HC Deb 20 May 1908 vol 189 cc311-71

Order read, for resuming Adjourned Debate on Amendment to Question [18th May], "That the Bill be now read a second time."

Which Amendment was— To leave out the word 'now,' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day six months.'"—(Lord Balcarres.)

Question again proposed, "That the word 'now' stand part of the Question.'"

MR. BELLOC (Salford, S.)

, resuming his speech which was interrupted at eleven o'clock last night, said that the Bill, like the Act of 1902, was intended to bring about a unified system of elementary education. The only question was how were they to deal with one or more sections of the community for whom a unified system was impossible? If the exceptions were very large or very numerous he could understand the difficulty of dealing with them. If an exceptional body of men were lukewarm in their demands he could understand that the Government might have some difficulty in recognising their claim to be placed outside the common law. He thought he had said enough about the strength of the Catholic claim. There might be other claims as strong, there might be other bodies as determined, but he confessed he did not know of them and he hoped he would be able before he sat down to show that it might be possible to reconcile even their claim with the present plan of the Government. If they wanted to measure the strength of the claim they had only to look upon the large number of working-men and women who, out of their small weekly wage, sacrificed considerable sums for the maintenance of their schools. Their claim ought certainly to make an impression on politicians because they were the only body whose vote had been affected by the proposals of the Government. If hon. Members would go into the decrease in the Liberal vote at the recent bye-elections in Great Britain—for instance, at Wolverhampton and North-West Manchester—they would see that that decrease was almost identical with the strength of the Catholic vote. The loss of Liberal seats had been ascribed to many causes and he granted that many votes given against the Government were largely the result of the Licensing Bill, but at least one-half of the decrease of the Liberal poll at Wolverhampton and North-West Manchester, if not the whole of it, could be accounted for by the loss of the Catholic vote. Under these circumstances he was the more surprised to hear the Member for North-West Manchester speak of the Catholic vote in the terms he did yesterday—he was certainly jeopardising his seat. What were the methods by which an exceptional claim of this kind could be met? In the first place the method which appealed to the more democratic Members of the House was what was known as the secular solution. As a Catholic that solution did not appeal to him; at the same time he recognised that it was a logical and a just solution and in many Catholic communities it suited the Catholic temper and had been a success. They had something like the secular solution in Ireland to-day. The reason why it did not suit the temper of the Catholics of this country was that, no matter how much they attempted to make the system purely secular, it would certainly remain and must remain in tone and atmosphere a Protestant, and an English Protestant, system. They might forbid the teacher to use certain phrases or to allude to certain facts, they might forbid this or that in the curriculum, but they could never prevent the teaching having a Protestant atmosphere. The hon. Member for Peterborough had told them the discomfort he felt in being asked to believe the two stories about Elisha. Nowhere save in Protestant England would such a difficulty have arisen, because such a story would never have been taught in any school. When the hon. Member was arguing in favour of secular education anybody belonging to the Catholic Church listening to him would have said he was a Protestant. The allocation of the rates for this purpose had been advocated powerfully and logically, and it had at its back the example of one of the great Colonies, but the system would not work because the division upon the subject was so difficult in this country. There were little towns in Sussex where the principal ratepayer would perhaps be a Catholic, and he could show instances where the principal ratepayers would control all the funds so allocated. He did not think that that was a practical solution in this country. It was not practical to have a dual system, because not only did this country possess a great number of Protesstant sects, but there had existed a rivalry between them ever since the days of the historic past. There was still too much difference between the various theological opinions of our people to adopt the dual system of Germany, Switzerland, or Canada. The right of entry was probably the solution which would recommend itself in the long run to the Protestants; but for the Catholic community of this country he saw nothing practicable but something on the lines adopted in this Bill. The phrase "contracting-out" had been given more than one meaning. If it meant an attempt to get rid of the Catholic minority of course the Catholics could not accept it. If it meant the entire exclusion of Catholics from the national system it was evident the Catholic minority could not accept it. He did not think there was any danger of either of those things happening, and the only question was the amount of money which would save the Catholic schools. He did not think the 47s. grant would save them. In a constituency like his own where there were 3,000 or 4,000 Catholic children they could not meet a difference of £13,000 out of the pockets of the parents of those children. In London the thing was manifestly ridiculous, because 47s. would not nearly meet the claim of any denomination. They were told that the Government had not made their declaration sufficiently clearly to enable them to make up their minds. They knew that a settlement was on the point of being arrived at and that the country was heartily sick of the whole matter. Merely slipping back into the old conditions was impossible. A settlement was demanded because everybody wanted the thing out of the way. The country wanted a settlement and could only get it on the general lines laid down in this Bill. Therefore he intended to vote for the Second Reading. If in Committee it appeared that the minimum amount allowed to those who chose to put themselves on Imperial taxation and not on the rates involved sacrifice but was still enough for them to survive he should accept that proposal. That could only be arrived at by consulting the clergy and managers of the various districts, and unless such an amount was given he did not think anyone could conscientiously vote for the Third Reading and he certainly would not do so. He was confident that between the two stages of the Bill which remained that demand would be fully satisfied and therefore he should vote for the Second Reading.

COLONEL R. WILLIAMS (Dorsetshire, W.)

said that during the last two days the question of compromise which at first was but faintly mentioned had been growing in importance all the way through. The speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty was an attempt at compromise, and that effort very much crystallised in the speeches of the right hon. Member for Dover and the President of the Board of Education. The remarks to which they had just listened showed still more that compromise was a thing very much to the front. The hon. Member for Salford had given reasons why he meant to vote for this Bill, and he said he had hope of a compromise. He himself intended to vote against the Bill also in the hope that a compromise might be arrived at. He would like to ask the Government whether it was worth while taking the vote at all, because if it was taken on the Government policy it would be a strictly party vote and would not mean anything in the country. If it was taken on the Bill itself with the desire to find out anything about compromise it was certain that contracting-out must go, because hardly anybody had said a good word for it, and if it were pressed it would mean the defeat of the Government, which he imagined was a thing the Government were not anxious to court. The more contracting-out was looked at the more impossible it seemed to be, because it was an absolute reversal of the concordat of 1870. It was also a. denial of the aspirations of the party on the opposite side at the last General Election when it was claimed that there should be only one national system of education. Contracting-out was either a real offer meant to settle the question once for all, or else it was, he would not call it a sham, but a way of getting rid of the denominational schools by degrees, in which case it was not an offer which ought to be made. He thought the proposal for contracting-out had been rather helped forward by what had been said by the last speaker in regard to the 47s. grant. They wanted to know what the Government considered ought to be the cost per child in the schools. Was it to be the same as it was under the London School Board or the 61s. or 62s. per child under other local authorities? What was the proportion they were going to ask the contracting-out schools to pay for giving their own denominational education? When the Government had settled that they ought to make up to the contracting-out schools the amount requisite to bring them up to the level of the other schools. If the Government were not prepared to do that it seemed to him that to fix the 47s. limit and leave contracting-out schools to be starved where the local expenditure was extravagant and to go on where the local expenditure was not so large had no principle in it at all. There was a suggestion in the speech of the hon. Member for the Faversham Division to which he would like to refer. The hon. Member laid down as essential popular control, no tests for teachers, no public money for denominational teaching, and adequate provision for denominational teaching at the expense of the particular denomination. He did not himself propose anything of the sort. It was not for Members of the Opposition to make proposals. The Government were asking a round table conference on this question, and, after all, the Government were there for the purpose of bringing before the House measures for discussion. The responsibility was with the Government, and with nobody else and no round-table conference could ever gather together that authority which would enable them to bring in a Bill which would pass through the House without discussion. Therefore, he hoped the Government would take every possible step in their power to inform themselves of the opinions of every section in the House and out of it. The responsibility must be left with the Government itself as to the lines to be taken. Therefore, he did not think that a round-table conference as a legislative or quasi-legislative body was really of any use. But this line of compromise having been suggested from the other side of the House, he wanted from that side to give it a word of welcome. It seemed to him that the hon. Member for Faversham went on to foreshadow a national system of publicly controlled schools with compulsory undenominational teaching on all days, with on two days of the week the right of denominations to come in and give their own teaching at their own expense. That proposal met everyone of the points of importance in the controversy. It met the question of popular control. He had always thought that the one mandate the Government got at the last general election on this question was that there should be thorough popular control. He was confirmed in that opinion because the House of Lords passed the first clause of the 1906 Bill which embodied that principle. The system of one set of schools entirely under the local authority would satisfy the claim for popular control, and it would also meet the claim that there should be no tests for teachers. What was a test? It seemed to him that there was a good deal of misunderstanding over the word test. Originally the test was that any applicant for office must prove publicly that he was a member of the Church of England. That test was very rightly abolished. That was a test for teachers which, of course, ought never to be applied. No man should be asked by a local authority to what particular denomination he belonged, but, if it was desired, as he believed a majority of the House desired, that there should be compulsory Bible teaching given in all the schools, the local authority, although they might not ask a teacher to what denomination he belonged, had a right to ask whether he was prepared to teach every part of the curriculum. The local authority had as much right to ask an applicant for a teachership if he was willing to give Cowper-Temple teaching as to ask him if he was willing to teach history. If Bible teaching was part of the regular curriculum, there would be no test to ascertain whether the teacher was a Churchman, a Nonconformist, a Quaker, or anything else, but there would be the right to ask whether he was willing to undertake this particular teaching There were many schools where men would not be needed for this particular teaching, and the teacher would be at liberty to give the teaching if he liked, but there was no real freedom of conscience for the men and women in one of the most honorable and hardest professions to say if they did not desire to be cut out from what they regarded as the chief part of their work, that the local authority should come down and say, "You shall not give it." It seemed to him that that was not liberty, but tyranny, and if they were to preserve teachers from the tyranny of tests they had to preserve the right of conscience to teachers to give denominational teaching if they liked If the opinions of the parents in the localities were sought, he would like to suggest that the syllabus should not be prepared merely by the county council, but that some Committee should be set up in connection with every local author ity—a committee appointed authoritatively by the various religious bodies—which might meet to settle the syllabus to be taught in the schools. In his own county there was a committee of the kind he had indicated, and almost every denomination was represented on it. It would be helpful to a great many parents to feel that the common Christianity which was taught was not only imposed by a secular authority, but was also recommended by the heads of the various Churches. In that case they would feel that their interests had been attended to by the head of their own denomination. He was not going to labour the point as to secular teaching. He was quite certain that the people of England as a whole did not desire anything of the sort. The last point mentioned by the hon. Member for Faversham was that there should be adequate provision for denominational teaching at the expense of the denomination. It had been said by an hon. Member opposite that the right of entry to schools might lead to a great deal of confusion. That would be so if every religious denomination and sect in the country desired to go into the schools to teach. But it should be remembered that all the Nonconformists and Free Churchmen did not want denominational teaching in the schools. Therefore, none of them would desire to go into the schools at the denominational hour. If they were going to have religious freedom on five days of the week for those who did not want denominational teaching in the schools, they were bound in honesty to give opportunities in school hours for those who did want it. If there was really to be any religious toleration at all, they were bound to provide these opportunities. That was the sort of compromise to which he would give his assent. The object of the Government and of hon. Members in all parts of the House ought to be not merely to settle a long-standing controversy, but to adopt the best means they could for getting children taught the common Christianity in which they all believed. That was worth having, and that compromise appealed to him because it demanded sacrifices from both sides. It demanded from Nonconformists that they should agree to Churchmen entering all the council schools to give denominational teaching during some part of the week, and it demanded from Churchmen very great sacrifices, because they were asked to allow the schools which they has built, and which they had cherished long before others took an interest in education at all, to be used for a form of religious teaching which did not satisfy them. These things involved sacrifice, but they all knew that the greater the sacrifice anybody made for a cause the greater the good results which flowed from their exertions. The question was in the hands of hon. Members on the other side of the House. It could never be solved by a Conservative Minister with a Conservative majority. It was only a Liberal Minister who was powerful, with the backing of Nonconformists, who could solve this question. What proposals were the Government going to make? Were they going to maintain the right of the majority to trample on the consciences of those who disagreed with them, or were they going to rise to the height of their responsibility and give the country a national system of education founded on Christianity, and so put an end to a strife, the continuance of which would be a disgrace, and an end to the fear of secularism which would be a disaster.

MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)

said he was sure that everybody who had heard the speech of the hon. and gallant Member for West Dorset welcomed its tone. He had followed the discussion of the last two-and-a-half days, and he did not think that it had advanced the House much towards the settlement of the education question on the lines which the hon. and gallant Gentleman had set forth. But if he might express an opinion on a matter which was outside his sphere, it seemed to him that there was ground for a reasonable compromise, and he was glad to see the suggestions of the hon. and gallant Gentleman received so favourably on the other side of the House. From his point of view, however, the hon. and gallant Gentleman had left out of his calculation one important community—the Catholic. The settlement suggested was essentially one between the different communities of the Protestant religion. That was a settlement for which they on the Irish Benches had always done their best, so far as it was decent or permissible, and in favour of which they had said as much as they could. In fact, they had never stood in the way of an educational settlement. But it was with reference to the Catholic case that he asked the permission of the House to speak. He would also count the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition among the peacemakers, although he waited with some curiosity to learn the particular method by which the right hon. Gentleman would vindicate that view, for he observed that when the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education declared, in answer to the hon. Member for North-West Manchester, that this was not a question on which any party could dictate terms from the Treasury Bench, that sentiment was taken up and applauded by the right hon. Gentleman. He hoped that when the Leader of the Opposition came to state his view of the case, they would be able to arrive at a settlement in which one party did not dictate to the other. This Bill was, from his point of view, far less generous or fair to the Catholic case than the Bill of 1906. He did not want to cry over spilt milk or over a lost Bill; but he held now, as he held at the time, that the Bill of 1906 proceeded on a most admirable, most practical, and the wisest line, in dealing with the question. He had not the smallest doubt that the Government in proposing contracting out as a means of dealing with the question, were inspired by the best motives. He was sure that they thought it was a scheme which would, to the largest extent, meet the Catholic case; and, on the other hand, that it was the best scheme to meet their own difficulties that their supporters would allow them to propose. He thought that contracting out was the worst method of dealing with the subject, but for his own part he would accept contracting out if there was no other method. He, however, would oppose it as long as he could, as unjust to the Catholic case, to the Catholic citizens, to the Catholic taxpayers and ratepayers, and, above all, to the young generation of Catholics, whose educational efficiency would thereby be jeopardised. As to the figure of the grant proposed by the Government, he personally believed that were it as generous as it was scandalously inadequate, the fact would always remain that no grant given by the Government to the Catholic schools would be equal to the grant plus the rates given to the council schools. If the Government were to add 13s. and make the grant 60s. as against 40s. as at present, still it would be less than the grant given to the council schools, plus what was given by the ratepayers. His position was that the Catholic as a ratepayer had a right to an equal share with the Protestant ratepayer in the education rate. What was contracting out? It was a getting rid of all popular control. He was in favour, under proper conditions, of popular control of all schools—Catholic and Protestant schools alike. But what said the President of the Board of Education? He said, "If you demand popular control, you must accept all the condi- tions of popular control, including the government of your schools, in every particular, and the payment of the teachers. What right have you," said the right hon. Gentleman, "to insist that. a school should be on the national system and yet escape the national conditions?" [MINISTERIAL cries of "Hear, hear."] He thought he had put the case fairly, as he gathered from the applause. That appeared to him to be rather an agonising question to ask. It. was most ably answered by the President of the Board of Trade in what might be described as significant. and pathetic terms. For the first time in the whole history of this controversy a Minister of the Crown, not in answer to a question, not in answer to the hon. Member for Walton Division, not as a matter of higgling and wriggling and bargaining and extortioning on the rack, but in a published address to his constituents had established the Catholic case. He said that whereas different communities of Protestants were, of course, in disagreement on many most important and vital questions, yet in essentials they were in agreement; but that between the Catholics and the Jews—their case was the same—and every Protestant community whatever, there yawned a deep and impassible gulf and irreconcilable difference. That was the Catholic case. It was perfectly distinguished by the fact that the Catholics were in a minority, and everybody acknowledged, and especially the Nonconformists, that the religious liberties of the minority required more safeguarding and vigilance than those of the majority. There was another point—the economic point. It was too much forgotten that this question of the elementary schools was largely a case of social class and money. To the sons of the wealthy classes in this country the elementary school was a matter of comparative indifference. The great public schools were open to the sons of the rich, and when they had passed through those, the great Universities; in this country and on the Continent were open to them. Some hon. Members who had spoken in the debate had had the advantage of a University training not only in this country but on the Continent. But the elementary school was essentially the school of the poor and of the lower middle classes, and therefore he maintained that the question of the elementary school was largely a question of social class and pecuniary resources. Who were the Catholics of this country? The hon. Member for Louth rather astonished him when he said that he regarded the Catholic community in England as wealthy. The hon. Member must have been thinking of the Million Fund with which his name was so honourably associated, and was confusing the prosperous Wesleyan middle classes with the Catholics as represented in this country. It was quite true that the Catholics of England by race were wealthy or belonged to the well-to-do classes. He supposed that that was the reason they were so anti-Irish; but everybody knew that 90 per cent. of the Catholics of this country were Irish. And what were the social position and pecuniary resources of the Irish Catholics of this country? Everybody knew that nine out of ten of them belonged to the working classes—the hardest worked class with the smallest wage. They came to this country with untutored minds, with unskilled hands. Driven from their homes by hunger and plague they came to England and Scotland, not because they preferred this country to their own, but because they had not the means to take them to America or Australia. In the whole of the Irish tragedy there was nothing more tragic or pathetic than the spectacle of the Irish poor in the slums and the lanes of England and Scotland. If they wanted to find the Irish Catholics in England or Scotland they had to look for them in the atmosphere of the chemical works, before the retorts of the gasworks, or shivering in the winter outside the portals of the great docks in Liverpool. What did education mean to this class? It meant that it ought to be cheaper for them than for any other community, and more efficient. It was true that they had as a basis of education those intellectual gifts which, in spite of their disasters, still belonged to the Irish race; but these needed to be sharpened by modern educational methods. When he opposed contracting-out he did so not on theological grounds, but because he thought it was doing gross injustice to the poorest of the poor. What did contracting-out mean? It meant fewer teachers, worse teaching, worse food, fewer books, worse equipment, larger classes. But he was not going to quote his own words in regard to contracting-out. He thought the Secretary to the Admiralty was beginning to look a little self-conscious, and well he might. He had with him an extract from a speech the hon. Gentleman made on the proposal of his hon. friend opposite—the Member for Preston— The mover of the Amendment (the hon. Member for Preston) appeared to have forgotten that if his proposal were accepted, contracted-out and voluntary schools would have to live on the present grant. He would give figures to show how absurd the proposal was in the interest of the Catholic schools. The figures taken were those of Manchester. At Manchester the hon. Gentleman said the cost per child was £4 4s., and the Government grant £1 19s. 7½d. Was it conceivable, exclaimed the hon. Gentleman, that the Roman Catholics of Manchester could raise voluntarily the sum of £2 4s. 4½d. per child? He could not be so neat as the hon. Gentleman, because his powers were not so great and his case was not so bad, because it was only £1 17s. that had to be found. But was the case of the Government this—that under this Bill the Roman Catholics had to raise £1 17s. 0d. only as against £1 19s. 7½d? It would be absolutely impossible, said the hon. Gentleman, for the schools interested to maintain themselves properly under the Government grant. The thing was preposterous, and the only effect would be to strangle the schools. But if that was true of the proposal put forward by the hon. Member for Preston, it was not the less true of the proposals put forward by the Government. It had been said that the Roman Catholics wished to keep their schools outside the national system. On the contrary, they wanted them to be part of the national system. Under the Bill of the right hon. Gentleman the Chief Secretary they were part of the national system of education of this country, and the Nationalist Members supported, at the risk of some misunderstanding, the right hon. Gentleman on the division upon it. It would be much to be re- gretted if this Bill passed in its present form. He would like to see the Government with courage enough to go back to the proposals of Clause 4 of the Bill of 1906, under which the Catholic schools were included in the national system of the country and subject to public control. The Catholic schools were to a large extent under public control at this moment. They were under control at Liverpool, and what happened? He welcomed the statement of the hon. Member for Louth, which possessed great importance as coming from an hon. Gentleman holding his position, that no body of sane Protestants would send a Protestant teacher to teach the Roman Catholic religion to Roman Catholic children. But what he failed to understand was the objection to that simple proposition's taking the form of an Act of Parliament. Once the principle of appointing Catholic teachers to the Catholic schools was admitted, then by logic and reason the principle of Catholic doctrine being taught to Catholic children must be accepted also. He had observed in the debate some unexpected supporters of that proposition. Everyone knew what point of view one might expect from a Welsh Nonconformist Liberal Member. One would expect such a gentleman to err on the side of extreme Nonconformity, but one hon. Gentleman had said that as long as Nonconformists insisted on Cowper-Temple teaching in the schools they could not resist the right of Roman Catholics and Anglicans to have their children taught their doctrines by State-paid teachers in State schools. The Prime Minister, speaking on the 1906 Bill, pointed out that Cowper-Temple teaching, however broad and tolerant, must be unacceptable to Catholics because it was Protestant, and therefore, however fundamental or primordial it might be it still remained to the Catholic a form of Protestant instruction by a Protestant teacher. Therefore, if the right hon. Gentleman now asked that the demand that the Roman Catholic schools should form part of the national system must be accompanied by the acceptance by them of Cowper-Temple teaching as part of the teaching in the school, then the right hon. Gentleman was taking away with one hand what he gave with the other, and such a thing could not be accepted. Last night the President of the Board of Education said— We believe in providing as far as we can in this Protestant country for a settlement on a Protestant basis, making an exception of and a provision for non-Protestant parents. But the very description of the settlement debarred the Catholics from accepting it. He had heard many descriptions of the religious education policy of the Government, but none which, had given him such delight as that-given in the speech of the First Lord of the Admiralty. The right hon. Gentleman referred to the Syllabus of the London County Council, in which special reference was made to what should be taught in the way of religious instruction in the Jewish schools. Nobody had a greater admiration for the Jewish people and their loyalty to their creed and race than himself. He thought there was a strong analogy between the Catholic and the Jewish case, and he contended that the oldest and the greatest Christian faith was entitled to the same toleration—he did not ask for more—as the Jewish creed. What was given. to the Jews? In this education question were the most astonishing contradictions between theory and practice, between the shibboleths and catch cries of the platforms and the administration of education. This syllabus laid down the religious teaching to be given to Christian children in Christian schools. It was found to be, so far as the Jews were concerned, sectarian. The wise and tolerant men of the County Council education authority tried to see what they could do to make it non-sectarian, and the result was that 'although, in connection with the syllabus for religious instruction of Jewish children, no special recommendation was adopted, the syllabus for the Jews was taken entirely from the Old. Testament. That meant that the school board system, nominally unsectarian, had in the East of London, schools attended by Jewish children and taught by Jewish teachers. ["Not in every case."] Christian teachers were admitted where it was a question of instruction in matters of learning and knowledge unconnected with the religious belief of the children. In some of the Catholic schools of Ireland there were Protestant teachers, as in University College, and very rightly so. It would be an intolerable thing that a man should be debarred from entering into the most sectarian school where it was purely a question of learning and knowledge, But these schools in the East End of London were in every sense of the word Jewish schools. Let the House consider the position. The Jewish school was a board school. It got a grant and rate aid. But that was not all. It got the money to build the house in which its children were taught the Jewish faith, while the Catholics all around were compelled out of their own pockets to pay for their buildings.

MR. LUPTON (Lincolnshire, Sleaford)

Is there any specific Jewish doctrine in the syllabus?


