HC Deb 02 December 1908 vol 197 cc1476-545

Considered in Committee.

(In the Committee.)

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

Clause 2:

MR. MILDMAY (Devonshire, Totnes)

said that when he was interrupted by the adjournment of the Committee last night he was in process of moving the omission of the words "on two mornings in the week in which school meets," with the result that if the omission were accepted the opportunities given to a child of receiving denominational religious instruction would not be confined to two mornings in the week. He had been refreshing his memory by reading the report of what was said on the subject yesterday by the Prime Minister, who told them that the right of entry was not to be confined to two days a week, but that no individual child would be at liberty to receive denominational teaching on more than two days a week. It appeared to many of them that that was a very meagre allowance. He would ask hon. Members opposite to remember that they had conceded the principle that children were to have the opportunity of receiving denominational teaching in all schools, and they had also conceded that the presence of denominational teachers was not to be restricted to two days a week. Then what reason could there be for preventing children from receiving religious education in accordance with the wishes of their parents on more than two days in the week? He had never upheld the extreme denominational point of view, because he believed that religious teaching of value to the children, so far as it went, could be imparted under the Cowper-Temple Clause. Although he thought that religious teaching of value to children was possible, and was given in some schools under the Cowper-Temple Clause, yet he did not ignore the fact—they had all got to recognise the fact—that there was a large body of people in the country who took the contrary view, conscientiously and honestly believing that such teaching, if not harmful, was absolutely valueless. They might not be able to understand that view, but those who held it had a perfect right to it, and it was perfectly certain that that view was honestly held. No man had a right to dictate to another man what should be his views in this connection, where deep religious convictions were concerned. No suggestion could be more illiberal. And so, if they were to have a settlement, one fact must be recognised by the hon. Gentlemen opposite, and it was an important fact in connection with this provision for the right of entry. What had been the chief complaint of the Nonconformists in connection with their opposition to the Bill of 1902? What had impelled them to passive resistance? It was that they had been forced, and they said it was an insupportable injustice, to pay for religious teaching of which they did not approve. How did they propose to remedy this state of affairs under the Bill? And here was the fact which he wished to impress upon them.. They proposed to remedy it by shifting the same grievance, which by their own admission had been intolerable, on to other shoulders; they proposed to remedy it by compelling others to pay for religious teaching of which those others did not approve. And when hon. Gentlemen opposite said that this was not a balanced settlement, that the concessions did not balance, that the sacrifice required by the Church was small, he would ask them to recall to their minds the violent terms in which they had characterised that bondage which, under this Bill, they were now light-heartedly seeking to impose on others. How came it that anyone with a sense of justice was willing to discuss or entertain for a moment this solution which would appear to be so obviously unjust? It was only because it was hoped that the quid pro quo, the right of entry into all schools, would be no shadowy concession, but a concession of a substantial and really valuable nature. He had to admit that he was speaking from the point of view of members of the Church of England. This concession of right of entry was no good to Roman Catholics, and in this sense, from their point of view, the solution was most unsatisfactory. Returning to the English Church point of view, it appeared to him that under this Bill, whereby children whose parents so desired were to have one-and-a-half hour's denominational religious teaching in the week, the right of entry as a concession was lacking in substance. They had conceded the right of entry, and, the principle once conceded, was it not politic from every point of view to be ungrudging in the application of that principle? There was another matter. Many of them were strangers to some of the fears which were entertained by extremists in connection with this Bill, but if they were to allay those fears—if they were to get a lasting settlement—they must endeavour to understand those fears, and must give consideration to those hypothetical cases which were suggested by extremists in all sincerity, even if the possibility of such cases occurring might seem to them very remote. Under the Bill, as he had said, the children of parents so desiring were to have denominational instruction for two periods of three-quarters of an hour in the week. What if the headmaster of the school was a man of forceful character, and for one reason or another was strongly antagonistic to the denominational teaching in his school, or to the teacher thereof? If not a probability, was it not a possibility that he might set himself in the remaining three days of the week to give religious teaching to put it, mildly, in no sense in sympathy with the denominational teaching? Was it not possible that he might set himself in the remaining three days to counteract this teaching? It might be said that it was not probable, but none could say that it was impossible, and how disagreeable would be the position. It might be asserted that the parent would have his remedy in the withdrawal of his child from the Cowper-Temple teaching under the conscience clause, but the result of this would be that the child would be penalised by receiving only one and a half hour's religious instruction in the week, a very meagre allowance. He submitted that his Amendment alone would solve such difficulty. The Prime Minister yesterday said that the Bible-teaching given in Church schools on three days a week was an excellent basis on which to superimpose Church teaching, and further, that it had been an almost universal system in Church of England schools to give three days ordinary Bible-teaching, and on the remaining two days distinctive denominational teaching, and that it had worked well. Yes, it had worked well where all religious teaching had been given by the same teacher, or under the same superintendence, but it must be remembered that in future this religious instruction in the schools was to be given by two independent teachers. They were not allowed to inquire into the religious opinions of the headmaster before he was appointed, and they did not know what his religious views might be, or what might be his qualifications even for giving the teaching which it was his duty to give, under the Bill, under the Cowper-Temple clause, and under those circumstances was it not possible that the two teachers of religion in the school might be teaching one against the other? Everyone in that House, he thought, would agree that that would be a most deplorable position. The Prime Minister said yesterday that Cowper-Temple teaching was an excellent basis on which to superimpose Church teaching. Yes, but what security had they that Cowper-Temple teaching as now given in the schools would endure? What guarantee was there that in the future it would not be supplanted by religious teaching absolutely valueless, and even pernicious in their eyes? Who knew what Governments might be in power in the future? Was it absolutely impossible that they should see something as uninspiring to children as the New Theology, or perhaps, ethical teaching with strong socialistic tendencies, installed in the schools as the State idea of what religious teaching should be? At all events, with the possibility of the future before them, they had a right to ask that the benefits to be conceded by the right of entry should be real and substantial benefits. He would detain the House no longer; as he had already said, the Government and their Nonconformist supporters had conceded the principle of the right of entry, and he most earnestly appealed to them to apply this principle ungrudgingly by accepting his Amendment, because it would only make for peace. He believed the acceptance of the Amendment would do more to pacify a large body of Churchmen than any Amendment which was not contrary to the principle of the Bill.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 26, to leave out from the word 'instruction,' to the word 'make,' in line 27."—(Mr. Mildmay.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'on' stand part of the clause."


said he understood the hon. Member's Amendment was directed to the time-limit of two mornings a week, although he had argued beyond that point. The two mornings a week which were provided for by the clause represented, not any arbitrary time picked on by the Government as being what the framers of the Bill thought sufficient, but a time which, by almost universal consent, had been found adequate by those desirous of giving denominational instruction in the schools. Denominational instruction did not cover the whole ground of religious instruction, even in denominational schools. He was quite sure that hon. Members opposite, so far as Protestants were concerned —he said nothing about those of the Roman Catholic faith—would recognise that the teaching ordinarily given as Cowper-Temple teaching was in a large part such as was also ordinarily given as religious instruction in denominational schools, but it was not the whole of the religious instruction given in denominational schools, and was therefore defective in that respect. But whatever the differences between the different Protestant denominations might be, there was a considerable amount of religious instruction which was common to all. They all knew that in Church schools and undenominational schools the Bible was taught very much on the same lines, and therefore that teaching was common to both the denominational and the undenominational schools as at present constituted. But, dealing only with the catechetical teaching, it had been found sufficient in practice in the denominational schools to confine that catechetical teaching practically to half an hour on two mornings in the week, and in many schools on only one morning in the week. Why had that been done? Not because the State put any limit upon the time; nor because the teacher who gave religious instruction was in any way stinted by the authorities. Not at all. It was found that half an hour of catechetical teaching on two mornings a week was adequate for the purpose, and perhaps would give as much as a child of tender years could conveniently assimilate. The denominational schools had themselves made the limit, and the Government had, therefore, adopted it. He would not like to speak as to the course of the negotiations between the exalted persons whose names had been raised in that debate and his right hon. friend, because he could not speak with anything like authority, but he thought he would be right in saying, from what had appeared in the public Press, that those who had assumed to act on behalf of the Church in all these arrangements had not made any very strenuous claim for more time than that which was given in the Bill. He did not know that they had made any claim for more time, but if they had made any, certainly it had not forced its way—

LORD R. CECIL (Marylebone, E.)

So far as the published correspondence goes, no one has assumed to act on behalf of the Church.


said he did not think he was contending that anybody had acted on behalf of the Church. He said they were assumed to act on behalf of the Church, and he thought the noble Lord himself not infrequently assumed to act on behalf—




said that at any rate the noble Lord had spoken on behalf of the Church there and had assumed a degree of almost pontificial authority, and one might allow, therefore, some authority to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of London. They at all events did not seem to have laid any very great stress or insistence upon the extension of the proposed time, and under those circumstances he thought they might fairly adopt the existing usage and stand by it. The mover of the Amendment went further, in his speech, than the question of time. He spoke of the possibility that the Cowper-Temple teaching might counteract the denominational teaching, that they might have in the room where Cowper-Temple teaching was being given some theological proposition or spirit inculcated which was not consistent with that going on in another room under the care, it might be, of an Anglican teacher. The same observation might be made, however, with regard to the Anglican teacher and the Cowper-Temple teacher. It might be possible that he would inculcate doctrines in one room highly inconsistent with those taught in another room under the right of entry; but it was not for the State to try to prevent the various religious denominations from trying to counteract each other. Undoubtedly they would seek to counteract each other; they must have the liberty to counteract each other, and the State certainly could not assume to prevent them. It would be a very undesirable course if they were to try in any way to limit the authority that any denomination might claim to possess in teaching doctrines inimical to others.

MR. AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN (Worcestershire, E.)

said that this was one of the matters which he raised at the opening of the debate yesterday, in reply to which the Prime Minister made on the whole a very considerate speech. He thought the learned Attorney-General misconceived the point made by his hon. friend It was perfectly true that if they admitted denominational teachers of different denominations into the same school, those teachers in their denominational classes would give teaching which in the different classes was inconsistent, but that was an entirely different thing from what his hon. friend said. It was the possibility that the school teacher giving the ordinary Cowper-Temple teaching might give something which was not what the learned Attorney-General described as the Cowper-Temple teaching, as having the fundamental basis of all Christian, or at any rate of all Protestant, teaching, but something which was inconsistent with the denominational super-struction which it was the object of this clause to allow the denominations to build up.

MR. WALTERS (Sheffield, Bright-side)

Why not?


Could the hon. Gentleman really inquire why not? He did not know whether the hon. Member was a supporter of the Bill and desired to see a compromise effected. But his observation struck at the root of all compromise. Could the hon. Gentleman defend the proposition that for three days in the week the child should be subject to teaching subversive of the doctrines in which the parent believed, and then on two days a teacher should come in to counteract that subversive teaching? Surely that was not the doctrine of the Liberal Party?


asked to be allowed to explain the object of his interjection. Suppose for example the Cowper-Temple teacher in his teaching took exception to the Anglican or Roman Catholic view on the Apostolic succession, would that not be Cowper-Temple teaching and yet destructive of a peculiar doctrine of the Anglican Church? Would the right hon. Gentleman say that teaching under the Cowper-Temple syllabus could be given without coming into collision with the doctrines of certain sections of the Anglican Church?.


said he certainly took direct issue with the hon. Member. He was not a denominationalist, as the Committee knew by this time. He took direct issue as to what was permissible under the Cowper-Temple clause. If he was wrong and the hon. Member was right, then the Cowper-Temple clause was not the protection to anyone which the Government held it out and the country believed it to be; and it would be impossible to proceed with a Bill based on the Cowper - Temple clause. The Cowper-Temple clause, according to the Attorney-General, provided for the teaching of religious truths not specifically characteristic of any particular Church, but did not provide for teaching in an agressive form against the doctrine of any particular Church.


