to the necessity of impressing the rising generation with some elementary knowledge of the laws of health, the President of the Board of Education would do all that was desired by a stroke of his own pen and not leave it to be dealt by special legislative measures.
§ MR. FLETCHER (Hampstead)
appealed to the President of the Board of Education with respect to a limited but very deserving class of servants who, he thought, had been subjected to injustice. He referred to the temporary copyists whose 121 case was dealt with many years ago and who, he was told, were now being permanently retired from their duties. They were not entitled to pensions, nor die he plead for any pensions for them According to the arrangement made fourteen years ago they were to be entitled to a gratuity of £100. A number of men whose average age was seventy-four years, and whose average service had been thirty-four years, were to be retired. He asked whether it would not be consistent with fair dealing that those who had served over twenty years should be granted a larger gratuity. He thought if the right hon. Gentleman could make it £200 he would remove the sore feeling at present entertained by the copyists that they had not been fairly treated.
§ *MR. ADKINS (Lancashire, Middleton)
said there was no matter of more importance than the organisation of secondary education, because, among other reasons, the legislation of 1902 and certain Minutes of the Board of Education in 1900 had really had the effect of limiting in more ways than one the scope of elementary education. It was a melancholy fact that some English county councils had been willing to spend their grants in aid of the rates rather than in the development of technical and secondary education. In England there was not the public spirit behind the councils to the same extent as in Wales, and the problem of secondary education would hardly be advanced until that public spirit was aroused. The policy of the Board of Education had, in too many instances, tended to retard and discourage the development of that public spirit, because through some of the regulations there ran the idea that a small amount of elementary education was sufficient for most people, and that those who were to have higher education were to be picked boys and girls, not in large numbers, for whom a system of scholarships was all that could be provided. There was widespread public discontent in the matter which prevented an uprising of the public interest in secondary education such as there was in Wales, where, too, that interest had been further stimulated by the system of intermediate education. He hoped his right hon. friend 122 would see that the rungs of the educational ladder were not too far apart, because it was important that others besides the picked boys and girls should be able to climb. He hoped the Board of Education would not be dominated too much by the notion that secondary education was only for a limited number of picked children, but that they would rather aim at raising the standard of education generally throughout the country. The system by which comparatively a handful of picked children got scholarships and went into the secondary schools tended also to foster rather than to hinder class distinctions, which were already so great a hindrance to our educational progress. In Scotland, there was not the same acuteness of class distinction founded on extreme differences of educational training, and he hoped that the Board of Education would do all that it could to hinder, and not to foster, that unfortunate tradition in English education. The right hon. Gentleman did not wonder that strong opposition was felt at much that was in the Report of the Advisory Committee. In regard to the suggestions in the Report that secondary education was almost entirely a preparation for some particular walk of life, he hoped that what the Board of Education would increasingly try to effect was that, whether they were designing schools for boys leaving at fourteen or fifteen to earn their livelihood or schools intended for those who stayed longer, they would have regard not only to the training appropriate to particular occupations in life, but also to those sides of study important to all citizens, women as well as men. They must recognise that national education as given in the elementary schools, although given very carefully by most devoted teachers, was to the overwhelming body of the public an education which stopped short before the gates of knowledge were fully opened. He urged the Minister for Education not to lose sight of that aspect of secondary education which might not be translated so readily into terms of higher wages, greater salaries, or accumulated capital, but was every bit as necessary for the culture and happiness of human life. Although he fully recognised how complicated and difficult the question was, he was sure the right hon. Gentleman 123 would try to make education more democratic and to give it wider and more varied scope. The House would look forward with some anxiety and great hope to the rules he had promised to bring forward.