No, the doctrine was not Jewish, but that illustrated what he had just said, the extraordinary contradiction between the theoretic position and its reality, because the defence suggested by his hon. friend, whose boldness in stating a proposition was well known, was one which might have suggested itself he would not say from the casuistry of the board—namely, that in the Jewish school they taught Jewish doctrine, but it could not be described as teaching of a sectarian character, and therefore it was undenominational. He put it to any sane man in the House, who was able to look at this question broadly and fairly, whether they could not give the same liberty, under public control, to the Catholic school that they had so long given to the Jewish schools in the East End of London. He had heard with great interest the speech of the hon. Member for North - West Manchester, which had in it a little of the temper generally found in the speeches of men whose heads were in a somewhat dizzy state of exaltation after a great electoral fight. The hon. Gentleman had said that he did not want more for the Anglicans than he would give to the Catholics, and that what he demanded for the Anglican schools he was willing to give to the Catholic schools. The noble Lord the Member for Marylebone in his very able speech had said that what he wanted was equality and justice, and he was not sure whether the noble Lord did not add the word "liberty." Might he say that he saw a clear distinction in many respects between the Anglican and the Catholic demands? He accepted the proposition of the hon. Member for North-West Manchester, if he would allow him to put in some conditions. He would ask for nothing in the Bill which he was not ready to support in the case of the Anglican school where the conditions were similar. If the Anglican school was built to gather within its walls a homogeneous body of Anglican children, and practically Anglican children alone, then that case was exactly the case of the Catholic schools. But if, on the other hand, the conditions were such that the Anglican school was the only school in which the children of all denominations had to be instructed by a teacher of one denomination, then he would not fight for the Anglican school under those conditions, and he would not fight for the Catholic school under those conditions. Under the Bill of 1906, the Catholic concession was practically limited to the urban districts. That was roughly, if not mathematically, accurate, and for his present purpose sufficient. They accepted the proposition that if a Catholic school were in a single-school district, and it was the only school to which the children of other denominations could go, they had no right to demand solely Catholic management and teaching for the children of other denominations. Therefore, his answer to the hon. Member for North-West Manchester was that in order to establish similarity of claim for the Anglican school he must establish similarity of condition. So far as the single-school district was concerned, the Catholic position had always been plain, and he did not think that fact had always been sufficiently recognised by hon. Gentlemen on the opposite side of the House. Prom the very first moment when this controversy arose every single-man who had spoken from the Nationalist Benches had declared that in the single school rural districts of this country the Nonconformists had a great grievance, and they would give them their support in demanding a remedy. What was the position? He did not want to interfere in the business of others, but if in the rural districts of Ireland they had only one Protestant school to which Catholic children were obliged by law to resort, and if that school was Protestant in its atmosphere and teaching, and one for proselytising Catholics, he was afraid that they would proceed to very much more active measures for getting rid of that school than passive resistance. After having fought for centuries against any attempt to proselytise the Catholic people, they would be unworthy of their history, traditions, and convictions if they tried to put on others the yoke from which they themselves had managed to escape. Therefore, he thought that the hon. Gentlemen above the gangway who had made an attempt to defend and preserve the single-school area in its present shape were doing an injustice to their own cause—that of the Anglican church—and the greater cause of religious equality. He could quote, if he had time, some striking figures produced by his hon. friend the Member for Louth, in which he showed that 300 Nonconformist children and seventy or eighty Anglican children in one single school district were wholly in the hands of the Anglican Church. To return to his objection to the principle of contracting-out. What did it mean? He regretted one passage in the otherwise very able and tolerant speech of the President of the Board of Education, and -that was the passage in which he put on one side the concessions that were given to, and. on the other hand, the concessions which he thought ought to be made by, Irish Catholics. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that there was a large margin between the 40s. grant and the total cost per child in the Catholic as well as in the Church schools, and he said— There is meant to be a difference. You cannot be outside the State system and have the advantage of being outside the State system without suffering some of the disadvantages. The advantage of being deprived of more spacious schools, of better paid masters, of the most splendid equipment! He would come down from that lofty plane and consider the realities which underlay the right hon. Gentleman's statement. There was a very interesting debate in another place last night, in the course of which complaint was made with regard to the treatment of a Church school. Here was the statement made by Lord Tweedmouth— It appeared that in 1901 the Board's attention was called to the absence of a playground for this school. In 1903 the Board was informed that the state of the premises was unsatisfactory. There was no cloak-room, lavatory, or water supply, and the roof was leaking. That was the advantage that the Catholic schools had got in the past. He remembered well the poignant pain with which he used to have to go to Mr. Acland, and beg him to allow the Catholic schools in Liverpool to escape some of the demands of his Department for which they could not afford to raise the money. They had spent thousands of pounds in erecting buildings which were built for Christians and Jews at the expense of the community. His reply, in which he could never get an answer satisfactory to his conscience, was that he had asked for a lavatory or a cloak-room which was necessary for the first decencies of life. Under the system of contracting-out, they would stint not only the minds but the bodies of the children in the Catholic schools, and it was a cruel form of reparation for the wicked and foolish laws that drive these Irish men and women from their own hillsides to the slums and alleys, to make their poverty more degrading and harder to bear by putting them under a disability which was confined to them alone.


said the hon. Member for the Scotland division of Liverpool would carry with him to a large extent the sympathy of the House in the presentation he had made of the Catholic position. That was the crux of the whole question before them. At the same time he desired to present to him the difficulties they were met with if the Catholic demands were beyond those which in justice to their own consciences they felt they were able to meet. He was sometimes in a difficulty in gathering why the demands made by Catholics in this country were so much greater than in many other countries. At the same time he admitted that their case had a distinct line of demarcation against that of the Anglican. He sympathised with the poverty of the Catholic population and the difficulties it caused, and was prepared to go a very long way in meeting the necessities of the case; but to ask them to consent to what was practically concurrent endowment of all religions when on principle they were opposed to the endowment of any religion was asking them to go beyond what they had a right to expect. He had sometimes felt that some such solution as this ought to meet the case of the Catholic body. The hon. Member had said they were prepared to put themselves under local control. Did he include in that the appointment of the teacher by the local authority, and in other particulars were they prepared to submit to the same control in management as the other denominations submitted to?


I am quite willing to have public control under the conditions accepted by the Chief Secretary in the last form of his Education Bill of 1906.


said that unfortunately they were not discussing that Bill, and, therefore, for the purposes of his argument he rather wanted to carry his hon. friend a little farther. But he freely admitted the great disadvantages of contracting-out. As an educationist it was impossible that he could advocate it. When he had to consider it he had to consider it as one mode of dealing with a very difficult situation, and to choose out of the various modes of dealing with it that which was the least objectionable. In regard to a national system of education under which, according to this Bill there should be secured Cowper-Temple teaching in all schools, it would be a very simple matter in urban districts to recognise the existence of Catholic schools, to suspend the regulation which provided for Cowper-Temple teaching in Catholic schools, and then take from the list of teachers on the roll those known to be Catholics and send them to Catholic schools. By that means the Catholic atmosphere would be maintained during the hours of secular teaching, and there would be no difficulty in making provision for teaching their special doctrines at such time that it would be included in the present school hours. Under some such system as that, the Catholic schools would get all the advantages of being in the national system. They would have fully qualified teachers, the buildings would be maintained by the local authority, they would save the burden upon their conscience of having anything to do with Cowper-Temple teaching in school hours, and they would also avoid laying a burden upon consciences which really could not, under any circumstances, submit to having rates levied upon them for the teaching of doctrines which they believed to be absolutely inimical to the best interests of society. He was sure his hon. friend would give those for whom he spoke credit for every desire to meet the case which he had put before them. They had in the past been foremost in fighting for that religious equality which Catholics-failed to get for many generations, and he would be very sorry, not only in regard to Catholics, but in regard to any body of citizens and ratepayers, to adopt universal Cowper-Temple teaching if any considerable body regarded it as dogmatic or sectarian. As soon as that position was demonstrated he was driven into the secular position. It was not demonstrated to him at present, so far as the general body of his fellow-citizens was concerned but it was so far as his Catholic fellow-citizens were concerned-There was a distinct line of demarcation between the Protestant on the one hand, and the Catholic and the Jew on the other. If those who belonged to the Anglican Church spoke as strongly against simple Cowper-Temple teaching as those who belonged to the Catholic faith, all he could say was that they were in their wrong position. The Protestant Church was based, as he understood it, on the faith of the Bible, and the great majority of the population desired that the children of the most neglected part of the population should have some knowledge of the Bible, and that it should not be barred from the schools. If any body of his fellow Protestants said that that was an injury to their conscience, he was bound to listen to what they said, and to admit that his position was untenable. But at the same time he was equally bound to say that it was to him a strange position that a Protestant Church, supposed to be based upon the Bible, regarded simple Bible teaching as something that they could not tolerate in their schools. Lord Hugh Cecil, whose voice they sadly missed in these education discussions, because of the high tone he always gave to them, said that Bible teaching was all right as far as it went, but it did not go far enough, because it did not attach the child to a Church. That was the very reason why they were able to support it. They thought that if it did attach a child to a church it would cease to be a proper thing for the State to teach at all, because they did not believe that the State ought to occupy anything but an absolutely neutral position One or two features which had arisen out of this discussion were a little strange. They had heard, over and over again, statements made minimising the value of local control and witnessed attempts to whittle away the significance of tests for teachers. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford said there had always been public control, and that the Act of 1902 increased it. He had never been able to see how that Act gave public control, when in vastly more than half the schools of the country the public authority had not the appointment of the teachers whose salaries they paid. Then the hon. Member for one of the Divisions of Birmingham, in regard to tests, said that if an individual employed a private teacher he had a right to inquire what were his religious opinions, and so had the community. A variety of sentiments of that kind showed that attempts were being made, after all, to depreciate the position which the Government had had to recognise. They had not yet got full public control of the education of the country, nor had they got rid of tests for teachers, or of paying out of the rates for the teaching of directly denominational religion. Therefore, it was desirable that they should understand that these were the questions with which the Government had to deal in the Bill now before the House. From what had been said he felt bound to ask who disturbed the concordat of 1870. One hon. Member that afternoon had referred to the unfortunate disturbance of the concordat, as though it had been disturbed for the first time by this Bill. As a matter of fact this Bill was mainly occasioned by the disturbance of the concordat under the Act of 1902, which made a direct departure from the Act of 1870 by putting upon the rates and taxes the whole of the expense of the schools. A great deal had been said about the voluntary schools, but surely "voluntary" was a totally erroneous name to apply to a school which was wholly maintained out of the rates. The Bill before them attempted to meet these difficulties and relieved those who had been bound ever since 1902 to make a vigorous protest against denominational teaching being put on the rates. Their position, he was afraid, was not exactly understood. The right hon. Member for Oxford said that the Nonconformists refused the Amendment for giving facilities for Nonconformist teaching in single school areas. Of course they did, and they would refuse all opportunities for giving their own teaching in State schools. That was the very principle they were fighting against, and they would not be willing to accept an Amendment which put them in the form of accepting a concurrent endowment on the same level as the denominations who desired to have this specific teaching. He was bound to vote for the Second Reading of this Bill because it contained, apart from the contracting-out clause, the essence of a good educational settlement, and he suggested that if contracting-out was not acceptable to those for whom it was inserted in the Bill they should proceed with the measure without contracting-out. Contracting-out had not been put in to please hi m or his friends or the hon. Members sitting right and left of him; it had been simply offered as the best means in the judgment of the Government of meeting the difficulty of the denominations concerned. There had been quoted on more than one occasion during this debate extracts from the manifesto of the National Union of Teachers. It was quite true that that Union had spoken and written very strongly against the contracting-out clauses, but hon. Members opposite did not read to the House the paragraphs which spoke very highly of the educational merits of the Bill apart from contracting-out. Therefore, when they considered that they had one type of School under this Bill, that they had all the schools under local control, a State school provided within the reach of every child, no tests for teachers, that Cowper-Temple teaching could be given if the local authority desired it, that in transferred schools the trustees could secure that Cowper-Temple teaching was guaranteed, and that there was a considerable reduction of local rates in the bargain—in those elements they had the substance of a good educational measure, and he should not, if he were a Member of the Government, thrust upon unwilling recipients anything connected with the contracting-out clauses. All the difficulties arose from the attempt made to provide for denominational teaching. They had tried to do this in what he considered was an unsatisfactory way, although it was not so unsatisfactory as was alleged, because many safeguards might be introduced which would make contracting-out less harmful. On the first evening this Bill was introduced he said to an interviewer that one of the things which must be secured was that the teachers' salaries should be equal to the salaries paid in the neighbourhood in which the special school was situated, and that the efficiency of the schools should be guaranteed. He was not there to defend contracting-out per se. There were so many educational defects in it that it would have to be dealt with in some way far different from what the Bill provided, and therefore he would like to see the Bill proceeded with without contracting-out at all. How were they to meet the position when contracting-out was withdrawn, and the opposition still remained as strong and possibly stronger without those clauses? The Bishop of St. Asaph's Bill had been mentioned, but that measure was not backed by any large number of the friends of the bishop who introduced it; it was just as bad as contracting-out, and it upset a system which had been going on practically for forty years under which there had been no clerical influence brought to bear either in the board or in the county council schools. It was no light thing to upset a principle which had been working so admirably all those years. Moreover that Bill was no use alone and did not offer any conditions which the Catholics could accept, and therefore they must have the principle of contracting-out accompanying this right of entry. They had had put before them in an able speech by the hon. Member for the Faversham Division some propositions from a body of gentlemen styling themselves Liberal Churchmen. Those propositions had been received by his hon. and gallant friend opposite with great cordiality, and he was bound to say that they went a long way on the lines of the Bill. They asked for "adequate provision" for denominational teaching. Of course, that was the whole crux of the proposition, and it brought them back to the same difficulty. What was deemed to be adequate provision for denominational teaching? If it meant the universal right of entry then they came back to contracting-out. He would not on this occasion trespass too much on the time of the House, but having sat through several long educational discussions in this House he thought he might fairly congratulate hon. Members upon the improved temper and tone which had been displayed throughout the discussion. That alone indicated a general disposition to reach something like a basis of agreement. Speaking, as he was clearly entitled to do, for a large body of Members of the House he wished to state that if the main principles of public control, no tests for teachers, and no payment for denominational teaching out of the rates were acknowledged as the fundamental principles of this Bill and not allowed to be tampered with, there should be no difficulty in meeting what might be a fair arrangement under suitable conditions for the needs of those who belonged to the Anglican persuasion. He hoped also that the case which had been so temperately put by the hon. Member for the Scotland Division of Liverpool might also be met if the suggested conference took place. He was not in the secrets of the Treasury Bench, and he did not know whether there was any real backing to the conference, or what progress that movement had made. At any rate he thought that the discussion in the House favoured some step in that direction, and no one would hail it with greater delight than he should himself.