Antagonistic teaching on the part of the Cowper-Temple teacher against some particular doctrine of a denomination would be clearly contrary to the spirit of the compromise.


said that unless that was understood and clearly embodied in the law, compromise became impossible. He deplored the intolerant spirit shown by the hon. Member for Brightside in his explanation.


said he was entitled to protest against language of that kind. He asked to be allowed to substitute another illustration. Suppose, in giving Cowper-Temple teaching common to all sections of the Christian faith, some doctrine should be inculcated that was antagonistic to the Unitarian faith; would that be considered as narrow-minded, intolerant, fanatical, and destructive of compromise?


said he felt certain that if a teacher in a school in which there were children belonging to various denominations, in giving simple Bible-teaching such as was contemplated by the Cowper-Temple clause, took advantages of his opportunity and the trust confided in him to undermine the child's belief in his parents' religion, it would be an act of the grossest intolerance and a grave breach of trust. He was astonished to hear the hon. Member defend or recommend any such action, and was glad to think that teachers had a better sense of the responsibility of their position. The point which his hon. friend had submitted to the Attorney-General had reference to a fear that that might happen which apparently the hon. Member for Bright-side would be prepared to defend. He did not himself believe that it would be largely done; but after the interruption from the hon. Gentleman, did not the Attorney-General see that the fear which existed was not altogether unreasonable? In the great bulk of the denominational schools at the present time, no more time was occupied in this instruction than the Government allowed in the Bill, but probably there would be some schools where further facilities would be desired, and what possible offence could it give to any sensitive Nonconformist to allow such facilities? It might be thought that the concession asked for would not really be of any use, but in making a bargain, was it not wise to give up that which involved no sacrifice on their own part?

MR. YOXALL (Nottingham, W.)

said it was not the case that in the past in the board schools the teachers had in connection with Cowper-Temple teaching insisted on those points on which Christians had divergent views. In his experience they had dwelt almost exclusively on those points on which all denominations concurred. He had sought and sought in vain for any cases of intolerance in the teaching under the Cowper-Temple clause. He knew that many such charges had been made, but they had never been substantiated. It was not his business to defend the Bill, or to support the Government in this controversy; but still he must say that there was no need for the apprehension shown on the one side or the other; because, he believed, whether the teaching was that of theological religion or that of the common denominator of Christian faith, the teachers would discharge their duty with honesty, fairness, and discretion. While it might be possible to arrange for the right of entry on two days of the week, if they extended it to three, four, or five days a week, it would be disastrous from an administrative point of view, and would interfere seriously with the work of the school. He was sure that if the Amendment were adopted it would defeat in practice the very aim which the hon. Member had theoretically in view. It might be possible, and he thought it would be possible, to arrange for this teaching two days a week without interfering with the administration of the school, but if hon. Gentleman wanted to have three or four days a week they would go far to week the work of the institution, and if they desired that on four or five days a week certain children should be taught religion it would break down. [Cries of "Why?"] If he knew anything about the working of a school he said that would be the case. [Cries of "We want to know why."] Hon. Members would excuse him from explaining at great length to the Committee the many reasons why the arrangement would not work, and if they did not accept his view he could not help it.


said he did not question the hon. Gentleman's right to speak with authority on this matter, but he was only anxious for information. He confessed he knew lass than the hon. Member about these things.


said the localities would have to arrange for the use of a certain room or rooms, and for the services of certain teachers. It might be possible, without infringing upon the general convenience or work of the school, to set a room or two rooms apart for one day or two days a week, but it would become increasingly difficult with each additional day, and it would become impossible for three, four, or five days a week. For a similar reason it might be possible to arrange for the service of a special teacher on two days a week, but it would be much more difficult to arrange for the curate or lay teacher to-come into the school on four or five days a week.

MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)

He can go in now under the Bill.


said the teaching could be given by an outside teacher. The two days might not interfere with the efficiency of the school, but if it was three, four, or five days it would very seriously interfere with the work, and the whole system would break down. He would like, in the name of the general efficiency of the schools and the system of education in this country, to protest against any extension of what was now offered. Then they were going to provide for religious teaching of a specified kind for three-quarters of an hour. He put it to any man whether he did not think that a three-quarters of an hour sermon once a week was too long, and certainly twice a week was too long, unless the preacher was very able and entrancing. He put it to those who regarded this matter from the point of view of humanity and the religious interests of the children, and not on theological grounds, whether three-quarters of an hour was not too long on even one day a week for a religious lesson. In not a single council school at this moment was there a three-quarters of an hour lesson of this kind, and this Bill would completely destroy the present system, because it would give the parent the right to claim the actual teaching of dogmatic subjects for three-quarters of an hour on two days in each week. He protested against three-quarters of an hour for any lesson whatever. It was bad educationally, and there was no reason whatever for it. Three-quarters of an hour lesson for children of tender age was much too long. There was not an expert who would not tell them that three-quarters of an hour was too much on one subject at a time. A good deal of the effect of the teaching would be disastrous, and would certainly be not beneficial to the religious life of the children. He hoped the Government would make it clear that the three-quarters of an hour should contain at least the same ten minutes which was now occupied in religious observances in the morning, and if they would not do that, and the Bill passed in its present form, three-quarters of an hour was too much on two mornings, and to make it three, four, or five mornings in the week would be perfectly absurd. He protested against this application to the children of the poor and the working classes of rules and regulations and principles of lessons which were never used in the schools of the upper classes. Who were the men who were supporting this proposal? What was the length of their theological lessons at Eton and Harrow? How much of their time per day did they spend in school and college chapels? [AN HON. MEMBER: More than that.] He knew better. They escaped from it whenever they could, and yet these were the men who came there and demanded that by law they should impose on children in the people's schools a length of theological teaching which they never experienced, and from which they escaped on every possible occasion. The parents of the children and the children had never grumbled at the present system, but, on the contrary, had expressed the greatest satisfaction with it, and he protested against this proposal in every possible way.

LORD EDMUND TALBOT (Sussex, Chichester)

said that this question of two mornings a week was one of very great importance to the enormous number of Church of England schools in the division which he had the honour to represent in this House, but it was also a question of importance to the Catholics of the country, though, comparatively speaking, a very minor matter indeed. But it often happened in places where a new trade was started, or a new mine was opened, or there was the development of a new seaside resort that some of his co-religionists went there to start businesses, and for some time they were unable to provide themselves with schools, and in these places, of course, they would want to take full advantage of these two mornings a week. He wanted to have it clearly understood, and therefore he put a definite question to the hon. and learned Attorney-General, whether it was not a fact that it would be possible for the priest and the parson to get into a council school every day in the week? He understood that was so.


said that, as he understood, the noble Lord was showing that the religious instruction might be on any morning of the week. That was so, provided that no child got more than two mornings a week. The limit of two mornings a week was for the child and not for the school. Each child was to get two mornings a week, and if he did the law was satisfied.


inquired whether it would be possible for the priest and the parson to get into the Council schools every day in the week, provided they did not teach the same child more than twice in the same week. If that was so, surely it could not do much harm if they let them teach the same child a little oftener.

MR. MASSIE (Wiltshire, Cricklade)

said the spirit in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Worcestershire had approached them on this occasion, and the spirit in which he had approached the question on other occasions, made them most anxious to give him what he desired. But he ventured to submit that he did not fully appreciate the state of things which this compromise was already creating. That might be described as a state of irritation in many neighbourhoods, an irritation, not on the part of Nonconformists only, but on the part of many citizens who belonged to no Church whatever, because the schools, of whose freedom from clerical in erference they had been proud, were now likely to be handed over for a certain time in the course of the week to that clerical interference; and even if this was only in private rooms, they strongly objected to it. It was very natural, therefore, that many Members of the House should desire to make that imitation on as slight as possible. The fact that two days were being offered in the Bill was, as he had said, already creating friction. That offer had been made at a great cost to many of them, because even with two days only they were giving away the highly valued freedom of the schools from the atmosphere of religious differences. They did not desire, and he was quite sure that a vast number of people in the country connected with the council schools did not desire, the intrusion into these schools of denominational teaching. It interfered with the unity of the schools. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire had not in the slightest degree exaggerated the honourableness with which the teachers in the council schools had carried out the spirit of Cowper-Templeism. If Cowper-Templeism had done nothing else, it had created in these schools a public opinion, on the part of the teachers, in favour of due respect for the religious convictions of the parents whose children they were teaching. Two days a week was the price that they were preparing to pay, and a high price too, for peace outside the schools. Five days a week would immeasurably increase the price. The price was already high, and they could not pay more.

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

said the last speaker talked about the spirit of conciliation and compromise. He thought if hon. Members wished to preserve that spirit they would have to muzzle the hon. Member for Nottingham, because if he made many more speeches in the same vein as he had adopted that evening—a vein which he should not endeavour to copy—the spirit of compromise would disappear.


I voted against the Bill.


said he was perfectly aware of that, but whether he supported or opposed the Bill, he had no right to deal with the matter in the spirit in which he thought he had dealt with it. The hon. Member told the Committee that the system suggested by the Amendment was impossible, but beyond that he gave very few and insufficient reasons for it. But the noble Lord had pointed out— and this was proved beyond all doubt— that this teaching could be given, and was given, every day. The whole mistake which underlay this question was pointed out by the hon. Member for the Bright side Division of Sheffield. Cowper-Temple teaching was not a definite teaching of any kind; it was merely a negative form of teaching.


I must ask the hon. Member not to put into my mouth so absurd a proposition as that.


did not suggest the hon. Member said that. That was his own statement. Cowper-Temple instruction merely embodied a negative form of teaching, and, therefore, they were bound to get an opportunity for all sorts of teaching under the Cowper-Temple Clause. He believed that if a man wished he could teach Ritualism or give mere Bible-reading under that clause, so long as he did not embody it in a dogmatic form. That was the objection of Members of the Opposition. That was the reason they said that there was no guarantee that there would not be a conflict between the teaching given on one day under the Cowper-Temple Clause, and the teaching given on another day in a denominational form. It was impossible for the Government to lay down the principle that nothing taught under the Cowper-Temple Clause would conflict with the teaching given in a denominational form on another day. Hon. Members had no right to assume that the teaching required by those who supported the Amendment was purely the catechism. Everybody must recognise that what they wanted was not to impress dogma on children every morning, but to give teaching with a guarantee that behind it would be found that well-founded and genuine belief which was not to be found under the Cowper-Temple clause.

MR. J. W. WILSON (Worcestershire, N.)

said that the special teaching on two days a week was regarded as one of the distinctive features of the compromise which they understood was arrived at, and he thought he had some right to submit that to the consideration of the House, because the last time the matter was discussed in the House two years ago, he moved an Amendment for doing away with the two days and allowing special instruction to be given on every day of the week. It was argued then that probably it would make no difference in the long run, and that two days a week would be ultimately all that would be required, and, therefore, by conceding five days they were doing no more than if they conceded only two days, because the remaining three would not be used. He submitted that in this case it concerned not the transferred schools, but it mainly affected the great board schools of the country. He thought the President of the Board of Education was justified in concluding that the main body of board school educationists would regard the giving up of restrictions regarding the five days as a far greater concession than giving up two only. Therefore, he appealed to those Members who desired to support the Bill to consider this as a question already decided, and to occupy the limited time of the Committee with those matters which were more open to criticism, and possibly to amendment.

SIR WILLIAM ANSON (Oxford University)

said the speech of the hon. Member for Brightside had convinced him that it was necessary that he should support the Amendment. He had always felt the Cowper-Temple teaching had admitted the expression of dogmatic theological opinion, but they had always been assured—and he believed it was generally though not universally the case —that Cowper-Temple teaching consisted of those fundamental Christian truths, common certainly to all the Protestant creeds and common, he believed, to the Roman Catholic Church, though they could not accept that particular form of presentation, and that therefore it might very properly be a foundation on which the two days' denominational teaching might be given. But, if it was suggested, as it was by an hon. Member who had had considerable experience in educational matters, that Cowper-Temple teaching might properly be used to counteract and undermine the denominational teaching which was given to the child on two days of the week, then it appeared to him that the parent should be safeguarded by the permission to insist that his child should receive the denominational teaching on all the five days of the week on which religious instruction was given. In that way only could he be guarded against conflicting religious opinion, contradictory to the tenets of the parent, and profoundly repugnant to his wishes. If there was any risk that this teaching might be given in a controversial spirit and in a way contrary to the wishes of many of the parents, was it not desirable that this teaching should be given under some form of supervision and inspection that should ensure to the parents that their children were not taught on three days a week doctrines that were subversive of what they were taught on the other two days?

