HC Deb 12 November 1908 vol 196 cc561-2
MR. CLOUGH (Yorkshire, W.R., Skipton)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister when the Government will place upon the Paper the Amendments to the Elementary Education (England and Wales) Bill agreed upon with the Archbishop of Canterbury; and when the Committee stage of the Elementary Education (England and Wales) Bill will be entered upon.


In the event of such an agreement as my hon. friend assumes being arrived at, the Government will put down their Amendments in ample time for their being considered before the Committee stage of the Bill is taken. At the earliest this cannot be before Tuesday the 24th.

MR. BRIDGEMAN (Shropshire, Oswestry)

I beg to ask the Prime Minister if, in view of the fact that the Education Bill for England stands next to the Port of London Bill on the Orders of the Day, he can give the House any information whether the statement made by the President of the Board of Education to a meeting of certain. Members of this House announced any change in the intentions of His Majesty's Government with respect to that measure; and, if so, will he now say what that change is.


The statement referred to was made privately by my right hon. friend to a body of his supporters in this House. Any change which the Government propose in the Bill will appear in due course in the shape of Amendments on the notice Paper.


How soon will notice of those Amendments be given?


I have used the word "ample." I will endeavour to make the word good.


I quite appreciate the impossibility of fixing an exact date; but in view of the fact that the suggested alterations of the Bill, whichever rumour is taken, are so great as really to constitute it a new Bill, may I ask the Prime Minister whether he will interpret the word "ample" in a generous sense so as to give the House some opportunity of weighing and forming an opinion upon the merits and demerits of the new proposals?


Without accepting the right hon. Gentleman's assumption that the Bill is reconstituted, I will interpret the word generously in as wide a sense as I think the necessities of the case allow.