SIR JOHN KENNAWAY (Devon shire, Honiton)

said he looked with a considerable amount of surprise at the introduction of this question by the Government at a time when so many things were demanding the attention of the House By so doing they had incurred a great responsibility which could only be justified by success. He echoed the words which had just fallen from the hon. Member opposite when he expressed a desire that things might tend towards a satisfactory solution. The speeches made by the hon. Member for Dorset and the hon. Gentleman representing the Catholics of Liverpool had largely contributed to the hope of some settlement being arrived at. He confessed that the debate began very hopelessly. The speech made at the commencement of the debate by the First Lord of the Admiralty was ac-companied by practically no concessions, and they could not forget the cruel and vindictive policy inaugurated by the present Government in regard to the denominational training colleges, a policy which had not yet been withdrawn or even suspended. The action of the Government upon this question reminded him of the saying: "When I speak to them of peace they prepare for battle." That was a good policy for the Admiralty to pursue, but it was not at all suited to a discussion upon the education question. The speech of the President of the Board of Education rather disappointed them. He went back to the old Bill of two years ago and denounced the action of the House of Lords in regard to it. So far as he remembered, the Government made no concession at all with regard to that Bill while it was passing through the House of Commons—no concession at least in regard to those parts which were discussed, because a very great part of the Bill was never discussed there at all. In the House of Lords the measure cams before a body of experts—men who were fully acquainted with all the intricacies of the education question, and no doubt they did deal with it rather drastically. If there had been a spirit of compromise at that time, he believed a settlement might have been arrived at, but an evil spirit prevailed, and all concessions upon the Bill were refused. The spirit of the time then was very different from what it was now. The Lords were at that time under a ban, they were doomed, a new Cromwell had arisen who was about to sweep them away, or absolutely deprive them of all power. He thought things had rather altered now. If the Government had forgotten the lessons of Manchester and Mid Devon, the country had not. He spoke as one who was extremely anxious for a settlement of the education question. A large body of laymen in the Church of England were anxious for a settlement; they were weary of the present controversy He spoke for a large body of Churchmen who were most anxious to remove the grievances felt by others, but they asked that those grievances should not be relieved by the creation of the grievances to which they would be subjected if this Bill passed. Churchmen asked for no special privileges, but they asked that the sacrifices which they had made in providing school buildings throughout the country, and that the obligations resting upon them with regard to the trusts by which they were bound, should not go for nothing. They were prepared to give up a good deal for the sake of peace, and for the sake of securing that, not only in the non-provided schools, but also in the public schools, the children should get proper religious education. The question ought to be settled, because the controversy was doing harm to the cause of education, and he thought if it were protracted indefinitely the result might be the adoption of a secular system, which would be a disgrace to our common Christianity. There was a common Christianity which had been to some extent recognised in the Bill now before the House. The Christianity embodied in the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Ten Commandments was the foundation of the Church teaching, but it was not enough for everybody. There ought to be a means by which that teaching could be supplemented for the children of those parents who desired it.

MR. HAROLD COX (Preston)

congratulated the Government on their somewhat tardy conversion to sound principle. Two fears ago he moved an Amendment in favour of contracting out, but the Members of the Government spoke and voted against it. Another curious thing was that hon. and right hon. Gentleman opposite who were going to vote against this Bill voted in favour of his Amendment. This Bill was essentially based on the principle of contracting-cut. The Government had tried other methods, and having found that these failed, they came down to the wise principle, foolishly called contracting out. The Leader of the Opposition two years ago spoke very cautiously; he did not profess to be an enthusiastic supporter of the principle of contracting-out, but he said that a peaceful settlement was to be found in the direction of accepting the Amendment rather than of rejecting it. He himself still believed that a settlement was to be found in the principle of contracting-out, but it must be accompanied by sufficient money to enable the voluntary schools to sustain themselves. Otherwise contracting-out was merely a device for starving the voluntary schools. He did not think that the Government meant merely to starve the voluntary schools; they now wished to save these schools though two years ago they were anxious to destroy them. The First Lord of the Admiralty recognised the enormous advantage to the country of the voluntary schools, and the cruelty which would be involved in destroying them. Assuming that it was necessary to save them, the only effective way of dealing with these schools was, while permitting them to come away from local control, to give them rate-aid as well as State-aid. He wished to call attention to the offer put forward from the Treasury Bench that the Government were willing to accept any compromise provided it did not clash with their two fundamental principles—no tests for teachers, and public control. He ventured to say that there was not a single man on the Treasury Bench who could explain what was meant by those two phrases. They were popular phrases which had passed into Parliamentary jargon and had no definite meaning. As to public control, that was already exercised in one very strict form by the Board of Education. Apparently, however, something more than this was meant, some form of local and popular control. But would the Government be prepared in a village where practically the whole population consisted of Church people to set up a Church school? If not, what was the use of talking about popular control? As to no tests for teachers, the Nonconformist party themselves did not believe in it. If a man who applied for a position in a board school said he was an atheist, would he be likely to be accepted? Of course not. The hon. Member for the Louth Division of Lincolnshire had said that it was inconceivable that a council would appoint a Protestant teacher to a Catholic school. Did not that involve a test? Councils at present deliberately put tests in force. He had a friend who was for many years a member of a school board, on which there was an arrangement between the two sections of the Nonconformist majority—Wesleyans and Baptists—that every head teacher ship should go alternately to a Baptist and a Wesleyan. The whole difficulty of this question arose in connection with the appointment of teachers and the matter of finance. The Act of 1902 was framed largely, almost exclusively, from the financial point of view.. The Leader of the Opposition wanted to deal with what was known to be an intolerable strain. How did the strain arise? It arose because the voluntary schools had only Parliamentary aid and no rate-aid. The consequence was that the voluntary schools were unable to keep up in efficiency with the council schools. A way of dealing with this difficulty was suggested by the Liverpool School Board in 1900, namely, that the local authority should be empowered to make a grant to the voluntary schools. Unfortunately this suggestion was ignored, and instead the local authority was made responsible in 1902 for the maintenance of the voluntary schools. This created an appearance of injustice, for it was said that while the local authorities paid the teachers the managers of the voluntary schools appointed them. It was forgotten that the owners of voluntary schools relieved the rates by providing buildings, but in order to get rid of the appearance of injustice he proposed that the voluntary schools should receive a definite grant from the rates as well as from the Exchequer, and that the managers should be responsible for the remaining expenditure. He thought that there should be some definite principle on which the rate aid should be given. It appeared to him that the soundest principle was that the existence of a voluntary school saved the ratepayers something, and, therefore, the managers of the school had a right to some contribution from the ratepayers proportioned to the saving. From the figures worked out at Liverpool it appeared that the Catholic schools in that city were now receiving from the rates 13s. 4d. per child. On the other hand every child in a council school cost the ratepayers £1 16s. 6d., taking into account the cost of the buildings. It was therefore clearly unjust that voluntary schools should receive no rate aid, and he suggested that they should receive a definite grant per child equal to half the cost per child in a council school. The ratepayers would still gain by the existence of voluntary schools, and the managers of those schools would gain their liberty. Instead of being subject to the local control, they would be able to manage their schools in their own way, subject always to the supervision of the Board of Education. He did not propose to go back on the 1902 Act, which provided that the local authority should appoint two managers to each voluntary school. And here, he did not think that sufficient praise had been given to the Leader of the Opposition for the work he did in extending public control by that Act. Previously to that time they had one-man management; that was destroyed by the Act of 1902, which created a body of responsible managers, and it would be a bad thing to go back on that. What was the basis of the Nonconformist position as regarded rate aid being granted to voluntary schools? He confessed he could not understand the mental attitude of people who said: "We do not mind our taxes being spent upon voluntary schools, but we resist our rates being so spent." Nor could he understand the attitude of the people who said: "We do not want your particular kind of dogma taught; but we want a kind of religion taught which appears to us to have no dogma in it; and, therefore, we demand that the rates shall be spent for that kind of teaching and no other." Where was the equity in that? Suppose there were three men sitting down together to dinner, and one said he liked his food with one kind of flavour, and the second said it would be all right with another kind of flavour, and the third with no kind of flavour at all. Would it be right that the third man alone should give orders to the cook, and that the other two should pay the bill? Next, he wanted to deal with a phrase much used just now. It was that the voluntary schools did not want to come out of the "national system" or to abandon "co-ordination." It seemed to him that these phrases "national system" and "co-ordination" were worth just about as much as "tests for teachers" and "popular control." They were merely phrases and nothing else. "Co-ordination" really meant officialism; and the so-called "national system" was hampered at every turn by bureaucratic interference. The head master of a school told him the other day that he wanted some little repairs done to the furniture in his school, and he wrote about it to the local authority who sent down an inspector. The head master was not in when the inspector called, and more correspondence followed. And so it went on for a week. Finally, the head master, to save further bother, paid for the repairs out of his own pocket. That was what was meant by local control, and that was what was going on through the whole of the so-called national system. If the House wanted to know what was the advantage of so-called local control, he would point to what the London County Council had recently done. They found that they wanted more teachers, but instead of doing the obvious thing and offering larger salaries, they proceeded to invent a new scheme of giving scholarships to their pupils, and the result was that they got hold of children who were unfitted to be trained as teachers. They had never lived in an educational atmosphere, and never had any chance of obtaining a wider culture. Their whole lives were bounded by the education code. They became pupil teachers hampered by the code, then became under teachers, again subject to the accursed code, and finally they achieved the position of head teacher, school inspector, or even they might become President of the Board of Education himself—though he did not know that that would matter much. With all respect to the present holder of the office, the President of the Board of Education was merely a harmless insect on the bureaucratic wheel. The great machine over which he presided went on, regardless of his existence, grinding out £14,000,000 of the taxpayers' money, most of which was wasted. It was because he believed this so called national system was utterly disastrous to real education that he welcomed this Bill of the Government, because it provided a means of escape. At present, no doubt, they could make this system work very well, because they were constantly bringing in men from the outside. By establishing a universal national system they destroyed that power of sympathetic management which existed wherever the voluntary school system obtained. People did not realise that the success of Germany was due not so much to the State, as to the enormous amount of volunteer effort. He was told that in the municipality in Berlin there were no fewer than 26,000 voluntary workers engaged in municipal work. It was that voluntary work which had made Germany so successful, and that was what they would destroy if they established in this country the so-called national system. Finally, he wished to make an appeal to his Nonconformist friends. The President of the Board of Education, in the brilliant speech he had delivered, said that what the Nonconformists had been clamouring for was equality. But it seemed to him that they were demanding a little more than equality. They were demanding that the system with which they alone were content should be subsidised by the ratepayers. They were demanding something more than equality; they were demanding preference. He ventured to ask them whether they thought that that change alone could take place. He knew that in the past they had suffered, but what had they done in return? They had always been foremost in the battle for liberty, but now they were claiming not only equality, but preference; and he believed that with this great change in their battle cry, the banner of freedom would pass to the other side.


said that in his concluding paragraph the hon. Member for Preston had recommended suffering to everybody except himself in order that by that suffering he might hold up the banner of liberty. He thought that the argument of his hon. friend in favour of voluntaryism came to this, that, because voluntaryism was a good thing there ought to be no national system of education at all, but educational anarchy in every village. The hon. Member was always in the minority in this House, and always right. The course of the debate that afternoon, in his opinion, had been very well justified, because there had been a spirit and toleration displayed which augured well for a settlement. As he understood it, the real principle of the Bill was that there should be a normal type of school in every village. The contracting-out provision was no part of the principle of the measure. That was a concession to the other side, and it was meant to be a concession. If, however, the Opposition came to the conclusion that contracting-out did not suit their purpose, and that they could not accept it, then there was no reason why the Government should extend the principle of compromise in that direction. He maintained also that the responsibility for peace rested a great deal on the shoulders of the Leader of the Opposition ["Oh, oh,"]—to this extent, at any rate, that the House well knew, as far as the Bill of 1906 was concerned, that there might have been peace then had it not been for the fact that there was an evil spirit at work among hon. Members opposite which prevented the hopes of a settlement being arrived at then. On what terms was peace possible? They were all agreed that the best possible system of education should be established for the children of the people, and that there should be no tampering with the religious views of the people. As a Nonconformist he was prepared to go a long way in order to secure this peace; and the question was, what was each side prepared to give up in order to attain a compromise? There were but two solutions of the difficulty. Personally he did not rule out either of the solutions, and he was prepared to give up his own views in order to secure a settlement. One solution was Cowper-Templeism, with inside or outside facilities. Then there was the right of the parent. If there was anything in the suggestion of local option that would make for peace, then he was prepared for that solution. Let the parents decide what should be the normal type of religious teaching, and let special provision be made for those who stood outside. He believed that on these lines all reasonable men could arrive at a settlement, for assuredly it was no one's interest to prolong a controversy over education while in the meantime the children suffered.