MR. NAPIER (Kent, Faversham)

thought that this Amendment was contrary to the scheme of the Bill and to the spirit of compromise behind it. The stipulation that there should be in all schools compulsory Cowper-Temple teaching was not a stipulation made by the Nonconformists. It came from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who insisted on Cowper-Temple teaching being given by the local education authority to the whole of the children of the country, subject, of course, to the conscience clause. The stipulation was that there should be Cowper-Temple teaching on three days of the week, and specific Church teaching on the other two days. That meant that Cowper-Temple teaching was not inconsistent with Church teaching, and nine-tenths of the people of the country believed the Cowper-Temple teaching did include the fundamental principles of Christianity. If that were so, would it be contended that more than two days a week was at all necessary for inculcating those particular doctrines of the Church of England which were not inculcated in Cowper-Temple teaching? He thought the proposition was almost absurd. When they thought of little children, how much could they teach them of special doctrines wherein the Church of England differed from the bulk of Nonconformists? Up to the age of ten he thought they ought to be content with teaching the child those fundamental doctrines which practically included his own parent's specific religious faith. The compromise embodied in the Bill contained those great principles which he believed were firmly held by the great majority of the people of this country. 'In the first place, there was a common root of Christianity which they might safely teach to all children; and the second principle, held by most Christians 'in this country, i.e., that it was impossible that they should train up the population as Christians to do the, best Christian work of which they were capable unless they taught the youth of the country, before they attained the age of thirteen of fourteen, that their duty was to belong to one of the great Christian communities. He believed that religious education would be incomplete unless it taught children when they came to be of full age that they should belong to one of the great Christian bodies in this country and he believed that they would be infinitely better Christians, more forcible in fighting against the evil things of this world, if they began by teaching them that there was one great common Christian brotherhood of which the denominations were merely regiments in a fighting army.


said he admired the sentiment expressed by the last speaker, that they should train children to the recognition of the great Christian brotherhood, but he confessed when he heard from the speeches how much they were afraid that the balance of advantage might be turned to the Church side or to the side of the Nonconformist, that the spirit of brotherhood was hardly contemplated in a practical way in Parliament. He wished to point out to the Government what in his opinion were the dangers which beset them along the line on which they were going. He found that those whom he regarded as well qualified to speak for the Church of England, as the Archbishop of Canterbury claimed to do, would not be satisfied with the provisions of this clause. Two days a week would not satisfy them for all time, and undoubtedly at succeeding elections, and in Parliament, demands would be made for the amendment of this Bill, so as to allow of tests and the right of entry into provided schools without any restriction whatever. He believed with the hon. Member for Nottingham that they should restrict this right as far as possible. In his view, two mornings a week, or three-quarters of an hour's definite dogmatic teaching, was quite as much as an ordinary child could assimilate. He agreed that they should seek not to extend the opportunities for this right of entry, but to hedge them round with reasonable restrictions as far as possible. He conceived that this was going to be a real danger to our educational system. After all, in the provided schools they had largely imbued the children with a recognition of the spirit of social unity. In his view, the right of entry would dissipate that altogether. The children in future would be divided into little sects, and undoubtedly that spirit of social unity would suffer proportionately. Further, he was inclined to think that the discipline of the school must be affected. He tried to picture to himself what would follow if this Bill became an Act of Parliament. Each morning the children would gather together, and would be divided into different sects. This meant that the school discipline would be upset completely every morning in the week. The head teacher was to look on passively and not interfere at all with what was being done by those who came in from outside. Moreover, different views might be held by the different teachers who imparted religious instruction. And the question was asked whether there was to be any supervision. For his own part he failed to see how supervision could be exercised, because it would need an army of inspectors, nearly one inspector to every teacher. He was convinced that the parents were not requiring that there should be the right of entry into council schools. It might be that the compromise had been entered into by persons who had no responsibility whatever, because they were repudiated in that House, but even if the terms of compromise did bring about peace inside the House of Commons, he was certain that it was going to create chaos and disorder in every one of the public schools. He believed that the parents did not desire it. But he could quite see that the different sects would immediately set to work. The parents' belief would be inquired into, and there would be some sort of religious inquisition instituted in the land. The parents would be marked off—as some of them were now politically —according to their religious opinions. He entered a strong protest against this right of entry at all, but certainly if they were unable to prevent its being enacted, he sincerely trusted that the Government would not give any further extension to the principle

MR. ASHLEY (Lancashire, Blackpool)

thought there was a fallacy underlying the arguments of hon. Members on the other side, namely, that Cowper-Templeism as a foundation and a top-dressing of Church of England teaching would satisfy the vast majority of Church people as the religious education which ought to be given to their children. That, he thought, was also the underlying consideration which had induced the Government to refuse this very reasonable Amendment. He would ask hon. Members opposite to endeavour to meet the Church a little more than they were trying to do. It might seem unreasonable that all Church people did not accept Cowper-Temple teaching as a complete substratum, but in a great many places of Lancashire and else where they desired their own teachers to teach Church principles in their own way. That might appear unreasonable, but why would they not allow them to have it? So far as the provided schools were concerned, he could understand perfectly well the position of hon. Members opposite. But he asked them to consider for a moment the position of the Church of England, in those schools which were in single-school areas. They had schools built with the subscriptions of poor men for the express purpose that their children should have a Church of England atmosphere and Church of England teaching on five days a week. What were they going to do under this Bill in single school areas? They were taking away these schools from the Church of England, and they were going: to say to the majority of the parents— because they must be the majority for they had built the schools—that they were only to be allowed, at their own expense, two mornings a week when their children might be taught their religious faith, while the minority of parents who were satisfied with Cowper-Temple teaching were to have five mornings a week with nothing to pay. Then take the Roman Catholic schools, of which there were some twenty-five in England in single school-areas. Consider the position of the children in these Catholic schools in those single-school areas. No one would say that simple Cowper-Temple teaching would satisfy Catholic parents, and yet if they were not given an entry on five days a week, but only on two, they were saying to those Catholics who had built the schools: "Your children are going to have no religious instruction at all, or they are going to have Cowper-Temple teaching on three days a week, and only on two days a week are the priest and the nun to be allowed to come in and teach them." That was a very great injustice. If the Government could see their way to make a compromise, to restrict the right of entry to two days a week in the old provided schools, and extend it to five in the Church and Catholic schools, they would do no harm to their own cause, and would certainly remove the very sore and angry feeling in Lancashire at the way in which the Catholic and Church schools were being filched from them.

MR. ADKINS (Lancashire, Middleton)

expressed regret that the development of the debate had not seemed to bring about a greater identity of opinion, but he hoped hon. Members opposite, who attached great importance to the right of entry, would consider that some of them who were perfectly loyal to this part of the Bill, much as they disliked it, saw very grave practical objections to the alteration proposed by the hon. Member for Totnes. He did not think anyone had denied that as, a matter of actual fact, throughout the country denominational teaching was only given at the most on two days in the week, and very often only on one, in Church schools. When they found in a syllabus issued by a Diocesan Education Society that provision was made for this kind of instruction on only one morning in the week, and never on more than two, it was clear that the Bill as it stood was honestly trying to carry out what already existed by the wish and authority of the Church leaders in their own schools. Accordingly the onus of proof was very heavy on the hon. Member and his friends if they sought under this Bill to get more than was their unfettered practice at present in their own schools. That was admitted by the hon. Member for Oxford University, who had accused some members on that side of frivolity, because their conscience was affected by the difference between two and three days. It was not a question of conscience, but of practicability and fairnes. He thought the hon. Gentleman himself had indulged in quite unwonted levity in a matter of this importance, when he knew that the ordinary practice was in accord with what the Government proposed, and yet said he would vote for the Amendment because of a casual remark of an hon. Member, who had been elaborately though unintention- ally misinterpreted. That was deciding the question on a very minute detail. Any teacher known to be so teaching religion under the Cowper-Temple clause as to be really launching polemics against denominational instruction, would have very short shrift from any local education authority in the country. The real guarantee for what they all desired, that Cowper-Temple teaching should be used in no aggressive spirit, did not consist in the method proposed by the hon. Gentleman of eating into the Cowper-Temple teaching by this enlarged facility, but in a sense of fairness which local education authorities would have, and also in the great disinclination of local education authorities to have more religious controversy and discord than they could possibly avoid. There was no real danger to be run in that particular. Hon. Gentlemen put it with great seriousness that if they allowed the clergy or other persons, to teach denominational instruction twice a week, and that could only be done by allowing them to come in every day, there was no difference in actual practical administration. There was an enormous difference if they were allowed to teach the same children every day. If there were thirty children desiring denominational instruction, there would have to be sixty lessons in the course of the week. If the Amendment were carried and denominational instruction was given five times a week, they would have to provide 150 lessons, which was a far greater disturbance of the ordinary methods of the school than where they were merely providing sixty. He was sure the ordinary administrator, who looked at this, not as a Churchman or a Dissenter, but as one who had to see that education was smoothly carried on, would see the enormous difference between two days a week and the three, four, or five days a week which would be possible under the Amendment. He was not opposing the Amendment with any wish to make these facilities anything but a reality, but while, on the one hand, one was anxious that these facilities should be adequate and real, he was also anxious that they should not be so arranged as to lead to the disorganisation of the schools.

MR. DILLON (Mayo, E.)

thought the: Amendment reasonable and just, but said the debate would bring home to many men the extent of the concession which had been made. When they once allowed the right of entry they would be dragged in spite of themselves to allow it on equal terms to all denominations. That seemed to be the weak-point in the position of those who supported the compromise, and what made it almost impossible, although it did not press upon the Catholics, was that they were for the first time establishing in the common schools of England an endowed, established, and compulsory form of religious instruction. It was no use trying to get away from it. He had only to quote the words of the Rev. Scott Lidgett, which would be heard again and again— Throughout the country in the course of this controversy let us always remember that in spite of this compromise Cowper-Templeism remains the established religion of the schools of England. He believed that was an impossible position to maintain. He did not believe it would work out as a compromise to invite the Church of England to come into these schools in an inferior position only on two days a week. The question, what was Cowper-Templeism, and what could be done under it, had always had an extraordinary attraction for him, and he had never heard anyone really adequately explain the matter. It would, of course, be possible under it to carry on propaganda against the doctrines of the Church of England or Rome, and it was idle and absurd to repeat the cant phrase about Cowper-Templeism being simple Christianity free from dogma. Did simple Bible teaching include the New Testament and the sayings of Christ, and were they going to teach children the New Testament and not tell them who the chief figure of the New Testament was? If they did tell them who He was, was not that dogma, and would it not bring them into collision with Unitarians? He could never see his way through this maze of Cowper-Temple teaching at all. They could not teach the Bible or the New Testament without plunging into theology. They could teach no religion without theology or without dogma. In his opinion, under the Cowper-Temple clause, they could teach the Catholic religion. It depended on who drew up the syllabus. Catholics could draw up a syllabus without infringing the clause. Was it not rather childish to imagine that if they banished the Catechism they banished dogma out of the schools? There was nothing magical in the Catechism. They could teach under the Cowper-Temple system whatever the local authority chose to put into the syllabus, and the local authority, if they desired to counteract the influence of the High Church parson, could, and probably would, carry on something in the nature of a propaganda against his doctrine. They could not have the two things, and there was no use in attempting to get them; they could not have the schools free from the contentions of different religious denominations and at the same time allow the denominations into the schools. They were met the other day by a reference to schools in America and Australia, and warned that their fate might be similar to theirs. Me had been in those schools in America and Australia, and there they had no conflict with the sects because they had a secular system. Once they established religious teaching in the schools they would open the flood-gates to all the dangers he had mentioned. He had dealt with the two points which induced him to intervene. It seemed to him that the Nonconformists had been led on to make a far greater sacrifice in. this compromise than if they had accepted Clause 4 of the Act of 1906. That would have left the board schools intact under a system they approved of, but now they had invited the Church into their schools, and they would insist upon being put upon an equality with Cowper-Templeism. He supported this. Amendment because he thought it was fair, and because hon. Members above the gangway supported the Catholics on a critical Amendment. This Amendment did nothing for Catholics, because their ideals ran in a totally different direction. They wanted a school where the whole atmosphere was Catholic. The noble Lord had so eloquently expressed their view on this matter that he was almost tempted to invite him to come over and join them. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"] He did not mean anything offensive, but the noble Lord had eloquently expressed their view of this subject when he said that he attached supreme importance to impressing upon the mind of the children the fact that they belonged to a great ecclesiastical organisation, and that was the only way in which religion could be kept alive. The children should be taught that they were numbers of a great Church entrusted with the task of maintaining the Christian faith. Catholics had no interest in the right of entry, and he looked forward to the day when Nonconformists would deeply regret they did not meet them on this question in 1906.