§ *SIR HENRY CRAIK (Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities)
wished to call the attention of the House to a question closely connected with that which they had been discussing, but which related more particularly to Scotland. He referred to Vote 7 in Class IV. He was glad the Prime Minister was present, because he might be successful in appealing to the pity of the right hon. Gentleman in regard to a matter upon which unjust treatment had been accorded to Scotland. Of the £201,000 voted for the universities and colleges of Great Britain and for intermediate education in Wales, the Scottish universities received £42,000. That sum was secured to the Scottish universities under the Act of 1889. He was sure that the Prime Minister would agree with him that that Act did not give a gracious grant, but simply repaid to the Scottish universities funds which belonged to them and which had been transmitted to them from the seventeenth century for certain properties transferred to the Crown, the Crown taking over certain burdens in exchange. The words of the Act of1889 were that that sum of £42,000 was to be granted, not in satisfaction of future claims, but simply to meet past and existing claims of the Scottish universities. That £42,000 was no concession; no grant by favour; and he was certain that the Scottish Members would agree with him in thinking that only represented what was the property of the Scottish universities. He turned to the rest of the £210,000, which consisted of £100,000 granted to colleges in Great Britain, £12,000 to the university and colleges in Wales, and £25,000 for intermediate education; and of the whole of that sum how much went to Scotland? He understood that grudgingly £1,000 had hitherto been paid to the university college in Dundee, but that that was to be withdrawn—not on the ground that Scotland had not an equal claim to a share of the £100,000, but on the 124 ground that the whole £100,000 was required for the university colleges in England. They had equal needs in Scotland, but they got no grant for secondary and intermediate education, which were as dear to the heart of Scotland as to Wales. The only ground for refusing a proportion of the grant to Scotland was that Scotland was supplied under the Acts of 1890and 1892. But that was not money granted by the House of Commons, but assigned as Scotland's equivalent share of the whiskey duty, and Scotland had chosen to devote part of it to university and secondary education. The Vote only began a few years ago, when it stood at £15,000, but it had risen within less than fifteen years to £100,000, and he thought that Scotland had suffered a wrong in having only a one per cent. share of it. He trusted that the Prime Minister and the Secretary for Scotland would take the subject into consideration and press on the Treasury the claims of Scotland for a proper share of the grant of £100,000.
§ MR. ROGERS (Wiltshire, Devizes)
said that the hon. Gentleman opposite had stated that the voluntary school at Chippenham had been closed hastily. He happened to be the Vice-chairman of the Education Committee in the county of Wiltshire and had full acquaintance with the facts; and the best answer he could give to the hon. Gentleman's statement was that the school referred to had been condemned by the Board of Education years ago. The school was built in a corner of the churchyard; it was antiquated and insanitary, and really could not be used for the purpose of the education of children in these days. The Education Committee of the County Council met the managers of the non-provided schools in the town and practically asked them to make good, proper accommodation in the voluntary school, but the answer was that they could not afford to do it. The result was that the Education Committee proceeded to provide a properly equipped and sanitary council school. He ventured to say that the criticisms of the hon. Gentleman on the Board of Education in regard to the case would fall very lightly on those most concerned. The decision of the Education Committee 125 had been supported in the town, and it was recognised that their action had been dictated not by sectarian feeling, but by the interests of sanitation and the health of the children.
§ MR. BOWLES (Lambeth, Norwood)
said he had listened with astonishment to the defence of the appointment made to the staff of the Board of Education. He was bound to say that, coming to the question with an open mind, he thought the action of the Government amounted to a very serious imputation on the officials of the Board. The right hon. Gentleman had said that it was necessary to have an official who had a special knowledge of Welsh schools. But who was the gentleman who had hitherto had the oversight and management of those schools? Somebody at the Board of Education must have had that knowledge. It seemed to him extraordinary to pass over a gentleman on the staff who had knowledge of Welsh schools, and to appoint a gentleman from the outside who, no matter what his qualifications might be, was known to have opinions which would prevent him from dealing with the question with impartiality. The right hon. Gentleman had said that when he came to the Board of Education he found not a single Welshman on the staff, and that he wanted to remedy that. He had a great respect for Welshmen; but Mr. Davies had apparently been appointed on the sole ground that he came from that country. As he listened to the panegyric of the right hon. Gentleman on Welshmen, an old, familiar rhyme rose to his mind, which, slightly varied, seemed accurately to describe the appointment which the right hon. Gentleman had made—Davies was a Welshman—on which slender grounds,Davies came to our House and took twelve hundred pounds.Those grounds seemed to him to be entirely inadequate. Turning to the financial aspect of the whole Vote, he conceded that the Government were entitled to come down to the House and ask for a Vote on account, to carry them on for a few weeks. But here they were asking for an advance sufficient to carry them on for no less than five months. 126 That was far too long a period to ask the House to provide for in a Vote on Account; and the demand amounted to a serious infraction of the financial control of Parliament.
§ MR. WALSH (Lancashire, Ince)
said he wished to draw attention to the fact that a serious injustice was inflicted on many young people who wished to engage in the educational profession by the theological tests which were imposed on those who desired to enter the training colleges. That could only result in the ultimate lowering of the standard of education.
§ Resolution agreed to.