The speech of the hon. and learned Member is undoubtedly the shortest speech that has been delivered in the debate, and I am aware that the hon. Member, out of courtesy to myself and the Prime Minister, has reduced his observations so as to come within the compass of less than five minutes. But the hon. and learned Gentleman contrived to say more than the three members of the Government who have already spoken on this subject. The hon. Member has shown a genuine and practical desire for conciliation, which I must honestly say I thought was totally absent from the speech of the present head of the Board of Education, and only very sporadically and intermittently apparent in the curious speech with which the debate opened of the late Minister of Education. The hon. and learned Member has really expressed his desire in the most practical form to come to some arrangement on this subject. He has given up on behalf, at all events, of himself and the other Nonconformists for whom he speaks, views about the elementary education of this country which we know they have, by long tradition and conviction, held as being very dear. I believe in the absolute sincerity of his statement, therefore, when the hon. and learned Member tells us that he is in favour of a settlement, and of peace, though that statement has not been made long enough to allow me and others to give it any practical consideration. But if every one approached the question in the spirit of the hon. and learned Member there would be much greater hopes that this debate would produce a state of happier harmony between the two sides of the House than I have felt at liberty to entertain either of the debates of 1906, of 1907, or up to the present moment in 1908. We were all led to expect when this debate began, by the tone of the Press, by communications made in the Press, by lobby rumours, by all the other sources of information open to us, that the Government would introduce a Bill—which in itself, for itself, and on its own merits has not, as far as I am aware, a friend in the House—as a kind of introduction to some sort of suggestion which would lead to a very different measure being ultimately brought forth. I never thought it a very practical project, because I cannot imagine a Bill however it was framed, which seems to me less capable of being turned into that conciliatory measure which late in the day, but none the less fortunately, has made its appearance in some of the speeches on the other side of the House. On the canvas presented by this Bill what conciliatory picture can be painted? What attempt to paint such a picture was made either by the gentleman who constructed the Bill or by the gentleman whose unhappy business it now is to defend and to carry it through the subsequent stages? As far as the author of the Bill is concerned, all he could tell us, either in defence of the Bill or in suggesting some arrangement to be made in view of the Bill, was that, after all, his measure was so undistinguishable from another measure brought in in another place by a right rev. Prelate that their own mothers would not know them apart. And yet the Minister for Education, who has got to defend the subsequent stages of the Bill, spent no small portion of his very unconciliatory speech yesterday in showing that the very plan suggested by the Bishop of St. Asaph, and repeated now, or approached now, by the hon. and learned Member, was wholly impracticable. The present Minister for Education told us that the idea of facilities was wholly impossible in practical execution, and he denounced it on behalf of himself and his colleagues.


No, I did not.


I ask the right hon. Gentleman to look at his own speech. I may be mistaken about a particular phrase here and there, but the right hon. Gentleman devoted an important portion of his speech to explaining-how impossible it was to harmonise the varieties of religious beliefs and to bring the facilities for teaching them within the compass of our system of elementary education. How the late Minister for Education can look with complacent satisfaction on a resemblance between his Bill and the Bill of the Bishop of St. Asaph—a resemblance which has never appeared to any one but himself—how his successor can explain the essential part of the Bishop's Bill, which was right of entry all round, as an impracticable plan, and how these two Ministers can agree in the Cabinet or sit on the same bench is as great a puzzle as to know how the work of the Admiralty can go on with the present Secretary of the Board and the present First Lord of the Admiralty sitting together to discuss battleships and cruisers when one has described a large fraction of the Bill of the other as something essentially disgusting. I hope they are agreed at all events on naval affairs. What is the net result of the speech made by the late Minister for Education and of the speech made by the present Minister for Education? The net result as far as we are concerned is that we have to regard the Government as coming forward with their old proposals unmodified and unchanged; and we are forced into the undisguised position of critics of a Bill which the Government declare it is their intention to pass. I do not call that conciliation. In my opinion it is almost an outrage to ask the House to assemble and to spend nearly a whole legislative week in discussing a measure that has not any element of compromise, that has not a single provision which, as far as I can see, can be converted into an element of compromise, and which is absolutely inconsistent with efficient education and with the elementary principles of justice. I am not going to repeat the arguments which have been stated with marvellous unanimity and force in every quarter of the House as to contracting-out. There is only one opinion as to contracting-out, and if contracting-out is to be part of our national system, the hon. Member for Preston has no doubt devised a scheme by which contracting-out would be less subversive of educational efficiency in every scheme of contracting-out, while being inconsistent with the doctrine of popular control. With the exception of the hon. Member for Preston I do not know where it has friends. One hon. Gentleman on the back benches opposite in a very able speech said that there were not six men in the House in favour of contracting-out. And what have the Government done in the present debate to defend it? All they have done is to come down armed with division lists and speeches made on the 1906 Bill, on the authority of which they have taunted my hon. friends behind me with having been in favour of it at that date and therefore with being very inconsistent in opposing the present proposals of the Government. Do the Ministers who use that argument forget that when Amendments are moved to a Bill and Members have to decide whether to support or reject them, all they have to consider is not whether the Amendment would form a proper basis of legislation if they were carrying it on and if they were proposing it, but whether the Amendment is an improvement of the Bill. I am certainly not prepared to deny that, if an intolerant majority forced universal Cowper-Temple teaching on the country, contracting-out, with all its faults, would be an Amendment which all of us on this side might, however reluctantly, prefer to the original proposal. If I am asked whether I prefer to be hanged or drowned, and I said that I would rather be drowned, it does not mean that I wish to be drowned as a matter of fact. If the Bill is that I am to be hanged, I move an Amendment to substitute drowning for hanging. I repudiate all responsibility on account of votes given on Amendments to the Government Bill of 1906 as binding any Gentlemen on this side to a preference for a scheme in which contracting-out forms a large and important part. I do not argue it, and I do not think it worth re-arguing because, in fact, nobody defends it. But it has this obvious disadvantage from the Government point of view—that it is totally inconsistent with any rational interpretation of their own principles of no tests for teachers and popular control. Every school which is contracted-out is, ex hypothesi, removed from all popular control in the sense in which that word is used by gentlemen on the other side, and in every one of them there are tests for teachers. How any hon. Gentleman who believes in those two principles can really support it when he feels that, in addition to all that can be said against it from the point of view of educationists, it is not consistent with those principles which he has been discussing on the platform and elsewhere, really surprises me beyond measure. I leave contracting-out, which has no friends, and come to that part of the Bill which I gather has friends on the other side which deliberately and sans phrase despoils and robs the trustees and owners of the Church schools of the country and transfers their property without compensation to the local authorities. We are told, and have been told, by speaker after speaker that this is necessary because there is a grievance in the single-school areas, and we are told in addition, that the grievance is due to the Act of 1902, and, in the third place, that it would be removed by these provisions. The last two of these propositions are absolutely unfounded. I have never denied that on paper, in many parts of the country, and in reality, in some parts of the country, there is a grievance in the single-school area; one of a series of grievances left by the anomalous constitution of our educational system, some of which press on Nonconformists, others on Churchmen and Roman Catholics. I do not deny that, and I think if I had been desirous of denying it, it has been quoted and re-quoted so often by hon. Gentlemen opposite that I should not be allowed to forget it; but there were other grievances that equally demanded and equally deserved redress. I would suggest that hon. Members should look back to the speeches with which they are apparently so familiar and give a more correct version of them. But granted there are these grievances, it is grossly unjust and historically inaccurate to say that they have any relation whatever to the Act of 1902. These difficulties, anomalies, and grievances are not an inheritance from the Unionist educational measure of 1902, but from the Liberal measure of 1870. Was the single-school area invented in 1902, or the Church school in the single-school area? No, the Act of 1902 in its object and essence was to put the secular education of the country on a sound and broad footing. It did put it on a sound and broad footing. Nobody denies it. Nobody has ever suggested any alteration in its fundamental propositions, and nobody who did suggest it would enjoy the smallest chance of obtaining a hearing from any responsible Government whatever. That was a task surely large enough for any Government to undertake within the limits of one measure. It carried with it the necessity that if we were to keep the variety of schools left by the Act of 1870 we should find funds for what were then called the voluntary schools of the country, and that carried with it the maintenance—not the creation—of a system of single-school areas. In so far as the Act of 1902 touched the question of single-school areas at all it did it to remedy grievances a generation older than the Act which the Government inherited from their Liberal predecessors. I do not blame those Liberal predecessors. The difficulties of dealing with this question were enormous, and I do not blame Mr. Gladstone or Mr. Forster for anomalies which they perforce, as practical politicians, had to accept and admit in the Act of 1870. The fact remains that in 1902 something was done to enable Nonconformists to obtain their education as teachers within the walls of the voluntary schools; one-man management was destroyed; the whole of the responsibility of secular education in all its departments was transferred to the great local authorities which that Bill created; training schools were established at the public expense at which Nonconformist teachers could be trained; and that Bill, so far from throwing a new burden on Nonconformist consciences, did a great deal, though not everything, to remove the difficulties which successive Liberal Administrations had left untouched, and which had been borne without serious discontent for more than a generation before the Act of 1902. I think it is not justice to the authors of that Act, now that the immediate storm it created has to a certain extent settled down, to accuse them of having been intolerant in the schemes they devised or of having created grievances which they found in existence, and which they did something to remove. Of course, it is true that some of the original anomalies of the Act of 1870 remained unchanged and unmodified. Among them is undoubtedly the anomaly that there is a very large number of parishes where a majority of the children educated in Church schools do not belong to the Church to which the teachers of that school do belong and to which the majority of the managers belong. I do not deny it. Of what character is that grievance? It is a parents' grievance where it exists at all; the grievance of a parent who says, "I am a Nonconformist. I should like separate teaching for my child and I cannot get it in the only school my child can attend." Do you do anything in this Bill to diminish parents' grievances in single-school areas? You do relieve them, of course, by the forcible appropriation of property that is not your own, and in some of these parishes you relieve the conscience of Nonconformist parents. Is the Nonconformist parent the only parent who deserves consideration? What is this Bill going to do where the vast majority of parents are not Nonconformists but Churchmen who desire Church teaching for their children? Are you not going to create a new single-school area grievance by this Bill? How could anybody have the courage to come forward and say, "We have existing in this country parishes in which children cannot get the religious education their parents desire," and yet the only effort to remedy that grievance creates not a different grievance, but the same grievance, with the additional bitterness and insult that it is accompanied by the forcible appropriation of buildings erected at great cost and at great sacrifices. I cannot understand how any gentleman who really thinks that there is an existing single-school area grievance can look without shame on the suggestion made to remedy it by this Bill. The blindest of us must see that while it may be right, where a majority of the children are Nonconformists, or where there is a large minority of Nonconformists, to see that they have a chance of getting the teaching they like, every argument which can be urged in favour of that policy can be urged in favour of maintaining the status quo in those parishes in which a different condition of things exists. I am sure there is no answer to that argument. I have heard from both sides of the House, not, indeed, an answer, but a suggestion of a view which, I think, should be emphatically repudiated by every fair-minded man. It was put forward tentatively and in very moderate language by the Member for the Scotland. Division of Liverpool, who spoke of Protestants from an external point of view, and it has been put forward by hon. Gentlemen opposite from the Protestant point of view. They appear to hold that, while it is right enough for a Jew or a Roman Catholic to say that he likes this or that kind of teaching for his child, every man who calls himself a Protestant is bound, by the fact that he calls himself a Protestant, to accept the teaching of the London County Council. That really is absurd. We may regret—many of those who take a strong denominational view perhaps regret—that it has not been found possible for the Protestant sects to find some common basis of agreement with regard to the teaching of their children. But nobody is to judge of the propriety of the teaching but the parents themselves. They may be wrong in saying they want Church teaching for their children. It may show an incapacity to appreciate that common element in Christianity, a special knowledge of which is vouchsafed to the distinguished local authority to which I have just referred. But it is not for us to determine whether they are right or wrong. That is the really essential point, and the hon. Member for the Scotland Division was, perhaps, justified in his statement of the character of the differences which separate Protestants one from another, but he was mistaken when he supposed that those differences could be smoothed over necessarily by any action of any local authority, however well advised. I am speaking entirely for myself; but I am altogether in favour of doing everything that can be done—and I think more can be done than has been done—to find some common teaching which all Protestants might accept. Perhaps in that respect I do not agree with all my friends, but that is my view. But it is not a corollary to that that I set myself up as a judge as to whether the teaching which this or that parent desires is the teaching he ought to desire. All I have to ask is whether it is the teaching he does desire and if he does desire it, then, as far as practicable, though that phrase excited a strange amount of merriment yesterday, I desire to see it given. But do not let this parenthesis divert our minds from the main proposition, on which at this moment I am insisting—namely, that it is a gross outrage, not only upon justice, but also upon common sense, for the Government to bring forward a Bill to remedy the single-school area grievance, that grievance consisting only in the fact that parents cannot get the teaching they want for their children, without making the smallest effort to keep the existing system in force in those parishes where, as a matter of fact, it suits the parents. That will remain one of the strangest legislative performances which I have ever heard this or any other Government attempt to carry through. A speech like the one which was delivered by the hon. and learned Member for Anglesey makes one reflect—as I dare say we have all reflected at times—why it is so difficult to come to any agreement upon this subject. I think it is difficult mainly for three reasons. It is difficult because hon. Gentlemen opposite will not recognise that a, national system of education, whatever uniformity it may possess in secular matters, cannot possibly possess uniformity in religious matters. It possesses uniformity in secular matters because in the secular matters taught in school there is little or no fundamental divergence of opinion. No parents in this country want to have their children taught that two and two is five. All are agreed as to the principles of arithmetic; they are not all agreed as to matters more important and fundamental than arithmetic—matters of religion—and it is lunacy to try to have a uniform system to deal with conditions which are essentially and fundamentally diverse. Therefore, I say, you never will settle this question unless you recognise that, whatever uniformity you may introduce in secular matters, however national you may be in the three R's, you must allow for diversity of opinion in religious matters and your system must, in these matters, be elastic. That is the first error which I think I see in the attitude of the hon. Gentlemen opposite. The other two have reference to principles which they are always talking about, but which they seldom explain and never justify. I mean the principle of popular control and the principle of no tests for teachers. The hon. Member for Preston, I think, exposed with considerable force some of the difficulties which arise in the current theories of public control. But in truth it has never been justified. No man has ever been able to point out where the distinction lies between rates and taxes. No one has ever pretended to do it, and it really is asking intelligent men to subscribe to a proposition too absurd when we are informed that it is proper that nine-tenths—I think it is more, nineteen-twentieths, I dare say—of the cost of the education of a child may be paid out of the taxes without any other control than that which is given over all to the Board of Education, and that to ask for the same amount to be paid out of the rates carries with it, as a necessity of Liberal principles, that the teacher shall be appointed, without tests, without any investigation as to his religious qualifications, by the county council, and that, when he is so appointed, in that school nothing may be taught except some form of Cowper-Temple teaching. That is not popular control, and even in the Bill of the Government itself, while they are protesting that popular control is the one principle from which they will never depart, they introduce a limitation of popular control which, however kindly meant, is really absolutely inconsistent with their own principles. They propose to rob the Church of its schools in country districts, they propose to introduce. Cowper-Temple teaching in those schools, but they do not propose to leave it to the local authority to decide what the Cowper-Temple teaching is to be. Where is popular control? I heartily support the view of the Government that the form of Cowper-Temple teaching which they propose to make obligatory is far better than the Cowper-Temple teaching which exists in many schools, but that does not disguise the fact that that teaching is introduced violently, forcibly, and in spite of what the local authority may wish it to be, and, therefore, is inconsistent with what they call local control. But, after all, the greatest absurdity of all in this strange dogma is the one to which reference has often been made in this House before, and which was very powerfully expressed, I think, by my hon. friend the Member for North-West Manchester in his most able speech yesterday, when he pointed out that you cannot call that popular control which says that you may give Cowper-Temple teaching, but may not give other teaching. That is not popular control. The late Member for North-West Manchester is now Member for a Scottish constituency. In Scotland we have popular control. In Scotland the locality, rightly or wrongly, may decide what the religion is to be that is taught in the schools; they have no limitation to Cowper-Templeism. How can any Nonconformist in this House get up, and with a serious countenance put his hand on his heart and tell us that it is an indestructible and inalienable principle of Liberalism that there should be popular control in all matters of education, including religion, while by statute you prevent the local authority from giving the religion which, perhaps, that locality most desires. And may I ask whether a similar criticism may not be passed with equal effect upon the other immutable Liberal dogma of no tests for teachers? I do not think the Prime Minister was in the House when a curious and interesting episode occurred yesterday. After the leader of the Irish Party had explained with great force the objections on the part of the Catholics, up jumps the Member for the Louth Division and expresses deep regret that the representatives of the Roman Catholics in this House will not come into a system of national education. I do not know whether a wink can be rhetorically or oratorically expressed, but, if that expressive gesture can be put into words, then the hon. Member for Louth undoubtedly winked at the learned Member for Waterford and did explain to him that, whatever you put in your Bill, however you may exclude the considerations of a man's religion from the qualifications which were to enable you to appoint him as a teacher, nevertheless, as a matter of practical fact, it would be found that, under local government as practised in this country, every teacher in a Roman Catholic would by some strange but happy accident be found to be a Roman Catholic, just as by an equally happy accident the head teachers of the schools referred to by the hon. Member for Preston always by some arrangement were either Baptists or Wesleyans or, as the late school board for London and the present county council by some happy accident and contrivance are always, without applying any tests, enabled to find Jewish teachers for Jewish schools. Does it not occur to the Government that, if that is to be the actual working of our institutions, it would be well to make some theoretical concessions? What is the use of coming down to the House and saying there are two immutable principles when you are changing the immutable principles in every Bill you bring in and by your practice in the country? We are all agreed that it is preposterous to say to a teacher: "Are you willing to sign the Thirty-Nine Articles?" but is it preposterous to find out whether a teacher can teach that which you propose to pay him -for teaching? On that we really ought to have some quite explicit declaration from the Government. These immutable Liberal dogmas are much more mysterious than any dogmas of theology. They are impossible to define; they are not easy to explain; they are wholly unworkable in practice; and I do think that the Prime Minister has a chance which I hope he will take advantage of just to give us a Cowper-Templerised version of Liberal dogmas. Let us have the plain and simple teaching uncorrupted by the quarrels of the sects, and let us get exactly what he means by tests for teachers. We might agree with him—I should agree with him that there are certain questions which it is preposterous to put to teachers. If he means, as some of his friends mean, that it is unfair to the teachers and unfair to education to find out whether a teacher is qualified to give the religious teaching which you proposed that he should give—to find out, for example, whether he is qualified to teach under the London County Council syllabus in the transferred or appropriated Church schools—if he thinks that that is absurd, how does he justify either the attitude of the Member for Louth or the practice with regard to Jewish schools or the promises and suggestions which have been made from one part of the House and the other? No, Sir. It is these two unfortunate, unexplained, inexplicable, and impracticable dogmas which have stood in the way of any real arrangement. I do not believe that in substance there is any difference between the two sides of the House and the reason is that all through England you will find Nonconformists—when they not are political Nonconformists—I can assure hon. Members I mean nothing offensive by that; what I mean is that you will find Nonconformists, when they have not mixed themselves up in the public controversy on this question, working in the most perfect harmony with the parson of the parish and even with the squire. If that can be done in the country, why cannot it be done in this House? I think it can be done. I am bound to say that my hopes of its being done have been greatly diminished by two things. In the first place, by the Government's regarding this Bill as a basis on. which a compromise can be erected, and, in the second place, by the speeches in defence of the Bill made by the three Ministers who have had something to do either with its construction or its defence. They have iterated and reiterated doctrines which seem to me to be wholly inconsistent with any Amendment of the Act of 1902 in the only direction in which I believe Amendment is possible—the direction, I mean, of giving further power to the parents. They have reiterated their indefensible dogmas, and, unless they are really prepared to concede that, if we abandon the historic foundation originally laid in 1870 and built upon again in 1902—if they really mean to abandon that foundation, which maybe right, the only direction in which they can abandon it with any hope of safety or finality is in the direction of giving ever more and more power in religious matter to the opinions of those parents whose children they have compelled to go to their national schools.