said that poor, simple Nonconformists, who were persuaded to accept this compromise, imagined that as far as the council schools were concerned they would preserve their old freedom from religious interference, and that all they were asked to do was to give the opportunity on two mornings a week for denominational instruction to be given to the children of the parents who desired it above and beyond the ordinary Cowper-Temple instruction they were receiving on the other days in the week. They understood that all the children would assemble at the morning worship. They imagined that under the compromise it would still be possible for the children to look upon each other in a friendly way without being divided into sectarian pens, and that there would still be some common ground upon which the children would share the same kind of religious exercise. But nothing of that sort was to be continued. The children of denominationalists were not to be contaminated by singing hymns with Cowper-Temple children. They were to have on two mornings a week not Cowper-Temple instruction but some other kind of foundation on which the superstructure of the Anglican Church religion might be built. That was not what Nonconformists or the supporters of council schools expected. He had had practical experience of council schools for a great many years, and to grant the right of entry on two mornings a week with the inevitable division of the teachers into different sects, was an enormous sacrifice to make. A full denominational atmosphere for certain children in the schools was not the basis of a compromise to which Nonconformists could agree. It was not a compromise when one party swallowed the other. "When the whale appropriated Jonah it was not a compromise—far from it. He was prepared for a reasonable compromise, but if Members opposite imagined this was to be the beginning of a kind of absorption of the whole educational system by denominations they did not understand the spirit and thought of the country. He had nothing to say to priests and parsons in their proper place, but he did not want them in the schools. He objected to them from every standpoint. They gave no help educationally or religiously. They stirred up strife and contention and nothing but mischief resulted. Hon. Members opposite argued that if they were going to give denominational teaching on two mornings a week it was quite simple to give it on five mornings. Supposing they had a school with only two classrooms, holding thirty scholars each, and they wanted two classrooms to accommodate the number of children who wanted special instruction on two mornings. If they increased the number to five times a week they would not have sufficient accommodation, and they could not be expected to expand their schools at the dictation of the denominations. In a large number of schools the classroom accommodation was a very serious difficulty. If they were going to give this special grant of denominational instruction on five mornings they would require a larger staff of teachers, and that practically meant compelling a large proportion of the teachers in the school to volunteer for special religious instruction. The whole object of this proposal was to create a denominational atmosphere and impose denominational instruction upon council schools. He was prepared to sacrifice a great many of his prejudices and a few of his principles for this compromise, but nothing would induce him to vote for a claim of this kind if it was to be extended in every direction. First they made a small concession, and then they were asked to give five times as much. As far as he was concerned, if the Government went on making concessions he should not support them. He had been lectured by the Chancellor of the Exchequer for saying that Cowper-Temple teaching could be given which was antagonistic to the doctrines of the Anglican Church, but this was perfectly true. Simple Bible instruction taught that salvation was through Jesus Christ, but many Anglicans held that salvation was through Apostolic succession and all the machinery of a State church. He hoped the Government would resist the Amendment and not allow itself to become the Jonah and the other side the whale.


did not think the remarks of the last speaker had contributed towards a peaceful solution of this difficult question. The hon. Member, speaking as the chairman of an education committee, said that the Cowper-Temple clause was antagonistic and destructive of the beliefs of the children of the Church of England.


said the right hon. Gentleman was not quoting him correctly. He did not say so.


believed he was correctly interpreting what the hon. Gentleman said. When the hon. Gentleman interrupted him it was to ask—why should not teachers who gave Cowper-Temple teaching give instruction which was destructive of the Christian faith? Such a question went far to justify the fear which he did not share but which was felt by many of his hon. friends, and if there was no other argument in favour of the Amendment now before the Committee the statement which the hon. Member had made as to the practice in schools with which he was acquainted was sufficient to justify them in pressing for the adoption of the Amendment.

MR. W. BENN (Tower Hamlets, St. George's)

said the question they were discussing was one of fact. His desire was that the right of entry should be a genuine concession and not an illusory one. The question of fact was: On how many days was it usual for special religious instruction to be given? When they had decided that question they would be able to say on how many days it should be made statutory by this Bill. Light had been thrown on that subject by the utterances of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He reminded the Committee that the First Lord of the Admiralty brought forward last year a statement which purported to show the proportion of the time worked by teachers which represented that occupied in giving special religious instruction. The statement called forth protests from some hon. Gentlemen who stated that the fraction was a great deal too big. The hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield stated— The general practice in the Church of England schools at the present time was that special religious teaching was only for one half-hour in the week. Various controversialists outside said that one-fifteenth was a ridiculous fraction to take. Canon Alford said— In most Church schools they found that the two Scripture knowledge lessons in the week were the only ones that could be called denominational, and the other three were as purely Scripture lessons as in any Council school. In some Church schools the time given to denominational teaching was even less. Canon Cleworth said— Moreover, the teaching of the Catechism and Prayer Book occupy only one-thirtieth of the weekly school hours, so that instead of one-fifteenth, one-nintieth is a more accurate estimate. Judging of the question in the light of those statements it seemed to him that two mornings a week were quite sufficient. He understood that there were three definite propositions. One was that denominational teaching should be given on only two days in the week in any given school; the second was that any child should have denominational teaching on only two days of the week; and the third was that any child should have denominational teaching every day of the week if necessary. That was what he understood the Amendment to mean. The Bill brought in by the Chief Secretary for Ireland was before the House laid down that denominational instruction in the transferred schools should be given only on two days of the week, and an Amendment was put down by an hon. Member on the other side of the House to make it clear that every child should be entitled to receive special religious instruction on two days of the week, although the teaching itself might have to take place on four days of the week. The Chief Secretary at that time admitted that the intention of the Government was that no child should be entitled to have the special religious instruction on more than two days a week.

MR. LAMBTON (Durham, S. E.), as one who voted for the Second Reading of the Bill, could not support the Amendment, because it was against the spirit of the compromise entered into. The position the Archbishop of Canterbury accepted in principle was that Cowper-Temple teaching was sufficient for Christian children. There were hon. Members who did not accept that view; for instance, the hon. Member for East Mayo declared that Cowper-Temple teaching was worse than nothing; but representatives of the Church of England did not take up that attitude. The compromise was founded on the idea that Cowper-Temple teaching on three mornings and denominational teaching on two mornings was sufficient Christian education for a child up to the age of fourteen. It was his view, after following the discussions upon earlier Education Bills, that it would not be impossible for all denominations to come together and settle upon some form of religious teaching sufficient for young children. Cowper-Temple teaching, if given honestly, as it had been and would be, by a teacher worthy of his position, was sufficient. A teacher must have the confidence of the children he taught; he must not deceive them. If he attempted that he would soon be found out, and it was easy to lose the confidence of children. If he gave instruction with —so to speak—his tongue in his cheek, he would lose the children's confidence and the whole tone of the school would deteriorate. There was no danger if the teaching were given in an honest manner. It was based on the Bible, and, after all, there must be some common form of belief in Christianity in these days, 2,000 years after Christ. He was reading not long since from a book written some 250 years ago by a celebrated divine, Thomas Hobbes, of Malmesbury, in which it was declared that the fundamental faith of Christianity was that Jesus was the Christ, and surely that was taught under the Cowper-Temple clause?


It may not be.


Surely his noble friend would not say that it did not teach Christianity? If it did not, they had better give up the Bill at once and have secular teaching. His noble friend must have some faith in the Christianity of his fellows. As the same old writer to whom he referred said, if assent were required to all the doctrines taught by theologians nothing in the world would be so hard as to be a Christian. Why put difficulties in the way of children? What would a child of fourteen understand of this discussion? Suppose the empty Gallery of the House were filled with listening children, what would they understand of this discussion? They would hear Members apparently abusing each other and telling each other across the floor of the House that they were not true Christians, and what would the children think of that? He believed the compromise was an honest compromise, and he could not support the Amendment.


said he was quite sure the Committee would appreciate the speech just delivered as a sensible contribution to the debate. Everybody admitted that the old Cowper-Temple clause was a vague clause, and that no clause could accurately define the kind of education given for the last thirty-eight years. It could not be defined, but they could act on the experience of it. All the school authorities had acted with due regard for the sacred-ness of the teaching given under the clause, and when the noble Lord insisted that religious teaching to be efficient must be denominational he asked, Was this not so abroad? He remined the noble Lord of the China mission and the report of the undenominational character of the organisation and teaching of that mission to which Lord William Cecil attached his signature. All that was now asked was that there should not be artifically created differences of Christian teaching, just as they were not to be created in China. Of course, they might continue to bandy tu quoques over the Cowper-Temple clause, but sensible men would be content to lean on the experience they had had. The hon. Member for Brightside said he had known teaching given antagonistic to Church doctrines, but he could only say, after seeing a good deal of school administration, that he had never heard of anything of the kind. That, he believed, had been the general experience of administrators. As a matter of fact, the Amendment before the Committee was founded on the proposition that the Cowper-Temple clause was not sufficient for Church school-children and that they required Church teaching on the five days of the week when two had been sufficient in the past. They had done their best to meet hon. Gentlemen opposite. The Government had gone a long way to meet them. They had done their best to be generous in granting fair facilities for religious instruction. They had done what they could to make the concessions which they had granted real concessions. They had done what they could to make them good, not only in the mere machinery, but in giving the children the religious instruction which their parents desired. The demand which was put forward that special denominational instruction should be given five days a week went beyond anything that had been asked for before. Even if that were granted, he did not believe that it would be taken advantage of, except by people who wished to upset Cowper-Temple teaching, and if the Government were to suggest such a thing he did not think they could carry it in this House, and certainly they would not have with them the main body of the people outside.


said he would not detain the Committee more than a few minutes. He wished first of all respectfully to recognise, if he might, the admirable tone which had characterised the speeches of the Minister for Education. He rose mainly to reply in a word or two to the speech of the hon. Member for South-East Durham. The Minister for Education quoted a statement of what was done at some meeting in China, with reference to a concordat which had been entered into by the missionaries. With every word of that declaration he was in hearty and complete agreement. He did not himself doubt that there was an essential agreement between all the sects who held the Christian faith, including the Roman Catholics, with regard to the fundamental doctrines of that faith. And he fully agreed with the hon. Member for South-East Durham that the points on which all the sects were at one were out of all proportion to those on which they differed. He had never said anything in this House which would conflict with that opinion, and if anyone imagined that he had done so he would be delighted to withdraw it and do penance in a white sheet. But he wished to say that to attempt to teach, particularly to the young, Christianity on an undenominational basis was, in his judgment, wrong and doomed to failure. It was all very true to say that they were agreed as to the great doctrines of the Christian faith and that they should recognise what the different sects had lone in the way of the conversion of the heathen; but he did not want anything to be done by the State to compel anyone to adopt the teaching of the Anglican or the Wesleyan or any other religious body. What he wanted was to give an opportunity to the parents to have their children taught the faith which they themselves held. If they tied the hands of all the sects and said that they were not to teach the children in such a way as to attach them to the denomination to which the parents belonged, then the State would be putting fetters on the hands of the teachers which would make it impossible for them to do the work which they were set to do. His hon. friend had said very truly that it was part of the spirit of Cowper-Templeism not only that they were not to seek to attach children to this or that particular religious body, but not to detach them from the religious denomination to which the parents belonged. Although he deplored the tone of the hon. Member for the Brightside division, he entirely agreed with the substance of his speech, and he could not see how anyone could disagree with it. It was that there was nothing in the Cowper-Temple clause to prevent teaching being given which was hostile to Christianity, and the hon. Gentleman had given an admirable instance of it. His hon. friend had said with great indignation that it was absurd to suppose that under the Cowper-Temple clause any teacher could teach what was against Christianity; but his hon. friend was up in the clouds in regard to this matter, for it had been proved over and over again that under Cowper-Templeism there was teaching which might be moral but was not Christianity. There was no doubt whatever that that had been done. For himself, he held that the case put forward by the hon. Member who moved the Amendment was irresistible, viz., that it was desirable, if the parents wished it, that they should have an opportunity of their children being taught their own religion not only two but five days in the week if they were satisfied that Cowper-Temple teaching was not in accordance with their religion but was hostile to it. He objected to this labelling of denominational teaching with the badge of inferiority. The proposal in the Bill was one more step towards the discouragement of denominational teaching, which he believed was the only really effective way of teaching Christianity. For that reason he would support the Amendment.