In a dialectical sense, tempting as are the points which the right hon. Gentleman has made for criticism and for rejoinder, I shall endeavour not to reply to him in a controversial spirit. The right hon. Gentleman told us a moment ago that, when you get outside this House into the country, at any rate out of the atmosphere of party politics, you find Nonconformists who are most eager and anxious to come to a settlement of this matter. That is perfectly true. But you find Churchmen also animated by the same spirit and aiming at the same goal, and, as the right hon. Gentleman has well said, in local educational matters both prepared to act together. We have now in the elementary schools of this country three children in the provided as compared with two in the non-provided schools. In other words, out of every five children who are being educated in this country now you may assume that the parents in a majority of three out of five are content with the Cowper-Temple teaching, which is the only kind of religious teaching allowed in the provided schools. I do not mention that except in passing, because I am satisfied I am speaking now for those within the House and not outside when I say that if we sat here in a Palace of Truth, in which we were compelled to disclose our own secret convictions, there are not a score of men among those whom I am addressing who do not feel as I feel that this controversy has now reached a stage at which, in the best interests both of the nation and, I will add, of the churches, it is our bounden duty, to seek to discover and to define not those points of difference which are obvious and familiar, but the points, if such there be, of possible agreement. In this aspect I confess I thought the early stages of this debate were somewhat disappointing. My right hon. friend the First Lord of the Admiralty made, as I thought and as I think most of us thought, a most conciliatory speech. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh, oh!"] I think that is the judgment of a majority of the House. What was the result? For the remainder of the evening he was assailed by a succession of taunts which derided him as a Minister groping about in the dark for a policy. Then last night my right hon. friend the President of the Board of Education, in an extremely able, moderate, and reasoned speech, attempted, and I think succeeded in his attempt, to explain and defend the provisions of this Bill. What reward had he? Why the comment that was made upon his speech was this,: "Now we see this Bill from top to bottom, not only in its principles, but in all its details, is to be put forward and is put forward as the last word which the Government has to speak on the subject." That is not very encouraging to those who, like myself and like all my colleagues, are most anxious if we can to arrive at a settlement of the matter. I want, therefore, in the few moments I am going to trespass on the attention of the House, to state as fairly and as sympathetically as I can what appear to me to be the real and substantial contentions of the various parties to this controversy. First and foremost there is the Nonconformist grievance—a grievance which the right hon. Gentleman just now quite frankly admitted—I mean the grievance in the single school parishes. It is quite true that the grievance was not the creation of the Act of 1902. It was not, but it was very much aggravated by it, because the Act of 1902 for the first time quartered these schools upon the rates. The right hon. Gentlemen, I think, has never realised to what an extent the condition of things created by that Act not only exasperated the feelings but intensified the reluctance of the Nonconformist inhabitants of our villages to continue to acquiesce in the state of things which has grown up. I need not describe the state of things which exists now in thousands of parishes in England and Wales, in which, while the whole cost of the school is defrayed out of the rates and taxes, the teacher is appointed by a non-representative authority, the Nonconformist pupil has no chance in the world of attaining to the head teacher-ship of the school, and the Nonconformist child has the alternative presented to him either of having no religious instruction at all or of having dogmatic and sectarian instruction. Whether people are reasonable or unreasonable that is the state of things, and I do not wonder that it produces a sense of injustice and exacerbation. It is a state of things which we are pledged to remedy. Is it defended on the other side of the House? I have not heard one single word said in its favour. The noble Lord the Member for Marylebone descanted with much eloquence on what is called the inalienable right of the parent, not to choose his child's religion—that is a right we all recognise—but to have the teaching of his child's religion paid for by the State. If there were such a thing—we do not admit that it does exist, but if it did exist it would have a certain air of logical reason—if there was such a thing as this inalienable right of the parent, how is it met in these single-school parishes? It is denied every day of the week. The noble Lord agrees with me. Then there is no difference between us on this point. So far we have advanced a considerable step in the settlement of the controversy. If this is a grievance, an admitted grievance, which must be remedied, where is the remedy to be found? Mind you, this is an actual and not a possible or contingent grievance, which is weighing on the daily lives of our people. How is it to be met?

There we come to the two principles which the right hon. Gentleman has made such a mock of just now, namely, the principle of rate aid, which implies full local control, and the principle that in schools supported by rate aid—and that is really the security against tests—the teacher shall be appointed not by a body of managers responsible to nobody but themselves, but by the local authority representing the parents and ratepayers of the district. The right hon. Gentleman finds it difficult even now to understand why rate aid carries with it as a necessary logical effect, the corollary of local control. But he recognised that that was the principle in 1902. What was the effect of the Act of 1902? To give to the non-provided schools, the so-called voluntary schools, for the first time rate aid. The right hon. Gentleman saw he could not do that without placing them as regards all secular instruction under the control of the local authority, and as regards their religious instruction in defiance of trusts in the hands of a board of managers, two of whom were to be representative. That is what we mean when we say rate aid involves as a corollary popular local control. You may talk about the impalpable boundary line between rates and taxes, but it is common sense, recognised by the practice of our local life and acknowledged by the right hon. Gentleman himself in his own legislation, that if you resort to a fund raised by rates by the people of the locality for local purposes they are entitled through their elected representatives to have a voice in the control of the money. It is a principle which goes to the root, not only of the system of education, but of the whole of our system of administration. Let me point out the singular misconception which the right hon. Gentleman appeared to have in this part of his speech. He said, "You who talk so loudly about local control are in this Bill in one most important respect destroying it, because you are establishing a statutory form of Cowper-Templeism which is henceforth to be compulsory on the local authority." The Bill does nothing of the kind. It says, in the case of the non-provided schools which are compulsorily transferred to the local authority, the trustees or managers may, if they please, stipulate as a condition of transfer that Cowper-Templeism levelled up to the standard of the London County Council shall be part of the ordinary religious education of the school. That does not fetter the power or the discretion of the local authority to give what form of Cowper-Temple religion it pleases in any school subject to it. No one who is cognisant with the practice of administration will dispute that there is a good deal of force in the statement of the right hon. Gentleman that in actually choosing a teacher you do not forbear altogether to ask questions—if you did, you would have a great deal of information volunteered from other sources as to the teacher's opinions—that your mind is not in a state of complete and blank ignorance as to what the teacher's opinions are. I agree. But the great security—the security which is needed for the protection of the children and for the keeping open of the avenue to promotion in the teaching profession in these single-school parishes—is that the teacher should be appointed by the local authority. That is your security, that denominational tests shall not exclude them from appointments. That is the essence of this Bill. It deals in that way with the Nonconformist grievance. We have not had one word of criticism either from the point of view of equity or common-sense on that part of our proposals.

Let me come now to the Anglican. Here I am still speaking in the main with regard to non-provided schools, particularly in rural places, a subject on which the right hon. Gentleman dilated at great but not at all excessive length. What is the position? We are dealing here not with an actual grievance, but with a grievance which the right hon. Gentleman says we shall bring into existence by this Bill—namely, the grievance that could arise or might arise if these two principles of popular control and the appointment of teachers without tests were carried out with untempered logical severity. Here, again, I think, the right hon. Gentleman did very much less than justice to our Bill. I have always recognised and said, and so have most of my colleagues, that we are the last people to belittle the enormous services which the Church of England, both by contributions of money and by the devoted labours of its ministers and. teachers, has rendered to the cause of national education. It would be a perverse misreading of history not to be thankful for what the Church has done in that respect. I am anxious fully to realise and appreciate the right hon. Gentleman's point when he says the members of the Anglican community have naturally a special interest in the schools which to a large extent they have raised out of their own money, and in which they have always been accustomed to have the tenets of their own Church set forth to the children. It is true that the right hon. Gentleman does not sufficiently recognise that the equivalent voluntary contribution which in 1870 was made a condition of State assistance has long since dwindled to a mere fraction, and in many cases has disappeared. That is a fact which everyone acquainted with the history of the question knows for himself. It is true also that under this Bill we take these schools, we carry out for the trustees their purely educational trusts, we keep the schools in repair, and we hand them over on Saturday and Sunday for purely denominational purposes. All that being true, it is surely a strong exaggeration, not to say perversion of language, for the right hon. Gentleman to describe what we are doing as confiscation.

At the same time I wish to say most distinctly that, having regard to their past, the motives which inspired their foundation and for many years secured their existence, and which have throughout their history coloured and denominated their management, it would not be just, it would not be tolerable that in transferring these schools to the local authority we should not give full and even generous facilities for the continuance of special religious teaching. The right hon. Gentleman entirely ignored as though they were valueless or non-existent the provisions of the Bill for giving religious facilities. The words of the schedule provide that trustees may insist as a stipulation of transfer on an undertaking to put the schoolhouse at the disposal of the trustees for the purpose of being used by them or under their authority for giving any religious instruction consistent with the trusts affecting the schoolhouse immediately before or after any meeting of the school. We mean that as a reality. I say quite clearly, on behalf of the Government, we are ready and anxious to listen to any suggestions or criticisms that may be made for the modification of the terms and conditions under which these facilities are given which are not inconsistent with the fundamental principles of our Bill. I think we should be acting wrongly, certainly not acting on the principle which must animate us if we are to arrive at a compromise, unless we made it perfectly clear that in that respect we had an elastic and an open mind.

I come to the next class of grievances, and that is the grievances of Roman Catholics. They stand in a different category altogether. [OPPOSITION cries of "Why?"] I will tell you why. We have to acknowledge that the Roman Catholics have a special claim upon the sympathy and consideration of this House for the services which they have rendered to education in the past. They are the poorest community in this country, and while our people have contributed pounds they have had to be content to contribute pennies, and yet they have raised these schools, managed them, and conducted them in accordance with the views and traditions of their own Church by an amount of self-denying labour and sacrifice to which it is impossible to give too high praise. I say they stand in a different category. Let me say what I mean. In the first place, to Roman Catholics Cowper-Temple teaching is not merely inadequate and incomplete, as it is considered to be by a number of Members opposite above the gangway, but it is a perversion and corruption, a thing that endangers the minds and the souls of the children. I do not believe there is an Anglican of the most extreme kind sitting above the gangway who would put forth such a proposition with regard to Cowper-Templeism. That is the Roman Catholic view, and you may like it or not. Further, there is this most important differentiation between Roman Catholic and Anglican schools; the former require that not merely what is technically called religious instruction, but some branches-at any rate, if not the whole, of the secular instruction shall be given by Catholic teachers in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Catholic Church. The result is that you cannot have the kind of school which satisfies the conscience and meets the requirements of the Roman Catholic portion of the community unless you have in regard to the mode and character of the teaching, in regard to discipline and punishment, and in a dozen other ways, a school which has a special and distinctive character of its own. If that is so, and I think I have stated what is a matter of common knowledge, we have done our best to devise a remedy for the Catholic grievance, and I confess I do not see how you are to dovetail schools of which these are the dominant characteristics into a national rate-aided system. The two things are inconsistent. That is the justification—I agree it requires justification—for offering contracting out for Catholic schools. I do not like contracting out. I do not know anybody in the House who does. It is resorted to because there is no other way of escape. Any school which can. come into the national system on the wide and liberal terms we are offering, and which we are perfectly prepared to reconsider if it is shown that they are either narrow or illiberal, will receive support not only from the taxes but the rates. The Catholic schools retain that peculiar flavour and character which Catholics regard as essential. In their case, whatever may be said of others, some form of contracting out appeared to be a very appropriate remedy. I listened with very much care to the speech of the hon. Member for Waterford and also to the speech of the hon. Member for East Mayo, and the conclusion I draw from these speeches is that although they are reluctant to accept the machinery of contracting out, yet their objection is not so much an objection of principle, but to what I may call terms and conditions. They do not think that the provisions made by this Bill will be adequate to maintain the educational efficiency of their schools; but there again this is clearly a matter for consideration and negotiation, and the Government are quite ready to take it into account. What I am trying to show is that when we make profession of a desire for conciliation there is something more than profession, and that our ears are open to any suggestion, coming from any quarter, which will enable us to translate that profession into concrete legislation.

There is one thing I venture to say to the House with all the emphasis I can command. It is that there is one over-riding and transcendent condition we must always keep in view, and that is the maintenance by the central authority of the irreducible and always rising standard of educational efficiency. That standard applies whether the school is rate-aided or not, whether contracted out or not. That we cannot sacrifice to any religious difference or scruple. Now, what does the Bill do? In the first place, it meets the Nonconformist grievance, as everyone admits. In the second place, it attempts to mitigate, whether successfully or not, but it honestly attempts to mitigate any grievance that may hereafter arise from the compulsory transfer of non-provided schools to the local authorities in the rural districts. And, in the same way, as regards Catholic schools, it aims at providing, whether it succeeds or not, an adequate educational equipment for them and all other contracted out schools. I do not know that I have anything more to add except this. This is a most serious question which I ask the House seriously to consider. Subject to these conditions which I have outlined, is not an agreement possible? The Churches, I believe, are drawing together. They are more and more anxious, and reasonably and rightly anxious, not to go on throwing away the substance for the shadow. Educationists—those who are really interested and primarily interested in the development of our educational system—are eager for the same result, namely, that we should devote our undivided energies to the better instruction of the people. Under these conditions—near as we seem to be to an approximation in regard to many matters which two years, and even one year ago, appeared to be separated by an unbridgeable chasm—grave indeed, I submit to the House, will be the responsibility of anyone—I do not care in what quarter he sits—who from merely political reasons, the winning of an election, the manipulation of a majority, the reluctance to abandon a serviceable and captivating cry—grave will be the responsibility of any one who for reasons such as these, stands between what we believe to be the wishes of the people and the best interests of the children of this country.

The House divided:—Ayes, 370; Noes, 205. (Division List No. 100.);