MR. VERNEY (Buckinghamshire, N.)

said that he knew many schools in which Cowper-Temple teaching had been given for years, and in these schools there were children whose parents belonged to different denominations but who raised no objection whatever to that teaching. Some months ago he was in a school in Scotland where children belonging to every denomination, sitting on the same benches, were being given religious instruction by the same teacher who had been master of the school for twenty-eight years. He asked that teacher whether he had had any difficulty in regard to this religious teaching, and the teacher assured him that he had never during all those years had a single complaint made by any parent of a child attending the school, although the children belonged to every denomination in Scotland. He main-

tained that in the face of facts like these the Minister for Education had a right to appeal to experience that there was no difficulty in teaching the fundamental principles of Christianity to classes of mixed denominational children. The Cowper-Temple clause was in no sense a form of religious belief, but merely a prohibition against the use of certain dogmatic forms. No one could say that the Sermon on the Mount was either denominational or indefinite. It must then be conceded that there was such a thing as definite religious instruction which was not denominational but which had had a beneficial result on the character of the children, a result which remained with them all their lives.

MR. WALTER GUINNESS (Bury St. Edmunds)

said that as he read the Amendment it would make the position of the Church of England not better but worse, because it would put it entirely within the power of the local education authority to say on which days religious instruction was to be given. He believed that this compromise had been entered into in a perfectly honest spirit, but if the hon. Gentleman's interpretation was right, very great confusion would be caused, because they had been told that the local education authorities would try to prevent the Bill being worked in the spirit of give and take, and that they might say that it would be inconvenient for them to give more than one day to special denominational religious instruction. Thus endless difficulties would be caused and an appeal to the Board of Education as to whether there should be religious instruction on two or five days would be useless. If they wanted to avoid trouble they should define the obligation of the local authority to give religious instruction, but as the clause now stood a loophole would be left to the local education authority to evade the obligation.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 269; Noes, 109. (Division List No. 426.)

Acland, Francis Dyke Ainsworth, John Stirling Asquith, Rt. Hon. Herbert Henry
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Alden, Percy Atherley-Jones, L.
Agnew, George William Ashton, Thomas Gair Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E Gibb, James (Harrow) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Gill, A. H. Marnham, F. J.
Barker, Sir John Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Massie, J.
Beale, W. P. Glendinning, R. G. Menzies, Walter
Beauchamp, E. Glover, Thomas Molteno, Percy Alport
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Morrell, Philip
Bennett, E. N. Grant, Corrie Morse, L. L.
Berridge, T. H. D. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Greenwood, Hamar (York) Murray, Capt. Hn. A. C. (Kincard
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.) Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Gulland, John W Myer, Horatio
Black, Arthur W. Gurdon, Rt Hn. Sir W Brampton Napier, T. B.
Bowerman, C. W. Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard B. Nicholls, George
Brace, William Hall, Frederick Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r
Bramsdon, T. A. Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale Norton, Capt. Cecil William
Branch, James Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Nussey, Thomas Willans
Brigg, John Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Nuttall, Harry
Bright, J. A. Hart-Davies, T. O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth)
Brooke, Stopford Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Paul, Herbert
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lanes., Leigh) Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E. Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek)
Brunner, Rt Hn Sir J. T. (Cheshire Harwood, George Pearce, William (Limehouse)
Bryce, J. Annan Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton)
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Hazel, Dr. A. E. Pirie, Duncan V.
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Helme, Norval Watson Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Henry, Charles S. Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central)
Byles, William Pollard Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.)
Cameron, Robert Higham, John Sharp Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Hill, Sir Clement Pullar, Sir Robert
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Hobart, Sir Robert Radford, G. H.
Cawley, Sir Frederick Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Rea, Russell (Gloucester)
Chance, Frederick William Hodge, John Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro')
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Holland, Sir William Henry Rees, J. D.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N. Rendall, Athelstan
Cleland, J. W. Horniman, Emslie John Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th
Clough, William Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n.
Clynes, J. R. Hudson, Walter Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Jackson, R. S. Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.)
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Robinson, S.
Corbett, C H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Johnson, John (Gateshead) Robson, Sir William Snowdon
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton) Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Cory, Sir Clifford John Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea Rogers, F. E. Newman
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Jones, William (Carnarvonshire Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Cox, Harold Jowett, F. W. Samuel, Rt. Hn. H. L. (Cleveland)
Craig, Charles Curtis(Antrim, S. Kearley, Sir Hudson E. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde)
Crooks, William Kekewich, Sir George Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester)
Crosfield, A. H. Kerry, Earl of Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Cross, Alexander Kincaid-Smith, Captain Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Crossley, William J. King, Alfred John (Knutsford) Seddon, J.
Curran, Peter Francis Lambert, George Seely, Colonel
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Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs. Spicer, Sir Albert
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Everett, R. Lacey M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Stone, Sir Benjamin
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Fullerton, Hugh Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Sutherland, J. E.
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Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury Wardie, George J. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarthen
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Toulmin, George Wedgwood, Josiah C. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Trevelyan, Charles Philips Whitbread, Howard Yoxall, James Henry
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Vivian, Henry White, J. Dundas (Dumbart'nsh. TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Master of Elibank and Mr. Herbert Lewis.
Walker, H. De. R. (Leicester) Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.
Walsh, Stephen Wiles, Thomas
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Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Roche, John (Galway, East)
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Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Sheehy, David
Collings, Rt. Hn. J.(Birmingham) Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Shefield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lonsdale, John Brownlee Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Courthope, G. Loyd Lundon, W. Starkey, John R.
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Crean, Eugene MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'rd Univ.
Delany, William MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Thomson, W. Mitchell-(Lanark)
Dillon, John Macpherson, J. T. Valentia, Viscount
Donelan, Captain A. MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Doughty, Sir George MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Winterton, Earl
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- M'Kean, John Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Duncan Robert (Lanark, Govan M'Killop, W. Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Faber, George Denison (York) Meagher, Michael
Faber, Capt. W.V. (Hants, W.) Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr Mildmay and Mr. Lane-Fox.
Fardell, Sir T. George Meehan, Patrick A. (Queen's Co.
Fell, Arthur Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Ffrench, Peter Mooney, J. J.
SIR BERKELEY SHEFFIELD (Lincolnshire, Brigg)

asked whether his proposal to insert after the first word' on the word "any" would not make the intention of the Government clearer than it seemed to be at present. He took it that two mornings of the week might only mean Monday and Tuesday, whereas if the word "any" were added it would make the matter plainer. He put the Amendment forward in order to see if the Government thought right to accept it, but he should not carry the matter to a division, because they had stated that every teacher of a denomination would have facilities to enter any school on any day of the week. He only wished to put in the word "any" to make it certain that the teachers would be able to enter the school on any day of the week if they did not teach an individual child more than twice. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 26, after the first word 'on,' to insert the word 'any.'"—(Sir Berkeley Sheffield.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'any' be there inserted."


was understood to say that he thought the insertion of this word would go a good deal further than the hon. Baronet himself intended according to the explanation he had given. It would give the parent the right to claim instruction on any morning without reference to the particular two selected by the local authority. In other words it would give the control of the arrangements for this kind of instruction to the parent instead of to the authority, and that would give rise to great inconvenience, It was for the authority to settle how many mornings they might think it convenient to give the instruction, and they might say three mornings or four mornings, and the hon. Baronet's Amendment would be an interference with their discretion which he did not think would facilitate the working of the clause.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

inquired whether the clause would not allow the authority to say that they did not intend the instruction to go on on Tuesday, and in defiance of the parent they might say that they would not allow denominational instruction on certain days.


said the authority could name the days, but it must arrange at least two mornings. If it could arrange for every such child getting two mornings by giving less than four or five days a week, they would do it. If one of the two days did clash with the convenience of the parent it would be a misfortune but he did not think they could meet it.

MR. FORSTER (Kent, Sevenoaks)

inquired whether the local authority would not be bound by subsection (6) which provided that they should have regard to the number of children of different groups of children for whom religious instruction provided by the author- ity and religious instruction under this section were from time to time respectively desired, to the proportion of the number of those children in each case to the total number of children in attendance at the school, to the number of persons available to give the different forms of teaching, and to the manner in which the class-rooms might be used most conveniently by those several teachers. They therefore could not make the instruction any particular mornings in the week provided there was a sufficient number of children desiring this form of instruction to make it necessary for them to appoint denominational teaching on every day.


said that subsection (6) made it perfectly clear. It said the authority were to take into account the circumstances, and secure for each child instruction on two mornings a week in their institution. In order to fulfil that obligation they must allow the teachers to come in every day if necessary, but if they could fulfil that obligation by allowing them to come in four days a week they would be at liberty to do so.

MR. RAWLINSON (Cambridge University)

said that this was a matter of importance. As he understood the Attorney-General, if the local authority desired they could roughly estimate that denominational teaching would require only a certain number of teachers. They might say to the teachers they gave them two days a week on which they could have four different classrooms of a respectable size, but there might not be four teachers on that particular morning. In that way the local authority might have full power to stop the denominational teaching from going on properly. His right hon. friend would notice that subsection (6) did not require the local education authority to take into account the number of teachers.


Oh, yes; it says that the local education authority shall have regard "to the number of persons available."


If that be so, I have nothing more to say.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.


, in moving to insert the word "appointed," said the object of his Amendment was to secure that two days only should be appointed for this purpose as a result of the endeavour of the local education authority to meet the wishes of the parents. He did not want class "A" to be taken on Mondays and Wednesdays and class "B" on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He wanted, if possible, to narrow these five days to any given children to two days of the week—to allow only two days a week. That was what he believed the Government wanted, and that was what he asked them to do. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 26, after the word 'two' to insert the word 'appointed.'"—(Mr. Yoxall.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'appointed' be there inserted."


assured the hon. Gentleman that the Government would be only too happy to accept any Amendment of his to safeguard this matter, but they thought that this Amendment would too greatly limit the authority. The local education authority would have a very difficult task in cases where a great many denominations put forward a claim for this right of entry. He thought this matter ought to be left entirely to the local education authority.

Amendment negatived.

LORD R. GECIL, on behalf of the hon. Member for Norwood moved to substitute the word "each" for the first word "the" so that the clause should read "for the purpose of enabling that child to receive that instruction on two mornings in each week on which the school meets." It had occurred to his hon. friend whether the section as drafted would carry out the intentions of the Government whether it would not confine this to two mornings in the week on which the school met.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 26, to leave out the first word 'the' and insert the word 'each.'"— (Lord B. Cecil.)

Question proposed "That the word 'each' be there inserted."


did not think that could be so.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

MR. ESSEX (Gloucestershire, Cirencester)

said the Amendment he desired to move was a small one, but he ventured to think not unimportant. Its object was that when parents demanded this privilege they should be assured that it would be given to them for twelve months.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 27, after the word 'meets,' to insert the words 'for twelve calendar months thereafter.'"—(Mr. Essex.)

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


thought it would be most undesirable to put a limit on these arrangements.

Amendment negatived.


moved an Amendment the object of which, he said, was to make it obligatory on the local authorities to make suitable accommodation for denominational teaching either in or adjoining the schoolhouse. He saw no reason why the local education authority should not give equal facilities to denominational education as to undenominational. If the right of entry was to be real the local education authorities must, even at some expense, give the children, of those parents who desired to avail themselves of the right of entry, this accommodation, and that could only be done by providing room for these denominational classes. The local education authorities were compelled to give secular instruction to every child, and Cowper-Temple teaching to every child between 9 and 9.45 a.m., if the child's parent demanded it. If it was obligatory on the local education authority to give Cowper-Temple teaching then it was hot fair that they should be able to say that the denominational teaching could not be given unless there was some accommodation available for the purpose. If that were allowed Cowper-Temple teaching would be given the preference. He could not see why in most cases, even if there was no room in the schoolhouse, the local education authority should not hire a recommit the neighbourhood; otherwise denominational teaching would be placed in an inferior position to Cowper-Temple teaching. If this was to be a compromise, the Bill must not be allowed to leave the House with that sense of inferiority on the part of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church. Whatever arrangements were made by high ecclesiastical authorities had been made without any consultation with those who sat on the Opposition benches, and they were not bound by what had been agreed to by the bishops and archbishops. Unless undenominationalism and denominationalism were placed on an equality there could not be a settlement. He begged to move.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 27, to leave out from the word 'meets,' to the end of the subsection, and insert the words 'provide suitable accommodation in or adjoining the schoolhouse.'"—(Mr. Ashley.)

Question proposed, "That the word 'make' stand part of the clause."


said he did not propose to follow the hon. Gentleman through the whole of his remarks. The hon. Member said that in regard to the terms of compromise, hon. Gentlemen opposite had not been consulted and were free in regard to them. If the negotiations were referred to at all it was rather for the purpose of indicating that they might in a certain degree limit the Government's freedom of action and not in any way limit the freedom of action of hon. Gentlemen opposite. The Amendment raised three rather important and substantial points. The first was that it made it compulsory on the local authority to provide accommodation, without any qualification at all. In the next place it proposed to enact that the accommodation should be suitable. In the third place, the accommodation was to be in or adjoining the school. In regard to the first point, the Bill as it stood only put upon the local authority the obligation of providing such accommodation as was available. The Government had accepted suggestions which would make that provision possibly clearer, though he thought it was reasonably clear already. An Amendment by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire had been put down in the name of the Government so that it might not be subject to accidental exclusion, and under that Amendment the local authority would have to provide suitable accommodation in the schoolhouse where it was reasonably available, unless they satisfied the Board of Education that accommodation could not be made available without making structural alterations or additions. He thought when they came to deal with the Amendment in its turn it would be seen that it was a substantial advance, and was at all events worth considering. The next point was as to the suitability of the accommodation. That also was provided for in the proposals which they had upon the Paper. The third question was as to accommodation adjoining the school house. He did not think that the hon. Member had sufficiently reflected upon that point, because if the local authority was animated by the intentions which the hon. Gentleman ascribed to it, then to press this demand might have the effect of causing the local authority to send denominational teaching out of the school altogether. Hut even friendly authorities might be put under serious difficulty if the Amendment were adopted, because what the hon. Gentleman intended was, if there were no available accommodation in the school-house, that accommodation should be provided for them near the school. Let the Committee see what that involved in the case of a friendly authority. The hon. Member was seeking to put a heavy building obligation in many cases on the schools which belonged to the community at large, in order that the gratuitous use of those buildings thus erected might be at the disposal of the denominations. He thought that was pushing the right of entry much further than even hon. Gentlemen opposite should require. It, was something more than a right of entry—it was a right to have buildings erected at the cost of the community for the express and particular use of certain denominations. He thought that the hon. Gentleman would see that he was going far beyond anything that the Government should feel disposed or entitled to give.

SIR E. CARSON (Dublin University)

thought that his hon. and learned friend would admit that this matter of the right of entry, in connection with which they were endeavouring to frame safeguards, was from their point of view one of the most important provisions in the Bill. It was about all the denominations were getting in this part of the Bill, unless they were willing to contract out of the national system of education. The apprehension seemed to be that the right of entry might not be a reality in some places. It should be remembered that it was their own voluntary schools which were going to be handed over to the local authorities, so that even their own schools built for the purposes of denominational education might be subject to the answer of the local authority that they had no room for denominational teaching. That was a very serious matter, and one which they could not let go without having given a good deal of consideration to it to see whether or not they were sufficiently safeguarded. There were many ways in which the right of entry might be safeguarded, but in the Bill there were no safeguards at all. In the first place, it was a very easy thing for a hostile local education authority—and they were already beginning to be a little frightened by the amount of literature they were receiving as to the way in which local authorities would work this compromise if the Bill were passed—to say that it had no accommodation available. It might be put forward, in a perfectly bona fide way, that there was no available accommodation; but what was to happen then? They took over the Church's denominational schools, and then the Church was to be told that there was to be no more denominational teaching in those schools. They would be incurring the risk, particularly in growing districts, when their schools were transferred, of having no available accommoda-at all for denominational teaching. He thought that was a great blot on the Bill. It made one extremely suspicious as regarded the probability of the Bill's working, in some respects, as it was no doubt intended by the Government that it should work. The second point of his hon. friend was as to the Board of Education, in which denominationalists had not any very great confidence. He dared say that when the Unionists were in power there were Nonconformists who had not any great confidence in the Board of Education of that day. That was his point. What was the tribunal to whom they were going to refer these important points? It was a tribunal in which neither side at various times would have any confidence. That was extremely unsatisfactory, and there ought to be some means, if the local education authority raised these points, by which the parties would be satisfied that they would have their matters decided by a tribunal in which they had confidence. Therefore, if they placed the two points together, namely, that they were leaving the loophole, and in leaving the loophole, they were not setting up a tribunal in which the parties would have confidence, then they were very greatly minimising the satisfaction which they might otherwise feel with this provision of the Bill. He knew that there had been something said about accepting the Amendment of his right hon. friend, but it would still leave it open to the local education authority to say that they had no available accommodation, and that might occur in many cases. He would appeal to the Government not to leave this matter open to a hostile education authority, but close it up in the Bill, and make it say that in all these cases the right of entry should be a reality, and that no power to create obstacles to the exercise of it should be given to the local education authority.

MR. REES (Montgomery Boroughs)

said that for his part he would not for worlds do anything unjust or ungenerous to any church, least of all to the Church, or to the mother Church of Rome, or to the daughter Churches known as Free. But he thought that there was a serious flaw in the argument of his hon. friend the Member for Blackpool, and in the argument of the noble Lord the Member for Marylebone, which invalidated both their speeches. They said that the right of entry was not fair, because preference was given to Cowper-Templeism over what was called denominationalism. But there was a fallacy in that. Cowper-Templeism was not a religion. That was the whole point. If he was right, then other churches, if Cowper-Templeism could not be called a church, were on the same footing. Cowper-Templeism was the sublimated essence of Christianity, a sort of State code of morals to which nobody could take any exception, and upon which the creed of any church might safely be grafted. He should say any creed but that of the Catholics, which practically was lost if the Catholic atmosphere was not preserved intact in youth and adolescence. Last night, the Deputy-Chairman had stopped him when he endeavoured to deal with this subject, but now that the Chairman was present, if he had two minutes, he could explain exactly the line that really existed between Cowper-Templeism and denominationalism. He would, however, have to trespass on the preserves of the hon. Member for Newbury, and go as far as China. At least he believed the hon. Member was Captain-General of the Chinoleptics, if indeed the corps had, not been disbanded.


I really do not think we can re-discuss this question on every Amendment.


said in that care he would say nothing about it. He would end where he began. He protested that the fallacy which was exhibited in the speeches of the hon. Member for Blackpool and of the noble Lord was that this endeavour to describe Cowper-Templeism as a religion, which no one could properly describe it as being, entirely falsified the whole of the argument. If it was true that it was a mere sublimated essence of Christianity, a mere code of morals, bearing the same relation in England to the Christian Churches as the code of Confucius bore in China to ancestor worship and Buddhism, where was the inequality and the injustice to other denominations? Upon such teaching might surely be grafted the teaching of the Church of England or of the Free Churches.

LORD BALCARRES (Lancashire, Chorley)

said the Amendment raised a question of policy of sufficient importance to make one regret that they should not have any Member of the Cabinet present. The Attorney-General said they could not have this Amendment, because it made it compulsory to provide accommodation for Church teaching. To him that was not an objection. They had to provide accommodation for Cowper-Temple teaching under the Bill. In the surrendered Church school why should it not be obligatory on the local authority to provide accommodation and facilities for that particular form of religion which had been given in that school for years? He wanted to raise a specific point dealing with a very disquieting answer given by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education yesterday. The hon. Member for Sowerby Bridge stated the other day in a letter to the newspapers that 1,000 schools in single-school parishes were schools of one room only, and in them there was to be no right of entry and no giving of denominational instruction. That was one-fifth of their schools gone. He wondered who told the hon. Member that. The hon. Member for Yarmouth asked a question on that point, and the Parliamentary Secretary refused to give any specific denial of the allegation that in the opinion of the Board of Education administrative reasons might be considered adequate to say that in a single-room school this teaching should not be given. That was a very serious state of things. There were 1,000 schools, and 980 of them probably were Church of England schools. A single-room school need not be a bad or an old building. He knew cases where people had put their hands in their pockets in recent years and paid a good deal of money to provide a school which was adequate for the population of the district but had only one room. It was evidently contemplated that in certain conditions the fact of its being a single-room school would be sufficient to exclude denominational teaching on the ground that the general conduct and discipline of the school and general administrative convenience would make it impossible. He wanted to exact a statement on that point across the floor of the House. He desisted to know on what grounds it was fair to take away from the Church of England these 1,000 schools if in future the fact of their smallness would prevent them giving any more denominational instruction. It was a great and probably an admitted hardship. He did not know that it was originally contemplated, but here was a statement of a very well-informed Member, who represented a district which in the past had not been slow to take advantage of the opportunities of injuring voluntary schools, that was largely supported by the Board of Education.


said he was, of course, not responsible for what was said by the hon. Member for Sowerby Bridge, and he hardly thought the report that the noble Lord had given was exactly correct of what he had said on behalf of the Board. What he had said was that in the case of single-room schools there would be a right of entry unless reasons of administrative convenience prevented it. The whole idea of the clause was that the right of entry should be as absolute as it could possibly be consistently with certain administrative difficulties which might arise, as they thought in very few of the schools, and possibly those few schools would be more single-room schools than any other.


How many single-room schools are there?


said it was not exactly known. He went on to say in the answer it was not possible to lay down a hard-and-fast rule applicable to all single-room schools. Large numbers of them were already provided with partition screens and other means of separating them, which meant that administratively the right of entry would be easily practicable, or were otherwise suitable for the conduct of two or more classes. He had in his mind a quite small school in his own county, a comparatively small room where there were very often two classes taken at the same time. There was nothing administratively impossible in it, but there might be a few instances in which it would be impossible to have a right of entry, but he thought they would be very few. He thought hon. Members were acting really too much from a suspicious view of what the local authorities wanted to do. He took the very case with which they were always challenging them, the West Riding of Yorkshire, in which he represented a very Nonconformist constituency. It was perfectly true that the West Riding from 1902 onwards, through the county council, did in many respects work the Act of 1902 as far as it possibly could in the interest of what it regarded as the right settlement, that all schools should, as far as possible, be under the control of the local education authority, and they were admittedly not friendly to non-provided schools which were under their control. Everyone knew and admitted that. But in 1902 what was the condition of public opinion? In this county in which there was an enormous amount of Nonconformity, the whole of the Nonconformists were violently discontented. They did not all necessarily approve of the passive resister or of the strong measures taken by the county council, but they were to a man discontented. What was the state of things now in his constituency—one of the most Nonconformist in the West Riding? He had been reading in the papers with regard to the various people who lived in his constituency, leaders of opinion, on this Bill. In one part of the constituency, one of the leading Nonconformist ministers, strongly opposed to the Bill of 1902, was strongly in favour of the compromise, although of course he did not approve, as none of them did, of all the conditions of the Bill. The man who led the passive resistance movement accepted the Bill, and finally a man who was a passive resister and who went on to the county council because he was a passive resister also accepted the Bill, and expressed his intention of working it. The very people who Were most anxious, as fat as possible, to work the Act of 1902 in the interests of what they thought the public, as against the Church and the non-provided schools, were the men who at this moment were most ready to accept the Bill. He had no reason to suppose there were not a very large number of Non-conformists throughout, the West Riding who wished to do the same and if that state of things existed it was quite impossible to suppose that the county council of the West Riding would be allowed, even though there were a certain number of people who wished to make mischief upon it, to make the Bill a dead letter, and he believed that not only the county councils and the corporations which had hitherto taken a strong line, but even those local education authorities which, like the West Riding, had taken a rather questionable line from the hon. Member's point of view, were honestly intending to work the Bill. If he was right in thinking that, he felt that the anticipation of danger of hon. Gentlemen opposite were very much over-coloured. In the case of the single-room schools it was extremely likely, even if they had not on the top of the local education authority the control of the Education Board, that the Act would be honestly worked at the service of the Church of England. Finally, they accepted the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire because it gave in the most direct form possible an appeal to the Board of Education. In starting this new system he ventured to say that if they could get the local authorities, or most of them, in a reasonable frame of mind and ready to start, and if they could be sure of the system starting well, it was one which would be readily accepted and adhered to by the mass of the people of this country for many years to come. Some hon. Gentlemen opposite had expressed suspicion of the Board of Education. They had said that perhaps not the present Board, but another Board might be unwilling to work this Bill honestly. Even right hon. Gentlemen opposite could not think that of the present Board, because they could not suppose that the President of the Board of Education, if he got this Bill through, was not going to get this measure worked honestly. It was as much as his political reputation was worth if he did not carry out the measure honestly. In the next place they had the undoubted anxiety of the mass of the people through local authorities to work the measure honestly, and they had on the top of that, if they accepted the Amendment of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Worcestershire, the Education Department at present controlled by a man who was determined to make his Bill work and to see that the local authorities did their duty in regard to it.