Abraham, William (Rhondda) Clynes, J. R. Hall, Frederick
Acland, Francis Dyke Cobbold, Felix Thornley Harcourt, Rt. Hn. L. (Rossendale
Adkins, W. Ryland D. Collins, Stephen (Lambeth) Harcourt, Robert V. (Montrose
Agnew, George William Collins, Sir Wm. J. (S. Pancras, W Hardy, Geroge A. (Suffolk)
Ainsworth, John Stirling Compton-Rickett, Sir J. Harmsworth, Cecil B. (Worc'r)
Alden, Percy Cooper, G. J. Harmsworth, R L. (Caithn' ss-sh
Allen, A. Acland (Christchurch) Corbett, C. H. (Sussex, E. Grinst'd Hart-Davies, T.
Allen, Charles P. (Stroud) Cornwall, Sir Edwin A. Harvey, A. G. C. (Rochdale)
Armitage, R. Cory, Sir Clifford John Harvey, W. E. (Derbyshire, N. E.
Armstrong, W. C. Heaton Cotton, Sir H. J. S. Haslam, James (Derbyshire)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Cowan, W. H. Haslam, Lewis (Monmouth)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry Cox, Harold Haworth, Arthur A.
Astbury, John Meir Craig, Herbert J. (Tynemouth) Hazel, Dr. E.
Atherley-Jones, L. Cremer, Sir William Randal Hedges, A. Paget
Baker, Sir John (Portsmouth) Crooks, William Helme, Norval Watson
Baker, Joseph A. (Finsbury, E.) Crossley, William J. Hemmerde, Edward George
Balfour, Robert (Lanark) Dalmeny, Lord Henderson, Arthur (Durham)
Baring, Godfrey (Isle of Wight) Dalziel, James Henry Henderson, J. M. (Aberdeen, W.)
Barlow, Sir John E. (Somerset) Davies, El is William (Eifion) Henry, Charles S.
Barnard, E. B. Davies, M. Vaughan- (Cardigan) Herbert, Col. Sir Ivor (Mon., S.)
Barran, Rowland Hirst Davies, Timothy (Fulham) Herbert, T. Arnold (Wycombe)
Barry, Redmond J. (Tyrone, N.) Davies, W. Howell (Bristol, S.) Higham, John Sharp
Beale, W. P. Dewar, Arthur (Edinburgh, S.) Hobart, Sir Robert
Beauchamp, E. Dewar, Sir J. A. (Inverness-sh.) Hobhouse, Charles E. H.
Beaumont, Hon. Hubert Dickinson, W. H. (St. Pancras, N Hodge, John
Beck, A. Cecil Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Holden, E. Hopkinson
Ball, Richard Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Holland, Sir William Henry
Bellairs, Carlyon Dobson, Thomas W. Holt, Richard Durning
Belloc, Hilaire Joseph Peter R. Duckworth, James Hooper, A. G.
Bonn, Sir J. Williams (Devonp'rt Duncan, C. (Barrow-in-Furness Hope, W. Bateman (Somerset, N
Benn, W. (T'w'r Hamlets, S. Geo. Duncan, J. H. (York, Otley) Horniman, Emslie John
Bennett, E. N. Dunn, A. Edward (Camborne) Horridge, Thomas Gardner
Berridge, T. H. D. Dunne, Major E. Martin (Walsal) Howard, Hon. Geoffrey
Bertram, Julius Edwards, Clement (Denbigh) Hudson, Walter
Bethell, Sir J. H. (Essex, Romf'rd Edwards, Enoch (Hanley) Hutton, Alfred Eddison
Bethell, T. R. (Essex, Maldon) Edwards, Sir Francis (Radnor) Hyde, Clarendon
Birrell, Rt. Hon. Augustine Elibank, Master of Idris, T. H. W.
Black, Arthur W. Ellis, Rt. Hon. John Edward Illingworth, Percy H.
Boulton, A. C. F. Erskine, David C. Isaacs, Rufus Daniel
Bowerman, C. W. Essex, R. W. Jackson, R. S.
Brace, William Esslemont, George Birnie Jacoby, Sir James Alfred
Bramsdon, T. A. Evans, Sir Samuel T. Jardine, Sir J.
Branch, James Faber, G. H. (Boston) Jenkins, J.
Brigg, John Fenwick, Charles Johnson, John (Gateshead)
Bright, J. A. Ferens, T. R. Johnson, W. (Nuneaton)
Brodie, H. C. Ferguson, R. C. Munro Jones, Leif (Appleby)
Brooke, Stopford Fiennes, Hon. Eustace Jones, William (Carnarvonshire
Brunner, J. F. L. (Lancs., Leigh) Findlay, Alexander Kearley, Hudson E.
Brunner, Rt. Hn Sir J. T (Cheshire Freeman-Thomas, Freeman Kekewich, Sir George
Bryce, J. Annan Fuller, John Michael F. Kincaid-Smith, Captain
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Fullerton, Hugh King, Alfred John (Knutsford)
Buckmaster, Stanley O. Furness, Sir Christopher Laidlaw, Robert
Burns, Rt. Hon. John Gibb, James (Harrow) Lamb, Edmund G. (Leominster
Burnyeat, W. J. D. Gladstone, Rt. Hn Herbert John Lamb, Ernest H. (Rochester)
Burt, Rt. Hon. Thomas Glen-Coats, Sir T. (Renfrew, W.) Lambert, George
Buxton, Rt. Hn. Sydney Charles Glendinning, R. G. Lamont, Norman
Byles, William Pollard Goddard, Sir Daniel Ford Langley, Batty
Cameron, Robert Gooch, George Peabody (Bath) Layland-Barratt, Francis
Carr-Gomm, H. W. Grant, Corrie Leese, Sir Joseph F. (Accrington
Causton, Rt. Hn. Richard Knight Greenwood, G. (Peterborough) Lehmann, R. C.
Cawley, Sir Frederick Greenwood, Hamar (York) Lever, A. Levy (Essex, Harwich
Channing, Sir Francis Allston Griffith, Ellis J. Lever, W. H. (Cheshire, Wirral)
Cheetham, John Frederick Grove, Archibald Levy, Sir Maurice
Cherry, Rt. Hon. R. R. Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill Lewis, John Herbert
Churchill, Rt. Hon. Winston S. Gulland, John W. Lloyd-George, Rt. Hon. David
Cleland, J. W. Gurdon Rt Hn Sir W. Brampton Lough, Rt. Hon. Thomas
Clough, William Haldane, Rt. Hon. Richard N. Lupton, Arnold
Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Pollard, Dr. Taylor, John W. (Durham)
Lyell, Charles Henry Price, C. E. (Edinb' h, Central) Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)
Lynch, H. B. Price, Robert John (Norfolk, E. Tennant, Sir Edward (Salisbury
Macdonald, J. R. (Leicester) Priestley, W. E. B. (Bradford, E.) Tennant, H. J. (Berwickshire)
Macdonald, J. M. (Falkirk B'ghs Pullar, Sir Robert Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Mackarness, Frederic C. Radford, G. H. Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)
Maclean, Donald Rainy, A. Rolland Thomasson, Franklin
Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J. Raphael, Herbert H. Thompson, J. W. H. (Somerset, E.
M'Callum, John M. Rea, Russell (Gloucester) Thorne, G. R. (Wolverhampton
M'Crae, George Rea, Walter Russell (Scarboro') Tillett, Louis John
M'Kenna, Rt. Hon. Reginald Rees, J. D. Tomkinson, James
M'Laren, Sir C. B. (Leicester) Rendall, Athelstan Torrance, Sir A. M.
M'Micking, Major G. Richards, Thomas (W. Monm'th Toulmin, George
Maddison, Frederick Richards, T. F. (Wolverh' mpt'n Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Mallet, Charles E. Richardson, A. Verney, F. W.
Manfield, Harry (Northants) Ridsdale, E. A. Villiers, Ernest Amherst
Mansfield, H. Rendall (Lincoln) Roberts, Charles H. (Lincoln) Vivian, Henry
Markham, Arthur Basil Roberts, G. H. (Norwich) Wadsworth, J.
Marks, G. Croydon (Launceston) Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.) Walker, H. De R. (Leicester)
Marnham, F. J. Robertson, J. M. (Tyneside) Walsh, Stephen
Mason, A. E. W. (Coventry) Robinson, S. Walters, John Tudor
Massie, J. Robson, Sir William Snowdon Walton, Joseph
Masterman, C. F. G. Roe, Sir Thomas Ward, John (Stoke-upon-Trent)
Micklem, Nathaniel Rogers, F. E. Newman Ward, W. Dudley (Southampt'n
Middlebrook, William Rowlands, J. Wardle, George J.
Molteno, Percy Alport Runciman, Rt. Hon. Walter Waring, Walter
Mond, A. Rutherford, V. H. (Brentford) Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Money, L. G. Chiozza Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland) Wason, Rt. Hn. E (Clackmannan
Montagu, E. S. Scarisbrick, T. T. L. Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney)
Montgomery, H. G. Schwann, C. Duncan (Hyde) Waterlow, D. S.
Morgan, G. Hay (Cornwall) Schwann, Sir C. E. (Manchester) Watt, Henry A.
Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen) Scott, A. H. (Ashton-under-Lyne Weir, James Galloway
Morrell, Philip Sears, J. E. White, Sir George (Norfolk)
Morse, L. L. Seaverns, J. H. White, J. D. (Dumbartonshire)
Morton, Alpheus Cleophas Seddon, J. White, Luke (York, E. R.)
Murray, Capt. Hn A C. (Kincard) Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford) Whitehead, Rowland
Murray, James (Aberdeen, E.) Shipman, Dr. John G. Whitley, John Henry (Halifax)
Myer, Horatio Silcock, Thomas Ball Wiles, Thomas
Napier, T. B. Simon, John Allsebrook Williams, J. (Glamorgan)
Newnes, F. (Notts, Bassetlaw) Sinclair, Rt. Hon. John Williams, Llewelyn (Carmarth'n
Nicholls, George Sloan, Thomas Henry Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Nicholson, Charles N. (Doncast'r Smeaton, Donald Mackenzie Williamson, A.
Norman, Sir Henry Snowden, P. Wills, Arthur Walters
Norton, Capt. Cecil William Soares, Ernest J. Wilson, Hon. G. G. (Hull, W.)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Spicer, Sir Albert Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.
Nuttall, Harry Stanger, H. Y. Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Parker, James (Halifax) Stanley, Albert (Staffs, N. W.) Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)
Partington, Oswald Stanley, Hn. A. Lyulph (Chesh.) Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.)
Paulton, James Mellor Steadman, W. C. Wilson, P. W. (St. Pancras, S.)
Pearce, Robert (Staffs, Leek) Stewart, Halley (Greenock) Wilson, W. T. (Westhoughton)
Pearson, Sir W. D. (Colchester) Stewart-Smith, D. (Kendal) Winfrey, R.
Pearson, W. H. M. (Suffolk, Eye) Strachey, Sir Edward Wodehouse, Lord
Perks, Robert William Straus, B. S. (Mile End) Wood, T. M'Kinnon
Philipps, Col. Ivor (S'thampton Strauss, E. A. (Abingdon)
Philipps, J. Wynford (Pembroke Stuart, James (Sunderland) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Whiteley and Mr. J. A. Pease.
Philipps, Owen C. (Pembroke) Summerbell, T.
Pickersgill, Edward Hare Sutherland, J. E.
Pirie, Duncan V. Taylor, Austin (East Toxteth)
Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.) Banbury, Sir Frederick George Bull, Sir William James
Ambrose, Robert Banner, John S. Harmood- Burdett-Coutts, W.
Anson, Sir William Reynell Baring, Capt. Hn. G (Winchester Burke, E. Haviland-
Anstruther-Gray, Major Barrie, H. T. (Londonderry, N.) Butcher, Samuel Henry
Arkwright, John Stanhope Barry, E. (Cork, S.) Campbell, Rt. Hon. J. H. M.
Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O. Beach, Hn. Michael Hugh Hicks Carlile, E. Hildred
Ashley, W. W. Beckett, Hon. Gervase Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. W.
Aubrey-Fletcher, Rt. Hn. Sir H. Bignold, Sir Arthur Castlereagh, Viscount
Balcarres, Lord Boland, John Cave, George
Baldwin, Stanley Bowles, G. Stewart Cecil, Lord John P. Joicey-
Balfour, Rt Hn. A. J. (City Lond.) Bridgeman, W. Clive Cecil, Lord R. (Marylebone, E.)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A. (Wor. Jowett, F. W. O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Joyce, Michael Parker, Sir Gilbert (Gravesend)
Clancy, John Joseph Kavanagh, Walter M. Parkes, Ebenezer
Clive, Percy Archer Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H. Pease, Herbert Pike (Darlington
Coates, E. Feetham (Lewisham) Kennedy, Vincent Paul Percy, Earl
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Kerry, Earl of Phillips, John (Longford, S.)
Collings, Rt. Hn. J. Birmingh'm Keswick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim, S. Kettle, Thomas Michael Power, Patrick Joseph
Craig, Capt. James (Down, E.) Kilbride, Denis Randles, Sir John Scurrah
Craik, Sir Henry Kimber, Sir Henry Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne
Crean, Eugene King, Sir Henry Seymour (Hull) Ratcliff, Major R. F.
Cross, Alexander Lane-Fox, G. R. Rawlinson, John Frederick Peel
Cullinan, J. Lardner, James Carrige Rushe Reddy, M.
Delany, William Law, Andrew Bonar (Dulwich) Redmond, John E. (Waterford)
Devlin, Joseph Law, Hugh A. (Donegal, W.) Redmond, William (Clare)
Dillon, John Lee, Arthur H.(Hants, Fareham Remnant, James Farquharson
Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred Dixon Lockwood, Rt. Hn. Lt.-Col. A. R. Renton, Leslie
Donelan, Captain A. Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham) Roberts, S. (Sheffield, Ecclesall)
Doughty, Sir George Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Dublin, S. Roche, Augustine (Cork)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lonsdale, John Brownlee Roche, John (Galway, East)
Du Cros, Arthur Philip Lowe, Sir Francis William Ronaldshay, Earl of
Duncan, Robert (Lanark, Govan Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred Ropner, Colonel Sir Robert
Esmonde, Sir Thomas MacCaw, William J. MacGeagh Rutherford, John (Lancashire)
Faber, George Denison (York) MacNeill, John Gordon Swift Salter, Arthur Clavell
Faber, Capt. W. V. (Hants, W.) Macpherson, J. T. Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Fardell, Sir T. George MacVeagh, Jeremiah (Down, S.) Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Fell, Arthur MacVeigh, Charles (Donegal, E.) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Fetherstonhaugh, Godfrey M'Hugh, Patrick A. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Ffrench, Peter M'Kean, John Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Flavin, Michael Joseph M'Killop, W. Sheehy, David
Flynn, James Christopher Magnus, Sir Philip Sheffield, Sir Berkeley George D.
Forster, Henry William Marks, H. H. (Kent) Smith, Abol H. (Hertford, East)
Gardner, Ernest Mason, James F. (Windsor) Smith, F. E. (Liverpool, Walton)
Gibbs, G. A. (Bristol, West) Meagher, Michael Smyth, Thomas F. (Leitrim, S.)
Gilhooly, James Meehan, Francis E. (Leitrim, N.) Stanier, Beville
Glover, Thomas Meysey-Thompson, E. C. Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk
Gooch, Henry Cubitt (Peckham) Middlemore, John Throgmorton Starkey, John R.
Gordon, J. Mooney, J. J. Staveley-Hill, Henry (Staff'sh.)
Grayson, Albert Victor Morpeth, Viscount Stone, Sir Benjamin
Gretton, John Morrison-Bell, Captain Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Guinness, Walter Edward Muldoon, John Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Haddock, George B. Murnaghan, George Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr
Halpin, J. Nicholson, Wm. G. (Petersfield) Thornton, Percy M.
Hamilton, Marquess of Nolan, Joseph Walker, Col. W. H. (Lancashire)
Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'rd Nugent, Sir Walter Richard Walrond, Hon. Lionel
Harris, Frederick Leverton O'Brien, Kendal (Tipperary Mid. Warde, Col. C. E. (Kent, Mid.)
Harrison-Broadley, H. B. O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Williams, Col. R. (Dorset, W.)
Hay, Hon. Claude George O'Brien, William (Cork) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Hayden, John Patrick O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.)
Hazleton, Richard O'Connor, John (Kildare, N.) Winterton, Earl
Healy, Timothy Michael O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Heaton, John Henniker O'Doherty, Philip Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Helmsley, Viscount O'Donnell, C. J. (Walworth) Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Hill, Sir Clement O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.) Younger, George
Hills, J. W. O'Dowd, John
Hogan, Michael O'Grady, J. TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Viscount Valentia.
Hope, James Fitzalan (Sheffield) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N
Houston, Robert Paterson O'Malley, William
Hunt, Rowland O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens

Question put.

Main Question put, and agreed to. Bill read a second time.

Bill committed to a Committee of the Whole House for Monday next.—(Mr. Asquith.)