said he found himself differing from those of his hon. friends who had spoken in the course of this discussion. The hon. Member opposite had alluded to the distrust of the Board of Education as an ultimate and sole court of appeal. He agreed with the hon. Member who had just sat down that the President of the Board of Education, and any President they were likely to see in that office for some time to come, would do his best if this Bill were passed to make it work fairly. As far as the Amendment went it did not carry this matter any further.


said he dealt with the matter further in a subsequent Amendment.


said that if they had a court of appeal it would apply to the whole working of the section. As regarded the Amendment before them, what was the difference between that and the one which the Government had accepted which stood in his name and which was framed by himself in consultation with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Hanover Square and the hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge University? The Amendment which the Government had accepted placed a specific obligation on the local authority to make available any existing suitable accommodation, or to satisfy the Board of Education that it could not be made available, before the right of entry was refused. His hon. friend wished to say that where suitable accommodation was not available, and where it could not be provided, there the local education authority should be obliged to provide additional buildings by spending money. That was a demand which it was not possible for him to support. He had taken the main lines of the compromise as they were sketched in the Bill, and as they appeared in the correspondence between the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister, and he could not help feeling that what was proposed would be going outside those main lines. He should, therefore, remain contented with the concession the Government had made and he could not support the Amendment. The cases which his hon. friend had in mind were much fewer than the figures cited would lead the Committee to suppose. It did not follow because a school was a single room that accommodation would not be available. There were, as the Parliamentary Secretary had stated, cases where partitions might he put up, which were not structural alterations, in order to make the room available for that kind of instruction. He attached some importance to the fact that the provision included not only the schoolroom, but the master's house which was attached. In a case where there happened to be twenty-one scholars belonging to one denomination and ten belonging to another, it would be possible to allow the twenty-one to remain in the schoolroom and withdraw the other ten Into the parlour of the master's house. He wished to point out that in many of these schools the minority would be the undenominational portion of the school. He thought the number of instances where they would not be able to provide the necessary accommodation would be very small indeed.


said the picture which the right hon. Gentleman had drawn in regard to religious instruction being given in the teacher's house was likely to set the teacher's organisation more against the Bill than ever. He was sorry he could not agree with the right hon. Gentleman in that respect. Without any actual authority as to figures he doubted from his own knowledge of the rural districts whether there were anything like 1,000 single-room schools in the Kingdom. He had a strong suspicion that the hon. Member for Sowerby Bridge had in his mind single-teacher schools rather than single-room schools. At the same time he quite shared what the right hon. Gentleman said as to the possibility of making even single-room schools available for this special teaching without having recourse to the teacher's house, which he should certainly not regard as a remedy for the difficulty. He had risen to try and allay some, of the suspicions which appeared to actuate hon. Members opposite in regard to the conduct of local authorities. He invited hon. Members to survey the constitution of local authorities and especially county authorities. If there was any ground for such a suspicion it ought to exist in the minds of Non-conformists rather than in the minds of hon. Members opposite, for certainly in the case of county local authorities where they would have control of the vast number of transferred schools the party opposite were in a majority from a political point of view. He felt that whatever political party might be in a majority they would endeavour to administer the Bill fairly and reasonably towards all parties. He deprecated that feeling of suspicion which was almost worthy of a gentleman trying to buy a horse from another person rather than dealing with the religious difficulty. As to whether there would be accommodation available he had listened to the remarks of many hon. Members on the point and they appeared to have drawn a picture of six, eight, or ten different religious sections endeavouring to find accommodation in one schoolroom. Speaking for himself, he held the conviction that the Free Churches as a whole would not trouble the local authority to provide accommodation for classes to teach their own special doctrines. Speaking for the denomination to which he belonged he would be no party to any attempt to place religious teachers in any transferred schools to teach Nonconformist doctrines. He did not believe in the doctrines of his own or any other religion being taught in schools at the public expense. If the right of entry was fairly administered and no undue pressure was put upon parents to make their selection; if this measure was fairly and honestly administered on all sides both by the Board of Education and by those who had influence with the parents, he felt sure that Free Churches as a whole would not desire to have any representative teacher in those schools teaching their own doctrine. Therefore, it would resolve itself practically in most of the transferred schools where facilities were desired into either Anglicans or Roman Catholics, and in the vast majority of cases the special instruction would he for the Anglicans alone. Therefore, all the doubts as to whether there would be available accommodation for this special teaching might be set at rest, because the accommodation required so far as the number of class-rooms was concerned would be very limited. He hoped hon. Gentlemen opposite would feel that this was not an impossible condition, and the Board of Education if they desired honestly to administrate this clause would have no difficulty in the great majority of cases in doing it.


said he was not animated by any acute suspicion of the local authorities in this matter, but he wished to put it to the Secretary to the Board of Education that the wording of this clause, even as amended by his right hon. friend's Amendment, which the Government were ready to accept, would only suggest that there was a great difficulty in providing this accommodation in any school which only contained one room. If a local authority put that interpretation upon the wording of the Act they would not be liable to be accused of any unworthy conduct. It would be a mistake to suggest that this instruction could not be given in a school with only one room. Perhaps the hon. Member opposite was not aware that the Leader of the Opposition received the whole of his secular instruction before he went to a public school in a school with one room in which four classes were conducted.


said that two years after that he was taught in the same room. He had already mentioned that he thought more than one class could be taught in a room:


said he did not hear the hon. Gentleman say that. That being so, he thought they would make a mistake if they were to suggest, as they would do by the language of the clause, to the local education authorities that there was some insurmountable difficulty in the way of giving religious instruction of a separate character for three-quarters of an hour in a school which had only one room. The Secretary to the. Board of Education had told them that there were very few schools in which any pretence of a difficulty could arise. They had also been told that there were many schools in which no parents would desire to have this right of entry at all. He suspected that these two classes largely coincided, and that the cases in which any real difficulty could be put forward for not acting in the spirit of the Act must be few indeed. If that was so, would they not really make the task of the local education authorities easier, and not harder, if they said quite explicitly in the Bill that these facilities should be given? He could imagine the case of a local authority being very anxious to give these facilities, but being impressed by the opposition of some who took a more violent view of these matters, with the result that the local authority, looking to the fact that the school consisted of only one room, would say that the language of the Act did not clearly impose the obligation. He thought the local authority would have an easier task if, when pressure was put on them, they were able to say that the words of the Act required that facilities should be provided. That, he believed, was the intention of the Government, and it was also the course which the local authorities would almost in every case pursue.


said he regretted that on the present occasion he must separate himself from the hon. Member for Blackpool. It appeared to him that this Amendment was really not the right of entry, but the right of construction, which was a very different thing. Construction must cost money, but his hon. friend had not explained from what fund that cost was to be defrayed. He had a shrewd suspicion, however, on reading the Amendment and the Bill together, that the fund would be the local rate. Thus, at a time when the passive resister had betaken himself to wholesome slumber, they would be adopting a course which would again arouse him to action. Such a step, he thought, would be a mistake. He was very much struck by what the Under-Secretary had said as to the sentiment of peace which now prevailed in his constituency. He knew something of that district, because many years ago he was the representative of that division of the West Riding, and he knew the intensity of the Nonconformist feeling in that most beautiful valley. It was a matter of great consolation to him to hear of the improved condition of feeling that the hon. Gentleman had described in such graphic terms. He desired most anxiously that this Bill should become law. He believed that if it did become law it would, duly amended, mean moderation where there had hitherto been extravagance, peace where there had been warfare, and co-operation where there had been constant antagonism.


said he wished to make one observation in the hope that it would calm the fears of hon. Gentlemen opposite. He was certain they were anxious that those fears should be calmed. He assumed that the calculation was right that there were 900 schools in the country which had only a single room available for teaching, and that even according to the calculation of hon. Gentlemen opposite only about three county councils might be recalcitrant. There were about sixty county councils altogether in England. That meant that one-twentieth might conceivably have intentions hostile to the Act, and might endeavour, so far as they could, to refuse facilities. If it was assumed that the single-room schools were spread tolerably equally over the whole country, that would bring the House to the conclusion that there were forty-five single-room schools in the possibly recalcitrant counties. How would the position stand in relation to them? There might be partitions in some of these schoolrooms, and, if not, partitions could be put up. If the Government accepted the Amendment of the right hon. Gentlemen the Member for East Worcestershire, as they had expressed their intention of doing, the Board of Education would be able to compel the county councils to put up partitions in all the single-room schools, so that the whole difficulty would be reduced to nothing at all.


said that this Amendment, if it stood alone, would not be of serious importance. He wished to point out that, as the Bill stood now, there was no sort of obligation on the local education authority to carry out what was intended in this matter. He concurred with the hon. Member for North-West Norfolk in deprecating suspicions on one side or the other. But lawyers knew that nothing was more liable to lead to unpleasantness and litigation than for one party to an agreement to say to the other party: "Do not be suspicious of me, do not put it down in black and white, and I will not be suspicious of you." The hon. Gentleman himself would not have attained his present position if he had conducted his business on these lines. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education had referred to the position in the West Riding of Yorkshire. There were pretty keen business men in that part of the country, and if one or two passive resisters had said that they were quite content with what the Government proposed, it might be taken that they knew how the proposed arrangement would work. If he might give the local authority a bit of gratuitous legal advice he would advise them that they would be perfectly safe in signing this document, for he believed that there was absolutely no remedy against them in case they did not fulfil their side of the bargain. It was not a question of suspicion or of personal trust of the President of the Board of Education. It was better to have these things in black and white so that no dispute could afterwards arise. If the Government really meant to make the providing of accommodation, so far as practicable, obligatory, some general words should be put into this Bill as had been done in the Children Bill this year. Once the duty was put on the local education authorities in that way, there would be a remedy against those who might be recalcitrant. If the course he suggested were followed, local education authorities would be able to hold the balance evenly as between Nonconformists and denominationalists. Unless the Government saw their way to meet this point, it seemed to him that the Committee were being asked, so to speak, to sign a document which involved confidence on the other side in regard to a matter which should be put clearly in black and white.

Question put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 307; Noes, 78. (Division List No. 427.)

Acland, Francis Dyke Dalziel, Sir James Henry Hudson, Walter
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Agnew, George William Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Illingworth, Percy H.
Ainsworth, John Stirling Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Alden, Percy Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S Jackson, R. S.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Jacoby, Sir James Alfred
Ashton, Thomas Gair Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Jardine, Sir J.
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Atherley-Jones, L. Duckworth, Sir James Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness) Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Jones, William (Carnarvonshire)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Jowett, F. W.
Barker, Sir John Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Kearley, Sir Hudson E.
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Kekewich, Sir George
Beale, W. P. Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Beauchamp, E. Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Laidlaw, Robert
Bell, Richard Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Erskine, David C. Lambert, George
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Essex, R. W. Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Bennett, E. N. Esslemont, George Birnie Lamont, Norman
Berridge, T. H. D. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Everett, R. Lacey Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E.)
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Fletcher, J. S. Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Lehmann, R. C.
Black, Arthur W. Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Levy, Sir Maurice
Bowerman, C. W. Fuller, John Michael F. Lewis, John Herbert
Brace, William Fullerton, Hugh Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Bramsdon, T. A. Gibb, James (Harrow) Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Branch, James Gill, A. H. Lyell, Charles Henry
Brigg, John Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Lynch, H. B.
Bright, J. A. Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred
Brocklehurst, W. B. Glendinning, R. G. Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester)
Brooke, Stopford Glover, Thomas Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs)
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Mackarness, Frederic C.
Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J. T. (Cheshire Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Maclean, Donald
Bryce, J. Annan Grant, Corrie Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) M'Callum, John M.
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward M'Crae, Sir George
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.) M'Laren, Rt. Hn Sir C. B. (Leices.)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Gulland, John W. M'Laren, H. D. (Stafford, W.)
Byles, William Pollard Hall, Frederick M'Micking, Major G.
Cameron, Robert Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale Maddison, Frederick
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose) Mallet, Charles E.
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln)
Cawley, Sir Frederick Hardy, George A. (Suffolk) Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston)
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Harmsworth, Cecil B.(Worc'r) Marnham, F. J.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc. Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry)
Chance, Frederick William Hart-Davies, T. Massie, J.
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Masterman, C. F. G.
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E. Menzies, Walter
Cleland, J. W. Harwood, George Micklem, Nathaniel
Clough, William Haslam, James (Derbyshire) Mildmay, Francis Bingham
Clynes, J. R. Haworth, Arthur A. Molteno, Francis Alport
Cobbold, Felix Thornley Hazel, Dr. A. E. Money, L. G. Chiozza
Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Helme, Norval Watson Montgomery, H. G.
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Henry, Charles S. Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) Morpeth, Viscount
Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe) Morrell, Philip
Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Higham, John Sharp Morse, L. L.
Cory, Sir Clifford John Hobart, Sir Robert Morton, Alpheus Cleophas
Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hobhouse, Charles E. H. Murray, Capt. Hn A. C. (Kincard.)
Cowan, W. H. Hodge, John Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.)
Cox, Harold Hooper, A. G. Myer, Horatio
Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N. Napier, T. B.
Crooks, William Horniman, Emslie John Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw)
Cross, Alexander Horridge, Thomas Gardner Nicholls, George
Crossley, William J. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Nussey, Thomas Willans Seddon, J. Verney, F. W.
Nuttall, Harry Shackleton, David James Vivian, Henry
O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Shaw, Sir Charles Edw. (Stafford Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Paul, Herbert Shaw, Rt. Hon. T. (Hawick B.) Walsh, Stephen
Paulton, James Mellor Shipman, Dr. John G. Walters, John Tudor
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Silcock, Thomas Ball Walton, Joseph
Pearce, William (Limehouse) Simon, John Allsebrook Wardle, George J.
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Waring, Walter
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Smith, Abel H.(Hertford, East) Wason, Rt. Hn. E. (Clackmannan
Pirie, Duncan V. Snowden, P. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Pollard, Dr. Soares, Ernest J. Waterlow, D. S.
Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Spicer, Sir Albert Watt, Henry A.
Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Stanier, Beville Whitbread, Howard
Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.) White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh) White, J. Dundas (Dumbart'nsh
Rainy, A. Rolland Steadman, W. C. Whitehead, Rowland
Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Thomas P.
Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Wiles, Thomas
Rees, J. D. Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wilkie, Alexander
Rendall, Athelstan Stuart, James (Sunderland) Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Richards, T. F. (Wolverh'mpt'n) Summerbell, T. Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Ridsdale, E. A. Sutherland, J. E. Williamson, A.
Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Taylor, John W. (Durham) Wills, Arthur Walters
Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Robertson, Sir G. Scott (Bradf'd) Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Robinson, S. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire) Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.):
Robson, Sir William Snowdon Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Roch, Walter F. (Pembroke) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Rogers, F. E. Newman Thomasson, Franklin Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Rose, Charles Day Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset E Yoxall, James Henry
Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Thomson, W. Mitchell- (Lanark)
Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.
Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Tillett, Louis John
Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Tomkinson, James
Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Toulmin, George
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn. Sir Alex, F. Gardner, Ernest M'Kean, John
Arkwright, John Stanhope Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H Goulding, Edward Alfred Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield)
Balcarres, Lord Gretton, John Nield, Herbert
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Guinness, Hn. R. (Haggerston) Percy, Earl
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Harris, Frederick Leverton Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Harrison-Broadley, H. B. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Bowles, G. Stewart Helmsley, Viscount Remnant, James Farquharson
Bridgeman, W. Clive Hill, Sir Clement Renwick, George
Bull, Sir William James Hills, J. W. Ronaldshay, Earl of
Carlile, E. Hildred Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H. Houston, Robert Paterson Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey- Hunt, Rowland Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Joynson-Hicks, William Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Srand)
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm Kerry, Earl of Starkey, John R.
Courthope, G. Lloyd Kimber, Sir Henry Stone, Sir Benjamin
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Lane-Fox, G. R. Talbot, Rt. Hn. J.G. (Oxf'd Univ)
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Walker. H. De R. (Leicester)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham) Winterton, Earl
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Lonsdale, John Brownlee Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Faber, George Denison (York) Lowe, Sir Francis William Younger, George
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W. MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh
Fardell, Sir T. George Macpherson, J. T. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Ashley and Mr. F. E. Smith.
Fell, Arthur M'Arthur, Charles

And, it being after half-past Seven of the Clock, the CHAIRMAN proceeded, in pursuance of the Order of the House of 27th November, successively to put forthwith the Questions necessary to dispose of the Amendments moved by the Government of which notice had been given and the Question necessary to dispose of the Business to be concluded at half-past Seven of the Clock this day.

Amendments proposed— In page 2, line 27, to leave out the word 'available any,' and to insert the word 'suitable.' In page 2, line 28, to leave out the words 'which can,' and to insert the words 'available unless they satisfy the Board of Education that accommodation cannot.' In page 2, line 28, at end, to insert the words 'without making structural alterations or additions to the schoolhouse.'"—(Mr. Runciman.)

Amendments agreed to.

Amendment proposed— In page 2, line 31, after the second word 'and,' to insert the words 'such instruction shall be entered on the time-table and the children receiving it shall be subject to the ordinary discipline of the school in the same manner as when receiving any other instruction.'"—(Mr. Runciman.)

Question put, "That the Amendment be made."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 293; Noes, 66. (Division List No. 428.)

Acland, Francis Dyke Cleland, J. W. Grant, Corrie
Acland-Hood, Rt. Hn Sir Alex. F Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Gretton, John
Agnew, George William Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir Edward
Ainsworth, John Stirling Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Guinness, Hn. R. (Haggerston)
Anson, Sir William Reynell Corbett, C H (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Guinness, W. E. (Bury S. Edm.)
Arkwright, John Stanhope Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Gulland, John W.
Ashley, W. W. Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Hall, Frederick
Ashton, Thomas Gair Courthope, G. Loyd Harcourt, Dt. Hn. L. (Rossendale
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Cowan, W. H. Harcourt, Robert V.(Montrose)
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Cox, Harold Hardy, George A. (Suffolk)
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S.) Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r.)
Balcarres, Lord Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Harmsworth, R. L. (Caithn'ss-sh
Baldwin, Stanley Craig, Captain James (Down, E.) Harrison-Broadley, H. B.
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Craik, Sir Henry Hart-Davies, T.
Banbury, Sir Frederick George Cross, Alexander Harwood, George
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Crossley, William J. Haworth, Arthur A.
Baring, Capt. Hn. G. (Winchester Dalziel, Sir James Henry Helme, Norval Watson
Barker, Sir John Davies, Ellis William (Eifion) Helmsley, Viscount
Barlow, Percy (Bedford) Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan) Henry, Charles S.
Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.) '
Beale, W. P. Davies, Sir W. Howell (Bristol, S) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Beauchamp, E. Dickinson, W.H. (St. Pancras, N Higham, John Sharp
Beckett, Hon. Gervase Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Hill, Sir Clement
Benn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Hills, J. W.
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo) Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Hobart, Sir Robert
Bennett, E. N. Duckworth, Sir James Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Black, Arthur W. Du Cros, Arthur Philip Hooper, A. G.
Bowles, G. Stewart Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield)
Bramsdon, T. A. Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N)
Branch, James Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsall Horniman, Emslie John
Bridgeman, W. Clive Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Brigg, John Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Houston, Robert Paterson
Brocklehurst, W. B. Erskine, David C. Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Essex, R. W. Illingworth, Percy H.
Brunner, Rt. Hn. Sir J. T. (Cheshire Evans, Sir Samuel T. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Bryce, J. Annan Everett, R. Lacey Jackson, R. S.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Faber, George Denison (York) Jardine, Sir J.
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Bull, Sir William James Fardell, Sir T. George Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Fell, Arthur Joynson-Hicks, William
Butcher, Samuel Henry Fletcher, J. S. Kearley, Sir Hudson E.
Byles, William Pollard Foster, Rt. Hon. Sir Walter Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.
Cameron, Robert Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Kimber, Sir Henry
Carlile, E. Hildred Fuller, John Michael F. King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Gardner, Ernest King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John Laidlaw, Robert
Cawley, Sir Frederick Glen-Coats, Sir T.(Renfrew, W.) Lambert, George
Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Glendinning, R. G. Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.
Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.) Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Lamont, Norman
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Worc Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Lane-Fox, G. R.
Chance, Frederick William Goulding, Edward Alfred Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich)
Layland-Barratt, Sir Francis O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Steadman, W. C.
Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Fareham) Parkes, Ebenezer Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal)
Lehmann, D. C. Paul, Herbert Stone, Sir Benjamin
Levy, Sir Maurice Paulton. James Mellor Straus, B. S. (Mile end)
Lewis, John Herbert Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Stuart, James (Sunderland)
Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David Pearce, William (Limehouse) Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt. -Col. A. R. Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Lonsdale, John Brownlee Pirie, Duncan V. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Lowe, Sir Francis William Pollard, Dr. Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Lyell, Charles Henry Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.
Lynch, H. B. Price, C. E. (Edinb'gh, Central) Thomasson, Franklin
Lyttelton Rt. Hon. Alfred Price, Sir Robert J. (Norfolk, E.) Thompson. J. W. H. (Somerset, E
MasCaw, William J. MacGeagh Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Thomson., W. Mitchell- (Lanark)
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs) Rainy, A. Rolland Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton.
MacKarness, Frederick C. Ratcliff, Major D. F. Tomkinson, James
Maclean, Donald Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel Toulmin, George
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
M'Arthur, Charles Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro' Valentia, Viscount
M'Callum, John M. Remnant, James Farquharson Verney, F. W.
M'Crae, Sir George Rendall, Athelstan Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
M'Laren, Dt. Hn. Sir C. B. (Leices) Renwick, George Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
M'Laren, H. D.(Stafford, W.) Roberts, Sir J. H. (Denbighs.) Walters, John Tudor
M'Micking, Major G. Robinson, S. Walton, Joseph
Magnus, Sir Philip Robson, Sir William Snowdon Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid)
Mallet, Charles E. Rogers, F. E. Newman Wardle, George J.
Marnham, F. J. Ronaldshay, Earl of Waring, Walter
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Rose, Charles Day Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Massie, J. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel) Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Masterman, C. F. G. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Menzies, Walter Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Waterlow, D. S.
Micklem, Nathaniel Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.) Watt, Henry A.
Molteno, Percy Alport Shaw, Sir Charles Edw. (Stafford) White, J. Dundas (Dumbart'nsh.
Montgomery, H. G. Shaw, Rt. Hn. T. (Hawick, B.) Whitehead, Rowland
Morpeth, Viscount Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D. Whittaker, Rt. Hn. Sir Tho's P.
Morrell, Philip Shipman Dr. John G. Wiles, Thomas
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Silcock, Thomas Ball Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Murray, Capt. Hn A C. (Kincard) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Williamson, A.
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Wills, Arthur Walters
Myer, Horatio Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)
Napier, T. B. Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand) Wilson, P.W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Soares, Ernest J. Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r Spicer, Sir Albert Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Stanier, Beville Younger, George
Nield, Herbert Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N.W.)
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Joseph Pease and Master of Elibank.
Nussey, Thomas Willans Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.)
Nuttall, Harry Starkey, John R.
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Glover, Thomas Middlemore, John Throgmorton
Atherley-Jones, L. Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Money, L. G. Chiozza
Bowerman, C. W. Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)
Brace, William Hardie, J. Keir (Merthyr Tydvil) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale) Richards, T. F.(Wolverh'mpt'n
Clough, William Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E. Ridsdale, E. A.
Clynes, J. R. Hodge, John Roberts, G. H. (Norwich)
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. (Birmingh'm) Hudson, Walter Koch, Walter F. (Pembroke)
Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Jacoby, Sir James Alfred Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford)
Cory, Sir Clifford John Johnson, John (Gateshead) Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)
Crooks, William Jones, Sir D. Brynmor (Swansea Scott, A. H. (Ashton under Lyne
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Kekewich, Sir George Seddon, J.
Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster Shackleton, David James
Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Lea, Hugh Cecil (St. Pancras, E. Snowden, P.
Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas Stewart, Halley (Greenock)
Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Summerbell, T.
Esslemont, George Birnie Macpherson, J. T. Sutherland, J. E.
Fenwick, Charles Maddison, Frederick Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Fullerton, Hugh Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Gill, A. H. Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Vivian, Henry
Walsh, Stephen Wilson, John (Durham, Mid) TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Hutton and Dr. Haze'.
Wilkie, Alexander Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Williams, J. (Glamorgan) Yoxall, James Henry

Question put, "That the Clause, as amended, stand part of the Bill."

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 276; Noes, 66. (Division List No. 429.)

Committee report Progress; to sit again to-morrow.